Monday, December 24, 2007

And the sun shone brightly around....

A list of lovelies...

A quiet house
Wonderful choir
Candles to light
Reports that are done
People who care
Forgiveness for those who don't
Gentleness for my soul
Thematic stockings
Anticipation for gifts
Goopy frosting on cookies
Friends, wine, laughter
A napping child
Suitcases packed
Loved ones no longer with us
Simple delights
Reading lights for the car
Paid bills
Gracious spirits
Purring kittens
Butter, real, organic
Red toenails
Tears close to the surface

Friday, December 21, 2007

Pep Talk, Part Two -- the After-Call

After not getting a call back for over a week, and cringing nearly every time the phone rang at the office, I called again this afternoon. And had teh talk. Or didn't. Because it's Christmas. Right. 

So, there are times when not only must I gear up for a phone call, I must also talk myself down after the phone call. And, since I've already wept big tears of exhaustion and release, whipped up a batch of my Gram's cookie dough to be rolled out later, and told my mom on the phone that I'd had a shi**y day (we hardly ever swear among my family of origin, so it was sweet that she responded, without a hint of disapproval in her voice "I can tell, and I'm sorry you've had a shi**y day."), I bring myself (oh, and you) the post-call, "It's really going to be OK" list: 

* I hate that part of my job is helping people twice my age grow up. It's a good thing that I'm particularly great at doing it. 

* My day consisted of several different situations that required very unique skill sets. I have them all, and excelled at most them. Oh, heck, who needs modesty. I rocked. All. Day. Long. 

* I might not be wearing Those Jeans, but I am in my mind. 

* I can't take responsibility for something you refuse to do. 

* Look at me modeling healthy behavior! Look! Look! This is healthy behavior and communication. Did you take notes? 

* Breathe in, breathe out. 

* I won't be crushed if I don't have to do your funeral. Really. 

* My sermon's not written yet; you still have a chance to be featured prominently (at least in my mind). 

* Look at that lovely bottle of wine. Oh, and that one! And that one! 

* Would you like to see the list that outlines why I'm so wonderful?

* You're right, it is Christmas. Merry Christmas. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I checked out some organize-your-life book the other day from the library. I do this occasionally -- thinking that there's a system out there that will help me manage what I do in a more productive, healthy way. Some of the work better than others, and all of them have something that I can take to heart and incorporate somehow into my life.

This one, though, encouraged me to track my interruptions. I realize this is a common thing, not unique to this book or author. And yet, as I've known before and believe strongly today -- nearly all I do is interruptions.

Today I've had no fewer than 10 -- ranging from assistance calls to singing parishioners in the hallway to a request for a headshot of my colleague and me for an unspecified purpose. Of course, we'd be happy to pose for a picture.

But when my sermon is less than stellar... can I just read the list of interruptions that I'm tracking? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pastor Needs a Peptalk (aka, a new inner monologue)

I'm trying these on today (or at least right now before I make a potentially icky phone call):

*I am really, really fantastic.

*My boots can kick some serious something, if needed.

*Have you noticed how cute I am?

*Yes, I am that smart.

*No, you can't take my brain, my wit, or my baptismal right as a child of GOD away from me with your nastiness. I checked.

*Did you listen to my sermon? Maybe you should have. It was really good. And I was thinking about you when I wrote it.

*These jeans make my a** look fabulous. And it's not just me who thinks so.

*I can laugh at any situation. Just give me time.

*Where's my tiara?

And perhaps my favorite:
*OK, it's not always about me. But it's most definitely not about you today. So, maybe it is about me.

With that, I'm dialing the phone.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Silly Me...

I thought we were sleeping through the night, since we had been for over a year.

This business of waking up at 2:00 of the morning and not falling back to sleep, and then not napping? For the birds, in case you were wondering.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Five

Sally over at the RevGals writes:

This has been a difficult week for me, the death of a little six year old has overshadowed our advent preparations, and made many of us here in Downham Market look differently at Christmas. With that in mind I ask whether you are the kind of person that likes everything prepared well in advance, are you a last minute crammer, or a bit of a mixture.....

Here then is this week's Friday 5:

1. You have a busy week, pushing out all time for preparing worship/ Sunday School lessons/ being ready for an important meeting ( or whatever equivalent your profession demands)- how do you cope?
Honestly, I probably get all freaked out, don't do anything and then get really crabby at the end of the week because I don't have enough time to do anything. Because that's healthy.
Coping: a glass of wine, some deep breaths, and hopefully a good night's sleep.

2. You have unexpected visitors, and need to provide them with a meal- what do you do?
I scrounge the cupboards for something -- there's usually some pasta or eggs. Or we go out or order pizza.

Three discussion topics:

3. Thinking along the lines of this weeks advent theme; repentance is an important but often neglected aspect of advent preparations.....
I love the idea of Advent as a time for reflection, considering it in many ways the time of year when I make resolutions and start over.

4. Some of the best experiences in life occur when you simply go with the flow.....
Yes. That's true. And yet I alternate between doing this reasonably well and trying to control that flow. Yeah, that works about as well as you might expect.

5. Details are everything, attention to the small things enables a plan to roll forward smoothly...
Yes, and no. I try not to become consumed with the small details -- but I recognize that sometimes we can't just wing it.

Bonus if you dare- how well prepared are you for Christmas this year?
Relatively well at this point. I have an idea for our cards, and have completed the design project for another family member. We've purchased and actually wrapped many of the gifts that we're giving. The beer is brewed and bottled, complete with red caps. Our travel plans are falling into place and we've procured supply for our time away.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It's December

I had one of those days during which about 100 blog posts went through my mind and none of them emerged on the screen. That's probably for the best -- I mean, who has time or desire to read 100 of my posts?! But at the same time I'm sitting here thinking that there were probably some good words lost! Another day, another time, right?

We (my co-everything and I) did a joint pastoral care visit today. I think that was a first for us. We saw some of my (our?) favorites in the congregation -- a sassy man in his 80s who had a knee replaced yesterday and his wife who is about the sweetest. Every time I see them they witness to me in a powerful and genuine way. I want to be like them when I grow up.

Our building addition has been complete for a couple of years now. Tonight there were "too many" things going on for the space, and we had to have a meeting in an office. I know this is a common dilemma for many congregations, and am truly not complaining, just observing. And wondering what it means for the future of this congregation.

I find myself amazed at my own love for my child. Which is not to say that I don't become frustrated at his dawdling, incessant questioning and resistance to going to bed. However, he's currently sleeping with the snowbrush from my car because he was so excited about it tonight. That's right.

I usually post at work and it's quick, or at home and it's on a browser that doesn't play well with the rest of the world so making links is difficult. But tonight I'm using the browser that does play well with others and want to share some of my other blog reading-perusing with you.

I read this one and wish I could make quilts like these. I started reading this one because of the clever, clever title, and I keep going back because she puts words together in delightful ways. I have laughed out loud reading this one, and have a wish list of things from her and her sister; the whole family is fabulously creative.

So, what have you been up to?