Friday, April 27, 2007

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five: What are you....

1. Wearing

T-shirt and jeans (standard clothes for when I am not at church)

2. Pondering

How I can still have strep throat AGAIN!!! I was diagnosed with it two weeks ago today. My 10 days of penicillin ended on Sunday. By Tuesday night, my throat was scratchy again. I realized yesterday that I had the same exact symptoms that I had two weeks ago. I went to the walk-in clinic and had the strep confirmed. Now I am on stronger medication, and it had better go away. I don't think it would be very fun to have my tonsils removed at age 30.

(BTW, my 4 year old son went with me to the dr. yesterday, and I had him looked at, too, because he coughed all day long. He has tonsillitis. Just put our house under a 2 month quarantine.)

3. Reading

I am reading two books: Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres and Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich

I also have started The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis as our bedtime reading book.

4. Dreaming

Decorating my office. I have an office for the first time in my life, but I am terrible at decorating it. I have lived in my house for 3 years now, and it isn't decorated either. I guess first I will have to see how much I will use the office, but I would like a place where the youth can hang out after class.

5. Eating

Chicken salad sandwich. I had no food in my house for lunch. I ordered groceries online in the late morning. I picked them up in the afternoon, and I made myself a couple of sandwiches. I just didn't feel like walking around a grocery store for 50 minutes with two tired boys (who did nap in the car on the way to pick up the groceries).

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Taking Care of Mama

My boys have been sick in the past few weeks. Ear infection, pneumonia, febrile seizures....I had to go to a doctor 4 times in 6 days.

Two weeks ago, I noticed that my throat was sore. I chalked it up to the pollen in the air. I've never had allergies; but with the record pollen counts, I figured that if I was ever going to develop an allergy to pollen this was the year.

As I have cared for the boys--even taking the youngest for an EEG on Thursday (he was the one with the febrile seizure last week)--I ignored my throat.

Thursday night I could ignore it no longer. I couldn't even swallow. Plus, I developed a fever, too.

I didn't even want to say it, but I knew what it was. The doctor at the walk-in clinic confirmed it. It was strep throat. Also, it was moving into my ears because there was fluid there.

I have not had strep throat in about 18 years. When I was younger, I got it every year at least once. In Kindergarten, I must have had it four times in one winter. My mother could diagnose strep throat from the smell of my breath--too bad she is 200 miles away--she could have sent me to the doctor before now.

Thank you, God, for penicillin. Even after the first dose (and a little sleep), I was feeling a whole lot better.

I guess that this Mama needs to remember to take her symptoms of illness more seriously in the future.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Five: Dental Edition

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five

1. Are you a regular patron of dentists' offices? Or, do you go

a) faithfully, as long as you have insurance, or
b) every few years or so, whether you need it or not, or
c) dentist? what is this "dentist" thing you speak of?

Nowadays, it is A. My whole family has dental insurance, and I make sure that all of us go to the dentist twice a year.

When I was growing up, my dad had dental for a couple of years. I went to the dentist between ages 9 and 12. Thankfully, I had sealants put on my teeth; and I am firmly convinced that they saved my teeth. I had two cavities growing up. Later, my wisdom teeth impacted and caused a few more, but I have never had a root canal.

After ds #1 was born, I decided to start going back to the dentist (14 years after my last visit at age 12) and also the orthodontist. My teeth are great now--and I intend to keep them that way.

2. Whatever became of your wisdom teeth?

All my wisdom teeth were extracted. It wasn't that bad. I had heard so many horror stories, but I had a rather easy time.

3. Favorite thing to eat that's BAAAAAD for your teeth.

Unpopped or half-popped popcorn kernels. Also, sugar (esp. in the form of chocolate).

4. Ever had oral surgery? Commiserate with me.

The only oral surgery I have had was to remove my wisdom teeth. It wasn't that bad for me.

5. "I'd rather have a root canal than _________________."

I don't know. I've never had a root canal. My dh has had so many of them though, and I don't envy him.

Bonus: Does your dentist recommend Trident?

No, but they do keep trying to push tooth whitening. I have found the Crest Whitestrips to work fine, so I'll skip the in-office whitening.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Saying Goodbye

I was asked to be the lay leader today at church, and I also gave the mission moment about my time at H___ Baptist Church. Here is what I said during the mission moment:

H____ Baptist Church is the third church that I have joined.

The first church I joined was the church of my childhood. It was the church where I learned the stories: bible stories, stories about missionaries, and faith stories. The Sunday School teachers nurtured me. The Women’s Missionary Union leaders encouraged me to get involved. I sang in the choir. I completed mission action projects. I participated in Christmas plays. I sat beside my Grandma so many Sundays. As a young child, I was disruptive sometimes and had to be taken out of the sanctuary during worship. At age four, I remember thinking to myself that I was a big girl now, and I had to start keeping my eyes closed when prayers were being said.

The church of my childhood was where I first encountered death. Beloved leaders of the church passed away—sometimes all too sudden and at a young age. But it was also a place where I encountered life—true life, eternal life. It was in that church that I walked the aisle and gave my heart to Jesus, and I was baptized when I was eight. It was a place of seeking God’s will for my life as I started to realize that I was being called to do God’s ministry on earth.

The church of my childhood is not perfect. There have been bitter divisions over the years. Members have left because of conflict. People have been hurt by words and attitudes. But even through it all, this church has been a part of my spiritual journey.

The second church I joined was the church where I took a stand theologically. On a Sunday in June in the year 2000, I joined that church so that my gifts could be affirmed. I had begun attending that church ten years ago—just after I married my dh, for it was the church of his childhood. I later asked if I could complete my internship at that church because somewhere along the line I realized that church members are not supposed to be passive listeners but active participants.

It was a church that taught me how to listen, how to speak, how to learn within the context of ministry. The church members offered a lot of feedback and a lot of encouragement. I was licensed to the gospel ministry by that church. The staff became my friends. It was not a perfect church—I have attended deacon’s meetings to attest to that fact. There were discussions about whether to display an American flag outside the church. There were discussions about baptism and how it applied to new members who had not been a part of a Baptist church. There were your usual dramas and power struggles that go on in any group. Yet I found a church that could understand me and my spiritual journey and support me.

I was still a member of that church when I moved to the Triangle. I thought since I was about to graduate with my Masters of Divinity that I would not change my membership until I was called to that church where I would work. But that was not to be.

The third church I joined was H_____ Baptist Church. And it is in this church that I have learned about love and service. From 2002 to mid-2004, I had not been an active part of any church. We visited a church in Morrisville for a while when we were living near RTP. But we did not join because I thought I would not be able to stay for long if I was called to a position. In June 2004, my family moved to north Raleigh. I knew that I would find a church where I could be an active member once my family was settled. Within a month, I had begun attending H_____ Baptist Church.

It was unlike any church that I had ever attended. First, there was a sense of community. Perhaps because the church is so young, the members make visitors feel welcome and seek to engage them in worship and the weekly activities. Second, there was a sense of acceptance. It was perfectly fine for my then two-year-old ds to make a little noise during worship. This church supports families of all kinds. Third, there was a sense of vision. This church is not a church based on programs and tradition. It is a church that sees needs and works to address them. And it is all about love.

I am a part of a church that encouraged me to stand and proclaim the good news. I am a part of a church that welcomes my toddler into a Sunday School room and doesn’t mind it when he chooses a loud toy to pick up. I am part of a church that offered me care after my second ds was born and after my grandma passed away. I am a part of a church where I can see that members have an investment in the health of the congregation—where they seek to deal with conflict in positive ways and do not create power struggles. I am a part of a church where my biracial children do not have to feel that they are different because we have many races here. I am a part of this church. I come here with joy because I know that when I hit that door, I feel the presence of God. And God’s love for me is present when I am in this place. It is not a perfect church—nothing on this side of heaven is perfect. There is still a lot of growth to come. There will still be conflicts that arise. There will always be some who disagree with a theological stand that this church takes. But it is a place where I have found a fellowship of faith, hope, and love.

H_____ Baptist Church is a place where I can serve God. Since it is a small church and not program driven like older churches, there is an initiative for all members to be involved. It amazes me to see the members here step into roles of leadership and nurturing. We are a people who are attentive to the Holy Spirit and do not seek to just be fed during worship on Sunday morning. At least, that is the way I see this community of faith.

H_____ Baptist Church is the third church I have joined.

Next week, I will join another church. I have been called. For so long I have waited for God to show me where I would go. But I admit that in leaving this church, I feel that the call has come too soon. I ask for your prayers and your blessing. Thank you.