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Heidi

Heidi: Witness

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This is a hell of a challenge for me, and it involves authenticity on every front: academically, professionally, personally and spiritually. There are several different ways in which I will have to witness my truth, and I didn't realize that there was a common thread until I sat down to chart this challenge.

 

In addition to this, I have noticed a tendency to isolate creeping in, and that never works well for me. So I have a newly-convened Fellowship of Friends with whom I meet, and I talk on the phone with my friend Amy every morning. Also, baths are the healing center of my world, along with yoga and the sauna.

 

I have a job in a library. This is wonderful. It pays minimum wage for each and every one of the 16-24 hours a week that I work. This is less stellar. I’m assisting my income with dog sitting, pet sitting and the like. It’s not great, but it works, ish.

Here we go:

  • December 1: Manuscript on Utilitarianism and Personal Power: Living a Just Life

  • December 7: Breakfast with Amy

  • December 8: Critiques on Manuscripts of others (3)

  • December 10: Final Papers for Craft Workshops (7)

  • December 10: Martha

  • December 11: Deadline for application to Fellowships (2)

  • December 12: Court

  • December 17: Yet Another Interview

  • December 23: Deadline for application to Research fellowships, Doctoral Programs

    • GREs

    • Cover Letter

    • Statement of Purpose

    • The Essay

    • Letters

      • TTL

      • LCB

      • Matzner

      • HJM

      • Dombek

      • Lassard

      • Mueller

      • McKean

      • Belcher

 

Note: Picture of progress in action on my Instagram: @theheidifeed. 

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44 minutes ago, LittleTurtle said:

Hello Heidi!  

 

I'm following along and wishing you all the warmth and light and success for your challenge.

 

giphy.gif

Thanks, @LittleTurtle.

Super good to have you back.

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This morning I finished the first draft of the essay. Going to send it in after I get back from visiting Vivian this afternoon.

 

Bonus trip to the gym with weights, yoga and sauna before meeting up with a new pet sitting client.

 

And now burgers!

Because I'm totally starving.

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This weekend I finished up and delivered Draft 1 of the essay. My writing then went to a new level on a couple of the elements of the essay, and the while thing is going to be better for it. This is why we turn in drafts: to find out what else we need to say.

 

I went to the gym, to a meeting and to the Friends (which went badly for me - I'm weary of having the Christmas narrative crammed down my throat).

 

I have a new dogsitting arrangements for the week and I got to see Vivian. Life is good.

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4 hours ago, Heidi said:

 

I went to the gym, to a meeting and to the Friends (which went badly for me - I'm weary of having the Christmas narrative crammed down my throat).

I'm curious which narrative that is, the Christian one, the You should feel the way we expect you to feel and do what we think is normal to do at Christmas one, the when is your life going to reflect our expectations one, or yet another entirely? 

 

Whichever one it was (and you don't have to specify) shoving a narrative in someone's face is never ok. Anyone who doesn't hear your story and let you be your own person is not showing you the respect you deserve.

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15 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I'm curious which narrative that is

Since you asked:

The Christian one: the Word made flesh by parthenogenesis embodied in the Prince of Peace  for our universal Redemption.

 

I reject all the Messianic narratives of Redemption because I reject the underlying condition of corruption that makes Redemption necessary. It's a finesse point, but one with very big theological / spiritual consequences.

 

I have to hear it all December in the daily world; I don't expect to be proselytized during Quaker Worship, ffs.

 

And of course, the Quakers are confused and hurt and I'm the problem in this situation (again).

Meanwhile, they can't figure out how to get more diversity in the Meeting. *LongLook

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Wow, that is very interesting. I'm a big theology nerd, and actually considered a career teaching theology in academic settings for a while. I'd love to explore this with you more (for the purposes of dialogue and curiosity, not to change your views), if you're up for it. After what you went through I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to wait for a while. I didn't catch the reference to Quakers in your initial post about it. When you referenced "the Friends" it didn't click right away that you meant Society of Friends.

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18 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

 I'd love to explore this with you more (for the purposes of dialogue and curiosity, not to change your views), if you're up for it

I'm down for that.

Let me write a small background bit (next post).

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I believe that the spirit is incorruptible -- and therefore cannot require redemption -- because I hold with prevenient grace.

 

The word prevenient means "antecedant to," or (my favorite) "in anticipation of." It comes from the latin, combining venire (to come) with pre (before).

It means something which has happened before the event or act.

In the case of prevenient grace, it means the grace (of god) which existed for you before you were born. So essentially it is the grace (of god) which was put aside for you before you were formed into being.

Frankly it took me forever to get a grasp on this. Then one day it hit me:

Take a dry erase marker and write God's Favorite on a mirror and walk away.

The Message, just the words on the mirror, is the prevenient part, in that it has already happened before anyone is reflected, no matter who walks by, even the cat.

The grace part is the Meaning of the message. Basically, as I understand grace, it's as though someone went up to God during the void, while He was thinking about spinning the planets out onto the dark velvet of the universe, and said "Hey. You know those folks that you are going to put on the watery-blue-green one? Well, they're going to try really hard but get it all wrong and you're going to have to have a kid so that you can send him down to be a sacrifice for them all, but, out of the whole everyone, ever, only this one lady is going to get the Message, and imperfectly at that. Sounds like a lot of work and hassle and sacrifice and loss. Should I cancel the order?"

And God replied, "She is worth all that and more. Make it so."

(And of course you are worth it. And no, you don't deserve it, because it can't be earned or deserved any more than the sunlight that falls on the fields is earned or deserved by the wheat. That's what makes it grace.)

This is the message for each of us, if we will but turn around and look in the mirror instead of turning away and feeling alone when looking at the World.

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26 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

After what you went through I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to wait for a while

No worries.

This is not a raw subject.

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Are you saying the incarnation didn't happen? I'm unclear on that; I am clear you reject the idea of a need for redemption. 

 

I actually came to a point in seminary where I believe that even if the fall had never happened, an incarnation would still have been part of God's plan. There's a throwaway line in one of Ireneaus' writings where he seems to indicate Humans were created good but immature, as opposed to Augustine's idea that humans were created in a state of perfection (which in his day was more about being complete than flawless). For Augustine, the fall meant a loss of that nature of perfection for all of humanity. For Ireneaus, Humans even without sin still needed to grow and mature in their relationship with Christ. The "fall" therefore, was not a loss of perfection, but a corruption of humans' ability to mature into their relationship with God. My own extrapolation of this was that even if humans had never sinned, in order for that maturation to be completed the incarnation would still have been part of the plan to help humans fully grow into relation with God.

 

That is hypothetical, I do accept that all humans have, through sin, damaged that relationship with God. My view of atonement, however, is consequently different than a traditional one. It's not about bad people becoming good, it's about a restoration of the relationship that is damaged by disobedience. That still seems incompatible with your view of previenient grace I think, but it's probably not as distasteful to you as the traditional view endoscopy you got at the Friend's meeting in question. The question of whether or not a soul is corruptible is less important to me because the focus is on relationship, rather than the state of the soul. 

 

I do accept that Christ's death and Resurrection was the way God shows for the relationship to be restored. I do not accept that was the only way for God to accomplish that purpose. To say God is omnipotent and then to say God had no other choice than to let Christ die is inconsistent in my mind. For whatever reason, however, God did choose death and resurrection, so there we have it. For me grace means we don't have to do anything other than accept what was already done on our behalf to be in right relationship with God, and that offer is open to all humanity. From a certain point of view that could be considered prevenient Grace, but it's so different from the way you use the word that I would not argue the point. 

 

This is really interesting to me, thank you for opening the door to the conversation. It's really fun to get to talk about this with someone holding a different, yet equally nuanced view.

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6 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

grace means we don't have to do anything other than accept what was already done on our behalf to be in right relationship with God,

This.

 

I like your focus on the (I'm)mature relationship (with God). Yes, I believe the incarnation happened, and that it was enacted to be a Message of the restorability and importance of our relationship.

 

I like that your view is nuanced. I don't have answers, but that doesn't stop me from continuing to delve. Thank you very much for this conversation. I'm happy to continue the talk, and I don't have many folks to bandy this stuff about with.

 

You're in someplace cold that starts with an M, right?

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6 hours ago, Heidi said:

This.

 

I like your focus on the (I'm)mature relationship (with God). Yes, I believe the incarnation happened, and that it was enacted to be a Message of the restorability and importance of our relationship.

 

I like that your view is nuanced. I don't have answers, but that doesn't stop me from continuing to delve. Thank you very much for this conversation. I'm happy to continue the talk, and I don't have many folks to bandy this stuff about with.

 

You're in someplace cold that starts with an M, right?

I'm in Texas. Whereas someplace cold that starts with M has Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter and road repair, I get Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Christmas.

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3 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I'm in Texas. Whereas someplace cold that starts with M has Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter and road repair, I get Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Christmas.

Ah, I see.

I lived in Gulf Coast Florida for a bit where they have NearlySummer, Ouch!Summer, MosquitoesHolyCrap, and ChristmasInFlipFlops.

 

Now I live in the mountains of Virginia, where we have all four seasons, sometimes in the same day.

 

You should visit. 

Come see trees with colors and stuff.

Bring Mrs. Tank and we'll go hiking up a mountain or just picnic in a park.

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On 11/30/2018 at 8:59 PM, Heidi said:

authenticity on every front

 

This is such a powerful goal. I commend you. Let me know if I can help in any way.

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Boys confuse me.

I don't get why anyone would actually type "Why won't you entertain me?" Or "Stop making me feel vulnerable."

 

Meanwhile, I'm deep up in the less-traveled corners of my heart, discovering that I am, in fact, wildly romantic and wanting to wallow in it (big shout out to @Tanktimus the Encourager for bringing up languages of love) and that I'm really ok with being difficult and fiddly and amazingly WorthIt.

 

All I want is Quality Time, scads of it, epic moments of together, deep and rich velvet normalcy cloaking my shoulders as I knit by the fire while you read. Love letters, touch, these should all reflect that we are a Story, one bards will compete to tell, to render into the night, to spin out the brightness of Our Time, the tale of a divine paiirng, a kismet of paladins, littered with gifts of the spirit, gifts of time and attention, walks in the parks and Pilgrimages.

 

Truly. Madly. Deeply.

 

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4 hours ago, Heidi said:

All I want is Quality Time

 

This is my wife's strongest love language, as well, and unfortunately her weakest love language is physical touch. Guess what my strongest love language is? And this is true of most men, according to research. I try to not pester her, but if we go too long without physical affection I get antsy and irritable and even childish. But I am learning to respect that sometimes all this is necessary is to sit with her, to be present, and maybe reach out and touch her fingertips with mine. I am learning to accept that while I may feel on fire passionate and ready to roll around in the sheets with her because she gets my heart beating fast with just a smile, she may not feel the same about me in that moment, and that's okay; it doesn't mean she loves me any less.

 

You are continuing to be authentic with your emotions and your thoughts, and that is very powerful. I also really appreciate how openly you discussed grace with @Tanktimus the Encourager. I share many of his views, as well, and like you I have become exhausted by the "traditional" Christmas story, mostly because it's often inaccurate and sanitized and still sounds like the children's church version even when presented to adults, as yes it is often crammed down people's throats.

 

I'm new to this group, but I can tell you are a really good soul and I would also love to talk more with you.

 

On 12/4/2018 at 10:13 AM, Heidi said:

Now I live in the mountains of Virginia, where we have all four seasons, sometimes in the same day.

 

I live in West Virginia, so I know all about this. My wife and I debated moving to Florida, but we both agreed we like being able to experience all four seasons. But you're right:

 

weather%20meme

 

Stay authentic, my friend. :)

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7 hours ago, Heidi said:

Boys confuse me.

I don't get why anyone would actually type "Why won't you entertain me?" Or "Stop making me feel vulnerable."

Because that person is focused solely on themself. I'm extrapolating from very incomplete data, but I bet that particular person is constitutionally incapable of seeing another person's point of view.

 

I'm glad you rediscovered your love language. That was the most beautiful declaration of a person's needs I may have ever read. It made me feel warm and fuzzy.

 

Sra. Tanque and I are very blessed about love languages, we are both primarily physical touch with secondary quality time. It means even when one of us is feeling needy giving to the other person means automatically receiving back the love language of the other one (most of the time). For my physical touch as a love language is about so much more than sex, it's a hug, a quick running of the fingers through the hair, one person leaning into the other. One of my favorite things She does for me is when I'm sitting at the table, she comes up behind me, puts her head next to mine and wraps me up.

Like this, except I'm sitting down:
happy-young-african-woman-hugging-260nw-

 

 

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6 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

That was the most beautiful declaration of a person's needs I may have ever read. It made me feel warm and fuzzy.

Aww, shux, @Tanktimus the Encourager . The conversation with you and @Wolfenis great.

 

Also, about the Quality Time piece -- the reason it gets so lost in the shuffle for me is because my soul language, how I know where I am in the world and how I understand my relationship with reality is through touch. When I have a panic attack? Close my eyes and touch the wall. When I'm physically injured, I lay my hand on the wound and feel it. When I'm near someone I claim as My People, I touch them, when I'm near my life partner (when I have one), I touch him a lot -- it's how I know We Are. When I'm trying to get at my authentic voice when I'm writing, I use a fountain pen on great paper because the way the pen feels as it leaves ink on the page makes a difference.

 

I have no idea if that makes any sense. I can practically knit without looking at the piece, since I feel my way through it. I am so tactile I have been described as feral.

 

Add this to a biological drive that is off the charts, and my love language can get steamrolled by my passion and touch needs. When that happens for too long, I start to feel as though the relationship is phony, and that never goes well. If the physicality isn't there, I feel as though it's unbalanced as well, though differently, suffering from a lack of life force.

 

I'm one demanding lady. :)

 

 

 

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