Wednesday, October 31, 2007

God Bless Her and Keep Her

The news came this morning via email. My good friend's mom died this morning. 5:30 am, October 31st, 2007. Blessed be her memory. We commit her to her Father's care.

O Lord, now let your servant
Depart in heav'nly peace,
For I have seen the glory
Of your redeeming grace:
A light to lead the Gentiles
Unto your holy hill,
The glory of your people,
Your chosen Israel.

Then grant that I may follow
Your gleam, O glorious Light,
Till earthly shadows scatter,
And faith is changed to sight;
Till raptured saints shall gather
Upon that shining shore,
Where Christ, the blessed daystar,
Shall light them evermore.

"O Lord, Now Let Your Servant"
Text: Ernest E. Ryden, b. 1886

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

For the Beauty of the Backyard

For the wonder of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flow'r,
Sun and moon and stars of light:
Christ, our Lord, to you we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.
verse 2, "For the Beauty of the Earth"
text: Folliott S. Pierpoint, 1835-1917, alt.

No, I mean really LOOK.
What do you see?

What a gift it is when God can break through to us, and turn an annual chore of raking up the fall refuse into an experience of the wonder of our God as revealed in the ordered chaos of autumn leaves.

Thank God who cares for us so much, that our Lord would create small miracles in our very own yard. Alleluia!

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Beautiul Autumn Day

Today was warm and lovely. The leaves swirled in the breeze, the sun shone bright, and Lil' Princess was full of energy! Every year since she was one we've had our rite of Autumn, which is this: I rake up the biggest pile of leaves she has patience to wait for, and then she runs wild in leaf ecstasy while I laugh. It's a good thing!

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Just got the news via email tonight. My good friend's mom has been battling ovarian cancer, and the war is almost over. She had been taken in for some emergency surgery, been having some intestinal problems I believe, and they found the cancer had spread all over. She's too weak for chemo. The doctors give her 1-6 weeks. They say she won't make it to Thanksgiving.

I want to cry, swear, kick God in the shins, and then drive 10 hours in the dark to my friends house and give him such a hug. She's only 53 years old, with grandbabies who deserve to know her. And kids and a husband who have known this was coming, but STILL. It's just so terribly wrong and sad and there's nothing we can do about it.

Death comes with life. It's a package deal. And we trust that God is going to take care of all of this effing awful stuff, and that there is meaning beyond the pain. But that's small consolation at the time when its your mom, your wife. When its your kids who will turn their big eyes to you and ask you where grandma has gone and when can they see her again.

I just really hurt for my friend, for what these next days will bring. I trust God will take care of them. I just wish I could hold his hand, and the hand of his beautiful wife, my wonderful girlfriend, and hug their children. It hurts to think of their hurt. God, hold my friends, because I cannot.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Five: Halloween!

On one of the blogs (REVGALBLOGPALS) I follow, every week they have the Friday Five, five fun and/or interesting questions you can answer. Members of this group blog have fun posting their answers on the blog and reading each others answers, and I'm thinking about officially joining it instead of just peeking in as an outsider (it's for women in ministry who blog, so I think I qualify)

ANYWAY, here is my personal attempt at answering this week's Friday Five, which is about Halloween!

1. How did you celebrate this time of year when you were a child?
Mom would take us out trick or treating, come rain or snow or sleet, or whatever else mother nature had to throw at us. Not sure why dad got out of this annual rite! My costume was usually something Mom or I came up with. I don't remember us making a big deal about it.

2. Do you and/or your family “celebrate” Halloween? Why or why not? And if you do, has it changed from what you used to do?
Either my husband or I (or both of us) take Lil' Princess out trick or treating for a short time. She can't handle being out too long, which is fine with us. Then we go home, give her a little of the candy, and hide the rest. The biggest part of the evening is the getting dressed up and getting her picture taken (she's such a girly-girl!) We don't get bent out of shape about Halloween. I've always agreed with Luther that it's good for us to thumb our noses at the devil (well, Luther actually was a little more crude about it, he said we should fart at Satan!) Before our little girl came along, we would spend the night handing out candy.

2. Candy apples: Do you prefer red cinnamon or caramel covered? Or something else?
Caramel covered, absolutely! Mmmmmm.

3. Pumpkins: Do you make Jack O’ Lanterns? Any ideas of what else to do with them?
Thus far we have painted faces on our pumpkins, but when my paranoid husband feels that our girl is old enough, we will carve our pumpkins. We set them out on the front step until they get snowed on, then we throw them in the back yard, and then we rediscover them sometime the next spring when they're nice and squishy and gross. (I can just hear my dad sighing and shaking his head at me)

4. Do you decorate your home for fall or Halloween? If so, what do you do? Bonus points for pictures.
I try to decorate with a few touches here and there, nothing overboard (not like Christmas!) I don't have a lot of autumn or Halloween decorations, much to my husband's relief.

5. Do you like pretending to be something different? Does a costume bring our an alternate personality?Bonus: Share your favorite recipe for an autumn food, particularly apple or pumpkin ones.
I haven't dressed up in YEARS. I loved it when I was a little girl. In college, I was known as The Goddess of the Rock. I think what makes it fun is that it allows you to step outside of yourself and try something new on for size. Since I put on the pastor hat, I haven't let myself try anything else on. Is that sad, or just to be expected? I don't have a particularly wonderful recipe for autumn, especially since my idea of baking involves buying a premade pie crust, a can of pumpkin pie filling, and a can of ReddiWhip! Mmmmmm....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What I've Been Reading

Now that I actually have time for my favorite pastime, reading, I have been been exploring what our closest full fledged library has to offer. (There is a tiny library here in R-town, but the choices are pretty limited. Great kid's books, though!) I love the thrill of picking out a new book, and not knowing what lays ahead, and hardly being able to wait to dive in. Yes, I'm a book geek. In my defense, I inherited this gene. Honestly. It's my parents fault!

My latest newest favorite is the Elm Creek Quilt series by Jennifer Chiaverini. I discovered it through a book on tape, actually! I needed something to help pass the hours on my trip to see my bro & family in Big Sky Country, and found one of this series on CD. I love, love, loved it, and it made the trip fly by (well, "fly by" considering I had an impatient 4-year old in the back seat). Sugar Camp Quilt is my favorite thus far (the one I listened to on CD), though I've enjoyed them all. So far, I believe there are 9 books in the series. I think I have read about 6 of them. The library doesn't have the rest, so I'm going to have to ask them to order them for me.

If any of my family and friends actually read my blog, please leave a comment, and tell me what you have been reading lately. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Life, Or Something Like It

My Week Thus Far:

Monday: After a morning frittered away, went on family trip to the Big D an hour a way (only largish town with shopping options within decent driving distance). Gave in to the lures of Wally World, bought burgundy curtains for our bedroom. Felt the beginnings of a migraine, but it didn't develop. Been out here in rural land long enough now that it was a relief to get home from the "big shopping day."

Tuesday: Text study in neighboring town where we did actually study the texts a little, but more talked about parish life and stuff. Got to eat out for lunch again. After picking up Lil' Princess from school, convinced Pastor Friend to play hooky and show us the back country. Spent three hours exploring the wilds of ND and SD. Reluctantly ended our tour when Lil' Princess found the limits of her 4-year old patience. Found many beautiful spots to revisit, and show to family.

Wednesday: Prepared for confirmation, subject for the day is the 6th commandment, OH YAY. Picked up Lil' Princess from school, had lunch with Rev Dad (3rd lunch out this week, this is some kind of record!!!) She played with Church Grandma while I taught confirmation, which went well despite the topic. Picked her up, had grilled cheese and tomato soup for supper (yum!) and met for 90 minutes with Sunday school superintendent. Ahh, Wednesdays. They just keep going, and going, and going!

And what will tomorrow bring, you ask? A nursing home service. A few phone calls, and maybe a meeting if the phone calls work out. Maybe get a few pictures hung in my office, though I doubt it. Play with Lil' Princess outside, since freezing cold weather is literally right around the corner, and we need to enjoy the warmth while we got it.

There you have it. My life. Sigh.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Late Night Thoughts on Swimming

"Just keep swiming, just keep swimming, what do you do, you swim..." Oh, to have the simple focus of Dory!
I am in the middle of one of the hardest parish death experiences I have had to pastor, and I'm tired. The family prayer service is now done. The funeral is tomorrow. I know roughly where I want to go with the funeral sermon, but it is no where near done. But it is getting late, and I am tired, so tired.

So what shall I say to this family of a 24 year old man, life cut short in a senseless car accident? As I drove home from the prayer service, I turned into town and noticed about 20 trucks parked outside the two local bars. Now, I'm not against getting together with friends over a few brews, and it is Friday night, but all of a sudden, I got mad. Really ticked me off.

I raged to myself, "I'm going to bury a 24 year old whose life has been cut short, who should still be here, and you all are pissing away your life in the bottom of a beer bottle?!?!? You probably won't even remember most of what happens tonight because you'll drink too much, like you do many other nights, and I have to put a guy in the ground who treasured and lived every minute of his short life!"

Well, then I remembered life isn't fair, and if we all got what we had coming to us, it would be a pretty sparse world. So I got off my high horse, and headed on to the next thing on my to-do list for the funeral.

Just keep swimming...

Monday, October 15, 2007

These online quiz sites are kinda fun (especially when you're sick!)

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

Book Snob

Fad Reader


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

I'll Strike My Heroic Pose Now

Your results:
You are Superman

Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
The Flash
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...