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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Tripp's questions, my answers

1. What has your experience of your call to ministry been like? You came to it later in life (not too much). How was that?

It’s hard to give a short answer to that question, because it’s been a long road. It was not so “later in life” (I’m not THAT much older!) that I felt a call to ordained ministry; It’s been there, like an itch I couldn’t scratch, for a lot of years. It just took me a long time, and intense prayer, and finally, what Bruce terms “a ‘holy 2x4’ moment” to convince me to answer it. The reasons are several: early discouragement (too young, too female, too lots of things); the demands of job(s) and family; as well as efforts to scratch that itch with myriad other activities that exhausted me and made me more angry with God than anything else, for a time.

How was it, to finally follow this path? Rather like leaping off the high dive, and not being sure how much water is actually in the pool at the time. You should understand that I liked my life the way it was just fine, thank you very much. And then, suddenly--

--back to school after a lot of years, and in a discipline that bears very little resemblance to my early training (metallurgy has almost nothing in common with theology, and the only Greek I recognized was the little symbols used in equations in Calculus, chemistry and physics).
--Rearranging my life, and the lives of my family to boot.
--Piling up the mountain of debt that goes with a seminary education these days.

And all this because we (Bruce and I, and the community that is our parish) became convinced that this was what we needed to do. There’s not a lot of logic to it-- and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

2. Tell us about your daughter. How does she hold you up in your call?

Carolyn is 15 (16 in December), and just starting her sophomore year in high school. She has brown hair, green eyes, a dimple in her cheek and a stubborn chin. She loves to play softball, and prefers the middle positions: second base, shortstop, or center field. She’s an average batter, but has an arm that won’t quit. This surprises people, because at 5’1”, folks don’t expect her to be as strong as she is. She also plays the flute, and reads voraciously. She’s bright, and feisty, and opinionated, and often just plain fun, when she’s not aggravating the bejeebers out of us.

I am grateful to say that Carolyn has been, by and large, wonderfully supportive. She has been called upon to be rather more responsible than many of her friends, and generally has handled it well. Her contrary streak also takes a certain perverse pleasure in the shock value of it all--telling people what her mom is doing, just to see their reactions.

Some days are tough; but I’m proud of the way she’s handled it all, and daily strengthened by her love and support.

3. What prompted you and Bruce (the husband) to adopt a child?

Like many adoptive parents, we struggled with infertility issues. According to medical science, Carolyn shouldn’t be here; that’s why we called her our miracle baby. Several years later, when we came to the conclusion that we had apparently reached our miracle quota, we realized that our desire for another child did not include the need for a biological connection. Several months later, Kyle (now nearly 9) came into our lives. So, now we have two children: a miracle, and a gift.

4. You live in semi-rural Indiana. Why!?

After Kyle was born, we needed more room than we had. Bruce’s job was in sales at the time, so we could live anywhere in the Chicago area. Moving back to Indiana served two purposes: our house buying dollar went a lot further here, and it put us closer to family.

Our current home is something of a compromise. I grew up in suburbia, while Bruce was raised on a farm. I wanted neighbors, he wanted space. This was the happy medium.

5. When you are not engaging in our usual deep and edifying theological discourse, what do you like to do with your time?

Lately, I’ve mostly been sleeping!

Seriously, I enjoy cooking, though I’m a better at baked goods than entrees.

I also like to sew. What started as a hobby (young, broke housewife, wanting to make things for the family that we couldn’t afford to buy) has progressed over the years to a small side business, doing alterations as well as custom work (prom dresses, dance costumes and the like). A lot of that dropped off when I got sucked into the all-consuming nature of seminary; but I still take solace from retreating into my sewing space when “the world is too much with me.”

And not surprisingly, I read. A lot. Aside from the expected theological/devotional stuff, I like fantasy (Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mercedes Lackey) and mystery suspense (Tom Clancy, John D. MacDonald). I occasionally also succumb to an irrational weakness for torrid gothic trash-- big historical romance novels.

Official Rules

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions
6. And, sure, I will answer reasonable follow up questions if you leave them in my comments.


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