What's Cooking?

This friend told me last week on the phone that he only reads my blog every month. He then told me that he scans my blog for what he deems the "good posts." In my sporadic blogging of late, I'm wondering what constitutes a "good post" for me -- and whoever might stumble upon these pages. I have no answer, by the way.

I'm stealing internet outside in the cold (yes, it's cold here) in order to scour the internet for recipes to cook dinner for Musicman tomorrow night. I steal my internet. I really need to get my own. I know. It's awful. Anyhow, did I mention that on top of all of the wonderful things there are about this boy, he's also a wonderful cook? Yes. I'm no whiz in the kitchen but I like to think I can do more than boil water. He intimidates me. I haven't cooked yet. I've flexed my credit card muscle instead. I have been to meek and shy. But, tomorrow, I cook. I don't really know what yet -- but I shall cook. I shall create romance in my kitchen and enjoy the fruits of my labor (no matter what).

To all of the domestic god(desse)s (and those that aspire to be), I ask for your prayers.


Possible Hope

Somehow, over a series of gatherings this summer, this amazing group of church members have given me hope. Tribal Church blogged about another vision of hope this morning. My organizing friend talked about still another version of hope last night on the treadmill last night. Hope is something we are all looking for. It's something we are searching for around every corner. And for me, it has come in the simple realization that these 12 people that have studied the Book of Ruth together over the summer have discovered what church can be. This is new for most of them. I don't know why but in this Big Church, they haven't experienced the possible hope of breaking down all those pretenses and opening the Bible.

When Labor Day arrived, they didn't want to stop. They liked this hope. We decided to continue to study the first three chapters of Genesis. That's what we did last week. We opened to Genesis 1 and talked it through. Day by day. The laughter was truly "carbonated holiness." I love this line from Anne Lamott. We moved from talking about God as Parent in Ruth to talking about God as Artist in Genesis. We talked about the nearness of breath and God being that close to the waters and to us. So close that God hovers.

I've always liked this about Genesis. It's truly one of my favorite images -- but today it seems real. It's not a metaphor but something almost tangible. I don't know if hope ever can be tangible but that's how it feels. After reading my review earlier this week, I'm reminded that even though I'm young in my ministry and lack maturity in some areas (I admit that but don't you dare agree), I know this congregation. I can see what they need. I saw it when I felt God first breathe into our covenant together. I knew that these small moments of what church could be was what this group of people needed to feel. And the strangest thing is that is happening. It's happening in me and around me. It's happening because God is that close and so hope is more than possible. Hope is tangible.


The Biological Clock

Last night, after barely scooping myself off the couch from Sunday morning events, my dear friend came over for dinner. We pulled things together with a few ingredients and sat down to talk -- which we haven't really done all summer. He has been swept up into his love affair. I have had my own drama. Our lives have just not intersected in the same way. He is one of my favorite people so this has been sad for me. However, that all changed last night when we got to linger over wine and food.

The last topic of our conversation turned to babies. He's 31. I'm 29. Our friends are all having babies. In fact, I have had several children pop out of my girlfriends in the past few weeks. My other girlfriends (the single ones) are beginning to talk about this internal clock. I think mine is broken. Or maybe I never had it. I'm not really sure what I think about it. However, my 31-year old friend is resolved on this issue. No kids. No babies. No ridiculous adoption feats. No proving he's a good gay dad. EVER. I'm not so sure. I'm straight and I'm assuming everything works just fine so that the option is out there. It's possible -- if I wanted it.

Of course, I can't help but think about the children that gathered at my feet yesterday morning. I can't help but think about how loved they are and how much they have going for them. Some part of me wants to be there for that journey. I want to be able to nurture them as they grow and in the same breath I wonder if this is enough. It is enough to just do this. To just be a good mentor. Will this offer me the satisfaction I need? Or, as my dear friend waxed poetic last night, do we need to let go of our self absorption and really make some sacrifices for someone else? I know I'm not there yet. I just wonder if that's ever something I will want -- because I think you should be called to have kids. I have no idea where the Biblical paradigm for that emerges with Sarah's laughter and Mary's illegitimacy. Was it that their biological clocks were ticking? Or is it bigger than that? Is this what God called them to be? And is that a call for me?


The End of Summer

Tomorrow is Homecoming Sunday. After being away for the summer, we welcome everyone back to church with a big fair and celebration of our life together. In my church life, this marks the beginning of fall. I thought that we might be able to sneak in a few more days of summer here and there. I tried yesterday to go to the beach and pretend that there would be sunbathing and swimming. Alas, we were huddled under towels against the rocks trying to stay warm. And so, it's official: Fall is here.

And though I do indeed love the change of seasons, there is something about this shift. I'm not sure what the emotion is. It's not sadness. It's not joy. It's somewhere in between, I think. Perhaps I'm not sure what the fall brings (and I'm a planner). I have changed my job description at church to have a new focus on the faith formation of the entire community, rather than only the youth and adults. I'm leaving behind a summer with a fantastic Scottish experience and the intention to read several more books than I did. And, then, there is this boy who presents something new, uncertain and wonderful.

Indeed, it is the beginning of something new which means that I have to let go of what was. Isn't that the mystery of faith? We are filled with endings and beginnings that are uncertain and fluid. It is the wisdom of Ecclesiastes that I love so much but have no idea how to process. To everything there is a season. I wonder what this one will hold.


Musicman's Birthday

Yesterday was Musicman's birthday. There was a lot of celebrating over this weekend which may be evidenced in the glaze in my eyes here. The photo was taken by his new roommate and old, old childhood friend who has decided that she likes me and I needed a picture of us. Hence, this was the only photo snapped during Monday's party. I think that I may have given up after this photo and his expression. Um, Ok, so we're not ready for the photo shoot. I get it. I'm not going to explain the outfit though. I don't think that I can. So, go with it. There he is.

The celebration seems to only continue as there were leftover goodness last night with laughter and birthday wishes. I gave him a present which he loved. I'm enjoying him so much.

When this was originally published, I said something else that I have deleted. It's still true. It's just too much for me to know that it's out there on the internet. Sigh.