Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggidy Jig

I'm sitting on my own couch, looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight. Ahhh. It feels good to be home. It has been a bit crazy since we got home, I've had to return a ton of phone calls. I'm still not sure if I'll have both services tomorrow night, since the rural church is snowed in.

I still feel a little out of sync with normal life, but hopefully by tomorrow I'll get up to speed. It will be good for Lil' Princess to get back to school, and RevDad to get a good night's sleep now that we're back. And tomorrow, the to-do list is HUGE!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Snow Days

So we're still in Miles City. Thanks to the hotel pool, we've had a pleasant day. Thanks to the portable DVD player, getting ready for bed is going pretty well (new Backyardigans DVD). There is about an 85% chance that we'll make it to the big town an hour north of our town tomorrow. There's about a 75% chance we'll make it all the way home. RevDad says that our local guy hasn't even tried to start cleaning out ANY of the streets in town yet. It is physically impossible to open our front door. He can't tell where our driveway is. And the snow is still coming, until about midnight tonight! (the picture used in this post is from flick'r, it is not one that I have taken)

I'm hoping that means that there is no school tomorrow too, so Lil' Princess doesn't miss it. She already has missed waaaay too many days, thanks to illness and our big trip over New Year's. Plus she loves school and her teacher so much, she doesn't want to miss anything. Her teacher is concerned about what she is going to do with the kindergarten class, since there have been soooo many snow days, and she's required to put in so many contract hours in the classroom with them. They might be having class the week after everyone else is done! (which I wouldn't mind)

RevDad is missing us very much, and not sleeping well with me gone. I think he's torn between his desire to have us home, and his concern about us traveling. So I'm sure there will be a lot of checking in with us tomorrow as we make our way east. We miss him too! It's felt strange to be away from home without him. Well, absence is supposed to make the heart grow fonder, so this little experience should make us all more appreciative of each other!

I was having some cabin fever before this trip, fed up with being stuck at home all the time, but I think that's done for awhile! Now I just want to get home, be in our own space, sleep in my own bed, and resume a normal schedule. Don't get me wrong, our trip has actually ended up being quite pleasant and enjoyable, but it has been long enough. And I don't really care for the constant smell of chlorine (the bathing suits are drying in the bathroom, no amount of rinsing is getting that smell out).

So, hopefully homeward bound tomorrow! And then all my various relatives can stop worrying so much! (love ya Mom, Dad, and big bro!)

Snow Days

Well Howdy Do!

I'm sitting in a hotel with Lil' Princess in Miles City MT, stranded because of a nasty blizzardy storm system that has covered our home with two additional feet of snow. Even though this hotel is nice, and Lil' P likes the pool, I'd like to try and get farther along our trip today, get as close to home as we can. For sure we won't be able to go home until tomorrow at the earliest. We had a lovely time visiting my brother and his family, but we sure didn't plan to get stuck on the way home!

Lil' P votes that we stay put today, so she can spend the day in the pool. I need to make my decision soon, since check out time is coming soon. Argh!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Long Night

To my pleasant surprise last night, we had about 25 people for supper and service. Most were from in town, a notable exception being an elderly couple who can barely walk, who never miss anything no matter what. Service went pretty well, though I wish I had done more editing on the sermon I used from esermons. The theme was good, but the author gets so long-winded, and says in 50 words what could be said more elegantly and clearly in 10. I had cut down a lot already, but as I read it, I realized that is was still too wordy. But I think people heard the theme and understood the point.

In these Lenten services I've been having them chant a short opening dialogue. They haven't done chanting for decades, so I'm trying to re-introduce it in a non-threatening way. I've explained that it is about creating an meditative, worshipful atmosphere and putting us in a reflective frame of mind. The initial nervousness seems to be over, and now they smile and go along for the ride. I keep trying to introduce new things in small ways, to expand their worship flexibility and openness.

I went to bed feeling pretty satisfied about the day (I got the dishwasher emptied, and a load of laundry put away right before I went to bed, so I was feeling pretty right-eous.) But then at 3:45 am I was awakened out of a very sound sleep by a really painful abdominal cramp. I had about 6 of them, which hurt enough that I had to use my breathing to deal with the pain. In the end, it turned out to be an intestinal thing (I suspect a bug that Sophia has shown symptoms of), but it was terrifying for a while. Having had a miscarriage before, intense painful abdominal cramps immediately send your mind there. I have never been so grateful to have to run to the bathroom, since it showed that it wasn't about the baby!

So today I'm going to be careful with what I eat, and focus on preparing for this weekend at my brother and sis-in-law's. I don't want to miss it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Snow, snow and more SNOW!

It was momentarily spring around here, but winter is back. With a vengeance! I had to wade through snow up to my knees to get into the church to check on things there. Most of the streets in town have a single lane down the middle cleared. School was 2 hours late this morning, and the bus barely had enough room to get down the street. Some kids in town don't have the streets cleared by their houses yet, so they had to hike a few blocks to meet the bus.

One of the services for tonight has been cancelled, but the service at the big church is still supposedly on...which is crazy. You can't park anywhere near the church, and you can't even get to the door without going through drifts, and it doesn't sound like that is going to change today (there are just a few loaders around here, and they're all being kept very busy). Even if someone does manage to clear it out some, many people are still snowed in, and I do NOT want my elderly folks going out. So if my leadership insists, I'm guessing it will be me and the few people who live in the blocks right around the church who even show up.

I need to get to the post office today...I'm debating whether to try to drive, or just walk through the drifts to get there. RevDad was able to get out of town, but I'm not sure how the side streets will be to get downtown. Sigh. I'm ready for winter to be over!

UPDATE: Two of the three guys in town with big equipment are, as I type, clearing out the street in front of the church, and sidewalks. Whew! I drove to the post office, and almost got stuck once. The streets are still challenging in many places, but I think some of my younger members will be able to make it tonight. I just really hope the elderly ones stay put!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Stormy Weather

A big storm is a' brewin' right now. The winds have been literally shaking the house, they're being clocked at 50 miles an hour. By this afternoon a winter storm is supposed to be here, possibly bringing 16 inches of snow. Then the next couple of days are supposed to bring torrents of rain. So, a big mess! We finally got rid of a lot of the snow, and have streams of water running through the front and back yard.

The school called a little while ago to say they're letting out at 1:30, so I'm wondering if school will be cancelled tomorrow, or at least late start. Good thing I just bought some more craft supplies, I'm going to have a bored little girl to keep amused!

Wow. My hanging birdfeeder just went horizontal in the wind...hope I don't lose it!

UPDATE: We've moved from sleet that the wind was flinging straight down the street, to sleet-like snow coming down heavily. The latest forecast is 12-16 inches overnight, with the storm continuing until Wednesday. Time to bring out the board games!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lenten Disciplines

The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5)

"By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another. "

Love - imperfect and conditional

Joy - fleeting

Peace - occasional

Patience - not with my difficult husband right now!!!

Kindness - when I feel like it

Generosity - when it doesn't cost me much

Faithfulness - waxes and wanes like the moon

Gentleness - when no one is provoking my temper (like this **** computer)

Self-control - hah! Never with chocolate, rarely with my run-away mouth, sometimes otherwise.

My Lenten discipline this year has been to cultivate those priorities and expectations that are God's, instead of those that are mine or the culture's. As you can see from the list of fruits of the Holy Spirit, I'm not feeling particularly "fruity" right now.

The danger is always that we turn these things into some sort of "God's Holy To-Do List" and get caught up in the despair and failure of trying to live up to these standards. They're meant to raise our awareness of God's good and gracious desires for us and our lives, which the Holy Spirit is working at in us. To be open and aware to that good work, and try not to stand in its way. It's about growing in love and appreciation for the One who wants only the very Best for us.

The problem is, I quickly turn it into a Law, instead of letting it be a purveyor of Grace. It comes down to, "I'm never good enough" & despair when the point is supposed to be "through God, all things are possible" & hope.

As I struggle with these things, I am constantly asking God to give me the wisdom and trust to let Him do what He seeks to do in and through me. This is the point of a Lenten discipline, I guess, to open ourselves up to be kneaded and molded and transformed. So that the cross is more than a symbol, but the life-preserver we cling to, recognizing that only here, at the cross, can we find hope, healing, forgiveness and life.

I hope that you too have cross-encounters this Lent and Easter season, and that you allow the Holy Spirit to do the work that God seeks to do in you. It leads to meaning, and to eternal life.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Hi Dad!!! Big smooches coming your way from both your girls...

Spring Break

So I'm pondering what to do with Lil' Princess' spring break. She gets Thursday and Friday off, so I'd like us to be able to get away for a couple of days. RevDad really needs a break, but at this point he's resistant to any plans...how to convince him that it is in his best interest to get away and relax??

I've been thinking we should go to one of the Big cities about 3 hours away, stay at a hotel with a pool or water park, maybe do some shopping or touristy stuff, or just nap the day away! But overstressed hubby can't see past his icky work issues right now. I'm tempted to just force the issues, make the reservations, and insist that we're going - even if I have to force him into the car!

Sigh. A small little domestic drama, we'll see how it plays itself out. Here's hoping!

Friday, March 06, 2009

My #1 Reader

Hi Mom! Love ya - say "hi" to Dad for me!

Migraines Suck

OK, I am so incredibly sick and FED UP with the state of my health right now, I could just SPIT!

CONstant migraines, total exhaustion, occasional nausea, and a huge amount of frustration and anger that there is very little I can manage to accomplish in a day.

Now, I know that in the scheme of things, I have it great. I don't have a crippling neurological disease, I'm not taking chemo for cancer, I have working eyes and ears, and I have a job and a family who support me while I am so useless.


I just want to wake up without crushing head pain! I want to be able to do normal daily tasks. I want to feel good so I can play and interact with my daughter. I want to have fun and hang out with my husband.

Arrgh! I'm trying to focus on how truly blessed I really am, but it's getting harder and harder. I just need some RELIEF.