Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Today...The Roller Coaster of Life

Today was a day where I would have just loved to be able to step off the day.  And watch it spin by.  To stop being a part of this crazy combination of joy and pain of present and past.  Of sin and forgiveness.

My previous call was a challenge dear reader, to put it mildly.  If you were there with me, or knew me then, you know it took everything in my being to stay.  To put up with what I did.  To love the people and not be dragged down by the brokenness.  The broken system.

And today we find out that the system was even more broken than we knew.  Even more sin filled.  Even more in pain.  And my heart hurts for them.  For those in my past who continue to have to relive those moments of pain, of anger, of shame.

And then I ride the roller coaster up...up to the present where I walk my dog down a country road and am thankful for the peacefulness here.  Thankful for the quiet.  Thankful for these people among whom have called me and blessed me with a chance to teach, to preach, and to care for them.

And then, quick speeding down again...a confirmation class where no one seems to care, where no one comes prepared.  Where my heart and soul feel a bit trampled as kids blow this stuff off as something that doesn't matter.

And in my head, I want to yell...but it does matter, don't you see?  Because there are broken people and broken systems.  And you might not be part of it now, but you will be some day.  You might be lucky now, but evil will invade.   You might be in a protected place now, but we are fragile creatures...and don't you know that you need these tools I am offering?  Don't you know that it easier to build your faith now when life is good, then to try to pick up broken pieces when it all falls apart.

It's a roller coaster dear reader, and some days I just want to get off.  I want to get off and watch it go flying by and be thankful for a break.  But then I take a deep breath.  I pray.  I crawl back into the seat next to God, and away we go again.  Because this is the call we have been given.  To minister in the valley and on the mountain...on the prairie and on the plain.

Thanks be to God that He sits beside us.

Grace and peace,
Preaching Kate

Friday, May 2, 2014

Working Hard...with the Devil at My Heels

This week has been an interesting one to say the least for me.  Filled with challenges to my spirit, my body, and my emotions.  I still am so very thankful and blessed to be here, and I cannot help but wonder if it is when things seem to start to go well that the devil feels like he must jump in and shake things up.

I've been struggling with a flooded basement, and after having been sick for 3+ weeks, finally started to feel better, and now am struggling with energy but no appetite.

It is one of those days that I wish I had a close friend nearby to talk to, and to help me find something that sounds good to eat that wouldn't make me instantly nauseous.

But in the midst of my whining?  I am thankful.  Thankful for a sunny day and a beautiful walk with my dog.  Thankful to be called to this small town where I am pastor to the community, and feel like I am finally one of them.  Thankful that at least at this point, drama at my call has been at a minimum, and God is still at work through me here.

I pray that I can shake this feeling of the devil at my heels.  Pray that instead of looking back, knowing he will catch me, I can start looking forward, knowing I've already been caught and am being held tight.

I hope wherever this finds you, dear partner on this journey, that you can feel peace and hope, and filled with the light of Christ.

Your friend,
Preaching Kate

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Back into boxes...

Well dear reader, looks like I will be moving again.  This time not to a new call, but to the town where I serve. 

I have some pretty big hesitations about moving into such a small community.  But I am hoping that God can use this leap of faith for good.  That living in the community will help them to realize that I am "buying in" to who they are, and committing to living and working among them.

But having lived in a rural community before, I know that it can be hard too.  So I am asking for your prayers dear I begin another transition, and as I let go of another address and place where I called home. 

If you have any suggestions on how to get re-settled into a SMALL community, I would welcome them.

Peace to you in this cold winter days,
Preaching Kate

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Parched Places

Weeks like this one in ministry, never fail to amaze me.  I spent most of today re-reading my ordination and installation vows, and praying for the strength to keep going.  It has been a tough week of challenges to my spirit and my physical health.

But as I was trying my best to get a sermon put together for the weekend, I read the first lesson assigned to Sunday and smiled. 

“If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.  The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.  Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.”  -Isaiah 58:9b-12
These are the weeks dear blog reader that though we feel in parched places that we need to know the Lord will guide us and satisfy our needs...These are the weeks that although we feel bone tired, we need to remember that the Lord will repair and restore us.
So, even though I have a meeting that I am thoroughly stressed about happening in 45 minutes?  I am going to lean on the Lord, and do my best to follow his leading.  I am going to do my best to trust in his guiding...and I am going to know "down to my toenails" (as a certain Hebrew prof would say) that I am in God's arms, and nothing can separate me from his love.
Peace to you dear reader, may you feel the arms of God today-
Preaching Kate

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Momma said there'd be days like this...

I have found it interesting as of late that when I am struggling that life finds ways of bringing me even lower.  I thought I was doing an okay job in this call...and today the council president came in and said that folks are upset because I was gone too many worship services in a row.

Now truth be told, dear blog reader, I was in the building for the first worship service, but had no part in the service as they had hired a band to do the service.  I saw no point in having to be present...apparently this upset folks...I was packing and printing forms for the trip we were able to leave on...and thought my time could be better spent.  I ended up being actually present for about 75% of the service...or concert, but apparently that wasn't enough..

Then I missed two Sundays in a row.  The first I had 19 kids and 4 adults down on a combination mission and fun weekend in the Twin Cities.  I was certainly working as I was the one leading the trip, and had planned all our activities.  The following weekend I WAS on vacation.

But I guess folks are upset with my being gone...which makes me wonder what on earth else I can do.  I finally start to set some healthy boundaries and do some real self-care and it feels like that makes them mad.

What's a pastor to do, dear blog reader?  The council president asked me to not be gone more than 1 Sunday in a row, working or not.  Which means, if I am to lead our kids on a possible mission trip that we had planned for next summer, I am gone for 13 days, and need to preach the morning after we return.  I just don't think that is good for anyone.  But then, maybe what I think doesn't matter.

Maybe it is better to lead when you are exhausted than to be gone and renew yourself.  I tend to not agree...but it surely seems it is what they want.  Got any advice dear reader?  This pastor is kind of feeling a bit lost.  Thanks for reading....

Your partner in Christ,
Preaching Kate

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Needing New Batteries

Hey readers...Preaching Kate here...

Do you ever have days where you feel like your batteries are dead?  Cause it is how I feel today.  After DAYS of rain, and no sun, and lots of heavy ministry stuff (not busy, but feeling emotionally invested in lots of areas), I feel like I am the little wind up toy bent over, not able to get a grip on stuff today.  I am crabby and can't change it.  Blah.

So how do you recharge your batteries?  Do you ever take a day away without declaring it?  Do you consider it a vacation day?  How do you find ways to find sunshine on days when you feel like you should be building an ark?

Help a preacher out reader...and bring some sunshine this way.  I promise I will do the same for you, next time you need new batteries!

Your sister on the journey,
Preaching Kate

Friday, August 3, 2012

Learning the lines...

Well blog friends,

I don't even know where to begin.  I have a new senior pastor who is a nice guy.  The church is thrilled that he is here, and I am glad to see them excited.

But I don't know how to respond to his telling me that he doesn't think we can work together, and asking me to turn in my paperwork.  I have done so, but just am flabbergasted to not even get a chance to show him who I am, or the pastor I am in this place.

My heart, to be honest is feeling pretty stomped on, and I struggle with knowing how to recover from this.  I am doing my best to be the pastor he and everyone else expects me to be.  To put on the happy face, to tell people that I am excited that he is here, to do my best to be positive and upbeat...

But I am going home completely exhausted at the end of every day.  I feel as though I am walking on eggshells, and all it will take is the one mis-step and I will have no job at all.

This call has been for me, the most challenging of my life, and if I had to look back over my entire life, probably the most challenging year of my life so far.  I long for a place where I can do ministry, where I can be pastor, and where I won't be expected to work until I drop.  I long for a call where I feel I am supposed to be, where I feel like God is using me, where I feel like the Word is being preached not only through our words but also through our actions.

Blogging friends, this pastor is doing her best to keep the faith, and hold to the promises I made at my ordination and installation, but I have never in my life been this weary or felt this alone.  It has gone from being a tough place to be to almost being impossible. 

Please keep me in your prayers as I wait and pray for my paperwork to be received by congregations in 6 different synods.  Please pray for guidance as I wait and pray for clarity to know where God is calling me next.  And most importantly?  Please pray that I have the strength to make it through this next transition.  I know that with God all things are possible, and that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose...could just use some friends to keep reminding me of that these days.

How about you blogger friends?  How is life going for you lately?  Where have you seen God at work? 

Praying and thanking God for each of you,
Preaching Kate