Tag Archives: life

A Season of Thanksgiving

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Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada and for several years I’ve practiced what I call a Season of Thanksgiving.  A season that goes from Canadian Thanksgiving through Americian Thanksgiving.  We have much to be thankful for and it seems like thanksgiving just get’s lost between Halloween and Christmas.  Even when we are in the midst of our own dakness or dispair there’s something to be thankful for – for we worship a God who grants us grace and unconditional love every second of every day.  So I challenge you to join me in my thanksgiving journey.

Today I start off with a thanksgiving that just sort of fell into my lap last night because off facebook.  When we served in GA I was a member of a knitting group that meet every Friday evening to knit, crochet, (sometimes spin yarn) but always share together.  Share lifes joys and lifes sorrow.  We were an ecclectic group – I’m still not sure how to describe us other than a group of compassionate fiber loving friends.  I’m thankful for all this group of ladies did for me while I lived in GA but more specfically I’m grateful for the opportunity to reunite with them next weekend.

Every year at the agriculture center outside of Asheville there is a fiber festive that is miainly hand spun and hand dyed yarn.   Booths full of roving for spinning and felting and every tool imaginable to fiber loving people.   I’ve been a couple of times and ran into folks from my GA group but never have I stayed with them but this year that’s changing.  I’m going up Friday evening and coming back Saturday.  Im super excctied after the exhauusting weeks we’ve had arouund here it will be nice to just hang with some good friends and make some new friends.  

So today I’m thankful for fiber loving friends from GA!

#RallyRevGals — The Heathered Edition

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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.

 

Here are two more women who have rallied around me and supported me in different times and stages of my ministry.  I call it the “Heathered Edition” because both of these women are named Heather.   

Let me begin with my best friend from college and my Maid of Honor.   She came from a much more conservative church tradition than I did but it never stopped the two of us from being great friends.   During our college days we did lots of things together and I can’t even begin to imagine college life without her constant presence.  She encouraged me to be the best that I could be.  If I struggled with something academically she was there to see if she could help.   She was present at my recitals and cheered me on – even when I made plenty of mistakes and was far from perfect.  She hugged me as I cried and began to grieve the painful childhood that had haunted me.  She drove 7 hours to be with me as my church blessed me and sent me off to seminary (my home church was in Western Canada and seminary was in the Eastern USA) so this was a big move for me.  But as we sat alone perhaps in the last moments we had before I moved she handed me a card and what was in that card was her tithe from her summer job.  I was completely blown away because I knew she struggled with me going off to ministry as she herself had never had a female pastor and her tradition wouldn’t have allowed for one.  Yet she believed in my call so much that she would give her tithe to me to help with my ministry costs. This was one of the greatest gifts I ever received and one that I will never forget.  An act of stepping out in faith on her part.  She later flew to North Carolina to be my Maid of Honor and honored I was that she would once again take time and her resources to make this trip. My biggest regret is that we’ve lost contact over the years.   Regardless, she definitely rallied around me and sent me off to begin my pastoral ministry with blessing, love and support.

My encounter with the second Heather came much later in my ministry.  I was already ordained and we crossed paths at a Moravian Women’s Conference held on the campus of Wake Forest.  It started out as me supporting her as she explored her own call to ministry and I was with her that week when she received word that she had been accepted at Duke Divinity School.  The encouragement and support I offered to her soon was being offered back and became a mutual relationship.  We were blessed with the opportunity to travel to Prague and Herrnhut (the motherland of the Moravian Church) together as we were both delegates to a Worldwide Moravian Women’s Consultation — Valiant Women in a Violent World.   It is this trip that brought us closer.  When you travel with someone at that level you either know you are meant to be great friends or mere acquaintances.  Obviously, we discovered and developed a deep friendship.  We’ve never lived in the same city so email, Facebook, text messages and phone calls have been our means of communication but those means have been enough to sustain a friendship that is dear to my heart.  When Heather was ordained a few years ago, I was so excited – I hadn’t experienced that excitement since my own ordination and I was blessed to be a part of her ordination service.  I loved her so dearly that I even read scripture from Ruth (long story behind that one)!   The past few years since her ordination have only deepened our bonds as we share moments of ministry – even though we serve in very different settings.  She is a professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and I serve in pastoral ministry.   We both share a passion for raising awareness of mental illness in the church and teaching the church how to embrace and care for people who suffer with this often lonely disease.  But beyond that she’s been there as I’ve struggled with my depression and just a simple text or Facebook message from her can put a smile on my face and gives me reason to go on.  

Both Heather’s have been major life lines when I’ve needed them most.  I know that their relationships were and are a gift of God and I’m forever grateful for that.  I wouldn’t be half the pastor, mother, wife, or child of God if they hadn’t been there to rally around me and at times giving me the opportunity to rally around them.  For true friendship comes from mutual rallying.  Thank you God for these women who have greatly changed my life, may I be to others as they have been to me.

Another Year

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It’s hard for me to believe that today is the last day of being 40.  Turning 41 seems like a bigger deal than turning 40.  I guess because I feel as if I have been through a year of physical challenges and the emotional ones that go along with it and at some level hope this isn’t what all years will look like.  But I’m taking this day to begin a New Years resolution of sorts – making changes in the way that I handle life around me.  Some of those changes may be a bit scary and some of them come with a sense of relief.  If I want to live another 40 years I know that it’s time to put into practice some of the very things that I tell those I pastor on a regular basis.  It’s time to do some things that refresh me and allow my energy and God’s love and grace to flow throw me.  

During the past year my life seemingly fell apart, childhood trauma hit me again and this time as a flying brick coming out of no where.  I wasn’t expecting it to rehaunt my life but it did and it forced me into a major depressive episode which led to new meds and a new therapist.  It also was the leading cause in a medical leave of absence from the church I serve.  One of the toughest things I had to do was to stop being a pastor to others and allow some to care for me.  It wasn’t long after my return to work that I had a hysterectomy and appendectomy – another tough and emotional event.   As my 40th year was drawing to a close I returned to Canada to officiate at my grandfather’s funeral.  This proved to be a time filled with great blessing and a time of sadness as I learnt new things about my family of origin and yet was blessed with a reunion of sorts with my Aunt, Uncle,and cousins and got to meet an Aunt I’d never met.  I hope that these new and reformed relationships will grow as time goes by. I celebrated my 16th year of ordination and thus faithful service to the Moravian Church – service to a God I love and a church I deeply appreciate and care for.  

So today I spent time not only looking back over the past year but more looking into the year that lies ahead.  This morning I spent some time with my counselor and I can’t begin to emphasize how much of a life saver she was as I travelled through this past year (and I can’t help but say if you are considering getting a counselor – do it, it just might save your life too but at the very least it will enrich it).  This afternoon I’ll spend some time learning about continued ways to serve the church and this evening will be topped off with some time of doing what I love to do most knitting!

As I enter a new year of life I pray that I may more fully become the person that God created and continues to create and call me to be.  I know that takes a commitment on my part to tend to myself – my whole self- body, spirit and mind.  I make this commitment and look forward to watching the ways that will help me to grow.  I look forward to creating more (hopefully finishing my first knitted sweater), coloring more, taking time to take more pictures and letting the spirit recreate and create a new in me.  I certainly look forward to enhancing my ability to minister and going on my first cruise in February with other revgals.  Lastly, I look forward to a more uplifting year filled with the peace and hope that comes when claimed as a child of God! 

 

Sabbath between Meetings

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So I had roughly 40 minutes between meetings today and wasn’t sure what to do with my time.  I knew it wasn’t enough time to get back to my office and do anything and I couldn’t grab a snack because my next meeting was a lunch meeting.  I guess I could have sat in my hot car and responded to email’s on my phone but instead I remembered there was a park across from the restaurant that my next appointment was at and I could sit there and read, write and/or pray.  So I headed in that direction.

What a gift that decision turned out to be.  I found a delightful bench in the shade with this waterfountain in front.  Water is so soothing to me and I love to listen to it bubble and fall.  I sat there for a bit and took the opportunity to read both the daily text and a section of a book I’m reading for counseling — focusing on being in the present and the connection between mind and body.  I prayed I would continue to be present for my next appointment and then my hospital visit that would follow.  I prayed for grace for myself that I would begin to accept myself in all my bodies glory and limitations.  

Before I knew it my 40 minutes had passed but I felt renewed and refocused.   I felt alive and fresh in ways I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t accepted this gift of sabbath in the midst of the craziness of my day.  I’m reminded that God gifts us with moments like this often but we often fill those moments with acts of busyness instead of allowing God’s presence to penetrate our lives.  In addition to the gift of sabbath I believe I’ve found a new favorite spot to be quiet – it’s close to home and has water features and is super quiet – I susect it’s underused but will certainly become more used by me. 

Thank you Lord for these unexpected but much needed gifts. I enjoyed basking in your love.

Movies

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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.

Ash Wednesday

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It always seems Ash Wednesday sneeaks up on me no matter how prepared I think I might be.  But this year it seemed to come out of no where and not only was I not prepared for it but I wasnt feeling it either.  I just had some surgery a week ago today and have been pushing myself a bit more than I should lately.  I just want to get back to normal and go about being a pastor and not having others worry about me — usually it’s me doing the worrying about others.  

I’m blessed as many of you know to work with my husband in team ministry and I seriously contemplated asking him if he would mind if I stayed home tonight because I just didn’t think I could mange a service, even if I was just sitting with my littleman.  But something inside me, that still small voice that speaks and makes itself known spoke load and clear that I really needed to go.  So off I went next door to the church.  It was good to be seen and folks seemed happy to see me but I started to second quess listening to that voice as I sat in the pew with a growing uncomfortableness in my belly and where my incisions where.  Why had I pushed myself again I wondered — and wondered how long was it going to take me to recover again.  Up and down I went as we would stand and sit through out the liturgy and the singing of hymns.

Something shifted inside me as we came to the point in the service that my husband placed the cross on each forehead….ashes from the burnt palm branches from our last Palm Sunday Service.  The choir was singing “Create in me a Clean Heart” as the congregation was supposed to come forward as one felt lead.  The most eager and therefore the first one up was an almost 5 year old of the church.  He wanted to go all by himself and that he did.  He brought tears to many of our eyes — an eager little guy wanting to have the cross placed on his forward a sign he knew that Jesus loved him and had died for him.  I’m not sure I know all that went through his little mind as I didn’t get to talk to him but it was through him that I knew why the still small voiced urged me to church.  If we could all enter into the lenten season with such eagerness and passion.  If we could all cling to Christ’s love with no what if’s or no preconvinced ideas of what Christ should do for us instead of what we should do for Christ.  I looked around the sanctuary as this proud little boy returned to his seat where his parents still where and noticed there were a lot of tears in peoples eyes.  Children indeed have a lot to teach us adults and I’m grateful for his witness to those gathered at Fries Mememorial Moravian Tonight.  I’m blessed to be his pastor and to have watched him grow over these 2.5 years and I look forward to watching his continued growth.

 

At the end of service our younger child were finding their way up from the nursery and several of them wanted crosses on their heads also, which we gladly did.  It was wonderful that they were not afraid of the ashes but in many ways awestruck by them.  On sweet little girl who will soon be 2 got a cross on her forward and she was so proud of it that she showed it off saying “cross”.  She doensn’t have the deeper knowledge that some of the adults have but she had one thing for certain she had a cross on her forward and in time she will continue to grow into the knowledge and the love of that cross.   

So despite my intitial feelings Ash Wednesday turned out to be a moving and memorable days.  I’m sure that this Ash Wednesday is one that I will remember for years into the rest of my ministiry. It also serves to remind us that Children have a faith bigger and deeper than any of us can even begin to imagine.  And when we do hear that ever small voice so strongly urging us to go and do something, maybe we ought to listen because it’s often in those moments that our lives are forever forever changed.  Thanks be to God for using the youngest among us to remind us of a love that runs so deep that Jesus would give his life so that we might live.  Thanks be to God!  What a joy and blessing to serve such a rich church.

 

And of course how could I not include a cute selfie of my two boys:

 

Pictures taken by Kelly L. Moore of Joseph L. Moore and may not be used without written permission.

Getting it together…..

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It’s been sometime that creating a blog has been floating around my mind but I just couldn’t seem to get it together.  I couldn’t come up with a name and when I did, it was taken.  Then I couldn’t get the fears out of my mind:  would I write anything that would make any sense or would anyone really read it.  So today I just decided to do it!  I didn’t have to meet anyone’s expectations (except my own), so here it goes, my entry into the blogging world!

I will likely blog about the way my passions and my life are knit together.  My passions in life are my family, different sorts of fiber (yarn and fabric), creations made by those fibers,and learning to live as a child of God’s.  Sometimes my life is enhanced by ministry or the funny antics of a growing littleman, while other times its restricted with having to follow a gluten free diet and living with chronic pain.  Regardless life is a journey and I invite you to journey with me and I pray we may learn from each other!