Reflecting on Busy

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**Originally posted through St. Mary’s here**

“How are you?” We tend to hear this question often from friends, family, and even complete strangers. How are you? As we rush about our lives, we tend to form almost automatic responses to this question: “good” or “okay” seem common. One word to convey our feelings – our current experience. Personally, the word that seems to slip out most often is “busy”.

Busy. We rush through our lives being busy, always doing something. Because perhaps being “busy” makes us feel like we’re accomplishing something – that we’re successful. I think the root of this lies in our fear of not being enough. We’ve heard this sermon many times: “you are enough because you are saved by the Living Christ”. And while these words ring true, they don’t necessarily calm that fear that we’re somehow inadequate – that we’re not doing enough or being enough.

This morning’s readings from Romans, I think, directly confronts this notion of inadequacy that we so often struggle with. Paul writes that the “Lord is able to make them stand”. God’s welcome transcends the daily quarrels that we have with one another. God is sufficient.

As I’m writing this, the song currently playing in the background reminds that “Your love is extravagant / Your friendship is intimate”. Not only is God sufficient, but his relationship with us is intimate. Extravagant, even. When we enter into a relationship with the Living God, our inadequacy becomes intimacy, and our self-loathing becomes extravagant love.

It is through this relationship that we can shake off our chains to anxiety. As Mother Anne discussed in the sermon – instead of just more time to spread ourselves thinner and thinner until we become nothing, we receive complete forgiveness from a loving God. A God who desires an intimate, extravagant relationship with us.

This, my friends, is so much better than “busy”.

 

**Originally posted through St. Mary’s at this page. Occasionally, I reprint pieces of mine that have been posted in a variety of places on the internet, and I’m so thrilled to share this one with you.**

Life via Instagram

It’s been a little while since I’ve hung around here – I think one of my last posts was about my classes for this semester, which I posted before I’d started them. Now, it’s several *cough*waytoomany*cough* weeks into the semester, and I’m already starting to think about midterms.

So while time is a ridiculous, fickle thing (and it’s because of that you haven’t seen me), I’ve actually been doing quite a bit. For this post, to capture my life at this point, I pulled some of my favorite Instagram posts from the past few months. Of course, there are more meetings and classes and late night emails sent out than these photos acknowledge, but the photos capture some fond moments.

The beginning of fall at the Farmer’s Market…

Catching up with my cat (+French homework) over the holiday weekend…

Seeing The Winter’s Tale at Shakespeare Theatre’s Free-for-All (SO good!)…

Starbucks chai-tea-latte-runs (the Starbucks in Chinatown is gorgeous)…

Studying with chocolate and tea…

Beautiful, brilliant sunsets…

Sunset from the National Mall (facing the Washington Monument)…

The Botanical Garden Conservatory (also during sunset)…

Last days of summer with the best of the best…

Fresh produce at the market…

Fringe Festival memories (from July)…

Long hikes to the river for quiet time alone…

Fall Classes or “Academic Adventures of an English Major”

Let’s talk academics for a little while. It’s just before the semester starts, which means I’m currently trying to shorten my answer to “What classes are you taking?” into a 1 minute tagline instead of a 5 minute explanation. It’s harder than you’d think!

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So, what am I taking this semester? Well, the class currently on my mind is senior seminar, which I’m taking a year early because of my thesis. The theme this year is literature and politics, and I’m incredibly excited because my advisor is teaching it this time around. I’m thinking about it already because I’ve started to reread Uncle Tom’s Cabin in preparation for the first few weeks. I’ve read it (in high school, I think), but between then and now, I’ve taken an entire course called “Atlantic World Slavery”, and I’m already reading the novel with new insights. Thank goodness we’re starting with that Stowe, not 1984. Otherwise, I’d be lost already. Orwell and I haven’t had the best experiences together thus far.

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I’m taking a Principles of Language class – a basic requirement for my major.books-0119I’m also taking a second-level French class. Honestly, if you had asked me last January if I’d enroll in another French class, I would have definitely said no, but here I am with another one! We start off by reading Asterix, which I’m pretty excited about. I’m sure my summer of *cough*not actually keeping up with my French*cough* will do wonders for the first few weeks in class, but I’ll survive.


 

The other three courses I don’t have textbooks for yet because none of them are traditional classes!

  • I’m enrolled in my official internship this fall. My school requires one to graduate, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have an internship with Washington Performing Arts over the summer that I’ve extended through the fall. I’m ecstatic to get into performance season as we kick off the fall with Fall Arts Fair, and VelocityDC!
  • Have I explained an Honors tutorial on here before? I can’t remember, so I’ll just repeat myself, or something. A tutorial is similar to an independent study, but it’s based off the Oxford tutorial tradition. I’m technically done with my honors credits till le thesis, but I’m taking another (because I’m addicted to them, perhaps?). We’re doing an entire semester in Creative Nonfiction, and I’m so excited.
  • The last one was just added this past week (ek!). I’m doing an independent study where I’ll sit in on/work on projects related to/assist with the adaptations class this fall. I’m looking forward to reviewing adaptations – I’ve been knee-deep in Woolf for so long that my adaptations knowledge has suffered, a bit, and I’ll need both Woolf and adaptations knowledge for my thesis proposal this spring.

It probably takes me 5 minutes to explain my classes because I’m definitely a class junkie. More than one *cough* professor here knows that it’s very easy to talk me into enrolling for a class that sounds interesting (even if it doesn’t fit my course requirements). This semester, my only course that doesn’t fill a requirement or “purpose” related to my thesis is French, but I find that “unnecessary” language or humanities courses are refreshing, and allow me to focus better on other classes if I take them simultaneously.

Fall semester, here I come. College folks – what are you taking this semester? I want to hear about your courses!

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