Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I’m playing with redirecting my Blogger account to Tumblr, just for fun. I can’t import all of my old posts, but got most of them I think. 
Today’s session at Wellspring was on Death and Dying. For a sometimes dark subject, there was a lot of laughter (not uncomfortable laughter) andreal, down-to-earth discussion about denial, birth/death themes, fear, and planning.
When I got home and had a chance to read the news, I found many photos of Joe Paterno’s funeral procession. I grew up in State College, and JoePa was an eternal figure. He and my dad were the same age, and it’s hard to believe they are both gone. When I was reflecting on death today, it was a realization that I don’t think much about it, except as something far off. And my partner was surprised to find out that if I had a year to live, I’d slow way down - living moment to moment, enjoying the relationships that sustain me. 
I wasn’t surprised. I am so busy finishing up school, and a year of major life events, that the idea of having a reason to slow down and just live life moment to moment, instead of as a headlong rush, was an imagined relief. Not that I hope for a death sentence anytime soon, but it was a reminder to stay in the moment as much as possible.
I’ve been hearing that message a lot lately, from different readings and encounters. It’s something I believe and try to practice as much as a busy mom of four can, but it’s a constant struggle. My daughter’s therapist said this week that thinking about the future causes anxiety, and that really resonates with me. I’m much more centered when I can be in the moment and not just trying to rush through it to the next one. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Theology on the Brain

After a 3 day convocation on economics, I entered into the world of Multifaith Theology for my first week of intensive classes. It's pretty awesome, but I'm a complete theology geek. I love thinking about theology and all of the big questions of life - and how starting from one point rather than another - whether it's doctrine, social location, dialogue within a tradition or between then - changes the questions and focus of the theology. Just defining religion is a daunting task in and of itself.

I often think that all of life is about theology, whether people recognize it or not. How we approach the big questions of life - why are we here, what happens when we die, why are we here? These all have ethical implications that can be addressed in some ethical, moral, anthropological, theological, ultimately religious way. (at least etymologically).

So that's what I'm up to. My oldest, who accompanied me to Chicago, is with my sister for the week and I'm missing her, though I'm so busy keeping up with reading, writing and assignments (as well as getting caught up on a class from last semester), that I don't think she'd enjoy being around me that much right now. My two littles at home are sick, which I feel terrible about. My husband isn't getting any sleep. My other teen is heading off for her first time skiing (in Vermont no less) and I'm nervous about her newly healed broken shoulder. I'm sure it will be a blast though.

Right now, my head is full, so I'm off to watch the first episode of Shameless. Shameless, I know ;)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ready (?) for the Windy City

So, today is my last day at home until January 21st. There was a grocery run. There will be a haircut. There will be a meeting in Syracuse with my Lay Internship Committee tonight. There is lots of anxiety.

I really, really love Chicago. I love Meadville. I love my classmates and the faculty. I love my sister, who lives near there. I love my husband's niece and her family who are stationed at Great Lakes. I love Trader Joe's. I love Whole Foods. I love morning prayer with my roomies.

I *hate* waking up without my five-year-old to snuggle with. I will miss my dog. I will desperately miss my husband. I will miss my other two kids and their humor and hugs and snuggles and arguments. I will miss my huge bed and having Wegman's a mile away.

This is my last long trip for seminary. Some people think I'm pretty crazy for going, after the last six months we've had. I think I'd be crazy not to. Writing and friends and walking and theology are my anti-depressants. I will have 2.5 intense, crazy weeks of all of those things. And Emma's coming with me, and will get to see all the things I love about school. And she'll get to visit my sister, who is awesome and already survived raising four teenagers.

My last J-term. It seems impossible! Convocation, RE for a Changing World, and Multifaith Theologies. A mock MFC interview. Worship services galore. And we're in the Loop now - a brand new territory to explore, though I'll miss U of C and Hyde Park, and the Starbucks I walked by almost every day the last two Januarys.

And of course, there's a snow storm hitting Rochester today/tomorrow. I'm hoping that by the time I get through Erie and head toward Cleveland, it will be behind me.

So there's excitement and anxiety. But my reading is mostly done, my class prep is most done, the car is mostly packed, and I'm ready to get my last kidlet snuggles. Thank heavens for Skype.