Tag Archives: work

Back to blogging

It’s been a month since my last blog about the Great Plains  Annual Conference. Following conference I took a week for sermon planning and a week for vacation. Seemed fairly straight forward and well planned.

You know the saying, “the best laid plans….” It was a good two weeks, but as the week of my sermon planning time began, a neighbor and a friend died. It was unexpected in many ways, I had seen him the week before and I would never guessed I would be planning service within 10 days.

In my neighborhood, I am not the “pastor” particularly. Some of my neighbors attend church in other denominations than mine. Some of my neighbors do not. To be a “neighbor” is a wonderful thing as opposed to being whatever my “vocation” might be. Yet, it was a privilege and honor to be asked to preside at this man’s funeral. It was his request and so I sat with his daughters and we found a way to honor his life and spirit.

He had many  talents,  not the least  of which was gardening. He was meticulous in pulling weeds and keeping his flowers and his lawn beautiful. He was smart and funny. I will miss him.

During the time I was so blessed to become acquainted with his daughters, brilliant and funny and accomplished each in their own jobs and professions. I now have in my home, a few things in which to remember this wonderful and thoughtful human being. These past few weeks have reminded me again how precious life is and how each person plays a part and makes a difference in the lives of others.

As I begin my second year at First UMC, I am so grateful for those people who created this place for people all over Wichita to encounter the living spirit of God. I am blessed to continue in ministry with the gifted people in this community of faith. Life is precious and the call of Christ is to be a neighbor to every person we meet and to make a difference in lives of others. I am thankful my friend’s life and death and memory reminds me of this reality and call. I am graced to serve in this city and in this place and in this neighborhood. Life. Downtown.


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Day off

Today is my scheduled “day off.” Has been for most of my ministry. I hesitate to call it sabbath because I am not always very good about actually delighting in the day.

Like many people, my days off consists of doing work that is not paid or not my “job” but needs to be done. There is laundry to done, grocery shopping, picking up, cleaning and other chores.

Today, I went to the YMCA. My husband and I started going in February of last year. During the summer, we didn’t go often because we were often on our bicycles or walking outside. The weather is changing, so this week we have been there four days out of five.

While I was there, I was thinking about all the things I needed to get done. I was tempted to cut short our time there in order to “get things done.” I literally had to “talk” to myself and give myself permission to just be there and enjoy (as much as I can enjoy exercise) my time there and be present to the moment.

I still had things to do today. I went to the grocery store, worked on the fall decorations and cooked dinner. There were many things I didn’t get done.

This evening, though, I cooked dinner, my husband and I watched a movie. It was nice to be doing something other than things that “had to be done.” The purpose of a day off is to live into a different rhythm, to relax and to enjoy the gift of time that God has given. While I certainly do not take time off “well” I continue to remind myself that work is a gift and rest and time off is a gift. When I can take time off and rest, then I have more energy and passion to live out the calling I have been give. When I am rested, I can certainly experience and know that I am, graced to serve.

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