Monday, June 28, 2010
I've been 'holed up' here at home for over a week now, putting together this class on Pastoral Care. It's an Intro class, so we're covering a wide range of subjects. Yesterday I realized I needed to get some guest speakers in; two people have already responded "yes." And I'm considering requiring some kind of group presentations from the class--that's a good way to learn, and it saves me from coming up with ever-more lectures and stuff on my own.
A long way to go....
Sunday, June 20, 2010
I was maybe 19 years old and on break from college. My parents lived in Houston then. On this particular evening, my mother had already gone to bed leaving me alone with my father. I was sitting in a chair in the living room reading a book, I think. He was only slightly drunk and he came over and sat on the couch and said, "So, Katy, where is your life going?"
Where is my life going... Deep anxiety flooded through me. I froze and could only manage to slightly shrug my shoulders in response. He looked away and eventually said, "Yeah. I know. I was never captain of my own ship either."
As the years went on, that little exchange with my father served as a major gift and, indeed, as a 'master narrative' for me. It taught me in the most powerful way that I MUST become the 'captain of my own ship.' My God, I couldn't go through life and end up, at 60, thinking I'd never acted as agent of my own life! No! No! No!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I'm a tad worried, but I know he should be fine. He rides over 70 miles on other blistering hot days without a problem, so this 67-mile race shouldn't be hard.
He'll come home tired, but feeling good about himself, I'm sure. And who wouldn't be proud of an accomplishment like that? I think it's amazing.
Tomorrow's Father's Day, of course. I know the girls will be here; not sure about Young Man with Integrity -- he and his family are just now driving back from a two-week vacation to Montana, so they might not be up for it. Hope so, though. It would be great if all of us together could celebrate David!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
When my mother was dying in 1994, I, along with my sister and brother, were keeping vigil at the hospital where she lay in a coma. Exhausted, I went back to my sister's house each evening to regain a little strength for the next day's waiting. Part of my time each evening was to clean my contact lenses which ended up dirty with salt from my tears during the day, and I couldn't wear my glasses because they were broken. I returned home one evening and Stan had repaired my glasses for me. A small act of kindness, but one that has stayed with me all these years. It meant so much because I was too spent to do anything for myself, and to come back and find my glasses waiting for me meant that Stan had thought about me during the day and had some compassion for how my eyes were hurting each evening. It was a gift that carried tremendous meaning for me.The story of Stan's death is not a pretty one. Despite hospice care, he suffered greatly, I think. Still, he died knowing that his family members--Susan, my sister, and Ashley and Keith, his daughter and son--were there, and they loved him greatly.
Thirty years is a long time to have someone be part of the family; I haven't yet really processed what it will be like for me to visit their home and Stan not be there to greet and welcome me. And that's just me. Stan was always there for my sister, her confidant and best friend. As she herself said on the day after the memorial service, "So now my journey begins." Poignant words. Her journey of grief and tears and anguished adjustment now begin. It is a journey of creating a new identity for herself, even though in a very important sense Stan will remain with her. She'll have a different relationship with him now, but no relationship ever really dies, for we are forever changed by loving others. They become part of who we are.
It was truly wrenching for me to leave Susan and Ashley and Keith; I very much wanted to stay and feel like I was helping them somehow. But all of us knew that these journeys of grief must be taken alone. (Not that other people don't help; they do. It can help tremendously to be in the company of one who cares and loves.) But the internal work of grief is just that -- a work of inner transformation that each of us must undertake as individuals-in-relationship.
I know they'll be fine; they are fine. And I know that it's through the pain that true joy can be made known. Christ shows us that. Still, part of me wishes they didn't have to go through any pain at all. I'm praying that even in the midst of heartache they'll be able to sense God's loving and gracious presence with them, sustaining and healing them.
Yes. May it be so.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
2. Do you miss anyone right now?
I do. I miss my sister and her family -- my brother-in-law is on hospice and I'm concerned about him and my sister, niece and nephew. They are really on my heart.
There's a dear friend I really miss; she's too busy these days to really get together. Grieves my heart, to tell the truth.
I miss my friend Wendy who moved to Missouri.
Funny (strange) thing...I woke up from a dream one night last week in which I was walking down the hall of our house screaming: "Mamma!" Very disturbing dream. After 16 years of being without her, I still miss my mother.
3. If you could move anywhere else, would you?
I'd move to a cooler, prettier place. It's only June and already we're way above 100 degrees here in north Texas. I hate it.
4. If you could choose, what would your last meal be?
Perfectly prepared chicken-'n-dumplings. (That means fluffy dumplings.)
5. What famous person, dead or alive, would you want to have lunch with?
I think I'd enjoy lunch with Henri Nouwen, talking about his life, and, I have a suspicion, talking about mine as well. He'd ask.
6. What was the last book you read?
Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault
7. What was the last movie you watched?
In the theater, Robin Hood.
Via Netflix, As It Is in Heaven (great movie!)
8. What was the last song you heard?
It was something on my I-Phone--Joan Baez, I think. I listened to it on the plane ride home yesterday.
9. What is your dream vacation?
Someplace cool with a wonderful view of the mountains or the ocean. For two weeks--time to really relax!
10. What is the next trip you will take?
We're driving to Taos, NM, at the end of July. I've rented a house near the town square for three nights. Looking forward to that!
11. Did you ever go to camp?
No, I never did. I hear folks talk about the truly formative experiences they've had at Youth Camp, but I can't resonate with that. I do remember going camping once or twice with my grandparents. My grandfather had a motor boat, so we'd go on area lakes.
12. Have you ever been in love?
Yes, I have. Still am. We've been married over six years now. At the moment, we're watching the 5th game of the Stanley Cup together.
13. What do you want to know about the future?
Hmmm, gosh. I really can't think of anything. Guess the present is OK, and I do have a pretty good level of trust, I think.
14. Where is your best friend?
"Best friend" isn't a phrase I use. I have several "soul friends." They're in Fort Worth, Dallas, Princeton NJ, Maryville MO...
15. How is your best friend?
They're all doing great.
16. Who is the biggest gossiper you know?
I know some folks who gossip, but I certainly wouldn't name them here!!
17. What does your last text message say?
"Got it. See you then. Love." That's from my husband after I sent him my arrival time and gate information yesterday.
18. What are 3 things you've always wanted to do, that you still plan to accomplish?
I'm at a point in my life when the "big things" have all been done. We'll see what the future brings.
19. What is one thing you learned from your parents?
I learned to dig deep and find the courage to face unpleasant things about myself. (They did the opposite, so this is a negative learning.)
20. What is one thing you hope to teach to your own children?
I hope my stepchildren and granddaughter will learn something about being truly authentic from me.
I got these from Seeking Authentic Voice, and I think the rules are that if you copy these from me and answer them on your blog you are supposed to let me know....so off I go to let Terri know...
Two processions on a collision course -- what will happen when Life meets Death? The focus of the sermon was on Compassion as the bridge between life and death.
Our musicians were so incredible...through them I was really able to worship, even while being "responsible" for worship myself. I'm so grateful to them, and for them. We've come a long way with music that really fits the theme and provides such a beautiful, worshipful experience.
I decorated the worship space with contrasting colors -- yellow (Jesus and Life) and dark blue (the Widow and Nain and Death). That was meaningful for me, creating a space that supported the sermon and theme for the morning.
Lynn provided homemade bread for communion, and she gathered the folks together to illustrate the story as Scripture was read. Thanks, Lynn.
I don't know how many were present. 70, perhaps, including the children.Unfortunately our air conditioning in that space is on the blink, so it was a bit uncomfortable. It probably mattered to me more than anyone! I pretty much melt in the heat!
At the book study after worship, Cole suggested having some discussion questions that fit the theme each Sunday...we can provide these questions at the Table Fellowship that always follows the service. Loved that idea!