23 February 2016

Lent 2016: Week Two (On Thankfulness)

Two Weeks Down

First things first: let this second week of Lent be known as the week I discovered orange and chocolate milano cookies. Best flavor combination ever.

This week seemed to go by insanely quickly, which is always good news for the work week. This weekend saw a good deal of activity. I meet with a women's group each Thursday evening, most of whose members are in some way connected to the university (if not also the philosophy department). This past week, we made crepes and just had a good chat together. One woman in particular had been absent recently from our meetings (for good reason, if you ultimately think, as I, that morning sickness is a good reason) and was able to make it!

We also purchased a little blue side table, which I like very much.

On Friday morning I attended another philosophy colloquium (the speaker was a fellow first year, so that was pretty cool), followed by a trip to the library to pick out some new books. I finished Kristin Lavransdatter this week and feel like I've accomplished some great mile stone, not only because of the more than one thousand pages I read, but also because it threw me into an emotional whirlwind in the last hundred or so pages. It was very bittersweet to finish. Luckily, I looked into some other books by Sigrid Undset and came upon Jenny, about a young painter in Rome. This book is the marriage of Kristin Lavransdatter and my love for Roma, so I am very happy (and already almost half done with the book). Friday evening was spent having dinner with a couple women at a local Italian place, then going to another woman's apartment. She was a good hostess and has her living room styled very nicely with some custom artwork and mementos which speak to the traveling she and her husband have done.

Rosé French 75 and honey goat cheese? Don't mind if I do.

C and I slept in quite a bit on Saturday, but I eventually rolled out of bed to make nutella cookies for that evening's potluck. The department puts on monthly potlucks which I have come to love not least because there is fried chicken. I do a bit of an internal happy dance when I get fried chicken, let me tell you. When the actual eating at the potluck wound down, we started up a game of poker that I fantastically lost at, even after buying in again. Losing isn't such a bother to me, considering I spent the rest of the time talking about personality types (Myers-Briggs and enneagrams) with the potluck hosts.

This succession of social activity, which would usually be exhausting to the introvert that I am, actually made me realize just how good it is to be where I am in life. I have quite possibly the most patient, constant and loving of husbands. I am happy with the work that I have found and excited about my many little hobbies. I have made friends who have already taught me so much, not only about Texan life, but also about academics, hospitality, craftiness, painting, mixology and child-rearing. They have listened to my ideas and let me listen to their concerns. They have made me more compassionate and more comfortable with myself. I am finding life-long friends here, which for some reason wasn't something I thought was a possibility (note: not that I thought I would hate everyone here. Haha. Rather, that it wasn't even a consideration.). I am incredibly thankful for each of them. I am likewise constantly reminded of Who I owe all my gratitude. Thanks be to God!

Me and all my new chums. Ha.


I am finding inspiration this Lent from more than the Imitation, so I am changing this section's title.

  • "King of glory, Lord of power and might, cleanse our hearts from all sin, preserve the innocence of our hands, and keep our minds from vanity, so that we may deserve your blessing in your holy place." (Psalm Prayer 1, Lauds. 16 Feb 2016)
  • "Never be entirely idle; but either be reading, or writing, or praying, or meditation, or endeavouring something for the public good." (Imitation of Christ 1. XIX)
  • "Spare not, we pray, to send us here some penance kindly but severe, so let your gift of pardoning grace our grievous sinfulness efface." (Iam, Christe, sol iustitiae)
  • "In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:78-79)
  • "If thou knowest how to be silent and suffer, without doubt thou shalt see the help of the Lord." (IOC. 2. II)
  • "God alone is everlasting, and of infinite greatness, filling all things; the soul's solace, and the true joy of the heart." (IOC. 2. V)

I wish all readers a holy Lent, a time of growth and renewal. May you take account of all you have to be thankful for.


  1. Yes, I've made great friends here also. The sad bit is... everyone moves on. I still keep in contact with those ladies I was the best of friends with, but I've also made new really great friends. Its like... we've all grown up and are able to build real friendships now!

    1. I am trying not to focus on the "everyone moves on" part yet. We have a lot of good people who could get scooped up by another department any day. I do think you are right about growing up and building real friendships. It seems easier to do so now, which my high school self would have found surprising...and possibly depressing. Haha.
      Thanks for commenting, Rachael! :)

  2. What Myers-Briggs personality are you Haley? I'm an INFJ myself :)