Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Self Help Nation

I was recently at a garage sale perusing the the books - fill a bag for $1! (I really have to calm myself down at these things).

I did find some gems: Some old library books marked for discard, and a lovely vintage cookbook. I also found a great set of coffee cups and a creamer that must be from the 60's. Cream on the outside with some retro designs and then a lovely shade of avocado on the inside. (Purchased with the promise to my spouse that I would toss out 4 other mugs if I wanted to use these... sure honey.)

And one thing really struck me as I took in the book selection - almost all of the discarded books (and VHS tapes!) fall into one of these three categories:

Finding Jesus - bibles, bible-like books, devotionals and biographies of televangelists

Losing Weight - diet cook books, multi-step workout books, inspirational stories of weight loss and workout tapes,


Discovering Love - Fictionalized, ultra-simplified romance: especially the ones with half dressed women on the covers.

There's lots of advice and dreams written, sold and then discarded in those book bins at garage sales.
Why do we keep buying it?
Why do we think the next book will work?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

This has been a difficult date for me over the past 15 years since my father died.
I know it is a difficult day for many people as they sort through sometimes very complicated relationships with their dads.

But I found a new light, a new perspective today.
I got to celebrate, quietly, so the child would not awaken, a first father's day with my husband.
Ironically we both rose early this morning (more that we couldn't get back to sleep after the 4:30 am feeding) and talked, laughed and giggled like we hadn't in a long time.

With the sunlight streaming in, he opened his father's day cards and gifts with an enthusiasm I had not seen for some time. It was a good, good morning. Even if I had to rush later to get ready for worship.

What an honor to celebrate with a new father today.
What a joy to look in at our son, overwhelmed with love.

A little part of my broken heart mended today, as I watched the father of my son who shares his grandfather's name.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Time for some new views, some new back grounds, some new frames.
That's often what we called is in our CPE and pastoral care conversations: Reframing.

It is amazing how the world view changes when new frames are applied.
But the question always is: when is the right time to reframe?

Often times I work with people who need to reframe because the old one is broken. There is no choice then, but to find a new way to look at the world.

But I think reframing can be a much better experience when we choose the time and the event. When we are able to carefully pick out the differences between the picture and the frame. And while the picture is still there, then we are able to make the frame a part of the artwork as well. For a good frame will draw the whole piece together.

So I'm working on reframing these days... in blogging templates as well.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Holy Grounds: Oh how I have missed them!

It has been a while since my last post, long enough that I have probably lost many who were following me. But I have missed this, and I have to tell someone:

I had my first small pot of caffeinated coffee yesterday... and it was good. Very, Very Good.

I had sort of decided since I weathered all the headaches, I would just stay away from the divine brew. But interrupted night sleeps, early morning studies, full time motherhood and work, plus that welcoming cup that is there when I visit people made me decide, well, that these lovely, wonderful grounds will still be my lifeline for a while.

Now the question is: Can I get back into the pattern of drinking coffee without becoming addicted to caffeine?

Coffee and ministry have gone hand in hand for so long. I can hardly imagine not sharing stories, faith, dreams or tears without a steaming cup in front of me.

When Karl Barth stated: "one should preach with the bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other," wasn't it simply a given that there would be a cup of coffee on the table in front of him?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Holy Grounds: Inward and Inside

It has been a while.
I find I don't write much during the precious warm months here- I'm not as contemplative, perhaps. I jump out of my head and put my energy into those fledgling tomatoes, the growing herbs, the laughter on the lake and the paths my hiking boots hit.

But we are closing in for winter now.
Beginning the hibernation, turning inward- inside my head more.

Part of the reason I am turning inward so much is that there is a new life growing inside me.
I cannot help but contemplate the great mystery within.
What an amazing advent this will be in the coming months.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Holy Grounds: laughter in the halls

This week is VBS (Vacation Bible School) in our church.
It is a wonderful week of chaos, laughter, learning, singing, craziness and joy.

While I am not involved in the planning or execution of the program (we have an incredible group of volunteers from 3 area churches who spend months planning this), I have the privilege of leading a prayer from time to time, sitting with a young one who is nervous about her mother leaving for the morning, and checking in with parents as they drop off and pick up their children.

But my absolute favorite thing to do is play.

During VBS the highest goal of the week is to play.
And how often do I forget as I try to keep my weekly schedule in order, the importance of holy and beautiful play?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In the Good Ole Summertime

This can be a crazy life, this call.
I keep phones by the bed when I sleep.
My calendar is always with me.
The only time I am truly on vacation is when I am out of the country...

However, I can be home
put my feet up
sip iced tea
and work while the sweet summer breeze blows through the house...

that is all the compromise I need.