Archive | May, 2012

an afternoon trip.

20 May

To Luther Seminary’s commencement. A grand afternoon celebrating friends. It’s hard to believe that was me just one year ago …

I’m spent.

19 May
It’s just after 7pm on Saturday night and I can’t get myself to write a sermon.

It’s not that I’m tired.  I just made a lovely dinner and now have strawberry and rhubarb simmering on the stove.  I worked outside and had a baptism at the church earlier.  I want to start a quilt; the fabrics are all ironed and laying on the ironing board.  [a baby quilt, a la this pattern.]  There is stuff to do and I would love to do it.
But instead I’m stuck.  I’ve tried and thought about it all weekend; now it’s crunch time.  A sermon must be in presentable working order in 14 hours.  I’ve started but I cannot get myself to continue.  Creative energy at an all time low.  I see facebook statuses of friends with awesome sermon titles and ways to draw people in.  I have none of that.  I can’t keep doing this.  I loathe Saturday nights of working, especially knowing that the next morning will be an early and stressful one.
blah, blah, blah.  complain, complain, complain.
I’ll stop now.
I just need to survive the next one and a half weeks.  One and a half weeks until I’m on vacation for a week.  One and a half weeks until I will jump in my car, visit friends, relax, and have a Sunday off.  I will read and kayak and sleep.  I hope it rejuvenates me.  It has to … right?

a confirmation end.

17 May
Last night was the bittersweet last evening of confirmation for the school year.
We begin every night with sharing our highs and lows – things that have gone well for the week, and things that have not been so great.  I think three out of the four seventh graders included a low that confirmation was ending.  They ask to stay later.  They wonder why confirmation classes don’t go through the summer.  They like confirmation.  It makes me melt.  
And, last night, things felt sad.  These seventh graders were really sad that it was over.  It felt like we should have ended with a group hug or something.  I promised that we would try and have a few confirmation get-togethers this summer and they liked that idea.  Honestly, I’ll be sad too.  [Though also a bit excited to have my Wednesday nights free.  Hence the bittersweet.]
For our last night, we had pizza [including a s’more dessert pizza] and went on a culminating Bible knowledge-esque scavenger hunt.  We chatted a lot and we prayed.  And I invited them to fill out some casual evaluations.  Ready to see a few samples?  This was the last question and you may need to refresh yourself on this background story first.  It seems I will never live it down … also, these kids just really like ninjas.  

first call reTREAT.

16 May
From Sunday evening to Tuesday afternoon, I lived at Gustavus Adolphus College in St.Peter, MN with ten other first call pastors.*
We talked about anxiety.  I know what that is.  A speaker came in to present a day of family systems theory.  Interesting stuff.  We all walk around as pseudo-selves, and need to consistently try to differentiate ourselves from that person.  [Psycho babble?  A bit.  But it totally makes sense.]  It was great to know that I am never alone in psycho babble and anxious pastoral stuff.
We ate a lot at the Gustavus cafeteria, though I still marvel at the lack of hard boiled eggs at breakfast, and spent time with the Bishop.  It was all good but also a lot of people time.  I realized I’m an introvert who wants to be invited into conversation but also an introvert who doesn’t want to be put on the spot for conversation.  I’m an introvert that can’t win.
We drank wine, snacked, and stayed up late telling stories.  We turned Lindsay on.
wait.  what?
Ready for a story?  Every year the synod hosts an assembly.  The assembly this year was the same weekend as I had a wedding here at ROG.  Paige, jD, and I couldn’t be together at a synod event for the first time nearly ever.  Tragic, really.  And so, to be connected ever so distantly, Paige named the wi-fi hotspot on her phone Lindsay.  That way, as jD and Paige used internet on their iPads at the assembly, they were connected to Lindsay.  To me.  [aww.]
Some people at the retreat wanted to use me, er, the internet.  And so they asked Paige if I could be turned on.  insert dirty joke and lindsay-the-person blushing.  This used to be a compliment! I exclaimed at one point as it went a bit extreme.
It still is, said Charlie.
Aww.  Thanks, Charlie.

* Pastors in their first three years of ministry are part of a first-call theological education.  That includes various meetings, a monthly colleague group, and a yearly retreat.  It’s quite fun.

love one another.

13 May
I woke up at 12:30 am after having gone to bed just after 11.  This never happens to me.  If there is one thing I’m a rock star at, it’s a good night of sleep.  I was super cold so I put on socks and a long sleeve tshirt.  I went back to bed.  Still freezing.  I prance downstairs to investigate turning on the furnace.  The thermostat says that it is 68 degrees.  I normally sleep at 65 so this should not be a problem.  I grab another quilt and back to bed I go, shivering the whole way.
I thought maybe I was getting sick.  [I also sneezed appox. 8 times this morning.]  And maybe that is part of it.  But part of it quite honestly may have been the sermon I was going to preach this morning.
I talked about gay marriage in my sermon.
gasp.  How could I not?  It was in the news all over the place this week.  Obama.  North Carolina.  Last weekend was our synod’s assembly, at which they voted to oppose the upcoming marriage amendment here in Minnesota.  I talked a lot about it with my staff.  [jD and I now hold weekly staff meetings.]  He’s in fact the one who really brought it to my attention and I think he is totally right.  [Right?]
But it still made me incredibly nervous.  And terrified.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I did not tell people what was right or what was wrong.  I tried not to even disclose my own views.  I tried to honor the gospel text in light of what is going on in our world.  That’s something we do every time we read scripture.  
So we talked about friendship.  And loving one another as Jesus commands us.  And how we can honor those gospel topics even when we disagree.  Even when we are scared.  How to be in community with each other.  Oh, how I pray the Holy Spirit used my words for good.
I do really feel like it should be addressed.  At ROG, to my knowledge, the congregation has had zero conversation about gay marriage.  To a point, that can’t be healthy either.  So I did it.  And I’m still terrified that I somehow planted seeds that will result in my removal.  [I exaggerate.]  I think I also want everyone to love me all the time; this might have ruined that with a few people.  But, truth be told, in a leadership position, if I don’t piss people off once in a while, I’m treading too lightly.  Mostly, I heard good feedback.  People acknowledged that it was a hard topic to address, and many thanked me for doing so.  
There was, though, that one gentleman who shook my hand and told me, “Read the Bible.  It’s all in the Bible.”
Interesting.  I’m pretty sure that’s what I did.  
“My commandment is this: Love one another as I have loved you.” [John 15]

meet cleo.

12 May
Cleo the compost bin.
He’s come to live in my yard and decompose banana peels.
I had a startling revelation a couple weeks ago about how much I throw in my garbage that doesn’t need to be garbage.  Fruit peels.  Broccoli stems.  That half a bag of spinach that inevitably gets pushed to the back of the produce drawer.  Egg shells.  Coffee grounds.  [Plus seventy more things listed here.]  No need for all those things to go in a dumpster and take up space elsewhere when I can feed it to Cleo and have him go to work.  [Plus people tell me of the glorious soil that will be Cleo’s creation.  My thus far fictitious garden will be happy.]
I was beyond excited about this venture until my bubble was burst.  I learned that snakes like to live in such compost bins.  
I don’t do snakes.
I’m now about 56% beyond excited, 40% anxiety regarding possible snake presence, and 4% terrified to ever open the compost bid lid.
This will be more of a growing experience than I ever imagined.

scones and signs.

10 May
Let me summarize confirmation last night.
Pastor Lindsay: Hey, guys.  I have some scones leftover from a meeting this morning if you want one.
Confirmands: scrunched noses  Scones?  What are scones?
Pastor Lindsay … Introducing international coffee treats and new sandwich shops to youth day by day.
We talked about the Psalms last night and I employed the confirmands to help me change the signboards at the church.  Pick a verse from a psalm, I told them.
Here is board number one:
Pastor Lindsay: You know how when you type in all capital letters, it’s like someone is yelling at you?  STEADFAST LOVE SURROUNDS THOSE WHO TRUST IN THE LORD!  I feel like the sign is yelling at us.
Confirmand: Pastor Lindsay, you know signs can’t talk, right?
We went to the second church sign.  And ran out of S’s.  Change of plans –

crazy decoupage lady.

9 May
First, let me set the scene.  
There have been many reminders lately that I am indeed a single lady.  Here’s one.  I was setting up an online account and you know how you have to answer at least three security questions?  What street did you live on when you were 10?  What was the name of your first grade teacher?  Those kind of things.  They give you question options and you have to choose one to answer.  For this particular account, I had a hard time answering a question in each slot because over half of them dealt with a spouse.  Where was your spouse born?  What is your spouse’s mother’s name?  That was half the questions and another quarter seemed to be names of elementary school teachers.  I’ll be honest – I don’t remember.  *ahem*  Sears, not all of the people who hold one of your credit cards are married.  Take note.  [And if they are gay and live in North Carolina, they don’t even have that option.  Boo to that.] Be inclusive please.
Last night, as I stayed up much later than usual, a friend texts me.  This friend will remain anonymous unless she decides to out herself in the comment section, but know that we were seminary colleagues and we both be single.  You should also know that other seminary friends were making glorious wonderful announcements yesterday on facebook about babies [plural].  [And despite the self-deprecation that follows, we really are happy for all of them – really!]  I think we are the only two people in the world who aren’t pregnant and married right now.  Ugh.  she texts.  
My response: Seriously.  Everyone else is married or pregnant for sure.  And I just sit here decoupaging a lampshade like a spinster.  
I wasn’t lying.  It was 10:30 at night and I sat on my couch with a foam brush, an old book, and a lampshade.  Suddenly, I had visions of the future.  I’m going to be the spinster who decoupages everything.  Lampshades, furniture, picture frames, boxes, cats.  You name it, I’ll decoupage it.  I’ll decoupage the shit out of it.  You think, oh, you can’t decoupage this, and I’ll take it as a challenge.  You wanna bet? I’ll say.  I’ll carry travel sized bottles of mod-podge on my person at all times and take stock in the business that makes those crappy one-time use foam brushes.  Decoupage will be my medium of expressing my suppressed spinster feelings.
I digress.  I think we all would agree that my new lampshade looks awesome compared to the cheap-o silver/gray fluted one that came with the set of lamps.  Crazy decoupage lady or not, I like it.

a day off.

8 May
It’s been more than a couple weeks since I’ve had a complete, full day off and I’ve been a bit bitter about it.  And so today, I did no work.  It was the most wonderful, extraordinary day ever.  I look forward to doing it again soon – that whole not working thing.
I reorganized my craft room and sewed a curtain.
I displayed many of the instagram prints I ordered a couple weeks ago.
I made a batch of iced coffee.
I made my bed – actually made my bed.  It’s been weeks.
I ate a delicious supper of salmon and roasted broccoli.
I updated the firmware on the router in the office. [say what! I surprised myself.]
I discovered how to get internet in my house.  [three cheers for that one.]
I bought a roku and it is changing my life as I type.
I’m about to make scones to take to text study tomorrow.
I ran errands in Austin.
I assembled individual jars of cold oatmeal with strawberries.
Seriously.  This day has changed my life.  Yesterday, just knowing I would have a free day put a spring in my step.  And then today … lovely.  Absolutely lovely.  Alas, back to work tomorrow but then I’m just three short weeks away from a week of vacation.  I might count the days.

crazy week.

8 May
You know I’ve been a bit busy this last week.  In between the sermons and the services, there were storms and sandwiches.  
My hammock tree feel down in a storm.  Now I have no where to hang my hammock.  When I say I’m devastated, I’m  toning my emotions down.
This is what a crazy week does to my desk. eeeeeek.
We had confirmation class outside and talked about the Psalms.
These are the kiddos that I’m going to New Orleans with in July and – wait for it – they. had. never. had. jimmy. johns.  gasp.  I introduced them.  You’re welcome, Red Oak Grove youth.  You’re welcome.
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