Thursday, November 28, 2013


I'm thankful.  I've not written in nearly three weeks... sorry about that.  Life has been busy.  Instead of catching you up on what we've missed, I'm just going to tell you about why I'm thankful today.

I'm thankful that I have a phenomenal family who loves me unconditionally.
I'm thankful that my siblings and I were able to mess with Mom's village today... I still want to put the tavern right next door to the church.
I'm thankful that my absolutely kick-ass awesome amazing girlfriend  traveled an hour, all the way down here, to spend time with me, even when she has to be to work at 7am in Syracuse.
I'm thankful for the laughter that filled this house and others today.
I'm thankful for Vivian hugs.  She's at the age where she is giving really good squeezes when she jumps into your lap and throws her little arms around your neck.
I am thankful for the absolutely amazing people I have come to know and cherish in seminary.  They are some of the most absolute top notch people.
I'm thankful for amazing opportunities to meet such amazing figures as Bishop Gene Robinson and Bishop Peter Storey.  Each had such enriching lives that they shared with us.
I'm thankful for the Campus Ministry program at the State University of New York at Cortland as it set me on the path to ministry.  I am forever grateful for the experiences and relationships built in those years.
I'm thankful for T.A.s and Professors who email even when we're on a mini break, because the work never ends.
I'm thankful for my parents who have helped me with car trouble over the years.
I'm thankful for the Walker Center, an amazing community in which I reside.
I'm thankful for presentations that go well.
I'm thankful for a warm bed and food in my belly, I know some are not as fortunate.
I'm thankful that I remembered to give thanks for the farmers when saying grace this year so that I didn't have to hear Grandma Knight complain. :)
I'm thankful for my church family at Homer Congregational Church AND East Side Congregational.
I'm thankful for the spider killers in my life.
I'm thankful for people who really get me.
I'm thankful for the wonderful adopted family God has blessed me with.
I'm thankful that I'm proofreading each line as I continually try to type "thanksfull."
I'm thankful for the Seminary Singers, and I am SO glad that I decided to join them!
I'm thankful that I was able to help Mom prepare the house and the meal yesterday and today.  It was simply nice to spend some time with her.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow in my faith, to consider new avenues of ministry, to push myself, to stand up when others sit down.
I'm thankful to be participating in a Mac and Cheese cook-off on Wednesday.
I'm thankful for the time I had with my great grandfather, an absolutely amazing man who we all still miss dearly.

I'm just, I'm thankful.  I am thankful for so much more in my life, people and places and experiences not on this list.  I'm thankful to love and to be loved.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to sit with people in light times and in dark, to be a presence of peace and justice, to challenge and criticize the status quo and the wrongs in our world.

I'm thankful.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Things I don't tell my parents...

There are things I don't tell my parents:
1) I don't tell my parents when I get home at an unreasonably late hour.
2) I don't tell my parents when I have to walk home late at night.
3) I don't tell my parents when my diet sucks, or I go a week without much sleep, or when I go to the bar and have just a hair more than I should to drink. 
4) I don't tell my parents when I forget to do laundry for two weekends in a row and am therefore forced to stay up after 1am on a Monday night to Tuesday morning because I have a meeting at 8am and I ran out of clean pants, socks, and shirts.

This list could go on.  And on.  But not too far because I don't really live a life in which there are things I feel I really need to keep from my parents.  No law breaking... nothing risque. 

There are things I don't tell my parents.  It's not as if I'm naive enough to think that they aren't aware, because they are.  They know that there are strings of nights where I get minimal sleep because of papers, quizzes/exams, and projects.  They know I go out with friends on Thursday nights.  They know that sometimes I don't leave campus until 11:30 which means I'm walking through my door at around 12:30.  But I don't tell them when it's happening in that moment.  Why?  I think it's two pronged...

1) I think it's my way of exerting my level of adulthood.  By keeping some things in my life to myself, no matter how trivial, significant, or just downright everyday experiences they might be, I'm establishing my life.  I think that as we all age, we strive to be seen as adults.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately for some) the terms and parameters that define adulthood are shifting and changing as our economy and culture continues to morph.  We each define adulthood in varying ways, and each personal perspective is worth merit and recognition.  But let me tell you, when you're a 25-year old seminary student who is relying on student loans and the generosity of others to get through school, when you're still on your parents' medical insurance, and when you don't have a job or other form of responsibility outside of school to hold onto, the concept of conventionally defined adulthood can kinda slip away.  So, by not telling my parents about aspects of my life (and I'm being truly honest when I say there really isn't anything unfit to share), I'm holding onto those few things that I can claim as my measure of adulthood. 

2) I don't tell my parents about everything in my life because I don't want them to worry.  I know they do anyway.  And I know that even as I grow and mature, I'll always be their daughter, but I somehow feel it necessary to shield them from the additional worry if they KNOW that in a specific moment I might be doing something that could potentially put me in danger.  I'm not certain it would fully play out like this, but I can guess that if I told my mom I was staying at the library until it closed at 1am and then had roughly an hour trek back to home, she'd ask me to call her cell phone or text and leave a message when I got home safely.  It's not as if these requests are overly challenging or too much to ask.  But I want to free my parents from some of the worrying that they already do and some of the worrying that they no longer need to do.  I think one sign of adulthood comes when you seek to protect your parents in ways that they protected you as you grew. 

Here are some things I do tell my parents:
1) Jokes and experiences from my adventures on the T
2) When I get good grades (or sometimes not-so-good ones)
3) Weekend plans
4) When my slippers start falling apart
5) When I'm just slightly overstressed
6) My holiday schedule (when I know it)
7) That I love them

Saturday, November 2, 2013

We are infinite as the universe we hold inside.

So, I started Thursday with wanting to tell about my day in pictures, just pictures.  Between the time I awoke and entered my classroom, I had about 20 to 25 pictures for this montage.  Then a really crappy lecture and discussion took the wind out of my sails, and I decided to table the picture idea for a while.  I'll pick it back up at another time.

I then thought about writing about the absolutely horrible classroom experience, but I'm opting not to do that.  Because this is my blog and I can do that.  And because things are in process.  And I figure I'll spare you the content. 

So, I'm going to backtrack to last weekend when Oma and Momma B were here and how amazing the weekend was, because that's what I need for my soul right now.  Let's see, the weekend in a nutshell involved baseball watching at a bar, seafood in Copley Square, Sunday morning at First Parish Cambridge where we met Fred Small, sharing time in Marsh Chapel, listening to Ingrid Michaelson, and laughing like idiots.  We found this great little bar in Waltham which may or may not become a hang-out for me and some friends, time will tell. 

It's tough to tell what my favorite part was, I think I was just so darn tickled to have them come that we could have sat around reading newspapers all day and I would have been just as pleased.  Next time they promise to come for a bit longer period of time so that we can experience more together.  We never made it to the art gallery as planned, and there were a few other odds and ends we just couldn't squeeze into the short time.  But what is important to me is just that we had some really sweet time together.  One night we went to the bar with Jason and Tina.  Jason is a classmate, and he and Tina moved here from California.  They're absolutely wonderful people, and I am looking forward to spending more time with them in the future.  And I know Oma and Momma B were excited to meet some of my classmates and the people of my Walker Center community. 

I naturally felt sad when they left, but have been pondering something throughout the week.  Oma said in reference to my sadness, "you don't have family yet." She's right, and I've been turning it over in my mind.  I love Boston.  I love the Walker Center.  I love school.  I love my classes and my classmates.  But they aren't family yet.  I can't build in nine weeks what it took me five and twenty-five years to build in my life.  It'll happen, the foundation is being laid with some really amazing and exceptional people. 

Yeah, that's about all I've got.  I leave you with this ear-worm from Sleeping at Last, the song "Sun" because it is speaking to me today.

With golden string
our universe was clothed in light.
Pulling at the seams,
our once barren world now brims with life,
that we may fall in love
every time we open up our eyes.
I guess space, and time,
takes violent things, angry things
and makes them kind.

We are the dust of dust.
We are the apple of God’s eye.
We are infinite as the universe we hold inside.