I'm in the recliner in my living room. Still coughing, still feeling lousy. But I've had a litte time to read some of my favorite blogs this afternoon, and that has lightened my mood. Wish I had time to read more, but Jan, Mompriest and Kate alone have really helped me. I've been in a bit of a funk, I guess, mostly just because of this persistent illness that leaves me so tired. I haven't wanted to reflect on anything, and that's never a good thing for me, a sure sign that I'm not myself.
Jan's on a wonderful trip with her husband, which makes me smile. Mompriest is able to feel truly happy in circumstances that would put anyone down. And Kate's reflections on her entire year are profound and deeply moving. I'm inspired!
The year began for me in a new place, a new job in a new church, new faces, new church culture to learn. Having left a dysfunctional church that allowed a few mean-spirited people to behave badly toward its clergy, I needed a while to regroup before I could begin to form new and meaningful relationships. Guess I needed a while before I could trust again.
The new place, though, I found, is full of trustworthy people. This is a church that truly practices what it preaches: No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here. I love that. Just hope we get enough pledges to keep me around for a while. My salary will likely be cut by 8% in 2009--this so they CAN keep me, but on top of the paycut I took to go there, it's not fun. And even though I understand the situation, as an employee it's not much of a motivator, to say the least.
Oh well. I left that oil company years ago as an 'employee.' I want to focus on my calling--that's the important thing. If I really cared about $$, I'd still be in business, and the truth is we're doing okay financially.
If you don't look at the retirement account.
But let's not go there.
Being part-time at this new church has opened up my world in terms of being a minister. I now have time for a small pastoral counseling practice that is doing well, and I love it. My spiritual direction practice is flowering, thanks to working part-time at HeartPaths, and I love that, too. And my work as a writer seems to be -- well, it's beginning, I'll put it that way. (I have an article being published in 2009 in a journal I've always loved.)
David and I are doing well. When a marriage begins at the age of 48 for both individuals, the first few years are interesting. Two full lives--lives already established and set, so to speak--don't come together without some negotiation, some real flexibility and willingness to change and give. We've both learned a LOT from each other. For my birthday last week, David took me to a wonderful little romantic restaurant, just the two of us, where we were able to have one of those amazing conversations that I love so much. We both feel that the marriage, while still working through some things, is now (at almost 5 years together) based on a truly solid ground of mutuality, trust, and love. I am grateful and happy.
We are thrilled with our children, as always. Young Man with Integrity is graduated from college and working, with a family of his own. Wow. Lovely Passionate Feminist is in her senior year and will begin student teaching soon--she will be a POWERFUL and AMAZING high school history teacher, changing the world one student at a time. Beautiful Genuine Musician is graduated from high school and attending junior college. A piano major, she is composing the music of her life in a rich, appealing key. All three kids are smart and welcoming, have plenty of friends, and are engaged in the world around them. I love them so much.
America elected Barack Obama. For me, it's America the Beautiful again, at long last. My heart is holding that exceptional human being in constant prayer. May he stay himself and not lose touch with his heart, may he stay healthy and well, and may he accomplish half of what we are hoping!! :-)
As for 2009, it's the Year of Improving My Health, Reading More Books, Continuing to Grow in Love and Authenticity. More about that later, I'm sure.
We've been invited to a New Years Eve Party. It's from 4:00 to 6:30 tonight--just our speed! (Kind of an unusual party. It's a light supper at the home of a friend in her new house, so I'm going to do a house blessing at the beginning of the gathering. Then, after supper, we're all suppose to attend a lovely Taize service. Very creative idea.) I'm going to go and enjoy myself, be home by 7:00 since I probably won't attend the Taize service, and just hope the movement helps me feel better!
Happy New Year, everyone!