Sunday, August 31, 2008

Brotherly Love

Okay, so they are not best buddies yet! But the three of them did occupy the same space long enough for me to take this picture. That's something!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Five ~ Labor Day Edition

RevGal Singing Owl writes about Labor Day, "It is supposed to...be a celebration of the working man and woman, the backbone of the American economy, the salt-of-the-earth nieces and nephews of Uncle Sam. With apologies to those in other countries, this is a Friday Five about LABOR. All can play. Put down that hammer, that spoon, that rolling pin, that rake, that pen, that commentary, that lexicon, and let's have some fun."

1. Tell us about the worst job you ever had.

Luckily I haven't had too many really bad jobs. Truth be told, I haven't had all that many jobs at all. I pretty much always knew I wanted to be a pastor. All my other jobs were basically a means to get to that end. There was the 'temp job' to took over seminary Christmas vacation one year. It was a great opportunity, but came at a really bad time in my life. It also coincided with the Ice Storm of '98. I quit after two days!

2. Tell us about the best job you ever had.

Besides being a pastor (which, in my most opinion, is the most awesome vocation) my job as a work study student in the seminary library was pretty good. I liked the work and, as a bonus, I met my husband, who was the library assistant at the time!

3. Tell us what you would do if you could do absolutely anything (employment related) with no financial or other restrictions.

I would love to be part of a new church start. Other than that, I would have to say that I am doing exactly what I love to do. I feel blessed.

4. Did you get a break from labor this summer? If so, what was it and if not, what are you gonna do about it?

We took a one week vacation to camp this summer. Honestly, I came back to work more exhausted than when I left! But it was still nice to get away. I am hoping for a few "daycations" this fall just to get out with Gary and the dogs, go for a hike, relax.

5. What will change regarding your work as summer morphs into fall? Are you anticipating or dreading?

I am such a creature of habit that I am actually looking forward to getting back to the more 'regular' fall schedule. Is that totally sad??

Bonus question: Is there a song, a book, a play, that says "workplace" to you?

I read Dilbert everyday. Even though my workplace does not resemble Dilbert's situation at all, there is still something true in that comic strip ~ funny, and rather disturbing, yet true. Does that count?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quote of the Week ~ GSD (German Shepherd Dog)

Taken from The German Shepherd Dog by Diane Morgan:

"Always remember that you are the leader of the pack, or family group. This is what your dog expects, and if you are not the leader, he may decide to take over. German Shepherd Dogs are not wimpy, and they have been bred to take control of sheep. This is why it's important not to be a sheep!"


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of Work

Bady arrived home on Monday evening. Today was our first day of work together! This is my new view from my desk. I couldn't have asked for a better first day. Everyone was very interested in him and asking questions. Truth be told, we didn't get a lot of 'work' done, but that's okay. We look forward to a life time of ministry together. What a good boy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quote of the Week ~ Thinking

My quote this week is from Thomas Merton. Today I finished A Thomas Merton Reader. Merton has been part of my daily devotions for quite a while. Each day I would read a page or two during my prayer time, and with 516 pages, it has been a long journey.

This quote is for those of us who think too much:

"You have called me here not to wear a label by which I can recognize myself in some kind of a category. You do not want me to be thinking about what I am, but about what You are. Or rather, You do not even want me to be thinking about anything much: for You would raise me above the level of thought. And if I am always trying to figure out what I am and where I am and why I am, how will that work be done?"

Food for thought :>)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Friday Five (on Saturday) ~ Transformations

RevGal Mary Beth suggests, "For this week's Friday Five, share with us five transformations that the coming fall will bring your way. Bonus: Give us your favorite activity that is made possible by the coming of fall."

In some ways this fall feels very much like past falls: Sunday School begins. Stewardship Campaign kicks-off. Charge Conference looms large. But there are two particular transformations I'm looking forward to:

1. The arrival of Bady. I will have to be transformed from an average pet owner to a super pack leader in order for this partnership in ministry to work out. Our transformation from strangers to partners is coming slowly, but it is coming!

2. Lombard Mennonite Peace Center Mediation Training. I'm attending this fall and am excited to learn more about my leadership style. Hopefully I can build on my strengths and shore up my weaknesses and be transformed in the process.

As for my favorite fall activity: Hiking as the trees make their transformation from greens to golds and reds and oranges. Fall reminds me that we all have to potential to be transformed.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Quote of the Week ~ Gardening

I just picked up Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food life. (I know, I am a little behind the times.) I am still at the very beginning of the book, but I really appreciated her discussion of the spiritual aspects of gardening. Gardening is investing in the future. Why can't it also be a spiritual passion and discipline? My Grandmother would have certainly agreed!

"Gardeners are widely known and mocked for this sort of fanaticism. But other people fast or walk long pilgrimages to honor the spirit of what they believe makes our world whole and lovely. If we gardeners can, in the same spirit, put our heels to the shovel, kneel before a trench holding tender roots, and then wait three years for an edible incarnations of the spring equinox, who's to make the call between ridiculous and reverent?"
(Barbara Kingsolver Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.)

Amen!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Our Own Address

Something exciting happened this year. The town assessor came by and gave our little cottage it's very own address. In celebration of this milestone, (and for my Birthday) my Dad made us this sign.

In case you are wondering, the name of our cottage is, "The Little House." Long before it was moved to it's present location, I called it "The Little House." Since it is only two rooms and a loft, the name remains quite appropriate. As you can see, the cottage name is connected by our names. Zeek is the only one who didn't stay in the cottage this year.

So we have now been christened with our own name, sign and address! It has been a big year for the (part-time) residents of 2 Miller Dr.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Table Grace

The theme for Campmeeting this year was "Table Grace." Our preacher, Rev. Catherine Howe Anderson, spoke on the different Scriptures where Jesus joins friends, sinners and others for meals. She related Jesus' experiences to our everyday life and brought the theme home. In addition to daily vespers, we shared our family table graces with each other and even created some original ones.

It was quite appropriate considering that we shared several meals together as a camp. We began each meal with a shared grace. I have to admit that the table grace is not a regular part of our home life for most of the year ~ I say 'most of the year' because when Ben comes for his visits he reminds us to say grace. We keep track of whose turn it is and share the table grace responsibilities. Perhaps we will make it part of our regular daily life from now on ~ even after Ben leaves. While I consider myself generally a thankful person, saying grace before a meal is an important reminder that all we have comes from God.

Now, here is a favorite table grace of mine... sung to the Superman theme song:

Thank you God for giving us friends
Thank you God for giving us family
For the food we eat
For the friends we meet
Thank you God... do do do do.... Amen,

(My thanks to my friend Stephanie who taught me this grace! Unfortunately the blog medium does not allow me to show the motions!)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Quote of the Week ~ Scars

I am back from a wonderful and exhausting week in Maine. Campmeeting is always so much busier than I think it will be! I did manage to do some reading, though, and my quote this week comes from my vacation reading! I will write more about our vacation later, but for now here is my quote of the week:

"Why did Christ keep his scars? He could have had a perfect body, or no body, when he returned to splendor in heaven. Instead he carried with him remembrances of his visit to earth. For a reminder of his time here, he chose scars. That is why I say God hears and understands our pain, and even absorbs it into himself - because he kept those scars as a lasting image of wounded humanity. God has been here and has borne the sentence. The pain of humanity has become the pain of God." Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancey, In His Image

No one gets through life without a few scars. Sometimes they are on the surface and sometimes underneath. If I didn't believe that God hears and understands the pains of living, life would be unbearable. Yet ours is a God who suffered. And I give thanks that ours is a God who keeps his scars.