Thursday, December 31, 2015

What I Learned in 2015

what I learned in 2015

Every twelve months the Church cycles through a year of grace that begins with the first Sunday of Advent, concludes with Reign of Christ. Typically I enjoy starting again with the September school year, on my birthday, on January 1, or on Advent I; I'm being a bit random here and beginning this with Christmas Eve 2014. Most of these are reminders rather than fresh new learnings, but how better to trust the future reign of grace than by recapitulating past gracious events? The gospel in a single word? Remember!

I'm linking my December What I Learned and this one to Emily P Freeman's What We Learned in 2015.

Christmas Eve 2014 at Church On the Hill back in Previous City:

Christmas Eve 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

Christmas Eve chancel 2014

Blog Pal Marci bestowed Grace as my word of the year:

grace year

Thursday dinners and bible studies continued at Church Around the Corner. Despite the peeps I'd expected to return to after my August 2014 week-long visit to what's now Current City and the church where I'd been twice-monthly musician for a few years both ghosting me out of their existence, the reception senior pastor and everyone else at CAC continued to offer helped energize me to pick myself up and relocate north a few miles. I also basked in getting to lead bible study when senior pastor wasn't there!

social hall windows

Celebrating The Three Days / Triduum with Church Around the Corner:

easter chancel

font and lilies

After I'd essentially decided to move to Current City on my own anyway, I donated to and participated in the Previous City Survivors of Suicide Loss 5K for CR. There is something all of us can do about suicide.

SOSL 5k 2015

Did I mention relocating, "anyway?" That I did! I picked myself up and moved to Westwood after getting inspired to advertise for housing at slightly higher rent than I could afford long-term:

UCLA west campus UCLA west campus

dead sea scrolls

My search for "churches near UCLA" resulted in a real winner! I even got to design save the date, invitations, and a poster for their 75th anniversary! Sample scenes from Westwood & Wilshire:

westwood & wilshire wilshire & westwood
27 september 27 september 27 september

At any point from mid-July on I could list Thursday noon Mindfulness Meditation at the Armand Hammer Museum; besides, the atrium's a fabulous place for my writing, thinking, drawing, and practicing plain being.

atrium at hammer museum at an angle atrium at the hammer museum straight one

After a couple months in Westwood, my current abode dropped out of the sky—or maybe it "fell out of the sky?"

hello koreatown!

Although I expect to leave soon, this section of the city has been specially good for reading and writing and thinking at any burger-taco place or the coffee shop, and I always enjoy telling everyone about "reading in the subway." This city has a municipal subway, but (of course) I mean the sandwich shop.

subway sandwich shop jack in the box

Burger King on Vermont McDonald's window facing Vermont

I discovered Ice Blended drinks in Previous City, and enjoy at least one each week here in Current City.

coffee bean and tea leaf

I already mentioned the teaching opps I got at Church Around the Corner energizing and encouraging me, and I also got to facilitate [Sunday mornings this time] lectionary bible study at Church In West LA. I don't need to mention how much I enjoy teaching bible, art, design, theology, music, almost anything as a new learning, but it never fails to make me feel useful, helpful, and as if my education, gifts, and skills are worth something again.

From mid-September on, I've savored Taco Lady's almost nightly offerings of $2 tacos, as she sets up illegal shop on the corner of this street. I typically go with onions, cilantro, lime, cabbage, radishes, pico de gallo, and guacamole—the spicy shredded onions bit me too hard one time too many! Another of her customers told me he thought they were habanero peppers, but I'd guess the milder but still ultra-spicy serrano, since I sort of could tolerate them some. Also food related, I helped with Thanksgiving Eve prep followed by T'Day dinner at Church in West LA.

Loving Retail Therapy as I always have was no new learning, but how fun to visit the swap meet and get a couple hours of major therapy at such low cost.

At some point during the half-dozen months I've been in Current City, I fully realized Previous City truly is a "type" of small town, border town, that would not offer what I wanted and needed. Relocating to Current City being an excellent move includes the local American Guild of Organists chapter being more open, welcoming, and less threatened than the one in Previous City. Lots of interesting events with the AIGA design organization, as well. Majorly learned!

what I learned in 2015 Emily Freeman


  1. We moved this year too ... after nearly 13 years in the same place (4 bedroom 2 story)
    into a townhome. talk about downsizing. What a challenge

  2. Leah,
    I read your blog with much interest and happiness for you. Thanks yo God, you ARE finding places where you are being discovered for your skills, gifts and amazing organ talent!! I pray that in 2016 your discoveries will be even more numerous, and I know with God's help, you will be fine again! God's Blessings Leah, Frank Stein


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