We made it. I just clicked ‘ submit’ on my final work for the semester. It was a huge push at the end so it feels really good to finally check off that last assignment and get everything turned in. All total I had over 100 pages of written work (102 to be exact) to turn in this semester, which is quite easily the most writing I’ve done in any semester of my academic career. One prof actually required our final to be hand-written in the 3-hour exam. My hand is still sore. I should have kept up my rock climbing to train for that.
Eventually, of course, I did manage to get those 100+ pages written and turned in after only moderate amounts of sleep-loss and existential dread. Huzzah! I finished the 4 major papers (that I mentioned in last month’s post), and did my Greek Exam. I also happened to get a flat tire right between my Greek final and my Church History final, so right now I’m borrowing a friend’s car until I can get it fixed on Wednesday. What timing, right? Thankful for the friend who let me borrow his car while he’s home for Christmas!
Perhaps you’re not surprised by this: I really enjoy being a full time student again. It is such a gift (to which I’m so thankful for all of my partnership supporters) to be able to focus a majority of my time on being filled both intellectually and spiritually. When in full time ministry, it’s hard to find the time and motivation to just sit, read, and think, but that’s literally my job here in seminary. Yes, reading and writing papers is hard, but it’s ultimately for me – for my edification and growth. Reading is hard (it always has been for me…just ask my high school english teachers), but reading is filling not emptying. It’s taking in new ideas, or integrating new thoughts with old ideas. It’s not about producing (which makes it hard for this Ennegram Type 3), but about savoring and enjoying, which is a gift.
Another gift and blessing of this season is seeing how TCC is continuing to not just function but thrive despite my reduced hours there. We have a new tech intern who is really stepping up our live-stream production quality for both video and audio, and our community life coordinator and new executive assistant have organized TCC’s own advent devotional, written by people from within the church. These are two projects that I, if I were not in seminary, might have had a hand in planing and executing. It’s such a gift to see these things flourish without me. I’m grateful for our staff!
Next semester will be here before I know it (already looking forward to it and signed up for classes!), and in the meantime I’m about to get married! Shauna and I are ‘eloping’ (read: small Covid wedding) in January and will honeymoon for 9 days in Costa Rica, all pending Covid case numbers and travel restrictions of course. Please pray our very small wedding will be a safe and joyful celebration at the end of a very hard year for all of us.
May you all find joy and special moments of connection despite the chaos and dis-connection this year has thrown at us. Don’t hesitate to write back or comment below!
Bonus: My new friend Victor made this facebook live post, which I shared. If you haven’t seen it, check it out! Victor is from Zimbabwe and is in my Greek section, so we get to struggle through that together.