Tag Archives: family

Having a Kiddo in the Hospital Is Harder than Hard!

Standard

So over at Rev Gals here is their Friday Five for this week (and yes I realize it’s Saturday)!   On RevGal’s it reads and asks us to respond to the following post:

Hospitals are very much on my mind, because my husband Chuck is having his second knee replacement on Monday. We will be there very early in the morning because he is the first surgery of the day at 7 am.

So consider your experiences in the hospital in your various capacities: being a patient; parent, child or spouse of a patient; chaplain; minister; or visitor. In what ways have you experienced your times in hospitals? Think of 5 ways and share your blog address in the comments section when you play.

  1. I remember being alone with a toddler and having been to the ER for two nights in a row because as a mom I knew something was wrong.  And more than the heart burn that the dr diagnosed it as the first night.
  2. I had someone with me the first night but my husband was away as dean of Laurel Ridge so it wasn’t easy for him to get home either night or for the week that would come.  But the second night I feel blessed in some ways because the doctor working on him had a aha type moment and tested his pancreatic enzyme levels.   And yup that was the answer to the problem.  My little guy had what we thought at the time Acute Pancreatitis.  I remember that I was devastated when they told me he would be admitted for at least a week.
  3. As a pastor I knew that they don’t admit adults or children without it being a serious issue and I was scared for his life and didn’t know what to do at midnight alone with my very sick child.
  4. Thankfully my mother in law came down from Winston-Salem (a 5 hour drive) the next day to be with me and offer me some support.  The whole thing brings tears to my eyes still.  Because other than her, one friend, and daily or multiple times a day calls from my hubby (as cell service would allow) I had no support.  No church members visited or offered to bring anything.  I felt alone a lot and all I wanted to do was cry but knew that would only get my little man a little more worked up.
  5. I remember the nurse on the day we were leaving telling me that little ones that come in with numbers that high usually don’t leave.  Meaning you guessed it they die.  I’ve never forgot it and remember it every time that the doctors fear his pancreatitis is flaring because it’s not longer acute but chronic.
  6. What parent wouldn’t be freaked out and exhausted from not getting much sleep ( sleeping in bed with their little one for a week) and wondering when he was going to start to feel better and when they would stop giving him morphine and give him real food.   But as you can see from the pictures below he did get well and we did have some play time so to speak.

IMG_0136                        IMG_0140 IMG_0142

IMG_0149   IMG_0145

Advertisements

Views post surgery

Standard

I haven’t gotten nearly as much done as i thought I would with a week off my feet.  You see my mind hasn’t been able to focus much more than to color a bit off and on and to re-read parts of on of my new favorite books.  I’ve been blessed with lots of flowers two sets you see above and lots of wonderful food.  So not only have I been taken care of but my boys have also.  

Let me explain the pictures above — the top left corner is me holding my new favorite book.  It’s a book put out by REVGALBLOGPALS and is short essays about the joys, challeneges and even the laughable moments of ministry.  If you are a femaile in ministry, support a female in ministry, are a female thinking about ministry, or want to know what it’s  like to be in ministry this is a candid book about life as a female minister and you need to get your hands on a copy and start reading it.  The picture next to that is my big new boot that is my latest and greatest fashion accessory for the next 6 weeks or so. It’s not the greatest but life could be worse and once it’s gone so shall all the pain that came from my bunion.  Then there’s the two pictures of flowers that loved ones have shared with me.  Next comes coloring — one of the few things I’ve been able to focus on.   I got me a new set of markers — i love these pens/markers and 10 colors weren’t quite enough so as a surgery gift I bought a set of 20.  Something that even my littleman is enjoying as I attempt to write this blog post.  So in between the flowers and the new markers is a stainglassed butterfly I’ve started to color.  I’ll try to remember to post the finished product but please don’t hold me to that because I’m not that clear headed these days.  Now give me a few days and Ill be able to take on the world.

Thanks for the many ways you have cared for me and my family during this surgery.  My husband told me last night he was mighty impressed with how well I was doing — so I say lets keep that up!  Until next time, blessings, my friends.

#RallyRevGals — Peggy Edition

Standard

Have a case of the Augusts? Not ready for the program year to start? Thinking about how you can’t save the world, or even your little corner of it? RevGals can’t fix it all either, but we can give you a reason to post to your blog!

The #RallyRevGals Blog Contest will run from Tuesday, August 18, to Sunday, August 31.

To be eligible:

be a member of our webring,*
1.  Write a blog post about a woman who has been a positive influence on your ministry (whether or not she is/was a pastor),
2.  Use the tag/hashtag #RallyRevGals in your subject line as well as categories or tags on your blog,
3.  Share the link in the comments on this blog post, in the comments on the accompanying Facebook group post, or on Twitter (be sure to use the hashtag so we can find your blog post).
4.  Everyone who participates will be entered in a random drawing for three prizes from our Cafe Press store.

I couldn’t narrow it down to just one woman who has helped me along in my 16 years of ministry, so over the next few days I will be blogging about a few more.  But here’s today’s special woman who deserves to be upheld as someone who cared and countinues to care for me as a pastor and a person.

In every church we’ve served I’ve found that there are a couple of lay people with whom I develop a special bond with.  Usually that bond is strenghtened by their witness to me and their unconditional love and support of me as their pastor.  It’s not that they wouldn’t be honest with me but perhaps it’s because they are honest – honest with constructive criticism and honest with compliments and words of encouragement.  There was always a feeling I had that this person had my back and was praying for me. 

 As I mentioned thankfully I’ve had this at every church that my husband and I have served but a few stand out.   One of those is a lady named Peggy.  Every Sunday Peggy and her children and grandchildren where in church I knew that I would be given a hug that would fill me with the energy and the joy that I would need to face whatever may come my way till we meet again.  Along with that hug were words such as “I love you so much”, ” Your prayers are so special and sincere”, ” You have gifts for ministry and I’m glad your my pastor” etc.   We all long to hear those words but we also recgonize that being ordained and thus behind the pulpit often set us apart from hearing those words that help sustain our beings.

My bond with Peggy I believe is unbreakable.  I haven’t been her pastor in close to 10 years but her family and my family still maintain contact (her daughter and son in law are our littleman’s Godparents) and in many ways I see her as an unofficial grandma to my littleman.  I’ve sat with her through declining health of herself and her husband.  After moving away I returned (within the boundaries set and with permission) to help officiate at her Granddaughters wedding, her husbands funeral and sadly her son’s funeral.  It’s just not every day that you can do those things but when some people ask you know in your heart your meant to be there and woulnd’t be anywhere else.

Peggy is a special lady and although she is now limited in the ways that she can serve I know that she serves a risen God with a servants heart.  Every pastor should be blessed to have a Peggy in their life.  Peggy has ralleyed around me and help me to remember at times why I do what I do and who it is that I serve.  I’m so blessed to have her in my life!

 

 

Movies

Standard

Over at Revgals this week the Friday Five is about Movies.  The author writes:

Recovering from a wee surgical procedure this week, and in the wake of the Oscars last weekend, I’ve been mindful of movies in all their assorted incarnations. For today’s ff, I hope you’ll share with us some of the movies that tickle your fancy!

1) Is there a film that so captured your imagination that you couldn’t stop thinking about it? In what way(s) did it affect you?

2) What religious/spiritual film has touched you? This could be something overtly thematic, like The Last Temptation of Christ, or something more subtle, like Enchanted April.

3) When the going gets tough, is there a film you turn to for distraction and/or to help shift your mood?

4) What is your all-time favorite movie?

5) If you were to choose a film for viewing and discussion with your congregation, what would you choose?

Bonus: If your life were to be made into a feature film, who would you want to play you?

Don’t forget to share the link to your blog in the comments if you play, and remember to visit other blogs to share in the fun.

 This is a little tougher for me as I haven’t traditionally been a movie person.  I often find it hard to sit still for a movie and would rather engage somewhere else.  But that being said I have watch some movies and will give this a Friday Five a go:

 

1.  Ladder 49, I have a passion for how firefighters work together and so often put their lives at risk to save another.  I first saw this movie not long after leaving a call where I was also volunteer fire chaplain.  It made me remember with fondness the times I had with each of them and their families.  Yet at the same time gave me renewed awe for the job they do so selflessly.

2.  CAMP :  Inspired by true stories

3.  Disney Movies and My Best Friends Wedding (Saw it the week I was to marry my best friend as an escape from the growing tensions that surrounded family dynamics.

4.  Antowne Fisher

Jerome Davenport:
“Who will cry for the little boy, lost and all alone / Who will cry for the little boy, abandoned without his own”

Antwone Fisher:
“Who will cry for the little boy, he cried himself to sleep / Who will cry for the little boy, who never had it for keeps / Who will cry for the little boy, who walked on burning sands / Who will cry for the little boy, the boy inside a man / Who will cry for the little boy, who knew well hurt and pain / Who will cry for the little boy, who died and died again / Who will cry for the little boy, a good boy he tried to be / Who will cry for the little boy, who cries inside of me”

Jerome Davenport:
Who will cry for the little boy Antwoine?

Antwone Fisher:
I will, I always do.

5.  Toss up between two:  Camp (as in the one listed in #2) it just goes to show that a little bit of love can go a long way.  the second movie would be CyberBully which could serve as a great way for young people to share with adults how tough life can be and hopefully have the church surround them and promise their support.

Hard to believe its Friday Again

Standard

I just had the opportunity to spend a few days with ring member St. Casserole. I still remember the first blogpost of hers I read, both its detail and its whimsy, but at the time I had no thought we would ever meet and become friends “in real life,” as they say. Still, I encountered something in her turn of phrase that made me come back again and again, and eventually led to both a trip to her part of the world to volunteer after Hurricane Katrina and to the founding of RevGalBlogPals.

In this week some of us are preaching about a woman who encounters Jesus at the well, please name five encounters in your life leading to unexpected results. They might include learning a new skill, making a friend, falling in love, discerning a call or anything around or far off from those ideas.

  1. In the summer of 2003 I was in my second pastorate and went to the Interprovincial Women’s Conference that the Moravian Church in north America holds every 4 years.  I meet lots of folks at these conferences and many of them seem to know who I am but I feel so bad because often I don’t recall who they are.  Female clergy are almost always being asked to talk or rather listen and offer prayer.  But 2003 brought a different encounter for me.  I met someone who herself was feeling called to ministry and was my age.  We hung out a bunch and I believe I was with her when she received word from home that she had been accepted at Duke divinity School.  I prayed for her often but our paths didn’t really cross again for 5 years when she was asked to be the lay delegate and I the clergy delegate for a consultation that was to be held in Herrnhut Germany.  How elated I was when I found out who would be my traveling companion and together we did travel from Raleigh to London,  London to Prague (where we spent a few days) and then by train and eventually bus from Prague to Herrnhut Germany (our moravian home, so to speak).  But not only did we travel the world together our spirits were united in a friendship that today spans several states.  She’s my biggest supporter when it comes to taking time to care of myself and she helps me help the church see mental illness as something we need to do more than talk about.  She has become one of my dearest friends and without her I can’t imagine my life.  Daily I thank God for text messages, Facebook and other sources of modern technology.
  2. In a similar way I was at a youth convocation while in college and my room-mate and I had no idea who each other was.  She was from  North Carolina and I from Western Canada.  We chatted at night but didn’t really hang out as we travelled in different circles that week.  Fast forward several years and we would almost be room mates again but this time at Moravian Theological Seminary.  Her apartment was on the same floor as my soon to be husband and my first year of marriage my husband often jokes he thought he was married to both of us – as he would often have to kick us out of our apartment so he could go to bed….but we would just pick up bookes and our Pepsis and move on over to her apartment.  Both of us ordained now and we’ve never served any closer than 5 hours from one another but our friendship spans the states as we seek to support one another in ministry, motherhood, and basic day to day issues of juggling husbands, children, congregations, and our personal lives.  I’m blessed beyond measure by her friendship and the knowledge that I know she’s only a call away whenever I need a familar and comforting voice…..the icing on the cake is that she gets being a couple in ministry as her husband to is clergy.  But the cherry on top is that she blessed my life with a God daughter to love and by girly things for.
  3. While serving our second church my husband and I suffered several miscarriages and then infertility.  I carried one baby into my second trimester and ended up having to have a D&E.  I was eaten up over it and had lots of questions.  Normally I could turn to my husband for support but he was grieving also and we were at different places.  I turned to a bishop who I barely knew.  (In the Moravian church a bishops primary function is to be a pastor to the pastors, at that time and currently there were/are no female bishops in the south).   This bishop listened to me as I cried and grieved the loss of children, the longing to be a mother and the wondering of the theological implications of where my babies were.   But he also listened as I wondered if any of the trauma I had suffered as a child had any implications as to why I couldn’t have children – was God punishing me I wondered.  He never judged and has never judged me.  He gently reassured me and reminded me that I am a beloved child of God.  To this day he’s my pastor!  When we moved to the metro Atlanta area and adopted our son, it was he who travelled to baptize him – so that day Joe and I could be mommy and daddy.  It was he who visited me while I was on leave recently and he who visits our littleman when he has been sick and hospitalized.  Why is he an unlikely encounter – because of the trust I have for him!
  4. While in seminary I was also blessed to have a counsellor who later became more of a mentor.  She hugged me when I cried, she guided me through many life transitions – especially from being single to being married.  She listened and when all I could see was darkness she saw the light.  The light of Christ that surrounded me and was within me.  To this day when something significant happens she’s on my list of people to call to ask for prayers, to ask for advice or to simply just listen.
  5. I’m a knitter – not the greatest knitter – but when you are a knitter you find that knitters bound together in ways that are unexplainable.  I’ve got great friends whom I’ve never met but whom I text on a regular basis, I daily interact with a group of knit biters on ravelry that are truly my fiber loving sisters.  While in the Atlanta area I knit with a group of eclectic ladies on Friday nights that I knew had my back if I ever needed them.  We supported one another and helped one another in knitting projects but more importantly in life.  And even in my current setting I’ve got friends that the only reason our paths crossed was our love of yarn and our favorite yarn store.
  6. Okay I have 6 – I would be missing two of the most important people if I didn’t bend the rules just a bit.  My husband, my soul mate, my partner in life and ministry.  It’s he who picks up after me when I’m unable to do so myself.  God richly blessed me that first day of seminary in the first person I met – neither of us knew two years later we would be saying “I do”!  Together we have an 8 year old littleman who reminds us to take time and play, who makes us laugh on a daily basis and is forever keeping us on our toes.
Thanks for a great Friday five (or six), reminds me how blessed I truly am.  Truth be told I could have named five or so more folks whose encounters have impacted my life beyond my wildest imagination.  Thanks be to God for having my path cross with so many amazing men and women!

It’s Playtime – Friday Five Style

Standard
It’s Playtime – Friday Five Style
You guessed it, today’s Friday Five from the RevGalBlogPals is all about play.  I know I’ve promised many of you a post or two about my journey of becoming a United States Citizen and I promise I will get there but first lets play Friday Five!
1. Tell about your favorite outdoor play:   Being a mom of a little boy who loves to be outside but also being a mom who is at times limited to how much physical activity I can do, I’m often trying to strike a delicate balance.  Allowing myself to free enough to play with him and yet taking care of my body.  Last summer at the beach our family bought an Angry Bird kite (yes at one if those cheesy beach stores).  My husband groaned a bit about the $5 kite and another $5 for a nicer reel.  That night we headed out to the beach as a family and I can’t tell you for certain who had more fun (my husband, my then 6 year old or me).  Guess what we did the next day?  Yup went back and bought another kite.  I LOVE flying a kite it’s so freeing for me .  Theres no better way to describe it than its FUN to fly a kite.  The butterfly kite that is pictured is one I took at a recent family adventure to a Kite Festival in Salem, VA (one of the best days we’ve had as a family in a long time).  Perhaps one day I will own a more girly kite but first I need to find a good spot locally to fly them.
Another simple and childlike thing i love to do outside is blow bubbles.  My husband and I spent the better part of the evening of our 15th wedding anniversary blowing bubbles off the porch of a cabin in the mountains (so grateful for church members who share).  It was so cool to sit and blow bubbles out of a variety of wands and bubble toys and watch them take on a life of their own.  Blowing bubbles with my dear husband was great fun and its equally fun to blow them with my littleman.  I also experience great joy watching him blow them and our dog jump to try to catch them.
I love to take pictures when I’m out and about.  I’ve never taken a class, my pictures aren’t perfect, but seldom a day goes by that I don’t snap a picture (with my phone or my basic Fuji Finepix).  Anything that catches my eye becomes a picture in my rather expansive digital collection.  Pictures of flowers, pretty sunsets or cloud formations, pictures of people playing (especially my Littleman or those who I love), and life in general.  After all there is a famous saying “A picture speaks a thousand words!”
So in short:  bubbles, kites, attempts of taking pictures and occasionally a creation with colorful chalk.
2. Tell about your favorite indoor play:  knitting, sewing, crafting, coloring.  Yarn brings me a sense of deep peace and there’s not much better than a comfy place to sit, something to drink, and a groups of like minded fiber loving friends.  Ahh I miss my Friday evenings at a Tea House In the metro Atlanta area.  A well loved hymn of mine has these words “What brought us together, what joined our hearts….” For this group of fiber loving friends it was the fiber and knitting (ok and crocheting) that brought us together and it was the fellowship, the laughter, and the friendship that emerged out of an otherwise unlikely crew.  It is this group I miss the most since our move to NC in 2011.
 
Coloring is another favorite indoor play activity.  I am a happy girl with a new set of Crayola crayons, markers, or pencils (or any variations of them).  What’s even better in the last couple of years is coloring and creating with a littleman who has certainly stolen my heart.  I have a great rolling tray in my office loaded with colorerful goodness waiting to be…..
3. Tell about a game you (or your friends) created:  Not sure I’ve ever created a game.  Except variations of games to teach church history or to try to help my child master spelling words or math facts.  I know those are lame games but that’s all I’ve got.
4. Tell about a game that is new to you:  I love my iPad and therefore love discovering different apps.  Recently I took a break from Words with Friends (which I love but am not all that great at) and Gems with Friends.  Not sure why I took that break but if anyone is interested in a new partner – let me know. I’d love to play a few games of words with a few of my revgal pals!
5. Tell how you would like to incorporate play into your workday:  Another tough but good question.  I think about coloring, knitting, sewing, etc but I seldom have the discipline to work them into my work day. I encourage others to play and to make time for themselves.  Truth be told I need to pencil in, no use a bold sharpie, more time for play throughout my day, my week, my month, and my year.  Time to play in silence and alone, times to play with my husband and littleman and time to play with friends.  For with play comes laughter and joy and that would be good for my soul!   Play date anyone?