Thursday, December 13, 2012

just some randomness...

such as:

It's beautiful today in Boston--40 ish, clear blue skies....but it is December. Shouldn't it be cold?

Finding gifts for elderly parents is hard.   Really hard. 

I am going to learn to micro-macrame bracelets and necklaces with pottery beads that I make.  Wish me luck. 

Yesterday, I was full of angst around professional matters.   Even though some kind of change is imminent (sp?) I decided that I just have to GO for it in this next round, and see what happens.   So, I am all. in.  No ambivalence.  (At least in this current hour, heh heh!)

I am on a Greek Salad for lunch everyday thing.   Too bad feta cheese isn't vegan.   Oh well.

I lost the keys to my car, and never found them.  This never happens.  I always lose things, and then find them.

One of my committees at church gave me a beautiful mug for the holidays.  It is by far my favorite mug in the world, and the colors are brown, turquoise, red, and gold.   If I had it handy, I would take a picture.  

What fun stuff do you have planned for the holidays, besides maybe some down time in pajamas all day?

I have a gajillion things I ought to be doing, but am not.

Tuesday, I had a "last lunch" with one of my dear friends who is getting married and moving far away.  It is such a joyful time, yet I am going to miss our rendesvous (spelling.)  Note:  I did not have a greek salad.  Instead, portobello mushroom swiss panini.  And a skinny peppermint latte for dessert.

My beloved broke three ribs in a bad fall.  I feel so bad for the amount of pain she is experiencing. Wish I could fix it.   Percoset helps, though.

How ever on earth do you keep up with all the filing?

Time for me to do some of that.

Or not.   Maybe I will go and find some  thread to test my micro-macrame idea.  Volunteer gifts, right?

What's up with you?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


In this season of advent, I am focused on my breathing. 
My monkey mind is all a jumpin' all around,
and all that settles it is breathing.  

I vacillate non-anxious, non-attachment one moment,
well, stress, worry, wondering, persiverating on what is out of my control, although I do have input.  I just don't get to know--yet--how the input is perceived. 

I am grateful for the contemplative, quiet breathing moments. 

I want to honor the worried confused part of me that feels like I am at the mercy of other's whims.
I want to hold that part of me, with my non-anxious self, and let her have her feelings......because if this were someone else, that is what I would do. 


Thursday, November 29, 2012


Tomorrow, I solemnize a marriage with a civil ceremony.
One of the couple is like a sibling and dear friend.
The other--I met once, and experienced rudeness.
So.. As a friend...I do the ceremony, and grieve the loss of my friend.

I thought we were adults by now...

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I must admit.
I have caught myself doing what I hate...but at least I caught myself, right?

Here is the thing.  I was watching the news, and  Hilary Clinton's photo came up, and said to myself,
"ugh, I hate her hair. It looked so much better shorter."
Then, the other night, when Candy Crowly was moderating the debate, I looked at here and said to myself, "Ugh. Candy? Really? Spiral curls?  Not a good look."

And then, I stopped.

If Candy and Hilary wear their hair long, curly, ponytails, who cares? 

The other day, my colleague and I were at an event, and a young woman was dressed in a nice jacket and incredibly short skirt (as I think is the fashion these days).  It was a young fashionista polished look.  Here's the thing, though, she was a largish young woman, and the the short skirt , well, revealed a lot of heavy legs.    I thought to myself, "Not a good look for you, honey..."

And then I stopped.

I reframed my thought, and said to myself (o.k. yes, I do talk a lot to myself....but isn't the perogative of middle age?), "Good for her for having the confidence to rock her look."

I don't know about you, but I feel like, as women, we   need to support what is on the inside of our sisters.  I need to be better at this...because we are all socialized to look at the outside in order to assess the whole person.  

Don't get me wrong, I love to pick out clothes, I love to don my bracelets and earrings, and pick out lip-gloss.   But if I show up wearing baggy pants, ruffled hair, and a shade of lipstick that doesn't really favor my coloring, it makes no difference of who I am on the inside.  A strong, capable, proud, beautiful person with depth and integrity. 

That's what I need to remember when I encounter people--go beyond the skin.  To wonder at the inner life of someone.  To think to myself, wow, "Candy Crowley, I wonder what it is like to be you right now--moderating a presidential debate!  Did you ever think when you were 16 that this is what you might do someday?"

So, I am going to work on my inner-sexist critic thing.   And celebrate confidence and character in women...and men. 

And that's it for now!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Five!

Whoopsie! Friday Five

random photo of Daisy dog
Isn't Daisy cute?  She turns 15 in November!   
Wow, how is it that it is the second Friday of October, already??
I don't know about you, but this fall has been incredibly FULL, and time is flying faster than I can keep track of it!

So, first things first.
Take a moment, and take 5 deep slow breaths...
Yep, I did it again.  It's going to be a breathing kind of weekend.   

Well, I feel more centered now.
So, let's get on with a Random Friday Five.
1. Tell us a moment of blessing that you have experienced in the past week.
Well, it's hard to pick one, but yesterday my colleague and I went to the assisted living center next to our church to lead Protestant worship and only one lady showed up.  We visited with her and then shared communion together.  It was a simple sweet blessing.   Her smile and laugh were gentle and sincere.   

2. Share the first thing/story that comes to mind when you read "When I was a child..."
My friend Vanessa and I would spend all day building Barbie doll mansions out of  blankets and furniture in her rec room in the basement.  By the time we finished, we ran out of time to actually PLAY Barbies.  
3, 4, and 5. If you were the host of a t.v. talk show, what three people would you like to interview on your first show, and what would you ask them.
I would definitely invite Sylvia the Pet Psychic and have her talk to my cats and dogs that I have adopted to find out what their stories were before I got them from the shelter, street.....

Then I would interview the Property Brothers from HGTV, and have them help  me redesign my kitchen.  

Finally, I would interview the Dalai Lama, because I am bummed that he is speaking at the tiny Tibetan Buddhist Center two blocks from my home but it's a closed event.   I would just ask him to share his heart wisdom.  

Clearly, the name of my talk show would be, "All About Me"  (shaking my head at myself....)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

So it's September 4.
School has started, and I am hopelessly not ready for the fall.
My programming is in a bit of disarray (and that's really being generous.)
Lots of odds and ends to shape up, and
my feelings are mixed--energetic, pulled back, old hat, confident, and procrastinating.
Not sure those are feelings, but it's how I am wearing my skin today as I enter into the week.

On my printer, I have taped these words:
"God grant me the grace not to shake up the world on your behalf,
but to get the people around me to do it, too.  Amen."

Shake me up God,
so I can shake it up for you...
Shake me up, God,
so I can ignite those around me to shake up the world with me, with You,
to be excited and joyful and loving and grateful
in the ministry we do together.

Shake us up, God.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

a lovely thought.

I had an impromtu lunch with a colleague who about an hour ago announced his resignation from the organization he leads, to take on a really cool brand new position at a local university.   We were talking, and then decided to share lunch together to catch up.

We were talking about transitions, and narrow places, mitzrayim in Hebrew.  Mitzrayim was Egypt--a narrow place for the Israelites, and God lead them out of the mitzrayim into the promised land. 

He spoke of his prayers the past few weeks as he was discerning his decision, and he said his prayer was, "Open the way."   I love that.  Not, "Show me the way"  or "Reveal the Way", but "Open the Way."

I am not necessarily in a narrow place, except perhaps in my heart-soul.
So my prayer today and for many days is:
"God, open the way.  Open the way."


Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Best.

a friend asked me if I knew that I deserved "the best" because I did. 

I have been thinking about that.  On a level, yes, I deserve the best, but most of the times I really don't think I deserve anything, much less the best! (baggage from somewhere, yes, I know. Yes, I continue to work on this. )

There is so much abundance in my life--love, health, well-being, art, friendship,  home, and more love.

Isn't that the best?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Irritated with the lilies.

So this week I had an appointment that was a little sudden, and it created several hours of anxiousness and worry. 

What would I learn?
Would it be the worst thing I can imagine?
Maybe there is something worse than I can imagine, it might be that?
Will I be devastated, crestfallen?
Will I be surprised by joy? (o.k. that was just a nano-second of trying to look on the other side, but, it was an unrealistic thought.)

I went for a long, long walk, and prayed. 
Of course, what came to mind was the Matthew text that tells us to "look at the lilies of the field, they do not have a care..."
Instead of that being comforting I was vaguely irritated. 

If I WERE a Lily, I wouldn't be anxious, because I wouldn't be HUMAN.  Lilies just have to be lilies.  Being a present, in the moment, humanoid is a little more complicated--well, as far as I can see, anyway.

Oh, and that whole thing about "God's eye is on the sparrow..."--I thought to myself, "tell that to the two featherless tiny birds that got knocked out of their nest that I picked up off the sidewalk the other day..."

I don't mean to be cynical, because I really am not cynical.   Overall, I am not an anxious person, or a worry wart. (Maybe a little bit of a worry wart, but it's over stupid things like parking in a no-parking zone, or breaking a traffic rule.)  

In the fullness of life, I know that I am beloved, watched out for, cared for, and will always be o.k.

But in the tiny bumps and curves of the journey, those little things that create aching disappointment or slight rejection or even make a blow to one's confidence, it's easy to be irritated by the lilies.
So, sorry lilies.
You are bugging me today. 

And God,
I know I am being held.  


Monday, July 23, 2012

upon reflection...

On Saturday,  I officiated at a memorial service for a beloved saint of the church.  She had been fighting a rare kind of bone cancer for over six years.  She was very involved in the church before my time, but when I met her, she was dealing with her disease. 

I loved her.
She was one of the most matter of fact, clear, determined, low key extraordinary persons I have ever met.  She was selfless, and never complained.   Her calling in life, was "kids."  She loved children, had a day care, worked in the nursery, children's choir, she fostered children and had three of of her own.   Even in the past years, after her was amputated, and she was traveling to and from NYC for a clinical trial, whenever there was a baby shower at church, she sent the new baby a present (and one for the older sibling, if applicable.)  Amazing.

Her marriage was, and is a love affair.  A love affair.  That's the only way to describe it.

What I loved about A. is that she wanted everything to be about love.  Her memorial was saturated with love, as her life was.   Whenever she signed an email, it was always, "Love, A."   I thought about that for awhile, and although I know it might be unconventional, I started signing my emails with "Love, Karla".   Not all of them, but many of them.  Even my church emails. 

You see, I think it is important--and I learned this from Angela--to express love whenever we can.  Obviously the world needs this love energy.   And, as a pastor, I think it is important that my congregation knows that I love them--and that they are beloved.  Because I do, and they are.  I don't use the word "love" lightly--whenever I use it, it is intentional.    I suspect, too, that Angela was incredibly intentional when she shared love.

Lastly, one of my last communiques with her was via texting.   She asked me to pray for her big sweet giant poodles, Joey and Bella.  They were stressed, as they knew something was up.   She called me the best fairy dogmother. ;-) Bella is still forlorn and sad, and Joey is trying hard to engage Bella.  You see, even animals grieve.

So, my mind has been on Angela throughout the weekend and into today.  I am so, so grateful that she allowed me into her life, and allowed me to be a part of it.  I am beyond thankful for the lessons in love that she gave me.

Rest well, dear Angela.
Thank you.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Just Dance (A Reflection)

July 15
Proper 10B/Ordinary 15B
2 Samuel 6
“Just Dance”
During my first year of seminary, I took a liturgical dance class, as I was interested in learning more on how to integrate movement in worship, especially with children.   I was especially excited that the instructor, RevDance, was a former member of the Alvin Ailey dance company among other credentials, and her thesis for her M. Div. degree included  a sermon dance on Hagar, which I had seen online and found incredibly moving deep in my core.  
Now, I have to say here that I am NOT a dancer, and have had no training in dance, unless you count learning the Virginia Reel and the Hustle in high school PE classes.   
Oh, and Jazzercise as an adult.   I don’t have long Rockette-like legs, or lithe flowing arms--rather, I am a bit, well, stout, and with just hints of flexibility.  Jus’ sayin.   
On the first day of class, after RevDance warmed up us with some exercises and group movement pieces as she read scripture, we sat in a circle on the slate chapel floor to go through the syllabus.   She informed us that during the semester, we would create a worship service together.   I immediately said, “We don’t have to dance in front of the whole school, do we?”  and she assured me that we would take the lectionary for the week, and create a movement inspire worship service around a theme we found in the scriptures.   I felt assured, because I sure as heck wasn’t going to be leaping around and shaking my booty in front of my colleagues.   
The course was really wonderful, and I learned some great skills in how to work with liturgy and movement that I could use in ministry.   Then, the time came to plan for chapel.  We had this wonderful Psalm, so while RevDance read part of the scripture, then the seven of us moved as a cluster after each verse, while this amazing jazz pianist riffed on the piano.   It was very improvisational--that’s the only way I can explain it.   So, as we practiced together, all of sudden, RevDance said, “Karla, at the end of this verse, I want you to peel off from the group, and do a solo.”   
“Solo what?” I thought in my head, and I looked at her quizzically, and said, “Huh?”  
“Just peel off and let your body move to the music and Word.  Everybody will have a chance to do it.”   I was horrified.    “Are we going to do this in worship tomorrow? This peel off-y thing?”   She brightly said, “Yes!”     Sh-t, I thought to myself, because I couldn’t really say it out loud at the time.   I lamely practiced my solo by running around the space and fluttering my fingers, getting back to the group cluster as fast as I could.  
I mean really, what the heck?  
I considered being really sick the next day, so I could miss chapel, but instead, I pulled on my sweat pants and t-shirt, and showed up in bare feet for worship.   Did I say the guy improvising on the piano was pretty stellar?  Totally moved by the Spirit.   The time came for our “piece.”   PianoJazzman began riffing, and then RevDance was reading this beautiful scripture, and the Spirit started moving in me, and when it came for my solo, I totally let loose.   
I didn’t care who or what was happening in the room, it was just my body, the Word, and  music that was so holy it felt sacramental.   I twirled, I swept my arms down to the floor, I rolled on the group, I lept, I cried--I danced unto the Lord!   I Danced!     It was one of the few times I felt completely fearless, filled with love and joy, without abandon.    I  felt like I was flying, but completely grounded.  
So, when I reflect on David’s leaping and dancing with all his might (and quite possibly nakedly, according to scholarship) as the ark was brought into the city of David,  I think of the moment when I truly danced for God, without abandon.   The sheer, pure joy truly is fearless.   The passion is abiding.  It’s something I can appreciate, in spite of this flawed character of a King.   
There are problems in this text that beg to be noticed.  What about all that unpleasantness with Uzzah? The poor guy was just trying to still the ark with his hand because the oxen shook the cart it was resting on.   God strikes him dead?    No wonder the lectionary leaves out those verses in the reading.    
One of the other silences in this text centers around David’s wife, Michal, who is Saul (David’s predecessor in the kingship).   Traditionally, Michal gets a bum rap because upon seeing David dancing in the streets, she “despises” him, and later, in verses 20-23 (also not in the lectionary reading) appears as if she is nagging David for exposing himself in the street like any common vulgar fellow.  David defends himself, and the text ends with the report that Michal never had a child to the day of her death.  Does that mean David abandoned conjugal relations with her, as a punishment?   Did God strike her barren?   We don’t know, but we do know that she never had the joy of childbirth, which was pretty much an expectation of success for women in the ancient world.  
Cheryl Exum has a wonderful chapter in Alice Bach’s book, The Pleasures of Her Text, entitled, “Murder They Wrote: Ideology and Manipulation of Female Presence in the Bible” which explores the story of Michal, and lifts her out of the “phallogenic bias of the text” in order to “hear her voice” and giving her  a “measure of autonomy denied  in the larger story.”    She notes that previously Michal “loved” David, but nowhere in the larger story does David show any emotion or affection toward her. His attitude towards her is either ignoring her, or being defensive.  In addition, instead of perceiving her as nagging, perhaps she is trying to preserve and defend what is holy and sacred in their tradition.  The point being, there is much more to this woman than the bias of the text leads us to believe.   
So back to the dance. David is not perfect, and usually a downright scoundrel, if you ask me, in spite of writing some beautiful music.  But he was deeply passionate in his praising of God, and even in his despairing laments to God.    He knew how to let loose, which I think is important for all of us to learn, because really, each day is an improvisation on life and faith, isn’t it?  
And perhaps, the more we can fear less, and be opened more, we notice the wider world more--and discrepancies and injustices come to light, and we might be led to passionately and courageously expose them.   The presence of Uzzah and Michal remind us, than in the larger story, there are those who are excluded, and as we dance with God and for God, we are called to bring forth those excluded into full inclusion in this story of Life. 
Let’s dance together, shall we? 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

sum, sum, summertime!

It's hot and lazy and breezy here today....and I am *supposed* to be working on my sermon.   We got back from a fantastic and restful and wonderful vacation this past Tuesday, and my mind has been a little slow to start back up in reality.

I don't have any plans for the rest of the summer, except the last week in August, my mom will be coming for a week to visit.  I am looking forward to her being here and having a respite from caring for my stepdad.  It might be the case he could home from the nursing home before then, but it seems improbable.  If he does get better, that would be great.  I will change the ticket, and fly her way!

I've been thinking a lot about calling, and ministry, and the perennial (it seems) unknowing of what is next as far as a settled position.   It looks like there MIGHT be one challenging situation out there--a sort of turn-around church--that has resources enough for a couple of years, unless they really make a bold decision to reach out beyond their walls.   I don't know enough about this congo, and it is too soon to be interested or not until I know more.   The thought is intriguing, though, and feels risky.....and of course the thought of leaving where I am feels, well, devastating.   So, that's why I am thinking about the nature of a new way.....and the faith I have in me and in God's grace and help and guidance.   Faith and calling, and how they intertwine into one big risky unknown.

Sometimes, I wish were a librarian.  Well, no, that field has totally changed, too.  But you know what I mean, right?  

In any case, I don't have anything bright or profound to add to this's just something that is rattling about in my heart and head.

Ciao for now.

Monday, June 11, 2012

a monday ramble

The weekend was fantastic...we had a record crowd for the open and affirming UCC churches in the Mass conference for the Boston Pride parade.  Very fun.  My congregation handed out rainbow bracelets that were printed with  the words "you are beloved"  and "eliot church of newton, ucc."  A big hit with everyone, and one of my congregants who was handing them out said, "I loved giving away an Eliot blessing as I handed them out."  Gotta love that.

I am going to try and use proper capitalization when I write here.  I have some  grammarians in my crowd that I am pretty sure are appalled by my incessant use of lower case letters.  My grammar in itself isn't that great!

The Children and Youth Service yesterday was the total bombe.   The children acted out the story, "In the Name of God" by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, which is a picture book that explores the many biblical names for God.  A little girl played "Let It Be" on harmonica and trombone for the offertory music.  Five of my mission trip students gave testimony on how the trip was transformative in their lives. 
The picnic afterwards was festive and laid back.  A pure bliss kind of Sunday.

One week from today I will be flying to Hawaii for vacation. Ahhhhh.

Ummm, it's hard to believe but all of my potential doors have been shut except one, which seems like a very long weird shot, and I am not sure I am even interested.     I wish I could be gracious and humble and ask God what I should be learning in all of this, but really, all I can say is, "What up, G?  What UP????"  After such a long period of time, I think this line of questioning is o.k.

I want to grow an eggplant this summer.   I never have.  I don't even really like eggplant, as far as to eat, but the vegetable as an object of beauty has few peers.   I think they are so beautiful!

My office is a total wreck.  Truly, I say unto you, a total wreck.

There is day camp at the preschool this week.  They are especially rowdy, because it isn't's pre-camp?   Those teachers should be awarded many jewels in their crowns. 

Guess that's it for a ramble for now.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Happy Friday, Gals and Pals...
Our FF today is in honor of spontaneous thinking!
1.  What religion/faith besides yours captures your curiousity and why? 

You know, I love Judaism.   I so am enamoured by my rabbi friends when they lead a scripture study in our clergy group, and how much I learn.  I love the rituals and prayers.  If I could be anything other than a congregational UCC pastor, I would be a Jewish rabbi. 
2.  What is the first or most memorable pop song you ever learned as a kid? 
"Hey, Delta Dawn, What's that flower you got on.  Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?
And did I hear you say, you were a .....(can't remember) here today......(ditto) take you to that mansion in the sky-yi"  I THINK it was Helen Reddy, and it was my first purchased 45 record.   I memorized it and was going to go  down to the radio station to sing it on air (or so I thought I was) and become an instant star, but I chickened out at the door when the guy said,  "Can I help you?"
3.  If God were a color.....(finish this sentence creatively) 
a beautiful rich thick gray layered with subtle shades of lavender and azure and silvery shots...
sort of like the ocean on a really beautiful early morning and you are sitting in wonder, sipping your coffee and simply being all grateful and beloved and connected. 
4.  If you were going to make a sandwich right now for lunch, and you magically had all the items you need for it, what would that sandwich be? 
Avocado, maple tempeh bacon, a fresh tomato off the vine, lettuce from the garden, and really fresh sunflower bread.  
Or, a lobster roll from the best place in Maine. 
5.  How are you doing?  Really, how are you? 
Because of all of the lovely people around me, I am o.k.   It is clear that in the next 12 months, no matter what, I will have a big transition professionally, because my current position is being cut to part-time and reframed in Summer 2013.   This is all out of my control, and I have no idea where God is calling me and it's a bit anxiety producing at times, but for the most part, I am o.k. 
Bonus:  What are you enjoying/loving right now? 

My new green Keen mary janes, Magic City series on STARZ, Nurse Jackie and The Big C on Showtime.  My 15 year old spice girl poodle, named Daisy.   Long walks the past few weeks.  Flower baskets.   Brewing Tazo Passion Tea with Zen Green Tea in my iced tea maker, and dreaming of vacation, which commences in a week.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Biting My Tongue.

Biting our tongues.
It is something, I think, that becomes an art form when one is involved,
oh I don't know, with any human interaction. 

It is good to hold our tongues, to respond, rather than react. 

However, there are times...and I have been in a rather long stretch of it,
Where I have had to keep my opinions/facts/thoughts on hold,
for diplomacy sake. 

That being said, 
It gets a bit tiresome.  

Rant over.
Carry on.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I don't get it right.
as much as I try, it is still not good enough.
I really don't think pruning is a good idea, O Holy Reality.
Because there is already pain.
And the cutting,
not so sure that it is going to bear more fruit.
Not so sure there was fruit in the first place....
And yet I know I bear fruit...
I do know this.

Let me grow, let me bear...
and when all is healthy,
then go ahead and prune.

Monday, April 30, 2012

What I have been up to....

Can't believe I haven't checked in since Easter...
but Easter was really good.

As most of you,
the aftermath has been sorta crazy busy, but in good ways.

I had a mission trip with my confirmands to DC, led by the Quaker organization, Youth With a Mission, which was so, so, so, good.  It was transformative for my kids, and they really did make a difference.

Upon return, it was preparation for Confirmation Sunday, which was this past Sunday.  it was fantastic, and I have to say my sweeties had so much to say in their personal statements that moved us all. I am at the age, now, when I work with these kids, that I feel so...invested in THEM.  I feel motherly-pastoral-y.  I hope that is o.k.

Many things unbloggable right now....which is pretty much everything always with me...I fear  my heart is going to be broken...but then, that is silly, right.  Whatever happens, my heart has been full, so full, and so blessed....and the fear of the unknown is the fear of being dissappointed greatly.

In any case,
that is what is going on.

Goodnews....I get to hang out with some long distance friends tomorrow.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

alleluia, Love has risen.

The sun has awakened,
The birds are singing...m
I am sitting in the quiet of my office,
with my legs curled up on the love seat,
with a snuffling poodle on one side,
and a calico kitty resting on my arm.

They are the two eldest beings in the household.
I am glad they have chosen to be with me in the dusk of the morning.
These aged and wise creatures are my companions as I wonder about
the alleluias of this day...
As I stand looking at the empty tomb...

I long to be  as terrified and ecstatic as
Mary Magdalene, Salome, and mother Mary,
for Christ is not in the tomb,
which means
that perhaps,
Christ has risen,
what he said was true,
that Love conquers all.

I may not run from that empty tomb,
I may feel more doubt than terror,
more disbelief than ecstasy,
but I do believe
with all of my heart and soul,
that Love will rise,
that Love has risen,
and that Love will come again.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

holy, wholly Saturday....

In my current setting, we do not observe Holy Saturday.
But it still has a bit of a shroud over it, you know?

In fact, this space between Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday, for me, is the most wistful.   It feels like how you feel when someone you love has either died, or moved away or moved on, and there is this hole in your life, a missing presence that gapes in its emptiness and permanence.

That's what today feels like.  I am thinking about Mary Magdalene, having been at the cross, perhaps been close by when Jesus was laid in the tomb, and the stone rolled shut, and he is just gone.
No more long conversations over dinner,
No more wondering what would come next with him,
No more anything.  

So final--and you don't really know what to do with yourself.   You want to tell someone how your feel, but that Someone is gone.

So, I sit, I wait,
with this huge hole in my heart on this Holy Saturday...
and I suppose this is what the
journey to wholeness
is all about.


Thursday, April 5, 2012


I am not sure if Jesus felt disappointment during his last days,
but it seems to be an appropriate sentiment
for the next few days.

At least, that is where I am at in my heart.
Huge disappointment prevails,
and I need to walk with it the next few days,
attend to it,
and not let it embitter me,
but allow it
to move through me,
rest in me,
and hopefully
find release.

I am not feeling forsaken,
but a bit of desolate abandonment
is spilled in little dank puddles in my soul,
the kind that don't dry up in the sun right away
after a rain,
the ones that  sit there, and get clogged with oil and broken bits of leaves and dead bugs.

A spiritual issue,
a spiritual pining and wondering...
and sadness.

May I uncover the Holy in this slog of journey the next few days.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rescue Me

I have been working this past week on a tricky animal rescue.

One low-income, kinda whacked out but kind hearted owner, but unpredictable.
Two dogs, one pit bull, one boxer-pit mix.
9 puppies.

When they were discovered, the puppies were only four weeks old, except there were only six puppies.  You see, he had sold three of them already.  WTHeck?  The pit bull (male) was lethargic and limping.  The momma was kept separated from the puppies, only to nurse at certain times.

I took the poppa to the vet, which turned out to be good as he had lyme disease, but it's treatable.  Yesterday, I took Boo Boo (poppa) to the ASPCA to be neutered.   When I returned  Boo Boo home, I went in to check on the puppies, now maybe five weeks-six weeks.  He, the owner, has weaned them off momma, and feeding them crunchy food, which is not all and good, as the puppies are so hungry.  I could feel their ribs.

So here is the rub.  The animal officers at the ASPCA threatened to take the pups, but called our organization with the threat.  We have been trying to get the puppies and the momma, but he won't give us the momma, and we didn't feel good about pulling them at so young.  Of course, has the Big Organization with A Lot of Money offered to help us with this besides threats?   Hmmm. Not so much.

We are going to get them tomorrow morning under the guise of getting them all checked out for lyme disease.  All I can do is pray for those little guys and know that at least, at least they are getting some food, right?

My heart aches for these helpless ones--the feral cats my beloved traps to be neutered and released, these puppies....they are little magnets on my heart and won't let go.

And then there is the owner, who I know really thinks he is doing the right thing, and can't be swayed otherwise, but loves his dogs.  He doesn't care for them the way I do, and yet, he doesn't have the means that I do.

This animal ministry, it's hard.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

just a few words, here, because really....

... my writing time is so limited.
I guess I limit it myself,
by what I think I should be doing,
with whom I should be connecting,
how I might be presenting.

here is another interruption. 

but it is good to check in.

Monday, February 13, 2012

a manic monday of meanderings

Well, it's not really a Manic Monday--I just like the Cyndi Lauper song, and it comes to my head almost every Monday.  Silly, yes, I know.

So, I haven't settled in to write much for a long time.  What's new?

The RevGalBlogPals BE5 was lovely and all kinds of awesome.  What a privilege to get to know a group of women pastors and talk about texts and enjoy chocolate melting cake at night and the occasional pink martini or two.  Enough said.  

Before we left on the cruise, my Dear One and I spent a few days in NOLA kicking back.  We mostly wandered the streets of the French Quarter, enjoyed the warmth, and ate a LOT OF DELICIOUS FOOD.

So between the NOLA carousing and the dessert on the cruise, in spite of exercising vigorously everyday, I gained 6 pounds.  

The good news, is that I lost five of it last week--so certainly, it was just too much sodium and bloating, right? ;-)  Whatever the case, it was all definitely worth it!

Sort of slid back into the ministry routine last week.  What was nice was a minimum of endless meetings, and a maximum of direct ministry moments--from nursing home visits to bible studies to women's gatherings, a sermon to write and preach, and confirmation class.  LOVE.

It's hard to say where the vocational call will emerge, but for now, it's o.k.   I am simply giving it over, striving to be faithful and patient and loving--and to Be Here Now.   I am good with this.

On the homefront with the four legged friends, life is a little hectic.  We still have the big boy foster pit bull, who is a big baby.   He is good for one of our dogs, they just wrestle and play and rip up toys.  So the house is full of bits of plastic and decapitated stuffed animals and fluffs of their innards strewn about.

Unfortunately they were having one of their wrestling matches and our little 14 year matronly toy poodle decided she should referee. That pretty much pissed off her housemate, Cooper, who attacked her, and left her unable to walk.  I thought it might be a little sprain, but it hasn't improved over the weekend, and she can't walk, so off to the vet,

AFTER the plumber leaves, who is installing a new kitchen sink (hallelujah!) and hopefully fixing our  bathroom sink which is all kinds of clogged.

That's it for now.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine 5!

So today, at REVGALS, for the FF, we are asked to give five Valentines to special beings outside of our families! So, here goes my play:

1.   My first valentine goes to all the small non-profit organizations that work to rehome abandoned animals, advocate for spay/neuter, and do TNR (trap, neuter, release for feral cats).   I especially want to give this valentine to Kitty Connection   and  Broken Tail Rescue  because I have volunteered with both, and know that these all volunteer orgs operate totally on donations and volunteers' personal offerings.

2.  My second valentine goes to Jess Wilson and all of her people at Diary of a Mom ---her writing is inspiring, gut-wrenching, hilarious, and honest.  She blogs daily about autism, about her daughters, one with autism, and one who doesn't have autism, about her hubby Luau, their two dogs, and more.
She is amazing--and she writes to amazing people everyday.

3.  My third valentine goes to everyone who works at nursing homes, assisted living communities, and especially those who are aides to elders and those who need a little help.   My step-father is currently in transitional care due to a broken hip/surgery, and isn't strong enough for rehab.  My prayer is that he feels surrounded by care and love, and I hope those working with them are as kind as the professionals I meet monthly when I lead protestant worship at two nursing home facilities.

4.  My fourth valentine goes to my Nurse Practitioner who just rocks.   I just had my annual physical, etc.  and she is so committed to wholistic health care, and she takes time to listen, and we actually laugh a LOT.

5.  My fifth valentine goes to YOU--I just love all of you RevGals, and RGBP lurkers, this blog, the big events...What richness you have added to me personally, as well as in my ministry.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

So, it all plods and trots and gallops along.

The title of this post is just a random title because one has to entitle a post for the blog.  I have no idea what I am going to write about, I just have a little time to ponder.   I suppose that's why people probably title their posts at the end of writing?   I know not.   All I know is that as far as giving titles to my writing or my sermons, I usually end up with something pretty lame.   The kicker is that we do our bulletin on Wednesday, so I have to have a title for my sermon, when I have had just the scantest of time to simply skim the readings, read some thoughts on textweek, but with no real direction.   It's not really fair, is it--to give something a title before it has been created?   Or maybe it's just what it is.   Not a big deal--at least in my world. 

So, the grey beautiful boy pitbull is now truly my official foster dog.   We were just having him for a houseguest over Christmas while the adopter went off on Christmas.  Guess who didn't come back and get the big boy?  No answers to multiple phone calls or texts or emails.   Some people, I tell ya.  My wonderful Beloved and I decided (in spite of the chaos it adds to our home) that we couldn't bear to uproot him one more time to another foster, then only to be adopted to another home.  Dogs like consistency, and we feel committed to him.   (I personally Adore This Dog, but again, it's not the right time for us.)

So Tye, Titan, Teety Tie, Tooter (many variations of his name) has become quite the lovely office dog.  The first few times I had him here before Christmas, before he was adopted, when I was just helping with him and not really fostering him, he was kind of crazy.  Today he has curled up on his bed and slept in between rounds of playing tug of war with him.  He is a GOOOOOD Boy.

Been wrestling with a few things at work.  Transition just is yuck.   It's emotionally wearing on me--which I am allowing myself to recognize, and to reach out for help and support in appropriate places.
I am blessed with amazing and caring supports.    I feel like a baby, because I do have some big tear spillage with my safe supports (darn perimenopause on top of all this...) and at my age, it's embarrassing.   However, I need to let myself have the tears--some of it feels like old grief unrecognized, and some of it feels new and fresh.  While welcoming the tears, I try to consciously remember how strong I am--that strong core inside of me, that God-core.......because recently that has been shook.  Shook, shaken...but it hasn't gone anywhere.  It still is within, and is a deep well of,  all the me-ness that I am.  

So, this is where I am today.   Now, off to create some administrivia for others! 

Cheers and love,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

So, it's Tuesday

..and I am back to work. 
Did the bulletin stuff TWICE because I was going with the Baptism of Jesus, and everyone else was going with Epiphany.  I let the the crowd sway me and now will be pondering Those Other Roads we take in life when something changes us.  Or something like that.

I have been in a bit of a funk all fall/holidays.  Lots of reasons for this, but I am happy to say that today, I am feeling much more of the energy of me.   I think having time off and totally being slothful and unconnected was a good thing.

I'm not one for resolutions, per say, but I do like to think about endings and beginnings at a time like this. of the things I look forward to this year in my ministry is to be more creative and spontaneous, and not get into the rut of "this is what we do every year."   We set our calendar during the summer, and then there are few places for suprise and spirit and sheer joy.  I won't participate, I say!   Let's love this Beloved Life together!  Let's have joy in being Good News to our corner fo the world! 

Personally, well, I am looking forward to listening to myself better.   Last summer and fall I had a personal trainer at the gym.  I. Loved. Him.   Loved. loved. loved.     Unfortunately, he had to make a sudden out of state  move in mid October and we had to break up.   I went into mourning, and just stopped exercising.  Mostly, anyway. Stoooopid. I tried to do it on my own a couple of times, but it's not the same--you look kind of funny running up and down the stairs at the gym without someone shouting at you to keep going when there is a stairmaster next to the steps.    I know I COULD do this on my own, and that I SHOULD do this on my own, but...frankly, I respond better with a coach. 

So, I am going to find a trainer again--because it was fun.  I liked getting muscles in my arms, and being able to do killer situps.  Now I can't even do one. (like the kind we did in gym class when we were 13--not crunches.)  I've let myself go, but I give myself permission to do what I need to be motivated.    I already have an appointment.  

Middle age thoughts sort of dog me lately.   I will be 49 this calendar year.   In some ways, I have let my life live me in my 40's--kind of, sort of.  I can't really explain this coherently to myself in my head and heart, let alone with real words on paper (o.k., cyber paper).   It's just a feeling that floats a bit around my consciousness.  So, I want to think more about this.   How to intentionally and lovingly and
honestly Live my life.   More on that later.

Oh, and this actually should have been first, but I want to be more generous.   I will be more generous.

That's about it for now.  I am kind of in between projects here at my desk so thought I would just have a chat here on my blog.  

And now,
on with the other stuff.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

It's Monday, and I am sliding back into the saddle,
but dang, it is a bumpy ride.
I am "working from home"   and there are workpeople here,
Beloved is home,
and the wild life is dogging me, literally.

The foster dog has found his voice--it's loud and booming.
My youngest dog is wrestling him and being an overall brat.

There is so much I need to do,
which means, probably, that I have a lot I just need to let go,
and let be,
and just take one step at a time.  

Working on that, God.