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warning: this quiz only for serious religion geeks… January 29, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in blogthings.
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warning: this quiz only for serious religion geeks! (thanks to Anglican Postmortem for posting it!)

  You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you’re not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant

Are you a heretic?
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congratulations to my brother-in-law and sister-in… January 29, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in family.
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congratulations to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who just found out they are expecting! yay for babies! (please let it be a boy so i can get some of these outgrown baby clothes OUT of here!)

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do… January 27, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in prayer.
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MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

-Thomas Merton

well, i’ve had a mini-dry spell with regards to po… January 26, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in blogging, lyrics, vocation, work.

well, i’ve had a mini-dry spell with regards to posting, but that’s because nothing terribly exciting is going on. blessedly, we received some good rain last sunday, but not a drop since, and i don’t think one day of rain is going to be enough to reverse the damage 80+ days of no rain has wrought on our landscape. i also managed to get myself back into church, thanks in no small part to you in blog-world who provided encouragement in a variety of ways. yes, i have readers – just not many commenters! 🙂

i’ve had so many different things just running through my mind randomly lately. i’ve been bemoaning my under-employment (i have a college degree and a job a monkey could do – seriously) and trying to decide what, if anything, to do about it. i say “if anything” because financially, this state was the right move for us. due to the far lower cost of living here, we are doing just fine monetarily, for the first time ever – in spite of my under-employment. i would love to go back to school, but do i want to pursue career retraining or do i just want to take classes because i like to learn? would it be wasteful to spend money on tuition when a) we don’t NEED to improve our standard of living and b) we have credit cards we are still paying off and c) we want to buy a house when we’re finished with that?

BUT HERE IS THE MAIN THING RUNNING THROUGH MY MIND, in spite of my attempts to dance around it!

last year, i confided in husband that i had felt the call to discipleship since the tender age of 13 years old when i began investigating the possibility of serving God in a vowed capacity. as a Catholic, i knew that my only option in that respect was to become a nun and to give up any dreams of marriage or family. it never felt right, though, and over the years and in between relationships, i corresponded with the vocations directors of several orders. it never worked out, and i think that was as it should be, because i met husband and had Boy-o, and they bring me so much joy. when we became episcopalian, i was confronted for the very first time with the possibility that i could become a priest. imagine – me, a woman, could become a priest! (if you didn’t grow up Catholic, sorry, you just won’t get how astounding that is) i met with mother barb and told her of my years-long search to figure out what i was called to be. i told her that no matter what i did to earn a living, i always had the nagging sense that i was somehow “off-base”, that while i liked all my jobs and did them all to the best of my ability and learned things from each of them, it was never quite right. i asked her if God could speak through a nagging sense, and she said, in effect, don’t rush anything. being a priest is a vocation, not just another job. she asked, what was it that i thought i could do as a priest that i couldn’t do any other way, and i answered immediately, (WITHOUT having rehearsed my answer, even!) “share the sacraments with others, and teach them how grace is present in them.” she said i was right, there was no other way i could do that, and that it sounded like i had a very sacramentally-based spirituality, and she told me to read – read anything i could get my hands on about theology and spirituality and sacraments, and she opened her personal library to me. then she up and moved to wisconsin a month later, to be closer to her grown children and to be vicar of her own parish.

when we moved to this state and joined st. p’s, i sat down with fr. m to introduce our family and chat, and i told him of my experiences with searching for my vocation. he in turn told me that the only reason to become a priest is if you can’t NOT be one, and that because the episcopal church does not provide any financial assistance for seminarians, the process can be financially very difficult on families with small children. i’ve been mulling over his words for 8 months now. what does it feel like when you can’t NOT be a priest? does it mean you don’t sleep? does it mean you get discouraged when you pray because the answers aren’t obvious? does it mean you constantly question where your life is going and what you can be doing to better serve everyone you come into contact with – how you can be a disciple? because i do ALL of that, and i still don’t know if i can’t NOT be a priest. for awhile, i thought i had come to some type of decision along the lines of, “you chose marriage and motherhood – that is your vocation for now. you can pursue the priest thing when Boy-o is grown.” but that thought now verges on unbearable. every time i kneel to receive communion, i am simultaneously filled with joy at the grace i am receiving, and despair that i may never be able to effectively share that joy with others- not just the actual physical sharing – i could be a LEM and do that, but by teaching inquirers’ classes and high school confirmation classes and…well, anything else anyone wanted me to teach. i just don’t know where to go with this desire. i don’t even have anyone to bounce any ideas off if. i desperately need a spiritual director, but i’m not having any luck finding someone, mostly because i simply don’t know anyone semi-local (and by that i mean in the state!).

i opened this post with the information that i had told all of this to my husband, and it really threw him for a loop. i asked him to think earnestly about the sacrifices a priestly vocation might entail, and to let me know what his concerns were. we talked – and talked – and talked, and in the end, he said he was behind me 100%, even if that meant great financial sacrifices to get me through seminary and even if it meant moving AGAIN, which i know would cause him great pain now that we have finally gotten geographically close to his family. after all the turmoil of the past year, how can i even consider that this might be what i want? and does it even matter that i want it? everyone talks about vocation in terms of what God wants, but i have always struggled with how to best hear His voice.

“and i don’t understand why i sleep all day, and i start to complain that there’s no rain, and all i can do is read a book to stay awake, and it rips my life away, but it’s a great escape…”

in a dark room thinking dark thoughts January 15, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in friends, movies, road trips, thoughtful, worship.

driving home tonight from visiting with ally, i used the turnpike. in most places, it’s a two lane road. i don’t think i actually passed through any towns on the drive, but occasionally off to the side i could see a trailer or a small home lit up in the dark landscape. it was a *very* dark landscape. i used my brights most of the time. my son was asleep in the back seat, and i stared at the road in front of me, remembering a long ago and far away impulsive trip across the country (in what i like to call the bad old days), much of it on roads very much like this one. i began remembering all the feelings i had on that drive as well. all the fear, all the uncertainty about what kind of welcome i would receive when i reached my destination, all the desperation to impress. i don’t know why a dark road would make feelings like that rush back to me, but it did.

i’ve been very sad this whole weekend. i miss my home state, even though i’m not that far away. as much i as have grown to love our life here most of the time, at this moment this whistling wind is getting to me. the endless small-town, no-street-lights-and-lots-of-cows darkness weighs heavy on me. i had ugly words with my husband this morning and this afternoon. i haven’t been to church since christmas eve. i missed once simply because i was tired, and i continue missing because i am too embarrassed to go and kneel at that altar rail and risk crying from relief at being back. i’m afraid everyone will ask, “where you have been?”, forcing me to lie about “not feeling well”, or “busy”, or to make up other conflicts.


i rented some movies last night. this morning i watched “millions”, a british film directed by danny boyle. the main character, a 5-year old boy whose mother has recently died, simply wants to do good (spoiler: a bag of money from the country’s largest bank robbery ever is thrown off a train and lands in a field near the boy’s new house. he finds it, thinks it is from God, and begins quizzing everyone he meets to find out if they are one of the “poor”, so he can share it with them). i was mesmerized by his chats with the saints, by his desire to know if any of them knew his mother, and by the interplay betwen brothers – the older, entrepenurial anthony and the younger, pure-of-heart damien. it was a beautifully done film.

a pox on you, NOVUS Inflatable Plastic Packaging b… January 9, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in funny.
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a pox on you, NOVUS Inflatable Plastic Packaging by FP International in Redwood City, New Jersey. i cannot pop you in the manner in which i would customarily pop bubble wrap. instead of separate, individual, highly pop-able bubbles, you have a series of padded quilt-shaped pockets all connected together, thus making it impossible to squeeze air into one small space and get that satisfying POP!! if i twist it in an attempt to get the POP!!, it just folds along the lines between the air pockets. if i roll my desk chair over it on the floor, it still doesn’t POP!! I HATE YOU!!!! and i will never again order from the company that shipped their goods to me in such a pathetic imitation of REAL bubble wrap. i feel robbed!!

You scored as Roman Catholic. You are Roman Cathol… January 6, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in blogthings.
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  You scored as Roman Catholic. You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is Mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan
Neo orthodox
Modern Liberal
Classical Liberal
Reformed Evangelical

What’s your theological worldview?
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the Book of Daniel January 6, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in Episcopal, theology.

i’ve been eagerly following the controversy surrounding tonight’s premiere of “The Book of Daniel” on NBC for several reasons.
number one: i like controversy and reading differing opinions – it gives me a valid basis for my own decision-making.
number two: the reviews and commentaries i’ve read of the show and the ads i’ve seen for the show seem to present conflicting pictures, and we all know by now, i like conflict. jack kenny, the show’s creator says “Our goal has always been to tell a specific story about a man and his family… a man and his flaws… a man and his own personal, private relationship with his faith – in the embodiment of Jesus…”. on the surface this commentary seems at odds with the zany sounding music and the litany of problems in daniel’s family we are told about in the commercial. i want to watch and see if i can make the pieces fit together.
number three: my husband and i don’t have anything in common when it comes to our choices of what to watch on tv. he’s the sci-fi channel, i’m vh-1. AND WE ONLY HAVE ONE TV. and we both want to watch this! so much so that we are going to make an absolute point of getting the monster in bed by 7:30 so we can order takeout and drink some wine together! alone! wow!

the episcopal diocese of washington has started a blog to facilitate discussion about the show, and i’ve been reading the comments all morning. below, two comments that really jumped out at me.

“…How are you, as Christians, supposed to reach out into the world and try to address the misery and suffering found here, as Christ did, if you refuse to even acknowledge it? How are you, as Christians, supposed to raise up the lost into the Love of Christ if you can’t bear to even see less-than-perfect representations of human Christians (or a representation of Christ that fails to match your personal notion of Him) for one hour a week on a fictional television show?…Maybe if some Christians spent more time trying to read, understand, and live up to the example of Christ, and less time trying to suppress, dominate, discriminate, and eliminate anything and everything that they’re afraid to admit that they’ve either done or wanted to do (or at least TRY) themselves, more Christians would BE Christians.
But hey, what do I know – I’m just a longhaired commie liberal heathen who believes in treating people fairly, trying to love everyone for their intrinsic value as human beings, and doing my best to follow the guidance of my conscience.
Certainly that wouldn’t be very ‘Christ-like’ of me.” -John Henry, www.lowgenius.com

“My larger concern is that Daniel will damage the cause of progressive Christianity by perpetuating the myth that people become “progressives” because they do not take matters of faith and morality seriously enough: They can’t live up to God’s standards, and so they set about softening them. This is a pernicious myth. Most of the people whom I know on the religious left have come by their convictions through hard experience, serious study and deep prayer. They manifest this in lives of service and compassion. That doesn’t necessarily mean their lives aren’t a mess, or that they don’t fail more often than they succeed, but these characteristics are not something on which liberals hold an exclusive franchise.” -James Naughton, www.edow.org

i have a great sense of humor… January 3, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in blogging, friends, thoughtful.

…really, i do. but i don’t know, blatant displays of disrespect just GET to me, and the following rant addresses this. you can skip it if rants bore you, or you can read it if you want, but you’ve been warned, so please don’t comment that i’m being too sensitive.


so, i’ve been chatting on the internet since i was in my late teens/early twenties. through message boards and irc chatrooms and webrings and blogs, i’ve met people from all over the world that i never would have met, and i’ve learned things that i might never have learned otherwise. i’ve made really good friends and had some very interesting debates with people, and in my younger days, i “met” and got into relationships with a few guys absolutely sight unseen. remember that before digital cameras, if you didn’t have ready access to a flatbed scanner, photo sharing was difficult! still, i don’t think i was ever sleazy. i wasn’t known as amoral or slutty. i made friends with people through shared interests in music or religion or fashion, and feelings of friendship and love grew out of those conversations. in fact, my husband and i met online. i would never have dreamed then, or now, of addressing someone i knew nothing about as “beautiful” or “sexy” or “hot”. am i old fashioned? am i being silly when i get offended that someone who knows nothing about me except what my face looks like blind-messages me on Yahoo! and addresses me thusly? i have taken great pains to indicate on every online profile that i am married, and a mother. married means romantically unavailable to everyone but my husband. why don’t people get that? and why do i take it so personally instead of just ignoring it?

i view it as an issue of respect. our society is suffering from a lack of plain old manners. i would no more IM someone and tell them their picture was sexy than i would tap the shoulder of the man in front of me in the grocery store line and tell him he was. i think it’s the kind of thing you tell a friend or a lover, not a stranger.

“Forget love. Try good manners.” – Vivi Abbott Walker

it’s just a darn good thing the baby doesn’t have my credit card number January 1, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in Boy-o.
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i knew it was too quiet in the house. following are several more reasons to keep the door to the office closed when you have an always-on Internet connection and a toddler-child who is fascinated by the computer:

he opened up a Yahoo! Messenger session
he downloaded a free trial of AOL
…and WinZip
…and RealPlayer
he was searching for tracks on MusicMatch…i can hope it was Wiggles music, but honestly, who knows?
he was trying to restore all the deleted pictures of him in the Recycle Bin.

kids – gotta love ’em. 🙂

“Honey, put that DOWN. dear, will you move him away from the Nativity? i’m scared he’s going to end up trying to eat the baby Jesus!”