Monday, June 13, 2005

gotta love country music

Growing up in the mountains of NC, about the only music we could get on the radio on a regular basis was our local country music station. I still listen quite a bit (as well as whatever else I can get - boy, do I wish I had sattelite radio!). I heard the best song last night (and immediately thought of my younger brother). It is a new one by Keith Anderson (went to seminary with someone by that name, but I really don't think it's the same guy...)

"Double X L"
the refrain goes -
"I'm a mean, lean, love machine who likes to be held. Ooooo-hoooo baby, I'm a double XL!"

The rest of the song recounts all the skinny Barbie dolls who just can't stay away from him and need his lovin'.

Still really like Green Day, U2, etc, but really need that country music sometimes!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

to wear a blue jean wrap skirt

Sixteen years ago I entered seminary at Duke Divinity School. I was just 22 years old, newly married, and trying to figure out this calling to ministry. During my three years there, I had one instructor who stood out dramatically. Her name was (and still is!) Ashley - and she taught pastoral care (and was great at it, by the way). I remember the first class - the classes were long Tuesday night classes for the semester. Ashley was a young woman in her mid 30s. She told us about her professional experience, and that she was primarily at home with three children (the youngest being just a few months old). She taught classes at the Divinity School and was not serving a church at the time (though quite active in one).

Ashley was just gorgeous. She wore a simple shirt, with a wrap blue jean skirt (I actually currently own one like it and thought of Ashley when I bought it). I couldn't believe she had just had a baby - I thought someone in her shoes (raising kids, teaching seminary classes, etc.) would look rather worn out and tired (much like I look most the time!). But she always looked great. She was so alive and engaged with everyone around her. I knew very quickly that I wanted to be just like Ashley when I grew up - on so many levels and in so many ways.

About 10 years ago, I was fortunate that Ashley moved to my neck of the woods due to her husband's job. After a really tough first church, I was taking some time off, looking after a rather rambunctious little baby boy, and trying to figure out my next step in ministry. I ended up working parttime at a church, and spending most my time being a mom and homemaker. Throughout these years, Ashley has been the best role model I could possibly have - in vocation, motherhood, friendships, and even continuing in fashion statements! I am moving in less than three weeks and won't be around Ashley as much. And I will be "working fulltime in ministry" yet again (something Ashley has been doing, and doing quite well, for a number of years).

I know I will still see Ashley and we'll communicate - and she will continue to be a hero for me. I also hope that when I am working with my college students, wearing my favorite blue jean wrap skirt - that I might can in some small way have such an impact on a young woman.

But I will really miss her a lot...

Monday, June 06, 2005

17 years!

It was 17 years ago today that I was heading to a picnic in Greensboro, NC with the large young single adult sunday school class of the church I had been attending. I had just finished my 3rd year at Greensboro College, and had one semester left before taking off to do a Master of Divinity (and then thinking I would do a Ph.d. and teach religion somewhere - only the M.Div came to fruition, but at least I do get to work on a college campus).

The summer was just beginning, and I was staying in my college town. My romance with one young man in the class had recently fizzled, so I thought I would just be working and hanging out with whatever friends I had in town. But - the picnic. There was one guy who kept flirting with me. He was older (I thought probably 27), but really cute. He had an athletic build and wore "coaching shorts." He also had the ugliest little dog with him - something called a Boston Terrier - but she was pretty sweet.

We were playing games on a field, and this man was obviously the most athletic. During kickball, he kept kicking home runs and no one else was in the ballpark of getting him out. Have I mentioned that I always hated kickball? Don't know if it was because of getting picked towards the end of my class growing up, or because it just seemed like a really stupid thing to play. Well, at one point, I was actually running from 2nd to 3rd base and this guy (Andy) threw the ball to get me out. I ducked, the ball went wild, and I was able to get home. One of the few runs my team scored! Then the very next play - Andy was doing his usual hotdogging, and I nailed him as he was running to 3rd base. (only one to get him out all day)

We talked, found out he was a kindergarten teacher, had worked at lots of camps - and then when we were leaving, he offered me a ride in his beautiful red Mustang convertible (yes, loyal readers, the very same one that I so despererately want to sell now!).

Within a week we were talking about getting married (turned out the guy was really 33, never married, just waiting for ms. right), and then 5 and a half months later - walking down the aisle.

Sometimes it seems like 170 years, sometimes 17 weeks...