I can’t believe how fast April flew by! I started the month in Cuba and ended in such a whirlwind of finishing classes that I completely forgot to post my monthly re-cap. Spending my spring break in Cuba was truly a dream come true, and you can read about it here. After Cuba, life picked right back up at its busy pace and I was overwhelmed with how much I had to do. In March and April, I traveled for 7 weekends in a row and it left me absolutely worn out.
April felt like a particularly hard month for me in ways I wasn’t entirely expecting. My impending graduation and looming deadline of moving from Atlanta has hit me in big and small ways. I can’t say that I particularly love Atlanta, but it’s been my home for three years and it’s strange to think about this community moving on without me.
As an Enneagram 8w7 and someone who is incredibly “Type A” I often lean very hard into my 7 wing of looking toward the future. This means that I love to plan. So much so that I often enjoy planning things more than actually doing them. For the last year and half, my life has been in all about planning for what is next— planning for India, planning for Vermont, planning for Europe, planning to home, planning for summer, planning for post-graduation. It’s made it incredibly hard to actually be present, and this month has felt particularly hard. I know my life won’t always been so segmented, so I’m trying to give myself grace for struggling to be present.
As I write this in well into the month of May, I’m fully into the season of “lasts”—
I’m honestly not sure if I’ll keep doing these “monthly digests.” It’s been a good practice for me while I’ve been in Seminary, but it’s become more of an item on my checklist than something I’m excited to write. As I figure out what my next season of life will look like, I'm also figuring out what this new season online looks like. It might take me a while to figure out what that really looks like, but I’m grateful for the way that blogging and social media have allowed me to stay in touch with friends and community all across the country (and across the world!).
What I'm Learning
In my last semester of Seminary, I decided to audit a class called “Occasional Services” which is about learning how to do services like weddings, funerals, healing, ordinations and more. It was one of the most practical classes I got to take in Seminary and was so helpful in preparing for ordained ministry. At the end of the class, everyone who was taking the course for credit had to lead a service, so one of my classmates asked if I would help for her wedding service. It was one of so many funny moments in Seminary (see also: baptizing a stuffed animal) that although I might miss, I can’t wait to do it for real soon (preside, not participate, that is!).
What I'm Reading
My public library has incredibly long wait lists for books that I’m interested in, so this month I had several books come in that I put on hold month ago. Even though I’ve been busy with school, I babysit a few kids at the park several days a week, which gives me some time for reading for pleasure. The best book I read this month was Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty (of Big Little Lies fame). Her books always have delightful twists and she sure knows how to write engaging characters. If you’re looking for a fun and light summer read, this will surely get you hooked.
What I'm Preaching
I got to preach on Palm Sunday this year, which was an exciting challenge for me. I’ve never gotten to preach on any of the “big” liturgical holidays, so it felt like a big deal to me. One of the wonderful and weird parts of being a Christian is the cyclical nature of the church calendar— we go round and round to the same holidays, same traditions, same texts year after year. It’s both comforting and sometimes frustrating, “are we really here again?” As a new(ish) preacher, it’s still exciting to me because even though I’ve heard these stories each year of my life, this is the first time I get to be the one to tell them. So if you’d like to listen, here’s my sermon for Palm Sunday this year.
How I’m Remembering
My favorite Holy Week tradition in Seminary has been gardening on Holy Saturday in our community garden. Across the world and Christian traditions, Christians garden on the Saturday in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday day. It’s a way of connecting with the earth— the same earth that Jesus lay in that morning. It’s a way of remembering that Christ was first mistaken as a gardener. It’s a way of remembering that we are made of this earth and to it we will one day return. I have loved our community garden, even in all of its futility, for the past three years and it brings me so much joy to know that there are others who will continue to invest in it when I am gone.
Who I’m Following
One of my favorite twitter (and now instagram) accounts, Nathan W Pyle, started a series of comics called “strange planet” depicting all the strange things we humans do. He’s got a great sense of humor and way of seeing the world that I find utterly delightful. He’s even publishing a book of comics in the fall! When life feels overwhelming and exhausting, these little comics remind me of the beauty in the small things in life.
Where I've Been
Cuba seems like a lifetime ago already, but I suppose it really was just a few weeks ago! I haven’t been on many island vacations but after a week in Cuba, I think that’s the only kind of vacation I want to go on! It was such a treat to get to spend time relaxing on beaches, snorkeling through coral reefs, and wandering the streets of Havana. If the travel restrictions don’t prevent me, I can’t wait to go back!