Rough Draft to 15 different poems, books, memoirs, sermons, confessions, apologies, blog entries and maybe one eulogy?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 12:30am, revised 09/18/2009

So, I lost weight, I went to the gym, I controlled portions, I ate a freakin’ grapefruit for my snack and I’M HUNGREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY!!! I want a real snack. Ugh. See, I really want to be in shape. I want to be healthy, I want to get strong and sexy and chiseled. I want to be a swirl of curve and muscle with a layer of delicious softness. I want to look good. For me, for you, for my husband.

Oh, and don’t get me started on him. He’s been at the gym almost every freakin’ day for over a month and I just want to tell you that he looks terrible and I hope you never notice in your entire life how fantastic my husband is…because he isn’t like me. He doesn’t need attention like I do and if you ever touched him…well, somebody would die…not sure who though… Oh yeah, but back to me, I want to get in shape and healthy and strong and sane and continue what I call my super hero training. I have this little person that I need to take care of, this bigger person that I need to love, this calling that I need to obey…I can hear my womb calling, calling for another. The third. See, the second one got a away.

I bled for 20 days, I still can’t believe that little one got away and my goodness did that little one get away real, real slow. Iris told me, you have to come back, it’s ectopic, there is no way around it, if you don’t, it will grow wherever it is and you will rupture and it will fill you stomach with blood. So methotrexate, two shots in the butt. Weekly blood tests until she said okay…now about your pre cancerous cervix….But I want to try again, he wants to try with me, we could maybe make another little person. The third, hope she won’t get away. She, he? Any chance? Wish I could skip all the bad parts of the my first school year. Wish I could skip the ugly words, the surgeries, the giant syringe, the blood, the pressure, the bottle of pills, the wishing I could die…that a bus would hit me…the screaming…I sure wish I could skip all that and keep all the beauty that slid in between. Working to find a way to not speak of this school and it’s inhabitants with unbalanced hate.

Year two – recovery, recovery, recovery and set back and recovery and the threat of non-enrollment. See the dirt under my nails? It’s my skin and a little of my blood. I try to wash my hands, wash my mind, wash my self real good before I put on my robe and preach but I end up showing my wounds. Wounded Healer, my ass. I want to be a superhero. A force. I want to pray and preach and make beauty when I’m not screaming or looking in the mirror wishing I could change myself.

But I lost weight! I’ll be in the gym tomorrow right next to him because it makes me feel good (he makes me feel so good) and I’ll be at therapy on Wednesday. I’ll keep loving the most beautiful boy in the world everyday even when I’m telling him to STOP THAT! He dances when he walks, he sings when he talks, he laughs all the time, his hugs are perfect even when they are half-hearted because he is a big boy now…thank you.

Can’t wait ’til morning when he climbs into my bed and says, “Good morning, mommy!” And then hugs me.  When he goes to school, I think about all that I have not completed…incomplete, incompletes. So tomorrow… I will try again to eat, to exercise, to feel good, to love, to accept love, to kiss, to hug, to write, to complete, to hip, to hop, to don’t stop…again.


A few guidelines for Winter Quarter and beyond

In light of the drama of last quarter I’ve decided to set a few guidelines for Winter 2008 and try to create some good habits:

  • My Day Off – If I don’t have class, I don’t have to come to campus. With proper planning, I should be able to avoid schoolwork altogether on my day off. If, sometimes, I do need to do some schoolwork then it should be limited to a few hours and not take up the whole day. And if I do come to campus, it has to be for something good, like singing or working out.
  • Home Care – I need time to take care of myself and my house. This is evidenced by the fact that my house looks like crap. A crappy cluttered house is not a good study environment and its bad for my self-esteem. I like to throw parties and have company and this is keeping me from it. Sooo, there will be home care and me care on my day off.
  • Calendar time – I have to take time each week to update my calendar. This will keep me on top of school, church and life happenings which should help me reduce stress. This is work so I’m not doing it on my day off.
  • Cooking– I want (us) to lose weight and I want (us) to be healthier. If I want to do either of these, I need to control what I (we) eat and cooking ahead is the best way for me to do. I (we) weigh more than I’ve (we’ve) ever weighed in my (our) whole life and I’m not comfortable with that. It gives me no margin of error. I am not changing my clothing size because I am cute and I want to stay that way. Additionally, I’d like to get pregnant so losing 5 to 10lbs (15 max) would be great so I have baby room and (hopefully) don’t need to switch to a new size post partum. AND I’m a good cook so why not continue to hone my skills? How else will I ever become a cooking ninja?
  •  Exercise – Have Mercy! This is such a hard subject. I have so much trouble doing this. I just need get my heart rate up and do a little resistance training for heart health and bone density. Additionally, I really want my body tightened up. One of my girls told me that I made her sick because I had a baby and I’m still the same size. I informed her that I may be the same size but I am not the same shape. I want my muscles and I want my abs back. I’ve got to do something! FitTv, yoga and pilates dvd, abs video, running around with Lolo and dancing! Does dragging my backpack 3.5 blocks to campus everyday count? I sure hope so. So if I can just up my activity from backpack dragging then that should equate some kind of weight loss, I hope. Argh.
  • Me Care– I’ve been mentioning it but it needs its own bullet point. Quiet time, alone time, creative time, beauty…sheesh. I never get to soak in the tub. I need to get a massage at least quarterly (before finals). I want to get my hair did at least quarterly. Mani/pedi. Stuff to give me some time away and to also make me feel good! Going dancing.
  • Business  – This Avon thing was not working with school. Not much is but I want to keep at it a little longer and figure out how to tailor it to my schedule. Additionally, I want to start selling my art and my crafts. This is a dream for me and I really want to make it happen but I will not stress about it. One thing at a time.
  • Husband and Wife time – Gosh, this is a big deal. We need to try to get date night up to once per month. We’ve got some great restaurants on our list and we live in Chicago. There is plenty to do and many opportunities to enjoy some time alone. Making to most of this before we have another child is imperative.
  • Family time– Mr. Baby is now Mr. Toddler and is at the stage where we can start going to museums and other cool sites. I think this summer is really going to be big for him. He is going to be 3 and he’ll be entering Pre-School. I’m so excited and I want to expose him to as much fun, culture and activity as possible.
  • Bible Study/Prayer time – You’d think someone going to Divinity school would have this one on lock right? Nope. My church does one on Wednesdays at 7:15pm. My MDiv cohort is planning to do one on Fridays at 7pm.  I plan to attend both as much as I can and try to do some personal reading on my day off. Prayer time is weird. I mean I do a lot of talking but meditation and listening is an area where I am in need.
  • Grace – Give and get. I want to give as much grace to others as I would hope to get myself and I want to give myself more grace. I want to do great things, accomplish goals and be ‘super’ but I do not want to beat myself up when things don’t go well or when I screw up. That is where grace comes in. I think the previous one might help with that.
  • Ministry – Often ministry happens and often I go with it but I’d like to be more purposeful and aware. I want to see it and be conscious of it and I want to do it well. I also want to be more clear about what God really wants me to do. School is supposed to help me do ministry and give me some useful tools. I also hope to get some insights from God as I continue the M.Div program. I want to look at my classes with that in mind. I am in this program to gather some of the tools and skills to do what God has called me to. I want to pray and ask God what He wants to show me in each of the classes I’ve chosen. I want to be open and present and conscious and embrace what He has for me.

That’s enough for now.

Assignment – Lose Yourself

Right now, I’m trying to write my first draft of my paper for Intro to Arts of Ministry class (aka Colloquium). The assignment:

Write reflection on the Text and Experience as it relates to your vocational discernment.

What??!?  Yeah, my reaction too. I’ve chose the song Lose Yourself by Eminem. I’m going to talk about opportunities and experiences that have led me to the decision to study ministry and to make being a minister a life long pursuit.

 Thank God its only the first draft. I am so not ready for this its a deep and vast subject but I’ll go for it. I have two more tries to build it into something good.

Galileo by The Indigo Girls

This spoke to me. I think the chorus caught my attention but the song is very compelling:

Galileo’s head was on the block
The crime was looking up for truth
And as the bombshells of my daily fears explode
I try to trace them to my youth

And then you had to bring up reincarnation
Over a couple of beers the other night
And now I’m serving time for mistakes
Made by another in another lifetime

How long till my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light
I call on the resting soul of Galileo
King of night vision, king of insight

And then I think about my fear of motion
Which I never could explain
Some other fool across the ocean years ago
Must have crashed his little airplane

How long till my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light
I call on the resting soul of Galileo
King of night vision, king of insight

I’m not making a joke, you know me
I take everything so seriously
If we wait for the time till all souls get it right
Then at least I know there’ll be no nuclear annihilation
In my lifetime I’m still not right

I offer thanks to those before me
That’s all I’ve got to say
Cause maybe you squandered big bucks in your lifetime
Now I have to pay
But then again it feels like some sort of inspiration
To let the next life off the hook
But she’ll say look what I had to overcome from my last life
I think Ill write a book

How long till my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach the highest light?
Except for Galileo God rest his soul
(Except for the resting soul of Galileo)
King of night vision, king of insight

How long
(till my soul gets it right)
[til we reach the highest light]
How long
(til my soul gets it right)
[‘til we reach the highest light]

Create-Your-Own Summer Internship

After all I’ve been through this quarter I decided that I would not do C.P.E. (Clinical Pastoral Education) this summer. C.P.E. is basically an chaplaincy internship. They can be done at a hospice, hospital, nursing home, community center, etc. I want to do hospice but not this time. I’m not ready. I need to heal and recover and I want a summer to do me. So I sat down with Pastor AJ and put together a plan. I’ve added a few things to the list since then:

  • Launch the Women’s Group
  • Launch the Resume/Job Posting Ministry
  • Community Partnerships – Angel’s Touch, BIAMA, City Council Meetings
  • Preaching – Once per month
  • Teach a Bible Study – Once per month
  • Pastoral Care – Office hours twice per week
  • Shadowing PAJ – Go with AJ to do ministry stuff and talk about what to and how to and when to, etc.
  • Update the church website and get the blog going.
  • Get people in place to do the administration stuff after while I am doing my field placement next year.

That ought to learn me and make the summer fly by. I’m nervous about preaching and teaching. I’m afraid I will not be good but I also know it will be okay.

My first paper

Woohoo! That was so hard! And its not that good. Its done, but its not that good. Its a good idea, but its not that good. I handed it in and found a flaming typo!! One of those, oops I put the cursor in the wrong place and just started writing kind of typos. Ugleeee. Oh well, its turned in now. I’ll be interested to get Dr. Gilpin’s comments. I’m considering this paper to be the baseline. It will help me figure out what he wants and what he expects. Maybe. And then I can move forward and improve.

I enlisted the help of the sweet husband (Mr. Journalism) and Crystal (writing diva and PhD candidate) to look it over and  give input so I can fix it and I know what to do next time. yey. I am also going to ask Yanna to take a lookie at it and give me some feedback. I want to get good at this again. I recall being a good writer in undergrad and I know I’ve been a pretty good writer since then so now I need to get my skills back. Crystal recommended a class called Academic & Professional Writing so I think I will take that next quarter to help me out.

I love to write and read so, in theory, I can only improve from here and the possibility of having fun while I’m at it seems likely.

Our Deepest Fear

The other day my mother called me and asked me to find that quote from Akeelah and the Bee. I immediately knew what she meant. Today I found the original quote (see below), the book it came from, and the author’s website. Another thing Mom wants me to do is frame the quote and bring it to her. I’ll do that and maybe one better. Maybe I’ll get her to the book too. I’ll have to take a look at it and decide. I’m so glad she called me and asked me to do this. Here’s the full quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles.

Part of the above quote is painted on the wall in Dr Larabee’s office in Akeelah and the Bee.

“What does it mean?.

“That I’m not supposed to be afraid.”

“Afraid of what?”

“Afraid of…me.”

Its amazing how often we hide our talents out of fear. Fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of success. When we hide our talents, we live beneath our purpose. The repercussions of hiding out are farther reaching than our own sad pile of “couldas” and “shouldas.” When we hide out, we not only hurt ourselves but we also deprive the world of the gifts that God placed in us. God gives us gifts and those gifts are meant to be shared because God given gifts change lives.

“Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.”

Each breakthrough, each triumph, each failure, each falling down and getting up is another step in the long journey of walking into our purpose. The best thing about it is that we don’t have to walk by ourselves. God is always there teaching and guiding (like Dr Larabee only better). And to make it fun, God sends us friends who share our interests and desires and who are willing to travel with us on the journey(Like Javier and Georgia).

So why not get started or start again? Say a prayer, listen for instructions and get to steppin’.