I will be done, pretty much, with grad school in January. How cool is that? I'm starting to see a ton of free time open up ahead of me. I've been fantasizing about doing crafts, reading books that are not about God, taking naps, and just experiencing that state of being where I don't have to be thinking "I should be doing homework right now."
I've also been thinking about doing some volunteer work, finally. I work in a parish, and do what volunteers do for my living. I do ministry, and I do cleanup, and I even sort food for the food pantry collection. But, I do it because it's my job, at least to some degree. I do good things, and I am spiritually fed while I am feeding, but it's... my job. I feel like it would do me good to go and help someone else out.
I believe that we should always be doing something to pull people up the ladder. No matter what rung we're standing on, there are always people hanging on the steps below us. I know you have heard it as many times as I have, on tv and radio shows, people saying "I thought I had it bad, but then I saw..." During this time of high unemployment, I feel like it is a great time for people to go and give their free time, and get some great experience and exposure, and feel like they are doing something important and worthwhile. I've even heard about hospital chaplains who ask their patients, some very very sick themselves, to pray for other patients in the hospital. However low we feel on that ladder, there are always people below us who need us- there is always something we can do.
In January we have our first NODA (No One Dies Alone) meetings at my parish. We'll be working in partnership with the local Hospice to set up a vigiling team, to sit with people who are dying and have no one to call. I'm feeling very much called to this ministry- not just to make it happen in the parish but to serve. The timing is perfect, and I am really looking forward to this.
I cannot wait to end this part of my life and start something new and brave! Who's with me?