Saturday, January 29, 2011


Some say he is running away from that which he needs to confront.  Maybe he is running away from that which is holding him back.  Or maybe he is running towards the future he longs for.  Or is it I who am longing for that future on his behalf? 

Starting over is complicated.  Whatever the reason he has chosen to leave one place and go to another may he find what he needs.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Come, be my light.

"   ...where is my faith?  Even deep down...there is nothing but emptiness and many unanswered questions live within me..."  
page 187, Mother Teresa:  Come Be My Light.

I am four classes away from finishing my Master of Divinity, have already begun the pre-ordination process, and cannot seem to hold onto my faith.

I've had paradigm shifts before, the biggest one being as a sophomore at Houghton College (after encountering the wise Dr. Kristina LaCelle-Peterson), but they've never led to a loss of belief, simply a changing or restructuring of belief. 

I have heard people quip about how seminaries should be called cemeteries, for they are filled with persons who are spiritually dead, or who will be spiritually dead if they spend enough time there.  But I cannot transfer blame to my current enrollment; from all of my reflection, my time here at Fuller doesn't seem to have a direct correlation to my current state of mind.  In fact I am surrounded by people who are very thoughtful about their faith and who love God.  Sure, I have friends who are asking similar questions, but my faith (or lack thereof) cannot be blamed on their questions. 

So here I am, longing for Light, and wondering if it even exists at all.  And if it does, in what form?  Is it limited to one tradition?  Which one?  Is it found in multiple traditions?  How then does one choose?

I am taking a class in Anglo-American Post-Modernity with the renowned Dr. Nancey Murphy.  The first month has given me new ways to think about faith.  Will it be enough?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Losing weight

I wonder if this time will be different.  I wish I could say I'm simply picking up where I left off...but I'm not.  A lot has changed in my life since I last tried and I fear that I lack the energy and focus to succeed.

The past two years have taken a toll on me and I simply seem unable to find my way again.  But I remember times past when each little decision made for the better resulted in a 50 pound weight loss.  And the part of me that remembers what that felt like continues to try and point me towards taking that first step.  But the first step always seems the most difficult. 

Why is it so hard to begin, when I know that it's the accumulation of small steps that result in a big loss?  Is it because I know how long it takes?  Does that dissuade me?  Is it because I am afraid of losing my drug of choice; what will comfort me when I feel sad, stressed, tired, or angry?  Is it because I am afraid of failing?  Of trying, yet again, and then realizing I cannot follow through?  Is it because I am afraid of being thin?  (Where will I hide?) Of being healthier? (And saying a forever "No" to baking my kick-ass desserts?)

How does one break the patterns of behavior that have settled like concrete in the synapses of my brain?  I've read that when an addict has changed his or her behavior and created new patterns of response (instead of a drug of choice) the old patterns are still there, lying dormant, but the new patterns can be created and strengthened over time.  Both realities scare the shit out of me.  For if the old patterns are simply lying dormant, they could rear their ugly heads once more in a fit of gluttonous relapse.  And I've discovered that when they do they are harder to get rid of the second time around. And although new patterns can be created (there is hope for us all!) it's the "strengthened over time" part that is daunting. Just how long is this going to take?  Will the work ever be "over"?  I know the answer is "No". 

All these reasons, and more that are unknown to me, restrain me from taking the first step towards health.  And so I wait...wait for light...

I know it will come.  I know I will not forever reside in the land of relapse.  But the first step is so hard. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

"I guess they don't make them like that anymore"

I was reading a friend's blog recently, and happened upon her post reflecting on marriage, particularly that of her parents.  She wrote of how she resonated with an episode of Brothers & Sisters where Kitty was being questioned by her mom about her reluctance to marry her fiance.  Kitty's response:

Kitty: "The problem? It doesn't feel like you and dad. I guess they don't make them like that anymore."

This was not the first time I've heard comments like this and I admit that I've wondered similar things. But the longer I've been married, the more I can't believe that there was anything more special about our parents generation, or grand-parents generation.  We view their marriage 20 or 30 or 40 years down the road...which means that 20 or 30 or 40 years of effort has been put towards cultivating the love, respect, honor, romance, connection etc., that we so often admire in their relationships.  We expect that our dating relationships will have the same outcomes, reactions or connections and are disappointed when we find otherwise.  But maybe we are simply premature, and need to have the long-haul in mind.  For if we, too, put 20 or 30 or 40 years of effort into a relationship, perhaps we would have similar relationships to that of our parents or grand-parents (or whomever we happen to admire).  And with that in mind, it's only natural that persons should emphasize one's character (humility, commitment, openness to change, etc.) as the starting point for a future partner...for its the stuff that good marriages seem to be built on.  It's cliche to call attention to the fact that big boobs or nice legs only (naturally) last for a time, but I can't lose the opportunity to point it out again.  I, myself, do not possess the "hot factor", or so I've been told.  But I do possess commitment to my spouse, no matter how much he pisses me off.  And I do possess an openness to continue working on my own weaknesses.  And I do have enough  humility to realize that sometimes it is my own actions which prevent us from moving forward.  And I do possess the desire to work at making love work.  And I think that's hot.  (I want to give a 'shout out' to my hot husband, because he too, has these things, and has made me feel 'hot' for having them). 

I think that what Kitty says is more of a reflection on our culture...our desire for near perfection and our willingness to call it quits when the going gets tough.  Good relationships - good love - takes time to build.  We should be more patient with ourselves and our partner.

do you just dive in?

I've created three posts but have not had the courage to publish them. I wanted to begin this blog reflecting on my desire for "light": spiritual light, physical light, emotional light.  I've named the blog, "Come, Be My Light"; what better way to begin than to reflect on the light I long for, right?  But, as a newbie to the blog world, my posts feel a little too exposing for the moment.  So I've decided to build up a little confidence first and write about less personal things.  Stick around, I'm sure it'll get more interesting.  :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Let us begin with a nod and a toast...

I hate choosing names for anything. Which is a change for me, since one of my favorite pastimes as a child was to look through a baby name book and create lists of my favorite names. Each of my stuffed animals and the one pet fish I had each had a very carefully chosen name, based on sound and meaning. Thankfully, my husband and I had a relatively easy time choosing our son's name.

But to have to choose a title for a blog? Ridiculous! How does one sum up his or her purposes for a blog for which he or she has no idea what it will turn out to be, how long that blog will last, and who will read that blog? It seems much more appropriate to assign a name at the termination of a blog. Yet the powers that be in blogger world have asked me to assign a name, and so I have chosen "Come, Be My Light". The name is (more than) a nod to a book I recently read: Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, edited by Brian Kolodiejchuck. Reading it brought great relief into a time of spiritual and emotional chaos and since I will likely be writing about such things on this blog the title seemed fitting.

You might be wondering why I am choosing to join the blogging world so late in the game. Aren't blogs a little passe? Perhaps. But there are a few blogs out there that have changed my life and continue to challenge me towards better ways of thinking and living. So, to those who have let me read, thank you. I have received a great deal of satisfaction and encouragement from you. I propose a toast in your honor.