Friday, April 30, 2010

Journal Entry #6

Friday Night
April 30, 2010

"Somehow I have to trust that God is at work in me and that the way I am being moved to new inner and outer places is part of a larger movement of which I am only a very small part." Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus.

That quote was taped to the computer at the McCord Hospitality desk. It speaks to me in a hopeful place in my being. I'm working tonight at the desk and suffering from writer's block. I am also suffering from anxiety as I head into a weekend where I'm presiding at a church foreign to me and preparing to write my final papers due next week, the last week of school. I'm also anxious about the heading into a summer, not attending any classes, without any income or financial aid help. Yikes as they say. Hence, my attraction to the quote taped to the desk. I remind myself, "God is still in the midst of me, of this world."

I used to be a very good writer. I used to be a very beautiful writer, taking my time with words, actually agonizing over words, in the vein of Hemingway. Now, I do what I can to get by. Is it stress, or have I lost my talent? I wonder. Maybe I never had any talent to begin with.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Journal Entry #5

Tuesday afternoon
12:30 p.m.

Awhile back there was an ethics workshop for senior students. For a number of reasons, I did not go. However, one of the topics discussed for the students participating was to journal on this thought: "what would tempt you from fulfilling your call." I ponder on that. That is a great question to think about...what would tempt me from fulling my call. Sounding strange for someone in seminary but simply the doubt within my circle of faith. It's the underlining gird that somehow I can love God without question, but that God does not necessarily have to love me back. Am I thinking that somehow I am undeserving of God's love. How many others feel this exact same way? More later...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Journal Entry #4

Monday, 5:48 p.m.
In remembering who I am, the hardest part is when I feel devalued and scoffed by others. I know that sounds very whiny and poor me. But, all people, experience at one time or another in their lives, if not on a daily basis, disregard. Some people react in a child-like or adolescent manner and become defensive. Some stuff the emotion down, like I do. I might briefly become enraged but then acquiesce to thinking, I don't amount to much so what does it matter. Hence, the offense and the emotion unacknowledged. When we are devalued, is it a degree of violence? According to one of my professors, the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas thought so. Levinas thought that even when someone smiles and says hello to another on the street and the gift of the greeting is ignored, then an act of violence (even though not overt) occurred. In the midst of our busy lives, and others we come across treat us rudely with ill regard or absentness of thought or care, is it a reflection of who we are as God's creation, or our value as a whole? Intellectually, I know the answer is no. In my heart, I don't always believe that's true. I grabble with how to deal with it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Journal Entry #3

Thursday afternoon, 4/15.

Being in the third year of seminary, I still feel lost of who I am and my capabilities, gifts and talents. Someone told me yesterday that I wanted another to tell me what to do. Is that indicative of losing my internal voice and confidence? Or is that indicative of being tapped out in energy, and pulled time and commitment. Until later...

For example in my passion of writing, my work only suffices upon the first draft with the verbiage to go along with it, "well, that will have to do." Before, I would spend days preparing a paper, and when I read it back again a year or months later, I re-witness my love for words and the craft of writing. Next, I realize this: it comes down to trusting my inner voice, it's still me, I remind myself. It also comes down to resting in the acknowledgment of God's calling of me...what is God calling me to do that leads to my purpose? I know it's about trusting this mantra that unites me to God with this refrain: I see God as Jesus sitting next me. He offers me reassurance of his comforting presence, his strength and his peace. It reminds me of his eternal love for me. One thing a friend said yesterday: She sees God in feminine form, as a mother. God, in her loving grace, she welcomes me home.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Journal Entry #2

Sunday, April 11
5:30 p.m.

Two thoughts are circulating: Why do I struggle with the ambiguity of life, and what am I most recently learning about myself. Since beginning Seminary, actually, since I made the leap from full-time teacher to full-time student, I've struggled with remembering my true voice, personality and God living within me. I go to Seminary. I study and talk, and think about God seven days a week, sometimes 18 hours a day of that time. So, why have I stopped remembering who I belong to? In one of the entry level classes, one of my professors told us a story. He said that when we come into seminary, we're holding a crystal ball made up of beliefs, experiences and what we've learned about God in our lifetimes. The learning, examining, and evaluating of ourselves, and our faith while in Seminary smashes that crystal ball to pieces. But slowly through the time of learning in the institution, that ball comes back together, it's pieces brought together in new and magnificent ways. Slowly, that's been the case for me. But why, oh why does it have to be such an exhausting process, or is the operative word, ordeal.

Friday, April 9, 2010

1st Journal Entry

Okay...for the entire semester I was supposed to be keeping a journal for my writing class, but guess what, that's right, I've put it off. So, I'm starting it now and subsequently sharing it with all of you. So, enjoy for all it's worth. :-).

I don't like journal writing but I like writing. I learned to write and I taught writing. Is the reason for my hesitance for journal writing stemming from my reluctance to get close to my feelings? To process my wounds, my gratefulness, and my learning succinctly in black and white? I wonder. I wrote in a journal this past January. In this journal, I asked God a question and let my pen flow conjointly with the spirit in my mind, as it manifested itself by virtue of my hand scripting out words on a page. What angle do I take with this? What awareness am I drawing upon today? Answer: I cannot deal with Ambiguity.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday Tradition

When I was a little girl growing up in a suburb of Los Angeles, I remember every Good Friday the song by Dion, Abraham, Martin and John was played on the radio. It was always deeply touched me on almost a cellar level. On Good Friday, I still always think about this song (and play it). I think about the brokenness and woundedness of all in the world, and pray for true redemption. Three days out from Easter, it's a good time to reflect and pray for forgiveness, and pray for brightness and newness, and purity. It's a good time to pray for the healing from bigotry, prejudice and hatred.