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Saturday…what an experience!

Hello again!

Well I just had to tell you about what a fantastic Saturday I had yesterday! It was such an amazing day, and even when things might go sour, my amazing friends were there to make sure the night ended on a great note!

First off, I want to mention that this Saturday was the second in a row that I fasted from morning until sundown. Before anyone gets too concerned, I checked with a doctor before starting it (who was all for it) and I want to reassure you that I am doing this as a spiritual practice, not as a way to lose weight .The doc approved of the spiritual aspect as well, but told me that it may have the added benefit of resulting in more weight loss, as long as it’s not done too frequently. I’m happy to report that the last two Saturdays have been really spiritually rich for me. The hunger only helped to remind me to spend the day in prayers of thanksgiving for life, for food, and prayers for those who suffer without food far too often. I’m still considering expanding the time-frame, perhaps by getting up earlier on Saturdays, or waiting until later to break the fast. For the time being, I think I’ll just let the increasing daily sunlight slowly expand the experience for me.

Oh, and that possible side effect of losing weight? Yeah, it happened as well 😉

I think the biggest thing that has helped these last two weeks is making sure I don’t break the fast with a huge meal. As it was, I felt much fuller on less after not eating all day, so even a “normal” meal last week made me feel over full. This week was much better with an amazing bowl of homemade venison chili (thanks to Carina) and spicy kale chips (thanks to Deb and Mary) and finger snackies at…

wait for it…


wait… for… it…



That’s right, the day ended amazingly with Black Tie Jazz at the seminary! The band was absolutely phenomenal, and I could tell that the event took a lot of careful planning and preparation. It was WILD! Now I must admit that I am not a very avid dancer. Much the opposite. This resulted in much of the night sitting down, chatting and contemplating how much more fun it would be if I had a special someone to go to with. I even started to get very jealous of Heidi’s ability to just go with the flow and dance to her heart’s content.

Luckily for me I had promised Allison that I would dance with her, and despite my insistence of having two left feet, she coerced me out onto the dance floor. She taught me some moves and we practiced them while the band was on a break. I must say she is an extremely graceful twirler!

It was so amazing out there dancing with her. Had I believed all her praise for my “natural skill,” I would have to consider entering into a competition. Still, I started feeling more comfortable with the moves and started just going with it. My thanks to Allison for being such an amazing teacher and graceful dancer. It certainly turned the night around!

But wait, there’s more! After dancing a few dances with Allison the group started line dancing. According to Amber, a classmate’s significant other (Go Tanner!), I was too close to the dance floor not to be dancing. She quickly shot me down when I tried to tell her that I didn’t know how to line dance. She explained the moves to me, we watched a couple times, and then we jumped right in. It was GREAT! I still goofed from time to time, but I started getting the hang of it, and I certainly wasn’t the worst dance out there.

Afterwards I danced with Mary, and we observed our friend Deb out on the dance floor cutting a rug like crazy while we stayed with a more comfortable pace. I was glad to see Deb out there because I was afraid of Deb’s wrath for dancing with Mary before her. Still, I think it worked out well for all of us, because that girl can move! I’m sure I held Mary back a bit, but maybe next time (after some more lessons with Allison perhaps) we’ll be out there right next to her moving like stars.

I had to go to bed far too early, but it was still such an amazing day, and I’m so grateful to have my amazing friends who are always there for me. Some day I’d like to have that special someone to get all snazzy for and dance until the cows come home. But until he shows up in my life, I have such great friends to make memories with and celebrate each day together. I can’t wait until the next big event!

From left to right: Carina, Mary, Me, Deb, Heidi


Comments on: "Saturday…what an experience!" (7)

  1. Way to go dude. Keep up the spiritual fast. What a way to stay in tuned to our God and the suffering of God’s people. God has a funny way of giving great side effects, weight loss, heightened spiritual awareness and greater appreciation in what we have.

    • Thanks Doug! It’s great to have so many people on campus (and back home) supporting me through this process of growth. I can’t believe how much I’ve changed since I got here! For one, there’s a lot less of me than before. Major bonus side effect 😉

      Let me know if you have another blog than the Loss and Grief one. If you do, I’d love to read it!

  2. Carlyn Cooper said:

    Like WOW Paul, next thing we know, someone will be able to say”that is my minister on dancing with the stars!” See you on Sunday, the Lord willing.

    • Thanks, Carlyn! I doubt I’ll be on Dancing with the stars anytime soon, but you never know! I can’t wait to see you on Sunday! I’ve got a big hug waiting just for you! Less than a week!

  3. Pastor Andrea said:

    Hey Paul! We are on the same Lenten wavelength, because my newsletter article was about adding a spiritual practice in Lent. Follow this link for a helpful brochure which was provided to ELCA leaders: https://www.elcabop.org/en/LiveWell/Wellness_resources/Resources/All/~/media/00A77D6D9B4B47599B0EBBCD18146FBD.ashx
    Also, thanks for the reminder of a wonderful evening PB & I spent at our first Black Tie Jazz event – it made me smile. PA

    • Pastor Andrea,

      Thanks for the link! It looks amazing!If you don’t mind, I’d like to share this with some other seminarians as well. I think it’d be a great reminder. I’m glad you were able to share in the awesomeness that is Black Tie Jazz! Oh, and you know what they say, “great minds think alike!”

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