Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Five: Graduation edition

Today's Friday Five comes from Marybethbutler Who shared some precious pics of her nephew who is graduating this week in my home turf of West Texas!!

"This weekend I am in a West Texas town for the high school graduation of a nephew. I’m looking back over the 18 years and wondering where all that time went, since he was the highly adored first child of my younger sister.
Because I work on a university campus that rents its facilities to dozens of local high schools, graduations have been a daily feature around here and will be for the next month.
So I’m thinking of beginnings and endings (which seem to come in pairs.) These could be graduations, retirements, new jobs, new family, changes of any kind…
Tell us about five notable commencements in your life / the lives of those you love. Pictures would be great if you have them!!"
I do just so happen to have a few graduation pics at my office this morning and some notable events pictures! Who says cleaning out your bags is not productive work!

This is my High School graduation in 1997. My brother, mother and father are in the back and my maternal grandmother is on the right and my paternal grandmother is on the left. It was a great celebration and a blessing to have this photo!

This is my diploma from Texas Tech University. I worked really hard and did my best after a rocky freshman year. I learned so much at Tech and use much of my Family Studies and Substance abuse knowledge on a daily basis in ministry!

This is my graduation ceremony from Memphis Theological Seminary in 2006. (I actually graduated in December 2005, but they only have one service per year) This is not all of my class, just the Cumberland Presbyterians and the President of the Seminary.

This is the birth announcement we sent out after our little man came home from the NICU. I was not sure we would get a group picture of the three of them, so this one sits on my desk as a daily reminder of just how lucky we were and are!

This is a picture from my first Sunday at my current call, May 19, 2013. It has been my first Solo pastorate and I am loving it, even when I don't!!!
This congregation has offered my husband an opportunity to begin healing from the wounds of other churches. It has allowed my daughters to grow in their gifts and spiritual awareness. It has gifted my son with a safe place to explore and learn about all of God's good blessings.
Life is good! Thanks for the chance to reflect on it today! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Five: Hospitals

Today's Friday Five comes from janintx:
Hospitals are very much on my mind, because my husband Chuck is having his second knee replacement on Monday. We will be there very early in the morning because he is the first surgery of the day at 7 am.So consider your experiences in the hospital in your various capacities: being a patient; parent, child or spouse of a patient; chaplain; minister; or visitor. In what ways have you experienced your times in hospitals? Think of 5 ways and share your blog address in the comments section when you play.

My Godmother died from Melanoma in 1995, my cousin died from AIDS in that same year, my grandmother passed away in 1998 all at Covenant Medical Center. I spent many hours with all of them through their illnesses and deaths. My Sophomore year of college  I spent several hours there every day for 30 days with my grandmother while she was in ICU praying over her and loving on her. It was one of the things that confirmed my call into ministry.

My senior year of college I did a practicum at University medical Center in Lubbock, TX. While I knew I was called to ministry, this experience helped me to see that pastoral ministry was really more of my calling. I did not do well with people coming and going, I had a hard time "cold calling" and I just really didn't like chaplaincy!

Our oldest child was born at Baptist Women's Center in Memphis, TN. The nurse I had that first night was less than helpful and I hemorrhaged for quite a while before she would call the doctor on call to help. Not the best experience. But I have a beautiful 10 year old who has survived despite the rough start.

Our middle child was born at Parkwest Hospital in Knoxville, TN. We had just been let go from our co-pastorate and were unsure of where we would live or where she would come home to with us. I actually had to have a meeting with CPS because according to the registration information I provided I was an abused woman. The church had been that terrible to me, my husband and our unborn 2nd child. I think I was the first person they had dealt with that had suffered organizational abuse as they called it. Then we had to find a doctor for our girls. Nothing like interviewing pediatricians and telling them we may be your patient for a while or we may be here a week. 
The most stressful time of my life!!

Our son was born at Middle Tennessee Medical Center 7 and 1/2 weeks early. He stayed in the NICU for 2 and 1/2 weeks. 
The nurses were amazing! The doctors were wonderful. I spent a lot of time walking the NICU floor praying for the other babies and their parents and for the staff. While it was a stressful time I also saw many blessings and miracles during the time spent with my son.

All in all hospitals are not my favorite place to be, but I am blessed to be able to walk with others through their times of need at various hospitals. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Five: Favorite Places

Today's Friday Five comes from Marie:
Hello RevGals! I’m thrilled to be hosting my very first Friday Five, as this was the feature that got me started participating in the blog ring back in 2007. This week I’ve been back at my seminary, Episcopal Divinity School, for Alumni Days. There is so much that makes this place special to me: the chapel, the quad, the apartments and rooms where I lived, and the library, where I first encountered the woman who is now my wife.
So for today’s Friday Five, tell us about five of your favorite places. Have fun with it, and make sure to link in the comments if you play at your blog. Pictures always appreciated!
This one should be fun, and as I just got home from a visit to one of my favorite places I have some good pictures to share!!!!
Taco Villa, My Favorite Fast food Mexican EVER!!!!!
In Texas with my parents

Anywhere on the beautiful Texas Tech Campus

Snuggling with my littles in my chair

In the pulpit!
Thanks Marie, for the fun play!!