Sun Burns!

Back again to ramble, partially out of feelings of obligation, partially because I’m bored out of my mind (that’s what you get for moving to an island where your only responsibilities to live and go to school and accept the free stuff people give you). I’m finally getting sun – the weather is beautiful. About 75 and sunny every day. It’s hard to study when the beach is closer than school, but I think I’ll manage.

I made a list of funny things I miss about home the other day. It’s funny because the majority of these places/things are so small and unimportant in my life, but it’s what I miss (not the most, but you get the point). Here it is:

1. The corner in the downstairs of shriver, right between where the bank ends and the market begins, where people always are set up trying to get you involved in something else that you really don’t have time for. And sometimes they’re selling cookies. I stop at those tables.

2. The Books-A-Million in Bridgewater Falls and Chik-Fil-A milkshakes (so many hyphens, so much goodness). Bible study, where ya at?!

3. My back yard, especially at sunset. Woof.

4. Al’s Pal’s

5. The Oxford farmer’s market and the cute little band that always plays there.

6. Evenings watching crime shows with my family. They all end the same – Dad’s fallen asleep twice, Mom and I always know the ending, Matt would rather be watching Duck Dynasty.

7. Speedy Freezes, my life blood.

on the third day of school…

I was so incredibly blessed by Jesus!  So much grace!

I woke up this morning feeling such a strong presence of the Spirit, which was beautiful.  I felt protected and cherished.  Throughout the day, I was reminded of the constant, eternal presence of God…which in itself is a concept that blows my mind.  Hebrews 13:8

Then! (This is really awesome!) my coleader of a small group discussion class and I had an incredibly exciting realization that we’ve both been saved by the infinitely sufficient grace of Jesus.  What a blessing!  I’m so excited to chase after our students with her.  She’s so cool.  I’m so excited!!

What a difference paying attention to convictions given by the Spirit makes!

Now I’m sitting in my dorm room with two beautiful young women doing homework (well..trying..).  The third day of sophomore year has proven to be the best one yet.

a few weeks in photographs

My parents have already left to unload all my belongings onto the sidewalk in front of Ogden Hall…an hour and a half early.  That’s okay.  I like that about them, they’re never late.  I miss living with them a lot when I’m at school.

I probably shouldn’t be writing this post, I really don’t have time to waste.  But I want to, and I’m going to.

I’m nervous for the school year.  Existing in a place crammed full of 18-22 year olds is far more difficult than one may think.  This time last year was easily one of the hardest times of my life, I was a sobby mess, just ask my roommate, Lauren Szandzik, whose blog is posted on the right hand menu of this page (shameless sell).  However! (Don’t you love that?  or BUT!  What a beautiful word, ‘But’, the most influential word of all time, in my opinion, ephesians 2:4)  There is hope!  First of all – Jesus is real.  You may not believe it, but you’re believing wrong.  That’s not very graceful of me to say, and I’m sorry for that.  But He is, and He will be, forever.  Hallelujah!  Secondly, I’m going to be surrounded by my favorite young women, all who fear and worship Jesus, Real Jesus!  When we experience the darkness that is college life, it’s garunteed that we’ll be surrounded by children of the light, ephesians 5:8.  So I’m not paralyzed by fear of how I’ll react to seeing brokenness this time, I’m not afraid of falling into a black hole of downward spirals, I have hope. Only because Jesus is real.

That being said, here are some photographs I took and enjoyed and would like to share with you all!

Here’s a picture of an afternoon in Middletown.  On this day, I spent some time with one of my favorite people, David Noble, walking through dirt and flowers with speedy freezes in hand.  It was really nice, and then I fell in the water.  Well, really my foot just slipped.  But my foot is still a little sore from it, and it’s been a few weeks since that incident.  That’s okay, at least I got my cheek kissed in the shadows! @mustachemaniak #stud

 

 

 

This is a photograph of a zebra, a real life zebra!  His name is Zanu Matata, which means something cute and zebra-y, but I can’t remember what it was.  He’s 4 months old and full of allergens that made me sneeze and itch for a while after being with him, but it was worth it.  To all of you Fairfield Young Life campaigner kids who laughed at me when I told all of you I saw a zebra in a yard outside the Vick’s farm…I hate to say it, but I told you so!  But hey, no hard feelings.  I love you people more than I can ever say, ever ever ever.

 

 

 

My dad found this baby humming bird in the grass near our house.  It was trying to fly but was too small, and he couldn’t and it was beautifully sad.  But we put him somewhere nice, in some flowers.  Hopefully mama bird comes back and can teach him how to fly so that if he falls out of his nest again, he can get home.  I’m not sure if the “dont touch the baby animal because it’s mom won’t take it back” rule applies to birds, but I trust God loves this little guy enough to make an exception.

 

This is Maria Sharapova, and she’s pretty good at tennis.  I had the opportunity to be my dad’s date to the ATP Western & Southern Open Tennis Tournament in Mason, Ohio yesterday, and it was fabulous.  I usually don’t use the word fabulous unless it has to do with something a little bit out of my league, like tennis.  But it was!  It was honestly fabulous.  After Maria cleaned house, we saw Fish sweep Nadal (USA!) (sorry Rafa, you’re still cool), and we even got to see a hot second of Federer doing his thing.  All the while, eating delicious food served to us by a really nice man named Josh, who didn’t like it when I called him “sir”.  And on top of all of that, I was with my dad!  He’s probably one of the best men currently living.  Forget the probably in that last sentence.  He has his arm around me as I type these words, which is a safe feeling.  What a guy.

 

So there are some pictures of my life.

And here goes nothing.  Move-In day.  Sophomore year.  God’s grace, maybe a few tears, lots of fellowship…this could get interesting.

Some Things I’m Excited For

1. For Katie Rhodenbaugh to get home from vacation today.  Emily Pruckno came home last night, and we made a delicious pie.  3/4 best friends in the same city is exciting!  Agnes!  WE MISS YOU!

2. To look at houses to live in junior year.

3. To move into a hall with 18 beautiful friends and a room with my best friend! – 10 days!

4. For campaigner overnight.  Fairfield YL. Love. mmmmm.

5. Taking pictures!

I type this post with fingers salty from tears and behind eyes, bloodshot and tired, with a knot in my stomach and a sore heart.  My beautiful best friend Agnes left this morning to spend a semester studying in Europe.  She’s way cooler than I am.

Saying goodbye to her this morning was so hard.  First of all, she’s my best friend, we spend tons of time together, so her departure rips a giant hole in my social network.  Secondly, I’m selfish, I want her all to myself.  The idea of her new friends makes me really sad, and jealous.  I know they’re going to be so wonderful, but it’s hard not to feel territorial over my best friend for 9 years.  That’s a long time!  Thirdly, and lastly, I’m terrible at saying goodbye.  I suppose this wasn’t so much a goodbye as a see you later.  But this later is so much later than other laters I’ve wished in the past.  This is the longest I’ll have ever been separated from someone I love, and I love Agnes a lot.  Here’s why:

1.  She has an incredible ability to have way deep, theological, thought-provoking, mind-boggling conversations with anyone…at any moment.  It’s so cool.
2. She’s a babe.
3. She does this thing where she kind of half-giggles after things that she says.  I’ve never told her how  funny and great I think it is…well, I guess I have now.  Agnes, I love when you half-giggle after things you say, that aren’t necessarily funny.  It’s so cute.
4. She dresses really well.  So euro-chic.

5. She loves Jesus so much, and desires that for everyone she knows.  It’s really beautiful.
6. She has an outstanding ability to twist her beautiful face into terrible things.  Remarkable, really.
7. She has exquisite taste in music.
8. She has really long arms.  I like that.

I love a lot of other things about Agnes, but thinking about it more will make me sad.  Well, more sad than I already am.  I’m so thankful I was able to spend the morning with her, Abby, and her beautiful mom, Kelly.  We danced around the dining room…correction, I danced around the dining room, ate donuts, aided the gardener who got stung by a yellow jacket, prayed, cried…really, it was a great morning.  I just wish it could have happened more times before Agnes flew across the ocean.

Agnes, if you’re reading this, I hope you’re cozy and happy and drinking tea, since you’ll be in England and they do that a lot.  I pray your flight was good and that you got a window seat next to someone that didn’t snore, that the air pressure didn’t make your ears hurt, that you like the music I gave you, that you drink enough water, that you got all your luggage, that your reunion with Will at the airport is worthy to be filmed, that his dad offers to take you to Kenya and asks you to invite a friend, that you choose me to go to Kenya with you, that you have fun, that you are SAFE (please be safe!), and that Jesus becomes more real and powerful to you than ever before.  You’re crazy beautiful and I love you to the moon and back.

Here’s a song for all of you to listen to.  It’s sad and beautiful, like this morning.  I’m finding comfort in belonging to Jesus, no one  or nothing else, forever.  Talk about security.  Mmmmmm