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Monday, January 19, 2015

Going back to school...and January blues

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I'm getting ready to go back to school. I'm taking the GRE on February 27th. I think it's a definite sign that I've been out of school too long that I'm actually enjoying studying for the GRE.

Someone told me once that she's having a hard time figuring out this parenting thing, that the grown up world befuddles her a little bit, but she was a really good test taker and paper writer because that's what most of her life experiences before adulthood involved. It's true, and maybe a bit overstated these days, but we spend an awful lot of time learning how to do school, and not enough time learning how to do real life. I wish apprenticeships were still common.

I'm going to be applying to pursue a master's degree in social work, with an emphasis in community. With this degree, I'll be qualified to counsel, but I'll also be trained to help nonprofit organizations and community ministries better develop their programs. I think this'll be useful in planting our intentional community because it will help me better understand and plan for how people interact (and sometimes clash). Social work does have a lot more internship hours that most degrees, so in a way it will be like an apprenticeship, I hope.


January is a tough month. For most of the Januaries of my life, I've spent every morning trying to convince myself that my life isn't all bad. Getting out of bed is heroic for me in January. I don't know how normal that is. I've heard of seasonal affective disorder, but this has been such a lifelong affectation that I can't really imagine anything different. I mean, I still function normally. I don't know. Just all this soul searching and new self awareness lately has made me start to wonder if everyone's as crazy as me, or if I've gotten an extra dose somehow.

Because of my family history, I feel the need to promise now that I've never lost hope to the point of "desparing of my life", as Paul the apostle would say. I just get super, duper tired of life sometimes. The roller coaster of it all. It's like that Robert Frost says -

"I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better."

I tell you one thing, I'm thankful for life's ups and downs. I'm thankful that my lows in life have taught me not to be so high and mighty, but to have empathy for others in their journey. I'm thankful for my flaws because it's through them that I've been made to acknowledge my own brokenness and gotten to truly feel God's grace. It's by truly understanding my own need for God's grace that I've been given the power to extend that grace to others. Especially my children.

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