Here’s a Top Ten Tuesday list of things going on in my life, which, you’ll understand as you read through, is why it’s being posted on Wednesday!

1. Work, work, work. I am working both as a preschool teacher in our church’s Mother’s Day Out program and as a substitute teacher in the school district. So far I have not worked five days a week, but there have been plenty of times I have worked four days a week. I have subbed from pre-kindergarten to middle school and all ages in between.

2. Pulpit supply. I had the opportunity to preach at First Presbyterian Church in Durant a couple of weeks ago and opportunities are coming up for more preaching gigs.

3. AJ has a new doctor–yay! This has almost been a full-time job–calling doctors to see if they will a) take new patients, b) take our insurance and c) take AJ with his diagnosis. Often once they learn c, they will respond to a that they are not. Luckily, due to connections with friends back in Boston, we found a new pediatrician for AJ in Dallas that we will be seeing tomorrow! On top of that, I have been following up on services and other recommendations for AJ, which requires A LOT of paperwork. And more phone calls. And follow-up calls when those calls aren’t returned. And faxing documents. And so on and so forth.

4. I am now a contributing editor at [D]mergent. This is very cool and very exciting! My husband has had a few articles published there and I am working with some of the newer writers as well as trying to write for that site. Don’t worry, I’m still writing here, but trying to keep up with both!

5. I’m applying for a Doctor in Ministry program. Stay tuned!

6. Home improvement. We’ve been spending a lot of weekends painting, adding trim, and doing other things around the house to make it our own and to make some small repairs. I’m hoping to be finished with the home improvement projects soon, but we always seem to find something else that needs to be done.

7. Regular church life–I’m teaching our 4th-6th grade Sunday Evening class and having a blast! We are studying biblical figures and next week we will be on to the Judges. The kids love it because they are reading short bits of the Bible, learning about the main people and what is going on, and moving through the Bible quickly. I’ve been amazed at how much they are remembering week to week with the simple Bible study and craft/activity (we are using a curriculum book, I just can’t remember the name of it now!). On Sunday mornings, I’m now sitting with AJ in the congregation and going with him to Children’s Church as he still is a handful for the teachers (and just does not understand the routine yet, but he is starting to learn).

8. My mother just came for a visit. She was only here for five days, but we had a great time taking her to the Chickasaw Cultural Center and learning more about Oklahoma history and heritage. It was nice to see “Grandma” with her grandson.

9. I’m running a 5K next weekend. I’ve run several before having AJ but ran my first one post-partum last fall and am running again. However, I’ve been training with the dog and she just can’t keep up the last mile, yet the first mile she is pulling me like crazy! I’m also in a “Game On!” Diet challenge. You can find the book on Amazon. It’s fun, but it’s also serious and I’ve been trying to stick with an earlier bedtime, no caffeine in the evening and more healthy eating habits. My team one last time, but this month has been a bit of a struggle starting out (there are three of us who are clergy and three who are laity, and we play for high stakes–gift cards to favorite stores!)

10. The world. Anyone else feel overwhelmed at times? I will admit that I have turned off the news and tuned out a lot of things going on. I worry about our country, our political process, and the voices that have been silenced. The election process has been so drug out the last few years that it seems we never get a break to be “non-political.” And with the “Occupy Wall Street” protests, I worry that the voice of the very people who need to be heard will be silenced. The poor, the homeless, the uninsured, the underprivileged children–their voices will be drowned out by the sounds of violence, by the news of those imprisoned and by the conflicting messages being shared.

The biggest protest I ever participated in was against the war in Iraq before it started–in the fall of 2002 when George W. Bush came to Boston to support Mitt Romney’s campaign for governor, over 500 protesters gathered near the waterfront to protest the call to war. I remember while being with those protesters, some were calling for violent action against the president and against the government. While those rants were shouted out over loudspeakers, the clergy that I had come with gathered together in a circle. We were silent, holding hands, and we prayed for peace. Then we sang “This little light of mine” and many of the other protesters joined in. But as I left that day, what I learned is that mass gatherings of people, even if they all believe one thing in common–such that war in Iraq was wrong–don’t necessarily hold anything else in common, and that the violent words and actions are the ones that mar such demonstrations and get widespread attention in the media.

So while I am excited to see people standing up against injustice, I worry that this is another protest that will get bad coverage and be drowned out by negative voices. I also am concerned that the people who are really hurting from our government’s choices and Wall Street policies aren’t being heard. And as one statement on Facebook put it, when the 99% in our country win the battle, we need to remember that we are the 1% of the world. We benefit from the oppressive business practices. We benefit from sweatshops and cheap production in other countries, we benefit from lack of child labor laws elsewhere in the world, we benefit from the lack of resources in other countries to an overabundance in ours–even if it is only for the wealthy elite here, we still have much more than most of the world. We can’t forget that, even as we protest and stand up for those in our country in need, that we are part of a global community, brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world.

Ok, so that #10 was a bit of a ramble. That’s why this ended up on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. 🙂

Here’s a bonus #11: I’m also preparing to lead more retreats this spring!

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