Saturday, March 29, 2008

snickers, tea, scene

-Getting to hang out with my friend's dog Snickers for the weekend. My friends are out of town, so I'm watching there adorable dog. It's so great to have a dog around!

-A cuppa tea. I know I blog about tea a lot, but it's amazing how it just makes you feel so good.

-Participating in the Columbia talent show by doing a one-act play with a friend. I've never really acted before (other than being Juliet in fifth grade) and it was really fun. Everyone was so supportive afterwards, and all of the other acts were so funny.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

sundae, scottish, support

-Since my pictures made many of you drool on your computers, I thought I would have another food-related glimpse: delicious Ben & Jerry's "Vermonty Python" ice cream (coffee liqueur ice cream with a cookie crumb swirl) to celebrate a day so warm I kept my windows open.

-Sharing a cuppa tea with the Scottish computer tech who came and fixed my laptop. He appreciated me recognizing his accent as Scottish and I appreciated getting to talk about Northern Ireland.

-Feeling really supported.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

now we're cookin'

-Feeling really inspired to cook again. I was craving chicken enchiladas, and so I made them from scratch with fresh tomatillos, onion, tortillas, pepper jack cheese and chicken. I love tomatillos--they're like tomato's funky cousin. They're not at all as tame as tomatoes, but instead are tangy and green, and like little presents all wrapped up in their coverings. I believe I've finally succeeded in making enchiladas...they were muy deliciosa!

-Someone coming by right at the moment I was unsuccessfully trying to prop open the garbage bin lid while hoisting my trash bag into it. He held the lid open for me and made the entire process much easier.

-An adorably tiny daffodil plant to remind me of Ireland and spring.

Monday, March 24, 2008

thirsty, thoughtful & punchy

-Watching a little bird land right on a water dish, get a sip, and then fly off again.

-My Puerto Rican professor addressing a student from Peru named Richard as Ricardo. I could tell he appreciated being spoken to with his name pronounced correctly, and that little gesture made by my professor was very thoughtful.

-A night out to dinner with friends where everything was, for some reason, hilarious. We all just cracked jokes and laughed those really good, deep belly laughs. It was so fun.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

weird, relaxing, free

-During the children's sermon on Easter, I read the resurrection story, but had the kids say "Allelujah" every time I said "Jesus." They went along with it, and even said some "Allelujahs" in the middle of my prayer. Once I said amen, the little boy next to me muttered to himself "that was weird." I laughed out loud. At least he'll remember the weirdness of his Easter.

-Being taken to lunch by Arch and Pat, and having a great view of Stone Mountain Park. It was delicious and really relaxing.

-Getting free pizza from Melissa's brother who works at a shop, and spending the afternoon munching on pizza while Melissa read me her seminary application essays. They were so good that I got a bit teary from a couple of them.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

chat, look closely and clean

-A fun night at Thinking Man's with seminary friends. Conversation topics included a discussion of whether the Quran was allowed to be read in Arabic or not, random singing of church camp songs and the struggles and challenges in discerning a call. I think these kind of discussions only happen in seminary.

-Buying flowers for Easter and studying the detail, texture and colors closely, thinking I just may see God.

-Finally getting long overdue cleaning done and feeling the relaxation that comes with a tidy apartment.

Friday, March 21, 2008

sticking around, confiding, whooshing

-When I was finishing up schoolwork at my favorite coffee shop, they suddenly started playing really lovely Irish music. I decided to hang out a bit longer and enjoy it.

-Someone beginning a conversation with "I'm telling you this as my Pastor..."

-The whoosh sound of sugar being poured into my sugar bowl.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

so generous! & oh the places you will go

-I went by Jessi's room and saw that she had some really lovely earrings on her dresser. She said that she made them (which she does really well) and that she got the glass beads in Mexico. Then, she gave them to me, saying she could easily make some more. So thoughtful!

-Getting an email from a great old friend, Andrea. She's from Germany, and we both worked in Northern Ireland at the same time. It was great to catch up and she even invited me to her wedding in September! So thoughtful! I hope I'm near there in September, and can make it.

-From my window I can see planes flying behind the trees like flashing, shooting stars. I love to dream about where they're going.

Monday, March 17, 2008

rock & egg

-While we were reading scripture aloud in church, the teenage girl sitting next to me gave me a rock sign at the part saying that Jesus appeared first to the women. After church, she told me that she thought this was Jesus' way of challenging patriarchy and valuing women. I agree!

-Watching a beloved movie and saying all the lines along with it.

-The enthusiasm of kids & youth hunting Easter eggs.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

lent berries, craic, dance

-The way raindrops dress every plant in dazzling, clean, color-accentuating clothes. (An aside: you know you've been in seminary too long when you name a picture like this "Lent Berries." Haha!)

-Lots of good friend time...what N. Irish folks call "good craic." Maybe it's catching up after my trip, or the realization of only two months left here, or the procrastination of my midterm work, but I've spent a lot of time with great friends this week.

-Seeing Karen preach and then perform one of the most heartfelt and joyful liturgical dances I've seen. I found myself teary (but things seem to affect me emotionally more these days...children laughing, the strum of a guitar...I think I'm coming into a season of vulnerability and openness before God. It's wonderful.).

Friday, March 14, 2008

a great day

-Sitting outside and hanging out with a friend in the first warm evening of spring. We had a great time catching up, and even saw a shooting star. When discussing that this time of waiting feels for me like a very long Lent, she said, "no, Whitney, you're not in Lent. You're in Advent. You're waiting with hope."

-A day full of fun times with friends: Mexican food for lunch, smoothies in the afternoon and a 'Girls' Night' movie fest.

-Birds enthusiastically chirping.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

a pilgrimage home to belfast

How do I even begin to describe all the ways I encountered God in Belfast? God was everywhere, and it's hard to even put most of these encounters into words, but I'll try.

Seeing the Botanic Gardens again. Melissa and I walked Goldie through the gardens, and were in complete shock that we were actually there again.

Having coffee and a cinnamon scone at Common Grounds once again. I used to go here all the time, and it tasted just the way it used to. It was such a centering, comforting experience.

The wonderfully giving and kind dog Goldie.

Meeting new friends and seeing old ones again.

Seeing Melissa, who I used to work at Mo Ranch with years ago. I haven't seen her in almost 5 years, and apparently Ireland was where we would meet again.

a pilgrimage home to belfast

-Getting a pennywhistle serenade from a little girl I used to work with.

-Gorgeous daffodils signaling an Irish spring is on its way.

-Seeing Lois and Peter again--three years older, lots taller--and just as hilarious.

-Hanging out with Roberta. She's such a great, funny friend.

-Belfast city centre looking lovely in oddly sunny weather.

a pilgrimage home to belfast

-Busking in the city centre of Belfast with Melissa and Jonee (and pretending to be like 'Once').

-Joanna and Richard.
-Singing songs on our last night and reveling in the joy and sadness of it.

-Having someone next to me on the plane who understood my sadness at leaving, and cried with me.
-Feeling really, really called to a place.