Archive for category faith

I am Thankful

I am thankful.

I am thankful that my family has enough healthy food to eat.

I am thankful that we live in a home with air conditioning, heat, and running water.

I am thankful that we can drink our tap water.

I am thankful that we have clothes.

I am thankful that we have cars that work.

I am thankful that we have jobs.

I am thankful to live in a country where my son received advanced medical care. He might not have fought his infection upon birth had his soul been placed in a remote part of Africa. His value is the same as any other human, but he was born here, and that’s why he is healthy today.

I am thankful to live in a place where no one likes the president, no one likes congress, and no one likes Rick Perry, but there isn’t widespread violence.

I’m not anxious about what I don’t have. I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!




We Remember

The US isn’t perfect, but I feel so fortunate to live here. Every time I feel AC or eat ice cream or disagree with someone I know am lucky to be here. I think about it constantly.

I pray for peace, healing, and equality today.

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What’s Wrong with This Picture?

We took a trip to northern Arkansas with Husbanks’ sister’s family last week. We enjoyed the scenic Ozark’s lakes and trees.

The resort community’s Methodist church had a cross and flame sculpture that I thought was neat. I snapped a pic.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Let’s hope that’s not the parsonage.


My New Job(s)

The summer is coming to a close and I haven’t told you anything about my new job(s)! This blog has turned into Rid Street and I am sorry about that.

No I’m not, he’s cute!

Well, I’ve got two church jobs. One for my local church and one for the district. Both organize church people doing stuff (good stuff) in the world. My schedules are unpredictable flexible. Definitely not 9-5. I work Sunday mornings and my only night away from Riddles thus far was a night spent at work. But, I also get to spend every afternoon with him snuggling and playing with blocks. I’ll take it. I grew up with parents who worked weekends and holidays. Piece of cake.

I spend the day reading about statistics of those who are hungry, poor, forgotten, and ill. I learn the latest numbers on natural disasters and see where the church can help. I communicate with people across the street and across the globe to see what they need. I meet people who need food, money, community, and direction. Everyday I get a question I have never answered before.

At its worst, I understand the world to be a big puzzle of basic needs that is never solved.

Oh, but at its best, I watch people stretch themselves, and make a difference. I watch the Church, which everyone complains about, as a powerhouse of aid, reaching where no one wants to go. I see people get what they need with gratitude, and immediately give in return. I see people waiting for each other, gaining patience.

When needs and passions meet, that’s the sweet spot. The cycle of injustice never stops, but there are moments where I get a little breath of fresh air. A glimpse. Those are the moments when I remember why I do this.

That’s my jobs!


“Justice for Caylee!”

Casey Anthony is free Sunday.

Before the verdict, angry people bought plane tickets to Orlando and camped out to hear the verdict. After the verdict, angry people chanted “justice for Caylee!” outside the courtroom. Angry people called radio shows and wrote blog posts about how they will boycott books or movies about Casey.

Cable news shows with clocks counting down Casey’s release date discuss how vile it will be if she makes money on TV from this alleged murder. Angry people plot to figure out where Casey Anthony will go upon release and how they can hurt her.

There is a lot of energy around this.

Could we use that energy to thank a case worker? Or pray for a child in danger? Or pray for this sweet baby?

Could we use that energy to give time and money to causes that help prevent child neglect? CASA. Family Promise. Dozens upon dozens of others.

Could we call our friends who are foster parents and ask what we can do today? Make their family dinner?

Caylee’s death is an unthinkable tragedy. We know Casey had something to do with it. And we are angry. Could we use that energy to do something about it? That is justice for Caylee.



I’ve gone to conference four times now. For the first time, I went to church the day after conference this year. I usually cite physical and emotional exhaustion for skipping, but this year, church is my job. So I went. And it was Pentecost and the music and prayers and altar and sermon were beautiful. We felt the spirit.

I’m not called to church politicking. I’m called to the local church. And it took me going to realize that.

Enough opinions … more fun! Here are some pics!

Conference pics:

My forever mentor BK leading prayers at the Clergy Women’s Luncheon

Husbanks and Riddles at the Growing the Heart of Methodism Luncheon (Riddles goes to a lot of luncheons)

Ridley sleeping on a prayer shawl from Bethany UMC, Austin …

… dreaming of the ocean waves

Napping again at the convention center (lunch and napping are where it’s at)

Being blessed by the Bishop


Conference Thoughts

Conference thought 1: Be patient.

Johanna sent me a fun article this week. It’s frustrating when people use a Bible they haven’t read to make a point. Especially when the point they are making is a serious one. This article helps us remember that this happens all the time and lots of times it’s not so serious. Breathe.

I’m so glad I have the whole world figured out!

Conference thought 2: Don’t be shy. 

At conference, you are required to wear your name tag and be in your assigned seat to vote. This year I am a conference delegate, not a delegate from my local church. This means I have no idea where I will sit or with whom I will sit. All I know is that voting is a tedious process lasting all day and all night. And at those long sterile tables under fluorescent light in uncomfortable folding chairs surrounded by thousands of strangers in their Sunday clothes, Husbanks will walk Riddles over to me every three hours. And I’ll have to finagle my clothes. And fight with the nursing cover. And feed him.

I am very nervous about this. 

To make me feel better about my impending offense, my super-cool friend Ruth showed me the note card she carries with her explaining Texas breastfeeding laws. She REALLY wants someone to comment while she is feeding her daughter so she can whip it out like a badge, but no one ever has. But it makes her feel better to have it. And it makes me feel better to know she has never had to use it.

Now that I have read her note card I am informed and I can say, “Oh, you want me to stop breastfeeding? Have you read Chapter 165 of the Texas Health and Safety Code? Because I have – and this is legal.”

I could probably even say it’s in the Bible and no one would know the difference.

Conference Thought 3: Don’t get Cranky.

In preparation for conference, I’ve been reading Tara’s General Conference experiences and I have been trying not to get emotional. I have my moments. My moments when I don’t want to go to conference and deal with debate. But Sunday morning I held Riddles while Abe was being baptized, and I realized that I want to make the Methodist connection as powerful for Abe and Riddles as it is for their parents. And I can’t do that by sitting at home.

Vote for Sarah (shameless plug)!

Onward, Conference Soldiers!


Preparing for Conference

Every year, United Methodist churches get together with the United Methodist churches around them and they vote on the direction of the church (Annual Conference). Every four years, all the United Methodists around the world send delegates to vote on the direction of the church (General Conference).

It’s the week before my annual conference. I’m spending this week reading and listening and praying. Some of my close friends are on the ballot for General Conference delegation and some are going to be commissioned and some are authors for controversial petitions. Some of my close friends will be affected by the results of these petitions and so I pray. I pray for the church I love. I pray because we are 11 million opinions trying to get along when the stakes are the highest. I pray because I know hurtful things will happen next week, but I also know beautiful things will. I pray I’m not too distracted by the hurtful things to see the beauty.

So I’m reading and listening and praying. Wondering what conference will bring and wondering what conference will send.

Annual Conference 2009 – Pre-Riddles and Elias!

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Remember Your Baptism and Be Thankful

Hello, baby –

You were baptized on Sunday. In the Methodist church, you will be reminded of this symbol of grace and community as you grow. When you are 11 years old, you will take confirmation classes to become a member of the church. And at that time, you will be asked to remember your baptism.

Let me help you with that.

I made an invitation to invite my friends to your baptism.

On the morning of your baptism, you were in a good mood. This was your first time to be in the sanctuary for church. You are usually in the cry room eating and partying with the other babies.

The sermon was from Acts 2 and was about how God ‘s goodness is shown when we love each other. You talked throughout the sermon, but you didn’t cry. You also didn’t spit up (or worse) on the preacher. Whew. You were supported in your baptism by your church family, your grandparents, your grandfather’s cousin Pete and his wife Johnese, your aunt Nicole, uncle Matt, cousins Gus and Dub, your second cousin Alexis and her daughters Angelique and Coco, and dear friends Emilie, Deirdre, Johanna, Andria, Blair, Blake, Adam, Kelly, Stacie, Kyle, Knox, Jon, Morgan, Shilah, Nathan, Amber and Abe.

During the baptism, you chewed on Pastor Paul’s bulletin and thumb because it felt good on your teething gums. You were interested in your own feet.

After the baptism (which was at 11:46 a.m., Nathan tells me), Pastor Paul walked you up and down the aisle to see the church family that will take care of you. Your church family touched your feet and said sweet things to you. The Chancel Choir sang. Your church family vowed to help you become a strong man of faith. Grandma and Nathan and Cina gave you books and Andria and Blair gave you cacti. I know there is a parallel between the baptismal waters and a plant that needs little, but I just can’t think of it right now.

After the baptism, we had turkey sandwiches and cake and cupcakes at our house with the family. You pooped out of your beautiful white outfit and all over me.

While this letter will help you remember your baptism, so will a complete stranger. A woman who was visiting Saint John’s on Sunday was so moved by your baptism ceremony that she made you a burp cloth. She wrote a note and mailed it to me at church. She doesn’t even know us, but she made my day. Of course I felt love during your baptism, but it was nice to hear that someone who didn’t know us felt it too.

I hope you will be kind to others as you remember your baptism. I love you.



Happy Easter

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