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Sometime this week (I hope), I am going to write about the chapter, “Gender Identity,” that I’m just now reading in Volf’s Exclusion & Embrace.  For the first time in a long time, I am feeling good about being a woman in relation to my faith.

But I haven’t finished the chapter yet, nor do I have the time to devote to write out anything worthwhile.  Hebrew is calling, as is Greek, and I haven’t even finished the reading for theology pub tonight.  So you will have to wait!

But trust me, it’s worth it.

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I cannot believe that school starts back up on Monday.  Monday!  I think I am ready, but mostly I’ve been in denial.

I’m back home, of course.  I got here yesterday, and I’ve spent my time being productive.  Mostly.  I’ve gotten so much done today already that I almost feel as if I should be able to do nothing for the rest of the day.  But really, I ought to spend at least a couple hours on Greek.  Or perhaps a couple of hours crafting my thesis statement and outline.  Or both.

One more year… One more year, and then they kick me out of the safety bubble, into the real world, where I have to find a job and a place to live by the time I graduate or else I’m homeless.  Not that I’m worried or anything.  Or maybe I am, ridiculously, as there is nothing to be done this early on.

Sigh.

It’s night two with the kids, and I’m exhausted.  How do people do this all the time?  The dishes never end; the laundry never ends; there is always at least one little girl asking for a drink of water or complaining that one of her sisters was mean.  And nearly all of my tweets this past day and a half have been about the kids.  Already I’m losing my ability to be interesting.  At least my brother and sister-in-law return tomorrow (sometime), and I will return to my regularly scheduled programming.  Plus, the plan so far is to go home on Thursday, but then sometimes I get nostalgic and feel like I should stay longer.  But I have to get ready for school to start on Monday.  Yikes.  School.  My last year for this masters degree.

At the theology pub tonight, I’m missing the discussion about Gender Identity (from Volf’s book Exclusion and Embrace), which I had really been looking forward to, but I suppose it might be better for me to not be there?  I do get a bit hot under the collar about that topic sometimes.  But as my brother left me a beer (he always does when I watch the kids–funny, right?), I had that today and had half the experience of theology pub.

Well, although it’s early yet, I hardly slept at all last night and since the kids are already in bed, I think that’s where I’m headed, too.  Getting in bed before 9pm… It’s true.

My visit home has been pretty good so far.  I’ve gotten to see friends and family, and have done very little of anything that resembles work.  I’ve read several novels.  I went on a hike with my dad yesterday.  Granted, tomorrow evening the party comes to an end (or just gets started?) as that is when I’m going to be watching my four nieces for two nights so that my brother and sister-in-law can have an early anniversary trip.  I love my nieces, but I will not deny that going from zero to four kids (ages 3, 4.5, 7 & 9.5) is exhausting.

But one of the unfortunate parts of being home is that when I am around my parents, I usually decide that I never want to get married myself.  Hence, I don’t want anything that could resemble a relationship.  It might be entirely illogical, but I can’t help but feel (even though I know better) that there is no point in risking marriage to end up miserable.  And it does seem to me that you can’t help but end up miserable.  This is when I want to allow my saboteur tendencies in full force.  Because, by golly, being around my folks makes me pretty happy to be single.

I think I need counseling.  Seriously.

It has been determined that it is not possible to write a thesis statement and an outline (let alone two or three) in one day without prior research.  This may have been obvious to most of you, but I have just learned it (again).

However, I think I’m narrowing it down to a couple of options to explore: John Chrysostom’s theological influences, and John Chrysostom’s soteriology.

Or I could accept defeat and just quit while I’m ahead.

But if I don’t accept defeat… the soteriology of Chrysostom looks fascinating (in my head).  I haven’t found anything yet written on that specifically; although I will allow that it is something that is written as part of other papers/essays/books.  But either that means it is something of a newer topic (or less explored, I should say) OR I’m completely off base.  I’m hoping for the former.

His theological influences would probably be outside my abilities to actually research at this point in my academic career.  Because I have no idea how to even begin on that one.  I could make stuff up: see connections and then prove they’re there.  But I’m not sure that’s how that’s supposed to work?

I suppose I might have to push back my deadline (again) or else bring books home with me.  I was planning on only bringing my Greek with me, but alas.  We’ll see how I feel when I pack tonight.

Theses are stupid.

What’s the first thing you do when it comes down to the wire on a deadline?

If you’re me, you spend a leisurely morning doing nothing of consequence.

Then you head to the library, where you frantically check out a stack of books that look like they could potentially relate to your chosen broad topic and happen to be available.

But that’s a lot of work, so then you have to take a break when you get home.  You don’t want to burn out too fast.

You listen to some music, blog a bit, spend some time on facebook.

Then you realize how messy your kitchen is.  Surely you cannot justify doing homework when you’ve left a stack of dishes while knowing your roommate will come home at some point.  So you have to clean your kitchen.

But now it’s lunch time.  You have to eat, or else how will you have the mental energy to do research?

After that, you’ll open some of the books, stare dismally at the table of contents and realize, again, that you have no idea where to start.

Eventually, the hope is that you’ll make up a passing thesis statement (or two) and manage to fake your way through a couple of rough outlines, detailing how you’ll somehow get from point A to point B on a topic for which you have yet to do any research.

I suppose some people start ahead of time and don’t wait until the last minute.  But I can almost guarantee that those people aren’t in graduate school.

Wish me luck!

I didn’t go to church today.  I meant to, but then I had this terrible dream last night that woke me up because that’s how much I didn’t want to be having it.  Unfortunately, it took me quite awhile to be able to get back to sleep after something like that.  And so when I woke up today, I couldn’t make myself move fast enough to get ready to go out the door in time.  And I still am feeling the after-effects of the dream.  (Does that happen to you?  Dream hangover?)

Well, there’s nothing in the Bible that says you have to go to church every Sunday.  Just to not forsake the assembling of believers together.  So I think I’m covered this week.

I’ve been reading C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy.  I’m currently on Perelandra, having already read Out of the Silent Planet.  The first one was okay; I actually enjoyed it.  But the second one is giving me all sorts of anxiety.  (If you haven’t read this book, but think you might, you might not want to read my blog, but as I’m not even all the way through, I can’t give the ending away.)

So far, it is a new Adam & Eve scenario with a few differences.  There are three players, like the original, but the King (Adam) is missing.  The Lady (Eve) is there, plus the devil, plus a fellow from our own planet, Ransom.  And the devil is now doing his best to convince the Lady that she should disobey Maleldil (God) because it will make her wiser, and besides, He actually wanted her to disobey, to become her own person, etc.

There is something about reading about people considering making stupid decisions when they know the right one that gives me anxiety and stress.  Probably because I liken it too much to my own self and how stupid it is to make sinful choices when I know what the good, right and true choices are.

But it also feels forced and tedious to me.  It is another way, a long drawn out and detailed way, of explaining original sin, and really the daily sin we encounter.

And it feels terrible.  Honestly terrible to consider that something so pure should become corrupted.  Even if the Lady makes the right decision, the decision to obey, she will never return to her original state of purity and innocence.  That has been forever tainted to some extent.  And where is the stupid King in all of this?  If Lewis is going to present this story in the context of patriarchal man who needs to protect the woman in his life, then by golly, that man had better be doing his job.

So perhaps I am merely reacting to exactly what Lewis hoped to present, but it’s hard to say.  Either way, this book is a struggle for me to read because I do not like it.  Perhaps I will change my mind by the end?

I was thinking about movies today.  There are two major divisions of movies, in my opinion.  One is the kind you want to watch by yourself, and the other is the kind you want to watch with another person.  I’m not sure what makes the distinction.

Last night I tried out the home community group I’ve been talking about.  I won’t be able to go again for a couple weeks because I’ll be out of town, but I had a delightful time.  I knew four other people there, which was great, and the others seemed really friendly.  It wasn’t a normal meeting, as during the summer they’re just social gatherings, but I think it will be a good fit.  Although, at the end of the evening, a whole bunch of them ended up singing karaoke, which is never something I participate in, but it was quite enjoyable to observe.  It’s always interesting to see people in unexpected contexts.

Life has been taking some upward turns.  I like it.

I think that whenever I get anxious about life, I start daydreaming about new adventures.  It’s my coping mechanism.  So I think about where I could move, what I could do instead, what drastic changes I could make.  And I’m pretty sure that the Midwest always seems like a good idea.

If I moved to Duluth, MN, I could find a one bedroom apartment for in between $500-$600.  And I’m sure I could easily find a job.  The biggest attraction, naturally, being the bearded, flannel plaid wearing, ice fishing men.  (They are there; don’t deny it.)

If I moved to Deerfield, IL, I could attend TEDS, going further into debt, but at a much more academically inclined school. (I’ve considered them for a ThM, if I should ever get one.)

Or sometimes I consider going back into Nursing.  I could do that here, or nearly anywhere.  But I don’t think I want to be a nurse so much as I want to know I can support myself.

A year isn’t much time.  And that’s when I’ll be done with my MABS.  I like the life I’m building here; I’d like to stay when I’m done.  But I suppose a lot just depends on what God throws my way.