Wednesday Prayers: Moving

Remember the Flood Stink?  It hasn't gone away.  It was the last straw.

We've been thinking about moving for a very long time, and on Sunday (our 7th anniversary), we signed a new lease.

We'll be saying goodbye to:
  • Our first home together.
  • ...where we've had many delightful guests.
  • The neighborhood route we've been running together for years (where Dave started running!).
  • Kind, helpful neighbors.
  • An excellent pizza place just 4 doors down.
  • A tiny comic book store with a charming proprietor.
  • The library down the street where Dave has volunteered for ages.
  • A very spacious home.
  • An avocado green refrigerator,  (That's one goodbye we're happy about!)
  • A creek next to our building that has ducklings every year.
  • Our heron friend at the nearby pond.
  • A lot of stuff (the new place is tiny).
  • Our favorite fishmonger.
We'll be saying hello to:
  • Old friends just blocks away.
  • A bustling downtown with galleries, shops, and restaurants.
  • A CLEAN, SAFE apartment with a great landlord.
  • A slightly dodgy neighborhood.
  • A tiny, cozy space, where we'll try to think carefully about what our living space really means to us.
  • A very short commute for me.
  • A chance to offer hospitality to my fellow students.
  • A new train commute for Dave (sometimes).
  • New neighbors.
In all, it's a good trade, but it's important to me to remember that there are celebrations and losses living side by side.

For all of us in the midst of upheaval and transition, Lord have mercy.

How about you?  Are you in a transition I can pray for with you?  Is there anything else I can be praying about in your life?


More Bad Theology

I don't believe that God gives anyone cancer, but apparently I do believe that sometimes, enough is enough and God should do something to get the bad stuff to back the hell off.

What the hell, God?  This is completely unsat.


Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

I've written half a dozen posts in my head, and then... well, I've stumbled to my desk and the dining room chair and into bed.  Not a whole lot of leftover energy right now.  SO, that means it's bullet time!

  • We've done all the flood cleaning we can.  The ugly couch is officially HISTORY!  But so are a couple bookshelves (books were OK, whew).  Rugs are gone, as are a few other pieces of furniture.  So be it.  We were all OK.
  • Nothing's been done to clean the building itself yet, so the basement/crawl space still has a distinctive Flood Stink.  That emanates into the apartment.  This is not OK.
  • The mess has increased neighborliness.  The woman next door had dinner with us last night!  Love it.
  • I'm so, so grateful that I started on some of the reading before classes started.  Because of the chaos at home, that might be the only thing that's...well... kept me afloat, as it were.
  • I still love reading.  I'm a completely and totally promiscuous reader.  It's all awesome.
  • My preference for small groups over large ones is pretty strong.  No kidding chaplaincy feels better than parish ministry.  How did I overlook this in The Process?
  • Holy Crap, I'm still working on all the stuff that goes along with being denominationally homeless.  I somehow thought that would be parenthetical here, because there are students from so many different traditions (as well as a few others who are undeclared, like me).  Nope.  Comes up again and again.  Ouch.  Clearly an invitation to prayer, as it's just a big mess in my heart.
  • I'm taking:  Women & the Old Testament, Intro to Theology, Intro to Old Testament, Addiction & Recovery, and Church History (plus the weekly formation group that's mandatory for all MDivs).  My expectations about which classes I'd like best were exactly wrong.
  • I feel deeply at home in libraries.  And very few other places.
  • Edith Piaf is perfect library music.
  • People hug here.  Which makes it an anomaly in Central PA. I think maybe I used to hug people?
  • Dave and I had a fairly normal Sunday morning, and that was the best thing that's happened to me in weeks.  So nice to just run, and have breakfast, and enjoy shared stillness.
  • I miss my bloggy friends.  
  • My affection for Denison is unabated.  Being a commuter student is just not the same as being right in the middle of school all the time.  It's right for this season in my life, but I'm so grateful that I had 4 undergrad years that were ridiculous and wonderful and full.  Also, I miss the diversity of majors.  (Why were so many of my favorite people in totally different disciplines?  I dunno, but I loved that.)
I clearly have the verbosity of the sleep deprived, so I'd better sign off before I get even nuttier.  One last thing, though, and this is important:

I realized last week that so many of you have been with me for years, encouraging me and supporting me, weeping when I weep, and rejoicing when I rejoice.  I'm so grateful.  I hate to imagine formation, discernment, and friendship without you.  There's a strong Texas contingent, a healthy Ohio delegation, and remarkable others without whom I can't imagine having started seminary.  Thank you.  Really.  You've been a tremendous gift.


On the Just and the Unjust

I jotted notes in my margins today to tell you all the marvelous things that are happening at school, but that's all been trumped by... EVACUATION!

Our apartment flooded.  Heck, the whole damn region flooded.  The amount of rain here is unreal, I've never seen anything like it, it's kind of terrifying.

I'm incredibly grateful to be safe, and accompanied by our (completely traumatized) cats.  Also grateful for Dave's hotel discounts! 

I often sing old gospel songs when I'm scared (well, not when taking tests or interviewing... more like when driving, or having an MRI).  On the half hour drive to Harrisburg, I sang, and three cats joined me.  It's hard to say which of us sounded worst.  Also:  "streams of mercy, never ceasing" has a whole new meaning for me now.

Dave's stranded in NYC.  Yet again, a natural disaster has kept him from getting home.  Poor guy-- I think it's hard to be helpless while your wife is dealing with an emergency.

But seriously, y'all:  NEW COUCH!  Right?  This totally justifies it.

Prayers for everyone here, please.  The woman who checked me in tonight said that they're taking people out of her neighborhood by boat.

Wednesday Prayers: Voices

Yesterday, as I listened to my fellow students introduce themselves, I was struck by the variety and beauty of their voices.  There are a lot of southerners in my class, and there's no accent in the world more soothing to me (I thank Miss Lynn for that).  There's a woman from West Africa, and if she could read the charts and data in one of my texts, I'd actually enjoy the experience (raw data gives me hives).  There are deep bass voices and soft sopranos.  It's gorgeous. 

A college friend came back from years abroad sounding Scottish!  Bizarrely, it suited perfectly, and was a delight.

At the end of Oasis Ministry's spiritual director training,  I told my classmates that when I started, I felt like I'd totally lost my voice, and they helped me find it again.  A particularly dear friend told me that it was apparent to him all along, I had just stopped being able to hear it.

Thank God for each of our voices.  God spoke us into being, and our own voices must be part of our work as co-creators with God.  I pray that I can learn to respect my own, to celebrate others', and to listen for God's.  I pray for the wisdom and compassion to sit with those who have been silenced.

As you listen to the music of the voices around you, what are you hearing this week?  May I pray about any of it with you?


The Night Before the First Day of School

I finished my laptop bag, just in time!

The outside:

 The little harness bit for one's laptop:

And the zipper pocket.  Its cheerful lining is evidence that OOPS! is the mother of invention.  The Juicy Fruit is from Dave, because it's good for your soul.

And all three pictures are sideways, because it truly is the day before school, I have to go pack my gym bag and lay out my clothes, and that's just the way it is!

Dave's headed off to NYC tomorrow, and that's just the way it is, too.  On the up side, I've got a cousin in Canada pulling for me to have a good first day, and that went pretty far towards perking me back up.

I'll have Intro to Old Testament and Ministerial Formation tomorrow.  Wednesday, I'll have Church History and Intro to Theology.  Thursday, Old Testament, Women and the Hebrew Bible, and Addictions and Recovery.  I'm especially excited about the last one-- the books for it are WONDERFUL. 

More later, y'all.  Sleep tight!



I've got the Veggie Tales song, "God is Bigger Than the Boogieman" stuck in my head, and it's a good thing. There are a zillion things I'm looking forward to about school (I know, I know-- I owe you an update!), but there's someone I'm very afraid of whom I will almost certainly run into on campus.

But God is bigger. Bigger than him, and bigger than my fear. Who knows-- perhaps by being in proximity again, God will help me to see this man as the size he really is, and not as the giant I've turned him into. He's not huge, and I'm truly not small.

Prayers toward that end are, of course, always welcome.