Wednesday, December 17, 2008
i never understood why adults were so LAME....why they didn't want it to snow because it messed with their plans. well, now i know. tonight was supposed to be the dress rehearsal for the kids christmas production (which i am directing) and it is a blizzard outside. the weather has officially screwed up my plans.
i'm making the best of it though...walking with my dogs, making soup, and trying to get work done from home. the dress rehearsal is rescheduled for saturday - please Lord, let it NOT snow on saturday and sunday. ;) i guess i will deal and take this weather imposed slow/snow day for much needed advent REST.
i pray that from wherever you read this you are warm and dry and o.k. with whatever change of plans has occured in your life lately.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
just got back from a call to the hospital...i am on call chaplain this week for skagit. it was a suicide. young man. only child. so sad.
the mother just sat and cried and asked me how would she ever be able to fathom this and me...who, me? i dunno. i told her it was unfathomable. that there was so much mystery and pain in life...
she said, "your job sucks, doesn't it?" and i smiled at her bright blue eyes, red from the crying and said..."no....no, it doesn't suck. i get to be here as a witness to God's love for you and God's love for your son."
was that enough? probably not. but it's all i got.
Monday, September 15, 2008
these two morsels found me this evening and have me contemplating whether i have become content with cooling coals...
Abbot Lot came to Abbot Joseph and said: Father, according as I am able, I keep my little rule, and my little fast, my prayer, meditation and contemplative silence; and according as I am able I strive to cleanse my heart of thoughts: now what more should I do? The elder rose up in reply and stretched out his hands to heaven, and his fingers became like ten lamps of fire. He said: Why not be totally changed into fire? -The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers
Tame worship is easier to agree on than any other kind, and bringing fire requires a lot more energy than simply showing up. When life is pretty good and church is pleasant enough, who needs resurrection? -Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church
i want to burn.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
beau and i had a beautiful trip to orcas island. it is an amazing place with lots of natural beauty...plenty of hiking and kayaking to be done and a generally peaceful easy feeling.
we are back now and relaxing with the doggies and i am tending to my beauties (see above)...i have some cool stuff from an OLD nouwen book that i found in our church library...stay tuned...
oh yeah, did i mention i didn't have to preach today? i'm not going to know what day it is all week. ;)
Monday, September 01, 2008
beau and i bought a new car this weekend - we love it (more on this later). sadly, this means we have to get rid of my first car that was really mine (i chose it, i paid for it, i loved it)...it has brought us to many amazing places, beau and i had our first date in this car (well - it DROVE us), i have prayed for folks in this car and generally loved it. i hope the next owners enjoy it as much as i have.
if you are interested in a great AWD car, let me know - we will let it go for bargain basements prices. ;)
update: we sold the car last night (less than 12 hours after i posted it on craislist. we had MANY calls, many visits and a few test drives. we had one guy make a full price offer who was a total jerk to beau on the test drive...beau felt strongly that he did not want to sell the car to him, so we didn't. after that we had a wonderful couple who have been serving as missionaries to ecuador for 18 years and recently moved back to the states look at it. it was so awesome to sell it to them and give them a deal and a car that will BLESS them! we are so happy that the car will continue in ministry and adventure. they will move up to the skagit valley soon and have promised to visit us with the car. God is GOOD.
Friday, August 22, 2008
one of the action items from my latest trip to kc for the nazarene women clergy council was the formation of a blog. it is designed to be an encouragement, resource, and online networking tool for ladies in ministry. it should be fun...check it out: www.nazarenewomen.wordpress.com
Saturday, August 16, 2008
i feel more human today...i feel as though perhaps my life may slow down enough for me to savor the living of it.
this morning i woke up in my own bed on a saturday with NOTHING in particular to do (and my husband did not run off to a side job - hallelujah!). it has been a blessing beyond imagination to have nothing planned, nothing scheduled, nowhere to run, nowhere to be...
today has been a good day...
beau and i made a fabulous brunch - waffles (from the waffle maker an elderly woman from the church bought for me at a garage sale), fresh fruit, bacon (mmmm), and a scramble that included herbs from my garden. i have worked in the yard - tending to my beauties (see above) and mowed the lawn...and it is only 1:30...ahhhhh.
i pray that you have a day (and soon) that is slow enough to savor.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
our family is growing! beau and i keep adding rescue dogs and vicious cats to our number...the newest addition: optimus. he is a 75 lb. beast of a guy - half pitbull half lab. he looks pitbull in the body and head but has huge feet, webbed toes, and a very chill disposition. he and izzy get along very well and are figuring out their relationship to each other and their beds, toys, and food. izzy is loving having someone to play with...that makes me happy. and this guy...he is more lovey than izzy (if that were possible)...
heres to a growing family and to hoping that when we decide to start having babies we don't get this carried away!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
i have walked through the valley of the shadow of death for much of the year. i cannot think of a time when someone was not dead or dying in the last 9 months. it is just now that the smoke is beginning to clear and i am left to grapple with this overdose of mortality.
yesterday, for example, we went to the birthday party of our friend david's daughter, alaina. she is four. beau has been with her for every birthday (even her first unofficial birthday of the day she was born) and i have been with her since her 1st birthday. her birthday was largely the same as it always is. it was in the same backyard that it always is...it was hot just like it always is smack in the center of july...there were drinks and snacks and sugary cake just like there always is...but something was not quite right - david was conspicuously absent. his absence felt more profound than his precence would have if he were there...
but if i closed my eyes i could imagine him behind me, holding baby tia, and talking to beau about going to see the new batman movie...i kept thinking, just a year ago he was right here...in that picture we have on our fridge he was here...
death is a strange, strange thief.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I survived the weekend - thank God. Both funerals were beautiful celebrations...I was more than thankful.
In addition to TWO funerals this weekend, we also added to the family. Fluffy...a little boy kitty named by my niece, Else. He terrorizes Izzy...but she mostly likes him. ;) Here are some pictures of him and of a hike we took the other day....
Thursday, June 12, 2008
apparently i have a high whiteness factor....my friend giordi shared this with me today. it is an entire website dedicated to "stuff white people like"...be sure to check out the full list...funny stuff.
i need it this week - i am officiating two funerals on saturday (more on that after i've lived through it).
Thursday, May 22, 2008
if you know beau and i, you know we love this dog...i was actually very reluctant to get a dog, but when beau and i saw this little black pitbull at the skagit valley humane society (www.skagithumane.com), my heart was hers...
here are some pics from our youth group supper club night and izzy cuddling with daniel & kathryn.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Thursday, May 08, 2008
i was intrigued by a number of friends talking about this amazing book - the shack by william p. young - so i decided to read it.
i am so glad i did....it expanded my heart in beautiful ways.
now...you....stop reading this and read the shack.
find out more at: www.theshackbook.com
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
izzy and i have been busy...
yesterday morning beau let izzy out and she went back to the same place in the side hill that she had been obsessed with for about 24 hours. after a few minutes she was "playing" with a new friend. after izzy sent her new friend to mole heaven (she is sugar all over again - our old mole killing dog) i found a mouse (!) in the garage. my throat literally hurt from screaming so loud and it sent izzy under the bed. i set a trap and the rest is cold blooded history....
if you need an extermination, just call the somers girls.
Monday, April 28, 2008
for anyone who has ever had a roommate or worked at a church (or anywhere else), you will love this: www.passiveaggressivenotes.com
when i came to our church about a year ago there were passive aggressive notes taped all over the kitchen. i threw them away and they were quickly replaced...so funny.
Monday, April 14, 2008
i had a wonderful time in nashville - it was right on time in so many ways....physically, spiritually, and mentally.
the only thing better than an awesome weekend full of anointed female clergy was coming home to my awesome husband and sweet dog. beau had a sign and flowers waiting for me (notice the switch of the words - he didn't realize it until well after he had put the sign up).
home!!!! welcome to me....
Sunday, April 06, 2008
yesterday was david's memorial service. i was one of three officiants...there were so many people there and so much grief that a deep quiet accompanied the afternoon.
today was jack's (our friends, nate & giordi's, son) dedication...so surreal to release life and welcome it at the same time.
so tonight i sit with some peppermint herbal tea (with a splash of honey)...hoping to relax tonight...tomorrow...before the board meeting...before the trip to nashville...before busy-ness takes a hold of my neck again and does not let go...i wonder when life will slow down enough to allow me to just rest...
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
yesterday morning i was detoxing from the frenzied activity of Holy Week by taking a long, sunlight filled walk to little mountain. the trees are beginning to bloom and the lilies in the ponds are beginning to come up...this world is so beautiful. izzy and i got back from our walk to hang for the day...
i started simply trying to decide how best to chill out - should i make coffee and THEN read my book or just start reading and make coffee later (usual sabbath questions). while i was debating this silly part of my day, the phone rang and it was my dear friend, amber's, dad. the first thing he said was, "david passed away this morning." david is amber's husband who has been one of beau's best friends for several years and has become a dear friend to me as well. david was diagnosed with leukemia three weeks ago and has dealt with every possible complication of chemo and various infections.
with those words - passed away - everything fell in fragments out of my brain and into my heart..."NO....NO....NO...." was pretty much all i could say. but despite my best efforts to disassemble the message, to reject it and have it come back differently, the fact persisted - david was gone.
calling beau was just as horrific as hearing it for myself - to hear the recognition of grief in his voice...it is hard enough to accept a difficult truth in your own heart, but to watch it wound those you love is unbearable.
david was only 26. he leaves behind a beautiful wife (widow at age 23) and two sweet little girls - alaina, 3 and tia, 14 months.
david was fearless in the face of this illness and confident in God's grace and plan. i know that He is in perfect peace and joy and that all the mysteries of the universe are unlocked for him. yesterday, in between tears, i kept marveling at all the answers to questions he knows now...of how perfectly he is experiencing Love now...
but none of those thoughts take away the pain of his loss. so today we mourn deeply the loss of life too young...we will miss you dave.
MAY ANGELS GUIDE YOU IN.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
this morning at my pastor's text study, the intern at a local church (a brilliant young seminarian from berkeley lutheran) referred to Holy Week as "the big deal." she spoke of how - even for non-liturgical churches - the "big deal" is of upmost importance. it is something that bonds us...as Christians...to the resurrected Christ and to one another. so...here's to the BIG deal...may your journey to the cross and then to the empty tomb be filled with repentance, hope and joy. PEACE!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
i spent most of the day (until i was forced in by the rain) with my old friends...weeding, primping, and caring for all my beautiful plants. the daffodils are round one and doing a fabulous job displaying their God given yellow gorgeousness...on deck are the tulips - which must have something beautiful planned as they are all out of the ground and stretching toward heaven...everything else is just starting to bud...i will post "real" pictures of the garden soon.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
i am so glad that there are others struggling and dealing with lack of volunteers and too many meetings and not enough hours in the day to kiss husbands while trying to care for a church...it inspires me to know that i am not alone...laboring in this vineyard...that i am not the only 30 year old helping to shoulder an entire congregation's worth of stuff while writing district reports and leading text studies.
God...thank you for reminding me that i am not alone.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
i feel - as always - that i have failed at lent. for here i am, busy beyond belief...carefully and dutifully fulfilling my lenten obligation with little fervor. all the while holding bible studies, running to the hospital, cramming, cleaning, and running... i had a lot of big plans for intimacy with the One, of revelation and depth, but most have fallen off the wagon.
i am so thankful that God's big plans have been accomplished...my only prayer is that as i experience the passion, i come closer...
Monday, February 11, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
my right thumbnail still has a faint grey line from the ashes of ash wednesday. no manner of scrubbing and scraping could get those last few particles out...they linger to remind me of the foreheads that i touched. it is always so intense to mark the heads of the congregation. these are not people who are anonymous to me - they are people that i LOVE - it is exceedingly difficult to remind them that they are dust and to dust they will return. and, most likely, when they return to dust it will be me who says the last prayer over them, me who touches that same forehead with anointing oil, me who says the final amen before their coffin descends into the earth.
it is with great mourning and yet great hope that i approach lent...for we NEED Christ so desperately...and i know that my only hope...the only hope of my precious congregation comes in the resurrection of Jesus. so, although difficult to mark the foreheads of the big ones and little ones with the ashen cross, i can give them REAL hope - hope that will never disappoint.
therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. -Romans 5:1-5
may God remind you every day of this season of your deep need of Him.