About this blog

Who am I?
My name is Melissa. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, took detours to Minnesota and New Jersey for college and seminary, and have ended up back in the Chicago 'burbs, not more than 15 miles from where I grew up.

By vocation, I am a pastor. But I also love music, cooking, knitting, and nature. I like to take pictures, and I like to explore the world around me.

I believe that everything I have and everything I am are nothing other than blessings and gifts of God's grace, none of which I deserve. I believe that I am called to live out that same grace in my life. I firmly believe that my purpose in life is to bear hope in the world.

A while ago, I decided that it would be worthwhile to make a list of what I believe about life and about the world. It turns out that the list defines me pretty well. Check it out if you want to get to know me better.

You can also stop by my blogger profile page to learn a little more about my interests and activities.

What is this blog all about?
This blog started by accident and by a desire to look cool.

I've been writing poetry forever, it seems. I won a "Young Authors" contest in 1st grade with a collection of poems about different holidays. I wrote a serious amount of bad poetry throughout high school, pursued an English major in college only for the creative writing classes, and continue to find poetry as an adequate way to express myself when I am in the mood.

Early on in seminary, I was writing some more poetry and testing the waters with keeping a journal on my computer, rather than handwritten in a book. I had to name the computer folder that contained all these heartfelt musings, and got the idea in my head that a journal is really nothing other than a vault - a secret, safe space to keep your thoughts - which was made not of strong metal, but of thin paper. Poetic imagery, I know...

Anyway, the phrase "the thin paper vault" had been born. And then, as more and more of my cool friends were keeping blogs and sharing their thoughts with the world, I decided to transition my computer-journal to a slightly-more-edited online journal, and this blog was born.  Sort of a scattered effort, really.

As for the "desire to look cool"... I was sitting in the Princeton Theological Seminary dining hall one afternoon, and I overheard a friend at the next table over talking about his blog.  He was trying to track down other PTS bloggers to add to his blogroll, and because blogging seemed like it might score me some cool points, I walked over and told him that I had a blog. And since I admitted my blog out loud, it meant I actually had to keep writing on it! And write I did...

Over the past years, the blog has morphed from journal-of-Melissa's-random-thoughts-on-everything to a more formal voice, when I decided to write less for myself and more for others (all six people or so who actually keep up with the blog!). And now, over the last couple years, since taking my first pastoral call, the blog is mostly a place to deposit sermons and to write things more specific to my own pastoral voice.