Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Hebrew Final

I have been so busy over the past few days working on papers and the like I kind of forgot about my Hebrew final exam tomorrow. Until last night when I was going to bed and realized it was just one day away. I started to freak out a little bit because Paul has a 12 hour shift today. How am I ever going to prepare. Then there is this whole business of the two exams I have to take on Thursday which I haven't even thought about.

Then from somewhere, grace. Grace with my self. I made it to the Hebrew final exam. That's a heck of a lot further than I made it the last time I attempted Hebrew and I did it with a toddler. From the start my goal has been to merely pass Hebrew. I think I understand enough to pass the exam which will in turn mean I have passed the class. I will be spending a good portion of today working on Hebrew so that I might do better than passing.

I am grateful to have made it this far into Hebrew with out much trouble. I am even more grateful for the grace that found me this morning. 

May you be blessed in this busy season with finding grace for yourself.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Have Grace

Friends have grace with me as I write through a current struggle. You see I am in the middle of my final exam week. I have three exams to prepare for and two final papers to write. As of this moment I have one paper near completion and that's it. Paul has a work schedule that has him on for ten days straight during my exams which means I have to work my study schedule around his work schedule and it isn't working because after a long day of having Lilia on my own I am exhausted at the end of the day. I end up having to stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning to get subpar work done because I have no energy left.

I am sitting here at my computer trying to get Lilia to nap so I can finish up a paper and get it handed in when I learn that I need double the child care I thought I did next semester. I also only have half of my January term covered. I just burst into tears, it all feels like too much. It feels incredibly unfair that all this childcare falls to me and I have to arrange my schedule around a work schedule that gives me little room to work with. Maybe this whole thing was a bad idea. We can't afford much childcare and our current schedules aren't allowing us the flexibility we need.

I don't know what to do or what to say other than writing this makes me feel incredibly vulnerable.

Gratitude for my daughter abounds even in this stress of finding care for her.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Two for Two

For the second week in a row I felt tears well up in my eyes in my Intro to Worship class. Tonight was the first time I have felt like I was learning to be a Pastor. Practical stuff that I will take with me into what ever field it is I end up in. We were talking about poetry, theology and the mix of the two which seems to take the form of worship. We were talking and watching videos. Then we had colorful sheets of paper and we had to write "I Am..." filling in the blank with what we are in worship. About half way through our Professor turned the lights off! We thought it was a mistake because we couldn't see. He said NO! Keep on writing sometimes you are going to have to keep on going and you won't know what to do. (This is a very loose paraphrase, I kind of wish I could have taped the whole thing so I could remember the words now.) Then in the dark we made a path of words on pages. Then in the dark we crawled around on our hands and knees and struggled to read what everyone had written.

It was a thin place, when those lights flicked off I started to feel. I don't know what it was, then these words filled the room, you are going to have to help people through their pain when you don't know what to do with your own. That's the first time I felt the tears coming. I wrote words I can't remember. I felt a lot of really complex things all at once. I think for the most part they were things I need to feel more often but I am just learning how to feel. For so long my reaction to pain, hurt, loss or even challenges has been to shove my feelings down. To press on, be tough. So it might seem odd but I am learning how to feel for me. I have had no problem feeling for others, but accepting my own feelings, it's new. I guess I should mention that it is not so much about class at this point but growth I see in myself. I have been working on this a lot and it's the first time it's connecting for me in such a deep way.

I don't know crawling around on the floor in the dark desperately trying to "hear" my classmates, God was there in that moment. I felt like I was being prepared for the call I still don't entirely understand. Then someone said the words make it real which is funny because I said that exact phrase in Spiritual Direction recently. I am taking notice of that.

I wonder what does all this mean? I think it says something about how I learn. I think it says something about the experiences I long to encounter. I think it speaks to my desire to get to really know my classmates. I think that desire to know links somewhere to a deep hidden desire to be known.

I wish we had the opportunity to take course work where we took retreats and really made space for God and each other. Honestly, I need to crawl around on the floor in the dark more. I need to hear my friends. Maybe I even need to say something.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to learn in a way that speaks to me. 
May you be blessed with encountering God while crawling around on the floor in the dark.