Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Never The Same Again

You know those times in your life, when you look back on them, you realize that they were pivotal or momentous? That things changed after that time? It was a turn in the road? This summer is turning out to be one of those times. I can visualize us years from now saying, "remember, that was the summer when..."

1. Grandma Alice is dying.

2. We will probably be moving over 400 miles away to North Dakota.

There are other things going on too, but right now, these are primary in my mind. Both of those realities seemed unthinkable just a year ago. Now they are staring us in the face. No matter what comes, things are going to majorly change in our lives, and in our extended families' lives. I don't want to sound melodramatic, but this is big for us.

I'm a bit numb right now, so I don't know how I feel. Or maybe, I feel so many things it's hard to narrow them down. What do you do in the face of life-changing events? Today I went for a boat ride with my dad, daughter, and nephew. I packed our things, since we're leaving my parents' home tomorrow. I ran errands for myself and my mom. I listened to my nephew tell me about the fish he caught. I laughed and talked with my brother (and drank a beer with him and my dad, too). I gave my daughter a bath, and got pretty wet too.

No matter the tremendous events that are going on, the rest of life keeps ticking on. There are still clothes to be washed, kids to be fed, and rest at the end of the day.

I've read some accounts where people who are facing a big scary time of their lives, like cancer, or the loss of a spouse, feel angry at the rest of the world because it doesn't stop too. Tragedies and grief happen all around us, but the world keeps turning. People keep doing their everyday stuff. I actually find that a bit comforting right now. It reminds me that there is hope for tomorrow, it helps me put things into perspective, and reminds me that God is always there too. In the big stuff, the little stuff, and all the in betweens.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


"You are the light of the world."
Matthew 5:14
I love the song by Cathy Pino based on this passage from the Gospel of Matthew.
"You are the light of the world. You are the light of the world, so shine, shine, shine where you are. You are the light of the world."
It continues with verses; "You are a city on a hill..." and "You are a candle in the dark..." and "You are a star in the night..." It's so simple, but so very beautiful.
The imagery of light is a powerful one in the Scriptures. God is portrayed as light, as giving light, as making us light. I think it resonates with many, because it is so primal. Who hasn't, at some time in their life, been afraid of the dark?
My Top Seven List of the things and people shining God's light in my life this week:
1. The women attending our Synodical convention for Women of the ELCA. They rock! We just had a wonderful worship service together that is still giving me a high.
2. My congregation's kids who are going to camp this summer and their parents. They're committed to doing this, even through the complications of it, because they know it matters.
3. A member of my congregation in tears tonight because she sees how much Christian fellowship matters, and she mourns that others are missing out on something so beautiful and meaningful.
4. The prayer requests at worship tonight: all the illnesses, weddings, changes, and births that make up our lives.
5. The dedication of some folks in the community who can't help but speak out about injustice and the needs of others, even in the face of apathy.
6. My sore back and exhaustion, fruits of a good, long, hard, rewarding day.
7. My daughter stopping everything to pray to God asking for a little baby brother or sister...with pink hair!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Just a Day Off

Picture This: I'm sitting on a thick towel on my driveway. Around me there is a large cardboard box for sticks, a red wagon for rocks, a small white waste basket for garbage, and a yard waste bag for leaves and plants. In front on me is a large pile of mixed up stuff which I need to sort out and place in the right containers.

This is my day off.

To be fair, that was just the morning, and in the afternoon we rested (once Lil' Princess finally fell asleep).

I rarely take a true day off, and I will have to do a little church related work today, but most of the day is truly "off." It just struck me as funny as I hauled, raked and sat in the sun getting covered with shingle dust, dirt, leaves and bugs that this is how I'm spending my first day off in a long time. (I'm not counting our trip to hubby's graduation and to Minot as true days off, they were quite stressful).

It really wasn't that bad, and Lil' Princess managed to keep things fun as she played around us. Hubby has tree-digging-out duty, which makes my cleaning- out and sorting-out job look, well, easy. We have a big landscaping job in front of us that has to get done if we're going to sell the place, and we of course have been putting it off.

Our plan is that I will take every Wednesday off, and Lil' P will go to day care two mornings a week, and hopefully that will give Hubby and I enough time to do our landscaping, do the other many fix-up jobs inside and outside the house, sort and pack, and otherwise be ready to move whenever it is that we actually get calls to serve somewhere.

I know, I know, I question the feasibility of the plan too. But you have to start somewhere, and we have.

No earth-shaking news today, no particularly wise thoughts or witty comments. Just a day off.