Friday Five: Taking Stock

3dogmom writes:

We’re midway through summer (for us northern gals and pals), a good time to pause for a moment to take a breath before the force of autumn’s gravity takes hold too fiercely, and pulls us into its grasp of programming and schedules and commitments. This might be the last chance we have to pause and check in with our inner divine compass, the soul, and reflect on our inner life.  Here are a few questions to consider as we do so.

What is one thing bringing you joy today?

Tomorrow, my niece is performing in her FIRST MUSICAL! I’m so excited for her. I’m also taking her to see her first Broadway show at the end of August. Sssshhhh! It’s a surprise.

What is a disappointment you are experiencing today?

I wouldn’t say I’m experiencing disappointment, per se, but I am waiting on a couple of things for which I was supposed to have answers by this time and I don’t. I’m disappointed that I don’t have enough information to know whether or not to be disappointed.

When you think about the past six months, when did your soul feel most awake?

The two times I preached at church. I’ve been out of the saddle for a while and I really miss it.

When did you experience a sorrow or regret?

Probably for a miscommunication that caused a temporary breach in a relationship.

For what is your soul most longing?

To see more of the world and to do more good in the world.

Bonus: is there a word or image that succinctly summarizes how you find your soul today? Please share it with us.Colorado

Friday Five: Fast and Furious Cuisine

Deb writes:

I know RevGals is not a cooking blog. But, I also know that we clergy balance multiple tasks, roles and responsibilities. And many of us want to keep eating healthy and serving with stronger, healthier bodies. At the same time, unless you are living with a personal sous chef, you’re throwing dinner together in between afternoon office hours and evening meetings, sometimes with a little homework and soccer practice thrown in the mix. So, for this week’s Friday Five, tell us:

1) What’s your tried-and-true recipe for picky eaters?

Because I don’t cook for other people most of the time, I don’t have an answer to this. I know that when I was a kid, being a picky eater wasn’t really an option. I do have a niece whose tastes change on a weekly basis, so if I’m cooking for her, I’ll try to find alternative options, because, well, I’m an auntie. The nephew eats anything. I do have a recipe for a lasagna with prosciutto that is a pretty universal crowd pleaser.

2) Breakfast for dinner: totally cheating or a lifesaver? Discuss.

Totally AWESOME. What’s to discuss?

3) Go-to casserole for potlucks, new parents or your family’s favorite?

I did not come from casserole people, so the 9 X 13 culture is a bit foreign. Usually when I have to bring food for something, I do a pot of chili or chicken & corn chowder, and I do a fair bit of baking so I like to bring dessert. My current favorite recipe is chocolate chip cookie bars with salted caramel, all from scratch. Not as hard as you’d think, and crazy tasty.

4) Favorite take-out place, preferably with a drive-through? (Let’s be real!)

I’m an In-n-Out Burger girl.

5) ‘Fess up! What’s your “bad-for-me-but-super-easy” dinner?

I throw together some chicken breasts, a can of cream of chicken soup, a can of Rotelle and cover it with cheese and bake for about 30 mins, then serve over rice. Comforty and delicious.

BONUS: RANDOM!! REVGALS version of “CHOPPED” episode, starring you, the tired, harried, cook and pastor who has to feed everyone and get back to church for a meeting in 45 minutes… What would you make with:
a can of garbanzo beans
chicken breasts
sweet bell peppers and
some “Testa-mints”?

I would make southwest spicy chicken with peppers in radicchio wraps, I’d fry up the garbanzo beans and roll them in cayenne, paprika and a few other spicy, smoky things, and make a peppermint ice cream for dessert.

Friday Five: Right NOW


janintx writes:

News in our world is overwhelming with politics, tragedy, dissension, and hope. If you prefer for this Friday Five, you may write about any of the current affairs that you are thinking about.

However, I suggest that you look at your life at this moment, right now, TODAY:

1. What are you thinking about?

Finishing up this class. I’m doing an online MA in Organizational Leadership, and my first class is wrapping up. It’s 3 credits in 8 weeks, with assignments due every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Except the final paper, which is due next Friday. Argh! It’s on Leadership Theory and Practice, so my head is swimming with leadership concepts.

2. What book are you reading or have just finished reading?

But even with academia, I’m balancing it out with some leisure reading. I just finished A Murder of Magpies and just started The Girl on the Train. A Murder of Magpies was a fun murder mystery with interesting characters. I am LOVING The Girl on the Train. Really well done.

3. What is your favorite television or radio program?

Do they still have radio programs? I have many favorite TV shows, but right now I am OBSESSED with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. It is by far the funniest thing I’ve seen in a really long time. It comes from the brilliant mind of Tina Fey, so it’s guaranteed awesome. It’s so much fun and I’m super sad that there are only 13 episodes available right now. More are on the way!

4. What was the best movie you have seen in the past year?

I probably liked Birdman and Boyhood the best of what I saw this past year.

5. Who do you think of for Father’s Day?

I obviously think of my great and amazing dad, but I also think about my friends who have either lost their dad or never knew their dad. This is a tough weekend for many of them, so I am doing my best to reach out and say something encouraging to them.

Friday Five: Hither and Yon

3dogmom writes:

After traveling through 13 states to arrive at 6 distinct destinations over the last five weeks, I am road-weary, and ready to be home for a good, long stretch. Weariness notwithstanding, they were all good trips that included wonderful scenery, with introductions and reconnections with people and places. Ahhh. The sojourning inspires today’s Friday Five.

Share with us:

1) a favorite city, and what makes it so.

My top favorite city is and always will be San Francisco. Sure, there are other cities that I enjoy – London, New York, Sydney, Paris, Chicago, etc. – but my one and only city love is San Francisco. I had the privilege (and challenge) of living there for 15 years. I grew into myself there, I made life-long connections there. It’s beautiful, diverse, has amazing food, and it’s where all the loves of my life reside.

2) a favorite getaway spot, far from the maddening crowd (far being a relative term).

Anywhere with a view of the ocean. I can drive about 5 hours and be in either San Diego or the LA area. Tack on another 2ish hours and I can be in Santa Barbara. I find that just the sight of the ocean calms me. When I’ve got less time, I head up north to the mountains here in AZ and catch the calm of the breeze through the pine trees. Works in a pinch.

3) a great local eatery that you stumbled upon while passing through from one place to another.

In general, I avoid chain restaurants at all costs, both at home and on the road. When I was in Dublin, I found this amazing spot for shwarma and I pretty much ate nothing but the entire time I was there. In fact, I had to rush out and grab fish & chips late the night before I left so I could do something local. I also ate probably the best Indian food of my life at a gas station in El Doret, Kenya while on the road from Nairobi to Bungoma. Of course, I had to eat at the Old Navy café in Paris. Was treated to some amazing local spots in Egypt and Australia by some awesome and knowledgeable tour guides. I’m kind of a food person. Can you tell?

4) a landscape that inspires or nourishes you.

I’ve always found desert landscape nourishing because it’s where I grew up. It’s comforting and grounding. I like to go on what I call “noticing walks” where I go very slowly and take in the I’ve always found desert landscape nourishing because it’s where I grew up. It’s comforting and grounding. details of the nature around me – the colors in rocks, the shapes of things, the scents of flowers, etc. We’ve had an actual spring here in AZ and I’ve had more opportunities to walk outside than I have in years past. I’ve always found desert landscape nourishing because it’s where I grew up. It’s comforting and grounding.

5) a place you long to visit.

I have a serious case of the Wanderlust and that combined with a generous vacation policy in my job means I long to visit ALL THE PLACES. Currently, I’m obsessed with Spain and Italy, and also returning to Egypt. Hopefully one or more of those will happen in the next year.

Friday the 13th Random Friday Five

revkarla writes:

Woo hoo!  It’s not only Random Friday Five time, but it is also Friday the 13th. And also Lent.  And, in my neighborhood, the snow is starting to melt and I can see a patch of grass in my front yard.  Oh my,  what could be more wonderful?(Okay, a lot of things, I know.  At least little things make me happy.)

So, without further ado, I present you F13RFF!

1.  What have you got going on today?

A long-overdue hair didding, fingerprinting for a volunteer thing and work.

2.  What about a prayer request, how can we pray for you today?

Pray for my continued efforts to be in the present moment.

3.  What makes you curious?

Things that don’t try to make me curious, i.e., internet click bait. “WHAT DID MILEY CYRUS WEAR WHEN SHE MET MARIA SHRIVER???” Don’t care. Won’t click. I’m most curious about people and their stories. Especially when those stories take unexpected twists and turns. And, let’s face it, they usually do.

4.  If you got stuck in an elevator for three hours, (if that is too scary, locked in a room or stuck in a traffic jam), and could magically have any book or activity appear in a pouf to you to while away the time, what would it be?

The elevator thing would be awful, so let’s say traffic jam. I’d probably have the phone which contains all manner of entertainment. However, I’d have my Kindle appear, because, well, compact, fits in a small space, and full of entertainment.

5.  Use these words in a sentence.   Thirteen, lampshade, [a historical person, like Cotton Mather or Judy Garland} basket, hedgehog, and daffodils.

How about a haiku?

hedgehogs dance with Cher
a basket of daffodils
thirteen lampshades glow

FROZEN Friday Five

Deb writes:

When it gets to the end of February, even people who LOVE winter are ready for a new season. Like this mom, sick of snow days and hearing the soundtrack of a specific movie, you might be going a little stir-crazy. With the lyrics of that  movie to inspire, tell us:

1. For The First Time in Forever: Tell us about a magical first snow day – for a child, a transplanted southerner, or maybe you have a great story from the first snowfall in your area this season

My first snow day wasn’t so much magical as me refusing to go out into it because it was so damned cold. I was a toddler who had spent my short life in 70 degree winters in Phoenix, AS GOD INTENDED. My first trip to see our family in Oklahoma for Christmas introduced me to snow. They opened the door and I turned and ran. The snow was unexpected and we hadn’t brought any gear so my mother put all my socks on me and then shod my feet in bread bags and secured them with rubber bands. Necessity, mother of invention, etc.

2. In Summer: Tell us what you look forward to when it’s warmer again.

It’s in the 70s. I’m good. When it’s summer it’s 115. I like this.

3. Reindeers are Better than people: We are in the business of loving people. But sometimes… Well, it’s a bit of a stretch to love. Do you have a tip, a mantra, or a perspective that helps?

I pass them along to someone who’s better at loving than I.

4. Fixer Upper: Since we are in the season of Lent, what are you doing in the area of self-improvement?

I’ve started a daily meditation practice at work, actually, and it’s making me less stressed and more energized and creative.

5. Let. It. Go. What would Elsa do? Are you de-cluttering? Moving on? Accepting a hard reality? Finding freedom?

I’ve been de-cluttering, donating, re-decorating and digging in. It’s a good season.

Bonus: Frozen, thawing out or thawed, share a picture from your winter this year!

I don’t think you want that. But here’s our 10 day forecast: IMG_3860

Friday Five: Lent

janintx writes:

This is the beginning of the season of Lent. What are your thoughts, hopes, and prayers?

For today’s Friday Five, share five things about Lent.

If you’d like some guidance, here are a few suggestions:

1. books

Small Surrenders by Emilie Griffin
An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor

2. new ideas

I’m preaching at my church on March 1st and I’m talking about meditation, but how it should lead us to service. The inward discipline manifesting in an outward discipline, if you will. Because of that, I’m interested in doing an inner practice during Lent, but then taking on the discipline of outer practices for the 50 days between Easter & Pentecost, the idea being that Easter matters and changes how we interact with the world.

3. websites

40 Acts – Do Lent Generously
One Moment Meditation

4. poems, hymns

Beauty for Ashes by Shane & Shane
The Answer by Shane & Shane
Miserere Mei Deus
Brahams’ Requiem

5. to do

Be present. That’s all.