Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Exhausted

My grandmother passed away late last week. It all happened rather suddenly; she had gone into the hospital with vomiting because her stomach wasn't digesting food very well - the next thing we knew she was under sedation and unresponsive after some complications with a few procedures. I was able to drive down to Ohio with my husband and my mom to be with my dad and uncle to say our goodbyes, which was a blessing. But it totally wasn't something I expected to be dealing with...not that death ever is something you really expect, but in some cases the writing is on the wall well before the actual event. With Nammie, it wasn't like that.


I just got back from almost a week in Ohio and I am drained - physically and emotionally. Just so very tired. It was a good trip in light of everything though. It was neat starting to go through the house and see everything she kept. My favorite discovery (besides her cache of cross stitch) was a batch of letters that my mom had written to her when my siblings and I were small and when long distance phone calls were more expensive. My mom wrote about the different things we were up to as young children and it was pretty cool to read a few of them. And of course, photos of all us grandchildren were everywhere. My cousin did a fabulous job with the photo collage and I loved seeing the pictures of her throughout the years.

It's sad, but I'll see her again someday...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Make it so...

I feel the need to pause and restart this thing again (again and again) and hopefully sustain the momentum of regular posting. As much as I hate to say it, seminary killed this blog, and recovering from seminary has kept it in the grave. Right now, I don't feel like I have much to offer in the way of insights because I'm too much on the move to stop and think. I want that to change. I dream of a slower pace of life where I can take stock of my surroundings, chronicle a story or two, and continue to live the adventure God has me on right now.

So I've been yearning for reflection for awhile now. Maybe it's time to move there once again. Maybe I've got to keep my eyes open for opportunities - to look for those places of connection, of God showing up, and of me being aware enough to catch it happening. After all, that's who I want to be, in the end.

To start, I will give a general life update. I'm coming up on my third anniversary of being married next month. Soon, I will no longer be in my "mid-twenties." I am still living in this grand experiment called intentional community and loving it - even after a year (I have a sneaking suspicion that we are now out of the honeymoon phase though). The Vine - this experiment of church - is continuing to grow...despite all of us, really. Because honestly - we don't have a clue, and as soon as we think we do, God shows us otherwise. Good Shepherd is Good Shepherd and is growing in its own right.

I keep up with my flute music when I can, and knitting has taken over my spare time when I'm in a space to enjoy it. I've planted a garden this year and it's growing - again, despite me - and the vegetables are delicious. Watermelons are the next experiment. Perhaps too late to plant them, but we'll see.

Vacation starts in mid-August, incidentally on my wedding anniversary. We have two and a half blessed weeks off. To get there...well, the road is busy. I'm doing a middle school camp for a week in August, and getting everything in order for our fall push at GSUMC. Lots. To. Do.

That's the thumbnail sketch. Perhaps if all three of you who continue to read this thing post a comment or two (or harass me enough), I'll post again soon. :-)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Knitting...


I never realized how much of an addiction knitting could become. Ever since I've decided to take these skills more seriously back in December, I haven't been able to get enough. Ravelry has made it worse, admittedly, as there are thousands of patterns, hundreds of yarns, and way too many projects that I want to get started on.

Currently, I'm working on knitting a laptop case for my new netbook using this pattern, and a pullover based on this one. Of course, there are about three or four other projects that I have cast on that are on the back burner.

But the thing I've discovered that I love to make most are....socks! Below are some socks I've made for my husband....I love sock yarn!



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Resurrection Time

I've neglected this thing for far too long. I tend to forget that blogging really is a spiritual exercise for me and so I am resurrecting this blog after a five-month hiatus. All two of you who regularly check this thing will be glad of a little extra reading material. :-)


I've been thinking a bit about mission lately - not just because it's what I eat, sleep, and breathe these days, but because it was the focus of my district's recent Bishop's Day and because of the upcoming Change the World weekend sponsored by my denomination.

I've decided I don't like the phrase "reaching out into our communities." It implies that there is a central location that we are reaching out into (namely, the four walls of a church building). It implies that there are people who are "in here" and "out there" and the only reason we "in here" are reaching "out there" is to bring those "out there" "in here." It implies that the church really isn't that connected to the community if we have to designate a special time that is set apart to do our good deed for the week.

Now, I know that these things aren't intended, and that there are many, many churches out there who use this language because it does help them engage with their communities more fully and that's great. But for me, the language still falls short of really communicating what we as the hands and feet of Christ in this world are supposed to do and be for our neighbors.

As is usually the case, I was musing about this in the shower. I was thinking of the ways different people in the room during the bishop's day were suggesting they interact with places like the library or the police station or neighborhood parks...lifting up activities like reading weekly to children or throwing a spontaneous block party -- all fantastic ways to engage with your local community. And I thought...these activities aren't really about "reaching out" but about "living in" - living more fully in your community.

I believe that part of what it means to follow Jesus, is to live more fully in your community, acting as a follower of Jesus would act. It means finding ways to bless others while you do the activities that would normally interest you. You don't need a special outreach to read to kids in the neighborhood, and you don't need a special outreach to pick up trash or to give clothes to a person in need. All you need are the eyes to see what's going on around you - ways that God is already working in your community to bring about life and joy...and jump on in to be a part of it. It doesn't take a church committee to authorize people to go out anywhere...all it takes is people willing to make a deeper commitment to God to live in their community as Jesus would want them to live.

So I propose a language change - how can you live in your community more fully?