Thursday, September 09, 2010

but the flesh is weak

At my seminary, classes are done in complete blocks.  So, rather than a 3 hour class meeting for one hour MWF, it meets for 3 hours, once a week.

I live about an hour away, depending on traffic, and have 4 kids in 3 different schools, so fitting these blocks around their comings and goings is a challenge.  The Husband and I decided I'd have one monster day, plus one morning that fits into when they're in school.  He makes it home by the time our Elementaries are getting out.  Have I mentioned how great it is to have a supportive partner who has a somewhat flexible schedule?

Anyway, Wednesdays are a long day.  I love the individual parts, but ...

I begin with a 4 hour class, that's broken up in the middle for Chapel, making for a 4 1/2 hour block.  Christian Spirituality.  Love, love, love the class, highly participatory, love the professor.

Lunch.  Then History of Christianity, 3 hours. Really love the professor -- he's the one who first introduced me to missional ecclesiology.  He's one of the reasons why the seminary I attend today is very different than the seminary I started with.  (But still the same seminary.)  He'll point out (in this evangelical school) that "Various heresies forced the early church to articulate the truth more precisely.  Sometimes too precisely – they were articulating things they didn't have the biblical basis to make." 

But it's a straight lecture class.  Type, type, type, faster faster faster!

Then Research Methods, 3 hours.  Team taught, and I'm geeky enough that I enjoy it.  Love picking up new tips.
When doing a critical book review, make notes on your inside cover as you go along, with page numbers, e.g. "Unclear writing, pgs 24, 87, 123 ..."  That way, when you're done reading the book, you should be able to write your entire paper in about two hours.
I am, I must admit, a bit loopy by that class.  The iced Vietnamese coffee that I pack in a big mason jar probably doesn't help.

I get home about 8:30 pm.  Now the point of all this is not to complain ... hells-bells, I feel darn lucky for all of it.  But it has made me realize how much my physical situation affects my brain and spirit.

I get home ... I've loved all my classes.  And yet ... I don't want to be a minister anymore.  I don't want to be a wife or a mother anymore.  I'm usually starving, but don't want to eat.  Nothing is good, nothing is happy.  I'm irrational. "What, I'm going to shave my head???"  "My living room is a wreck and will never be clean again!"  Little things are overwhelming.  Overwhelmed, depressed, exhausted, but my mind is spinning and won't settle down.

Stressing may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

I wake up in the morning, even without a good night's sleep ... and it's all okay again.  It's now happened three weeks in a row, enough that I can draw a correlation.

We are animals.  Our physical state has great power over our minds and emotions.  Hormonal changes, being tired, not eating right ... we are, effectively, not in our right minds. 

As for me, I'm going to make a few changes.  Limiting myself to one afternoon coffee.  Making it a top priority to pack nutritious meals.  Drinking lots of water. 

And realizing that just as I don't take my 5 year old seriously when she's tired, I need to not take myself seriously, either.  "Go to bed and sleep it off," I tell myself.  "Things'll look better in the morning."

Because they probably will.

1 comment:

Earthbound Spirit said...

Oh, does this sound familiar! The nutritious meals, lots of water & limiting coffee all sound good. Do you have a break between classes & a place where you can safely get comfortable and close your eyes for 15-20 minutes? I would set my phone alarm & just melt into one of the couches in our commons for 20 min. - I'd wake up feeling a whole lot better. (Used to do this while I was a full-time parent, too. A quick rest during "Mr. Rogers" & I was good to go again!) Hang in there!