hello pumpkins - as per usual, it has been a while. I have never been good at keeping things up... things like journals, blogs... checking my email and responding to them... you know, general communication kind of things. It is probably safe to say that I am a pretty big time slacker. But what else is new. Lets see... what do I have to share...
Life at this moment is pretty much consumed by TH 501: A Survey of Christian Doctrine. Someone today compared this class to trying to drink from a fire hose... I mean, a survey of THEOLOGY in 2 WEEKS? 4.5 hours a day... is a lot of theology. Especially for those of us (ahem, ME) who have, well, never spent more than 2-3 minutes thinking about theology without getting a big time headache. I do, however, have a big fat crush on the professor. He is brilliant. His vocabulary has me constantly baffled - I keep Dictionary.com open just to get through class with any semblance of a clue as to what's going on. Lovely.
The class itself is really challenging. Our first assignment was to look at the statement of faith for our churches - and I was embarrassed at the thought that it had never occurred to me to even glance at this before! Or, for that matter, ever! At any church I have attended! Based on denomination I can ascertain what some beliefs might be, but goodness! You would think that the basic theology and belief system of a church would be, I don't know, a deciding factor?? And so this leads me to the discovery that much of my personal theology is pretty skewed and fairly naive. Great, right? I'm not being challenged to any kind of detrimental point, but challenged I certainly am. Even core things I thought to be true (under what basis, though, I'm not sure) contradict one another to the extent that if taken far enough, one completely negates the other. AHH! That is a little window into my brain activity this past week and 2 days... this class is so fabulously rich and thick in material I want to know - but I'll be darned if I'm not getting a good butt-whooping in the process.
OH, in glorious news, I have pretty much completed my summer of wedding-attending. Praise God. I love a good wedding, I really do, but many more and I might just lose it completely. I can only travel so many times, buy so many dresses, and be surrounded by other people's love for so long (I kid, I kid) before I just start to, well, yes, lose it. I do have one wedding in September (Robert and Meredith, in Boulder) and one in November (Ruthie Ramseyer's in Wichita!), but those are well enough spaced out that I feel like I can deal. Glorious! Jess and Brock's wedding was wonderful in Wichita - Jess looked like a princess (according to Haven Yothers) and Brock was clearly so excited and happy and I couldn't want anything more for my cousin and friend! It is so hard to believe that little Jessi is married... the days of the metallic wigs and playing house are over, I suppose. I think that is the hardest thing about watching these women I love get married... such a sad reminder that our childhoods are long-gone and our friendships (as I know them) have to change. It is, though, such a gift to see each and every one of them (Jessi, Cally, Em, Jessica, Katy, Lainey, soon to be Emily too!) ... the list goes on) having found such wonderful spouses... the kind who we talked about, dreamed about, pretended existed in the form of bed posts... haha. Goodness... this is potentially the sappiest thing I have ever written on this blog! But, I feel as though I have let the cynic in me run rampant this summer (defense mechanism, perhaps?) with all these weddings, and it was time for a little sappy to get in there too. Plus, its my blog playas, and I do what I want!
Lets see what else is notable or worth sharing...
I am REALLY looking forward to reading "The Shack" when I am done with this class...
AND seeing the new BATMAN movie... yes, its true. I love Christian Bale.
I went to Cheyenne, Wyoming on Saturday. I have officially been to the state of Wyoming! We went for Cheyenne Frontier Days... the world's second largest outdoor rodeo, plus Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts in concert.
I am going to Crooked Creek Ranch this weekend (friday and sat) to see Thomas, who is on Summer Staff there, and to generally revel in the Young Life environment for just a little bit. I am seriously, so excited about this. Just to be on a camp property sounds like exactly what I want right now. I so appreciate those camps - and I am clearly biased - but even though it is not the camp I went to, the ambiance is the same... wonderful. Ahh. It was the first place where I understood that GOD wanted a personal relationship with ME; that I allowed Him into my life after a year of my leaders laying the groundwork. I recently got the chance to have coffee in Wichita with my YL leader from high school, Suzanne, who now lives in Germany (talk about good timing!) AND to see Jen Bruening, one of my leaders from the first time I went to camp, both of whom I love so dearly I could barely put it into words if I tried! I think I have just recently been struck by their impact on my young life... and I'm so thankful they took the time to invest in me. What a great, great blessing. My apologies for the random Young Life plug... but I love it. I unabashedly proclaim that I flipping LOVE that organization. Ha.
Ok. Well. This has been long, and well, slightly pointless. I remember in freshman english we had to do "free writes" which was basically like stream-of-consciousness writing... this was a bit like a flashback to that. So, it is what it is - and there it is. Or something.
I guess I should also say that I feel so blessed and so fortunate to be getting to grapple with the things I am (in theology, namely) - and while sometimes I'd like to play my "big baby" card, I really do feel that gratitude most of the time. I feel like I am constantly being shown the reason for things being the way they are... or glimpses into pieces of God's work in my life over my 23 years. Yes, some things I am figuring out a little late... but better late than never, I suppose. Sometimes, I'm dealing with something, and some random tidbit that some counselor or youth leader said to me will pop into my head. Seriously. And when I originally heard it, it may as well have been in Lithuanian. But somehow, now, it is illumined for me. As Alix Floyd would say... everything really is coming full circle, isn't it? Something like that.