Thursday, November 29, 2007

Topsy Turvy

Last night I dreamed...
-That I had long, flippy hair that I put up into a ponytail, but it kept falling down and I was digging thru a pile of hair clips trying to fix it.
-That I had to get a message to a colleague that a guy was going to make an announcement in his church about a seminar he was leading, even though I didnt know anything about the guy or the seminar.
-That I had to get him the message on a static-y cell phone.
-That we were visiting my inlaws.
-That Adam Sandler was our nanny.
-That he did a better job than you'd think, and he was funny of course, although he kept irritating me by pretending to (trying to?) nurse a baby.

In my waking life:
-It's the advent of advent
-Our best friends are moving to Beaverton today.
-I did something stupid at work and I'm trying to remember that most people do stupid things sometimes and I should not to let it make me feel permanantly sick to my stomach and
-We are actually moving into the house we have lived in for three months.

If you dont see me in this space for a while, it's because I'm in the corner, breathing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Kicking and Screaming Into the 21st Century

I have a facebook account now. Feel free to poke me, or whatever it is the kids are are doing these days.

Useful information

One small indoor pond, nine bath towels and two soggy knees later, I can assure you that there is a good reason that "it is recommended that you wash your comforter in a large capacity machine."

Friday, November 23, 2007

Do as I say and not as I buy....

Yes, that was me, just five days after preaching my kickassingest sermon ever on
Buy Nothing Day, the overcommercialization of christmas and etc, spending 4 hours and 4 digits at Ikea.

But now whatever else happens, at least we've got that sofa problem handled.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Here's what'll be in our newsletter this month in the pastor's column. Although it's talking about Christmas already, it seems to go with Thanksgiving, too...

Which holiday traditions are really important to you?

When I was a child, my mother baked Christmas cookies with our large family every Christmas Eve. She and I and my brothers would bake all day and listen to A Festival of Lesson and Carols, broadcast on our local NPR station from King’s College in Cambridge. Later, we’d all dress up in our best clothes for church and then we painstakingly selected the one present we were allowed to open that night, before being sent to bed to try and sleep through a buzz of anticipation and sugar.

Now that I am grown, Christmas Eve is both the same, and different. As when I was a child, I usually spend the day listening to Christmas carols and getting ready for church with my family. Instead of cookies, though, we’ll cook and eat spaghetti, which is the traditional Christmas Eve dinner from Jeff’s childhood. Our method of opening presents, slowly over the course of several days, is a new tradition not borrowed from either of our childhoods, but one that suits our small family perfectly.

As we change, our traditions will change. We’ll keep the things that are important and allow the things that don’t matter that much to fall away. I loved baking cookies when I was younger. (To this day, when I hear Once In Royal David’s City sung acapella, I can smell the fragrance of spicy, brown-sugary cookies.) As an adult I do other things that I love just as much. Today we’re creating the memories that Elijah will be able to treasure when he becomes an adult, and develops new traditions of his own.

It’s the same in our church family. In each generation, some traditions pass into memory and some new ones are born. There is joy in remembering the things that sustained us in the past, and there is also joy in creating something new that feeds us in the present. As we go about the business of celebrating our first Christmas together, we’ll keep discovering new traditions, as we celebrate the traditions we have loved from the past. Let us rejoice in both the old and the new. God blesses them both!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Found en route to other things

The Sacrament of Letting Go - © Macrina Wiederkehr

I worry too much. Autumn trees ask me not to worry. They, like Jesus, suggest trust rather than worry. So often in autumn I want to lean my head against a tree and ask what it feels like to lose so much, to be so empty, so detached, and then simply to stand and wait for God’s refilling. It sounds so simple, so easy. It isn’t easy.......

she celebrated the sacrament of letting go
first she surrendered her green
then the orange, yellow and red
finally she let go of her brown
shedding her last leaf
she stood empty and silent, stripped bare.
Leaning against the winter sky
she began her vigil of trust.

And Jesus said:
Why do you worry about clothes? Remember the flowers growing in the fields; they do not fret about what to wear; yet I assure you not even Solomon in all his royal robes was dressed like one of these.

Shedding her last leaf
she watched its journey to the ground.
She stood in silence
wearing the colour of emptiness,
her branches wondering:
how do you give shade with so much gone?

And Jesus said:
Do not be troubled or needlessly concerned
and then,
the sacrament of waiting began.
The sunrise and sunset watched with tenderness.
Clothing her with silhouettes
they kept her hope alive.
They helped her understand that
her vulnerability
her dependence and need
her emptiness
her readiness to receive
were giving her a new kind of beauty.
Every morning and every evening
they stood in silence
and celebrated together
the sacrament of waiting!

And Jesus said:
Now if this is how God cares for the wild flowers in the fields which are here today and gone tomorrow, will he not care all the more for you...?

Monday, November 12, 2007


It's that grateful time of year,
and I'm finding myself grateful
for a congregation
that wasn't sure how it felt
about women in ministry
and is handling a big change
with fewer bumps and more grace
than any of us thought possible.

Also, grateful for the kindness
of the men at the transitional housing shelter
who tonight were kind to a small boy
in his first act of community service.

Also, grateful for modern medicine, public libraries,
cell phones, good beer, smart colleagues,
dear families, and contractors who look
you in the eye and say "Yes. It will be
done by Thanksgiving."

(Which means, btw, that we now have a
plan for The Holiday, which is finally,
actually moving into our house! Cross
your fingers that it is true.)

I am not so grateful for the guy
(assume it was a guy - sorry guys)
who tore the trim off my car and threw
it on the ground when I was parked downtown
today. "Dude. At least steal something
you can sell."

This is not a poem.
Just me goofing around.

See you on the other side of the crazy week that is upcoming.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Five, sort of

Sally at RevGals suggests that for this Friday Five, you name 5 things you would do to; care for your body
2. to care for your spirit
3. to care for your mind
4. to bring a sparkle to your eye
5. to place a spring in your step

Since today was my day off, and it was a really good one, lots of things happened that accomplished all of these. So, here's my all-inclusive body/mind/spirit/sparkly/springy friday five.

1. Eli skipped his morning daycare, so we could go for a 1.5 mile hike. We're training for a 3 mile hike in December. The weather was perfect and he did great - only a few whines there toward the end.

2. Then I went to a new spa, which was no substitute for wonderful Olympus - it was quite a bit dingier and no pools, but at least I got all warm and glowy from the salt room. And I weighed myself, which considering I havent been doing anything at all to keep up (or should I say down?) with that, was not as demoralizing as you might think.

3. Then I went to buy yet another pair of shoes. Yes, for those of you keeping score at home, this IS the third pair since I started this job. Let me defend myself by saying, I have this stupid foot thing that's not even worth discussing, except to say that it doesnt seem to be getting better on its own, there's a chance that my shoes are the main problem and the best shoes for fixing it are the original Dansko clogs that are also, thank you Jesus, sort of cool. (Not cool in an "i feel pretty" sort of way, but cool in a "former lesbian clomping around in the rain" sort of way. Which I guess is the look I'm going for anyway.) And who am I to say no to good medicine, especially when it comes in the form of good shoes?

4. Home again and ordered this year's firewood off of what-did-we-do-before-Craigslist, which tomorrow will be delivered and (for an extra 20 bucks stacked) by someone named Heath-like-the-candybar. And just in time, because after an endless summer the rains started in good earnest tonight.

5. Raked and raked and raked. I really like raking, and a good thing too because we have a maple in the back yard that seems to believe it is the birth place of all maple leaves.

Bonus Anti-Sparkly-Springy Moment: Things went briefly south when E had a Total Freak Out right before dinner. He's doing so good with this whole adjustment, but sometimes the little cracks show. He pulled it together after a while, though, in his usual way. He went to his room and worked it out himself. After 5 years of being his mom, it's so hard not to follow him for a little fuss and cuddle, but that has never calmed him down since DAY ONE, and I don't know why I think it should start working now. After a tantrum, he likes some hugs and holding, but it doesnt help him get out of one. Anyway, later we got a phone message from the principal of his school that a kid had had a toy beebee gun confiscated today and at their bedtime chat J heard about some politics involving first graders who were not exactly invitational on the playground. No wonder he lost it. It's a big world for a small boy. Should I be worried about the gun, btw? I'm not yet, so let me know if I should add it to the list.

Bonus Ministry Moment: You know how when you're visiting people in the hospital, you always ask them as nicely as pie to turn the TV off for a minute? The reason you do that is so you don't get the giggles if that scene from the Godfather where the Pope or someone is praying in Latin happens to be on at that exact. same. moment. as you are praying aloud in your own mother tongue. Just so you know, that's why you do that.

Bonus Sparkly-Springy Thing: Check my brother's blog. (Dude. Is that really a photo of you hanging with NEIL YOUNG? You rock, man.)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

cheered considerably this morning by...

The gloriousness of spiderwebs in a foggy dawn


The reminder from an email, a phone call, and a prayer that most people actually mean well


This poem over at Christine's place


The puncuationlessness of the bumper sticker I noticed for the first time, even though it's just around the corner: "Gonna be a turd go lay in the grass."

Friday, November 02, 2007


*Do you have an advent candle lighting reading you really like? Or a song even? If so, I'd sure appreciate hearing about it.

*Speaking of things they never taught you in seminary, I'll be saying a few words on Monday at a ribbon cutting for the road they finally finished paving next to the church.

*I've never heard of a ribbon cutting for a road, let alone the local pastor saying a few words for it. But The Commissioner is going to be there. And they've sent out actual press releases. So I guess it's really going to happen.

*To prepare, I got my hair dyed today. Red. Like a fire engine. I really like it, but the first encounter with it can be startling. I thought E was going to cry when I stopped by his classroom today. He recovered ok. Now he giggles everytime he catches me out of the corner of his eye.

*I hope it doesnt have that effect on the church folk on Sunday.

*Turns out that scene where Ricky Bobby prays to the little baby Jesus is just as genius the second time you watch Talladega Nights. And the rest of the movie is a good time, too.

*Not that you would ever watch a low brow movie like that.

We are ten weeks into our time here, and something more needs to be said about transitions, about graceful and not so graceful ways to make changes, but not tonight.

PS: Thanks for the help on the candy. It's in the freezer. Wylde - I'm still cracking up about that "that's how they lose their teeth" thing...