25 June 2010

Photo Friday: Newspaper Puppy

My Holy Terror. Good thing she is so cute.

24 June 2010

Two Months: In Pictures

In no certain order.

19 June 2010

Two Months

To play catch up? Or just go from here? I guess updates would be nice. How about a little list? Or a long list? I am sure additions and amendments are to come. Check back.
  1. I graduated. Most days I thought it wouldn't happen, but it did.
  2. I survived a flood. No house damage, but I was without power and water locked for over 48 hours. Best part? (Hint of sarcasm.) It was during final's week.
  3. Broke up with Nashville. It had to be done. We just were not a good fit. I will visit. One day. Many months from now. I still know some quality people in the area.
  4. Once again, I had to say good-bye to friends. From Kansas to Nashville to Atlanta and Athens, we scattered around this big ole country. I miss them dearly.
  5. Said hello to the familiar. Moved back to Georgia. The parents are adjusting to having a child back in the house. Bless them.
  6. Went on a glorious vacation to the beach. 8 days in the sun. And guess what? I only burned on the last day. This was a BIG accomplishment.
  7. And then went on vacation for another few days to the lake. With much gladness, this retreat was interrupted with two big announcements.
  8. My puppy! I got the cutest puppy, a lovely and ever chewing basset-beagle mix. She is loud. She fights sleep. Growing like a weed. My little sugar lump lump is named Marigold Francis. Have no idea if I will ever have children, so I gave her a middle name.
  9. And, the number two development is that I got a job. The last four, now five months have been a tiresome mixture of grief, sadness, trauma, heart break, and processing. I will be the local pastor for two churches in the Athens area. My excitement is contagious. My commitment to the church remains strong. I just want to serve and love God's people. And that is what I will be doing. I start at the end of the month. And yes, I will preach at both churches each Sunday.
  10. Life is finding a new rhythm. That's the best way to describe the current moment and mood.
Continued peace,

ps: Meet Marigold!

23 April 2010

Photo Friday

Thinking 'Bout Somethin'

HANSON | MySpace Music Videos

Oh, Lord. This is amazing. I do love me some Hanson. And dancing!

Been thinkin'

ps: Thanks Amber and Katie for spreading the good news!

16 April 2010

Photo Friday: Khette

Khette's Ordination
Nashville, TN
April 2010

*Photos courtesy of Betsy. Thanks.

14 April 2010

That Cardigan

You know the cardigan? The one I mentioned two posts down.

The one with silver and gold, shiny and shimmery?

I busted it out yesterday. Paired it with a brown tank and wide leg jeans.

Not one, but two gentlemen and fellow colleagues mentioned I looked pretty and beautiful in said cardigan. It helps that I put on make-up on and curled the hair.

But hey, I put on the cardigan. No longer just hanging in the closet. It does not have the colors of black or blue involved.

So there you go. Not quite as new. But still newish.

I guess that means I need to wear it again...and again...and again.

13 April 2010

Countee Cullen: She of the Dancing Feet

She of the Dancing Feet

And what would I do in heaven pray,
Me with my dancing feet?
And limbs like apple boughs that sway
When the gusty rain winds beat.

And how would I thrive in a perfect place
Where dancing would be a sin,
With not a man to love my face,
Nor an arm to hold me in?

The seraphs and the cherubim
Would be too proud to bend,
To sing the faery tunes that brim
My heart from end to end.

The wistful angels down in hell
Will smile to see my face,
And understand, because they fell
From that all-perfect plac

In honor of National Poetry Month and with the inspiration of friends, I share this poem. Countee Cullen is one of my favorites, especially since he comes out of the Harlem Renaissance.

My heart from end to end.

12 April 2010

Is that new?

After a long, hard winter, there was a moment when I remembered how to smile. (Genuinely smile.) It was the first time I made a joke. (A self reflective joke.) I call this progress.

Someone offering a sincere compliment posed the question, "Is that new?" That's all it took. The words just came out. Well, actually there were no words at first. Laughter. Bubbling up laughter from the pit of my stomach. Muscles in my abdomen that had not been used for two months and counting. There it was. Laughter. And my answer, "Why yes, yes it is. Everything is new--head to toe. Even the underwear. (Wink)"

The day went forth, continued. Five more people asked the same question: "Is that new?" Each time? Each and every time I smiled, gave a hearty laugh and offered the same carefree answer.

You see, it's true. From head to toe it is new. Except the glasses and those few pairs of shoes that were salvageable. I wish I had that same response with that same spirit each time someone inquires or compliments. More often than not, I just offer a quite "yes." Don't get me wrong. At least I appear put together enough for people to ask and occasionally offer a compliment. For that I am grateful.

The truth, if I may? I miss my things. Please (for all that is good and holy in the world) don't tell me they are just things. I know this. I do. But they were my things. And I really liked my things because they offered me comfort, security, and stability. Yes, even those green peep-toe sandals I pull out around easter.

I miss what was. And for once, new things are not always better. My old things...my gone things...my no-more-mine things were part of my identity. They reflected my personality...my being...me. They are gone. If you haven't clued in yet, I am not just talking about clothes.

I am left with new things. New things that were bought in a rush and without a clear mind. (Imagining the silver and gold cardigan that is still yet to be worn. But hey, I got it for $8?) New things that are black and gray and navy...not green and blue and purple. Yes, I am starting to replenish my wardrobe with some brighter hues of Spring. Most days though, I am drawn to the blacks and grays.

Friends, if you are still out there, I miss...my clothes, my purses, my books, my couch, my jewelry, my memories. I miss what was...and find myself trying to understand what is. What is...well, it does not offer the same comfort and security I once knew. That is why I am not there yet. That is why I am not the happy, hopeful, and joyful person you may remember. The trauma and despair have changed me. Probably forever.

Each day I get out of bed. (Still the hardest decision I make each day.) I put on what is new. I go forth into my day missing what was, knowing newness surrounds me...and live. Sad, anticipating hope, despairing, and yet even experiencing a few moments of carefree laughter are who I am now.

Is that new? Yep. And I hate it.

*For those reading and unclear about the details surrounding the above post, I experienced an apartment fire on January 20. It started in my bedroom, where I woke up to it spreading to my bed. I was able to get out of the apartment with very little physical injury. The fire and smoke damage did destroy most of my belongings. Since then there have been other personal and professional tragedies. When people ask how I am, I give three answers. "I'm hanging in there." "I got out of bed this morning." And "I'm in process." This post is about the process, hanging in there, and getting out of bed.

09 April 2010

Photo Friday: Easter

EASTER Potluck
Nashville, TN
April 2010

02 April 2010

Photo Friday: Holy Week

Good Friday 2010
West End UMC
Nashville, TN

What an honor to lead and worship with the people of WEUMC.

26 March 2010

Photo Friday

Saint Simons Island, Georgia
March 2010

My mom is so creative. Bless her. And thank God for her.

05 March 2010

Photo Sorta Friday

I don't want to be a downer. It is just where I am.

Home. Let me come home. Home is wherever I'm with you.
Home. Let me go ho-oh-ome.

I wish it were so. I wish I knew where to call home.

Soon. But not soon enough.

ps: Thanks to Joy In Me for sharing.

26 February 2010

Photo Friday

I debated for weeks whether to share the below picture. In my mind it is graphic. I am sorry if it upsets any readers. This is a therapeutic moment for me. I am confronting the realty of what was and what is. Everyday continues a quest for hope. Within the ashes...may there be hope? And a coming peace that I cannot imagine? If I was praying these days, that would be my prayer. A prayer for hope and peace...

What Was My Home
Nashville, TN
January 2o, 2010

God's hope. God's peace.

14 February 2010

I and Love and You

It has been a while. There's a story. But it still makes me cry. I may tell it. I may not.

I'm making it...hour by hour. Yep. I'm still at hour by hour.

Sorry to be ambiguous. My emotions are on the surface. And these emotions make me tired. So tired.

Still processing the loss...

ps: I and love and you. Because I've got some good folk surrounding me.

17 January 2010

The Return

I am sorta back. We will call it the Slow Return. But I have returned. Thanks to Google for the awesomeness that is Reader. I wake up early, crawl in front of my computer and catch up on "My Blogs." So, I am up-to-date with you. You, however, are not up-to-date with me.

One post will not get us there. But I do have some thoughts for you. These are the random ponderings, questions, and life lessons from the last month. No logical order. Just go with the flow. That brought a smile to my face. I asked you to go with the flow when I rarely ever do anything without resistance. Bless my heart.

  1. Sometimes quantity is better than quality.
  2. I do not recommend driving long distances without sleep.
  3. And I do not recommend making the return trip if sleep still has not occurred.
  4. If for some reason you do have to make a long trip with no sleep, I do recommend short naps along the way at rest stops.
  5. Asking for prayer can be a humbling experience.
  6. Trusting your instincts is risky.
  7. There is no greater feeling than preaching a good sermon.
  8. I have some good (read great) parents.
  9. And I have some loving friends.
  10. Having a broken kitchen sink makes life difficult
  11. I have never been more unsure about the future.
  12. I graduate in less than four months.
  13. Prayer, well, requires willingness to be transformed.
  14. Online shopping is addictive.
  15. I am ready for a trip.
  16. And to graduate.

That's the start of the story. And I'm sticking to it.

06 January 2010

Getting Closer...

...to January 12.