Saturday, September 5, 2009

Weary, but happy


Excuse me for not posting about my first seminary week earlier. But I am exhausted. And the husband is exhausted. And the dog . . . well, we don't have a dog, but if we did, I have a feeling she would be tired, too. As it is, even the house plants appear slightly droopy.

I feel that I am among friends at seminary, and that will make things easier as the semester progresses. I've created a semester assignment calendar that hangs on the wall and was also copied into the smaller planner I carry with me. No excuses for late assignments!

I have changed my expectations about being able to handle a 12-13 hour on Tuesdays and will now be missing chapel to arrive on campus for a 12:30 class, and then to leave the premises at 9 pm after my last class is over.

Two of my classes are large and filled with a combination of undergrad students and seminary students. I'm not thrilled about this, but I'm working on having a positive attitude and simply trying to learn all I can. The third class is smaller, seminary-students only, and will be so challenging and stimulating. I'm quite excited about it.

And as I start this journey, believing that God is calling me to use my full giftedness, I am also asking God to show me how to respect other convictions and how to give the new friends I meet the benefit of the doubt.

For instance, in the challenging class, we were encouraged that we will use what we learn in our preaching ministries. The professor added "or when you teach women." Because I was the only woman in the class, I quite naturally, took this personally. And it didn't make me happy in my heart, friends. Far from it.

But as I gave myself some time, I came to realize that the professor was actually trying to be inclusive rather than exclusive. That is, he is honestly used to teaching males how to preach. And because I was also in the class, he wanted to make sure I was included. I truly believe he didn't know where I was coming from or how I believe God wants me to use my gifts. That will come in time.

Grace upon grace, mercy upon mercy. I am asking my heavenly Father to help me act as He would.

And one thing I'm grateful for, that I know has certainly evolved over time at this seminary, is that they have emphasized that grades are not the most important thing. They are encouraging us to develop a desire to learn as a way of loving God well, and others well, too. More later...for now, I rest.

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