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. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Discern. Renew. Wonder.

A New Decade.

What shall I do with this wild and precious life (ala Mary Oliver) this beginning of decade, year....

2011 is a year of inevitable change for me.  Things will be shifting, somehow in the congregation where I am the associate pastor.   We are in a discernment process.  The bottom line is that we are staff heavy...and not really able to meet the budget.  So change is inevitable....we all know this.  The whole staff.  Which is fine.  However...I really want to be present to the discernment process--to be faithful, to hold up God's light in the conversations over budget and cuts and shifting priorities...I want to help my beautiful community to remember Whose we are and the message we have of Good New.  To. All. 

So, this enters into my own discernment process.   I really want to listen to where God is leading me...not just with this congregation...but what my future is as a pastor.  I have been ordained 10 years...and have had some really wonderful experiences in ordained ministry--serving as the first (well, and only) installed associate pastor with a great church nestled on a college campus near Asheville, NC.   I learned so much from them...and they allowed me to create and change things up even when they weren't sure....I loved the college kids...and the ministry we had with women who were homeless...and the day to day of parish ministry.  It was was wonderful....

After that, I was led to full time college chaplaincy...and although the setting wasn't the best for my theological leanings,  I loved relational ministry with students.  We had tragedies and celebrations...and my being there led me to have the opportunity to serve part-time at (then) a new church start.   I loved that community of faithful and doubtfuls....wanting to find a spiritual community where all were welcome, where the journey was home, where church was different.  Out of the ordinary, but yet, ordinarily so.  

This move to New Englad has afforded other opportunities, and in this church I serve.  Again, I have learned so much....and  I adore--yes truly--adore this congregation.   Who knows what will happen?   There are several staff configurations that could happen...and it doesn't necessarily mean that I will have to go, period.  
But in this discernment process, I know that I want to be a full time pastor...with more opportunities in worship and even more shared leadership.  Maybe that isn't what God has in store.  I don't know....but I also need to renew, I passion for ministry (while strong, I think it could use some refining and clarity).  Much to ponder.

Renewing to me means reflecting, and highlighting all that is important and be clear in my vision and dreams for ministry with a congregation....and how God is calling forth my gifts to be of service...

And all the while, leaving room for Wonder.   Wonder and the way the Spirit moves......
in my life, in the life of this congregation, in my colleagues' lives......