Thursday, July 19, 2007

Friday Five: looking back, looking forward

Here's another Friday chance to reflect from Sally:

When I began work here at Downham Market a wise friend told me that after one year I would see a few changes and sense God at work- years two and three would cause me to question and to wonder why I had chosen to accept the post here and in year four I might see the beginnings of something new.

And so with that in mind alongside yesterday's celebrations I bring you Friday 5: Looking back, looking forward..
1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith.
I believe that for the most part, my whole time in seminary was a real time of encouragement for me. After 11 years out of school, I went back, with some fear and trepidation. Would I be able to do the work? I loved all of the studies, and I found both gifts for academic work and pastoral ministry to be affirmed in many ways. And (blush, blush) I'll always remember the day one of my seminary professors actually quoted from one of my papers in a chapel sermon! Hmmm. Maybe that was my 15 minutes of fame.

2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry?

One of my current dreams and visions for my work/ministry is to think of a way to integrate my pastoral ministry with writing for publication in some way. Another dream is to empower people to be more bold/courageous in writing or talking about their own faith with others.

3.Money is no object and so you will.....
I would like to take a year off and travel and see as much of the country and of the world as I can. Whenever I see those 1,001 places to see before you die books, I am struck by how much of the world, and of this country I haven't seen. I'd like to see more of the South, visit in the East (other than Pennsylvania, where I finally have been twice), and the Northwest. I'd like to visit Europe and especially Scandinavia where my grandparents are from. I would also like to write about it. Always, write more.

4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going?

I remember the barren women of the Bible, Hannah, Rachel, Elizabeth -- and how the opposite of barren is expecting. God will make my ministry, my life, my family bear fruit, even in the times it seems barren.

Also, I remember something a friend of mine shared with me. She told me about her sister, who owned a home in the inner city. She told about a picture of her sister's garden, and how the picture had the beauty of the garden that her sister had cultivated, but on the edges of the picture you could see the reality of some of the trouble of the city. She chooses to stay there in the city, and bring and be beauty, and not deny the ugliness. That's hope.

5. How important are your roots?

My father's parents both came from Sweden to America when they were young people. The story is that they were both single, but they met on the boat. My mother's grandparents came from Norway. They became farmers. For a long time it was those literal roots, to Scandinavia that were important to me. Now it is the story -- the story of immigrants who leave and come to a new land, to take risks and dare to hope -- it is that story that is important to me. In fact, it occurs to me that the story of immigrants is a story of looking back and looking forward. When I was a girl, we learned a Swedish immigrant song because it always made my grandma cry. It was called, "Halsa Dem Darhemma." "Greet those at home." The song is sung by a young person on a boat, who sees a bird, and instructs the bird to greet all those at home, those she is leaving behind.

6. Bonus= what would you like to add ?

I've been thinking a lot about traveling lately, since I've been to and fro on vacation. I've been thinking about what it is like to come to a place for the first time: that moment of humility when you see something beautiful you didn't know existed before. And I've been thinking about what it is like to return to a place again and again. Both are necessary journeys. I've been thinking about posting more about these kinds of pilgrimages.


Serena said...

Nice play ... look forward to having you visit the Northwest.

Leah Sophia said...

Welcome back--what a great play, especially maybe getting published in print?!

Presbyterian Gal said...

Can't imagine what it would be like to go back to school. Seems braver to answer a call later in life.

Seems a number of y'all here have got wanderlust, wanting to travel.

Sally said...

excellent play- I'm with you on the wander lust and the year out!!!

karlassi said...

I love the story about the Swedish song...I have upper midwest scandanavian immigrant roots myself, so it resonates deeply. Thanks for your play.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to reading your books!

revabi said...

You write beautifully, no wonder, the Prof, quoted from you. I hope you get to live your dream. What a beautiful story about your roots,and song.

Good bonus play.

chartreuseova said...

I loved reading about your family and your memories.

My roots are important to me, but unfortunately my dh & his family doesn't feel the there are few old family stories to tell my daughter about that side of her heritage.

Gannet Girl said...

Great play -- and I agree that your wonderful writing will lead to publication someday.

David said...

That is a great Friday five. My seminary experience is much like yours. Long time away from the books and questions as to if I was up for it.

Good post!

mompriest said...

I so understand what it means to return to school. When I went to seminary it was after 20 years, and I was a dance major in prep for the high academic level of seminary...I had truly gracious professors who helped me along the way...

thanks, diane for sharing some of your story in this FF5.

Barbara B. said...

Yes, I vote for you visiting the Northwest! :)

Rochelle said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog =). I love your story about roots (especially the bird story). That brings me encouragement because I feel like I've kind of left my family behind by moving so far away. I am going to be in St. Paul in February to do my niece's wedding--it's cold then, right? =)