Saturday, March 24, 2007

Halfway Through

Well, actually I am almost seven months through! I can't believe how quickly the time has gone and feel so blessed to have had this experience. I look forward to what the last half of internship will bring.

At the moment, we are finishing up mid-year evaluations. These are nine-page evaluations that are written by myself, the pastors, and my internship committee. So far, the pastors and I have finished our evaluations and they look pretty good. We are on the same page and anything I need to work on is fairly minor, such as chanting and learning different styles of preparing a sermon. I look forward to Monday when I hear what the committee has to say.

In the church world, we are nearing Holy week. If I am to be completely honest with myself, I am totally exhausted. Sadly enough, today the craziness of Lent hit and I took a really long afternoon nap. This exhaustion was evidenced when yesterday I took a real, full day off and had a couple friends from seminary over (in pic above). We had a great time, but I found it very hard to relax. I have been go go go for so long, that to actually take time away from the normal busyness felt abnormal. This, to me, was a sign that I need to start making self-care a real priority. I always talk about how important it is to take care of yourself, but rarely take my own advice to heart. A lady at the church gave me a pass to the YMCA, and I think it is time to use it. I also think it is time for me to start setting aside time each week just to go out and do the things I love, like taking a drive to nowhere or going to the movies.

My being tired concerns me most because of the upcoming month long "mini-sabbatical" the pastors are taking right after Easter. I feel so completely competent to handle things while they are gone, but am worried I will already be tired going into it. Thankfully, the last time they were gone things seemed to be calmer than when they were here. If this is the case at least the first week they are gone, I think I will be good. Plus, if I get a day or two to just rest before, maybe that is all I need.

I think the real issue is I just hit a wall today. The last couple of weeks have been so busy I haven't had the time nor the energy to even talk to family and friends. Some were so concerned they called a ton just to find out if I was okay. For those who know me well know this is completely out of character. Normally i'm always on the phone. I think with the nap I took today and a quiet night at home tonight, I should be back to my normal, busy, happy self. Sleep and movies...there is no better therapy! :) Thank you, as always, for checking in and especially for your prayers.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Woo Hoo, It Has Begun!

After many months of planning, I have FINALLY begun the new children's program at the church. It is a weekday program that is set up very much like vacation Bible school. We are doing a three month trial, and if it goes well, hopefully it will continue as a nine-month program next year.

Though we had a few bumps here and there, tonight went very well. We had 29 kids show up out of the 35 we were expecting. Two had not pre-registered so overall we are very happy. The kids and volunteers seemed to really enjoy themselves, and although I am exhausted, I had a great time as well.

This weekend I will be headed out for a Spiritual Retreat. We are being separated into two groups, the adults and the youth. I will be heading up the youth, along with another volunteer. We have ten kids going, which is a great turnout for this kind of event. I am basing our weekend on the book, "The Ragamuffin Gospel", by Brennan Manning. He leads many spiritual retreats throughout the country, so I thought it appropriate to use this book.

The title of our retreat will be "The Furious Love of God." We will be talking about grace in regards to our past, present, and future. I have chosen a quote by a theologian for each of the five sessions, and am pairing them up with a scripture passage. We will be doing a lot of discussion, journaling, prayer, and meditation. I am really looking forward to this weekend and think I may get just as much out of it as the youth...maybe even more!

Alright, that is it for now. I'm pretty much flat on my back this evening and need to get some new ice for my back. Last weekend I was pretty stupid and lifted a box of four filled Communion wine jugs with my back instead of my legs. Not the most intelligent thing I have ever done and now I am paying the consequences with a sprained back. I was doing fairly well with it until today. I think I overdid it working a twelve hour day. Tomorrow will hopefully be better and hey, at least i'm no longer tossing my cookies! :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tossing Cookies and Preaching

This has been a very interesting week. I've been trying to hide the fact from as many people as possible that I have had a nasty stomach flu. I hate telling people that I am sick as it makes me feel like a weeny. I really thought it was going away so it was no big deal. Today, nature proved me wrong!

I was having a wonderful morning, thinking I had recovered from the demon that invaded my body Tuesday night. I finished the final details for my sermon, drank some yummy green tea, and was ready to preach at our ecumenical lenten lunch-in. I even ate a bite of a snack bar, one of the first things I had tried in days.

Then, the demon rumbled and rumbled some more. Only an hour before I was to preach, it came back full force. I probably feel worse now than I have the entire sickness. Ick.

So, as most ministers understand, you can't really bail out on preaching. It doesn't matter if they have to drag you in on a stretcher, IV pole, foley and all...the show must go on.

Amazingly, I made it through the sermon. The Pastor's helped out by reading the scripture and doing the benediction. I almost was ready for the benediction, but could not stand up after the sermon and prayers. The beast held on during the 9 minutes or so I was up there. Had I been up there one more minute, or even thirty seconds, I probably would've lost it. From what I understand I looked like something out of a horror flick, but at least I was there. One of the Pastor's says it was a good thing for an intern to experience. I will reexamine that thought when my head isn't hung over a toilet every few hours....