NaBloPoMo: Happy New Year (C) Resolution

In the liturgical calendar, the “new year” actually starts with Advent, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. It always catches me a little by surprise, even though I know when the holidays fall on my calendar. It is with the “new year” theme in mind, that the Revgals offer this prompt:

NaBloPoMo Day 22: What’s your spiritual resolution for Year C?


I have two resolutions and they are very intertwined…

  1. to “finish strongly” with our present congregation, Church in Bethesda
  2. to “begin humbly” with a new church family, wherever it will be, in 2016.

It’s hard for me to write about the process our church is going through right now. I have been a part of its leadership, serving in various  capacities, preaching very infrequently, and loving the saints God brought through the doors. There was, as Carrie Newcomer sings, “Room at the Table for everyone.”

There was a radical welcome, but it was not enough. A convergence of problems signaled it was time for a change.

In the last eighteen months, we lost about half of our regular attendees due to transfers and moves to other parts of the country. We were not able to retain a large enough congregation to meet our budget and do some necessary capital improvements and repairs. And we couldn’t afford to keep Todd, our lead pastor, full-time. In the midst of the swirl of changes within our church, God was leading Todd into the discernment process  with The Episcopal Church. Our Sunday worship will morph into something new and, as of yet, unknown.


So I stand in the swirl of the the liturgical year and the calendar year in a peak of emotions and wonderings… knowing that God is in the mix and I am, without a doubt, completely loved.

And for now, that is enough.


Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 

I Corinthians 13:12 (NLT)

NaBloPoMo: Chores

Today’s prompt:

Which chore (work or home) gives you the most satisfaction to complete? (Which one do you put off for as long as possible?)



I enjoy baking. Especially for the holidays! These are some of the yummy treats we made last year.

I don’t like cleaning the house in any way (vacuuming, dusting, etc.) In fact, I suppose that you could say I’d rather do anything else BUT cleaning. You want to make me happy? Clean my house from top to bottom. Or bottom to top. (I’m really not picky.)

NaBloPoMo: Sweet Dreams are made of these

It’s a Friday evening. It’s early. I’m going to bed.

This week, I’ve presided at two funerals, seen my patients, listened to worried families, attended a palliative care conference, and hung out with some amazing women.

My heart is encouraged, but my body.  is. tired.

Be good to each other and stay safe. You’re loved and you make the world a better place.

NaBloPoMo: This Fragile Life

This has absolutely nothing to do with the writing prompt of the day… it’s just what I wanted to share.


Found in the yard the other day…

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We have hawks in our yard all the time. During the late summer, we watched with amusement as the newly fledged ones learned how to catch their own dinner. They weren’t very successful…

Apparently, a blue jay lost it’s latest cheeky battle with the red-shouldered hawk who’s been hanging out in the oak tree.

You never know. Life is so fragile.

Be careful out there.

NaBloPoMo: Remember Me

NaBloPoMo Day 18: What do you hope people remember about you after you’re gone?


This is especially poignant for me since I presided at a funeral today and was privileged to listen to how a wonderful family remembered their patriarch…

When you remember me, remember…
That I loved
That I laughed
That I was REAL
That I always had an “internal song” playing
That our relationship was genuine and important to me
That somehow, somewhere, God was always in the mix
That I was blessed beyond words to have the Calling I do…


NaBloPoMo: Spiritual Practice

NaBloPoMo Day 17: Let’s join up with Laura Stephens-Reed: 
Write about a spiritual practice that keeps you connected to God and to others.

I have created lists of people that I care about and pray for, which I have updated over the years. I have them divided by rough categories into days of the week:

  • Monday: My husband and daughters and their significant friendships
  • Tuesday: My extended family (mom, sibs, niece and nephews)
  • Wednesday: My church and its leaders
  • Thursday: My ministry responsibilities (currently, I’m a hospice chaplain, so that’s a big list)
  • Friday: Small group or affinity group (currently it’s a group of 6 women pastors that meet together monthly)

Here’s four of the Friday crowd! :)

What about Saturday and Sunday? Those are days that I just let people, situations and things come to mind and I pray.

Lest you think I am spending massive hours in a holy prayer closet, I am not… It’s a moment to stop, remember and pray. What do I know concerns them? What worries or celebrations do they have? I send a bunch of love and light their way.

Simple things for simple minds…


NaBloPoMo: Holy Ground


The light poured in to the sanctuary through the stained glass. Here, at the very back, the pews have been removed so that there’s free space for children to color and play. But today the floor was open and the glorious colors played on the tiles.

I thought of the old Woody Guthrie song…

Every spot on earth I traipse around
Every spot I walk it’s holy ground…

Yes, I’m dating myself…

If the pews had been there, I doubt I would have noticed the play of the colors. It was only in their absence that there was space for God to speak, God used the void to remind me of a never-ending, never-changing Presence.

Burned into my mind today is this image of power and presence and fire…

Every spot I walk it’s holy ground…

Not just in the holy moments of Calling and ministry, but in the mundane. When I’m getting groceries… when I stop to mail a package… when I’m waiting at a traffic light… when I clean the house and do laundry… when I spend time with family and friends…

Will it change the way I respond, and the way I answer? Yes Lord, let it be.

NaBloPoMo: We Rest in Thee

Today’s RevGal prompt: Write a prayer for Japan or Beirut or Syria or Houston or Pyongyang… Put the words out for all to see, even if your words are you have no words.


We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,
And needing more each day Thy grace to know…

For all I do not understand,
For sleepless nights and tear-stained pillows, 
For shock and loss and moments of terror, 
We lean on You, Holy One.
May your grace hold us, comfort us and give us courage. 

Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pleading,
We rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go…

We weep with Beirut and hear their cries of horror,
We join with Baghdad’s families searching for safe haven.
We watch the senseless violence in Paris,
We grieve for attacks in Kenya and Japan and Pyongyang,
We cry out to You, Peace-bringer,
Even though we live in relative peace, we sense their fear.
For we still mourn with Baltimore, Charleston, and Ferguson,
And pray Your justice will cover all the earth.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

*From “We Rest in Thee”
Lyrics by Edith Gilling Cherry
Hymn tune: Finlandia