Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pushing Onward...

If the mainline church worked the way my childlike faith knows it can...

Seminary education for leaders around the world would be subsidized by the offering of the people and the only requirement would be a certain amount of years in service within church leadership after schooling is completed.

Future pastors would be required to participate in didactic therapeutic experiences alongside their theology training and spiritual formation experiences.  And a part of continuing education would include ongoing therapeutic processes for all clergy.

We would surround our clergy with respect, open communication, and a cooperative spirit...even when we disagree.  We would remember these amazingly gifted people, have feelings, real life to deal with, in-laws, marriages, children, illness, bills and everything else that accompanies being an adult in our culture.  I am amazed at the brashness of treatment I have witnessed (and sadly sometimes participated in) congregations direct towards pastors.  It’s plain mean spirited.

Funding allocated to the larger church structures (districts, conferences, jurisdictions in the denomination my church is affiliated with) would be used primarily for a clergy leader, necessary managerial staff, a lawyer, and a human resources person.  Employee compensation, reviews, and hiring/letting go of employees should not rest on a volunteer leader within each congregation alone.  Churches should have professional advice available to them at all times.  Period.  And they should be held to the same legal standards companies in the secular job market are.

If we were able to make these things happen, our churches would be healthier communities, and in turn our impact with the world might be more effective.  

And now I lay down my ax...I’m not fueled with righteous indignation anymore.  Now I see a clear path to begin walking down.  We can make these changes within the church.  One step at a time.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Transcendance Movement Four- Occasion

encounter- hope embraced

Aside the living well my faith began.
I drank from it daily
and was filled with new life.

Deep within I knew it was but for a time.
I began to hear the quiet whisper of dark night call
so my heart was soon led deep into a desert.

The sand came up around my neck. 
Feeling abandoned I thought I might rather death
yet in that time I felt your hand extend.

You held me in my brokenness.
I felt your healing pass through my wounds
as you led me again to the well of living water.

…a place I now understood to be meant for occasion of time

in order to preserve faith and quench my deepest desires.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Celebrating Valentine's Day in the Real World

We usually have some fun traditions around Valentine's Day for the kids, but honestly dh and I have mostly struggled with this holiday.  We are so not the flowers and chocolates sort of people though through our 20's (maybe into our 30's) we believed we "should" be these sorts of romantics since we are "passionate" people.  Then our marriage exploded and we got more honest with ourselves and each other.  I like being on this side of our marriage explosion because this was the first year I could stomach this holiday.  This year's holiday was quirky and random... I like quirky and random, it fits us better.  Let me share...

Oh there were three gifts on a table that were purchased at 8:45 the night before...but there was nothing cute, nothing thought out.  The kids were just as happy this year as last...which is kind of humbling for a crazy momma that does this every year...

The banner did go up but there is no picture so I'll just use last year's...

Dh skillfully and tentatively approached me about a week before the holiday and we really want to do anything for Valentine's.  Can we just agree not to do any cards, or flowers, or anything like that...I'm happy to do Messy Church that night and then binge watch House of Cards all weekend.  He had me at hello.  


All of this transpired because of this little detail...

So that is what we did to celebrate Valentine's Day 2014...
The End.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Reflections Part 2

Last fall Boo wrote this essay for his school...

and today...

He was recognized for his creativity...Way to go son!
Edited by Rhonnas Designs App

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Transcendance Movement Four- Onward

encounter- hope embraced


When I look down I lose my way
the cracks in the ground rise up to swallow sight.
I become lulled by the path forgetting my destination;
the home from which I belong is the one I long to someday return.

Send down Your grace to raise my gaze
help me to press on to reach You- divine.
Raise my feet from the earthly path of weeds;

so I can move on towards you- eternity.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

State of the Blog 2014

I tend to move through my life intuitively.  I plan and I prepare but in the end, I move organically in the moment and because this is my style of being in the world I have made it a habit to take time out in January to reflect on the past year and to set my vision towards the coming months.  (author’s note- I am just now getting around to doing this exercise in my life for a myriad of reasons, but this is the short explanation of why my posting has been more sporadic recently.)

At the beginning of last year I decided that I would devote a chunk of time to writing about gender issues, putting voice to my experience in the church, and advocating for survivors of injustice.  I feel like I did that and even as I began to scratch the surface, I was confronted with the reality of how much deeper I’d like my growth to be in understanding so much about the world around me, people I’ve crossed paths with, and especially the darkness in my own heart.  By the end of the year, I found myself asking some important questions...

... “Why are my words sounding like I am attempting to be a prophet in this age?  Is it because of calling or is it because I have an ax to grind?”

... “Why when my life gets complicated, do I not write about what I’m facing in the moment?  Is it because I am exercising healthy boundaries between my private and public life?  Am I waiting until the lessons have been learned to put words to struggle, or am I afraid prideful and using healthy aspirations as a tactic to hide from the truth?

... “Where in the world do I want to go in my life for this coming year?  I feel a tad like I am meandering in this season of living, is it that or is it not yet time to decide?  Am I paralyzed by fear or am I exercising wisdom?”

... “Why in the world did I dive into the injustice in the church and declare I would spend time writing about ways I would love to see some issues for pastors and staff improved?  I have underlying rage from experiences in childhood and an even bigger issue is that when I promise I’m going to write about something, no matter the topic, it locks me up and I can’t find words anymore.  Did I intentionally set myself up for failure or was I challenging the darkness within so I could grow through the pain?

So yeah...I’m asking a lot of questions about power and justice and my place in the middle of discussion around these dynamics.  I have learned when questions finally arrive at the surface of my awareness, the answers are already close at hand and I see it as I type it out that the truth is somewhere in the mix of it all.

... I am called to give voice in this age AND I’m still healing so I have that  ax to grind even still.

... I am exercising a healthy space between when life happens and when it shows up on this blog AND I struggle with pride within the mess of my daily living.

... I am meandering AND I’m being patient for the right timing and wisdom I don’t yet have.  It’s a journey after all.

... I have a ton of rage to metabolize from childhood.  I am not at the beginning of that process...moving closer to working it through for good everyday.  I was being unkind to my creative core because I treat myself the way some with authority over me during my childhood treated me AND I was also being kind and parental with myself, setting a goal of speaking into what better living might look like for the church because my creative core is screaming to be heard.  Not all of my energy is because of rage, some of it is righteous indignation because I know injustice when I see it and the way the church functions is unfair to it’s vocational employees by and large.  

I will not make any declarations of what will be happening in my writing this year...I don’t yet know.  I love, love, love having the opportunity to nurture this little cyber continues to be a lifeline in my life.  I am a better woman, wife, mother, human being when I write.  I am so grateful to all of you who return time and again to read life through my eyes.  Many blessing to you as you journey through your life.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Transcendance Movement Four- Dissonance

encounter- hope embraced


Dissonance existent in my heart...

shadowboxing looming ghosts
that cover truth with their doubt
fighting against projected scenes in my mind
like a dream the images feel surreal...

...not a part of me but also fully who I am...

a hope deep within the recesses of my soul
surface and bring with it strength
compelling me to merge the shadows that haunt
to grieve the pain and to heal my heart...

... alone a task so futile but with help a journey divine...

reconcile my past with my present
so my future can be about who you want me to be
instead of a reaction to my unhealed reality...

...wash over me with your grace and peace... 

That is my soul’s deepest prayer.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Transcendance Movement Four- Desire Redefined

encounter- hope embraced

Desire Redefined

desire floats above me disconnected from my soul
trapping the core of the me
heart fears self be lost in moment of the feel
so even the promise of connection cannot prevail

the need not met wells up inside the chamber of doubt 
but to grieve would mean a release into the world
isolation appears safer than exposure of self
leaving me silenced by the muscle of the rote

the me attempts to deny the soothing hand of you- friend
so a search begins for a prized mechanism 
built to contain my haunt from yester ago 
a solo attempt foreshadows a desperate end

I cannot pass beyond the valley of shame’s eye
created within my caverns by abuse and crime
in that moment of revelation conscience pauses 
tears erupt, oldest part of soul spills out around me

a moment of moments- time stands still
choice not to trail down the path towards lie
thus prayer from the depths- light my path

restore the stolen passion of desire