Sunday, January 29, 2012


I cried briefly in the shower this morning.  I'm guessing many who don't live alone find the shower a [safe] place to let out emotion.  Sometimes bothering others with our fears.doubts.lows seems unnecessary.  And sometimes I just need a moment of privacy to let out a few tears.  And while it's cliche, the water washes and refreshes and takes away.

It's been a week of sad thoughts.  It's January [my least favorite month], which doesn't help.  

On Wednesday, I looked into the faces of two exhausted [physically and emotionally] people who had given their entire workday as volunteers, working with homeless.  The center was low on volunteers Wednesday, meaning the bulk of work fell on the two of them.  No paycheck.  Just a "good job, see you tomorrow".  This scenario coming after my husband had read me a letter to the editor.  A rather crude, ugly letter about homeless and the problems they afford.  

Saturday morning I greeted a homeless man at the door of a church.  Not a church I attend.  I just happened to be there at a work event.  He was a grown man, but thinking back, he really was more like a child.  His nose was snotty.  He seemed dazed.  He wanted food.  I gave him a plate of breakfast.  He wanted money.  I said no and suggested he visit a couple places that might help him.  He came back to the door a while later, asking again for money.  I said no and sent him on.  He was who the letter writer was referring to.  

My daughter has a friend whose mother died this week.  A brief illness, and now she's gone.  What do I tell my daughter?  What will she say to him when he returns to school?  Kids that are 13, maybe 14 years old, dealing with so many questions.  So many thoughts.    It's hard enough to be in middle school.  A bomb threat two weeks ago, honor band auditions, tests, hormone induced emotions, decisions regarding high school.  And now death.  A mom who won't be at the 8th grade promotion ceremony.  Or high school graduation or a wedding someday.  

Wishing sadness away doesn't help.   And I'm not sure I want it to.  I hope I'm never [not sad] about these types of occurrences.  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

{Dear Chip}

Twenty three years ago today was our first date.  The day we really sort of met and began getting to know each other.  Like today, it was a Saturday.  Yet unlike today, it was a sunny San Diego day and not a gray Kentucky one.  

I remember Balboa Park and Corvette Diner.  And I remember thinking, 
"I think this guy's alright!"
I am so glad that day happened, just like I'm so happy that today is today.  We went out to eat last night.  This time with our kids, yet I couldn't help to think of the similarities to Corvette Diner:  burgers, fries, loud music playing, some chaos.  This time though:  no meat on the burgers, again, two kids along, one of them almost as old as we were then. . . .  

We are different now.  We drink coffee and  live in the south.  We know so much more about life and work and relationships.  And we are much the same.  You're still funny and freckled.  I'm still short and quiet.  

People write and speak about marriage so often now.  Eguiltarian?  The submissive wife?  Lead me, let me lead you, let me lead us. . . .   I don't really know how I'd classify our marriage.  I suppose it's different depending on the day and situation.  Yet it works, and I thank you for that.  Heaven knows it's not easy and I have some regrets.  It's hard not to after twenty three years of trial and error.  Yet I never have regretted January 21, 1989.  It was the beginning of us.  

Happy "us", Chip!  



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Every once in a while, a day is out of the ordinary.  Today is such a day for me.  It's a Tuesday, a normal workday, yet due to a medical appointment for me this morning, and my daughter's dentist and ortho appointments this afternoon, I decided to utilize a sick day.  

So, after taking my daughter to school, I went to the YMCA.  After 30 lovely minutes there, I headed home for breakfast.  Shortly thereafter, it was time for the above mentioned medical appointment. 

Though I don't feel extreme detail is necessary, it was time for a mammogram.  Yes, females in the over 40 crowd are suggested to get them.  I am part of this demographic, therefore I did my [to thine own self be true] duty and went in.  There's a waiting room, then there's the other [women only] waiting room.  Between the two are the changing areas, where robes are provided, as well as cubbies.  The [women only] waiting room contains a tv, and at 11 in the morning, what else would be playing other than "Kathie Lee and Hoda"?  I overheard [I would have to have been deaf not to] two women in deep conversation about Kathie Lee and Hoda.
"I like Kathie Lee now.  I didn't before."
"Hoda was a real journalist.  She covered real stories.  I don't know why they have her doing this now." 
 "I never did like Regis."
Soon, one of them was called back.  After a few minutes in the exam area, she waltzed back through.  No more KL & H comments.  This time:
"Well, that was better than a colonoscopy!"
Then she exited.  This tipped her now lonely convo partner off.  She decided to throw colonoscopies out there for the rest of us.  By this time, I was deep into a new book on my Kindle.  I'm not one to make small talk [especially of the medical nature] in waiting rooms.  Another woman, seemingly wise, told her she'd never had one, but had heard. . . .   and quickly brought the discussion to a close.  Soon after, the wise woman leaned over and asked me about my Kindle, comparing her reader to mine.  Then, I heard my name.  

To all of the women in the waiting area's credit, a mammogram is daunting.  Not that it's painful.  But the thought that this is where it begins.  This is where, if there's a problem, the problem is forever recorded on an x-ray.  There are specially designated parking places out front.  If you're at Lexington Clinic for any other test or procedure, find a spot in the lot.  If you're visiting the Breast Care Center, well, convenient parking designated with a pink ribbon painted on each space can be found near the building.  The workers are especially sweet.  Everything hints {}.  So, I'll give the jabberwockies in the waiting area a break.  

My next activity was locating a mail box.  I had some cards to mail, and figured driving back through downtown, I should sooner or later come across a box.  Well, it seems mailboxes are sparse in Lexington, Kentucky.  After pausing twice [yes, 2 times] on different streets for Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt and her entourage to cross the street, I finally got my cards mailed.  

Then, I headed to the Lexington Rescue Mission's Thrift Store, to drop some items off, and peruse their store.  I ran into a family friend who works there, had a short convo with him, and was especially happy to find all jewelry 50% off.  I've been wanting to experiment with some vintage earrings, and now I've got some.  Yay.  And a yellow Gap cardigan for spring and summer.  Before leaving I listened to part of the conversation between my above mentioned family friend and a lady who moved here from Iraq.  He was in the Marines, stationed in Iraq.  So, they had quite a lot to talk about.  [Yes, I overhear a lot.  I'm somewhat nosy.  But, for the most part I can't help it.  Really.]

Before picking up Allie early at school for her afternoon of dental visits, I baked some banana bread.  I'm fantasizing about spreading some Nutella on a slice later tonight.  I've never tried this combo, but gosh, it sounds good.  Nutella is new to me, and I continuously wonder, "why did it take me so long to find it?"  Maybe because Kobe Bryant was on the jar for a while. . . .  ?

A cup of vanilla rooibos tea with a splash of almond milk is helping me mark the end of my alone time today.  And I'm thankful for it, and other small things.  Things like sunshine and no.coat.needed in January.  And different sorts of days.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

a word

Last year I focused on the {fruit of the spirit}.  One word, per day.  It worked well, and I ended up with some key verses that really helped me.  Here are two:

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Colossians 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in  your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  

As 2011 came to a close, I considered what to do in 2012.  After some deliberation inside my brain, I decided to go through:

Common Prayer:  A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

My husband owns the book; he utilizes it and enjoys it.  Plus our son chose to go through it this year.  I can access it on line, there's a daily entry, plus morning and evening prayers.

Really, what I feel prompted me to do this was our family's visit to Christ Church Cathedral on Christmas Eve.  We chose to attend their Christmas Eve service, having never attended an Episcopalian service.  While I knew somewhat to expect, I didn't know if I'd enjoy it or not.  Honestly, despite my fondness of modern worship music and inspirational preaching, I truly liked it.  It was entirely God's word and Christmas carols.  No one's interpretation, no one's commentary.  No jokes, no drama, no trying to create a mood.  Just a full cathedral of people reciting scripture together, praying, taking the Eucharist, and singing.  And according to what I've learned of Common Prayer [the book], that's its goal too.  People all over, everywhere, focusing on the same scripture and prayers.  And for this season of my life, I feel it's what I need.  It will keep me disciplined [at least that's my hope].

On another note, I've come across this:  I haven't checked out the entire web site, but someone I follow on Twitter posted her family's plan, and I decided to pick a word/my word.

my word for 2012 = RISK

Why {RISK}?  Well. . . . . . .  because I thought back to something else I'd recently seen on Twitter [perhaps I spend too much time on Twitter?????.......]  
The safest thing you can do in 2012 is take a risk. ~ Jon Weece
and I tend to play it safe.  Which is ironic if you read the quote.  Taking a risk is safer than playing it safe.  So, while I don't plan to parachute out of a plane or kayak the Amazon, I do hope to bring myself to 

  • risk letting my neighbors get to know me
  • risk communicating on a deeper level with my husband
  • risk walking into a women's bible study for the first time in years
  • risk changing however God wants me to change
  • risk spending without over analyzation
  • risk letting myself be me
 As of yet, I haven't come up with a [key verse] so to speak.  Aren't a lot of bible characters risk takers, though?   

So, here's to a And a  And hopefully a

Monday, January 2, 2012


January 2012 marks the eighth anniversary of our family's return to Kentucky.  I say return because we lived here between 1991 - 1994 while Chip attended Asbury Theological Seminary, then from 1995 - 1997 when our son Jamie was very young.  We came back in 2004 because Chip accepted the position of pastor at Stonewall Wesleyan Church.  And as we mark another milestone [end a year and begin another], I can't help but think of how much.much.much has changed since that January.  There are so many thoughts, so many dreams.plans.ideas that have come and gone, and some that still haunt.  Questions are asked, answered, and some left unanswered.  Often I try to block things out, tell myself there's enough going on:  I have two teenagers, a full time job.  I need to focus on improving my marriage today, not think back to what should have been years ago. . .   Yet as a new year ushers in a new chapter, I long to get it all out.over.done. 

A denomination that proudly exclaims their endorsement of women in ministry.  Unless you're the wife of a pastor.  Then it's different.  Then you can do some, but not everything.  And please don't try to do anything someone else might like to do.  Even if they're not gifted at it.  It's alright to waste your gifts.  

We like the family that left.  They had kids we love.  They were like family to us.  We can't get over them leaving.  It's not the same.  Your family is nice, but just not the same.

It's my fault my husband's not in pastoral ministry any longer.  What they said 20+ years ago was correct.  "She'll make a terrible pastor's wife."  "Don't marry her, Chip.  It will be a mistake."  

Will my kids have a sour feeling about church?  Do they understand this isn't how it's supposed to be?

Why are these people so shallow?  Why does walking out the door make a difference?  

How could I have been so wrong?  I've always been a good judge of character.

I should have been a teacher.  That was the plan.  Why did I mess it up?    

Why does this ministry have to end?  Our work is so important.needed.necessary.  Who will help these kids?

The calling.desire.urgency to work in abortion ministry is not there anymore.  It was so strong before.  I was so sure it was my life's work.  Will it return?  

I went to college.  I have a degree.  Am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing?

Why do I get these headaches?  I should be thankful I'm not seriously ill.  Yet there are days every month when I'm not able to fully function.

Why can't I get more accomplished?  Am I successful?  
I try to change what I need to change.  Yet I feel like it's impossible.  

We will decide how much money your husband makes.  We will watch how you spend it.  

What happened to hospitality? 

I thought I'd always be involved in women's ministry.  Is that chapter closed for good?

I don't understand why things are this way.  I tried so hard to do what I was supposed to do.  Or so I thought.

I moved across the country.  I gave up something, yet you don't seem to mind taking.  I made this my home and invited you in.  Yet you never opened yours to me.

I tried to help you.  You didn't want help.  

There's a different set of rules for us.  

Manipulation or ministry?  

We value your education.  We devalue your education.  We want you to challenge us.  We want you to be like us.

Am I angry?  Not really.  Sometimes misunderstood.  People want us to be what they want us to be.  What's convenient for them.  And a fact of life is that things change.  We change.  And we're not perfect.  I've made a bunch of mistakes between 2004 and now.  And fortunately, I've learned a bunch too.   Thank goodness for what I've learned.