Thursday, February 28, 2008

the road goes ever on and on...

-Warm sunshine on my face.

-My friend Marc's hilarious magic show. He puts them on for the seminary every so often, and he's a riot.

-A journey! I'm off to Belfast, Northern Ireland tomorrow morning for a week, and am so ready for my former and current life to converge. I can't wait to see familiar faces, drink a decent cuppa tea, have an Ulster fry for breakfast, pet my friend's dog Goldie, walk along my former paths, see that brilliant green again...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

trusting the light

-Waking up with no power. We had a huge storm last night, and so I didn't have power for the the first part of the morning. There was something organic and whole-feeling about getting ready by candlelight and daylight. I felt somehow more earthy, and leaving my hair wet and wearing little makeup was refreshing.

-The tiny bubbles that form on the inside of my vase of flowers. Millions of tiny bubbles cling to the stems and clothe them in light-reflecting beauty.

-Getting my hair cut at a Korean place with my friend Sharon. She translated for me in the beginning, and I showed the woman cutting my hair a picture of what I wanted. As she cut my hair faster than I've ever seen (almost Edward Scissorhands-esque) I felt a moment of panic at the different way she was doing it. Then, I thought that I just had to trust her. There was no way I would even be able to communicate my anxiety to her, so I just sat and trusted. I left with one of the best haircuts I've ever had and a soothing complimentary cup of green tea. It seems God is teaching me a lot about trust lately.

Monday, February 25, 2008

talk, relax, feel

-A really engaging class discussion that connected ministry experience I've had with theology.

-A fun, relaxing night hanging out with friends.

-The feel of spring in the air.

Friday, February 22, 2008

chicken soup for the soul

-Closing an incredibly fun week of leading chapel at seminary. My group was fantastic, and our collective creativity gave me a new love of crafting worship.

-The way that homemade chicken noodle soup made by someone else always tastes better.

-Serving communion to Laura, my former pastor. It was so meaningful.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

joy, warmth, beauty

-Having the Korean Hope Choir from Seoul on campus. There were about 20 people all together, and then came into the library for a tour and an impromptu (heartbreakingly beautiful) song. My friend Jae was hosting them, and he invited me over to meet them. I've learned a bit of Korean from Jae, and so I greeted them all by saying, "Ano ha sei oh." They all replied in suprise, "OH!!!" and said "Ano!" Everywhere I went on campus I kept running into them, and they would always say "ano ha sei oh whi-tu-nee!" They were the most joyful people I've met in a long time.

-Socks keeping my feet nice and warm.

-Dreaming of emerald green and royal blue oceans.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

reconnecting and recharging

-This morning's chapel service. It's my chapel week, and we included a ritual of unbinding of a "Lazarus" figure (i.e. "Unbind him and let him go."). People in the pews participated, and it was so moving to engage in the ritual with a former pastor of mine who is in town.

-An unexpected 2 hours added to my day (class cancelled). I really needed that time.

-A letter from Belfast! Oh, the joy of a physical connection to a place I love. The stamp, the 'Royal Mail Northern Ireland' across the top and even the date listed day-month-year all give me joy. This time the letter's from my friend, Jonee. He's my poet friend, and even wrote me a little fun poem in the letter. In response to my letter saying we should have a pint when I'm there (10 days!!), he said, "definitely, I should be about the time you are over, and a pint would go down very nicely." I can't wait to hear the accent that matches such an interesting use of words.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

great expectations

-A bright orange and red sky on Valentine's Day.

-My wonderful friend Elizabeth bringing me cold-relieving items: a copy of Elle magazine, Twinings Lady Grey tea, chicken noodle soup and kleenex (the fancy kind with lotion). Even the most independent of people (i.e. me) appreciate a little pampering from someone when they're sick.

-The way that being sick forces me to relax in the middle of a really busy time. Getting ridiculous amounts of sleep, watching dvds, letting the dishes pile up and walking around in pajamas are expected behavior. How nice.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

loving the world all over again

-Sue's wonderful sign/coat rack/art by her door from the story people. It says: "Anyone can slay a dragon, he told me, but try waking up every morning & loving the world all over again. That's what takes a real hero."

-A stranger pulling foward in their parking spot to let me in behind them.

-Running into friends in the grocery store.
(oh--one more! Getting letters and emails from Belfast, which get me so ready to reconnect with those wonderful people in 16 days--not that I'm counting!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

whisper, relax, love.

-Pink blossoms whispering of spring.

-A really low-key and relaxing get-together, complete with tales of world travel and impromptu dancing.

-The sweet older man who, in lieu of the usual perfunctory handshake, gave me a big hug and kiss on the cheek as he left church and thanked me for being the liturgist.

Friday, February 08, 2008

ease, gifts and joy

-Having coffee and yummy bakery bread at an early morning meeting, making it more comforting, relational and casual.

-Hearing a classmate who I had no idea could sing belt out "Jesus Walked That Lonesome Valley." The wealth of gifts in this place is amazing.

-Dancing in my belly dancing class and realizing with joy that I kept smiling while doing it. I love it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

lenten the journey begin

-Helping lead the Ash Wednesday service (the beginning of Lent) and giving out the ashes to people saying, "remember you are from dust and to dust you shall return and God's love is yours forever." I wore a stole and felt for the first time very much like a minister of Word and Sacrament drawing crosses on foreheads and squeezing praying hands.

-Arch taking me robe shopping. I know that shopping for any sort of clothes is not at the top of most men's list, and so I appreciated the thoughtfulness, support and patience he showed me.

-Helping co-plan a sermon for youth Sunday with a young person, and being remarkably wowed by the movement of the Spirit in our planning and surprising energy at the end of a long day.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

tell me all about myself

-In our first confirmation class, we had each youth tell five things about themselves to the group. When it was my turn, because they all know me pretty well, I had them tell me things about myself. I was amazed at all that they remembered: that my car is always too cold, that I love talking to strangers when travelling, that I'm from Texas, that I went to Texas A&M, that I lived in Northern Ireland and that I play guitar. They were all talking over each other excitedly to tell me about myself. It was really encouraging and centering.

-Sleeping amazingly soundly after a long, warm bath.

-The smell of chocolate brownies baking.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

let it be

(I've been in Birminham for a couple of days visiting a good friend.)
-Constant and comfortable conversation as we cooked, ate and relaxed.

-Pierce praying for me before dinner and including prayer not only to bless our food, but also prayer for my call and future. The sincerity of her prayer made me feel so cared for.

-Waking up from sunlight--not an alarm--streaming into the room and gently letting me know morning had come.

-Stopping on the way home at the Irondale Whistlestop Cafe in Alabama. This is the site of the book and movie "Fried Green Tomatoes." I had them and, along with a coke in a glass bottle, they were delicious. Watching the train go by the window, I wondered how many people had done the exact same thing before me for decades.

-My mind racing with questions about the future, only to be silenced by the radio playing "Let it Be." Okay, God. I get the hint (remind me later, please?).