Monday, May 23, 2011

installed and fully operational.

Yesterday I was officially installed :) 

What a joy it was to worship, fellowship and celebrate with friends and family who have seen me through different times of my life.  I loved when my friend/colleague who preached talked about me being escorted to the font, pulpit and table...and also being called to bleachers, sleeping bags and retreats.  It's so of the things I love about this call is the part where I am called beyond the church building, into the school for concerts and shows, sporting events and grading senior projects.  What a blessing it is to be involved in the lives of the youth within the congregation and community. 
I was glad to be able to share this weekend with my family...from the food, to the laughter...and even the was great to all be in the same house for a weekend. 

I am not sure what the scale will look like next week, as this weekend, I have eaten like a champ. 
Today I had beef at breakfast, lunch & dinner.  I think I could go meatless for the rest of the week. 

The scale yesterday was 163.  Same as last week, which I was happy about.  I figured after two weeks of a new exercise and eating plan I was ready to plateau...(secretly happy the numbers didn't go up!) 

Until next time . . .

Sunday, May 15, 2011

beware the ides of may . . .

This day was insanely long. 

Worship, Sunday School, Worship, lunch with young adult group, Godspell practice, new member class, confirmation, dinner with 8th grade confirmands & their parents, and chaperone meeting for the pocono retreat.  (phew)

This is what stuck out for me today.  We have small groups for confirmation...and this one group only had one person in class today.  And I thought about some of the sparse attendance we've had in worship post Easter Sunday and how we are the Body of Christ.  How our interaction with others, our participation in worship and at other events can make or break it for someone's not about us...feeling drawn into worship, or into attending Bible study or confirmation....but it's about God calling us together for the sake of others around us. 

I kept thinking about that one boy in the group.  Wondering how he felt that no one else from his group was there.  It's not that we're required to be at things...and all those boys who missed tonight will have to make up the homework (big deal) because the homework doesn't build and maintain relationships. 

I guess I just realized how the whole body hurts or is incomplete when others aren't there. 

I don't have any great insight...or answer as to how to help others see this...I guess to just continue building relationships with those who are there. 

Because the other interesting sight was a girl who hasn't been at a confirmation class since I've been here....that's 4 months.  She walked in tonight...and I was like, who's that?!?  And I think to myself, her group has missed out on some awesome time together.  Because it's all about building relationship in Christ and how that is foundational for whatever else we face in life. 

In other news...this super long day has yet again affirmed my vocation... I truly love working with and growing in faith with young people.  They are amazing. 

Until tomorrow . . .

Oh, the scale this morning: 163.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

an early-ish post.

Lately I've been posting at the end of the's part of my end of the day wind-down.  With this beautiful spring weather we've been having, I've been enjoying my evening free time (post-office time/pre-meeting time) on the porch swing with my book. 

Today, however, I took a better part of this 'free time' to make a tasty dinner.
I call it 'everything but the kitchen sink' salad:

See if you can spot the lettuce, green pepper, tomato, carrot, homemade croutons, hummus seasoned with zatar, baked sweet potato, chipotle bbq grilled chicken.. 

So delicious.  Especially when consumed in the sun on the back porch. 

All this prep also allowed me to prep lunch for tomorrow and there was time to clean up the kitchen. 
So after the's nothing but me and the book....and some rest. 

I can also say that I've been getting up early each day (well, at least earlier than I used to) for a ride or a run.  I think starting the day off with that helps me think and eat a bit healthier each day.  Now, that being said, I did have 1/2 a smoked salmon BLT for lunch today.  The other thing that helps the healthy-ish/er eating is writing down everything I eat each day.   We'll see how that impacts the rest of the month. 

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

my time on the road to emmaus.

Sometimes ministry means just being present to listen. 
As I walked with a woman today, she had a lot on her mind...and was able to just let it all out. 
I said, as your pastor, how can I help?  She said, this...a walk and a listen every now and again. 
The caregiver in me wants to be able to offer super, fantastic advice that will make all the difference in the world...but I don't have all the answers...nor does she expect them of me.  Just someone to listen to her and walk with her, to give her some space and a listening ear. 

In a later part of our conversation, as we were talking about small group Bible study, she said, the group that meets, doesn't need to be totally structured around a specific lesson. We are there to nurture and support one another and listen to and pray for one another....that's when Christ is revealed to others.  
(Preach it, sister.)  In the midst of her busy life, she is able to articulate the presence of Christ in small group ministries and gatherings....and she wants that to be a part of her life. 

I'm thankful for our walk/talk today and thankful to be here...

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, May 9, 2011


Mondays are still kickin my butt....

Just about all that I can do is recount my day with highs and lows:

3.1 mile run first thing this morning
Breakfast, lunch and dinner with people from church and colleagues.
multiple cups of coffee
great conversation at breakfast bible study
some super delicious cookies at dinner
beautiful spring day
played spud, tag, and refereed a relay race
laughed many times
renewed a library book and returned one on the due date
encouraging emails from congregational folks

left the house at 8:15am and got home at 9pm
the way the day was broken up, productivity level felt low
a bit worried about upcoming retreat as we get closer....and work out last minute kinks
wanting to crash at the end of the day, but also wanting some me time....

I guess it was a good day, since their are more highs than lows....just a long day. 

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Worship was wonderful today. 
We welcomed a precious baby girl into the God's family through baptism.  :)
We gave thanks for all the women who have nurtured our faith and our lives. 

And we were reminded that God comes to us, exactly where we are.  On the road to where ever Emmaus is in our day to day lives...that is where God meets us. 

I was thinking, because Mother's Day means no after church activities, I would have an afternoon of nothing...and by nothing I already had a list of things to do: 

re-arrange exercise room
make chili for Monday night's dinner
take out trash
marinate and freeze chicken for dinners later in the week
tidy up living room
paint toenails :)
watch arrested development :)
read on the porch swing :)
bike to the local ice cream shop :) 

As you can see, at least the list had a good mix of chores and stuff just for me. 

My afternoon turned out a bit differently.

I accepted an invite to parishioners for an early dinner. 
So, immediately after church I looked at the list to conquer the must dos - trash, chicken, chili.
Followed by reading on the porch swing for a while before heading out at 3pm.

I knew I was in for a good afternoon...I wasn't certain which house was theirs, but the daughter (6th grader) offered to jump up and down in the front yard.  She wasn't far off....she was in the yard with a sign pointing to the house :)

We then headed to their family's farm...and walked around acres of farmland and woods...saw a crayfish in the spring and held a young chicken.  We left the farm with freshly picked asparagus :) and headed home to make ice cream in the new ice cream maker.  It's like hamster wheel...except you put the ice cream ingredients in the canister in the ball, surround it with ice...and then roll it for 15 mins... or in our case 30 mins.... and then scrape it out and put the soft serve in the freezer. 

Burgers on the grill, fresh asparagus, chips, dip, salad and a nice cold yuengling.  Wonderful conversation and homemade chocolate chip ice cream at the end.  It is amazing how with some people you are family.  While a quiet afternoon is what I thought I was in the mood for...I completely enjoyed and was refreshed and rejuvenated by my afternoon with this family. 

I got home and was sitting on the porch with a book when another person showed up to see if I wanted to go for a was probably good to get out and walk off one of the 2 burgers . . .
It was a brisk walk with good conversation and another reminder the love and support God continues to give me through the people that surround me in this community. 

Jesus met me today, in the breaking of the bread, in walking around a farm, in spending time with a truly down to earth family, in the walk with a friend, and in the time I had to myself in the midst of all that. 

I'm now ready for a cup of tea and another chapter of my book.

Until tomorrow . . .

Oh, and today was a scale day: 165

Saturday, May 7, 2011

a nice day for a wedding

An interesting day . . .

Presided at a wedding today, a young couple.  It was a challenging moment to see them dance at the reception to the song I danced with my ex-husband at during our reception.  Just brings up a many memories...both good and bad.  The song brought both sad feelings and feelings of new beginnings.  During that moment I prayed for the newly married couple...that as their life moves forward together they feel God's presence within their marriage and know that their family is there to love and support them. 

The presence of the resurrected Christ was in the birds singing during my ride this morning, in the joining of two families and the celebration that followed, in the return of a colleague from a week long conference.  I also felt the support and love from a colleague who provided music for the wedding, reminding me to take care of me, not to become overwhelmed, not to be sucked in to too many things, to continue to be the breath of fresh air that I have been thus far.  Similar love and support to what I felt last night at dinner.

I truly enjoyed dinner of salmon, oven roasted asparagus and couscous this evening...a nice quiet afternoon....a mini-Sabbath....time for me to breathe, clean, relax, and be me. 

Until tomorrow . . .

Friday, May 6, 2011

lovin the hood.

Saw the presence of the living Christ in my neighbors today...
I'm truly thankful that I was sitting on the porch swing they asked if I had had supper yet.  No, I replied...what's for supper?  Turkey burgers, cucumber salad and corn on the cob.   (sold)

What a wonderful meal it was with great fellowship. Some talk was churchy, they are members of my church, but more so it was building relationships and strengthening community. 

I was thankful that the asparagus I bought this morning was ready to go in the oven for a quick roast before was a welcomed side dish. 

This afternoon I spent some time weeding. 

I trimmed off all the dead branches on the lavender in the front yard. I also trimmed a whole bunch of dead stuff off other plants on the side of the house...Marley liked whatever I trimmed, because she was liking my pant leg when I came in.  (weird) 

I hesitated to trim these:

Especially after I saw this:

But apparently that's as big as the berries will's a weed.  Pooey. 

These, however, not weeds:
And they smell springy.  They remind me of spring when I was a kid.  There are some on my mantle, just welcoming the spring scent inside. 

I'm thankful for the beauty of the green plants in spring, for hospitality, for neighbors and family. 

A good day. 

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Sometimes I forget the amazing assurance you can feel in a hug. 

At an evening meeting tonight I had the opportunity to share an embrace with a colleague who has had a rough few weeks.  I sent this person just a short email this week to check in and to thank him for sharing what he was going through.  When I saw him tonight he said, can I give you a hug?  Sure, I said.  There was thanks and appreciation and mutual support as we knew that what ever we were/would be facing we would not be alone.  (blessed)

At the close of the evening, I met up with a colleague with whom I have recently reconnected. 
The first time I saw her a few months ago, she gave me this incredibly holy hug.  So tonight after we made plans to get together soon, we hugged again...and I was tearing up as I told her how holy her last hug was.  I sensed welcome, comfort, joy all in one embrace.  (blessed, again)

I'm so thankful for friends and colleagues both old and new.  The understanding that we share in life and in ministry.  And the presence of the risen Lord we are able to see in one another...what a blessing.

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

may the fourth be with you

Okay, trying to blog while following this hashtag  - #replaceawordinastarwarslinewithpants

Some of my faves:

I find your lack of pants disturbing.
I feel a great disturbance in the pants.
Get this walking carpet out of my pants.
I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to pants you!
Search your pants, you know it to be true. 
Pray that I don't alter the pants any further...

That's probably enough. 

It's been a long day...a few of us took a breather and went out to lunch. 
This evening's meeting was's challenge when one person is upset, and while others try to console...that consolation is not received....even more so it's frustrating when the upset person doesn't seem to completely share what is at the root of that anger. 

Oh well...the rest of us breathed deeply, shared some new ideas....and are gearing up for next year.  I hope that the grumbly person is able to breathe and take whatever space is needed for healing.  I pray, too, that whatever is below the surface comes to the top soon...because it seems like a really heavy weight to be carrying around. 

There was hope and new life in laughter throughout many conversations today.
The promise of the resurrection was seen through caring conversations and prayers for one another. 
In the midst of the awkwardness, the risen Christ was in our midst....guiding our hearts, minds and voices....bringing us all together this evening.

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

voices and instruments

The presence of the Risen Christ today was seen and heard in many places:

in the squeaking of a few clarinets
in the smiley faces of 4th & 5th grade chorus members
in the proud faces of parents & grandparents

in the true joy that exuded from the music teacher as she conducted the band, the show choir and the chorus.

in the joy that came from hearing colleagues laugh watching different muppet clips on you tube (for work, really!)

As the 4th & 5th grade chorus sang the song, Children of the World...
"Children of the world, find a way to believe.
Children of the world, learn to give and recieve.
They may live with war,
They may live with peace,
yet they somehow know love does not cease"

As the chorus continued the song with several more verses...tears came to my eyes.  For these few moments and minutes...these children were united in song, lifting their voices together singing words that ring true to our world right here and now.
 What hope that gives me...and what a reminder about how important music is to not just our young people, but our community as well.  It gives us an opportunity to hear about and see things that are bigger than just us.  Yes there are opportunities for solos and special singled out moments, but in the case of chorus and band...there is the important piece of performing as a whole group.  Thinking about how you support others and how they support you.

We are all connected. 
For better or for worse.
How can what we do in our individual lives be in the best interest of our neighbor, our friend or our enemy?

Ruminating on that one for a bit . . .

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, May 2, 2011

almost at a loss for words...

So thankful I had the chance to go for a run this morning, because I had a long day ahead of me and needed some time and space because I had a lot on my mind.  

Still breathing, praying and reacting to the global events of the past 24 hours...

I wish I had some deep insight...because I struggle with the jubilation that surrounds the death of someone.  I know that Bin Laden's actions and activities caused harm and death and loss and grief for so many people...that is what needed to come to an end, not his life.  I can't celebrate the death of anyone.

I was talking about this with the 5th & 6th graders in our after school program.  Some were happy because they knew he was a bad man...and knew of all the people who died on 9-11.  Others just thought is was sad that more people had to die.  It was moving to see the range of responses from this group of young people...and all while we were making paper beads.  

I think at this point I'm just sad.  Sad that many ways human beings react to violence and being hurt is to turn around and hurt others.  It sad to see in our communities in the case of abuse in a home or in our towns and nation...but when it begins to span the globe it becomes down right scary.  Because it seems to me that as the playing field gets bigger and bigger more and more people enter in...some level headed and others not...not a good thing.

And here we the beginning of the Easter season.  Meeting up with Jesus as he made those first appearances to Mary and the disciples...a week ago, heck, even yesterday, I felt the reminder and the promise of new life, of a fresh start as we remembered/remember God's victory over death.  And now it feels as if there is much rejoicing over death.

At this time, I'm truly thankful for my faith community. While we will have different opinions and different reactions...I continue to pray that our words, responses and actions will stem from our call to live our lives as God calls us to.  That in the midst of a world in pain....the light of Christ will continue to shine through the darkness to illuminate the world.  I am thankful for the moments of laughter and joy, of fellowship and prayer today that I shared with many different people of all ages.

Until tomorrow  . . .

Sunday, May 1, 2011

a new adventure

So, it's a new month.
It's also the end of a long day.

But let me say this. I've been thinking a lot about what focus for the next 30 days will be. A few things have been on my mind lately. Firstly, I've been pretty excited about my newly rediscovered active lifestyle. This past 30daysofbiking has taken me to a whole new level of riding and general fitness. I definitely don't want to lose that. I've been thinking a lot about what I put into my body lately, but haven't really done much other than think about it. So sure, I think about eating healthy, but I may not always follow through with the best options. Nor have I really held myself to a healthier style of eating. And truth be told, as michael franti sings, there's a little bit of extra...right around the waist. Granted in that same song, he says you're perfect just the way you are. :)

So while I'm not looking for an insane figure change, I think if I really put more than just thought into what I was eating that I may see some changes.

I bought a scale yesterday. Got on it this morning...was neither shocked nor dismayed, but encouraged that there is room for the numbers to change. (Weigh ins will occur weekly)

Today I started logging everything I ate. I'm going to do that for the rest of the month to look for patterns, habits and to really see what I eat on a daily basis.

This month won't just be about numbers, or lists of food, because I've been living in the promise of the resurrection and the new life God has given each and everyone of us.
So for these next 30 days, I'll also be actively making decisions and choices with the hopes to make ones that are walking in the light of the risen Lord. I'll keep you posted, as well, when my sinner self overpowers the saint :)

I'm thankful today that I had the opportunity to ride during the brief break between the pot-luck and fundocy. It was good for me to get out and ride, to clear my head and stretch my legs.
I tried not to indulge in too many pineapple dishes at the potluck, but they were all so tasty.

I think this month will be challenging because I'm not specifically doing one thing every day, but more so looking at or looking for ways to live life fully as the woman God has created me and calls me to be.

Thanks for joining me.

Until the next post...

Oh, for you number folks: 167 lbs.