Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Livin' Called

This week I am experiencing my first "Call Day"  gatherings
 at the two seminaries that our church supports. 
 We married after that time in
 my husband's ministry so it is a new thing.

There is a lot of excitement,

 probably some trepidation 
and also some plan ole giddiness 
of watching God reveal the next phase of life....

When it is so new,

 you really don't have
 any idea of what you don't know...
and that is probably a good thing....

  So we will tell them a bit about where we serve 
and what God is doing......

                     There really isn't any kind of "protocol" for me
  that I have been made aware of,
 and I wanted to welcome the women and wives
 to our District.
 So I made them each one of the small canvases
 that were gifts at our Pastor's Wives retreat this year.......

And the same time I was making these,
 I ran across the following statistics
(and they are already three years old)

According to the New York Times (August 1, 2010) (Not limited to Lutherans)

  • 25% of pastors’ wives see their husband’s work schedule as a source of conflict.
  • 33% [of pastors] say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
  • 40% of pastors and 47% of spouses are suffering from burnout, frantic schedules, and/or unrealistic expectations.
  • 45% of pastors’ wives say the greatest danger to them and their family is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual burnout.
  • 52% of pastors say they and their spouses believe that being in pastoral ministry is hazardous to their family’s well-being and health.
  • 56% of pastors’ wives say that they have no close friends.
  • 80% of pastors say they have insufficient time with their spouse.
  • 80% [of pastors] believe that pastoral ministry affects their families negatively.
  • 94% [of pastors] feel under pressure to have a perfect family.

So I wonder who at the seminary is talking to them about these real-life impacting numbers? 
I see that one of the main areas for me to center
 is praying for families
 and helping to bring some family life encouragement
 to all those Called to Serve in the Southeastern District.
  I see that my job of praying for the church workers
is my job...
and what does that begin to look like?
Praying for church workers,
Praying for a husband and wife,
 and those with children.
 Praying for the churches
 and towns they serve.

Here is the link to the Pinterest board where these prayers are collected:

Monday, April 29, 2013

Livin' Well

While visiting our oldest daughter in Hickory, NC  
I was inspired by one of her recent art projects for the home.

One of my favorite sayings to keep a daily focus and examen-
It is well with my soul.

She used a canvas, mod-podged white tissue on,

some letters painted and glued on,
 think maybe some glue drippings and swiggles that dried

some rub ons, burlap ribbon and pearl dangles-

Oh I just love dangles.

Art Canvas Design and Created by Jessica Meier

She made it without a glue gun....

(can you believe a child of mine does not own a glue gun?

Well,  birthday coming up and we will have to take care of that!!

It greets visitors  in the Guest Room-

and I love seeing it there......

It is just wonderful to visit your adult children and see the

homes they are creating with their own families.

And more that that,

that she lives knowing her Jesus,

and that makes all things,

no matter what,


Friday, April 26, 2013

Livin' Mindful


 A short note on some things in my week-

 I was able to connect with a wonderful Lutheran blogger
 on Tuesday by phone...
 her name is Michelle DeRusha and she lives in Lincoln, NE.

  Her blog is Michelle DeRusha
We have never met, but I felt urgings to contact her.
 She gave me some wonderful clarifications
 for moving forward on my Capstone project.

After my hour and a half conversation (with a total stranger)-
 I was giddy and walking about the house
 doing some small house keeping things.
 Picking up and putting up and away. 
 Sorting and stacking.
  Talking to myself.

And NOT paying attention to what my hands were doing
 when my mind was racing
 a 100 miles an hour-
 Ok -  500 miles.

Later, I stepped into the hall bathroom that our daughter is using
and then I saw it-
 a whole stack of washcloths plopped down in the toilet bowl.
My mind shouted-
  Who would have done this?

With closer inspection I saw them-
 neatly folded and stacked.
 I knew that the only person
 who would have plopped washcloths in the toilet 
was me.

Oh, I often laugh when I say-
 I just wish my head knew what my hands were doing!!

the drippy mess went back down to the washing machine,
 and to save you all,
 I did not take a picture for this blog post.

But, what a wonderful reminder for ME-
 just how challenging this concept is -

And seeing the process really does need my 
eyes and mind synchronized in the challenge.

And on a more blissful note-
what I have been watching with delight.

Blooming lilacs.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Livin' Joyful

Nancy Kettner  Karen Murr and Diana Alexander
Any retreat experience is Really about the PEOPLE
 and here are the gifts assembled together
 for the SED 2013
Retreat for the Wives of Pastors

Greeters to Welcome
 Heidi Knill and Elise Carlson
Thanks to John Denninger for help unloading
 and set up and looking at the Tech Challenges

Sharing and Listening

Left to Right- Darlene Quiram, Faye Krans, Carol Kreyling, Holly Borrasso, 
Elise Carlson and Judy Pask
Rae Fangmeier
 telling the Story of Counting her 1000 Gifts
Fran Kassouf and Laura Ramey

We loved seeing smiles
Judy Pask and Faye Krans

Nancy Kettner and Vivi Diefenthaler

Julie Black

Karen Murr
Mabelle Bloker and Martha Bickel
Renewing connections-
Pam Nieting and Joan Loesch
Maggie Harris and Precious Okai

Connie Denninger and Nancy Rueter

Diane Guelzow      Linda Scherer           Sandra Becker      and Laura Ramey

Peg Green and Heidi Knill
Faye Krans and Carol Kreyling
Mabelle Bloker  Martha Bickel and Christine Dennis-Johnson
Laura Ramey and Julie Nizinski

Carol Bitely and Judy Pask

Diana Alexander on the left
Darlene Quiram and Heather Rosenkoetter
Diane Guelzow and Linda Scherer

We loved listening to each other

Dorothy Roemer and Judy Kuehnert

We loved the stories

Darlene Quiram            Heather Rosenkoetter                   Mabelle Bloker       and Martha Bickel

We loved finding out ministry connections
A Common Experience Brings a Common Language

A Common Language Brings Community
And Listening and Caring Communities Thrive on Grace

We give thanks for the Gifts of the People:

Nancy Rueter- Retreat Team Planning and Logistics
Karen Olson- Retreat Team Planning  and Brochures
Faye Krans- Name Tags
Pamela Nieting- Photography
Carol Bitely and Judy Pask- Hospitality
Elise Carlson- Registration and Finance
Presenters- Diane Guelzow and Connie Denninger
Diane Guelzow- Retreat Counselor
Lee Berson- Canvas Gifts
Carol Kreyling- Wockenfuss Candy Gift Coordination
Prayer Team- Linda Scherer and Vivi Diefenthaler
Shelly Thress- Music planning
Thrivent Financial
Chesapeake LWML
 for  grants.
And a special Thank you to those who trusted us
 with their time to attend-  without YOU-- There is no Retreat!
 Your presence blessed us!

And with life circumstances we missed our dear friends-
 Shelly Thress with the death of her father in law
Karen Olson with the death of her father
Ruth Schnepp in her support of her daughter Karen
Linda Miller in her support of Ellen Thress and family
and Marie Flahn with her travels-
who all had planned to be with us.
 May you join in these retreat photos
 and still join us on the journey of
Counting 1000 Gifts
Finding Joy Right Where We Are.

The Joy of the Lord is my strength!
Nehemiah 8:10

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Livin' Grace Filled

The tools
The Visuals
Telling the Stories around the Tables

SED Retreat for the Wives of Pastors

Small canvas with Theme Verse for Sending Gift
Designed by Connie Denninger and made with her friend Lee Berson

Bible Verse Stamps
Prayer Strips- Woven Prayer
Becoming Disciples- an Extraordinary Restoration
Visual for the Story of Nehemiah

Creative Visuals
Hands- On Processing
Counting Gifts,
Nehemiah Stories
The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

Name Tags- Hand made by Faye Krans

Eucharisteo-- The Greek word that holds Grace, Joy and Thanksgiving

Making Journals- Each person left with a journal ready to Count Gifts

One Thousand Gifts- a gift book for each person
 in this life discovery process -
 Finding Joy in What really Matters

Monday, April 22, 2013

Livin' Thankful

Southeastern District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
2013 Pastor's Wives Retreat-
 Part One- The Setting

Right before the retreat
 for the wives of Pastors in the Southeastern District-
 I saw this sign.
While strolling around a favorite place
 in Hickory, NC-- (Hobby Lobby)

It certainly has the feel for our time together
 at Rosslyn Retreat Center in Richmond, VA.

Ann Voskamp thinking for sure-

And now some photos from the setting:
because life is not an emergency.

Gorgeous pink blossoms in the Spring light morning
The Chapel at Rosslyn

A resting spot

The tree looking out over the James River

The small dorms for retreat guests (Pam Nieting photo)
Candytuft- Spring has arrived

Wisteria vines in Richmond
Check in site   (Pam Nieting photo)

Campus building at Rosslyn  (Nieting)
Tulips herald the New Life Setting  (Nieting)

Thanks Pam for sharing your photos!   More photos on the retreat soon!