Monday, October 25, 2010

Hear it here...

We had an amazing weekend!

The short version:
Eliza Grace Damaska was born into our family Friday night (10/22/10).  She and Sarah are both doing well and are now home. 

Jump over to Sarah's blog for the full story.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Regular Party

Yesterday our church joined with many other churches nationally in celebrating Pastor Appreciation Month.  It's really a cool thing. 
Recently I've been wondering why October is the month for Pastor Appreciation.
Here's my working theory:
  • November:  turkey on the brain
  • December/January:  it's Christmas time--not pastor appreciation time.
  • February:  huh?  we are too cold to celebrate
  • March:  oh boy the pastor just told the Leadership Board he/she is resigning
  • April:  Easter celebration (plus the pastor just announced to the church he/she is resigning)
  • May/June:  school is wrapping up.  We are celebrating graduating seniors and appreciating volunteers who have served during the past year
  • July:  um, we don't have a pastor...remember, he/she resigned in April
  • August:  still searching
  • September:  we have  new pastor and we are showing appreciation by helping him/her unload their massive moving truck full of stuff
  • October:  Pastor Appreciation Month
Whatever the reason for the timing it really is a cool deal for pastors. 
We don't have pay raise incentives or end of the month bonuses (at least I don't).  We don't have employee of the month parking spots.  We don't hang our pictures on the wall and celebrate the pastor of the month.  None of that stuff.

So yesterday the church said thanks and I appreciate it.  I appreciate the Leaders planning this over  a month ago.  I appreciate the folks who decorated and set up our activity center.  I appreciate the crazy people who decorated my mic stand and put ribbons on my guitar.  It was cool sharing a meal together and seeing kids make multiple trips to the desert table.  Thanks.

Like any family gathering there were issues too.
  • There were conversations about opposing views about some current ministry plans.
  • Some people were noticeably missing yesterday.
  • There were too many carbs and not enough protein items on the table.
  • The men's toilet backed up through the floor drain.  Gross!
In so many ways it was a regular party with many of the regular elements of any old party you might attend.

But it was more than just a party.   Beyond the meal, hugs and gifts the church gave us, yesterday was a another great opportunity to share life together.  Admittedly this is hard for me--and I don't think I'm alone in that confession--but it's good to be together and share our lives with one another.  Jesus promised that he'd be with us when we gather together and do his business.  He doesn't seem to be afraid to party.  He was with us.  What a party!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

poetic memory

Earlier this week I sat in my office heart broken and deeply missing Annie.  What replayed through my mind were the final hours Sarah and I spent with Annie.  Only she and I will ever know how excruciating it was as we held Annie knowing she was going to die. 

I don't know if the following can legitimately be called poetry.   Maybe.  Whatever it is, it reflects some of the flood of images and emotions from those last hours with her. 
 - - - - - -

touching you, feeling your rhythm
listening, watching, wondering
each pause, each gap
each one killing me as you died

hours and music, hands and tears
endless it seemed as we awaited the end
you so strong, I so proud
but still not miracle to be found

you so heavy, you--but not yourself
here but already away
so tired but how
this is the day

in and out the helpless helpers
tending, touching, crying with
and we, hopelessly holding
as eternity robbed your mortality

no more pulse--I no longer feel it
what once was, is now not
the suffering, so sudden, for you no more
so still so cold no breath in store

one more look, one final touch
naked, quiet, peaceful, beautiful
home without you
and I barely knew you.