discern this

We are an Easter People, and even at the grave, Alleluia is our song.

Something’s Gotta Give October 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — discernthis @ 11:42 pm

I don’t know how to keep up this pace. It’s not just my commitment to writing that’s suffering.  Nothing is getting my all, not my relationships, not my classes, not my internship, not my work. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find anyone willing to subsidize my education, so I don’t know what I can give up. I’m already functioning on fewer than 8 hours of sleep per night, which is is bad enough for a person who needs 9, but when that number regularly dips below 6? Bad News Bears.

A friend has kept a countdown to graduation on her phone since last year when we interned together. I didn’t understand it then but I sure do now. Classes end in about two months (and I only have to take one class next semester instead of three!).  I’ll be ordained in just over three months. My field placement will be over in less than 6 months. I’ll graduate in seven months and one day.

I need some help figuring out how to make it through til then.

Any suggestions?


To the pain! October 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — discernthis @ 9:16 am

I’ve been feeling under the weather for the past couple of days. Nothing major, just feeling crummy and distracted. So I skipped class last night, curled up on the couch with the dog, and slept for two and a half hours. Then I got up, made dinner, pretended to do some homework, and went to bed. So I’m thinking today about a prayer card my little sister gave me years and years ago before I had my carpal tunnel surgery:

Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps promises and will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm. At the time you are put to the test, God will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.

Oh Jesus, help me to endure this pain that I am experiencing and relate it to what you suffered to redeem the world. May it transform me into the likeness of you.


Let’s call this yesterday’s post, shall we? It’s only 9:15am, which is still early in my book.


The elephant I didn’t ride in on. October 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — discernthis @ 11:54 pm

I’m having trouble thinking of things to write about here, and so I found some questions from a website that I’m going to use as prompts when I need it. Here’s the first one:

Have you had the experience of thinking you were being led by God to do something, and it turned out not to be so? What were the consequences? Looking back on it, what could/should have alerted you to this?

So, I was planning to be in India right now. Last Spring, the opportunity arose for me to complete my advanced internship for my MSW in Kochi, Kerala, India. I had made all the plans, purchased my tickets, begun packing my house/packing for the trip, found a someone to sublet my house, found people to keep my animals for me, got my shots and medications, etc. I was so excited. Everything had come together so easily and perfectly, it was surely God’s plan for me to be there.

Then things started falling apart. The person who was going to keep my cat backed out. The guy who was going to sublet my house and adopt one of my dogs (Max, who needed to be re-homed anyway because she needs to be an only child) went off the radar. My financial aid got messed up. It was a week before my departure.

OK, I told myself, these are major setbacks, but I can work it out. It has to work out, because I am supposed to go to India.

I redoubled my efforts to find someone to sublet. I found someone else to keep Sheetrock while I was gone. I kept looking for someone to sublet. I tried to figure out if there was a way I could get out of my lease. I asked any and every one I came into contact with if they knew anyone looking for a cute duplex in Towson for 6 months or for a super sweet and energetic dog. I looked into pushing back my departure (I could do it…for several hundred dollars I didn’t have).

And then, just as I was straddling the border between anxiety and panic mode, a dear friend said to me in a phone conversation something that I desperately needed to hear: maybe this isn’t the right time. I know that you’ll end up going to India, but does it have to be now?

I was taken aback, and I told her I needed her to encourage me more, because I knew that it was the right time. I needed her to talk me down from the panic edge. So she switched gears and did just that.

The seed had been planted though, and it freed me to be able to sit down and journal and really consider and pray about what was happening. I slowly began to realize that she was right. Several hours later, I made the decision not to go, and I spent the next several days undoing all the efforts that had been made to prepare for the trip. 

I know that it was the right decision. As soon as I made it and announced it to someone else, it felt as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I felt like I could breathe again. I had gotten so caught up in the excitement and how easily and quickly pieces came together initially that I was unable to see all of the signs that indicated it wasn’t the right time for me.

So I stayed. I interviewed for a different internship. I registered for classes. I started looking for a job. I found a new home for Max that is perfect for her. I found love in an amazing man I wouldn’t have met had I gone to India. I spent more time visiting family and friends. I went on multiple hiking trips. I found a job and a roommate and pumpkin cider.

By the way, because a couple of people asked, that anxiety-inducing thing from earlier today? Not as bad as I’d feared (as is usually the case), and it’s over with, and I survived.

Now, if the O’s will just hurry up and win this game, that anxiety will be put to rest and I can go to bed.

And my dog is way too hyper for ten minutes til midnight.



How about anoth…

Filed under: Uncategorized — discernthis @ 12:34 pm

How about another Seasons of Nonviolence quote for (ahem) yesterday:

Your past is not your potential.

–Marilyn Ferguson

And the practice:

Today I have no doubt that my future will not be ruled by my past.


This came in my email this morning, and it struck me because I have been experiencing some anxiety over a thing I have to do today. I saved the email so I could remind myself of it when it comes time for the anxiety-inducing thing.


Do something nice for yourself October 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — discernthis @ 12:18 am

Mom tells me this pretty regularly: “Go do something nice for yourself today.” She didn’t say this to me the last time I talked to her, but I did anyway.

I took Val for a nice long walk this afternoon in my break between class and work. The both of us needed it…she’s been a little terror lately.

I really can’t blame her though, since we’ve hardly walked or played in the last couple of weeks due to my crazy schedule (notice a theme lately? I do. I don’t like it).

When I have enough moments that I can really sit and reflect on it, I will write a post on self-care. We don’t talk about it enough in Social Work Land or from what I’ve seen of Clergy Land, but it’s absolutely critical. So today I took a walk. I did it for me, and it’s a nice thing and it is an incredibly beautiful day. Now Mom can’t say I never listen to her.


Happy puppy


Here, I help you learn.



Radio Silence October 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — discernthis @ 12:02 am

It isn’t that I haven’t been thinking about this blog or about writing, it’s that I flat out have not had time. I haven’t been home before 9:45pm in about two weeks, and I haven’t had more than six hours of sleep in about two and a half weeks, and if you know me very well, you know that’s Bad News Bears.

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I love every thing that I’m doing. I don’t want to give any of it up. I need to find better ways of coping and managing my time. I need to devote a lot more time to self care. I’m not sleeping, and I’m not running, and I’m hardly remembering to eat. I know better than this. I just am not sure how to fix it. Does anyone have a TimeTurner I can borrow? I’ll take very good care of it. I promise.