A Fork in the Road Means Big Changes

Up on the watershed
Standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Till your agony’s your heaviest load
You’ll never fly as the crow flies
Get used to a country mile
When you’re learning to face
The path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while

Watershed by the Indigo Girls 

 

Today is the beginning of a new adventure for me. I’ve accepted a full-time position at Coastal Hospice as a Spiritual Counselor. On Monday-Fridays, you’ll find me visiting people in their homes and in facilities as they live out their last days of life. I’ll be spending my time talking, laughing, crying, praying, reading Scripture, serving communion, and listening to patients and families who are facing hard decisions, saying good-bye, praying for a different outcome, and living each day they have been given. I will be walking with people who have deep faith and people who don’t believe in God. I will be listening to their stories and helping them to fulfill last wishes. It is hard and a great joy. It is a privilege to be invited into one’s home, to sit by someone’s bed, to hold a hand, and share a hug. This is where God is calling me to be and the work God is calling me to do.

In order to answer this call, I must end my time with the Cooperative Youth Ministry of Christ Congregational and Takoma Park Presbyterian Churches. It is hard to leave the amazing youth, parents, staff, and congregation members I have gotten to know over the last year. I had hoped to walk with them on their faith journey for many more years. Sometimes to say yes to one thing we must say no to another. This is where I find myself today. As I say yes to Coastal Hospice, I must say good-bye to CYM at the end of September. As I live through this transition and follow this fork in the road, I ask for your prayers-for me, for my loved ones, for the youth of CYM, and for the patients, families, and staff at Hospice. In thanksgiving for your prayers, I will pray for all of you who find yourself wondering where God is calling you and if you have the courage to answer. Be brave, readers! Answer God’s call. Take the “path at your pace” and remember “every choice is worth your while”.

Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus by John Hendrix

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A friend of mine recently found herself at the beach, and so she stopped at the wonderful Browse About Books to see what wonders were contained there. As you might expect from a friend of mine, she purchased many books. She was kind enough to allow me to read one of her new purchases, Miracle Man. This is a¬†wonderful children’s book that brings the story of Jesus to life in modern language and colorful illustrations. It is short enough to read with a child while still including many familiar parts of the Gospel stories. The author admits he could not share every story from the Gospels and yet he does a great job of highlighting the story of Jesus in a short story form. You will enjoy the artwork and the way the art and story blend seamlessly. This is a great book for a church library or your home bookshelf.

Celebrate Another Year of Life!

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If you know me in real life, you have heard me talk about my sister. She’s been an important part of my life since she arrived when I was about 4.5 years old. Today is her birthday! I love to celebrate birthdays because I believe they are one way we thank God for the gift of our lives. Today I am doing a little more celebrating than usual. This past year was hard for my family. Shortly before Thanksgiving we discovered my sister had colon cancer. We spent the week of Thanksgiving (including Thanksgiving Day) in the hospital as she had surgery to remove the cancer. Next came 12 rounds of chemotherapy! Finally in June, the chemo was done and scans showed that the cancer was gone! It has been a tough year and we have so much for which to be thankful! Today, I want to say Happy Birthday to my little sister.

A Prayer for Another Year of Life!

Faithful God, For another year of life, we give you thanks and praise. It is a joy to see the candles glowing on the birthday cake because it reminds us of how much we have to celebrate. For family, friends, laughter and tears, we give you thanks for another year of life! Thank you for siblings who walk this journey with us, who know our oldest jokes, who support our dreams, and who always love us. Thank you, God, for my sister, Becky. Amen.

Tazo Zen

After a very busy couple of weeks, I tagged along to a conference my husband is attending in DC. I am sitting on a comfy sofa with my feet up watching the Olympics and enjoying a cup of Tazo Zen. It is smooth and calming. This is an easy to drink tea. It is described as, “A harmonious blend of green tea with lemongrass and spearmint.” When life is overwhelming, I recommend holding a cup of this tea in your hands. Let the cup warm you. Let the smells and steam rise up. Take a sip and drink in the relaxation. Enjoy!

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Quiet Time with a Cup of Tea or Not

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As you read this, I am nearing the end of our week long mission trip. I have spent the week working, learning, sharing God’s love, and living among the people of Atlanta and my youth. I’d love to say I prepared for this week by spending the week before resting and relaxing. The morning I wrote this I fixed myself a cup of tea and breakfast. I moved to a quiet place in my house to write a thoughtful piece on the importance of silence and quiet time with God. And then my awesome niece came into the dining room watching a you tube video on her Dad’s phone and shooting me with a Star Wars toy. So, I threw my plans out the window to spend time with my niece and realized that this is great preparation for the mission trip. I spent months planning the mission trip. I know it isn’t going to work out exactly as I planned. I can either be mad that things are not going the way I planned or be flexible and look for God working in my life.

Creating God, I long for quiet time and my life to go according to plan. You break into my life through laughter and disruptions to make me look up from my to do list and see those around me. Give me the courage and patience to be flexible. Remind me to look for you in those I meet. When Plan A doesn’t work, God, be with me as I move on to Plan B or C. In the quiet, noisy, and all the in-between times of life, you are with us, Loving God, and we are thankful for your faithfulness. Amen.
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Passing It on to the Next Generation

My paternal grandmother died in 2013. She taught me about love and faith in the way she lived and the words she said. I have wonderful memories of time we spent together. I miss her. A few weeks ago as I was spending time with my family, I discovered my sister is telling her daughter stories about our Grandma. She is teaching her daughter words and phrases our Grandma said. She is passing her memories on to the next generation.

We are all called to do this. Instead of worrying about the demise of the church, share your faith story and share our faith stories. Pass what is most important to you on to the next generation. This is our joy and our calling.

Faithful God, From generation to generation, you loved us. Thank you for our ancestors in the faith who shared your love with the next generation. Thank you for older generations who told us stories about you. Thank you for children who learn and who teach us. Thank you for your faithful love and mercy through the generations. Remind us how much we love to hear and tell your story. Amen.

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My Grandma posing with her great-granddaughter in January 2012.