New Year, Same (Good) Me

Well, per usual, life has gotten away from me and I am circling back around to update everyone on what has been happening the past couple of months.

My fall semester was awesome! I went ahead and technically did five classes: Intro to Preaching, Intro to Pastoral Care, Environmental Ethics, World Religion and a directed study about the ways we can use Art in Worship (complete with a four week Sunday school lesson plan). I did well in all my classes, I really enjoyed them. In the Spring I am taking: Pastoral Care Elective- On Death and Dying, Mission and Evangelism, Esther Exegesis and Presbyterian Polity. This summer I am taking six weeks of Greek so I can take my Greek exegesis in the fall.

There are a couple of bigger updates that I would also like to share.

First, after a lot of thoughtful vocational discernment I have decided that I am not going to pursue the dual-degree program at the seminary. Instead of getting both my Master's in Divinity and my Master's of Science in Social Work, I am only going to get my M. Div. I came into seminary hesitant to pursue congregational ministry, however after my experiences this past summer I have realized that I feel called to congregational ministry. Not only do I love the relationship aspect of ministry, the parts where you build relationships with others and, through those relationships, share my faith in God, I love a lot of other parts of congregational ministry. This semester I took the Introduction to Preaching class and it turns out that I really enjoy the process of sermon writing. I feel God working from the moment I read the text for the week all the way through the act of standing up and preaching in front of people. I also really enjoy leading worship, I can feel God moving through the congregation when we say the Prayers of the People, or share in communion.

Also, I got a very MILD case of shingles right after Thanksgiving and decided it was time to reassess what I was doing. When you're 27 and you get shingles it's pretty much only because of stress. Once the ball started rolling I found myself frustrated that I would have to take MSSW classes over electives that I felt would help me build up my toolset to pursue my call, I realized that it was time to reassess why I was sticking with the Dual Degree program. So, instead of graduating in the spring of 2020, I will be graduating in the spring of 2019.

I really love plans, and I really hate deviating from plans I have made, but this direction is where God is calling me. I keep being reminded that, we make plans and God laughs at them (in a loving way!).

My second update, and I'm sure anyone who is friends with me on Instagram or Facebook has noticed, is that I got a puppy! After years and years of pining, I went ahead and did it. On December 21st I picked up Blanche. She is a Basset Hound. Some days I want to kill her, but I think she is finally adjusting to the crate and Stella doesn't seem to mind her. Ellis is vastly outnumbered now, but he's a total sucker for Stella and Blanche (and he doesn't seem to mind me either).

She and Stella have their own Instagram, blancheandstella, feel free to follow them if you want a stream of pictures of my precious cat and pup.


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