Wednesday, October 25, 2006


A former teacher commented to me the other day about the status of a friendship of mine: I worried about you because he was pretty needy, emotionally, of you.

I didn't want to put it in those terms, but she hit the nail on the head. The friendship in question has changed and morphed over the years (close to 17, yikes) and I'd been wondering about the sense of dread that I felt during recent communication. While I hadn't expressed anything to her other than "we've been in touch again," she responded with the sort of insight that I had forgotten I appreciated about her. Needy.

Her assessment came earlier this week and the week so far has been a bear. One of those weeks when I constantly feel that big things are slipping past me and little things are sharp rocks beneath bare feet. I sat upright last night, filled with panice over two pretty significant things that I'd forgotten or neglected. Both can/could be remedied pretty easily this morning, but even as I calmed myself with deep breaths I wondered why my life felt that it was spinning out of control and all I can do is watch.

We have a generous assistance fund that I'm currently administering. Not a day goes by without an inquiry; some valid and some not. Often people call, often the come by. I have very mixed feelings about all of it -- some days I'm humbled by someone's situation and other days I'm outraged -- either at the injustice or the manipulation that I feel. This morning has been a morning full of people with needs, people who are needy. After not even three hours in the office, I am weary.

The unwashed coffee cups on my desk had grown mold and I finally carried them into the kitchen to wash, the hot water and bubbles from the soap cleaning the grime and stains away. Outside the window bright and vibrant leaves are falling from the trees, scattering across parking lots and yards. I stood there with my hands in the water wondering what would help lift me out of this place I find myself. What do I need, I wondered. Making the connections about all those around me who need something from me -- from the basic needs of my toddler child to the complex needs of poverty and assistance -- and my own reluctance to be needy, let alone my apparent inability to even identify my needs, brought a moment of clarity.

How do I ask for help, express my needs, garner support and use it, without being needy, feeling needy?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


For awhile I was reading blogs that said, "I don't have much to say. What should I say?" And I thought, huh, other folks out there are having a block, too. It's not just me. I chalked it up to exhaustion, to busyness, to pre-occupation with other things -- call process, child, looking for a house, life. I credited it to preaching more often and sinking into the office.

But I realized that there were other things not getting done, too. I'd get to the office and think, "Oh -- I have to call... and I have to do..." and the next thing I knew it was time to go home and none of those things had gotten done. I couldn't say what had, only what had not.

Now I read books and blogs and newsletters full of fabulousness from others and I hope that it will inspire me to do instead of not. I'm writing this, which is a start, but the stress-pain is back in my shoulder, even after a massage, and the piles around me grow and the books that were helping are back on the shelf. So I'm about to shut the door and do, instead of not.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday Five

Per the Friday Five at the RevGals, it's a word association game/meme. Below you will find five words. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem or a story.

I'll admit that I've cheated a bit because I read through this before my day really started, but I'm just now responding. Which is not to say that I've been thinking about it a lot, only that these aren't necessarily first-glance responses.

Lots of colors. A quilt. My life right now.

Something that can be cracked. Faith for some people. An important part of a house. Something that doesn't always show. Giggling as a child when I realized what the semi-annual foundation sale at the local department store really was.

Storms. Love. Electricity. Movement. Dancing across the sky and occasionally reaching down. Best viewed from afar; brilliant when up close.

Foxes. A nice addition in a three-bedroom house. Cozy. An alternative to a library. Cigars and deep leather. The piling of covers on a bed or in a crib.

Owls and mice.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Snow, Vacation

It always makes me notice and wonder when there are two seemingly different weather patterns at one time. It's currently snowing and at least through some of our windows the sun is shining brightly. Did you notice I said it was snowing? That's right.

I feel the same way about those summer days when the rain starts or stops and the sun breaks through to create lovely shadows and shimmers.

We're leaving for a few days of vacation today, and I'm giddy with excitement. We're going with friends and having little adventures. Last night, post Stressful Meeting, we were home, giggling, saying, "We're on vacation. Vacation." You'd think we'd never been on vacation. I guess it just feels that way.

Hopes for vacation? Sleep. Good food. Lots of laughter. More food. Lounging about. Playing games. Wine. Chocolate. Beer. Less snow. We'll see. Prospects look good.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Go in peace

They never figured out what was wrong, and I'm not sure what they finally recorded as cause of death -- there were many things that could have filled that space. At this point it doesn't really matter because tomorrow the faithful will gather to lay her to rest, to celebrate her life and to comfort one another in their grief and in their sorrow. We'll sing hymns and hear scripture and I will take many deep breaths to hold myself together.

I know it's not right to play favorites, and yet clearly this dear one was a favorite of many. She loved her children and grandchildren with fierceness. She did for others without ceasing. She held onto life, and was gracious to death. She laughed, throwing her head back and held onto your hand with a gentleness that made you feel special. She missed her husband and spoke of him fondly in a way that made me wish I had known him, and that I'd known them together. For two years I have loved her and tomorrow I will bury her. We will all take deep breaths, and when our prayers fail to be uttered, the Spirit will interceded with sighs too deep for words; when our memories fill our throats in a lump and the laughter can't chase the tears away and when it shouldn't, the tears will fall and the shoulders will shake and the family will cling to one another moving as one.

And we will commend her to the Lord, who has known her from the beginning and who rejoiced to welcome her at the end. Go in peace, dear one, go in peace.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


These are a few of my favorites:

Bop (the sound the "baffles" make coming out of the toaster)
No-no (in a pitch to match mine)

When I walked out of his room at daycare this morning and waved to him, he waved back and then blew me a kiss, complete wtih sound, "Mwwwwwah!!"

Puts the inefficient and confidence-blowing meeting that I attended last night into a bit of perspective.