Rose Madrid-Swetman

— Random Thoughts, Stories of Life, and Questions about the Journey —

December 29, 2007

2007 Reflection oh… and Dec 2006

Category: All Posts,Stories of Life – Rose – 3:26 pm

I was thinking of writing a reflection on 2007 when I received an email this morning titled “One Year Later” a comment on my “Meeting With Mark Driscoll” post.
I clicked on the link and was taken here
I read through the posts and the comments and felt sick. I will leave it at that.

Highlights from 2007

2007 is a bit of a blur to me. Between family, friends, church, Turning Point and grad school, I need to look at my calendar to remember.

Unfortunately I began the year with a bit of a health scare. I had a cycle of migraine headaches that ended up lasting from late December to almost the end of January. Upon having my eyes examined as one of the numerous tests and doctors I saw they discovered something that could be either nerve damage or some kind of growth in my brain. I ended up having brain scans and all kinds of tests. It ended up being nerve damage to the nerves that connect from behind my eyes to the optic nerve. It is not a serious condition and can be corrected with eye glasses. I fought migraines almost the entire year. In September Rich (he makes coffee for us every morning, started using decaf, didn’t tell me until 3 days into it) and I stopped using all caffeine and I have not had a migraine since!

Bakke Graduate University
I continued grad school. I always seem to be behind but I love it! One highlight was teaching a session for the incoming doctoral students in January and June. This is a dream for someday… to teach part time in seminary as an on the ground practitioner. I continue to be amazed at how Bakke’s unique seminary, connecting practitioners with academics is the kind of seminary Brian McLaren wrote about in his book “New Kind of Christian”. I remember reading that section several years ago (before seminary was even an option for me) and thinking, that’s a seminary I would love to attend.

February – March
I spent two weeks in India for a course for Bakke Graduate University. You can read highlights here. I loved India, the people, the colors, the smells…

Our community journeyed through the Lenten season together using Henri Nouwen’s “Show me the Way” reflection. We met every Wednesday evening for soup, bread and sharing our journey.

I attended the Feast of Saint Patrick. What an amazing group of people. The Roman Catholic part of me envies having a beautiful building, St E’s, the intentional living in both the Convent and the Brown House. I hope I spend time in the future with these fellow travelers.

Along with Off The Map we hosted the Missional Matrix event. Scot and Kris McKnight were with us as well as Todd Hunter. We have known Todd for several years and it is always good to be with him. I have read Jesus Creed for a long time and so meeting Scot and Kris was an honor. We had a blast.

April – May
April – Easter! I love Easter. I love the Lenten season leading up to Holy Week, Palm Sunday and then BAM! Easter – Love Wins!

In May we had our annual women’s retreat. This is one of the highlights of my year. Women in our faith community go on retreat held in a beautiful setting overlooking Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains on Whidbey Island. This is one of the most bonding times we have together as women in community. We laugh together, cry together, pray together, sing together, cook together, eat together…it is a rich time of relationship with God and one another.

The majority of summer was spent working, leading VCC, leading TP and course work for school. We spent a 5 days with my sister and her husband at their house on Orcas Island. We live in one of the most beautiful regions in the world.

I began meeting with a Peer Direction group as another practice to try to keep myself growing and grounded in God during this very intense season of life. Five of us meet monthly. I love this group! We are four generations of women (I am in the middle). It’s amazing because almost monthly I think, “I am too busy for another meeting” and then we meet and I realize, “I am too busy to not have this meeting”. The depth of listening to God for one another and the direction that comes is one of the best gifts I received in 2007.

September – October

By the time Alex went back to school the first week of September I realized I was exhausted. The first week of school was in and I decided I needed to practice rest even if it was for only 24 hours. I decided that on Friday’s I was not going to be responsible for anything and only do things I wanted to do. I would putter around the house, and cook a beautiful fall dinner, usually roast chicken with root vegetables. I didn’t do it intentionally but it ended up turning into modified Shabbat meal. We would usually invite friends over and it ended up being a wonderful time. No agenda, no church business, just good friends, good food and good wine.

In September I agreed to be the Area Pastoral Care Leader in our area of churches. This is an honor because I don’t think there has ever been a stand alone woman in the Association of Vineyard Churches USA to ever break out beyond local church leadership. Diana Butler Bass said to me, “so you’re a bishop”…

By mid-October Friday nights were taken up beginning with a trip to Texas. I went with a small group of women to meet with the National Director, Bert Waggoner and his wife Evelyn to discuss how to empower women in the Vineyard on every level of leadership. I met some wonderful women that I know will be life long friends.

Arriving home from Texas the following weekend we had our second annual Turning Point Dinner and Auction. You can read about it here.

November – December

I began November attending the Off The Map Live Event. As I stated in an earlier blog, I think it was the best event to date. Brian McLaren spoke in our church that Sunday a.m. our recording computer crashed so unfortunately it was not recorded.

Rich and I went on a 5 day cruise to Mexico with the NW Regional Leadership of Vineyard. We had a great time! We had never been on a cruise and frankly never that interested. It was a great gift. Lots of rest and good, good times, oh and a bit of work actually got accomplished!

Ray Bakke was with us the first Sunday of Advent. You can listen to his message here. I am a very, very fortunate woman. My life is never boring. Sometimes I wonder how this has all happened. In the past two years so much has converged at once, wonderful wonderful life dreams and deep personal pain. The paradox of holding joy and sorrow never escapes me for long.

Advent and Christmas were wonderful. I think every year I readjust my expectations of Christmas. Even though I love Christmas, the past few years Christmas was not the same. I can’t explain it. This year I used Maggi Dawn’s “Beginnings and Endings” as well as some other Advent reflections and I realized – I love Advent, and leading up to Christmas it made Christmas somehow more meaningful, less about the hustle and bustle of shopping and the rest of the busyness of the season.

Though it’s all a bit of a blur – I am thankful, for my family, for my friends, and for the awesome community called VCC. The opportunities and the challenges of life, the joy and the sorrow, the mistakes and the successes…I consider them all gifts from God.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Happy New Year

1 Comment »

  1. Very nice post, Bishop Rose! 🙂

    Comment by Pat — December 31, 2007 @ 11:02 am

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