One of the RevGals has posted an extremely thought-provoking Friday Five this week. I hope I can do it justice in the small amount of time I have while Daniel naps.
1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith
When I took my job at the Catholic paper here, I had only recently begun exploring my spiritual life again after spending most of my 20s questioning things and rejecting much of what I had been taught. It was a real leap of faith, and I was afraid of getting caught up in a conservative, constricting, rosary-saying environment that wouldn't feel nurturing in a way that I needed. But when I moved to Minnesota and started my new job, I found myself experiencing moments of grace around every turn. I was reading books and interviewing writers and spiritual people who spoke to me and affirmed my decision to move here in an almost uncanny way. In my personal life, I was very lonely that first year, as I knew practically no one. But my work life was so spiritually enriching, and I feel very grateful for that.
2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry?
This is tough because I'm in such a place of transition, especially with my work. I've been working on an interesting profile recently about a woman who is a poverty activist, and I've been thinking about how writing articles that might inspire other people to help make a difference is important to me. I've also read a couple of articles about Mariane Pearl, whose book A Mighty Heart (which I read a couple of years ago) has been made into a movie starring Angelina Jolie (who is also a friend of Mariane). I admire the way Mariane has dealt with the repercussions of her husband's death and continued to work as a journalist herself, highlighting the work women are doing around the world. So that has been inspiring to me as a vision or dream to strive for as a writer. (Of course, I am still toying with the library science idea in the back of my head, too ...)
3.Money is no object and so you will.....
Well, affordable housing is on my brain right now, so ... I'd like for us to buy a slightly larger house — only slightly because we don't need a huge house, but a little more room to spread out would be nice. And I would buy a home for each of my siblings and donate more money to programs that build affordable housing.
4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going?
I saved this question until last because it requires me to think for a few minutes. I think one thing that keeps me going when I've been through a major disappointment, in the words of the Beatles, is "a little help from my friends." I'm lucky in that I've always had supportive, caring friends (sisters, too) who let me cry on their shoulders and remind me of my value when I need to be reminded of it. I think I also have the capacity to remind myself, in the words of Julian of Norwich, edited to correct her quotation that "all shall be well," at least eventually. A sense of empathy enables me, most of the time, to see a disappointing situation through the eyes of the person who has disappointed me. And I cannot forget the healing power of putting my troubles in God's hands and asking for grace, strength, courage and wisdom to pull me through.
5. How important are your roots?
My ancestors come from an independent, pioneer stock (before them, German, Swiss, French-Canadian, English), and my personal roots are in the suburbs of Portland, Ore. While they are important to me to a certain extent, I think I have tried to forge my own sense of personhood in my life that does not rely on a sense of my roots as part of my self-definition. Be that as it may, I do think my roots are ingrained to some extent; I am independent and an explorer of sorts, like some of my forebearers, and the older I get, the more I realize that I share some values that run deep in my family.