Tuesday, July 31, 2007

You know you don't like your job when...

you're actually glad that your child is sick so that you can stay home.

(Did I just type that out loud?)

ETA: My daughter is going to be fine. She was running bit of a temperature, but is perking up now after a day resting and watching "Spy Kids" and "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl." I just want to clarify (mostly to myself) that I would not have been glad if she had been very ill.

Monday, July 30, 2007

My Life Story?

With a tip of the hat to Mags:

You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I have to admit that I've never read this book, but talking rabbits sound fun. Harvey or Donnie Darko anyone?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Playing Hooky

For the first time in ten years, with the exception of some vacation days, I am playing hooky from church.

Do I feel guilty?


Thursday, July 26, 2007

I Can't Think of a Title for This Post

I've written very little lately. I think it's because I've been embarrassed to express that I'm not having that great a time in my new gig. My kids are crying everyday because they don't want to go to daycare all day and I don't blame them. And although I have been privileged already to walk with patients and their families in those sacred last days of life this side of eternity, I still feel like a cog in the machinery of this for-profit company.

Maybe I'm not cut out to be a 9-5er. I feel like such a brat saying that because that is what normal people do; work and come home. Why should I think that I'm so frickin' special?

God, I wouldn't be surprised if no one reads my blog anymore. I'm getting on my own nerves.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Friday Five: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Sally with the RevGals says: When I began work here at Downham Market a wise friend told me that after one year I would see a few changes and sense God at work- years two and three would cause me to question and to wonder why I had chosen to accept the post here and in year four I might see the beginnings of something new.And so with that in mind alongside yesterdays celebrations I bring you Friday 5 Looking back, looking forward..

1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith
You know, at first I was drawing a blank for some reason, but as soon as I thought of one instance of encouragement, many others began to flood my mind. One such time was in my first year of seminary when the pastor I worked with at the time declared that it was time that I started to preach. I was terrified because in my past life in another denomination a pastor that I had worked with never let me preach, saying that I wasn't ready. So, I preached my first sermon a few weeks later and I must have said some apologetic or self-disparaging remarks about myself during the sermon because one of the older gentlemen in the congregation took me aside after service, looked me straight in the eye and said, "Don't ever let me hear you put yourself down or apologize for who you are in the pulpit ever again." It was a scolding that is one of the best moments of encouragements I've ever had.

2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry?
Although I have just begun in my ministry as a hospice chaplain, I am aching to stay home with my children. My dream right now is for my husband to make enough money for me to be able to quit my job. I'd love to stay home while also doing some pulpit supply and continue moderating the Presbytery committee I serve until my daughter is old enough to go to school in a year. My dream also includes a congregation here in town that is the right match for my gifts and experience that would be ready to search for a new pastor at about that same time.

3.Money is no object and so you will.....
I guess I already answered that one.

4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going?
For me, it is important to let myself feel disappointed and not try to act like it doesn't matter. I bitch and moan and eat some (okay, lots) of chocolate. I pray and ask that I might be able to trust that God has plans and purposes for my life.

5. How important are your roots?
I am close to my parents and my sisters, but not so much my extended family. Both my husband and I moved around a lot as kids, so we are both prone to restlessness and wanderlust. We are trying to provide a more grounded upbringing for our kids, which is why we decided to stay here in this city for awhile.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Shifting Gears

I really should have taken at least a day off between jobs. I am physically and emotionally exhausted and I didn't feel like I could assimilate anything they were teaching me today. And there is so much for me to learn.

I am going to be glad when my training is over so that I can begin going alone on visits. I am an introvert that can play the part of an extrovert for a while, if I have some alone time. I think I am really going to like my time alone in my car as I drive to patients homes. Some of my drives are over 20 miles away.

I do think that I am going to enjoy my job, but all day today I was longing for the church, not specifically the church I just left, but just in general. I want to be fully engaged in what I am doing, but how do I do that when I know that ultimately my heart is in parish ministry? I know the answer to my own question and that is to accept this time as a gift to hone my pastoral care skills, not to mention my organization skills! I am also going to gain an understanding of folks who work M-F, 8-5 each week, which is something I have never ever done.

I have already met some incredible people and I'm sure to blog about many of the experiences I have had. Like today, I visited a women who is an immigrant from Russia and doesn't speak English. When we prayed together, she began in Russian and I continued in English; back and forth in each language until we finished the prayer. I felt like it was Pentecost!

More later!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Good Good-bye

It's 6:00 pm and I'm finally able to write about today, my last day at the wonderful church I've been serving for 4 years. I kept it together pretty well, but got a little teary in the middle of my sermon when I was challenging the congregation to not neglect the ministry right under their noses; namely the children and youth.

Afterwards they had a nice reception for me and, get this, they gave me the entire 12 volumes of the New Interpreter's Bible! I about fell over! I expected something like a gift certificate to Cokesbury, but this is just too much.

Lots of hugs and lots of saying, "I'll miss you, too." I meant it, I will miss them, but I also have a deep sense of peace today.

Three of the girls in the youth group asked me to go with them to see the Harry Potter movie. Man, is that a dark movie. I mean, in terms of lack of light. I nearly fell asleep a few times, but I still enjoyed it. But they really need to get on the stick about filming the final two movies before the actors have children of their own. I'm just sayin'.

I've been a part-time associate, which has been a real gift, but now I'm looking forward to having my evenings and weekends a little bit more free. Time will tell how I will like my new job, but I'm optimistic. I start full-time tomorrow.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Harry Mania!

Okay, I gave in. I just ordered my copy of the Harry Potter book. All the talk on the webring about spoilers got to me and I can't stand being spoiled!

Also, I'll need something next weekend to take my mind off of the fact that I am no longer at my church. This should do nicely!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

How Do I Trust Again?

A woman in my congregation called me tonight to tell me that her daughter had a bad experience at the daycare/preschool that I have enrolled my kids (my son just for the summer.) She didn't say that anyone hurt her daughter, but that her daughter seemed unhappy there and they didn't monitor her diet closely enough. (The daughter has a milk allergy.) This woman is a little high strung and I tend to take things that she says with a grain of salt. However, after what we experienced in May with our last child care provider, I am extra sensitive to any complaint I hear about where my children are.

My children tell me that they like this place, but are unhappy that they have to go everyday. Yeah, they know how to push my guilt buttons.

I believe this woman when she says that they had a bad experience, but I don't want to over-react because every place has someone who didn't like them for whatever reason. However, I do not want to repeat the mistake of rationalizing things that I see and hear. The sad thing is that I didn't even know that I was rationalizing. This place has internet monitoring, and believe you me, I will be monitoring.

How are you vigilant without being overly suspicious? And how can I ever trust another child care provider again?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Stuff and Things

This may sound really stupid, but I feel as if I'm leaving the pastors' club. I know there's no club and that I am certainly not leaving ministry, but I am experiencing a sense of loss thinking about not being a parish pastor.

I have worked just two days for hospice and those days have been a whirlwind of learning all about Medicare regulations. I am going to be easily spending twice as much time on paperwork as I am actually with patients. One thing is for sure, my organizational skills are going to be getting a much needed improvement! Everyone I work with is very nice and I do think that I will enjoy the work...... for awhile.

I am very concerned about our new Administrative Assistant. I do not believe that she is at all well. In the past couple of weeks she has been going on and on that someone has been coming into the church office and tampering with her computer and moving things around, so she asked that the locks be changed. Well, she is still going on about it and has accused both a session member and our former Administrative Assistant. Her proof? A text message that she said she traced to a small town about 25 miles away. Yeah, it makes no sense. She called another Session member twice on Tuesday to talk about it. The Session member then called me and said that the Admin. Assist. was rambling on and on and making no sense. She has also been out of the office all week with an ailment that she hasn't clearly explained to me. But, I don't want to ask anymore because her explanation is too convoluted and confusing. I hope that she returns to the office in a better place physically and mentally for everyone's sake. I have documented all of this for the personnel chair and for the Interim pastor when she returns from vacation. I don't envy them.

Here's a happy.... "Sally" is doing so much better! She is walking around and her thought processes seem to be okay. When I was talking to her on Thursday, she seemed as sharp as she ever was. And she is easily one of the sharpest tacks in the drawer! Praise God! Thank you for your prayers for her.

Have a blessed worship service tomorrow, y'all! I'm off to finish my Naaman sermon.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Summary

I have so much to write about, but little energy. And that I wish to save for my family to enjoy the holiday tomorrow.

So, to sum up quickly:
  • I think I'm going to like my new job and the people with whom I will be working.
  • I'm afraid that the new Admin. Assistant at church is losing it.
  • I am experiencing an exhilarating freedom in preaching right now.
  • We're shopping for a new (to us) car. I hate the adversarial relationship I have with car salesmen.
  • I visited the young woman I've been telling you about today. Let's call her Sally. Sally has been removed from the ventilator, feeding tube, and tube that was attached to her head to drain fluid. She is responsive, but fades in and out a lot. I was happy to see that she recognized me and asked about people at church. She should be moved out of the ICU tomorrow. Praise be to God!