Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Unexpected Provision

So, nearly a month ago I stood by my icon corner and specifically asked God if I could have a 5-shelf bookshelf. I was able to go to the store that night and my friend’s dad assembled it for me. I had been thinking since then that I really wished I had a little night stand to put my alarm clock, glasses and the like on. Never thought to ask God for it. After I came back from grocery shopping (it got hot and humid here so I was out buying summerish food) someone had left a nightstand and two lamps (a tall one and a short cute squat one) by the side of the road! They are now cleaned and in my apartment – I had really wanted a lamp for my dinning room area, and again had not thought to ask for it. So I felt so encouraged. And this morning I read Psalm 120 and 121 and felt like maybe I could actually believe that God will take care of me and bring me back to Ottawa, with a job. That things were not going to suddenly go terribly wrong and that, with God’s grace, I could work towards my goal of returning Ottawa and it could happen.

I feel that I need a lot of wisdom to know how to best care for my future, and how to think of it; how to prepare and what to do to find a job… I think what I will ask now is for this wisdom…

Monday, May 29, 2006

Finishing up

I am done with my paper that is due today! – I had to start over a third of it over late Friday night because I misunderstood the database, as I was unfamiliar with it! Live and learn…

I am so tired though and slept very poorly last night – I am looking forward to being home tonight with my cat!

Down below it was Memorial Day (in Canada we have Victoria Day, which is a week before) and my family was camping for the weekend. I missed being able to call them and even more missed camping with them! I love the woods, camp fires, pizza's made on the fire and s'mores. Oh well.

It has been fun to read the blogs of those of us who are traveling! I will not be doing much traveling this summer, though I will go down to see my friend get married in about two weeks.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

reflections on the place (time) i am in...

I am in the central library of my little city right now; I am on the third floor, and have window seat as it were for the tops of buildings; I can see the spires of an old church in the distance. It is quiet here; I am aware also of the loneliness of my surroundings; not the books, or the people treading quiet on carpet, but that I am in library school and often feel like I do not quite fit. For instance, it is surprisingly unusual for library students to go to public libraries as a public place; for me I go usually every Saturday. I am Orthodox and there is only one person at my church near my age in my little London church; this person I know only by acquaintance; he is often gone because of his work and though we share the same church space, I feel that we are worlds apart. I find the realization of my loneliness, no matter how temporary, to be hard. It is where the mire of self-pity tempts me the most—that I am different and somehow alone.

When I was in Ottawa I was sometimes aware of loneliness there—that I was new in town, that people at the church I love do not know me well (save a few exceptions) but I was usually happy at church, esp. when I would be feeding people, cleaning up or spending time with specific people. I miss my spiritual father there so much – I could feel better just sitting next to him or nearby. I had never experience this sort of thing before—a loving father who can also guide me in spiritual things. Not that I did not have wonderful priests before—not at all—but with all my moving around and the past uncertainty in my life, I never made the connection like I have with the priest at my church there. I feel so lucky, so blessed (an old version of the Psalms in the BCP uses the word ‘luck’ so I for one do not mind using this word) to have had the many experiences at my church. I long to return, more and more.

If I fear anything right now, one of the top fears is that I will not be able to return; that I will have to continue to live in exile. And I think in some ways I have been living in exile for a very long time, so this desire is very present within me. Yet I have hope—yes, hope in God; also hope in things I have presently: doing the flowers for my little church here, my friends, the Akatist I am praying slowly through one page per night, in the fact that God has provided for me every step of the way; that I have been taught by my spiritual father that God takes our desires into account, that I can sincerely and humbly present my request, my desire to live in Ottawa, to Him; that God listens; cares; saves.

What greater hope is there than this! How blessed I am…

I am in my program’s smallish library now; late last night, as I was sitting in my old gold chair, journaling, with Cleo the Cat near by, I realized that one of the reasons I had been more aware of loneliness is because my week has been so intense—I have been gone daily between 10 and 13 plus hours from home, working on school work—I find that I feel really isolated when I work so much. Like I am suddenly disconnected from my family, friends, sense of place; as if calling my parents (I do this quite often) was like talking to them after days and days of being away. I have a paper to finish this morning (I am exhausted and do not want to even look at it) and then after a 3 hour class this afternoon, and a meeting after that, I have to start my next paper – it is due Monday (today being Thursday) and I refuse to work on it on Sunday. This means more intense work this weekend.

Thank God for His mercy; that God will sustain me through this. Pray for me if you would…

Thursday, May 18, 2006

This day – the good things and the stressful things

I have been encouraged in ways – I got the loans I needed – now I should have enough for the time being. Very encouraging, this. I did one assignment that took a lot of this week’s time. I am still feeling a bit overwhelmed, as I have 6 assignments do in the next two weeks, two of which regard either a library visit or going to a city planning district to access the resources they have. In other words, a lot of TIME. I have a feeling that the next two weeks are going to be longer days and esp. longer nights. I really do not work at home much, though on Monday, Victoria Day, I will be working at home as the little library here will not be open. Wish I could take the time off, but I have too many assignments!

I am trying, in all of this, to keep my focus UpWards… CHRIST is so much bigger than all of this! Human as I am, I have a lot to learn about abiding in Christ while being in school-related business. I find the added challenge to all of this is that I am still to keep up my house, make food and do all those other things…. Last night I was home by 7 pm and I did no work and focused on more simpler things, like the pile of dishes that are now all clean, dried and put away…

And I am slowly gaining a routine with my very Cute Canadian Cat Cleo – she purred so loudly when I held and brushed her this morning. So nice. Well, I need to go make sure I have the research for my archives paper that is due next week. The topic: why do you need a policy for an archive and what problems could occur if the archive does not have one. Welcome to library school! This is quite the normal paper to write; thankfully it will not really be that difficult to do.

I have also started to do some of my Psalms readings (I try to do morning and evening) out loud in my icon corner – I think this may be a beneficial practice to seek to continue. I want so much to grow…

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Second week of class

Equals three big assignments due next week; some stress for sure! The long Canadian weekend will be full of work for me. My courses are interesting, but really intense in May—it is hard to balance this and the fact that I am still setting up my apartment, learning how to best care for my beloved cat Cleo, seeing friends and/or catching up with them on the phone.

Meanwhile, I am incredibly thankful for my laptop and wireless access on campus…

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

In London Take Two

Well, today is going better. Wow is school going to be busy! I am still involved in a mentorship committee (am one of the 3 co-leads) and we have lots to do for this; that and I am doing a compressed course and at times have 2 assignments due a week just for this course. It will be manageable though; I just have to keep on top of things.

And I have to figure out one of my professor’s syllabi—it seems that we have a lot to do in the course—but the work will all get done.

I am hoping to go to Waterloo this weekend to hear Mother Gabriella speak – I will take the bus, as I do not have a ride. I still have to contact greyhound to be sure this will work; I have someone to pick me up once I am in Waterloo, however. So I am going to work even harder to get all my work done so I can do this. My personal rules of living while being a student is to NOT do any school work on Sunday. Some classmates who did not know me the beginning of my MLIS degree thought this was merely an ideal, not something I would do. But I have done it, by God’s grace, and know that it is how I survived the year of school I did in the past.

Well. Speaking of school, I better get started on the work…

Monday, May 08, 2006

In London

I had my first class today – it should be good. But I am also aware that my time here will be even lonelier than my first time around; all of my close friends LIS wise have graduated and my church has no one my age in it (save one guy who is in the Army and not around much; and we never really had much in common to talk about, though he is a nice guy etc). if there are any others near my age they do not always come and are Greek and well, they tend to keep to themselves; I do not really feel fully included by them. But that is okay. There are those in my little church who did welcome me back, which was nice. In general it is a place I go to pray, to do the flowers, to be transformed. It is not a place yet for me that has a lot of potential for fellowship. Though it does have some; and there are beautiful people there; and one of my friends has long ago adopted me as her little sister and this is very meaningful.

I miss my little Russian church though and those people I was getting to know a bit better.

I can see that I am going to have to keep a close watch on my internal state, that I do not fall into any sort of self-pity because I do not have what I want!!

For God knows where I should be (here) and that it is for a purpose…