Sunday, June 12, 2022

Discovering areas for growth...

Hey oh, I finished another fun wool& challenge.  This time it was 30 days. Here are a few of my favorite photos.  

Upon completing this challenge and looking through the photos, I was able to see what I was feeling about myself.  I wasn't loving myself in my own skin.  Over the past two years I have definitely gained weight and I haven't focused on active weight management.  
And so, I decided it's time.  
I reached out to a friend (we worked together at camp in the 90's) who is a registered dietitian and set up my first appointment.  I did so, because I know this is an area in my life that I need guidance, support and accountability for making changes in my nutrition and diet. 

After my first appointment I was tasked with the following:
Creating a weekly menu (following menu ideas in regards to portion size and veggie intake) and making notes on the menu about what I actually ate.  
Continue daily hydration goal of 90+oz a day
Look into adding strength training to my cardio workouts.

One week in and here is what I have discovered.
1) I have eaten more veggies in the past week than I have in the last several weeks.  (go figure)
2) Eating lunch everyday is a good thing.  
3) Eating ample meals has helped me feel well fed all day long.  
4) Keeping track of my daily food intake helps keep me on track.
5) I have not (yet) tackled strength training...
6) I have not been perfect, but what is perfect anyway?  Especially when it comes to adjusting what I hope becomes a long term transition in how we eat.  

I'll keep you posted as to how this continues to pan out.  Again, my long term goal is to feel good in my body...and feel good about training for my next 50 mile race.  (Week one of training began this week, btw, so good timing all around.  

Thanks for reading. 
Until the next post...

Sunday, April 24, 2022

100 Day Dress Challenge - Recap

Well friends, I've officially completed the 100 day dress challenge.  I finished on Easter Sunday.  I had high hopes of posting this earlier in the week, but ended up taking time to zone out, sleep, and just be for a few days.  I definitely needed that after an amazing Holy Week and Easter weekend.  It was all good, it just took a lot out of me and I needed to re-group....with some solid alone time.  

After sharing my photos with wool& for proof that I completed the challenge, I received my $100 gift card within 24 hours.  (Very impressive response time. Good stuff!) 

With that gift was a link to an online survey which included the following question, which took me forever to answer, by the way. 

What was your biggest takeaway from this challenge?  

It took me forever to answer this question because it was hard to narrow down just one take away. But after thinking about it for a while, I came up with the following response:

My biggest takeaway was in discovering (or rediscovering) who I have been for the last 100 days.  After looking through the 100 photos I remembered days that I felt brave, strong, full of joy and confident. I also remembered days that I felt sad, worn down, stressed out and emotionally drained.  

For me, the pictures helped me to see (again) who I really am.  I am all of those things, and then some. To be reminded of my own depth and complexity is not something that I realized would be revealed through the simple act of wearing the same dress every day. 

This challenge provided insight into myself.  

I think that says it all. 

Also, I should add that day 101 - stayed in my pajamas the whole day. That's Easter Monday for a clergy person. 

Day 102 - after my run, I was back into comfy leggings.

Day 103 - back in the office and back in the dress.  

It will definitely be a go to outfit for me moving forward.  So easy to accessorize, works perfect with clerics and you can wear it so many times without needing to wash it.  

Speaking of washing, during the challenge, I did some spot washing, by just rinsing with water and hanging it dry.  I did wash it in the kitchen sink either 7 or 8 times with Woolite. After the challenge, I tossed it in the washing machine with other stuff on a cold cycle...and it's come out just fine.  That means, moving forward, it can be part of the regular laundry when needed.  Good stuff. 

All in all, this was a cool experience.  Thanks for following me on this journey. Here are the last five days of photos.

The dress as a shirt with a favorite skirt.

Some shenanigans while celebrating with the First Holy Communion Class. 

Egg Hunters means the whip cream challenge in the dress.

Holy Saturday...and one day more.

Easter Sunday...Christ is risen and the challenge is complete!

Until the next post...

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

95 days down...5 to go!

Another photo drop of the last few weeks.  
To recap here are the latest things I have done in the dress:
Slept (overnight)
Made communion bread
Ate some salads
Ate some cookies :)
Visited mom & dad
Borrowed a fun apron
Got matching(ish) temporary tattoos with my mom and sister
Took a collective deep breath with the congregation and felt sighs too deep for words.
Hung out with the Easter bunny.
Spent time with in-laws.
Experienced a glorious afternoon with a friend and she did NOT take my photo while I was using her VR. 
Matched my Wonder Woman quilt. ;)
Received several comfort food meals.
Was reminded time and time again that I am in the right place right now.  
Even with surprises and challenges, 
there is joy in serving.
there is comfort in the presence and care of others.
there is the amazing presence of God showing up time and time again. 
Welcome to Holy Week.
Let's gooooooo!

Enjoy the pictures:


Sunday, March 27, 2022

Another dress photo drop

I have now worn this dress for 79 days!  

Here are the last many, many days....I'm really good at taking the pictures (minus one or two days when I had to put it on after I had jammies on....) but not so great at posting them here.  

This last picture might be my favorite outfit so far.  
It's definitely in the top 10, for sure.  
I'm lovin' the doc martens and the dress as a shirt.  
Just feeing good today.  

Until the next post...


Monday, March 21, 2022

a sermon with more questions than answers

March 20, 2022
Third Sunday in Lent
Isaiah 55:1-9
Psalm 63:1-8
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Luke 13:1-9

Please pray with me,

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all of our hearts be acceptable and suitable in your sight, O God, our rock, our strength and our redeemer. Amen.

When I was in seminary in Philadelphia, Dr. Timothy Wengert taught the Lutheran Confessions class. As the incoming class, we had a heads up that he would know everyone’s name on the first day. That was true. He had printed out all of our photos and memorized our faces and names. As if that didn’t leave an impression, he was known much more for how he answered questions in class.

A hand would shoot up, a student would ask a question and 99% of the time, Dr. Wengert would respond with, “Why do you ask that question?”

Clever, right? 

I’m not sure how what works with a 2- or 3-year-old going through the phase of ‘why’ questions, but for seminarians, it was effective. 

It helped us to pause in our current thought and often times shift the direction of our thinking to dig deeper into the topic, into our thoughts, into our hearts and really decipher what it was we were longing to know. 

Dr. Wengert, drew us out of the superficial questions – or questions that maybe wouldn’t get us as far or as deep as he wanted us to go, and challenged us to go in different directions, to questions that would result in more meaningful answers. 

While we were searching for answers, Dr. Wengert helped us ask more meaningful questions.

Now, I would never equate any seminary professor to Jesus, but, I see the same process happening in our gospel lesson today.

Some folks come to Jesus with news of horror and tragedy. 

Pontius Pilate has slaughtered a group of Galilean Jews, and mingled their blood with the blood of sacrificial lambs. Meanwhile, the tower of Siloam has collapsed, crushing and killing eighteen people.

These folks bring these brutal stories to Jesus with a question, or should I say the question we know so well… “Why?”

Why did these terrible things happen? 

Why is there so much pain in the world?

Why does a good God allow human suffering? 

Jesus does not respond with, “Why do you ask that question?” but instead responds with a parable to help them ask more meaningful questions. 

The parable of the fig tree. One that invites his listeners to into so many more questions. Questions that push beyond the simplicity of asking why…and into the realm of not just why…but how am I part of this? What role do I play? Where is God at work in this? How does the situation call me to be an active part of what is happening here and now?

If you’ve noticed anything about those questions, they are not only redirected at the one who has asked the initial questions, but also they are questions that call for a deeper response, and a much more personal response. 

I believe this is why Jesus tells this parable.  It’s like in that episode of the TV show Friends, when they are trying to move the sofa and all Ross can shout is, PIVOT! 

But instead of shouting PIVOT! Jesus redirects his listeners with a parable, to see the world and the actions that are causing them worry in a new way and to truly ask them, how they are called to be part of the world – the good and the bad – in a way that makes a difference. 

So the parable is a huge shift…in thinking, in question asking and in responding. 

Too many questions to tackle together but here are a few of them for you to think about…

Here are some questions asked by Debi Thomas  as she reflected on this week's gospel. 

In what ways am I like the absentee landowner, standing apart from where life and death actually happen?  How am I refusing to get my hands dirty? 

Where in my life — or in the lives of others — have I prematurely called it quits, saying, “There’s no life here worth cultivating.  Cut it down.”

In what ways am I like the fig tree?  Un-enlivened? Un-nourished?  Unable or unwilling to nourish others? In what ways do I feel helpless or hopeless? Have I forgotten that the same patient God who gives me another year to thrive will also someday call me to account?   

In what ways am I like the gardener?  Where in my life am I willing to accept Jesus’s invitation to go elbow-deep into the muck and manure? Am I brave enough to sacrifice time, effort, love, and hope into this tree — this relationship, this cause, this tragedy, this injustice —  with no guarantee of a fruitful outcome? 


The series of why questions that we have heard over the past few years have been nearly endless...

Why can’t we worship inside?

Why do we have to wear masks outside?

Why has it taken so song to come up with a Covid policy?

Why didn’t we have a task force from the beginning?

Why do we still have guidelines when other churches are back to ‘normal’?

Why don’t we just let people make decisions for themselves?

Why aren’t people coming back now that masks aren’t required?

Why are we still seeing stories of school violence – in our local communities?

Why did Russia invade Ukraine?

Why does my loved one have cancer?

Why did the death of my cat completely knock me down for several days?

Why can’t things just be normal?

I think we ask these questions because we want an explanation…one that just gives us simple and clear answers. 

But this world we live in…is anything but simple and clear. 

And this God who loves us and calls us to be part of this world – calls us into a life that is not simple or clear and is often downright messy, confusing, tricky, troublesome and real – a fine mix of beautiful and brutal…it’s a brutiful life….sprinkled with joy and sorrow…it’s anything but simple and clear. 

But, big BUT, this is truly the depth in which Jesus wants us to live out our lives. 

To dig deeper.

To live more fully.

To love more wholeheartedly.

Oof…no wonder why we ask the simpler questions….it can be hard and scary to dig deeper. But dear ones, it can open us up to so much more when we are willing to dig deeper. 

So, in response to a world that seems to draw us into a series of why questions, I invite you to dig deeper. To ask more meaningful questions and discover how you are called to answer them…

So instead of the whys…maybe ask the hows…

How is God calling you to be an active part of healing and recovery in a world that has been deeply impacted by a pandemic?

How are we living out our call to work for peace in the world when Russia is at war with Ukraine?

How are we lifting up all members of the body of Christ when transgendered young people are being kept from living fully into playing sports and receiving the health care they need?

How are we actively inviting and reconnecting with people in and beyond this place as we come together in new ways transformed by a pandemic? 

So many questions…

So many answers…

But together…we have a place to ask these questions, wrestle with answers, ask deeper questions, and continue to discover who God has created us and continues to call us to be each and every day. 

And now may the peace, which surpasses all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, and let all God’s people say, amen. 


Saturday, March 12, 2022

Great days and NOT so great days in the dress...

More ups and downs in the dress...but it's still just as comfortable and easy to put on every day. 

After Zooming for my sister's 40th birthday!

Just realizing at that moment that I would no longer be brushing Marley's hair off my dress.  :(
Tough day taking Marley to the vet for the last time.  

Wearing an apron tie-dyed by some amazing youth!

Back in this favorite scarf...again :)

New top.  :) 

I started this scarf last year?  The year before?  I finished it during the olympics and it's perfect for Lent.

Back in the fun apron again.  
I'm beginning to wonder if this could be the 100 Day Apron Challenge, since I think I have worn an apron every single day of this challenge...especially when I've been in the kitchen.  
Also, there is something to be said about the way the waves in my hair kind of found their groove in the picture.  

Until the next set of photos...


Friday, March 4, 2022

Photo dump of the dress!

I'm over halfway through the 100 Day Dress Challenge.  

It seems wild that I've spend the last 55 days wearing this dress.  Good times.  

It's still crazy comfortable and quite versatile.  

First time in the new and incredibly soft sweatpants from Sarah Marie Design Studio

Home after a few days away, means some lap time with Marley.

Day 50 was at Longwood Gardens and my first time wearing jeans in over 50 days. (I was glad they still fit!) Photo cred: Billy

Helping Billy set up to take pictures of the Parish Planning Council at church....this may be my most official picture yet.  Photo cred: Billy

Day 51...the day I was sitting in my pajamas realizing I had NOT taken my photo of the day.  
Popped the dress back on but kept the penguin jammie bottoms on.  

I really like this picture...good lighting, solid smile.  

Remember that you are dust. 

Feeling clever in editing and putting the day on the screen. Ha!  
This is a screen shot of a livestream for church.  

Who knows when the next photo dump will arrive.
Thanks for reading and following along.  

Until the next post...