Friday, December 12, 2008

Crafty Creations

I found some ladies in my area to scrapbook with, which has been really great because it's something to do with non-church people (and by that I just mean people who aren't members of my internship congregation), and it's got me scrapping again. I'm several years behind in my scrapbooking, because I haven't had time to do it regularly since I started seminary. So hopefully I can make some progress this year. The following pictures are two of the layouts I made recently.
I have also continued my knitting. I'm making a lot of progress now. Unfortunately, I can't post pictures yet of what I'm making because I'm giving them as Christmas gifts to people who might read this blog. ;) I'll take pictures of my finished products and post them after they're been received as gifts.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ecumenism, etc.

If you read my sermon in my previous post, you saw that I was able to attend a gathering at St. John's Lutheran Church in Summit, NJ (which is up north, not too far outside NYC), at which the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) spoke for about an hour about the "state" of the ELCA, and then answered questions from attendees. There were church members and pastors from all over the state there. One of the parishoners from my internship congregation went with me. We both appreciated the opportunity, and were impressed by Bishop Hanson. Though I was able to meet him once before at an event in Chicago for Fund for Leaders scholarship recipients, this was the first time I heard him speak at length in person. I wish I could've recorded it. It's obviously too much to write about here, but the biggest blessing for me was probably that I was re-energized for ministry and renewed with hope. Appropriate for this season of Advent. ;) I also got to ask him a question, and spoke with him briefly after the event. On a related note: the Bishop was part of a tv special that aired last year around Christmas called "In God's Name" which featured 12 of the world's "most influential religious leaders" and it will be available on DVD as of December 16th. I thought the documentary was fascinating, and that Bishop Hanson represented the ELCA (and Christianity) very well, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

The theme for the December issue of The Lutheran magazine is ecumenism (different denominations working together). One of the reasons I chose to attend the Lutheran seminary in Philadelphia (as opposed to one of the other 7 ELCA seminaries) is because of their emphasis and value placed on ecumenism. Many students that attend the seminary come from other denominations and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn with and from them. I wanted to highlight a few quotes from this month's articles...

"Maybe there needs to be both a fading of lines and a coloring of lines. When we look at the great brokenness in the world -- disease, poverty, climate change, slave labor and all that diminishes the human soul and body -- it seems that the great witness of the church universal should be to join together to be God's healing power in the world. But we need not become an institutional body called The United World Church. Perhaps instead we become the church by learning, growing and rejoicing in whatever church body we call home. It's good to have a home. But a home isn't nearly as rich if it isn't in blessed relationship with its neighbors." Tim and Chamie Delkeskamp

"In a world in which unity too often becomes the demand for uniformity and diversity becomes the occasion for distrust and divisions, we are bold to declare that both unity and diversity are God's gift. ... In every context throughout the ELCA, let us ask, What can we be doing with others for the sake of the gospel and the life of the world?" Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson

Along the lines of ecumenism, the area clergy association (which is not just Christian pastors, but regularly includes a Rabbi and Iman as well) has been meeting to plan for a gathering to celebrate the life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It has great potential to include many faith groups as well as civic groups. I look forward to seeing how it all comes together.

Monday, December 8, 2008

2nd Sunday in Advent Sermon

(I pray that this may be a blessing to you this season.)

I’ll admit it. I went shopping the day after Thanksgiving. For the most part, I don’t get wrapped up in all the consumerism that has seemed to highjack the season. But I do enjoy giving gifts to my parents, so I decided to take advantage of the sales and go looking for a few things. I wasn’t really in any kind of hurry, so I just kept in mind the things I was looking for and watched as people hurried all around me. I saw customers annoyed and frustrated as they searched the racks and waited in lines, and felt sympathy for exhausted employees who were obviously making efforts to be friendly and patient. This is the day that sort of unofficially kicks off the Christmas season in the secular world, and yet I was surrounded by so much negativity. And that’s only the beginning. This is a season of stress for many people. Finding the right gifts, sending cards, baking dozens and dozens of cookies, preparing for a big family meal, going to parties. It’s so easy to get caught up in the rush. Or for others, maybe those who have lost a loved one, or who are struggling with addiction, or suffering from abuse or illness, this season just brings depression. It truly makes me sad to think that a season that should be filled with joyful anticipation is often consumed by anxiety or anger or depression.

We can be easily consumed by negative thoughts regarding all that is wrong in the world. We worry about the state of our economy. The price of gas. Having a steady income or being able to get good health care. A relative who is sick. A friend that we had a fight with. Whether someone we love loves us back. Whether we should invite someone to church. If the church will meet its budget. If the church is fulfilling its mission.

And yet, in this wilderness of worry, we hear a voice crying out, Prepare the way of the Lord! We have the promise of a Savior. We have hope. Because while we wait for the coming kingdom of God, we have been baptized with the Holy Spirit to share God’s love and do God’s work in the world.

As we heard in the reading, the Gospel of Mark does not begin with the birth story of Jesus. It begins with a man, John, telling people to get ready. This particular Gospel shares the perspective that we need to listen and be prepared. John prepared the people of that time through proclamation and baptism. He proclaimed repentance and forgiveness, and the people confessed and were baptized.

The Gospel of Mark ends similar to its beginning. Jesus sends his disciples out to proclaim the good news and to baptize the people.

And today, in the Church, the good news is proclaimed through the Word of God and through the sacraments of communion and baptism. We hear and experience this proclamation together as a gathered community in Christ, and we are sent out to proclaim the good news to the world. To call out into the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord! To proclaim that in the midst of frenzy there is peace, that in the midst of pain there is love, and in the midst of sorrow, hope.

Yesterday I went up to St. John’s in Summit to hear Bishop Hanson, the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, speak about the Church. He told a story about a time when he was at a public library waiting to use a computer. At one computer sat a Jewish man, and at another was a Muslim woman. He knew their respective faiths because of what each was wearing: the Jewish man wore a yarmulke on his head and the Muslim woman had a large scarf covering her head. And he thought, when this man or woman turn around and look at me, how will they know that I am a Christian? His initial thought was that we need some Christian head gear. But as he thought further about it, he realized that as Christians, in our baptism, we are marked with the cross of Christ forever, and that is all the head gear we need.

We are baptized in Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit to join with John by proclaiming the good news and crying out into the world, Prepare the way of the Lord!

Friday, November 28, 2008

New in November

I know I haven't posted in a while so this will just be a general update on what's been going on with me and with my internship.

As you can see in the picture, I recently learned to knit! Several ladies at my internship congregation knit, as do a few of my friends, and they've all been encouraging me to try, so I finally gave in. It was a little slow going at first, because every time I made a mistake I had to wait until I saw the woman who is teaching me so she could fix it. Needless to say, I didn't make much progress for a while. But then she showed me how to fix my mistakes (the little ones, anyway) so things are moving along a little better now. I'm enjoying it so far, but I'm still pretty slow, so I have to be patient. It would be great if I could get a few scarves made before Christmas, but at this point I'll be happy if I can finish just this one! :)

We hosted a community Thanksgiving eve service at my internship congregation, and I was in charge of organizing it. It was not only ecumenical (more than one denomination) but also interfaith (more than one faith). We had clergy from Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, Episcopal, Roman Catholic, and Lutheran churches and we had an Imam from an Islamic center. Normally there would have been Jewish representation as well, but the Rabbi was unable to attend. It was awesome to have everyone worshipping together. It was a well-attended service and we received a lot of positive responses.

This was the first Thanksgiving that I did not spend with my family. Though I have a few days off, the drive from the Jersey shore back to Bville (and then to Ohio, where my family usually heads for the holiday) would have been too long to make for just a few days. I miss my family and I'm looking forward to heading home for the week between Christmas and New Years. Since I was an orphan for the day, a friend from my internship congregation invited me to have dinner with her family. We had all the traditional Thanksgiving fare and it was delicious.

Today I decided to brave the crowds and start my Christmas shopping. I waited to head out until about noon, because I figured all the crazy people who got going at 5am would either be leaving or stopping to have lunch by then. Though I did have to park like a mile away in the parking lot, and the mall was definitely busy, it wasn't too bad. The only long line I had to wait in was at my first stop, JCPenney, and I think it was mostly because their big sales were ending at 1pm. The lines at the other stores weren't bad at all, and by the time I left the mall and made it to Target, the crowds were thinning significantly. In addition to several gifts, I also got great deals on a pair of jeans and a couple seasons of "Friends" for myself. I think it was a successful outing.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

May God bless you and your family.

And may we remember in our prayers those who must go without.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Voted!

Today I voted! By absentee ballot, of course. I wanted to post about it for a few reasons.
First, to encourage everyone to vote! I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, because everyone has the right to choose. I'm also not going to tell you in this post who I voted for, partly because working in a church makes things like that a little tricky. Most of you probably know anyway, but if you want to know, you can ask via email.
Second, because this is an historic election. I don't care who you support, you have to acknowledge that. And it's because of candidates for both major parties! We have an African American AND a woman on the ballot this year! Awesome. I have to admit, I got a little emotional when I was looking at my ballot.
Please take the opportunity to be part of history and VOTE. If you don't vote, you don't deserve to complain about the outcome. And if you're still undecided, my advice is to read about each candidates stand on the issues on each of their websites and make your decision based on what they have to say about themselves, NOT on what the other candidate says about them and the mudslinging that is occuring in both directions.
Whatever the outcome, the next president is going to have a tough job turning this country around. Pray for them. (BOTH of them.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Prepare to be shocked...

I baked an apple crisp from scratch!
Those of you who know me well know that I do not cook or bake often. However, last Saturday I engaged in a wonderful fall activity and went apple-picking with some friends and came home with a bag full of yummy Braeburn, Empire, and Golden Delicious apples (I like the sweet ones). Since I am just one person and would likely not be able to eat all the apples I brought home
before they went bad, I decided to get domestic for a change and bake something. An apple crisp seemed to be the easiest to attempt. I used the recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. It turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. Maybe not perfect, as I think the butter could have been blended better among the other topping ingredients, but I was satisfied.
See for yo

Thursday, October 2, 2008

October already?!

One month of internship down, eleven to go! It sounds like a lot still, but this first month or so has actually gone fairly quickly and I'm sure as I get even busier and start taking on more tasks at the church (like preaching, which I begin doing this Sunday!! pray for me!!) time will fly by.
With the arrival of October it's starting to feel a little more like fall. While summer remains my favorite season, I do appreciate fall for it's beautiful colors and delicious apple- and pumpkin-themed food and, of course, football season!

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought I would use this post to make readers aware (if you aren't already) of two very easy things you can do to help.
1. The Breast Cancer Site is a website where all you have to do is go and click and sponsors who advertise on their website will donate money to fund free mammograms for women who can't afford them. It's so easy, free, and takes maybe 30 seconds. I keep the site on my bookmarks toolbar and click on it several times a day. (There are also other causes you can click on, such as hunger and the environment.)
2. If you're a yogurt-lover like I am, make your yogurt choice this month Yoplait. If you save the pink lids and mail them in they donate money for each lid they receive to breast cancer research.

And don't forget, ladies, to get your yearly mammogram (once you hit 35/40) and remind the women in your life to do it too! (And while we're talking about cancer screening, tell your men, if they're over 40/50, to get a prostate exam!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wisdom from some other words

I've been reading a lot of great stuff lately, mostly books that I've either bought or added to my "must read" list over the past few years when I was taking classes and didn't have time to read anything other than assigned material. Here's a few great quotes I've come across...

A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, anabaptist/anglican, methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed-yet-hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian by Brian McLaren

[Quoting theologian David Bosch] "According to Bosch: 'We cannot point to any other way of salvation than Jesus Christ; at the same time, we cannot set limits to the saving power of God... We appreciate this tension, and do not attempt to resolve it.' This means that anathemas and damnation can be invoked rarely if at all, which will disappoint all who have grown accustomed to resolving the above paradox by means of their invocation... For the rest of us, rather than resolving the paradox via pronouncements on the eternal destiny of people more convinced by or loyal to other religions than ours, we simply move on (as Jesus told his disciples to do), giving all the respect and honor due those who are not convinced by our message (with the meekness Jesus taught), rather than calling down fire from heaven on them (as Jesus his disciples not to do)."

"If enough of us can bear the truth of our failures as Christians, if we can let that truth humble us and bring us from denial to sincere and profound repentance, if our hearts are made soft and responsive to the Holy Spirit through this painful but needed process, then there truly is hope in the midst of depression."

God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It by Jim Wallis

"The best public contribution of religion is precisely not to be ideologically predictable or a loyal partisan. To always raise the moral issues of human rights, for example, will challenge both left- and right-wing governments that put power above principles. Religious action is rooted in a much deeper place than 'rights' - that place being the image of God in every human being."

Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, & Fairy Tale by Frederick Buechner

"We are all of us Pilate in our asking after truth, and when we come to church to ask it, the preacher would do well to answer us also with silence because the truth and the Gospel are one, and before the Gospel is a word, it too like truth is silence - not an ordinary silence, silence as nothing to hear, but silence that makes itself heard if you listen to it the way Pilate listens to the silence of the man with the split lip."

"Truth itself cannot be stated. Truth simply is, and is what is, the good with the bad, the joy with the despair, the presence and absence of God... Before it is a word, the Gospel that is truth is silence, a pregnant silence in its ninth month, and in answer to Pilate's question, Jesus keeps silent, even with his hands tied behind him manages somehow to hold silence out like a terrible gift."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Modern day Good Samaritan tale... without the Good Samaritan

Walking on by.
I ran across this story/post on my favorite blog. I totally agree with PittGirl's thoughts on this one, and particularly appreciated her point at the end:
"The moment we stop being affected by violent deaths is the moment we stop being human."

Then I read through the comments people posted in response. I was pretty annoyed with the people who likely do not, and never will, live in a neighborhood like the one in the story and think they know what they're talking about. Yes, the story likely has a lot of complexities to it, and yes, this is obviously a neighborhood that needs a lot of help and needs to get at the root causes of their problems. But my biggest problem here is that people are so quick to make a judgment on the situation and neighborhood and aren't dealing with the big issues. There's a person laying dying or dead on a sidewalk and nobody cares?! Where is the love for our neighbor? And if the people of that neighborhood see so many dead bodies that they're unaffected by one more, are we just going to accept that and move on with our own lives?
Or are we going to make a difference in that neighborhood and in the world?

Where is the love?

Wisdom from the Word

Since coming to my internship congregation, I've begun to use the daily devotion booklets that they provide, which are published by Augsburg Fortress, and called "Christ in Our Home". The daily devotions provide a Scripture reading, a reflection on that reading, and a prayer. It is a simple way to take five minutes at the beginning of my day to center myself on God.

Today's Scripture and reflection were just right for some of the frustrations I occasionally feel working in the church, which I wrote about in my last post (Ramblings). I wanted to share some of what I read as further reflection on my previous post.

The Scripture passage is Romans 16:17-20, and the author focuses specifically on verse 17: "
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them."

While I thought that initially this message was a little harsh, the author's reflection helped me look at it from a different perspective... "In today's reading, Paul is talking about people who purposely bring division and place obstacles into the paths of others. We know the type; we know only too well that sometimes we are this type. We can let division and obstacles block our walk with Christ -- or we can step around them and continue on."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The more things I've been doing in my internship, the more thoughts have been bouncing around in my head. I'm going to attempt to let some of them out...

Many congregation members want their pastor to be involved in everything the church does, which requires a time commitment on the part of the pastor which is more than many other full-time jobs. However, congregation members also want their pastors to be energetic, compassionate, passionate, and rested. They truly care about their pastor's well-being and want them to have time off and take care of themselves. Does anybody else see a contradiction here? Now, I am not complaining about any expectations that have been put upon me yet, as I am only about a month into my internship and am far from over-worked. This is just what I have observed regarding many of the pastors I know, and it does bring some concern for the future. I guess there is a need both for pastors and all those in ministry to learn to say "no" and parishioners to learn to accept that (if they haven't already).

Why do we church people get so hung up on things that, ultimately, don't matter? And why does it always come down to money? I realize our economy is in a horrible state right now, and we do need money for a church to operate, but there comes a point when a groups discusses a topic to death and you need to do what you can and move on and trust that God will provide. Are we serving God, or money? And are we really using the money that we have for its best purposes? I will be the first to admit that I have more "stuff" than I need and that I don't always make the best decisions regarding how I spend my money. I'm sure there are some congregations where the topic of stewardship is beaten into the members heads, but I think many are afraid to really delve into the subject. And it's more than just the message that the church needs money. Why don't we really talk and think through how we are using our money and our other gifts? And why not with our whole congregation, and not just a select few?

Sometimes I get frustrated with people... with the church... with people in the church. BUT, I know we're all only human. We're sinful, but we're loved and created by God. And ultimately, THAT'S WHAT MATTERS.
God loves you.
God loves me.
Therefore, I strive to love and serve God by loving and serving others. It's not always easy. But it's the call that God has BLESSED me with.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How I spent my 08/08/08 birthday

At least a few weeks have passed since my birthday, but I wanted to share the events of the day...

In the time leading up to my birthday, I knew my boyfriend was planning something big/special, but he wouldn't give me any information except that I needed to leave the whole day open, and should plan to get someone to let Sadie out a few times. It was making me a little crazy not knowing what we'd be doing, especially since he was willing to share his plans with a few of my friends and family and they kept teasing me about it!

So the day arrived and I spent the morning relaxing and getting ready, reading, and enjoying a bday breakfast of a muffin and a latte from wawa. Josh arrived, and we set out around noon. I still didn't know what we were doing. As we got going on our drive, he was taking us west on the PA turnpike, and I was thoroughly confused because all the places I had thought of as possibilities for our destination were either in Philly or somewhere else in the east coast region. We kept driving, and he kept messing with my head. We stopped at a travel plaza and had a quick lunch from BK, and I got a crown and declared myself queen for the day. :) Then we continued driving. I knew b
y this point that we would be spending a significant amount of time in the car. (Yes, I'm quick, I know.) FINALLY, around Somerset, when we had stopped at another travel plaza for a bathroom break for me, I was let in on the surprise. I returned to the car from the plaza and he handed me a card, which I read, and thanked him for. I was somewhat puzzled though, because he had already given me a card earlier in the day and when I looked at him he had a very strange look on his face like he was waiting for me to realize something. I pulled out the card again, and inside the envelope were two tickets to the Steelers preseason game that night!! At this point there was much excitement on my end. :D

We continued the drive to the 'burgh, and after sitting in traffic for a while and finding a parking garage that might as well have required you give them your first-born child for the ridiculous amount they overcharged, we made our way to the stadium. I was decked out in my jersey (#86) which Josh had thoughtfully brought for me, and he in his... Eagles hat. Yup. Don't get me wrong, I love the Eagles as well, and I gladly cheer for them faithfully, EXCEPT of course, when they're playing the Steelers. It was rather convenient that the Steelers were playing the Eagles on my birthday, because if it were any other team, I don't think Josh would care much. And he is from Philly, and that's his team, so it was appropriate as a fan for him to wear the hat. But I honestly was slightly worried for his safety. I know Steelers' fans. Luckily, we survived the night with only two derogatory shouts in his direction. Again, thankful that he's an Eagles fan, cause if he were a Browns, or Ravens, or Patriots fan... oh boy...

The game was a lot of fun. The Steelers won, which was a bonus, even though preseason games don't mean much. And even in preseason, there's an excitement in the air of the stadium that's awesome. It's great to be among all those other fans. And it was great to share it with Josh. It was an amazing surprise that he definitely put a lot of thought, time, and money into. It really meant a lot to me, because he knows how crazy I am about the Steelers.

It definitely goes into my memories as one of the best birthdays ever.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

More Pictures...

Welcome to the Jersey Shore!

I have internet access in my house. FINALLY. This means that I can share some pictures of my new place with those of you who haven't seen it yet. The house is right next to the church I'm serving for my internship. It previously housed offices for an NJ social services organization, and was completely gutted and renovated, and also received an addition. Now half of the building is my residence (kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom, two bedrooms, basement) and the other half is church/public space (two large meeting rooms, restrooms, kitchenette, food pantry, and storage), with a sunroom/breezeway/small meeting space connecting the two halves. The house was completely furnished and decorated with all new items, as well as a fully stocked kitchen and other household items such as towels, sheets, and cleaning supplies.

The people have been very welcoming and helpful. The community the church is in is small, but nice. It has a population of only about 8,000. But Toms River is right next door, which is a pretty large area, and Ocean County is the fastest growing county in NJ. AND I can be at the ocean in just 15 minutes! In my opinion, that's the best part. ;) I've already made it to the beach a few times. Sadie and I have been settling in nicely, and enjoy walking through the neighborhood on a nice path not too far from the house.

Enjoy the pictures... in my next post I'll share about my birthday surprise. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quick update

Just a quick post to let you all know that I'm now a resident of New Jersey! After a few long days of lifting, moving, cleaning, and driving, I am settled in to my new (beautiful!) house. I will be unpacking and arranging for a few days I'm sure, and also taking some time to get to know the area. I also don't have internet access at my house yet, but once I do I'll write a longer post and maybe even include some pictures of my house. More to come later!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Please allow me to continue complaining

Boy am I sick of packing. I've been at it for at least a week now, and still have a little more to go. As annoyed as I am with packing though, I hate the actual lifting and moving of my furniture and stuff even more. And I have that to look forward to in just three more days! I'm sad to leave Philly, but at this point, I just want to be in my new place in Jersey already!

I was able to take a break from packing on Sunday and go down to the Baltimore area to visit my cousins. It was fun and nice to get away for a bit. And I always enjoy spending time with them. I'll have another break tomorrow for my birthday. I don't know what I'm doing yet, as the itinerary has been planned for me and is a surprise, but I look forward to being able to relax and enjoy my special day!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The pile is growing...

I've made some decent progress in my packing today, so my pile of boxes is growing. This makes me feel both successful (because I'm making progress) and annoyed (because there are more boxes taking over my apartment). My bedroom stuff, except clothes, is packed up. The next room to tackle is the kitchen.

I had dinner with some friends last night and said goodbye as it will be the last time I see them for a while. It got me thinking about friendships. I've loved living in Philly but it's been hard to be so far away from many of the friends I've made over the years, and from my family. I've made some wonderful friends here at seminary, and now we'll all be separated for a year. I know I'm not always the best at keeping in touch with people too. But I've also learned over the years to be more realistic about how temporary or lasting different relationships are, and that some friendships are able to be maintained even when you can't talk on a regular basis. To my friends who are reading this: I hope you know that even if we don't talk often, I sincerely value the way you've touched my life. And to my family: I love you and am so thankful for your support! And speaking of friends and family, my mom recently went on her annual "buddies" trip to Richmond, and it makes me hope that when I'm her age, I'll still be going on trips with my friends! My mom's pretty cool like that. :)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Time to join the blog world!

So I've been toying with the idea of blogging for a while now. I have several friends who blog, but never considered myself much of a writer. However, a request has recently been made that I blog in order to keep my family updated on my life, especially as I take on my year as an intern. So here goes nothing... I hope I'm able to write posts that are at least somewhat interesting!

I chose this title for my blog because I consider myself to be a 'burgh girl, as my family hails from the Pittsburgh area, and I've spent most of my life in western Pennsylvania. I cherish my roots in that area, and love visiting my hometown, but I'm so grateful I've had the opportunity to expand my PA horizons and live in Philadelphia for the past two years. I never thought I would say it, but I love living in the city! Western and eastern PA are truly different worlds, but I'm glad I've been able to experience the best of both of them. (Sidenote: I realized after I chose this title that - minus the PA part - it's the title of the Hannah Montana theme song. This slightly disgusted me, but because there is someone close to me who has an affinity for Miley Cyrus, I'm going to stick with it and hope people can forgive the similarity.)

As I write this, I'm watching an episode of Gilmore Girls (my all-time favorite tv show... I'm sure there will be more posts to come about this) and staring with disgust at a pile of boxes, most of which are full, some of which are empty and waiting to be filled. In case you couldn't guess, I will be moving soon. In two weeks, actually. And instead of waiting to pack in a panic at the last minute, I decided to get an early start so I can do a little at a time. It's less tiring this way, but it also means that I will be living surrounded by boxes for the next few weeks. A fact that makes me a little crazy, but that I will deal with. I will also feel better once I get my apartment situation under control, which I won't get into right now, but will hopefully be coming together in the next few days. I'm actually really looking forward to starting my internship at a congregation in New Jersey, but I will be able to be more excited about it when I'm no longer in moving-limbo.