Epiphany! Epiphany!

I’ve had an epiphany! Well, actually everyone can have this one… Today, January 6th, is Epiphany on the church calendar, and I finally get to move my wise guys (er, wise men) to the manger so they can present their gifts. They’ve been hanging out on the opposite end of my mantle all Advent and Christmas.

See how far away they are?

Oh look! They’re halfway there!  That poor wiseman in front seems to be making the journey on his knees! now that’s dedication.

Everyone’s together… though Mary’s very tired of kneeling waiting for the wisemen, and the shepherd’s thinking that sheep on his shoulders is getting really heavy right about now…

I love Epiphany, and I have heard our new church celebrates with a traditional English Christmas Dinner following the service.

Tonight’s a special service too because it marks the official beginning of St. Francis and St. Joseph’s joining together. Sort of like a marriage of churches is taking place tonight. And then, yummy food! I’m excited :-)

An epiphany is also what I’m seeking this year as I move fully into this in-between time. Even though my big transition became official in June, it’s taken me until now to sort of adjust to being in this place, and then try to start seeing what this space is for (for more on the transition, read my newly completed about page).

So today marks the official beginning of a year of something different, a year of being okay with not being in vocational ministry, a year of hopefully coming to a better understanding of my calling, and where I go from here. A year of just being, and just being me, with the only expectations being that I live up to my advertisement and take good portraits of people :-) so far, so good. A year of getting to know the new members of our congregation, and them getting to know me (watch out St. Joe’s! I’m not your normal pastor’s wife. I’m giving you fair notice 😉 )

A year of building the new friendships that have finally emerged for me after the move to Nashville, and a year of getting to spend more time hanging and chatting with the old friends that are so dear to me.

And after this year, who knows? But I’m excited. I hope you’ll come along for the ride, companions and conversation partners in this new journey.

Now, I’m hungry… lunch for me!

Let me not to the marriage of two blogs… How I met my husband part 1

I’ve been inspired by a new favorite blog of mine to tell the story of how my husband and I met here on my blog. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, since the truth of the matter is, I owe my blog a deep debt of gratitude for finding my husband.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all (like gavin), you’ll know that my husband and I both keep blogs. Mine, well, that’s what you’re reading (*gasp* I know) and Jody (my husband) is Quo Vadis, a blog he’s been keeping for at least as long as I’ve been blogging (at deepsoil or in one of deepsoil’s incarnations as a blogger blog, a typepad blog, a wordpress self-hosted blog, and now Wayfaring Artist).

But what most of you don’t know (cue strings and waltzes) is the roll that our blogs had in bringing us together.

One night in January of 2005, I was bored and going through my stats to see who was linking to me. Now, I do have to be somewhat bored to actually go check links, especially as this was a time when I got a lot more traffic than I do now. And I found a link to this blog that I didn’t recognize, and headed over. It was Jody’s, albeit then a blogger blog, and he had posted on something I found interesting, plus when I clicked on his blogger profile I found a pic of him with eyes that absolutely made me melt, but when I decided to im him to discuss his blog post, it had nothing to do with the whole melting thing… Really, it was just an intellectual interest in a topic we’d both been researching.

So we talked via instant message and after we got off two hours later, I was sort of reeling with the fantastic conversation we’d just had. But I didn’t want to read anything into it, and all, so I figured I just wait and see what happened.

He didn’t get on line again for four days…

(to be continued)

In the meantime… How I met my husband Part 2

*originally published in February 2008.  I’m bringing it onto this blog because I intend to actually finish the story over the next couple of months 😉

Americans, the Brits, and a personal story

“The first thing I ever heard about Americans was that they all carried guns.  Then, when I came across people who’d had direct contact with this ferocious-sounding tribe, I learned that they were actually rather friendly.” So begins Geoff Dyer’s letter to his American friends as seen on the New York Times Page.  He goes one to talk about some of the other perceptions of Americans and how they’ve often turned out not to be true, the loud obnoxious American tourist of the stereotype appears to possibly have other reasons has seen from the Dyer’s British perspective.

Granted, these visiting Americans often seem to have loud voices, but on closer examination, it’s a little subtler than that. Americans have no fear of being overheard. Civic life in Britain is predicated on the idea that everyone just about conceals his loathing of everyone else.

This reminds me sort of indirectly of an experience I had in England. I had gone over to work as a youth counselor at the Keswick (pronounced, “kessik”) Convention in the Lake District of northern England the second summer I was in seminary.  Unlike some summer camps, this was a family deal, but there were separate tracks for the kids and the parents.  So a bunch of us counselor types were staying in this sweet 19th century victorian manor house, and there were about 4 of us to a room.  I had met two of my roomies as we were unpacking our stuff and then we were all supposed to go down and hang out and meet the other counselors and get an overview of what was to happen that week.

Well I forgot something, and ran back to the room for a minute.

When I got back to the main floor, there were my two roomies standing in a sort of half-circle configuration with two of the guy counselors.  As I walked up, it was quiet, and I figured I’d walked up to a lull in the conversation.

As neither of the girls moved to introduce me to the guys, I stuck my hand out to the nearest one, and said, “Hi, I’m Anna.” The two guys said their names and shook hands, and then one of my roomies burst out laughing.  “Leave it to the American,” she said, ” to break the ice and start talking.”

They had been standing there, in awkward silence because no one had introduced them.  We laughed, and I introduced the girls to the guys, and we all went on to have a lovely week working together.