Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Five: I Would Put My Hand in the Fire for That

Mary Beth says: "There is a German expression: ich würde die Hand dafür ins Feuer legen, which means: “I would put my hand in the fire for that.” I learned it many years ago, while reading the Best Reference Letter Ever: written by a very distinguished linguistics professor for a student who went on to win a prestigious international scholarship. This student, he said, was destined for greatness; and he submitted his judgment with the certainty of the expression above.I’ve always held the concept as a very important indicator in my mind. “Would I put my hand in the fire for that?” I sometimes think, and it helps me to make a decision or see a situation more clearly. It’s similar to “is this the battlefield I want to die on?”These days (certainly as every day) there seems to be so much difficulty, wrong, pain, injustice, and mismanagement in our world, and I need a little revitalization. Often when I feel this way, I’ll write a list of things for which I’m grateful, but that’s certainly been done, and I need a bit of a stronger draught.So, what are five things for which would you put your hand in the fire? Things / people / causes in which you believe passionately and completely? This might be demonstrated in that you would take extraordinary (for you) action…donations, marching, writing letters…or merely in the way you live your life. You may give as much or as little detail as you wish."

1) Family. Starting with R and extending out to his people which are also now mine. This is a new and wonderful thing for me to belong in this way to a group of people who take this bond seriously. Even as the newest "outlaw" in the bunch I know without a moment's hesitation that I would indeed put my hand in the fire for him and his and that it would be 100% reciprocal.

2) I am trying to leave a smaller footprint. I don't know how passionate that sounds, but it is a steady, daily commitment. Trying to be conscious of my impact on the environment and walking more gently on the earth by recycling and reusing and being generally more conscious about the impact of my choices.

3) Communication. Spoken, written...whatever it is. I work hard at trying to be honest and transparent and clear. At not using words to manipulate or as weapons. I try to teach others to do the same.

4) My Spiritual Life. I have always been passionate about God. I would put my hand in the fire for God and my need for that relationship. Sometimes in my life that passion went off in some interesting directions. Sometimes the passion, like in any long relationship, had to be reawakened and revitalized (on my part of course...I'm pretty sure God's is more steady and unwavering). But in the end God/the relationship is always there and I could not live without.

5) Participating in Healing. I couldn't think of exactly the right word/phrase for this one....but I am passionate (at least most of the time) about being able to participate in this amazing thing that goes on for people as they discover their capacity to heal and recover from whatever they are struggling with when they come to therapy. To be able to offer them skills and tools and to be able to be there with them as they discover how to use them....well it's pretty darn amazing, and I'd stick my hand in any fire for the privilege of doing so.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Back to the Regular World...or Re-Entry Again

If I were accused of being a tad whiny about being back it could be true. If it might be thought that I felt a little put upon by this week's schedule of work and meetings and sermon prep, that also could surely be true. If anyone asked if I'd rather still be on vacation...definitely true! This is one of those weeks that has a tad too much in it even if it were not the first week back. But, none the less, I am being very efficient about it all, getting it read, watched, written, attended, laundered, stowed, picked up, ordered, and generally attended to. And it's making me tired and more than a little long-ish for the slower days of "what shall we do next" that went by all too quickly.

But at some level it is good to be home again. I'm "in the process" (no not that one, thanks be). This one is the name change process. Once again I'm asking myself what we did before the Internet. I found this absolutely wonderful little website that is walking me through, step by step everything I need to do. It has checklists and letters and forms and tells you where to go to find the other forms, like the one for social security and the one to order a new passport. Many, many many people need to know that I added a hypen and a name, it seems.

We are also beginning the wonderfully large and lovely task of thanking people. The generosity of family and friends was truly fabulous and we are aware of how blessed we are by them. It will be fun to revisit the cards and think again about each of them as we write our thank you notes.

But for tonight it's off to New Testament class. Our ministry team is growing and with new people in formation comes coursework again for all. Even review is good, because hearing things for a second time I hear things I missed the first! So off we go to discuss the the context of Jesus' time, ancient Judaism and the NT's authors....who, what and why. This time last week....I was eating Mexican in Houston with sunburnt feet. Time does fly.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Countered Out

I guess maybe it's time to say goodbye to my little wedding counter on the blog. It's been with me so long, it's kind of hard to imagine going to the blog and not seeing it there, but it really has outlived it's purpose. It isn't even accurate of course, because now it would have to start counting the other way.... up the scale in days after the wedding. And well, I think I have plenty of other things going on that I really don't need to do that.

The wedding was really a day worth counting down to, though, through all those three hundred and sixty some odd days. Everything was just as I had hoped it would be. Beautiful liturgy, lovely music, a great party, love laughter and celebration abounding. Even the weather was absolutely gorgeous. R looked so handsome in his Prince Charlie kilt get-up, our bagpiper played so splendidly and made us cry with Amazing Grace. My friend C's sermon was spot-on. R had arranged for us to have a carriage ride around town and then be delivered to the dance. It was so amazing. As the horses clopping and bells announced them, people would come out to see and call out congratulations to us. It was so sweet. The dance was a lot of fun, too. My feet wore out, but I loved watching R dance with his sisters and boogie out into the night. We are both feeling the effects of a little too much dance floor activity today (oops we are not as young as we think we are!) but it was worth every minute!

Today we opened gifts with friends, ran errands and got ourselves packed and ready for the Big Texas Roadtrip. Departure is tomorrow at 0600. We are looking forward to seeing Jimmy Buffett and ALSO RevGals along the way.

Life is good so far as Revdrkate H-K. I'm finding being married to this man very much to my liking, as I was quite sure I would after all the time we spent thinking about it and planning for it. Great adventures lie ahead...and the first begins tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Yes, as my Facebook friend says, it is a Trinitiarian number. It's also a very small one. For which I am feeling grateful. And excited. I have been told I am not the world's most patient person. I don't always wait well. Well....I have been waiting, it seems ,for a veeerrrrrrryyy long time for May 15, 2010. And it's almost HERE. Other than excited, though, I am really calm. Not freaking out, not anxious, not worried. Just happy and oh yes, did I mention....excited?

I think everything is done, here, ready....whatever. R's groom's wear arrived. The folks had forgotten to ship it. Had a feeling when it had not appeared as a charge by Friday on our account. So he called them and "ooops!" So yesterday, there it was....and I did get to see a sneak preview via phone pics when he tried it on. OMG! He is gonna knock me over on Saturday! He is so handsome. Of course he just grins and says, "yeah, I can clean up ok."

I saw the Soul Sister's jackets for their dresses last night too. A local seamstress made them and each is unique to the woman. The sisters are all also going to be really gorgeous and are getting really excited. I'm so looking forward to our little slumber party shower. It's been tough since A moved away and we have had to talk with her each week by phone and computer....better than nothing but not like being together for real. Their friendship and being part of this has made it so much fun. From the beginning, it really has been like having sisters to share the process.

I really am submerged in gratitude right now. R is the best guy anyone could ever hope for. And I have the greatest friends anyone could imagine. Those who are very close here, and those who extend out IRL and virtually as well. I just feel very, very blessed by all of it.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Wedding Minus Six and Counting

I hope this doesn't sound irreverent, but I kind of feel like I do sometimes at the beginning of Holy Week. Lots happening, lots of things to plan for and do and be there for all week long, all culminating in a Big Day at the end with even more things to plan for, more things happening. It feels busy, a little overwhelming, but in the end you know it will all be wonderful and turn out just as it needs to.

Yesterday I kept hearing this little ticker in my head...."This time next week...." And this morning as we sat together at worship I realized that the next time we are in church for a service it will be to be married.

This has been an amazing week. We started out last Monday about $700 short of what we needed to make our budget for the wedding. To say that this was stressing me out would be an understatement. But I really tried to stop acting out of "functional atheism" and trust God, grace and abundance, and just put out there the idea that we have all we need and that it would be ok...somehow. And wouldn't you know, all week, money that has been owed to the two of us from various places has just been "coincidentally" arriving in the nick of time, and as of yesterday, we were within $20 of our goal!

So all is ready and all is well. The gifts for my attendants are wrapped, the little surprise favors that I have for everyone at the dinner are ready. My two totes for the church and the reception hall decorating are all packed. R and I have our "to-do" "to-call" and last minute "to-fetch" lists for the week. The Soul Sister attendants are psyched for our shower and slumber party Thursday and trip to the nail salon Friday. I finally found cute comfortable shoes! One pair for the ceremony that I think I can last an hour in, and a more "sensible" pair for the rest of the day.

The biggest challenge for this week is going to be to stay with each day as it comes and to be focused at work as much as possible. There are little helps along the way. Monday a yoga class, Tuesday a massage, so maybe I can stay a little bit calm. It will be, as one of my friends says, what it will be. And I'm here and counting.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Losing Time Fast

Time is moving along at a very FAST pace! I just got home yesterday from clergy conference. It is much more a tribute to the quality of the conference than anything about me that I was able to be present there at all with any quality of attention. Especially considering that up until sometime late Saturday afternoon I thought that the conference started on TUESDAY! It didn't. It started Monday, as it always does. But for some reason, earlier on the dates had been published as May 4-6, and those had been put in my head and my planner, those had been the dates requested off work, scheduled with clients...yeah, the whole nine yards. Saturday afternoon, I finally got my room confirmation telling me my room would be waiting at the retreat center on May 3.....May WHAT?!?!? Omigish......Well that set a whole flurry of stuff in motion! Fortunately, the conference does start later in the day, so I was able to go into work early Monday morning, get most the clients rescheduled to Thursday and get on the road. But it got my week off to kind of a wild and crazy start. I just told our receptionist to blame it on addled wedding brain. She just laughed at me. Yeah. There's a lot of that going around. The addled brain and the laughing.

The conference really was good though. Lots of reconnecting with folks, learning and reflecting, chances for moments of prayer and singing together. Tuesday we did Public Narrative. I'd been asked to give one as an example, then to be a "coach" as folks worked on theirs through exercises during the day in small groups. That was all good. Kept me focused and busy. Tuesday night I went to a small group talking about "Doing Small Well" talking about church starts that basically require nothing more than "two or three gathering" for the sake of the Gospel in a hurting a world. Hmmmmm...... Wednesday we had some work on what we might look like if we left the world of church as we know it behind and truly concentrated on God's mission. It too was good and thought provoking. We then had one of the simplest and most beautiful bare-bones Episcopal liturgies I have ever experienced led by our new Bishop. We are very blessed by him. He brought to conference Ana Hernandez, who did things like this with us
There was more like this....and singing bowls, and chanting with an instrument called a shrooti (or shruti) box, and praying with a drum. So it was very, very go and be with folks and feel actually relaxed and present, and centered and focused. And sadly, to also realize how frenetic my prayer life usually is. I feel like lately I sort of "drop in" on God for a quick chat. Perfunctory visits in the midst of twenty other things that are getting done in a day. Being there made me miss my daily yoga practice, made me long again to sit meditation. Made me wonder again what did ever happen to that particular lovely little morning discipline. Well I know what happened. One day I just woke up and didn't do it. Or the next day, or the next. And then it was gone. And some how starting again has felt like too much. So I haven't. But with that practice went some other good things that I am missing and really would like to have back in my life. So I am setting an intention that post-wedding, post-Texas....I really am going to get that space reclaimed both in my physical and emotional world and get back to the quiet and the mat every morning.

But in the meantime....nine days. Really it's a week. Because it all starts on Thursday. Soul Sister A arrives from The South, we have the shower and our bridesmaid slumber party....and it all rolls on from there. My biggest stressor right now is the budget. I keep waking up in the night remembering all the things we forgot to put in the last hair appointment, the food for the rehearsal dinner for heaven's sake! We are running a tight ship here, and I tend to want to panic over these little things. But I am trying to get myself to go to abundance, and to remember to "breathe in, breathe out....move on." In my heart I know all really will be well. I just need something to stress about and this works as well as anything, I guess. At least I am not worrying about anything the marriage! About that there are NO worries. This is only money, and it'll all be ok in the end, I'm sure.

So back to work today. Trying to focus on the tasks at hand. Paperwork needs to be done and folks to be seen. Meetings keep happening. So off we go.