College Update // Feb 2014

My latest email update, for those not on the email list! Do shout if you want to be added…

Southwark Bridge. My view as I come out of college in the evening…

Feb 2014
Hello lovely people…
Here’s my latest update
on college life. Apologies for anything that bores you; and anything heretical
or down right rude I take full responsibility for, in fact I will probably
rejoice in it 😉
So, I am now officially
half way through my first year at college (that’s 1/6 of my time there, not
that I am counting of course) and it feels like a bit of an achievement to be
honest. This term has definitely been a bit easier on the workload side of
things. I started the last update (October last year) by saying things had not
been too chaotic – well that was famous last words wasn’t it, I might as well
have stood up with a target taped to my face saying ‘shoot me now’. The second
half of term was absolutely bonkers with another study weekend, assignments
left, right and centre, mission project to plan and take part in, oh and of
course a little thing called Christmas. The thing that kept me going through
this madness was my promise to myself that on Boxing Day I would spend the entire
day on the sofa in my PJ’s watching Christmas movies. Which I duly did with a
large glass of red, whilst munching on copious amounts of leftovers – cold
roast potato anyone? The few days prior to this had seen me preach at one of
our carol services, lead the Christmas Day service, cook Christmas lunch for 12
(and navigate a powercut in the process), spend a day with other ordinands meeting
the Bishop of Chichester (and can I just say, who in their right mind organises
a whole day out for people who work in the church, in the week before
Christmas? I mean, der…) anyway I digress… plus: hosting kids Christmas crafts
at our house, and that’s all aside from the usual present wrapping, delivering,
and amusing kids on Christmas hols… So let’s just say the sofa was very
definitely calling…
the kids at Christmas

As some of you will know, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
some years ago – a combination of the after effects of a particularly evil
sinus bug and working too hard. I have always doubted this diagnosis, although
I clearly had clinical exhaustion but it does mean that I need to be careful
about getting overtired. And I should say, that generally I am fine now, I just
have to keep an eye on my energy levels and how much I take on. And although I
joke about it, the truth is, that few weeks just before Christmas was really
tough, I even began to think there’s no way I can keep up with this course, on
top of everything else (cue violins…). So I decided this term would have to be
different. I’ve always thought that God has got me into this so I am sure he
will keep me going through it and I think that’s the key, for me to listen more
to what he is actually saying, rather than be led by my own enthusiasm for him!

And anyway, so far so
good. I think to be honest those few weeks were probably a glimpse of the life
to come, Christmas is a busy time for all of us, just more so for those who
work for the church and I shall have to watch how I handle it all.
So to this term – and we’ve started our
next module ‘Christian Doctrine & Ethics’ which it’s fair to say is not my
favourite module. Give me facts any day, ethics is just far too woolly! There
don’t seem to be any right or wrong answers at all which makes assignments,
well, interesting to say the least. I feel like so long as I cite a few
intelligent bods I can say what I like… come to think of it doesn’t sound too
bad after all (hope my tutor isn;t reading this…). So far we’ve really just looked at the basics but next half term
we’ll be studying beginning and end of life and all the issues that entails –
could be some feisty discussions there!
At the end of last term
we did our Mission Placement, which is a project in a local church. Getting our placement done before Christmas was perhaps not the best
timing but I have to admit to a certain level of smugness now, knowing that
it’s done while others still have theirs to do (is smugness a sin I wonder..? 😉
) Of course not too smug as we still have to present our results and write up
the report…
Coming up soon //
is another study weekend and then a
full week away at Easter. I am not looking forward to this. It’s bad enough
being away for a weekend, but a week? And at Easter! Who planned that…?
an Ethics essay or two which will make
my brain hurt a lot… wine may be needed
in a few weeks time I have to lead my
first worship slot at Southwark, which just happens to be BCP. For the uninitiated,
the BCP (Book of Common Prayer) is the most boring, old, out of date book of
services that the church still clings on to. (Now, now, those of you about to
screech at the screen and send me off a hasty email telling me how wrong I am,
I know how you feel already and you don’t need to remind me 😉 ). Needless to
say there will be no singing, smiling, talking or whispering during this
service. It will include those Psalms with the nonsense 3 second pauses I wrote
about previously, and I will not enjoy it. I will also probably need a small
miracle to get through it without making a mistake, so if you’re a pray-er then
please do!
In the meantime here’s a
few things I’ve been pondering… they are definitely not New Years resolutions –
which I always think are pointless and could be done any time. The fact that I
have been pondering these at the beginning of a new year is merely
coincidental… 😉
How important friends are. It’s very easy to be too
busy to see people and I realised that due to the kids school changes I rarely
see my Bolney friends these days and I miss them. So this year I’m going to
make more of an effort to see my friends. As well as that it’s so easy when you
work for the church to just spend your time with Christians but then how can
one be a light in the darkness if you spend all your time in the church?
That I need to write more. I’ve kept a blog for
about 4 years now and I love writing but I don’t often have time to do it. So
I’m planning to write as much as I can… As you can tell by the fact that this
is now on the third page when really I should be doing the aforementioned
ethics essay.
Age is a funny thing isn’t it? my oldest daughter just turned 18 and
I, 40. Whilst this has the potential to turn me into a gibbering wreck I
actually feel quite unphased by this and am looking forward to my 40s, although
not so much the ever increasing grey hairs… 
The beautiful Ashburnham place, from last terms
weekend, on an early morning run.
So to…. Prayer Bits //
If you are of the praying
kind please lift up a few along these lines:
–  for my energy levels and good health
as the course continues
– for my BCP service which I really
have no clue about
–    for the upcoming Study Week which
will be hard on all of us
So until next time,
thanks for hanging in there with me…
Blessings to you all

jules x

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