Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Having wrapped up my chaplain residency, I am now on a 3 week vacation. This was supposed to be a time of rest and reflection over my time as a chaplain, but of course I'm a Weaver and I don't really do vacations well. I've been cracking away at my to-do list, cleaning out closets that have collected junk and drawers that have collected odds and ends. I'm also still doing PRN work as a chaplain, continuing my habit of always having a job (I had to think about the last time I didn't have a job or full time school, and I can't remember when that was...maybe the 2 weeks I went to Colorado after my second year of seminary?).

The thing is, I find that I can't really rest and reflect when I've got clutter on my mind. With all of these to-dos weighing so heavily, I can't sit and ponder the experience I just had, as well as meditate on the next chapter to come. But I will do that. After we take a trip to the Northwest to see some family we haven't seen in way too long.  When I get back, I hope to use this space to help with the processing. Stay tuned.

For now, I look forward to time with family and am saying prayers all week for my many Presbyfriends who are taking the ordination exams on Friday and Saturday. May all that jumbled up stuff we learn in the classroom be well articulated through your keyboard.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This is why I run: Frozen Yogurt

I'm not really a runner. I think I've written about that before, but I'm too tired to check through the archives and see. Basically, all you need to know is that I was the girl in middle school who whined on running day in P.E.. Can you blame me? We had a gym teacher who used to chase us in a golf cart around the track, with a flame thrower scorching our hair and chihuahuas nipping at our heels. It was torture and I hated it. It motivated some kids into running, but I wasn't fooled. I didn't want to run even when I was chased by the scary flame throwing, chihuahua yielding gym teacher. 

Now my motivation for running is food. I loves me some food. Basically, I now run so I can eat whatever I want. This is a pretty brilliant plan, because I'm pretty sure there's math involved with weight management: don't put in more calories than you're burning. So when you love food as much as I do, you have to figure out a way to burn some calories. Thus, running. Although in these adventures I've learned that I really do enjoy running and it makes me feel energized. Husband's solution to any ailment is to go running. Got a stomachache? Go run. Think you're coming down with the black lung, Pop? Go run.

Tonight I did something that would make personal trainers cringe. First, I went to an hour long yoga class at my gym. This wasn't easy-peasy-gentle-yoga. This was 90% of the time in downward dog yoga, with some Pigeons and some Crows and some whozywhatsits mixed in between. By the end I felt pretty good and all limber and stuff. Then I went for a run which pretty much undid all that limbering up I just did in Yoga. I had to though, because today starts my half-marathon training plan and I am really trying to stick to it. Never mind that it was still 101ยบ out at 8pm. It was a hot and slow run, but I did it. 

So then, I was a hot mess and really stinky. Which of course means frozen yogurt for dinner was the best decision I could make in that moment. I went to get some from our neighborhood shop. My hot mess self sat in the middle of the Walmart parking lot, in my pretentious Lululemon outfit (I hate how much I love their clothes) and ate me some frozen yogurt. It was a pretty great night. 


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sermon Shavings: The Pope's Focus

I have managed to make it through a very tiring week of clinicals, class and sermon writing. I have to make the disclaimer that my last post about the VHS wars, was written in that point in the sermon writing process when the task seems impossible. It always seems to happen, but at different points. Sometimes it happens the moment I read the scripture. Other times it happens after I've done all of the exegetical work. The worst is when I have a solid draft written, and feel prompted to start all over.

The sermon writing process is tricky. But the Spirit always manages to work through those defeated moments, to produce something beautiful. Some weeks, the result is a sermon which "knocks it out of the park." Other weeks, the Word only strikes one person. That Spirit is a mysterious thing.

This week I find myself particularly emotional as I prepare the sermon. I am preaching for my home congregation for the first time ever. This family has raised me, taught me, guided me. They've been the ones who have helped fulfill the vows of my baptism, by teaching me the ways of our faith. They endorsed me for seminary and for the ordination process. And now I have the opportunity to worship God with them in a way I haven't been able to before. I am very much looking forward to Sunday.

It is also emotional because this is the last sermon I will write as pastoral free agent. This Sunday, the congregation that I have been dialoguing with will officially vote on calling me to be their pastor. All of the efforts of discernment and training have been leading up to this moment. It is exciting and scary and wonderful.

As usual, there were some ponderings that didn't make their way into the sermon. One of my homiletics professors calls that "chocolate shavings" like at factory where chocolate bunnies are made. The chocolate shavings don't make it into the final product, but the chocolate is still good. I was thinking about Pope Francis' recent choice of a Ford Focus as his popemobile. Here is an article to consider in light of Luke 12:13-21.