Yep...I made it. Got the stuff all moved in. Well, most of it. I had packed one box of books that were ones I'd wanted to have close - books that I look at frequently, or reference often in my own journey. But, it just didn't seem like there was going to be enough room for them, so I sent them home. Maybe I'm learning to let go of material things - even those that are dear to me - a little better? I don't know. After all - I sent them home, I didn't donate them to the poor.
I'm so blessed that my family came with me to move in. It may be a little corny for a 34 year old to have his mommie and daddie and gammaw come with him to move into school. I gotta' tell ya' - I could care less how corny it was. It helped me emotionally move through that transition space. It helped my physically - before they left they'd done many practical things to help me get settled and feel comfortable. Gammaw - my grandmother, an amazing woman who I love absolutely - stripped the bed, got new mattress comfy things so I'd be all comfortable on there, and remade it. She and mom & dad (mom is mostly "mom" - though as a little tike she was Momma' Spankum' - no joke - that's what I called her; and dad is often dad or "pops") got pictures hung. I have pictures of the twins, pictures of my brothers and sister with their families, pictures of some places that are significant in my life so far. I have pictures of mom, me, and Grammaw - only Dad is missing, and I've hinted already about five times what a great Christmas gift that would make. (Um... Dad... HINT HINT!!!)
It really, REALLY helps the space feel like home. And I have two special photographs that were sent to me by a friend that were taken of an amazingly beautiful depiction of Christ carrying the cross to Calvary just above my desk. There is so much for me in those two shots - the story behind them - what they represent - how that, in a very small way, is the model with which I should approach this transition and time in seminary. I'm glad these are over my desk - they remind me what all the "work" that I'll do seated here is supposed to be about - discovering, willingly walking, the road I find before me...searching for my God, which in turn will lead me to a place and a way that I can give the best I've got - and what is needed of me - to all those I encounter. THAT'S what "being in the seminary" is supposed to bring me to, isn't it?
Yada, yada, yada... ever notice I get off on tangents and "talk way too much"? :-) What I'm really saying is that I'm here, moved in, the only thing left to unpack is the coffee maker, the printer, and the CDs - and I haven't run home with my tail between my legs. Yet. ;-)
More later about the prayer thing...I've got to get some sleep. It's midnight-thirty, and morning prayer is early. Thanks to all of you who have sent me emails, phoned to express your support, and who I know are praying with and for me. I'm so overwhelmed by your generousity of spirit - and it may take me a week or two to get back with you to thank you personally. I hope you find your way here to read my thanks...and that you'll know my not getting right back to you immediately in person is just a function of there being so many of you reaching out to me. Thank you, again, so much. I'm humbled. It helps more than you'll ever know.
One final note - to my beloved family. You are truly a blessing without which I could not have comprehended the idea of sitting where I sit this minute. My love for you - all of you - is beyond measure. I don't know where this crazy road I'm on will lead, but I know I couldn't have taken any of the first steps without you. You are now, and will be forever, in my heart. Thank you - Gammaw, Mom & Dad - for everything.