Saturday, July 31, 2010

August 4

I always heard that change is the only thing you can count on...I don't think that is really true. You can bank on the fact that Florida is really hot in July.

Each day it always sounds good to play golf or ride my bike but then I step outside and the heat is overwhelming. So I think golf and biking might be winter sports here. Sitting in the air condition is much more of the summer activity.

This week has been filled with anticipation of the work ahead. I have been fingerprinted, got my FL driver's license, got a draft of my schedule for Aug/Sept. So I am getting excited about what lies ahead and tired of preparation.

It feels important to me to find a community of faith that allows me to learn and grow and be encouraged and challenged. I want to be able to help people live well until they die at a hospice home so it feels important for me to find a place to feed my own spirit. But finding a church is not always easy. I used to believe that most Christians spoke the same language, shared a sense of what Christian fellowship was all about and beyond minor differences had a faith in common that could transcend political and social boundaries. It has taken me a while, but I know that just isn't true!

One thing that seems nonnegotiable for me is open communion. I certainly don't get to pick who else is good enough, holy enough, deserving enough, or is in the right church to receive it. It is not a private meal. The bread on the Table has to be shared with everyone - those we love and those we don't want to like ...for it to have true meaning.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I was asked today if I felt like I had moved or if I was just on vacation. And my answer would be, a little of both.

I certainly did not know everyone in Fort Wayne but I knew my way around and knew the layouts of my favorite places. I knew the timing of the stoplights through downtown Fort Wayne and could easily call someone to go to dinner. So here, it feels different and I feel much like a stranger. Everywhere I go, I have to stop and think if I need to go left or right, north or south, if it's beyond the Publix or before the Starbucks. We take that kind of stuff for granted...until you start over.

I don't feel like I am on vacation because during vacation, you don't want to waste a minute. There are shops to find, restaurants to try, beaches to walk, shells to find, or activities to do. Well, now I am wasting time. It is hot, I'm tired of the unpacking, always seem to be lost or checking the GPS. So sometimes, it is easier to just waste time. Vacation is over.

I start orientation on August 9 and then my actual chaplain work on August 16, so until then, I can waste a little time like the locals do. I guess now I am a local.

I love Ann Lamott's writing and I am reading her book, Plan B with a friend from my previous church. We read, we write comments, and it is a fun way to share a book with a friend. Lamott is certainly not a traditional Christian writer but she has a lot of wisdom to share.

She wrote this book during the Bush administration, which she did not like and did not hide that fact. I wasn't a fan of GW either but her humor helped to put it in perspective. She made a statement on how to get through the mess (of Bush, and of life.) Right foot, left foot, right foot, breathe. Isn't that the message for all of us in so many situations? I think at times that has gotten me to FL for what I believe God has called me to do. There have been many times along the way that I have doubted that I heard God right. surely God wouldn't want me to really do this! I've been convinced much of the time that this is my passion but there are times now that I think I made a mistake! So left foot, right foot, left foot, breathe.

I love her statement - peace is joy at rest and joy is peace on its feet. I think right now I am at a place of peace is joy at rest. I need a little time to just "be". I feel peace in one sense but find that I am needing energy to go out in the world. I received strength from worship, relationships, work that gave meaning to my life, so without those anchors at this time, it is harder to find the strength.

I also liked the conversation in the book about the cactus blooming. "...Last week they were ugly...they don't bloom every year so you have to love them while they are here." Isn't that true of so many things?

This blog is not meant to be a place for book reviews but I love to read and try to read some edgy and thought-provoking stuff about God and about life. So, on occasion, you may see what I am reading.

Hope all that read this are enjoying the hot summer days. Blessings to you from Florida.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Here I sit at a Panera Bread near Tarpon Springs, FL, having my favorite whole grain bagel with peanut butter and a hot chai using the free wi-fi. Internet access has been a challenge so far. Monday's goal is to find an internet company so we can have it in the apartment. This post and probably many in the coming days will be about moving and transitions.

Moving from a 2000 sq house that we loved and had built just for us and downsizing to a 990 sq 2nd story apartment is a challenge. We have put a magnet on the refrigerator to live simply. That is the goal. And as my friend, Lynn said, to live the dream. There will be challenges along the way but at the end of the day, we can sit and watch the most beautiful sunsets. We can explore all the beaches and hideaways and trails and the beauty of the water. So that is our live fully and abundantly in this new place. Our motto recently has been, "let's just let it evolve."

We are exhausted from the many steps of this move. We are not quite there yet but the end is in sight. As we unpack, we see all the things that we could do without if we truly want to live simply. But I sure like my stuff and it is quite a learning journey. As I unpacked the Christmas rope lights, I just shook my head and had a few tears. Not that the rope lights are so special but just the recognition that our closets are packed and there really is no place for rope lights. Who knew that I didn't need rope lights?

As each day passes, we are trying to take some time out to have some fun and explore a little. I want to know where things are besides every Walmart. I do not even want to shop at Walmart but we have made several trips there already...waste basket, step stool, shower curtain, and even a small microwave. How can you live simply without a microwave? ha.

The weather is very hot but it sounds like Indiana is as well. So far, the heat is not bothering me but we just left the box that said "coats, hats, scarves" packed.

This week's goals - get internet, finish unpacking, find a chiropractor, and do some exploring. Next Sunday we hope to attend a church in New Port Ritchie. A community of faith will be important for us to find. But for today, we are off to visit my cousin and to have some fun.

So think about your dream...and figure out a way to live it. shalom.