Schooling an Intelligence

Last night was a shocker, my second night off work in a row!  I am finally off orientation at my new job, and on a regular-ish schedule.  That means now I only have one Sunday as chaplain at Hillcrest every six Sundays or so, and only every other weekend at St. John as the ER counselor.  This is very exciting!   Not only did I get to hand out with the children all weekend, but Nathan and I actually got a date night!

I am loving this month in chaplaincy.  The Presbyterians have a nerdy thing called “January Series”, with a different speaker every day and lunch every day in January!  We get to go!  How crazy intensely fun is that?  Today was my favorite so far, with Reshma Seajuni, who wrote the book Girls Who Code.  She spoke about gender gaps and financial independence and doing what you are passionate about in life, rather than only what you think you are stuck with or don’t enjoy.  It was about technology, and about poverty, and about choices, and about teaching ourselves and our daughters how to progress through our full potential and enjoy life because of that.  I really loved it!

I also read an article, by Eugene Peterson, who wrote The Message – a modern translation of the Bible – and really loved it.  He wrote about poet John Keats, who wrote in reference to Shakepeare:

He believed that the only way that real creative will matured was in a person who was not hell-bent on imposing his or her will on another person or thing, but was “capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable searching after fact and reason.”  In this way, Shakespeare, the poet from whom we know the most about other people, is the poet about whom we know next to nothing.

This I loved, and it has sent my pondering about some of the lessons Nathan and I have learned in the last year about parenting, which, of course, teaches us more about our Heavenly Parents.

I got off work early today, and was to have a date with the children, but they were still in Bartlesville.  They went up to sing at an event there, and hung out with the grandparents after.

Finding myself with some rare alone time, I had a lovely study time while treating myself to my favorite salad in Tulsa:

Our computer has been in the shop for several weeks, and I am working from 7am to 1am, so I have missed writing, but needed to put these pieces down on digital paper because I am coming back to them.  The quote, I mean, and the patterns I am pondering, not the salad.  I will get a new salad next time.  Tonight I had a board meeting, but got that sacred time in between work and heading out again, and I really treasured it.

My most recent bloodwork labs came back really good, and I am off all cancer medicine except for estrogen because of the hysterectomy.  I am working out at the gym again, finally, and eating really well (even if I don’t get expensive salads very often!), and feeling stronger than I have in years.  I am so grateful!  My pain is even diminishing right now, and I am even off Alleve!  That’s how well I am feeling, finally, and I am trying hard to take care of myself so that I can continue to heal and get stronger.  My body is responding well, able to do more than I could in the last few years and even dropped fourteen pounds already.  Part of this self-care is going right to sleep on long days after two jobs, rather than staying up writing.  I miss writing more, but it’s good timing as the next book begins to unfold, and so it will all balance out.  It helps, though, to have the computer back, so I can write when I am able!

Oh!  One more thing!  On Sunday, I actually got to go to Relief Society!  It’s been ages!  I have either been at work, or assigned to nursery, or called out of Relief Society because Kyrie wasn’t breathing.  But it wasn’t my turn in nursery, and Kyrie was doing great on Sunday (until evening, and we had to put the tube back in), and I was off work.  I loved being in Relief Society, and I was so glad I was there the day they passed out the new books for this year!  I am studying mine, and especially excited because it feels significant to me that President Hinckley became the prophet right as I was leaving home in high school, and right as I left my family the Family Proclamation came out, and when he passed and President Monson was called is when I came back to Tulsa and then met the missionaries.  It’s like he’s the first one where I can see myself in the timeline, even though I didn’t get baptized in time for him, but I can still feel it and have a testimony of his calling during those years.  That’s powerful to me!

I also really love meeting the ladies in Relief Society, even though I have no doily skills.  They are all so kind to me, and encouraging, even when I get all snappity.  The other day all the activity days moms, many of whom don’t have to work, were all texting in group texts about their excitement about plans for Mary’s class, and my phone was going crazy.  It was rough for me because when I am at work and my phone goes off, it means someone has died or is near dying, and it was an extra chaotic night at work, and I just couldn’t keep up with both.  I felt terrible, and I grieve that I am not in a place to be participating the way they can, and it’s hard sometimes not to murmur about it.  But our family is doing our best, I know that, and this double job thing is only for a season.  My chaplaincy training will finish just in time for me to be home with the children during the day when summer comes, and then I can work in evenings after they have gone to bed.  We are all doing our best, but I do appreciate the Relief Society ladies making such an effort with me and being so kind even though I am not even there enough to know there names yet since we moved.

It’s also dead mom week, so I think I am a little bit heavy-hearted from that, as well.

My word of the year is Grace, though, and I am learning more and more about it, and love feeling it applied to myself, and love seeing it applied to the children, and Nathan teaches me more about it than anyone.  It’s such a journey we are on, and I am glad we all have each other, for sure.

Do you not see how necessary
a world of pains and troubles is
to school an intelligence
and make it a soul?
~ John Keats
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About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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