Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Desk...

OK, it's not quite my desk. But it's close.

I knew it was coming... a couple of "crunch time" days until I head to Modular Week in the Holy Land on Sunday. SO I won't be blogging much.

To give you an idea of the insanity I need to:

  • turn in two projects (thankfully, one is only a powerpoint!)
  • post on Blackboard in one class
  • do some prep for church events like the annual prayer retreat, and some small group stuff
  • practice a "Retro Sunday" piece of music
  • write a "reflective" essay on "Spiritual Leadership" by Blackaby
And the family needs...

  • groceries (done)
  • cat litter (oops)
  • cat food (got it)
  • forms signed (done)
  • appointments made (done)
  • a ride to events (no can do - won't be here)
  • laundry (some, not all - they can do the rest.)
But wait... there's more...
  • Thursday through Saturday, I'm headed to South Carolina for a (very) short family reunion.
  • Sunday morning is a busy day at church with one of our "Friend Day" events.
  • Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Reedy Girl has a concert and yours truly is her accompanist (who keeps forgetting that third sharp in A Major, dang it!), AND
  • my fellow seminarian and all around great friend, Dana, picks me up at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon to head down to Modular Week.
And believe it or not, I turned down doing some things in the few hours I am going to be home this weekend!!!

Needing my head examined... I am your slightly demented

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Oh yeah. Gotta love eBay! For $11.00, I got this...

WAIT!!! Put on your sunglasses first!


VERY bright!



I warned you...

So now, dear friends, how should I accessorize this walking nightmare of color???

I await your collective wisdom!


Monday, February 25, 2008

Fashion deja vu

Oh my. I gave them all away... and now I need them AGAIN????

bell bottoms
tube tops
halter tops
psychodelic prints
funky shoes
peace signs junk jewelry

I have to find an outfit by March 8th for a "Retro" night. I have to be honest and say (a) I didn't much like the fashions the first time around and (b) there is a reason why the style was called "hippy" not "twiggy" you know.


I've been to my usual second-hand haunts and have not found anything. This is not exciting.

Peace Out... Feeling Groovy...


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jane Austen says...

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Marianne Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are impulsive, romantic, impatient, and perhaps a bit too brutally honest. You enjoy romantic poetry and novels, and play the pianoforte beautifully. To boot, your singing voice is captivating. You feel deeply, and love passionately.

Well... for once, it's probably pretty close to the truth!


Friday, February 22, 2008

Holy Garbage!

Hat tip to Mandy and Jeff who put this on my radar screen...'s about garbage!

A Heavenly Friday Five

Singing Owl from RevGals has this intro to our Friday Five this week:

I am in Seattle assisting with family stuff and preparing to attend a memorial service (Saturday) for my sister who died of complications of early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

I am not grieving much, since the shock and tears and goodbyes and losses have been many and have occurred for a long time now. I am mostly relieved that my wonderful sister and best friend is free from pain and confusion, and I am thinking of eternity. That sounds somber, but I don't mean it to be. I decided to have a little fun with the idea. So how about we share five "heavenly" things? These can me serious or funny or a combination of the two.
What is your idea of a heavenly (i.e. wonderful and perfect):

1. Family get-together
We've done it a few times -- at the beach. Our favorite place to congregate is barrier island between Charleston and Hilton Head called "Harbor Island." It's quiet enough to rest, close enough to Charleston to do something city-ish if you must, has great seafood docks and restaurants, and a nice, natural beach. One of the best places to eat is a simple place called "The Shrimp Shack" - BODACIOUS sweet potato fries and fresh fried seafood!!! If you are a "boardwalk" kind of family, wanting rides and lots of tourist-tacky shops, (we aren't that kind of family) you'll hate it. If you want to play golf, you'll have to drive somewhere. But if you want to have time to be "family" -- it's the perfect place.

2. Song or musical piece
Much as I love rock, and jazz, and very contemporary music, I also love Bach. As my dad used to say, "a few yards of Bach" are just the icing on the cake. To me, playing Bach (or any organ piece with hands and feet moving asymmetrically) is akin to walking and chewing gum. I suppose if I practice long enough, I'll be able to do it. My organ teacher was quite amazed that I was able to walk at all, given the discombobulation of my playing, with practicing! In heaven, I hope I'll suddenly discover I can.

This is Ton Koopman playing Bach's "Little Fugue in G" (BWV 578).

3. Gift
My own bookstore so I can buy and read all the books I want... and I would have an open door policy for my friends and family to come do the same. (What on your book wishlist?)

4. You choose whatever you like-food, pair of shoes, vacation, house, or something else. Just tell us what it is and what a heavenly version of it would be.
I'd like chocolate that doesn't add miles around my hips and tastes like REAL, RICH CHOCOLATE. Not dirt or paraffin with chocolate artificial flavor added. That's easy enough, right? (sigh... apparently NOT!!!) I have found the "low calorie" or "reduced calorie" versions of chocolate most dissatisfying.

5. And for a serious moment, or what would you like your entrance into the next life to be like? What, from your vantage point now, would make Heaven "heavenly?"

sculpture from Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris
I have had heaven on my mind a lot lately, actually. Partly because I have a co-worker who is seriously ill right now and he and his family have been in my prayers. Partly because I'm training as a hospice volunteer to be an "usher" (my word for it) for clients and family members who need support in the transitional time between life and death. And partly because, well, I'm in seminary. We get to write, think and postulate a lot about it.

I can look forward to Heaven as a place where there is no pain, no sorrows, no suffering, no war, no bigotry, no nasty human-to-human expressions, and no death. I anticipate worship and praise and fun and a huge banquet celebration. I envision all the "disconnects" in relationships on this earth (disconnects between humans and God, between people, between God and Creation) being reconnected and restored.

I don't really want to wax theological too much here. However, I do believe there is a real place called "heaven" -- and God (only) knows where it is and how it will be. I think many of the very dogmatic types will be surprised who is there and who isn't. I also think that one's entrance is not automatic (I'm not a universalist!) and that Jesus is the way to heaven. The problem is not with the "narrow way" (Matthew 7 and Luke 13) but that we humans tend to put barbed wire fences and "KEEP OUT -- (unless you are like me!)" signs over the gate. We shove and push people away from Jesus who are seeking to find faith. This bothers me.

My mission and vision includes living in a way that people who see me, they understand who I am and where God met me... and where I've been traveled to since... and that they can join me on this journey too. When I finally "arrive" I'll be in heaven.

See ya there?


Thursday, February 21, 2008

time for a double take!

I thought at first my ears were playing tricks on me...

I heard a Geico commercial in my car the other day... and my first thought was "Geesh! Is that Dr. Doran?"

It sounded just like the voice of The Harpist's high school principal.
Our school system has these auto-dialed calls from the school administrators with various reminder and announcements, so I hear his voice all the time. I just didn't expect he would be selling car insurance!


P.S. YES... I know that Dr. Doran is not the voice of the Geico gecko!

God of the Moon and Stars

God of the Moon and Stars
by Krees Kraaynoord


Let's call it "personality sandblasting."

There's not much else I can say to describe it. Edges of my life, my heart, my way of "being" have been going through some intensive purification recently.

I won't deny that I need the changes that are being scraped off of my personality... (would that they were pounds off my hips, but oh well...)

It is just simply hard.

More times in the last few months that I would like to admit, I have had one of these brutal heart-to-heart chats with God. I had said or done something that was... ahem... just a LITTLE rude or sarcastic, or even crass. And almost immediately a "poke" from God let me know I needed to either apologize, or swallow my pride and accept the criticism without retort, or be humbled.

It's like these little personality quirks are being sandblasted away. Some of the blasts follow quickly, right on the heels of the last one, and kinda deal with the same issues, an issue or an action that God simply does not like. The sandblasting hurts. Things are a little raw.

God! Please! Can we deal with another area of my life???

:I thought you'd never ask...:


Another thought, habit or pattern that needs changing gets tackled.

And you know what the worst part of all this really is? I am not really suffering. I am paying the consequences for my stupidity, my sin. But I am not dealing with cancer. Or a huge issue at home. Or a hurricane. Or a million other things in life that are "real" problems. I don't even want to call it "suffering" because it just does not compare! Not at all!

This sandblasting is because I gave God permission to get me ready for whatever was ahead. I said, "I don't want to fight You any more. I want to be the kind of pastor you want me to be."

:I thought you'd never ask! Here! read this!!:

You've never been good listeners to me.
You have a history of ignoring me,
A sorry track record of fickle attachments—
rebels from the womb.
But out of the sheer goodness of my heart,
because of who I am,
I keep a tight rein on my anger and hold my temper.
I don't wash my hands of you.
Do you see what I've done?
I've refined you, but not without fire.
I've tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction.
Out of myself, simply because of who I am, I do what I do.
I have my reputation to keep up.
I'm not playing second fiddle to either gods or people.
Isaiah 48:6-11 (The Message)

I know that this is to remake me and refine me. I know that this is stuff I should grapple with now. Every RevGal's blog I read shows me that I can learn how to battle this now... or keep stumbling and bumbling through it later... and hurt God's sheep in the process.

I believe the pattern it will create in me will be something beautiful and a little more like Jesus every day. And that's what I'm shooting for...

One blast at a time... ow.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

page 123

A Reader's Meme from Mindy:

Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook

(No cheating!)
OK! OK! But it's not very exciting... DD#1 is sick with the flu and I had it out to read about the alternative medicines for it (echinacea, medicinal belladonna and goldenseal, in case you wondered.)

Find Page 123.
Got it...

Find the first 5 sentences:
World War II impacted the development of clinical trials in a number of ways. Infectious diseases such as malaria and typhoid were major killers in regions where soldiers were being sent to fight. Cinchona had almost been exclusively available from Indonesia, which was occupied by Japanese forces in 1942, thereby cutting of cinchona supplies. Nonfatal wounds often became infected and then caused death. Penicillin and sulfonamide, discovered prior to the war and shown to dramatically reduced wound infections, were available in only small amounts.

Feel free to play (uh... keep it G-rated) and let me know if you did. I know this wasn't exciting. Coulda been worse. Coulda been a Greek lexicon or something. hehehe


Monday, February 18, 2008

Chocolate and papers

I just banged out my third paper in two days. (The longest one was 12 pages, the other two were short essay-type papers, so don't be too impressed. Fertilizer happens!)

In a previous post I referred to wanting to drop-kick someone. I would like to graduate some day, so I won't get specific. But somewhere, sometime, I think a book on "Establishing a Seminary 101" had this Prime Directive:
"Let's have all seminarians do exercises in irrelevancy and redundancy and see if we can provoke someone to an attitude that is slightly heretical."

Forrest Gump said that "Life is like a box of chocolates." I personally like what Carly from Grinnel had to say over at the College Candy blog: "no matter what happens, do NOT forget to keep handy a never-ending, high-quality supply of dark chocolate."

That's it. I need to do an emergency run to buy chocolate. Not for this round of seminarian fertilizer. For the next time. "And that's all I have to say about that."

I'd try to be witty or at least somewhat holy. But you came to the wrong blog today if you wanted to read that. So I suggest you go visit one of the wonderful RevGalBlogPals (look to the right and find the RingSurf link set) because that's where I go when I need to be reminded that this life is, indeed, NOT ABOUT ME.

...but I digress... and it's time to crash any way.

And if you got this far... thanks for reading!


Just sayin'...

You Mostly Have Your Emotions in Check

Sometimes your emotions get out of control, but you usually are a pretty stable person.

You can find a lot to be happy about, as long as things are going your way.

But if a few bad things happen to you, you tend to go in a bit of a downward spiral.

Luckily, you usually come out of it okay and no worse for the wear.


You Should Play the Piano

You are a true music aficionado who loves many musical style and eras.

You find music to be an escape. And you'd like to be relaxed and comfortable when you're making it.

You're very innovative, and you have a unique way of knowing what may sound beautiful.

There's a strong possibility that you could compose some of your own work songs quite easily.

While you have a lot of creative energy, you are also serious and conscientious.

Your musical talent needs time, practice, and lots of privacy to flourish.

Your dominant personality characteristic: your painstaking attention to detail

Your secondary personality characteristic: your natural tendency to be whimsical

who can't blog about what is really on her mind right now...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

I have a paper to finish. What better time to procrastinate and get my inner muse cranking first on a meme... 'cause I've been tagged!

The rules for the meme are:
1. Link to the person who tagged you. That would be Rev. Dona Quixote...
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

So... here's
Six non-important things/habits/quirks about me...

1. I love to sing and play music. It's a rare day I don't have it playing as I do my daily "stuff." Having an iPod has helped this immensely.

2. I don't "do" silence well. (uh... see #1!) I make myself go on short, quarterly silent retreats at a center near our home. I know I need it, but it's hard to do it, and I have to push myself to get there. However, the folks at Dayspring are incredibly flexible, willing to let me change my retreat day to allow for my work schedule, and are wonderful hosts. You can do overnights there, space permitting. I recommend them highly.

3. I am one of 7 kids. In birth order, I am #5, but there's about a 5 year gap between me and my next oldest sib, so that makes me sort of an "oldest" and a "middler" at the same time.

4. I have had several "careers" (music education, music therapy, medical secretary, health care manager, and burger jockey) and am now in seminary.

5. I am on Facebook, MySpace and have a homepage (...but the last two are sadly neglected!)

6. Our cats (Polgara and Tiria) have blogs (which I don't write on much... they are quite talented without my help!) But they would love for you to visit them!

OK, so now I tag...

And now... back to my paper!!!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pantipalooza 2008

It's Mindy's idea.

Every year on Valentine's Day, she makes sure that a women's shelter in her area gets special gifts. Women in crisis need many things, but most of all to remember that they are LOVED and LOVEABLE!

So THIS winter, I kept an eye out for panty sales... and took a package over to the County crisis office, explained what it was and went on my way. I got granny cotton panties, kid Disney princess panties, thongs, lacey, bikini, stripes, polka dots and solids. I took the price tags off and put then in a shopping bag. The receptionist was a little surprised.

She said, "you know, I guess I hadn't thought of it, but when a woman is running out the door with her kids, she doesn't think of stopping for clean underwear."

To my sisters out there who are going through a bad patch, my prayers are with you.

And thanks, Mindy, for reminding me to think of them...


If you have just found about it, put it on your calendar for next year!!! I am going to be sure to sign up my friends (FAIR WARNING - you will be hearing from me!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

what time are you?

Hat tip to RevDrKate! I loved this one.... (at least the random answer generator understands I am SOOoooo NOT a morning person!!!)


Monday, February 11, 2008

permission to be sick?

Maybe I am the only Type A pastor or pastor-in-training out there, but I don't think so. I have the flu. The down-in-your-bones, ache-all-over, cough-your-brains-out, fever-and-chills type. I keep taking my temp to see that I am really sick.

Beloved Bearded Spouse lectured me on RESTING. It's all I've done. I was feeling less than grand on Friday, but pushed through Saturday because I had appointments and obligations. By Saturday night, I felt so lousy, there was no "push" left. So I crawled into bed, sent messages to my appointments for Sunday via my family (who did go in to serve) and slept all day.

And I feel like sleeping some more (which I will do in a minute.)

But in a blinding glimpse of the obvious, I had to accept that pushing through to do the next thing "because I said I would" is neither healthy nor wise. But resting runs counter to my "go ye and do it" DNA. I don't know how to rest.

I don't think I'm the only person who fights this tendency... but I fretting a little bit about the classwork that is undone, and the people I can't care for, because I don't want to "share"...

So as I go collapse on the couch, pull up the afghan and have a cup of tea with honey and a cat comes to hold me in place... I'm praying I get well fast. And that I don't fret. I am not a good student of this RESTING thing.

Are you??


Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Five

Sorry. I'm not playing today. The topic was "Lent" and I didn't have much to offer. And... (whine whine whine) I am coming down with a cold.

Here's my Friday Five...


Monday, February 04, 2008

An exercise in futility?

There are times that I really and truly wonder why. Why bother? Why pursue? Why spend hours? ...days ...years. Why give up the rest of my life??

Why? It's only in pursuit of human hearts that are sometimes so cold, sometimes so incredibly angry and closed. And sometimes, so bruised and broken.

Because I remember.

I remember pain. Hurt. Loneliness. Worry. Disillusionment. Frustration. Anger. Confusion. Fear.

Someone took the time to look back and see me. To see the question marks dancing over my head. To see that at the deepest level, the things I wanted to know had a simple answer: GOD. Jesus. Life in the Spirit.

Someone who told me there was something new worth trying (because they could see that what I was trying at the moment was painfully, obviously NOT working!)

Yes, I know that sounds trite.
I am confident that someone would read that and give me the big "Whatev."

It's why I truck on. Hip deep in work, in papers, in family. Wading through the theological and political land mines of a woman Called by God. Broadsided by the well-meaning but clueless observer. Stuck in the muck of life with people who know they are only in it too deep and need someone to look back and see them, and offer a hand. Or a prayer. Or a listening ear. And occasionally, all three.

It might seem like an exercise in futility. But then, when you're the one who has been unstuck... it surely isn't.

Time to pull on my waders and get back to slogging through the muck...


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Not my weatherman...

Apparently, my family in Cincinnati is treated to this guy's "Dance Party Friday" every week...

And here I thought the only thing different on the evening news here in Your Nation's Capitol was that we didn't get to hear the hog and soybean futures...



Friday, February 01, 2008

Friday Five: Options, Options

Sally from RevGals drew the short straw and has to come up with a Friday Five on SuperBowl Friday. She writes:

There is so much going on this weekend that I thought I'd provide an options Friday 5!!!!
[Note from Deb: the other option was about "saints" and stuff. I was going to explain how the Saints didn't make the play-offs...]

The Superbowl ( someone explain to this Brit the significance)-

Well, first, you have to understand what has happened to the American brain. It has mutated. (I would say "evolved" but I don't want to get kicked out of seminary.)

Laura Freburg noted this phenomenon on her blog earlier in the fall. I thought it was worth mentioning here. It appears that a part of American brains have been replaced. Here's the proof.

So, since it is scientifically proven, you can just relax and let us enjoy the game. 'K?? Here's Sally's easy Friday Five on the Super Bowl... it or hate it?
5 reasons please!!!!!
1. The commercials.
I may not remember the game, but I will remember the commercials! Remember the EDS "herding cats" commercial?

2. The pageantry.
I guess you have to love the spectable of football. Bands. Cheerleaders. It's in my Buckeye DNA.
Football creates some CRAZY fans!

3, The sports commentators.
We love collecting their inane analogies and comments!

This one is said almost every time:
"You know, these guys really came here to play football."

But I don't want to take away all the fun. Collect your own!

4. The game itself.
It's moments of deadly boredom and great excitement.

Kinda like life!

5. Sometimes, the teams. Though not this year, for me anyway. But it's still football! What are you gonna watch? Curling? I don't THINK so...

Sorry... that just don't sweep me off my feet.

Ready for football overdosing in less than TWO days!