Category Archives: Writings

Nine more days – but who’s counting

These days I practically live in my carrel at the library.  Although, truth be told, I went out this morning to a seminary women’ brunch and had some great conversation and some very delicious cinnamon buns. So it is not all, 100% work.  I still eat and do laundry too.

But, things are coming down to the wire.  In nine days I write my Greek final.  I’m almost past caring how I do – but if you know me you know that means I still care way too much.

I turned in my next to last Church History I essay and today I completed a good chunk of my research paper for that class. My essay was on the devotio moderna and the Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life.  Such a fascinating group of people – spanned about 300 years. Died out with the Reformation and with the printing press since they mostly earned their living by copying books. Their raparia were journals they kept of devotional sayings and of how they lived out their faith in the midst of daily life trying to imitate the early church. Most people have heard of The Imitation of Christ – this is the group out of which came such writings.

Now I’m on to the Christological controversy between Nestorius and Cyril.  Poor Nestorius was likely more misunderstood than a real heretic.  And Cyril was more a bully than a saint I’m afraid. Hope I can wrap this one up by Monday.

Then with a deadline of May 9,  I will only have 2 book reviews, 1 ten page essay, 1 more twelve page research paper and one more final and this year will be done!

Hoping it doesn’t finish me off.

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Filed under seminary experiences, Studying, Theology, Writings

Black and White – Winter is still here.

I just set a new header picture and realize it looks very stark – black and white – winter is still here.  It is not a black and white picture just the world is black and white since the last snowfall.  Before it was beginning to feel and look like spring – streets mostly melted clear and the ground showing through the ice.  Winter seems to have set in again.  This is Saskatchewan I guess.

I have been spending a huge amount of time in the Archibald Library.  Last night I was there till it closed at ten.  My head was so tired by the time I got home.  Sometimes in spite of being so tired it is hard to sleep and that was the case last night.  Had to wake up in time for an on-line class; which I did.  But as the discussion with the prof went on, I realized how much I still need to learn – all about how Luther and Calvin and the Anabaptists and the Catholics understood justification, and the sacraments and the idea of free will.  Very heady stuff.  Made my head spin anyway.

Then back to the library to slog away at my Greek exegesis paper.  Till 6.

But since it is Friday (isn’t this the day one is supposed to let loose and have fun?) I spent the evening doing something I consider fun.  I went back to the library to read some of my poetry in an evening event designed to showcase the writing arts.  Shared my reflection on Psalm 62:9, which you can read below.  Its not new but it makes me want to be done all this studying so I can get back to doing things I love.  Well, I do love studying a bit.  I guess.

Psalm 62:9 (NLT)

From the greatest to the lowliest –
All are nothing in his sight.
If you weigh them on the scales,
They are lighter than a puff of air.

Small Breaths

A puff of air
No more,
Scarcely even a breath,
Our days are nothing.
We are born.
We live,
Hardly even a small breath
Exhaled quickly
For the Divine.
Then we are still.

Yet, he esteems
Us; small
Breaths. Gathering us he
Raises a current.
Zephyrs trusted
To carry
Gossamer seeds. Moving them
To good soil;
O Breath of God
Your breath in us.

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Filed under Poetry and Stuff, seminary experiences, Studying, Writings

I still have so much to figure out.

I am thinking through – or trying to – my personal theology of work and daily life (my understanding of God’s relationship to my world).  Trying to figure out and appreciate the activity of God in the daily parts of living; you know, my relationship with Leo, the family, visitors, the grandkids, study and work and how my faith mixes with all these things; where God is in this ordinary daily stuff and what he wants from me.

I do not have it all sorted out.  So this might just sound confused or extremely boring and I really do not want to bore you.  So skip this if you want to read someone who has it all put together.

Sixty years and I still have so much to figure out. Continue reading

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Filed under Day to Day, Family, grandchildren, Reflections, Studying, Writings

Lessons

Compassion

This morning during my private talk with God in the quiet of my living room, I told him about this patient that I was dreading. Last time he was so arrogant, called me “girl” as if I was of no importance at all. The world revolved around him after all and I was just a female figure that he would use to get what he wanted – which was a new crown for his broken one – at my expense, I think. I believe he was trying to intimidate and manipulate me so that if I responded out of sympathy for his situation, he could then disappear and have his crown for free.

Continue reading

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Filed under Dealing with stuff, Dental, Reflections, Writings

Labyrinth

Before the Friesen’s moved out to the field, I asked Lauralea if she would create for me a finger labyrinth that I could use in prayer. I love walking a labyrinth, praying as I go in to the centre, sitting in the centre with my needs in God’s presence, waiting on him there and then going out with some sense of resolution.

Our winters don’t make walking an outdoor labyrinth too practical for such a big part of the year and the space required to set up an outdoor one means there are only a very few around – none in our city. The space needed for an indoor walking version is also huge and I don’t know of any facility in town that has had one set up, even temporarily. So, I think the finger version that she made me, although it means that only my finger actually walks, is practical and will be used often.  And it also reminds me of her as I use it.  Good memories.

DSCN1737

This morning I “walked” it again.

It struck me that with a labyrinth, the way to walk is so clear. There are no wrong turns to take. In this labyrinth I will not get lost. I walk towards the centre and my finger follows a well planned path; one I can feel, one that hems me in so that I stay on the right way. This morning as I was walking, I needed to be reminded that God knows my path as clearly as my finger knows the right way to move along the labyrinth’s path. I have questions about my future plans to which I do not see the answer. As I sat with God in the centre, I realized that he can hem me in and guide me along the right way just as the ridges of this labyrinth guide my fingers. So that was my prayer as I traveled out and as I begin my day.

God, hem me in. Guide me on the right path. Warn me when I begin to wander. Give me wisdom in my choices. May all my movements be consistent with who I am in you, with who you are to me. Amen.

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Filed under Photos, Reflections, Writings

Sometimes there is nothing but frustration with a computer.

Last night it ate my sermon! 

Maybe I was just too tired but I accidentally hit the don’t save changes button when it asked.

I guess it is not really the fault of the computer – operator error.  In other words, "How could I have been so dumb?"

So finally, I went to bed very late with the realization that I was not going to remember how to say the  things I had seemed to put down on "paper" so clearly and actually slept.  Till 4 am. 

Now it is 6 and I have rewritten it and saved it.  Now comes going over it.  Revising.  But at least I have the essence of what I need to say saved!

And I am going back to bed to sleep. 

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Filed under church, Day to Day, Dealing with stuff, Writings

Talking about things

I had a good talk with my spiritual director last week. We of course talked of many things among them my sense of call to some sort of ministry and what it felt like to be drawn by God to something new. She asked, “What draws you to this?” And so, I tried to answer with words, to express some of the feelings and desires that I have been sensing. They are somewhere between a gentle nudge and a long drawing pull – like a deep desire that I can’t explain and that won’t give me peace till I say yes to it, at least to begin the pursuit of this desire. Rather like following a path that leads somewhere with bends that I can’t see around and with a final goal that is not terribly clear.

So, I’ve put my foot on the path and I’ll go ahead one step at a time and see where God takes me. Sort of like being a pioneer, exploring uncharted territory, trusting that God has a map and that I am moving according to plan.

We also talked about some of my issues – my difficulty in expressing emotions, my stoicism in the face of emotional upheaval, my ability to get things done without becoming an emotional basket case when facing unpleasant or emotionally trying situations. My issues have both good and bad sides – that I am aware of. The ability to carry on has served me well in life and in my profession. I don’t regret that I am this way when it comes to being strong enough to get a difficult job done. What I do regret is that I also find it difficult to express my emotions in situations where it is perfectly acceptable to do so. So, I rarely cry. It would be a great relief to cry sometimes.

And I do not say “good-bye” very well. There were too many farewells in my childhood and they occurred too frequently and affected my willingness to allow people into my life. Protecting my emotional self I think.

Now, I am having to say good-bye to two people who have let me become good friends, and who I have allowed to really know me. Two people and their kids that I have come to love as I have not loved friends for ages. Two people who have lived out lives of faithfulness to God and who have, by their lives, encouraged me to do the same. And I am struggling with my emotions – which are just below the surface. Emotions so strong and yet I do not cry.

My spiritual director and I began to explore some stuff from my past that may have contributed to my reticence to show emotions. In doing this she asked me about other ways than crying that I can express emotion. And I told her that I write. In the midst of distress, I write poetry. If I am extremely joyful, I write poetry. I can say what my heart feels in poetry and it is a relief – an emotional relief – to me.

So, today, as I experienced a range of emotional feelings saying good-bye to Randall and Lauralea and wanted to burst out in tears and have a good cleansing cry, I found myself realizing that I needed to write. So I guess I have been emotionally crying this afternoon, sitting at my computer, expressing some of this in words. And with the writing I feel a bit freer emotionally. Maybe a good cry is faster and better but for me this seems to work.

So, if you don’t like poetry, skip the next post. Its just me blubbering anyway.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff, Reflections, Writings