Sunday, December 31, 2006

Three Beautiful Things

Thanks to JTB for turning me on to this wonderful blog. I found my resolution: to start each post with three beautiful things. And even though it's a day early, I will start now.

1. Sleeping in on a Sunday, sipping coffee, and reading the LA Times (my favorite newspaper).

2. That I can talk my husband into taking me to Souplantation just about any time, even though he hates it. Thanks, sweetie.

3. Tyke's eyes.


I'm sorry, I don't mean to be so negative. I'm sure reading a bunch of whining is really a lot of fun. Of course, this is my journal of my thoughts, and you're voluntarily subjecting yourself to it. That means occasionally it devolves into teenage angst. That's just me.

Actually it's helpful to have this record. As I think back to what I was doing last fall, I had a regular prayer time (actually a few - I did several daily offices) and was reading a lot of Scripture and other theology books (mostly early church stuff). Then school happened, and everything went to hell. I kept up the prayer practice for a while, but as I got more and more depressed and stressed, especially surrounding the church for which I worked, I withdrew from God's presence. Perhaps I felt guilty or unworthy. Perhaps I just thought I was too busy.

Now I wonder if I don't feel a little burned, afraid to be around God people. They can be so high strung. My emotional state is still such a wreck. I can't seem to get over this hump. I probably need to switch meds, but of course there's no way to do that since I have no money and insurance won't cover psychiatry (to be fair it covers 50%, but at $300/visit, it's still out of reach even with the coverage). I kind of feel like I got the shit kicked out of me all fall long. It wasn't really any one thing, unless it was my health (physical and mental and emotional). I'm still licking my wounds. I know I'm feeling sorry for myself. But I'm also scarred and not looking forward to putting myself out there again. My health is getting worse than ever. I get fatter and fatter and consequently hate looking at myself (in photos especially). I can't breathe anymore - at night especially, but also when I walk around. My lungs feel back the way they were when I lived downtown and coughed all the time from the exhaust. I'm back to coughing all the time. My eyes itch constantly, as does most of my skin. Lots of the time I feel like I can't breathe. I live on allergy pills. It's so weird how different parts of this city have been better and worse for me. South Pas has been the one place I could breathe. Maybe we should go back. Oh, what I wouldn't do to be back in my unaffordable, giant, beautiful, inconvenient-to-school apartment!

But what I'm trying to say is that now I'm letting all these things - movies, books, crossword puzzles, even sleep - take up most of my time. And I have crowded God out. Which is ridiculous because I've had very few obligations for the last 3 weeks. It's all about habit, isn't it? Upholding the habit of God communion while we're busy or not. I don't even want to go to church today. I want to spend my probably last Sunday off (before my new internship starts) cocooned at home.

I've been sleeping 10-11 hours a night. I'm pretty sure that's unhealthy. But before that, the first week of vacation, I slept like 4-5. I started off vacation waking up earlier and earlier each day, until I was waking up regularly at 5:30 then 5 and finally 4. Then halfway through our trip it switched and I started sleeping until 8 then 8:30 then 9. Now I'm waking up after 9, which is unheard of. Part of it is these sleeping pills, which I think are wacky (my last refill was a different brand from what I'm used to and I don't think it works the same, even though it's supposedly the same meds). But sometimes I don't take one and I still sleep weird. They mainly help me get to sleep. And they make me groggy.

Tomorrow I really want to go to the Rose Parade, but that means getting up at 5. I don't know if I can do it. On Wednesday I have to be at class at 8! How will I manage? I know I will get used to it again. But I'm already so stressed about starting school.

Last fall I went into school with great anticipation, excited about my classes and internship, happy about my life with God, ready to finish off seminary. Now I've pulled back and I won't finish for at least another year or more, I'm afraid (!!) of classes, I'm nervous about my internship, and I feel like life with God is gone. Ugh. I've put myself in a bad position. It would maybe be senioritis if I were actually graduating, but I'm not. I guess it's just a funk. Bummer.

I'm reading the paper and all these people are talking about resolutions and the new year. I only have obvious ones (exercise, pray more, relax, etc) and don't much have the energy for them. I'm going into this year so negatively. I know it. But I don't really hate it. I'm too tired to do anything about it. So I'm just kind of sleepwalking. And I know that's a stupid way to go through life but it's all I got right now. I don't even think I wish it were different. I'm so freaking apathetic.

But I'm not, really. I mean, we're still giving money away even though we can't afford it, and I'm happy about that. We're spending too much on organic, free-range groceries because I won't eat otherwise. We're walking nearly every day (which means I cough more - I guess we're back in more of a city environment here). I've found things to really care about, like Africa and AIDs and food. The latter has been a wonderful diversion this break. I need to write the Christian version of the Omnivore's Dilemma soon or somebody is going to beat me to it. Already in today's LA Times there was a review of The Gospel of Food, a new book by a USC sociologist. Gee, have I jumped on another trend? (it's just a thing with us: whatever John and I get into turns into a cultural trend in a matter of weeks or months, usually. A local store carried a perfect t-shirt for us: Everything you like I liked 5 years ago)

But yeah, wouldn't that be interesting? To write about food as religion and how divorced it is from religion? And I think I need a Fulbright to go to India and study Hinduism, since they are so good at using food in their rituals. Yeah, that's what I need.

At least I still have a cat to sit on my lap and claw my legs. Ow. And we got the house rearranged and cleaned, so it's less stressy in here. I don't feel so claustrophobic anymore. Although I'm still surrounded by books, now in every room (all 2 of them). But we've gotten some nice things lately to help: a few great chant and meditation cds, and a soft pillow to sit on, and a lovely teapot (called an ipot!) and great tea. And my bamboo plant is getting so big. And we bought one of John's students' works: an icon of St. Francis, which is huge, and I look into his eyes all the time and it's really meaningful. I can't quite explain it but I love to look at it. And we got a ton of wonderful wine in Napa and made new friends. We might even get to go up to help bottle at one winery. And we got a censer and real incense, although so far we haven't figured out how to work it properly. Oh, and we got a lot of chocolate. Nice.

OK, counting blessings is a good thing. Good remedy for anxiety. I suggest you try. Actually, all you blog buddies should go list what yours are and post me a comment with a link. Then I can see how much we are all blessed (just don't write me about your new car or big house!) and perhaps I'll start believing the world's not such a terrible place.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

School doldrums

For the first time I am not looking forward to a new quarter. I'm actually kind of dreading it. I'm really pissy and depressed. I think I'm mainly overstressed because our money's too tight (we're carrying credit card debt for the first time in years and I hate it) and I've grown too big for my clothes and generally hate the way I look. But mostly it's the money. I feel like I should get a job. But how could I handle that?

Anyway, J was pointing out that everybody gets to this point in school, which is the point where all you have left are the requirements you put off so you're no longer taking subjects which interest you. And also I am terrified about trying another Greek exegesis class (my third attempt and I must not drop this time!). I think I'm dreading that the most. The other class, which is history, should actually be fun. I'm nervous about starting the new internship too. Mostly because I have no idea what I'm going to do there. Plus I was just getting used to the old place.

Well if you're a praying type then please ask God to give me some peace and even some pleasure heading back to school. Usually it's such a high point, and I am so excited to get back to learning. Now I am tired and sick of it - not of school, per se, but of the stress and misery and work that goes along with it. And I feel distant from God...not close like I usually do this time of year. I am letting myself focus on non-Godly things like money and stress, and it's hurting me all around. I know it. I just can't do anything about it. I mean, I won't.

And I don't think being poor is a blessing. I know it's often thought of as such, but Dallas Willard in Spirit of the Disciplines makes a case that poverty is not a blessing, and anyone who's ever truly been poor really knows that. If you are doing without NOT by choice it is not a helpful discipline but a painful burden. To deny yourself things like medical care or new shoes for your aching feet or whatever is not a blessing. I understand that simplicity is important and materialism is evil. Believe me, not a problem right now. I'm not saying I want more stuff (there's no place for it anyhow), I'm just saying I wish I didn't have to wonder every month whether we could afford rent or not, whether I should put off the tithe (almost never do, though), whether I can actually pay off the credit card or need to carry the balance, and so on.

Anyway, I am sad to be sad about school. What a bummer for a normally enthusiastic student. Hopefully I'll get to class and feel better. I'll be with two great profs this time, TA'ing for one, and I even get to lead class this week since he's out of town. That will be fun. There are good things. I'm just all swirled up in emotions. It's not good. It's not even PMS time. I'm not eating too badly. I don't know what is up with me. This is a rough year. I think I might just be a happier person when I have a steady paycheck, health insurance and a 401k! But then how will I ever do all the things I love...hardly any of which lead to such luxuries. *sigh*

As John would tell me, it's a pickle.


I'm about 50 pages into The Omnivore's Dilemma, and I can't put it down. Who knew reading about corn could be so fascinating? But it is. And I already know a lot of this stuff from my many food books and documentaries. But Michael Pollan has a very engaging style and puts in a lot of interesting science amidst the food facts and anecdotes. There is a reason this is on many best of the year lists. It's not only educational and entertaining, it's extremely important. I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a long sucker, but it's worth the read. At least try out the first section, and see if you're not hooked after reading about corn sex, industrial agriculture, and the way Iowa turned from green to black. Fascinating stuff. My only regret is that I have the library's copy so I can't make notes in it!!

Oh, also we watched United 93 last night and it was extremely well done. It's very sad and upsetting - you'd never believe that stuff really happened if you hadn't lived through it - but I was glad I saw it, and I had been quite hesitant. The DVD has hours of footage with the families meeting the actors and so on, which is extremely moving.

So those are my two big recommendations! We also enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine and Water and Lady inthe Water (but we love M. Night, even The Village, so we're not typical), and we're watching TransAmerica and Good Night and Good Luck next, but our biggest excitement is for Pan's Labyrinth, which just came out in theaters. I also want to see Perfume and Babel and Blood Diamond. But school's about to start again, so I doubt those will happen. We must get to Pan, though. Really can not wait.

OK, back to Pollan!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

God with us

Unto us a child is born, unto us a king, a savior, is given. The Word is made flesh. God is with us. Glorious indeed.

Today we read from John, chapter 3, 16 and following. It is interesting to read this passage carefully. It says that Jesus didn't come to condemn the world but that those who were condemned were already so, before he showed up. Those who are in darkness choose to be there and that is their condemnation. They are not punished by an angry God. God simply shows the way to the light and hopes all will come. But God doesn't come to condemn. We do so to ourselves.

Just try reading the passage again. It's beautiful (and sad) to think about in this way. It's also really a good Christmas message. Here we are about to celebrate the ultimate reaching out of the infinite God toward us. Those of us who do not respond are punishing ourselves. God is loving us, strong as ever. Oh, that we would turn to the light and find salvation! Salvation, meaning the best for us, the way to live our lives that puts us in closest contact with our true selves and with our creator. Who else could better show us how to be? Emmanuel - God WITH us.

OK, I'm not really able to concentrate here. I have a 5 year old running around me jabbering about Santa and too much other activity. I'll probably be gone until after the holiday now. So many Christmas blessings to you!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Book rec

At the house where I'm dogsitting I found Barbara Brown Taylor's new book, Leaving the Church. I picked it up and couldn't put it down. I read most of it yesterday afternoon. Then funnily enough (and quite happily), a friend gave it to me this morning at church. What luck!

Being BBT's work, it is of course very well written and engaging. But I felt so sorry for her. Her description of the priesthood is very similar to what I've been experiencing this fall - long hours, lots of demand and expectations, the pressure to overgive of oneself. She also adds things I haven't yet experienced but I'm sure will: the need to appear perfect (no drinking or swearing or really having much fun at all), to put on a happy face no matter what, to put everyone else ahead of yourself. She talks about how she had to entirely quit the priesthood to discover the Sabbath, shared power in the priesthood of believers, even historical-critical Biblical interpretation (did this woman go to seminary?). She stopped being a priest and suddenly she was allowed to be a human being - to have her own emotions, to explore questions and other faith traditions, to freaking take a rest. She basically admits to never being authentic as a priest because she couldn't. She couldn't risk her parishioner's faith, so she pretty much held to whatever party line she thought she had to. Most centrally, she found that she could not be a person as a priest, she had to be a priest - the mouthpiece of God - and not show weakness or failure. For her, the only way to recover her humanity was to leave the church.

Wow. I mean, I feel so bad for her. If she only knew that most people my age and younger are never looking for perfection in our ministers. We want to know real people. We want someone to walk along the journey with us, to ask questions with us, not to always have the right answer ready. We want someone who laughs and swears and smokes a cigar now and then. My favorite priests, and the ones most effective in my spiritual walk, are the ones who have been real people like everybody else, who felt absolutely no need to put on a happy face or pretend to know all the answers.

And that is the kind of priest I would have to be, if I ever became one. I learned this fall that I haven't the energy to be the other kind. And I don't want to be. I have no interest in killing myself, in emptying my own humanity and spirituality for the sake of others. If I am not whole and human and if my own soul is not well-connected with God, how on earth could I possibly offer wholeness and humanity and soul-care to others? That's how I see it, anyway.

And I think my committee did too. They always called me on it when I started talking about how a priest is "supposed" to be and whether I fit it. Thank God for them.

It's funny. I write about my foibles and failures on here and tell them to my friends, and they tell me that it is that very openness about my own shortcomings that makes me a good person to counsel them or listen to them. You guys tell me all the time that my own struggles will be an asset to a life in ministry.

Yet I also hear the church - the larger Episcopal church - seeming to say that the things that appeal to you and to younger folks are the very things that will block me from priesthood. My unwillingness to work long hours and demand for a Sabbath and quiet time and personal formation. My depression and emotional rollercoaster rides. My shyness. My openness. Oh, that is a big one. You just can't be that honest, people tell me. I wonder why not. I'm supposed to try to be like God. Isn't God always honest? Even when it is impolite? I mean, check out today's gospel text. John the Baptist is not exactly mincing words.

But he's not God, of course, and he was obssessed with finding an apocalyptic savior who would bring about the end of the world. Which turned out to be really not Jesus' deal. I was struck today with the juxtaposition of John's speech in Luke 3 and Jesus' in Luke 6: both talk about sharing coats (John says give the extra one, Jesus says give the only one - plus your shirt), about finances (John says take only what you should and don't extort, Jesus says lend and don't expect repayment at all), and both say something about God. John says God's Messiah is coming to separate good people from bad and to burn up the bad. Jesus says his Father is merciful, and is forgiving and kind even to the wicked. John says clean up your act. Jesus does too, but he doesn't say that our actions are the final word. It's up to God in the end.

Anyway, I thought that was a neat comparison study. I will perhaps sermonize on it sometime. Meantime, I've gotten off track and I need to start packing for my VACATION!!!! Oh, I SO cannot wait. This time tomorrow, God and traffic willing, we'll be settling into a B&B room with a fireplace and spa tub (my 2 requirements). I'm so excited I could just pee my pants. I can't wait to get away with John and rest and be pampered a bit. Somebody else to do the dishes, you know! And make the bed and all that. Nice, nice, nice.

So I'll probably be away for a few days, but hopefully this is enough to chew on until I return. Blessings this end of Advent to you. The excitement is building: our King and Savior now draws near!

Friday, December 15, 2006

myopic focus on genitals

Here's a good article by my old boss Diane. A great quote:

"With a social system gone awry and a religious vision to match, believers look outside themselves to find and judge sin. Out of control, they seek to control others and their bodies. But faced with the challenges of nuclear proliferation, bioterrorism, environmental cataclysm, and the growing gap between rich, can we really afford a myopic focus on each other’s genitals?"


I'm currently fighting against relearning Greek. Bleh. I hate it. I hate that I waited so long to relearn it. Biggest mistake of seminary career was not taking the exegesis class back when I still sort of knew it. Ugh. I need to find a book titled something like "So you've forgotten all your Greek".

I find myself all about studying food classics this break, when I'm not forcing myself to digest Greek (or retch it up). I'm reading Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (The Physiology of Taste) and MFK Fisher (The Art of Eating). Great stuff. I've also found a book titled "The Women in God's Kitchen" all about various mystics and saints and their food interactions, and I've got "Don't try this at home" which is simply funny stories from professional chefs. We'll be listening to "Fast Food Nation" on our road trip. I just watched a great PBS 3-part docu called "The Meaning of Food." I enjoy themed periods of study. The only problem is that I always get hungry reading this stuff!

I suppose I'll be off now. Got to try to find another Greek book. Mounce just isn't doing it for me. It feels so also-ran.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The worries of life

"Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life..."
(Luke 21:34a, NASB)

This verse really struck me this morning. Jesus is talking about being prepared for his return. I know that my work this Advent is on my addiction to my stuff and anxiety and worry. I believe I (with God's help, of course) can work this whole confusing upsetting mess (apartment, robbery, etc) into something useful. Something to help me grow. And I know that involves letting go. Or at least, recognizing that all things come from God as gifts, and if they are taken away, God is still there. The point of stuff, of things, of persons, of animals, of anything, is to offer thanks for it back to God. The point is not the stuff itself. Love of it for itself is concupiscence, disordered love. Our failure is in not realizing that all good things come from God, and our love is for God alone. These things can be wonderful when they lead us to praise God. They can be traps if they don't.

So I am trying to learn from the loss of many things, from stockings to comfortable accomodations. It's funny, as I shop for J's stocking (and he for mine), I think about how silly it's going to be when on Xmas morning when we have nothing to stuff. I don't know what's going to happen. I guess I'll hand over his goodies in the bags from the stores. That's depressing.

At any rate, I can keep reminding myself of what is important and what is right, what to focus on. I really can't wait to get away on this trip. I need to be away from here. Plus it will be nice to be in a home that feels Christmasy. And I don't even have to set it up or clean it up! I have lots of great stuff to read, and puzzles to do, and movies to watch. And bubble bath. It's going to be very nice.

My hope is to release those "worries of life" and instead turn my attention to Christ, coming once and again, and even now into those parts of my life that need his presence, reassurance, and love. I long to let go and put everything in its proper place again.

Blessed Advent.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What is up with this?

So it's been interesting...since my break has started I've been waking up earlier and earlier every day. It started rather normally, around 7. And then rolled back by half an hour each couple of days. Now I seem to be settled around 5:30.

5:30!!! It's my vacation! Time to rest and sleep in and recover from my quarter. And yet my bod - or really mostly just my mind - is waking up earlier than I ever did during school. What is up with that?

I don't know if I have stress that could be causing it. I have my sleeping pills and they usually fix this but not now. I don't so much have stress as stuff hanging over my head - decisions and nervousness about upcoming stuff. Like going to the new church. I just realized I've finally kind of become comfortable with my current internship and now I'm starting over. That's intimidating. I have to meet all new people and learn a new system. The comfort is that since it's a tiny church, there won't be much of a system or many people to learn.

And then Sundays, like today, I wake up wondering what I should do about church generally. We've gotten tired of driving to Beverly Hills and then the confusion over the use of funds has caused us to be annoyed with them. And when we go, it's kind of become foreign to us. We don't know many of the people there (being a large urban church there's a lot of transience), even most of the leadership has changed. We love the new preacher, but don't know her at all. Actually, all the priests with whom we had relationships are gone. We have a deacon we love, but you know, one person isn't much of a church community. We don't have time to be involved beyond Sunday morning, and it's pretty much prohibitive to get over to that side of town at any other time. I still love the services - they are my favorite place to worship. I miss singing so much, but choir's not a possibility. And that was my primary community there. So I guess what I'm saying is it doesn't really feel like our church anymore. Which is weird, because we have tried to leave several times before when we moved far away, and we just couldn't pull ourselves away. Now after all this time it's no longer about the distance, it's about the fact that there's not anything to take me over there. It's not worth the drive because there's not much motivation to get there. Which is all very interesting because I know other people who are leaving right now too. One is doing it because there's not enough inner spiritual formation stuff there (which is probably a fair assessment - that stuff's been suffering for a while) and I'll bet I'm feeling that as well. My faith is growing into such a quiet, inward thing. Something I must ruminate on and spend a lot of time in meditation and journaling (which this blog is, by the way). I get so much education in my classes at Fuller that I don't need a church with educational programs. I get my community at seminary too, I think. But even if I didn't, there's not really any community at All Saints for us. We simply don't have friends there anymore. Our closest friends moved away, one couple across the country and the other went with the church plant (which we should really go check out one of these weeks). So they are not there. Good sermons and worship can theoretically be found elsewhere, although for us it's been a struggle to find something we're happy with.

But I think that's why St. Barnabas seems to be working for us - because it's so different from ASBH that we're not really comparing it. And somehow, even though there's not many people our age there, we do sense there's a community to be part of. Maybe we're just at a time in life when we really need a small church. I've not really been part of one in my life so I think it is good to try.

So this leaves me with two big problems. The first is our pledge. What do we do about that? I think we will probably just mail checks to the church. We pledged low (based on what we think we'll make but hopefully we'll make more) so we should finish it off pretty soon. Then we can start tithing wherever we're attending. The second is my discernment. But after this quarter I feel more and more like I'd be a crappy priest. And my supervisor basically has been telling me that the stress I felt was pretty normal for a priest so if I can't handle it I'd probably better rethink if I can do this job. But she did see me at a really bad time. There was more than just the stress going on, I think there must have been a chemical issue in my brain. Because I'm always great at juggling a million things. So the breakdown this fall had to have something more going on than just a tough job. Although a big part of it, I'm sure, was the feeling like I was back in Hollywood with people who work insane hours. And another part was my frustration with primarily doing party planning instead of anything related to my seminary education. I left the event planning business a while ago. It's not why I went to seminary. And the last 2 days were once again filled with running errands to make a party happen. Which just feels dumb. I had been questioning whether I made the right decision to move, but I think I did. When people ask me what I did at my internship, I can really only tell them event organization. And then I feel sheepish because I know that's a stupid answer, but I have trouble coming up with more. Sigh.

ANY way I was trying to write about discernment. Nice committee I had. Would be cool to keep them. Although one of them is leaving BH anyway (the person who wants more inner life). So they might have fallen apart on their own. Maybe I transfer discernment to wherever we wind up, although I have no idea where that will be. I don't see us long term at St. B's, but maybe God has other plans. I am tired of this inner struggle each Sunday morning about where to go to church. I feel like I should go to BH, but many times I had to go to Pasadena, and I don't even know if I want to go to St. B's, but at least it is close and I do always have a very pleasant time there. I certainly feel like I worship there. I certainly feel like it's a family that is slowly accepting us two, even though we totally stick out (a young white couple in a church that is almost entirely elderly black ladies). So maybe that is where we will wind up for the time being.

Everything will probably change in a few years anyway, when John goes on the job market and we go wherever he can find work. I so need him to have a secure job with benefits. This adjunct thing is exhausting. I hate wondering each quarter whether he'll have enough jobs to get by; I hate that he has to teach 4-6 classes at 3-4 institutions just for us to get by; I hate that he's about to have no health insurance. I've never been very comfortable with instability although I've certainly learned to deal with it since we've been unstable pretty much our entire marriage (except for a few years when I worked at 'SC, but then I rocked the boat by deciding to go to school - I guess I'm not content in comfort!). No, it's not that I'm uncomfortable with instability, it's that I'm impatient for things that can happen once we have stability. Basically I'm getting super-anxious to have kids, and I just don't want to be pregnant without decent health insurance - not at my age. Plus, pretty much every square inch of our tiny apartment is already taken (you actually have to move furniture to walk through the living room) so it would make things all the more crowded.

Speaking of my tiny apartment, have I mentioned lately how much I absolutely hate it here?? What a terrible move this was. And it's so much worse because we had an awful time moving and swore not to do it again. But I don't think I can stand it here past a year. It's so crowded. I'm so claustrophobic in here. The cats fight because they can't have territory to themselves. John and I fight more than ever. The only really usable room is the front one (our back room is constantly dark) and it is smaller than my last office was when I was a working gal. Possibly smaller than any of my offices. The kitchen is horrible - not only did we give up tons of stuff (that now & then we say, where is that? oh yeah, we had to sell it), but we're always breaking things because you can't help bumping the dishrack or cabinet or whatever. We definitely can't both be in there, and that sucks because we enjoy cooking together.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to complain so much - I am grateful for a roof over my head. I am glad I found a place we can afford - as much as I loved my old place, we'd be in such financial trouble if we'd stayed. But I'm really pissed at Fuller that they won't let us live in their inexpensive places because of our cats. Sometimes I think we maybe should have given them up. But no, no way. Not only are they my kids, but I've had to give so much up already. I know it's just stuff, but it is hard to completely rework your life. It's freaking hard to live with less. And then some moron steals a bunch of stuff and you spend Advent hurting because all your memories and traditions are gone. It hurts to go into stores and see displays, it hurts to hear music, it hurts to see this ugly-ass apartment where I couldn't even put up anything if I wanted to.

And did I mention we just had to do over $800 of work on the car?

Yeah, finances suck right now. But I'm holding on for dear life to this vacation in a couple weeks. I will not give that up. I don't care if we are debt forever. I need it bad. We do together.

Well the sun is finally coming up so I will close this. Gotta start thinking about where to go to church this morning. ugh. Blessings.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Tapped out

Sorry, I have nothing else to say.


I am really confused about whether I made the right internship decision. But there's nothing I can do about it now. And I can't talk much about it on here b/c too many people involved read this.

Oh, and I need to shoutout to the person at Princeton Sem who reads - Tony told me you say hi. Hi. Who is it?

OK, back to vacation now. Oh, over the week before Xmas I'll be in Napa, then Mountain View (w/a day in San Francisco), then Sonora. If anybody wants to hook up.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Yeeeeeeaaaaaahhh, baby!

I am SOOOO done! New world record! Tuesday at 1:00!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Getting it done

OK, I have one final down and 2 papers to go. I hope to hit it hard and be done by tomorrow (maybe?). Then I've got stuff for my internship to do, and stuff for the prof for whom I TA, and I'm trying to write an essay to submit to a book proposal (that's a bit of a stretch, but who knows?). Actually, I would like to pull something from the blog. Does anybody remember anything great I've written? :)

The first final went OK, but I make one huge embarassing mistake, confusing two major issues from the period (trinitarian vs. dual-nature of Christ). But I wrote a really lovely essay on the wrong thing, which showed boy did I know that topic. So I think I'll be fine. Obviously if you go from the wrong starting point, there's only so much that can affect things. I mean, I guess some profs would just throw the whole thing out, but I know this prof is generous and besides, he should be awfully impressed with my encyclopedic knowledge of the wrong thing! ha ha ha

I was quite happy with how I did with quote identification, which is always just a nasty thing to throw at people. I hadn't even studied several of them but I think I figured them out. I didn't do as well on identifying terms (that's where I made my big boo boo), mostly because somehow he managed not to pick the ones I studied. Isn't that always the way.

But the best part was the final essay. The question I chose was so great! It asked the question: Is the baptism by the hands of a schismatic bishop valid, from the point of view of both Augustine and Cyprian, and then asked us to consider how their opinion revealed their vision of church and ministry. But THEN he asked us to relate it to the contemporary question of ordination and ministry of gay and lesbian priests! Which is exactly what I had already done on this very blog!! So I was super excited because I'd already thought it through, made the connection, and could almost even give quotations from memory (I decided that might be a bit obnoxious, though). It's such a great way to help people see how very important this quarter was, even for our ministries today. As the prof mentioned, he sends people out of his classes knowing they won't retain much of it, but hopefully at some point in their ministry they'll recognize something that has been dealt with before, and they'll have a better idea how to deal with it.

And really, what could be better than that?