Sunday, August 24, 2008


Thats what another clergy friend called these days you take off from work but don't really go anywhere. I've been skeptical of the idea that just hanging around the house can be relaxing or restful. How do you resist just doing all the house stuff you've been putting off because you've been at work? After our just-under-a-week staycation (yeah, this summer got a little crazy), here are my tips.

1. have a friend visit you. I recommend Dave, or A, but your friends are probably nice too. Its especially great if the whole visiting vibe can be laid back - walk to the ice cream store one day, go to the movies one day, have lunch at the vegetarian restaurant.

2. Go ahead and do some of the house stuff, because its actually more relaxing to have two rooms set up instead of in boxes, then to have the "to-do" list hanging over your head all the time. Not too much work, and nothing you really hate if you can avoid it (turns out, you still have to do the dishes). But fun stuff like spray-painting a bookcase for the guest room makes you feel accomplished, which is nice.

3. Friends are good visitors, house invaders are not. If a bat is going to fly towards your head while you are chatting with a friend in the dining room, be sure that you've already gone back to work. There is no need to ruin the laid-back summertime vibe with shreiking and swinging brooms and hiding under the dining room table. Just sayin.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday's Sermon

Well-behaved women seldom make history.

Perhaps you’ve heard this quote from Laurel Ulrich before, or seen it on a button or t-shirt. Even if you haven’t heard it before today, maybe you know exactly what she is talking about. It has become a slogan – even a battle-cry – for anyone who chooses to act in a way that prioritizes speaking out over the status quo standard of “sitting and looking pretty.” It calls to all of us who have been told that we CAN’T : who have learned from a young age that as women we can’t be assertive; that as children we can’t be heard, only seen; that as men we can’t be passionate or emotional: this simple phrase reminds us not only that we CAN bend the standard expectations of society, but that in fact, great things might happen if we do.

The Caananite woman probably never heard this idea phrased in this particular way, but it seems she didn’t need the words. This woman had so little power in this world that her particular identity – even her name- has been removed from the history books. As a woman, she should not have approached a man in such a bold and public way. As a Caananite, she was an unwelcome stranger among the Hebrew people. And as a person in any kind of society – well, we just don’t like it when people stand there shouting at us and won’t go way, and certainly not in front of an important person like the Rabbi!
The Caananite woman is one of those women who do make history, tossing out the standards of culture and decency in order to seek help from Jesus. She seems to be a poster-child for those who long to use their voice, for the strength of a mother’s devotion and a woman’s fierce determinationon behalf of her tormented daughter.

Yet, the temptation to reduce the Caananite woman’s strength and boldness to that of a desperate mother, can too easily shield us from the other great force at work in her story. Because at the end of the story, Jesus does not commend the woman for her great devotion to her child, or even her great boldness in seeking out help. Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your FAITH.”

Only deep and solid faith in God’s love could bring this woman to the feet of a Rabbi, and keep her there through silence, irritation and rejection. Her great faith in the mercy of God allowed her to bring her whole self: her desperation, her need, her wit, her flat-out stubbornness to her encounter with the Lord. On that day, and in that region, she alone believed that God’s grace was big enough to hold both her vulnerability and her boldness.

Great faith is not the absence of questions or struggle: rather, it is trusting that God is big enough to hold our struggles and our vulnerabilities as well as our joys and strengths.

Great faith is knowing that God does not need to be protected from our emotions, our questions, or even our demands for healing and justice. Great faith allows us to know God in such a way that we free to be known by God.

The challenge of the Caananite woman to me is wrapped up in the traditional hymn, There’s A Wideness In God’s Mercy:

Theres a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea
Theres a kindness in God’s justice, which is more than liberty
There is welcome for the sinner, and more graces for the good
There is mercy with the Savior, there is healing in his blood…
If our love were but more faithful… we should take God at her word
And our lives would be thanksgiving for the goodness of the Lord.

Do we who proclaim the good news of God’s love for the outcast, believe that grace extends to all our being? The wideness of God’s mercy held the pain and the strength of the Caananite woman, the irritation and embarrassment of the disciples, and even the hesitation of Jesus. Will we allow ourselves enough faith to reveal our irritation, our determination, our hopes and gifts to God – and will we allow others to do the same, even if it shakes our notions of being “well-behaved” Christians?

Some days, our faith will not be so great. We will forget that God can take whatever it is we have to offer, we will wish that others would simply behave and not bother us or God with all of their questions. But on those days and in those moments when we allow others, and even ourselves, to live entirely embraced in the depths of God’s kindness and mercy, we will be living in the reality we call the kingdom of God, we will hear Jesus say to us, “Child of God, great is your faith,” and our lives will be thanksgiving for the goodness of the Lord.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Color Vision

Our new home is really great, and we are definitely in love with it. One of the things that attracted us to the house is that is doesn't look like the other houses on the street. We're actually in the kind of neighborhood where none of the houses look like the one next door, so it isn't that our house is so special (though it is), it's just that kind of place.

Still, we particularly like the "curb appeal" of our place - the symmetry, the bright red mailbox, the pointy thing over the door. As we walked home from a comedy show and ice cream last night, we were talking about the interesting housing colors in our neighborhood. There is one a couple blocks over that is a great shade of green, and I said "That's about the color I'd like in the living room." Luke commented that he liked the shade of green on our house.

Here's the thing about that. Our house? Not green. Its really tan. I'll give you khaki even. But it is most definitely not green. I thought about not sharing this information with Luke, but that seemed unfair. So I broke the news to him that our house is khaki-colored. Green trim, definitely, but the house itself is khaki.

As we approached the house, the new information clearly matched up with the sensory intake. It was like he saw for the first time that our house was in fact khaki, not green. It wasn't a look of disappointment, or even surprise (well, maybe a little.) It was recognition.

If only changing our preconceptions and mis-perceptions were always so easy. In the meantime, I'm off to find that green I like so much, because I'm sure it's exactly the way I'm imagining it in my head. Where *did* that house go??

Friday, July 04, 2008

Random Update Bullets

One of the blogs I lurk at recently posted and updated from a long hiatus. Her life has been complicated, and yet, her update was witty and funny and profound. She inspired me to update too, and try to get back into writing in this space. But, its a holiday and I'm off today, so I'm going the lazy route with bullets. Pretend the asterisks are fireworks, and it's downright festive around here.

* We moved, into hardcore Wolverine Country. The Phabulous Doctor is going to be teaching there beginning in September, so we've bought a house and officially moved.

* Paint colors are fun to think about, but actually getting around to painting takes us for. ever. I think our bedroom is going to have a similar color scheme to the new look here. Maybe by the end of 2008?

* Moving back to our home town is sort of crazy. It's strange to have to remember things like where the Thai food is and how to get to the dairy store with the great coffee ice cream, but run into people I've known my whole life and drive past all my college houses on the way.

* It rained every day for the first week we lived here. Now we have a lawn mower (the push kind) and a tree guy. Home ownership teaches all kinds of lessons.

* Youth ministry requires a lot of summer travel. I'm leaving for EYE 2008 in San Antonio next week, I'll be in Chicago for a week later in the month, and then DC in August. Yes, I do know that Texas and DC are not really the best places to visit in July and August, why do you ask?

* Watching friendships transform over fifteen or twenty years is an amazing gift.

* My kitchen and family room are all unpacked. The bedroom is mostly put away, and the office is getting there. Let's not talk about the basement.

* Our June included a random sports accident/head injury that lead to two days of being in the hospital. Luke is totally fine, but it was scary for a bit in there. I learned that getting a phone call from your spouse's cell and having it be someone else saying "Something happened" is terrible - but if that is going to happen, having a good friend make the call is the best possible scenario. He sounded steady and calm and in charge, in what must have been an absolutely frightening situation. I am so thankful for the new friends we've made since the last time we lived here.

* Six years ago, we lived in this town, Luke was working for the University, I was connected to diocesan youth ministry. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Happy 4th of July, y'all!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Day for the History Books

At 9 pm eastern time, with the closing of the polls in South Dakota...

Yes, We Can became Yes, We Did. As he said tonight,
"Tonight is the end of one historic journey, and the beginning of another."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Celebrating The Defense

Defense is a big word in our house right now. Yeah, the Pistons are in the playoffs, so there's that defense, which seems to be working pretty well.

But more importantly... Luke is defending the dissertation as I type! In honor of the end of his educational career, a multiple choice quiz.

How does one prepare for defending a disseration?
A. Work a couple of 90-hour weeks
B. Teach a different class the day before to distract you
C. Get very nervous when people call you "doctor" beforehand
D. Be prepared with a good latte
E. All of the above

How does one celebrate defending the dissertation?
A. Go out to lunch with wife, advisor, and friends after school-sponsored reception
B. Go to a taping of "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me - The NPR News Quiz"
C. Attend another school's graduation
D. Have your wife throw you a party when you get home
E. All of the above

If you said "E. All of the Above," then you win! I'll take that as a good omen for Luke, thanks.

**Update: Defense is done, and all agreed it was a rousing success! He's now Dr. Luke!**

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Organic Delivered

So, as I mentioned a while back, we're moving back to our hometown over the summer. I've been dreaming about shopping at the farmer's market and Trader Joes and the Produce Station and all the other places I miss. I've thought about joining a CSA, but with a mid-summer move, I wasn't sure that would work out.

Well, Frog came to my rescue!! She told me about a national company called Door to Door Organics that operates in my new area. You can have organic in-season fruits and veggies delivered right to you door. You can choose the size of the box, the frequency of delivery, and there is no minimum time commitment! I'm so excited to have this option. If you live in Michigan, parts of Ohio, and most of the upper east coast, you should check them out too.

Someone should write a song about dreaming of an organic veggie summer...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

That Check in The Mail

Are you making plans yet for that "economic stimulus check" that might be coming in the mail? Honestly, we have been a little bit. We're in the process of moving and all, so a little extra cash flow doesn't hurt, even if I think the logic behind it is flawed at best.

Happily, the good folks at Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation - a non-profit dedicated to the work and ministry of the Millenium Development Goals - has been thinking about these checks too. They have started the Give it For Good Campaign. Here is the pledge they are asking folks to make:

"Because I take seriously Christ's admonition that 'where your treasure is, there will your heart be also' (Matt. 6:31), and

"Because I believe reaching out in compassion to the extreme poor around the world is more important than propping up an economy based on unsustainable consumption.

"I am donating all or part of my 2008 tax rebate/economic stimulus check (or all or part of the amount I would be receiving if I qualified for a check) to not-for-profit organizations that support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

"Instead of spending it, I am Giving It For Good."

Make sense to you? Yeah, me too. Visit their website at for ideas about where to give and how to spread the word.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Two Toasts

I've been listening to the new Carrie Newcomer cd The Geography of Light in the car, since it showed up in my Easter basket. Tonight, I spent some time catching up on blogs and thinking about friends and communities and the places we meet.

So, to all of my blog friends, two toasts from the lyrics of Carrie Newcomer and Parker Palmer:

To the words, and how they live between us, and
To us, and how we live between the words.

(Visit Carrie's website to hear a clip of the music too.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Million Dollar Friday Five

This week's Friday Five from the RevGals is very simple: Name five things you would do with one million dollars. Here goes my list... with some catch-up on the side:

1. The house: Get the house we want, in the neighborhood we want, with a garage like we want. Yep, we're house-hunting! In Ann Arbor! My genius-faculty-to-be husband has landed a job at U of M! Sometime in the next few months, I really will be back in Wolverine territory!

2. Order frozen pizzas from Lou Malnati's. I love Chicago deep-dish, especially with sausage and garlic. Sadly, there is no reasonable substitute on this side of the lake. Whenever I go to Chicago, my nice friends indulge me in a trip, even though some of them call is "italian casserole." Such pizza narrow-mindedness. Why can't pizza be both/and?! Anyway, they ship frozen ones overnight, but its always been so expensive... but not if I had a $1,000,000!

3. Go someplace. We had a great time on our dream vacation last summer to Italy. We have friends with experience traveling in Japan, China, Spain, Puerto Rico, Ecuador and South Africa - wouldn't it be great to treat our friends to a trip if they'll be our vacation planning guide?

4. Start a foundation. We have wanted a family foundation for a long time, and some of that million would be great seed money. I think it would fund projects related to children's health and education, loosely based.

5. There are these great hot pink patent leather sandals I saw at Macy's when I was in Boston a couple weeks back... we had a college roommate reunion weekend, and my friend A & I walked into this crazy spring launch party! They had a DJ, free champagne & beer, and models! Anyway, these shoes were amazing, and I haven't found them here at home. Anyway, with a million dollars to play with, I'd get at least one pair of new shoes!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Lift your voice rejoicing, Mary,
Christ has risen from the tomb;
on the cross a suffering victim,
now as victor he is come.
Whom your tears in death were mourning,
welcome with your smiles returning.
Let your alleluias rise!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

What is there to say on Good Friday? What can be said in the face of violence? One might imagine that the front pages of our newspapers have prepared us with the right response each time violence and tragedy cross our paths. With stories detailing school shootings and suicide bombs, we see the destruction and pain that people are capable of – and yet, we are so often able to distance ourselves from the awful scene, with clichés or stereotypes or simple geography. At the cross of Christ, however, there are no simple sayings that can separate us from the grief of this death. Words seem to fail us. Perhaps, because we find ourselves to be like Peter, at a loss for words because we know too well how terrible our words can be. Or, perhaps, like Mary and the beloved disciple, we stand silent out of sorrow and grief, knowing that all our words could not have changed this ending.

The silence of Good Friday makes us uncomfortable because it asks us to face darkness and recognize it in ourselves. We can no longer pretend that we are above the hurts of the world. Here, on Good Friday, our brokenness is revealed in all its ugliness, brokenness suppressed for so long that it can only be released in violence and used for our own conviction. God becomes Incarnate that we might be reconciled, and we crucify Him! But here, also, is the salvation: God knows our faults, but God can work through our weakness, our mistakes – even through our treason and betrayal, even through our arrogant attempts to kill God. God will transform our brokenness and violence into Resurrection.
The love of God is stronger than the powers of the world, and can work in our lives despite our best (or worst) intentions otherwise – and will go even to the cross to show us the love.

I wish that Jesus had filled the silence with more words. I wish that he had been able to proclaim the new commandment of love once again. There is a Spanish poem that captures what I wish Jesus might have said:

Yo no nací sino para quereros;
mi alma os ha cortado a su medida;
por hábito del alma mismo os quiero.

Cuanto tengo confieso yo deberos;
por vos nací, por vos tengo la vida,
por vos he de morir, y por vos muero.

I was not born but to love thee
my soul is patterned to thy measures
and because of my soul’s habit I do love thee

I confess to owe thee all I have
for thee I was born, for thee I am alive
for thee I have to die, and for thee I die.

Jesus knows that humanity is a community of broken lives. We all have hurts we have received, pain we have caused, and grief we have lived with. By coming to live as one of us, Jesus has patterned his soul to our measure. As one who lived among us, he knew what it was to see hunger and disease, to feel loss and grief.

As one betrayed and crucified, Jesus knows the depths of what we are capable of, and yet, it is the habit of Christ’s very being to love us, live for us, and even die for us: because God knows that the consequence of giving one’s life to love is to eventually give one’s death as well.

So what can we say in the face of such committed love? We are, again left at the foot of the cross without words, but not without hope or action. We are here together, grieving over the losses of life, and the failings of our stories. We stand, looking for glimpses of hope and sharing words of comfort. We stand at the cross of Christ waiting and watching for God to act once again and make creation new – bound to one another by the love that led Jesus here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maundy Thursday

Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” – John 13:34-35

I wonder, if it were up to us, how we would spend our last night on earth. What might you say and do with such limited time? Would you tell your family and friends that you would be leaving them soon?

We may well imagine that these are the questions running through the mind of Jesus on that Thursday night as he gathered with his friends and disciples in the Upper Room. What a heavy heart Jesus must have had that evening! He knew it would be their last gathering, their last meal, the last chance to help them understand all the events that were still to come – from the garden to the cross to the empty tomb. If only the disciples had known that this night would be the last – maybe they would have acted differently. Maybe Peter would not have protested the foot washing. Maybe Thomas would not have asked so many questions – or maybe the rest of them would have asked more. But, that is the hindsight of sudden loss. It leaves us wondering what we might have done differently, or what we might have said – the “if onlys” and “maybes” that we can never answer.

But Jesus knew. He knew it was their last meal, their last gathering before everything changed. And so he gave the disciples their final instructions: Love one another, as I have loved you. We call it a commandment, but it is more than that. It is a gift. Jesus gave these instructions as a final word to his disciples, so that they would have a way to survive the confusion and pain of the next days. Jesus spent his last time with his friends serving them, feeding them, and caring for them – and then telling them that they must always do the same.

Growing up in the church, I knew that Holy Week was an important time – the services were very different, between palms and processions and the stripping of the altar. In fact, I was so certain of the week’s importance, that I thought we celebrated Monday-Thursday so that none of the days would be missed! Of course, as I grew older, I learned that today is really called Maundy Thursday. Maundy is from a Latin word – mandatum – meaning “commandment.” Today is called “Commandment Thursday” because this new commandment – to love one another- becomes the framework for all of the events of Maundy Thursday. The love that Jesus demonstrates is the kind that is patient and kind: that will get “down and dirty” to wash the feet of friends. It is the kind of love that hopes all things and believes all things that is willing to serve and share a meal with the one who will betray – wishing it might be different, and offering love anyway. In the midst of pain, it was Jesus desire that the disciples love one another as deeply as Jesus loved them.

And it is still his desire. In the darkest hours of his life, Jesus demonstrated amazing love for his friends. Jesus calls us to love one another through the hurts and struggles of this life, to serve, to encourage, and to strengthen. On this night especially, we renew our commitment to serve the people we live with everyday – not just the faceless, the far away, the ones we can think of as “other.” We try to be in relationship with the people we serve – and, to serve the people that we are in relationship with, helping them wash the parts of their lives they can’t quite restore on their own. We renew our commitment to gather and break bread, practicing the love of Christ that calls us to let down our guard a bit, easing our suspicion and cynicism to make room for grace and hope, or at least at the altar rail.

What we learn in these holy days of violence and loss is the same lesson that is true every day in our communities of faith: God is present in the acts of genuine love we extend to one another: in loving service, in open arms, and in this meal. Tonight, as we reflect on his actions of love, and move together toward the cross and new life, we remember that new life in Christ begins here, among friends, with the new commandment: Love one another as Christ loved us.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I think I may have a new motto.

I may love to cook, but some days, I just want a frozen pizza.

Just a thought as Holy Week begins.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


I've preached on this lectionary before, and it was not long after tragedy struck close to home. As I'm writing today, I'm glad to be writing from a different place. But I'm still remembering that time, and saying a few prayers for that family. I wonder where the girls are now (young women, I suppose), and I hope that the stories of resurrection we'll hear tomorrow have held them across time.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shuffle's Favorite

My ipod may be trying to tell me something, or it may just have good taste.

The Wood Song - Indigo Girls
The thin horizon of a plan is almost clear
My friends and I have had a tough time
Bruising our brains hard up against change
All the old dogs and the magician
Now I see were in the boat in two by twos
Only the heart that we have for a tool we could use
And the very close quarters are hard to get used to
Love weighs the hull down with its weight

But the wood is tired and the wood is old
And we'll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we'll have missed the point
That's where I need to go

No way construction of this tricky plan
Was built by other than a greater hand
With a love that passes all out understanding
Watching closely over the journey
Yeah but what it takes to cross the great divide
Seems more than all the courage I can muster up inside
But we get to have some answers when we reach the other side
The prize is always worth the rocky ride

But the wood is tired and the wood is old
And we'll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we'll have missed the point
Thats where I need to go

Sometimes I ask to sneak a closer look
Skip to the final chapter of the book
And then maybe steer us clear from some of the pain it took
To get us where we are this far yeah
But the question drowns in its futility
And even I have got to laugh at me
No one gets to miss the storm of what will be
Just holding on for the ride

The wood is tired and the wood is old
We'll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we'll have missed the point
Thats where I need to go

Friday, February 22, 2008

Seabury Prayers

Distressing news about Seabury, my seminary alma mater, has been floating around for a day or so now. In short, they have elected to end the 3-year M.Div program, suspend all admissions, and make alternative arrangements for current masters/certificate students to complete their degrees while the Planning Committee does its work to figure out the "what next" of theological education. The details of this, through the Dean's official letter, can be found here. Its worth reading all the way through.

"Mixed emotions" might be the only way to describe my reaction fairly - though, in that mix, I'm not finding much positive right now. I'm worried for friends trying to get through the ordination process, who don't need added complications to an already-complicated system. I'm very worried for friends whose careers and livelihoods have huge question marks hanging over them. I'm concerned and sad that the institution that formed me for ministry might cease to exist, despite the best efforts of people who love it and work on its behalf.

Beyond my concerns for these folks, though, I am concerned about the larger church. Twice now (at least), General Convention has essentially ignored the cries that our seminaries need a new way to fund preparation for ministry. In a sermon earlier this week, the Dean commented that
"It would be injudicious of me to compare the Episcopal Church to scribes and Pharisees, so please don’t call your bishops and tell them I did; but it does seem to me that the institutional church has laid on all of us seminaries burdens which it is not itself willing to help us bear. The church has fewer students and no money with which to support us, and yet it it continues to demand that we behave in certain historical institutional ways."
I believe that there is need for traditional seminary education. I believe that there is value in face-to-face classroom experience. I believe that the Church needs leaders who have learned to debate in a classroom and then share evening worship and dinner. But I believe that the seminaries cannot continue to do this as lone operators. Until the Episcopal Church finds a way to support formation for ordained ministry, this will not be the last dean's letter like this.

Please pray for this community, and for the church.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Google Calendar Can Haz Grammar

Have you discovered Google Calendar yet? Its our new family favorite. You can set up online calendars, for free, and share them with other users. The research project that Luke works on uses it to set up interviews and meetings. We each keep our indivdual calendars updated there, as well as a family calendar. I also run a calendar of continuing education and conference opportunities, and when I decide to register for one, I can simply switch it over to the calendar that Luke sees too. You can import from iCal, it has pretty colors, you can set it to remind you of upcoming events. Basically, we're very happy with it.

Not all programs are glitch-free of course. Those little reminders? Well, they're just fill-in-the-blank things, so they can sound a little funny. For instance, I occsionally schedule conference calls, and the reminder looks like this:

Phone: Mr Rev (Susie) is happening at 10:30 in phone

Google can haz grammar. Our family can haz organizing. I still think we win.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Funny Valentine

Or... Twelve years of dating and marriage.

Thursdays are my day off. I know this is somewhat odd, but it was the only thing that would work when I started this clergy-life a couple years ago, and now I love it. All that to say, I actually had Valentines Day off this year! I was going to cook salmon and champagne risotto and panna cotta (why yes, I watch Everyday Italian with Giada, why do you ask?) but after spending 10 hours in the car in two days, I just wasn't up for it. So we decided to go out to dinner see a movie, and just hang out for the day.

After lunch and a West Wing episode, Luke surprised me with chocolates! Of course, we're sharing them, so its partly a present for himself, but it was pretty great considering we aren't always big on holiday presents. Case in point... later in the afternoon, he said "I'm so proud of myself for getting you flowers!" Um... or not.

Apparently, going out to dinner and seeing a movie is a popular choice for Valentines Day. Around 4pm or so, Luke thought we should try and get reservations for dinner. Well, no one had space for a reservation. Oops. Oh well, we figured, they must leave some openings for people who drop in - we'll just give it a try. So, we went to our movie (Definitely, Maybe - pretty cute) and headed out to dinner. First restaurant? 3 hour wait. The next couple weren't any better. At that point, we were hungry, and decided that take-out pizza and buffalo wings (for me, not for the vegetarian) on the living room floor with some more West Wing sounded just fine.

As we left restaurants #2 and #3 both packed with young couples hoping to get seated, Luke said "Wow. It must really suck to be a guy who plans to take a date out for dinner on Valentine's Day, and didn't think far enough ahead to make reservations. Thats so sad for them."

Ten minutes later, we both realized how ironic and funny that was. And we're still laughing.

I'd say Valentine's Day number 12 was an all-around success.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Lenten Hope

So give me hope
Give me hope

That emptiness brings fullness

And loss of love brings wholeness

To us all

-Hand Me Downs, Indigo Girls

Thursday, January 24, 2008


In my work with youth and young adults (and children, and adults) I find that having clear expectations is a plus. People are, on the whole, happier and more productive when they know exactly what it is they're supposed to be going. Also, its much easier to fix problems when everyone agrees to the expectations up front.

Some folks like to complain that we have no expectations of people anymore. Generally, I think they're being cranky and just don't like the way these times, they are a-changin.

But on my way to work in Detroit, I pass one of those light-up highway signs that warn you about accidents and things up ahead. There wasn't a traffic jam to report, so instead, it had the following message:

"Aim to drive safe and sober."

Just call me crankypants who doesn't like the way these times are a changin.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Old News

This quote from an article in the NY Times caught my eye this morning:

The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”

You know how this story goes - the millenials, or Gen Y, or whatever name you prefer for the upcoming generation, is the most narcisscistic, self-centered generation EVER. They've been spoiled by digital media, over-attentive parents, highly structured lives, and too much praise. They don't care about the world around them, the traditions of their family, and they're epidemically obese - which is also because of that digital media, by the way.

Folks - that quote up there? From the NY Times article? Its more than 2000 years old, penned by some guy named Plato.

Bemoaning and bewailing the next generation isn't just an American hobby - it seems to be human nature. Go check out the article: Generation Me vs. You Revisited. Its in the style section, because bashing the young people? It never seems to go out of fashion.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Backing Up

Technology amazes me. As I'm typing this morning, all of my files - my music, the pictures from my seminary graduation, the sermons I gave at my field ed parish, my favorite recipes, my address lists - they are all getting put into a little tiny silver box. Its backup day in our house!

I've been pondering a move back to a paper system though. After seven months of doing everything via laptop, I think I need a paper calendar. In fact, I think I'm going to get this one - my friend Dave has it, and its really cool. But mostly, I want to be less tied to my computer so that my MacBook continues to be fun and exciting - and its moving off the edge right now.

Over the weekend, we went to CA to visit my best friend and her husband. It was her birthday this weekend, and the second show of the season for her brand new theatre company was still showing. (By the way - if you live even vaguely in the Bay Area, drive on out to Antioch this weekend to see the Hapgood Theatre Company's production of Rumors. Its hilarious, and the director is pretty fabulous.) Anyway, all four of us are serious Mac people. As in, we drank coffee on Tuesday while J read to us from a liveblog about the Mac launches. While we were sitting around one morning, one of the three assembled Macbooks made the "new mail" noise. J and I immediately groaned - the noise was just stressful to us.

The story has a happy ending - the email was actually for Ms. Theatre Director, a request for more ticket sales. Huzzah! But the moral of the story for me? If four days into vacation, the email noise stresses me out... I'm not using my computer the way I want to.

Oh yeah, and the other happy ending? I get to go shopping for my new planner!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Because Its Saturday

As seen around at various Rev Gal pages...

The Recipe For Susie/Nueva Cantora

3 parts Tease
2 parts Vitality
1 part Poise

Splash of Ingenuity

Finish off with a little umbrella and straw

Though, I wish the picture was more pink... like a cosmo!

Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year Friday Five

2007 went out with a bang! We've had visits from friends, a birthday (the husband, not me), good food and a good break. Obama won the Iowa caucus, Michigan won Lloyd's last game. Life has been pretty great.

Now that I'm back to work, it seems like a good time to play the Friday Five again!

Well it had to be didn't it, love them or hate them I bet you've been asked about New Year resolutions. So with no more fuss here is this weeks Friday Five:

1. Do you make New Year resolutions?
I always have before - and not just in January. I've made new school year, birthday, new church year resolutions too! But this Janauary, I'm just not there. So much seems in flux for us right now, and so little we can control about it all, that I just can't get into the whole resolution thing.

2. Is this something you take seriously, or is it a bit of fun?
I usually take them seriously - not in the "get down on myself" way, but usually resolutions are about hope for me. And, you know, thats inherently serious and fun at the same time.

3. Share one goal for 2008.
I plan to turn 30.

4. Money is no barrier, share one wild/ impossible dream for 2008
We would own a transporter machine, so that no matter where we end up living, we could be near friends and family without long travel times. Hey, if money is no barrier, I don't see why physics should be either!

5. Someone wants to publish a story of your year in 2008, what will the title of that book be?
Manaman (doot doot doot doot doot)
Hard to make sense of it, but it still sticks in your head for some reason. See? You're singing it, aren't you?