My 2011 Lenten Journey

Discipline…it’s a touchstone of many Christians’ Lenten journey.

We give up something we enjoy, or take on acts of mercy or self-care that deepen our sense of connection with Jesus.

A couple of years ago, I gave up shopping for clothes and other non-essentials.  That discipline not only transformed that Lent – it has changed my behavior.  I don’t spend my day off window-shopping any more.

Yesterday, I signed on for a 12-week fitness program that will provide nutritional counseling, weekly personal training, and a weekly bootcamp workout.  There is a “Biggest Loser” component to it, but that will not be my aim.

Why this challenge?  I don’t know any of the other people taking on the challenge.

Why now?  Because it is Lent, and somewhere in the rhythm of my journey of faith and life the practice of self-discipline at Lent runs like a silken thread.

I hope to report that after 12 weeks I have lost inches, I look better and I feel better.  I also hope to report that daily exercise has become an integral part of my life again.

What are you doing differently because it is Lent?



Time to Get Up and Play the Friday Five

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Singing Owl writes:

Where I am it is dark, and it is cold, and it is snowing. I really wanted to stay in bed with the electric blanket cranked this morning. Share five things that made getting out of bed worthwhile for you today!

  1. Good coffee
  2. I have reading, writing, and research to do today that excites me.
  3. I will be judging at our high schools’ speech invitational tonight and tomorrow.  I am energized by watching young people speaking about current events and the issues about which they care intensely.  I also love to watch them do dramatic and humorous interpretations.
  4. There are puzzles waiting to be solved in the newspaper.
  5. The winter wonderland outside is beautiful – but I could use some sunshine.

Wishing any and all of you who visit a blessed day+



How Do You Stay Entertained?

This is going to be a short post, because I worked a very long day today, and I am really tired – not really in the mood to be entertained, even in a mindless way.

I entertain myself with television shows and music.

I also spend time on the web, connecting with friends and reading and learning.

I read.

I play with our dogs.

I do puzzles, Word Scramble, Cryptograms, and Sudoku.

And when the weather allows, I love to be on our boat, on the water.  Whether we are under way on a sunset cruise to the harbor light, or tied to the dock, I am most entertained when I am on Retreat.

Describe a Recent A-ha! Moment

Well, it is very recent…and it is one that I feel some shame about admitting:

I am not a very patient care-giver to sick family members.

The Captain came home from work about noon yesterday with a stomach virus … achy, puke-y, and all the other assorted stuff that comes with such a bug.

I made sure that we had ginger ale and soda crackers, and tried as best I could to make him comfortable.

But I became more and more frustrated with the situation and with him as he went from couch to bed to bathroom to  recliner to other bathroom to couch – touching every throw and blanket and hard surface we’ve got around here.

I feel really badly that he feels so badly…but as I watch him (and listen to what is going on in the bathrooms!), I know that I am preaching this weekend, and that I do not want to catch what he has brought home!

And so while trying to help him get comfortable here there and everywhere, I have disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers sitting everywhere.

I am not as patient with my sick family members as I am with congregation members  (but then, I am not around them 24-7, either).

PostaDay2011 Friday Five Holiday Redux

Over at RevGalBlogPals, a friend of mine writes…

Yes, I know it’s January and yes, I know some of us are still on a cool sprint after only a brief respite (if that) from Advent and Christmas BUT… before we move too far along into The Next, I wanted to give us a chance to reflect onWhat Was.

A couple of staff members and I sat down today and wrote down what worked and didn’t work during the Advent and Christmas season. There are quite a few things bearing down on us at the moment so it was a discipline to do it, but ten and a half months from now Future Me is going to LOVE that we made the effort.

And so partly to give us all a record and partly to give us all a chance to reflect on the 2010 Holiday Season now that we are out of it, I ask you this:

1) What food item was one of your favorites this year – a definite keeper?

On Christmas Day we had beef tenderloin with garlic smashed redskin potatoes and roasted asparagus with a balsamic splash.   It was absolutely wonderful, and the menu will be a keeper for sure!

2) Was there a meal or party or a gathering that stands out in your mind from this mose recent holiday season?

Memories of the late-night welcome home for our Music Man will remain with me for a long time.

3) Were you involved in a jaw-dropper gift? Were you the giver or recipient or an on-looker?

Well, it wasn’t intended to be a jaw-dropper at first, but replacing the family (room) television turned out to be quite a surprise because we splurged a bit and because the picture is still astounding us each time we turn it on.

4) Was there at least one moment where you experienced true worship?

Yes, more than one…thankfully!  One was celebrating communion on Christmas Eve at the last of the 4 services and the other was listening to Music Man sing O Holy Night, accompanying himself on guitar.

5) What is at least one thing you want to make sure you do next year?

Get my Christmas cards out earlier…they are still not out!

BONUS: What is something you absolutely must remember to do differently… or not at all!

I plan to bake fewer Christmas cookies next year…we just don’t give out or serve as many as we once did.  And we don’t eat as many ourselves either.

Post a Day 2011 Day 2 – A Memorable Job Interview

Share a story about a memorable job interview…

Over 20 years ago, as I interviewed for what would be my second call as an ordained pastor,  I sat around a table in an old roadhouse-style restaurant with members of the call committee.

Some groundwork had been laid for this new ministry – the senior pastor of the congregation had known me as a colleague for over 3 years, and believed that I was the person that he wanted as to serve as associate pastor there.   The committee knew this, and those who had talked with me previous to this evening were fully supportive of my candidacy there.

As the conversation proceeded, I was asked to tell them about my family.  I told them about my mother and father, both career educators turned bed-and-breakfast proprietors.  And I told them about my brother, who had recently taken a job in the area, and was living with me temporarily.

The minute I uttered those words about my brother, an audible sigh could be heard from more than a few people around the table.

I stopped, wondering exactly what had just happened.  But before I could ask, the head of the call committee said something to the effect of:

“Oh, am I glad to hear that!  When I called your home and a young man answered the phone twice in two days, I was starting to think that you were living with a boyfriend or something.”

It was clear from the reactions of others around the table that the chairperson of the committee had told others on the committee of his concern.

Before I could utter a word in response, I blushed  – no, I turned beet-red! People started to chuckle.  And the senior pastor commented:

“I knew the guy answering the phone was her brother.  I just figured that her reaction to our clarifying this would reveal something of  of her moral character.”

I knew at that moment I would be recommended for the call…and I also knew that I would never quite be sure of the motivations of the person who would soon be my colleague in ministry.

Talk or Text?

This is the question or prompt that greets me on my first day back to blogging at my original blog, now migrated to

Do you prefer to talk or text?

I use my phone to text far more often than I use it to call people.

I e-mail those close to me who do not text.

I find texting a way to reach out to family and friends without interrupting whatever they may be doing.

At the same time, I find myself wondering if there is something deeper to this preference…something I need to understand about myself.


So…I am going to give this one some more thought, and get back to you on it.


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