Friday, June 22, 2012

Looking for Patience

Okay friends, I've really cracked.  I am feeling so in need of some help being patient about where God is calling me to serve as my first pastorate that I Googled "Bible verses on patience."  I'm not making a dig at people who do find solace in Googling topics to find them in scripture, but you know, I have a Master in Divinity so going to Google for help felt kind of silly for me.  

And here's the best of what I found:
But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance. --Luke 8:15 

For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. --Romans 8:24-25

But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. -- 1 Timothy 1:16

I also remembered one of my favorite verses of all time, which is about worrying rather than patience, but which fits better than those above: 

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. -- Matthew 6:34

Considering the amount of impatience in the world today, I guess I'm surprised that patience and waiting are mentioned relatively sparsely in scripture.  At least it feels like when patience comes up in the Bible, it doesn't line up in quite the right way with the way I'm feeling right now.  A lot of what I found in scripture is about waiting for the return of Christ or waiting for the day of the Lord to come, and frankly these are not such huge concerns for my own theology, which is much more oriented towards recognizing the Kingdom of God here and now-- on this earth, in our very midst.  That's not so much about patience-- that's about uncovering what is already present.  The problem I'm having is about being too anxious and antsy about what's to come in my life-- where I'll be working and living, and when.  I don't feel like scripture brings me there so easily.  

Any thoughts?  Googling isn't getting me where I want to go, so maybe my blog readers can.  

Okay readers, this is a call for your wise words on patience--Scripture, quotes, songs, your own advice-- I need them!  

Monday, June 18, 2012


We had kind of a surprise weekend with my brother and his family because they came for my sister-in-laws great grandmother's funeral.  Sad circumstances, but so wonderful to spend time with them.  I haven't seen them since Christmas, and lately Christmas is more about cramming in visits and not sleeping rather than hanging out and spending time together.  So this weekend was such a blessing for me.  I just loving seeing these two together.  Allen and Charis are such wonderful parents and I learn so much by watching them with their little Zoey, who just turned two.  

On Friday evening, we went for a walk down the bike trail right by our house.  Zoey pushed a baby stroller that we found in the basement here that belonged to my sister-in-law, who just graduated from high school.  First she put rocks in it, but then she put her stuffed Otter, "Y.I. Otter" in it.  

On Saturday morning, they came over and brought Gramma and Grampa (Gwah-ma and Gwam-pa) and we had coffee and just played out in the yard and inside.  Evelyn is learning how to clap, and that's what she's doing in the photo above.  Her hands just go in circles like she is washing windows.  It's so stinking cute. 

Zoey read Evelyn a book...

And Evelyn shared her favorite toy.  

It's so funny how Evelyn looks so big to us when it's just the three of us, and then Zoey shows up and she just looks so tiny!  We love watching Zoey, just a few steps ahead of her.  It's so exciting to see what's coming!  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Seeing God; Seizing the Day

The process of searching for a church has brought my closer to God than I think I've ever been.  I feel like I'm finally beginning to understand that where I go from here is not what I want, but what God wants.  That's a hard thing to wrap one's mind around.  Much, much, much more easily said than accepted. 

It may be the free time that is bringing me closer to God, too.  I feel like I am taking time to see God more, and everything looks more beautiful.  I've been more conscious about taking time to pray and thank God for the gifts in my life (Yes friends, I confess that even as a pastor I often have trouble taking time to pray).  The free time is also bringing me close to my family.  We are having so much fun together.  We've been taking walks every morning to start the day.  We've even been baking bread together.  

My dear husband is as encouraging as can be.  He's honest, supportive, and challenging.  He believes in the search and call process and reminds me to trust in it when I struggle to.  When I ask him if he would want to live in XYZ city or state, he says "home is where you and Evelyn are." 

Aside from spending time with family, I've made sure to cram my schedule full of stuff.  I wouldn't be me if I didn't.  So I've joined the local clergy group, who meets every Tuesday for lunch.  I'm going to check out a weekly knitting group in town that a lot of the local clergy are a part of, too.  I posted on my previous entry that I'm preaching almost every week for the next month.  In non-church life, I've been hanging out with friends and family, including an old friend and her sweet baby Charlotte (whose blog is here; she might post some photos of the sweeties riding in Charlotte's wagon together), two of my best friends from college who have recently started dating each other (Maic and I occasionally get giddy about this as if it is our own relationship), and a few other friends.  We've been trying to seize the day, since we're not sure how long we'll be living this close, so we're trying to see our parents and my Gramma as often as possible.  We're also going to start doing some work on the house we're living in (which belongs to my in-laws) so that they can get it ready to either rent or sell.  

Life is good.  God is good.  Sorry I can't be more explicit about what's going on in my search.  I promise someday I'll let you know what's going on.  For now, I'm gonna keep it all confidential. 

Preaching Schedule

Hi All!  For those of you who are in Ohio and/or interested, I wanted to post a list of the places I will be preaching for the next several weeks.  I will update it as needed. 

June 17th: Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio @ 9:00 and 11:00 
June 24th: First Church in Oberlin, Ohio @10:00
July 1st: First Congregational UCC of Berea, Ohio @10:00 
July 8th: Not Preaching (In Arizona)
July 15th: Magyar UCC in Elyria, Ohio @10:00

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Some Catching Up

It’s clear to me that I’m a product of an internet generation.  We moved to Oberlin slightly less than a week ago, and won’t have internet access in our home until this coming Tuesday.  I’m amazed at the anxiety that comes out of not checking my e-mail for a whole day.  Surely there’s a part of the anxiety that comes from being in the midst of a job search in which most of the communication is via e-mail, but the part of it that exposes me as inept at communicating with people/getting from one place to another/finding out information/listening to music is kind of embarrassing.  In desperation, I contacted the pastor of Oberlin UCC to see if I could use the church’s internet instead of having to pay for coffee every time I wanted to check my e-mail at a café.  Pastor David is so kind that he’s even issuing me a key to the church so that I can use it as a place to do my Skype interviews without a dog barking and a baby crying in the background (or incessantly screaming her version of “yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay”—totally my fault for egging on a cute new vocal discovery). 

Speaking of dogs barking, our dog Nos is living with us once again.  We had to send him on vacation to Gramma and Grampa’s house for a few months back in October because this Mama could only handle so much.  It is awesome having him back.   He’s so good to Evelyn and she is just totally enamored with him.  Until you see a nine-month old “throw” a tennis ball for her dog, you’ve not seen cute (this is kind of where the incessant “yay” started). 

Having a house is just amazing.  Evelyn has her own bedroom, there’s a window in our kitchen, and we have a washer and dryer in our house.  With both of us temporarily out of work, we are having the best time just being a family.  We take walks every morning and sit out on the porch and talk or read.  We take family naps sometimes.  Life is so good, and I think when the time comes, I’ll be ready to go back to work. 

The search and call process is encouraging.  I think the UCC has a great set-up that allows for prayerful and intentional placements.  In the meantime, with the exception of this coming Sunday and the week I'm in Arizona, I'm preaching every Sunday for the next month and a half--making some money, doing what I love, getting to know other congregations.  

On Tuesday I'll be able to update more often.  I'll post some photos of the inside of our house and I'll get a list up of the churches I'll be preaching at this summer so that if you're interested and nearby, you can come worship with us.  

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