Showing posts from August, 2010

Retro Stewardship Posts

I told Erica I would repost these two pieces.

Money and More: The "M" Words

Everyone Has a Stewardship Story

The first was written shortly before graduation in 2008. Jerry later included it in the Stewardship Newsletter resource. I include the link from this page because I think it provides two lessons: the first is my take on the M words. The second is don't wear pigtails on your first day of seminary. I already looked young - I didn't need to look like an escaped Wee Care kid on my ID card for four years and neither do you. You're welcome.

The second is something I wrote after this same Financial Coaching event last fall. It was exciting to hear Nathan Dungan's enthusiasm and see so many students interested in the coaching program. It gave me energy for our stewardship season at St. John's.

Oh, I just found one more from last fall, too. It seems I was on a soapbox about financial pledging and why I hope my generation can get on board with this valuab…

First Week

It’s First Week at Luther Seminary.New students are being inundated with information about campus, classes, candidacy and everything they need to know as the crazy journey begins.I remember getting a parking ticket the first day of First Week six years ago.Maybe that irritating $35 fee played into my decision to sign up for a financial coach that day – I know several things did.
I’d never taken a loan out or balanced my checkbook for more than a few months at a time.I had spent the whole summer applying for scholarships and grants, but needed to buckle down and organize the responses I was getting.I was several steps away from forming a realistic budget and didn’t even know if I'd have the gumption to stick to it.
I signed up for short-sighted and personal reasons.I wanted to become a money person according to my own definition – I wanted to be wise and generous and self aware and confident when I left seminary a few years later.While working with a coach helped me achieve these goa…

The Lord be with you.

We've been preaching familiar tales from the Old Testament during August. On Sunday we hear about David and Goliath. I write my sermons even later in the week when they are not based on the lectionary. It is a blessing to wander outside the structure I am used to - choosing stories I like and texts that interest me - but it is also a strange curse because my mind and heart tug the sermon in so many different directions, it takes awhile to get legs and move. On these weeks my sermon preparation mirrors the children's book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, finding new tangents and distractions around every corner. But that wandering is one of my favorite things about life and scripture, so today I'm taking you with me.

The first thing I noticed about this tale is that David approaches the battlefield and his brothers as an unwelcome runt. They hear him yapping that Goliath is no match for the living God. His comments make them defensive and David continues his naive and ad…

These are my favorite people under 40 lbs.

This was last winter, so they're bigger now. And even cuter, believe it or not. I stopped over to see my goddaughter and her equally fantastic little sister today. They knew I had a "baby in my belly" and when they didn't see a huge bump, their disappointment was palpable. We caught them sneaking glances at my stomach during lunch, probably hoping it would be bigger and more impressive by the time I left.

B had a question right away, "Meta what's your baby's name?" We brainstormed for a little bit and after considering our three names they decided on "Baby Shortcake". I like it.

L asked if I could feel it kicking yet. "Nope, but when I do, I'll come over so you can feel it." Then we colored and she helped me shop through her beautiful momma's maternity clothes. "Meta, I like this tank top on you. It's cute. Try on the capri pants again!" I got some good stuff and I made a mental note to be a refere…

Great. Tell me about it.

I officiate a lot of weddings.I love the adrenaline rush when there are lots of details to get just right.I love to speak words of value on their big day.I also enjoy the counseling sessions that proceed the chaotic event, although I've noticed that the same conversation seems to begin most of our sessions.
“And we wanted a pastor to do the service because we were both raised in the church and, I mean, we are still very spiritual.We definitely believe in God and a higher power and want that represented in the ceremony, but I wouldn’t say we’re actively religious.I guess we haven’t talked much about our spirituality – it’s more of a personal thing – but we are both definitely spiritual.”
Great, I reply.Tell me about your spirituality.
This is the depressing part.It would be one thing if couples consistently convinced me that their personal spirituality is satisfying and shaping their everyday lives in radical ways...but they don’t.They seem apologetic, sheepish or defensive when it co…

I do not recommend morning sickness on a moped…

…or ten minutes before worship on a Sunday you’re preaching.Or at your husband’s favorite fish restaurant in Skagway, Alaska.But sometimes that stuff happens.And all you can do is take deep breaths, be quick on your feet to the bathroom and laugh about it.
It turns out I’m pregnant.We found out a few days before my brother was proposing to his beautiful girlfriend and just a few weeks before my mom got really, really sick.So we kept it quiet, enjoying our secret and waiting for the right time to tell our families about the little fetus I’m baking.
The first few weeks we knew, I thought I would explode.I wanted to spray the good news all over random strangers and thought I felt it dribbling down my chin in front of friends and family.But instead of buying billboard space or making t-shirts that said FEB 9! in enormous font, we would come home at the end of each day and talk about it with each other.We would research its growth and what I shouldn’t eat online.We would exchange naïve smil…