Monday, February 11, 2013

and we'll have time to know our neighbors all by name/and every star at night.

(emily freaks out about grad school,
parts one and two)

"The goal is to know God,
not to know more..."
-richard rohr

What do I want my life to look like?
Who do I want to be?

I am asking
and starting to answer.

I have always known
I wanted a home filled with
friends, children, flowers.
So I'm trying to make one.

And if I want a life characterized by
space, joy, relationships, prayer,
I am the one who needs to create it. Now.

The last few months have taught me:
I need to do grad school on my own terms,
because no one else
is going to create that life for me.

I want to be kind,
even as I work hard to be competent.

I want to sharpen myself off the intelligence and work of my classmates,
and I also want to know
their hearts
and their families
and their favorite place to be taken out on their birthdays.

I want to study to learn and understand,
not to be impressive.

I will pick practicum sites where I will get excellent training to steward my education:
and where I can speak Spanish and make children feel safe.

I will wear tights and try to cajole these crazy curls into a chignon:
and I will continue to smile warmly and laugh when people make jokes.

As long as prayer and discernment and the feedback of good friends continue to tell me it is a good decision,
I will be staying in this program.

But I am knitting, sewing, walking, baking, and community-ing my way through this program.

I will do my homework on the couch
while little girls draw on my kitchen chalkboard
and teenagers spread out their algebra on my living room floor.

I will spend my mornings in class, my afternoons in textbooks and my evenings laughing with friends.

My meals will be simple,
but they will be preceded by giving thanks
and they will be shared.

I will write papers and I will write love letters.

I will ask Him to make His words root themselves deep in me.

On the weekends I may work on research projects,
but I for sure will worship with the church I love,
take long runs through the vineyards,
sew and pray alone in my light-filled space,
and get enough sleep.

Every year I will ask myself again
if this degree will help me
to love Him
and love others.

Because growing in those two areas
is the only reason I should be here.


kym said...

"And if I want a life characterized by
space, joy, relationships, prayer,
I am the one who needs to create it. Now."

well...I can certainly use those words. consider them stolen. borrowed? lifted, maybe. anyway, they're in my journal, now.

love you lots.

joy.meeder said...

This was so encouraging, Emily!! It's refreshing to see you processing and making amazing choices about the intentional way you want to live...which is inherently against the current. Thanks for spurring me and many others on with your writing :) You are awesome and I'm thankful for you and your beautiful heart, even if you're a bit far at the moment. Love you!!

Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.