Thursday, May 28, 2009
It is crazy being down here...how different it is. I am truly in the Bible belt. I feel like it is taboo not to be a Christian. That can go a lot of different ways, but so far it has been great to help me be able to just spark conversations with random people that I meet. This happened when I was getting my haircut and while I was doing some pottery at a studio. It is a great way to network too because lots of people here have money and good connections.
Anyway, short post tonight. I have to get up at 545 and be on the road by 6 am to meet Sarah Satt an hour north and drive up to Cincinnati for the weekend. I can't wait to see friends. I am looking forward to the weekend and not the drive, but am excited to be heading with Sarah. She was on the first camp trip I took with Mariemont and will be a senior in college next year. good times.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I was so lucky to have been blessed with some great time with friends. Two Mariemont seniors came with and it was so neat seeing how our friendships will blossom into something so much more mature and equal in the months/years to come as they go away to college. I am so thankful for the relationship that I have with Laura, my YL leader from high school, that I know I have only better things to look forward to in the future. I also got to see lots of friends from Columbus, Miami and Athens who I have not seen for a while. All in all many many fun things crammed into 4 short days.
I am curently back at the library to use the internet. I have been here for about 2 hours so my time is dwindling quickly. I had the opportunity to go to a Memorial Day cookout last night at the invitation of a couple who leads young life here. I was REALLY nervous on my way there. It is hard being in this situation really not knowing anyone, but moreso being the only new person. That makes it way different from both boarding school and college experiences. I have to enter each new and different situation on my own and it is IMPERATIVE for me to lean on the Lord for that confidence and assurance that is necessary in those situations. I was greeted by about 6 married couples who I believe that I ascertained are all in the same church group together. Interesting. haha. I was able to really connect with two of the women and was excited and so thankful for that time of relaxing together and making connections. I had such a great time and came home pretty early because I was exhausted from Rockbridge.
I am anxious to start making some friends down here who are in the same stage of life as I am. I have found no lack of women who are fully capable of providing great fellowhsip and mentoring, but am also looking forward to meeting some single people my age. Not for the sake of a boyfriend..NOT for the sake of a boyfriend, but just to be able to share with others who are also experiencing a lot of the same things post college graduation. I was able to chat with a friend of mine from Miami who is moving down here in July for Teach for America. We connected at Rockbridge and it will be a welcome relief to me when he moves down here.
Today I got my haircut and went grocery shopping. I rode my bike over to the library and have been facebooking, answering and writing emails and job searching. I found a YMCA, a YWCA, a BBT branch to do banking, a pottery place to make some grad gifts, a church, information about being a substitute teacher, applied for a job with Teach for America and one with the YWCA that I would REALLY like, and found a church to get connected with. PHEW! Still hoping for some nannying leads and will be heading to a nearby restaurant today to see if they are hiring.
I just need prayers now to be reminded that everything does not happen at once. God will bless me in this process but on His own time. I can't expect to settle into a normal and perfect routine within 3 weeks of moving here. I am continually being blessed in the process. Thanks for your prayers and see you soon!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I was reading Exodus last night - starting with chapter one and just exploring what God did with Moses. It reminded me that God does not change everything all at once. There are steps that He takes to get us to where he ultimately desires. Moses was leaving a place of bondage, and I am trying to figure out where that fits in with me...but I think it has something to do with a personal, internal bondage. Not sure yet... I got a new Bible for graduation from one of my best Cincinnati friends for whom I babysit. It is a translation that is rare and that I love.
Last night when I got here, Steve and Lisa Gardner showed me around their home, and let me play with their two kiddos. They were finishing up packing for their month long assignment. Justin (metro director of YL here in Charlotte) and Amie Robillard came over and brought me dinner, then took me out to get ice cream. Once we got back Steve and I unpacked my car and I am all moved in. I get pretty spotty internet over at Steve's. I have been considering the purchase of a laptop anyway, but this may spur me on even more. We will see. I will not be getting a MAC. I am currently at the library where I have a three month internet pass for free. A guest pass to check out books is $45 for 3 months. DOUBT IT. But I love books, so I might have to figure something out.
Today I played with Steve's kids in "my" apartment while he and Lisa finished getting ready to leave. They are crazy and not shy at all so listening to music and making bracelets was REALLY fun and REALLY wild. I had lunch this afternoon with Justin, Amanda, Neil and Holly. All of them are Ohio transplants to NC and three of them are on staff. All of them are married. It was such a good time and they are being so gracious in helping me to learn as much as I can about the ministry down here. I am still not sure what the Lord has for me in both the ministry or jobs. I have called the TPC golf course here two times today and not heard back. Nannying calls and emails are out, waiting to be returned as well.
Tonight is Campaigners for Myers Park High School. It is held in "my" new apartment so I had planned on making myself invisible, but Justin asked me to stay around since they won't have a girl leader there tonight. So, I will stay around. So much happening in so little time. But I am trying to be conscious of how God is working in all of it. So...ok. Pictures to come soon.
Can't find a bank. Don't know what grocery to go to. Library is my favorite place in Charlotte, coincidentally I have been to two of them already today. So...I am exciting :)
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Obvi dad is standing on a ledge
So, I am currently in Charleston, WV...on the back porch with mom and Rebecca. I drove in from Cincinnati today, having said my round one goodbyes. (Sweet sixteen and final four goodbyes to come in the next two months). I head out to Charlotte tomorrow. It has been a ridiculously busy and monumental week.
Graduation was on Saturday, and the family got to Cincinnati on Friday night. Turns out I did something right, for once, and made reservations at Montgomery Inn, right on the Ohio River. Everyone loved it and we were SO FULL. Ribs, pulled pork, and porkchops...straight from the former Porkopolis of Cincinnati. Rebecca and Alex spent the night with me on Friday and we stayed out pretty late with friends. I had to be on campus in my cap and gown by 745 AM on Saturday morning, and it was raining. Perfect. Molly and I waltzed into the auxiliary gym, only to be met with 600 of our classmates, all of them sweating, tired, and impatient.
Graduation only took about 2.5 hours and I swear to you the whole thing is a blur. I stared at people's names in the program most of the time, and then when I walked across stage I definitly blacked out. Don't remember any of it. I was DEATHLY nervous. As I headed backstage to get my actual diploma, I find out I dont get one because I have a $10 bill for Xavier. woopsieeeee. The rest of the day can be most accurately described as a tornado. Moving out is by far the WORST experience...every time I have to do it, but I REJOICED because my parents and Rebecca were there to help! It was a quick and busy 3 hours, but its done and over with.
So...tomorrow it is. I will move into my new "apartment" tomorrow and meet two different Young Life families in Charlotte. I am anxious.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
We decided to tackle the river rope swing as a team. I climbed up first, shaking uncontrollably, and ended up successfully executing the rope "swing" smoothly. Molly, in her true individualistic fashion, adapted the form of the rope "swing," creating instead what she referred to as the rope drop. As Molly had hold of the rope and was ready to jump from the tree, she commented on her shaky arms and legs. She mounts the courage and proceeds to jump from the tree, slide down the rope and drop straight in to the water. It turns out that this was probably intentional and smarter because the water was deeper towards the bank where the tree was rooted, rather than in the middle where others were dropping from the apex of flight. Great memories.
I have decided to leave Cincinnati on Tuesday the 19th, head home to Charleston, spend the night there, then move down to Charlotte on Wed the 20th. This allows me to make it before the Gardner's leave for their YL assignment. I have had a lead on a nannying job, as well as a call from the TPC golf course in Charlotte. We shall see. I will be heading to Virginia, Rockbridge Alum Springs YL camp, for leader weekend on the 22-25 for my last leader weekend with the Buckeye Region. I need ot find a new word, rather than always saying crazy. because I am tempted to say it now...
Monday, May 11, 2009
All of this being said, I will be pretty busy this week and apologize in advance for not blogging much.
I was able to go to Columbus this past Friday night to visit friends who I won't see for a while. Some of them are gone all summer and some I will see Memorial Day weekend for Leader Weekend at Rockbridge. I love Columbus, really really love it. I have never lived there, but I keep saying that if I were to come back to Ohio, Columbus would be the place. Preeminantly, it feels like how I feel in Charlotte, just a little cooler (temperature that is). I was lucky enough to get to stay at my friend Sarah's house. It is a pretty funny and confusing story how I know Sarah, so I am not going to go into it, but she is a sophomore at Ohio State who leads YL. Her brother is involved...we will leave it at that....
Anyway, she lives with i think 7? girls in "The Coop." Something I have never appreciated is naming your houses. This is big at Miami U. and Ohio State, but doesn't exist at Xavier. Anyway, I was there for probably less than 12 hours, but it was CRAZY how that house really felt to me. It felt so much like a home in the way that my house as college never has. It wasn't remarkably different physically from most college houses (girls houses that is), but it was so glaringly different. As I walked around the kitchen, hallway, bathroom, Sarah's room...I felt like Christ's love was oozing from the cracks. It was unbelievable how surrounded by love I felt. I only interacted with two of her roommates, but they were so generous. They have encouraging words and verses all over that place. Pictures of each girl with uplifting words written all around.
I can't even explain it, but I know that I want that. I loved college. I loved my living situation every year. And I know that it was part of the Lord's plan. It has made me who I am in Christ, and who I am in ministry. Evangelism has been the focus. As I move to Charlotte, I will be honestly asking my God for a home where fellowship is the focus. Where evangelism happens, but fellowship is the focus. For women, multiple women, who desire the same thing.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I decided to go with the grass for a few different reasons. I am going green. Just kidding, not a reason, but trying to be a little greener every day. :) But really because I was reminded of the title of this blog, and the reason that I started it in the first place. I want to be conscious every day of the things that I have to rejoice about, because no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, God is using moments in my life to speak to me, giving me more than enough reason to rejoice daily. Something as small as the sun hitting the grass (as cheesy as that sounds), reminds me that God is just as picky about the small, seemingly insignificant aspects of this world as He is about the big ones - me being one of those seemingly insignificant parts.
So...I will ask for your opinion on the changes, though it probably won't change my mind unless it inhibits readibility, and even then, if you can't read as well its probably a good thing for you, huh?
Can you believe our God? I hate it that I read this stuff as if it is news to me. I know, I know, I KNOW that he made me so particularly, but I love being reminded of it.
1O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
5You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Strangely, I don't have much to say about it. I don't know if I really have any feelings about it one way or another...not yet at least. People tell me it hits ya come fall class time. We'll see. Today was also my last day of work at the after school program. I hate to leave there...I feel like it takes so much more time to even make a little dent in a kids life...more time than I have had to give.
I babysit tomorrow and then will probably be in Columbus Friday night saying goodbye to some friends going to intern at Saranac, and hitting up the Mariemont girls last regular season game in Columbus on Saturday morning. Senior week festivities start up on Saturday night with the riverboat dance on the Ohio, and then Kings Island on Sunday. I can't wait to just relish in the time I have with my friends this next week. What a crazy whirlwind. I am hoping to have many stories that are appropriate to share...about other people of course. Charles and I will be up to our usual antics, people watching while pretending to drink beer.
I have had some great great opportunities start to reveal themselves to me in terms of work in Charlotte, but for now I am trying ot focus on being here now, in Cincinnati, so that I do not lose the little time that I have left. Hopefully I will write a post soon that actually has some meat to it.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
It was an interesting weekend. As I head into this new season of life, I am realizing that there is a very big part of it that I might not be ready for...people getting married, people MY AGE getting married. I have mixed reactions about this. On one hand it costs a pretty penny to have friends who get married, especially if wedding shower is a part of the deal. I have yet to experience the whole wedding party scenario that involves a dress, shoes, bachelorette party and so on, but I imagine this makes it even more expensive.
On the other hand, weddings involve such a slew of emotions. There is so much community excitement that the room feels like it is marinating in smiles. How could you not be happy? Plus all of the sentimental-ness that creates tears and an environment conducive to blossoming relationships aka wedding-meets.
Yesterday I got to go to my friend Khandice's wedding shower. She gets married in July, and straight after I went to see my friend Lauren get married here in Cincinnati. I know both of these women from YoungLife and they were both so wonderful to watch as they relished in their special days. I laughed and laughed at Khandice's shower, and shared in the ooh's and aah's as we watched her fiance's video message to the group. I just watched in wonder as Lauren and Brad were married, shedding my fair share of tears during the maid of honor speech and father daughter dance. This was just too emotional a day, especially for me, but I loved every minute of it. Even the slow dance when I slowly trickled back into the dining room with all of the high school kids in attendance.
Charles, the infamous guest blogger, was in rare form on the dance floor. He was a special guest of the mother of the bride to be in the can-can line for Abba's Dancing Queen. The music was funny and perfect, and hearing Brad serenade Lauren to Josh Turner's "Your Man" after stripping her of her garter was pricesless. Make sure you listen to this song. I sweated enough for a girls softball team and came away with only one burning hot coal that landed on my head during the giant sparkler exit by the couple.
But, seeing my beautiful friends in these special stages of their lives inevitably brings those dreaded longings into my head that I am so good at fending off. I pray that the Lord has a husband in my future, and I feel confident that I was not created to be a single girl for life, but it is not 100% easy to always wait and be patient. HOLD UP, WAIT A MINUTE. I am by no means saying that I want to get married, that I am in some sort of hurry, but I sometimes have a teensy weensy inkling for an itty bitty moment that gives me a taste of what that man will be like. I so admired how evident the love was between Khandice and Brian and Lauren and Brad. It was almost intrinsic in seeing them that this love stemmed from their individual love for Christ. How POWERFUL this love is...exponential.
For now. I'll sit on that...or this:
Another thing that put these little hankerings for a Christ-lovin' male in my life (this just sounded funny...I am also not DYING for a boyfriend) was going to the Mariemont Junior High play on Friday night. Adam, one of the boys I babysit for, was in Tom Sawyer. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly and pathetically I can turn into a High School Musical-loving-Zac Efron-worshipping preteen when I see two people kiss in person, particularly onstage. In this play, two 8th graders kissed...TWICE, and I had a front row seat. Clearly I was surprised that they let 8th graders kiss, but the surprise just made me giggle that much more and hit Audrey, the 10 year old girl that I babysit for, in the shoulder over and over trying to quietly release my disbelief. I am so immature.