Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Amazing Grace

Every once in a while, I go back and scan my old blog entries. Boy, do I sound
Todd Bonita
sometimes. But, in case you do not know me personally, you should know that this blog is one of my outlets of lightheartedness.

 Allow me to explain. I am working on two degrees right now. And I'm the girl who stayed up late and went to a lot of rock concerts during my undergrad years. I watched every episode of X-Files (reruns) and suspenseful islandians on Lost that were in existence, mainly because my roommates and I loved to procrastinate doing homework. But I'm back in school now (Lord, why?) and, while undergrad was no joke, the content of my education now
I'm in seminary (cha-ching, watch out Wall Street! haha j/k) now, trying to understand this call to ministry God has put on my heart. In the meantime, the school of social work here at Baylor sucked me in because of the amazing work they are doing for a lot of hurting people (double cha-ching, watch out paycheck! heh)

So my days consist of class discussion that looks at the real trials that all people are going through in this world and how to prevent some of the horror and heal the wounds of those already hurting. It's the most gut-wrenching work I've ever been a part of and the most important I've ever been exposed to. My eyes well up every time I think about how honored I am to be here, right now. The beauty of the human spirit is incredible, and the constant love of the God of humanity is too incredible to explain.

I don't talk a lot about God on here because I don't like it when people get preachy, especially myself. I've been in places where people throw around the words "God" and "the Lord" like they were tossing pizza's much too much. However, the heart is pure and God's presence resides in the oftentimes small, secret places that only those we eternally trust can peek in and see. When God created me, He gave me an unusually big mouth that likes to be super chatty...therefore, I need to be careful with my tongue. I need to choose my words carefully and speak from the heart, not hurt people and turn them off to God. Oh, I digress. SO that is why this blog is silly at times and light...we all need a little light, don't we? You and I are all going through heavy stuff, and the only heaviness I crave is a big fat slice of chocolate fudge cake, with vanilla ice cream on the side, and chocolate syrup.

Have you been reading lately? Anything fun?
My mother-in-law is in a ladies' book club. They are at a point in the year where they all get together and pitch ideas for their next 12 months/12 books of reading. I suggested one that is quickly changing me.
Amazing Grace, by Jonathan Kozol, is a documentary-style book about the people of Mott Haven, South Bronx in the mid-90s. I think I've mentioned this book before. The thing is, it's so powerful I can only read a few pages at a time, so I have literally been reading this book off and on for 3 months! It has made me cry, become inspired, see life in such a beautiful way. I recommended this book to my MIL's book club because the women in that group are thoughtful, analytical, educated and-most of all-love a good story. I hope they choose it, if nothing else to cherish the beauty that is the truth seen from the eyes of some of the country's most forgotten children. 
Another book I really enjoyed reading this semester was a deep one, too, although a little easier to move through the pages. Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder, is an incredible nonfiction story about Dr. Paul Farmer, a Harvard physician who fell in love with Haiti and is doing groundbreaking work to eradicate tuberculosis and its difficult strains found in very poor places. He is literally saving thousands of lives each year, and it's so fun to read about a guy who hasn't died yet. That's no offense to my historical theology classes, but this is one ALIVE, tall white guy. :) The guy is so unusual. You learn about medicine and third-world practices, how a small grassroots non-profit gets going and, most of all, the dream of one man to change the world. It is a beautiful read.

Well, it sounds like I don't do a lot of textbook reading, eh? Ah, but I do! You see, somehow some very smart and nice professors let me sneak these two books into my syllabi. Little did they know I'd read them anyway...haha... I must mention that my husband's music co-llaborator, Chris, introduced me to Amazing Grace (the book). Chris is a counselor primarily working with children and adolescents, and he credits this book with changing his career direction to helping people. Whoa! See what I mean, how this book is powerful?

Hmm, what else to mention, since it's 7:15pm and I'm obviously not cooking tonight?

Oh, yes, I have my last internship lined up. Yay! In Dallas, the land of big shopping, bigger stone jewelry, and biggest hair. How do they get their hair that high? (Sorry, Dallasians...?) 
Matt & I are excited to have the last part of my education in place for next Spring. I'll take my last semester of classes in the fall while also working on a research project for my last internship site, then we'll move to Dallas at Christmastime. Must buy a teasing comb and some hairspray... 

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