A Guide to Pentecost Shoes

A recent lament by another RevGal about finding TRULY “Pentecost Red” shoes caused me to peruse a local discount store. One of my PKs was shopping for a special outfit and I had time to kill.

So (with apologies to store security who probably wondered wtf I was doing,) I present my (very tongue-in-cheek)…

A Guide to Pentecost Shoes

1. The Pantsuit-Meets-Ankle-Surgery Flashback

When I see velour, I think bell bottoms and pantsuits. When I see shoes like this, I think my friends who are post-surgery (knees or ankles) would smile. My achy-breaky knees hear your hearts go pitter-pat!

2. Nancy Sinatra would agree: These Boots are made for Praisin’

I’ll confess I don’t see these with my robes or a cassock and surplice… but I know some of my sister clergy would rock the church in their Sunday best suits! DO. IT.

3. Liturgical Dance Shoes

I can walk and chew gum (with practice). A dancer I am not! I think I’d spend most of Sunday morning just trying to tie these on… but you Sister Dancer, you do you! I will rejoice that God gave someone else the gift of gracefulness!

4. Post-Baptistery Quick Change Pumps

For my beloved Baptist clergy sisters, these are fancier than plain pumps and have no buckles or straps! Slip on, zip up and GO! The choir will still be singing the end of the opening hymn, and you’ll be out of your waders, and robed and rocking these beauties! (Please remember to get your pedicure!)

5. Kum-ba-yah Campfire Shoes

So your church takes “Shall We GatherAt the River” seriously and has a camp-out Pentecost weekend? Never fear! Your river-friendly shoes are here!

6. Practically Cute

You know who you are… Four services in heels would kill you and your sanctuary’s A/C is busted. These summer flats will do the trick!

7. Be still, my heart!

They’re cute! They’re not too high a heel! They’re that happy candy apple red that just screams “PENTECOST!” Success!!!

 

Do you have a pair of Pentecost footwear to share? I know you do… So please post a pic in the comments!

 

Feed My Sheep: Restoring my Soul

This week I’m at Princeton Theological Seminary as an Engle Preaching Institute Fellow.  Part of my experience is sharing this learning experience with my Roundtable Group of other women clergy, aka the RevGals. Our group’s name expresses what we have come to understand is essential to our longevity in ministry: Feed My Sheep: Spiritual Care for Women Who Bring the Word.

When I think of serving God by serving others, I realize how badly I need the tender care of God’s Love. I need the shepherding, guiding Hand of God. That Hand is not exclusively referred to in masculine identity/gender. “God as She” is a growing part of my experience and my theology.

Maybe that’s why I love this rendering of the 23rd Psalm…

Psalm 23, Bobby McFerrin

I’m listening and absorbing the reality of how proclamation of the Word of God is a restorative act for the listener, but most of all, for the Preacher.

LoveisLoveis

 I cannot preach what I do not know, personally, instinctively, intuitively, emotionally, viscerally, and spiritually about God.

 

 

 

You might not think about it that way… but I cannot preach what I do not know, personally, instinctively, intuitively, emotionally, viscerally, and spiritually about God. To preach what is on my heart, borne out of my own personal journey of joy and pain. To give myself permission to lament, to cry, to question, to speak truth instead of accepting that “sad things” are too hard (in other words, not always just shutting my mouth… but speaking up!)

There are times I am called to preach, and other times to be silent. Sometimes, I get it right. Sometimes, I open my mouth to change feet.

But in a time of sorrow, the kind that sinks deep into my heart and my bones, that takes away my appetite and wrecks my sleep? Mostly, I just want companionship.

I might want company.
I do not want words.
I might want to vent.
I don’t want platitudes.
I want to be heard.
I don’t want to hear a counterpoint of conversation to my anger.

I might just want…
SILENCE.

YES. Even I, the extrovert, the energized, the ESFJ, the Entrepreneur and Energizer, needs time to allow the Shepherd to restore my soul…

 

Friday Five: Push or Pull?

The traffic crawled for over a mile this afternoon and this was most of what I could see:

DO NOT PUSH (if you know what's good for you.)
DO NOT PUSH (if you know what’s good for you.)

It was the inspiration for this week’s Friday Five (which I’m hosting this week over at RevGals). Play along if you’d like!

I am fortunate to have some great encouragers in my life. The ones who know me the best are great at knowing when to challenge me, and when to just chill and let me figure it out myself. SO… think about the encouragers and challenges in YOUR life and tell us…

  1. After achieving a goal, do you set the bar higher, or rest on your laurels? I am someone who pushes herself, always going for that next goal.
  2. Which is better: a kick in the pants or a hug and a cuppa? If I’m struggling, I need “a hug and a cuppa.” I am far too self-critical and have (probably) already kicked myself around the block.
  3. What’s your baseline motivation? Fear? Competition? Not getting caught? 😉 Being seen as lazy. I’ll push past my limits to try and do it better. One of the things I’ve had to learn along the way is to let “good enough” be OK sometimes.
  4. When you’re facing a big challenge, do you need to talk it out, or puzzle it out yourself? It’s kind of a combination. I want to talk about it, but not so that you give me the answers.
  5. Who is in your corner – always? Who helps you achieve more than you imagined you could? (You don’t have to give names) Family. Friends who have gone the distance. Some pretty amazing co-workers. And RevGals that I’ve never met IRL but always have a word of encouragement when I’m feeling defeated.

BONUS: A picture, piece of art or music that expresses your experience of the push/pull process.

I found this in my photo files. It speaks to me of this process of making headway and then falling back into old habits or struggles. I also like the image of being in the process with someone — human or Divine.

Abandoned swingset. Photo credit: Rev. Deb Vaughn
Abandoned swingset. Photo credit: Rev. Deb Vaughn

Friday Five: Go to the head of the Class!

I’m hosting the Friday Five over at Rev Gals. Care to play along??

It’s Back-to-School time! Are you that “A+ Student for life” or the King/Queen of Detention? RevGals want to know! We are all still learning (or re-learning) some kind of lessons!Tell us about your learning edges in:

1. Reading: what’s in your “to-be-read” stack? Fiction? Church leadership? Commentaries?

Here’s a picture… Notice my Kindle is on top. It’s just an unending stack!!  

2. Writing: are you blogging? Journaling? Developing a new book proposal? Or just crafting sermons? Any excerpt you’d care to share? (We won’t grade your penmanship!)

I have been struggling with blogging, to be honest. I have stories to tell… But some of them are impacted by HIPAA privacy rules. I’m still figuring this one out.

I have been mulling over a book idea called “What NOT to say!” It’s meant for all those horrible moments when someone says that trite pablum that makes clergy blanch…

3. ‘Rithmetic: Family budget? Church budget? National debt? What are you discovering about yourself and your church/family when it comes to handling money?

I asked this question, did I!??? Or be quite honest, I’m tired of “the budget” being given as a reason for doing/not doing something. If you are a leader, you learn how to prioritize and pay for what matters. 

4. Music: favorite new hymn or worship band?

To be honest, I haven’t been listening to a lot of Christian music. It’s had a “Jesus-and-the-money changers” feel to it. But I do like the song “My Ev’rything” by Owl City. 

I’m getting new songs these days from my 20-year-old, whose Spotify playlists were fresh and fun! I’m kinda loving Hozier. He’s so raw and real. 

5. Detention: uh huh… If you were supposed to report for detention today, what would be the note on the slip?

Probably being too loud in the restaurant last night while playing the “glamour shot” game. You Google your first name + “glamour shot” and then look at the images that come up with your search terms. Completely silly.

BONUS: Recess! RevGals just want to have fun! What’s your favorite way to unwind?

Hang out in the hammock chair on my back patio with a book. 

  

Poems from Childhood

IMG_6519

This morning as the sun came up on the leaves, and I heard the birds singing, a poem from my childhood came to mind:

I Meant to do my Work Today

by Richard Le Gallienne

I MEANT to do my work to-day –
But a brown bird sand in the apple-tree
And a butterfly filtted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand –
So what could I do but laugh and go?

The working world doesn’t allow for many moments of freedom. Do the work. Pay the bills. Write the emails. Commute back and forth.

But I thought about a way of traveling and being that is not so obvious. I looked for beauty around me, wherever I went. A passerby’s dress. The movement of leaves along the highway. Flowers in a yard. A catbird hopping from branch to branch.

I looked around me thoughtfully, carefully.

In many way, large and small, God is there.

Blessed be.