Friday, November 30, 2007

thinking, listening, comforting

-Going to Thinking Man's, a seminary tradition. I haven't been in a while, and it was so great to see so many people and flit from conversation to conversation. Some non-seminary friends even showed up not knowing I would be there, and I got to catch up with them too.

-Listening to a song called "Falling Slowly" and looking out my window to see a single leaf fall slowly.

-Comfort in a large cup of tea.
I'm out of town for the weekend, but will post again on Monday.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

swish, support and shine

-The swishy sound of a brush on canvas.

-Feeling a little overwhelmed with work and having wonderful people immediately offer to help.

-A brilliant moon shining through trees. It was both eerie and beautiful at the same time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

laughter and kindness

-The sound of eight friends laughing together all at once. During the course of our hanging out, this happened several times.

-A bright yellow tree outside my window that was a beautiful contrast against the blue sky.

-A kind compliment.

Monday, November 26, 2007

borrowed, breakfast and 'brellas

-Wearing my mom's (correction) 31-year-old velvet coat again.

-Coming into work a bit tired and hungry this morning and finding fresh coffee and cinnamon rolls.

-The plink-plunk sound of rain hitting my umbrella, leaves and puddles.

Friday, November 23, 2007

again and for the first time

-Drinking coffee in the morning with my family, all wrapped up in a cozy blanket (me--not my entire family).

-A moment of complete stillness outside in the cold night, looking over the moonlit yard, where I was by myself but did not feel at all alone.

-Watching my parents feel their granddaughter kick for the first time.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

reunited & refreshed

-My sister waving with both her arms at me when she came to the airport to pick me up.

-Seeing my good friend Angelina in my favorite old coffee shop from college, and catching up on life since we've last seen each other.

-Walking with my Mom and Aunt, enjoying the coolness of winter and that gorgeous, massive Texas winter sky.

(One more: laughter coming from the next room which makes me want to leave the computer as soon as possible!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

wind, light, water

-Watching bright yellow leaves fall like rain, only more gracefully. Rain mostly falls straight down, while these leaves danced in currents of the wind. I couldn't take my eyes away.

-Light reflected through my glass-bottled Coke. After completing papers and applications, I indulged in an afternoon spent eating takeout Thai food on the square while reading.

-The relaxing feel of having my hair washed before a haircut. It wasn't quite Robert Redford in Out of Africa, but still pretty nice.

Monday, November 19, 2007

delightfully decadent

-Being in the right place at the right time.

-The little girl in the pizza shop who squealed with delight when her mom handed her a cup for her drink. How great would it be if we adults held onto our childish enthusiasm?

-Song sneaking over to me in the quiet study room of the library to present me with a delicious caramel pecan chocolate.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

once upon a swell season

(thanks for the pics, Jessi.)
-Seeing the best live show I've seen in ages. I saw Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, known as "The Swell Season." They were both in this brilliant Irish film called Once. To have them literally right in front of me playing songs I knew so well from the film was both surreal and inspiring. I loved when Glen explained that the hole in his guitar (the same one he played in the movie) is because it's so well loved. He's even been offered a brand new guitar by Takamine (because they're embarassed at the shabby shape his is in), but he remains loyal to his original one.

-Being cheerfully greeted in a parking lot by someone I don't know.
-A proliferation of ladybugs around the doorway to my dorm. Today, I came inside and noticed one had landed on me and come in as well.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

a great night

-Noticing that the big tree on campus that was damaged in a storm has mostly healed over. It's amazing how stubtle the process of healing can be.

-A feeling of deep joy.

-Standing around the kitchen with friends, drinking wine and eating homemade corn tortillas folded into mini quesadillas with black bean soup. The conversation, Cuban music in the background and impromptu dancing was delightful.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

mail call

-Mailing in my application for mission service (the essay part). I'm so excited!!! Next comes references and the presbytery endorsement form, but I already had a professor (my mission prof no less) offer to be a reference. It's really happening!

-Putting on a warm, fuzzy, oversized sweatshirt and spending the whole morning wearing it and my houseshoes as I did work inside.

-A steaming cup of mint hot chocolate to keep me warm during class.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

hijabs and highways

-Getting lost, which led to a beautiful drive through autumn-colored trees while listening to the radio.

-Rain. Georgia's in a severe drought, so the cold, steady rain is very welcome. I enjoyed wrapping my scarf around my head like a hijab and running through the rain to my car.

-While Karen told stories of her Middle East trip, she must have seen the longing on my face, because she gave me a big hug and said, "I'll visit you in Bethlehem when you live there."

Monday, November 12, 2007

praying and listening

-Catching a live show of Damien Rice on the radio that was so great I stayed in my car to listen after I got home.

-The little boy at dinner who blessed his food by saying loudly, "God, eat this food!"

-A powerful prayer used in my Feminist & Womanist Ethics class. It's by Carolyn Stahl Bohler:

"Infinite One,
May we have a right perspective on our very real finitude as well as our infinite capacities.
May we not fool ourselves into thinking that we can live forever or that we are capable of doing or being all things, even for a few people. May we not be self-sufficient. Yet may we never limit what you can do through us. May we have a little more wisdom, a little more love.
We hope for and expect much. May we know when these hopes are too high or too low. May you accelerate us or put on our brakes, in a gentle way.
Gratefully, Amen."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

tree of life

-Finding out that Ash and Clay are having a GIRL! I'm so excited!

-Being assessed as ready to receive a call and then be examined for ordination. For you non-seminary types, this basically means I can put my resume out there, and hope a missionary job involving reconciliation ministry comes my way. My committee was overwhelmingly encouraging, and I am just feeling so "full" at the moment.

-A hobbit-kind-of-Saturday. It began with me wearing the beloved and much desired velvet coat of my Mom's from college, which of course reminded me of what hobbits wear in Lord of the Rings. Then, I actually had lunch at the best little restaurant this side of Middle Earth, the Hobbit Cafe. It's in Houston, and I seem to always go there as a celebration of some milestone in this journey to ordination. Lastly, I found the greatest traveling bag that has a big tree of life on it, that is somewhat similar to the tree of Gondor in LotR. I know, I'm a huge nerd. Isn't it great? Oh, and best of all, the bag is fair trade! You know hobbits would shop fair trade. ;)

Friday, November 09, 2007

encouragement, whimsy and canopy

-Seeing a woman who remembered me from a meeting at the seminary last year where I shared my call story. She asked how it was all going, and was really encouraging, and I don't even know her.

-One of my favorite professors (Kathleen O'Connor) returning my small wave with a graceful twirl of the scarf in her hand at me as she said, "Hello!" It was such a joyful and whimsical way to be greeted.

-Walking under a canopy of bright trees and sunlight.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

flying, well-being and tomorrow

-A bird gracefully flying in the bright blue sky.

-A thoughtful email from Ed that said I was doing a good job as the youth director. He also ended it with "shalom," which is so meaningful to me.

-When we part ways, the way Jessi always says, "See you tomorrow!" Somehow, it's always true, whether we plan it or not.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

soil,trees and prayers

-The earthy smell when I water my plants. I remember learning in microbiology in college that some microbe produces the earthy smell when water hits soil.

-Red trees, followed by gold ones, followed by orange ones...

-Finding a really great prayer for class tonight.

Monday, November 05, 2007

dreaming of India

-Being invited over to dinner by Ruata and Nutie. They made me the most delicious Indian food, and I enjoyed conversation about culture and language with them and their daughter Pui Pui and her friend from Afghanistan. Even the bitter leaves and seeds they eat after meals called "pan" was a fun experience (although not nearly as delicious as the curry), especially because of their laughter at the look on my face as I ate it. I really appreciated being invited into their home.

-Well-earned sleep.

-Dan stopping by to bring Fred over for a visit (see last post). I was running late and frantically searching for my keys, and Dan instantly saw them sitting on a table by the tv. A different vantage point always helps.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

fred, matthew, katie, peter...

-The power of a dog named Fred to put me in a good mood. I dogsat for a friend for a couple of hours, and it was so nice to have a pet around.

-Being coerced into playing volleyball outside on campus. I am really not athletic, but was delighted that there was no pressure from my team. The first time I actually served decently, both teams cheered for me. So nice.

-Hearing Matthew Perryman Jones and Katie Herzig (along with Peter Bradley Adams), and being so familiar with their music that I knew what song they were playing by the opening chord.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

life imitating art

-Getting an email from a youth asking if she could bring a friend to our lock-in this weekend. I love that she's bringing a friend!

-The elderly man behind me in the grocery store checkout line who was only buying a card with a kitten on it. I enjoyed picturing the smile on his granddaughter's/wife's/daughter's/friend's face when (s)he opened it. I was also aware of how much effort it must have taken this man to go to the store on his own, pick out a card, and then wait patiently standing in a really long line.

-Doodling in class turning into art.