Well folks, I have been back in the States for about a month, and boy has my life been all over the place!
My brother's wedding was beautiful and I am so happy for him and his new bride. Elaine has already felt like a sister for many years (she's been hangin' with the Clarks for over a decade!) so it is wonderful to have her as an "official" family member.
I gave a sermon about my time in Hong Kong on June 3, despite my heart duplicating the rhythm of a jackhammer during both services. I don't know why I was so nervous! Polk and Colin, our priests, were kind and supportive though, as were the many parishoners I spoke with before/after the services. It was a true delight to be up there with my dear friend, and newly ordained, Suz Cate. Her first time as deacon was June 3, so it was a big day for St. Paul's!
This experience overall has caused me to really pause and think about my life and where God is steering it. I have talked to clergy before (including the Bishop) about going through the discernment process in our diocese but the timing was never right. Well, I am now at a point where I can seriously consider ordained ministry and after speaking with Polk I will be hopefully going through the discernment process next spring. This is not a decision I take lightly as it is a big commitment--I have put graduate school on hold for the time being. I am so grateful to everyone who has encouraged and supported me throughout the past year and for the wonderful response I received last Sunday.
So what will I be doing between now and next Spring?
I will be finishing up my final year of Education for Ministry, the theological education program through the University of the South's School of Theology. I have really missed that in my life and I am glad they were able to make a space for me in the coming year.
I have resumed working at Dillard's (a department store similar to Macy's for those not in the South). Initially I was just going to be there for a few months but since the rapid change in my life this week I will be there for a lot longer. When I told the managers that, they were ecstatic and asked if I would take over the Elizabeth Arden counter. The previous counter manager, Debbie, retired (yesterday was her last day!) and they had really been fretting over who would be taking it over. When I worked at Dillard's before going to Hong Kong I worked at a counter right next to her and I really enjoyed her vivacious personality and down to earth vibe. The Account Exec for this area for Arden is fabulous and he was delighted that I would be able to take it over. We had a big event this week and I was introduced to the customers. Of course everyone is sad to see our dear Debbie go!! I am really excited about this great opportunity and I hope that everything transitions smoothly.
So, now I am looking for a place to live in Murfreesboro. I am still at my parents' house in Estill Springs (a good hour or so from Murfreesboro) and the drive back and forth is a bit exhausting. Praying that I can find something soon!
Grace and Peace,