I was baptized and raised in the Methodist Church long before it became The United Methodist Church. I’m a native Kentuckian who feels a bit displaced living in Florida. I met my future husband when we were classmates in the first grade, and then we ended up in the same UM church when my family transferred membership to another church. I graduated from a small UM-affiliated college with a degree in Religion and Philosophy, on the pre-ministerial track. My intent was to go on to obtain a masters degree in Christian Education, but instead I ended up marrying my husband and supporting him through graduate school. His work as a hospital professional within the Veterans Administration is the reason we have lived in Kentucky, Texas, and now Florida. I took my own early “retirement” in 2003 in order to be able to travel with my husband on his frequent business trips. We are the proud parents of two adult children: our daughter, Laura, who is married to a wonderful young man and is employed in computer technology and support at a large university, and our son, Ryan, who works as an IT professional. The head of our household is a rescued cat named Spooky. My husband and I are active members of our UM Church near Orlando, FL.
Why do you blog?
I originally did not intend to blog, but only registered as a commenter on a friend’s blog. Six months later, I decided to do something with that spot and write something. That was in July 2006. By January 2007, a fellow blogger sort of inspired me to start up a second blog, and then invited me to join the MethoBlog. I guess I would have to say that my primary reason for blogging is for the mental exercise (and it boggles the minds of my kids, my nieces, and my nephews to think that I would do this!).
What has been your best blogging experience?
Having my kids compliment me on a post.
What would be your main advice to a novice blogger?
Well, I do still consider myself a novice, but I would encourage the new blogger to be honest, proofread everything, visit other blogs and leave comments…be conversational. And play nice.
If you only had time to read three blogs a day, what would they be?
That would be a difficult decision. There are quite a few that I try to read (or at least check on) each day. I try to start my day by reading Carolanne’s Reasons to be Thankful Today (as well as her main blog, COutsidetheBox), simply because it reminds me to think about all my blessings. I enjoy reading Art’s blog (what a character!). I like the variety of goodies on John’s blog (make that cash, please!). I always check my daughter’s blog, although she stays too busy to keep up with it much. I like what Questing Parson has to say. I enjoy Will’s blog. I always hit the MethoBlog aggregator because you can hit the highlights or pull out the articles that attract your attention at that point in time. Please, please, please don’t make me choose only three!
Who are your spiritual heroes?
You mean, besides Jesus? I’d have to name my mother most of all. She raised the five of us on her own, taught us manners, morals, and insisted that we go to church. She listened to our prayers, and was always available to listen to our thoughts and concerns. Even though she is widowed, suffers from many health problems, and has been a “senior citizen” for a long time now, she is such an inspiration! She is lay leader of her church, chairs the social committee, is active in the women’s group, works in the preschool, and helps to feed the masses (and then cleans up afterwards)…and much more. Most of all, she loves God and will tell anyone she meets! I want to grow up to be just like her!
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m actually in between books, because I’m anticipating a run to the library and bookstore. I’m participating in a very in-depth Bible study on Romans right now, and my personal daily Lenten readings are in I and II Samuel, Psalms, and Mark (this is a reading program that members of my church are doing).
What is your favorite hymn and why?
Oh, tough choice! “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” would have to be one of my favorites. I love the tune, of course, but I also love the reassurances of God’s love and saving grace. These lines are from verses not commonly sung in most churches:
I felt my Lord’s atoning blood
close to my soul applied;
me, me He loved, the Son of God,
for me, for me He died!
Look unto Him, ye nations, own
your God, ye fallen race!
Look, and be saved through faith alone,
be justified by grace!
Can you name a major moral, political, or intellectual issue on which you've changed your mind?
That would have to be the death penalty. There was a time when I supported it, no questions asked. I have changed my mind…’nuff said.
What philosophical thesis do you think is most important to combat?
There is no way that we’ll ever know the complete truth about everything and anything while we are still here on this earth. It’s just possible that we’re not all correct.
If you could effect one major change in the governing of your country, what would it be?
As I get older, and as I observe the challenges being faced by my mother and my mother-in-law, I realize the importance of the need for better health care reform. Medical insurance and health care are issues that need to be tackled; affordability and accessibility are critical to us all.
If you could effect one major policy change in the United Methodist Church, what would it be?
Ummm, sometimes, it is best if I just sit back and keep my mouth closed.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
Be loving, forgiving, and accepting of each other, and keep Jesus in the midst of everything.
What, if anything, do you worry about?
What do I not worry about? Everyone that knows me knows I’m a worrywart. My biggest fault is my failure to turn my worries over to God and quit worrying about the things that are out of my control.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything that you'd do differently?
I would pay more attention to those in the know and take better care of myself. I’d stay more physically active, eat more nutritiously, and exercise more. Then, in my later years, I wouldn’t have to work so hard to lose weight and get in better shape.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do now)?
I don’t think there is a perfect spot. I live in Florida; I love the winters here. However, I’m a native Kentuckian and I do get homesick! When I visited Alaska and Washington State, I fell in love with those areas. I’ve wished that I lived in North Carolina and Tennessee, and I miss living in Texas. I think I could be happy living anyway as long as I’m with my hubby. If and when grandkids come into the picture, I may wish I lived next door to them.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I like crafty things – I do cross-stitch, basket-weaving (no jokes!), and other little projects. I am working on a massive genealogy project that started out as a request from my mother to organize her late uncle’s work and continue from where he stopped. It has expanded greatly from there, which is a scary thing.
What is your most treasured possession?
Being unable to think of any thing that I treasure most of all, I tried to think about this question in terms of “what would be the one thing I would grab in case of a fire?” It was still difficult. I believe it would be most important to me to be sure that any person in the house would be gotten out, and if there was time, I would probably only think of what was convenient for me – assuming it was nighttime - my glasses and/or contacts, a change of clothes, my purse (which never has any cash in it). I don’t believe I actually have a treasured possession; I would be sad to lose family photos and videos, and all of my genealogy research and other things on my computer, but there is no tangible item that I truly treasure more than the people I love.
What talent would you most like to have?
I’ve always wanted to be musical – I can’t play any instrument, I can’t read music, and I certainly can’t sing.
If you could have any three guests, past or present to dinner, who would they be?
Of course, the expected answer is Jesus, but He’s always present! I love history, and I believe I would choose historical figures, such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Wesley. Ronald Reagan would be a great guest, too. Hmm, so would Albert Einstein. Do I have to stop with three? There are guests I would choose who aren’t so famous, such as certain ancestors who left their homes and loved ones behind to travel to this strange country, whether for religious freedom or exploration or whatever. Just imagine the personal stories they could share.