Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekend Highlights (some higher than others)


There is a young man in my congregation who is ill-behaved. I think most of us at least have one where the truth is there is no other underlying reason for his behavior other than (in my humble opinion) lack of discipline. I HATE that he makes me think along those lines because that is SO Old Guard but dammit, if my kid behaves himself, why. can't. yours?

I am usually pretty easy going about kids and the interruptions that come with kids in worship. A dropped hymnal there, the occasional outburst here... whatever. I would rather have the kids in worship. Great.

In the middle of last Sunday's sermon, a pretty good one by the way, this kid to whom I refer comes running in from OUTSIDE the Sanctuary (so he wasn't even in worship), KNOCKS over the stack of tuna that was in the back, realizes he didn't get them all down so HE KNOCKS THEM AGAIN!!! Then he tells his grandmother who has finally caught up to him something and he runs back out of the Sanctuary.

Insert slow boil here....

I'm sorry. The kid is almost 6. That behavior is just not acceptable.

Up until that point the sermon was pretty good. It echoed what I talked about in an earlier post about coming into the light. Here is an excerpt:
It’s a hard thing really, fully trusting in God. It almost seems a bit unfair that the Creator who expects us to trust built in so much angst and anxiety and stress into the Creation.

I was involved in a wedding recently where the mother of the bride handled stress by taking on more things to do. She insisted on making the cake and doing the flowers and planning the reception and numerous other tasks that allowed her to feel like she was in control.

There is nothing like a list with a bunch of checks next to it to make us feel like we are not only accomplishing things in this world, but that we are controlling them… and maybe even controlling the world.

Another way we seek control is by adding rules and hinting at rewards.

This week began an attempt on my part to control the amount of diapers and pull-ups that are purchased for my household and so the rule has been added, “You must use the potty.” I want control of this situation and so I added a rule and I hint at rewards.
Come and speak to me later if you would like to learn how you too can earn ‘The Big Chocolate.’

We add rules and as Christians we so very often dangle out the reward of heaven as if that is really ours to give. In order to control our worlds we make judgment calls on others – we have to, don’t we, someone has to – think of the CHAOS if we don’t start sorting through folks and letting them know where they should be.

The gay man asks, “God, Father… how important am I to you?”
And there is his name inscribed on God’s hand.


And finally, speaking of potty training, quite a few years ago I taught my youngest nephew the crucial lesson "don't pee into the wind". This past weekend his younger brother passed on this great knowledge to my son:


How cute is that?


Here they are cleaning the pool:


I hope your weekend ended on a high note too!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Staying Present

Although quite embedded in the search for the next call I have been trying very hard to stay in the now and give my current call the energy and focus it deserves.

That said, I am so done with the Memorial Day Weekend Sunday as Sacrament thing.

We are singing three hymns, doing a litany and the rest will focus on lectionary.
This very well could hasten my need to search for the next call!

Speaking of which... I have an idea in my head that related to the post below my goal in my next call will be to make that place a beacon of light for people looking for an open and affirming place to worship. It won't be overnight. My plan is to outlast those who are against such things.

I even know where I am going to do it... if only they would call me for an interview ;)

Probably won't open the conversation with my 'beacon of light' goal though.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Light Vision

I recently heard someone describe the change in their understanding of what homosexual rights should and shouldn't be as coming out of a cave and into the light. He and I both grew up in the Presbyterian Church and we both grew up thinking we didn't know any gay people or as he put it "I grew up not knowing I knew gay people."

My senior year in high school tragedy struck and I learned that not only did I know a gay man, but he was murdered for it. He was our Director of Music at the church and had been very involved in my life and my family's life. The church basically handled it by not handling it and I still have friends from that era who have not stepped into a church since because of the way the youth were pushed aside and questions were not answered.

This was also when I was told that AIDS was punishment on gay people.

Then I went to college and played on the women's softball team. I was still a bit naive as I had to be told that two of my teammates were dating. How did the person who was telling me know? "Because their beds are pushed together!"

Yes. Still naive.

But the thing was I liked my teammates. And those particular two are STILL together... how many of the rest of the college sweethearts on the planet can say that?

I found that as people would tell me that other people were gay I more and more just didn't care and furthermore did not understand why that made a difference. There was one girl on another team who hit on me... I didn't like her, not because she was gay but because she was rude!

Of course, I played on the women's softball team, I had short hair, I loved football... this meant I had to be gay too. And I realized that the only difference between 'them' and me was that I was attracted to men, they were attracted to (in this case) women. What was the big deal?

I don't care.
But I think I am ready to take one more step beyond 'I don't care.'

I am a very visual person and sometimes - okay a lot - I don't get things until I see them. While away on one of my recent trips I watched a gay man rock a baby to sleep and my soul was convicted. I cried then, I cried later... there are tears in my eyes now.

Why are we keeping people who love each other apart?
Why are we keeping people who feel called to be parents away from children who so desperately could use their love and care?
Why are we using phrases like 'sanctity of marriage' while heterosexual people are abusing the privilege left and right.

And we are doing it all in the name of our Lord and Savior?
That CAN'T be good.

And so slowly I find myself moving from 'I don't care' and 'don't ask, don't tell' to 'How can I make a difference'?

I am out of the cave, into the light and trying to figure out which way to turn in order to make an impact.

Thanks mk.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Where Ya Been?

Hey. Sorry I went AWOL for a bit. My Mom had some health issues and my plate was just a bit too full. This week I have taken time off in order to commence Potty Training Boot Camp because he can do it, we have all just been a bit lazy and not taken that underwear step.

Today... I used the last. diaper. on. the. planet.
You know... except for night-nights. :)

And that, for ALL of your sakes, will be my last mention of potty training....

Gotta post brewing. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Even if You're Not a Sports Fan...

... this is pretty funny.



Still Better

Yesterday I spent a good chunk of the time with my Presbytery's uber-committee. We have a good committee and a pretty good Presbytery and a great EP. As great as he is and as supportive as he is, he is still the EP and the one church's will go to for recommendations so there came a time when he would ask me how I was doing and I would respond a tad (or a lot) more positively than I really was.

Also, in our brief conversations I always got the sense that he wanted me better already and frankly since he was in parish ministry - and successful at it - this suprised me. I am not sure if it is because he was not putting divorce/betrayal on the emotional stress level it is or if he has just not gone through a Loss Valley himself and realized how long it takes. My guess is the former - I certainly didn't give divorce/betrayal enough respect until someone whose own husband died gave me permission to grieve it as if tdh had died. And really, the tdh I knew (or thought I knew) did died. Now I just have to live with his idiot ghost.

Anyway... as I continue to ramble (sorry) yesterday EP sat next to me through the meeting and afterwards he asked me how I was doing and I said, "I am better now than I have been in years."

He grinned huge and said, "It shows" and we moved on to other things.

"Better now than I have been in years."
I didn't plan on saying that. I really hadn't thought about it that way and yet there it was . Almost like my soul blurted it out.

In a way it is a little embarrassing to realize that I wasn't as good as I thought I was. My marriage was not as good as I thought it was. My choice in life partner was not as good as I thought it was.

But in the end I am okay with that because my friendships are deeper than they were. My faith is stronger than it was. And there are things I am doing better now than I ever was.

Truly, I am better now than I have been in years.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Working the System

First, the obligatory baby bunny update: They are fine and growing and almost cute.

One of the 'joys' of life in our particular valley are allergies even for the very young. The Boy exhibited the Claritan classics: itchy, watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing. After confirming with the pediatrician's office that it was okay, I picked up children's Claritan for him - grape and chewable.

Getting him to take it was a bit harder than the diagnosis. It is hard for a 3 year old to grasp, "if you eat this, then your eyes won't itch." Although not too fussy of an eater I can appreciate that he was a bit hesitant to put this strange item in his mouth and so for the first - and only - time I offered him a Hershey Kiss for after the Claritan. Eventually this strategy worked. He ate the Claritan in order to get to the chocolate.

The next morning he ate his Claritan, no problem, and same for all of the days since. Last night on our way home from the game he said, "Mommy, my eyes are itchy."
Concerned Parent: "They are? Well, we'll get you into the tubbie and into bed and I think they will feel better."

The Boy: "My eyes are sooo itchy.... I think they need chocolate."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Whole New Season

First, the baby bunny update... they're fine. I checked on them this afternoon and it was apparant that Mamma had added some of her fur and some more grass to their weeded - and therefore exposed - nest. They already looked a lot bigger... almost cute. Not quite though... still a bit too 'slithery' for that.

In other news our church team had its first softball game. If you have been checking in on this blog for awhile you know that
softball is a pretty consistent theme here at will smama's house. This was the first time in a long time that I was on the field without the artist formerly known as my spouse. In fact, here at Friendly Church he was the only manager anyone knew.

We are in a new league (emphasis on fun, not competition), we have new shirts and a new manager. I am even wearing a new number since I figured my anniversary date is no longer a good luck number.

It was fun. The Boy had a blast and got filthy dirty and it is nice to be home post-game and not have to discuss every detail of it for hours on end.

Just one more step in the right direction...

Monday, May 5, 2008

It's Just a Bitty Bunny

And so here is where I admit that flowers, gardens, cute wildlife and seeking healing in dirt don't interest me. I have friends who are not 'whole' until they can get out and be in dirt for the first time in the spring.

Whatever.

We inherited a garden that spits out asparagus and rhubarb automatically and tdx took care of it. Now because I have an inquiring 3 year old I was willing to weed and even till and plant some tomatos, peas and probably pumpkins. Fine.

Today we were weeding and came to an abrupt - and admittedly with a high pitched yelp - halt. For we found these:


In the garden... you know the one with the fence in order to keep bunnies OUT of the garden.
Anyway, I think they're fine. The boy thought they were cool. And now I don't have to garden this summer, right?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

That's a Croc!


Weird how the simple purchase of a designer item can seem like yet another veil lifted... or chain link removed... or whatever. It's really not that dramatic but I did enjoy having the mometary second guess on buying them and then the joy of realizing it was my purchase to make and mine alone.


The Boy loves his as finally I have allowed him to pick out something in his favorite color - black. His next favorite color is purple. Fortunately I didn't have to wrestle with his freedom of choice vs. society's expectations because he saw the black ones first.

We are enjoying a casual Saturday. It's nice.

Also, I made whatever 70% of $110 is in a consigment sale over the weekend. That's enough to go to Disney, right?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Almost

You almost feel bad for him as he drives up in his cluttered car filled with overflow from his one room apartment and remnants of a hotel clerk job at nights.

You almost feel bad as his son jumps out of the car and runs to his Mommy's waiting arms and through the door with nary a wave.

You almost feel bad as he steps into the kitchen and notices her haircut and how she has kept the weight off. And as he casually mentions to the former woman in his life who has completed her masters that the current woman in his life is struggling to complete her AA degree... online.

You almost feel bad as he looks behind her and sees homemade french fries baking and turkey burgers ready to be grilled all from the woman who never cooked dinner and as it turns out not because she couldn't but because she trusted him to nourish and feed the family.

You almost feel bad as he drives past the tree that they planted in memory of the daughter they never really knew and he pauses to see how it's bloomed this spring and as he drives away you almost feel bad as you realize he is crying the tears that you have long since passed. Almost...

But not quite.

Place Holder

Sorry about the delay in posts. I feel like a have a couple brewing but I have been trying to get things 'decent and in order' again in the office after a pre-Easter of walking through the valley and a post-Easter of climbing out if it.

Songbird reminded me of this funny story that when cleaned up can be a great sermon illustration. I have used it with Genesis 2:

While at my intern church I used to hang out with the quilting group once a week. Not because I have any small motor skills or crafting ability whatsoever but because this is where one could learn all the news of the church.

On one of these mornings conversation turned to plane crashes - there must have been one in the news. There was much discussion on whether that was a good way to go or a bad way to go when one quiet woman kept her head down quilting as she said, "Well, I heard that rapid of a change in air pressure causes all of your clothes to be ripped off. I don't mind dying in a plane crash but I sure as hell don't want to be naked!"