Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Was It Worth $20?

Today I called Daughter's medicaid plan about the ongoing problems with needles for her insulin pens. The woman told me (again) the pharmacy was billing it wrong, and weren't billing my insurance first. I had the denial in front of me, and informed them that the pharmacy was billing my insurance company first. Then she tried to tell me I needed to change pharmacies because this one didn't know how to bill. I informed her they were handling all of Daughter's other prescriptions without a problem. Then she told me that they needed to call in. I explained they had called in, and was told they weren't covered. Finally she put me on hold to make some calls.

I finally got an answer. It seems that they don't want to pay for pen needles unless they are billed with the insulin pens. I explained to her that there are 5 insulin pens in a box, which lasts for a couple of months. She goes through a box of needles in a month's time. That doesn't make any difference. I told her it was a waste to stockpile pens we weren't going to use so they'd pay for the needles. They put in an override to pay for the needles this month. I picked them up this evening, and they had removed the $20 co-pay from my insurance company.

I find myself asking if all the trips to the pharmacy and all the phone calls weren't worth more than the $20 I saved. More importantly, though, I wonder what happens to people who don't have a strong advocate, or someone who will pay for the prescription rather than go with out while fighting for payment. It's no wonder people stop taking their medication. I think it would be much more cost effective to pay for the medication than to pay for the hospitalization. But then, I'm not an insurance company.

The Final Week

This is the final week Daughter's program will be housed at the church. What was supposed to be a couple of weeks has turned out to be over 6 months. Once we gave Program Coordinator a key and alarm code, it got much easier. In fact, Administrative Assistant has commented that she'll miss having them here. They were downstairs, and there was an entrance right by their room that they used for most of their comings and goings. We could hear some of their movement, and they'd come up occasionally to use the copy machine. We had to buzz them in through the office entrance occasionally if PC was out when they came back from an outing.

Daughter, of course, is anxious about the move. We have been careful to minimize the contact she has with me during her program. She can't come up and see me, she has to call or text as though I weren't around. She does call and text-- regularly. The same type things she called and texted when we were in Tiny Village. She often has a crisis and needs me to rescue her from the program immediately. Just like in Tiny Village I offer encouragement and tell her I'll see her at the end of the day.

A couple of weeks ago we drove to the new location from the church, and then from the new location to home. We measured the time and mileage, and both were shorter than what we'd had to deal with in Tiny Village. This reassured her some. More challenging is the fact that she'll be away at camp for their opening week. I'm sure that the week of her return will be challenging. They have a number of people waiting to enter the program when they complete the move. Their space here has been limited, so they had to limit the number of participants.

This morning, Daughter is upbeat about the upcoming move. I hope that her upbeat attitude will continue and the transition will be a smooth one.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Yesterday evening I told Daughter we didn't have to take her friend to the dance, she could meet him there. This morning, she was dry. I'm beginning to suspect that this last round of bed wetting was a direct result of getting a boyfriend and the drama that followed.

We spent over 3 hours working in the yard today. We spread 15 bags of mulch in the front and did some weeding in the back. Daughter worked with me. She isn't a fast or careful worker, but at least she was out there working. I edged one side of the driveway this morning (I'd done the other side Saturday, but it was badly overgrown and I decided that it was best to not do it all at once). She just doesn't get the concept of sweeping. She did pretty well for Daughter, but I still had to go behind her to clean it up.

I am considering paying for the yard waste removal through the summer my trash service offers. I could take the bags to the recycling center on my own, but the hours are very limited, it still costs money, and I'm not thrilled about transporting the stuff in my car. I also considered a compost pile, but there isn't a good place for one in my yard, and I have lots of stuff to put on it. I'm finding owning a home in suburbia is not cheap.

A Holiday

Since today is Memorial Day, Daughter's program is closed and I decided I'm not going into the office. That doesn't mean I don't have work to do. I am going to write some newsletter articles, and I'm going to work in the yard. I hope to get started in the yard early, as it's supposed to get up to 90 today. It's going to be very humid, so I don't think I'll be doing much work outside once it heats up. I may have to turn on the AC for the first time this year. I had to turn the heat back on last week. It's been a crazy spring.

Daughter told me last night she's stressing out about the prom this weekend. So is her "just friend." He called the church yesterday morning for details about how I'd pick him up for it Friday. I told the individual who answered the phone to tell him to talk to me Wednesday. I told Daughter last night she doesn't need to take him to the dance, she could meet him there. "Thank you!" She was so relieved. This is why I've refused to make plans to pick him up. I figure she'll change her mind a few more times before the dance. The meal better be good, because I'm not looking forward to this dance at all.

I will be firing up the grill today for the holiday. Friday Sister invited us to come to her house today, but I decided I didn't want to drive, I wanted to work in the yard. I hope everyone has a good holiday, and remembers the mean and women who have given their lives in service to our country.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dealing with the System

I'm in the process of getting guardianship for Daughter. Lots of paperwork. I'm sending her to camp in a week, more paperwork. I'm applying for personal care assistance for her so that that funding can be used to help provide staffing for an out of home placement. More paperwork.

Then there's the ongoing battle with her medical assistance. My insurance is primary, so it just picks up the co-pays on her prescriptions. Except it's not paying the co-pays. I finally go them to cover her insulin pens, but now they won't pay for the needles so she can use the pens. I called them last week. "It's the state's fault. They say she has another insurance that is primary."

"She does."

"Oh, well the pharmacy isn't billing properly. They need to run it through the primary insurance first and then bill us."

"That's what they're doing."

"Well if they can't figure out how to do it, have them call the help line."

So the pharmacy called. The individual they talked to said that the needles aren't covered, but didn't offer an explanation. The person even noticed they covered them in the past. They told the pharmacy to tell me I'd have to call to straighten it out. I think this is where I started, calling them.

I came home from the pharmacy today frustrated, to say the least. I will call again on Tuesday. I will mail out the latest round of paperwork on Tuesday. I will be frustrated, though. It's not only the emotional demands that come with dealing with Daughter and her issues, it's the time demands that come from dealing with the system. I was exhausted this afternoon.

She's Still Alive

It's something of a miracle that she's still alive and I didn't kill her. Sunday mornings are not a good time to mess with mom. We had baptism and new members today, making it a little more stressful than the usual Sunday. I walked by the unlocked kitchen at the church (I'd opened it so volunteers could get in to make coffee for the coffee hour following worship) and found Daughter with her head in the refrigerator. She'd told me she was going straight to the restroom.

I didn't yell, but I did tell her she'd let me know I couldn't trust her. She responded by getting her purse and heading out the door. She was wearing sandals with heels, so I didn't think she'd get very far. A couple went out searching for her when she didn't return as quickly as I thought she would. They found her a mile from the church, headed home. She was not happy at being found, and didn't speak to me until after worship. She sat as far away from me as she could.

We were invited to join the family celebration of the new members following worship, but I decided it would be best to come straight home. The good news is that the congregation is wonderfully supportive. Several were willing to go searching for her. She is apologetic. I didn't kill her (yet).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Easter's Done, Where's the Slower Pace?

I was anticipating a much slower pace after Easter. I wouldn't have the extra work with the more complicated worship services we were doing during Lent. I wouldn't be teaching a book study and developing a PowerPoint presentation that provided a summary for those who didn't read the material without boring those who did. I was sure things would slow down. It was a great theory. The problem is, everything I put off until after Easter now has to be dealt with. Further complicating things is the reality that the late Easter leaves less time before the start of summer-- and vacations.

I've been spending a great deal of time in all the meetings that were put off until after Easter. We are making big plans for the fall, and coordinating them is going to take some work. I am very much into the big picture and coordinating all of our programs around a theme. The pattern here has been, at least recently, that each ministry goes off and does its own thing. Pulling together all the people to coordinate the various pieces takes time. Getting everyone on board and contributing their pieces in a timely manner isn't easy. Just finding a time when everyone can meet is almost impossible.

I'm teaching a Bible study at the conference Daughter and I attend every July, and I need to begin planning for that. I also need to begin working on adult study and worship plans for the fall if everything is going to coordinate. I've decided I'm going to have to find a quiet place away from the church where I can do some work. I have a steady stream of people through my study all day. I love the interactions and conversations that take place, but it makes it hard to focus on a big task. It's time to get away from the office and begin exploring the are in search of good places to get some work done, away from the distractions in my home and study.

I'm really looking forward to the fall, and am eager to begin to lay out the study and worship piece of our plans. Daughter goes to camp on June 6th, and I think that week I will set aside some blocks of time for planning. That is also the week her program moves to its new building. Why wait until June 6th? This week's calendar is already too full-- most days I have morning and afternoon commitments. I'll be gone most of July, so I need to get busy.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Figuring out the Source

Daughter had a very good period of over a week. She was happy, dry at night, being responsible, and then she regressed. I've been pondering the source of the new problems,and have identified several:

Since she was feeling better, she got a new boyfriend. He began making emotional demands upon her, and she got scared. That was the first trigger for her PTSD.

A staff member in her program came in and talked about how her mother and various other family members had been in a bad accident. Daughter has been paranoid about car wrecks and injuries since we were rear-ended 12 years ago at high speed on the interstate. My six month old car was totaled, and we were very fortunate to walk away from it. We were hit in the left rear corner by a speeding car, spinning us completely around. I remember looking at my side of the car hitting the guard rail that had been on the passenger side and seeing the headlights coming toward us and wondering how badly we'd be hurt. When the car stopped, Daughter was wrapped around my arm, sobbing. She has been paranoid about auto accidents ever since. That was the second trigger.

The same day, another staff member was getting calls about her mother, who was in the hospital. Daughter remembers all the phone calls about my parents when they were in and out of the hospital in the last few years of their lives, and is terrified that I'm going to get sick and die. Trigger number 3.

The same staff member, on the same day, received a phone call from her daughter, who had been abused by her boyfriend. Daughter overheard part of the conversation, and filled in the blanks with pieces from her own past. It was at this point that she sent me a text saying she was hearing voices (severe flashbacks). I responded with something about her being safe. Unable to communicate directly with me, she shut down and went to sleep for the rest of the day.

Of course staff are not supposed to talk about their personal lives in front of the clients. As Program Coordinator has pointed out, Daughter may well be smarter than one of them. Program Coordinator sat the staff down today and shared in graphic detail the impact it had on Daughter when they shared personal information with her. She also shared my threat: the next time one of them shares personal information with Daughter that triggers her PTSD, that individual gets to take her home!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Just Friends" and Residential

Daughter and Boy Friend seem to have different definitions of what it means to be "just friends." For Daughter, it seems to mean that she doesn't want to talk to him or think about him, but the night of the big dance she wants to go with him. For Boy Friend, it means that they talk on the phone daily. Daughter doesn't want to talk to him on the phone-- ever.

I feel bad for the men in her life. She sends them such mixed messages. She is so conflicted when it comes to men and sex. Next week she has a psychological evaluation done in preparation for the guardianship hearing. I finally sent the paperwork in. Filing for guardianship feels like a failure. My goal for her had been independent living, and now I'm asking a court to rule her incompetent and declare me her guardian. Many things will be easier, though, once I'm her guardian. It will be easier to take care of her business once I'm her guardian.

I also talked to Case Manager about the residential situation for Daughter. It looks like she'll go on a waiting list for a placement in an adult foster home with 6-7 other residents. Case Manager really doesn't get the need for 24 hour a day supervision. She wondered again if she couldn't be alone in an apartment with 2 other residents at night. I explained (again) that if she has access to food at night, she'll eat it. If she doesn't have access to food and has a low, she could die. Sometimes they can arrange for overnight staff in the apartment situations, but according to their assessment, Daughter only needs 2 hours of staff support a day. Sigh. I've applied for personal care support, which could get her additional staffing based on health and personal care needs. We'll see what their assessment says about her needs.

On June 6, I will be taking her to camp. I am looking forward to experiencing life without all the food locked up. It may be hard to go pick her up on the 10th....


When I got out of bed at 5:30 this morning, the hall light was on and the washing machine was running. I was pleasantly surprised.

The bathtub and Daughter's towel were wet, and the bathmat had been returned to it's proper place. I was amazed.

Daughter was in the family room watching a show on her computer. This didn't surprise me.

I got dressed and got to work, making lunch, iced tea, sugar free punch, and various other tasks. I finally told Daughter she had to turn off her computer and come to breakfast. She immediately said, "Yes, Mom," and turned it off. Another nice surprise.

Then she vanished into her bedroom. I continued what I was doing and waited several minutes before I realized she wasn't coming right to breakfast. This was more in keeping with her behavior or late.

I called her again. Her response was immediate, "I'm doing my hair." Sigh. She often decides to experiment with new styles, meaning it can take her over an hour to do her hair.

I told her she needed to come immediately if she wanted breakfast, and she did. Another nice surprise.

The final surprises of the morning: she anticipated my need for an umbrella, and reached around to grab one out of the backseat as we approached the church. Then, she asked if she could help me carry things into the church. Since I had my purse, briefcase, lunch, umbrella, and two cups of iced tea, I gratefully asked her to carry one cup of iced tea, and she did. Today got off to a much better start.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Do I Look Stupid?

Monday night Daughter didn't turn the TV off at the agreed upon time, and Tuesday morning she didn't want to get out of bed. Last night I wouldn't let her watch TV. She tried to convince me she'd learned her lesson and would be sure to get up in the morning. I still wouldn't let her watch TV. She asked to get on her computer, and I allowed it, with the stipulation that she not watch any shows on it. She had to be in my presence without earphones. She got on FaceBook. I told her it was time to turn it off and go to bed. She didn't do that. Once again, she wouldn't get up this morning. So tonight, she begged me to let her watch TV or get on the computer, and insisted she'd learned her lesson. I said no. Of course that prompted the usual: I was called names, informed she is an adult capable of making her own decisions and doesn't need my help (of course, she didn't put her linens in until I reminded her this evening), and she informed me she was leaving (the rain and storms put a damper on that).

Eventually she apologized (she's very good at that-- it was her 4th or 5th heart felt apology and promise to treat me better today). She has now gone to bed early, and insists she'll be up before 5:00. She can't figure out why I'm not excited about her commitment to get up so early....

Victim Mode

Daughter has fallen back into the victim mode. When I point out that I've tripped and almost fallen twice over shoes I asked her to put away yesterday evening, I'm the b*tch trying to control her life by screaming at her. (Of course it doesn't matter that I haven't raised my voice and she's yelling at me). It's one of those days when she's going to do anything she can to get me to say something to justify her raging at me. It doesn't matter what I say or how I say it, it will be seen as proof that she is the victim of a terrible mother and justify verbal abuse of me.

Choosing not to engage causes her to escalate. She can't sing the song she's been practicing for over a week because she sang it once with Grandma and it's not fair that Grandma had to die. When that didn't get a response from me, she went on a tirade about how all of creation was stacked against her and trying to make her life miserable. I gently informed her that her problems right now were the results of choices she was making, and that I knew she could do better, she had for almost two weeks. She didn't argue-- she fell asleep, unable to face that reality. I had to wake her up to go to her program. Usually she wants to go down early.

Part of the issue, unfortunately, is that staff engaged in conversations about issues that triggered Daughter's PTSD yesterday. She became psychotic with flashbacks. One was describing a serious auto accident that injured multiple family members. Another was dealing with her daughter who wanted to be rescued from an abusive relationship. That same one was dealing with her mother's hospitalization. They truly don't understand the impact they have on people like Daughter when they share details from their personal lives. Program Coordinator is going to explain again why this is inappropriate.

I know this post jumps around and doesn't make much sense-- kind of reflective of they way life is here in Capital right now....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Evenings at Home

With no meetings tonight, we were home. It was a beautiful evening, so Daughter and I worked out in the yard. I planted some flowers and did some weeding. Daughter worked with me, after first having a hissy fit because I told her no TV. She watched more TV than she was supposed to yesterday, and then didn't want to get up this morning. If watching TV makes it too hard for you to get up in the morning, you don't watch TV in this house.

I had a conversation with my next door neighbor. She may have a teenager who would be willing to mow my lawn while I'm out of town in July. She has several young boys, and I assured her I didn't mind if their play extended into my yard. Daughter wants to kick them out of the yard when she sees them, but it doesn't bother me. Ministry is supposed to be slower right now, but my daytime calendar is filling up. It's all good stuff, but it certainly is keeping me busy. Good thing I love what I'm doing!


Daughter's having a bad day downstairs. Several of the staff members are dealing (quite vocally) with situations that serve as triggers for Daughter. She tried to convince me she was hearing voices and I needed to get her medication. I expressed my confidence in her ability to cope and gave her some suggestions. According to Program Coordinator, she shut down. PC came upstairs to deliver something to me, and I confirmed that the conversations would serve as triggers for Daughter. We are also approaching the 2 year anniversary of Mom's death. I hadn't thought of that until PC asked.

Daughter wet the bed again last night. She has an appointment with Therapist today, so hopefully she will be able to help her get back on track.

On the ministry front, Administrative Assistant is gone this week. It is turning into a very busy week. We're beginning to work on fall plans, and while I'm excited by the plans we're making, I already feel like I'm behind. The good news is that the evening commitments are lessening. In fact, last night was my only evening commitment this week. I'm looking forward to evenings at home, and hope I'll be able to get out and do some work in the yard.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day Three

Daughter wet the bed again last night. She announced this morning that she knows why she's wetting the bed. It's because Boy Friend gave her a friendship ring. She's returning it today and breaking up with him. I think her PTSD was triggered Friday by the anger expressed by Boy Friend and ex-boy friend.

We had another long talk about not needing a boy friend right now. She came out wearing revealing tops, and I explained why that isn't a good idea. She put a blouse over the tank top and spaghetti strap top she'd layered. I don't know that she'll keep it on, though.

It could be an interesting day....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baby Nephew and Boy Friend

Baby Nephew was baptized this morning. I couldn't be there, as it was graduate recognition here, but we made the drive over to their home this afternoon. It was a pleasant afternoon cuddling a very sweet and laid back baby and visiting with Brother and his family. Sister and Short Niece were there for a while, too.

Daughter has decided to break up with Boy Friend. She was waiting for me to tell her she had to break up, but I just kept saying I trusted her to make the right decision. She was telling everyone she knew that she had a Boy Friend and he's 48. They were all expressing dismay and encouraging her to break up.

She's wet the bed the last two nights, so I told her she needed to tell me what had gone on Friday. Apparently, the old boy friend was jealous and yelled at her. Her PTSD was triggered, she didn't feel safe, and the bed wetting was back. I bought a sack for her mattress today.

She continues to dream of a big wedding, marriage, and children. I reminded her that she has to be able to walk before she can run, and if she wants to achieve her dream she can work on being responsible. I suggested that was more important than having a boy friend right now. Will she take that to heart? I doubt it. I consistently tell her the same thing. Maybe some day she'll take it to heart. I keep hoping.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Emotional Demands

Poor Daughter. Both Birth Brother and Boy Friend are making emotional demands on her right now. She wet the bed last night-- first time in a week. She says it was because of the extra food she was into. I think it was a combination of things. BB wants her to dump BF. He says he's too old for Daughter. I told Daughter I trusted her judgment, and fully anticipated that after the dance BF would be history. She didn't dispute this assessment. What BB doesn't realize is that he's pushing her toward BF by encouraging her to break up with him.

Today we met Sister Best Friend and her mom for breakfast and an art fair. I spent too much money, but it was a fun day. Daughter was quite frustrated because I wouldn't give/loan her any money. Thursday when I gave her the money she'd earned, I reminded her that we would be going to an art fair today. She decided she didn't want money or the art fair, and spent it all on Thursday.

Daughter is now sleeping, and I need to get busy and get my sermon written for tomorrow. I may go sit on the porch to do it, as it's a beautiful day outside.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Some Things Haven't Changed

I went to the grocery store this morning, and then came home and made about 50 breakfast burritos for the freezer. I got a call from one of the saints, who was going to come clean out my clogged gutters, so I decided I needed to head outside and get the part of the lawn that was in danger of getting wet if he used water to clear the clogs. By the time I finished the lawn and came back inside, I was negligent and forgot to put all the groceries away.

Daughter came home and tried to pick a fight with me. That didn't work, so she took a long nap. She woke up when Sister called, and immediately decided she was being neglected and that justified getting into the groceries. I had bought a package of 100 calories packs of a sweet and salty snack mix to put on top of salads. She at 5 of the 6 packs. She confessed when I looked for them to put on top of the salad I was making for supper.

As much as she's improved, she still has an issue with food. I need to be more vigilant about keeping the food locked up. Today was a productive day, though the house is still a mess. I just finished cutting up a bunch of honey roasted deli ham and turkey, and putting it in half cup containers for the freezer. I use them on salads for lunch and supper. I think we're going to eat a lot of salad this summer. I also cooked quite a bit of marinated chicken on the grill last week. It's already in the freezer. I like to have a variety of toppings available to put on salads. I'm going to buy some more half cup freezer containers when we head to the store to pick up Daughter's prescriptions.

She'll be going to camp in a couple of weeks, and they need all the prescriptions in their original containers. As a result, I'm not going to be able to fill the pill boxes for the entire month. I'm going to have to sit down and so some calculating to see how much I can fill....

News on the Boyfriend and Residential

Yesterday morning I received a warning from staff about New Boyfriend. I was strongly urged not to allow him to take pictures of Daughter or Daughter to give him any pictures. It seems he likes to use those pictures when he is engaged in self-stimulation. Of course, Daughter had already given him 2 of her senior pictures.

While I was getting my hair cut at the mall yesterday evening, NB came to see Daughter, transported by a staff member from his home. The staff member helpfully took a picture of Daughter and NB together, and then asked if it was okay if NB printed it out. I said I'd prefer he didn't. NB then began calling me asking when he could have a picture of the two of them together. Sigh.

I'm going to have to set some limits on his phone calls. He's calling multiple times a day. When he couldn't reach us at home yesterday evening he tracked us down at the church and called twice. He also gave Daughter a ring yesterday evening. It's a "real ring from a jewelry store." I'm trying to stay out of it, and I'm really hoping that the relationship will end after the dance on the 3rd.

In Tiny Village staff was not so willing to transport residents to meet Daughter. Of course, there wasn't a mall within 2 miles, either.

In other news, Case Manager is exploring a possible placement for Daughter 20 miles from here. My initial reaction was no way. I don't want Daughter pulled out of her program and the church at the same time she's moving. I feel like that would be too much change for her at once. It would also be harder for me to see her through the week. I fear that moving her that far away would result in her feeling completely abandoned. I prefer to minimize the disruption. She's just stopped wetting the bed, which I see as a response to all the change and uncertainty brought on by our move. Of course, the other reality is I will really miss her when she moves. Case Manager pointed out that there is on demand public transportation available she could use to get to choir practice and such. I agreed she could continue exploring it, but would have to do some praying before I agreed this was a good thing for Daughter....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Freedom is Hard

Daughter earned some money working in the church office yesterday. I asked her if she wanted it, or if she wanted me to hold onto it for her. This morning she told me she wanted it. She was considering how she was going to spend it. I reminded her of several things she had said she wanted to save her money to buy. She asked me what the boundaries were on the money. I told her there were no boundaries, she could do whatever she wanted to do with it. She continued to run through various possibilities and ask me questions about various options. Finally, she said, "Freedom is hard." I fully anticipate that all the money will be spent by the end of the day. That's fine. I won't be buying her things, though. I hope that eventually she will learn a bit more about managing her money. I hope. I won't think about all the times we've tried this before. I'll just hope that this time will be different.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More Progress

Daughter's program was closed today for a staff in-service, so she had to hang in the church office today. Administrative Assistant gave her a big stack of bulletins. Whenever a member is listed in the bulletin as a worship assistant or in prayer care or something a copy of the bulletin is put in their member file. Daughter went through the bulletins and sorted them out, highlighting one name in each, and making sure there was a highlighted bulletin for each name. Then, she put them all in the member files. It took her most of the day, and she finished them all.

Administrative Assistant was amazed, as I was. AA commented on how she worked steadily, had decent speed, and stuck with it until she was done with all of them. It was a huge improvement over her previous attempts to help in the office. She continues to be dry at night, and is more responsible and happier. She also earned some money for her work today. I promised I'd pay her.

The New Boyfriend

Daughter has a new boyfriend. He's 48 years old. He wants to buy us dinner and give Daughter a friendship ring. The two of them are going to the "prom" together. He's bought her ticket and ordered a corsage. He calls multiple times a day. As is typical, Daughter wants us a boyfriend, but is uncomfortable with his desire to talk to her regularly. She wants the status symbol without the emotional demands. Fortunately, he's only at her program 1 day a week, which minimizes their time together.

I hope they can stay together until after the prom on June 3rd. Beyond that, I anticipate they will be breaking up. She was rather dismayed when she found out how old he is. She doesn't like the emotional demands. She does want a boyfriend for the big dance. I'm taking them to the dance. I'm not looking forward to the evening at all. I will go, though, to manage Daughter's insulin. I think the boyfriend dramas are among the most frustrating for me. She sees me happily single. I wish that she would view me as her role model in this area. It certainly would reduce the drama.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ministry and Parenting

Years ago I read the book Generation to Generation by Edwin Friedman. The book applies family systems theories to churches, synagogues and other organizations. He talks about the importance of the pastor being a "Non-anxious Presence." I have taken his teachings to heart, and have sought to apply them both in my ministry and as a parent. It has enabled me to be an effective pastor in 2 conflicted churches.

Today a colleague posted a link to this video on facebook. I will be using it with my board at some point in the future. I thought some of you raising difficult children might appreciate it, too. It's hard to keep from getting sucked into their drama, but it's crucial for our mental health and theirs that we remain calm. Daughter works very hard at getting a reaction out of me. Today she sent me a text that she wasn't safe and needed help now. I replied that she had a voice and knew how to keep herself safe. I assured her that I had confidence in her. Then she called me, sobbing so hysterically she couldn't even talk. I tried to get her to calm down and tell me what was wrong, and finally informed her that I knew she could keep herself safe, and I looked forward to seeing her at the end of the day. By the time she came upstairs, the crises were forgotten.

We're changing lots of things at the church right now. I'm writing my newsletter column each month lifting up the reasons for the change and acknowledging the discomfort. I'm providing reasons and reassurance. So far, it seems to be working. There have been complaints about minor issues, but if that's all they can find to complain about, we're doing well. I hope others find the ideas in it helpful.

The Realities of Ministry

I had someone having surgery this morning. He wanted me there, so I went to see him before surgery. Another member had picked him up and taken him to the facility-- he had to be there at 6:30 for 8:00 surgery. I got there about 7:00, Daughter in tow. I intended to have a prayer with him in pre-op and then head to the office. I was fairly confident that I could make it into the office by 9:00.

When I arrived at 7:00, he was still in the waiting area. He was delighted to see me. They didn't call him back until 7:40, and then they took him straight to the OR. It was almost 11:00 before I got to the church. Daughter was patient while we were there, but was not happy with the disruption to her routine. I was not happy about losing the morning in the office.

However, it was time very well spent. The man who had surgery was thrilled when I came back to post-op to see him and have a prayer with him. I gained insight into his challenges and into the family of the woman who drove him from the time I spent listening to her while he was in surgery. It wasn't the ministry I planned to do this morning, but it was important ministry and I'm glad I could be there with them.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Daughter was dry again this morning, and ready on time to go out the door. She had wet the bed almost every night for r months. I caught flack from others who insisted she must have a medical problem, but I was sure there was an emotional cause, and that she'd stop when she was ready. There were times when I doubted myself, but for the most part I remained strong in that belief. On the way to the church, she was talking about how happy she is about how well she's been doing. She talked about the money we're saving on laundry costs since she stopped wetting the bed. I asked her if she knew what made the difference. She talked about a number of things, but some of her more significant comments included:

"I always knew I could do it, but I kept telling myself I couldn't."

"People had faith."

"I decided if other people weren't giving up on me, I shouldn't give up on myself."

How many of our kids give up on themselves? How many times do parents/the system/whatever give up on kids? Food for thought on a Monday morning.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cooperation with Humor on Top

Daughter and I picked up one of the saints and took worship to the retirement home this afternoon. After we dropped the saint off, we headed to the movie. It was my turn to pick, and I picked the movie about the surfer who lost her arm to a shark and returned to surfing. Daughter protested a bit about my selection, but once we got there, she loved it.

When we came home I was working in the kitchen, and wanted her help, "Please come give me a hand."

"Sure, did a shark get one?"

Dealing with Disappointment

Yesterday I told Daughter I'd take her to a movie today. She wanted to go yesterday, but I needed to do laundry and write a sermon. She was disappointed, but agreed that it would be good to go to the early afternoon showing of the movie. She was dry last night, so the day started well. She was cooperative, and moved some heavy things around for me when we got to the church.

After worship one of the saints reminded me that the nursing home service is this afternoon. I'd totally forgotten. That meant the early afternoon movie wouldn't work. I dreaded telling Daughter. I asked the saint to tell Daughter she'd see her this afternoon, explaining that she wouldn't yell at her. When Daughter came to ask me about having a treat at coffee hour, I mentioned we wouldn't be able to go to the movie as plan. She said, "I know. She told me we have to go to the nursing home." Then she grinned, "Could we duck out of it?" I answered as she'd known I would, telling her we needed to go to the nursing home for the worship service. She was fine. No complaints.

I really am enjoying her new attitude. I hope it will continue, but I will enjoy it however long it lasts. I think we'll be able to go to the movie this evening. It will be a good way to end the weekend.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Daughter was so excited when she saw her new mattress. She squealed with delight. I got a hug and she did a happy dance. I reminded her that it could go away again, and I could always bring back an air mattress. Last night she was excited when she went to bed. She was also concerned. I reminded her to go to the bathroom. "Shh! Don't jinx it!" I went to bed with a sense of foreboding, and lay there praying for a while before I could sleep. I resisted the temptation to go check on her, or wake her up to go the bathroom several times through the night. I didn't want this to become another power struggle, where she would have to prove I couldn't control her by wetting the bed.

She wet the bed. She's quite distressed and very apologetic. She told me to get rid of the mattress. "I knew I didn't deserve anything expensive." I pondered my response for a while. Finally, I went into her room and demanded that she look into my eyes. "Listen to me. You deserve to sleep on a good mattress, not an air mattress that is always losing its air and going flat. It's okay. We will make sure the mattress is protected today. It's going to be okay."

I bought an expensive mattress protector at the mattress store that is supposedly water proof. I was concerned last night because it only has waterproofing for the top of the mattress. I think today I will figure out a way to wrap protection around the side. It's called grace. I hope that it will help her get back on track.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Easing Anxiety

Six months after they moved into the church for a "couple of weeks," Daughter's program is getting closer to moving into their new building. They have had one delay after another, but they finally have a good air quality report, so this time it looks like it will happen, hopefully in the next 2 weeks. Daughter was not pleased to hear this. She has liked the fact that her program is right below my office.

We went out for Chinese food tonight, and then we drove over to the new building, which is in the next town. We started in the church parking lot, and measured mileage and time. I reminded Daughter of how far away she was from me in Tiny Village. She's going to be much closer than she was in Tiny Village in their new building. She was pleased, and very relieved. I also reminded her that I may be right upstairs, but I don't let her come up early or come see me. It's a big change, but I think she'll manage it well.

She's very excited about her new mattress. She also has a new boyfriend, and they are going to the "prom" that is at the beginning of June. It's a dinner dance, and we're still negotiating whether I will go and manage her insulin. She wants to prove to me she can handle it on her own. I'm still pondering my options. I wish my anxiety about her on her own at this dance could be as easily resolved as her anxiety over the distance to the new building....

A New Mattress

Well, I can finally get onto my blog, but several posts seem to have vanished. Hopefully they will reappear at some point....

This morning I bought Daughter a new mattress. She has made it 4 nights, and 5 of the last 6. I did buy a water proof mattress protector to put over it, but she is quite proud of herself and I hope that she has put the bed wetting behind her. Some of her comments in the last 24 hours:

"I'm trying to be responsible, but it's hard."

"Mom, I was responsible with the refrigerator! I didn't sneak behind your back. I just got out the things I was supposed to!"

"I got tired of listening to your lectures."

"I don't think I've ever been this happy."

"Before I move to the group home...."

How long will this last? Who knows. I'm going to enjoy it while it does. She thanked the choir for their prayers last night and told them she was doing much better now.

One more week of choir, and then they're done for the summer. I'm looking forward to that. Yesterday we got home about 3:45. I mowed the lawn, grilled some sausage for supper, took a shower, and was back at the church by 6:15. Of course, I'm going to schedule some more meet the pastor gatherings, so I'll still have some busy evenings. It should still be a slower pace, though, so that's okay.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dreams of Camping

Daughter was dry again last night-- 3 in a row, 4 out of 5. I told her I was considering a vacation. She indicated she didn't want to go camping. I told her that was the only way we could afford our favorite vacation spot. She decided she could handle 5 days. She actually got up through the night last night to go to the bathroom. She's very happy and proud of herself. I'm going to have to work to maintain my resolve that it's time for her to move.... When she's being cooperative, I enjoy having her around. I think next week I'll look at making campground reservations.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

God's 2 x 4

Sometimes I'm dense. There are times when God really has to work hard to get my attention. Sometimes God has to pull out a 2 x 4 and whack me up side of the head.

This week, the preaching resource I use lists the wrong Scripture passages for this Sunday's lectionary. Instead of sheep and Jesus as shepherd, it talks about Jesus as the vine and talks about God pruning us to make us bear more fruit. Several months ago I decided to preach on this passage and call it "Fearless Pruning." I was thinking of the rich young ruler, who wouldn't let Jesus prune away his possessions, and walked away sad. I was thinking of individuals who remain in abusive relationships. I was thinking of how hard it can be to allow God to prune us. Of course, that's not a problem in my life, or so I thought.

This morning the leader of our retreat challenged us to go deeper. We had an hour to reflect and pray. I was pondering what it is that holds me back. I was writing out my thoughts. I wrote, "What holds," and my phone rang. It was Daughter. She was sobbing hysterically. It took a few minutes to get her to calm down enough to speak. I was on the phone with her for over 5 minutes, reassuring her that she would be fine and I'd see her this afternoon. I finished the call and came back to my papers. "What holds me back?" I finished the question, and wrote Daughter's name next to it.

I picked up a labyrinth with a stylus and began to run the stylus along the path. Every time my thoughts turned to Daughter, the stylus would jump out of the track. Pruning, holding back, jumping track. I began to get the message. I've asked my colleagues (and now I ask my readers) to pray that I would have the courage to follow through on getting Daughter a placement. Pray that Daughter will accept and adjust to the change. Pray that an appropriate placement will become available soon. My colleagues are going to ask me if I'm following through when they see me. Whoever is in town will gather for lunch once a week at a restaurant here in Capital. It was a wonderful retreat. I'm grateful to have been asked to join them. We shared deeply from the challenges of ministry and family life. We are all human, we all have struggles. I a grateful that I will continue this journey with them by my side.

Daughter survived respite. I'm still sorting through her stories, trying to separate fact from fiction. She was dry last night, so that's good. When she went upstairs to get her lunch from Administrative Assistant, she told her she had a great time last night. I had 4 phone calls from her. A teary one last night. A chipper one this morning followed a couple of hours later by the hysterical one, and then the 4th phone call was actually from staff, seeking information on her lunch time insulin, as they'd misplaced the information I sent with her yesterday. I will be attending 5 of these overnight retreats from September to May. Maybe by the next one she'll be in a placement....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This evening I will be going on an overnight retreat at a conference center just north of here. I'm looking forward to the time away. I have decided not to take my computer. I really do want to get away from it all. If the withdrawal gets too bad, I'll have my cell phone, which gets email and goes online. Administrative Assistant says that cheating. I think it's being prepared.....

Daughter has been very chipper all day today. She has called multiple times, and came up to give us a fashion show after she found a dress for the upcoming dance at a thrift store. She's very excited. I wish I knew what had caused the shift in her, but she certainly is more pleasant than she was a month or so ago. I will enjoy it how ever long it lasts. Hopefully it means I won't be punished too much for leaving her at respite.

To Laugh or To Cry

Tonight is the night Daughter goes off to respite and I go on an overnight retreat. She's handling the anxiety remarkably well. She tells me every so often she's very scared. She decided to take a stuffed animal that I gave her with her. She packed on her own, so I hope she packed what she needed. I decided not to check on her, as she was very proud of being responsible. This morning I put two (sloppy) french braids in her hair. I did it after we got to the church. I figured it was an acceptable way for her to get some mommy time before she goes to respite tonight.

She was quite proud of the fact that she was dry this morning. I expressed my pleasure then asked, "How did you do it?"

"It was easy. I went to the bathroom before I went to bed last night."

"Don't you do that every night?"

She looked at me like I was an idiot. "No."

Sigh. Her third air mattress in the past six months is no longer holding air. I'm considering buying her an inexpensive mattress that has plastic covering on it. She's been dry twice this week. If it becomes a pattern, I'll go buy it. There's a mattress place right down the street....

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

Daughter struggled with Mother's Day yesterday, as many adopted kids do. She wanted to do something special for me, and it was hard for her. She wanted to make supper, and was easily overwhelmed. I had to talk her through it and provide some help when she became too overwhelmed. She made fettuccine alfredo with an easy recipe she found in a cream cheese cookbook. She wanted to add chicken to it, but it quickly became obvious that would be too much for her, and was grateful when I suggested it wasn't necessary.

I'm grateful for her attempts to make it a nice day, and glad I was patient enough on a Sunday evening to remain calm and supportive as she struggled. I wasn't grateful for the low she had later in the evening. She's had two relatively severe lows in the last week. If she wasn't so closely supervised, I'd think she was taking extra insulin again. Tomorrow night is the night she goes to respite. It will be interesting to see how she does. I have to confess, I'm a little less comfortable leaving her for the night when she's having this type of blood sugar issues. Fortunately, we both have cell phones, so she can reach me if necessary.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


We had a wonderful piano concert at the church last night, a benefit for Japan by a doctoral student in piano performance from Japan. I accidentally found the secret to avoiding the concert script. Daughter sat in the middle of a row with some church friends. I needed to get up and speak at intermission, so I sat an the center aisle in in the second row. Daughter enjoyed the concert, and so did I. The pianist was amazing. Since she didn't sit next to me. She didn't ask to leave early, or try to convince me she didn't feel good or was too tired to stay. It was a very pleasant evening.

Today she's taking me to a root beer stand for lunch for Mother's Day. No drama so far, so I'm grateful. I'm missing my mom this morning. I'm wearing a pink dress (she loved her daughters in pink) and one of her crosses in her honor. Happy Mother's Day to all moms, especially those who have taken on difficult children. You are making a difference.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sneaky Saturdays

The last two Saturdays I've had to be some place by 9:00 for church. Fortunately, I don't have many Saturdays when I have church commitments, so this has been unusual. Daughter likes to sleep in on Saturdays. She likes to sleep until 10:00 or so. So last Saturday and again today, I told her I'd fix her breakfast if she was up and ready to leave by 8:00. It worked!

Today was clean-up day at the church. We were cleaning up the landscaping and the exterior windows were washed (by a man who is over 6', enabling him to reach the second floor windows from the ground with his long pole. We removed some river rock and replaced it with mulch. We started a compost pile for the community garden we hope to have next summer. The men had fun with a chain saw and small tractor. Daughter worked hard picking up leaves. She was mad at me when we got there. She saw the doughnuts, and I wouldn't let her stay in the building when I went outside (I'm so mean). She hooked up with one of the men, who worked with her transporting leaves. I warned several people that Daughter had noticed the food inside, so they knew she wasn't allowed into the building without an escort. At 11:00 she was picked up by the saint who takes her walking every Saturday morning. She was glad to get away from the hard work at the church.

There were some who were steering clear of me. I had warned them that whoever injured the pastor had to preach tomorrow. They had a great deal of fun with that. There weren't any serious injuries, though several toes got run over by incompetent tractor drivers. Fortunately, it was a very light trailer the tractor was pulling.

It is a beautiful day here today, and we watched birds, rabbits, and squirrels in our backyard as we ate our salads for lunch. I love my backyard. I added a hummingbird feeder this afternoon. We are getting some very colorful finches at our bird feeders. We're up to 5 feeders plus suet. I had to fill all of them his afternoon. It is so pleasant to sit in the family room or at the dining room table and watch them. In Tiny Village, I lived in an old parsonage. There were 12 steps or so to get into the house, so even the first floor rooms were too high to easily see the ground or bird feeders (at least feeders I could reach to fill). It seems strange that we are more in touch with nature here in the city, but we are, and I'm grateful.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Another Walk in the Woods

Today, after I dropped Daughter off at her program, I went to yet another park.

It has over 4 miles of trails, and I walked about 3 miles of them. I saw a few people out walking, but not very many.

Part of the trail was stone, part asphalt, and a portion, very muddy.

There was a floating bridge.

I saw a turtle sunning on a branch.

I heard birds all around.

The leaves are budding, but not completely out. The sky was a wonderful deep blue. I wore a sweatshirt, but took it off after a couple of miles.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Daughter was slow getting up this morning. Because of lack of time, she only got milk for breakfast. We were still late getting out of the door. I like to be at the church by 7:00. Daughter knows this. When we got in the car, the clock on the dashboard said 7:05. I asked, "What time do I like to be at the church?" in a very conversational tone.

Her response was not in a conversational tone: "STOP IT!!!"

I pointed out to her that I should be the one yelling, not her. She informed me that I was the boss and I didn't have to be at the church at a particular time. I explained that I had a certain amount of work I needed to do, and a time I needed to be at the church to get it done.

She informed me we should be able to go separately. I told her I thought it would be wonderful if I could trust her enough to do things independently, and I looked forward to the day that would be possible. That ended any conversation between us. I think she gets very frustrated when I refuse to be awful and unreasonable with her. She'd love to have reasons to hate me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Here and Now

When we were in Tiny Village, Therapist would occasionally get frustrated with me. Daughter would have had a rage, and she'd wonder what had set her off. I usually couldn't remember. A survival skill I've learned when dealing with Daughter is to move on quickly and not dwell on the past. So tonight I started reading Here and Now by Henri Nouwen. He's one of my favorite devotional writers, and I was somewhat surprised to discover I didn't already own this book. "We are constantly distracted by things that have happened in the past or that might happen in the future." Today has been a pretty good day with Daughter. I have been stressing, though, about the future and finding (and funding) an appropriate residential placement for her. I need to let go of that distraction and focus on the present. The present reality is that Daughter was helpful with household chores this evening. Just like with the call to Capital, the we will find the right place at the right time for Daughter. Worrying about when and where is nothing more than a distraction that takes energy away from what's important: the present.

Random Thoughts

Last week when I mowed the lawn, Daughter refused to lift a finger to help. This week, she did all the trimming and sweeping. Some of her work was sloppy, but she did it. I'm delighted. She was so pleased with herself. She even offered to take over the mowing, but I didn't think that was a good idea.

It was another busy day at the church. Fortunately, there weren't as many interruptions as we had yesterday. Administrative Assistant and I figured out all the music through the end of June. It took all morning, but it's done.

My mother's brother died yesterday morning. He had been in failing health for years, but it still came as a shock. He was fine in the afternoon, and by the evening he was in trouble. Both of my parents were one of three children, and in each family there is only one sister left.

As we work toward a residential placement for Daughter, the initial news is not good. As of now, they don't think she needs more than 2 hours of assistance a day. That's not enough to cover her medical needs. She had a low today during program that they had to treat several times. She was dropping again by supper time, so I didn't give her any insulin with it. I'm not sure what caused the low today. I may need to reduce her long acting insulin again....

I'm off to start a book that will be discussed on my overnight retreat next Tuesday. Daughter's not happy about going to respite. I'm very happy about getting a break....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I was at a gathering of colleagues today. We were talking about our kids and the challenges of parenting. As we talked about how car time is one of the best times for conversations, I realized that that is something we lost with the move to Capital. In Tiny Village, everything was at least 20 minutes away. Here, we're rarely in the car for more than 5 minutes.

Of course, this evening I was intentional about spending time with Daughter, trying to engage her in conversation in the car and playing cards with her this evening. She didn't want to talk, and she wasn't thrilled about the cards. I had just heard how much she hates how busy I am, and how I never had time for her. I pointed out that when I made time for her, she rejected it, so she'd best not complain about me being too busy....

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Does Your Brain Ever Stop?"

We had a committee meeting tonight at the church. I was talking about plans for fall, and all the options and the things I was trying to sort out. One of the women asked, "Does your brain ever stop?" Administrative Assistant was there and immediately and firmly said, "No!" AA has compared my brain to the sun's solar flares-- I have brain flares-- ideas popping out all over the place. There are times when it drives her crazy.

Last week I was pondering an idea for banners for our celebration of Pentecost on June 12. I talked to AA about red, yellow and orange streamers that could hang loose and we could have a fan blowing on them to tie in the wind and the fire of the Spirit coming at Pentecost. AA built on my idea, and today she showed up with spools of red, yellow and orange ribbon she had found at the dollar store. She took a brain flare and is gathering the material to make it work.

I love being in ministry with these people-- and the energy is resulting in lots of brain flares. Some of them even lead to good ideas!

The News

I was about to go to bed last night when I saw that the president was going to be speaking shortly. So much for sleep. As I listened to the commentaries and watched the celebrations, my thoughts went in many different directions. As I reflect on those thoughts, I realize they come from two very different, occasionally conflicting roles: Citizen and Christian.

As a Citizen, I'm glad that bin Laden is no longer able to encourage terrorism. This feels like justice long delayed for a nation still dealing with the aftermath of 9-11. I'm in awe of the military personnel who went deep into a foreign country to carry out this operation, keeping casualties to a minimum--even after the failure of one of their helicopters. I'm grateful for their courage and skills. In the midst of those good thoughts, I also have fears as a citizen: What will the backlash be from bin Laden's supporters? Will this aid their recruitment efforts? Will this weaken al-Qaida, or be a rallying point that will strengthen it? What effects will this have on the political scene? Will it weaken the contention that the President is weak on terrorism? Will it cause politicians to set aside the rhetoric and petty issues to come work together for the good of our country? These are just a few of the thoughts churning through my mind as I ponder the implications of this operation for our country and the world.

Then there are my thoughts as a Christian. Where do I begin? I'm remembering what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of Jesus' arrest. From the 26th chapter of Matthew: 51 Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword."

How do we, as Christians, justify killing someone? What message does this give to those who aren't Christians? What happened to turn the other cheek? What happened to forgive, and judge not? As a Christian, I cannot celebrate the killing of bin Laden. On the cross, Jesus offered words of forgiveness to the ones who had hung him there. I don't see anything in the Gospel that justifies what was done yesterday. Yes, there are some things in the Old Testament that might seem to justify it, but we claim the Gospel. We claim a very different way of life. We have taken the sword, and I fear we will now perish by the sword. What I see ahead is more death, and more suffering. Even if it is the end of al-Qaida, that doesn't make it right. As Christians, we're called to a life of service. We follow the Prince of Peace.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Walk in the Woods

This afternoon Daughter and I went to the park where the saint takes Daughter to walk on Saturday mornings. It is one mile from my home. We walked through woods along a river. I saw wildflowers. I heard birds. I saw lots of people playing Frisbee golf.... It was hard to believe we were just a mile from home. I could hear traffic, but that was okay. It was wonderful! The trail was very nice, though part of it was underwater. I'm sure we walked well over a mile today. There is another park in our community that is a little further away that is not developed-- no Frisbee golf or playground equipment. It has 4.5 miles of trails. We'll have to explore that one, too. I told Daughter that I think a walk in the woods is going to become a Sunday afternoon tradition. She was delighted that she was able to show me the trail she's been walking every Saturday. She pointed out favorite trees and rocks to me, and was quite disappointed that we didn't run into any snakes. You can see the forsythia blooming, and the trees are beginning to bud. In another week or so they should have leaves. The temperature got up to 71 today-- it truly was a beautiful day.

After the park we went to the grocery store, and then I cooked hamburgers on the grill. The first hamburgers of the season are always the best. We brought the grill, table, and chairs around and put them on the back patio. It was so pleasant. In Tiny Village, we couldn't eat outside because of all the flies (the result of the large hog and turkey operations near us). We enjoyed eating outside. I could hear the birds singing, and watch the finches that were coming to our feeder right around the corner of the house. I'm going to get a hummingbird feeder to put out, too. I'm loving the variety of birds we can see right in our own backyard.

I'm going to be able to get my nature fix on a regular basis even if we don't get to go camping this year!

Pulpit Exchange

The Capital area clergy did a pulpit exchange this morning. It was fun. I did one of my first person, leave the pulpit use minimal notes sermons. The regular pastor at the church where I was normally is tied to a manuscript in the pulpit. I apologized t her when she showed up after finishing at the church she had drawn. It was fun. I told her that if we rotated churches through the cluster, we could go years without writing a new Sunday after Easter sermon. She thought that was a great idea.

One of the couples from the church went to the church I was at. They'd been married in that church 50 years ago. They had a great time connecting with old friends, and were amazed by the number of people they knew. We all went out to eat following the service. The restaurant where we ate was next door to a store having its grand opening today. We went over to the new store after lunch. This is the first of this chain in the Capital area, and it was packed. We bought several things, and the line wrapped around to the back of the store. Fortunately, it moved relatively quickly.

Daughter mentioned the possibility of a hike this afternoon. I think that sounds like a good idea. I also think I'll pull the grill out of the garage and fire it up for supper. It's supposed to get up to almost 70 today. I'm looking forward to the warmer weather. I hope everyone has a great Sunday.