Monday, February 25, 2008

Option 4-Another Untitled as of yet

Sometimes, late at night
When I don't have my glasses on
because I'm lying in bed,
I look at the numbers on my alarm clock,
but they are fuzzy because I can't see.
And what I see as I look at the fuzzy numbers,
with my head lying on the pillow,
is a blurry face of Jesus.
Crown of thorns and everything.
I've always had an overactive imagination,
but this blurry Jesus-face thing is just weird.
I wonder if I'm feeling particularly sinful these nights,
or if the fuzzy green numbers would look like
"Crown of thorns Jesus" to anyone else.
I HIGHLY doubt it.
We frequently say that Jesus is always with us,
even til the end of time.
Maybe that's a bit coincidental, eh?
Jesus is with me, late at night, when I'm blind as a bat
because I don't have my glasses on and I'm looking
at the numbers change on the clock.
And finally, I fall asleep.
End of time, indeed.

Option 3-Skillet Trish

am an excellent rapper,
but I only do one song,
and it's not even mine.
But, I enjoy performing it
because it makes people LAUGH.
I don't know if you all think I'm funny,
but I think I'm hilarious.
Who ever said humor isn't a Spiritual Gift?
But, what's more important than being funny
is being able to laugh with others
and at yourself.
It helps keep that whole "sanity" thing going.
And, in my experience,
laughing helps people deal with the "stuff" of life.
There are worse ways of coping.
Sure, sometimes I "cross the line,"
but that is something about which I am learning.
And that's okay.
Because if we don't learn,
we become irrelevant and less useful
and then we die without having made a difference.
And the thought of that

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Birthday Cards

I've talked before about "Seminarians Gone Wild." This past Wednesday was Audit's birthday, and so a friend and I decided to make cupcakes for the occasion. However, we needed eggs. My friend also needed a few other things from the store, including a birthday card for her dad.

I went with her, just to get off campus for a little while. I always have fun with my pals, no matter what we're doing. This was no different. It was interesting though, because I've not had to look at birthday cards for dads in a long time. It was kind of nice. Even though it wasn't a card for my dad (obviously), it is nice to see that people have really good relationships with their dads. Even though, for some odd reason, I got a little teary eyed, (just a little, nothing obvious) I am grateful for the experience I had with my friend on Wednesday. She probably doesn't even know how much that meant to me. So, thanks, friend. And I'm grateful for the love you have with your dad.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Option 2 (Untitled as of yet)

She smiles, but those around her frown
and when she asks a question
the creases in their foreheads deepen.
She talks of home and the life she once knew
as if it were yesterday,
and if we didn't know better,
we would be convinced.
She wants to know how the children are,
so we say they are happy and growing.
Then her small talk comes:
"They have birds like that at Mona's."
"My work is unfulfilling."
"LaSalle Peru is really a growing city,
don't you think?"
Then she speaks of how she should have put
her little one down for a nap.
As those in the room around her
exchange their glances, but wish to exchange the situation,
they realize she is tired and needs her rest.
So, kisses and hugs are shared as we speak
Concretely of places we will go,
because if we don't, she will ask to come with us.
And we turn, walk down the hall, feeling a bit callous,
and enter the code that keeps our loved one "secure."
Goodbye Mom, see you next time.

Option 1-Will Spring Ever Come?

"Will Spring ever come?"
I ask as the snow whips around outside in the wind.
We make small talk.
"It's SeminaryTown's 8th snowiest season ever!"
"No chance of early blooms this year."
"It's been SO cold, too."
We long for the lengthening of days into,
perhaps, light jacket weather,
but instead, we still wear our beanies and gloves.
"Will Spring ever come?"
I question in my thoughts...
The boys need outdoor play time.
It might help them get rid of their illnesses.
Being cooped up is horrible for the wee ones,
and, really, for the parents, too.
They don't understand the concept of changing seasons yet,
they simply know that being cold is no fun.
"Will Spring ever come?"
The groundhog says we have several more weeks of winter.
That creature doesn't really know,
and yet we still curse him for bad news.
It's a psychological thing, I reckon.
We want promise,
"Will Spring ever come?"

A Fun Assignment!

For my "From Text to Sermon" class, el profesor has put us to the task of writing something creative. He said it can be a poem, prose, a short story, a song, or anything. He really said the assignment is limitless, and so long as we turn it in, we will get credit. I need to admit that I am excited about this assignment.

I used to write. A LOT. I wrote a lot of poems; the non-rhyming kind. It was during my "teen angst" phase, but really, I think it was probably a little more than teen angst. But, I'm good now.

And now, despite the fact that I've not written "creatively" for an assignment or for fun (except this blog, really) for years, I have found myself having several ideas. I've actually only written two things out, and I'm thinking about them. I'm confident that I'm going to have more ideas, and so these first two may be altogether "thrown out." We shall see. I think I'm going to post them. If you want to, tell me what you think. Maybe we could have a contest to see which thing gets the most votes, and that will be the one I turn in. Or not. :) I don't care. haha.

A little snippet

YS called me yesterday. We talked for a little while, and she asked if she could borrow a couple of bucks. Her car is having the tie rod replaced, and that is expensive. Because I love my little sister dearly, and I want her to always be safe, and if that safety requires her to have to ask me for a loan, I don't want her to EVER hesitate, I said I would most certainly send her the money. And so, last night I wrote her a check.

But the WHOLE point of this post is for me to tell you that I laughed my butt off because my sisters and I are all pretty close, and so we joke around a lot, including on checks. In the "memo" field of the check I wrote to YS, I put, "Rehab-Clean yourself up!"

Then, I promptly sealed it in an envelope and sent it on its merry little way.

Monday, February 18, 2008


So, a seminary friend showed me a link about something that happened in Israel this week. They suffered a 5.1 earthquake on the Richter scale. The only places that had damage were the Temple Mount and Nablus (a palestinian area in the north of Israel). There is a decent sized hole on the Temple Mount, but not really all that close to the dome of the rock. It's just interesting to think about what could potentially happen. I think a lot of Zionist Jews are thinking this is a promising sign that God is preparing the Temple Mount to be taken back over by the Jews. The Jews have been preparing for the Third Temple Period for a long time. As a matter of fact, they have a multi-million dollar, gold menorah in a huge glass case on one of the staircases leading down to the Western Wall Plaza, waiting to be taken out and used in the new temple. In case you want to read the article, check it out here

A Meme!

T over at Praying on the Prairie tagged me for a meme! Here it is:

Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. (No cheating!) Find Page 123. Find the first 5 sentences.Post the next 3 sentences.Tag 5 people.

Since all of my books are kinda laying willy nilly all over my floor, I really had a bunch near me. However, the CLOSEST book is the Evangelical Lutheran Worship: Leader's Desk Edition.

Here are the sentences:
Greetings, O favored one! The Lord is with you. The Holy Spirit will come upon you.

I tag Jacki, LutheranMom, Inheritor of Heaven, RuthRe, and Prepare Ye!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday Five

I'm not "technically" a member of the RevGalBlogPals, but I still like the Friday Five. I rarely do them, but this one looked especially interesting, especially during difficult times, both personally and communally, where we can draw strength that God's claim on us through Jesus Christ is stronger than death.

When and where were you baptized? Do you remember it? Know any interesting tidbits?
I was baptized on October 26, 1997 at my home church, that I'd been attending since Lent 1996. I remember it because I was almost fifteen years old by then. I had wanted to be baptized for a very long time, but since we "only" went to the Christian church across the street from my house, and because my mom, despite her non-attendance, still held to her Lutheran roots, I was not baptized as a baby. It was a "private" baptism. My family and sponsors were there and that was it. It's kinda cool being one of two people here at Seminary who remember their baptism.

What's the most unexpected thing you've ever witnessed at a baptism?
I haven't really ever seen anything very unexpected at a baptism. Although, at Sunscreen's baptism, I got to hold him while Pastor seashelled water onto his head. He started to cry a little bit, but he quit before he started. It's not too unexpected; I think it's just an interesting thing to remember.

Does your congregation have any special traditions surrounding baptisms? Well, sometimes, Pastor invites the children of the congregation up, which I think is neat. But, something I think that's cool is that one of the residents of the nursing home in ChurchTown makes a "baptismal blanket" for every baby being baptized in town. Then, after the baptism, that baby receives the blanket as a kind of reminder that we are wrapped always in God's love. I also think it's a wonderful way for this woman to use a gift she has for the church.

Are you a godparent or baptismal sponsor? Have a story to tell?
My younger sister and I are both the baptism sponsors for Howard and Sunscreen. I was SO FLOORED when they asked me. I'm very excited, because I've already begun a little bit of telling them about God and what God has done in Christ Jesus. You might be amazed that SO MANY children's books have "ins" for you to use in sharing Christ's love.

Do you have a favorite baptismal song or hymn?I really like the song, "Lift High the Cross." Don't think me morbid, but it's also one of the hymns I would like sung at my funeral. The point is, "it's not about us."

Lift High the Cross:
Lift high the cross,
the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore
his sacred name.

Come, Christians, follow where our captain trod,
our king victorious, Christ the Son of God.

All newborn servants of the Crucified
bear on their brows the seal of him who died.

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
as thou hast promised, draw us all to thee.

So shall our song of triumph ever be:
praise to the Crucified for victory!

"Lift High the Cross," ELW hymn #660. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Augsburg Fortress Publishers, October 2006.

Prayers for Northern Illinois University

As a native of the great state of Illinois, and an alum of Illinois State University, I am just flabbergasted about what has happened at NIU. DeKalb, Illinois is less than an hour and a half away from my hometown. A dear, dear friend of mine was a student there, but graduated last May with a Master's degree. I can only imagine the pain and grief that the entire student body is feeling.

So often we take our physical safety for granted.

During this difficult time, I would ask for your prayers to be with that community as they try to make heads or tails of the senselessness of the violence that has entered into their lives.

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills-
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your
coming in
from this time on and

Hey Vinny-Get da shovel!

Alright, so yesterday, I needed to go grocery shopping and to the drugstore, but I haven't driven anywhere in about three weeks. So, since we had a HUGE snow last week, my car was pretty much buried. But, I went out there, got most of the snow off my windows, and thought that the snow behind my car wasn't too deep. So, I tried to reverse out, so I could finish scraping off my windows.

Unfortunately, I could only go about six inches in either direction. The tires were just spinning.

So, I tried to use my scraper to move some snow away from my tires so I could get some momentum going. But, whenI tried, that didn't work either.

At that point, I went inside and borrowed one of the snow shovels that are around the doors of the dorm. I spent about an hour or so shoveling out (there was A LOT of snow), and I noticed that the problem I was having was not a snow problem, but an ICE problem. There was ice under all my tires. So, I finished shoveling, gave the reversing thing more more try, and realized I was going to need a little bit of help.

At this point, I went upstairs and asked one of my good friends if she could come steer while I pushed the car. She said yes, and we walked down there.

I should mention that my pants, coat, and gloves were all pretty much soaked by this point, but yesterday was a pretty nice day. I wasn't even cold. So, my friend came down. And then, I saw that I hadn't shoveled any of the snow away from the FRONT of my car, so I had to stand in about three feet of snow in order to be at the front of the car. Ah well. So, Friend sat in there and I pushed and she reversed, and because I'm absolutely BUFF, we got the car out in a matter of about 15 seconds. We're THAT good, people. :) So, Friend reversed me away from the ice, and then I got to do my errands.

Needless to say, when I got back to the Castle, I parked somewhere else.

A lot of people may have been crabby about having to spend a minimum of an hour digging out of crusted over snow, but I was happy. Physical labor makes me feel useful. Plus, it was a nice workout. I'm slightly sore today, but nothing too bad.

I'm just grateful that I had someone to help me at the end there. Yay for friends! Thanks FRIEND!

Anyway, so that was that, and I just thought I'd share the story. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Something in My Inbox Today

So, I thought it kind of odd that after my dream last night, that this should come to my email inbox:


The young mother set her foot on the path of life.
"Is this the long way?" she asked.

And the guide said, "Yes, and the way is hard.
And you will be old before you reach the end of it.
But the end will be better than the beginning."

But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years.

So she played with her children, she fed them and bathed them, and taught them how to tie their shoes and ride a bike and reminded them to feed the dog and do their homework and brush their teeth.

The sun shone on them and the young Mother cried,
"Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."

Then the nights came, and the storms,
and the path was sometimes dark,
and the children shook with fear and cold,
and the mother drew them close and covered them with her arms,
and the children said, "Mother, we are not afraid,
for you are near, and no harm can come."

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children, “A little patience and we are there."

So the children climbed,
and as they climbed they learned to weather the storms.
And with this, she gave them strength to face the world.
Year after year, she showed them compassion, understanding,
but most of all... unconditional love.
And when they reached the top they said,
"Mother, we would not have done it without you."

The days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years,
and the mother grew old and she became little and bent.
But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage.
And the mother, when she lay down at night,
looked up at the stars and said, "This is a better day
than the last, for my children have learned so much and are now
passing these traits on to their children."

And when the way became rough for her, they lifted her,
and gave her their strength, just as she had given them hers.
One day they came to a hill, and beyond the hill,
they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide.

And mother said: "I have reached the end of my journey.
And now I know the end is better than the beginning,
for my children can walk with dignity and pride,
with their heads held high, and so can their children after them."

And the children said, "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates."

And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the
gates closed after her. And they said: "We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory.
She is a living presence."

Your Mother is always with you.

She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street,
She's the smell of certain foods you remember,
flowers you pick and perfume that she wore,
She's the cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well,
She's your breath in the air on a cold winter's day.
She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep,
the colors of a rainbow,
She is Christmas morning.

Your Mother lives inside your laughter.
And she's crystallized in every tear drop.
A mother shows every emotion...
happiness, sadness, fear, jealousy, love, hate, anger,
helplessness, excitement, joy, sorrow...
and all the while, hoping and praying
you will only know the good feelings in life.

She's the place you came from, your first home,
and she's the map you follow with every step you take.
She's your first love,
your first friend,
even your first enemy,
but nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, not space... not even death!
May we never take our mothers for granted.
~Author Unknown~

I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this little poem, but my initial reaction involved some teary eyes. Perhaps for the fact that I FEEL separated from my Mom, and yet I could go see her if I wanted. For now, anyway. I guess I'm just a little confused right now. Sorry to be a downer. Peace.

My Subconscious.

I have been dreaming a lot in the past couple of days. Yesterday, I took an afternoon nap, and this is the dream I had:

These two boys who were walking to school. One says to the other, "So you told your Mom that your brother put your PB Sandwiches in boiling water, huh?" and the other kid said, "Yes I did. But, he didn't really do that, and so with a little call to the Post Office, I get to have them for lunch. Now watch this!" And then they were going back to his house and the garage door started opening, but a HUGE paper sack (like the kind restaurant french fries come in) broke through the garage door, and there were a bunch of smaller paper sacks and huge foil wrapped baked potatoes there too. The boys stood there all open-mouthed as the big sack started to wiggle. The boys were saying, "Favorite foods!" in horror because they realized that they were in deep trouble for opening the garage door, thus causing it to break, for lying, and for not being at school. So then, the wiggling sack broke open with the brother popping out saying, "Favorite foods, candy, and teenage girls; all ready to see you be a nerd!" Then, a friend knocked and woke me up. Weird, I know. ha.

Then, last night, I had a dream with one of my seminarymates whom we shall call "Jim." I was at my childhood home, sitting on our OLD OLD couch on the front porch (the couch has been gone for several years). Jim came inside my house and was talking to me about this book that he wrote. He was going to give me an autographed copy, but he had to go talk to one of our professors first. While he was there, my Mom was there, also. She was talking to me about going to see Christmas lights. She said, "I think I'm going to go look at Christmas lights." I told her, "But it's light outside. You won't be able to see them." And really, I was just trying to get her to not go because I knew she was not supposed to drive. So, she just kept saying, "I know, but I want to go see them." And I kept saying, "But it's light outside. You won't be able to. How about we wait til tonight and I will go with you?" And she said okay, and I took her car keys and put them on my own keychain. About that time, I woke up.

That dream was weird, but not in the "Twilight Zone" sense because the exchange between my mom and I was relatively true to life. When I still lived at home with her, I tried to tactfully get her to see some reason so she would not go do certain things. Then, after I left and the sibs took away her car keys for safety reasons, they would try to reason with her. And the dream was just bizarre, and somewhat disturbing. But, I don't know why it's disturbing. Maybe just because I hate dementia SO DAMNED MUCH that I could puke, and it ticks me off that it's invading my dreams now. I don't know. I've had Ma on my mind for a while now because she's not doing well, but we have no "official" word on diagnosis of something possibly/probably new. It's just a troubling thing to watch someone who cared for me so much, and who I love dearly, spiral down into complete and utter confusion, what is probably much like a dream all the time. Not quite understanding everything, but unable to make heads or tails of it. Oy.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cranberry Hymnal

Tonight, I had my chanting class. About twenty or so of us gather in one of the classrooms with our ELWs and we chant portions of the liturgies, the psalms, and we sing the occasional "Glory to God." It's fun, for the most part, because we get to sing/chant in unison. However, tonight we had to do a "round robin" exercise.

The young man sitting to my right volunteered to go first. Because we were moving counter-clockwise, that meant I was to be last. The first person would sing the "leader" part while the person to their right would sing the response.

About halfway through, I started hyperventilating mildly. I knew that we would eventually have to sing/chant by ourselves, but I had fooled myself into believing that we would do that with the professor or maybe in small groups. Boy, was I wrong! So, my friend to my left was like, "Are you going to be okay?" And I replied something, but I don't remember what. And then it got to be our turn and my friend sang the leader part and I had to do the other part. The professor was helping many of the respondents, so I was happy about that. We did that with another setting in the ELW, and I got to be the respondent again. That was a slight comfort.

Then, we got to the third liturgy and I looked and saw that he switched it, with the result that I would have to do the leader part. Now, don't get me wrong-I sing all the time. When I'm ALONE/in my car/not in a room with people who are good singers! I was worried. Thankfully, the guy to the left of the friend to my left didn't finish his "leader" part, so my friend finished it, and I got to do the response again.

At this point, the professor said something about how my voice had gotten higher, to where it should be, and that I did well. And he was pointing out some other things with some of us and then he was talking about me a bit more and I could feel myself turning red. You'll remember that I have talked before about how I have a tendency to turn red when I am put in the center of attention by others. Well, that definitely happened. When the professor turned around and saw me, he said, "Wow, you're REALLY red." And I started giggling, and to try to cover myself, I held up the hymnal in a joking sort of way like, "Which is redder; me or the hymnal?" Ha.

But anyway, class was over not much later and I was still very tense and nervous because the whole singing thing. I shouldn't be, but I was and still am. Some of my friends said that I "sounded great," but man.. It was painful! Ha. So, I'm going to work some more on singing/chanting on tune, and hopefully chill out before next week... Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

And some more...

Here are pictures of the Christmas parade, the star marking Jesus' birthplace, as well as a side view picture of the main altar of the Church of the Nativity.

A couple more pictures from the last post...

Here are a couple pictures of the wall surrounding Bethlehem. I was astounded at the many different agendas on the wall. There were paintings of beauty, messages of hate (F*** this wall; Place Bomb Here), messages of pleading (I want Peace, please), satire (an alien spaceship over a figure, as well as big black letters saying, "Ich Bin Ein Berliner), and many other things.

More from J-Term

I think I've mentioned before how the first place we stayed while in "the Holy Land" was in Bethlehem. Bethlehem is actually not Israel, but rather is Palestine. It's in the West Bank, and has a high wall around it with a checkpoint through which all people must go. Because we were "Americans," we just showed our little blue passport most of the time, and voila, we were ushered right through.

Bethlehem was a really neat place. It's bigger than my hometown, so I was somewhat amused when I thought about the Christmas hymn, "O Little Town of Bethlehem." But, I reckon it has grown over the years. The big pilgrimage site in Bethlehem is the Church of the Nativity. This church is where many historians, archaeologists, and theologians believe to be the place Jesus was actually born. Well, in the cave underneath the church, anyway. The church is held by Catholics and Eastern Rite churches. The Catholics have their side, and the Eastern Rite (Coptics, Armenians, and Greek Orthodox) have theirs. The difference is like night and day, but it was neat. When pilgrims go down into the cave, there is a line to the altar under which it is believed Jesus was actually born; as in, "Bam, Congratulations. It's a boy." The place is marked by a 14 point star with a bowl type divot where people can place stuff to be blessed. It was an amazing feeling putting my hand on that place.

A few feet away is another cave-ish type place that is believed to be the "quiet place" where Mary and Joseph laid Jesus after he was born. There is a glass case with a baby doll in there now to recreate the scene. When you leave that place, there is a long hallway type thing with pictures of Mary and Jesus, with candles hanging from the ceiling. All the soot has turned the roof black.

When pilgrims leave the cave, they go out through the way the Catholics generally enter. That puts you right back up top by the main altar that you see when you enter the church. Oh, and another interesting thing; people have to stoop to enter the Church of the Nativity, and guards are outside to make sure men do not wear hats inside. It opens up to a huge room with the main Eastern Rite altar ahead, a "side altar" off to the right, and in a different part of the building is the Catholic Church. In the main part of the church, when you first enter, there are also doors on the floor which open and close to show pilgrims the original floor which has been destroyed by conquests, as well as time. This church is actually used by all these denominations today. The Sunday we were there, the Eastern Rite churches were having Christmas and the Catholic side was having Epiphany. It was pretty amazing being in the Church of the Nativity while people were celebrating Christmas. There was even a big parade with the priests, the boy/girl scouts playing music, and a procession with the worshipers and the patriarch. The Church of the Nativity was a high point of the trip for me. Here are pictures from the church. (stooping to enter, the side Eastern Rite Altar, and the original floor). Enjoy!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Blah blah blahbity blah.

I don't really have anything to say right now. I'm just bored. It's the first weekend of the new semester, and I should be reading to stay on top of things. Oh well. Hopefully I'll feel more like doing that tomorrow.

Right now, I have a hankering for something sweet, but the only sweet stuff I have in my room is pop. Considering it's almost 1:30 a.m., that would be a bad idea.

Howard has double pneumonia and a double ear infection. He's getting better, but I feel so bad for the little guy. If you think of it, would you mind saying a prayer for him? Please and thank you.

This semester's "Seminarians Gone Wild" is going to be different from last semester's. Last semester, we all went out on Wednesdays. This semester, we're going down to Audit's apartment (Her nickname is Audit because she audited summer Greek with us) and taking turns cooking. I'm not good at cooking, but I can probably figure some stuff out...

I'm still hanging out with "J" and having a good time. We played Super Nintendo in my room Thursday night and talked for a good long while. It was fun.

I think I'm going to go to bed now. Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


School is cancelled tomorrow! SNOW DAY! I can't believe it!

My undergraduate school cancelled one time when I was a student there, but it didn't affect me because I didn't go to class everyday by that time. This snow day actually gets me out of a 7:30 small group and a morning class! Weehaw! The only bummer is that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, and so I should probably find a place out in the community to do that worship tomorrow.

Tonight, we had a Mardi Gras worship service, which was AWESOME. Some talented students played their instruments (clarinet, trombone, trumpet, piano, and sax) and we got the hymns out of the "African American" ELCA worship book. It was lively and fun. After worship, there was a potluck. I can't cook, and so didn't bring anything. But there was plenty of food. I had a good time, and next time I will take pinwheels or something that requires little skill. If it hadn't snowed all day today, I might have gone to the store to get the stuff. But, I hate driving in snow.

Anyway, so, it was a good night, and I am ready for bed now. I think I may finish reading a "for fun" book, though, even though it's not a "fun" book. It's about a guy who suffered a massive stroke in his brain stem and can only communicate by blinking his left eye. But, it's an interesting read, so I wanna finish up. But, I went downstairs earlier and excitedly told some people that there is no school tomorrow. The rest of the night is mine, now though. Stay warm, stay safe.

A new beginning

This week marks the new beginning of another semester of Seminary. I am amazed because I have been here for over one year, although my transcript is barely different from the rest of my classmates. Oh well.

My class load is 15 credit hours, although some of those credits are "modules" which are at different points in the semester. This month, I am in the "chanting" module. We meet on Monday nights for a couple of hours. I was pumped because today at lunch, I was telling a couple of my friends how we were punching each other in the stomach last night to get the diaphragm to work, and they asked what that did. So, I sang the line, "This is the feast." A few minutes later, as we were talking about why I was taking that class (to get comfortable with chanting/hopefully singing in front of people) and I said, "It actually took a lot for me to sing, "This is the feast" in front of you, they said, "Wow, it actually sounded really good. Not like you were uncomfortable at all." So, score! The intended outcome is on the way! Yeehaw!

Today, we were in Systematic Theology (at 7:30! Yuck!) and one of the teachers was taking role. He said, "Correct me if I mispronounce your name." Pretend my last name is "Smith" for a minute. When he got to my name, he said it correctly, but I said, "It's actually Smithe" (with the long "I" sound) and pretty much the whole class started laughing because there is no possible way the "i" is long in my name, and I have a ridiculously easy last name to say. So, that made me laugh. So, my whole class and I were all laughing together. It was fun. So then, when our professor for Parish Worship was taking attendance, he got to my name and about half the class and I started laughing at the prof said, "Is this something I should know?" It was an amusing time. I don't know, maybe you had to be there...

And now I just got back from lunch, and I'm waiting for 3:00 p.m. to roll around so I can go to Pastoral Care with Adolescents. I'm excited for that class; Pastoral care does that to me! Probably because I've already had CPE and really liked it. Who knows? But I think I'm going to try to take a short nap now. Peace out.

Friday, February 01, 2008


The reason I'm medicating is because I'm sick. I forgot to include that tidbit of information. Yeehaw.


So, I went "home" last Saturday because 3 of my 4 sibs, their significant others, children, and I were planning to go to the nursing home on Sunday and celebrate Ma's 68th birthday with her. OB was invited, he just didn't show.

Saturday was a pretty ordinary day, except in the evening, Sis and BiL invited me to dinner with BiL's sister and her boyfriend. I went because they already had a sitter for the boys and YS was at work. We went to a REALLY nice restaurant. It's called "The Fish House." I think they have them all over the place. I know there is one in Springfield. It was good food and good company, so all was well. Plus, they listened to me talk about my trip to I/P.

When Sunday morning rolled around, I went to church. I gave Pastor the "scrap" of olive wood he requested from Israel. I had it wrapped up in a plastic bag just in case it had bugs on it or something. He said, "What's this?" I told him that the people didn't really understand the concept of "scrap," and so I said to them, "uncarved olive wood." The guy looked at me like I was crazy, but said, "Let me go see." He brought me back a log of olive wood that probably was 3 inches in diameter and 14 inches long. Ha. Pastor laughed and I said, "I hope you can use it." He thinks it will be just fine, and in fact, said he'd probably start working with it today. He's going to make us some olive wood crosses, so I'm excited.

While we were waiting to go into the sanctuary before church started, people were talking to me and asking me how the trip went and things, and I was happy to tell them. But, pretty soon, the organ started playing, and I get a little nervous if I'm not in the sanctuary by the time the music starts playing. So, I went in.

The sermon Pastor delivered this past Sunday was REALLY good. And don't worry, I DID tell him I enjoyed it. It was about hope, even when things don't FEEL hopeful, and about how Jesus calls us to him and we are fed, kind of like when Pastor's childhood neighbor would beat on a bucket and say to the cows, "Here mboss," and all the cows would come in from the field because they KNEW that the bucket would lead them to one who cared for them. Even if that's just a case of classical conditioning. I'm not doing the sermon justice; let's just leave it at that. Oh, and because last Sunday's Gospel text had a bunch of places in it, Pastor looked down at me sitting there in my usual, 4th pew from the front on the pulpit side spot and saw me smiling. He said, "Trish just got back from a trip to the Holy Land and so she probably has an all new appreciation for reading about these biblical sites." And we talked for a quick minute and he made a joke and people laughed before he got back into the sermon. He's good like that.

When it was time to collect the offering, the organist started playing, obviously, and one of the ushers came forward and talked to the doctor who sits right in front of me. He got up and went out, and I figured someone in the congregation was having difficulties. A minute or so later, he called out, "Does anyone have any nitroglycerin tablets?" A woman from the congregation got up and went to offer hers. Pastor went back there while Doc was doing his thing, and I think he probably had a word of prayer or something-I don't know. I said a prayer for him.

The organist started playing the offertory and Pastor came back up front and concluded the service at warp-speed. He told us to dismiss out the sides because the ambulance was there taking care of "Hercules," an older gentleman of the congregation who I wrote about here, as the man who times my sermons.

As I walked out, Hercules had an oxygen mask on and was sitting in his pew still. He looked awful. He was all ashy-white and he looked worried, as would I if I were having a heart attack. I stood out in the fellowship hall to talk to more people if they wanted. I also was going to ask Herc's wife if she needed a ride, but I heard someone else ask her and she had things squared away. When the EMTs brought Herc out of the sanctuary on the stretcher, he looked even worse. They loaded him up and took off, with his wife soon following.

I learned later that he died. I am so sorry to hear that, but I "knew" it was going to happen. Remember this and this and this? Sometimes I just "know" these things because I've seen them before, and sometimes I just have a really strong suspicion. Hercules will be missed. He was a longtime member of the church, he had a fun laugh, and he was able to talk to people. One time before I was leading worship, he even called me over before the service to tell me about some guy who made the world record of number of skydives in a twenty-four hour period. It had been in the previous day's newspaper.

It was kind of weird not being the one "in charge" in the situation. I have seen 6 heart attacks close up. One happened when I was 4 or 5-My Aunt Joyce, who was severely mentally handicapped, had a heart attack on the couch in my parent's living room and died. I remember it pretty well. Both of my parents had heart attacks in 1995. I was with them both. Mom's wasn't evident though, so I didn't do anything. Dad's WAS, and so I did do something. Next was the guy at Restaurant, where I monitored the pulse and breathing of the customer who crashed pretty much as soon as the EMTs got there, and one heart attack was at the hospital when I was doing CPE, so obviously, I didn't do anything, and now, number 6, Hercules. Doc was doing what he could for someone who was conscious, breathing, and alert.

This most recent situation has made me think. Doc did everything he could to help Herc. And the things he did and the things I did for the guy at Restaurant were remarkably similar. Granted, the customer was unconscious and Herc was alert, but other than that-similar. So, I think I did everything "right," as they say, and it's not my fault. Good to know. Let me file that one away in my mind...

This has turned into a really long post, and I need to go medicate again. I'm out, yo.