Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Would Like To Take All The Credit

. . .but I think I get none.

I would still like to say for the record that I am in awe of the Lovely Daughter. Last night she emailed me a copy of her final final final draft of her personal statement for her social work school applications, and it's terrific.

I am astonished by her ability to stand back and look at her desires and experience and articulate her vision for her future.

I am also fascinated. When I was her age and in law school, I thought I was going to be a policy kind of person, out there working for social change and justice. By the time I had practiced law for a few years, I knew that I could barely work up the slightest interest in such an approach ~ I was much more interested in helping individual people solve their individual problems.

It's not a big surprise to me that, much as I love to teach and preach, it looks as if my real passions in ministry are going to be spiritual direction and chaplaincy. I am completely entranced by the quiet process of helping someone explore the ways in which God is moving in her life, and it's much easier to imagine myself sitting with a family in a out-of-the way hospital room in the middle of the night than moderating a Session meeting.

The Lovely Daughter is quite the opposite. She is working as an Americorps volunteer doing college counseling in inner city public schools and and says that, while she enjoys and derives great satisfaction from her encounters with individual students, her thought process is much more taken up by the institutions and processes that impede their progress. She imagines making her contribution in policy someday and, observing the knowledgeable confidence and self-assurance she has developed in the past few months, I can imagine it, too.

Her brother's death has forced her to grow up very quickly, and she has moved forward with compassion and grace. We are lucky to have her, and I think the world is, too.


Purple said...

Full of wisdom...full of grace...both mother and daughter.

giggles said...


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

What a delightful post to read. She sounds like quite a young woman.

I hope you give her a copy of this. I've been reminded all too painfully recently of what a gift it would have been to have a mother who comprehended and affirmed my chosen path in life.

Ruby said...

Your daughter sounds wonderful, and her work in the world is sorely needed, just as yours is. Americorps is such a great program, not only for the good it does in the world, but in the opportunity it provides for self-reflection and growth for the young people who participate.

Best wishes to her on this next stage of the journey.

Cynthia said...

What Purple said. I'm so proud of you both.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Foundation. That's what you gave her. So many kids don't get that.

Our Bible scholar pastor recently explained the real translation on "spare the rod, spoil the child." Apparently in ancient sheep herding terms the "rod" was not used to hit. It was used to gently guide the sheep back into the fold.

Yup. Foundation.

Carol said...

So much of which to be proud. She's a true compliment to you in every way.

Carol said...

So much of which to be proud. She's a true compliment to you in every way.

karen gerstenberger said...

She does indeed sound like a lovely daughter. God bless her & her aspirations.

Rev SS said...

No surprise here. Ditto what Purple said!