Thursday, May 29, 2008

Home Decor

In our new parsonage, we will have three bedrooms - the master bedroom belonging to Hubby and I and two guestrooms.

The one guestroom is downstairs. It's already painted blue. I've decided to use a painting done for me by one of my present parishoners (He's colorblind but the painting is of mountains and pine trees). I've got a lot of Boyd Bears, so it's going to be the "Woodsy Room." More masculine.

The other room is upstairs, done in black and white holstein cows. I still have the four poster canopy bed of my childhood (with matching dressers). It's white and in need of some touch-up work (You'd be too if you were almost 50 years old!). I was thinking country feminine:

Like this:

And this:

I could so easily make a pink quilt and canopy with a John Deere theme! What do you think?


I spent yesterday with the pastor I'm going to replace. He's a delightful man, so caring and humorous. He tells wonderful stories and he is trying to make the transition as smooth as possible for me.

We met for breakfast and then he took me around to the shut-ins and nursing homebound. Everywhere we went he introduced me as, "This is your new pastor." And everywhere we went, tears were shed and prayers were offered by the two of us.

He also introduced me to the folks we will need to know to make our life in Small Town easier: The mechanic, the postmistress, the waitress at Frosty J's, the Nursing Home Administrator and Chaplain. The Chaplain Hubby and I already know - because these appointments are not that far from where we spent our first appointments out of seminary - 13 years worth. It was good to see him again and to renew our friendship.

In many ways, this appointment feels like "coming home." I know the area well. I know the social games. I know what's important to these Small Town persons. I even know two of my shut-ins well; I've known them since I was a young woman in my 20s. They, however, do not remember me because they are in their 90s and their memories have faded away. But, the personalities I remember of them are still intact.

I am grateful to God that yesterday went well. The people I met were nothing short of gracious and affirming to me. They welcomed me with hugs and dismissed me with hugs and kisses. After being so battered around at CINS, I feel the extent of my wounds and their healing starting to take place.

It won't be all sugar and light, I know. But for now I am at peace with it all.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Should Be Packing ... But

How long could you survive in the vacuum of space?
Created by OnePlusYou -

Take THAT, Captain Picard!

Back to packing.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Just Keep Smiling

Yeah. This is what I feel like ... just keep smiling.

We had six cats in our home yesterday and today. Two were mine. One was D2's. One was Son and DIL's. The other two were being catsat by D2 until their owner could pick them up.

Ach! Such fighting and growling and hissing and meowing! I was glad to go to church for a change!

Son and DIL went through the belongings he left with us. Nostalgia! Pictures, books, trophies, awards, his blankie. They took what they could and the rest Hubby and I will take to DIL's parents' home.

My home is a mess. We're moving in less than a month.

My usual high-maintenance folks are vying for last attentions. Tomorrow, I'm packing up my church office because the new Pastor-in-Charge is moving in next week.

I'm feeling a little sad - a very little sad. I wish things could have turned out differently. But, if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I met with CINS' new pastors this afternoon. We talked for four hours. I tried to keep things positive but realistic.

It seems She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has already called the male pastor, asking him about his "expectations" of her (Um, how about changing churches?) Since he's relatively new at this pastoring thing, he asked if this was normal.

Lordy, lordy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Home Again, Home Again Jiggety Jig

Hubby and I just completed our Natual Church Development Coaches Training! After three days in a numbing, mind-blowing, too-much-information-at-one-time and too many off topic discussions, we are certifiably let loose on unsupecting congregations! Bwahahahaha!

And somehow I got signed up for our conference's Archives & History Commission ... Did I do that under the influence of my cough medicine?

How healthy is your church?

I gotta go pack.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Way I Feel Right Now


We delight in the law of your Word
We delight in the Son who was perfect from birth
We delight in the day He's returning to earth

We will bow our hearts because we are free
As we lift our hands to give you glory
Father of life and love and infinite worth
We're delivered by blood that flows from the tree
Draws near to You vessels of Your mercy
Before the invention of man, the glorious Trinity

We delight in the law of your Word
We delight in the Son who was perfect from birth
We delight in the day He's returning to earth

We will lift our eyes to the cloud and the flame
Lord, You guide our steps and restore us again
The nations of man will rejoice in the God of the wilderness

We delight in the law of your Word
We delight in the Son who was perfect from birth
We delight in the day He's returning to earth

Hallelujah, Oh Hallelujah!

- Caedmon's Call

God is SO good!

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Mothers Day to Remember

Hubby and I took this past Sunday off from our pastoral responsibilities. He coaches a 15-16 year old girls volleyball team. This past weekend was their national tournament in Big-Midwest-City-Named-for-a-Legendary-Explorer. D2 went along because her other high school BFF (besides Cheerful Friend) lives there.

We rolled into the City Saturday afternoon and met up with the rest of the team and their parents. D2 went on to Mush's house to spend the night with her and her husband.

We went out to supper with the parental units while the girls ordered pizza from the Hut next door to the hotel. We had a very nice time and arrived back at the hotel about 9:30 pm. Hubby watched the NBA play-offs and I fell asleep.

About 2:15 am there came this horrible, screeching sound! In a sleep-induced haze, Hubby kept trying to turn off the alarm clock. It suddenly dawned on me that it was the fire alarm! We jumped out of bed and ran outside. Turns out some patron of the hotel's bar thought 2 am was a lousy time to close the bar.

Back to bed. Try to sleep.

Hub, the girls and their parental supporters went on to the tourney. D2, Mush and the Chipster picked me up from the hotel and we went to church at the Vineyard Church of Big-Midwest-City-Named-For-a-Legendary-Explorer. D2 and I are country mouses (D2 is a little less than me. She, at least, can drive in the City). I couldn't swivel my head around fast enough to take it all in! Wow!

I think that's what heaven's gonna be like! It was awesome!

Mush and Chipster took us after church to a Greek restaurant. I've never had Greek food before ... had hummus, pita, gyro and a seafood bisque. To die for! Had to giggle - when the waitress lit a flaming cheese dish, everyone yelled "Opa!" When the flames got a bit too high on the stove for the chef, everyone yelled, "Opa!" And we toasted each other - the daughter of my body and the one of my heart - with mojoitos.

Yeah. And then there were the tornado warnings. I was too lickered up (after one drink) to care about anything but a nap.

We went back to Mush and Chipster's house and I took a long, long nap.

Hubby's team made the play-offs and won a bronze metal in their division. He called and Mush and D2 went to pick him up at the Convention Center. He came to the house and we ate specialty pizza - a new one for him.

We got ready to leave for home because D2 had to work and I had a funeral (see previous post). We said our goodbyes, gave lots of hugs and jumped in the car. Less than two blocks down the street, Hubby heard a thumping noise coming from the left front tire. He jumped out and looked, but didn't see anything amiss with the tire. We drove on and the sound continued. He pulled into a well-lighted gas station to fill the tank (It was 10 pm) and bent over. Sticking out of the tire was a big old bolt.

Decision-making time. I have a funeral the next morning. Top priority. We're four and a half hours from home. Space saver spare. Triple A says that there is no one open at 10:15 pm on a Sunday night to fix it.

Go back to Mush's house. I called Wonderful Secretary who called the other UM Pastor in town. He graciously volunteered to do the the funeral. Bless his heart! We talked on the phone about the sensitivity and degree of difficulty of this service and I knew I had made the right decision.

Went upstairs to the Bedroom under the Eaves and listened to the heavy wind-swept rain beating against the roof. Fell sound asleep under a down-filled comforter snuggled next to Hubby.

We woke up this morning and Mush took the Chipster to work and Hubby to the Tire Repair Shop. We were on the road about 10 am and got home around 2:30 pm.

It WAS a good day in spite of the things we couldn't control. And I am grateful to God for a wonderful weekend.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Lord, Lord 2

I have the funeral.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Oh Lord, Lord

That's about all I can sincerely moan - a heartfelt, gut-wrenching prayer.

One of our church families, who is so faithful in their church, Sunday School and Youth Group participation, had a horrible, horrible thing happen to them yesterday. The little bit of nothing they have is gone, gone, gone.

The Estranged Husband of the Daughter tried to kill her while her three children were at school, and her Widowed Mom and Awesome Brother (who has always worked two or three jobs & he's only 19!) were at work. She managed to get away and outside and call Small Town Police. Estranged Husband wouldn't leave the house, so Small Town Police Chief called in Nearby City's SWAT Team. The SWAT Team proceeded to blast 20 cannisters of tear gas into the house. There isn't a window that hasn't been broken out. There isn't a door that is on its hinges. The roof has been damaged and the inside of the house is guaranteed to be in shambles - but no one can get in until the authorities are done with it.

Did I mention this family has NOTHING. Nothing. No house insurance. Yard sale furniture. Cheap discount clothing - that's all they can afford.

The SWAT Team, after shooting in all that tear gas, sent in a robot with a camera to see what was going on. Evidently, Estranged Husband took matters into his own hands and committed suicide.

Small Town Fire Department (thank God for them!) set up fans to ventilate the house. Today they will proceed to clean up the, um, biological mess. They and the SWAT Team advised the family to hire professional cleaners to come in and rid the house of the pepper spray.

Did I mention this family has nothing? They just make ends meet by the end of the week.

Small Town Fire Department went and got some plastic to cover the windows and the doors because it started to rain. Some kind soul gave them a credit card to buy particle board to board up the windows when it's all over and the scene released. We got some volunteers lined up with ladders and tools. And someone from CINS bought them clothes and essential stuff until the Red Cross and Salvation Army can help.

Yesterday, they looked like the walking dead. I sat and cried with them, grateful they were still alive, but groaning, "Oh Lord, Lord."

Lord, hear our prayers.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fresh Air

Had my last CINS PPRC meeting tonight. There was enough negativity floating around to choke an elephant. Having been presented with "this is what you're getting, so get over it," they've decided maybe I wasn't so bad after all.

A number of people are going to boycott the Sundays when the CLP preaches. And they are NOT going to call her when they need emergency pastoral care. They're paying for a 3/4 time local pastor, darn it, and that's who'll be their pastor!!!

I took potshots and snide remarks all meeting long. Finally, when the Church Council Chair said to me, "Your husband's churches are mad at us for his leaving. Tell them we didn't run you off."

I just smiled and said, "It's true. You didn't run me off. I CHOSE to leave all this crap! I'll tell them that!" She wasn't impressed with the truth.

I feel so much better! I feel so much lighter! I feel good!