Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Service # 8

Tonight was the Community Thanksgiving Service, and it's really not over until I come home and write a blog post about it.  This was my eighth one here in Little Town on the Prairie, and the march of them has measured my years here, metered my progress in folding myself into the life of this community.  The first year, sitting alone in the expanse of the Catholic Church nave wondering if I would ever fit in this place, know anyone, belong.  The second and third years, singing with the community choir, knowing a few people, feeling a little more settled.  By year four I was a lector, year five, I walked with the clergy for the first time.  Years six and seven I was on the planning group.  This year I was again with the clergy and read the Gospel.  It was bittersweet as so many things are...these "lasts." It's an odd thing to know so far in advance that we really are leaving this place. Not exactly when or for where, but to know for pretty sure and certain that by this time next year I will be somewhere else but here.  So many things then are these "last times" that have become part of my life here.

With the way things have been of late, there is a part of me that could pack and go tomorrow.  But there are commitments that must be kept, and I know that we will be here at least through Spring.  So there will be many of these moments, these quiet little goodbyes with their bittersweet edge.  It has been a good ride here and I'm hoping that this bumpy patch now does not portent a bad end.  That would really make me sad.  I have rarely loved a place as much as I have this one.  Nor have I ever been in one physical location where as much emotional transformation has happened to me.  I connect here with much that is good in my life, much that is wonderful and special, and I would like that to be what I take away, not the sad and bitter feelings that I have right now. I am gathering in gratitude for all that has been and trying to be hopeful that this trying time is a short season, passing quickly and forgotten easily.

At our service tonight, the sermon focused on thanking those who have made a difference in our lives.  A local printer donated thank you notes to pass out to the congregation and the preacher asked everyone to take one home, write it out and mail it to someone who has been significant for us.  He encouraged us all to begin the note, Dear _____, "I thank God for you because..." I did take a note and have someone in mind to send it to.  But in addition, I have another thank you note to wtite.....

My Dear RevGal blogger friends,
I thank God for you.  When I found this ring it was at a time in my life when I really needed to know that there were other women out there doing what I do, thinking how I think, wondering about what I wonder about, laughing and crying, praying and struggling and trying to live authentic and faithful lives "in the midst."  You, my blogger friends, have been with me through some of the best and worst stuff I have gone through in my entire life....endings, beginnings....deep pain and great joy... and your  support and common sense and good humor have carried me through it, gotten me over it, and probably more importantly over myself. Meeting some of you on first 2 BEs has been so awesome (especially that first one...oh about your liminal space) and I am SO looking forward to BE4! So even though I am not blogging as much (or getting around to my blog reading either...sigh...) you are the best and remain in my heart with much gratitude as well as in my prayers.  So blessings and thanks to the  RGBP bloggers in my life.


Well there is no fallout so far.  Maybe because it's before the holiday and follks are kind of distracted.  Or maybe what I said was really outrageous only in my head. Or maybe the person who would be most outraged by my remarks didn't even hear them (despite the fact that she was sitting two feet from me at the time). The latter is what I really think. Which is why I of course I was upset in the first place.  I feel like one of those characters in the Charlie Brown cartoons talking away about whatever is utmost on my mind and it going out into the world as "wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa." That seems to be my impact level, lately.  And it's not just at work in the day job.  It's happening in my church life, too. I seem to be reduced to an insect who buzzes around making noise that at most annoys people but certainly means nothing of significance to them. In my head I think I am saying things that might matter.  But I am met with blank stares and silence...or in the case of e-mails a complete lack of I didn't even send them.  It's a wierd sensation, this verbal invisibility cloak.  I'm trying to just stay in my good Zenish observing mode, not get all caught up in it, take it personally and such.  But there is no sermon yet for Sunday.  There is no work getting done at work beyond seeing the folks and being present to them. I am vastly tired and very glad that tomorrow I can just forget the whole business and eat turkey, weather permitting.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Some Things

Some things you just cannot say on Facebook.  Like "I really need better filters." Especially when it's the middle of the day and one has no business being on Fb any way.  But it's true...I do need them, even though it is the middle of the day.  I need them now and I needed them in the meeting this morning when I did not have them.  I knew I did not have them when I saw the faces of those who have known me for several years as a pleasant and fairly easy going person go round-eyed and white.  I knew I did not have them when I heard the tone of the "Please let me finish..." Oh well. They were gone.  And I said what I said without them. Dies cast. Words fall. Nothing said was untrue.  Not even unkind.  Just unfiltered and perhaps a bit less than judicious. Life will go on.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Five: Unexpected Thanks

Jan says: "With the American holiday of Thanksgiving being less than a week away, I tried to think of some questions for Friday Five that could be connected to this, but in a new way. So here is my one try:" Name five things that were unexpected in your life that you are now grateful for....
  1. Marriage.  I mean really! Who knew? I was not planning it, expecting it, really even wanting it.  And here I am six months in happier than I ever thought I could be.
  2. Priesthood. Yeah, that one wasn't exactly on the radar either.  Oh, passing thoughts now and again.  But it just kind of crept up on me, this vocation.  And here I am...four years into this ordination thing, and still grateful.
  3. Never in my wildest did I imagine that I'd even go to college (no one in my family ever did before), let alone keep going and going and going all the way to a doc.  But I am grateful for the doors it's opened to allow me to participate in people's lives as a therapist.
  4. My dog Maggie. Never thought of myself as a dog person, really.  She was kind of an impulse.  But a really good one.  Can't imagine life without her sweet face now.
  5. That I would finally be any kind of a "techhie."  (Yes that's my husband you hear laughing in the background!) But I AM far more than I ever thought I'd be and I am grateful for the ways that my computer and my android and all the things they do make it possible for me to stay connected with the tendrils of my life in all it's many places.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Friday Five: It Is Well With My Soul Edition

kathrynzj says, "We lead privileged lives. True, some are more privileged than others but the fact that we are communicating right now via technological devices puts us in the privileged category. There are many perks in my life for which I give thanks and then there are some that make everything right in the world during the moment I am enjoying them. I'm wondering what a few of those things - five to be specific - are for you. To help you along here are just three of mine that I will write more about on my blog: drinking coffee out of a real mug, walking into my home after the domestic goddess has been there, participating in the RevGalBlogPals Big Events."

This could not have come at a better time!  I have been feeling well...sort of cranky and, um, shall we say, less than grateful lately, and this really reminded me that despite the fact that things are not perfect in RDK's little world (and why should they be!?!) I do lead a life of great privilege and have much to be grateful for.  So here's my list for today:

1.  Topping my list of thankfuls anytime I stop and give them has to be the amazing people that God has graced my life with. amazing and wonderful husband...He has to top any list.  He loves me unconditionally, he has my back.  He supports me emotionally and financially (a first for me in relationships..yeah I know I'm a slow learner!) And he is so darn FUNNY...we laugh a lot...and when life is stressful, as it has been lately, that really is something to be grateful for.  My other friends are also such gifts.  We were talking in our ministerium meeting yesterday about the struggle to have good supportive friendships as a clergy person...and I just looked across the table at C and thought...Yep...God has been good to me on this front as well.  It is such a good thing to have someone to talk to who gets me and gets it...the whole church and clergy thing...who is living it, too...who can laugh and cry about it and share perspective in the way that only a fellow traveler can. And my list would not be complete without my Soul Sisters...friends extraordinaire with whom I have shared the laughter and tears and stuff of life of the last eight years of this crazy amazing transformative journey.

2.  The tech things...computers and phones and GPS's and all manner of things that even though sometimes I have a bit of a love/hate relationshipwith them....really I do find them to make my life better and simpler.  And as our hostess today says, without them, I would not be communicating here...and indeed would not have all the lovely RevGals in my life who are such an important part of my world community.

3. I'm going to be grateful for simple things like pavement. We have been without now for about six weeks.  It may be coming (the curbs are in, hurrah), and there is hope for the rest before the snows maybe. It gives me a sense of how much more complicated life could be...and I don't so much like it!

4. I have a new appreciation for family.  Mine is acquired and still fairly new to me.  There are surely a lot of them and they are pretty spiffy. I have sibs in law and a lovely daughter (I hope she would not mind that I have taken her on in that way) toward whom I feel growing affection and great pride. It is clear that she is her father's daughter in so many ways, and I delight in seeing that as well as in the ways she is uniquely herself.  I enjoy watching "the Clan" interact and getting to know how my sweetheart was shaped and formed by his relationship to and among them as well as simply getting to know them in their own right.  Because they too are funny and most often times among them are just plain good times.

5. My job.... Simply having a job,  and then having one that is meaningful and that makes a difference.  These are good things and a privilege.  It's been kind of hard here lately and sometimes keeping that privilege front and center gets to be a challenge. But this is a good reminder and I shall endeavor to be mindful of gratitude.