Thursday, October 30, 2008

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Positive Potpourri Edition

Some loser did the Friday Five over at the revgalblogpals this week:

1) Your work day is done and the brain is fried, what do you do?
Facebook or other ways of touching base with friends. Also, I have re-engaged in a knitting project and that has been fun.

2) Your work week is done and the brain is fried (for some Friday, others Sunday afternoon), what do you do?
Hopefully nap, but if not playing with The Boy and eating something yummy works too.

3) Like most of us, I often keep myself busy even while programs are on the tv. I stop to watch The Office and 30 Rock on Thursday nights. Do you have 'stop everything' tv programming or books or events or projects that are totally 'for you' moments?
Well, The Office and 30 Rock get my full attention. I also like to make stuff in the kitchen with The Boy which I NEVER pre-child saw myself wanting to do... or at least enjoying.

4) When was the last time you laughed, really laughed? What was so funny?
Tonight, things were a bit nutty as my Mom and I were transitioning The Boy from being dropped off by his Dad, dinner and then out to trick or treat. In the midst of organized chaos he said, "You girls are driving me crazy!"
Such comedic timing for a not-even-4 year old.

5) What is a fairly common item that some people are willing to go cheap on, but you are not.
Soft toilet paper. Life is too short to not have cushy, 2 ply.

Bonus: It's become trite but is also true that we often benefit the most when we give. Go ahead, toot your own horn. When was the last time you gave until it felt good?
The knitting project I am working on is a prayer shawl for a ministry that is just getting off the ground in our church. I was given one almost 5 years ago and it meant so much to me. I told The Boy what I was doing, making a blanket for someone, and he said, "For someone who is crying?"
It's a cool project and a fun, soft way to reach out to someone who is hurting.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fat Camp

In seemingly long gone seminary days 3 couples headed over to someone else's house over Labor Day Weekend while the owners of the home were away on a real vacation. They pigged out on appetizers from the freezer section, embarrassed themselves by making stupid comments to the teenage ice cream truck driver ("Stay cool" said the overweight, middle aged woman in the bikini top), left weird things in the bathrooms for other to see (apparantly Preparation H is a rite of passage into your 30's) and laughed until their sides hurt especially when the quieter ones finally got in their one-liners ("my wife can...").

Anyone who has left any academic setting where they have found community and steps in the real world knows how much 'fat camp' friends are worth. I remember working in a church in between college and seminary and I stopped coming to worship because I had no one to sit with and no one even noticed. Not their fault, but we all know when we're staff, we are not family.

One of the blessings of having come through a couple of valleys is it becomes clear very quickly who are the friends who wait for you to come out of the hole, who are the ones who are only helpful when you are in the hole, and who are the ones who will walk into, through and out of the hole with you.

These are the 'fat camp' friends.

Not all of my 'friends for the journey' were at that initial fat camp back when my biggest visible flaw was that I had a bit too much weight around my middle to be saying, "Stay cool!" to the 18 year old (by the way, I meant temperature because it was beastly hot but as you can tell from reading, that is not how it came out). Some I have added since then and I am grateful for it. It is also true that since I am no longer a couple, I lost one. That came as a complete surprise.

As I move through interviews the question often comes up how do I take care of myself or how do I hold myself accountable or how do I keep myself going in the sometimes trying atmosphere of the church. I try to give an answer that sounds intelligent. Something like, "I enjoy my family and friends and I have people in my life that I can turn to who will tell me when I am right and when I am wrong. I know who I am and have emotional support outside of whatever church I am serving in and so I am not defined by what certain people think of me."

I say something like that but what I really want to say is, "I have fat camp friends. Stay cool!"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Scholastic Weekly

In mid-March of this year I was phone interviewed by a committee looking for their next Head of Staff. I was heavily medicated thanks to the flu and at my own emotional ground zero. I did perhaps the worst phone interview ever.

One of the questions was what books am I currently reading. I could come up with nothing. I said, "You mean besides Parenting magazine?" Even though at the time I was reading Diane Butler Bass' Christianity for the Rest of Us and Preaching Ethically by Ronald Sisk.

So it happens... but I'm not running for Vice President.

She actually comes off more intelligent in this interview than she has at other times. the 3:54 mark is where you can find the comments I am referencing:


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