Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Five: Decisions, Decisions (deja vu edition)

Raindrops on RosesToday I am the guest host of the RevGalBlogPals Friday Five
The inspiration for today's Friday Five:  I have been in a long discernment process specific to place and kind of pastoral call.  In the past month, I have let my current congregation know that I am ending my ministry with them in September. I have accepted a call to serve as an interim for a nearby congregation.

I remembered a fun Friday Five from awhile back that I enjoyed playing, so I started thinking up pairs so we could play it again.  When I looked back, I saw that Songbird had come up with that post when she had been in heavy-duty discerning mode herself.  The post was almost exactly a year ago!  It felt like deja vu!

So, after making sure that I hadn't repeated anything from last time, I came up with these pairs and here are my own choices:

1) Sunrise or Sunset:  SUNRISE
2) To the Mountains or To the Beach: MOUNTAINS
3) Coffee or Tea: COFFEE
4) Advent or Lent: LENT
5) "Raindrops on Roses" or "Whiskers on Kittens": RAINDROPS ON ROSES

BONUS -- RAINDROPS ON ROSES:  I grew up in the desert of El Paso, Texas, so raindrops events were special occasions.  When it would rain, we would go outside and stand in it and let it splash on our faces and make our hair wet and stomp in the fleeting puddles.  El Paso got most of its rain in August, as I recall.  I didn't own an umbrella until we moved to Baton Rouge when I was 13. 
My paternal grandmother had roses! Because they were west Texas roses, they rarely got raindrops on them.  Her rose garden had about 40 different varieties and they were all close to the road.  People would stop their cars and take pictures of her amazing roses.  The secret to her roses, she told me, was daily watering to soak the roots and fertilizing with manure.  There's a profound metaphor in there somewhere!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Anniversary, RevGals!

 ~~~ It's all about the pedi ~~~

Dear Rev Gals ~~~

Happy 6th Anniversary!

On this occasion of your anniversary, I am inspired to remember my blogging journey and to reminisce about how we met and got to know each other.  I can trace my blogging life back to my first blog posts beginning in August 2002, a few months into my call as pastor of the very rural Dille Parish UCC in LeRaysville (Bradford County), PA.  I served there from May 2002 until November 2009, and I wish now that I had blogged about more of the many delightful congregational experiences I was blessed with there.

I found you for the first time, RevGals, when I was still serving that church, sometime in late summer 2007. No doubt I spotted your badge on some blog surfing expedition, clicked on it and found a world of sisters.  As soon as I peeked into your worlds, I knew that we belonged together.

My first post as a RevGal was September 1, 2007, the post that you found the day I was introduced by you in the September 3, 2007 "Monday Meet 'n Greet."

Then our relationship faltered.  Indeed, we broke up for awhile.  It wasn't you; it was me.  I wrote nine blog posts in September and October 2007 and then blogged nothing until October 2008 when I wrote about that year of blogging silence.  It was to be my one and only blog post until I started again (again) in July 2010, almost two years later.

By then, you had dropped me, and I don't blame you.  I had failed to live up to the "BlogPal" part of our RevGalBlogPal relationship.  Still, when I noticed my blog name missing from your blog roll, I knew that I wanted to be a more regular blogger.  And I was determined to earn my way back into your RevGal circle of cute feet.

Since July 2010, I have written at least one blog post a month, except for February 2011. I write, looking forward to your visits and soaking up your comments.  I confess that when I write a post and the comment number stays at "0" I wonder what that means.

After I had blogged enough to call myself a blogger again, I requested that my blog name be put back on the roll.  The result was that I was re-introduced to you in the November 1, 2010 Meet 'n Greet.

By then, I had also signed up for B.E. 4.0 and was beyond excited!  The trinity of my anticipation: cruise, cool author, and RevGals.  I had loved the only other cruise I had taken.  I had read Carol's first book and was looking forward to meeting her and to hearing what she would say about Reframing Hope.  I was especially thrilled to finally meet you in person, RevGals.  What a way to fulfill a week of continuing education!

Let's celebrate!
The first RevGal I met was the very welcoming Rev Honey (do you have a blog? I would link!) on the bus to the boat.  My delightful and full-of-surprises roommate was Kathleen.  I am still a little fuzzy on all of your names, nicknames and blogs. I did get to spend some quality time with St. Casserole and an oh-so-fun-loving group on our two shore un-excursions dubbed the "Shop and Drink" tour.  It could have also been called the "Laugh, Laugh some more, and Laugh even more than that" tour!

In you, RevGals, I have found a community that is diverse, fun, thought-provoking, seriously spiritual, winsomely wacky, and amazingly talented. You set a very large table ladened with good gifts, and I am very honored to be able to help with some of the table setting.

On this, your 6th anniversary, I am especially grateful for you.  When I was facing the first Sunday after resigning from my congregation, and I spoke of it at last week's 11th Hour Preacher Party, your encouraging words and prayers held me strongly.

Happy Anniversary, RevGals, and many many more!  May God bless you in ways yet to be imagined!  I pray that I can be as good to you as you have been to me.



Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Five (plus): My Name Spells Gratitude

H + O = An odd home in Albuquerque
Jan is a RevGal pal who came up with a fun Friday Five today: She invites us to make an ABC Gratitude list.  "Use your name or nickname of about five letters and express your gratitude about something that starts with each letter."  My first name has six letters, so I'm stretching the Friday Five to this "Friday Six" objects of my gratitude today:

S -- Singing.  I have been struggling with laryngitis for the past week.  I kind of like the break from talking, but I miss singing. Singing is a sign of good worship, overflowing joy, or a playful time.

H -- Home.  I am grateful when I feel at home.  I'm especially grateful for the ways I can feel at home when I'm away from my own house -- with family or friends, and especially when I feel at home in a totally new place.

A -- Ancestors.  Think of all the DNA combos that came together over eons to create each person!  I also wonder about what movements of their lives are playing out again in mine.

R -- Reunion.  Coming back together with family or friends is sweet!

O -- Oddities.  I am grateful for the out-of-the-ordinary things that get my attention and change me -- things like thinking outside the box, doing something new, stretching outside the comfort zone, or a unique piece of art or something amazing in nature.

N -- Naps.  Yeah, naps.  The Sunday ones, especially.