Thursday, December 27, 2007


Singing Owl writes "It is hard to believe, but 2007 is about to be history, and this is our last Friday Five of the year.

With that in mind, share five memorable moments of 2007. These can be happy or sad, profound or silly, good or bad but things that you will remember.

Bonus points for telling us of a "God sighting"-- a moment when the light came through the darkness, a word was spoken, a song sung, laughter rang out, a sermon spoke to you in a new way--whatever you choose, but a moment in 2007 when you sensed Emmanuel, God with us. Or more particularly, you."

1. Driving back and forth and back and forth and back and forth from Camarillo to Glendale to pick up my mom after her spinal surgery in February, to give her a weekend with us for company. Realizing that after my dad's passing in October of '06, there would not be a break coming for either of us any time soon.

2. Looking forward to positive changes in my son's school with a new head coming in, only to find myself sucker punched by a chilling attitude of mean spiritedness and duplicity. A "brave new world" so to speak where I am told that my son is not "tough enough because this is a tough school now". *sigh*

3. Writing stories. Having wonderful stories to tell and being able to use my life, my experiences and my improv training in weaving them. And having them read and appreciated. Looking forward to writing more. Looking forward to publishing some things next year.

4. San Clemente last June. For both Wonderboy and I, one of the best all time starts of summer anytime, anywhere. Just being able to live on the beach all day long with the most excellent friends was so healing and restful. A great blessing for both of us. 

5. My mom finally, finally taking hold of her life again, after moving into her own apartment closer to me. Getting the physical therapy she desperately needed to get stronger. Finally getting a hearing aid (this Friday!!) so she can hear everything. And other good things for her. She complained to me a couple weeks ago that she has "all these doctors now". I reminded her that she has neglected herself for so many years taking care of my dad that she needs to catch up and that things will calm down soon. And she's jake with all of it. 

I have not sensed God with me for a long time. I still don't. My only sense of God for many years now has been that he considers me a bad joke, and at every other turn he drops another shoe. However I do feel a great comfort and strength from Jesus. I would suppose that the son and the holy spirit and I get along fine. But the father and I are at sixes and sevens. I suppose that sounds very peculiar. Oh well. So I try to tell myself to shut up, suck it up and remember that I live a far more blessed and cushy life than 96 or more percent of the rest of the planet. And then I look at my sweet, smart, tender hearted "not tough enough" son and realize I must be the luckiest mom on earth.  


Rev SS said...

Wow! So glad to hear about your mom taking hold of her life again, in no small thanks to you, I think.

As for the new year ... I'm looking forward to reading more of your writing; and I'm hoping to get down your way, if not in the Spring, in the fall, and really want to get together with you when I do.

Mother Laura said...

Thank you for sharing your joys and sorrows with us so honestly and humorously and eloquently today and all year. Prayers and (((PG))).

We are only an hour and a bit apart since I am in Costa Mesa and I would love to get together for coffee one of these days....If you're interested give a shout out at laura AT grimes DOT ws.

Mrs. M said...

Prayers for you. I've been in those dry God spells, I think I'm only just coming out of one recently.

cheesehead said...


Joan Calvin said...

It's hard to feel far from God. You are in my prayers.

mompriest said...

Well...I hear you...where is God these days? I have really appreciated your wit and reflections and getting to know you this year. Blessed 2008!

RevDrKate said...

Love to read your comments, your stories, well ok, just about anything you write. Blessings to you in the new year.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your delightful blog throughout the year. Not sure how old "Wonderboy" is, but there is plenty of time for tough. Anyone who thinks little boys need to be toughened are scoundrels and bullies. Now, my 5:

1. My Mom went home to the Lord just before Thanksgiving. She was a wonderful woman, and she enjoyed every one of her 92 years to the fullest. Her greatest fear was a long, bed-ridden decline, which she was spared. I am comforted by John 14 and Christ’s promise that as soon as her room was ready, He came and took her there.

2. February in Orlando. A great visit to Disney World with Kim and our (then) 10 and 8 year olds. Then for me, the presentation of the Strategy Team Report to the NWAC Convocation, where it was unanimously adopted. (I had suggested to Kim that she and the kids come in for at least one session of this historic meeting. “OK, Michael. Let’s think about this. I am going to tell two Mickey addicts that Daddy wants us to skip a day in the park so that we can go to church on a Thursday?” I have to admit that, when stated in that particular way, it doesn’t sound so appealing.)

3. June 24, 2007. Our church votes overwhelmingly to disaffiliate from the PC(USA) and to move to the EPC’s newly created New Wineskins presbytery. As we prepared for the vote, my dear friend, Elder Lucy Kitchen, came up to me with tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, Mac. The day we have been praying for for so long is finally here.” Now, membership and attendance are increasing and several folks who had left us have returned.

4. Seeing the kids grow—Mary is now scaring the living daylights out of her mid-western father as she competes in jumping competitions. To see a little girl who is afraid of the dark and lightning move a thousand pound horse around the ring and over the jumps with such confidence is amazing. And then there is Bionicle-boy. If you have any question, no matter how arcane, about dragons or Bionicles—a Lego product—he’s your man. If anyone can direct me to a school of veterinary medicine that has a specialty in dragons (Andy’s chosen field), please let me know.

5. First Marine Division Association Reunion here in Philadelphia in August. Being with Mike Tonkyn, “Frags” Felton, Pat O’Toole, and the others in Charlie Company, 5th Marines, for whom June 11, 1969 will always be simply “that night,” was a blessing. We mourned those who have gone before, prayed for our shipmate Rich Crawford who is back in Iraq as an advisor to the Iraqui police (the troops refer to him as the “Space Cowboy”), and enjoyed a time of fellowship that only Marines can understand. Andy, who is named for Lt. Fred Andrew Hartman, got to meet my brothers-in arms for the first time. When I told them that Andy was named for Chip, each took his small hand and soberly—often with tears in their eyes—told him, “You’re named after a good man.” No better way to be remembered than that! We few, we happy few…..

I have sensed God with me much more personally this year. I recollect that 12 months ago, the NWAC Strategy Report was still in final draft form and the NWAC and the EPC had merely initialed the plan for transitional presbyteries. Then, in the space of 6 months, both bodies approved the plan and churches actually began to move. Presbyterians are a bunch that will talk an issue to death, then bury it and say a few more words over the grave, so movement in such a short time period is, I believe, evidence of God’s hand at work amongst us. Then there was the unexpected business that took me to St. Louis in September that allowed me to have three days with Mom—our last visit, and it was great one. Finally, every time I tuck the kids in, I see the hand of God in His magnificent creation.

Praying that you have a happy new year.

Michael R. McCarty

revabi said...

It helps us when our parent begins to take charge of their lives again. I am sorry to hear the school's attitude about your son. Don't know his situation, but I deal with my kids and school all the time. Will be thinking of you. What a wonderful post. Keep sharing your stories.

revhipchick said...

wonderful post.

i appreciate your honesty and integrity.

reading this friday 5 has been very encouraging in understanding that those times in which i can't feel God's presence simply is and not some great failing on my part. thank you for sharing--you are definately not alone.

blessings for 2008

Muthah+ said...

Hey, PG.
Relationship with Jesus and HS IS relationship with God or are Presbies not trinitarian anymore? I so enjoy your posts.

Sue said...


As for #2 - I have SO been there. Stand your ground. The easy answer (from the school's perspective) is for your son to "toughen up" and eliminate the need for the school administration to deal with the violence they allow on their property.

We were given this line with our eldest, who simply does not have the capacity to fight back - thanks be to God!

We told them that we were not prepared to encourage violence in a child who had been raised to be non-violent. We ended up pulling him from the school, which was a good decision for him. *sigh* Why does this continue to happen to young people in our schools????

Sally said...

(((PG))) prayers for the future- I understand what you mean about not feeling God's presence- but just occassionaly light breaks through, and that is enough!

Barbara B. said...

Yep, I hear ya on God...

And, keep on with the stories!

Presbyterian Gal said...

The "tough school" is not about physical violence. The new head implied that the teaching style that translates academic rigor into the use of humiliation, intimidation and many hours of homework, projects and work sent home not being taught in class is the way of this school. Since it is a private school they have free license to do as they please, and change it. We are very confused right now because this what has happened does not match at all what we were told the beginning of the year.

RevHRod said...

Dear PG-

You are in my prayers today. I hope that next year brings more joy than sorrow. I am so blessed to have met you. Your wit dresses up my days with smiles and cheer. Thanks!

Diane said...

PG -- Jesus is the only God I know. prayers for you in the coming year. You have really been there for your mom.

I have really loved your blog and getting to know you over the past year.

Jan said...

I liked reading about your mom and you, especially because my mom died 15 years ago. Still miss her at times though.

I love your stories and like hearing about Wonder Boy, even though sometimes the news isn't happy, esp. about school. Hope the New Year is better.

zorra said...


Quotidian Grace said...

Dear PG--

What a wonderful post. But then, so many of yours are wonderful.

Hugs to WonderBoy and to his parents who are trying to do what is best for him. May the path be clear to you soon!

I'm sorry about the acedia. Perhaps seeking a new way to God will help--perhaps a Bible study in another church which would "jump start" your spiritual mojo again without pressuring you to change your current church affiliation, since choir is so important for WB right now.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

ok seriously... let's clear this up... you write bad jokes. you tell bad jokes. you blog bad jokes.
you are not a joke of any size, shape or form.

that bein' said i still laugh with you at the bad jokes. and bring over the coffee and plunk down and listen with ya for God...