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Weekly Gratitude #2

Is it a new week?  I don't know.  But I am feeling grateful today and felt like making it known to the world.

Greer's brother and sister-in-law have been so encouraging over the past few weeks, and the other day Erin reminded me that the best antidote for anxiety is thankfulness.  So as I sit here with many pages left to write and rapidly waning time in which to write them, it's worth it to take a minute to say this important thing:

I am thankful today that I got to come to grad school in the first place.  I've written two papers and taken one final so far, and while I sacrificed a lot of sleep and quality of life for them, they all showed me how much I have learned in the past few months.  My exegesis paper about Hagar and Ishmael and cramming for my Old Testament final were particularly draining, but as soon as I put my pencil down after the exam, it hit me that I have learned a ton in that class about how many different ways people have read the Bible.  I will never look at the Hebrew Scripture the same way, and while I experienced a great deal of personal challenge as I made it through this semester, my understanding of the text is a whole lot deeper than it used to be.  It is impossible to read the Old Testament without asking some very serious questions, and now I don't think I'll just shrug my shoulders and move on to the Gospels anymore.  I have something to do with that text now, and I think I put another stepping stone in my path to understanding something about the context of the Incarnation.

When I was in college, I had no desire to return to academia.  For my graduation present, however, my parents gave me a trip to Oxbridge for a two week CS Lewis conference that changed everything, and I realized that academic work could be the best way to help me understand things about the world that I dearly wanted to know.  I spent three years working hard as I tried to figure out the best possible grad school situation, and now here I am.  I really wanted to do this.  When I went to bed at 4:30 AM last night, it made me smile to remember my reasons for being here.  The point isn't to impress all of Yale's fancy professors or keep building my resume in case I want to pursue a PhD after this; as my beloved teacher Tom Shadyac elucidated for so many of us at Pepperdine, the point is to follow your bliss.

This week I am acutely aware of where my abilities currently are and where I want them to be.  There is a big difference between them, but today that is only making me feel hopeful.  I know exactly how to change my strategy for next semester, and I am sure I'll feel the same way at the end of every term here.  It's so exciting to watch a path develop toward to lofty goals you set for yourself.  I am not writing perfect papers this semester, but I can see the process that will lead me, one semester at a time, to write better and better ones.  That is pretty exciting.

My weekly gratitude then goes to the coming-true of a dream I held for a long time, and one that will lead to something wonderful that I can't imagine yet.  Thank you, grad school, for beating me up a little bit this semester and beginning the refining process that will bring me that much closer to becoming the person I want to be.


  1. I love this!

    Another thing Tom said once (that I have written down by my desk as a daily reminder) was this: "If a person is going to grow, they must rethink everything"

    It rings true to me everyday and helps remind me to follow my bliss no matter what.

    You are doing amazing things Catherine, thank you for letting us in on your journey!

  2. Katherine,

    I'm so happy I found your blog! You are a jewel among jewels and I treasure our friendship. I believe I will be making some major changes around the middle or end of next year... we'll chat later about that when I have a chance to spend some time with you. Love you and miss you! Lorraine


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