simplyjan

A Simple Look at a Not-So-Simple Life

June 20th

It’s a big, big day for me and my whole family. It is a day of births and new beginnings. My cousin, Susan, was born today, as was her son, Jack. Another cousin, David (known through his teen years as Turtle) was also born today. It’s a great day for cousins.

It’s an even greater day now, though, because my brand new great-nephew decided that today was the perfect day to claim his birth. Elijah David was born at 9:47 am, weighing 8 lbs, 8 oz. He’s a big boy! Mia has been in Florida for almost two weeks now, helping take care of Elijah’s big sister, Addison. My little girl got to hold her new cousin very soon after he was born.

mama mia
Doesn’t she look like a little mother?

June 20th holds other significance for me as well. It is the anniversary of two major events in my life: one that didn’t turn out so well and one that did. I was married on this day, twenty-five years ago. It turned out not to be one of my wisest life decisions, yet I would do it again only because it was that union that produced my oldest daughter who has always been the light of my life. Because of her, I do remember this day. She makes it all worth it.

me and my girl

My sunshine! Totally worth it!

Today is also the thirteenth anniversary of my ordination. Talk about a life-changing event! Being in ministry is a life choice and a lifestyle that I resisted for many years. I knew that door had been opened to me when I was just 19 years old. I refused to walk through it until I was 34. Ministry is such a joyful/tragic, encouraging/disheartening, reassuring/frightening, challenging/frustrating, life-giving/life-sucking vocation. I have been allowed into corners of people’s lives when otherwise, without that ordination, I would have been an unwelcome intruder. I have been privy to stories, secrets, heartaches, and challenges that go beyond anything I ever could have imagined. I have shared the most sacred times – childbirth, marriage, baptism, death, and burial with people who have entrusted me with that sacredness. Many, many times I’ve asked myself what gives me the right to stand with people in such places, or to stand in a pulpit to proclaim anything – much less the Word of God. (I wrote about this kind of questioning early in my ministry.) Still, it has been my life – my calling – for thirteen years now. (Fifteen, if you count my two year full-time internship prior to ordination.) There are days I would readily throw in the towel, usually followed by days when I couldn’t dream of doing anything else. Such is life in ministry!

cake

My Prayer Lunch Group surprised me with a cake today! So sweet! The lady who baked it was mortified when she discovered a misspelling. Believe me – that fudge icing more than made up for it!
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