Thursday, December 8, 2011

nursing homes

This morning I was belting out Christmas Carols at the nursing home communion service I do once a month.  As we were singing O Come All Ye Faithful, I thought to myself, "now it feels like Advent".
Most of the residents really don't sing,
but they kinda do.

I found myself wondering if I will ever be in a nursing home, and if I am, will a nice pastor come and sing Christmas Carols and offer the Lord's Supper to me?   Will I care?  

I find the nursing home a lonely, stark and holy place. 
People at the stage of life where their lights are flickering softly, instead of being in the fire of life.   The wrinkled skins, the faint smell of urine, the dried up pea soup on a shirt...
the bad teeth...
the minds that wander back and forth through  the past to the present. 
Will I be there someday?

Since the service is ecumenical, all sorts are rolled in, slumped in their wheel chairs.  Many of them have a look of surprise when I offer them the Bread of Life, and the Cup of Promise--as if they just noticed I was there in their sphere.  Some of the people open their mouths for me to place the host on their tongues (not my tradition at all, but over the years I have gotten pretty good at keeping it sanitary and not actually touching their tongues....) or they hold the host in their hands and stare at it.  The tiny cups of God's promise is more popular--some sip it like a fine wine, some gulp down the sweet juice, smack their lips, and say "yummy!"    I never know what to expect.  

At the end, after I have given the benediction, I go to each resident, and bless them.
It's humbling and empowering.
God bless you.
God loves you.
They respond, "Thank You"
or today, "God loves you, dear."

I think receiving blessings from elders is almost sacramental. That holy.

As I said, the nursing home.  It is a stark, lonely, and holy place.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I just found an hour.

I just found an hour.  Well, I have wasted about half of it, already, but still--you know when you think a meeting is at a certain time, and then you check your calendar and realize it's an hour later.  Sometimes this is good.  

So, I ordered candles for the Advent Taize service. 

I ate some jellybellies.  Yum.

My desk is a wreck, but I didn't straighten it.  

I filled out some receipts. 

I wished I had my new toy, a ukelele, so I could practice Christmas Carols.  No, really, for real.

And now, I think I will simply sit in the rocking chair in my office, and be still for 15 minutes. 
Because I can.

Carry on!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

this past Sunday...

you know, you have those Sundays...
when you think you have a pretty good sermon,
feeling good about it, and then as you are preaching it,
your realize it pretty much sucks?

yep.  had one those this past Sunday. 

which is fine, we all have those, right? 

but you see, I don't preach every week, so I always want to nail it--knowing of course this isn't about me at all--but I want to be faithful to the writing and the preparing and praying and musing--and so I kind of went into a tailspin about it. 

oh, we are so hard on ourselves sometimes....well, at least I can be hard on myself. 



Friday, November 25, 2011

so this dream I had last night....

This is my last night's dream:

I started a part-time temporary job steps away from the T-stop in Davis square (that looked nothing like Davis Square, I might add.)

I was wandering around gathering information, names, phone numbers, and apparently this was quite helpful.   My therapist  had her office on the second floor, mine was on the third, although I had to visit the top floor.   The company nurse came in to show me how to take blood pressures, and I said, I would be happy to learn, but I need to go and introduce myself to Heidi.  This was the second day of work, and Heidi was the CEO.   I ran down to her office, and she was this elegant, quirky, artsy person who had three women in wheelchairs in her office, who were also quirky and artsy and the first floor was like a beautiful library....

We had a staff meeting, where everyone read bits of poetry for their reports.  Then we all took out our clay and started creating.    Everyone left whenever they were finished...and there was clay art and jewelry and fabrics in the "store" for sale.  Musicians started showing up to play for a 5:00 wine and cheese played the harp amazingly.  

I didn't have anything for the show, but I had a lot of pots to glaze that were pretty stunning.

They offered me a salary package of 80,000 to become permanent.  It wasn't ministry, but I was so happy and relaxed and empowered there.   When I awoke, I was in the process of discerning this possibility.  

The End. 

Friday Five: FiveFreeGifts

Over at RevGals, Sally writes:  "Following on from Thanksgiving, and picking up the "Black Friday" theme of boycotting the Christmas rush for bargains I thought it would be good to set a simple Friday Five yet one to get you thinking. I am sure that you'll agree that some of the best gifts we receive do not come in fancy wrapping paper but might be the gift of an unexpected afternoon with a friend or coming across a long forgotten photograph, or- well the list is endless...

So take a bit of time to think back over the last year and ponder the gifts it has offered to you, then list five of those gifts, in no particular order- there is only one rule- all of these gifts must have been free, neither you nor anyone else should have spent money on them"

So here is my play.  If I could figure out how to place photos in my post which seems to be impossible, this would be so much more interesting.   

1.  Watching the sunset from my lanai on the Big Island of Hawaii for 6 nights in a row. 
2.  Swimming with wild dolphins on the Big Island
3.  The momma and litter of kittens we fostered this fall.  They were so much work, and yet so much fun. 
4.  Deepening friendships that will last a lifetime (you all know who you are!)
5.  Middle-aging which has offered me the ability to to settle into my bones and self in a gentler, more loving way. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

PreHoliday Prayer

Oh dear sweet Jesus,
the holiday blitz in on,
even before I  relish the day upon which to be thankful.

That crazy blonde lady Target ad,
who drools over the Black Friday flier, and works out in her pumps to get ready for the big shopping extravaganza (have you seen that commercial?)--it makes my stomach sick.
Even the UCC online store has a 25 Days of Shopping Specials, and each day I get an email highlighting the deal of the day.  Really?  UCC?   That is sinful.  
Now don't get me wrong,
I like me some UCC bling and I have had a love affair with Target since I was about 12,
but to overload
on the shopping commercials...
it's too much right now.
It's too much.

Oh dear sweet Jesus,
Forgive us,
forgive me.
Help me offer your peace, your hope, your quiet redeeming grace
in the midst of all the lights and glitter and show.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

just some random thoughts, cause it's Tuesday morning.....

It's Thanksgiving Week,
which means that the bulletin is already printed for Sunday,
and my colleague is away for the week,
and my other colleague will not be in the office after today,
and my beloved is on staycation all week,
which means that things are a little relaxed right now.

I am not on vacation or leave or anything,
but I am taking advantage of the down time to do what pastors don't get to do at leisure,
which is write and read and wonder....
drink coffee in the morning in pajamas, and
wander over to my office later this morning.  

I will get to deliver Meals on Wheels on Thursday.
I will take Bubba to work with me.
(he really still has the stinky butt, though, so I think that is a sacrifice on my part.)
I will make some pastoral visits.
I will go to the Apple Store, and have a lesson on how to use this Mac computer.
(I can't remember a thing from the last time).

I will ponder Big Things,
like my call, and my options,
and will ask God to please let me know what is next.
I really, really want to settle in and down.
This feeling in my stomach makes me sad, a little, this unsettled thing.

I will Pray for My Loved Ones.
For my family,
for my adopted family,
for my sister friends...
and my brothers....
I will pray for them....because many of them are going through so much pain and disease and Big Life Stuff.

I will rest in my God,
and I will know that the heart of Jesus
is with me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Five, 11.11.11

Songbird asks us to reflect on 5 ways we go over the top, blast the volume to number 11.....Big. FAT. THANK YOU.  to Songbird for creating this FF!!!!

1.  Animals.  Oh dear.   It's a blessing and a curse to live across the street from a foster/rescue organization.
Both my beloved and I get hooked in at the strangest times.   However,  there are times we just need to, for the sake of the kitties (usually) or doggies (once in a while)

2. Books.  Piles of them in my office, my home, and on my Kindle.  Just waiting to be read.  

3. Shoes.  I don't have a ton of them, but shoes make me happy.

4.  Pizza.  This is unfortunate.

5.  hmmm.  I wish I could say yoga or jogging or something, but I can't.  I can't think of a 5th, which tells me I need to branch out a little more.   Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Do one thing everyday that scares you."   I like that.   Maybe I will try it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I've been spending a lot of time lately with a gorgeous big furry boy pit bull mix, who is in temporary foster care until we can find a forever home for him, or a more permanent foster situation.  

His original name was Jacoby.   Then he was renamed Tristan--a noble name, yes, but doesn't really fit him.   He is the most submissive dog in the universe--he laid down on his back to a lhasa aphsa dog in the park.  Really.   For awhile I have called him Dino.  He is huge.  

He is grey all over, with a little white.  Such a soft luxurious grey.   He is a close sitter.  Right now, he is curled up on my desk chair behind me.  I am hanging off the end to accommodate.  Silly, right? If I move to the chair next mine, he will move there.  He likes to snuggle.  

He smells like fritos and peanut butter, and a faint whiff of cat spray (lots of cats in his foster home--NOT my house however).   He wants to be friends, but they don't like him.  He has the scratches on his nose to prove the kitties' disapproval.  

Oh his nose.  It also is beautiful--sort of a purply grey.   And soft.  and wet.  and cool. 

He snores.  Like right now.  

In the car, he rests his great head on my shoulder.  

I call him Bubba.  At least today. 

I love him.  He makes me laugh.

Praying for some human to come along and fall in love with him too. 
Pray with me, please?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

wow, my rhythm is.... busy these days, that my blogging has been been on the down low.
or non-existent.  

sigh. not the way I want to live!  

my work is busy--ministry is good.   I am incredibly fortunate to be working with a senior interim that is very collegial, and whose presence I enjoy.   I'm gaining a few tools for my toolbox, which is always good.    I love my congo so much....
and it is a possibility for me to apply for that position.
don't know if I can wait around that long, frankly...
so my heart stays open,
and I just pray for wisdom and discernment.

my dear, dear friend and animal sitter has found out her cancer has returned, and it is inoperable.   I hate this.  I am going with her today for her "teaching appointment"--what to expect when she starts chemotherapy.   please send her love and light....she is a special person.  you would love her, I know.

on the furry family front.
they just all crack me up, and make me laugh.   we have kept the momma kitty of the momma/kitten rescue of late August.   unless we find a really good home--she is a love bug.   the last two kittens went to their furrrever home last weekend....and so now momma is free to roam the house.  she has wrought terror in everyone--not skeered of a thing.   this has produced a few more passive aggressive pee puddles  around the house--hopefully this will fade away, sooner than later.  

ummkay.   I am watching Rocco the chef sing the zero calorie praises of that shiratake (sp?) noodle stuff.
it's made from soy or something weird--that stuff does NOT REPLACE spaghetti, people.   It's gross.   It stinks.  it smells like dirty feet, really.   but go ahead and eat it Rocco.  I am going to do 20 more minutes on the treadmill instead.   jus' saying.

that's enough randomness, bad capitalization and terrible grammar for now.

happy day to you.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

a little hike and a nap.

when you live in my home,
a staycation is pretty much impossible.
there is always a furry friend that needs something,
a floor to mop,
a countertop to clean,
an errand to run,
clothes to put up, and dishes to wash.
never mind those BIG. house. projects.

even though we took Friday-Monday off together,
we haven't really put the "cation" in "staycation."
we have managed a couple of long naps. (nice!)

today, we went on a hike with two of the doggies.
it was nice, they LOVED it.
we enjoyed it.

and we realized,
that next time,
if we want to feel like we are escaping on a staycation,
the hike needs to be
without the doggies,
in spite of how fun they are.  

i did get a pedi, though, today.
totally worth it.  doing a pedi for my feet is like putting lipstick on a pig.
but even piggies like lipstick, right?

tomorrow is more errand running.
please pray for my daisy, my firstborn sweetie dog.
her mouth (lips?) are swollen, and scabby from scratching--I just discovered this after her grooming yesterday.  she is a month shy of 14.
she hasn't shown she is in pain, has been spicy and happy, and stealing the puppies crunch and growling at her....
but if my lips looked like hers, I would have scabby cold sores all around my smile lines.

poor baby, I can't believe I didn't see this.

this evening,
we are watching football,
blogging, surfing...
gonna jump in the hottube,
and just relax.

as we should.

xoxoxo love to all.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

how did this happen?

When did we get five SIX (really???) days into October already????


I am so behind in my work-a-strivia-stuff.  Yew.  

I am taking the weekend off.
I am bone-tired in so many ways, and I need a break.  

I had an interesting conversation last night.  Hmm, much to ponder and pray for.  It did, at least, give me some perspective.  And questions...and I need to remind myself not to be lured into magical thinking (in a bad way, not the good way).....I also need to remind myself not to be skeptical--because yes, it is that easy to be these days. 

Maybe I need to go laugh with God in a boat  and let go.

Wish I could have a milky way latte about now  because I am sure it would be lovely and sinful.....
but it's too far away.

Instead, I will become my own desk fairy, and straighten things up.
Take good care of thy-selves dear ones!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

almost every day

in the morning,
I take the doggies for their neighborhood walk.
As I round the final corner towards home,
kitty corner across the street,
there is a Haitian grandfather,
wirey and wizened,
sitting on his porch,
watching the traffic go by,
or maybe meditating, who am I to know.
I wave first. Always.
He waves back, and smiles.

Then, I know,
it's a good day, already.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

it's one of those days, you know?

It's one of those days, where I actually have time to get a chunk of work done.   As in: ORGANIZE office.
FILE.   I have already covered the little things on my list, and what really needs my attention are the piles of papers, etc.  floating about.

But, I don't feel like it. 
I have shuffled a couple of things around. 

I want to curl up and read some of the books I have on my Kindle that I haven't read--which are a few.   I download one everytime I hear someone talk about a book.  Must. Stop. That.

I got to go to an afternoon Sox game yesterday, with my former colleague on staff.  We lost by one run, but the day was gorgeous, and it was fun catching up.  I realize I am such a church nerd, because I am so curious as to how others do things in their churches--we talked a lot!   In case you were wondering, I was wearing my new Red Sox track jacket which is very cute.   Jus' sayin.

This morning, I showed up at the gym at 7 am to have my training session with my PT.   He sat me down at his desk and said, "I have bad news.  I am moving at the end of the month."   DANGIT!  I really like him, and I have never had a PT before, but he has challenged me beyond my limit.  If I had been watching what I eat this summer, I might have even lost weight.   In any case,  his spouse lives in another state, and it is time for him to make that move.   I have three weeks to lose 30 pounds.   LOL.

In other news, the kittens/momma that my beloved rescued two weeks ago are growing, growing, growing.  They are between 4-5 weeks, and I could watch them for hours.   It's been fascinating watching their development from not being able to walk at all, to now when they are just learning to scamper and beat up
play with one another. 

Speaking of reading, have you read Zeitoun by David Eggers?   It was the summer reading for the high schools in my town--everybody reads it, including teachers and staff.   It is a true story of a Muslim man who lived in New Orleans through and post Katrina.   I highly recommend it.  

Well, I just looked around, and it appears that the cleaning fairy is not going to show up and help me organize my office.  Bitch    I mean, I know she isn't real. Sigh.

What about you?  Whatcha' doin'?  Whatcha' supposed to be doing? 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Five: Seeking!

Over at Revgals, Jan posts this Friday Five:
I was struck in our weekly Lectio Divina group by a few verses from Psalm 105:3-4:

. . . let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually.
Seeking is rejoicing. Rejoicing comes from the seeking, NOT the end of glory, heaven, enlightenment, or whatever. Seeking is the journey--RIGHT NOW!

So for this Friday Five, list what you are seeking, whether it is trivial, profound, or ordinary--whatever you would like to share! 

So, here is my play. 
1.  Professionally, I am seeking to be fully present in my current call, but also growth in that call, or wherever else the journey takes me.  Right now, this isn't fully clear.   
2.  My pottery group started back today, in an amazingly gorgeous new studio.   WOW.   My project for the semester will be ceremonial ware, so I am seeking to create 3-4 communion sets, along with baptism bowls.    I am seeking inspiration for their forms and surface design. 

3.  I am seeking a housecleaning fairy that sneaks in and scrubs my bathroom and kitchen floors.   Do you know where she or he can be found? 

4.  I am perpetually seeking the perfect pair of shoes.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, every pair seems the most perfect.  ;-)

5.  I am seeking to be more mindful in my meditation spiritual practices.   To be more intentional without being dogmatic with myself.  

That's about it!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And we are offffff!!!!!!!

the program year has started with an incredible...whoosshhh.

In other words, really busy.  

I am still where I was planted five plus years ago, and getting used to having a new interim senior colleague.    This is going fine.  Different, getting used to it, fine.  As an interim situation, I suspect that I am very lucky.  

It's just not the place I envisioned being in when we moved here 6 years ago.

I  adore my congregation.  I love my work.   Don't get me wrong.    I also am very, very, very weary of the being the second pastor.   Kind of sort of ready to be in my own gig.  Have been for some time.

However, I know this is not the plan of the universe, for now, and that I am where I am supposed to be for now.

 There are times I rejoice--I love watching our children grow up--I mean, really, J is in middle school this fall???  And oh, how grown up N is!!  I am grateful that I know R's story, so that in this current transition, I can be fully, pastorally there (as best I can).....It's all really a gift, you know?

There are times I am embarrassed--that I am STILL an associate pastor (just naming it--I know better--but it is a part of how I feel)  and there are times I am bewildered.    I know the Gentle Divine gets it.  

And tonight,
As the temperature changes, and a cool breeze is wafting in the open window, I am every so humbled and welcoming of that great Gentleness.


Monday, August 29, 2011


Or not.
I had a dream the other night, which was fairly prophetic. 
First, it indicated the restlessness of my soul,
and it revealed the part of my ego that tells me "you haven't earned it, yet".

The other part was about the elevator.
I got into an elevator to go to the 13th floor, where my new apartment was...
and yet, the elevator went beyond the roof of the building to barely touch the bottom of a bridge like structure.   The elevator told me that floor hadn't been developed yet.  

I really needed to get to my room.   So, I went to the old elevator, which instead of going directly up, went on this circuitous path on the ground, like a cable car, winding through construction, taking forever until it stopped at another elevator that promised to take me to my room.  

The impression that I am left with is that there is no direct route, although that would make sense.   This is a circuitous journey  through construction I am on.....and it doesn't make sense or is even logical.  It just is. 

I am restless.
I am impatient on this journey. 
It is confusing and challenge and burgeoning with Question.
So much to think about in this dream.

Oh God,
bless the restlessness of my heart, and the dancing thoughts in my mind.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Five, abbreviated....

Over at revgals  Terri posted a beautiful Mary Oliver poem, which pretty much will leave you breathless--well at least, it did me.  Mary Oliver poetry= thick, gorgeous, rich, delicious, juicy, drippy, and yet perfect.

after the poem, she invited us to share five gratitudes.  So even though it is late in the Fry-day...I feel the need the spiritual practice of gratitude.  So here it goes:

1) I am grateful for the cloud of friends who offer love and beauty and support and depth to my life.  Whether I know you from my 20's or 30's, whether you were my mentor or teacher or student or member of congregations past and present, virtual friend, revgal, soul sister, soul brother, or everything beyond and in between I stop speechless at the variety and incredible wealth I have experienced from all of you.  Seriously--blessing upon blessing upon blessing.

2)  I am grateful for the cicadas and night sounds right now.  For the quiet of the house, for the lull of traffic, for the purrs of cats and snoring of dogs.....and the sound of my beloved busy downstairs with everything and nothing....

3) I am grateful for being relaxed in this moment--in spite of recent disappointments and impending confusions that need to be resolved, and how unsettled things are professionally in many ways.  Yes...for now, I can simply place all of that on the shelf.

4)  I am grateful for....well, one revgal is grateful for tins and plastic cr*p that make housekeeping easier, I guess I will say I am grateful for shoes.   I love shoes.  It's a weird thing, but they just make me so happy.  I am no shoe hoarder, and only wear practical ones, but still, they make me happy.  So silly, I know.

5) Am grateful for....having been raised in faith, for experiencing God in so many ways, and for now, knowing I will always rest in the arms of God.   In spite of my doubt and questions and seeking,  I always know to Whom I belong,  and that I am beloved by the Beloved.  

and lastly, so very grateful for the gentle invitation of this Friday Five.  Thank you Terri.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

it's just all confusing.

I know you know what I mean.
When you think you are following a path....
you are affirmed in a certain way,
you think all are on board,
and the messages get mixed....
and it all gets confusing.

Don't mean to be cryptic, because this is the kind of situation that could happen anywhere. Anytime, with anyone.

My prayer these days is to not over-react.
My prayer these days is to not feel threatened.
My prayer these days is to be strong and confident, and, in the words of my dear friend, which I am not stealing, but just embracing in the moment, is to be fierce and fabulous for Jesus.
Or at least,
believe that Jesus thinks I am fierce and fabulous...
because honestly,
sometimes I wonder.

I am a tree, with deep roots.
My roots feel a little shaken loose right now.  I am not uprooted, I am still a living tree with deep roots.
Maybe just a surprised tree--
Like, maybe how trees feel when a limb is broken off,
or a huge storm whips it around....

good, great God....
please hear my prayer,
and hold me close.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


This is the first week all summer in my office that I feel like I have the luxury of time to wade through what is on my desk, file what is in the piles, and dream and wonder--well, after today anyway, since today is checking off the list all the things I should have finished by now but have not. 

I am feeling a bit scattery---not scattered, because that is past tense--really, scattery, like all over the place.
Breathing in....
Breathing out...
it's hard to measure my breath in slow rythmn when I just want to, oh I don't know, get it all done, have it all right, have everything brilliantly into place.

I know, I know, I kid myself with this illusion.

I think I will put the computer to sleep,
straighten up the papers on my desk into a neat pile,
go over to the rocking chair with my breath and
settle in and meditate.  

Lord, hear my prayer...
to focus, to see your vision, to know my vision,
to dream big, and live in the now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

packing memories

this is one of those posts where I want to list what I want to reflect upon before I forget it....hopefully in August I will be able to actually write...

I am sitting in the only free wi-fi spot in Western North Dakota....a coffee house named "Daily Addiction" cute name, but my chai was made from powder--powder, and then hot water poured in.   Sigh.  I guess I shouldn't expect so much when the county courthouse cafe is the best lunch spot in town, right?

Packing up my parent's house  has been a trip.   This is a house I grew up in--from third grade on.   I was sneaking around in the basement last night---I've stashed a bottle of wine in the downstairs fridge which is in the laundry room, and when I opened the door to the laundry room, it creaked.  It creaked just like it did thirty years ago when I was in high school.   It's funny how many memories a creaky door evokes---as a little kid, I would sneak to that fridge to steal Christmas cookies (o.k., I did that as an adult, too)....and then there was the summer I was dating a much older man who was working in the oil fields, and sneaking down the stairs that still creak with the same sound as the laundry room door.  Any way, I want to write more about the creaks.

And I want to write about the memories thrown into the dumpster--my barbie doll case with only Ken remaining in it; and the oil paintings I painted as a teenager, and the piano lesson music, and all of the jars my mother has saved for, oh, about 40 years, and the missing things, like the elm trees in the backyard that created so much havoc because it dropped so many twigs and my stepfather was never satisfied at how we cleaned them up, and the electric frying pan that my mom would fry liver in that I was made to eat, and I would gag it down because if I didn't it would be world war three.....

and then, how old they forgetful and tender and vulnerable they both mom and my they bicker and yet they are each other's anchors in spite of....losing their minds (literally) and being scared of this move more than they let on, and yet the ball is rolling and there is no turning back...which is good....and how I want to just wrap them up in my arms and want to tell them that I  am going to take care of them, and not to worry, but I worry too, but I will, and my sisters will take care of them, no doubt.....

Really, though, I came to do a little work on my sermon for Sunday.   So...for now, I will let all of this rest, and finish my powdery chai.

I really look forward to Starbucks on Saturday in Boston.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


note:  I just embarrassingly posted this at the RGBP place for prayer.  So glad I caught it in the same minute and deleted it.  it is deleted, right?

thought list.

I've been back from vacation for a few days....I led worship/preached on Sunday while jetlagged (in a serious way---I told my congo that if my words slurred it wasn't because I had imbibed in any early morning cocktails, but that it felt like 3 in the morning to my body)....

Then I enjoyed the 4th...and yesterday was the first day back in the office. Caught up on emails, tried to discern the status of a serious pastoral situation, and then around 3:30 headed over to Whole Foods to get a little light lunch which turned into the Devil Food, and not in a good way. (I know, I have mentioned this on Twitter and Facebook, which makes it true.  I am a certifiable Drama Princess.  Not quite queen material yet, but I am working on it.)  Thing is,  I haven't lost my cookies like that since I was a kid.  Oof.

Which is to say,  after feeling like crap for about 18 hours, now I am just left over and don't feel like anything, but know that I need to get a leg up for Sunday worship.

But I have a list of posts to write, or thoughts to explore, so I am going to list them here, so that hopefully when I am all chipper and ready to ponder, I will remember what it was I wanted to think about out loud on the page.
1.  Wiggy--a tribute to my little dog that we needed to put down on Sunday
2. Swimming with dolphins.  and herds of fish and turtles.
3. Aloha spirit, and the spiritual depth of hawaii.
4.  Wild chickens and roosters in Kauai
5.  The meaning of the ecumenical baptism agreement that Synod approved (or whatever).
6.  Personal group emails--this is a good one.
7.  Pastoring sick people in New England.
8.  My parents moving out of their home after living in it for 40 years, and moving to Minnesota after living their whole lives in one town.
9.  My call.  That's ongoing.
10.  sermons and podcasts.
11.  probably other stuff too, but can't remember right now.

I have parked myself at Starbucks for a little while.   After sipping my coffee, wondering if this was a good idea.  Oh well.

What are YOU thinking about?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Three Days

So...countdown to vacation.
Three days to get everything all together...sometimes it feels like you need to take time off to get ready for vacation!  It doesn't help that we have all these animals--the battle against the hair and hair balls is constant.

My Sunday went well....
I think that my sermon was very good, and the service as a whole was connected and flowed.  We had children singing and cool things from the choir.   My congo loved it.   My visitors--???---I have no idea.  At lunch we had a nice light discussion, and they made favorable comments.  

Yesterday, I worked with my personal trainer, and I had a boxing lesson.  It was GREAT.  Fun...and I am still sore.  I do like having someone to work with me, and I am learning alot.  

I finally got my flowers in yesterday, and planted some tomatoes.  Here's hoping I have better luck than last year.  

Today is a dreary and wet day.  Will we ever have several days of sun?  

Trying to decide what "craft" to take along with me.  Knitting?   Crocheting bracelets?   I always want to have something to do besides reading.

Time to walk doggies.  Then off to Zumba.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Pastor

I have been thinking a lot lately about pastoral identity. How do you present as a pastor, if you are one?   Or, how do you view your pastor?

For example, I had this great conversation with my former colleague at dinner last week.  He has a priestly sort of pastoral identity.   What I mean is that he really sees The Pastor as a conduit to connecting to God.  He just happens to be the one filling that The Pastor role. Well, not any more, but he will fill that role as The Pastor somewhere else.   We talked about how he insisted that his office not be called Joe's Office (psuedonym) but rather The Pastor's Office.    He really did this well, filling The Pastor identity role.   It gave me so much insight into our past four years together.  It was like a light bulb went off in my head.  Yes--and my colleague is a gifted pastor and leader.  It was difficult at times, but over all , good.

On the other hand, I think of myself as a pastor...I suppose that is because I am currently an associate pastor, but when I think back on 11 years of ministry, it is always how I have approached my calls.   As a pastor I am a part of my congregation, but with a different call and role in it.   I have to have certain boundaries, because I am bound to confidentiality.  However, I think of my office, as well, my office.  Karla's office.   When I preach, I am very personal about my own journey--a traveler alongside of, maybe at times in different places.  I focus on faith and spirituality so I can share what I have learned with my congregants.   I know there is a certain sense of authority I embody, but that is because I am charged with certain ministries and tasks over which I have authority....I don't think I am articulating this all that well.    But I think, that when I am in my own congregation, I will still think of  myself as a pastor in the congregation, maybe even the pastor of the congregation, but not The Pastor.

What about you?  

Sunday, June 5, 2011

the end.

Today we had our farewell worship and liturgy for my colleague, who although not technically retiring (he is going on to do f/t interim ministry) we (the congo) treated it like a retirement, since he has been with the congo for 16 years.

The last month has been a month of lasts, for him.  I decided my role was to be Support, and to make sure every detail that perhaps a lay person hadn't thought of, would be taken care of. Our moderator, and the farewell team were phenomenal.   The whole congo was phenomenal....and worship today was beautiful.  The hymns, the music, my colleagues message, communion by intinction with chalices and patens made by our 91 year old potter (who started to learn pottery four years ago), to the farewell liturgy.   Lovely gifts....and a surprise tie dye t-shirt and pocket altar from the youth really blew him away.   I feel that it all has been healthy and lovely....and for my own closure with him..., well, we went out for bombay sapphire martinis and greek food.   YUM.  And, delightful.

So, we enter into the summer.  Next week, on Pentecost, there will be guests in worship that I know of (you know what I mean).....and then two weeks of vacation in Hawaii.  The rest of the summer I will be the pastor and head of staff (staff of two, hah!) until the interim arrives near the end of August.   I will have to visit my 'rents at some point, because their health is so, well, tentative.  

I imagine, I will have some decisions facing me.  

For now,
I am just glad,
that the farewells have been generous and thorough.  

now, a new chapter begins.


Monday, May 23, 2011

just a prayer

a prayer.
help me listen.
help me know.
help me be honest within.

help me HEAR you speaking.
are you speaking?
are you silent?

how to proceed?
how to know?

so many questions.
so many prayers.  

know this.
I am so ready, so ready, so ready....
for movement.
so that I can settle.

you have called me to this. well, at least I think so.
no.  This I Know.

what to let go of?

why has this been so....oh, I don't know.  complicated?  
maybe I am making it complicated.  

where is the dream?

dear, dear, dear One.
lead me
guide me....
and help me to know that it is You.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

a first love, a little tear....

Some days I just ADORE what I get to do for a living.  

I took an elder from the congregation to an appointment today.    She has the most interesting story--she was born in Eastern Europe, and during WW 2, she was part of a youth resistance/revolutionary movement against the Nazis and much so that she had to escape her country.   She is writing a book about it--I will let you know when it is available. 

What was sweet is that we were talking, and she was telling me a little about the rest of her story, and she mentioned that she fell in love before she left Europe for the U.S.   She said that he didn't want to emigrate, and a pause.

I leaned over and asked her, "Was he your first love?"  
And a tear rolled down her cheek as she nodded. 
"To this day, every day," she said, "I still think about him, even though it is o.k."

Sigh.  Precious, precious lives we intersect with, no?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


It turned out that the meeting I skipped yesterday was actually GOOD!  Oh well,  can't do everything all the time.  

Just back from our spring staff lunch--we went for Thai, which we always do.  We realized that out of the six of us, only three will be back in the fall.  Yes, times, they a'changin'

My time in the studio yesterday was interesting.  I have been handbuilding for the past four years, which means I haven't touched the wheel in that long.  Throwing is so much faster than handbuilding, but I like the wonky shapes I can make by handbuilding.   However, the past week or so, I have been thirsty to throw.

I forgot how WONKY my wheel is!   It is hard to center on it, because it skips a little bit in weird ways.   I threw a couple of bowls, a couple of cylinders.  I was wondering if throwing was like riding a bike--can you just hop on, and remember? 

Turns out, it's more like playing the piano after an absence, or jogging.  You can do it, but not that great. Everything takes practice...but I have to say it wasn't all bad.  You remember most of the basics, and you are rusty.      

I haven't preached in forever.    I won't preach until June 12.   That will be over two months.  I wonder how rusty I will be with that?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

just a tuesday morning....

so I am SKIPPING a meeting this morning--"Day of Covenant"  where our conference minister meets with clergy of the association.  I have been to three FOUR of these--and they are typically the same.   He has a little ice breaker, then we sit in a circle and he writes down what we all want to talk about, and then he talks.   Then we have communion, and lunch.

Since I have two conference/association events on Saturday and Sunday, I think my time is better spent this morning getting caught up on Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwartzenegger's NEWS ,  Chaz Bono's interview on GMA, and thinking about Whitney going back to treatment.  (Hope she is o.k.)

I also want to get downstairs and in my studio for a couple of hours, and then off to the office after lunch.

I think Chaz Bono is amazing.  Good for him....and for all he is doing for people who are transgender.  

Hmmm, time for another cup of coffee.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday reflections...

So, today in worship,
the youth did a clown service under the great leadership of our seminary intern.  The youth love dressing up in clowning attire, and basically, the service is totally mimed, with a narrator.  They did a twist on the text of the lost sheep, where the shepherd goes after one, and then...the question we all have---what happened to the 99?   In the service today, they wandered off and disappeared.  Hilarious.  

We sang Beatles songs and Down by the Riverside.   The sermon was the St. Dr. Seuss story of The Lorax.   The clowns took the offering, and shared hershey kisses at the same time. They played Ode to Joy and Jesus Loves Me on kazoos.    They were awkward, wonderful, and beautiful clowns.  

It was lovely, and silly.  And deep.

I have to confess, as I get older, Mother's Day becomes more poignant for me.  I know I nurture many, I know that I am "mama" to many furry babies.   I share love, and caring....and am a mother in so many ways.

But I do mourn the fact that I have never given birth.  Our choice not to have babies.   I heard on the radio today someone who described parenthood as "mortgaging your soul" because it all rests on the happiness and well being of this person you have brought into the world.    And I know, too, that parenthood is one of the hardest and most difficult challenges of life.      If life circumstances had been different, I know I would have been an amazing and probably terrible mommy.  Both and.   Sigh.  This day, I admit, it is hard.  

Even though I celebrate all the ways in which I nurture...and the way in which we all nurture, and in the way our Mother God loves us.

May it be so.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


It's sort of scaring me, but I have about three hours of unstructured time this afternoon.   I am not sure how THAT happened.    Certainly, I have a lot to do--but it may be that I actually might do some filing this afternoon.  Sorting.  

Change is afoot.  My colleague is ending a sixteen year long ministry, and the weeks are counting down.  He is busy passing on information, things he has done, historical things, etc.   He is also enmeshed in so many details--he is a detail person extraordinaire.  I appreciate him reminding me of some future things--because it is for his comfort.  I already am on the ball with the future things.  I gently tell him that, and try to keep it all in context.  

In any case.  I am glad for a little respite of time--last week I was out every night.   

Wish I could meet some of you for coffee this afternoon!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

so it's a lovely spring day... in Boston.
I have been slammed today with meetings, and I have a headache from thinking too much. Pondering.  In a minute I am going to jump in my car and head downtown boston for lunch at the Trident Booksellers Cafe with our seminary intern, and THEN we are going to go shopping for clown accoutrements.   Yes. I said clown stuff. 

Do any of you have clown services with youth?   

After lunch, I will come back over here to Newton and figure out everything I am thinking about--or NOT!

What's your day like?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

a morning off....

I am taking this morning off.
You see, I commute across Boston to get to my office/church, so once I go over there,
I stay.

So, I am sipping coffee, got to see Lady Gaga perform "Judas" on Ellen, catching up on emails (o.k., so that is work, I know), reading blogs, and will need to exercise at some point.   I wish I could go to a Zumba class, but nothing close by.   That's o.k.

So, some of my favorite moments are like this.  Writing, relaxing, coffee, three doggies snoozing around me and one cat meticulously grooming herself.   The windows are open, the breeze is strong and even a little humid, and in this pause I realize how blessed life is.  

I go on--that I ought to be doing so much more with this blessed life.   I don't mean that in a self-deprecating or self-scolding way.   I mean it as a question, a yearning to live even more deeply and authentically in my call.  

The feeling of impatience overshadows me.  I am so ready to move ahead, start something new, be more of who I can be as pastor, preacher, fellow journey-er, seeker of justice and action.  I have been holding back some, because of the nature of my position as "associate" and how that plays out in my current call.

However, knowing that all we have is really the moment--I know I need to not be "waiting" until the spring program year is over.  How do I...dear Holy One, how do I agitate the now, how do I engage in empowerment and excitement...or at least open windows?  

How do I know how You are leading me?
Help me get it, help me be open to discerning and thinking creatively with the information and perceptions you put before me....
You know, feel free to Knock. Me. Over. My. Head....I can be a little dense, but what I really, really, really need dear One,  is clarity. and courage.   And open eyes and heart to see, to get what might be right under my nose.

This is my prayer.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


So, I had planned twenty minutes ago to run out and get a coffee before confirmation class.
Before I left, I wanted to look up a couple of things on the web, and as the web as  a knack for doing, I started going down some rabbit holes....

You see, I think Google is a kind of goddess.  I look something up, say, a website.  When I find the website, then I look around for what I am looking for...and then a question forms in my head, and I can't find the answer on the website, so I just google my question, and VOILA!   I find the answer--or at least what I am looking for.  I love that I can type a question in, and find several options for the information I am looking for, or wondering about.  

I am not picky with my searches, either.  They range from where can I buy true vegan cheese to whether a church is gay friendly or if a certain person I think exists really does...I look for yarn and beads and seeds and the best deal on pottery tools.    I look for free patterns, for jobs, for dankso shoe outlets and t-shirts.  I ask questions about spiritual formation and children and look up my friend's ministries and more. 

And before I know it, I have paid so much homage to the Google Goddess, that it is now too late to worship the coffee gods.   

Jus' sayin.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Tuesday Confession

in spite of being incredibly productive, especially for me on a Monday....
My being was very low.
I can't really chalk it up to being busy with Easter, because really, I didn't do any planning/preaching/creating for Holy Week.  I did help set things up, and participated in the services, but you know what I mean.

It's been a long program year--and the next six weeks are packed.
I realize that as of now, I am in the same place I was last year at this time, but now it is totally different.

I am looking for my Easter Joy,
my groove,
my spark. 

The sun is shining today. 
It is warming my soul.

In spite of mixed emotions,
there is so much to be grateful and thankful and hopeful for.

I just wish I had more control over it. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

good friday...

I am working into this, this Holy Week.
Trying to find my place, in the words, in the music, in the ministry, in the liturgy...
It's easy to disconnect from it when my part is ancillary...
It's easy to go through the motions of it...
I suppose that is why I need the cross, then, isn't it? I am standing there, right now,
feeling petty and small
instead of getting it.

Last night, at the Maundy Thursday service,  the music was transcendent and deep.

We always do foot washing, communion, and then a service of Tenebrae.  The youth do the readings. We all sit around two long tables in the shape of the cross. After each reading, the reader extinguishes a candle, and then joins the congregation, until the church becomes completely dark.  

I love watching the faces of the youth.  They are squirmy, and haven't practised their readings, and are nervous and giggly, all the while they are reading about the betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus.  Such a juxtaposition--but somehow it works for me.  In the past, I would have given them my teacher eye--you know what I am talking about--the look that says it all to shape up and be serious and reverent---I have perfected that look.  However, now I just gaze upon the youth, with a half smile on my lips, loving them the way they are.  They are always serious when they actually read.

It's a hard and intimate thing, reading these scriptures.   Just like adolescence--it's hard, it's intimate, it's uncomfortable, it's happy, it's dreadful, it's beautiful and sad--it's so so much.   Just like the Passion of Christ.

Our seminary intern asked me after the service, if it was hard, seeing these amazing kids grow up, and then leave.   You know--it's not.  I love watching them develop and grow--and yes I miss them when they move on, but they always, always stay in my heart.  Even when I forget them over time, and then remember.   It's the stuff of ministry.  It's the stuff of love.

It's the stuff of Passion, and hopefully, of Resurrection.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

full head!

Do you ever have those weeks--well, of course you do.
Literally, from Friday to about Tuesday around 5:00 I was so discombulated FOR. NO. APPARENT. REASON.  I totally blew writing my prayer for prayerpals, I forgot an important appointment on Tuesday at noon, I messed up submitting a contribution to a blog that I only need to remember once in awhile.

On Sunday, we had the reception of new members--and my colleague sent me the outline to place in the bulletin.  I felt there was something missing, but the service bulletin was so packed, I guess I thought I was simplifying things.  Turns out, before worship, that I had left three elements out, because of the way the outline opened on my computer earlier that week.   We didn't lose anything, and it wasn't a big deal, but
I am usually pretty good with details--although I am no where near OCD.   So feel bad.  And I am sorry to have let others down.  I hate that.  I hate that it all looks irresponsible. Or at least, not together.

I have snapped somewhat out of it--I've had some breathing room today, and am crossing t-s and dotting i's .

What else.  Holy Week is upon us.   For most, this is a hectic time.   We have all our bulletins finished for the services next week.   I am not preaching  NOT once in the four services we will have in the next seven days.  I haven't been a participant in planning them, except to proof the bulletins. (no, really, o.k., yes, I do have mixed feelings about this....)  I am really not used to the idea of using the same outlines every year, but I guess that's tradition.   Sometimes I like to bust out of the routine, you know?    Enough of this line of thought, for now.

Well, it's an absolutely gorgeous day, and I have to go the office supply store.  Luckily, it is next to thinking to swing by TJ's too, and get some groceries before my next meeting. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

RGBP Friday Five: Towards Resurrection!

Over at RevGals, Dorcas offers us a hopeful Friday Five, based on the journey from Lent to Easter, Darkness to Light.  She writes:
".... today I am askig for your thoughts on that movement from darkness to light.  Tell us five ways in which you are anticiping, or your life is moving towards light, joy, hope--new things:  new ideas,  new hobbies, new people...and so on."

So, here are my thoughts.....

1.   I am a five day old VEGAN.   I have been thinking of making the switch from vegetarian to vegan for quite some time, but couldn't imagine life without cheese--and I do love eggs once in a while.   However,  my love for living creatures was creating a disconnect--there is so much cruelty and non-accountability in the business of corporate chicken farming, and let's not talk about the standards in traditional dairy farming.    If I had the time and energy to consistently seek out a small farm where I could buy eggs from little chickens running around, I would.  And certainly, at the farmer's market, where I might meet someone selling her beautiful goat cheese that she made from her herd of 20 goats, I wouldn't be able to open my wallet fast enough.    
      So, for me, a daily practise of eating vegan is a better way to go---with the occasional foray into humane dairy eating.   The wonderful thing is that I feel really, really good.   I think I might have been clogging up my body with all the mozarella from my three day a week pizza parties.  ;-)

2.   My beloved and I have started a practise of exercising together at 5 in the morning.  Our schedules are so opposite, and one of the things, in the past, we would always do is exercise together.  Neither of us have anything scheduled at 5 in the morning. so off to the gym we have been three times this week.  
Yay for us.  If we can get in 3 or 4 weekdays at the gym, I would be very happy.  

3.  My ministry is opening up in many ways.   I realize how much I have been "managing up" the past four spite of transition, I am feeling very positive.    Last night we had our Women's Spirituality Gathering, and it was so very lovely and special.  At the end, one of the women slipped a small tissue wrapped square in my hand.   She had been helping her mother pack up her house to move to a sr. living facility, and while they were going through things, she found a small stained glass ornament.    Sixty years ago, our church burned down, and nothing really remained except the rubble and shards of the beautiful stained glass windows.  The members collected what they could to recycle--and the stained glass windows became a fundraiser by turning them into ornaments!   There aren't many around...and when N. found this, she said she thought of me immediately, and wanted me to have it. 
It was so touching.  Good, good things moving towards the Light. 

4. I'm fostering two kittens right now.  They are full of light. 

5.  The hints of warm weather.   I hate socks...and no-sock days are on the horizon---hooray!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So I only have about ten minutes...

..which will indicate for you the quality of writing on this post.   However, I have been thinking about something this afternoon that I don't want to forget about. 

This afternoon, I attended our interfaith clergy association, in which we met with the new superintendent of schools in the city in which I serve my church.  We have a fabulous school system. 

The Super is amazing-super.   I was so impressed with his facility of educational theory and knowlege and content, while being totally down to earth.  

We talked about stress on our teens.  He flipped the conversation to stress in our culture--and that yes, schools have a role to play in thinking about stress, but he wanted to go deeper-to talk about stress as a cultural issue  and what causes stress--
and he thinks it's fear.  Fear. 
Parents fear for the future of their children, fear of failing, fear of wanting the best, but not getting it....
 fearing  what the world will be like in 10-20 years.....

What do you think of this? (I am not representing the brilliant way in which he articulated this, so it might sound a little facile.)
I thought it was sort of theological, in a way. 
Jus' sayin'

Friday, April 1, 2011

ramblings...with a FF starter....

First, over at RevGals, Kathryn asks us to share five things that are good in life.....
1.  puppy Cooper, who turns 1 today.   (actually we made her birth date up because we don't know what her birthday is, and she is such a holy terror we thought April Fool's Day would be a good birthday.

2.  OPENING. DAY.    (Baseball, people.   Red Sox and Rangers, tonight, in Texas.)

3.  Clay.   I spent far too much time in the studio today to be legal, but it was great.  Can't wait to show you my mosaic I am working on.

4.  My Beloved.

5.  Almond milk.  

Oh....big sigh.  This week--actually the last month since the BE4 has been quite full.    I am really, really drained from everything.   SP resigning, discerning how to be in the transition, working with the Pastoral Staff Relations,  discerning some more; dismay at the termination of the staff person in our conference responsible for church vitality and evangelism.  Yes. Really.  And the defunding of the Hispanic Ministries that is so tender and growing....and it's not like it gets a whole lot of funding, anyway.    Collaborating with colleagues on how to address this injustice.....just a whole heck of a lot.   Like everyone else.   I'm not special in that way, I know.  

I have had lots and lots of opportunities to pray this month, though--in community, in meditation, in worship, with colleagues.....lots of breathing and reflection, which is appropriate in this season of Lent.

Today I decided I would like to start blogging more about my art and finding ways to deepen my experience with clay.  Right now I am working on a very whimsical level, which is fun, but I want to...make things that are pretty, too.    Intentionally.    After all these years in clay, I am just determining my style, which is interesting to me.   Chunky, bright, wonky.  

I think, that with so many others, we are all so weary of the winter, of the grey skies, the brown yards...

So my prayer is for Spring...may its tendrils begin to unfurl in my psyche and my heart and my body.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

so today...rambling

This is a post that really ought to be over at since I am not really crafting anything.

I am sitting on my bed, working from home this morning.   I have one snoring poodle at my feet, another poodle sleeping on my knee, devil puppy resting vigilantly on my right, and Lucy cat snuggled up to my iphone at the right.  

The day is snowed last night, but it is tulips, that were just starting shoot up, well, I hope they are o.k.   I don't think there was a hard freeze last night.

And Lent.  We are in Lent.   I do love Lent.  In my congregation we typically have a potluck dinner, and then a discussion series throughout this season.  This season we are exploring "Who is Jesus to me?".   Last night we combined this discussion with the pastor's class with our confirmation class--so it was intergenerational.  Many of the students' mentors were there, which was so great.  

I have to tell you, this particular group of students are incredibly, beautifully, and interestingly delightful!
They are so engaged, and their mentors are, as well.   We had three separate segments, with an ice breaker at the beginning, and prayer at the end.   They were hilarious is describing to each other what they had for breakfast--like they were talking about four course gourmet meals that centered around cheerios and skim milk.   We also looked at images of Jesus in art--which was incredibly powerful.  

It's been a week of weird karma, I think, for some people in my life.   Terminations of employment, Christians not being very christian,  and generally, just all around thoughtlessness in spite of probably thinking thoughtfully, but in only one paradigm. UGH.

For me, on Monday, I finished four planters that I will take to the studio to be bisqued and then I will glaze later.  It felt good to finish them--I actually went downstairs to my home studio to throw, because I haven't done that for a few years, and I want to make some chalices,  but then those wrapped up coil pots started calling to me--I thought they weren't salvageable because I hadn't wrapped them correctly.  I was joyfully wrong, and spent four hours carving flowers and animals and abstract designs.  So, so nourishing.

Lots of other things professionally knocking about in my head and heart, but thankfully, no urgent decisions to be made.  This is good....and so I keep holding things in the light and to God, and ask for Spirit's guidance, and peace.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

bad t.v.

So, there has been just a little stress over in my world these days...
Not huge stress,
just changes...
and not knowing my place in teh change...
which should be clearer by tomorrow, or Friday.

In the meantime,
I've been meditating and brain dumping on 750,  eating glorious pesto mozarella ricotta pepperoni calzones, and watching really bad t.v. 
The Bachelor.
Sister Wives. 
Basketball Wives.  (disclaimer, I was at the gym and forgot the ipod, but had my earphones to plug in...probably the lowest of the low in t.v. entertainment.  seriously, worse than Jersey Shore. Oh, yes, I watched one of those, too).

Wait,  you ask, did you say PEPPERONI??? Aren't you a vegetarian?  Why I am, thank you for asking. 
But the best comfort food in the world is either pepperoni on a pizza, or a mcdonald's cheeseburger (yes, the kidmeal kind). I know, messed up, right?  ;-)

Speaking of the gym, I have done that a couple of times, long brisk walks with the doggies.
Very good for the soul, and much more healthy than aforementioned food.

So. Change. 
Is good, right?
Spring is change--the crocus' are coming out, purple for lent....

and this Lent, the journey is real, and good, and curious.


Monday, March 14, 2011

so, oh much...


So much holding in my heart.

I can say that my colleague, SP has resigned to move on to interim ministry.  

So many implications for my ministry and call....

And many questions and wonderings,

And prayers for...

I am not sure.  

Just prayers.

Meanwhile, I distract my mind with watching the season finale of "The Bachelor"---which I haven't watched at all this season---or any season, really.  

Escaping isn't a bad thing, is it?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Faith and Trust.

Recently I had a dream...
Where I was asked, by a Sage Woman, "Who CAN'T you trust?"
and I started naming all these names until I just started sobbing.
I laid down on the a pile...
The Sage handed me a long piece of wood--sort of the shape of a walking stick, but more like a branch. I hugged it, and then realized the shape of the end of the stick was the form of a wolf puppy.
But she was not breathing.
She was lifeless--
I realized her head was separated from her body.
So I took a piece of thin but beautiful bark, and made a collar out of it, which provided the possibility of attaching her body to her head. It worked.
She slowly roused, unsteady on her feet...

I thought briefly that I wanted her to stay with me...

But the Sage said, "She needs to be roam..and be her wolf-self"

So, I took her outside...and it was in a neighborhood sort of suburban rural...lots of trees, but homes, too.

The wolf puppy still seemed a little disoriented...and was slowly moving through the woods.
I was worried for her safety in this populated area..but the Sage assured me she would be free and wild.

A boy--about 10--came out and started to throw rocks at the wolf puppy...and I ran over to him and told him (ok I yelled at him with all the power I had) to go back inside of his house and that he needed to respect all that is wild and Nature and woods.

He went home.

I turned around,
And the wolf puppy was trotting away...and she turned around for just a few seconds to look at me in the eyes...
As if to say "I am wild. And free. And I will be fine."

And then I awoke, and I felt like I was being held in the arms of the ocean, as the boat (ship) rocked ever so gently in the moments before the sun began to rise.

P.S. What this has to do with the title of the post? I have no idea, but I suspect nothing and everything.

Friday, February 11, 2011

RevGals Friday Five "Love is in the Air" Edition

Over at RevGals, Singing Owl is celebrating 40 years of love with her husband.  She asks us to reflect on five people we will always love.  (I would have cut and pasted this, but I am working on my Beloved's Mac, and I don't know how to do this --yet---anyway, and I am too lazy to figure it out.)

So...the loves of my life.....

1. My Beloved spouse.  What more can I say?  We share laughter, respect,  love and care of our furry family, more love and and joy everyday than I thought possible.  When we disagree or misunderstand or argue, neither of us can let the sun go down on it.  We are very different people, and yet we complement.
Yin and yang, yet our partnership is real.  I am so grateful.   I never believed I would find "my person"...and the sheer grace of God.

2.  The furry friends, alive and over the rainbow bridge.   They make my heart expand, daily.

2.5  My family. Of course. With four sisters, a sister in law, two sets of parents.....I love adulthood, and being able to love them where they are and for who they are....I really get how important family is.   No matter how far apart we are.

3. Mrs. Platts.   My fifth grade teacher.  She is no longer of this world, but she had so much love in her heart for her students...and she saw each student individually.   She loved a very shy, unremarkable 10 year old into believing she had a little bit of worth to someone.  Although I don't think she was particularly religious, she was the first real and deep Christ to me.   Her presence and being was transforming for me.

4.  All of my sister friends--and I am blessed to have many--from high school, college, seminary, teaching, time in NC and New pottery Friday friends....dang.  So. Blessed.

4.5 a special shout out to my sister friend, Yeong Mee-ssi  (ssi is sister in Korean).  She was my Hebrew tutor in seminary, and from that we formed a life long friendship.  She fell in love with my puppy Daisy, and got her a sister named Tikvah.   Yeong Mee and I would walk Daisy and Tikky in Riverside Park in NYC every morning, and then pick up a bagel and two coffees at the sidewalk vendor and have breakfast together.  I have edited her papers, she got me through my thesis and all those damn spite of very different backgrounds, cultures, life paths, she is my forever sister.   I am so glad that she has a sabbatical this summer from her professorship in Korea so that she will come and stay a month in Boston!!!

5.   Dr. Janet Walton at Union in NYC.  She taught me about possibility in worship, about improvisation in ministry, how to cling dearly to art and beauty and fear in ministry,  encouraged me to slip in one subversive feminist progressive piece in worship, to challenge all the senses....She has no idea how her teaching influenced me.   She taught me about questions.   Thank you, Janet!

5.5  My mentors and counselors my first years of youth ministry and teaching in Florida when I was in my early twenties--Danna, Les, Marilyn, Barbara.  You all helped me individuate, to grow up, to deal with my dragons and demons, and showed me how to choose Life.   Sigh.

What blessings of love my life has been showered upon.
Thank you, Holy One.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

criss cross applesauce, 1, 2, 3, 4.....

these are the words outside in the hallway,
on the other side of my door.
tiny children--pre-school....
sitting on the floor, crossing their legs,
after they have gone to the bathroom,
and are waiting for the rest of the class to finish taking turns.
after all are peed out,
they count off....
"leo, we can't go until you remember your number"
the teacher gently reminds.
leo remembers.
and off they go,
next door,
to sit next to their crayons, and then commence coloring

i sit,
here at my desk,
listening to the bustle...
making a list,
crossing off what has been finished,
adding what i recently said i would do,
thinking, loosely about my sermon for the weekend,
i pause.

i breathed on my way to the office today.
i mean, i had to get here extra early, and  i have to drive through boston traffic
which is loaded during rush hour
i had plenty of time
and i took a sip of gorgeous tasting coffee
and thought,
i wish i could take more time
to sit at a coffee shop, and look out the window,
look at the people,

and then i realized my car could be my coffee shop,
so i relaxed into the slow ride,
sipping my lovely coffee,
looking out my windows, watching the cars crawl with me,
and my mind wandered to what i need to do,
and then i said to myself,
just breathe.
deep cleansing breaths.
in with love,
out with peace,
in with heart,
out with mercy,
more deep cleansing breaths...

it was a nice quiet break.
thank You.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

sometimes, things are just weird.

I found out yesterday that a church that I thought would be a perfect fit for my gifts and skills for ministry called a very young person right out of seminary.

This person is an extremely lovely person, don't get me wrong, and I am very happy for this person....

But still, WHAT???

God works in mysterious ways.
Hope there is some mysterious working my way, soon.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Just checking in...

So, the retreat was the best ever.
They are such a happy group, and really treat themselves well, and want a lot of time to talk and catch up.
So, for instance, when we are supposed to start on Friday night, at 7:00, at 7:15 I invite them to make their way from the dining room to our meeting room in their own time. A little after 7:30, we start.
For the first part of the evening, we did an icebreaker with two boxes of Table Topics. You are supposed to pick a card from this cube, and answer it. I thought they should pick two cards and then choose the question they liked the best. Of course, some people had to take 15 cards just to find a question they liked. The second part of the evening I talked some about the concept of blessing, and then I had invited them to bring one word to the retreat to use as a blessing word. They wrote their words on note cards, and then we built an altar space with them. Lovely.

The next morning we did talk about being originally blessed, being in the image of God, and shining the god spark within (we talked about the Kabbala teaching on the divine spark the night before. They broke into small groups and had questions to talk about, and then the second hour and a half we made blessing bowls. Coolest idea ever--I knew I wanted them to make these bowls, but was struggling with the medium. I wanted to do recycled materials, but the first bowls I made from that were not all that attractive.

So then, I bought some plain ceramic rice bowls, and asked everyone to bring tissue paper, beautiful paper, and perhaps quotes or blessings they might want to adhere without decoupage to their bowls. It was a fantastic project--one woman made it for her new baby granddaughter for a blessing, etc. I will post some pix on fb later. Then--I had cut up some heavy scrap booking paper--beautiful on one side, and blank on the other--smaller than business cards, and had everyone write their word 35 times. SO then, everybody had a set of the words that
were brought to the retreat! They can put them in their bowls, or somewhere else.

We had another small group after lunch, and then closing worship.

Anyway, it was great, and now today I am having a bed party.
Love you!

There's more, but the spirit of the group this year was extra magical.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

just for the sake of writing

and getting some words out of me.
random words.

this crisis in Egypt.  I have read a lot about it.  I don't really get it, but I do get that people are hungry and want a better life--a huge gap between rich and poor.  I know there is more to it.  still confused.  but pray about it.

am horrified by the mom in tampa that killed her teenagers.

am horrified by the mom in alaska who punished her child with hot sauce and cold showers.  I know parenting is extremely difficult--and parenting adopted children has its own set of extreme challenges.
but forcing a child to drink hot sauce and then put him in a icy shower--for lying?   this I cannot fathom as a good idea for discipline.  I just can't.  sorry.

my little cooper dog (who is not so little any more) is the cutest ever. she howls at fire engines, ambulances, and police cars.

am pretty sure Mitt Romney will run for President.  even though he is being cagey about it.  why else would you go on the View?

it's really, really, really snowing outside.
sort of tired of shoveling.

had a very. fun. weekend. in. NYC.  we just walked, ate, shopped (just a tiny bit), and found some great places with craft beer.  I love NYC. adore it.

hey! I gotta Kindle!   I am pretty much gadget-ed maxed out.  iPad, iPhone, and Kindle.  LUV the Kindle.  so frickin' cool!

I haven't been to the studio for a couple of weeks. I miss my clay.

planning our women's retreat for the weekend. the them is Blessing: Giving, Receiving, and Being.
got any good ideas for me?

I love reading blogs.   I love your blogs.

well, guess, I will go and work some more.

see ya!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

sunday morning....unsettlement

it's funny this morning,
as I quietly get ready for the day...
well, how wistful I feel.

I am so ready to be in a church as a lead pastor...
it feels so overdue, and yet I know that my ministry continues to thrive where I am....

I will love on people today,
They will share love with me...
Someone might get irritated with me,
The children will make me laugh and cry all at once....
I will worry how long the service goes, and be sad that I have to leave right afterwards, missing coffee and the forum with a pastor from Uganda working against the violence against the LGBT community...

but my sadness will be shortlived as I walk into another beloved community and share my learnings about Godly Play with a group of parents,
and I will be touched with wonder as I tell them the parable of The Good Shepherd...

but right now, I feel wistful.  I feel like I have one foot in, and one foot reaching for the door...

but the door doesn't exist right now.

I can only trust you, Holy One.
Bring me fully to You this morning...
And to where and how you have called me to be
exactly in my reality.

Help me live it fully, for your sake, for your Love and not my ego.

Breathing in, I breathe in You...
Breathing out, I release myself to the moment.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

a Saturday morning....

I love being the only one up and about in the house...

This happens a lot on the weekends, when my beloved takes advantage of sleeping in.  All the doggies and a couple of cats nestle in with her--it's a pile of pillows and little snores from the poodles and warm and dozy looking.

And I am upstairs in the attic, sipping coffee, working on whatever it is I am working on for Sunday. It's very settling.  It's not a different rhythmn than other mornings--I often am at my computer around this time of day.  It's the energy, I suppose.  It is grounding and lazy and productive, all at once.

We celebrated eight years together this week.  Well, I had to work, so we didn't really get to celebrate.  I got her a new computer--a Macbook Air.  So exciting even though it's not all that romantic.  However, the Apple products are so beautiful in design, I think.  Later this morning we will head to the apple store for a first lesson, since we haven't had a Mac before.  

That being said, I ought to be writing my sermon.  I just needed to write a little bit of nothing to get myself warmed up. 

Holy One...
Thank you for this morning,
for the dust of snow on the sidewalk,
the sleeping curled up beings in my home,
for love that abides,
for steaming mugs of coffee...
I pray for your heart to break into the process of my writing,
so that what I speak tomorrow might be
something of Good News
to someone who is listening

Thursday, January 6, 2011

getting stuff done. well, sort of.

receipts turned in, including plane ticket to BE 4.  done.
rest of receipts...ahhh, another day.
plans for Saturday night retreat?  done.
emails about the details?  done.
emails about other stuff?  some.
organize email inbox?  that will take...two weeks, I think. yew.  maybe tomorrow.

write sermon?   does thinking about it count?
refraining from mindless virtual window shoe shopping and book drooling?   mmmm. not so much.

work out today?  YES.
walk the dogs?  YES
clean the kitchen and make my lunch? YES
kiss the dogs?  of course!
find a flea on a dog?  yew, icky, yes.

plan women's retreat for first week in February?  again, does thinking about it count?
read my daily bible passages life-journal-one version thingy on my iphone?  not yet. 

breathe?  sort of.
renew?  trying.
discern?  listening, at least...
wondering?  all. the. time.

this is the day that God has made....I will wrap it around me and live it.
thanks be to God.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Seems that I know alot of people who have re-committed to their writing this year. 

I don't know if I have committed--and I don't really write, well, to be read (although I am happy all  three of you do ;-) )--I am not really trying to start a conversation or a debate...well, except maybe with myself, and God....

When I first started blogging, at EarthenSoul, I was trying to put into words the amazing experiences of God I had while creating with clay.   I was learning so much, insights abided, and I wanted to savor the thoughts. 

Now, I just try and get something out of me.  To remember that I am in conversation with God,  to know God's presence...and I get that from writing...sometimes.  I just feel like I need to check in with myself--you know?  

I don't have a lot of words these days, so it isn't easy for me to sit here and type away about not having words.  On FaceBook, it's worse--I love FaceBook---I love reading what all of my friends are doing, thinking...the wit! the pithiness! the humour! the irony!  the perfectly worded phrases!  Me? I search for something not too stupid, too revealing, something light and fun and not too self-centered.

Sometimes, I feel like I am empty headed (is that the same as an air head?)....I search in my brain for the Word, or Thought....
and all I can find or hear is that sound--
that sound of being underwater--do you know that sound? 

Maybe I am hibernating a little bit.  Tis the season, I know. 

I am wondering, though when the words will return.  How they will return.