Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fun Times

Well, here we are, 4 or so weeks into the semester (depending on whether or not you count prologue wee). J has been living in his new community for what seems like FOREVER. I miss him a lot, but we talk every day in some way or another. Last night, we had a virtual date. We had a video call on MSN messenger, and we played the games that they offer. We even put a puzzle together, and it was so much fun (even though I suck at puzzles). I had a great time. It's amazing to think of my life and how much I love him, and how only 10 short months can change a person. I was planning on staying single forever, but that didn't happen. J and I started hanging out near the end of the fall semester of my junior year. Then, on Valentine's day, we said we liked each other, and on March 13, we made our relationship "official." And now, we're engaged. It's amazing.

Back before J, I thought that I was going to be single forever. I told people that I was going to be single forever. But now I am blessed with the love of a good man, and I'm gushing. In my former days, I would be about puking by now. Lol. All this is just exciting. I can't believe it. I still get giddy when I remember J asking me to marry him. :) :) :)

I guess the point of this post is to say that it is good to be open to new experiences. I'm so thankful I was wrong. :) Enough gushing for now. See y'all.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm slacking!

Hello, all. Well, I've been slacking with this whole updating thing. It's the beginning of a new semester, and I'm still trying to figure out the correct balance of doing things. Right now, I'm TOTALLY not balancing right. It's my own fault though. I'm too excited to be wedding planning with J than to focus on my schoolwork. Although, I am really enjoying Hebrew Content. The Hebrew Scriptures are really interesting (when you're not having to deal with genealogies and numbers and what not). There's scandal, people overcoming odds, and all kinds of stuff. Very interesting.

Anyway, so, the wedding date is May 30th, 2009, at my home church. We're very excited. Because, well, this is an exciting time. It's also an exciting time because J is about two weeks into living in the communities to which he has been called to serve. He's in the midst of ministry, and I hope, feeling affirmed and delighted. I'm excited for him, and I'm excited for the people who called him. He's a really talented, smart, and funny man, (only a few of his wonderful qualities), and they are fortunate to have him.

Tonight is the season premier of Law&Order:SVU. A friend and I have watched this show on Tuesday nights for the entire time she's been here and it's been on. It's grown a bit to include other friends, but it is a good time. I'm excited.

Lastly, Pumpkin seeds aren't near as tasty as sunflower seeds. That is all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I sure hope this isn't a premonition...

Today, I took a bit of a nap. I had gone to classes this morning, and also worked out when a panel from Illinois could come for me and another young woman from Illinois to interview us for Endorsement. It took a wee bit of work to schedule all of this stuff, but I got it done. After I got that figured out, I went to check out this youth center where I will be doing my "field work" for a class. When I got home I laid down on my bed. I really wasn't all that tired, but I felt a bit off, and thus decided to rest. Soon enough, I was asleep, and having a crazy dream.

I dreamt that it was the day of the Endorsement Interviews. The way it works is that one person from each synod (or state, as in my case) is the lead coordinator and works to find a day and time when all the people they are grouped with can have the interviews. The leader can delegate tasks, so long as a room for interviewing is reserved, the panel, student, and faculty advisor are there, lunch is straightened out, and for those who come from a long way to get accommodations. So, I'd been slightly stressed about getting all this done because there are some things going on in my synod that are going to make the assistant to the bishop for candidacy affairs unavailable for a while. I wanted to get things hammered out before she left, so that she didn't have to be worried about it while she is away. Needless to say, I've had Endorsement on the brain. Anyway, so back to the dream...

I dreamt that instead of having these interviews on all separate days, every single synod was doing their interviews on the SAME day. Seminary set up big old rooms for dinner and what not about it. Well, on this day, my fellow Illinoisan and I forgot to meet our panel at the front desk. When we remembered and got there, he was like, "Finally!" and he rolled his eyes. So, he was saying snarky things to us about how incompetent we were and what not. And so, we were trying to be apologetic and polite, and so we took him to the dinner. There were ice sculptures set up and big long tables of food that people were sitting at. Our "panel" (which consisted in the dream of just this one guy), was not impressed. He had to wait for his meal, during which time, he continued to degrade us. So, after the meal (which I don't remember eating in the dream), there was some sort of presentation. He was not amused, and in fact, did not like at all. All of a sudden, it was like an hour or two had passed, and I loked around and saw that one ice sculpture was severely melted, and another one was basically destroyed. Just the base of it was there with a bunch of water in the ice "walls" that remained. Not many people were in the room anymore, and I looked around to see our "panel" destroying the ice sculptures. I knew that they wouldn't have degraded so quickly. He pretty much told us we were incompetent failures, and that he shouldn't have wasted his time.

At this point, I jerked awake and was like, "Dude... What the heck!"

I've been having some weird dreams lately that have been causing me to jerk awake. It's weird, and slightly amusing because when I wake up, I know that my subconscious has just blown things way out of proportion. I'm fairly confident that my Endorsement Interview (the next step in Candidacy for me and my classmates) will go well. My academic work has gone pretty well, I think I'm growing in this whole, "Trying to talk in class" thing, and I think I'm becoming more confident with my particular gifts and abilities. Dreams are bizarre things, I reckon. That, and I have lots o' stuff going on (obviously).

Anyway, I just thought I'd tell y'all of my crazy dreaming again. Have a delightful day.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Ring!

I forgot to post about the engagement ring J and I picked out! It is 1/4 carat princess cut diamond with a white gold band. Here is a picture:

It is simple, which is just my style. :) See you all later.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Most of you already know...

But J asked me to marry him and I said yes. He asked on Sunday, August 31st, 2008 (obviously). He asked me to go with him to his new home to help move him and his stuff in. His call is about 11 hours away from Seminary. Four of his congregation members came down in a suburban to help him move that weekend. They got here late on Friday night and went to sleep. Early the next morning, we went down to J's apt and loaded up his Uhaul. Two people drove the truck, two people went in the suburban, and J and I went in his car. Before we departed, he asked me to go get a CD he had made me. Good music.

We stopped a couple of times for gas and food, and made it to his new home in pretty good time. There were several congregation members there to help unload the truck, and J got to tell them where to put all the boxes and furniture. Someone else brought pizza, beer, water, and pop, and so we had some good time for fellowship and getting to know you. One of the congregation members showed us how to get to the hotel at which I would be staying. Then, J brought me back to his house, after we went and saw the church. It seems like a really neat place, and I mentioned how much I like it. When we got back to his house, I helped him set up his bed so he could sleep comfortably during his first night in his new place (even though he was coming back to Seminary for about two more weeks).

After we got the bedroom situation figured out, he took me back to the hotel because we were both pretty beat. As I was getting ready for bed, he sent me a really sweet text message, and I replied, and then went to sleep.

The next morning, he came to get me for our long trip home. We drove around the town in which one of his congregations and the parsonage are. It's a town of about a thousand people. They have a prominent landmark right off the Interstate, and so we stopped and looked at it and read about it for a little bit. Then, he took me to the town where his other church is. He showed me the outside of his other church because we couldn't go in. They were still worshipping. Both places seem really cool, and I enjoyed the congregation members I met. Good folks.

After he showed me around that town, which has about 200 people, give or take a few, we headed out. We drove for a little while, but then stopped at another prominent landmark in a town on the Interstate. We had our picture taken with said landmark, viewed the museum and tourist sites there, and then got back into his car. Before he started the car, he said, "Did you ever listen on your computer to the most recent CD I made you?" I told him that I had only ever listened to it on my DVD player. He said, "So you don't know the names of all the songs?" I told him that I didn't. Then he said, "I finished the insert for you. You might want to pay special attention to the first letter of each song." So, I read the first letters that spelled out, "Trish will you marry me?" I turned to him and said, "Are you asking?" And he said, "Yes. Will you marry me?" Of course I said yes, and I am thrilled. We got the engagement ring later that week because he wanted us to pick it out together.

We tried to keep it quiet, but told several of our friends the next week. I asked the usual Seminarians Gone Wild crew to go out to lunch for a "pre-Wednesday get together event." All but one was able to go. We went out to lunch at a Chinese Buffet. As I came back from my second trip, I was standing up near the end of the table and I said, "Hey guys. Hey guys... I lied. The reason I wanted you all to come to lunch is because we're engaged." It was so neat to see their reactions. We got hugs and squeals and all that good stuff. We asked them to keep it on the downlow because were were planning on going to Illinois to tell my family the coming weekend.

So, Friday, we got to Sis and BiL's house. I wanted to tell both of my sisters at the same time, so I had kinda put a bug in YS's ear that she needed to visit us at Sis's house that weekend. I'm thankful that Sis, YS, Howard, Sunscreen, BiL, J, and I had dinner together on Saturday night. YSB had to be someplace else, so that was a slight bummer. Anyway, though, before dinner, I was making cocktails, because I gotta make myself useful somehow, and YS came up to me and said, "Hey T, I had a crazy dream about you the other night!" (Remember that the week prior, I had had that dream where she was incredibly angry and she really was?) I said, "What did you dream about?" She replied, "I had this dream that when you and J came home, you guys were married!" I kinda smiled and said, "No... We're not married." Then, about an hour later, after we had finished eating dinner, we were enjoying a nice glass of peach champagne when I asked BiL when he was going to Canada. He told me when and then he said, "Too bad we're turning right at (town where J and I got engaged), or else I'd come see you, J!" I said something like, "So, you're turning there? That's where he asked me to marry him." And they were all like, "WOW!" And BiL said, "I KNEW IT!" And YS said, "My dream was almost right!" And they gave us congrats. YS said, "I told YSB that if T gets a ring before I do, I'm going to be pissed!" I asked her if she was okay with it, and she said, "Yes, I'm very happy for you!" And she was. I can tell when she's upset, and she wasn't upset. Maybe this will be the impetus for YSB to ask YS. They've been together a good long while, and he's a good man. I just think he's been burned before.

So, the family knew, and that freed J and me up to tell whomever we wanted.

The next morning, we went to my home church and I introduced Pastor to J. Pastor told J congrats on graduating and being ordained, and J said, "Among other things." And I held up my ring hand and said, "We're engaged!" It took Pastor a second to realize that I was holding up a ringed finger and he was excited about it. We told him that we had wanted to wait until we told my family, but now we could broadcast it to the world. So he said, "I can help you with that, if you'd like! I can make an announcement if that's alright with you!" We told him that it would be.

So, Pastor did the regular announcements that morning, and as the last one he said, "Some of you maybe have met Trish's friend, J when he was here in August?" (He looked at me to see if that was right and I said, "July"). "When he was here in July when Trish led worship when I was gone. J is a recent graduate and is ordained and will be starting a call (in his call towns). But when we were talking this morning, Trish held up her hand like this and showed me that they're engaged!" I heard the whole congregation go, "Awww!" And then they all started clapping. I turned bright red, of course, but I felt very loved by them. It's good to have "congregational approval," despite the fact that I'm in love and would marry him even if they didn't approve.

I'm just glad they didn't freak out and think I was going to quit seminary. That is not AT ALL my plan. J realizes this and supports me in my continuing education. We are planning on getting married this coming May, though. I'm excited, to say the least. I just wanted to share this news with you, my blogging community, despite the fact that most of you knew already. :)

Anyway, this has been an extremely long post, so I'ma head off now. Have a delightful day.

Friday, September 05, 2008

I'm a slacker!

I'm dreadfully sorry for not having posted anything lately. I've been a little busy. Prologue week ended today, and so there is a picnic later today that I will be attending with J. I'm glad that Prologue Week is over. I ended up making myself look stupid more days than not. Haha.

We had opening worship on Monday night. A friend asked me to be a standard bearer, meaning, I had to stand in a designated area with my classes colored (black) banner. I, along with the water bearer, led our class into the refectory to be seated for worship. But, before we went in, I was just standing there as a beacon. I was looking through some of the photos of the event later in the week and saw one of me looking intently at my banner. It's not too terrible, but I have a look of concentration on my face and the people are probably like, "WHAT is she LOOKING AT!?" Lol. I was looking to make sure none of the black ribbons that made up the banner had come off again and started flying away. But, most people don't know that.

Let's see, I don't think I did anything on Tuesday, but on Wednesday, I was really tired, and so I put my hands on my forehead to rest my head. I wasn't *Really* sleeping because I could still hear every word the prof was saying. Then, he said something interesting, so I took my hands down and wrote it down. However, about 10 seconds later, I decided I needed to shift in my seat. The unfortunate part is that my chair did not have the screws in the bottom of the seat to keep it down. So, I started to fall forward until my friend sitting next to me put his arm out and anchored the back of my chair down. Most of the people in the class started laughing and the prof said something to me regarding falling asleep. I told him I wasn't falling asleep, but that my chair was broken, but I don't think he believed me. And the rest of the profs (Prologue week is team taught) thought I was sleeping. Thankfully, my small group leader asked me what happened later. But, the whole thing just made me feel stupid because everyone thought I was sleeping, and then the professor and I had a short conversation right then and there and I turned bright red and he said he was blushing too. It was just weird.

Thursday, we were all sitting in class, listening to the lecture, when the professors asked us to ask questions. Because I hardly spoke in class last year, I thought I should work on that this year. So, I tried to ask some question, but it met with silence and bewildered faces. So, I said, "That isn't clear to you at all, is it?" and they said, "no." So, I rephrased, and they kind of answered, but not quite the question I was asking. I don't want to be "that girl" who just talks and asks stupid questions. Ugh. Oh well.

Today, I didn't really do anything to make myself look stupid. Which is a good thing. One of the profs, I think made another classmate feel stupid because he (the prof) was not paying attention to what was going on when my classmate had to leave. He brought attention to her as she left, and I felt bad for her because I wouldn't appreciate his comments in the middle of class like that either. He wasn't being mean, but he was drawing attention to her. And then, when he realized WHY she left, he brought MORE attention to her. Gimme a break.

Oh well. Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come. I think things will be fine; we just need to get back into the swing of things.

Oh yeah! And I need to tell you another story about something ELSE that happened today!

J and I were at HyVee returning a RedBox movie (A new thing for me, but really cool). Anyway, someone else was using it when we got there, so we were going thru the movies for sale bin. This older woman in a motorize shopping cart was also looking through the movies when she said to J and me, "This is what the world is coming to!" while pointing to the movie, "The Omen." At which point, she launched into this diatribe about how we all need to repent from our sins because satan is here and we're about at the end of the world and would experience God's wrath if we all didn't repent. And she talked to us for like, 10 minutes! I tried to tell her that J is a pastor and she just blew right on by, continuing to talk about the mark of the beast and the coming judgment and what not. She then said she was going to give me some information about what is happening, but I said, "We have to be going." But then this woman dragged me into MORE conversation. Then, when she finally took another breath, I interjected about how I am glad that we are the recipients of God's wonderful grace. She took that as an opportunity to talk more about how, despite God's grace and goodness, we still need to DO things. I'm all for living a faithful life, but she was not listening at all to us.

It reminded me of pastoral care last year when we were told that before we want to be heard, we have to listen. I guess this chic missed the memo on that one. Oh well. The whole experience reminded me of a good friend of mine here who has weird experiences ALL the time! I am excited to tell her about this lady, who we finally got away from because the RedBox finally became free. Yikes.

Anyway, so that is that. Have a great weekend all. See you, and I'll try to post more frequently.