Wednesday, January 23, 2008

That's no lady, that's the fly lady

And I am now taking flying lessons from her. Some of you have already gone through the beginning steps and are well on your way being able to fly freely. I can't remember if I read about the Fly Lady on one of your blogs or in Newsweek or somewhere, but thanks to whoever did write about her. I like her permission giving, and affirming attitude. Who would have thought that a shiny clean sink could be the perfect start to the whole act of decluttering, the Fly Lady did, and now I have a shiny sink. So the decluttering has begun in my house and my husband has even gotten into it, by cleaning out his pants. Bravo. He even made sure the bathtub was clean after the kids got through with their baths last night. Yea! I had told him what I was doing. If you recall I had written a post about my need to declutter. I had already started decluttering some things, but not ever really knowing how, it was a haphazard job and I found myself wanting to avoid certain areas. But not anymore, I now have the courage, the no how and the way to do it. I am not going to be able to do everything she says to do the way she says to do it, and that's okay. I'll do what I can when I can, I got to work too. Okay, got to run, the Fly Lady is telling me its time for more flying lessons. See you when I get through with this one.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Year of the Bible

This is the Year of the Bible for St. John UMC.

God has challenged us to read through the Bible in a Year.

In order to do that we gave out a Reading Plan for a year.

We offered Disciple Bible Study on Sunday nights which takes you through the Bible.

We offered on Wednesday nights a Bible Study to follow through the Bible reading plan.

I am preaching sermons that go through the Bible for the year.

I made a plan that everyone would be on the same sheet of music, and that the sermons would fall in line with the readings. You know what they say about best laid plans of Mice and men/women. I forgot about the orientation session of the Disciple Bible Study and then the next session introducing the Bible. So the Disciple Bible Study group is just starting their reading of Genesis. We had a death in the church and the visitation fell on Wednesday night, so we delayed the start of their study. They start this week with a study of the first readings in Genesis.

I am already through the second set of readings as far as preaching goes.

My point in keeping these all together was that I was teaching, preaching and reading. Umm help I think I need another teacher or something or a reprieve or something. Any suggestions?

God is this your plan? You got any ideas, God?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fridy Five:Read Any Good Books Lately?

REVHROD at revgalblogpals brings us this thoughtful yet challenging Friday Five. The website promoting this piece of art says, "For the first time, the worlds most influential religious texts are brought together and presented on the same level, their coexistence acknowledged and celebrated”. The shelf is made of reclaimed wood that contains seven religious books. The designers have put them – literally – on the same level.

Well, pish posh! I think that some books ARE better than others! How about you?

  1. What book have you read in the last six months that has really stayed with you? Why? To be honest, I had major problems with concentration and memory the last six months, so not much stayed with me from my reading. So I'll just share what I read that I can remember I read. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, The Daring Book for Girls, The Big Book of Girl Stuff, Blue Shoes and Happiness (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Book 7), Friends, Lovers, Chocolate: An Isabel Dalhousie Mystery, The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs, and a lot of children's books. Can you tell I like Alexander McCall Smith's writings?) Did I mention that I read books on Natural Church Development, Now Discover Your Strengths, and the Bible?
  2. What is one of your favorite childhood books? The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy, The Wizard of Oz books, The Encyclopedia, World Book's Child Craft, any book I could get from the library and the Children's book of Bible stories.
  3. Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? yes Do tell! Psalms
  4. What is one book you could read again and again? The Bible, The Harry Potter books and The Chronicles of Narnia.
  5. Is there a book you would suggest for Lenten reading? I don't. What is it and why?

And because we all love bonus questions, if you were going to publish a book what would it be? The Daring Book for Female Ministers. Who would you want to write the jacket cover blurb expounding on your talent? Barbara Brown Taylor. She would write that she would have never left the church had she read this book first, instead she would be planting a new church! And you too can be a Daring Female Minister. Abi, where were you in the midst of my Pastoring crisis? You new female ministers pay heed, and you too can be a Daring Female Minister.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I wrote this on Wednesday but my computer froze and was unable to post this until today, Thursday.

Tonight is visitation at the funeral home for one of my members who died of Emphysema. She inherited her condition from her family, but complicated it by smoking at one time in her life. She was in ICU for quite a while, and I had been visiting with her and her family since we got back from vacation. They had her hooked up to every machine, line, iv possible. She struggled most of the time and didn't like all that, I wouldn't either. It came to the point that the Doctors began to talk with the family about that all important question of beginning to remove meds., and life support. Her living will stated she would have wanted that so it was done. After every thing was removed she was breathing on her own, her numbers looked better, and she was peaceful. They did keep her on pain medication to keep her comfortable. The family was less anxious, but the Doctors had been honest with them it could be a few hours or a few days. It was a few hours and she took her last breath. Tomorrow we bury her.

It got me to thinking about breath and breathing. I don't have lung problems, its not in my family. I have two other members who have lung problems due to family genes. I will admit I did smoke in my younger days. I wanted to be cool, it seemed to help with the stress of late night studies. And then I was hooked. It was hard to quit and for a long time after I quit, there were times I wanted one. But I have not started back ever and that wanting a cigarette has gone away. Now why can't I do the same with food and compulsive eating, I am not sure, but this post is about breath and breathing, and the other is for another day and time.

It is interesting I do often find myself not breathing, holding my breath, and taking shallow breaths. I do that a lot, especially when I am stressed. I have found I have to be mindful of my breathing. I used to meditate regular with deep breathing as part of that time. I have gotten away from that, but I am wondering if I need to bring it back into my time of prayer and meditation. As I have been de-cluttering, it has made me wonder how the weight of all the clutter on me makes it hard for me to breath. As I have kept my time usage journal, it has made me wonder how much my busyness keeps me from breathing properly. And as I look at how little I exercise these days, I wonder how little good oxygen I am taking in. And I wonder about my weight what effect that has on my breathing. Lots of questions, that again lead to being mindful, being aware of myself and my most natural thing I do, breathing.

I used to have a prayer taped to my computer that was about breathing in the Holy Spirit, breathing in the good and breathing out the bad, etc. In the two moves, I have no idea where it is. I think I'll have to find it and tape it up again or carry it around with me to remind me to breath....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dust if you Must

Since I have posting about resolutions, time wasters, time drainers and decluttering. I thought I would share this with you all. You might have already seen it, but I thought I would send it on anyway. It appears as I have been decluttering the house and my office that there is a lot of dust that was hidden. Maybe that was the purpose for the clutter after all. My husband doesn't think to dust, I don't take the time to dust, but put a clothe or one of those feather dusters in our children's hand and they will dust away and then get in a fight over who dusted what and that they wanted to do that piece of furniture. Fine I quit. Mom she's being mean to me.

So without further adieu; Dust if you Must

Remember...a layer of dust protects the wood beneath it. !! ?(OR) ?Dust is God's protective covering for fine furniture! ?
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?Dusting

'A house becomes a home when you can write
'I love you' on the furniture.' AMEN !!
And my house is sure a home!!
I can't tell you how many countless hours
that I have spent CLEANING!
I used to spend at least 8 hours every weekend
making sure things were just perfect --
'in case someone came over.'

Then I realized one day that no-one came over;
they were all out living life and having fun!
Now, when people visit, I find no need to
explain the 'condition' of my home.
They are more interested in hearing about
the things I've been doing while I was
away living life and having fun.

If you haven't figured this out yet,
please heed this advice

Life is short. Enjoy it!
Dust if you must,
but wouldn't it be better to
paint a picture or write a letter,

or do some Bible study,
spend time with a friend
bake a cake or

plant a seed, go play golf,
ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
with rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
music to hear, songs to sing and books to read,
friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out
there with the sun in your eyes,
the wind in your hair, a flutter of snow,
a shower of rain.
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go -- and go you must --
you, yourself will make more dust!

I think I'll skip the dusting part of this.....

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


One of the things I have been reading about a lot in relation to making resolutions is the importance of de-cluttering. Most post will say if you want to be happy or successful for productive you need to de-clutter your space.

I have always had a cluttered office, but I could usually find what I was looking for.

My house has always been cluttered, but it really has gotten worse with the three kids, and less time spent on tidying up.

My car has become a mess, my kids keep telling me I need to clean it out, and they are right. Its like a second office.

My kids have been seeing this commerical on tv for a purse that you can organize everything in, and they keep telling me I need to buy it. They are probably right, my purse is even a mess.

My sister on the other hand is neat and tidy. When we shared a room growing up, she put the dressers up between us so she didn't have to see my messy side. Her house is still neat and tidy except for her teenage daughter's room. It looks like the way my side used to look during my teen years.

I have begun to declutter my desk and file things from 07 to make room for 08 files. But I need to go through my books and get rid of old ones that I don't need anymore. And I need to clean out the files of papers I don't need anymore. I would say this is going to take me some time to do this.

And I need to declutter my house of books, old clothes, toys, things, you name it, papers. It is amazing how much mail we get that is just plain useless. Ya got to file 13 it right then and there, cause if you don't it grows on you. I figure it will take a year or more to go through and declutter everything. But I am guess it is also a lifelong work. I figure that this isn't just about living simply, or having a Martha Stewart house, this is also a spiritual matter. And maybe I wrote this before, that Decluttering the "thing" does have to do with becoming less consumeristic and less being owned by the things. I think also there is a decluttering that goes on inside of me as well as I declutter the things around me. Perhaps as I declutter it will creat more space for the Holy in my life. Perhaps it will show me the treasure that God created called me. Who knows where this will lead.

I will say for those who wondered, I have started a journal of how I spend my time. I'll let you know what I Learn.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Christmas present for me?

Ah how nice, thank you.

My husband snores. I mean really snores, but not as bad as my dad. You could hear my dad all the way to the other side of the house. But there are times it is so bad, I have to go sleep on the couch. He doesn't have narcolepsy or a sleep disorder or need the surgery you can have for snoring, He just snores. He got an idea for a Christmas present for me, thinking it would help his snoring, and my sleep problem. He got me one of those sound therapy sound machines with 10 "soothing sounds".

It is interesting to me that he is sleeping better, is not snoring as badly and is more rested since we got the machine. I on the other hand am having to adjust to the "soothing sounds". I grew up with open windows and could sleep with all the country noises we had around us. But that was a long time ago. Last night was the first night I was able to sleep through the night. Lets hope that tonight I can do the same, I think I found the sound that works for me.

I do appreciate the gift, but it makes me wonder who this was really for; sort of like the birthday present, the GPS that is still in his car. Tee hee.

And besides that the kids like it, and they go in our bedroom and change the sounds to listen to them. I may have it set on one sound, but when I get ready to to bed, they may have it on something else. I like sounds of the waves, and the rainfall. I got in there last night and it was a thunderstorm. That is not restful.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday Five: Those New Year Resolutions

Sally over at revgalblogpals brings us this Friday Five:
Well it had to be didn't it, love them or hate them I bet you've been asked about New Year resolutions. So with no more fuss here is this weeks Friday Five;

1. Do you make New Year resolutions? Not anymore.

2. Is this something you take seriously, or is it a bit of fun? A bit of both

3. Share one goal for 2008. To quit wasting time so much.

4. Money is no barrier, share one wild/ impossible dream for 2008. Money no object, adopt another child.

5. Someone wants to publish a story of your year in 2008, what will the title of that book be? "Not that again"

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Those things that suck our energy

When I was writing my last post on time wasters, I came upon an article about those things that drain our energy. Lifehack called it the 7 Energy Sinkholes. Now I grew up in Florida and have seen many a sinkhole. I have seen where they swallowed houses whole. I have seen where they have swallowed up streets. It can happen quickly and without warning. There is no way of knowing ahead of time. One of the things they are talking about with the drought in Florida that they could possibly see quite a few sinkholes. But what about the Energy sinkholes in our lives? The article hit a nerve in me because I think it is something we as ministers have to deal with constantly in our work.

The article at says the following; Energy sinkholes are situations that repeatedly drain your energy and stress you out. Unfortunately, it is often hard to see sinkholes since they rarely cause a drain all at once. Instead they slowly leech away at your lifeforce until your stressed, depressed and apathetic.

Here are the big seven that may be stealing from you right now:
1 - Disorganization

2 - Poor Diet and Lack of Exercise

3 - Problem Contacts

4 - Focusing on Your Weaknesses

5 - Squeaky Hinges

6 - Blog/E-Mail/Facebook Addiction

7 - Pleasing People

Ouch, Ouch and double ouch.

But we could add to these;

Too many commitments

Being controlling

unfinished tasks

negative people

doing things that are not our passion or our strength

meetings for meetings sake

dealing with a lot of sickness, death and crisis sitations



Unresolved grief


negative thoughts about our selves


Hopelessness and/or despair


Being overresponsible


Too high of expectations


Too many people around you

Too few people around you

financial issues

The list could go on. And no wonder the energy drinks are big sellers. Maybe its important to know the things that drain you, so you don't end up sunk into some sinkhole either. Maybe it is important to know what are your energy boosters are also, so you are getting re-engerized and not depleted. I certainly don't want to be sunk in any sinkhole.

I think that along with keeping up with how I spend my time, I am going to keep up with what drains me as well as what energizes me.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Time Wasters

In my post on the new year, I mentioned the matter of wasted time. I have been thinking about that more today. I have been asking myself, just what is it I waste my time on, and what do I need to do to change it.

Christianity today has a survey asking What is your biggest time waster?
  • Rabbit trails in my sermon prep
  • Getting lost in my own thoughts
  • Phone calls and people interruptions
  • Paperwork or administration
  • Long, unnecessary meetings
  • The internet
  • Other
David Allen, Getting Things Done, Author said "You can't manage time, it just is. So "time management" is a mislabeled problem, which has little chance of being an effective approach. What you really manage is your activity during time, and defining outcomes and physical actions required is the core process required to manage what you do."

One book recommended keeping a journal of how you use your time in one week keeping track of it in 15 minute increments. Then they suggest you take a hard look at that list of doings and divide your activities into three categories:
  • Daily Definites: things you absolutely have to do like drive to work, pick up the kids from school, etc.
  • Distractions: computer backgammon, obsessively checking email, talking on the phone. Tell the truth.
  • Goal-Oriented Actions: activities that contribute to the life you’re committed to creating.

If by chance you noticed that your goal-oriented actions are curiously absent from your daily doings, what is your prescriptive choice? What can you give up to make space for your real life to occur? Are some of your Distractions disguised as Daily Definites?

So before I say, that definitely certain things are my time wasters, I think I am going to keep a time journal and then review it as suggested. I think I am going to go back an read the "GTD" book and see what I need to use from it.

So what are your time wasters? Have you ever kept a Time Journal? And have you been successful applying the "GTD" principles to your life?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy Beginning to 2008

I was thinking about the making of new year resolutions. I realized, I have made them and not fulfilled them. And I keep making them. There is something about a beginning that gives us the resolve to start new, try change things, be better. And we certainly all know we can do better.

I have also, prayed the covenant prayer of John Wesley.
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
I have found that helpful in setting a spiritual pattern. I like to use it at the start of the new year in worship. I have also been thinking of how much time I waste, and I am praying with God to not waste these days this year. I am praying to God to not let me waste my time I spend with my family this year. And not to waste my time with God. I am also aware that I have not always done a good job of taking care of this body that God gave me, this earthly temple. I am praying that I do a better job taking care of myself, my body, my health this year. And I have been thinking about how I don't always listen to God, I get myself going in so many ways, I just don't get still, close out the all the other things from my mind and stop and listen. I pray that I do a better job of stopping, centering, and listening to God. These are a few things I have been thinking about, and praying about. And these I covenant with God.