I suppose that’s something, isn’t it?

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I waited a year for this book. I really enjoyed the first two in the series. This one, meh. I have no desire to even finish it two thirds of the way through. The two main voices are virtually identical making very difficult to follow and it’s frustrating me. I cannot bring myself to open it up again. I’ve already read another book in the mean time.

There is something to be said for consistency. You come to expect something and you want it to be a certain way. When change happens and you’re not expecting it, it can be shocking and unpleasant if it’s not executed well. In the case of this series the author moved from one voice to two and it wasn’t smooth or easy. Change requires planning and this felt more like an experiment gone wrong.

These thoughts on the book had me thinking about the church, change and all the wonderful emotions that go with it. Even the slightest of changes can wreak havoc on an unsuspecting parishioner. From a new minister to having the pulpit moved five inches to the right, people have become accustomed to having certain things done in certain ways. How do we navigate through the necessary changes and help ease people into it? Are we being intentional with change or just letting the wind whip through and blow everything here and there causing chaos and confusion?

I was disappointed in this book but it did remind me that change must be navigated carefully and intentionally so I suppose that’s something, isn’t it?

Silver linings

I just finished reading the Silver Linings Playbook and I absolutely loved it.  It was hard for me to put down this week as I worked through all that needed to get done but as soon as I got settled last night in my chair I poured myself into the words and embraced the strange world of Pat Peoples.  It was exactly what I needed and like the movie, strangely uplifting.

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This week was full of silver linings for me.  When the dark clouds rolled over there were many things that I could be thankful for.  I’m thankful for grace and prayers.  I’m thankful for God’s presence with us all as we walked together (both families) through difficult times.  I’m thankful for understanding, compassion and a great sense of love from the many people in my life.  Most of all I’m thankful that I knew these people as we walked this difficult journey together. It was hard knowing them, seeing their pain and experiencing the loss with them but I’m glad I was there.  Being able to support and hold people up in difficult times is a privilege and while it may be difficult, it is something that is needed and I am glad I can help where I can.

I pulled this morning’s post because I don’t feel it accurately conveyed my feelings on the week.  It was scattered and crazy and if you’re a subscriber you’ve read it and I’m all right with that.  I was and am scattered and crazy.  Walking through such emotional turmoil with people can do that to a person.  That said it was hard, it was stressful and I do feel relief that it is over. I just wasn’t fond of this mornings post while reading it this afternoon so I thought I’d toss it, and I did.

I’m going to go do some active rest now.  My pajamas are on and my sermon’s not done so that needs some focus and attention.  There are many silver linings in my life right now and perhaps my favorite is the ability to trash a post.

Church zombies

My eyes opened and it was dark. Waves of relief rippled through my body. My breathing slowed and began to fade into a smooth rhythm once more. The nightmare was over. The terror had past. It was only a dream.

Last night at 4:30 in the morning I was faced with a terrifying scenario. In my dream as I stepped into the pulpit to begin the sermon, everyone stood up and walked out. Like zombies they fell into step behind one another.  Silent and unresponsive, they were seemingly oblivious to anything that went on around them. As I followed them on their march downstairs, I found them standing in a basement surrounded by water pouring from the ceiling, silent and glassy eyed, doing nothing.

Am I am terrified of being involved with people who fail to see, who are unresponsive and silent in response to what happens around them? Maybe it’s a fear of becoming that myself. Of failing to see and live with purpose. Perhaps I’m afraid that I’ll fail at whatever it is God has called me to do in sharing the Good News. It wasn’t a good dream.

Church zombies are surprisingly scary but very enlightening. I’m pleased to report that this morning’s service was not filled with zombies but was instead a warm, friendly group of people. Nevertheless maybe I should work on some martial arts moves. You never know when the zombie apocalypse might come…

Oh hello….

It’s been a while. Twelve days to be exact. I’ve been struggling with words and work, with life and sleep. At the start of the year our little guy decided it would be amazing to wake up before everyone and let us all know. I was supposed to have a couple of weeks off after Christmas and unfortunately that didn’t happen and all of that mayhem on top of my Christmas illness and you have one Momma who’s just been pooped. It was all a little too much.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks just getting stuff done. Doing what needed to get done and what I could do. Focusing on what was present, immediate and here. My son and I played with trains and he spoke to me about important things, ‘Cat in the Hat’ things. My husband and I watched TV together and he patiently sat with me while I struggled through sermons and prayers. I went to a movie with a friend which was so much fun. Playing in the background was the emotionally manipulative stylings of Brad Paisley who never ceases to make me cry and as always my love affair with John Mayer continues. It’s been a never ending stream of busy.

The busyness needs to stop. I need to do more of the fun things. I need margins in my life and room to breathe and move. I’m looking forward to a couple weeks of freedom with far less to do with regards to meetings and errands and work. I have piles of books that are calling out for me to read. Maybe I’ll see another movie. I would like to focus on my reflections and personal spiritual journey. I need to rest. To be still. To sit with God and embrace peace.

It’s hard to let go, to give in and say enough. It’s easy to think that we are the only ones who can do something but we’re not, I’m not. I need to remember that. I love writing and blogging and connecting. I love to be in community and I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t been able to do that. This week I am being intentional about margins. I’m not taking on too much and in fact I’ve already said ‘no’ once. It was quite liberating.

This week is the week of enough and as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” so I think as long as I leave space for the Spirit I’ll find some freedom as well. Maybe even a little time to write…
 

Surrender.

When my sister was in grade school she memorized the book ‘Purple, Green and Yellow’ by Robert Munsch to give as a school presentation. I can remember her practicing her delivery and the phrase ‘super indelible never come off until your dead and maybe even later’ has stuck with me to this day.  The little girl desperately wanted markers like her friends and when she gets her hands on some ‘super indelible never come off until your dead and maybe even later’ markers she makes her mark, on herself and there’s no getting it off.

Lately in my reflections and prayers, I’ve come to understand that I have a super indelible never come off until your dead and maybe even later mark on my heart for God’s people and the ministry I am called into. Even with all of the difficulties that come with this work and the frustrations I feel with the church and it’s insanity I still believe it’s worth fighting for and something I am called to work at.  I’ve come to a place of peace with the fact that God will not let go which is a rather large step for me. I wonder now that I’ve accepted these realities, some 14 years after my first toe dip into the waters of ministry what will God do with me?

As I have come into these realizations, I’ve also noticed something deep within myself.  I’ve changed. I’ve surrendered.

In surrendering I’ve found something amazing. I have no worries. I have concerns of course for the future and for what we will be doing as a people of God but I’m not worried anymore. I realize it’s in God’s hands and we have to make choices to move with God. I’ve realized that there is a place for me, it might not be big or flashy but it is a place that God has carved out for me to do work for him and that work is work I love to do. The fact that God even wants to use me is pretty amazing so I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with God in this messy business.

I’ve surrendered and now I wait. I wait to be moved and changed and pushed where I need to go. I wait to discover the permanent place God wants me. I’ve surrendered into waiting and in that waiting I’m learning patience, trust and exercising more faith than I might’ve thought possible.
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Have you surrendered?  How has it freed you?  I’d love to hear your story…

It’s 4:58.

It’s 4:58.  I am sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee to my right and the latest copy of In Style to my left.

I am tired. I am tired for many reasons. I was up twice in the night with a little boy who had bad dreams. I am thinking of calling Mike Holmes as there is some weird stuff happening in the furnace room and I am tired of weird things happening in my home. I just sang at a funeral and had to take my son with me so that was an adventure and a half to say the least. I have a jam packed schedule this week. Laundry is piled to the rafters. Friends and family are struggling in various ways. I am tired.

With that said I’m not overwhelmed. It’s surprising. I could tell you how horrid it is but it isn’t that bad. It could be worse and I have coffee. I’m not sure when it happened people but I think I may have lost the cynicism and entered the realm of eternal optimist. What is with that?

I kind of like this new zen me. I am not going to lie feeling calm is a lot better than feeling anxious or overwhelmed.

I’m not certain but I do think a large part of my relaxed attitude in the midst of busyness has to do with the ridiculously amount of laughing that I am doing as my husband tries to teach my son how to do the dance from this video. Thank you Gangnam style!  

Coronation Grapes.

I had planned to write a post about God and God’s people and some interesting things I’ve been mulling over lately but after the day I had {and the sleepless night before it} I was just too tired. Then I sat down to dessert, some Coronation Grapes. Those grapes were amazing. They burst with juicy flavor and were utterly divine. They made everything better. God made those grapes and they were good.

P.S. – I had a bit of a porridge debacle this morning. I forgot the salt. It would seem that Jesus was right about salt. A little goes a long way. Just something to think about.