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RevGalBlogPals Friday Five: "As my mother used to say…" March 31, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in Friday Fives.
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Today’s Friday Five asks us to revisit some classic family phrases handed down from parents to children. My father said a couple of these, too. 🙂

1) “Are you bleeding? No? Then you’re ok.”

2) “It builds character.”

3) “Getting there (work, school, wherever) is 70% of the battle.”

4) “You are going to crack your head open, and I’m going to laugh.”

5) “Ignorance can be fixed, but stupid is forever.”

I HAD to include a 6th…I haven’t used it yet because Boy-o isn’t old enough to pull out the “everyone else is doing it” argument, but I am SO looking forward to it when it happens, if only so I can say…

“I’m not everyone else’s mother, am I?”


let’s talk March 30, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in lyrics.
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Oh, brother, I can’t, I can’t get through
I’ve been trying hard to reach you
Cause I don’t know what to do
Oh, brother, I can’t believe it’s true
I’m so scared about the future
And I want to talk to you
Oh, I want to talk to you

You could take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be
You could climb a ladder up to the sun
Or write a song nobody had sung
Or do something that’s never been done

Are you lost or incomplete
Do you feel like a puzzle
You can’t find your missing piece
Tell me how you feel
Well, I feel like they’re talking in a language I don’t speak
And they’re talking it to me

So you take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be
You could climb a ladder up to the sun
Or write a song nobody had sung
Or do something that’s never been done
Or do something that’s never been done

So you don’t know where you’re going
And you want to talk
And you feel like you’re going where you’ve been before
You’ll tell anyone who’ll listen but you feel ignored
And nothing’s really making any sense at all
Let’s talk, let’s talk
Let’s talk, let’s talk

-Coldplay, “Talk”

So, I did it! March 27, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in theology, vocation.
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Last Wednesday, I worked up the guts to talk to my rector, Father M., about what I now believe to be a call to Holy Orders. Well, in actuality, I talked all around it, but eventually (it took me about 45 minutes!) I came to my point, and I’ll be darned if he didn’t sound…well, EXCITED for me, sorta! I let him know that I am in spiritual direction and trying to discern the nature of this call, and he offered to guide me in academic preparation for what I would eventually face in seminary, should I reach that point. He also told me he would find out what needed to be done before I could make application to the diocesan aspirancy program, which is a year long program for potential candidates for ministry that precedes BACOM (Bishop’s Advisory Committee on Ministry). It is BACOM that gives the recommendations as to whether a candidate should be allowed to go to seminary, begin the deacon formation program, take some time for further study and prayer and come back the following year, or give up and go home. My understanding is that the bishop can override BACOM’s recommendations, but rarely does. We’re in a funny place in our diocese at the moment because we are in the beginning stages of electing a new bishop, and so I am hearing that our current one is not making many decisions about potential candidates for ministry at this time, since he won’t be in office to oversee their formation. I’ve been advised, therefore, to be patient. Me! Be patient! HA!

I know that’s logical, but also frustrating for someone like me who has this idea that I have had this call almost my entire life, and now here I am being told that I need to wait some more. So, I relaxed. I prayed. I thought about it. It’s not, after all, God’s fault that I waited until I was 30 to actually try and do something about this, and that I will be in my mid to late 30’s by the time I am ordained, if that is in THE PLAN. I’m trying to be peaceful in the knowledge that other things had to happen in my life first for me to be equipped to handle the rigors of the process.

On the bureaucratic end of things, Father M. told me yesterday that he found out it is required that I be “canonically resident” in the diocese for 2 years before making application for aspirancy, which leaves me just barely over one year to go. I’ve decided it is one year in which I intend to continue in spiritual direction, periodically go on retreat, and read, read, read. My theology is not yet developed enough to know who I want to read, so I’ve taken some outside recommendations and ordered the first book in The New Church’s Teaching Series, The Anglican Vision, and The Last Week by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. If anyone wants to suggest others to get started with, I’m open!

meme, taken from allykatt’s livejournal March 26, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in blogthings.
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1. Of the various cultures, ethnicities or nationalities you belong to, which most strongly do you consider yourself? i am a western european mutt, with mostly german blood. however, i also have scotch, irish, french, english, welsh, and ummm…i thought i heard there was some norwegian somewhere. nonetheless, i most strongly consider myself irish. my name means ireland. of all the colors i have dyed my hair, i liked the various shades of red the best! my home is chock full of prints from the book of kells, knotwork wall hangings, and irish beer signs. mythology rocks my world, and so do stories of ancient warriors. i had “st. patrick’s breastplate” played at my wedding, and i named my daughter tara after the mountain from which the ancient irish kings ruled. get the picture? 🙂

2. Is there a culture you cannot claim heritage from but which you feel quite close to? native americans. living in an indian nation {literally} will bring you great interest in their culture and history. my husband has some indian blood, and therefore my son does also.

3. What’s one language you wish you knew fluently? spanish. i used to be pretty fluent in “kitchen spanish” (heavy on the cuss words and colloquialisms) when i worked in the hospitality industry, but i’ve lost most of it now. i’m also aware that the church is working very diligently to reach hispanic cultures, and i think spanish would only help me if i want to be a priest in the southern half of the country.

4. If you could move anywhere in the world and be guaranteed a job, etc. where would you go? australia or ireland

5. If you had a time machine, and could witness one event without altering or disturbing it, what would you want to see? the birth of the early church. i’d want to travel with paul, though i don’t know that he’d want me around – i ask an awful lot of questions. 🙂

so there i am, bravely wielding a paint roller in … March 18, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in chaos.

so there i am, bravely wielding a paint roller in pursuit of a more aesthetically pleasing living room, when my cell phone rings. “who is calling me on a saturday morning?” i wondered. i didn’t recognize the number, but i answered it anyway. it was the woman i met on retreat last weekend, who agreed to be my spiritual director. i was supposed to meet with her this morning, and i just…completely…forgot. i tried desperately to think of an excuse, and, failing to do so, admitted to her that i had forgotten. talk about starting off on the wrong foot. well, she agreed to see me this afternoon instead, so i had better get going. arrrrggghhh.

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five: Spring Break March 17, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in Boy-o, Canada, family, Friday Fives, life, road trips, The Princess.
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5 memorable Spring Breaks:

1) Well, there was the Spring Break in 1993 when I was 17, during which I had my daughter (see my profile – she’s the almost-13-year-old who lives with my parents). I was much too young to be a mom, but the experience of bringing her into the world is seared into my memory forever. I know that most moms will say the same about all their babies, but for me it’s especially poignant because I haven’t raised her, so I hold especially tight to the memories I do have. When it was announced at the crucial moment that she was a girl (I had chosen to be surprised), I was crying and laughing and I said her name and, “she’s here! She’s here!” I felt so much joy at that particular moment. I felt God around us when I looked at her and kissed her nose. I absolutely can’t imagine my family’s life without her in it. My parents probably can’t say the same – if not for her they would almost certainly be “empty nesters” by now, and there are probably days when they can imagine that peace and quiet quite well!

2) Ahhh, my erstwhile trip to Canada from December 1997-March 1998 (age 22) definitely encompassed Spring Break. I took some time off from school and drove 21 hours to Canada to meet some folks I had met chatting on IRC…you know, back in the days of dial-up Internet when that kind of thing was considered weird. 🙂 Home base for most of the trip was Winnipeg, Manitoba, but a friend and I embarked on a trip across country (and boy, is it a big country), landing in Montreal before heading back west. I made the tragic mistake of falling in love with my friend on the trip, so when he broke the news that he’d had a fun few months, but it was time for me to go home and he wasn’t coming with me, it was awful. Ugh, I will never understand why some people want to be young again

3) There was my one and only Spring Break trek to South Padre Island in 1999, when I was 23, and on my first senior year in college. It was miserable. The beach was wall to wall with tanned look-a-likes sporting tribal tattoos and belly button piercings. There were beer cans everywhere. And I…well, I was Goth during that period. To this day I’m clueless as to whatever made me think I would like South Padre, anyway. Don’t get me wrong – I love the beach, but South Padre was not my scene. My boyfriend at the time and I left and went camping on Mustang Island, instead. Much nicer – less spoiled, quieter – you get the picture. The weirdest part of that trip? I ran into my little sister in one of Padre’s many t-shirt and swimwear shops. She and I didn’t talk much then, and I had no idea she was going to be there!

4) Last year’s trip to Wisconsin took place in February, so it wasn’t quite Spring, but let’s call it “close enough”, shall we? My husband and I were founding members of the young adult group at our big church in the big city. Our group’s mentor was Mother Barb, and wow – she was just awesome. She came to all of our gatherings – the BBQ at our tiny apartment, theology talks at local pubs, etc. When I met her, my whole understanding of “vocation” changed radically. Anyway, she left the big city and moved to Wisconsin, where she was originally from, and when she was installed as vicar of St. Luke’s in tiny Sister Bay, Wisconsin, the group made a road trip and I got to go (husband stayed home with our Boy-o). We rented a Suburban and drove straight there, attended the installation and the banquet afterwards on Friday night, had Saturday to tour the town, and drove straight home right after church on Sunday, narrowly avoiding being trapped in town by a blizzard. I was gone a total of 4 days, but when I got back, my son, who was drinking from a bottle when I left, had been switched to a sippy cup by my husband! What I wanted to know was, why wasn’t he potty trained, too?! (Just kidding – he was only 10 months old)

5) This year, in June (again, not really Spring, also again, “close enough”) we will be taking our monster to an anime convention in the big city we used to live in. It’s a massive anime and gaming convention, and if you don’t know what anime is, well, this is the Internet – go look it up! 🙂 Anime is really my husband’s thing. He even prefers it in Japanese with subtitles, instead of dubbed over in English. He also plays all these weird role-playing games with dice and costumes, so he’s looking forward to it. Since we don’t actually live in the city this year, we will be staying in the convention hotel for the first time instead of just going to the events and then going home. I like some of the anime, but I like the art show and the dealer room more, and I also like hotels. I’m putting up with the convention, and in return, we get to take our little monster to Sea World in San Antonio when it’s over! Now THAT I’m excited about!

Cross-posted at Lent 40days 40miles I definitely … March 12, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in prayer, theology.

Cross-posted at Lent 40days 40miles

I definitely walked my mile (and then some) yesterday! I spent the day on retreat at a Benedictine monastery near the capital city, and since the weather was just gorgeous, I spent most of the day walking the grounds and reflecting. I had never been to a monastery before, so I really had no idea what to expect, but I guess I anticipated that aside from a “welcome”, I wouldn’t hear another human voice all day. Boy, was I wrong. Nuns can be *quite* chatty. In my travels around, I exchanged a few words with a young man whom the sisters allowed to fish in the pond on the property. There was also another woman staying in the guest house with me, and she wrote me a nice note before I left asking for my prayers and saying she enjoyed sharing the “sacred space” with me. All in all, a very refreshing experience, and though it was a brief one, I hope to return soon. I re-gained some much needed perspective on certain events in my life from one of the spiritual directors, enjoyed a delicious kidney bean salad, participated in the community worship, and walked my socks off! Blessings to all of you!
Ok, that was what I posted at the other blog. I didn’t want to bore my fellow walkers with anything more, but I really did have an amazing retreat. I did seek some spiritual direction from the prioress, and thanks to her gentle prodding, I gained some new insight into a few old doubts of mine. Furthermore, she was able to put me in touch with a lay spiritual director a little closer to home, and I will begin talking with her next week. If it wasn’t Lent, I’d shout, “Halleluja!” out loud!

My labyrinth walk was a spiritually violent experience. The atmosphere around me was very peaceful, but there was cacophony inside my head. “Look how far away you are! You’re never going to finish this thing!” “I could reach my arm out and be in the center if not for that dumb brick right there!” “Why am I here, God? It’s a beautiful Saturday – shouldn’t I be home with my family and chasing my son around the yard?” And then, peace, contentment, when I finally did reach the center and sank to my knees. Then anger again, as I had to turn around and make my way back to the beginning. I really don’t know if labyrinth walking is my thing. Perhaps I’m not approaching it correctly. Perhaps there is no “correct” way. I don’t know.

After all my work of the last 24 hours, I think I deserve a Sunday afternoon nap. Yeah, that sounds good. Maybe I’ll write more later, maybe not.

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
-Psalm 27:4

the sound of silence March 11, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in vocation, worship.
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As I mentioned in a previous post, this morning I head off on retreat to a Benedictine monastery. So far, the weather seems as though it will be conducive to some outdoor time (which will give me chance to meditate on trees and clouds and the like, Episco-pagan that I am), but the weather here is unpredictable, so that could change at any time. I’ll also have access to a labyrinth while there, and the services of a spiritual director. The labyrinth…not sure about this. Our parish in the big city had one, and I walked it a few times, but I found it very hard to tune out distractions…light bouncing off the stained glass windows, or doors opening and closing down the hallway, or even people whispering in respectfully low tones so they wouldn’t interrupt my “experience”. I’ll give it another chance, and we’ll see. This spring has been jam-packed with things to do and occasions to mark, even more so than usual, so I really need this respite. God bless my husband for keeping our little boy for these 24 hours as I take a baby step towards conquering my fear of silence!

RevGalsBlogPals Friday Five: HAIR! March 10, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in Friday Fives.
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I know, I know, I haven’t posted since last week’s Friday Five. Sorry, it’s been a hectic week in my world, and I’m trying to get prepared to go on retreat tomorrow. So, here we go – HAIR!

1) Do you like your hair?

Most of the time. It’s thick and shiny, but styling has always been a thorn in my side because it’s got a very fine texture. I shied away from styling products for a very long time because I couldn’t ever quite get them right. Now, I love my Redken Rewind hair goop – it’s the best!

2) Have you ever colored your hair? If not, would you consider it?

See above pictures. From the age of 17 to the age of 28, my hair was alternately blue, green, magenta, pink, purple, every shade of red, and black. I let it go back to my natural light brown while pregnant, and left it that way out of sheer laziness until 3 months ago when I put some reddish highlights back in.

3) What’s the longest you’ve ever worn your hair? The shortest?

The longest it’s been was probably to the middle of my back, when I was 7 years old. My mom got it cut right before we moved to a southwestern state from a midwestern one because she said I wasn’t going to want long hair in the heat. Since then, I’ve only had long hair maybe two or three times. I let it grow out for my wedding so I could wear an up-do, and it got to right below my shoulders. I chopped it off again on the honeymoon. 🙂 The shortest my hair has been was when I shaved off about half of it off right before my senior year in high school. That took FOREVER to grow back!

4) When and what was your worst. haircut. ever?

See above, shortest cut. But the BEST ( I know, no one asked about the best) was my asymetrical cut when I was 15. My hair hit the top of my ear on the left side and curved around to almost touch my shoulder on the right side. I loved it! It swung around my face beautifully!

5) Tell us a favorite song or scene from a book or movie dealing with hair.

Hmmm…in the German movie<a href=” Run Lola Run, her hair is so…so…RED and Raggedy Ann-like when she’s running! I love it! It’s beautiful!

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five: Practice Makes Perfect March 3, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in Catholic, Friday Fives, lyrics.

This week’s Friday Five over at RevGals asks us to write about four things we have made a practice at some time or other in our lives, along with one thing we would like to try that requires practice, attention, or committment. This is a tough one!

I grew up in the Roman Catholic tradition and went to Catholic schools for most of my grade school years, so giving up something for Lent and meatless Fridays have always been a part of my life. I’m a little young for the era of “pagan babies” and all that, but I clearly remember Operation Rice Bowl. We had these little cardboard bowls that we took home and put all of our change in, and then we brought them back to school and we were told the money went directly to feed the hungry children. However, my mom was a professional religious educator and therefore knowledgeable in the inner workings of parish bureaucracy, and somewhere along the line I absorbed the idea from her (indirectly! she NEVER SAID ANYTHING, OK?!) that maybe that money didn’t go directly to the hungry children – maybe it went to pay the salaries of the staff who worked for the organization that fed the children, or maybe, just maybe, it went into the staff’s end-of-the-year party fund. Talk about becoming jaded at a young age!

So, on to the assignment!

1) My practices as a child involved giving up candy, giving up fighting with my siblings, giving up lying…and I don’t honestly remember ever being particularly successful at any of those for the whole 40 days. Children are undisciplined creatures by nature, and I was no exception!

2) After a bratty late adolescence and several years of refusing to give anything up because, you know, I “just didn’t really see the point” (imagine that being said in a huffy tone while tossing my hair), I recognized that God hadn’t left me, I had left HIM, and I had never even really stopped going to Mass. I’d just turned off and tuned out. So for Lent that year, I resolved to listen – really listen to the words that I was saying at church. This practice changed my life. I realized that if I was intimately experiencing God in these pre-formatted prayers that I had known by heart all of my life and that were mumbled without thought by millions of people around the world, where ELSE might I find Him? I experienced Holy Week through new eyes that year, and every year since then I think back to that first Easter Vigil when I first became conscious that I was a real part of the Body of Christ, not just an observer.

3) A few years after that, in my mid-twenties, my Lenten practice was to give up smoking, and to take on the additional task of picking up cigarette butts off the ground and placing them in ashtrays whenever I could. This practice deeply humbled me, since I sincerely believed that I was not addicted to cigarettes and would have no problem giving them up. How shallow is this: I used to wear acrylic nails, and in truth, I set out to quit so the woman who did my nails at the time would stop scolding me about my nail beds being yellow and making her job harder! It turned out I was addicted, but putting down the smokes was not nearly as difficult as having to pick up the cigarette butts, and in the process, overcome the bias I had against environmentalists. Oh, I succumbed to all the cliches: “They care more about the planet than about the people living on it”, “tree huggers”, “granola eating flakes”, etc. By the time Lent was over that year, I understood (at least in theory) what it might truly mean to be a good steward of the planet.

4) This year, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my Lenten practice is to give up meat. Not just on Fridays, but for the whole 40 days. I have a lot to learn about fasting as a spiritual discipline, but I thought this might be a good place to start. I’m trying to fit this practice into my continuing discernment and the somewhat recent recognition that I can’t continue trying to keep my spiritual life separate from my material life. My body, mind, emotions, and spirit all need to be fed – just maybe not in the way I’ve been feeding them. So, to go along with the absence of meat from my diet, I’ve taken on walking at least 2 miles a day. Sure, there might be other, more tangible benefits that result from this change, but I’m trying very hard to keep the sacrificial in the forefront of my mind.

5) One thing I would like to try in the future as a periodic practice might be silence. I know I’m not called to monasticism, so attempting this for any lengthy period would most certainly be impractical in my daily life. But I know that silence makes me uncomfortable – I’m the kind of person who keeps the TV on for company when I’m home alone, and since I need to confront more of the things that make me uncomfortable (especially if I want to be ordained someday!), this seems like it might be a meaningful exercise. I’m going to get a chance to take a stab at it next weekend when I go on a private retreat at a Benedictine monastery. I expect I will be stark raving mad from the silence by the end of the weekend, but I may surprise myself, who knows?

“I will have faith in man
That is hard to understand
Show some humility
You have the ability
Get right with me

Friends, if you’ve lost your way
You will find it again some day
Come down from your pedestals
And open your mouths that’s all
Get right with me…”

-Depeche Mode