Friday, September 28, 2007

A Reminder

Three months ago, she lost her husband of over forty years. As she was speaking to the group about her husband, she looked me right in the eye and said,

" You fall in and out of love. When you're out of love, he's your best friend."

She was talking about her relationship with her deceased husband, but she was re-reminding me of the choice my husband and I make each and every day to love one another. I needed that reminder.

I'm glad she decided to come to our bereavement group yesterday.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Blogoversay to Me!

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

I just realized that today is my 1st blogoversary!

In my very first post, which took me about an hour to write because I was so nervous, I wrote, "If you had asked me just last week if I would ever have a blog, I would have laughed until I peed." Geez, I spent an hour agonizing over that post and that's my opening line!

But that was certainly the truth. I had always thought that blogs were for people who took themselves and their opinions way too seriously and it seemed like work. And I hate work. What I found, however, was community.....a community that has become a real, not just a virtual, part of my life and ministry.

So, thank you friends for all the ways in which you have enriched my life this past year. I want to especially thank you all for the support you gave to me last May when I was dealing with the child care worker situation. Your kind words and prayers meant so much.

So, I guess I'll keep with it for another year.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's Hunting (Nominating) Season

I think that I have mentioned here that my husband and children are still faithful members of the church I most recently served before becoming a hospice chaplain. Well, it didn't take the nominating committee long to swoop down on my husband now that he's no longer married to one of the pastors. Wait... that sounds like we're no longer married. You know what I mean!

Tomorrow night, two members of the nomcom are taking my hubby out to coffee with the purpose of asking him to serve on Session. He has never served on session and has, to my knowledge, never sensed the call to do so.

I'm trying very hard to keep my nose out of this decision. There's a part of me that doesn't want him to because I'd like to relish in these meeting free evenings for awhile. On the other hand, if he feels like he's called to serve in this way, I'd hate for him to say no. If he doesn't serve now, I wonder if he ever would. He has said that he absolutely would not serve as an elder of a session where I am the moderator. Not because he thinks I'm a sucky moderator, but because he fears that it wouldn't be the best thing for our marriage. I think he might be right about that.

So, what do you all think about pastors' spouses serving on session (or your denomination's equivalent?)

P.S. How do you do that neat trick where it looks like you've crossed out a word? I wanted to do that in my title, but didn't know how.

Friday, September 14, 2007

My Week at Hospice

One of my patients I visit is an 87 year old woman with dementia who is such a hoot. (Let's call her Maxine.) Each time I visit, Maxine asks me if I have kids and when I answer "yes, I have a six year old son and a three year old daughter," she responds, "How can you have a six year old when you can't be older than nineteen!" I love Maxine.

In my past visits she might have forgotten my name, but she always knew me as the chaplain. Yesterday she didn't, and I am beginning to see signs of decline. However, she still was her hilarious self this day and, of course, we had the above mentioned conversation. Yesterday, however, she took a look at my big belly and the following conversation took place:

Maxine: Are you pregnant?

Me: No, are you?

Maxine: (laughs out loud) Oh dear, not me! I just saw your stomach and thought you were pregnant.

Me: No, I just have a big belly and I need to have some surgery to fix something in there.


Maxine: Can you still have sex?

[end scene]
Today I officiated the funeral of "Percy," a 76 year old man who died with Alzheimer's. Percy was a golden gloves boxer who once fought Floyd Patterson at Madison Square Garden before Patterson became the world heavyweight champ. It was only one of two fights that Percy ever lost.
Percy was extremely difficult to handle, especially at night when the "Sundown Syndrome" would really kick-in. His behavior turned destructive, such as tearing the drapes off the wall and pulling the upholstery off the furniture. Last week, he took a terrible fall and broke his head open. It is hard to believe, but his behaviors got even worse. The nurse told me that oftentimes with Alzheimer's patients, wild behavior is indicative of pain. So, it was decided that he needed to be given some serious pain medication and, not too surprisingly, when his body was free from pain and was able to relax, he died a few days later.
Percy was not connected to any faith community in his adulthood and I am told by his wife that, as far as she knew, he never talked about spiritual matters. However, the last time I saw him alive he looked at me and said, "Pray for me." Four days later, he died. I wonder just how God was communicating to him in those last days.
All in all, a good week.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I'm back from my pulpit supply gig. What a great morning!

  • I found this morning that for the first time in two years I could fit into my favorite purple suit. So, I felt pretty today.
  • I'm picking the blue play dough that I played with in the pulpit off of my rings. Yeah, I had fun!
  • I most certainly did NOT preach a dud this morning. Thank you, God!
  • The congregation was overwhelmingly warm and welcoming to me.
  • I can tell that the two music directors are incredibly gifted musicians and are worship, rather than performance, oriented.
  • They are going to elect their Pastor Nominating Committee later this month, but I have no clue how long it will take from them to be ready to review PIF's. God, help me to be patient.
  • The chair-apparent of said PNC said to me after service, "So, you're going to apply, right?" This is very, very encouraging, yet at the same time, I hope that she doesn't say that kind of thing to me anymore. I know that they will be receiving PIF's from many other fine pastors and she needs to keep her mind and heart open.
  • God, also help me to trust you. This may be my call..... might not.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Saturday Sermon Writing

It's almost noon on Saturday. I am doing pulpit supply tomorrow and I'm only about a quarter of the way through with writing the sermon. I really don't want to preach a dud tomorrow because I want to apply to be this congregation's pastor when the time comes.

Thank God for the 11th Hour Preacher Party over at the RevGals!

Please pray for me!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

.....and her head did not explode!

The memorial service at the nursing home was this morning. The activities director (the anti- women minister gal) greeted my colleague and me when we arrived. Well, I should say, she nodded at me and directed all of her comments to the male chaplain. I didn't look at her during the service, so I don't know what her reaction was to my leading the majority of the service.

The service itself went very well and the family was very appreciative. The male chaplain played the guitar while leading the hymn singing. Since I don't play the guitar, I was grateful that he was there to lead that part. I could have done without him giving what amounted to another homily right after I had given mine, but whatever.

Right before we left, I saw him give the activities director his card and heard him say to her, "I'd be glad to come out and do a music program sometime." You know, I might just say to my supervisor that this guy should just be assigned to this facility.

Did I just have a massage on Sunday? Time for another one.