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new sunglasses.

25 Aug
I know I’ve written before about constantly worrying of how I am perceived by the people around me, feeling judged, and the negative self-talk that goes on in my head.
No more.
I don’t think I realized the extent all of those factors had on my life until recently.  Some of those factors are cultural, some of it is shame, some of it is part of my created being.  But I’m trying something new.  No more worrying about what other people think of me; they can think what they want and that’s up to them.  No more paralyzing fear surrounding the constant black cloud of feeling judged by others when I open my mouth or walk into a room.  No more saying mean things about myself to myself, or thinking that I’m not enough as I am.
Well, it’s not that easy … but I’m working on it.  
I remind myself each day that people can think what they want.  I remind myself that fear of judgement should not hold me back.  I remind myself that I am enough.
Exercise #23 in operation-no-more-making-myself-feel-shitty-about-myself: Buying and wearing this pair of sunglasses.
They are obviously sold with an adolescent age group in mind.  They are likely not something a 28-going-on-29 year old pastor would or should wear.  They make me look ridiculous.  Sometimes, when I’m well aware of what is on my face and I’m meeting someone new, I freak a little bit and feel like I should take them off to somehow make myself more proper.
But f*ck that.  I like polka dots, they’re crazy awesome in my book, and they keep me from squinting.  
Think what you want; I’m going to keep wearing them.

Friday night.

27 Jul
A high school classmate of mine posted a photo on facebook earlier today.  It was a photo of a beer next to cleaning supplies.  The caption?  An ice cold Corona with lime + cleaning supplies = single girl Friday night.

Here’s my version:
Red wine + new fabric + cakepops = single girl Friday night.

What’s your Friday night equation?

angry fist shake.

25 Jul
Sometimes I feel like shaking my angry fist and yelling with such indignation,
Curse you, introspective, processing mind and truth-telling friends!*
Don’t we all?
I’ve had one of those days.  I still haven’t recovered from a sleep-deprived week in NOLA.  I’m overwhelmed at work.  I hate that while I normally say, “We should do that this summer when we have more time!,” I now find myself saying, “We should have more time come fall.  Let’s do that then.”   [which is a lie.  we all know fall won’t be any slower.] Work is busy and right now seems all about budgets and writing job descriptions and administration; things I know absolutely nothing about.  I feel inadequate to do my job.
Twice today, amid tales of my day and how I feel dumb and inadequate and unable, I had friends tell me to go easy on myself.  To cut my own self a break.  I am the worst negative self-talker in all the world [or at least one of them].  What happened to the Lindsay with self-confidence, positivity [which, ironically, is one of my StrengthsFinder themes], and optimism?  I’m not sure where she has gone but I should probably find her.  It would be great if she would return.  Until then, I’ll shake my angry fist at the knowledge of what’s wrong and my current inability to know how to change it.  I’ll work on it.
At least it was a good hair day.  Had that going for me.
* but I’m thankful for truth-telling friends and a certain self-awareness.

I goofed.

26 Jun
I’m still kinda crabby but it’s my fault.
I’m crabby because I messed up.  I messed up and I shouldn’t have.
You see, Red Oak Grove leadership was invited to a stewardship meeting with the synod staff.  They were going to be at three different locations on three different days; we could call and sign up for a time slot.  Great.  I did this.
And then I went on vacation without ever writing the date and time on my calendar. 
Last Wednesday, when I was at The Sound of Music, I should have been talking about mission and stewardship with the Bishop in Albert Lea.  Shit.  I’m learning that my calendar is my life; if it’s not written down, it doesn’t get done.
I only remembered yesterday when my memory was jogged by reading a certain Scripture text.  
I emailed the synod staff and apologized.  
I felt like an idiot.
What a healthy reminder that I’m not perfect.  I goof up and I forget things.  Perhaps also a needed reminder that I can’t do it all.  My council president was also invited to go; in fact, she received the letter in the mail about it, not me.  I could have said, here, Karen, if you could set it up and invite people to go, that would be great.  But I, instead, and like I always do, said that I would take care of it.  I want to help everyone else out.  I don’t want to put anyone out.  But the thing is I say I’ll do things and then things get overwhelming and then I forget things.
Through my own disappointment in standing the bishop up, I told a few people and all I really wanted to hear in response was, it’s okay.  We all goof up.  But it seemed nearly every reaction I got made me feel even worse for f’ing up.  Oh, well.  Me, writing this, is admitting it and moving on.  Sinking feeling in stomach, you may leave now.  [please?]
It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time that I forget a meeting or overlook a commitment.  This pastor isn’t perfect.  Thank goodness I’m in the right business for some forgiveness.  

self-care things.

22 Jun


21 Jun
First, a little background info.  Pastors often attend weekly text study, a time when a group of pastors gather to discuss the texts for the upcoming Sunday and talk about preaching topics.  I used to go to text study in Austin but I didn’t feel entirely comfortable in the group.  [They would often call me out.  Lindsay, what do you think?  If you know me, you know the anxiety being put on the spot causes me.]  The conversation came up at our Blooming Prairie ministerium meeting and the two pastors at the Lutheran church in Blooming, jD, and I decided to try our own text study.  We met for the first time this past Tuesday.
Today, I was at a meeting in Waseca about the monkey business that is confirmation.  At my table was Pastor Charlie, one of the pastors in Blooming.  Our conversation went something like this over lunch:
Charlie: What did you think about our first text study?
Lindsay:  I enjoyed it.  I think we have a good rhythm to our group.
Charlie: I agree.  I think it will be good.  I have a feeling Heidi and jD will be the more talkative ones of the group.  I usually stay pretty quiet, much like yourself.
Lindsay: Yeah, you won’t hear me speak up too much.  But I feel more comfortable to contribute in this group than I did in my former text study.
Charlie: Speaking in a group has always been hard for me.  I’m always worried I’ll say the wrong thing or say something that doesn’t need to be said.
Lindsay:  Me too!  I’m always afraid I’ll sound dumb.
Charlie: Lindsay, we have more in common than we know.
It was reassuring to me that this gentleman, who I see as a wonderful pastor and I never would have once guessed considered himself quiet, had similar public speaking fears as I.  We totally had this moment [at least on my end] where we completely understood the other.  Charlie’s also fun.  jD had to leave early so at the end of the meeting – when we each had to sign in/decide what further discussion formats we wanted to be a part of – Charlie signed jD up for every single thing possible.  [You’re welcome, jD.] 


5 Jun
Pastor Siri, a former coworker of mine at Trinity in Stillwater, is leading a group of people in reading the book Sabbath by Wayne Muller.  It’s a book that has been on my shelf since it was recommended to me during CPE and a book that I still haven’t read all the way through in those last three years.  I’m thankful for Siri’s structure and accountability in finally reading it as I join in the virtual reading group.  
today’s ponder text.
There is a schedule; a couple chapters a week for the summer.  Throughout it all, Siri will text us questions to ponder and thoughts, along with blogging about it on her blog.  Chances are I’ll be blogging about it too.
She sent the first group text today and it encouraged me to start my reading of the book this evening.  

To be unavailable to our friends and family, to be unable to find time for a sunset … to whiz through our obligations without time for a single mindful breath, this has become the model for a successful life.  [Sabbath, p. 2-3]

Muller’s theory is further proved by a commercial on the television just a moment ago.  I don’t even recall what company it was for but this company prided itself in being “unwilling to rest.”  That’s exactly what Muller talks about – we don’t rest and … that’s become a positive thing?  

While many of us are terribly weary, we have come to associate tremendous guilt and shame with taking time to rest. [p.8]  

I can relate to everything he writes and thus, I’m declaring my summer one of sabbath.  That doesn’t mean a summer of vacations or simply making sure I get one full day off a week.  It’s more than that.  It’s a restored rhythm to living.  It’s a way of effortless, nourishing rest. It’s said best by Muller –

Sabbath is a way of being in time where we remember who we are, remember what we know, and taste the gifts of the Spirit and eternity. [p. 6]

Yeah.  That.  That’s what I’m aiming for this summer.  Hold me to it, will you? 

gospel messages.

4 Jun
I felt preached and ministered to twice on Sunday and neither was the sermon in worship.  [gasp.  yeah.  a pastor just said that.]  These were both gospel messages I needed to hear.  
The first was during worship.  If you are in the Dawson community, you know but if you’re not, you likely don’t know the talent and awesomeness of musicians at Grace.  Two of them together sang a song during the offering.  And not just any song – a song they wrote.  Deep gratitude to Jacob and Kelsey [who also happen to both be children of internship coworkers] for sharing this message and sharing their gift of words and music.  I needed to hear it.  I think my purpose needs a little realigning … but not necessarily by me.
The second time was just as I was leaving gnometown and saying my final goodbyes.  [It sounds like the bachelorette.  You did not get a rose.  Say your final goodbyes, says Chris Harrison every week.]  Sharon – who was the chair of my internship committee while I was at Grace – reads my blog and knows that it goes on spurts between depressing and super depressing.  She gave me a hug and then she said something to the tune of you are wonderful.  remember that.
I’m so keen on showing and telling everyone else that they are enough just as they are and created by God … but I often forget that applies to me too.  Sharon, in that graceful way, reminded me.  Another gospel messenger at just the right time.  Thank you, Sharon.  


30 May
It used to be a dirty word in my world.  Like I should wear a scarlet I on my clothing to warn people to stay away.  [Huh.  Somedays maybe that actually isn’t a terrible idea …] I’d like to think the negative connotation of the dirty word is finally changing.
I remember meeting with my candidacy committee, way early in my process to become ordained as a pastor.  They told me I needed to work on my introvert nature.  I took this as a low blow.  Perhaps they didn’t mean it as such but to me, it sounded like they wanted me to change, and that without that change, I wouldn’t make a good pastor.
Then I recall taking my psych test for the candidacy process.  [Do you like to read auto mechanic magazines? was a question on the test.  Um … no?]  I met with the doctor to go over my results and he drew a line on his whiteboard.  On one end were extreme extroverts.  On the other, extreme introverts.  He put an x on the line at the extreme introvert side.  I once again got the impression this was not good.
Add to that one of the main reasons I’d felt for years I couldn’t be a pastor was because I was such an introvert.  I was not getting the idea that seminary would not work for this quiet, introspective gal.  I wasn’t sure they [the powers that be] were going to let me go through with it.
Enter my time at Trinity in Stillwater and one awesome coworker named Jodi.  I finally learned that my introvert nature didn’t need to be changed.  That I could be who I was and still be a pastor.  And – not only that – being an introvert named Lindsay was awesome.  Because it’s all part of my unique design as one of God’s children.
Ever since then, I’ve been intrigued by the introvert/extrovert types and how I fit into one so obviously and not the other.  I’ve been amazed at how true it is – how sometimes just ten minutes of stepping away by myself can make all the difference in the world.  It’s made me incredibly self-aware in the last years and months and weeks about my limits and my own self-care.  I’ve also been amazed at how still some people don’t honor it, or still think this extrovert ideal is the best approach.  Boo to them.

I just started in on a book about introverts [I think I’ve told you about it before.] and I’m loving it.

What I’m not loving is the suggestions B&N gave me to purchase in addition.  Are you suggesting I’m ill, B&N?  And The Loners’ Manifesto?  Really?  Slightly offended.  And slightly laughed at the connection.  Now leave me alone.  I need to be by myself so I can write my manifesto while being ill because that’s what I do.

just kidding.  
I love you.  
But sometimes I do need time to be quiet and be by myself.  Don’t take it personally.

little triumphs.

26 May
I honestly don’t know where my weekends go.  Thursday night Paige and I went to a wine tasting/dinner.  [Stories and photos still to come.]  I suppose yesterday was occupied with a couple pastoral care visits and running errands.  Today I slept in until 9:30, sleeping to the soundtrack of a thunder storm. I rolled four cakes worth of cakeballs and answered some long delayed emails.  I wrote a sermon [don’t get me started on that.] and had Harry Potter movies playing in the background all day.  Mabel and I went for a short walk and I quilted.
Glorious quilting.  Too many days it is my saving grace, my creative outlet, and my chance to see something progress.  I finished a quilt top for a baby boy quilt tonight.  It’s been a joy and challenge to create; I used all fabrics I already had in my stash, except the backing [which I bought for $2.97/yard – score!]. The backing fabric is in the washer and I go to bed dreaming of free motion quilting and hand binding which will have to wait until tomorrow night to begin.  Long day tomorrow … 
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