Day 1

I write this from a rather bland terminal at the Port Columbus International Airport, heart racing, eyes heavy (I got so little sleep last night). Let me describe what’s around me:

To my left is my sweet grandmother, accompanying me to London. She’s playing a word game where she unscrambles letters to make new words. So far she’s turned “Tacue” into “Acute” and “Kroob” into “Brook”. To my left is The Great American Bagel Bakery, whose wood paneling throws a touch of warmth into this long, gray room. Across from me is a young Asian man who has shoulder length blonde hair, so that’s interesting. A few seats down from him is an athletic young woman trying to read a book, but can’t, because an adorable Indian man is asking her questions about every aspect of her entire life. To my right is a wall of windows, our boarding gate beyond it. A few businessmen look dapper on their bluetooth headsets and sweater-vests. I’m so out of my league here, people.

I’m feeling excited, anxious, hurried and lagging. It’s all pretty confusing. But it’s good, and I know Jesus lies ahead and beside and behind and all over, and I’m thankful for that. I really can’t believe it. I’m leaving the continent! I’ll arrive in London around 6:00am Ohio time (11:00 am local time) and my adventure begins immediately. I’m nervous about being too tired to enjoy anything, but that’s not the worst that could happen, so it’s okay.

Here we go!

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A Countdown

13 days – that’s the time I have left here in the states before I embark on my euro-journey.  13 days to make sure I have everything together, 13 days to say my “see-you-laters” and cry my eyes out, 13 days to live with my sweet Texans, 13 days to go to Fairfield whenever I want, 13 days to eat Orange Leaf (fro-yo…please…Agnes…?).

And then, in 13 days, I will board a plane to London with my hilarious maternal grandmother to spend some time on those drizzly streets before hopping on another plane to Athens, and then a boat to Paros.  I’ve been on my school’s website for the past hour and my soul is literally wrenching out of my body at the beauty of this place.  Take a look:

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Seriously!?  Can you believe this?!  My brain/heart is exploding!  I get to paint and write and pray and rejoice here, people!

But my heart is heavy to leave sweet little Oxford, my home and my life.  It’s such an interesting thing, going on a trip.  I think I would go on more if going someplace didn’t mean leaving another.  If only the latter could come with me.  But I suppose what I bring back is more precious (and more willed by God) than my remaining here in O-H… (anyone?)

As I look and pray forward in the next days and hours and moments, my spirit and my body are tired from the push and pull of worry and excitement.  My eyes and heart are heavy, and yet I’m eagerly making lists and eyeballing my wardrobe, deciding which shoes are absolutely necessary.  I’m feeling conflicted and it’s exhausting, but I’m finding peace in the constant and unchanging gospel of Jesus.  Without it, I fear I might go mad – but it’s here, and it’s there, and in me and in Paros and I believe it fully and rejoice fully and expect fully.

So here we go.  13 more days!

Cyber Resurrection

I’m back!  Back from where?  Well, that’s a funny question, because I’ve been here, in Oxford, the whole time.  My semester away from my computer screen hasn’t been “away” at all – I’ve just been lazy.  But here is some exciting news!  I’ll be writing a lot this semester!  Why?  Because I’ll have a lot to say and (hopefully) a lot of time to write about it!

In exactly five weeks, 35 days, I will be boarding a plane to Detriot, and then another plane to London, where I will spend a few days experiencing that city with my grandma.  After three days of that, I will get on another plane that will land in Athens, Greece, where I will meet my friends and classmates and get acquainted with…well, with everything that will be my life for the next three months.  From there, I’ll get on a boat and cross over a portion of the Agean Sea, and set foot for the very first time on Paros Island, my home.  There, I will study art and swim in the sea and take lots of photos and paint some things and miss Ohio like crazy and laugh and cry and, by grace, know Jesus more than I do today.

Can you believe it?  I can’t.  In fact, just trying to believe that my life is about to go this crazy makes me a little crazy – not that being crazy is any different from my typical, state-side mindset..but..you know, I don’t even know what I’m talking about at this point.  But I am feeling a little crazy.  I’m also feeling apprehensive and nervous and a little sad and unbelievably excited and happy and thankful and curious and sleepy.  All of this is happening in me, a single helpless individual, Lord help me.  And it will only get better…or worse…or whatever any of this means.  And it’ll all be documented right here!  So stick around, or come back, or don’t do either, I won’t mind.

Another thing I hope to do is send out a weekly email to people who wish to know a bit more, so if you’d like to be on that list of people who will read my electronic panic and tears and rejoicing, let me know!  Just send me your email and I’ll gladly add you to my list.

So there it is – the next four months of my life planned out on a blog.  Phew.

The Return

hello there!  remember me?  didn’t think so.

regardless, I’m back, people! back and ready to party…well…blog.  As summer has officially made its glorious reentry, I find myself with all this extra time and little to fill it with.  Actually, that’s not true at all.  But I do love writing, and I like writing to my friends and about my friends and for my friends.  So here we go, friends!

What’s a summer without a checklist?  This season begs for adventure, wouldn’t you say?  I’ve just begun one for myself and with some sweet friends of mine.  Oxford Summer 2012 is sure to not be a disappointment.

Here are some things I’m excited about in the coming months:

1) Mornings in the yard

2) Taking my dog, Oscar on walks – or sprints, depending on his energy

3) Visiting my far away friends

4) Family vacation to the mountains

5) ROCKBRIDGE (two times! high fives all around!)

6) Continuing in my quest to be a baker, a really talented baker (hopefully creating a delicious dessert that includes chili powder, because I love chili powder)

7) Moving in to 230 W. Church Street and decorating our HOUSE  with my BEAUTIFUL HOUSEMATES!

maybe it’s pinterest, maybe I’m old fashioned, but I truly love the idea of making food and decorating a house well. Here’s some inspiration:

pantry from decor pad. dying.

beautiful bathroom storage via houzz

i can’t wait to have a dining room like this one. or at all.

quickly, lastly – something I’ve noticed about blogs.  SO MANY bloggers claim a relationship to Jesus, which is great, I think, don’t you?  I’m glad Heaven will be full of crafters.