Saturday, March 31, 2012

color, calm and cheer

-Getting fun pillows from Pier 1 to go with my whimsical loveseats and not having to pay a dime for them.  They sent me a bunch of rewards gift certificates in the mail.  (The white fluffy ball is not a Pier 1 pillow, but it's my favorite.)

-The first plink-plunk drops of rain against my window as I go to sleep, assuring me of a great night's rest.

-A nurse who's warmth and joy shows her love for people and her job.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

it's golden

-A vanity plate that is anything but vain.  It was a great reminder, as I imagine it is for lots of people.

-Hearing the good news that, after a full day of fluid iv treatment, my dog's a lot healthier.  His kidneys still need special food and medicine, but he acts like he feels wonderful.  I'm so relieved.

-Having youth from the church over for a Harry Potter marathon last Sunday afternoon.  We had a great time, enjoyed the adventures of a young Harry and ate a substantial amount of food (3 large pizzas, 4 bags of popcorn, 6 liters of coke and 36 cookies for 11 of us).  Hayden also loved it — wandering from person to person as they each fawned over him.  I can't wait to have them over again.

-Getting exciting mail: tea from Ruth in Belfast, a thoughtful card and book from my friend Kelly in Georgia and The Hunger Games soundtrack from my parents in Texas.  You just can't beat snail mail.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

lean on me

-Hayden coming  to work with me and propping his fluffy head on my foot during a meeting.  He loves to prop his head up on anything, but this was amusing and comforting all at the same time.  (Say a little prayer for my pooch, y'all.  He's having kidney trouble.)

-Sitting on a bench in the shade reading a book (two guesses what book it was!) while sipping a frosty raspberry smoothie and watching butter yellow butterfly playfully dance around.

-Refreshing rain.  We've been enduring a pollen plague, where every surface is dusted with the yellow stuff, and while it's been flirting with rain, it hasn't rained enough to wash it away.  Last night, when I took Hayden outside, I was delighted to see a steady rain falling.  I even pulled my car out of the garage for the night to give it a natural car wash.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

moving in spirals

-This whimsical wheatish twirling plant in the yard of some church folks I went to visit.  I have a thing for swirls and think God does, too.  (Mom and Grandmother: what type of plant is this?)

-My little ritual this week of taking a mug of coffee, along with cinnamon raisin toast, to work and having a little breakfast picnic at my desk.  I could, of course, just eat it at home, but it's somehow more fun this way.

-The sound of thunder growling away in the distance, making me feel extra cozy in my bed.  I wish that thunder had let to rain but, alas, not today.

Monday, March 19, 2012

well fed

(Thanks to Ed for the lovely pic!)
-A delightful Sunday where I got to preach about grace in the morning and then walk 4 miles in the afternoon with church folk for the Crop Walk.  THANK YOU to everyone who supported me in this effort!  The weather was overcast but not too warm or rainy, and though my feet were a bit sore afterwards, I really enjoyed it.

 -Making a (belated) Irish supper of bangers and champ.  You know, it didn't taste too far from the real thing!

-Becoming completely infatuated with the phenomenon that is The Hunger Games.  I started the first book on Friday afternoon just to have it read before I see the movie.  Well, I've since read all of that book and the next one, and will be picking up the final book in the series soon.  It's quick reading, an original and yet hauntingly subversive storyline and it just pulls you in.  It's wonderful to be caught up in a book you can't put down.  And I'm taking a couple of teenagers from the church to the midnight showing of the movie this week.  Yep, I've reached a whole new level of obsession.  Ha.  (And, no, I'm not counting that as professional expenses or a pastoral visit!)

-Having my little helper with me at work today.  Mondays I tend to run on about 75% energy coming off of a Sunday (especially with those 4 miles yesterday) and so having Hayden to keep me company as I got next Sunday's service lined up and other odds and ends taken care of was great fun.  He seemed a bit sleepy, too.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

butter on your chin

-A woman from church stopping by to get my input on fabric for a quilt she wants to make me.  So thoughtful.

-Going to an area clergy breakfast and enjoying feeling immediately a part of the group, as folks swapped banter and quips, showing affection for one another.  It felt a bit like being back in Belfast.  Also, the biscuits were divine!

-Taking a woman communion and appreciating the intimacy of it.  As Frederick Buechner says, "To eat any meal together is to meet at the level of our most basic need. It is hard to preserve your dignity with butter on your chin, or keep your distance when asking for the ketchup.  To eat this particular meal together is to meet at the level of our most basic humanness, which involves not just our need for food but our need for each other.   I need you to help fill my emptiness and you need me to help fill yours.  As for the emptiness that's still left over, well, we're in it together, or it in us.  Maybe it's most of what makes us human and makes us brothers and sisters.”  There certainly is no way keeping distance when partaking in communion as just two people, and that makes it even more meaningful.

**Remember that you can still donate to support my Crop Walk for those without enough food.  Any little donation makes a big difference.  Thank you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"I was hungry and you gave me food"

Mornin' y'all!

Did you have a good breakfast this morning?  Are you perhaps sipping a nice hot cup of joe?  I'd like you to take a moment and think about those for whom this day will not bring anything to eat, or any clean water to drink.  Remembering those who have so little makes us grateful for all that we have...but it can't end there.

We have to share a little of what we have, so that no child will go to bed hungry and wake up the same.  Here's how you can help!  I am walking in the Crop Walk this Sunday with my church and we are raising money for Church World Service, a compassionate, ethical organization that provides food, agricultural skills and employment for those in areas of the world most struggling with hunger.  CWS also helps people in our own community, knowing that hunger affects many here at home, too.

Would you please take just one minute and consider donating the cost of your morning cup of coffee, or your breakfast, or what you spend on food in one day or one week to this important cause?  You can go to my Crop Walk page here and make a donation.  I appreciate your help, and more importantly so do those facing hunger this day.  Thank you.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

see Whit sit

-Sitting on my quirky new loveseats and enjoying being able to stretch out my legs (ha, I have short legs!) and watch a movie.  (My first furniture purchase over a $5 Goodwill find.)  It was an adventure one night this week after a committee meeting driving with Tyler and Cat to Raleigh in Ed's massive truck to pick them up.  We made it a real "event" by celebrating the completion of the mission with pad thai.  I'll be getting a lot of free gift cards in the mail for my purchase, so I'm gonna jazz 'em up even more with fun pillows.

-Going Contra dancing with folks from church and enjoying the dizzy delirium of trying to keep up amidst all the twirls and spins while laughing giddily the whole time.  It was a delightfully diverse community, with many generations represented.  The Irish music made it near-perfect.

-My little old dog getting frisky at the sight of his toy and sticking his tail in the air and then running in laps around me to get it.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

a fierce calling

It's beginning to look more like Spring, y'all!  The mornings are still crisp and chilly, but in the afternoon the sun becomes boisterous and replaces the cold with warmth.  I'm not sure I had any time to hibernate this winter, but nonetheless, Spring brings with it newness all around.  My parents, grandmother and dear friend Pierce came this past week to celebrate my installation as Pastor at Cameron Presbyterian Church and explore a bit of this wee village I've already grown to love.

 We toured antique stores (there are nine in Cameron!), and here's the old jail.

 We enjoyed an unseasonably warm day perusing the goodies of Southern Pines.

We visited a nursery with plants nearly ready to be sold and given an earthy home for Spring.

 And we toured one of my favorite things in this area: those vibrant, brilliant barns.

 I had to show them around Cameron Pres.

 We ate tons of good food (which was consumed too quickly to be photographed).  My folks did help me get my fun chandelier hung up and we gathered beneath it at the dining table to devour homemade enchiladas, Spanish rice and beans.  Tex-Mex perfection.

And then, of course, was the main event.  After going before Presbytery Saturday to be approved (and yes I did greet them all with, "Howdy, y'all!"), I stood in front of those fabulous folks promising to serve them with energy, intelligence, imagination and love and meant every word.  My seminary buddy Kevin preached and was both eloquent and hilarious (and far too nice to me).  My dear friend Pierce charged me with wisdom and poise.  And as I gave the benediction, I explained to the church (choking back tears), that I had searched for them for a while.  I told them how I would, every night, take my little fluffy dog outside, gaze at the Texas stars and pray that God would just place me where I was really called to be.  I said that now, I take my little dog outside and gaze up at the Carolina stars through pine trees and just say, "Thank you, God."  I'm so grateful to be here, and have no doubt that I am exactly where God wants me to be.  Having friends and family here just confirmed that for me.  What a fantastic week it was!