On Giants' Shoulders

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Full Gospel Christian

Here I am ten years later. That's a thought I've had often this fall. It's been ten years since I started RCIA, ten years that I've been attending Christ the King. Ten years of liturgy and being in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament week by week.

I my religious life in a tiny little, not much more than house church, called Bethany Full Gospel Assembly. They called it full gospel because they believed in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and knew that most of the other Protestant churches in town thought those gifts were no longer valid. Yet somewhere in my forties I began to realize that they didn't have the full gospel after all. They didn't have the sacraments, they didn't have the Eucharistic presence of Jesus. In point of fact they tried to teach us how unChristian the Catholic Church was. It took years for me to unlearn some of what they taught me.

Yet they taught me many good things like being open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, like taking sacred Scripture seriously, like the fact that how you lived your life mattered. I won't ever throw away the positive messages, I appreciate every positive thing I received from my Grammy's Bible stories, to my high school pastor's encouragement to see communion as more than just a memorial, but as an encounter with Jesus. There were all kinds of influences that brought me to the Catholic Church and some of them were unintentional on the part of the people themselves.

So ten years later would I do it again, do I regret the decision? The only regret I have is that I didn't do it sooner, that I haven't lived it better, that I've often shared it ineffectively. The fullness of the faith, that's what they wanted me to have in the beginning, and joyfully that's what I've had for ten years. I understand all the reasons why people protested, sadly they've kept protesting even after the reasons for protest were gone. They threw out the baby with the bathwater and their descendants have been robbed of the family treasures as a result. Thankfully, the Church welcomes even the descendants of renegades. So here I am ten years later a full gospel Christian at last.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Weight Update

For anyone who isn't totally bored with the subject (my daughter for example). My current cumulative weight loss is 28 pounds. My cholesterol is down 30 points, my LDL is at its best since I started getting it checked, and my bone density is staying stable. My doctor is very pleased. My current goal is to make it into the 150's by Christmas and if I keep losing at the present rate I might even possibly make it by Thanksgiving. And, oh, I actually can squeeze into size 12 jeans and still walk and breathe for the first time in... well I'm not sure just how many years it's been, but 5 at least. Someday I'll get the computer genius to add a new picture to my blog, so you can see what I'm up to.

10 Random Facts

Karen said that if we read her blog we were tagged so here goes:

1. I was born in Vermont and have lived here my whole life. The only interesting thing I've done as far as that is concerned is to live in different parts of Vermont. I grew up in the center of the state, but I've lived both on the Canadian border (you could open my bathroom window and spit into Canda) and in the center west part of the state (Rutland County). I went to grade school in Northfield, high school in Randolph, and college in Burlington. For grad school it was a split between Northfield and Castleton, and then I ditched grad school for babies.

2. I play the piano and once upon a time played the violin (but never very well). I can't make any claims to being the musical one in the Swift family though. The musical branch of the family lives in the Bronx. However, unlike my late sister, I'm not tone deaf.

3. I have only written one real play in my life, I was 14 and just finishing 8th grade. It was a humorous sketch about a doctor a nurse and a patient.

4. I was voted class best actress in high school, but never acted again (well at least not on stage, I've done some pretty stellar performances in real life). I memorized the entire script of Sorry Wrong Number and could still recite the whole thing years later.

5. I was the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow for our high school my senior year (which only shows that I was better at taking tests than keeping up with housework).

6. I taught public school for a year and a half before I got married. I also taught parochial school for a couple of months 3 years ago. Both experiences convinced me that I'm a far better homeschool teacher than classroom teacher and that homeschooled students are nicer than their institutionalized counterparts in general. Oh, I homeschooled my kids all the way until college and I still teach a class of homeschoolers.

7. I've never worked very long for a private company. Most of my paid employment was either with the state of Vermont or a public school. I spent my first year out of college working as a secretary for the highway department and spent most of my time that first summer coloring maps with colored pencils.

8. I have done some sort of volunteer work for most of the past 31 years. I volunteered at our local school, I was a La Leche League Leader, I was and am a 4-H volunteer, I taught Sunday School for years. Volunteers like mothers are often underappreciated.

9. I once fell asleep at a Janis Joplin concert. I wasn't drunk, I wasn't stoned, I was just incredibly tired and incredibly bored. It was Kakewalk weekend and it was simply one of the events on the schedule to which my date dragged me. No one can believe I could sleep through Janice, but even her screaming didn't keep me awake. Please note I didn't marry that guy, but the one I did marry was a Janice Joplin fan at one point. Fortunately, he also liked Simon and Garfunkle and the Carpenters which were much more my speed.

10. I could be transported back to Little House on the Prairie or Understood Betsy times and have a pretty good shot at surviving well. I know how to can, bake, preserve, clean a chicken, spin yarn, knit socks, even sew with a treadle sewing machine. I can operate a wood stove, churn butter, and write with a dip pen. I know how to plant herbs, start new cuttings, and dry them for winter. If we ever have a major crisis that knocks out the modern conveniences I'll be able to manage. Of course when the phone line went out today and I was without my internet connection for hours I wasn't so sure how happy I'd be if we lost all those conveniences. Still the romance of it is great.

So I'm tagging, Abby, Jim, Laura, Amanda, Susan, and Paul.