Monday, February 28, 2005

Patches of Godlight

"We-or at least I-shall not be able to adore God
on the highest occasions if we have learned no habit
of doing so on the lowest. At best, our faith and reason
will tell us that He is adorable, but we shall not have
found Him so, not have 'tasted and seen.' Any patch
of sunlight in a wood will show you something
about the sun which you could never get from reading
books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous
pleasures are 'patches of Godlight' in the woods of
experience."
-C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

Isn't this an amazing quote?! This evening I was thumbing through one of my books of quotes and came across this. I had read it a number of times before but this was the first time I stopped and reflected on it. There have been a number of nights, especially recently, when I come home from an on-call shift at the hospital feeling completely overwhelmed with grief. Although I have tried a number of tactics to try and separate myself from those I minister to, it is impossible not to be affected. Although it may be painful at times, I try and remind myself that we are meant to be affected. That is what God uses to help shape and mold us into who He wants us to be. I truly believe this and try and remind myself of it frequently.

In reading the words of C.S. Lewis, I find great comfort and solace. I think it is important to be reminded of God's presence in this midst of the pain. Although it may be incredibly difficult to recognize Him, He is there and actively working on our behalf. In knowing God's presence during the lowest points, my faith is strengthened and nourished. Sometimes in knowing His presence, I may find emotions of anger, despair, or doubt, but I can still see God. This is all part of having an active relationship and deepens and enriches it. Through the anger, despair, and doubt, I eventually find the pleasure in seeing the patches of Godlight. It may be hours, weeks, or years later, but those patches are still found. The amazing gifts I find in these moments strengthen my faith and help me to become a better minister and human being. We are taught through experiences, both good and bad, and although it may be difficult, we must, at some point, allow ourselves to be learners and grow.

What are your reflections on this passage or my comments? Lemme know!!!!!

Friday, February 18, 2005

I know, I know, It's been a while!

Sorry everyone! I know I haven't done this in a while. Sometimes I seem to forget I have this!

I wanted to give ya'll a little introduction to the newest member of my little family. Her name is Katharina, or Katy for short. Her and Melancthon(my handsome orange tabby) officially tied the knot when she got her nametag this weekend. She is a beautiful white calico kitty that I got from the shelter. She spent her ENTIRE eight months of life living in a cage there. Now is that sad or what?!

The original Katharina and Melancthon lived during the Reformation in the 16th century. Philip Melancthon was kinda Martin Luther's sidekick during the Reformation. He wrote the Augsburg Confession and was one of Germany's most popular teachers in history. Katharina was his wife. I find this funny because Martin Luther also had a wife name Katharina. Ironic, huh?

Mel and Katy have been getting along very well. At first Mel was very upset, asking me over and over again, "what the &*#(@ were you thinking?" I swear he has such a dirty mouth! Now I find them sleeping together in the closet all the time! The home has become much more chaotic, but I love 'em both, even though Katy sneezes boogers all the time (I know, gross!).

Anyways, that is my little update for now. I will try and do this more often, but no promises! Please feel free to comment. Giving me some new topics to write about wouldn't hurt either! I am struggling to come up with ideas!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Long time no see!

Sorry for not blogging in a while. Life has been chaos lately!

Sometimes I wonder what ever possessed me to continue on with school. I could easily have found a good church job with decent pay. My mind always goes in this direction during finals. I feel so tired of school I could scream!

As many of you know, I was never big on academics. I remember fighting with my mother about my grades just about every school year once I hit 7th grade. I hated school, some say because I was lazy, but in reality I think it was because I just never felt I was good at it. In some ways I still feel this way. Although my GPA has improved every year, I still lack much of the confidence that is needed to find the academic life enjoyable.

I think another reason I am feeling the burn-out is because I just want to start doing what I am studying for! Although I am currently doing chaplaincy part-time, it is hard to enjoy it when you are worrying about getting school work done, church work, and giving the patients the care they need. I don't like juggling so many things all at once. I would much rather just be doing one or two!

I know I know, I really should not be complaining. My life has been amazing and I feel blessed to have found my call already, because many have not. It is just very overwhelming to have so many things going on at once! For example, today I was sitting down to work on my paper and before I got started, I found out a patient I had been working with for about a month passed away. It is very difficult to go from finding out that kind of news to jumping right into a paper on Thomas Fliedner. I think I need find some way to help myself do this. Even when I am out of school, I will still have to learn how to go from chaplain life to home life. If anyone has any ideas on how to do this, let me know!

Hope your all doing great. If you are still checking this, please respond in the comment section. I would love to know if anyone is reading this!



Sunday, November 14, 2004

Howdy!

Sorry I am unable to come up with a more creative title! I feel that after all the academic work, my creativity tends to dwindle.

A friend left a message on here saying she had to get an account to access this. If this is the situation, I apologize. It did not tell me that when I signed up!

This weekend has been one of the most eventful ones in my life thus far. My on-call time at the hospital on friday was one of the most heart-wrenching nights of my life. Many things happened that night that I just don't have the energy to share. It was so hard for me that I could not sleep at all during my breaks at night, and the next day I could not sleep either. I just kept having some of the images run through my mind everytime I closed my eyes. I am doing a little better now though.

Today helped me a great deal. I woke up and helped with a breakfast at the church. This was alot of fun and took my mind off of things. I also went out to lunch with a couple from the church. Both are nurses and were very understanding of my feelings. I did not even have to tell them what happened. We just talked about the difficulties that go along with trauma work. I am thankful that God placed them in my life today.

Well, sorry to be such a bummer. I know all of you are probably thinking, "Why would you go into this kind of work then?" To be honest, I asked myself that several times on friday. But, while I am there, I know that God has me there for a reason. To imagine these patients and families not having a chaplain there just devastes me. How could someone go through that without someone there, advocating, praying, listening, and holding there hand? I cannot imagine going the rest of my life without having chaplaincy play a role. I know I am supposed to be there and I do feel peace about my work. Some days are harder than others, but every day I do this I feel that I am fulfilling my call.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Welcome to my blog!

Hello Everyone!

I thought this might be a nice way for all of you to keep updated on how I am doing. We shall see how this works. If for some reason I decide to discontinue it, I will let you know.

I need to get some homework done, but I will update again later!

Laura :)

So, whatdya think?

I have only had this blog for less than an hour, but I am already beginning to enjoy it. It feels kind of like a journal, yet one that any random person can see! :)

I finally finished my homework for the day. To be completely honest, I have already begun to count down the days to graduation. Only one year, 5 months, and about 4 days to go! Pathetic, isn't it?! I guess that's what happens when you don't take a break in between schools!

My assignment today was looking at Paul's writings to the Galatians. We had to write a discussion paper on the topic of inclusivity. I had not realized what a hot topic this is in the church and how many different areas it covers. In the beginning I struggled to identify what areas I should discuss. It finally came down to highlighting the topics of: women, homosexuals, and children. I then went on to focus on using gender neutral terms when talking about God and humankind. It was difficult not to get too deep into my opinions on the topics. Although I am not quite certain about how I feel on some of these issues, others I get very fired up about!

Tomorrow I go back to the hospital to do my on-call time. In some ways I am looking forward to it, in other ways I am completely dreading it! This week it has been very hard to do anything. I am completely dragging and have had a headache almost this entire week! Maybe this falls back into the category of burn-out. Who knows! I think once I get there, however, I will enjoy it. For the most part, I run on adrenaline the entire time. Around 2:30am I begin to crash and have to eat something and have some caffeine. This tends to get the adrenaline pumping again!

Well, I think I will go and let all of you know this is here! Let me know what you think. If you believe it to be a waste of time, let me know! That doesn't necessarily mean I will get rid of it, but the feedback always helps!