Archive - July, 2008

Fantastic Weekend!

I had a fantastic weekend! Those are always nice. It began with the Chi Tau Chi retreat which is the Christian Fraternity I was in during college. It was fantastic to see old friends and begin new relationships as well. We played basketball, rock band, guitar, and just spent time hanging out together. At college-ish functions like this I always miss college and am reminded of why I am glad I am not in college anymore simultaneously; needless to say, a weird feeling.

Saturday, I drove up to Dallas for a college friend’s wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony and I really enjoyed the entire night. I was especially caught by a line during the vows because of my current hospital chaplaincy job, “in sickness and in health.” This line has a whole new meaning to me after this summer and seeing all of the people in the hospital with their spouse right there beside them or in the not so happy cases their spouse is no where to be seen. Either way, when I heard these words being said all of my patients flashed before my eyes and there was water on my face for some peculiar reason. I am finding going to wedding after wedding to be rewarding in the fact that I focus on a different part of the vows each time and will hopefully fully understand the magnitude of what I am saying one day when I get married. It reminds me of how youth directors will make their youth write out the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed in modern English so that they have a better understanding of what they are saying each week. That is what attending more wedding ceremonies than I can count has have taught me.

The reception was very nice as well. The bride, Carrie, was very busy (expected), but she took the time to tell me 3 times, “I am so happy you are here.” I didn’t expect to get to speak with her at all, but she took the time to come up to me 3 times and tell me that. I like her a lot. If she ever starts a fan club, I call President.
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I then went to stay the night with a family I lived with for a summer in college while I was working as a youth director in their church. It started out poorly because I had to wake them up at midnight because the e-mail I sent them about me coming didn’t go through. Any who, the next morning we went to church and it was a very nice service. I always love going to new and different Presbyterian churches, but haven’t had the opportunity the past 2 years because I have been at work every Sunday morning. I am happy that the Giffords have found a good new church home. It was great to see them again and be reminded of all of their personality traits. It is funny how you forget the subtleties of people and then when you are around them again they come flooding back and you remember how much you have missed them and I guess in the not so fortunate cases why you haven’t missed them too much. Any who, it was a lovely visit.

On the way home I stopped and had an early dinner with two of my best friends from college, Rachel and Sam, and Sam’s fiancée Katie. It was really nice to be back together with the college group again and reminisce of our 4 years together. I wish we could do that weekly.

This weekend was an awesome pick me up and energizer. The Giffords and Rachel have been overly generous to me recently (as they always are) and it has just been such an inspiring gesture to know how much people care about me and will always be there for me. It makes it much easier to go back to the hospital on Monday and attempt to be as gracious as I can to each patient I see. Word. Well, that’s more than enough for now. Good day!

RTQ

Tired, But Ready To Go…

It’s Thursday night and I have 3 weeks and a day left of my summer internship in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) (hospital chaplaincy).  It’s amazing to think of where I started out at the beginning of the summer compared to now.  Arrive at a brand new hospital and your supervisor tells you that you have 32 rooms to cover and let’s you at it.  My comfort level, pastoral presence, and understanding of how to interact with a patient have all changed and grown extremely since that first week.  However, I am draining more quickly each week.  For the first few weeks, I wouldn’t get tired until Friday afternoon.  Then it was Friday.  Now it is Thursday at some point.  I don’t know what causes it, but I assume that the euphoric feeling and surprise of chaplaincy are wearing off and it is becoming more of a regular job.  I am not saying that I don’t feel called to go to the hospital everyday because I do, but my energy level isn’t lasting as long.  I think that I am still working on how to pace myself in a hospital chaplaincy setting.  I don’t think that I will find a good balance during my internship this summer, but that is something I would develop if I was doing this full time.  My feeling at first and still is that I should see as many patients as possible in a day, but then I am not able to see as many by the end of the week.  It reminds me of how the same thing would happen at Dwight during the summer time.  By the end of the summer everybody was wiped out and tired for the last week or two because they had given everything they had at the beginning of the summer.  We had to learn how to pace ourselves.

So now that I am back to the pacing myself drawing board, I need energy…  Sleep might help that category.  I am excited about going to the hospital tomorrow because we’re playing Space Invaders.  Word.

RTQ

State Your Purpose, Blog/ger!

My name is Robert and through this blog I am excited to share with you my life and experiences as I move to Kenya for 12 months to serve as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) with the Presbyterian Church(USA).

I have just finished my second of three years at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (APTS) in Austin, TX. So you may wonder why/how I am able to leave the country for a year with a year of seminary left. Well, I am taking a Leave of Absence from seminary for my YAV year and will return, complete my last year, and graduate in May of 2010. The main reason why I have chosen to take a year off from seminary and do this now rather than after I graduate is that I will have my final year of seminary to reflect theologically and spiritually on my experience in Kenya rather than attempting to deal with that at my first ordained position. I also believe that my experience in Kenya will help me mature and grow in my faith, rounding out my seminary education. So, there’s that.

I have decided in order to get the ball rolling I will start blogging some this summer. Furthermore, this will allow actual content to exist as I attempt to tell people about it. I contend, it is difficult to tell people to go and check out a blog when it is just a blank page.

So, I hope you will join me in my journey by keeping up with me here and commenting when you feel so moved. Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions. Thanks.

Sincerely,

Robert