Thursday, April 30, 2009


Today I am officially done with my graduate school classes. I have some major writing center statistics work to do early next week, but once that's done I'll be for real finished with the semester and the school year.

The impending challenge, of course, is scheduling a way to read 90 books and what's been said about them, all by the end of September. I'm looking ahead to a season of serious self-discipline learning, which isn't exactly my strong suit. I tend to throw myself into projects for periods of time and then lie fallow for a while, only not in a good way. I'm still learning about the beauty of rest that is on purpose and not shallow/guiltily stolen. I'm still learning about how God is anything but efficient, that in His economy lavish grace tends to lead the way--and how all the best things in life (writing, art, spiritual disciplines, relationships, resting, cooking) are wildly inefficient, too. I'm learning balance and whole-life living.

It's strange to think that the next six months are really preparatory months, to get me ready for my exams, to lead up toward being a Ph.D. candidate, writing a dissertation, teaching college literature on my own. In that sense, this is an incredibly in-between time.

Josh and I are also in-between because he resigned from his position at FPCDP, and so we're in a period of waiting and discerning what should come next. We had an interview tonight about one possibility; we know others exist as well. We're trying to remain open to the myriad unconventional options for serving (and making a living: we don't need much, but we do need to pay rent and grocery bills). It's hard to remain open like this. I much prefer having a plan.

But I'm learning, always learning. I'm also trying to live with my eyes wide open: the tulips are blooming in Technicolor; students are walking around with dog-eared paperbacks; I saw a young man early Monday morning duct-taping photocopied signs to trees and buildings and wondered what on earth it could be. I squinted to read one as my bus passed one of the trees, and saw a hand-markered sign: "Dog Found." And contact information. Dog found. Somebody cared enough to tell the world that he found somebody else's dog. That was a bit of beauty, right there.

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