Lest I give the impression that my days are morose with vocational angst, let me share some of the joys that get sprinkled around to keep me buoyant.
As noted in the last Friday Five, I got to do some valentining. Yeah, baby. Among the recipients were my goddaughter and her family. She wrote to me that I was a Valentine Ninja--how 'bout that! I told her that was a title I was happy to wear, and I think I just might put together a t-shirt proclaiming it! Feel free to submit artist renderings or ideas--this could be a money-maker! That's Hannah in the picture, displaying the kiss with her name on it. She and a friend are playing kissey tic-tac-toe.
Tomorrow I return to the land of the icon. Ah, bliss. A week in sacred silence writing an ancient icon. Once again I am honored to serve as workshop chaplain. We start each day with Eucharist, and uncharacteristically I've already got all the scriptural lessons for each day assembled for easy reference. I adore the serendipity/synchronicity that aligns certain feast days with such events. This year we start the week with Martin Luther, then move on to Frederick Douglass and John Henry Newman, and we close the week with Eric Liddell. Who? Ah, my second favorite movie of all time introduced me to this holy man. You will know him as the minister who wouldn't run a Sunday race in the Olympics in Chariots of Fire. One of my favorite movie lines of all time is contained herein: "When I run I feel God's pleasure." Lucky me. For all kinds of reasons!
St. Augustine's, The Episcopal chapel at Vanderbilt University is where we've been hanging our going-to-church hat. St. At's, as it is known affectionately, is a bustling congregation where people from the community vastly outnumber the students who attend. They have lots of ministries, one of which is the Center for Contemplative Justice. I don't really know what that means (I haven't done my homework), but St. A's hosted a fundraiser for Holy Cross Hospice in Botswana, an outreach arm through the CCJ last Thursday night. Called "The Greatest Show Ever" it boasted musical performances from the likes of Janis Joplin; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Otis Redding; Karen Carpenter; Maria Callas; Peter, Paul and Mary; Neil Diamond; and more. It was fabulous! St. A's has a rich music ministry, which I suspect has something to do with the fact that the husband of the chaplain is a grammy-winning songwriter. An auction interrupted the performances half-way through, and one item on the block was a jam session in the lucky winner's home with four musicians, one of them the aforementioned songwriter. Would that not have been the most fun, ever? Alas, we didn't have $1000+ to offer the winning bid.
I'm reading! I'm closing in on the last pages of Susan Campbell's Dating Jesus, a book given to me a few years ago by my mom. I started it way back then, but got interrupted early on and am just now returning to it. It's fun and thought-provoking at the same time, written by a recovering fundamentalist who became a journalist and left church, but didn't leave Jesus. Finishing this book will keep me on track for my Project 56.0 effort of reading a book each month. Ken has picked out my next book, which is Templar related.
We are now the proud owners of a Hoover Floormate. No, really! This little gem is a life-saver with all those muddy paw prints on the new floor. It vacuums, scrubs AND dries. Of course no sooner is the floor clean than paw prints begin to decorate it within minutes, but that's okay. Our sanity is improved considerably by the illusion of a clean floor every few days, if only for a minute. We're also strategizing ways to reduce the amount of dirt that enters the house in the first place. Stay tuned on that, but don't hold your breath.
And that's a wrap for now, because I need to get ready for church. Blessed day to one and all. What joy would you like to share?