Friday, June 29, 2007

RevGalBlogPal Friday Five: Gifts & Talents Edition

With gifts and talents in mind here is todays Friday 5:

1. Personality tests; love them or hate them?
I have no strong feelings either way but I will say that I still find the information about how my type interacts with other types from the Myers-Briggs information very helpful.

2. Would you describe yourself as practical, creative, intellectual or a mixture ?
Practical but creative enough that I have to give it an outlet or else my psyche starts to pay the price. That too was good information to find out.

3. It is said that everyone has their 15 minutes of fame; have you had yours yet? If so what was it, if not dream away what would you like it to be?
I don't think I have, certainly not on any kind of large scale. I do have a relative that when something interesting happened to her actually was concerned that she had "wasted" her 15 minutes on that event. That just struck me as odd as I am pretty sure it is just an Andy Warhol quote and not an actual quota.

As for me I guess I would like to have solved some problem - minor or big - that would help people in some way: cure MS, rid the world of mosquitos, write my sermons before Saturday... Of course since I am not working on any of these projects right now that seems highly unlikely.

4. If you were given a 2 year sabbatical ( oh the dream of it) to create something would it be music, literature, art.....something completely different...share your dream with us...
Hmmm.... good question. I would create the perfect retreation center that was easy to get to yet far away from everything, tranquil and would offer the opportunity to try a new vocation, do any and all things physical and spiritual or do nothing at all.

5. Describe a talent you would like to develop, but that seems completely beyond you.
This is so lame, but I just would like to play more than 5-10 chords on the guitar. Sure, actually practicing the guitar would help, but I also am reasonable enough to know that my abilities will plataeu WAY before I want them to.

Bonus question: Back to the church- what does every member ministry mean to you? Is it truly possible to encourage/ implement?
I'm sorry, I just don't have it in me to answer a church question right now unless it is, "How long are you going to be away from the pulpit after this Sunday?"
(Answer: 2 beautiful Sundays)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Respite Confirmed

We just heard from our beach house connection.
It is confirmed for October.
Only 113 more days.
My Mom counted.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Humble Me Lord

Humble me Lord... humble me Lord.

Humble my spirit... humble my spirit.

Humble my spirit... humble my spirit.

Oh won't you humble me Lord... oh won't you humble me Lord.

Those are the lyrics (with echo) to an African spiritual song that I have sung with youth groups and congregations for years. Last night the Lord answered.

I did a presentation in front of a gathering of clergy and leaders from our area at a denominational meeting. I was filling in for the chair of Uber Decent and in Order Committee as I presented our report, answered questions and presented a motion of my own.

I pulled it off fairly well, looked pretty good and felt pretty good and when finally done I walked out of the back of the Sanctuary and walked around the corner to find some water. Well, I found some but it was on the floor instead of in a fountain and I slipped on it.

Now, I did not fall (thankfully the Lord did not feel I needed to be THAT humbled) but I did rip the back of my dress so that the slit was now shall we say... not denominational meeting appropriate.

The biggest bummer is that I really liked the dress and the rip is not just up the seam. SO although it could be fixed it will never be all that it was.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Warning Signs

I should have known it was going to be a long 10 days with sister-in-law when she emailed me earlier in the week and asked if I would help her color her hair.

My response?
If you would like while you are up here we could work on your throwing mechanics, plan out your fantasy football team for next season, climb a tree, or go work out together.

We could start a knitting project, rent chick flicks and I would even be willing to go get pedicures together.

But there is no way I am going to be responsible for putting coloring in your hair.

See you soon! - ws

9 more days to go.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Measure Progress One Bike Ride at a Time

They say that weight loss/healthy living is all about motivation - especially for women. For me we have a big family event coming up in early September where pictures will most definitely be taken. Also I went to a Little League game and realized that although the kids were ten years older than mine, the majority of the parents were 10 years younger than me.

So I made a few changes including joining the 'Y' and more importantly actually going to the 'Y'. And for now it is working.

Today TDH and I went out on my first bike ride of the season. The first pleasant surprise was when a biking jersey I bought last year that made me look like it was casing and I was the sausage actually fit. Then I was in the third level of gears for a good portion of the ride. Most excitingly, when I pedaled my legs didn't hit my gut - a problem I am quite sure Lance Armstrong never had to deal with.

Now none of those would have worked as motivational goals for me when I started all of this but it sure was nice to note the progress.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just Some Thoughts

  • I gotta say I never thought the previous post would cause such a visceral reaction in some of you. Good feedback for sure and I hope all of us were able to give thanks that we are no longer in that place.
  • If you have read my dizzy post you could see why I am none too happy that I have now had to add a few extra meetings thanks to someone else dropping a denominational ball.
  • Of course a couple of the softball games were rained out so I guess that makes it even?
  • I always chuckled when I saw those shirts on the internet that said stuff like "Recovering Christian" but I gotta say when I actually saw one on someone I felt a weird mixture of guilt, grief and slapped in the face.
  • Is it wrong of me to not be all that bummed that TDH leaves on Tuesday for a youth trip?
  • Board meeting tonight and I am once again so grateful for the difference between the board meetings we have now and the board meetings we used to have.
  • Of course I need to clean the house and without that leftover adrenaline from anger and frustration it is a lot harder to stay up late after those things.
  • Lately The Boy has been confusing his opposites - he grabs his shoes and asks to go inside, he asks me to get out of his car bed and he wants his nightlight off. It's just so dang cute.
  • Did anyone else see Paul Potts on the Today show? My sister called me to tell me to turn it on. I saw him interviewed but had to leave before he performed.
  • That is all for now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

6th Grade Dance

Statistics show (or I guess I think they would show since I'm not sure I have ever seen statistics on the subject) that the vast majority of us were not the cool kid in school and even if you were the cool kid you might not have known it. Who looks at themselves in the mirror in 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grade and says, "Yes! I look GOOD!"

I certainly didn't and never was this feeling of inadequacy highlighted more than at the grade school dance. I believe times have changed but our grade school dances were themed as in 'square' or 'sock hop'. We would learn how to do these dances in gym class the months prior and then the same music plus extra would be played at the Friday night dance.

It sounded good in theory to all of the adults making these decisions but what happens to the tall girl in gym class when everyone is paired up and there are more girls than boys? Say it with me: She is forced to partner with another girl.

This is not exactly a good way to give the self confidence of an awkward pre-teen a boost.

And so you go to the dance because you don't want your parents to know how big of a loser you are (by high school I didn't care that they knew and I didn't go) and you stand along the wall with the rest of the grade schoolers - girls on one side, boys on the other with a few brave souls dancing in the middle.

This is bad enough.

But when the song turns to one that everyone knows and has been practicing in gym class and everyone runs out to partner up but you... and a few other tall girls... you can feel the tears burn in your throat and the nausea slowly wash over you.

Brutal. Absolutely brutal.

I hate it that there are still things at the age of 37 that can make me feel like that awkward middle schooler standing against the wall at the sock hop all over again.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Enough to Make the Head Spin

Week 1
*5 softball games in 3 days
*Session (church board) meeting
*Huge concert on my lawn
*Relatives coming into town

Week 2
*Youth pool party
*TDH leaves on youth trip with 3 out of four of the relatives
*One of them stays here with me
*Me trying to work while also honoring that it is her vacation time and how much does she really want to spend with a 2 year old
*Me ignoring in-laws requests to see me and The Boy without TDH's buffer between us
*All day church fundraising event

Week 3
*TDH returns with the 3 relatives
*Surprise anniversary party for church members
*Mandatory 'fun' in adjacent quaint town with ye old tourist trappes
*Relatives leave
*Different relatives come into town
*Make up softball game
*Fourth of July with future relatives-in-law
*Relatives leave
*Surprise birthday party for church member

Week 4
*TDH leaves on mission trip
*The Boy, Mom and I leave for Atlanta
*Meet revgals and begin planning phenomenal event
*Visit with friends
*Drive home in time to be at church on Sunday (long story)

Week 5
*TDH returns
*Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep (i hope)
*Serious laundry
*Session (church board) meeting
*MS Bike Ride (50 miles even though I haven't been on the bike yet this summer)

Who's with me?!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Follow Up

Well, thanks to this decision I now have a meeting today with the CE Committee after church.

On Father's Day.

Of course TDH has no one to blame but himself. I hope that movie was worth it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

8 random things about me...

Quaker Pastor and Songbird both tagged me. Be aware that there are rules I am ignoring:

1) My social security number is a palindrome.

2) I had to look up 'palindrome' to make sure it was the right word.

3)My sister is a revgalblogpal.

4) Due to a freak accident in August of 1999 I only have 9 fingers.

5) The second toe on my right foot is longer than my big toe. It is a family trait that I am a bit bummed my son did not inherit. Must be a recessive gene.

6) I once had gym class with Jon Bon Jovi.

7) I have lost 30 pounds since mid-December.

8) I got into blogging because the Real Live Preacher site asked for your blog url when you went to register on there. I figured I had better get a blog.

Consider yourself tagged.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Shamelessly "Borrowed" from Quotidian Grace

Quotidian Grace had it first.

Britain Has Talent is the latest from Simon Cowell and auditions have just begun. Simon is one of the judges so you can just imagine the negativity for all things untalented and certainly for all things uncool.

Enter a cell phone salesman with a self-esteem issue and bad teeth...

For St. Inuksuk

Go & Doer vs. Sit & Stewer

Yesterday while home for a late lunch I turned on Dr. Phil and there was a couple wondering if they had hit a "deal breaker" in their marriage. Apparantly after seven years of dating and being "best friends" she had finally gotten him down the aisle (why people think walking down the aisle is all of the sudden going to change things is beyond me). Then on day 3 of the honeymoon he announced that he just didn't feel right and thought maybe they should get out now. By month 3 they were on the Dr. Phil show.

Now TDH and I aren't headed to the Dr. Phil show or any other show (sorry Jerry) but there were some similarities between the relationship I was watching on tv and then one I live in.

The title of the post is the phrase the woman used to describe their relationship - she being the former, he the latter. And in a lot of ways that is how I would describe my own relationship as well. And I don't think we're the only ones; after all opposites attract.

Sometimes it comes in handy. For instance, I would have bought one of the first tv cabinets we saw when we went out specifically looking for them. TDH wanted to wait and MONTHS later we found one that really was better than any of the others we had seen. Great. One point for him.

In other areas it has become very frustrating. For example when 'sit & stew' becomes not just the way a decision is made, but the way a decision is avoided all together. I really struggle with that... a lot.

Whenever I counsel couples about to be married I tell them that there will be one underlying 'thing' that 95% of their arguments will go back to. There will be one thing they are often going to have to go back and renegotiate."

It is not a deal breaker or a reason to book a flight to LA... I just wish that it weren't true for my marriage.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Conflict Management 101

So our very part time CE/Youth Director just told me he is going out and to the movies rather than put up with the micromanaging powers-that-be at the CE meeting tonight.

I sure do hope is letter of resignation is soon to follow.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Getaway Island Edition

We have a new contributor in the mix. This week's Friday Five is from Cathy:

We snitched a bit of time on an quiet island nearby this week. It was a last minute plan, escaping with a minimal amount of preparation. One must have essentials that make it a relaxing time. Perhaps you have had this opportunity to escape, or maybe it's only been a thought to get away. However, suppose you were told to pack some essentials for a trip to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.Describe your location, in general or specific terms and....

Well if you read this blog then you know it is simply The Beach. It is just enough off season that the heavy tourist issues are done with but the seasonal places are still open. Shorts and bathing suits during the day, but a sweatshirt while watching the sunrise and sunset. My only essentials would be TDH and The Boy and some toys for the latter.

1) What book(s) will you bring?
Easy reads and maybe a new fiction writer that someone has encouraged me to try.

2) What music accompanies you?
The waves hitting the sand, the shells brushing together as the water returns from whence it came, seagulls calling in the distance, the laughter of a child discovering the way the cool water tickles as it dances over his feet.

3) What essentials of everyday living must you take (as in the health and beauty aids aisle variety)?
Conditioner and a hair brush.

4) What technological gadgets if any, will you take with you or do you leave it all behind?

5) What culinary delights will you partake in while there?
Gourmet hot dogs, home made onion rings, pork roll sandwhiches, steamers dripping in butter, slow-churned ice cream, ice cold beer... not necessarily in that order.

As a bonus question, what makes for a perfect day on vacation for you?
Nap, good food at regular intervals, warm sun with gently cooling breezes, some sitting, some playing, roof top view of sunset while inhaling spirit-filling salty breezes, the time to enjoy casual conversations with TDH and watching as The Boy discovers new things.

Thanks. I needed that.

In Case You Missed It

Okay, so I already wrote about the softball game but I wanted to throw some things out there that would help illustrate why we (and the rest of the league) are as excited as we are:

- They have no women on their team.
- We have five women on our team - all play.
- All of their players are in their 20's.
- 2 of our players our in their 20's - one of them is a woman.
- 2 of our players are in their teens (women) and the rest are in their upper 30's, 40's and 50's.
- Our oldest player is 58. His wife is of similar age. Both play.
- The team we beat was 6-0.
- The team we beat had outscored their opponents 91-22. 91 to 22!
- We also had outscored our opponents 56-45.
- At one point we were losing 17-1.
- We won 19-18.

Okay, I'm done now. Really.

Thank you for your time.

Now if you will excuse me I am working on how to fit this game into a sermon AND how to make it so that it takes the majority of my sermon. It's outdoor worship so I think I can get away with it, right?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ancient Riddle

Question: How do you know you're getting old?

Answer: When you're walking down the hallway and wondering what is rattling in your pocket and suddenly realize... IT'S THE CREAKING OF YOUR KNEES!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sometimes You're the Louisville Slugger Baby

It's softball season again.

Our church is in a Church League, Division 2. There are no official rules as to who should play in this league/this division but to me the unwritten rule is you should at least have one woman on the field and in your lineup and you should have some folks older than 30. It used to be that not all teams had a woman on the field but we always have. Now almost every team we play has women on the team and everyone has players over 30... even over 40 and 50.

All except one team.

Now admittedly I have my own competitive issues. I often struggle keeping my mouth shut especially when I believe a 'not playing fair' crime has been committed.

My goal this season has been to keep my mouth shut and have fun. Tonight, we knew, was going to be my biggest challenge. We played a team of guys ALL under 30, ALL with tatoos and piercings and almost all with a bad attitude. The rules are you are supposed to go to church to play on a church league team. Yeah right. As my one parishioner puts it, "They must have an amazing prison outreach program."

It's not that you cannot be a Christian and have tatoos and piercings but if all of these guys are going to church then I want to know what that church is doing to bring them in because they are doing some AMAZING ministry. I'm sorry, there is just no way.

So there we were tonight with five women in our line up - 2 in high school, one over 50, and two of us over 30. Except for the two high school students we are all over 30 and we have a few guys over 50. Everyone plays and everyone takes their turn sitting. It is one of the things that makes our manager - who happens to be TDH - truly great. He NEVER loses sight of why we are out there - to play and have fun.

The game started badly. We played good defense but with hit after hit from the young gun team we were quickly down 15-1, then 17-1. Finally in the 3rd inning we broke through and scored 4 runs. It was a victory of sorts as we were just trying to not get 15 run ruled (after 5 innings if the other team is ahead by 15 runs or more the game is over).

Then in the 5th inning their team had a melt down. Their pitcher kept walking us and as their fans and other players were getting frustrated and yelling at him they lost focus and so when we would put the ball in play they would have an error. Slowly but surely we started bringing runs across the plate!

By the end of the inning we were up 19-17. Unreal! That was the good news. The bad news was we still had two innings to go.

By now the fans from St. Cussing-You-Out were on us as well calling us cheaters (?) and telling us that their team wasn't going to walk but instead would hit the ball down our throats (did I mention a lot of us bring our kids to the game? Did I mention it is Church League softball, division 2?).

In the meantime I am so proud to say that our team took the high road. We never said a word - even ME! We ran on the field, we ran off the field, we congratulated them on a play well made and we walked away from all potential confrontations.

This earthly kingdom can be a cruel world and in fact, it is not always fair but on this night the karma smiled upon the team that took the high road and those boys only scored 1 more run in the last two innings.

Final Score: 19-18

I half expected to see it on Sportscenter tonight. That's how excited we are!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Preach It!

I grew up at a Big Steeple church and I was there from the beginning - my parents were married there, I was baptized there, went to nursery school there, participated in every VBS and Music Camp they ever had there, and was active in all of the youth programs including being the president of the youth group my senior year.

One of the traditions of Big Steeple Church's Youth Group was that on Youth Sunday the seniors preached a sermon. My entire time there no matter how many seniors were active in the youth group, they all were asked if they wanted to preach. Now some passed on the opportunity but everyone was asked. Always.

I was really excited about my sermon (as you can imagine) and having no knowledge of homiletics or the right way to go about it, I would work on it as best I could waiting for some instruction or ideas to be passed my way by the Youth Director or anyone... but I never heard anything.

Finally, after youth group one night I asked our Youth Director who I should start working with on my sermon for Youth Sunday. She was surrounded by a few other of the adult advisors and suddenly they all looked very uncomfortable and she eventually spit out that they had decided that I shouldn't give a sermon.

I remember tears burning my eyes and the lump in my throat as I asked why and although I don't remember her exact words the response was that 'they' had decided considering my personality that it just wasn't a good idea. The gist of it being that I couldn't be trusted with such an important task.

It's not that I was a bad kid, but I did tend to joke around a little too much and whipped around the church with the energy and open mouth of someone who was comfortable where they were. I LOVED church. It is where I felt loved unconditionally and so I often acted as if there was no judgment. Apparantly there was, and this was it.

My friends, crushed is not even the word. I preach just about every Sunday now and I can still feel in the pit of my stomach how that one lost sermon made me feel.

As luck/fate/coincidence would have it when I was in seminary about 10 years later I walked out the doors of the main building and there was my former youth director, now ordained herself and well established in her own ministry. She was on campus for a continuing education event. We greeted one another and sat on the steps and talked for a bit.

Finally, I couldn't resist any longer, and said, "Kind of ironic I just came out of preaching class isn't it?"
To her credit she said, "I'm so sorry. That was one of the dumbest decisions I ever made."

Now I have forgiven her and in her absolute defense she was in her young 20's and we have all made those kinds of inexperienced mistakes. But as you can tell, I haven't forgotten.

This past Sunday at our church I listened as for the second year in a row a senior gave the sermon. This is a tradition I have started. I take them out to a dinner of their choice in January/February and then work with them on their sermon and listen and sweat it out with them on Youth Sunday as they proclaim the Message.

Now there are no seniors next year but the year after that there will be two. One of them stopped me on Sunday afternoon. She is funny and high-spirited and sometimes gets herself into relatively small amounts of trouble due to actions or words that were not as thoroughly thought out as they should have been. But she has never missed a mission trip and she asks challenging questions about our faith and she has the kind of energy that as adults we often wish we have. She said, "I'll bet there is no way you will put me in the pulpit."

To which I firmly responded, "There is no way I won't."

Monday, June 04, 2007

Car Crash

You asked for them and here they are; pictures of the car bed complete with one little boy who was just so, so tired after a long morning and afternoon at the zoo. Can you find him in this picture?

My favorite zoo moment had to be when we were looking in on the tortoises and I had just finished a brilliant speech on how they may look like big rocks, but they are in fact called 'turtles'.
"Turtles," he dutifully replied and then one of them started to move away and he yelled, "Bye bye rock!"

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ode to the Car Bed

Friends of ours gave us their son's car bed and we set it up for The Boy last night while he was at his grandparents'. I even sprung for sheets from the movie Cars - a movie he has never seen, but the boy LOVES cars. Today was his first time seeing it and sleeping in it.

Well, eventually he slept in it but first we had over two hours of an improvised diddy that I think is entitled: Big Car! I will never forget lyrics that included: "Bed... big car... BIG car... Big CAR!!! Tinkle, tinkle (his version of twinkle, twinkle) - awsome... yeah! [The Boy]'s car big. BIG CAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR!"

Tomorrow we go to the zoo. That's quite a couple of days for a little boy!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Still Binge-ing

Sorry this week got ahead of me, but I would like to thank the programmer who put 'The 40 Most Softastick Soft Rock Hits ever' on VH1 during my lunch yesterday. Pure brain drivel - I LOVED it.

And thank YOU Chicago, the Pina Colada song guy, Air Supply, Barry and Christopher Cross. Thank you.