Saturday, May 31, 2008

Things falling into place

Ah, didn't offend Sis with the suggestion of the bus. Apparently, my nephew was totally psyched about riding the bus.............another head-ache bites the dust.

New Senior Pastor wants me to take a day and visit Annual Conference. Considering that it starts the day that I move to LR that is going to be difficult. I hate the idea of leaving Ryss alone the first week that we are in a new place. But Annual Conference is only about an hour's drive so, I will pop down there and then run home ASAP. Ryss said it would give her time to unpack without me bossing her around. Not true...........I can boss her around via the cell phone.

My uncle is going to have a fenced backyard ready for us when we arrive.'s been too long living without one.

I am getting the U-Haul truck next Saturday. Loading all day, cleaning the parsonage and then on Sunday preaching my last sermon and hitting the road for LR. Hopefully to be met by the UMM who will help me unpack the truck.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Coming Together

Well, the move is all coming together. Due to the different move policies between the two conferences, it is going to be much easier and much, much cheaper to rent a U-Haul and move myself. So I reserved the truck today. And one week from tomorrow, I will be loading the truck. Hopefully, with a lot of helpful friends and parishioners. And if everything works out, I will be unloading the truck in Little Rock Sunday evening. My sister has volunteered to drive the truck to LR. I haven't figured out how I'm supposed to get her back home, yet. Hmmm..... I wonder how long it would take her to forgive me if I put her on a bus home.

That economic stimulus check came at the perfect time to help with the move. It will help to pay for my renter's insurance policy that the landlord requires since I have dogs. I have the friendliest dogs in the world but I suppose it is better to be safe than sorry.

One of my best friends spent the night here last night with his son. He had a parishioner dying in the hospital in the big city and needed a place to crash. It didn't get here until 1:30 a.m. and all of us, kids and all, stayed up until 2:30 talking. I'm a little sleepy. I might have to take a nap because the HS graduation ceremony is tonight at 8 p.m. We served the entire graduating class breakfast this morning before their rehearsal. It went well. It's been a good day. I can't wait to see the faces of the kids selected for the big scholarship that I helped to interview this week. One of them is going to be totally flabbergasted.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Last night I cooked dinner for my Bible Study class. Everything worked out wonderfully, we all sat down, ate, and visited. I hope that they stick together with the next pastor. The personalities of all the people are so very different. Three of the ladies are so sweet. Two of the men are my old,curmudgeon's and they are so sweet under their gruff exterior. And the others were more worldly and practical.

They all had a good time teasing me about my cooking. I have told them for the last five years that I can't cook..................dinner was wonderful.................they accused me of misleading them for the last five years.

It was a diverse group and I will miss them when I go. In fact, I am going to miss the majority of my congregation (some not so much).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I was able to travel to SMU today and have lunch with a couple of my seminary friends. We met the very first day of school in Introduction to Theology and became good friends. It was great to reminisce over my humbling experience with the Christian vocabulary. We have been through so much together. As an introvert, I don't make a ton of new friends but I always end up with one or two close friends from each place I go and these women are fantastic.

We are going to be in three different states, so this was the last time (for a while) that we would be able to see each other. It was totally worth taking time off from packing to drive 4 hours (round trip) and see them, plus I got some great ideas for my D.Min. project.

Guilt Trip

Wow, I just got a passive-aggressive email from Ryss's paternal grandmother. She is very unhappy that we are moving away and really trying to guilt me out about it. She is worried that she won't get to see her grand-daughter anymore.

We usually only see each other at Christmas because of her schedule (She spends a lot of time overseas in Iraq). I'm thinking that it really isn't that far and she could come and actually visit us at our house for a change.

This is one burden that I refuse to shoulder.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I woke up this morning at 4:30. Read Paul's Letter to the Galatians, went through my entire closet getting out all the clothes that are too big for me now (hurray), exercised for thirty minutes, read two chapters of a D.Min. book, did the dishes, and showered. It is now 8:30 a.m. I am ready for my afternoon nap.

It is amazing how much my energy level has come up. I attribute this to two factors; 1) I am finally over being sick, 2) I feel empowered because of my move.

Energy through empowerment. This was a self-revelation for me. I had not sat down and considered it, but last night I was thinking about this move and I realized that it came about because of two factors; 1) The power and goodness of God, and 2) the fact that I started sending out my resume and beginning conversations with different conferences.

I didn't just sit around and moan about my fate (Well, I did, but not forever). I looked for possible solutions and then implemented them. I didn't wait for someone to rescue me. Somehow I had lost that sense of myself. The notion that I had the power to change my situation.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I am so happy about moving to Little Rock that I was able to just look at the "Head Bane" and smile when she made a snide remark about our move into a smaller house. I just happily admitted that it was smaller and kept on going.

A much better event had just concluded..........teen-agers got the garage cleaned and packed for me today. Amazing what the little buggers can accomplished when they really want to. I did have to rescue a box filled with my photo albums from my time in the military. Ryss thought it was just a old box filled with books. It was just an old box filled with books, A.K.A. photo albums!!

We didn't really have that much stuff in the garage after they got rid of all the junk. It kind of reminded me of the junk that "The Banes" have tried to unload on me the last couple of years. It's much better to throw it away than it is to hold onto philosophical analogy for the day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Two More Weeks

I have two weeks left at my current church and I'm starting to (finally) get a handle on the whole packing business. At least, I don't feel like I am just spinning me wheels. I can see progress. It sure isn't easy (or fun).

Tomorrow is Memorial Day and my plans include packing up the garage. I don't even like to clean the garage, so I'm not looking forward to this project. Today I did get two loads of furniture moved to the church for their garage sale next month. I am taking this down-sizing very seriously. I decided that it would be much easier to do it here, rather than wait and do it at the new place. Plus, this will help the Trustee's make enough money from the garage sale to fix the roof issues at the church.

I asked my D.S. about his opinion of me going to Annual Conference. He agreed that I should probably skip it and use this time to prepare for the move. I'm so glad. I didn't want to spend four days in Houston, unable to vote on anything, unable to have a voice, and unable to continue my packing progress.

Plus, I am in the middle of trying to finish the majority of my reading and writing for my D.Min. seminar in July. I haven't made as much progress as I had hoped. I really wanted to be totally finished prior to the move. Unrealistic you say, are probably right.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Mid-Life Rookie tagged me for this meme:Rules: The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about himself or herself. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Yadayadayada

Ten years ago: I had only recently been baptized into the Christian faith. Yep, I was a bona-fide pagan a decade ago.

Five things on today's "to do" list: Finish sermon, copy bulletin, call moving company, send deposit to hold new house, band banquet (or packing, packing, packing, packing, packing).

Things I'd do if I was a billionaire: Send money to Mid-Life rookie to help children with disabilities in Vietnam get the equipment and training they need. Pay off my all debt. Buy my own house. Send Ryss to college & medical school.

Three bad habits: Messy, stubborn, speaking before thinking.

Five places I've lived: Germany, New Mexico, Arizona, All over Texas and soon Arkansas.

Five jobs I've had: 1st job was picking sweet potatoes, Military Police Officer, Pharmaceutical company manager, Wal-Mart, Church Administration.

Five people I'm tagging:
Here is the other bad habit, not following the rules. If you are reading this consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cottage Living

The orientation went well. The bishop knew who I was and actually mentioned me during his talk. Plus, I found out that my current Bishop gave me a "glowing recommendation". I don't feel quite so anonymous anymore. It is a good feeling.

I found a place for us to live. I'm calling it "The Cottage". It is tiny compared to the current parsonage but I am still happy with it. It is in an exciting part of town, in a good school district for Ryss and it fits our budget. If we decide (after a year), that we want a larger place we will be in a better position to find a place. However, it is going to require some downsizing and maybe some creative storage options.

My dream last night was about missing the first service at the new church. My daughter got up and went but I stayed home and slept. Considering that the prior two nights I have only gotten about four hours of sleep, I understand why I dreamed about sleeping. It does mean my OCD tendencies regarding alarm clocks will be in overtime mode after we move for a little while.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I leave for Arkansas tomorrow for my Conference Orientation. This is an interesting prospect because I know that my current conference has no such thing. I wonder if this means that the Arkansas conference is more organized than Texas?? I will have to report back on this because I haven't witnessed a lot of organization in the UMC yet....bureaucracy, yes.....organization, no.

I suppose that is true of many large organizations but it can be frustrating to deal with on a personal level. What is kind of funny is that as my anxiety levels rose this past year, my own organization levels decreased. And I am paying the price now. The hardest thing to pack so far as been my office. It is a nightmare of paper. I believe that the worst is over but it has not been a pleasant experience. It has involved throwing a lot of stuff away which I always wonder, "Will I need that in the future?"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

She's Back

My baby girl is back from Florida. And just like a teenager, she left with friends about an hour after she got home. I'm just glad that she made it back safely and had a great time. It's good to have her home again.

I'm glad that I will be at my D.Min. seminar and getting settled into a new church when she is gone for three weeks this summer for her Duke University TIP program studies. One week has been bad, I can't even imagine how three would be.

I guess that it is practice for when she goes to college, but I still get to enjoy her for a few more years.

The DS has found a pastor to take on my little church here. It will be part of a 2-point charge with a totally unexpected church. The pastor and I come out of the same home church and are good friends. I hope that he does well here and that the church prospers.

I preached on the Great Commission today. I told them that it says "Go" not stay and wait for the people to show up. I hope that they understand.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Coming Home

Well, my baby is on the bus headed back home. She should be here by tomorrow afternoon. She was very excited by the castle at Disney and I told her that I had visited the inspiration for the Cinderella castle when I was stationed in Germany.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Feeling Old

Today I am trying to read one of the books for my D.Min. and I think that the typeface is about as tiny as they could get away with. I'm thinking that either my vision is totally gone or I need a magnifying glass. It is slow going.

Update: I have discovered the side-effect of getting the flu. My dieting had plateaued and the flu blasted through that obstacle. I have now lost a total of 45 pounds since October. I might have to replace the new pants that I just bought. Ahhhhhh..........................

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Ryss has been gone to Florida since Tuesday. I know that it is only Thursday but it sure feels longer. She was moved up into the High School band last year which qualified her to go on this trip to march in the Disney parade. They won't be back until Sunday afternoon. I didn't realize how boring I am until I was left alone to bore myself.

Now don't get me wrong. I am still busy as ever. Packing, reading, writing, etc., but it just feels quiet and kind of still around here. I am almost over being sick except for the lingering cough which packing is not helping (dust, dust everywhere). Yesterday was busy with Mom's Day Out but it still felt really quiet.

I did find out there is one significant difference between the Arkansas Conference and the Texas Conference. Arkansas' appointments are effective July 1st and Texas' is effective the second Sunday of June. Which left me with nearly a month without pay.

I resolved that I was not going to worry about it and let God work it out. A few hours later I got an email saying that they have moved my appointment date up to June 15th, Hallelujah!! Now I only have two weeks to worry about finances, which is one reason that I have been sitting at home in the evenings. I don't want to spend any more money than I absolutely have to, but I'm convinced that it will all work out.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I didn't realize how spoiled I had become until I started searching for a house to rent. I love my parsonage. It is big, beautiful and in a great location. I have found a couple of places to move to, all in good school districts. One of them will cost $315 more a month than the other will.

It is a lot nicer place and more comparable to what we have been living in but I'm not sure that it is smart to spend an extra $315/month just for my spoiled sensibilities. I don't want to go overboard and not leave us any extra to go and experience the things that will be offered in the big city, travel and for all that's holy finally have high-speed Internet.

Give me your insights. I am tired of having to pinch pennies every time we decide to do something. Plus, I thought if we can't stand it we can move when the lease is up and maybe have a better handle on what we can and can't afford. Because I have no idea how much utilities will be..............

I am going to Little Rock next week for a newcomer's orientation given by the Bishop's Office. It will be physically very hard to get there and still make all the end of year banquets that Ryss has next week.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


There is nothing like packing your life into cardboard boxes to make you wish that you had not accumulated so much stuff. My back is breaking just packing the books. Books that I cannot live without obviously; theology books, preaching books, commentaries, pastoral care........... the list is endless.

It, also, highlights the fact that as a housekeeper you really haven't done a very good job. Packing is definitely not something that someone who is still having massive coughing fits needs to do. I think that there are parts of my house that haven't been dusted in four years. I shudder to think about what is to come.

I thought I had found the perfect house, withing walking distance of the church, but he won't let me bring my dogs. No deal. I think that if he hadn't just finished replacing the carpet I could have convinced him, but, alas, it wasn't to be. Oh well, I can always live with my aunt and uncle until I find something and I still have three weeks. My aunt is getting right on it, so maybe I will have something soon.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Long Delay

Sorry for the long delay since my last post. I woke up last Friday with a temperature of 103. I've never had a fever like that as an adult. It put me down for the count. I am still battling a residual low-grade fever and a cough but am feeling much better. Especially since a call I got yesterday.................

I have been officially appointed to the Arkansas Conference. I have the great new job as Associate pastor of a big church. I am so very excited. I was jumping up and down yesterday (and then stopping to cough until I choked).

Now the hard work really begins. I have to try to get all packed up here, find a house there, try to get as much of my Pre-Seminar D.Min. stuff done as possible, and continue to minister to the folks here. It's a tall order but I know that with God's help it will all come together.

I owe all of you my thanks because I know that you have been praying that this worked out for the best and it did. Thank you!!