Sabbath Monday: Ugh…Mondays

wp-1474943481096.jpgI write a lot about Sabbath. About how one should take time to practice it. That my Sabbath time typically includes reading or coloring or vegging in front of the TV with The Big Bang Theory. But that’s it…I’m writing about it. I might talk a good game but I stink at execution.

Prime example: Monday, September 26, 2016.

Mondays are my day off.

Now weeks ago I scheduled a meeting for this morning with a mission group the church is close with: Bridge Communities. Every November, Bridge holds a Sleep Out Saturday, where youth come together to raise awareness and money for homelessness in the Chicago area. (You’ll be hearing more.) My church assists a family through the Bridge program by providing temporary housing and mentoring to get them back on their feet. Lovely, right? There’s ties with Bridge and my church. So when the coordinator of Sleep Out Saturday (SOS) asks if the church is available for an SOS info meeting and would the church host, I said “Sure!” And I knew I’d been attending the meeting, whether it was at the church or elsewhere so really, I was stuck. I figured I’d swap my day off or perhaps make up for it another time. I don’t know…

At 6:50am this morning I rolled into church. I ran around getting things ready, moving TVs and setting up the computer with the TV because there was a funeral that morning at church so I wanted to be out of the way as soon as possible. Awesome, right?

Wrong.

Not only was I in on my day off but I was also in the office after a very long weekend with the youth. Granted, I knew about this meeting,. I set it up. But ugh…it stunk to be in the office.

Both my colleague and I have been running around lately. Funerals mainly for him. Children, youth and more for me. I also figured if I’m here, I might as well work cuz why not? I’m taking Friday as a trade off but it still stunk to be in. My whole week is off now.

And then our bookkeeper said something to me that made me pause. She said, “Well you need to look out for yourself too.” Damn, she’s right! Others have told me the same thing but I hate being reminded. I mean, I’m glad but it’s like looking in a mirror and seeing your reflection aka flaws. It’s good but who likes to be called out on something?

I’ve done nothing but work my a– off these last few weeks, my weekends are full of work and other commitments and I haven’t been listening to what I’ve been writing and preaching about on my blog! Pastors are notorious for this though, so I know I’m not the only one. BUT…

Basically, I need to learn the Art of Saying ‘No’. It’s easier said than done. And I’ve sort of done that recently, so…It’s a start.

When I left work at noon (not a minute later), I stopped for groceries. I came home and had lunch. I read. I napped. I threw open the windows and have let the cool fall air fill my apartment. I have watched TV and rested.

I’m still exhausted and I’m not looking forward to  working part of the day, then going home for a break and meals, then going back to church for evening meetings 3 times this week, but ah well…

I plan to Sabbath during those afternoon breaks. I plan to finish a book and make headway on 2 other books I’m reading. I plan to sip tea tonight and curl up on my couch and read until my eyes won’t stay open.

I plan to start practicing what I preach.

 

Friday 5: Church Camp

God's Mailbox

God’s Mailbox

Tonight is my yearly trek up to church camp in Michigan with the confirmands.

It’s only a weekend trip, as most of my trips up there are, but our short time there is incredible. I take youth up to our church camp about twice a year. I’ve been to both of our conference’s camps and each are great in their own way. But Michigan, it’s different.

Here goes nothing:

5 reasons why I love going to our Michigan church camp:

Number 1: It’s Michigan in the Fall. The camp is located near Lake Michigan. When you pull up at night it’s creepy since it’s so dark. In the morning we’ll notice the trees are just starting to change colors, the air is a bit crisper but not enough to keep us bundled up or indoors. It’s supposed to be in the upper 70s all weekend and clear, which means hiking to God’s Mailbox and the Dunes will be a fabulous walk. God’s splendor in fall weather at it’s best.

Number 2: The wildlife. I’ve chased deer, well mysterious deer. The youth saw it and then lost it so we tracked it. I’ve heard owls at camp and seen field mice scamper by out at God’s Mailbox. I’ve followed a pack (flock?) of wild turkey who like to roam the camp as unofficial residents. The trees are one thing, the wildlife another.

Number 3: Not your typical camp. The camp does have cabins it uses in the summer but for the most part, my groups stay in the more retreat like cabins with running water and air conditioning. It may not be a five star resort but it’s better than roughing it all week, which I don’t do.

Number 4: The youth, especially on this trip. This trip it’s the confirmands, those 8th grade youth going through Confirmation. This is the first real chance I get to spend with them to get to know them. By the weekend’s end, I’ll have learned a bit about how they tick, what they like and dislike. I’m usually left exhausted and Sunday afternoon I want to crash. I mean, it is a bunch of 8th graders. But I love it. They teach me things I never knew about and allow me to experience God in a whole new way.

Number 5: God’s Mailbox. It’s my favorite thing about the Michigan Camp. It’s literally a mailbox in the middle of the forest. After about a 20 minute “hike” (meaning on the designated path that’s still wild but mostly clear), the youth come before the mailbox and a cross. Before the group leaves for God’s mailbox we always write a letter or a prayer or whatever. Then we put it in the mailbox, say a silent prayer and from there the camp staff takes the letters to burn. The idea being those prayers or letters go up to God. Though the mailbox sits not too far from camp or the lake, it’s silent. If you listen closely you might hear the waves of the lake. It’s where I find God the most. It’s one of my favorite spots on this earth.

I’m hoping to have a God moment at some point this weekend, I usually do. And I hope the youth do too. I hope they come back with more than how fun the weekend was and the things the group did.

Well, I suppose I need to go get things done. Lots to do before I leave!

Happy weekend everyone!

 

 

Misc. Wednesday: Let’s Go Racing

wp-1474514054302.jpgThis past weekend I was in the grandstands here in the Chicagoland for a NASCAR race.

(Insert mocking here…)

I love NASCAR. It’s not all about turning left, though there is a lot of that. These men (and woman) are athletes, just not in the conventional sense. There’s bumping and passing. There’s strategy and maneuvering, like in chess. Racing is speed and the smell of burnt rubber and gas and sunburns and the permission to have a beer at 9am in the morning while tailgating.

And yes, there are stereotypes – rednecks and southerners. I’m not one of those country folks, FYI.

As race day approached, I thought, “I don’t know if I can stand for the National Anthem, mostly because I don’t know what that anthem means to me anymore. I don’t know if I can stand there and stomach the opening prayer, full of bad theology and blessings about our nation and those that died for it.” Oh, how my thoughts have changed since my first race.

I stood for the anthem, didn’t sing or anything. I didn’t care about the paratroopers dropping from the sky. In fact, I almost sat down. I’m spineless so I only thought about sitting down. My little defiance to the anthem was not paying attention. I kept the vomit in my mouth as the Midwestern preacher, who clearly thought he was in the south and faked the accent, gave the opening prayer. I mean really…You’re in Chicago, dude! Why the bleeping southern accent?

I decided to cheer for the new guy at the beginning of the race: Daniel Suarez. That’s right, Suarez. From Mexico. Racing in the predominantly southern, white NASCAR where there is like one other guy of color.

On the drive home and all this week I thought about the race. I thought about the lack of diversity in NASCAR, the lack of any real color beyond the different car decals. I thought about how women are barely visible in the sport, aside from Danica Patrick, who in my opinion isn’t even a good representative for us females (and she’s not all that hot). I thought about how patriotism has become God in this country and where church and state overlap in a very unhealthy sort of manner.

So many thoughts…So briefly…

Diversity in NASCAR sucks. At least at the top levels it sucks. There’s Suarez and Almirola. And Patrick, aka Danica. The rest are white. Mostly southern. Mostly conservative. All men. And that’s just the drivers. That’s not even including the pit crew or crew chiefs, who are mostly, you got it – white, conservative men. NASCAR claims to have a diversity program but breaking into the top levels is difficult even for a white driver. If you’re a woman or a person of color, forget about it.

Then there’s this patriotism thing. Always the flag, always recognizing our vets. Don’t misread me – I’m proud of those men and women who fight to keep me free, to have the freedom of speech and more. I had grandfathers who served, an uncle who served and a brother who serves. I am proud of what they did/are doing. However…

When did honoring our vets become like worshipping an idol at every sporting event? When did standing for the anthem become such a religious sort of moment? It’s a sporting event, not church. (I’m all for freedom of speech, so if you want to kneel or sit for the anthem, go for it. I’m with you, though at a NASCAR race when I’m outnumbered by a bunch of patriotiotic drunks, I’m going to stand and silently protest. See, spineless.)

Oh, and NASCAR originates in North Carolina – the state that banned anything to do with transgender people or gays or lesbians or blacks or anyone who isn’t white and conservative.  Don’t even get me started.

I have so many underlying issues with this sport I love. That isn’t to say other sports don’t have the same issues. Hockey is predominantly white too, though mostly northerners. And their accent is more, well Canadian. This problem bleeds into everything that is American.

How is it that our world is still so backwards? As I write this, there is a state of emergency in North Carolina over the protests happening over yet another cop shooting. WTF?!? Is this what the 60’s were like? Will it end? Will police stop being so gun happy when approaching a person of color? Will fear ever end? How do I explain to my youth or my nieces and nephews any of this?  And where are the protests over the white guys going free after raping someone? Ugh…

I don’t know if NASCAR will ever truly be integrated. I don’t know if my niece and nephew will ever attend a race in their lifetime that includes female drivers and other folks of color. I don’t know if there will ever be equality. I don’t know if this country will ever stop blending patriotism and religion and stop glorifying our vets. As I said, I get it but what’s so wonderful about war and death? How is they get lifted up and the men and women who came home in a coffin, who actually, literally gave their lives,  don’t? I don’t know if a white boy will ever get more than a slap on the wrist for committing rape.

How is any of this possibly okay?

I’m sad over the “I don’t knows.” I’m tired…

How long, O God? How long…

 

 

Friday 5: 4 Years Ago…

wp-1474041469944.jpg

Me 4 years ago…

Four years ago my friend and colleague led the congregation in the following song:

“Jeremiah was a bull frog
Was a good friend of mine
I never understood a single word he said
But I helped him drink his [grape juice]
And he always had some mighty fine [grape juice]”

Tony was preaching at my ordination and the text I chose for that day is one of my favorites: the prophet Jeremiah’s call from Jeremiah, chapter 1. Naturally, when one thinks the book of Jeremiah, we think bull frog and so, Three Dog Night was sung in church. (And the G version, hence the grape juice over wine. Children where present.)

September 16, 2012 was only 4 years ago and though this isn’t a momentous anniversary, it still is. The last few years I’ve passed over this day, going about my business and work. Thanks to Facebook I was reminded of my ordination day this morning. I often don’t think about that day, I don’t know why. My ordination certificate hangs right above my desk, so I’m reminded but I haven’t reflected back.

The day I graduated high school and college was awesome and incredible. The day that hood went over my head and I was awarded my masters degree, no words can describe. The day I was ordained in the United Church of Christ was something else all together. Because that day was special, I should celebrate it in some way every year, like a wedding anniversary or birthday.

Today’s Friday 5 is a look back on that day, on the things that made that day special to me.

Number 1: The congregation sang Three Dog Night in church. I mean, come on!?!? Plus, the Call to Worship was part words and part singing by the youth and 2 girls. The girls sang the chorus of “Here I Am, Lord,” which is my favorite hymn. I get chills just thinking about that opening before the procession.

Number 2: Having my friends and family there. Tony and I went to seminary together and I asked him to preach. He shared in worship that morning and then preached the ordination service. Then he and I shared in serving communion. Such a blessing. My friends came in from the area and one even drove in from Indy. My family was present and I don’t think I’ve ever seen my parents or my grandmother prouder of me. (And my sister announced she was pregnant that weekend and along came my niece. Life would never be the same. I also baptized my other niece the following weekend, my first baptism as an ordained minister. Talk about God moments.)

Number 3: The Jeremiah text grounds me. After God calls Jeremiah to speak, Jeremiah says, “Truly I do not know how to speak.” I totally get where he’s coming from. Before accepting the call to ministry, I was unsure of my call, unsure of my ability to do ministry, unsure of my voice. People told me I was crazy, that I had gifts. It took lots of prayer, listening to those people and knowing that God will send and guide and help me with the words. I still go back to that text when I’m unsure.

Number 4: The Holy Spirit was present. I can’t describe it but through tears and laughter, the weight off my shoulders, I knew the Holy Spirit was present that day. Those colleagues and friends who were present affirmed my call to ministry. My family affirmed my call. The congregation affirmed my call. I got chills and this overwhelming sense of peace that afternoon. I told myself that after years of discerning and waiting and shakiness, I was at peace and it’s a peace I cannot describe. (I see a tattoo in my future, just small enough for me to read it, on my wrist, with the word peace, a reminder of my ordination and my call. One day…and I’ve been saying that for 4 years!)

Number 5: I’m The Rev.! I still can’t get over that. I have surreal moments when I go, “Say, what? I’m a minister?” There have been good days and bad, moments of joy and sorrow. There have been moments I’ve wanted to throw it all in and do something else. And yet, this is my call. I am Reverend. I am Pastor Amanda. I have a congregation I enjoy leading. I am at peace and happy with where God is guiding me.

“Here I am, Lord…Is it I, Lord? I will go Lord, if you lead me…I will hold your people in my heart.”

 

Misc. Wednesday: Listening

Placeholder ImageThe typical Pastor wears many hats. Something I think many forget about.

Pastors are admins. – answering the phone and copying that week’s bulletin or newsletter. Pastors are teachers, leaders and shepherds. Pastors sit with folks in the darkest of times and in the lightest of times. Pastors are counselors, healers (not in a physical sense) and mediators.

Somehow Pastors do all of this, and more, and usually it’s done all at the same time. Trust me. I know.

But most of all, Pastors listen.

Pastors listen when folks confess about struggles. Pastors listen to family stories about a loved one who recently passed. Pastors listen to a couple as they journey towards a life together in wedding bliss. Pastors listen to gripes about the church and usually what it’s doing wrong. Pastors listen to ways to make the church better.

From there, the Pastor shepherds the flock by guiding, leading, teaching; by laughing and crying.

I’ve laughed at weddings with a couple during the vows and I’ve cried during a eulogy or prayer at a memorial service. I’ve had conflict thrown in my face, depressed to be in the situation to begin with. I’ve had wonderful discussions with a group of people who want to know God more intimately.

The challenge for a Pastor is to listen and then provide comfort or advice and guidance. Sometimes it’s heard. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes people appreciate your wisdom. Sometimes they tell you to take a hike. Ok, maybe not so much in those words but it happens.

I struggle with the listening part. Not so much that I don’t listen. I do. Intently actually. It’s the processing in the moment. When someone tells me something, I usually give a response but it’s later that I go, “Doh! That’s what they were saying!” I suppose all of us do this, not just me or other Pastors. I’ve gotten better at processing in the moment, especially when I notice how I wasn’t asked but told to do something or told how that’s the only day that works for that get together. Ugh…it’s my new pet peeve. There’s a difference between asking and telling, folks. Learn it. And learn to listen in the process.

I often feel as if people talk but are not heard. I often feel that I’m the only one listening and paying attention. I know part of that is my introvertedness, the ability and need to observe everything. That’s why I’m so quiet most of the time.And it’s the Pastor in me.

However, listening is more than part of a Pastor’s job – it’s a human thing. Every one of us should be listening to each other, talking and observing conversations and body language. That’s part of the fear that is seeming to run rampant in our society I believe. No one wants to open dialogue and listen. There’s plenty of talk with little to no listening.

How can one understand someone else, someone’s life choice or religious beliefs or whatever if listening isn’t accompanied with the talking? Plus, it’s not a job for only a select few. It’s a human job.

Talk with one another. Listen to what others have to say. Oh, and watch your tone. Tone is everything. If it comes off as harsh, I don’t know about you, but I get defensive and frustrated. And that leads to other problems. It’s something I’m working on.

Moments of talking and listening may lead to laughing and joy or sharing in someone’s pain, all of which are holy, sacred moments. It can lead to something incredible.

Shouldn’t life be full of holy, sacred moments? Shouldn’t life be full of incredibles?

 

Sabbath Monday: Recharging

cropped-alternate-sidebar1.jpgThis past week was full of long days and not so easy ministry. I’ve been looking forward to today, my day off, though I have a million things to do.  One thing I’ve learned as an introvert is that my recharging, Sabbath time is precious, so some stuff simply might not happen. Oh well! It’ll wait for another day.

Last week was long and rough so much so that I missed blogging on Friday and I had a good idea for a post too! Sigh….Every evening last week I had something, whether it was with friends or church. Which is great I mean, ok, the idea of an 8 hour meeting once a month doesn’t appeal to me but when you’re asked (not nominated) to sit on the association’s board for care of the church and those going through the ordination process, one accepts . (I also found it ironic that I now sit on this board as I had a hard time getting through them on my journey towards ordination…that’s another blog post).

This week was so rough that by the time Friday came around I almost said “No” to having dinner with a friend who was in town because I was exhausted. I’m so glad I went to dinner though! I crashed hard when I got home and slept in on Saturday but seeing her and her family was fabulous.

Yesterday I was up at 4am. Bleh…. I was at church by 7am, doing final prep on the children’s ministry stuff, the new program I blogged about a few weeks ago. Then I had to lead worship and stay to play as it was Rally Day. I had envisioned crashing on the couch and falling asleep when I got home. It didn’t happen. I blame the 4 large cups of coffee I had in the morning, which is a lot for me. Instead I had lunch then scrapbooked on the book I recently started this weekend.

Back to church that morning…

The place was packed, which left me wondering, “Where were all of you this summer?” The choirs – young and old – sang about “marching in the light of God” and made a wonderful noise with drums. I got chills when everyone sang the opening hymn.

Then there was lunch and a bouncy house and Pastor Amanda went home to scrapbook.

That evening I headed back for youth group…both youth groups.

15 junior high youth showed up…15! 11 of them 6th & 7th grade boys. I think I’ll have my hands filled this year. They ran around the church playing hide and seek, trying to find 2 boys who hid in plain sight in the dark. LOL

Then 15 high school showed up for a town-hall sort of meeting. 15! By 9pm I was spent. Plus, my brain is going a mile a minute with ideas for the high school group. Which caused me to stay up late watching the new Stars Wars. (So is Rey the cousin of Kylo Ren or his sister? Is Rey the daughter of Luke Skywalker? I can’t believe I’m questioning this again, though I clearly did not get the answer the first time I saw the movie.)

Needless to say the beginning of the new church program year also means I relearn the Art of Sabbath. I’m pretty good at it but when I have weeks where I’m putting in 13+ hour days, I need reminding to take a break. Perhaps that’s why I scrapbooked yesterday instead of napping. Perhaps I needed to be creative and be lost in thought for a bit on a busy Sunday. I’ve left my scrapbooking stuff out with no intention of putting it away this week. I hope it sit there as a reminder to me to take a break.

And so I head into Monday, well continue into Monday…Recharging for the new week that promises to be just as busy, though at least I get to eat dinner at home.

Take time to recharge and Sabbath, Friends. It’s important.

 

Misc. Wednesday: It’s a Jungle Out There

wp-image-1011017979jpg.jpegIt’s been one of those weeks. And it’s only Wednesday.

One meeting after another, a new church year on the horizon and a To-Do List that is at least 2 pages long (and needs to be almost complete by Sunday).

I’ve been listening to a Classic Rock play list on my drive to and from church. Each and every day the beginning of Guns ‘n Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” comes on. I usually switch it but before I do, I think, “Yep, that’s ministry.”

I mean, ok, Axl Rose sang about life in LA and the whole sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll thing. Perhaps the song doesn’t quite line up with ministry in some respects. LOL However, the idea of this world that’s hard to navigate, that when you’re high off of a program or worship, and yet it’s hard to please everyone…That’s ministry.

After the jungle I crank up “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd. When I get stressed, I get sort of numb. Not depressed or anything to worry over but I’m so tired I’ve gone numb.

Sometimes ministry takes me to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I’ve been challenged and stressed and high-fived and cried and laughed.

Don’t misunderstand – I wouldn’t change my call for the world. I love my job and my church. There are moments that I feel as if I’m hiking through a jungle, finding things around the corner that challenge me or stress me out. No one said ministry would be easy. Jesus struggled in his ministry for sure. I mean, look at what happened to him as a result of all he did.

In some of these moments, I’m thankful for friends and colleagues. Colleagues who will listen and share your pain and even come to your aid. Colleagues who will affirm your ministry. Friends who you can text at any time to vent to and who will affirm your ministry. I’ve never felt more blessed to have these people in my life. Most pastors have little friends or even colleagues to have someone to talk with. I’m thankful I have both.

Thank you God for friends and colleagues without whom I couldn’t get through this jungle of a calling.

 

Sabbath Monday: Limitations

Placeholder ImageOne thing I’ve realized as an adult is that I have limitations. I can only do some much and sometimes I have to say “No.” It sucks to say “No,” to recognize I have limitations because society is all about saying “Yes.” It’s Jim Carrey doing things he doesn’t want to do, saying “Yes” to everything so he might have a brighter, better life. (If you’ve seen Yes, Man you get my reference).

Well, guess what? Saying “Yes” all the time doesn’t work. You get burnt out and stressed and you forget to blog because you’re just too damn tired. Sometimes I need to recognize that I can’t make it happen if my energy and passion isn’t there. So, Hello. My name is Amanda and I’m a “Yes” junkie. I do too much, I’m always tired and stressed and I often forget that I can in fact say “No.”

Recognizing you have a problem is the first step, isn’t it?

As all blogs do, they develop and I’m still learning. My recent revelation: Sunday blogging doesn’t work for me. I’m writing late at night (like tonight) or it’s on a topic I’m not into. I’ve decided that the Sunday Round-Up blogs will continue, though I’ve placed them on my “I’ll blog on Sundays if I get a chance” list.

Here’s how I got to the decision:

What I’ve realized over the last few weeks is that 1.) it’s difficult to keep coming up with topics! This blogging thing can be hard at times. This writer hopes to write new, insightful things, and change it up daily. One does not wish their blog to become stale! And 2.) By the time Sunday comes around, I’m beat. Writing when I’m tired helps no one, so why write at the eleventh hour like I have some deadline to hit and have writer’s block on something that should be fun? Plus, who wants to read a crappy, thrown together blog post? I’m thinking of you, Dear Readers, in this decision as well.

For a pastor, Sundays are THE day. It’s worship and meetings and Confirmation classes and youth groups and etc… I’m wiped before I even get up at simply knowing what my day has in store for me. During the program year I’m at the highest of stress levels. (I also get to have a tone of fun so it balances out.) Add trying to write a semi-descent blog on top of it…Blah…I can already see what will happen, which has been happening off and on as of late – I miss Sunday Round-Up blogging.

Instead of pretending and beating myself up over writing, I’m taking on a new philosophy: Sunday blogs will happen if there’s time and if I have a topic. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays will still be there for sure. Sunday blogs will come and go as the Spirit moves.

Life is too short to be burnt and stressed out all the time, especially when it comes to something fun and meaningful.

Recognize your limitations, Dear Readers. And learn to say “No” from time to time.

 

 

 

Friday 5: Sabbath Weekend

Placeholder ImageHappy Friday All!

Like most of you, I’m looking forward to this weekend. Unfortunately, I do not have a 3 day weekend. Sundays are a pastor’s main work day (though not the only work day) and Labor Day weekend is no exception. Despite having to work, what I’m looking forward to the most is having some down-time.

I rarely get down-time. Well, I do. Most evenings are free but let’s face it, I’m either doing the dishes or too tired to do much else than read and watch TV.

Down-time for me is Sabbath time. It’s doing things I’m typically too tired to do during the week and hardly get a chance to do on the weekends for one reason or another. Down-time is time spent in Sabbath, rest, relaxing. Sure I still have dishes to do and an apartment to pick up. However, that’s less than half of my expected down-time this weekend, so I don’t count it.

My Sabbath Weekend Plans are:

Number 1: Movies or TV marathons…During the week I’m usually not in the mood to watch a full movie or veg with several episodes of a favorite show (except The Big Bang Theory, mostly because it’s the only thing on TV every night). Beginning tonight, my plan is to watch movies. I also feel a Parks and Rec binge coming on or maybe Doctor Who…So many choices!

Number 2: Sleeping In…Need I say more?

Number 3: Being Creative…Rarely during the week do I have the energy to pull out my scrapbooking or art supplies. I can see the finish line on a vacation book from 2 years ago in my sites and by golly, I’m finishing it this weekend if it’s the last thing I do. I also have a painting I haven’t touched in, oh, about a year so I’d like to finish it and maybe begin a new one. This weekend…I’m getting crafty!

Number 4: Family and Friends…About once a week I go home to my parent’s and ok, maybe I use the washer and dryer while I’m there. But I like going home (well, most of the time anyway). Going home gives me a chance to see my parents and sometimes Grandma is over. I’m thankful I live close enough that I can go home once a week to see them and help out where I can. As for plans with friends…Nothing major plans, however, I found out a friend is in town this weekend, so Yay! I see a movie night in our future.

Number 5: Relaxing…This is my final, clear and free weekend for awhile. Tuesday begins the final push to a new church year, which means my life gets busier. It means Sundays are 10+ hour days and Mondays (my day off) are spent doing laundry, cleaning and getting groceries and evening meetings the rest of the week, leaving Fridays and those open Saturdays to relax or attend other social engagements. I’m soaking up whatever relaxing energy I can find this weekend and bottling it up.

Those are my plans for the weekend. Sabbath at it’s best. Time to myself and with friends and family. Time spent doing stuff I enjoy and simply relaxing. It’s going to be grand.

What are your plans for the weekend?