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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Mid Summer Dip

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I need to start by saying how great it is that Weird Al is making new tunes.  When I was a senior in High School, I went with my friend Joanna to see Weird Al perform at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.  We were the oldest kids there.  The age bracket jumped up to adult chaperones right after about 10 years of age.  I witnessed the fat suit in all its glory and reveled in songs that I had grown up listening to.  Let’s just say, I’ve never really identified with the cool kids.  This has translated into adulthood where, thank goodness, it doesn’t matter as much.  You can still find me singing “Eat It” at the random Karaoke night and I will admit I have listened to his new one, “Handy”, multiple times.

Speaking of the good ol’ days, I was happy to meet up with my friend Cyndi recently to ride the Fort Fisher ferry over to the aquarium.  Me and the girls spent the day with her family playing as much catch up as we could.  I love the feel of a historic friendship.  There’s no room for analyzing or judgment because all those years have filled the space.

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We have hit a lull in our summer.  June was super busy and super quick but these mid July weeks have found us wandering around the house.  Lilly and Willow have become great friends as of late.  There’s some annoyance for sure but I catch a lot of laughter and a lot of hugs between them.  Wil had a super hard week last week for multiple reasons.  So today, he took Lilly to the Carnivorous plant talk at the library.  I think they both needed that one on one attention. This summers go to activity for Lilly has been creating things out of paper.  She’s made dolls, gardens, tools, and even a church.  Her creativity is impressive.

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At Target last week, I let her pick out a book bag and she wanted to wear it around the store.  Seeing her with that huge bag on was tough!  It is hard to believe that she starts her school journey in a month.  I know she is ready but am I?

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Willow has been growing!  Sure, the summer time ice cream trips have been helping but the baby fat is leaving.  Willow loves puzzles and ipad games.  Feeding her is my big challenge.  She is super picky and prefers carbs.  I have to starve her to get her to eat her greens.  Dancing seems to be her preferred method of exercise but the girl is clumsy!  She falls out of most chairs and her elbows are black and blue because of it.

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Wil and I went fishing together, without kids or other people, for the first time since moving here.  First line into the water and we caught a red fish!  I will admit that it was pretty exciting and I probably screamed a little bit too much for such early morning hours.  Now, actually touching fish is not my forte.  Then, we spent a few hours with nothing or throw backs.  Last cast of the day and we caught another red fish.  We managed to get dinner for the night and bond over Wil’s favorite thing to do.

With all the difficult events happening in the world and in our town, it can be hard to get relief from the guilt and sadness of it all. Rev. Sandy gave an awesome sermon Sunday that really deserved an audible “Amen” but I said it in my head instead.  After having a few difficult weeks of my own, it was great to hear the message of God’s love.  That is one thing I can get behind because it can be very lonely inside our own heads but if we have God, we aren’t alone and that is comforting no matter what.

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When You Assume…..

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Speaking words of wisdom, let it be….

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There’s a lot of opportunity and joy in being a clergy spouse.  Being Episcopal gives me definition.  It defines issues that I believe in and as a clergy spouse, I am right in the middle of understanding how ideas are changing and growing.  I get a lot of love from the members of the congregation.   As I have grown comfortable at Holy Cross and seen what a church family is, I understand organized religion has its benefits and I understand, I totally get it.

Lately, “clergy spouse” has been somewhat of a burden.  We came back from Wild Goose feeling empowered and positive.  Somehow, I landed in the middle of under currents of judgement.  I landed in feeling the weight of the responsibility of church being VERY heavy.  Strangely, at church today, I felt more of God’s presence then I have in months.  I needed God today more than I usually think I do.  God was there as God always is.

As women, we seem to be so good at breaking each other down.  Since most women rely on their relationships to keep them balanced and happy, when relationships with other women are broken, it really hurts.  Needing relationships also makes us vulnerable to a mob mentality of judging others.  I’d like to say that I am smarter than that but I haven’t always been able to see it until after the fact.  I know clergy spouse who have become no more than a smile and a hello.  They have detached themselves from getting too involved or risking their hearts.  I won’t be that way.  I can’t be that way.

There are lots of obvious things I can say.  Women have got to back each other up.  We don’t all have to agree but we have enough going against us as it is, we don’t need other women to bring us down as well.  Agree to disagree.  Take the higher road.  Compliment someone instead of ignoring them.  Most importantly, ask them, “Why?” when you don’t understand.  Assumptions can be the disease that destroys happiness.

Thanks be to God for the power to move on and grow from all of life’s experiences.  Thanks be to God for little girls who only care about rainbows and cookies.   Thanks be to God for a happy, unburdened heart.  Thanks be to God for the opportunity to just let it be.

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Wild GooseBumps

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We returned home today from an experience unlike any other I have had.  It took me way out of comfort zones and challenged thoughts and beliefs.  The Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs brought Wil and I deep into the Western NC mountains.  This event brings people of faith together to talk about issues that run deep:  white privilege, homosexuality in the church, loving your neighbor.  It also bring people together to discuss how gardens can be forms of prayer, how to slow down, how to organize communities for anti-racism.  Mixed into all that are experiences like “rave sermons” and “beer and hymns.”  There’s literally something for everyone.  At any given moment, there’s five or more different topics being discussed throughout the camp.  Sometimes we picked talks that really hit a nerve.  Sometimes I felt my mind wandering to the food that was being sold by the vendors (like Baja tempeh tacos or kettle corn) but I was being fed in some way the whole time.  I gravitate towards topics that make me uncomfortable.  Within that discomfort I usually can find out something new either about myself or about someone else.

 

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As we entered the grounds to set up our tent, we found what we believed to be the perfect spot.  Shaded by trees, not many other tents around and close to the main stage.  About the time the other lots had been filled and we had arranged things just so, our tent neighbors arrived and as they set up their tent announced to us, “This whole area was flooded last year!”  The rain did show up multiple times and heavily.  I noticed first off that when rain begins adults retreat into any covered area they can, most of us with annoyed faces that show agitation at being wet.  Children however, go from their shelters straight into the biggest mud puddle they can find.  Then they play with laughter and glee.  One little girl had her own little dance while a little boy saw how big of a splash he could make.  It had me wondering when the switch is flipped in our minds that drenched isn’t so much fun.

Our stuff got totally wet during the rains and we only had the Episcopal Tent for shelter.  We ended up spending the night in Asheville for one evening in fear that our air mattress would become a floatation device.  We hurried back  the next morning to hear an amazing sermon and experience Eucharist among the face paint and stinky armpits.

The music was great!  There were blues bands and popular music.  There were earthy drum beats and cellos.  The evenings were spent under the stars, drinking beer and tapping toes.  Lucky for us, the Bowrons (old Sewanee friends) were there too so we had great company.  After the music stopped, we would go to compline at the Episcopal tent and then pass people meditating or sitting around camp fires.  At the Carnival tent, an Earth element show would take place.  A mix of poetry, movement, and prayer would be like a lullaby before turning on flashlights and going to bed.

As I began to realize the things I learned (how not to be “colorblind” to race, how power is not from title but from testimony) and want so badly to start making a difference RIGHT NOW where I live, I find myself sad at the reality of home.  Spending those days with Wil immersed in a culture of positive change isn’t quite what home looks like.  Transferring all that hope to my everyday is very difficult but not impossible.  Being a clergy spouse gives me opportunity.  Next year, I hope friends will come with us and we can set up a tent city.  I hope we can set up camp next to the neighbors we had this year because they were awesome sharing their food and morning talk.  Wild Goose is a way to fill up someone’s soul and mind while being in green fields and sunny spots.  Come feel the sunshine with us at Wild Goose 2015…..

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