Archive | April, 2012


30 Apr
I’m in denial about my week and the work that needs to be done.
Denial is meeting up yesterday to see a movie with Paige and looking on amused as a man in a camouflage jacket awkwardly flirted with her in the lobby.  It’s watching The Five-Year Engagement and realizing that Jason Segel is becoming one of my favorites. 
Denial is baking cakes.  When in doubt, bake a cake, right?  I baked nine this weekend.  They all now reside in my freezer, crumbled in Ziploc bags.
Denial is dancing like a maniac and not caring who sees.  I learned the power of crazy dancing last year at seminary.  Now blaring the local pop station and going crazy in my living room is a favorite kind of stress release.
Denial is sleeping in until eight on Monday morning.
Denial is reading Andy Root’s work written for a college classmate’s Cancer & Theology blog series.  It’s good stuff.  [Andy = seminary advisor and professor of mine who taught me to see God present even in darkness and suffering.]
Denial is cleaning off my desk, writing thank you notes, and making a pre-marital counseling organizational chart instead of writing any one of the sermons I need to write.
Denial is facebook.  Denial is pinterest.  Denial is blogging right now instead of working.  
It can’t last forever.  Reality is about to get into a kicking and screaming and punching match with Denial and I know who will unfortunately win that fight.  But first I’m going to go eat lunch.

here’s my joy.

28 Apr
Knowing that this week the cards are stacked against me time-wise [easily a sixty-hour work week.  one to match the sixty from this past week.], I’m going to need a little joy in my life.  Knowing the emotions that will be involved, I’m really going to need a little joy.  Knowing how much my extroverted impostor will need to appear, I’m going to need lots of sleep too.  But in the brief times between work and sleep, herein lies my joy:

 Books scored at the Austin Public Library book sale.  These books – plus a few more – were only a total of $6.50.  You can’t even buy a book used on Amazon for that price when you add shipping to the shopping cart.  Who knows – I might not end up reading any of them this week, but simply looking at them brings me joy.  I love books.

My newest friend.  I love my treadmill.  I was super worried that because it has been so long since I’ve really been on one that it would be super hard and I would be disappointed at how little I could do.  Surprisingly enough, the couch-to-5k program hasn’t been putting me over the edge.  I can so do it!  And even though the program says not to do any more, I do.  I just love my treadmill too much.  [One of the things I love so much is that it’s in my house.  I don’t need to be concerned about how I look or my flailing arms.]
I have baby quilts dancing in my head.  I have one to be done in July and two for December.  [Twins!  I still can’t contain my excitement!]  I think I’m going scrappy for July.  I’m thinking small squares.  As for December, I’d love to know what the parents might like when that time comes.  🙂  [Sometimes I feel like I force a quilt on people.  But parents like quilts for babies, right?]
Project cakepop.  I started baking cakes today.  Cakes to be frozen, transformed into pops at a later date, and enjoyed at a wedding on June 1st!
While I know I’m going to be busy, I also know I need projects, and I’m in love with each one of those above.  I’m excited for the books to be read, jogs to be had, quilts to be made, and cakes to be baked.  That is my joy.

three funerals and a wedding.

28 Apr
If my current life were a movie, it would be titled much like Four Weddings and a Funeral.  Do you remember that one?  Hugh Grant and the movie in which the first dozen words are all curse words.  The movie in which there are four weddings and one funeral.  If it were my movie, it would be called Three Funerals and a Wedding.  By next Sunday at 4pm, all of those will have taken place. 
One funeral has already been.  A funeral for a four-day old baby.  I hate Marilyn, the admin assistant, for saying, “Your first one.  There will be more.” but I also know she’s right.  Seeing the baby in the tiny white casket, born months early and weighing under two pounds, was absolutely heartbreaking.  Absolutely.  I know the family has a long road ahead of them as the healing begins and my whole heart goes out to them.
The next day I was called to the hospital.  I walked into the room and this member, a member long knowing she would die soon, greeting me by saying, “I won’t be in church on Sunday.”  It was her sense of humor and if there is peace in any of it, it’s knowing that she was ready to die.  She’d said it many times.  She was ready and at 90 she had lived a great life.  They were making plans to put her on hospice and bring her home, but she died only a couple hours later.  She was ready.
The day after that I was called to the care center and sat with a couple as they watched their sister/sister-in-law struggle for breath.  This member, nearly 90, was the sweetest, tiniest little lady.  She died shortly after I left.
Thus my week is heavily loaded on the far end.  Funeral, wedding rehearsal [with three baptisms included], wedding, Sunday morning worship, a two-hour youth meeting, and funeral.  If you don’t hear from me, you know why.  But knowing how crazy and tired it will make me aside, it’s been quite the holy, emotional week.  I’ve been invited into places and spaces at the end of life.  I feel humbled that my call reaches those places and that I can comfort, pray, and deliver the news that death is not the end.  Holy places, indeed.

thai chicken enchiladas.

25 Apr

I don’t think you understand the awesomeness.  Heck, I don’t even know what you’re thinking but I know that it’s not enough excitement, mouth watering, and belief in the pure feast of heaven this could be.  Could be.  I haven’t had them yet.  But you can bet your you-know-what that these will be made and devoured at some date in the very near future.
But seriously – I don’t think you understand.  This is the marriage of the always delicious enchilada, a Mexican food staple, and the Thai flavor that I love with a deep, deep passion.  Together.  As one.  Please.  Get in my belly.
I never liked Mexican or Thai food growing up.  Living on a beef cattle farm, we were meat-and-potatoes with salt-and-not-too-much-pepper kind of people.  With a side of carrots.  Or maybe peas.  But never the aspargus or rhubarb that grew in oodles in our yard.  It wasn’t until much later that I discovered I loved both of those too.  So my taste buds were late bloomers.  Get over it and let’s move on.
The Mexican food was a whole other story.  I remember going to Aunt Peggy’s for dinner one night.  Aunt Peggy and her house went global in their cooking once in awhile and I believe it was burritos on the menu that night.  I ate them.  I liked them.  And then I got sick.  I don’t blame the burritos.  I blame influenza.  But you try and eat again what you once saw coming in the wrong direction.  [I will never ever eat spaghetti-o’s.  I never liked them but seeing them in reverse from my brother’s mouth is a reoccurring nightmare.]  It took many years of healing before the spanish step came back to my palette.  
As for the Thai side of things, I don’t remember having Thai food until I was in seminary.  See, I was often fearful to try new things.  [I credit my culinary pal, James, for getting me over many hurdles.  And teaching me how to cut things with large knives.]  I was in Seattle and out with the gals for my friend, Kari’s, bachelorette party, the night before her wedding [which I flew out to be in].  We went out for Thai food and I loved the pad thai on my plate.  A love affair began.  The peanuts.  The cilantro.  I’m drooling at my computer.
Thai chicken enchiladas.  Now do you understand?  If not, come over.  We’ll make them.  We’ll eat them, and we’ll fall in love.  With the enchiladas.  Not each other.  [Though that could be negotiable if you drive a truck and are funny.] 

such a nut.

24 Apr
I’ve known for a long time that I care too much about what others think of me.  I fear being judged by others.  What I’m realizing recently is how frequently those thoughts dominate my being.  I certainly do care how my closest friends and family see me, for people who know me best help me be truly myself by being dear, honest people.  [And that’s not judging.  That’s knowing.]  But when I consistently care how perfect strangers are perceiving me, I think it borders on unhealthy.
Here’s an example.  I mowed my lawn on Monday night, and I did it successfully.  [Lindsay:1 Mower:1]  But it wasn’t done until Monday so on Sunday, when it looked like a South American jungle of grass and dandelions, I spent most of my morning wondering what the congregation was thinking.  Did they think I was lazy for not mowing it?  Did they say to themselves, why in the world isn’t the parsonage lawn mowed?  Maybe they did.  Maybe they didn’t.  [Truth is the lawn mower was being serviced all of last week – hence the jungle.]  But then, as I mowed it on Monday night, too many more judgmental thoughts came to mind.  I wondered if the people driving past thought, my, she’s driving that lawn mower slow.  Or maybe they thought, why in the world is she doing it like that?  Did any of the cars driving past seriously think any of that?  Probably not. And so what if they did?
I realized how often I think about others’ perceptions of me when I was driving somewhere new.  I don’t even remember where I was going but I recall making a wrong turn.  I knew I had to turn back but there was a car behind me.  I distinctly remember thinking to myself, I’ll just drive another block before I turn around.  That way the person behind me won’t know I’m slightly lost.  Why in the world should I ever care what the car behind me thought?  I didn’t know the person and never would.  But for some deranged reason, thoughts like that plague me all the time.  I’m nutty and I want to not be.
Then put me in a position as a public leader in a church and my what-do-they-think-of-me? goes crazy.  I want everyone to like me.  I don’t want anyone to think that I’m dumb or lazy.  I want them to know that I’m doing my job as best as I know how.  This fear of other people judging me – in addition to my need for processing time and introversion – likely leads to me saying next to nothing in new group settings.  [But then they just judge me for being quiet so really it’s a no win.]  I feel judged.  A lot.  And, really, honestly, I’m probably not.  I’m paranoid.
New goal: To not let my perceptions of other peoples’ fictitious judgments ruin my day or infiltrate my thoughts.  To know myself that I’m doing the best I can and have that be enough because I am enough.
[You’re judging me right now, aren’t you?]


23 Apr
I’m going to quit complaining that I’m busy.  Really, I’m going to try.  I’m going to stop saying, “Sorry, I didn’t have time.”  I have 24 hours in a day and I can choose what I do with those 24.  Eight I hold tight and cherish for a night of sleep but really, even that is negotiable.  
I think it was a wise prophet named J. Timmer who told me once – something like this – It’s not that you don’t have time for it.  It’s that it’s not a priority.  [If it wasn’t you, J. Timmer, you can either own up and say it wasn’t or you can take the compliment that I just called you a prophet.]  That blew my world open.  
So true.  Granted, there are exceptions.  I have a job where unexpected things happen and sometimes that throws any perfect plan for my day out of whack.  But that’s just life.  I have a lawn that needs to be mowed tonight.  Do I wish that wasn’t a priority?  Hell yes.  But it needs to be done.  That’s life.
But for example – I used to say that I haven’t had time to sew that final curtain for my bedroom.  The truth really is that I’ve made watching reruns of HIMYM a priority over that final curtain.  When I used to say that I don’t have time to go for a walk, the truth really is that I spent that time instead pinning on pinterest.  It’s not that I don’t have the time – I have 24 hours – it’s that it’s not a priority.  I think this train of thought is helpful to me.
And it’s not that watching reruns of HIMYM can’t be a priority.  Sometimes I need an hour to not think and not do anything to care for my own sanity.  But it’s reminding myself that I choose what I do with my time.  No complaining.  And that whole not going for a walk won’t work anymore.  I have a treadmill now sitting in my house and if anything, the amount of money I paid for it will guilt me into using that puppy.  [Delivered and set up this morning – exciting!]

batman & wife were here.

22 Apr

It was a long day today.  I left the house at 7:30 this morning, stopped back briefly for lunch, and then was gone until 7 this evening.  Exhausted, I walked to the back door and found the proper key.  I reached to open the screen door and spied a piece of paper stuck in the door.
I read said note and then my jaw dropped.  I might have screamed, “Noooo!” in supreme disappointment.   I missed Batman and wife.  I missed Batman and wife!  They were at my house while I was off leading a church service at the care center and learning all about the national youth gathering in New Orleans.  Nooo!
Who’s Batman, you wonder?  Who is his wife?  And who would ever call this girl Sunshine?
Sit back.  Let me tale you a tale from Gnometown.
I still remember the day Custodian Keith of Grace Lutheran Church sauntered past my office at the church and greeted me by saying, “Good morning, Sunshine.”  From that moment on, it was [one of] my nickname[s].  [I also recall the day, fairly early in my internship year, when Custodian Keith walked past and casually asked me, “Have any boyfriends yet?”]
That year of internship I learned that Custodian Keith is pretty great at catching the bats that fly about the church.  Sometimes he put them [still living] in glass jars and set them on peoples’ desks.  He became the batman and I started buying Batman things for him when I would come across them, like a Batman sprinkler [the kind you attach to the end of a hose] for $2.50 at a church garage sale.  I would mail him toy rubber bats and he gave me toy rubber bats in jars.  [They sit on my bookshelf.]
And Batman’s wife?  She makes lovely donuts.  A true treat.
Gail, if you still read the blog on occasion, know that I’m super bummed I missed you!  There are potential plans to visit your neck of the woods a la graduation time so me hopes I’ll see you and Batman then!

a two-part rant.

21 Apr

It seems I’ve been on an impromtu blog hiatus.  Don’t worry – it wasn’t you.  It was me.  I’m back now. With two-part rant.  You don’t have to tell me twice – I know you’re excited.  Who doesn’t love a good rant?  Let’s get started.
First.  Nicholas Sparks is the man I love to hate and hate to love.  I used to read every Nicolas Sparks book like it was no one’s business.  I’d eat every new one up.  I read my favorite one, A Bend in the Road, at least three times.  I loved him.  But then The Notebook got so much attention.  The Notebook – not one of my favorites.  Besides Ryan Gosling and the well-played scene in the rain on the pier [see note on rain in chick flicks below], I didn’t care overly for the film either. gasp.  I know.  I started to only love Nicolas sometimes.  Once in a while, I’d allow myself to get sucked back into his stereotypical genre of plot lines with wounded men and the women who fall in love with them [and the other way around].  We had a mediocre relationship going, Nicolas and I. The kind where I wouldn’t bring him home for dinner but, sure, I’d meet up for a drink if I had no better plans.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was listening to a Nicolas Sparks audiobook on my Alaskan drive last summer.  I listened to it and remember laughing.  I remember thinking it was dumb.  It was cliché.  And then I remember calling myself a severe girly girl [the kind I never want to be] for ever liking him.  I slapped my own fingers in shame.  I hid all of my Spark’s novels behind another line of books on my shelf.  But then The Lucky One was released as a movie and Zac Efron looked pretty dreamy in the previews.  Yes, I read the book a while back when I was in my Spark’s phase.  And yes, I loved the movie.  Oh, Nicolas Sparks.  I can’t make up my mind.  I love to hate you.  I hate to love you.  It’s like I’m in one of your novels; I’m the wounded girl and the novel itself is the guy.  How metafiction of you, Nick.
Second.  Chick flicks are bad for my health.  I saw The Lucky One this afternoon with Paige.  We seem to entertain ourselves a lot lately by meeting up at the Owatonna theater and seeing whatever we can lose ourselves in for two hours.  [We love to escape reality, ie I love to forget that I still have a sermon to finish.]  My sister always accuses me of being super critical of movies.  Well, Emma, I loved it.  I was sucked in and had no power against its storyline or the definition of muscles in Zac Efron’s back.  Even the giggling row of junior high girls behind us laughing uncomfortably at every sign of affection on-screen weren’t enough to distract me.   I would totally see it again.  But I shouldn’t.  Chick flicks are bad for my health.
While a genre I enjoy, it’s a genre the reminds me, in one more way, that I go home to an empty house.  It’s a genre that raises expectations that will likely never be met [meet lindsay the pessimist] and that, given enough other outside circumstances, could only potentially fuel a spiral into depression.  Plus, we all know such well-timed thunderstorms and getting caught in the rain is pure creative fiction.  Rain doesn’t work like that.  Rain comes instead when you’re out running errands in canvas flats and pants a half-inch too long. [Welcome to my Thursday.]
Anyways.  Now I must move on with my evening.  I thought about creating a clandestine second blog – one where I could somewhat secretly just ream on the dangers of chick flicks to women [I’m sure there are studies somewhere.] but I won’t.  Instead, I’ll finish my sermon for tomorrow and then likely do what I do best – watch a movie I’ve already seen five hundred and three times.  Something like 27 Dresses, or Pride and Prejudice, or Pretty in Pink.
I’m doomed.
Pretty much.

it’s monday.

16 Apr
I’m still at home.  I have the hardest time going to work on Monday mornings!  If I’m in the office by 10, that’s pretty good for me.  I feel a little guilty because the quilting women begin arriving by 8:30, likely when I’m still eating my breakfast in my pajamas and watching Josh Elliot on Good Morning, America.  But then I remember how I spent Saturday writing my sermon and I don’t feel so bad.
Anyways.  Here.  Have some links [web, not sausage] on this Monday morn.
Your brain on fiction.  Further proof that book nerds are awesome and so are their brains.
I won’t love you like a love song.  Thoughts on love in popular culture and what it really might mean.

Maybe if we stopped worrying so much about finding “the one” and concentrated on being loving to everyone—ourselves included—we’d relax into the present moment a little more and actually be able to be in love, no falling required. 

I don’t even know if I like eggs benedict but it’s eggs benedict day!  It makes me want to try.  If I were to try, I would rely on the pioneer woman to teach me how.


15 Apr
Mom Lauren texted me this photo of baby-Elliot-tummy-time on the quilt I made.

All together now: oh for cute!

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