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Like the butcher who backed into his meat slicer…

I’m supposed to finish that line with, “I got a little behind in my work.” But although I’m in my fiercely busy season, my work is actually up to date…almost.

In addition to all the usual stuff I have to do day by day, January marks the time when I start writing my sermons for the summer, though I’m not even sure I’ll be asked to preach this summer. On Sunday, the candidate selected by our search committee as their pick for our new minister will “preach for the call.” He will lead worship and give the sermon and then the congregation will decide whether to confirm him as pastor. It’s all very exciting, but since he’ll be starting in February (if confirmed), he may not be taking a summer vacation. I’m not sure how that works, but no matter, I need to start getting organized now in case I’m asked to take some services this summer. Yup that’s right, I need MONTHS to prepare to preach. I mentioned before that I could NEVER turn out a sermon a week of any quality. It’s simply not my gift and I do so envy those who can. But we must play the hand we’re dealt in life, and for me that means getting a start in January to be ready for July.

But now let me say, in complete contradiction to the above, that I just finished my last sermon yesterday, meaning I completed not four sermons in four weeks, but five! Be amazed! Be very, very amazed! Mind you, that’s the sermons only. I start writing the corresponding Orders of Service next week. But the biggest part of the work is done! Hallelujah!

I’ve also kept up with the housework! I know, right?! In every room but my office. There will be a major cleaning in that area when the Orders of Service are complete. (And by then it will probably need it!)

But alas, The Magdalene Poems were put on hold whilst I worked on said liturgical and domestic matters. Next week should see their return though, as I’m dedicating two hours in the morning to the liturgies, and the entire afternoon to the poems. It will be so good to get back to them!

And come the Spring (and oh yes! please come Spring!) I will have one more day a week to write. The Mister and I go to a greenhouse out in the county every Thursday morning to bring back veggies for our Food and Fellowship Mission. We were just discussing how long we’ve been doing this, and as near as we can figure it’s been at least a dozen years, likely more. I confess I’ve wanted to retired from “the run” for years now, and I’ve been dropping what I thought were some pretty hefty hints about it, but The Mister has remained oblivious…until this winter, this dreadful, dreadful winter. Having to rise early in the morning, clean off the car, drive to the mission, clean off the Mission van, drive out the greenhouse (on county roads, mind you – there’s a saying around these parts that if you drive off the townline, they don’t bother trying to pull you out of the ditch. They just throw a handful of dirt over you and say a prayer.), load up the van, drive back to the Mission, unload the van, drive home and lately all this in sub-zero temperatures or dodging snowstorms, has worked to change The Mister’s perspective somewhat. He’s ready to give it up. He suggested we quit end of September. I suggested August. And then somehow the time frame kept getting shorter and shorter until we finally decided on the end of March. Eight weeks. Two months. Plenty of time for them to find another driver.

He will be so grateful not to have to face another winter, and I will be so grateful to get my Thursdays back! Oh my! It’s going to take some getting used to, but I’ll happily adjust! The “run” took place in the morning, but our whole day was structured around it and shortened because of it. I have to get up at 6 a.m. to get my exercise in before we leave – not something I anticipate with relish. The Mister heats up some soup and tea to take with us so at least we have something warm to eat on the trip, but it doesn’t take the place of The Mister’s breakfast. (He makes THE BEST breakfasts!) And it seems we’re playing catchup all day long until we have to go out again in the evening for choir practise.

So, it’s time to step down. And I can’t wait!

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