Friday, December 30, 2011

Nealy New Year Friday Five

Sally says: "A simple Friday Five for a busy part of the year; indulge me by sharing two fives:  As you look back over 2011 share 5 blessings, they can be as grand or as simple as you like,if you year has been like mine they are probably a mixture! As you look towards 2012 share 5 hopes- again, anything goes! Pictures and songs welcome."

Blessings of 2011
  • As always, my sweet husband heads the list of my blessings.  In this stressful year of change and transition, I have appreciated more than ever his wisdom and good sense as well as the certainty of knowing, no matter what, he has my back.
  • The ordination of Amy Peden Haynie to the priesthood.  At long last the fullness of her gifts and ministry can be realized.  Thanks be to God!
  • Once again having a home base for my own ministry.  It feels really good and right to be assisting priest with this lovely and welcoming congregation and to know that I will celebrate the Eucharist and preach again regularly.
  • Feeling pretty secure financially is a HUGE blessing in these difficult times.  With our move, we both changed jobs this year and feel fortunate about being able to do that in a tough market.
  • This one is under the category of mixed blessings....I was able to start and experience both the great joys and the huge stressors of CPE.  Due to a variety of circumstances, I made the difficult decision not to complete the unit at this time.  But those few months had an impact that I will not soon forget. 
Hopes for 2012
I am hoping
  •  to grow and expand my ministry with my new congregation, to come to know and love the people there and be a contributing member of the clergy team.
  • that some (or all, if I think big) of the plans that are afoot for both R and I career wise will be successful and satisfying for us.
  • to  be more consistent with my self-care so that I can meet my health and fitness goals (and get back into my smaller pants!)
  • that we can sell our house in Little Town on the Prairie.  We are grateful to have renters, but it would be such a relief to have it sold.
  • to continue to maintain strong connections (both virtually and IRL) with friends near and far

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Five: To Do Lists

Jan says: "Ever since I was little, I heard that Santa is making a list and checking it twice. I can see why he has to keep checking it, because there is so much to do before Christmas! Only nine days left, and I don't have church services to plan, but there is much left to be done. My daughter-in-law tells me that she feels behind, which is how I have been feeling. No matter how organized you are, there must be some things you still need to do. For this Friday Five, tell us five things on your Christmas "To Do" List. Include anything you have decided to skip doing this year. As a bonus, give us something that helps you remember why this season even exists"

There has been a lot in this Advent that has involved waiting and "unsettledness" in my life. I don't feel particularly rushed or harried, nor do I feel overly "Christmasy" just yet. But this is what is on my to do list right now:

  • Mail the packages.  Yes we are a bit late on this, but they will go first class and should arrive on time.
  • Go "shopping" on the Episcopal Relief and Development website.  Such a lovely dilemma...shall I send bees or a goat to my friends this year?  Or perhaps malaria preventing mosquito bed nets, those are always in style!
  • Figure out the menu for Christmas Eve and Day.  It will be "just us" this rally not such a big chore.
  • Send cards.  I WILL get them in the mail before Christmas this year...really I will,
  • Decide which service(s) to attend.  We have two church homes right now and between them we have six choices over Christmas Eve and Day.  A plethora of riches!
We are "not doing" a lot this year.  Much of this is because of our move.  The old places, people and traditions are there and we are not.  R has suggested that we begin to develop some new holiday traditions,  so this Sunday we are going to a Christmas play on a showboat, then off to Lessons and Carols at one of our churches as the beginning of that process!  Lessons and Carols was "the thing" for me for so many years that really got my Christmas juices flowing.  My last year at St. J's it was co-opted by several things, so I'm hoping that going and hearing that lovely music and the traditional readings at the "church of my heart" help me in the remembering what it's all about process.