Thursday, October 23, 2008

No Subject. Just Life. Really.

I guess the title of this entry says it all. Nothing really falls into a catgory. I'm just sharing about my life. Really. That's all. Work is going well, I'm so glad to have a SP on board. Such a refreshing change. It's been interesting for me that with this new change there has been this bit of cautiousness that has risen up within me. I knew that it was related to my field ed experience. It took a bit of time to work through some of the apprehension and realize that I am not in the same environment, the clergy person that I am working with now has a very different style of leadership than my previous one. That I am respected here by leadership. But it was still this really bizarre experience when I was having that initial conversation with S and he brings out this file folder with the internship package info in it that I gave our EP. There was the part of me that literally wanted to dodge the subject all together. He was actually positive about the possibility of mentoring me. We've had some great conversations since his arrival and during his time as Interim. While I may be more fluid in my ministry praxis - we have a great meeting of the minds. And what I appreciate more than anything is his openness to consider (not necessarily agree) with new ways to look at something. He wants to engage with his staff and that is so refreshing on many levels.

The reality is that I just don't want to be burned again in this whole ordination process. It's not happening here but I am waiting for that "shoe to drop" feeling. Someone once said that it is normal to experience that type of expectation when you've had a significant loss in your life. So I just continue to do what I have learned to remind myself that life doesn't always play out the way you think it will - sometimes it's GOOD! The good news - the apprehension departed within a day. A record for me.

I feel as though I am once again in this deep growth place spiritually. I'm coming to terms with some residual crud related to my perfectionism again. I started seminary again the last week of September. Already it's week 4 and midterms are here. I have a lot of reading in my Gospels class, and it isn't easy always an easy read. We're tackling two books by N.T. Wright and the Introductory Text book by Achtemier, Green and Thompson, and an exegetical methods book by Michael Gorman. I'm finding I can't breeze through reading these days. I'm making notes in the margins and really trying to improve my comprehension which seems to very low than I care. The fact that it seems to take more concentration frustrates me and lo and behold kicks in that "I am willing to do whatever I need to go get that A." I know that the grade doesn't validate who I am as an individual. That comes from who I am in God. Yet I have come to the conclusion that grades do matter to me. They are more important to me than I realized. It is a sense of accomplishment when I can achieve an A. What is interesting here at the Menlo Park campus is that the pressure on grades isn't as much as it was in Pasadena. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that there are so many going on to PhD's and the extension campus doesn't have that option. It just seems that here there isn't that edge of competition and expectation that everyone brings their A game here. I had to laugh because the other night in Greek someone shared that for many here "C=M.Div" In my world a C=F=why bother? Needless to say that I am finding myself passing on outings with friends, trips to the City to stay home and study. Will it be worth it in the long run? You betcha. Just sucks occassionally.

S's installation is coming up in a week. It's much different in style and tone than one I previously was part of. That one was full of pomp and circumstance. It sometimes felt as those we were attending a coronation. This one is about 180 degrees different. Very reverential, simple, humble. No pomp. Some circumstances. Building Bridges is over - another incredible weekend. Even our childcare kids did more service projects this year than last. They carved out pumpkins and cut/arranged flowers creating centerpieces for the dinner tables at our Saturday night celebration. I posted a couple of pictures above - hopefully I can figure out how to center them - don't know what happened but oh well.

Today was one of those days where I really missed my long time friends. I miss not calling my newly married friends to hear about what is up. They're in nesting mode and I don't want to disturb them having been married 3 and 4 weeks ago respectively. Facebook has been terrific in connecting me back with friends from college, high school and LA - and I guess it just makes it rough when you wish you could just drive over, walk across the breeze way or down the block and see them. One friend in particular M, I'm missing more now after chatting with her for the first time in months. We're planning to connect when they fly out to Disneyland in December. I had the flight scheduled within 15 minutes of reading her email with the dates they were going to be there. And my vacation request in as well! Of course, it didn't help much that I watched the "Sex in the City" movie the other night with my roommate D. I was completely surprised at what a great job they did with it. And I missed the girl's nights we used to have in L.A. and at the Oregon Coast. I wouldn't trade SF and what I am doing for anything but wish there was a way I could have my cake and eat it too when it comes to location and close friends. And of course the theme of what you'll do when you love not just "in love" with someone made me seriously consider eHarmony - but where do you pencil in a relationship between work and seminary? Is there a way to have a healthy, loving relationship, satisfaction in work/minsitry and a successful seminary career? I guess I'll never know unless I attempt it. Stay tuned for more...