Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday

This afternoon a facebook friend posted, "Theological question for the evening, Could you stay wake all night in the garden if someone plied you with wine all through dinner?"  Thinking back to my adventures in high school and college I replied, "I'd be frolicking through the garden nude."

Actually, after a glass of wine I get pretty sleepy.  I would definitely need some 5 hour energy or tea to keep me up all night with Jesus.  Right now that Mt. Dew I had with my pizza is keeping me awake.

Tonight I participated in our Maundy Thursday service.  Every church does something different.  Tonight I was a reader, communion assistant, and even part of the sermon.  Wow!  I don't understand how Pastor's do that weekend after weekend.  I must say that being a part of the service in that way makes it much more meaningful for me.  Tonight as we stripped the Altar, I read aloud Psalm 22.

The facebook post, the service tonight, and the Mt. Dew has me up thinking about Jesus in that Garden, praying, knowing what is about to happen.  It occurred to me that Jesus never got to go to sleep again.  Wednesday was his last night of sleep, and then Thursday he has a long day filled with passover, foot washing, and then he's praying in the garden...and bam...arrest and downward spiral.  The man had to be exhausted.  There hanging on the cross, completely exhausted.  It's not just the torture, but the sure exhaustion that really bothers me tonight.  The fact that Jesus was up all night worrying and praying to God for comfort.  His frustration with the disciples for falling asleep, and his faith in God that this is the right thing. 

It all reminded me of the night I lost my sister.

I remember feeling hopeless.  Not being able to sleep.  Not understanding what had just happened, but praying to God that it would be okay.

I hate the phrases "Every thing happens for a reason" and "God has a plan."  I refuse to believe in a God that would take my sister away from me to cause pain to my family as part of some divine plan.  However, I find comfort in the fact that God knows what it means to be exhausted and in pain.  That God suffers with us in through our trials.  That tomorrow we will meet God at the cross and on Sunday, we will all wake up to find an empty tomb. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Story

This past week I went to the Twin Cities for a thing at Luther Seminary called Winter Convocation.  Basically I heard a bunch of speakers, ate some food, hung out with friends, and then heard some more people talk.  It actually was pretty boring this year, except for the eat food and hang out with friends part, that was fantastic.  I also got to spend time with Erik, which is more fantastic!

On Groundhog's day, during my last workshop (which I didn't get the point of), Erik kept texting me to hurry up and come to the OCC (Student Campus Center).  After taking my time, and trying to get him to come meet me in Stubb Hall, I went to the OCC.  When I got the the OCC, his brother Andy was standing there holding a bouquet of flowers, which he gave to me and told me that my next clue was "a certain water fountain in the library."  "But there are lots of water fountains in the library!"  "He says you know."  Well, I did know, because when Erik and I first started dating, he sent me on a scavenger hunt.

In my knee high three inch heels and 15 degree weather I made my way from the OCC to the Library.  I looked under the water fountain and there was a picture of Toby where the call letters of a book.  I made my way to the book stacks and searched for the book.  I have to admit, it had been a while since I had used that filing system and it took me a while to find the book (and the Reese's!).  Inside the book was a note telling me to go check his mailbox.

I ventured outside again in my heels and thin gloves back to the OCC.  Meanwhile people are commented on my flowers.  Inside Erik's mailbox is a strip of pictures from a photo booth and a note telling me to tell me to "go to the stairwell where you first told me you wanted to date."

I'm not going to lie, I kind of knew what was up, but when I got that clue, I really knew and I got really excited and nervous.  I walked back outside to the stairwell in Bockman hall.  Erik was hiding around the corner.  I called out his name, and he peaked around the corner.  I said "hello."  He said "Hello.  You're suppose to ask if I have anything for you."  "Do you have anything for me?" I asked.

He pulled out a ring and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

And of course I said yes.

I absolutely love that he proposed to me in the same place I first told him I like him.  I now have an amazingly thoughtful sweet fiance.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Look I'm Blogging!

I live in this small town in the Midwest that has a professional football team.  Isn't that crazy?  A small town with professional sports.  What's even nuttier is that the team is owned by the town and the people.  Yeah, not some rich captialist guy, but common people.  And this team is going to the Super Bowl.  Which is even crazier considered the first half of the football season the majority of the team was injured.

Go Pack! Go!

Things are well.  Job is going well.  I decided not to go back to school for many reasons, but the main one is I enjoy working with the youth and want to focus on that (and advoid adults as much as possible).  I really enjoy it and I get to be creative. 

Erik got back from Norway in December.  We spent some days together over Christmas break, and then last weekend I went to go see him.  It was very cold in Minneapolis.  I'll see him next week when I go to Luther for Convocation.

I'm getting back into shape and training for a half-marathon.  I had slacked off too much for the full and I didn't want to run the full unless I could put in a good effort.  I've been at the gym everyday this week.  Except today was my rest day.

I've also started journaling again!  My hand cramps because I'm not use to writing, but it's probably better for me emotionally and spiritually then blogging.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Beer Wars

Sharing a beer flight with Sarah at
Titletown Brewery in Green Bay. 
Might I add their steak fries are delicious.

This evening I watched the movie Beer Wars.  It's all about America's beer industry and how a bunch of greedy capitalists have ruined your beer.  That's right, that watery crap you've been drinking, that so called light beer; that's not beer.  I really don't understand how people can drink that crap.  A couple years ago I started to drink beers with more flavor and decided that I needed to expand my beer drinking.

That's right, I became a beer snob.

It's true, I pride myself on being a beer snob.  At my 10 year class reunion I drank soda because I wasn't going to lower my standards for a Bud Light.  I can no longer drink Bud, Miller, or Coors without getting sick, literally, give me headaches.  It all taste like sugar water.  Perhaps all this snobbery started with the Old Chicago Beer Tour, but today I learned that most of those beers are still owned by the major corporations.

Dear Miller Light,
Our Relationship is Over.
 My snobbish pride got even worse after moving to Wisconsin and learning to home brew with Erik.  Brewing beer is so easy and so much fun.  I'm surprised how much my taste buds have changed.  The only beer around here that I really drink is Spotted Cow or anything else from the New Glarus Brewing Company, and I love the local brewery, Titletown Brewery.   

The thing is, I associate light beer and these big companies with alcoholism.  Good beer is expensive.  And when you have a good beer, are you going to chug it, or sit back and enjoy it with a nice steak off the grill.  That's what I thought.  You are going to savor that fine brew.  But if you are just looking to get wasted, are your going to spend eight to ten dollars are a local six pack of craft brew bottles, or are you going to buy twelve aluminum cans of the cheap shit and do beer bongs (Beer in a can???  Isn't the point of that to stick it up a chicken's ass?).

I get so frustrated looking at all these pictures of "kids" on facebook drinking that cheap beer, because what are they doing, getting drunk.  The whole purpose of drinking crappy beer is to get drunk.  I know, I was in high school once, too.  I used to think Budweiser had flavor, then I grew up.

So grow up people.  Support your local economy that gives a damn about the environment and appreciates the art and craft of brewing, and stop drinking that commercial shit you think is beer.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Back when I was in Junior High there was this band called the Gin Blossoms.  You might remember the song, "Hey Jealous."  On the same album (this was back when people bought and listened to the whole CD) there was a song called "29."  As I approached my 29th birthday I remembered this song.  That's when I remembered this line..."29 you'd think I'd know better..."

My friend Heath tells me that 29 is a turning point of sorts.  Big things happen at 29.  This is because Jupiter returns to the position it was in when you were born (it takes Jupiter 29 years to run around the sun).  At 29 you either grow-up or get left behind.  Perhaps it's the limbo of all ages, your early 20s are long gone, but you haven't really made 30 (which I've decided is some magical age where everything comes together).

I hope this year brings more wisdom and maturity to my life (but not too much).  Maybe I will finally learn how to manage my money.

So far the year has started off well.  I got to see the Packers beat the Viking with my dad at Lambeau Field.  It was a really good game and time.  We parked my car by the stadium early in the day, then that night my mom dropped us off.  The great part (besides the Vikings losing and getting to watch Clay Matthews) was hanging out with my dad.  Dads are great at making you feel like a kid and buying you nachos.  Because secrectly, I still feel like I'm 12.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Sometimes I wonder why I was so determined to leave West Central Illinois.  What would be so horrible about having a few friends from high school and seeing my family more often?  Perhaps if I just moved back home I wouldn't be so lonely all the time.  I would have people to go out to dinner with and friends to drink hot chocolate with.  I could go to my parents on Sunday for dinner.

But I'm not "home."  I'm not even sure what that word means.  I refer to my apartment as home, but I feel so lost.  I feel like my soul is spread all over the midwest.  I've made this circle, jumping back and forth over the Mississippi River and for what?  What am I really accomplishing in Green Bay?  Am I really making a difference?  Am I really living out my dreams?  Can I really stay here much longer?

I've been here over a year, and I believe I've been asked to dinner by a members of my congregation maybe twice.  I keep looking for ways to meet people.  I keep trying, but I'm not very successful.  I just blend in with everyone else and no one knows I'm new. 

I know I'm a strong, introverted person, but I really dislike Green Bay.  Cedar Rapids had more to do then this town. 

I cross off the days on my calendar, but what am I waiting for?  I'm going to be 29 and I know that's not old, but it feels like it is.  I feel like I should be making a bigger difference in the world.  That I should be doing more, something extreme, but I'm not. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Let the Freaking Out Continue

Yep, I'm still a little freaked out by my decission to become a pastor.  My life will never be the same, but it's not really a scared freak out, it's a just a little freaked out. It's not a "I can't do this" it's a "What did I just do?" 

Today's Friday, so it's my day off!  I know, I took Monday off as well, but I only work 32 hours a week and I had board meetings this week, and that pretty much sucks up all my hours.  I hate meetings.  I know they are important, but sometimes they are just so painful.  Maybe I should start to knit during meetings to pass the time.

On the path to becoming a pastor, I have turned in my application and scheduled my psychological evaluation.  I need to still schedule my initial interview (I'll call on Monday) and read some short book.  Then December 9th and 10th my candadicy committee gets together and decides whether or not I am destined to a be a pastor.  If they decide yes, I will be taking online classes in Feburary, pending being admitted to the Seminary.  I also have to surrender my MA in order to transfer my MA into a MDiv.  I'm a bit shaken up about this.  I worked so hard for that degree, and I have to give it back if I want to count those years towards my new degree.  On the plus side, I am 15 credits (+ Greek), CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) and 1 intership year away from my MDiv.  I'm thinking it will take 3 years...maybe???

Oh, I think I will be planning a mission trip to Puerto Rico next year!  I called the Lutheran Camp, and quickly learned that I need to brush up on my Spanish.  I'm hoping they call back; I'm also hoping to find someone to translate :)