5.5.15

So it has been waaaaay too long since I posted anything!
Sad face for the chaos that has been my life that led me to veg out on the couch, take extra naps, or spend a lot of time losing myself in other stories (books, movies, tv shows, etc)

But I return to the interwebs 🙂

Here are some of my highlights over the last couple months:
– 4 performances of “The Importance of Being Earnest” in one weekend
– Surviving the holiday season(s) of Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter
– actually completing my Lenten discipline EVERY SINGLE DAY!
– Being invited to lead the Bible study at the local conference’s WELCA gathering
– reunions at Presbytery and Synod Assembly (I love catching up with people in person)
– surviving the frigid temps of winter (again…)
– walking a 5k on Pi Day (thanks, Amy for joining me on 3.14.15!)
– signing up for the Puppy 5k and McVille Days 5k this summer
– joining the board of the local arts council
– getting a Fitbit
– being featured by my college as one of their “40 under 40” feature
– getting positive feedback for being unapologetically me!!!

A bit more info about some of the above highlights will be good to share

During Lent, I ate veggies every day! It was a challenge but awesome to be able to say I did it! Many of you are probably thinking, why? Why would you do such a thing (from veggie-haters out there)? Why would that be difficult (from you healthy people out there)? Well, I lead an unhealthy lifestyle. And sadly, the local cafes are typically unhealthy foods. Burgers, fries, etc. And at home, I’m lazy and have a carb-loaded, starch-based diet because it’s easier.

So the Fitbit shocked me with how little I walk. Fortunately, the weather turned nice about the time it (finally) arrived in the mail, which meant that I could take longer walks outside without my lungs freezing. Currently, I’m adjusting my personal walking goals to better my health and prepare for some awesome I hikes planned next month.
Also, I have been fascinated to see how poorly I sleep at night. Seriously, this thing tracks how many times I’m restless and how much I actually sleep. And needless to say, my sleep is poorer than I thought it was. Oops
But I’m also trying to pay attention to my resting heart rate as well. Yeah, I paid a bit more for the heart rate option to be included, but it’s totally worth it! Although when I see how high some days the rate is compared to others, I can look back and see what was going on that might have led to me being extra stressed out. My mom asked if these smart trackers also watch blood pressure. Not sure I’d really want to know that…

The comment about being me is probably my favorite 🙂
One of the biggest challenges I always face as a pastor is that I don’t fit the image of what pastors should do/say/think/wear
At synod assembly, I sat on the stage and helped lead worship (well, technically I lead the psalm). While all others wore their white albs (you know, those long white robes), I wore a white clergy shirt, short-sleeved black pinstripe jacket and jeans. Yeah, I wore jeans. I admit it, I was not like the others. And that was partly because of my stubbornness and partly because of something else at work. Stubborn because I had already left town before being asked to participate, which meant I did not have the alb and stole with. And refused to drive 2+ hours to get it. But I got comments afterward of how some appreciated the reminder that not everyone likes high church, that not everyone fits into the pristine mold that churches try to preserve, that sometimes it’s really hard to be the odd one out. And it was. It was not easy to look at others and think, “Crap, I really should have gone back or asked someone to bring my alb” and “I don’t want to be different.” But I am. I admit that I am far more comfortable not in the alb. A pair of jeans is truer to who I am than white robe. And it’s okay to not be like the others up front…

I was asked to interview for Augustana College’s (Sioux Falls) alumni magazine. The feature was 40 graduates under the age of 40. Different career choices, different locations, different majors. And I’m still baffled why me and not so many of my classmates or fellow colleagues in ministry. I had the same confusion a few years ago when I was asked to be part of a billboard campaign of “where you can go from here” type of recruitment. But if in the end I get to be gracious with my representing my fellow alums who went into ministry, then I will do so proudly. Because I’m not the only pastor (actually two of us were featured of the 40) and although I get pictured as an example, I am fully aware that others are probably far more gifted than I as they do the work to which God calls them. Odd, isn’t it, that exactly when I am chosen to be the example is when I am most aware that others would be just as good as (probably better than) me for the interview?

I led a Bible study for a gathering of women to talk about spiritual gifts. The person closest to me in age happened to be over 20 years older than me. She has children my age. She is my mother’s age. And the rest were older still. So I know for a fact that many were nervous when I got up to lead. I had a computer and PowerPoint presentation being projected while holding a tablet in my hands where I had the copy of the presentation for myself. I had ladies move from the spots they chose so they could see. And didn’t start until they moved. I had them writing on post-it notes. Bright pink and blue ones. I had them talking to each other to discuss questions. I had them asking me questions and challenging me (and others) with their thoughts about how I pushed them to think in new ways. At one point, I heard an audible gasp after collecting a pile of post-it notes then literally tossing them all on the floor (of the altar area…gasp!). And at the end, I posted those bright blue and pink squares on the walls of the sanctuary. And even though it was an hour-long presentation (because that is how long Lutherans can sit for Bible studies), I had these quiet Lutheran ladies coming up to me later and saying they wished it had continued. We all left with thoughts churning through our heads. I like messing with people and pushing them to think outside of the box.
Days like that are part of the reason why I am a pastor.

Well, my fingers are getting tired of typing, so I’m going to end this.
Peace!

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