Not Very Friendly – So Far

Sunrise on a Sunday morning in January,

Last week as we drove home from an errand Jack and I were chatting about life and this and that and about what has been going on in our lives since Christmas. As our conversation concluded – I declared that “this January was so totally NOT a month I would vote to relive – repeat – redo – or re-anything!!!! Frankly I wouldn’t mind being able to fast-forward through the rest of January 2022. . . ”

(Boy – I bet Jack was super-duper thrilled to be hanging out with his mom right about then. . . Poor guy drew the “short straw” that afternoon – didn’t he? Oh well – he got a trip to the craft store out of it!)

Nope 2022 has not launched in the manner I was hoping it might when the New Year dawned. . .

As of today – I am not a fan of 2022 in the least. To date – I am of the belief it was a mistake to leave 2021 behind and even to start 2022. I am thinking 2022 should have come with a warning sticker or a hazard sign or an orange cone or something to warn the naive or the unwary of what was around the bend!

Seriously so far – 2022 is proving to be a bit of a villainous mean-y pants.

Not the same picture – see the way the sky is changing.

I am usually all for savoring life and seeking the good and looking for God’s blessings in my daily life.   I can be a bit of a Pollyanna. I actively look for the good in situations and people. I am all about the rainbows and the flowers and the appreciation and the beauty.

I thought my word for 2022 was going to be “embrace.”   Now I am strongly – strongly reconsidering – because I haven’t felt like embracing most of what 2022 has had to offer so far . . .

Or perhaps I may have simply misunderstood. Maybe my word for 2022 started with an “E” – but it is actually “endure . . .” Oh – I hope not?!?!?!?! Enduring life and embracing life are two very – very difference concepts and paths.   Embracing life sounds like fun or at least interesting. Enduring life – well – not so much . . .

Honestly this January has been pretty hard. I am feeling a bit beaten and battered and tossed around.   I started off the month with surgery.   (It was thankfully and blessed successful!)

But by Wednesday of that very same week – I had discovered the reason the anesthesiologist had me sign that very lengthy release form filled with all of the lawyerly legal-ease before I was intubated for surgery. I had a broken tooth. A really broken tooth I learned when I visited my dentist.   I left the dentist’s office exactly one week after my surgery with a root canal and a temporary crown.

(Wow – do root canals hurt! “Minor discomfort” – my eye!)

It is amazing. Look at the changes that take place in just seconds!

I walked in the door of our home after the dentist glued my new fake (but temporary) tooth into my throbbing face and declared – “I am hiding in the basement next Monday with a helmet on my head – under a blanket. I will NOT be leaving this house! Seriously – next Monday is looking like a day to be feared!?!?!?!” (January 10th = surgery – January 17th = root canal – January 24 = who knows – but I wasn’t willing to risk it?!?!?!?)

To which Jason sagely and wisely and calmly responded – “Makes sense to me.”

(My beloved totally gets me! Jason is fluent in Latin – Ancient Greek – and Kerri! His Spanish is decent too.)

I may not be a big fan of 2022 so far – but there have been blessings.   (See – I can’t help myself. I have trained my brain and my heart and my soul to seek the good and to find the blessings. Even during the tougher days. I am such a freak!)

My surgery wasn’t an emergency surgery – but it needed to happen on a pretty zippy schedule to prevent an emergency.

This meant I didn’t have much (any) time to get things at church ready for my absence. This was way – Way – WAY outside my comfort-zone. This is so not the way I choose to live my life. I am a planner. I work ahead. I don’t procrastinate. I am prepared. I proofread things 3,000 times.   I stock-up and I organize. But it turns out kinda-sorta emergency surgeries happen sometimes and there isn’t anything you can do about them.   Seriously not a stinking thing . . .

The colors dazzled and delight.

But the most wonderful thing happened – I sent just one email to Rod Firquin and the generous offers of gracious – kind – truly thoughtful help began to flow immediately. I emailed Rod and within minutes I had help. Lots of wonderful help. Rod assured me that – the Lutherans of Saint Stephen “had this.” Worship and the sermon and communion and Sunday school and church council and un-decorating and communicating were all handled by my sisters and brothers in Christ.

Then Brenda gave me a pep-talk and she listened and she cared and she was my sister in Christ. Talk about a blessing!

Soon the words of encouragement began to flow from our Saint Stephen church family. And so did the prayers and offers of even more help. And the text messages. And the cards. My sisters and brothers in Christ were praying for me when I needed it the most . . .

I was reminded once again of the blessing of Christian community.

Nope – still not a big fan of 2022. BUT I am a huge – Huge – HUGE fan of Christian community and my sisters and brothers in Christ!

You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.

In Christ and with Love –

Pastor Kerri

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