January 30, 2008

Rhythms of Grace

"Are you tired? Worn out? ... Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace ... " Matthew 11:28-30, The Message
I am passionate about the practice of Sabbath. It's an important spiritual discipline in my life. It first started when I was in college and I struggled with feeling defined by the things that I did (mainly school work, studying and such). I started practicing Sabbath to remember who I was ... a child of God; a daughter and a sister; a friend; a person who could just be and the world wouldn't stop.

I've continued to observe Sabbath over the years, though in many different ways. It changes as my life changes and my schedule and my work dictate new times and days and ways of observing Sabbath. Sometimes it's been the whole of Sunday or part of Saturday or a day in the middle of the week. At times it has meant that I don't do homework or study, or I don't run errands, or I just do the things I really want to do, or I spend time being in relationship with God, friends, and family.

But regardless of how it manifests itself, I continue to practice Sabbath, because I need that reminder of who I am.

Lately, however, I've had an overabundance of free time, of downtime, of opportunities to practice Sabbath. In these two weeks between the end of Jan term and the start of spring semester, I've got a whole lot of time. And at first it was really good. I spend time doing lots of things I often run out of time for:
  • I've been to the movies with friends ... twice
  • I've been out to eat with friends ... multiple times
  • I've watched movies on my couch ... five and counting
  • I've finished two knitting projects and started two new ones
  • I've slept in late and relaxed
  • I've read and read and read ... completing four books with three more in the works

and I've become bored with this abundance of time. I've still got half a week until classes start up again.

And I'm wondering about the practice of Sabbath: What about those six days of work? How does not having that change the unforced rhythms of grace? What's the distinction between Sabbath and free time?

January 22, 2008

Snow Came Down in the South!

It snowed! And I loved it. It reminded me of winters further north, albeit with much more snow than the light dusting outside. But still, it was snow!

I stood outside in the big flakes. I tried to catch some on my tongue. I kept the blinds open all night so I could watch the snow fall. I soaked it up for all it was worth.

I laughed at the news reports and those who were freaking out. Then the next day, it was all gone.

But while it lasted, it was beautiful. I really am a northern girl at heart.

January 09, 2008

Online Dating

I met with my Committee on Preparation for Ministry for the last time yesterday. And after some intense and not-so-intense questions regarding my sense of call, what I hope to do, my theology, my hospital experience, my yearlong internship, and my seminary journey ... they approved me to officially begin searching for a call.


Now I'm working on submitting all my paperwork online so things can get rolling, so the online dating between myself and churches may begin.