Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Five: Surprised By Joy

Jesus said to them, "Children, you have no fish, have you?" They answered him, "No."He said to them, "Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. (John 21:5-7)

Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5b)

Songbird says: This week I've been watching parents of the young people slain at Virgina Tech trying to make meaning out of the lives of their lost children, and each one seems to begin by focusing on something joyful about that child. It's a gift that most humans have brains wired to respond in that way. For some of us it can be harder to work our way out of dark places, but I believe joy remains the key. It is the spirit of resurrection.

Tell us about five people, places, or things that have brought surprising, healing joy into your life.

1) My husband, J.
I was not one of those little girls who had her wedding planned by the time she was 12. Before I met J., my longest dating relationship had been 4 months and I honestly didn't care if I ever got married. I met J. on New Year's Eve ... at a bar. (Anybody who knows me well thinks that is hysterical!) When I met J., my thought was ,"Oh, there you are!" We were married 8 months later and will celebrate our 9th anniversary this August. Actually, we celebrate 2 anniversaries each year; the one in August and another on New Year's Eve.

2) My children, J.H. and C.
Experiences like a few nights ago notwithstanding (see last post and comments), my children have brought inexpressible joy into my life. Before I met my husband, I never really imagined myself as a mother. In fact, I told J. that if having children was very important to him, he probably shouldn't marry me. However, the strangest thing happened, I said "I do" and then I wanted kids. It was truly that instantaneous!

I love my kids for all the ways they remind me of myself and my husband and for all the ways in which they are completely and utterly their own persons. For instance, my daughter at 3 years old has already told me all about her wedding. She says she's going to wear a white dress, white tights, white sandals, white gloves, and white headband.

3) City in the Bible Belt
I've written before about how wonderful our experience in this city has been. I never imagined that we would like living here as much as we do, as I had no idea how much this city had to offer in the way of of museums, parks, etc. I'm not sure how much longer we'll be living here, so I have been making a list of all the things I want to make sure to do here before we leave.

4) Spiritual Direction training
Last September, a pastor in our Presbytery who has a spiritual direction practice (is that the right term?) called me out of the blue to ask if I would be interested in a joining a spiritual direction group. She said that my name kept popping up to her in prayer and on my end, the topic of spiritual direction was constantly coming up in conversation and in my readings. It has been absolutely fantastic to practice many forms of prayers and learn how lead groups in these disciplines. This is year one of a 3 year course to be certified as a spiritual director.

5) RevGalBlogPals
I had been craving fellowship with a community of women pastors and for months I had been searching the Internet for such a community. However, when I would plug in "women pastors" or "female clergy" and so on in the search engine, it would only come up with sites for pastors' wives and sites dedicated to arguing against women becoming pastors. How great was my surprise and joy when I read about RevGalBlogPals in a September issue of the Christian Century! I am inspired, challenged, entertained and empowered by your posts and I cherish each and every encouraging, kind, funny and smart-assed comment you make my blog! I only wish I had found you all much, much sooner!


Lori said...

Great post! I admire your grace in being open to surprises at first thought to be "not on the list". And then reading about the joy that ensued.


reverendmother said...

I'm so glad you found us too, Iris!

leah said...

What a great list! I so agree with you about the RevGals; discovering that community has blessed me so, also.

Unknown said...

Love you, too, Iris! And I swear your prize will be mailed soon!

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Yes, the Rev Gals are a major blessing! And I love your thot, "Oh, there you are." WOW!

Sally said...

wonderful post- and so glad you found revgals- we are richer for every new member. :-)lets keep growing together!!!

St. Casserole said...

I feel the same about the RevGals.
Glad we are together!

Anonymous said...

Haha, in addition to similar musical taste, I met my husband at a bar, too and had an "Oh, there you are!" moment! We also celebrate the night we met as an anniversary, in addition to our actual wedding anniversary. I think that's because everyone else in our family has two wedding anniversaries - their civil ceremony and their church wedding, and we just had one, so we felt kind of left out. :)

revhipchick said...

what a sweet story! love your story about you meeting your hubby! wonderful!