The Shoes we Choose


I used to be much more of a shoe girl. I liked heels. No one ever complains when a girl’s legs look longer and her calf muscles are flexed. And it’s quite thrilling to walk down hard wood floors with a confident gate and hearing the clacks beneath your feet.
But that’s how I used to be because then I moved to a place where I needed my feet and only my feet to get anywhere. It was just strenuous enough to make any heels pointless. (pun intended) So that’s when  I got my first pair of Chacos sandals, which, three years later, I wear persistently weather permitting. I’ve wondered if these had an odometer how high it’d reach now. I’ve had them for a number of hikes, including one 36 km long[1].
In June I started my internship at Calvary Episcopal Church in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s a classy place that makes you think God has quite refined tastes. (God has all tastes, including tacky sometimes, but Episcopalians would never indulge in that.) Tiffany stained-glass windows, intricate wood paneling, brass lecterns. It’s grand. My very first Sunday there, I realized that in my hasty packing for Louisville, the only shoes I brought were the ones on my feet: my Chacos.
Jesus wore Chacos[2]. Which is why now, for 12 Sundays in a row, when I look down my clean white robe with lace detailing and see my dirty Chacos sticking out the bottom, I smile. These shoes will keep me grounded in every sense of the word.

[1] I like to add random points like that to make myself look badass, even if the 36 km thing was a one-time thing. But it was a pretty badass hike.
[2] Or maybe the first century equivalent thereof.


Dreading vs. Embracing


Have you ever had something that you’re worried might turn out horrible but it ends up being not just fine but fabulous? Kind of like if two people were running at you with flashlights and you thought “Oh no! That car’s about to hit me!” but it comes and not only is it not a car, but it also happens to be your two best friends? That was my weekend. Let me expound:

This is a picture of a lot of people having a fun time all thanks to me! That’s me on the far right.

I organized a camping trip. I organized it well enough to convince a lot of people they wanted to come. Okay, others helped on that. We were all looking forward to our time at the nearby Mammoth Cave National Park.

Except, if you remember, last week, the Democrats and Republicans in Washington DC were playing chicken with each other regarding the federal budget. Every news source I used spoke of a possible, no likely government shutdown. Said shutdown would mean that Mammoth Cave National Park would be closed.

Quickly, I formed a plan b through the generosity of some co-workers. But I think the real stress came when I wasn’t sure when/whether to turn to plan b. There were so many considerations and I spent all of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday waiting for a new headline over that giant picture of Obama and Boehner. We ended up having to go for plan b. What a week!

But then I imagine that crazy stress that I haven’t even had to think about yet: Applying for a mortgage. The loss of a close family member. Working a full day and coming home to kids who, even at their best, are pretty demanding.

It seems like stress never really rescinds. This fogginess and confusion just continues and it’s a matter of either embracing or dreading it.

With that in mind, I’ll give you one guess about what I chose (read=try) to do… embrace!  Dread just adds more stress and it feels like that’d be fighting fire with fire. Or fighting a rain storm with my water hose. Or fighting a caffeine addiction by having my 6th cup of water… wait, bad metaphor. I do that one. Anyway,

Because after all, it sometimes turns out fine and fabulous.

(In)Sane Enough


So I just received a report from the psychiatrist I met with a month ago. It’s a required part of the discernment process for ordination- a psychiatric evaluation. He (the psychiatrist) sent me an e-mail and attached was the 11 page document he’d written up after meeting with me for hours and having me take various psychological tests. You know those make-up mirrors that some hotel rooms have that magnify everything, and I mean everything on your face. I thought of this as the figurative version of that. And therefore was mildly hesitant to open it up.

But I’m nothing if not curious. I browsed through the report and found nothing all that surprising. I’m a good leader, except when I’m not. I’m good at interpersonal relationships, except when I’m not. And I should have paid more attention in my college psychology classes because some of those sentences made no sense at all.

A few of the more amusing sentences from the report:
“She is considered average in social boldness, being neither particularly shy nor bold.”
“Maturity: the candidate was rated average to above average.” (Ha! I mean, of course!)

So this leaves in that paradoxical place where I’m sane enough to go into ministry, but insane enough to want to go into ministry. If life’s a roller coaster, this time in my life must be that slow cranking up to the first big drop. There’s some craziness ahead, but for now I’ll just relax.