Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It's quiet around here this afternoon. Preschool has gone home for the Thanksgiving holidays; other office staff gone for the day - so that leaves me and one pastor in the office this afternoon. Phones are silent, folding machine turned off, copier waiting for requests. Unusually quiet. We don't always like the quiet, do we? If we're honest, we don't know what to do with it. Most of my day is filled with noise - people coming and going, radio, family, TV, telephones. So when the quiet comes in, I don't know what to do, either!

Right now it's kind of nice. It's time to reflect and relax some. I don't mean relaxing as in putting your feet up, closing your eyes and taking a nap. But a time for the senses to relax and maybe regroup. Time to just be - even if it's for 5 minutes...no deadlines...no immediate requests...no noise. Time to take a deep breath, relax those shoulders, and find the calm within. Nice.

I plan to enjoy this for these last few minutes of the work day before I am bombarded with more noise when I get in traffic, stop by the grocery store and head home to start supper. I hope you find a few minutes of quiet in the busyness of your life - holiday season and all. If you have to, run to the bathroom and lock the door for just 5 minutes. Sometimes, it will help bring a calm back into your spirit, and then you can face the rest of the noisy day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Monday!

As I was going through my usual blogs: BigMama, BooMama, Travis Cottrell, All Access, I wondered to myself --- have I ever blogged on a Monday? You see for me, Mondays are more like - Nondays! Mondays are not my best days to put it lightly! But at the same time, Mondays are usually my busiest days with staff meeting, major drafting of bulletin info and just usual beginning of the week "stuff." It's one of my long days, and by the time I walk and head home, I don't have the creative energy to post. So I thought I would just break habits and tell everyone Happy Monday! If I don't find the time to post before Thanksgiving - may you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What If?

For those of you whose churches follow a liturgical calendar, the first Sunday in Advent begins on November 30. Being Lutheran we are HIGHLY liturgical. The thing about Advent is the call to anticipate the coming of the Christ child. We don't rush into singing Christmas hymns instead we look back at the events that led to Christ coming as a child and look forward to Christ's second coming. It is totally against our world culture. For heaven's sake - it's against my culture. I will have my Christmas music out next week and will long to sing the wonderful Christmas hymns that come and go too fast.

But what if...our Advent season became something different? My pastor sent me a head's up about this video out on You Tube. Check it out. I like the idea. What if...we really did slow down, spend less, give more of ourselves and develop those relationships with God and with others? I'm intrigued. Maybe together we can become part of the Advent Conspiracy in some small way. What if gradually, we changed our mindset and our habits? What if we became more Christ-like? What if?

Another Week

Time really flies by. I can't believe it's been a week since I've last blogged. It has been busy, but as I just told a friend in an email, I can't tell you busy with what! :) As far as work, this is a busy time of the year. Along with it being newsletter week, it's time for Thanksgiving bulletins and Advent mailings, end of the year reports are coming up and holiday happenings. All of this makes for busy days and time flying by faster than I care to admit!

Do you ever glimpse yourself in a reflection as you're passing by a mirror and wonder, "Who's that?" I do, and wonder, "Who's that old person!" It's meeeeeee. When did I get this old? My energy is zapped by 8:00 in the evening now...especially with the shorter days.

As I bemoan all of this, I remember how blessed I am. My Bible study group is on our last lesson of Stepping Up, and God's timing always amazes me. The last week's lessons (for me) focused on unity and God's blessings. What better time to discuss this than the week before Thanksgiving...the week before the "madness" starts...the week before cooking a huge meal (or just being part of one)...the week before the masses head to the malls for the perfect Christmas gift...the week before our group breaks for the holidays. How fitting that we end remembering how much God has blessed us and how much MORE He wants to bless us. As we continue our pilgrimage in this life, let us remember how God longs to bless us with His presence. May you all experience the powerful presence of the Lord God Almighty during this season of Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


For some reason today I am feeling very restless. Things on my mind and don't know what to do/say or whether to do/say anything at all. It's difficult a lot of times, isn't it...to know when to speak and when to stay silent. Seems to me I've been too vocal lately, and it hasn't turned out so pretty. Thing is it wasn't as though I even realized my mouth was stirring things up - I only find out weeks later. So my current decision is to be quiet.

I guess I'm a bit like "Martha" (of Martha and Mary fame) today - I have a "crowd in my head." It's not so much that I'm worried about things, just concerned...knowing that most of what I'm concerned about is out of my hands. Yes, I've been in prayer about them this morning. Sometimes, though, it feels so much better to share them with a friend, but then once something is shared - you can't take it back. And not everything needs to be shared...or it doesn't need to be shared at this exact time.

Waiting is difficult. I imagine reading this blog today is difficult. :) So keeping it in has me restless...waiting to see how God will move has me restless...knowing that it may be months, years, before fruit is realized has me restless. Knowing that another person is in charge has me restless (I want to give my opinion!).

Where to find peace and hope...only in God - who is the One truly in charge.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)

Overflowing with hope instead of a flood of words...sounds like Divine Intervention to me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Less Than...More Than

If you saw my post yesterday, you got a glimpse into my mind lately. Overwhelmed is where I felt my brain was going yesterday. This morning I felt less than...less than effective in ministry...less than effective in parenting...less than effective in working...less than effective as a spouse... You get the picture. Anyway in my prayer time, I prayed about my "less than." As I began my morning devotions, I thought I would make a list of everything I'm trying to change about myself. Have you ever felt that way? That maybe you would like a new you? (I can hear Bob Barker now opening the curtain --- A BRAND NEW YOU!) I came up with 11 areas I'm trying to change. Now, any of you who have worked on goal setting know that that's way too many to be effective with any of them.

One of my favorite daily devotions is Today's Seed. The devotion I received this morning said, "Teach me how to take the limits off my thinking so I can be more than I am alone and do more than I am able of myself. Thank You for giving me a capability that extends beyond what I am and reaches all the way to all You are."

We have the capability to be more than - but only through Christ. I thank Him that He answers prayers and puts our requests in perspective. No, I can't make 11 changes at one time...no, I can't do it on my own. Doesn't matter if it's 11 goals or 1 goal, I will fail without Christ. But with Him...anything is possible!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Different Directions

It's Monday, and my mind is full of random thoughts all heading in different directions. That's the way Mondays seem to be as I try to refocus my mind on work and not home projects. So here's a glimpse into the mind of an aging blond! :)

Can you believe it's 2 1/2 weeks until Thanksgiving?!!! Part of my family is coming to my house, which needs to be dusted and organized...not to mention the cooking. But I do love to have family at Thanksgiving. I say part because my Mom & Dad are divorced and remarried. It's tough to try to fit in three families in one weekend. But my dad and step mom travel many times because that's also their anniversary weekend. I haven't figured out the in-laws yet. My sister-in-law who usually hosts it, is recuperating from surgery...so not sure what will be up there!

Sending prayers up for D who has a H U G E test today that he's not really prepared for. Why must we learn some of our greatest lessons from our mistakes? Prayers the test won't be as bad as he thinks it will be...but also for a lesson well-learned even if it is the hard way.

My mind is also on Christmas - gifts, schedule (will Daddy travel away from home again this Christmas?), vacation, gifts, meal, tree, gifts, decorations, parties, gifts, day after Thanksgiving shopping. The real meaning of Christmas gets lost in all of this, doesn't it? Maybe it's time to bring in my Christmas CDs. There are years I start listening early!

Supper tonight...supper tomorrow...friends I miss...Bible studies to finish...Bible studies to start...retreats to plan...burnout with youth committee...mother and step-mother birthdays...spending too much....not saving enough...feeling less than...

So there it is - a mind going in umpteen different directions. Need to refocus on the One who can energize me.

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope." (Psalm 130:5)

Waiting and hoping....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Beginnings

Well, I guess tomorrow we will have a new President-elect and begin the process of transfer of power. I hope everyone was able to vote. I stood in line about 1 hour 15 minutes. Not bad considering some other places. Now I'm trying to find something to watch other than election results. Don't get me wrong, I'm switching back and forth to it, but I'm not up to listening to them dissect every tiny thing. I'm sure before it's all over we'll find out what the candidates had to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

What is wonderful is that so many people got out and voted. We are taking ownership in our future. I loved to see moms with their children. Hearing the questions of the children and parents telling them about the process of voting. K told me he heard one mom explaining to her son that two people want to be president, but we have to vote for one. At which point the little boy said, "I want to be president! Can I be president, too!"

OK...here we go...looks like a blue map so far...but here comes some red. They're predicting SC to be red, as usual. I have trouble understanding how they can call things so early. I guess with computers it's all electronic and fast! I'm watching NBC, and it looks like people are really into it...coloring a map...watching the big map at Rockefeller skating rink. They're talking about Tim Russert...I miss him...This will go on all night.

I don't know if your candidate will win or not. But remember no matter what - God is in charge. Daniel 2:20-21 says, "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning." It can be scary when what we think is best doesn't happen. But God knows best - He changes, He sets up and He deposes. God can use all things to accomplish His plans.