Friday, January 18, 2013

What I Did on my J-Term Vacation?

Rugged Camp Fun...right....

There is a new buzz word: solo parenting.

J-Term or January Term around here means a variety of things: For many people once the end of the semester approaches, there is a mass exodus. Facebook updates joyfully proclaim traveling homeward, traveling to conferences or stocking up and preparing for classes for J-Term. This is when all the neat, interesting and awesome travel seminar courses commence. 

In this interim time where the community slowly murmurs to a serene afternoon river, caressing smooth rocks embedded in earth instead of cascading over this is also usually the time when I am either serving at a Church or camp as well as finishing up time with my two children before they returning begrudgingly back to classes and school. This is also a time, in this blessed quiet for my own spirit to reflect as Creation erupts in fields of crystal and white, of downy snow covered fields and sidewalks delighting us to yet another beauty that the Creator bestows upon us.

Except this year, I found myself on vacation from the church I serve as Youth leader (No Confirmation) and several weeks before me which I would have nothing to do! I happily attempted to empty the library of books that I needed for future research, planned my topic and scheduled when I would read and so forth. My only mini vacation? Hanging out at a LOMC Summer Staff camp reunion: silly Santa gifts, good grubby food and night hikes galore!

And then the supply preaching requests came up (You try preaching three services on Epiphany!). And then the conference circuit happened: Lutheran Ethicists?  Wow, I did not know these folks existed (well not saying that but I did not realize there was an official group). The topics, the conversation, the fact that I was the only M.Div'er there! The Conference of Lutheran Ethicists are a part of a larger conference: the Society of Christian, Muslim and Jewish ethicists which brings a good size membership out for a three day fest each year (Ph.D students they have a student membership-for you). Emotional Intelligence Assessment Workshop? Although this was also promoted as a class through the Seminary, I was humbled that my Synod office asked me to attend. Great concept, awesome stats..just three days too long. The Youth Conference? Something close to my heart and close to home! But by the end of these conferences, I was completely exhausted.

Who is this international man of mystery?
But alas, I digress.

These past couple of weeks I have also been doing this solo since my globe trotting husband decided to take the J-Term course with Dr. Mark Swanson and Dr. Peter INDIA.

My own mother was a single parent and educator for quite many years. She scheduled and served both at her schools and at her church home. I watched, learned and retained how she was able to balance everything as the only way she knew how. We lived in a community where people who were not connected by anything other than where we came from and who our ancestors are, looked out for myself and those other children who lived and played. As I have dived briefly into these waters of solo parenting I am thankful for God placing me here in this community, where my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, in faith who remained here during this quiet time shared fellowship and friendship with one another. 

The Spring Semester will soon be upon us, and our friends who are traveling in Seattle, Nebraska and India will be home soon. For many this is just another continuing in the journey down the sometimes racy, rocky waters of Seminary. For myself and other middlers the horizons of Internship and  for our seniors, Assignment are coming into view. 

It's beginning to look a lot like April...

Lape Bondye, God's Peace.

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