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Archive for October, 2008

My Ugly Duckling…

Turns 26 TODAY! 

Yep, my wonderful sister is a Halloween baby. For years, I told people that my sister’s arrival kept me from going trick or treating the day she was born. My parents corrected the story when I was older enough to understand. Apparently, I DID get to go trick or treating and after I went to bed (I was only 3 1/2… it was an early bedtime), she decided to make her appearance. All I remember is waking up between my Ma & Pa the next morning. They were the first to announce that I had a new baby sister. 

Ugly Duckling was the name that I had picked out for my sister. It was my favorite book & was convinced it was the perfect name for my new sibling. Every time someone asked what I would name my new sister, I would reply, “Ugly Duckling”. 

 

Well, Happy Birthday to My Ugly Duckling… who has always been the beautiful Swan!

a wonderful sister, friend, listener who is talented, creative, & successful… 

I’m so lucky to have you as my sister….  Happy Birthday Morgan!

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My beautiful family.... who helped make me the minister I am today.

My beautiful family.... who helped make me the minister I am today.

I always begin my morning pages with the date (more on morning pages later). This morning while sitting on my porch, I realized that today is the 5th anniversary of my ordination to the gospel ministry. It was such an exciting and yet scary day for me. I was serving part-time at Peachtree Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA and was a full-time student at McAfee School of Theology. When I was approached about the possibility of ordination, I was overwhelmed. Growing up in a Southern Baptist Church, I never dreamed that ordination would even be possible, especially by a Baptist congregation. 

But it was Peachtree that decided they wanted to join me in my journey of vocational ministry. Although ordination is not a path everyone chooses to follow in ministry, after much prayer and conversation, we decided that we would to this together. On October 26th of 2003, friends, family and the congregation of Peachtree gathered in their sanctuary to encourage, affirm and offer prayers of blessings over me. It was the most beautiful service I had ever been a part of. My mentors along the way offered words of challenge and encouragement. My parents lead the congregation in a litany that helped us remember those who had been called before us. Friends, colleagues, and parishioners participated in creatively remember the Spirit who walks with us as they read, sang, and danced. As I kneeled on the bench at the front of the church, the tears flowed steadily from my eyes as I looked up to see who would speak and share a word from their heart. Two of my best friends from the congregation (the pastor and a parishioner) presented me with the gift of a robe and words of blessing. And then in official Peachtree fashion, we had a party. 

Over the last five years, I have learned so much more about myself as a minister and person. There have been times when I wondered if this holy vocation was really supposed to be for me. In many of those doubting times, it was this same church family who re-affirmed that “[God] who began a good work in you would be faithful to complete it.” I am grateful for this community of faithful followers in Atlanta, GA. They had faith & hope in me even in times when I didn’t have it in myself. I think this is a beautiful picture of the way the children of God are supposed to be for one another. 

It still humbles me to think that this church opened their arms wide and said, “You are welcome here.” Even now, years later and thousands of miles across the country, folks from this congregation are still encouraging me to follow God’s direction in my life. They want to know about my ministry and the work that I am doing. Five years ago today, they laid their hands on my head and shoulders and prayed. I can still hear those prayers today.

cheese straws!

My friend Bill, who made my favorite ordination party dish: cheese straws!

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