Sunday, December 12, 2010


By the grace and imagination of God alone: December 10, 2010, I graduated with my Masters in Christian Education (discipleship really) from Asbury Theological Seminary.

It was a cold day in Kentucky, but a relaxed morning with some meaningful fellowship and important messages. I had time to connect and talk with some of my fellow CE classmates during rehearsal and entered into a sacred moment of communion with all my fellow graduates. The speaker at our commencement, Rev. Adrian DeVisser (a Lausanne International Deputy for South Asia), reminded me that to do ministry in the name of Christ is simply to be incarnational among His sheep and to practice grace followed by truth. This squelched a rush of concerns that I'd forgotten all I'd learned or that I'd never be prepared enough to lead people further into relationship with God. The most significant part of the ceremony came, though, with the "Affirmation and Commitment" to the "Call to Ministry". Even after 2 years of study, I have a deep doubt that God has any real purpose for my life or that He will use me to minister. He had me cornered here, though. I had to affirm this question:

"Do you affirm in the presence of this company that you have heard God's call to a vocation of ministry; that you have tested that call in reflection and ministry; and that you now stand ready to take further steps of faithful service and mission?"

I couldn't deny that study, reflection, mentored ministry, and the comments and encouragements of my professors furthered affirmed a call to ministry that I've often wondered about. I have a long way to go in discovering and finding confidence in my giftings, but I feel have more knowledge, resources, and experiences from my Seminary time that will assist me in future relationships and work.

I have many people to thanks. Most of all, Keith who has encouraged me to study and affirm a call to ministry despite my many doubts and anxieties. And my little Claire who has allowed me to be absent at times, crabby at others, and preoccupied with studies in her early years.

Second, though, I need to thanks the admirable and generous women who watched Claire while I studied and gave her the love she needed in my absence: Tricia Smith, Amberly Strebeck, and Autumn Logan. When I wonder if it really melded with God's plan for me to attend seminary, just remembering His abundant provision through these women and others in our community reminds me that He indeed called me to study and prepare in this season of life.

A long two and a half years of studying + mommying has finally come to an end. It feels good. It will feel really good once we are back in Wilmore after the holidays and I no longer have the burden of homework and deadlines. Yet, I'm not sure quite what to do with myself. What should I read? What should I think about? What do I do with all that I've learned? What is waiting for the Jagger family come March with the new baby and come June with our move beyond the reaches of Wilmore and Asbury Seminary?

Speaking of Wilmore days and Seminary nights- Oddly enough, Dec. 10 was also the day that the Seminary finally decided to tear down Broadhurst manor- the first place Keith and I lived as a married couple when we came to Wilmore. Not sure the symbolism here, but for Lance, Lacey, Melody, and many others who were not here for this special moment of musty cement, coves of mold, and cockroach hotels facing their demise- we have a picture!

For now, I am enjoying the mounds of snow and blizzardly winds of northern Illinois and Wisconsin. Side note. Claire asked why they put "pepper" on the road when it snows:) She did correct herself a few moments later by saying she meant "salt", but it was just too cute. We also stopped over in Louisville and stayed at the elegant Galt House hotel as a family celebration for graduation. We not only spent time admiring the Gingerbread Village the hotel had on display, but we also enjoyed the Louisville Science Center and Imax theater together.

Cheers for a Christmas break that includes NO homework and will climax with the wedding of my beautiful friend Lori Hofmeister to her Scottish groom! Stay tuned for pictures of my huge belly squished into a blue bridesmaid dress (Keith says I look like an actual blueberry) and little Claire bear shyly walking down the aisle as the flower girl...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our last "Treats on Main"

Last night was our last trip around Wilmore's Main Street for Halloween candy. It was more than crowded this year so Claire was quite overwhelmed when we arrived, hiding behind my leg for the first few candy stops. She eventually came around to opening up the bag herself for candy droppings and, finally, approaching the candy stands by herself. After running into many seminary friends and Claire's playmates, Claire landed some free, blue and sticky, cotton candy and took some mermaid pictures by the seminary fountain with her fisherman Daddy.
Reading Week will soon be upon us with some more breaks from rural, town life and visits with friends and family back home. And I will FINALLY graduate on December 10th! And, if you didn't know, Claire will be a big sister sometime around March 22 :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rosie Nose Jagger

Our little Claire has finally earned her first pet. I say earned because it took 4 months for her to get the hamster she was promised if she would sleep 10 nights- in her big girl bed -all night -without waking up her parents once. I honestly thing the little bugger lucked out because this last night she pulled it off was because she was sick and quite tuckered out.

So we were off to the pet shop to get a hamster, hamster cage, ball, and mini hamster playground this past Saturday morning. Claire picked a small white hamster and named her "Rosie" as we hit the parking lot. As much as I'd like to brag about her creativity in the name, it is her beloved friend Maddie's middle name and also the name Maddie has named some of her pets. So, I gave her the name "Rosie Nose" to make it sound more original.

Well, Claire is loving her hamster more than I expected. Holding her as much as we will allow and doing her best not to drop her more than twice every half hour. Rosie has not bit once and seems pretty happy for as much squeezing and tossing she has endured.

But this all gets a little deeper for me. I am currently reading Windows of the Soul by Ken Gire for a class I'm taking on prayer. He basically approaches prayer as a sort of discipline of awareness (of the divine in the ordinary) cultivated in our lives. This quote of his really grabbed my motherly attention:

"The picture was a window to my daughter's soul, revealing to me something of the secret of who she is, a secret I will need to know if I am to understand her and nurture her and draw out in her all that is dear to God" (32).

So, I'm trying to see this hamster as a window into my daughter's heart. What is more ordinary than a little furry critter being smothered by a three year old? But what do I see when I look closer? I see the love my daughter has for God's creature. I see a desire in her to nurture life and to teach others how to live in safety and harmony. I see her longing for affection and closeness with other beings. I see excitement and hope in her young soul for a world that protects the weak and gives them treats that delight their own weary souls..

So, welcome to the Jagger family, little Rosie Nose:) May you make it out of Wilmore little hamster...May we all make it out of Wilmore...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Girls' Night Out

I had my Claire all to myself from Wednesday through Sunday while Keith was off to Pittsburgh to run with the deer (not actually why he went, but he connected with quite a few deer while staying out in a musty hermitage). It was not easy taking care of my defiant little 3 year old for so many days, but thanks to many play dates, some serious time outs, the Lil' Angels Sale toy section, and a Girls' Night Out, we survived! The last night before Daddy came home, I took Claire to see "Ramona and Beezus" at the dollar theater (recommended by my friend Angela and her daughter MacKenzie). She enjoyed the funny parts, popcorn, and soda- though, I am not sure we would have made it all the way through had it not been for the 8 year old girls' birthday party outing that joined us for the show. She was enthralled with the idea of a birthday movie party and when they giggled, Claire giggled even though she had clue what they were laughing about. After some Culver's ice cream and incessant whining on the car ride home, I got her into bed. Just before nodding off, she asked me "Mommy, why did Jesus walk on water?" (not anything we had talked about within the past 3 months). All I could think to say was, "Because he wanted to go see his friends who were stuck out in the boat."
We enjoyed the Mommy-Daughter time, but are glad to have Keith back home- someone new for both of us to whine at and ask our challenging theological questions to:)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Peering Through the Tall Grass

It has been awhile. Yes, I know. I've decided to take up blogging again- some 100 seminary papers later. Yikes. It has been a long haul- grad school and mothering. I'm not sure where to begin, so I'll just begin with the elephant in the room. Claire has started 3 year old preschool...she attends preschool three mornings a week at a local church and has been assigned to the elephant room:

Despite some minor aggression and threats received from a cute little boy in her carpool (obviously taking his 3 year old anxiety out on confident Claire), she showed no anxiety about her first day and left me for her classroom with one quick kiss. She was just as giddy when I picked her up as when I had dropped her off with crafts to display. When I picked her up on her second day, she beamed up at me and said, "I had a great day at school today, Mommy." It is fun to watch gittery three and four year olds scurry about their new classroom, bumping into one another and exchanging odd stares, but never talking to one another. Who needs to play with a friend when you can play merrily next to a friend?

So I'm proud of my little independent lady. As for myself, I feel directionless with only one class left, but a full year left in Wilmore- and God only knows what after this... I'm hunkered down on the outskirts of the tall grass, not sure when, where, or how to take a step out. I do know that the Lord has been deeply faithful to me in this time. He has accomplished what He asked me to have the faith for Him to accomplish. I'm just still living on faith, unsure of what that is or what awaits for me: "The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy" (Psalm 126:3)