Archive | February, 2011

If only links.

28 Feb
If only I knew how to crochet.
If only I had an excuse to make fondue.
If only I had a reason to create this.  Saved for when I move and establish a home.
If only I had all of these ingredients right now.  I’m hungry and this looks delicious.
If only I was throwing a party that required hats.
If only I could bake this and not feel guilty for eating it.  It’s the best.
If only you would take a minute to read this by one of my professors!

new towels.

28 Feb
As I mentioned before, I went home this past weekend.  Much of my weekend was spent visiting with relatives, telling them about my assignment to region three and explaining what exactly that means.  I pulled up a map of the regions, the divisions of synods, and hoped to shed some light on what more will happen as I approach first call.  Along with this, I talked about new towels.
I’m excited for first call.  I’m so excited I could – I’m not sure.
(Sidenote: I saw Despicable Me for the first time with my sister and cousin Molly.  I love it when the little girl sees the stuffed unicorn at the theme park and she yells, “It’s so fluffy I could die!”)
I’m excited to be a pastor.
And to buy new towels.  I’m absolutely thrilled to think about having a house or apartment to decorate and, based on my bathroom color scheme, to buy new towels.  Along with that?  A craft room with a large working table, a design board of sorts, and organized storage for my craft collections. I figure I have moved once – if not twice – every year for the last nine years.  It’s time to stop being so nomadic.  Not moving every year will be glorious.
Oh yes.
So excited.

a cakepop comedy.

27 Feb
Like Adam and Eve in the garden, good things can turn towards evil ways.
Cakepops are causing problems.
I went home this weekend, recalling that I owed cousin, Marissa, and her family a dozen cakepops.  (Remember how cousin, Connor, begged for cakepops on facebook?  Cousin Marissa commented later and requested the same.  I aim to please.)
Sister Emma and I undertake the cakepop endeavor Friday night upon my arrival home.  (One funfetti and one yellow made with strawberry jam.)  Emma mistakenly wrote on facebook her activity for the evening.  Cousin Connor commented.  Cousin Connor asked to come join in the cakepop fun.  I agree that he can come over.  Remember – I aim to please.
I told cousin Connor that he must check with his siblings, Molly and Sam, to see if they wanted to come too.  Cousin Connor did so half-heartedly and halfway, not contacting Molly who was visiting a friend a few houses away.  Molly came home, realizing Connor was gone constructing cakepops, and was utterly cross.  She was angry at brother Connor.  
I sent cakepops home with Connor as a peace offering to the missing cousins, Sam and Molly.  I aim to please.  Their older brother, Brent – who bought a house across the street but still walks over for food when his girlfriend is working – happened to be there.  He enjoyed a cakepop.
Were I ever to open a cakepop business – which Connor thinks I should, sticking to the name ‘Holy Balls’ – older cousin, Brent, would have a quote on my business card.  His mom told me the next day that Brent said the following upon eating a cakepop –
I know I can’t – but if I could – I mean, I know we’re related – but I would marry Lindsay for these.

Mighty high praise for cakepops.  And hilarious, especially if you know Brent and his sense of humor.  
But people might interpret it in a not-so-funny way were it actually on a business card?  Maybe?

“Cakepops.  So good you’ll want to marry your cousin.”

Borg goes to AZ.

27 Feb
I’ve been absent for a while.

No worries.

I’ve been to AZ and back.  And ready to tell you all about it.

To share my trip with you, I thought I would tell you the tale through my gnome friend, Borg.

Caribou at the Denver airport while on layover.
Pre-turbulence/nearly make me sick flight.
Uh oh.  A visit to the Rawhide Western town.

Settlers Cities and Knights while visiting Deb and baby Isabelle in Tuscon.
Cacti in Tuscon.
Look, Minnesota!  We saw snow too, alongside the red rocks of Sedona.
A little Carc in the airport as we await our return flight.

assignment.

24 Feb
It’s a funny process, really.  And unless you’re inside of a seminary or in the church, it’s hard to understand and grasp.  You mean that you don’t get to pick where you get your first job?  It’s hard to think of another chosen occupation where that is the case.  You mean that you can put down preferences for where you want to go but those aren’t necessarily honored?  Pretty much.  
It’s a night the seniors at Luther Seminary had been anticipating for many months or even four years.  It grew closer when we filed our paperwork – the paperwork that the bishops and synod representatives read to best decide placement – at the beginning of December.  I was excited to be a part of a planning committee that put together the festivities last night and thus I’ve had opportunity to think about the night for many weeks, as cakepops were made, scratch off tickets printed, and food ordered.  Finally, the night was here.
The placemats and possibilities.
The senior class shared in a meal together before THE envelopes – in which were letters that held our regional assignment – were handed out to each person awaiting direction.  From my perspective, it was a fun night.  Energy was high, both on the nervous end and the excited end of the spectrum.  After the envelopes were handed out, the atrium erupted into hugs, phone calls, greeting one another and sharing the number that the envelope contained.  From there, we worshipped together – praising, lamenting, being held in our calling and in God’s arms.
My envelope contained this letter and the number three.  Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota.  I feel content knowing that I’ll be staying in the midwest, perhaps the tiniest bit disappointed that it wasn’t a five, but completely hopeful and trusting that somewhere within those three states is a congregation for me to serve.  Throughout this manner of assignment, we’re reminded to “trust the process.”  The saying is often mocked by seniors; it can be super frustrating.  But I do trust the process.  I know from previous experience that what I want is not always where I’m meant to be; I cried, protested my move to first SD and then Dawson, and yet, what came of it was the best internship for me.  A good reminder that I don’t always know best.
And now we wait more.  It was great to be given some guidance for what will happen after graduation at the end of May but really, I know now that I could be placed in Minnesota (fingers crossed), South Dakota, or North Dakota.  That’s one giant piece of land.  At the end of next week, hopefully there will be given more information to help me better plan and prepare for the next step in life.
I’m excited.

sabbati-blog.

18 Feb
sab-bat-i-cal: (noun) a period of paid leave granted to a college teacher [edit: or pastor] for study or travel, traditionally every seventh year
sab-bat-i-blog: (noun) a period of leave from posting blog entries to dedicated readers, traditionally whenever I want
My sabbati-blog proposal:
1.  I will focus on building relationships.
2.  I will experience life in a (slightly) different culture.

3.  I will hold a baby.

4.  I will enjoy the sunshine and warmth.

5.  I’m off for Arizona!

Folks, whether you accept my proposal or not, I have a plane ticket and as of tomorrow morning, I’m Phoenix bound!  I’m flying out at 6 tomorrow morning [we thought it was a good idea months ago when our tickets were purchased.  ugh.] with Kara [far left] and we’ll be sharing our time in the southwest with both Julia [standing, left] and Deb [far right] who moved to AZ after graduation to teach.  Added bonus: Kara and I have a dinner date with Amanda [third from right] and her husband tonight.  It will be great to get away and wonderful to see college friends.  Deb is married and baby Isabelle joined their family last October, so I’m way excited to meet the first Luther baby of the group!  [the photo was taken senior week before my 2006 graduation.  I remember it was misting/raining that day so I’ll blame the horrid hair on that.]
Upon my return late Tuesday night, it’s assignment time.  It’s grown so much more exciting/nerve-wrecking in the last weeks and when I get back to St.Paul, the day will be here.  My fate is soon decided by the bishops.  My next blog post may very well be one that shares my region assignment!  Until then – think of me in sunshine and 70 degrees.  [*smirk*]

crepe paper.

16 Feb
After such a downer of a blog post a few nights ago, I feel motivated to feed you those lollipops and rainbows at an alarming rate.  So much color and happiness and group hugs that you’ll want to want to sit alone in a room with white walls, rocking back and forth while murmuring things like, “No more unicorns,” just to get away from it all.  Then, just when you’ve had too much, I’ll hit you with another downer post and – no.  Totally kidding.  Not part of my evil plan.  (My evil plan remains a secret at this point in time.)
Truth be really told, this is a bit more engaging than beginning that two page paper that’s due tomorrow morning at 10. (… which I promise to start as soon as I tell you about crepe paper, okay?)  Have I told you how I’m ready to be done with school?  Right.  Check.  But in all seriousness, I say thank you again for the support.   I received a ‘for cute’ email tonight from a woman in Dawson that I didn’t know read my blog – a note of encouragement and one that reminded me that my Grace family is behind me all the way.  The cutest and so encouraging.  (Thank you to Sharon!)  I can and will do this, faithful blog friends!
Ready to hear about crepe paper?!
Crepe paper is a standard party decoration that – quite honestly – can make me cringe.  I think it can be used in fun ways but you’ll typically see me stay away from it.  Quite far away from it.  Maybe I just can’t twist it properly.  or something.  But in general, not a fan.
However, this I could get on board with … you know what’s coming next, right?
You can sew crepe paper!  [Credit for the photo and the idea is given to this blog.  Coolest thing about it?  It suddenly becomes sturdier with a seam and two layers so you can roll it up and use it again.]
How lovely.
I also found this to make crepe paper all fancy-like.  It calls for sheets of crepe paper (which I never knew existed) but I think you could use a roll of crepe paper and take an xacto knife to it.  The whole roll.  I mean – be careful when you do it but I think it could work on some level.  [I take no responsibility when you slice your hand or lose a finger.  Simply an idea.  I will, however, write a really long and depressing blog post when I probably stick my thumb with a blade while attempting.  I’m good at posts like that.  After the blood dries, of course.]
[you know that’s a joke, mom.  right?  ps mom.  engage me on either of these decorating ideas and emma will have the classiest high school graduation party ever come june.  plus graduation cap cakepops.]

today’s happiness.

16 Feb
The food processor (which I love, btw.  you’ve heard me profess my feelings for this kitchen appliance previously.) has pretty much remained on the counter for the last few weeks, rarely returning to its place of storage in the pantry closet.  What do I use it for?

This.

So delicious.  Today it’s my ‘recovery’ drink after kenpo karate/quick dinner before heading off to confirmation in Stillwater.

Half a cup of greek yogurt.
One cup of frozen triple berry fruit mix.
Half a cup of OJ.
Half a cup of water.

Ta da.  That’s it.

And so delicious.  [did I say that already?]

I came across this post a few weeks ago [this one too] and have experimented with smoothies a little bit since then.  I tried carrots. That was a fail … too chewy.  I’ve tried a bit of instant oatmeal.  (I love oatmeal.)  I also love the idea of adding some Carnation instant breakfast for a little extra punch, esp. if the smoothie is my breakfast, but I cannot find it in vanilla.  Only chocolate.  Something tells me I don’t want to add chocolate instant breakfast to my triple berry mix.

I got better.

15 Feb
(on the phone with me mum)
Mom: How are you?
L : Alright.
Mom: That’s not what your blog says.
Oh.  Right.  The blog posting I wrote in crankiness and frustration last night, and then hit “Publish” with some sort of ‘stick-it-to-the-man’ attitude.
Thanks for reading, friends, and thanks to the many of you who commented, sent messages, and asked me how things were going.  You are all so wonderfully supportive and the way in which you support me is proof of the community that is built and grows through such a silly thing as a blog.  Blog.  The word is just funny to begin with … but in all seriousness and slightly as an aside, this blog has helped me form and maintain relationships in a weird but really cool way.  [As one who often struggles to let people into her life, it’s this crazy thing where you can learn about me and my life virtually; that somehow puts me at ease when face-to-face.  But enough about that for now.  Perhaps more in another blog post in the future.]  
As for today, what comes to mind is a favorite quote from Monty Python and the Holy Grail – said with a choppy British accent – “I got bet-tah.”  [See video clip at the end of the post to bring light to this quote if you’re unfamiliar.  Also, you should watch the clip if you would like to learn what else floats in water.  Spoiler alert: Churches and very small rocks.]
Today was a better day.  I won’t say that my confidence has completely been restored or my feet entirely steadied, but I think I might wear the yellow shoes tomorrow, Sabrina [see comment on previous post], to assert the unique feet that are my own/unique person that I am.
That is the truth – that each person is unique.  Even better – that’s the way God intends it.  [A lesson I love exploring with kids.  I should practice what I teach.]  I so easily get caught up in comparing myself to others that I forget to be myself and be content with who I am.  [Okay.  I can’t help it.  Another video clip that comes to mind.  Dawson peeps: Are you really surprised?  Hello, Joyce?]
I am a seminary student but I don’t consider myself an academic.  I’ll never teach at the college level, nor do I have any desire to work towards a doctorate.  That’s not me.  It’s not where my gifts are.  I love [nearly] all aspects of congregational ministry and despite the lack of confidence and momentary freak-outs [which I guess will only be more frequent as graduation grows near – I apologize in advance], this is what I’m called to do.  I learned that last year more than ever, but this year – returning to an academic environment which I feel is not my strength – it’s a struggle to remember that.  
It’s no joke when I say that I have Kendall’s [my internship supervisor] and my internship committee’s final evaluation paragraphs of my year propped upon my study table.  I think I need to be reminded – when I seem to lack the confidence and strength – that other people believe in these gifts I’ve been given and have witnessed my joy in ministry.  Perhaps when I’m called upon to explain my CYF thesis to a class of highly academic classmates, I need to forget the comparisons, and simply “do my best and forget the rest.”  [That’s what Tony Horton says.  Who knew P90x and seminary classes had anything in common?]  
In conclusion: Today was bet-tah.  And thanks, blog friends.
Enough rambling from me.  Now enjoy this:

Can I complain?

15 Feb
I realize there are probably more fruitful avenues for my time and for this blog, but can I complain?
[There is often critique of personal blogs – that they write only of lollipops and rainbows, and give the perception that the life behind the writer is swell.  You officially can no longer say that about my blog.  Also note, I write this not as a pity post.  But it’s where I am tonight.]
Mondays are my nine-hour day of class and we’ll just be honest – I’m mighty crabby at the end of the day that begins at 8am and ends at 9pm.  [If I were wise, I wouldn’t even be writing this right now.  I would be in bed … curing my crabbiness.]  Three three-hour long classes is just a lot on which to focus.  Three hour classes are no good for me to begin with; get me to the end of hour two, and I’m as good as gone.  That’s just a simple fact of Lindsay as a learner.  Multiplied by three plus little introvert Lindsay time and it’s best – at that point – that you don’t engage me in conversation.  Maybe even run in the opposite direction if you see me approaching? 
The kicker of the Monday classes – I feel dumb.  Totally and completely dumb.  Academic theology, Bible knowledge, theological frameworks – I don’t get it like my classmates do.  I never have understood it like others … but now I’m even tired of faking it.  Ask me to speak in class and it’s like the horrid movie – Dumb and Dumberer.  I’m so ready to be done with classes.  To be done with seminary.
Professors don’t notice me; why should they?  I don’t talk because I feel dumb.  [And I have nothing to say.  Literally – brain empty.]  I feel like I’m shoved to the back of my senior class.  I have friends who are called out and seen as leaders to take on special projects and have special relationships with professors.  I have a hard time thinking of even once that a staff member or professor saw me as a leader who could be given extra responsibility or tasks.  [Okay, one.  The Cooking Pastor video.]  I think this is the kicker – I have underlying fears that this will continue as I journey in the first call process.  I’m really not great at first impressions or even second impressions.  [I often joke that to know me is to love me, but to know me takes a long time.]  Will bishops of synods see me as incapable of leadership and not as capable of pastoring a church as my classmates are capable?  Will they see through my cover-up and realize I don’t know all that I should?
Deep down, I know I’m totally capable.  I can be a leader.  I know that I have practical, applicable knowledge and buckets of creativity to use.  But between meetings regarding first call assignment, two classes that made me feel dumb, and one class on women in ministry leadership, it has been a day of feeling insecure.  Of feeling unnoticed.  Internship gave me confidence in myself and in my ability to do ministry – confidence that I feel I’m losing.  Confidence that falters when I remember that next time I’m doing ministry in a congregation, it’s the real deal.  Can I actually do it?
I need to find my feet again and stand upon them firmly.
So if you see them, please let me know.
I’d like to locate them before I start making horrid first impressions to bishops who phone me on my mobile.
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