Saturday, March 31, 2012

Coastal NC friends, please help Lena find a new home!

Lena, whose human mom is a member at Ann Street here in Beaufort, has to find a new home immediately.
Lena is an older dog with special needs, but she is also a very sweet little dog who would make someone a great companion for a couple of months or for life.
She is a 20 pound dachshund-cocker spaniel mix, just off-white with light red spots…her mom calls them freckles. She has a heart condition that is well-controlled with medication, and enjoys short walks for exercise. She is a loving girl who also likes riding around town in the basket of her mom’s bicycle. She has been an only pet but is not aggressive around dogs or cats. She can be shy, though.
I would love to take her myself, but I already have two senior special needs pets who are very jealous. I don’t trust the cat not to terrrorize her or us…plus Ben says he’s my senior husband with special needs, and he’s jealous, too. I think I have my hands full (over-full?)!
If you know someone who might like to share their home with this sweet older girl, please contact the church office or email me at

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The things children say...

Found on a wall outside a Sunday school class at Ann Street...


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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why I haven't blogged in the last few weeks...

I was working on the church's new website. Right now, it's running in parallel to the old one, and doesn't have all the content I'd like for it to. But I am thrilled to get it off the "development" pile and onto a "delegate" pile for others to do the work of keeping it up.
It's not the most elegant, and we won't win any design prizes, but there's really not a thing wrong with it.
Yay me!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Birthday silliness

Church member: Happy birthday! So you're what, 29? (with a grin so I know he's if I didn't already!)
Me: Umm...yeah, close enough!
It's the 10th anniversary of my 29th birthday, or yeah, I'm 39 today.
I'm trying to decide what degree of crisis to have next year. I just don't think I have it in me to have major drama.

Who am I kidding? If it's fun, of course I do!

Tonight, we're going out to eat, and maybe to a movie. Or maybe I'll cook. I don't know yet. But regardless, I try to meet birthdays with the same attitude my 90-something year old friend Ruby used to say: "I'm still on top of the ground." And any day on top of the ground and still standing is a good day!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It was hard to leave home this morning...

The WonderMutt wanted us to come back to bed...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sweaty Eyeballs

I did a thing I very much do not like to do on Monday.
Actually, I did two.
I assisted with the funeral of a dear saint of the church who was also a friend and neighbor. I am always honored to have the privilege, but dislike the necessity. I'd have preferred that we not have to have a funeral because she hadn't died, but I don't get to choose such things.
And I cried during the funeral.
There are some proprieties of worship leadership and appropriate church behavior that have been drilled into me as I grew up. I don't leave my arms uncovered in church: when I wear something sleeveless, I must also wear some sort of cover-up. Short sleeves are okay, but there must be some sort of sleeve. I haven't the slightest clue where this came from. I rarely wear pants, and never on a Sunday morning, in a worship service. Extreme weather or a more casual evening service might prompt an exception to this rule, but they are few and far between, and they make me uncomfortable. And stockings or hose of some ...its only been very recently that I have followed the trend of most of the women in the congregation and forgone these when I am wearing a long skirt or dress (which is almost always). And I don't cry in church.
Now, you must understand that I am good at crying. I have always been a crier. Sometimes I can't even explain what I'm crying about. It's sort of like the valve on a pressure cooker for me--it helps me let off a little steam/stress. But as a rule, I try to keep it to myself, or at least save it for home. I am not helped by the fact that once my eyes start to tear, from a yawn or emotion or allergies, they will continue to run. Excessive lachrymation, it's called. I call it a bother.
So when I say I cried at the funeral, I am not saying that I leaked a tear or two. I became choked up during my part of the service, and went on to cry for most of the rest of it. For part of the time, I was still crying because I was angry at myself for crying. For some of the time, I was alternately silently giggling a little and crying, as I tried to jolly myself out of it--hence the sweaty eyeballs, which is one of the things I said to myself.
I am sorry for myself that I cried during the funeral, because I feel badly about it. But one of the friends of the family reminded me that sometimes it can be a comfort and connection to the grieving family to see that the pastor is also grieving. I hope so...I've hidden a few tears sitting in their home over the last five years when a prayer left me with wet eyes. My only real concern is that the funeral does not then become about my grief, and this one did not. Fortunately I was able to finish my part and quietly (slowly) get myself together as Eric did his. And both of us work hard to be mindful that we both mourn loss and celebrate resurrection. I think we managed to do that this time...
I just don't much want it to happen again.
And I hope we get a break for a couple of months, at least, before we have another funeral.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Five thoughts for this Friday

Let me start by saying it was a very dark and stormy night last night.
First,I came home from work exhausted emotionally because we have another funeral on the books. I can't tell you how many we've had in the 5 years we've been here, but it feels like a hundred, and I don't think we're too far off from that. One of the things that makes me a good pastor (if I do say so myself) is my ability to engage with people and their families and connect emotionally, but it's also very hard on me in weeks like this, when there are surgeries and funerals and I feel torn about where I need to be. So that's the darkness part.
Second, because this is my blog and I get to butcher the numbering system, it was stormy. I know this because in my exhaustion, I sat in my recliner and lost a couple of hours to sleep, punctuated by occasional moments of awareness of the noise and light show outside.
Third, I woke up in a sweat because there was a very warm and velcro-like WonderMutt in my lap the whole time. He hates storms and they make him very clingy, so for last night we re-branded him Velcro Puppy.
Fourth, despite it all, today is a beautiful day in Beaufort. The sky is legitimately blue, not overcast or smoky the way it has been for most of the week. I can breathe again! This weekend is the Beaufort Homes and Gardens Tour, and our lovely and historic church is involved again. Our sanctuary is filled with volunteers and visitors, and our fair town is filled with tourists. While our tour guides conduct people in to see our beautiful old stained glass windows and lovely architecture, we are subversively also hoping to help them connect with God as we tell the stories of God's presence here at Ann Street.
And fifth, I feel better today. Not because my grief has lessened, but because I am connecting more closely with God as I think about the stories of God's presence in my deceased friend's life, in the history of the church, in the beauty of my surroundings, and in my much-lightened heart. It's a good day today...thanks be to God!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What almost killed my blog

All 3 of my readers (if you're still out there, and yes, I'm being sarcastic, but I really do love you all) will have noticed by now that something almost killed my blog, even more effectively than the unbloggable summer a couple of years ago.
I think I know what caused a good part of my difficulty, setting aside my propensity to overdo things. It's as simple as this: gallstones. Many in general, and specifically, one the size of a small chicken's egg. According to the surgeon, I have bragging rights over almost anyone else. Also, the surgeon and I agree that it's a shame the hospital wouldn't let me keep at least the big stone...pathology, infection control, blah, blah, blah.
I truly had no idea I was sick at the time. I didn't have classic gall bladder attacks, which usually involved making one lie on the floor in so much pain it's hard to breathe. I didn't have any unexplainable symptoms at all, in fact. And so I never mentioned to any of my doctors that I was getting little 24-hour stomach flu bugs more often than normal (so was everyone else) or that I was having much more indigestion and heartburn than in the past. I did mention the increase in back pain, and we sagely agreed that my spine is a mess and arthritis is what it is, and I took more pain medication this winter and spring...which seemed to explain the indigestion and heartburn, so I took more meds for that. And we all thought it was just a rough winter, with a little undertone of "this doesn't really bode well for the future" and left it at that, because, really, who wants to explore that cheerful thought any further? And after you've felt badly for a while, you forget about it because it becomes the new normal.
However, one week I had a bout of nausea with brutal heartburn that kept me up for several hours one night--and I had a checkup with one of my doctors who asked, as usual, how I was doing. And for once, I didn't say, "Fine," and brush it all under the rug. Instead, I explained about the rough night I'd had, and she asked a question or two, and then asked if I still had my gall bladder...within 12 days, I was having that thing removed.
That was over a month ago, and I know a couple of things. One is that I still can't eat just anything I want. I'm having a hard time transitioning back to the high-fiber diet I had been accustomed to, partly because I fell out of the habit when I was trying to control the indigestion, and partly because I'd forgotten how very yummy white bread and mashed potatoes and white rice and pasta are. The other is that I still don't know for sure how long I was sick and how sick I was--but I feel worlds better than I did. I am still not 100% but I feel better now than I have felt in many, many months.
So maybe I'm back to blogging. Certainly this week looks pretty good. Still not certain about new directions or whatever, but I'm glad to be back.
Thanks for sticking with me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Best sermon from Annual Conference

This is totally worth watching; I was much encouraged after this sermon.
Dr. Timothy Tennent - Ordination & Commissioning from on Vimeo.