Monday, September 29, 2008


Andii and Gracie (a.k.a. Little Miss Lou Who), on my lap at her birthday party last year.

I am quite excited to be welcomed into the RevGalBlogPals circle, that I thought I'd better make my online space more inviting. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Andrea, or Andii to my family & friends.

Who am I? a daughter of the King, a wife, a mother, a seminarian

What do I do? I am currently serving my first church as a 3/4 time UMC licensed local pastor and, besides chasing after two beautiful little girls - 15 months old and almost 4 years old (Oct. 16), I also attend seminary half-time.

Favorite verse? many, but mostly...Jeremiah 29:11 - as a control freak, I need to be reminded that He really does have it under control.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Favorite color? I love all the colors, but yellow happens to be my fav.

Favorite season? Autumn, which makes me quite happy at the moment.

Thanks for visiting! I look forward to becoming better acquainted.

Recognition and Appreciation

"Painting Pictures of Egypt"
by Sara Groves

I don’t want to leave here
I don’t want to stay
It feels like pinching to me either way
The places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling after me like a long lost friend
It’s not about losing faith
It’s not about trust
It’s all about comfortable
When you move so much
The place I was wasn’t perfect
But I had found a way to live
It wasn’t milk or honey
But then neither is this
I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacked
The future seems so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I've learned
And those roads closed off to me
While my back was turned
The past is so tangible I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy to discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
Caught between the promise
And the things I know
If it comes too quick I may not appreciate it...
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
If it comes too quick I may not recognize it...Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?

In the past week, I have really gone through a needed attitude adjustment. Though at this point it shouldn't, it still amazes me just how much my attitude effects everything! I have already been held prisoner by the enemy's attacks, without even realizing it.

I have always been able to relate to the Israelites held as slaves in Egypt and who prayed as they cried out to God for freedom. They witnessed His miracles as He mightily answered their prayers and freed them from their captivity. However, at the first sign that things weren't going exactly as planned, they began whining and grumbling and complaining about their present situation.

That is so me, or at least it was before last week. I actually had a moment where I sat at my kitchen table and wept to God and husband about how hard being obedient to God's call has been - leaving our home, which is still on the market (of course, it is the perfect time to sell - ha ha), my husband leaving his job - still without one, leaving us with bills much too much for a 3/4 time pastor's salary to pay and did I mention no health insurance, leaving friends and family, comfort, the past...did I mention that I was whining!!!! OMG!!!

Since I received news that I would be appointed as a pastor, the desire of my heart for the last, oh 10 or 12 years, I have been talking about trust and obedience, but I really have not been living that out. Shame on me. God brought us here and has provided in abundance, not necessarily the way we, okay I think He should be. He has been and is faithful. Satan was using all of those things, and more to distract me from the purpose that God sent me - us, here to fulfill. Then on Tuesday, I was freed from the enemy's bondage. A dear friend, a sister in Christ, listened to my whining, and then prayed with me and the enemy fled.

I am now able to recognize all that God has done, is doing and will do to provide for our family and more fully appreciate it and Him.

Thank You, Lord for placing deep friendships in my life, safe places to turn, a loving, supportive and wise online faith community, health, and a wonderfully supportive and patient husband, among so many other blessings. I confess my weaknesses and my inability to trust You fully. I pray that You would keep me open only to Your Spirit and keep the enemy far from me, my family and the faith community where I am blessed to serve. I know there is a great deal of work to be done and therefore I need to be as close to you as I can get. Thank You for always being faithful despite my whining. I'll try not to do it again, though we both know that I am weak...I love You for loving me just as I am! In Jesus precious, powerful name...Amen!

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's a Johnny Appleseed Friday Five!

Thanks to Singing Owl for the Appley Good Friday Five! Oh boy, did this bring back wonderful memories of many a youth retreat singing grace for our meals, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh....The Lord's been good to me and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the appleseed, the Lord's been good to me! Amen!!!!"

Raise your hand if you know that today is Johnny Appleseed Day!

September 26, 1774 was his birthday. "Johnny Appleseed" (John Chapman) is one of America's great legends. He was a nurseryman who started out planting trees in western New York and Pennsylvania, but he was among those who were captivated by the movement west across the continent.

As Johnny traveled west (at that time, the "West" was places like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois) he planted apple trees and sold trees to settlers. With every apple tree that was planted, the legend grew. A devout Christian, he was known to preach during his travels. According to legend, Johny Appleseed led a simple life and wanted little. He rarely accepted money and often donated any money he received to churches or charities. He planted hundreds of orchards, considering it his service to humankind. There is some link between Johny Appleseed and very early Arbor Day celebrations.

So, in honor of this interesting fellow, let's get on with the questions!

1. What is your favorite apple dish? (BIG BONUS points if you share the recipe.)

I love apples anyway you slice them! Though I would have a very difficult time with my favorite apple dish, my favorite type of apple only comes around this time of year and I just picked up some - Honey Crisp! Yummy!! I also love apple butter on lightly toasted bread! No bonus points for me today, as I am not much of a cook, therefore I do not have any great recipes to share, but I am enjoying all those that have been shared. Thanks!

2. Have you ever planted a tree? If so was there a special reason or occasion you can tell us about?
After my very lovey tabby cat Skater died a little over a year ago, my hubby decided for mother's day to buy me a weeping willow tree to plant in his honor. This unfortunately has not happened as of yet because we are not sure where we want to plant it - but it will happen someday ~ I will not let him forget. :)

3. Does the idea of roaming around the countryside (preaching or otherwise) appeal to you? Why or why not?
Thanks in large part to my grandparents, I do love to travel anywhere, anytime. However, with two little ones the idea of traveling around the countryside to preach does not really appeal to me at this juncture. My hubby and I have talked about once the girls are all grown-up (not that I want that to happen anytime soon!) to do mission work across the country. I think that would be cool, but only when the time is right. Right now I am thankful for roots.

4. Who is a favorite "historical legend" of yours?
This is an easy one - Harriet Tubman, escaped slave who led many other slaves to freedom, she was also an abolitionist, Civil War soldier, and women's rights advocate. What an inspiration! I love reading about how brave she was and I stand in awe of all that she and those working the underground railroad were able to do. She is quoted as saying, "I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other." If only we had more people like her, willing to risk their necks for others, instead of being so about living your faith out loud!

5. Johnny Appleseed was said to sing to keep up his spirits as he traveled the roads of the west. Do you have a song that comes when you are trying to be cheerful, or is there something else that you often do?
I suffered two miscarriages before I became pregnant with Little Miss Lou Who (our oldest) and so, needless to say that time was very precious to me and of course she was/is very special. Thus, I was determined to memorize a song that I could sing to her on cue, whenever she was scared or hurt. The song that I spent hours learning was "I Will" by Lennon/McCartney. I now use that song as much for me, if not more, than for her. I love it!

Who knows how long I've loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime
If you want me to--I will.
For if I ever saw you I didn't catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same.
Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart.
And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
Oh, you know I will.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fall Equinox

Thanks to Songbird at RevGalBlogPals...

Fall Equinox Friday Five

It's that time of year, at least north of the equator. The windows are still open, but the darned furnace comes on early in the morning. My husband went out for a walk after an early supper and came home in full darkness.

And yes, where we live, leaves are beginning to turn.

As this vivid season begins, tell us five favorite things about fall:

1) A fragrance - my daughters right after they have both had tubbys (baths)! :)

2) A color - yellow/gold, red, orange, brown, green - all the brilliant colors of changing and falling leaves, sorry couldn't choose just one!

3) An item of clothing - my pashmina that my DH gave me for Christmas several years ago.

4) An activity - I am looking forward to our family tradition of going pumpkin picking, followed by carving them.

5) A special day - our 6th anniversary is coming up, so I am also looking
forward to a date night! Wahoo!
I just love the smurfs! That's root beer, of course.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Long Time, No Blog

Whew, can ministry get a little crazy or what! I know, I know...I am just learning and am just beginning. Well, in addition to serving my 3/4 time church appointment, and my young family, I began seminary again last week. I am very much looking forward to my classes and getting back to studying.

I met another pastor in town a few weeks ago, our paths crossed doing ministry work - long story, not going to go there now. :) And from that I believe that I have found another mentor, never can have too many of them you know. And I met the local ministerium which I am quite excited about. We are working together to raise money to assist local families in need of assistance with heating costs this winter. Our lofty goal is $20,000, but we believe that it is attainable. Anything is possible with God's help, right!?!

I have concluded four cottage gatherings and it has been meaningful to spend time getting to know my congregation - sharing their memories of significant faith/church experiences and dreaming about our future ministry together. I think that I thought I would have it all figured out and methinks I am more confused than ever.

I believe that God is leading us into a time of reflection and a season of prayer. I really am so thankful to God for His leading and I pray that I will always be open to His spirit's nudgings. Our two worship services have been going well, at least as far as I can tell, though I still need to do some trimming in the traditional service as I have been going over time by about 10 minutes - yikes! Our praise service is looking, sounding, and feeling much more like a praise service, instead of a traditional service with praise music. I really have come to dislike the word contemporary in terms of services. What shall we call our second service, as I really don't like Praise service either? hmmmm...more prayer needed.

I remain grateful to God for everything! Blessings!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Five: Fall Transformations

Apparently I am not the only one anticipating the blessed arrival of my favorite time of year...fall. Thanks to Mary Beth at revgalblogpals, I present the transformations that await in my life...

Here in my neck of the woods, rain is falling...a little uncharacteristic for August, but most welcome! It'll be hot and humid later, but a break in the heat is most welcome.

Also falling (especially into my driveway) are the fruits of the bois d'arc tree (also known as the Osage Orange). We call them "bowdarks" and enjoy bowling them down the driveway to the empty lot across the street. (Yes, I may be a redneck...)

Bois d'arc fruits are used only for: 1) making more trees and 2) eating by squirrels (if you have another use, please let me know!)

The wood of the bois d'arc tree, however, is very hard and very beautiful, and makes gorgeous items like the vase above. Such a lovely thing, from such an odd-looking source!
For this Friday's Five, share with us five transformations that the coming fall will bring your way.
1. LMLW will turn 4 in October!

2. Going back to seminary in a few weeks! Yikes! ;)

3. Going through Charge Conference as the pastor! Yikes!

4. Preparing for Advent/Christmas as the pastor! and yet again - YIKES!

5. DH & I will celebrate 6 years of marriage the end of September - not really a transformation, but still something to celebrate!

Bonus: Give us your favorite activity that is made possible by the arrival of fall.

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year - from September 28th (our anniversary) through Jan 2! I love the cooler weather, the change of the leaves, the brilliant colors and yes, I enjoy Halloween. We always did fun stuff as a kid - my uncle goes a little crazy the evening of trick or treat. He never had any children of his own, but I think he loves seeing the reaction of the children (and their parents) that night. He has about 15 different costumes that he interchanges during the course of the evening.

Anyway, we have carried on the tradition and love hayrides, choosing the perfect pumpkins and then carving them. LMLW is never one to shy away from getting her hands dirty, in fact she looks forward to it, as you can see below.

And sadly (though I think it is rather cute) we even tortured her baby sister - Ray Ray...

I have also included the finished products of her (and daddy's!) labor.

We have much to look forward to this fall - including our annual get-away, the beginning of October, which right now cannot come fast enough - sigh!

Happy fall!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Five - God Days of Summer

Thanks to Presbyterian Gal at revgalblogpals...
It’s August. An oppressively hot and humid month where many of us live.

I remember the Al Pacino movie though not much about the plot. Just that it was very, very hot. And he had giant sweat stains on his shirt.

As I pass through this year’s dog days in my felon ridden neighborhood (OK, just two housefuls. But isn’t that enough?), I am trying to focus on the blessings apparent around me, past and present, that I might not notice, necessarily.

In that spirit, this week’s Friday Five goes thusly:

1. What is your sweetest summer memory from childhood? Did it involve watermelon or hand cranked ice cream? Or perhaps a teen summer romance. Which stands out for you?
camping, band camp (yes, I was a total band geek!), freeze tag, family picnics, playing with my younger brother outside, celebrating my birthday, riding bike, going miniature golfing and then to the Jigger Shop, dancing on the back porch to great 80's music with my friends, many to choose from.

As I remember my childhood summer days, most of my memories involve my grandparents. My grandfather (gramps) was the caretaker of a local park, and I remember sleeping over at their house, pictured above at the entrance to the park. Every night gramps would go through the park after closing and burn the trash barrels. When Chris & I slept over, we would all pile in his pick-up - yes we kids and their great dog, Shena, would ride in the back - what fun! When he was finished, he would take us to the pool in the park where we would have the whole gigantic pool to ourselves!

2. Describe your all time favorite piece of summer clothing. The one thing you could put on in the summer that would seem to insure a cooler, more excellent day.
A t-shirt and shorts - NO shoes, which is still true :)

3. What summer food fills your mouth with delight and whose flavor stays happily with you long after eaten?
This answer is easy - smores!

4. Tell us about the summer vacation or holiday that holds your dearest memory.
Again, memories with my grandparents (g&g) - they would always take us camping, which we loved, every summer. I remember one particular camping trip where we were having so much fun, we decided to just stay another week. We didn't even mind having to go into town to grocery shop and do our laundry because we were staying!

And another, I just cannot resist, g&g took us camping to Assateague where there are wild ponies roaming free on the island. It is posted everywhere not to leave food outside - because the ponies will come and the ponies will eat! We awoke one morning to the sound of clattering outside and thought how rude our neighbors were cooking breakfast so early in the morning! However, it was the ponies rummaging through our neighbors things. My grandmother, small as she was at about 5 foot, decided to chase the ponies away - totally characteristic of her! So she did. A few minutes later the ponies had chewed their way through a dining fly where a group of young guys were staying. Again, grandma to the rescue, (gosh, the woman had no fear!) as she went and woke up the guys so they could save their food! Go grandma!

5. Have you had any experience(s) this summer that has drawn you closer to God or perhaps shown you His wonder in a new way?
Moving our family to a new home, a new church, a new place completely has been a step of faith. Having God's affirmation nearly every step of the way has really been amazing! Thank you, Lord!

Bonus question: When it is really hot, humid and uncomfortable, what do you do to refresh and renew body and spirit?

I must admit I am pretty much of a wimp when it comes to hot, humid and uncomfortable, so I retreat inside to the coolness of the air conditioner! Or I could go to the movies. Or I could go and get ice cream! Yummy! :)

P.S. The opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games were amazing! They serve as a reminder to keep the people of China in prayer!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Five

Thanks to Songbird at revgalblogpals...the Friday Five

Friday Five: Lock Me Out, Lock Me In
For some reason, Blogger declared this blog possible SPAM and locked us down yesterday. This morning, we're free to post again, but there was a fair amount of excitement last night among our contributors, who found a dire notice on their Blogger dashboards threatening that this blog might be deleted in 20 days!
We requested a blog review, and I posted a request at the Blogger Help group, where I found we were not alone. Many other perfectly nourishing and cromulent blogs got the same notice last night.
This turned out to be a very small barricade in our blogging community life, but it seemed appropriate to explore locks and blocks and other barriers this week. Also, I liked the picture of the security team above! Could they be Blogger's Spam Prevention Robots, working overtime?
In honor of their efforts, I bring you the "Lock Me Out, Lock Me In" Friday Five.
1) How do you amuse yourself when road construction blocks your travel?
I find a great song (always need music) and turn it up really loudly! I also try to listen to the traffic reports to avoid any road construction, as I am usually in a hurry! :)
2) Have you ever locked yourself out of your house? (And do you keep an extra key somewhere, just in case?)
Yes, with my baby girl no less! Though I have found that it is easy to do with all that one must remember to take when leaving with baby. LOL Thankfully my mom had an extra key and I had remembered to bring my cell phone (thank the Lord!) so I called my mom and she came to the rescue!
3) Have you ever cleared a hurdle? (And if you haven't flown over a material hurdle, feel free to take this one metaphorically.)
At Bible study last night I talked about the hurdle of unconfessed sin. as well as the hurdle of sin that has been confessed, and forgiven by God, but that we have not accepted God's forgiveness and we have not forgiven ourselves for. Personally, there was one giant sin that I had to work through. It was something that took me a long time to acknowledge and process but with God's help and the help of a wonderful support system, I was able to fly, albeit slowly, over that hurdle and be drawn into a closer, deeper relationship with Him!
4) What's your approach to a mental block?
Walk away for awhile, do something totally different, like listen to music, take a walk, or go play with the girls and then come back to it a little later.
5) Suggest a caption for the picture above; there will be a prize for the funniest answer!
"We represent the lollipop guild, the lollipop guild, the lollipop guild and in the name of the lollipop guild you must not pass!"
What can I say, they reminded me of the munchkins!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Satisfaction From 5 Loaves & 2 Fishes!?!

(m. jagger/k. richards)

When i'm watchin' my tv
And that man comes on to tell me
How white my shirts can be...
I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
cause i try and i try and i try and i try
I can't get no, i can't get no
Lectionary Thoughts –
Upon reading the Gospel text from Matthew 14:13-21 & both Psalms 17, selected verses & 145, selected verses the word that came to mind, as the above lyrics reflect, is satisfaction.

My sermon title this week is “You Give Them Something to Eat.” Jesus was grief-stricken upon hearing the news that His beloved cousin, John, who leapt in Elizabeth’s womb upon Mary’s nearing, had been beheaded. He withdrew with those who were closest to Him wanting nothing more than to have the space to grieve. He has compassion for the crowds that came to Him, needing Him. His disciples approached Him to send the crowd away as it is getting late and they are getting hungry. Surprisingly, Jesus responds saying, “You give them something to eat.”

“We have so little and the crowd is huge!”

Jesus instructs them to bring the five loaves and two fishes to Him. Then He takes them, looks up to heaven, gives thanks and breaks them. The disciples distribute the food and we are told that ALL ate and were satisfied, so much so that there was plenty left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, NOT including women and children!

Psalm 17:6-7, 15
I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. And I—in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your righteousness.

Psalm 145: 15-16
The eyes of all look to you and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

How great is our God? How can we not sing praises to Him who satisfies our every need!?!

My outline – at this time…as always subject to change
1. Our great needs
a. Safety, security, love, acceptance…
b. Nothing else (not money, not the media, not the government, not other people, etc…) can satisfy our needs (referring to “Satisfaction” lyrics)

2. God’s providence out of scarcity, into abundance
a. 5 loaves/2 fishes
b. Psalms 17 & 145

3. How we are to respond to all that He has blessed us with.
a. Even when we are not sure, or tired, or are hungry ourselves
b. Compassion
c. Abundance

d. Joy

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kind of Cheesey, But Fun!

Random things about me...enjoy!

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? my dad choose my first name because he liked it and my middle name is after a Beatles song...
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Monday, July 21 at 11:51 a.m. That is the exact time that I got to see my beautiful baby niece enter this world! :)
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH? a ham sub from Morrissey's deli
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? yes, 2 beautiful daughters
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? who me? no never! ;)
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? no, way too risky
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? depends on my mood, right now it is Trail Mix Crunch with Cranberries! yummy
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? physically I am a wimp - note to self work on getting in shape...emotionally, I know that I am definitely stronger than I once was.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Strawberry Cheesecake & Green's Bear Creek Caramel
15. RED OR PINK? red
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My brother - he lives 3000 miles away!
18. WHAT IS A GUILTY PLEASURE? McDonald's Hazelnut iced coffee
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? tan shorts & no shoes (as usual)
20.WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Thai Phoon Shrimp & a yummy salad from Ruby Tuesday!
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? the sound of my girls taking a tubby
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? my daughters after their tubbies & the sweet smell of summer
26. WHO SENT THIS? a very good friend - EBF
27. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Football - go Redskins!!!
28. HAIR COLOR? blond
29. EYE COLOR? green
30. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? used to, but since pregnancy my eyes get too dry.
31. FAVORITE FOODS? movie popcorn; cabbage & potatoes in white sauce; good salad; great steak; any pasta; chips
32. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? both, depending on my mood
33. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? "Talk to Me" with Don Cheadle - good movie, but bad, very bad language
35. SUMMER OR WINTER? neither, I'm a spring & fall gal
36. HUGS OR KISSES? both!
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? carrot cake w/ cream cheese frosting
38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? "My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love, and Laughing Out Loud" by Kevin Clash; "Hearing God" by Dallas Willard; "Celebration of Discipline" by Richard J. Foster
39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? it is purple, with nothing on it, except the mouse of course tee hee
40. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V.. LAST NIGHT? nothing, I was working on my blog
41. FAVORITE SOUNDS? my daughters' laughter, loud, good music and weirdly, rubber tires on gravel
42. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? No question here - BEATLES!!!
44. Any new news in your life? Read the blog - lots new
46. WHAT TIME IS IT NOW? 8:27 p.m.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Tonight, I celebrate 33. Well, my last moments of being 33 that is. I have been pondering about how much my life has changed since last year at this time and stand (okay sit) in awe. Talk about a miracle makeover! God is so amazing, so wonderful!
Some of the things that have changed:
  • A beautiful baby niece (LMN) - a whole week old!

  • An energetic 3 year old - growing too fast!

  • An inquisitive one year old - see above!!!

  • A new (paid - can you believe it!?!) ministry!

  • A new address!

  • A new challenge - seminary! yikes what am I saying!?!

  • A new hairstyle - thanks to my yo-yo sister LBQ! It is remarkable how the little things make you feel so good!

  • 10 pretty toenails - see above!

Preview of coming attractions...34 Goals!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Friday Five...What's In A Name?

RevHRod posted the following questions for this Friday's Five!

So how did you come up with your blogging name? And/or the name of your blog?
I love Homer's "Odyssey" and everything that it means - how life is a journey with great big mountain peaks, deep, deep valleys and the occasional monster lurking behind the corner! :)

Are there any code names or secret identities in your blog? Any stories there?
The only secret identities are the names of my two beautiful daughters - Little Miss Lou Who, it is just something that I started calling here almost from the beginning, like Cindy Lou Who, except her name is Gracie ;) and Ray Ray, or Rachel, she is definitely our little ray of sunshine, her smile indeed lights up a room.

What are some blog titles that you just love? For their cleverness, drama, or sheer, crazy fun?
I just began in the world of blogging, so I must admit that I am still searching...

What three blogs are you devoted to? Other than the RevGalBlogPals of course!
I really enjoy RevGalBlogPals and visit at least daily to see what everyone is talking about.

Who introduced you to the world of blogging and why?
Google brought me here! I was searching for some resources for a newbie to pastoring and came across RevGalBlogPals and have been hooked every since.

Bonus question: Have you ever met any of your blogging friends? Where are some of the places you've met these fun folks?
Nope, not yet, but I am looking forward to making some invaluable connections!

God is good every day and in every way! Blessings to you my blogging friends.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Sometimes my priorities seem easy and just about as plain as the nose on my face. Jesus, family, ministry...well, okay I'm learning that it isn't quite that simple. :) Where to begin...there is much work to be done and it is all important, but defining what comes first, second, third and so on, isn't as easy as I thought. I seem to be praying for wisdom and openness in discerning what God's priorities are for our ministry at Bethany.

  • Rebirthing the second service, which is a praise service I think is first, hopefully being able to reach those in the community. I cannot thank the Lord enough that Bethany is so open to this! What a precious miracle :)
  • Working on Christian Education, specifically for a children's Sunday School program seems to be the logical second step as we begin to teach and provide solid Biblical teaching.
  • Revamping the Youth ministry is also quite important to Bethany and to me. So important to provide a safe place where young people can learn and grow and be challenged to find their own relationship with Jesus.
  • Another aspect that we will be looking at, beginning in the fall, is refocusing our mission and vision statements...I know that I do not know this community like my brothers and sisters do and so I need them to take ownership and engage in helping their new pastor form our future, so that with God's blessing, our ministry can flourish and touch those in our area that need to be touched with the healing, grace, mercy, acceptance, love that God has for them.
Did I mention that there is much to be done... I feel so grateful to have a strong core leadership team, a wonderfully gifted music ministry - in our Spirit-filled organist and praise band, thank you God - a mission-minded many strengths. Lord continue to open our eyes, ears, hearts, minds to YOU and YOUR purpose for us in this place, at this time. I am totally 100% convinced that You have much to offer and much for us to do and I know that You are ever faithful and again I am grateful.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Settling In...

It's been awhile since my last post, so I'll provide the update. Both DH and I have quit our old jobs - I have such a wonderful hubby! - and we have moved our family 45 minutes away from our old home to our new home, thus beginning a new chapter in our lives. Though I preached on June 29, I only began officially July 1 as pastor! I can hardly believe it. So now I have two Sundays under my belt.

Things seem to be going fine, though I know this church, as every church does, has some challenging times ahead. My prayer and my hope is that God will pour His healing love, grace and mercy on this congregation in abundancy and that we are able to redefine what His mission is for us.

Our two DDs seem to be adjusting well, though I know that they are missing their daily routines. DH is now home with them until we are able to find suitable daycare and he is able to then look for a job. My prayer is that he will find something that he will be happy doing and that he will be able to find his ministry, which is important to both of us.

We continue to feel blessed by this calling in our lives and look forward to wherever this path may lead. Blessings to you for the day!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Five "A Word Association"

From the RevGalBlogPals:

Singing Owl's Friday Five..."comes from the Lovin' Spoonful song, "Summer in the City."

Think summer......are you there? Below you will find five words or phrases. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem, a memory, a recipe, or a story.

You get the idea: 1. rooftop 2. gritty 3. hot town (yeah, I know, it's two words) 4. night 5. dance"
"Escape to Dance"

A moonlight night,
chilled, crisp - stars in the sky.
After a radiant, summer day,
spent running errands in a steamy vehicle.
Escape to the rooftop,
away from the slumbering children.
Dancing under God's luminary blanket,
in the arms of my groom.
To the words of Old Blue Eyes himself,
"Someday when I'm awfully low...
I will feel a glow just thinking of you
and the way you look tonight."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Perfect Time to Trust...

I stand in awe of God all the time, but at this very moment in my life, in the life of my family, I have been reminded yet again of the truth of His Holy Words, most especially in this time, recorded in Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."

My deepest desire has been and will continue to be to serve Him everyday in every way. Okay, well at least as much as humanly possible. And I am on the cusp of being able to be paid to be His servant - CRAZY and wonderful, scary and exciting all rolled up into one. I am very excited, but I hope that I also enter into ministry with less naivety than I would have had 10 years, or even 5 years ago, though I know that I have much to learn and experience. I do have fear, but it is fear that is in check with reality, a healthy fear, as I have been referring to it, knowing that I am nothing without Him. But with Him nothing is impossible - how exciting and extraordinary!

So my prayer tonight, as I reflect about what lies ahead for me - a new adventure, for my husband who is giving up his job - tomorrow is his last day, for our family - as we prepare to move in just a little over a week is this...

Desperate, we throw ourselves on you:

you are our God!

Hour by hour we place our days in your hand,

safe from the hands out to get us.

Warm us, your servants, with smiles;

save us because you love us.

Don't embarrass us by not showing up;

we've given you plenty of notice.
Psalm 31:13-15 (The Message)

Thank you Lord for blessing us so abundantly, now and always!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ballet with a 3 year old...

Little Miss Lou Who (LMLW)- our 3 year old, took Mama (my mom) and I to the Youth Ballet this evening and we had a blast. It was so cool to watch these young people who I'm sure have rehearsed endlessly, perform beautifully! LMLW was enthralled, that was also very cool! When the ballerinas appeared, she said, "Look Momma, princesses!"

What a great day. Lord, thank you for moments that remind me how wonderful You are!

At the same time, I am reminded of one of LMLW's friends, a 4 year old little boy who has been recently diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. Very scary and very sad. He seems to be doing well, but if you are reading this please say a prayer for Brandt and his family.

Ups and downs, joys and sorrows - life and the journey continues tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Today's Journey

I was reflecting about how much I really do view my life in terms of faith journey, my childhood, my young adulthood, my marriage, my motherhood, my ministry journey...

Earlier today I was reminded of a song by Sara Groves , in fact it was the song that I walked down the aisle to my DH on our wedding day to, entitled, "He's Always Been Faithful To Me."
I remember the year that we became engaged. That year was a year of highlights for me in many ways. Before our engagement I agreed and began preparing to co-lead a group of college students to Ukraine for a 3 week mission trip. It was at about the same time that I bought her Coversations CD. For every part of my journey that particular year from preparing to leave ("Painting Pictures of Egypt"), to becoming engaged to Dale("Hello Lord"), to being in Ukraine ("Tent in the Center of Town") and then finally culminating with our wedding, one of her songs spoke to me at every turn.

Pretty amazing! Did you ever have that happen? I've often thought of sharing with her my year of highlights reflected in her music. I think what is most amazing to me is that God uses what speaks to us most at that time, if we are only willing and open and listening...What is speaking to you? What is God whispering to you through His Word, other people that love you, strangers, music, poetry, nature...? Keep listening...I shall try.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Taking the View Friday Five

Friday Five by Sally at RevGalBlogPals

1. How important is the "big picture" to you, do you need a glimpse of the possibilities or are you a details person?

I think that I allow myself to be buried by details. I enjoy looking at the bigger picture and believe that we all need to step out of the everyday details to notice the bigger picture once in awhile, if not more often. I need that to be able to refocus on what is important, you know, prioritize my life.

2. If the big picture is important to you how do you hold onto it in the nitty gritty details of life?

I hold onto the bigger picture by reading God's Word and praying, trying to submit to His will and I need that daily. While this sounds good, I admit that I am a control freak and so this is very difficult, which is why I need this everyday.

3. Name a book, poem, psalm, piece of music that transports to to another dimension ( one....what am I thinking....)

  • Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune"
  • Smetana's "The Moldau" - I've always loved musical compositions that tell a story with instruments...
  • Genesis...In the beginning...
  • Chris Rice;
  • Sara Groves...

yes I could go on and on...

4.Thinking of physical views, is there somewhere that inspires you, somewhere that you breathe more easily?

I love the water - streams, lakes, the sitting by a stream in the mountains, listening to the trickling or rushing water, is pretty close to heaven, in my opinion. Friends of ours have a cabin in upstate Pa, near the southern tip of the Grand Canyon of PA-yes there really is one-that we go at least once a year that is on the Pine Creek, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but so perfect for pulling yourself out of the everyday details and centering oneself on what is most important! I love it!

5. A picture opportunity... post one if you can ( or a link to one!) Slate Run, my slice of heaven on earth -

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I have had a pretty tough day today. Each day I look forward to July 1st with renewed anticipation, joy and a bit of fear. This evening, however, I must take some time to visit an old memory.

It was a beautiful mid-June, early summer day. I was in the middle of a peaceful lake on a boat with my husband and two of our friends. They were all fishing. I do not fish, but nonetheless I was enjoying the sound of the water lapping the boat as we slowly drifted, the slight breeze as it caressed my skin, the warm sun shining on my face, the woods that surrounded us - the beauty of God's creation at it's best. It is moments like that, that take me back to the beginning, Genesis. The beginning of creation, of life, of the earth, the water, the sun, the moon, the trees, and I become exceedingly grateful that He created it all, called it good, and gave it to us.

I could say so much more...about the environment, being green and responsible - which I am completely in favor of, but tonight I just want to bask in that memory and find peace.

Thank you Lord - not only for those moments that day, but for the memory that stirs inside me as I reflect upon it. Goodnight...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The First...

Okay, here goes - my first blog entry! It's amazing what goes through your mind when you have a blank canvas staring at you and you can write anything that comes to mind. Well, I guess I should begin by telling you about me. Currently I am working full-time for a secular non-profit. Anyone who is a mom knows that this is a constant struggle. However, I have been blessed as beginning July 1, I will be a part-time (3/4 time) United Methodist local pastor!

I can hardly believe it. I began seminary a few years ago and have only been able to take a few courses, because of the birth and care of my two beautiful daughters, so I am very much looking forward to returning to the classroom!

I have been involved very deeply with the ministry of my home church, where by the mentoring and nurture of my pastor, I have been able to experience what he does! So, I am looking forward to the pastorate with great anticipation and a little bit of fear. I am open to words of wisdom from those who are in ministry. My home church is the only church that I have ever known, so I am interested in advise for what one does when newly appointed. I know that I do not want to go in and change everything, but if you have advice, please feel free to share.

Thanks so much and have a great day!