Seminary is stupid.

There.  I said it.

You get caught up into this net of This Is The Most Important Thing Ever!!  Getting the reading done (or close!) (or thinking about reading at some point when you have the time), preparing a precept discussion, papers papers papers!  Each paper is going to get to the bottom of this giant mystery, you will solve the problem!  You will enlighten everyone!  Exams!  Oh! The exams!  The pressure, the pressure, the pressure.  What will be asked?  How will it be asked?  What will I say?  How will I remember this and that and that and this and OH! how can I do this??!!  And what if I don’t get an A?  And will I be able to get into the Ph.D. program where I want if I don’t get an A?  Will my professor see behind the curtain and realize I’m just a big bag of hot air?  a joke?  that I have no business whatsoever of being at an institution such as this? of sitting and learning in these rooms where some of the world’s biggest and bestest theologians of all time have sat?  Will they know?  are they laughing as they read my paper?  “She thinks she can get a Ph.D. with this kind of work?!  Is she kidding?  How did she get in here?!”

and on and on and on it goes.  While you neglect your family, neglect your home, neglect your health, drink more coffee than anyone ever should drink ever unless, of course, they’re trying to convert their blood into coffee.

Meanwhile . . . there’s this woman in Lebanon, a refugee from Syria, there with her five children aged 4 to 14, in a tiny room/home/shack.  With next to no food.  Sleeping fully clothed.  (for warmth? for lack of any other clothes?)  Her husband back in Syria (doing what? safe? not?).  And her children are all clean and neat and tidy, with combed hair and clean (old, worn) clothes.  And she spends five hours a day teaching and educating them, so they don’t fall behind, so they can move forward and succeed.  And staying positive for them.  That they won’t feel the full impact of what’s going on in their lives.

And you hear this.  And you weep.  Because your children haven’t had a haircut in four months, they bathe once or twice a week, their hair is combed but never neat.  You’re freaking out on them from the stress on such a regular basis that your five-year-old is a basket case, fearful of the next blow-up.  You’re sending them away from you for a weekend so you can devote your time to your work.  To what?  To learning about the church from a hundred years ago.  To writing about the church of 500 years ago.  To learning about some people with some pretty freaking crazy ideas about god and how this god works and what this god does and what they need to do to get and keep in touch with him.  Because this.  this.  is what consumes you these days.  This is what is piled all over your kitchen counter right around the dirty dishes piled above the clean dishwasher because you don’t want to take the time away from all these “important” papers and tests so that you can create a neat and tidy and comfortable home for your family.

What the hell are you doing?  And why?

Because you hope.  And you pray.  That somehow.  Some way.  Through the insanity of all this time and energy focused on this pile of papers, you will indeed get to the heart of some problems.  That you will indeed have some insight.  Gain some wisdom.  That you can share with the Church.  That you can shape her so that she can witness to the Light.  The Light that shines in the darkness.  So that she may go and teach and baptize and bring Light and Life and Hope into a broken, broken world.  That she can point to Truth.  And Mercy.  And Justice.  And the source of true Peace.  You hope and pray that because of your study of the church’s history where there is nothing new under the sun, the Church will fulfill her mission of witnessing to the Coming Kingdom of God that has already broken into this fallen world and is yet to come in fullness.  Where peace reigns, where there is be no more war, no suffering, no pain, no tears, no brokenness.   Witnessing to the One who will bring it in fullness.  That in the midst of war and hunger and fear and suffering, people will know we are not without hope.  That there is a Savior who came and who is to come.  And that his Way is the way to and of and for Life.

Come, Lord Jesus.  Come.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under academics, Gospel living

So many thinks to think . . .

and not a think to write.

My Boy has been home sick since yesterday around 11:00.  The phone rang around 10:35, and my caller ID said, Name of School.  And the school’s just not whom you want to hear from in the middle of the day.  Particularly when your pre-K-kid is in the bathtub and you have a massage scheduled for 100 minutes hence.  I told the nurse she must have some sort of complex because no one is happy to hear from her in the middle of the day.

So, I picked up my Boy from school.  After, of course, shooing the ever-so-easy-going Ruth out of the bathtub ahead of schedule, brushing and drying her hair as quickly as possible, skipping over the waiting-for-the-van, marathon bubble-blowing session to which we’ve grown accustomed, and rushing her over to the school twenty minutes before she was set to arrive for her own school day.  Poor Boy was green.  Thankfully, the nurse–who really is a lovely woman–offered to take Ruth to sit with her sister in the cafeteria until it was time for her school day to start, so that I didn’t have to drive her home simply to buckle her into the school van approximately 85 seconds later.

So, poor green Boy.  So sad.  So very sad.  My Boy is supposed to be full of energy and intensity, not lying like a lump on the couch.  So sad.

A good mother would end the post there.  But I make no claims about being a good, conscientious mother.  This mother, while sad for her poor, sick boy, is also sad for her poor lazy self.  I really wanted that massage I had scheduled yesterday.  I already payed for it with a Groupon-like thing.  And I waited for just the right day for it.  And yesterday was it.  And then it wasn’t.  And then, today I was desperate to just hang out by myself for a while, and my poor Boy is green once again.  So sad!  So sad for poor green Boy who loves food, but whose food is now playing tricks on him and seeking to jump right back out after it’s swallowed.  And poor, lousy, selfish mother who’d like to sit in silence for a while, to stew in her own frantic thinkings about major life changes and class schedules and childcare for two hours each of two afternoons a week . . .

Run on sentences.  They be my thang.

Poor green Boy appears to be less green now.  Actually he looks quite pink.  And he’s now enthusiastically looking at pictures of the Titanic in National Geographic.  I think he’s all better.  And I’m glad.  Because this is my Boy:  enthusiastic, full of non-fiction tidbits, and wild speculation.  That’s better.

I’ll think my thinks tomorrow.  Oh.  Never mind.  I won’t.  Ruth has no school tomorrow and the kids who do go to school will be home a little after 1PM.  I’ll think my thinks next week.  For, after all, next week is another week.

3 Comments

Filed under being The Mommy, Isaac, Ministry of Reality, SAHM, sick kid, silliness

Facebook made the blogging star . . .

So, apparently controversy generates hits.  Who knew?  I knew I was taking my chances on Saturday, saying something so radically crazy as announcing that people are mammals.  But I had no idea that meant I’d be getting so many visitors this weekend.  I would have cleaned up.  Or made tea.  Or something.

I shared my post on Facebook and then friends shared my post on Facebook and then, next thing I knew, people were banging down my door, eager to hear the big announcement:  People are Mammals!  Fun!

And right after I said Facebook killed the blogging star and everything.  Facebook made a liar out of me.  And that post had very, very little to do with Facebook’s murder of bloggers.  Mostly I talked about Ruth of the never-really-liked-pants-anyway camp.  So, when all my new visitors showed up, I thought, Hey! they’re all going to look at my post immediately preceding my big controversial statement and they’re going to find a long-winded, disjointed, has-little-to-do-with-the-title post and not take the time to read another single thing.  Where they’d likely discover yet another long-winded, disjointed, ineptly titled post.

Ah well.  I’ve had my 2 days of fame.  I’ll go back to disjointed and rambly . . .

Facebook:  How I love thee.  How I detest thee.  Because of you, I’m in touch with friends I haven’t talked to in years and years.  Because of you, I’m in touch with friends I haven’t talked to in years and years.  That’s not a typo; those are two separate thoughts.  They must be read with two different tones of voice.  I think you know what I’m talking about.

I get to play a Scrabble-like game with a girl I knew in elementary school, my memory of whom is dominated by the knowledge that not only did she not say “Hunh?  Where is that?!” when I told her my ethnic background, but she too is of Lithuanian descent.  So, my one other Lithuanian childhood friend–I now play Scrabble with her.  That’s fun.

I get to see pictures of friends’ babies, see how some of my high school friends have gone the route of cloning over natural reproduction.  At least that’s how it appears from the pictures of their children.  And I get to have some fun conversations with people about all sorts of topics.  And I’ve made a handful of brand new friends via Facebook.  We share mutual friends and have connected over some similar theological convictions, and gone on to develop some enriching relationships.

However.

But.

You see?

There’s a problem.

Facebook can totally just suck my day away.  While I’m visiting with my fun friends who mostly take the shape of voices in my head, my life in front of my eyes is passing me by.  On some level I know it.  But on another level?  I’m desperate for more human interaction in my day.  What’s that you say?  I could go out and visit with real people?  Why, that’s just crazy talk.  But then I would miss all my friends who live inside my head!

Love-Hate.  That’s what I have with Facebook.  And I suspect I’m not alone in it.  On some level, I suspect, all of us Facebookers know we need to really see people, to be in their presence, to really connect with them.  And we all crave that connection.  But it’s so hard to find it.  Or so scary to find it.  In Facebook-land, you just put yourself out there and hope that someone will happen by and connect to you in some way.

You can put your worst face forward, feeling safe that if someone can like that part of you, they’ll like the rest.  Or, and probably more often, you can put your best face out there, the part you feel is most worthy of attention, admiration, love.  Either way, you’re in control–complete control–of what is shared and not shared about yourself.  You can have an intimacy where you control the intensity dial.  It lacks the messiness of face-to-face interaction where a person is reading your body language, where your visitor can see that your house really is as disgusting as you say it is, that you weren’t be facetious, exaggerating for comedic effect.

I have a friend who has shared articles about how Facebook feeds narcissism, or how narcissists are the ones who feed Facebook.  I’m not sure which, and I never really read them.  I don’t doubt that narcissism is involved.  But I suspect what’s more influential in Facebook is just plain loneliness.  People were not built to live in isolation.  We weren’t.  If I continue on yesterday’s animalistic theme, I’d say we’re pack animals.  Or herd animals.  Or something.  I’m too lazy today to look up the way those things are differentiated.  All I know is “It is not good that man should be alone.”  And I’m not just talking about Adam.  Nor am I talking only about marriage and romantic connection and love.  And I’m not just talking about men.  I’m talking about all people:

It is not good that people should be alone.

Period.

And our culture has lost the extended family.  And, in some cases, it has made quite the idol of the nuclear family which then disintegrates upon the maturity of children because those children are generally few in number and scatter to the winds to form ad hoc families along the way.  Ad hoc families with others who are juggling multiple jobs and mortgages and sports schedules and internet life and TV life and book life and bill paying and shopping . . . and . . . and . . . we’re lonely.  And Facebook gives us opportunity to find touchstones with our roots–our old high school friends, distant relatives–and opportunity for us to forge new relationships–those friends of friends who have the same passion for sarcasm you have–and all in the comfort of our pajamas and our messy home.  Or our business suits and offices.  Or wherever it is people are hooking into Facebook.

The thing is, Facebook feeds our intrinsic need for community.  When we have to take our sick child for surgery, we post pictures on Facebook.  Not because we think we’re so important, not because we’re losing sight of what’s right in front of us, but because when we’re faced with a scary, scary situation, the last thing we want to be is the last person on earth; we do not want to face it all alone.  And a couple–a mom and dad–huddled together in a big, cold hospital is very much alone.  And it’s not good that man should be alone.  So we reach out to our community.  Those people who are right there when we need them.  And as we’ve compiled a community into the hundreds, spanning many time zones, there is always someone right there to call on.

Facebook musings have gone on and on and on here . . . but these are the thoughts I think as I scroll through my feed, as I Like stuff, as I ooo and ahhh at pics of newborns I’ll never see face to face.  We need people.  People do, that is.  We long for community, for relationships with many.  And people will find it any way they can.

I’ve suspended judgment here.  I’m not saying any of this is a good thing or a bad thing.  I just think it’s the thing.  Quite a while back, I wrote a post about the differences between Imaginary Friends and IRL Friends.  I have my preference, and I have some theologizing to back it up.  But the need?  The need we try to fulfill with our online universe?  It’s a very real one.  And a God-planted one.  It’s a good, good thing that we seek community.  As for me, I need to be more mindful of how I seek that community. And I need to make sure I’m not missing out on the people standing right in front of me in favor of the safety found in two dimensions, brain-dwelling, and controlled intimacy.

It’s not good that the man should be alone.

6 Comments

Filed under blogging, theologizing

A controversial announcement:

elephants-1081749_1280People are mammals!!!  I know this is a shocking fact.  I’m sorry to just go ahead and announce it like that with no warning, just all bold and up-front like that.  Take a minute . . . catch your breath . . . let it sink in.  I know it’s a difficult pill to swallow, learning such an earth-shattering truth as that.

Are you breathing again?  Are you OK?  Are you going to make it?  Good.

I know it’s shocking.  I do.  How do I know it’s shocking?  Because for the last several months my Facebook news feed is full of links to magazines and news sources reporting the astonishing news that human celebrities are–get this!–feeding their live-birthed young with their mammary glands!!  I know!  Knock-me-over-with-a-feather flabbergast!  I couldn’t believe it, either.  Beyonce!  Selma Blair!  Alicia Silverstone!  Allll mammals!  Who knew?!

Maybe it’s just them.  Maybe they’re some sort of mutant humans, having mammary glands that provide food and sustenance for their young like that.  Surely we can’t all be mammals?!  That can’t be true.

Just what do these women think they’re doing?!  Being mammals.  In public!  Do they not know that humans’ status as mammals is supposed to be kept under cover?  at home?  or, if not at home, firmly locked in a disgusting bathroom stall?  How dare these women flaunt their taxonomic class in public!!  They should be ashamed of themselves!

::sigh::  Nine weeks from now will mark 10 years since I first made use of my mammary glands for that which they were primarily designed.  I bonded with cows as I used a pump to leave food for my baby while I went to work.  I mooed and laughed and joked.  But it was difficult to feed my baby in front of anyone other than my immediate family.  I had to make the leap and remind myself that I am a mammal and this is how mammals feed their young.  I believe I was in elementary school when I learned about it:  mammals feed their young from their bodies, and I am a mammal, ergo, I will feed my young from my body.

By the time I birthed my third live young, I was so over the difficulties and challenges of trying to keep my mammalian class under wraps.  It’s just so hard!  I had places to go!  I had people to see!  Was I supposed to keep my two older children–a toddler and a very social five-year-old–trapped inside all the time, just so I could feed their baby sister?  Well that’d be quite the effective way to foster love and affection for the new family member.  Was I supposed to make my sweaty children eat under a blanket, even as they squirmed and struggled to get that blasted thing off of them?!  Oh, I was supposed to pump bottles and bring them with me, store them at a safe temperature and then warm them to the right temperature?  And for what, exactly?  So you wouldn’t have to be reminded that you, too, are a mammal?  I don’t like you enough to go through all that trouble.  I’m lazy.  And, it’s my right as an American to be lazy.  Look it up in the Constitution.  I’m sure it’s there somewhere.

I’m sorry.  Every time I try to take the whole thing seriously, and talk in real terms, I just head off the rails of extreme sarcasm.  Because I find the whole thing so absolutely ludicrous.  Mammal babies drink milk from their mothers.  That’s what they do.  All over the world, all the furry, live-birthing vertebrates in possession of mammary glands are feeding their young with said glands.  I have no patience for anybody wasting any time or energy thinking about where, when, how a mammal should be feeding her young.  Just as I have no patience for the people who think their meat magically appears on Styrofoam trays, wrapped in cling wrap.  But, I suppose, that’s a-whole-nother post.

By the time my third came along, do you know where was my absolute favorite place to feed her in public?  In a mall on a bench in front of Victoria’s Secret.  I sat facing these giant posters of scantily clad women in their underwear, their breasts of questionable (natural?) size squished and pushed up and hanging out, exposing most everything but areolae and nipples.  I sat there, feeding my baby as mammals do, baring no more flesh than skin on my sides, where my shirt came down to my waist somewhere near my elbow.**  I sat there with a look of “Go ‘head.  Say something.  I dare you.”  Fully prepared to point out the irony in one’s being offended by the sight of my feeding my young, but not by the pictures of mostly-naked, air-brushed, super-human-sized women across from me, who were selling underwear with sex.  Or sex with underwear.  I’m never really sure what, exactly, Victoria’s Secret is selling . . .

The good news is I never really ran into any problems feeding my babies in public.  For that I am grateful.  But not all women can say that.  And not all women can say they feel comfortable even trying, lest they do cause offense.  And these poor celebrity mammals!  They are treated as animals in zoos!  Well, worse.  Because most people don’t mock the mammals in zoos who are doing what it is mammal mothers do.

Mammalian  mothers should not have to give a second thought to feeding their young.  They just shouldn’t.  The first time a mammal feeds her young while outside of her cozy den should not be Facebook status material, it certainly shouldn’t be Time magazine story!  It should not be a blip on a radar screen anywhere.  It’s ludicrous.  So ludicrous, even I felt the need to blog about it.  And I don’t normally blog about such controversial things.  You know.  As controversial as announcing that humans are mammals.

One of the comments on one of the articles about one of the mammalian celebrities said something along the lines of, “What am I supposed to tell my 7-year-old daughter when we’re forced to see a woman with a baby at her breast?!”  Might I suggest you tell your 7-year-old daughter that she’s a mammal.  Catch her up with the rest of the elementary school students.

**I did do all I could to keep that certainly offensive side-skin from showing, my apologies if you were subjected to a glint of my muffin top–of course, you could see all the muffin tops you want on the teenaged girls with low-cut jeans and tight fitting tee-shirts.

5 Comments

Filed under being The Mommy, nursing

Facebook killed the blogging star . . . And why do we do the things we do?

I am not the first person to put to use the song from 1979 to talk about how Facebook impacts blogging, so I’m not being very creative here.  But I do think it’s true.  Not that I’ve ever been a blogging star.  Not even close.  But I know I used to share little snippets about my kids on my blog.  And pictures!  I posted pictures of my kids!

And now?  Well, today I wanted to go back to my blog-every-day plan, but I don’t have much in the way of thoughts floating through my head this morning.  But I did have some Adventures in Ruthie I thought I could share.  But then I realized I already shared all about them on Facebook.  And since I only have a handful–or two–of friends who read my blog, and most, if not all, are my Facebook friends, what’s the point?  Well, except I do have that friend out there who is engaging in a Facebook freeze during Lent.  Actually, I have two friends on a Facebook freeze.  So, they might like to hear about today’s Adventures in Ruthie.

And maybe I should consider a Facebook break of my own . . . yes.  I will consider it . . .

So, now I’m at a crossroads:  Share the Ruthie story?  or ramble on about the value of Facebook?  dilemma, dilemma . . . My title implies a Facebook reflection, but my mood says To Heck with the implications of my title.

Let’s go with Ruthie today.  And maybe Facebook tomorrow.  But I’m not making any promises.  Because I’m not so adept at keeping them.  Particularly of the blogging variety.

Anyway . . . So, Ruthie.  We went to the little grocery store in our little town yesterday.  While we were climbing back into the minivan, Ruth noticed a teenaged girl wearing pajama bottoms.

WOW!

Ruthie was quick to point it out:  “Mama!  That girl!  She’s wearing pajama bottoms!  to the grocery store!!”

Knowing full well that this moment could be a defining moment for my reluctant-to-wear-clothes daughter, I brushed passed her observation with a detached, “Uh-huh.”  Conversation closed.  Success.

Until.

This morning.  I announced to Ruthie that we would run out to the store before school today, to buy some bubble stuff and sidewalk chalk in honor of spring’s arrival.  Seemingly out of nowhere–certainly out of nowhere for me, having completely forgotten yesterday’s teen attire–Ruth asks, “Mama?  Are you allllloowwed to wear pajama pants to the store?”

Clearly Ruth had not forgotten the jammy-clad adolescent from yesterday.

“Well, Ruth. . . . (think!  think! think!) . . . people are allowed to wear pajama pants to the store.  There’s no law against it.”  (Notice the generic use of the word, “people.”  Yes?  I am in no way suggesting that Ruth is allowed to wear pajama pants to the store.)

“Well,” replies Ruth.  “Am I allowed to wear pajama pants to the store?”

think.  think. think. . . . If I say yes today, am I prepared to say yes every day?  If I say yes today, am I prepared to have Ruth wear pajama pants everywhere she goes for the next 13 years?  If I say no today, am I prepared to have an extended argument with Ruth over the injustice of one person being allowed to wear pajama pants to the store, while another person is not?  Am I prepared to really dig my heels in and allow this to become a knock-down, drag-out, “Just because I’m the Mama and I say so!!” event with her?  Over pajama bottoms?!!!

No.  No I am not.

“Sure, Ruth.  You’re allowed to wear pajama bottoms to the store we’re going to today.”

And then Ruth and I proceeded to have the most pleasant trip to the store we ever have had.  She cooperated.  She looked but did not beg.  There was no screaming, no whining.  Only a perfectly polite, kind, and gentle girl on a lovely morning shopping trip with her mom.  Fighting the pajama bottoms would have created an entirely different atmosphere, and likely would have resulted in a grumpy-pants mission for bubbles and sidewalk chalk.

Not. worth. it.

It’s hard.  It’s hard to know which hills are worth dying on, which are worth surrendering.  So it is with parenting, so it is with the Church.  I could blow this out into a full-on sermon, but I won’t.  But it does make me think about the Church’s convictions.  About why we maintain them.  About how important it is for us to reflect on why, exactly, we are holding on to them.  Are they clearly commanded or required by Scripture?  Or have we been holding on to some cultural norm that wormed its way into our Christian tradition?  Those are tough questions.  And, really, the ones I’d like to wrestle with long-term.

But for now?  I’m glad that my “major” crisis this morning involved a cute little 4yo girl and her pajamas, and wasn’t a really difficult decision at all.  A cute 4yo going to the grocery store and to Dollar General, having the time of her life with her mama?  Who cares what she’s wearing?

Well.  I care.  Only in so far as it was super cute.  When I reminded Ruthie that yesterday’s teen was wearing pajama bottoms, but just a regular tee-shirt, I was thinking I could de-jammify her look, making her a bit more inconspicuous, or not quite so obviously pajama-clad.  She’d been wearing a pink fleece top with a kitty on it.  Ruth, upon remembering the teen’s regular shirt, picked out her own tee-shirt to go with her pajama pants.  I’ll let you be the judge of whether the change helped subdue her be-jammied look.

Image

Image

8 Comments

Filed under being The Mommy, Church Life, Ruth

We interrupt all those lofty thoughts . . .

with some real life.

I hit the ground running when I returned from my idyllic visit in the tower of ivory.  (and Princeton University even has that big ol’ tower looking thing that kind of looms over the seminary campus.  It really helps reinforce the whole tower image.  I’d post a picture, but I’m not sure how legal that is.)

We had a busy Friday followed by a busy weekend and today is Tuesday and I’ve sent all my children off to be tended by the State and I’m sitting at the dining room table in my pajamas at 11:48 AM.

Nice.

Nice how I go from my lofty thoughts of more graduate studies yesterday to jammies at the dining room table at noon today.  I’ve thought no big thoughts today.  I helped Ruth play PBSKids.org, did a little laundry, cleaned out my kitchen sink.  And, that’s about it.  And now I will eat lunch and watch inane television for an hour.

Tomorrow . . . I’ll think big thoughts tomorrow . . . for after all . . .

And see?  This is exactly what I told myself not to do!  When I was there listening to lectures about the history of Princeton Seminary, I sat in awe of Those Guys who got the place going 200 years ago.  The amount they knew!  the books they’d read!  the languages with which they were proficient!  Their whole lives were devoted to study and teaching.  So, as I learned about them, I planned to never watch TV again!  Never go online again!  READ ALL THE BOOKS!!!

And.  Here I sit.  In my jammies at noon.  On the internet.  About to watch TV.  Thinking about how I’ll read something tomorrow.

And this is precisely how a woman, in response to the news that her husband is deploying, comes up with the seemingly insane plan to pack up her kids and go to school full time while he’s gone.  Because I need that bell to ring, signaling that it’s time to study.  I need that deadline looming to ensure I do indeed write that paper.  I need the imposed discipline in order to develop my own discipline in response.  Otherwise, I would spend an entire year sitting in my jammies at this dining room table.

So, my plan.  Crazy?  A little.  Necessary?  Yes.  Yes, I believe it is.

6 Comments

Filed under academics, being The Mommy

Twelve Days

That’s how long I was gone.  Not from my home, but from blogging.  Twelve days.  I’d like to say there’s some sort of numeric symbology in that near-sacred number.  But.  Nope.  There isn’t.  I just didn’t click on my blog bookmark for nearly two weeks.  Now maybe it’s abundantly clear why I have an ambivalent relationship with Lenten disciplines.  I’m really pretty bad at keeping them.  And there’s enough guilt in my life, without adding more to it.  So, away with thee, guilt!

I was away from home from a Wednesday evening, for a week and a day, until a Thursday evening.  I’ve never been away from home that long, since our kids came along anyway.  Everyone survived just fine without me, thankyouverymuch.  Actually, thankRyverymuch.  Everyone missed everyone terribly, but really, things were fine on the Haus-front.

As for me . . . I used my brain.  A lot.  So much so that at one point my brain felt completely over-full, as if I had binged excessively (is there any other kind?) and needed to stick my finger down my ear in order to purge some and relieve a little pressure.

The wonderfully exciting thing for me was that I discovered my brain does still work, that I can hold thoughts in it.  I learned that I am still capable of sitting in a room and listening to someone talk big words at me for hours on end.  I learned that, really, I’m made for academia and it for me as I have no pressing need to ever go outside and see the sunshine.

I discovered that I do, indeed, find American Church History to be absolutely fascinating.  I also discovered that in order to learn all I want to learn, I need to start reading five minutes from now and never ever stop.

I had a wonderful, wonderful time hanging out on my home planet with people who, like me, obsess about nuances of theological belief and practice, who are firmly committed to the fact that theology matters, who have a hard time keeping track of time and space . . .

All in all, the week confirmed my decision to go back to school next year.  I still have no idea what will follow, but I know for sure that school’s where I need to be next year.  Remind me of this, OK?  Next year, when I’m completely run ragged, single parenting three small children while trying to juggle the commitments of full-time classwork, remind me of this week in late March when I said, “Yes!  This is where God wants me to be!”  Because I foresee some doubts, frustrations, overwhelmed and drowning sensations, and general “What the heck was I thinking??!!”-ness.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping to get started on all that reading.  While my brain is all warmed up and stretched out.  And summer’s coming up, so it’s just in time for me to work on maintaining the academic’s pallor.

2 Comments

Filed under academics