Jan 19, 2010

"Singer" Clinger

I had a unique experience at church on Sunday. I have been fighting a cold or some other kind of bug that has resulted in lots of congestion, drainage, and coughing. This weekend that meant that my speaking voice would come and go, and singing was pretty much not happening. I decided when I woke up Sunday morning that I had no business singing in front of a group of folks, for the sake of my voice healing, and for the sake of sparing the ears of the congregation. So, I didn't sing with the band. Instead, I sat in the congregation with Jeff. My intention was to rest my voice and just listen, but I don't know that I've ever taken part in a worship service where there was the opportunity to sing and I didn't. (I have attended worship services where there was either no music, the music was instrumental, or it wasn't geared toward the congregation singing along.) I found that I couldn't not sing. Funny that one of the songs we sang was "How Can I Keep from Singing." :-)

I've been struggling lately to find inspiration for planning worship, for several reasons that I won't get into here. But on Sunday and then again as I was singing with my iPod yesterday, I contemplated for a moment how my life would be different if I couldn't sing. What would I "do" with my life if I I didn't really delve deep into the line of thinking, because I fear that I don't have the answer for what that would fully mean. I really think my identity, and to a large extent, my self-worth, is tied to my musical gifts, specifically singing. it's who I am and what I do. Not that I have the best or most beautiful voice. I don't pretend that I do. But I do feel like my voice is accessible for others to follow and join with me.

I didn't come to any conclusions about what I would do if suddenly I would be unable to sing. I think there will come a day when that is the case. The voice is one of those parts of the body that shows its age, and I don't want to be the lady in the choir who everyone else wishes would "retire." A woman at my last church retired herself from the choir, at a point when I believe others still wanted her. That's how I want to go: when I'm still wanted rather than when everyone else wishes I would just get the heck out. I have no desire to be the warbler.

Anyway, this whole experience started me thinking about what I would do if I wasn't SingerClinger. What if I was just Heather? I wonder what that would be like.

Jan 7, 2010

Umm, I'm back?

I can't promise that this is the beginning of new blogging spurt, but here are the highlights from the last 6 months. Wow, it really has been that long since I posted.

  • We moved to Fairway, KS (Shawnee Mission Pkwy & Mission Rd)
  • I started working at the cafe (snack bar) at Prairie Life Fitness Center in Olathe and now also work in the nursery.
  • Hannah turned 1!
  • She has 6 teeth, working on the 7th.
  • She's cruising but not walking.
  • Jeff works a few shifts at Kite's sports bar in Shawnee (too bad it is a K-State bar...) and is working with some folks to start a company for metabolic health (Innovative Metabolic Solutions)
But, you probably already know most of that.

We're doing well. We are blessed by the support we have received from our families and friends, and are learning what a gift that support is.

Jul 1, 2009

Welcome to my blog (again)

So you're reading this now because you've been invited to view my blog. It's not that I'm excluding anyone, it's just that it has come to be that it needed to be this way. I took my last post down for about the same reason. It maybe won't be this way forever, but for now my circle of trust is pretty limited. Thanks for being in my circle. I appreciate you.

Here's the latest: things are ok, considering. I am waiting to hear back about another part time job that I hope would start sometime in the middle of this month. Hannah is doing well. She's sitting on her own, and she is rolling to the point that we can't leave her alone on the bed anymore. She's so much fun! It has been so much fun to watch Jeff and Hannah together the last couple of weeks. It really is a beautiful thing!

This weekend I'm going to St. Louis for my sister's bachelorette party. I'm a little ashamed (and maybe, in a weird way, proud) to say that this is my first bachelorette party. So I'm going to look up online if there are things that a matron of honor is "supposed" to do. Sad, isn't it? *Sigh* Oh well. I'm looking forward to some away time, though it will be my first night away from Hannah. Wish us luck!

May 7, 2009

I'm Just Sayin'

Lately, many of my clergy friends have embarked on many plans to raise up other young clergy within The United Methodist Church, and I applaud them for it.  However, I get frustrated when it seems that clergy leaders are the only ones who "matter" when looking at the future of the denomination.  I know clergy are supremely important to the continuation of our denomination in the future.  Afterall, I am married to a pastor and daily see the ways in which he and his colleagues care for and lead their congregations.  However, they won't have a denomination, or congregations, for that matter, to lead if we don't also focus on raising up "lay" (non-clergy) leaders.  

I'm struggling here and in my interactions with the topic to not seem like I'm whining.  ("Look at me, I matter, too!!")  I also struggle because I am one of "those" people who would like to see change but don't know how to help/start and don't really have the desire to be the one to forge the path.  In all honesty, that's why I dropped out of the ordination process to become a deacon--too many questions to answer and challenges to overcome.  And I saw a way that I could be in ministry without having to jump through the hoops.  Do I regret it?  Not really.  The whole issue of defining who deacons are and how their ordination is distinct and different from elders and now local pastors is a mess that seems to only be getting worse, and I don't want to go into that right now.

I think my biggest concern is that by focusing so much on raising up "young clergy," I see a potential devaluing of the ministry of the laity, who are equally as called and equally as necessary (if not more so) to the work of the Church.  If we are truly to see change in the way our denomination is heading, then we need leadership, yes.  But that doesn't mean that the clergy have to or even can do it by themselves.  We are called to work together.  

There is another caution for those who are now classified as "young" clergy (however that might be determined), whether by age or time in "the system."  The caution is this: if you don't quickly look behind you at those who are coming behind you, then you risk putting yourself in the same situation as those with whom you seem to be frustrated now.  The danger is that you might be fighting for change that you yourself will not benefit from.

So, that's just my two cents.  But then again, what do I know?  No one's laid hands on me to set me apart, I'm just one of the masses.

Apr 3, 2009

Pearly white

Hannah has a tooth!  

We've figured she's been teething for a few weeks now, what with the increased drool and chewing on anything she can get her mouth on.  Yesterday I thought I'd feel around in her mouth to see if I could feel anything, and I found the beginnings of a tooth already pushed through her lower gum.  It is so cute!  I never thought I'd get so excited about a silly tooth.  Truth be told, I'm also excited that the fussing seems to have dissapated and my sweet, smiling, content little girl is back.  It's fun to watch her feel her tooth with her tongue.  She's been doing that for a while now, but just yesterday I figured out what she was really doing.

I've always paid attention to people's teeth.  I don't know why, but I would say that it is one of the first things I notice or remember about a person.  It is kind of weird to think that Hannah's mouth will now be forever different, no longer the gummy, toothless grin.  Ah, my little baby is growing up!

Mar 25, 2009

Sex God

A while back, I read on Dustin's blog that Community of Hope UMC would be doing a sermon series on sex, called Sex God.  I was curious what the premise would be and how forthright the discussion would be.  Their promo is all about how we never talk about sex in the church, but yet we are surrounded by talk/sight of it in our culture.  I have been very interested in what Joe, COH's pastor, has had to say.  I appreciate his candor and honesty.  He suggested in the first sermon of the series that parents take their young children to Sunday School instead of staying in the service, but that middle school and especially high school teens, needed to hear these messages.
You can listen to the sermons here, or subscribe to their podcast on iTunes.  I'm also catching up on previous sermons.

Mar 3, 2009


Once again, Lent is upon us, thankfully later than it was last year.  I'm not exactly sure when it was that I started, but most years I give up something for Lent.  One year it was chocolate (about a week after my sister had given me a box of cherry cordials for Valentine's day).  Another year it was pop, which lasted until the day before Easter when the Pizza Hut worker asked me to taste the drink I was buying for my co-worker to make sure they had the lines right in their pop machine.  Those are the big ones.

This year, Jeff and I decided to give up tv for Lent.  All tv.  For all of Lent.  Well, sort of.  We gave ourselves some exceptions, because the intent is to not have it on at home in the background all the time.  Admittedly, I watch more tv than Jeff does.  Almost every morning, I turn on NBC's The Today Show while we're getting ready.  Then at 11 I switch over to ABC for The View and it stays there the rest of the day until the news comes back on.  I just like NBC news better.  But at 10:35pm we tune in to The Late Show with David Letterman and fall asleep to that, unless its Saturday, in which case we fall asleep to Saturday Night Live.  Seriously, a tv is on in our house almost all the time.  

So the point is to be more intentional about spending quality time together.  We decided that we would not watch tv content online because that's really not that different than watching tv.  Also, we decided that didn't include renting and watching movies, or watching tv at friends' houses if that is the activity.  (We are aware that Lent falls mostly in March, during a thing called March Madness.  We are very thankful to be back in the listening area where we can listen to Bob Davis call the games on the radio, even when the KU Jayhawks play in the Final Four and National Championship games.)  I'm finding that the challenge for us is that we don't spend the evenings on the couch with each of us on a laptop.  That seems like replacing the tv with the computer and is not so much a sacrifice or different way of living, which to me is the point of giving something up for Lent: it forces you to rethink your every day patterns and way of living.

Which brings me to another blog I read today.  Jon Acuff writes the blog Stuff Christians Like.  It's kind of a tongue-in-cheek, real look at "stuff" Christians like, hence the name.  Today's post examined giving things up for Lent, specifically tv, and his points made me stop to think.  Particularly #9:

  Have I really learned anything if I just gorge myself on all the shows I missed the minute Lent is over? If I lock myself in a closet the day after Lent concludes and watch 19 hours of Lost and 30 Rock and the Office and the Soup, has anything in my life changed?

So I ponder this as I examine how my days are different without the tv on in the background.  How is your life changing by what you are giving up or adding for Lent?