My seminary cohort, the group I have spent the last three years studying, conversing and sometimes arguing with (in love of course!), is busily preparing to go to Italy at the end of the month. We have been reading some books and repsonding to them:

Serving with Eyes Wide Open: doing short-term missions with cultural intelligence by David Livermore
The Road to Emmaus: pilgrimage as a way of life by Jim Forest
La Bella Figura: a field guide to the Italian mind by Beppe Severgnini

The book I’ve been ruminating over the most is the one on pilgrimage as a way of life. Basically, Forest encourages his readers to approach every day of their lives as a journey with Christ and toward Him, to anticipate meeting Christ in others in every moment, to live with a constant sense of awareness of God’s Presence. *sigh* I do not do this well. I tend to live by lists… I make them and I check things off. Laundry, check. Shopping, check. Pick songs for Sunday, check. Send emails, check. Set up babysitting, check. Dishes, check. Cleaning, check….

I am an extrovert for sure, and enjoy spending time with people; but I can be very task oriented and have probably been more so over the last three years as I added school to my already full life. After reading this book, I long to slow down and savor each moment (even if my hands are busy with household or church tasks). I want to notice things and notice people. I want to live with my eyes wide open so that I do not miss where Christ wants to meet me in another… even, perhaps, my children… especially my children! It sounds idealistic and impossible, yet does that make it a worthless pursuit? Something in me yearns for that kind of spiritual growth and formation. In one sense, I don’t care if I never reach the goal. The point is the journey.

For more information on our cohort trip to Italy, visit

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robert Martin
    May 13, 2009 @ 12:12:12

    Hey… something to do, perhaps, while you’re there. My home church regularly supports a family by the last name of “Krupps” who are currently serving as missionaries in Italy. I can look up the information if you’re interested.


  2. Aunt Pam
    May 14, 2009 @ 10:08:33

    Reminds me of Brother Lawrence’s “Practicing the Presence of God”, which I read when we were with MCC in Guatemala. It left an impression on me, and although I don’t alwasy do a very good job, is a goal I strive for.


  3. Aunt Gloria
    May 16, 2009 @ 12:36:45

    I, too, am a list maker and goal oriented. I didn’t realize I was a perfectionist until Holly came along and I could tell she was. I mention to a table full of friends, “I wonder where Holly gets her perfesctionism. Did she pick it up off the sidewalk?” They all just broke-up laughing. “Gloria, from you.” ME!!! It was so surprising to me. I don’t think we always see what others see in us and about us until were older. I have learned so much about myself as I have aged. Some of what you are feeling comes from your family genes, you are part Kuhns. We have to WORK HARD AT RELAXING. It is hard for us to take a deep breath, let it out slowly and just let life be.


  4. Mike
    May 30, 2009 @ 18:28:17

    “Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
    the droghte of March hath perced to the roote
    and bathed every veyne in switch licour,
    of which vertu engendered is the flour.
    Whan Zephyrus eek with his sweete breeth
    inspirided hath in every holt and heeth
    the tendere croppes and the yonge sonne
    hath in the Ram his halve cours yronne
    And smale foweles maken melodye
    that slepen all the night with open ye
    (so priketh hem nature in hir corages),
    Than longen folk to goon on piligrimages,
    and palmeres to seken straunge strondes
    to ferne halwes kowthe in sondry londes.

    –Geoffrey Chaucer, “The General Prologue,” The Canterbury Tales


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