Sunday, November 30, 2008

I See a Pattern

Brenda wakes up to find her little red car buried underneath the cold, wet snow.

Brenda braves the cold, wet snow to clean off her little red car.

enda turns around to find her little red car buried underneath the cold, wet, and totally relentless snow.

Brenda braves the...oh, FORGET IT, and has decided not to clean off her no longer cute car again until tomorrow morning. BRR and GRR.

A New Home

As I sat in the back pew of Bethany Lutheran Church on the eve before Thanksgiving Day, I found myself most thankful for my new church home.

I was becoming increasingly unhappy with the services at my former church. I've been wrestling with whether or not I should start looking for a new church for over two years. I was so sad that I couldn't look forward to Sunday mornings anymore. I even joined the Sunday School team in hopes that maybe I'd find a new reason to commit to this particular church.

I enjoy a traditional church service. One where there is a litany to be followed, hymns to be sung, and a message from the Bible to be delivered. I look to the leaders at my church to provide this kind of experience, and quite honestly, it just wasn't happening. The sanctuary was just another room in the building, parents were allowing children to run around and talk throughout the worship service, the drum beat was rather obnoxious during the Gloria Patri, the pulpit was just another place to pass along an get the point.

I know it seems like these objections are such a paradox to who I am - I love children and I love music. You'd think that I would enjoy their presence in the service. The problem was, these issues were beginning to be distractions, and taking me away from the real purpose of being part of a church community - God.

I grew up in a church that provided a traditional service, and once a year we would travel to an exciting retreat spot, where we would have a more contemporary worship experience. Lights, projectors, guitars - it really was exciting! Each year, I looked forward to this rather public re-commitment to my faith.Along with these yearly treks came the appreciation for my more solemn, reverent weekly services. Being a musician, I enjoyed a quiet service, without the stigma of a performance, without the bells and whistles. I'm not a person who easily reflects or relaxes into deep thought (I know, big surprise), so I always welcomed the chance to quietly focus.

I can also appreciate the power of a more contemporary service, and the people it helps bring closer to God. I can't deny that the contemporary church services are full of families, and I am happy that they can find a faith experience that fits their needs. What I finally realized is that I needed an experience that fit MY needs, and that this was something I could do something about. Changing jobs or careers is much more difficult than changing church congregations, no matter how strong the ties are. I couldn't let my guilt over leaving good people overshadow a decision that was ultimately in my hands.

This has been an intensely personal journey - one where I needed to find my own path and still listen to God at the same time. That's hard for one very independent Brenda. :)

I'm so happy to say that I have found a wonderful new congregation. One where at 8:00 am, the doors of the Sanctuary are closed, and the worship experience begins. There is reverence, there is respect, there is peace. The pews rattle with the power of the organ. There is a definite devotion to quality music. The message directly relates to the Scriptures.

So, I am very thankful for my new church home, and I've only just begun to explore this church and congregation!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Total Glass-Hole

Rarr. Just when I think I'm back on track (I'm feeling healthy again, ready for the next concert series, etc.), I encounter the world's largest pile of broken glass on the road. You know, the pile that looks bigger than your car, but is probably only as big as your hand.
There it was, shining in the sunlight, taunting my tires. Thankfully, I knew better than to swerve to avoid the pile, as I would have taken out the car next to me. Oh, no - the glittering glass wasn't in THEIR lane. They drove safely on by, "Baby on Board" sign waving as they maneuvered on down the road. Best wishes.
Meanwhile, only 1 minute from home, my perfectly fine rings of rubber drove directly over the lustrous lump of doom, crackling and hissing upon direct contact. Rarr. I quickly drove into my parking lot, found a spacious section where I could swap out my injured tire for a tire meant for pygmies, and got to work.
Nine - yes, nine - minutes later, my car looked like a three-legged dog with a strange-looking eye patch, and I was back in business. I'm sure my garage will have plenty of openings to make my tire good as new. Thank goodness it's not a holiday week or anything... Glass-hole.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The 16th of the Month

Today, it occurred to me that I'll only be in my twenties for 3 more months. Not that I mind moving to my thirties - the date just reminded me of this random fact.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gingerbread and Iron Butts

Robin, Wren, and more SUGAR than 2 children should EVER have access to: we worked forever on this Gingerbread House. Note to self: there is not enough frosting in the world to get a pre-frosted roof piece to stay in place. I was contemplating super-glue... If you decide to create a gingerbread house for yourself or family, be prepared - the entire process of making the house is an absolute MESS. The girls had a blast, however, which was the whole point! Yum!

Mom and the Giant Tree: She's the tiny little figure at the bottom of the picture. She made my dad pull over alongside a road near Door County, WI to take this amazing picture. Autumn in Wisconsin is always beautiful! Later that day, they visited my Grandmother's brother, who revealed that I had decided to move to Colorado (and had told them all about it before telling my own parents). Whoops. Apparently, really good memories can be found on my dad's side of the family!

Dad has an Iron Butt: That's the fancy name of an association that is dedicated to the sport of safe, long-distance endurance riding on a motorcycle! He's holding a certificate that certifies that he rode a total of 1,035 miles in less than 24 hours, starting in Sheboygan, WI continuing on through Minnesota, South Dakota, and ending in Wyoming. Sweet!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

WOOHOO! President Obama!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

In Repose

"I write that Andréa remains with us in spirit, but his body is finished with living on Earth. He passed away this morning, All Souls’ Day, at 11:05, with family surrounding the bed ..." PC

In Repose...
temporary rest from activity, excitement or exertion
• the rest given by sleep
• a state of peace

May Andréa find eternal peace, while Penelope finds peace within her soul.

Painting by Andréa Cecchini