On the 7th day of Christmas I give you: A Series!

Happy 7th day of Christmas! Happy last day of 2013!

This year has been very intense for me, I can’t say that I’m sad to see it end. I’m very much looking forward to 2014! A friend of mine recently asked me what I was looking forward to in 2014. Two major things immediately came to mind and I’m very excited about both: living in Guatemala for several weeks over the summer and graduating next December! In between I’m just looking forward to continuing the day-to-day things that I have learned I really enjoy.

At the end of my Reflections on Advent post I told you that I had plans for a series starting in the New Year. The series will be called (drumroll please):

My Life as a P.K.

Growing up as a pastor’s kid (we affectionately refer to ourselves as P.K.s) is an interesting experience. I have many friends who are also P.K.s and there is this strange, immediate bond that forms when you find out someone else is a P.K. I would imagine that this happens in other occupations as well, this has just been my experience. There is a lot of eye rolling that happens between P.K.s when the idea of “Church Politics” or unfair expectations comes up (more on those later in the series).

During this series I am going to share stories of my life (and hopefully some guest posts of other P.K.s.*). I have done work in my own heart and mind to come to peace with some of the harder aspects of being P.K. as well as doing the work to escape bitterness by recognizing the really great aspects of being a P.K. I want these stories to help other P.K.s find comfort and maybe begin to move away from the bitterness that is so easy to fall into.  I have experienced it myself and like the place of gratitude that I have found. I also hope that pastors who will read this can see some of the expectations and things that happen in the context of church life that aren’t helpful to children. I think unawareness is one of the biggest hurts to P.K.s. My desire is that this might help to fight some of that unawareness. I hope this series will clearly express the good and the bad, the joy and the pain, and ultimately the gratitude that I have for growing up as a P.K.

Also, I want to give a shout out to my parents. They are awesome. They are amazing parents and wonderful pastors. It is because of them that my two sisters and I continue to be involved in community and all three of us have relationships with Jesus. We escaped the P.K. statistic that 1 in 3 pastor’s kids will walk away from the faith. I’m really grateful that they are my parents!

Happy New Year everyone! May 2014 be full of peace-filled moments like the ones found in this prayer attributed to St. Francis:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon;

where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

*if you are a Priest/Pastor’s kid and are interested in writing a guest post please email me at angelagracehobby(at)gmail(dot)com

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Reflections on Advent

It’s hard to believe that Advent is ending and that Christmas is here. What a wonderful, contemplative season it has been! In my first Advent post I talked about Advent as a season of waiting, hope, and anticipation. As I reflect on the past four weeks I can see how all three of these were weaved deeper into my life.

While these three words have a significant meaning in the Christian sense of waiting for Jesus to return, they have become very personal for me. All three imply patience, something I am currently working on in my own life. I want to know what my future holds. I want to know if I will be a wife, if I will be a mother, if I will travel, if I will have a job that I love… The list could go on but I will spare you from the many ifs in my mind. All of those ifs can consume my thoughts and prevent me from enjoying the moments I’m in.

I am very hopeful about my future. I am anticipating what it holds. I am waiting, and I’m trying to be patient. The future is not something I need to worry about or obsessively dream about. It’s something to be excited about and to look forward to, but that should never get in the way of the present and enjoying my life now.

AdventUnplugged

I have been so grateful for this break from social media. I will be adding Instagram back on my phone which I’m excited about. I’ve missed seeing everyone’s pictures! I have reactivated my facebook for a couple of reasons:

1) a lot of my friends have expressed an interest in reading this blog but only see it on facebook (you can get an email telling you I’ve updated by clicking on the “Follow” button on the side bar!).

2) It is a really great tool for keeping up with the students I work with at Camp and that I do retreats with. I am planning to limit myself to 30 minutes a day and will probably not be posting many statuses. I also will not be adding it back on my phone.

I will continue to wear a watch. I really do check my phone much less now and when I do I’m intentionally checking it rather than mindlessly checking the time and getting distracted.

Having time to reflect and write has been wonderful and I’m planning to actually schedule in time during my week for it. Stay tuned for an announcement about my plans for the New Year and my first series on this blog! I’m really excited about it!

Noticing

AdventUnplugged

Yesterday and today have been two days full of noticing. As the first week of Advent begins I can already see how great “unplugging” is going to be. Here are some of the things I have been aware of over the past couple of months but that have come into a sharp focus the past two days.

1. I’m on my phone all of the time. It’s really annoying to me, and probably annoys those around me.

2. I’m addicted to distraction. Being on my computer or on my phone without social media I find myself wondering what to do. Several times I have caught myself just staring at either screen for longer than I would like to admit. I’m so used to every moment being filled with something, whether scrolling through my news feed or playing a game on my phone, there is always something to do. Always.

3. I can be lazy. This is not an adjective I would use to describe myself in most contexts of my life. However, when it comes to things that I give myself to do I can be fairly apathetic. I have had to force myself to begin reading “Ragamuffin Gospel” even though it comes highly recommended and is something I genuinely want to read. I have realized that I enjoy reading, but it takes effort. I can turn on Netflix and it doesn’t require any effort on my part at all. I think that rest is important. Sometimes watching Netflix or Hulu and not having to think is exactly what the doctor ordered. However, that has not been the case the past couple of days. 

Here’s my hope for unplugging and how it will affect all 3:

1. I will control my phone; it won’t control me. I don’t want to admit that my phone controls me but it does in a lot of ways. I have gotten much better about it, but learning that I do not need to be available for contact at all times is a hard lesson to learn.

2. Moments of distraction can turn into moments of contemplation, prayer, or rest. I do not need to be doing something 24/7. My days can have moments of peace, moments of gratitude, moments of dwelling, moments of stillness (much needed stillness in the busyness of life).

3. There is more to life than mindless entertainment. I do not need to be caught up on all of the latest shows. I have the will power to turn off Netflix and read a novel or read a book about theology or do something that I’m interested in. So my resolution: Netflix in moderation, and more reading and crafting!

I am excited to see what I will learn through this season and how it will permeate every aspect of my life, continuing to live into the hope, waiting, and anticipation of what is to come.

What are you noticing during this season?