This is an exciting time of year at St. Vlad's. The new students have arrived and been helped to move in. We have an incoming class this year that doesn't follow the typical pattern of recent years because it contains more single seminarians than married (exactly twice as many, as far as I can tell). The returning students are all abuzz with changes to curriculum and professors and such. For the first time, I will be taking advantage of the opportunity that spouses have to audit classes free of charge here by taking Kate Behr's Theology and Children's Literature course. It feels like a natural extension of my library science degree and my love of children's literature. I just hope I can keep up with the readings!
We just had a meeting of the women's group on campus, (which is comprised of wives of students, faculty, and residents, and women students) during which we planned out our social gatherings for the semester. That group meets every other Monday, and on the alternating Mondays, the St. Juliana the Merciful Society (formerly known as the Spouse's Program) will be meeting to help prepare us for parish life as clergy wives.
We are enjoying our new apartment immensely. It amazes me how much of a cloud I feel has lifted just from being in a larger space with more natural light. One nice thing is that we have a little nook designated for homeschooling that helps keep us neat and organized. My girls and I started the homeschool year at the end of July so that we can take a good-sized break in October when the baby comes and another one over the Christmas holidays. Now that the seminarians are back in class, almost everyone else who homeschools is back into the swing of things, too.
In addition to making plans for academic pursuits (papers due, readings to complete, etc.), church services, and social events, we've also been planning for visitors. We just had the honor of offering hospitality to our friends from Pennsylvania this weekend, and next weekend will have family visiting from Texas. After that, my mother and sister will be visiting from Kentucky in time for the baby to be born and to help out with the other two kiddos. I feel so blessed that my sister will be able to spend almost a whole month with us as I recover and we find our way back into family life with an additional child to care for. In November, we expect visits from my husband's father and stepmother, and then one from his mother around Thanksgiving. All of this is yet another reason to be thankful for our larger apartment that enables us to invite people to stay with us.
If you're looking for a way to direct your prayers for us (other than Lord, have mercy, which is always appropriate), please pray for God to help us set aside time amongst the busyness and noise to pray and seek silence. You can also continue to pray for God to provide for us financially as He wills. May He bless all of you as you begin a new church year and any other undertakings you may be planning at this time of year.