Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Officially Official!

I had my interview and I am an OH-FISH-AL member of the Small Town Volunteer Fire Department.

I've got my pager.

I've been issued my Turn-out Gear.

I've got the Codes to the kingdom.

And I've been deemed "moral enough" to know which button dispenses the beer on the pop machine.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Musings: Satisfied

I'm truly enjoying this appointment so far. The honeymoon's over, but these folks are not malicious or hurtful in their dealings with me or each other.

We had a Church Conference yesterday after worship for the purpose of replacing the 55-year old boilers with newer, more efficient models. The folks were wonderful! There was lots of discussion about the higher utility bills since the Community DayCare moved in a year ago, but even the people who are still not happy about the DC were quite composed and pleasant about it.

Bottom line: We're getting two new furnaces. That was a no-brainer. But it also opened up a discussion about stewardship and finances. And here's where the Spirit is working.

A good friend just retired after 42 years of ministry. He and his wonderful wife moved into the community the same time we did. Church-Around-the-Corner is his home church, the church where he grew up. He's a proven visionary and stewardship expert. Last week he offered to do a Stewardship Campaign for CATC with no previous knowledge of the Boiler Project. He and his wife were in church yesterday and they stayed for the Church Conference. We high-fived after it was over and I am going to take him up on his offer. Since we've been friends for years, we know we can work together!

These folks ARE ready to grow. I'm the thing holding them back because I'm so new here. But the iron is hot and minds are open ... let's go for it!

On another note - we had 35 women turn out for the opening night for our Women's Bible Study. I was expecting about 10! Boy, was I surprised!

Folks have been remarking on the change of atmosphere: More positive, more joyful, more gracious.

Thank you, Lord!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

OK, So He Got More of My Genes

Yes, this is our Son.
Yes, that is a carp skeleton hanging on the sign.
This picture is supposed to be in a promotional governmental brochure
for our state.
It is entitled "Dedicated Biologist."
I call it "Gene Pool."

Home Again, Home Again Jiggety Jig

We're home from the beach!

It was a wonderful vacation ... lots of reading, eating and sleeping (yep, that's the order!)!

It was good to be together as family again. As much as I love being alone with Hubby, it is good to have children around - no matter how old they are.

Grandbabyboy had gotten a new CD for the vaca: The Bare Naked Ladies' children's album (Yes, you read that right!) Snacktime. I have earworms from those songs ... Pollywog in a Bog; Here Come the Geese; and the New Alphabet Song. He listened to it over and over and over and over and over ...

I met up with revanne! She was a very gracious hostess and took me on a walking tour of her little coastal town. Her church is very old and the cemetery beside it is incredible! We had lunch at a little local bistro and spent a very enjoyable several hours! Thanks Anne!

The trip home was uneventful until the last 100 miles, which took us three hours to travel thanks to the remnants of Hurrican Ike. We dodged downed trees and wires due to wind gusts of 70 mph. But God is good and we made it home.

Life is good.

Monday, September 8, 2008

We're here!

After spending Saturday night at Son's and DIL, we arrived yesterday at The Beach to find D1, SIL and (almost grown-up) Grandbabyboy already here.  Our New England Yankees had to pack and leave in the dark because of a power outage from Hanna.

Hubby and I haven't seen GBB in about six months.  Since he's around adults most of the day, he's 2.11 years going on 21.  He speaks like an adult, but acts like a typical three-year-old.  His mama was a strong-willed child, too.  Snerk.  It comes around.

The folks on the other side of the duplex have a little girl around the same age.  She's a real cutie and GBB just loves her.

The fam are all down cavorting in the waves and I'm enjoying a cuppa in silence, thanking God for family time, traveling mercies, a good night's sleep, english muffins, SIL's strong, hot coffee, free WiFi and D2's new Apple Computer.

Life is good!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Southern Bound

Hubby, D2 and I are leaving tomorrow for the Southern State where people cheer on the Blue Devils, Demon Deacons, Wolfpack and (cough) Tarheels and where you can eat ANYTHING on a biscuit.

D1, Son-in-Love and Grandbabyboy will be flying in from New England State.

I've got paints and crayons and stickers and Goldfish and everything needed for an almost-three-year-old!

And, I'm hoping for a RGPB meet-up with Revanne!

Beach, here we come!

Vunerability Friday Five

I haven't done a Friday Five in quite a while. And since I'm looking for a reason in procrastinating in packing for vacation, I'll bite.

Sally (Eternal Echoes) writes: I have recently been reading a book entitled Jesus wept, it is all about vulnerability in leadership. The authors speak of how Jesus shared his earthly frustrations and vulnerabilities with a select group of people. To some he was the charismatic leader and teacher, to others words of wisdom were opened and explained and some frustrations shared, to his "inner circle of friends: Peter, James and John, he was most fully himself, and in all of these things he was open to God.So I bring you this weeks Friday 5:

1. Is vulnerability something that comes easily to you, or are you a private person? Because of my dyfunctional familial upbringing, I learned to keep secrets early. Because I was never allowed to show "negative" emotions (anger, sadness, grief, frustration, anxiety, etc.) I learned to keep stuff bottled up inside.When I was given permission, however, to 'feel' by my therapist, the floodgates opened up; and for a while, I was mess as I struggled to process it. I learned that it's OK to allow yourself to be vulnerable because there is grace and you can be free to be yourself.

2.How important is it to keep up a professional persona in work/ ministry? I feel it is important to maintain professionality (is that a word?), but I also believe in the importance to be "real." I haven't a problem in incorporating a bit of fun, lightheartedness and joy into being a professional clergywoman. Life is too short to take yourself so seriously.

3. Masks, a form of self protection discuss... One of the causes of my depression was the issue of personal self and public self. Because of my ACOA upbringing, what you saw is not what you got. My earliest (and longest running) therapy sessions dealt with integrating the two. As a result, I am a whole healthier and happier!

4. Who knows you warts and all? A loving, caring God.

5. Share a book, a prayer, a piece of music, a poem or a person that touches the deep place in your soul, and calls you to be who you are most authentically.

1You have looked deep into my heart, LORD, and you know all about me.
2You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven
you discover my thoughts.
3You notice everything I do and everywhere I go.
4Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say,
5and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side.
6I can't understand all of this! Such wonderful knowledge is far above me.

7Where could I go to escape from your Spirit or from your sight?
8If I were to climb up to the highest heavens, you would be there.
If I were to dig down to the world of the dead you would also be there.
9Suppose I had wings like the dawning day and flew across the ocean.
10Even then your powerful arm would guide and protect me.
11Or suppose I said, "I'll hide in the dark until night comes to cover me over."
12But you see in the dark because daylight and dark are all the same to you.

13You are the one who put me together inside my mother's body,
14and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me.
Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt.
15Nothing about me is hidden from you!
I was secretly woven together deep in the earth below,
16but with your own eyes you saw my body being formed.
Even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.

17Your thoughts are far beyond my understanding, much more than I
could ever imagine.
18I try to count your thoughts, but they outnumber the grains of sand on the
And when I awake, I will find you nearby.

Psalm 139:1-18

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Life in a Small Town

So, D2 and I decided to eat out at a famous restaurant chain after Hubby left to go dove huntin' and we dropped off Son and DIL's cat at the prearranged rendeavous point.

FRC is about 12 miles from Small Town. It's an over-the-river and through-the-woods trip.

We filled up on Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip, Chicken Alfredo Penne, Jack Mac and Cheese with Chicken and two little bitty sundaes. Mmmmmm.

On the way back home, we saw a doe eating supper under someone's clothesline. Ahhhhhh. Never get tired of seeing that. Not far beyond however, we saw two guy dressed in camoflage on a camo-painted four-wheeler. The guy in the back was holding on to a regular old lawn mower. They were mowing a field.

D2 looked at me. I looked at her. We both burst out, "How 'bout that Riding Lawn Mower?" We drove home in silence, but every so often a snort and a giggle came out.

Ah, life near a small town in rural NE state.