Concerns Part II

Perhaps it was returning from what has been one of the most profound experiences I have been apart of in a long time. Perhaps it was getting some quality time with the spirit resultined in a greater awareness of the areas in my life that need attention.

I struggled all day at work with a very bitter anger. I have just recieved a master's degree and am still doing the same type of work that I was doing right out of college. Basic administrative tasks, hand holding of my boss, and cleaning up my over extended boss' mess. It is yet again another in a series of jobs stretching over the last 6 years which both underpay and under-utilize me. It is not that I am devoted to earning a lot of money, but I do think that getting paid what you are worth is important. I have lived in both intentional and unitentional poverty; now I want to live a life where I don't have to go hungry throughout the week or cut every corner possible. I know that I am happiest in jobs that are helping my fellows and making the world better. I really believe in the project I am currently engaged in, however, at every turn there are empty promises and red-tape mixed with a lot of drudgery. While I am realistic that those are often present in even the best of jobs, this is daily a practice of patience and humility that would make even someone with a good temperment and a saintly demeanor have trouble.

I am just tired. I am tired of trying to do the best possible things with my life and being met with a series of bad timing. First it was the economic crash in 2001 when I graduated college, then it was a series of low paying jobs to (barely) pay the bills. Then a series of moves in Minnesota, a return to NC, and then Maryland. I want to sit still. I want to have roots. I want to feel centered in a greater way than just the spirit, my body and emotions need time to center. But those are not things that have been afforded me in the tender beginnings of adult life. Currently, I am waiting for a snafu with payroll to be fixed so I can actually be paid for working 40hrs a week, and then I can start to pay off my debts incurred while waiting for my tuition scholarship to be processed this fall...then I could deal with the odd (and the situation is a bit odd but for many reasons you will have to just trust me on that) demands of my job a bit better.

I had dinner last night with a F/friend of many years, and we were talking about what is going on in our lives and our frustrations...though our paths have differed in many ways, they often run in parallel. And what helped the most last night was to know that I am not alone. I have no answers or direction...but at least I am not alone.



I attended the gathering of YAF's in New Jersey this past weekend. I am still processing much of it. However, what is reoccurring in my head right now, it how wicked real adult life is. I am feeling spiritually re-awakened after being away from the Society for nearly six years. But upon returning to Baltimore all I can see and feel are constraints of my current life. It is very clear that I need a new job ASAP. That I need to move out of my living situation...but how broad to I make my search. I have usually been of the mind that I would return home--to Minnesota...but I have fallen in love with Baltimore and perhaps with someone residing here. But should I stay or move on? Do I return to my home and my family and my commitments to them or do I stay with my heart desires? Do I stay to find rewarding work here and see where the path leads with this relationship? The relationship looks like an awful mess from the outside and people wonder why I have not turned my back on it. Much like Baltimore itself looks to many.

I dislike transitioning. It is all I have done for the last six years. Perhaps it will be easier to follow my path now that I am ready to listen again.



Giving ministry takes quite a bit out of me. Less then it used to, but still enough to warrant a nap. Last First Day I was sitting in bed after breakfast, planning on enjoying a little house-to-myself when I got that nudge. I grumbled, went to meeting, said what I was given to say and then managed to enjoy the rest of a fairly centered meeting. When it was time for introductions, I reintroduced myself since I had spoken and don't know many people and in doing so identified myself as an irregular attender.
One of the Friends who came up to thank me for my message teased that I should come more often. I snarkily replied that I would if they would have centered meetings more often. I thought at the time I shouldn't have said it, but now I'm standing by it. It's important for meetings to be reminded that there are young adults who are seeking quality worship and no amount of potlucks or programming is going to draw them in. (I know this isn't a singular quality of young adults). A loving community would be awesome, but what I'm looking for in a "church family" is a group that consistently has centered worship.
By the way, the Friend's response was that meeting was more centered when I attended. It's a pretty apt reminder that we each play a part in the quality of every meeting we attend and that chances are I'm not helping matters by quietly stewing when someone gets up to give a movie review in the middle of worship.

Elizabeth Bathurst

Personal Query #2

Am I striving to develop my physical, mental, and spiritual abilities and to use them to the glory of God? What have I recently undertaken to this end, and what future opportunities are sought?
My body is weak and it limits me. I tire easily and do not have the energy to do the volunteer work I would like to do. I am frequently ill and it takes me a while to recover from the mildest of infections. I know that part of this is a result of my being out of shape and part of it is physical symptoms of my mental illness. I have recently joined a gym and hope to make a habit of going regularly.

With regard to my mental abilities, I think I do all right. I read books that challenge me intellectually, both religious and secular. I have recently changed jobs to one that is far more intellectually stimulating. I'm aware that keeping my mind sharp and engaged, especially with a willingness engage in matters theological and sociological is an important part of being able to properly interpret my leadings.

I am anxious about developing my budding spiritual abilities. The only one I can think of at the moment is giving ministry, and I hate it. I hate hate hate hate speaking in meeting. I've gotten much better at standing up quickly and not dissociating nearly as much while I speak, but I still hate it. I really need to work on that part, I guess. I also worry about developing an ego with regard to giving ministry. It is important for me to remember that when I am speaking, I am speaking what the Lord would have me say. There is no pride to be had in being a vessel.