In 20 days I will have my Master of Divinity Degree. I can't believe that. I have been packing little by little and this morning I was packing away a shelf of knick-knacks (NOT my only shelf of knick-knacks, though I certainly wish it was) and I came across this candle that was a part of a worship service during orientation before I began my first year. We went to a retreat center and talked about seminary and worshiped together and got to know each other. It's funny-- I remember some of the conversations I had but I don't even remember who I had them with. Some of my best friends now I can't even remember talking to at orientation. In our classes, we share with one another some of the deepest parts of ourselves. We are with each other through our greatest moments of doubt and certainty, and it's impossible to keep those emotions veiled. There are students graduating this year who I feel like I know so deeply, and some who I may never see again who know things about me that no one else does. That's the nature of Seminary, I think. When I found this candle I remembered the worship service we had at the orientation. We each had a stone which represented our fears and the burdens we carried that might prevent us from fully receiving God into ourselves as we enter this period of discernment. We all sat in the chapel in silence (maybe Dr. Grundy was playing his guitar?) and in our own time we were to go set our burdens down on the altar. I remember what my burdens were at that time-- too complicated and intimate to share here-- and I know that I've picked them up and set them back down countless times since then, but that moment still sticks with me. It all came back to me in this tea candle, all covered in dust.
Today we went to the Magic House, somewhere I've wanted to go for a couple years but it just felt really weird to go without a child. So we waited as long as we could so Evelyn could *kind of* enjoy it. She mostly just stared at everything. She takes everything so seriously. In photos it looks like she's never having fun, but I know her. She had a blast.
To conclude, there are a bunch of links I've been storing up to share. Here we go.
1. This is a blog I stumbled upon while writing my thesis, written by a woman named Judith who is exploring her namesake and the art attached to her. Since a huge chunk of my thesis is about Judith and the visual arts, it's interesting to me. I take issue with her interpretations most of the time, but she's got some okay humor and she's really good at digging up Judith art!
2. The Top 10 Reasons why men shouldn't be ordained, an angry but still humorous feminist rant.
3. A blog I've been reading daily about dressing for the pastoral office. She's humorous and she's got sound theology and she's helping me to figure out how to dress better. I've also been developing my own Pinterest board to help me figure out how I want to dress now that I'm a grown up-- whether I'm at work, at the park, or having a date night. I've gotta figure this out eventually. The Junior's department is off limits now.
4. We've been really loving the search for good children's music. We listen to the Dan Zanes Pandora Channel almost daily, but I've been really loving Elizabeth Mitchell. You wouldn't believe how many well-known artists and bands have children's albums-- even Sweet Honey in the Rock. You just have to dig!
5. A sermon by my friend and mentor in ministry Rev. Curt Ackley, in which he talks about my Statement on Ministry, which is currently being distributed as a part of my profile for my search and call process. I'll post my whole Statement here sometime too.
Adios, friends! Peace to you all!