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vacation: post four.

6 Jun
Really, my whole reason for traveling to Grand Marais for vacation was to go kayaking.  One might call it a bucket list item for me; I’ve wanted to go kayaking for a long time and have never found the friends or the opportunity to do it.  Today, I went sea kayaking on Lake Superior and I survived.  I didn’t even tip over or make a gigantic fool of myself.
The more I thought about it prior, the dumber I realized this plan was.  My first time kayaking to be on frigid, choppy Lake Superior?  Really, Lindsay?  Did you think this through at all?  Maybe not the greatest plan of attack.  But Stone Harbor advertised that this half-day trip was suited for beginners.  deep breath.  Okay, that’s me.  Let’s do this.
I was fearful going into it.  Nervous.  I was worried I would tip over.  I was worried I would be completely uncoordinated or not able to get in and out of the kayak with grace.  I was worried the guide would be cute and I would get flustered and dumb because of it.
The first two worries didn’t happen.  The third did.
This is quite literally what happened – 
I arrived at the outfitter and checked in at the desk.  I began filling out the waiver/medical info and the dude behind the desk said Phil would be my guide and he was off getting things ready.  He hasn’t lost anyone yet, dude said jokingly.  I’m writing on the clipboard and a guy appears next to me, talking to the dude behind the desk.  Dude behind the desk directs my attention and says, Lindsay, this is Phil.  He’ll be your guide.
I look up, shake Phil’s hand, and my inner monologue seriously mutters, Shit.  A redhead.  
I’m a sucker for redheads.  And this one was absolutely adorable.*  
There were two other ladies on this trip.  We met up with them, walked out to the back of the building, and put on the equipment we needed – wetsuits [gross.], windbreakers, PFDs, and a spray skirt.  There is no question that I looked like a complete moron in pants too tight.  We went to the beach and learned how to sit in a kayak, how to get in and out, how to paddle, and how to attach the spray skirt [which is probably the hardest part of it all].  Phil adjusts the foot peddles inside my kayak awkwardly while I’m still sitting in it [when you sit in a kayak, you don’t sit with your legs flat on the bottom of the boat.  there are peddles to rest your feet on and pads to put your knees against while bent.] and then pushes me out to sea.
I was completely freaked out.  There were waves.  It made me sway.  I really, really didn’t want to tip [just like everyone else ever].  Was the rhythm of it all going to make me seasick?  Could I really do this?  But then … it was okay.  Gradually, I got the hang of it and it was lovely.
Artist’s Point
We paddled around Artist’s Point and continued on the water for a couple hours.  We stopped along a rocky beach for a brief break; a break needed more to stretch the legs than for the arms.  [I felt like my arms didn’t get nearly as tired as they do when canoeing.]  It was at this point I really had to go to the bathroom but I was wearing a frickin’ wetsuit and there were no bathrooms in sight.  We ate energy bars, I drank no additional water, and headed back out, in and out of the harbor, and back to where we started.
I survived sea kayaking.  I faced a fear and lived to tell the story.  I label this day a success.  
* You know how they say everyone likes the sound of their own name and to make a good impression with someone new, you should use their name frequently in conversation?  Phil knows this technique.  He was so personable and good at the name game.  He also applauded my graduation from seminary  [and I applaud him for knowing the word seminary and that that’s where pastors go for school] and seemed … impressed? … that I was a pastor.  Maybe not all hope is lost.

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.

priorities.

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!]

less than perfect.

4 Nov
Two songs: F**kin’ Perfect by Pink and That I Would Be Good by Alanis Morissette.
I’m never totally up on the music scene so excuse me if I’m way behind the times.  I just heard the Pink song on the radio a few weeks ago.  The second song is an older one.  I recall listening to it in a pastoral care class and my recent renewed addiction to Dawson’s Creek has brought it to my attention again.  It was used in a recent episode and caught my ear.  They’re good songs, people.  Good songs. 

You’re so mean when you talk about yourself … change the voices in your head … make them like you instead.  Pretty pretty please don’t you ever ever feel like you’re less than – less than perfect.  Pretty pretty please if you ever ever feel like you’re nothing, you are perfect … to me.  

... that I would be good even if I got a thumbs down … that I would be good if I got and stayed sick … that I would be good even if I gained ten pounds … that I would be loved even when I’m not myself … that I would be good even if I lost sanity … that I would loved even if I wasn’t myself …

I like these songs particularly lately because I of all people need to hear them.  I resonate.  I may be mistaken as a confident young woman but, more often than not, I’m insecure, unsure, and fearful.  
I need to change the voices in my head.  My thoughts of late are constantly filled with judgement, self-doubt, and mistakes.  I second guess my decisions and consistently tell myself that I don’t do enough.  
It’s not that I’m not given grace.  It’s not that I’m not learning and growing in skill and confidence.  It’s not that I’m not supported.  Perhaps it’s how I function and a little enneagram #2 coming into play.  [I blame my 2-ness a lot.  Perhaps that needs to be a blog post of the future.]  Perhaps it’s how my history has seasoned me to act.  Perhaps it’s greater culture.  
Whatever it may be, mission: attitude change must begin.  A colleague told me that someone once told him that this pastor tells himself, “I am okay.”  Perhaps I need a personal mantra.  Something I can tell myself and believe.  Something maybe like:
I am a child of God.
I am gifted.
I am loved.
I don’t have to do everything.
I must take care of myself.
I carried a watermelon.
[strike the last one from the record.  but name that movie and I’ll give you an air high-five.]
You should repeat every one of those statements and know it to be your truth.  
Say it.  Believe it.  And I’ll try and take that advice for myself too.

love this.

2 Nov
I love this.  I will fashion my own on the macbook and print it and frame it myself.
I don’t think I carped the hell out of this diem.  It’s not even 10 and I’m exhausted.  The confirmands and I did make microwave smores.  [score.]  Mabel threw up.  I finished a baby quilt top and now I’m drawn into and addicted to season three of Dawson’s Creek.  Darn it all, Pacey Witter.  
I’ll try and carpe the hell out of tomorrow’s diem.  Promise.
Source: etsy.com via Lindsay on Pinterest

I’ve lost it.

3 Oct
Not my marbles.  My motivation.
Mondays are always hard.  Coming off a Sunday which tires the dickens out of me [even if it is only technically half a day of work], it’s hard to get back into the office and get work done.  Today is no exception.  I’ve been in the office for an hour and have nothing to show for it.  
But it’s not even that.  I feel like I’ve lost my drive.  Not necessarily in regards to church work but in regards to life.  My world is typically filled with do-it-yourself projects, crafts, and various goals that I’m working towards.  I like to be busy.  And yet, at the end of my days here, I find myself sitting on the couch and watching dvds.  I’m not sewing.  I’m not attempting to make friends with macaroons again.  I’m not running anymore.  I would do all three of those things in any one day while on internship.  What’s the difference?
I don’t know.  Maybe I need to give myself more space for the transition.  Be more patient with myself in this time.  But still, Lindsay, it’s been a month.  It might be time to just kick things into high gear and limit myself to one episode of McLeod’s Daughters a day.  [I do love television shows on dvd.  Last night Paige offered to share her wealth of tv on dvd with me until I get proper television.  I’d never heard of the Australian drama but I’ll admit, I’ll watch it.  I’m intrigued, even if the acting is slightly to overly corny and sometimes equally horrible.  Recent Amazon research indicates there were eight seasons of this drama that originally aired in the 90’s.  Trouble.]
Maybe I need a list of goals.  Much like the seasonal lists of my blogging past.  
Yes, this sounds like a good idea.
Today’s goal: Come up with list of goals.  
Stay tuned.

happy birthday!

31 Aug

Happy birthday to you/happy birthday to you/happy birthday dear BLOG/happy birthday to you!

My blog baby – there’s no place like gnome at gnomepreacher.blogspot.com – turns two today!  Two!  Put on your 3D glasses and party hats and you could come celebrate with this dork on the left!

[I forgot to remember to celebrate her birthday last year.  what a bad blog host am I.]

Two years ago to this day was the summer night that I arrived in Dawson for my year-long internship.  [Here is the first ever post on gnomepreacher.]  The intern committee had helped me move into my apartment and taken me out for dinner.  I returned to my home-to-be for that year – oh, parkview apartments – and [dramatic pause] began to blog.  Gnomepreacher was born out of dreams to communicate with family and friends in Wisconsin while I lived on the prairie for a year, but she’s grown into a lot more.  
Since then, the blog has been with me through thick and thin.  It has shared with you joys and sorrows, losses and gains; many corny videos and even more gnome stories.  A trip to Alaska, friendly tales of polar plunges, and transitions aplenty.  Cakepops, macarons, and hamballs. The blog – through story and the infinite interweb – has connected me to people in strange and really wonderful ways.  
Blogging is never a chore for me.  It’s not unusual that when I’m away from my computer, I’ll write posts in my head, some of which are published, others of which are not.  I feel grounded in my writing and in the sharing.  If there is a day or – gasp! – three when I don’t blog, it feels like something is missing.  I love doing this.
Once more, I thank you for reading.  Even when I forget to say thank you, know that I’m grateful that you share in this with me. You share in and take interest in the stories I live and write.  If I were not in the middle of moving and packing, I might have yelled cakepops for all!  But I am moving and packing [or at least am supposed to be]… so not really.  Cakepop false alarm.  
Happy birthday, blog.  To many more.

The Pioneer Woman.

13 Aug
I’m on a blogging roll.  Something about spending so much time in the car by myself thinking.  Read them all, skim them a bit, or throw your hands up and yell, “It’s too much, Lindsay! I give up!”  Whatever your reaction to the overabundance of posts tonight, I understand.  [Have I told you lately I love you?  I do.]
Seeing the cattle alongside the road, the endless sky of Montana, and the fields that go on forever make me think about someone I’ve been meaning to write to you about for the last couple months –
The Pioneer Woman.
She’s a real person.  Really.  Ree Drummond is her name and I think I idolize her.  I want her life.
The Pioneer Woman is a blogger extraordinaire.  She’s terribly witty.  She has published cookbooks [Her recipes always include loads of butter.] and has a kick-butt iced coffee recipe [Okay. That doesn’t include butter.].  She’s an awesome photographer, home schools her four children, and married the Marlboro Man.
That’s not his real name either and he doesn’t smoke.  But she’s a city girl who was swept off her feet by a country man.  She moved to the ranch and makes her living there, battling between the suburban roots and her current love of the country.  You can read about her life here in her own playful words.
Driving through Montana makes me want her life even more.  I could marry a cattle-rancher-truck-driver and live here.  It honestly wouldn’t take much pull on my end.  I want to buy a fancy camera and blog ridiculous stories about horses and how I try to love them.  [That’s the one piece that needs convincing on my end; horses are not my favorite.  Well, and are there snakes in MT?  I don’t do well with snakes.]
Maybe southeastern Minnesota will become like a Montana for me but at this point, I need convincing.  Something like this would convince me.  Seriously.  

Today –

9 Jul

– and everyday –

Here’s my problem.

8 Jul
[well.  just one of the many.]
Not being employed often means I have a full day to complete stuff.  This stuff ranges from a quilting goal, to watering my mom’s flowers, to planning an ordination service, to needing to make a phone call, to needing to take a walk up and down the Aarback hill five times.  Most nights I go to bed with a list in my head of what I want to accomplish the next day.  But the problem is that I have the full day to do it.
I wake up.  I make myself wake up before 8. [I feel lazy if I sleep past that though I realize, for many of you, even 8 is late!]  I eat breakfast and often one of three things happens.  While I eat my cold oatmeal, I either turn on the television, jump on my macbook, or start in on the kindle.  [Hello, electronics.]  And then I get sucked in.  Today, it was the television and the movie Easy A.  We have these movie channels and they are the death of me.  First, The Proposal is on at least three times a day.  [I also already watched the last ten minutes of that movie today.] Yesterday, Lord of the Rings was on.  Sometimes Death at a Funeral.  I’ve seen these movies a million times, folks.  But it’s on tv and I get sucked in.  Easy A was a new one for me today but by the time the movie was over, it was 10:30 and I had nothing to show for my day so far.
But I have all day, right?  I still haven’t watered my mom’s flowers or done the dishes.  I have frozen cakes waiting to be rolled into balls that I haven’t touched.  I bought more gray fabric to complete quilt squares that is still uncut.   I need to call my aunt about ordination things and a birthday package to wrap.  I have all day.
Until suddenly, it reaches that point in the day where I think, “Sh*t!  I still have all this stuff to do still!”  I had all day but suddenly after pinning on pinterest, stalking on facebook, and watching How I Met Your Mother, my day is gone.  Gone.  I just reached that point. It’s almost noon and I have plans that take me away from the home at 3pm.  But instead of doing something productive about it, I’m blogging.  Eh.  I have a full day tomorrow to do stuff.  [And there is the problem.]
[Would you like to hear a second problem?  Pond swimming and weed pulling was great fun but it seems I’m now breaking out in itchy red bumps from the excursion.  And what’s that?  Oh, right.  They’re starting to blister.  Darn you, pond weeds!  *shake angry fist*]
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