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a thankful november: the three musketeers.

6 Nov
I’ve been gone.  Fall theological convention in Onalaska, WI, baby!  It’s a crazy time.  You might want to disagree.  A theological convention for pastors is crazy?  I don’t lie.  There were hot tub parties, dinners with crazy travel stories, Spotted Cow, and lots of laughs. 
I went with jD and Paige.  Are you surprised?
The synod staff sitting at the registration table wasn’t.  Here come the three musketeers, they chimed as we slipped on our nametags.  They had fun-size three musketeer bars on the registration table.  We each ate one.  It was fitting.  Then jD and I drank a Spotted Cow while Paige drank a cranberry juice.  Also fitting.
I really couldn’t imagine a fall theological convention without them.  In our last year here, we’ve made some new friends too; we weren’t an exclusive group of three musketeers [or the newly labeled kkk – kool kids klub].  We had a crazy late night in our friend, Karen’s, room, discussing the red flannel decor and the fact that I never smile.*   We went out to supper at Piggy’s in downtown LaCrosse with a large group of pastor friends.  The Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning requirement went by fast.  A car ride home with a game of spill-your-guts:what-don’t-we-know-about-each-other ended the adventure.
I’m thankful for my fellow musketeers [and their families].  Without them, fall theological would be much more work, less fun, and life in ministry would simply be more difficult and lonely.  
We texted this photo to jD to give him a clue to our whereabouts.  His response?  Where the hell are you?  Exactly.

* I was told to smile! in passing once more at the conference.  Strangers, synodical ministers, friends, you name it.  I apparently walk around with a frown on my face.

a thankful november: my bed.

2 Nov
Do you love your bed?
I love my bed.
Some people don’t have beds.  I’m thankful for mine.
As I wash my sheets and dream of sleeping in a newly-made bed tonight, I realize I probably spend too much time in bed.  I’m a solid eight-hours a night kind of gal, mostly due to boredom and a flexible work schedule.  Perhaps the washing of sheets will wash away the nightmares and dreams I’ve been having.  [Last night I dreamed that I went to the dentist and had nine cavities.  Then I was at McDonald’s and it took over an hour to get my fruit and walnut salad.  Then there was something about a kidnapping; I don’t quite recall now which is probably best.]
Simplistic statement though it is – I love my bed.  The end.
In other news, Paige and I saw Argo this afternoon.  I feel more intelligent for it.  

thankful with scones [3].

17 Nov
I’m being unconventional.  [That’s code for lazy and procrastinating.]
I didn’t say thank you with paper this week.  I said thank you with lemon scones.  These lemon scones.

I said thank you to Marilyn, the administrative extraordinaire at ROG.  She’s awesome.  She puts together the bulletin and listens to my questions, my tears, and my outbursts.  Marilyn has had a bit of a crazy week and another crazy one ahead of her as her husband has surgery.  I figured scones were necessary.  We had a staff meeting with a scone and coffee, and I sent the rest home with Marilyn.  She deserves them and more for all she does for me and for the office.  
In other Thursday news, I think I might have pink eye …

thankful on paper [2].

10 Nov
It’s time to be thankful again.  Here we go.
It’s quite possible today’s thank you note recipients will read this blog before the card shows up in their mailbox.  I really should send my notes out on Tuesday instead of Wednesday …
Today, I am incredibly thankful for Grandpa Bob and Grandma Julie.  [Not to leave out dear Grandpa Sid.  I’m thankful for him too.  I sent him a letter last week about lutefisk.  It’s his favorite.  Geeps is always one for a good story and tales of his life growing up.  And he made me a coat rack and lazy suzan for my spices in my cupboard.  He’s pretty handy.]
I started to write the thank you note and quickly found that the list of things for which to thank them was too long to fit in the card.  They helped me move and they gave me a gnome for my new place.  They’re super supportive of my call into ministry. They took me out for Chinese.  Grandma sends me greeting cards for every major holiday, and always invites me to her knitting coffee group when I’m home.  I bet Grandpa would even be willing to help me make this.  [*wink*]
I especially feel like Grandma and I bonded this past summer.  I was home, jobless and – most of the time – bored.  I would stop by in town often and we would have weekly – if not twice or three times a week – phone conversations.  I could normally call it when the phone rang and I hadn’t talked to her for a couple days – it’s Grandma Julie!  There were a couple times we caught up on life for well over a half hour.  
They’re pretty awesome as far as grandparents go, along with Grandpa Sid on the right.  [Grandma will tell me she hates this photo.  Sorry, Grandma.]

week one.

3 Nov
Be thankful on paper, week the first.
I sent out two thank you notes yesterday addressed to three people.  [It’s almost like a riddle!]
One thank you was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. jD and Lauren and the second to Ms. Paige.  The thank you notes were simplicity at its finest and said only the following:

I am fairly certain that first call would be miserable without you.  Thank you for being my friend(s)!

True story.  I think that sums it up.
My first call as a single pastor in rural Minnesota would be incredibly lonely, filled with despair, and miserable without these three friends [exaggeration noted] who were wonderfully already in place when I arrived to Austin.   But seriously, if I didn’t have these colleagues in the form of such wonderful friends, things would be so incredibly different.  We can call each other at any point to discuss certain situations, possible sermon topics, and the unique aspects of our congregations.  They’re up for coffee dates, afternoon lunches, and television viewing on Sunday evenings.  We can be brutally honest with each other, say naughty words [except for Paige. she doesn’t swear.], and simply be ourselves without our pastor hats on.  We go to pumpkin patches, synod functions, and might polar plunge.  We’re that cool.
And for that and for them I am so incredibly thankful.

It’s time.

1 Nov

Last year I participated in this thankful blogging effort with my DB [Dancing Banana] friend, Jen at After the Chapel and lots of other awesome thankful bloggers through Rachel at No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane.  It’s time again!  Here’s the gist of it:
On each Wednesday of the month in November, I will write a thank you note to a person for whom I am thankful and put that baby in the mailbox..
On each Thursday of the month, I will write a blog post about the person to whom I wrote.
Ta da!  Thankfulness!  
You don’t have to have a blog to participate either.  This November [and really, all year long] be thankful for the people in your lives!
Check out who I wrote to last year here, here, here, and here.
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