Friday, November 30, 2007

Should I be nervous?

Everyone keeps telling me not to be nervous about my first Sunday, etc. I'm not. Should I be? I suppose if I were fresh out of seminary without a lifetime of being a PK behind me, I might be, but my sermon is good, I've got a good liturgist helping out, I've been working in a church, even though not as a pastor, for the past three years-I feel good about everything at this point. Worship planning is one thing that just doesn't get to me. I actually enjoy that part.
I know that things will get crazier as we approach Christmas and my ordination, but I have L in preschool now, so I don't have to worry about her and that will give me some peace of mind. I even have some old sermons to draw on so I don't have to come up with all new ones. The church seems to already have all their Advent/Christmas events planned out. (Not to my liking, but that's another story and not something I can really change at this late date.)
I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, November 26, 2007

First Day Down

Today was my first day at work as pastor of the little not-quite-coastal church. I met several people who stopped in to say 'welcome.' There was a huge basket of goodies waiting on the desk when I came in. There were snacks, gift cards, toys for L, all kinds of nice stuff.
All in all, the time went by faster than I expected. I have L with me this week. I will get her enrolled in our preschool of choice starting next week, assuming I get all her paperwork from her old pediatrician on time.
Now, we just need lots of prayers for P to get a job soon. We're lonely up here without daddy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Since I'm awake... (at 12:45)

I might as well go ahead and type out my frustrations. I was reminded tonight of why I had never wanted to live in an apartment again. It's the neighbors.
About 11:15 I was awakened from a deep sleep by stomping, running, jumping, door slamming, etc. (elephant olympics?!?) in the apt. above. Ooooookaaaay. What's going on up there? Then I hear kid noises. Alright. Kids getting ready for bed. It's a little late for kids to be up, I think, but I understand. It can be a chore. I let it go on for about 10 minutes-that was when it woke up L-that made me a little upset. I mean, things are rattling in the cabinets and I startle every time something goes BANG or THUMP. I went up there, I was polite, I went back downstairs and waited... for well over an hour before I went back up. This time I spoke to the mom, (it was the dad the first time-he uttered exactly three syllables to me, "yeah," and "ok.") who explained that she had her six (six!) kids who had driven from IL with her and her husband, and they'd all slept and were wired and of course she was trying to calm them down... I explained that I too, had recently moved a long way and understood how tough it was, but I also had a child trying to sleep, as was I. She was apologetic. I was nice. I think things are quieter now, but I'm not sure it will last.
Did I mention that I'm fairly sure it's a one-bedroom like our place. Six kids!! (Pretty sure that's against policy, but I'm not a tattletale-yet.)
I think it's been quiet for the last several sentences. Might be time to try to sleep again. Wish me luck.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Becoming Real

L and I settled into our temporary quarters in our new town. We drove for 9 hours straight with the dog and two cats. I was so glad to get out of the car. We'll be staying in a furnished one-bedroom apt. for about 2 or 3 months. It really depends on when P can get a job and move up here. It's a nice enough place, small, but not smaller than the place we lived in at the seminary, of course, we didn't have a kid and a small menagerie at that point either. :)
It's starting to sink in that I won't be going back to Huge Southern City, seeing all of our friends at Old (in so many ways) Church.
And ok, I admit, the worst part, to me, is going to be finding all the new places I'll have to go. P got me a going away present of a Garmin GPS. I have to say, I feel a lot better having it to guide me around in unfamiliar territory. But now there are things like finding a good grocery, a good pediatrician, a good family doctor, a good vet, a good child-caregiver, a good hair stylist, etc, etc, etc. Where is the post office, the library, the Target, the local coffee shop?
I start my first day in the office the Monday after T'giving. I really am looking forward to finally doing the job I spent 3 years in school training for and even though I didn't really love the 3 years I spent as an office admin, I think they really helped me prepare for the things they don't teach you about in seminary.
Please pray for my sanity as I live with all the critters in such a small space, without P for a couple months, beginning a new job in a new place...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It's amazing how making huge life changes can bring out the best and worst in me. I'm feeling really out of control right now. Things aren't panning out for our move like I wish they had. L and I are going to be in a hotel (assuming we find one in the area that takes pets) for several nights, then we're driving about 4 hours to the in-laws for T'giving. Then we drive back, then we move into an apartment. Oh, and btw, I will be sans husband for all of this.
You might think that we could wait and go up later, but I start work the Monday after T'giving and I have to have a few days to find a childcare-giver for L before I start working and then of course the apt complex said they won't have anything available until after the holiday so we have to find a hotel that takes pets. So I figured I might as well drive to the in-laws for the holiday so I'm not paying for the hotel for all those nights. It's be way cheaper to board the animals than to stay in the hotel. (Can you hear the manic rise in my tone of voice? It's there, I assure you.)
On the up side, I'm getting rid of three + years of junk that's piled up in our house and it feels good. I have checked off finding an apartment, boarding the cats over T'giving, and making vet apts. to be sure everyone is healthy for the move (and can be tranqued for the drive). That looks like so little in writing... yikes.
I suppose I should get back to it.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Coming soon...

In three weeks from today, I will be starting my first day in my new office. (Which, btw, the church is gutting in honor of my arrival and letting me pick everything from the wall color to all new furniture!) I will have to study and preach for a few months out of only one box of books that I will ship up in advance. Sounds impossible, but I suppose it can be done, or rather, it must be done, as the rest will be in storage for a while. Gotta get that packed and sent this week.
Two weeks from today, I will arrive in our new hometown. I will begin searching for quality child care for L. I will begin a lengthy, involuntary separation from P. He is searching for a job in the area, but is not sure how long it will take, so he is going to stay in City of Current Residence with his aunt and uncle until he's found a job and is ready to start work up there. I will also have all the animls with me. Gee, I can't wait to drive 9 hours with a 3 year old, a med-lg. dog, and two cats in the car. Oh, and somehow I will need to pack our luggage in there too. That's a tall order, even for Ru.
I feel like there is so much to do right now, though really there isn't. The movers will pack our stuff and store it. P has found a furnished apt. for me and L to live in for a while. We're waiting until the first of the new year to look at houses on the advice of our realtor who feels we'll get more for our money that way. P has found a place to stay. Mostly I just have to sit here and stew about all the changes happening in the next few weeks.
One week from today... it pains me to say, I will begin to acclimate my body to waking up early (well, earlier, anyway), getting in the shower, and being ready for my day before lunch time, as well as getting L ready for her day at the same time. Yeah, it's noon, I'm still in my pj's. What's it to ya?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday Five: Interviews

Mother Laura over at RGBP was noticing that lots of the Rev Gals are interviewing these days. (I just gone done with some myself!) So she posts the following Friday Five:

1. What was the most memorable interview you ever had?
Probably the one that should never have taken place. I got a phone call from a church that wanted to do a phone interview, but that was the first I'd ever heard of this place, so I wanted a chance to look at their info and location. But I said a tentative yes, explaining that I needed a chance to look over their CIF (church information form, for you non-Presbys) and then after I'd read it, discovered this was not a place I felt called to. So after trying to call the number he gave me about 5 or 6 times in one night and several times over the next few days, (get this, no machine, no voicemail!) I decided to use the email from their information form. Apparently it was there for show because in no one checked it in a week's time and they still called me for the interview. I was not ready, to say the least. I went ahead with it since the whole committee had gathered for that purpose and I wasn't sure how appropriate it was for me to say, "Hey! I tried to call you all week, emailed you, etc. Don't you people check your communications?!" I must have done ok, b/c at the end of the interview they asked me to send sermon tapes. (Needless to say, what they got instead was a "no, thank you" letter.)

2. Have you ever been the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If so, are you a tiger, a creampuff, or somewhere in between?
I've never been an official interviewer for someone seeking a position, but I did ask plenty of questions when I was visiting the church that finally called me. So I suppose that was a sort of interview. That being the case, I'd say more like a tiger in creampuff clothing. No one would look at me and think 'intimidating,' but I know I asked some pretty good, well-aimed questions.

3. Do phone interviews make you more or less nervous than in-person ones?
More. I really like to be able to read cues like facial expressions and reactions and such when I'm talking to people.

4. What was the best advice you ever got to prepare for an interview? How about the worst?
It helped me to write down the answers to the most common questions, like "what are your strengths and weaknesses," etc. By the way, if you're ever on a committee, get more creative than that and "where do you see yourself in five to ten years." What kind of question is that to ask a pastor?!
Sorry, flashback.
Anyway, the other best advice was to have a drink next to me while I was on the phone. Yeah, a grown-up kind. They can't see it and I was way more relaxed. Personally, I prefer and gin & tonic with lots of lime.

5. Do you have any pre-interview rituals that give you confidence?
Nah, just gotta have daddy keep the kid out of the room so I can hear what they're asking if I'm going to be on the phone. Otherwise, for in person, I try to make myself eat something even if I'm too nervous to feel like eating, just so I don't feel ill later.