Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Glory Hallelujah!

Okay, cheesy as it may sound, I had a jump-up-and-down-inside kind of moment today.

I have to confess something: I have been in a spiritual slump.

My day was long and busy. Here's how it went down:

6:30am - Up and at 'em...after hitting the alarm 3 times. [yes, I set three alarms, spaced about 10 minutes apart, so I have time to wake up properly. SNOOZE DOES NOT WORK. I pretend it doesn't even exist, or else I'll hit it infinitely]

I grabbed breakfast and coffee, then dashed out the door to hit the beautiful downtown, heavily congested traffic.
The interstate I take is usually 3 lanes. Something had happened this morning to make those three lanes funnel into one.

Oh Beautiful.

But never fear, I took the next exit and used my innate ability to navigate (*cough* my gps *cough*) and arrived at school just in time.

Following this was a blur of classes, rapid note-taking, and trying to be an active participant.

Did I mention that my classes are in different parts of campus and are 15 minutes apart?
It's a good workout (but really, it is. I'm thankful for the excuse to dash about quickly)

After the classes, it was 1:30, and LUNCHTIME.
I ate, and then went to study.
I studied...
...and studied.
Chemistry is what my main focus is on, because my teacher (I do like him) told the class that we needed to devote at least 2 hours a day to the practice of Chemistry.
Optimally, 3 hours.

"How do you get to Carnegie Hall?", is his favorite question.
PRACTICE is the answer.

Following my study time, I went to some meetings [and am now a co-chair at the Nutrition Club! Yay!]

So it had been a long day, and I was about ready to just go home. I had gotten an email about a Cru (campus crusade for Christ) Bible study kick-off, but I was pretty sure I wouldn't like it/I'd be too tired/I wouldn't fit in/insert-excuse-for-not-interacting-socially. (I sound like a terrible person to expect the worst from a Christian group!)

On top of that, thought I, I'm going to Nutrition Club, and it would probably make me late to the Cru thing...and being late isn't good, so I won't go.

Crazily enough, Nutrition got out early.
I had no excuse for not going to the Bible study. I had been studying school stuff for the past few hours, so a break was on the to-do list. 

So I went, in all honesty, expecting the worst.

My expectations were unmet.

I had a great time. I am so stoked about how it is working out! It was exactly the pick-me-up I needed, to be around a group of Christian peers, a more tightly knit group (the on-campus weekly big meeting has ~1,400 attending)

I mentioned it at the beginning: the slump. My spiritual slump has been a downer. I came back from Burundi all glowing with stories of God's provision. I had seen how He provided in real ways. 

I felt almost like Moses coming down from the Mountain -- His face was GLOWING with God's glory, but the glory faded over time.

I was feeling like the glory was fading. I needed a renewal! Personal quiet time was good, but I think I was craving real fellowship.

I've been feeling like every thing Satan can use, he has been using to attack me and how I relate to God. Little things have added up to a discouraged, despondent, apathetic me [though it isn't very visible on the surface level].

It does hurt my ego to admit this, but it also feels so good. It is freeing to admit that one has been in struggle, because through it I can say that: God is faithful, and He doesn't let His own slip away.

This is part of what we read in Cru tonight:
(John 10, Jesus speaking) 
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father —and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life —only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Knowing that Jesus knows me, that he is not like the hired hand who just runs off when attacks come, is... 
I can't even describe. 

I have been feeling attacked, but Jesus has my back, and He is the Good Shepherd. He gave me just what I needed today!

And get this: one of my Bible study leaders is a Junior and a Nutrition Science major, too.
It's the little things.
The other leader is awesome as well. We all clicked nicely, and the whole Cru event left me feeling refreshed and encouraged.

I love those moments.  When God takes all of those expectations and flips them around.

Imana ni neza cane! (Kirundi for God is very good!)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm still alive-ish

Hello my dear readers!

It has been a good long while since I have posted anything terribly significant on here. I have some good excuses for this, as my life has changed drastically in the past few months. (Africa to home to college)

You see, I am not the best at multi-tasking, and I have to say that my current phase of life is quite taxing time-wise.  (I am taking a few minutes to just quickly update)

I am now a real-deal college kid. I *was* a college kid before during high-school (as my current school insists that I'm a transfer student), but I was never an University student.

Now I am here at uni, and it is a wild ride.

I am currently taking Cultural Anthropology, Intro to Psychology, Engineering Chemistry, Intro to Nutrition, a required orientation class, and Whitewater Canoeing.

I must say, whitewater canoeing is the class I am so so so stoked about. There are only 9 other students in my class, which is a lovely change from the lecture halls of 200+ students.

There is one little hang-up: part of the swimming requirement for said PE is that I be able to swim at an intermediate level:

Tread water for 5 minutes, and swim 4 laps straight.

Now 4 laps sounds measly (I have friends who swim 25 as their workout), but you must know that I am not a lap-girl.
I can swim pretty well, I took swimming lessons back in the day, so I thought this lap-thing would be a walk in the park.
I lean towards being pretty physically fit, too. I mean, I bike and run on a pretty regular basis.  Nothing spectacular, but I have some endurance.

I decided to go to the pool yesterday to practice the swim test...no problem, right?

HA. I am such a land-dweller.

I DID swim 4 laps straight, but I was breathless afterwards.
You know that a lap is down the lane and back, right? 
200 yards does not sound like a long distance to swim, but oh, my muscles are not tuned to this swimming thing.
They're used to pounding pavement or biking.

I tacked on another 2 laps, noticed the time, and decided that I had better get to the pool and practice again pretty intensively ASAP.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Deal with it?

Deal with it

My eyes have been mega sensitive to the sun the past week or so. I'm pretty much at the point of the link above. I spent the whole day in shades. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Oh say! I'm happy.

As I've been back from Africa, I am realizing how much STUFF I have. It's great and all....but I don't need so much of it.
It is time to purge.

Also, I am happy for a few reasons:

1) I now have a bike. A nice classic road bike.
At my church there is a nice older man who loves to bike...and set other people up with bikes. He had an old school Ladies Schwinn road bike he said I could have to use for commuting around school.
I have not ridden a bike in ages, so this past week, I've been getting back into the saddle.

I will not say that I'm super fast or that I have super endurance... but I'm content with getting in a good cardio workout. (Plus, that thing is going to be a lifesaver at school)

2) I now have a desk. A nice, vintage-y, student desk. Last week, I bought a desk from IKEA. It looked nice online...upon opening the box, I discovered it was ALL PARTICLEBOARD and it didn't seem very sturdy. I was so frustrated.
Beyond annoyed.
Words can not describe.
I checked craigslist again (I had been hunting on there days before and hadn't found a thing) and I found a cutesy desk for 1/3 of the price of the cheapo IKEA desk.
AND it's all wood.
AND it has butterfly drawer-pulls.

I have not yet written about my lifetime longing for a desk.

So here it is: I have wanted a little desk for a long time.
There. Written.
I have visions of writing great novels while seated at a desk -- Or actually penning letters to people (I'm terrible about it!).
I'll feel more like a profesh blogger when I type posts while seated at my desk. (first post written from my desk!)
At the least, I have visions of having a nice place to store my school supplies. [I have a love of office supplies: hilighters, post-it notes, index cards...]

3) I have 2 whole weeks of freedom before school starts. I've been catching up with friends, and it has been awesome.

4) Most importantly, I am loved by God. This is a reason to be joyful any day. Even when I'm not "happy" I still have hope because of this.
It doesn't matter what crummy mistakes I make in life, what crummy things have happened to me, He is always there to love on me.
He has also mega-blessed me with wonderful family. I don't know where I'd be if my parents weren't as great as they are.

5) I have a coffee in hand. Today, I have a headache. I have had a headache the past few days, and meds just do enough to take the edge off. I went out shopping with my sunglasses on, because my eyes are so darn sensitive to light today.
It might be all in my head, but I think I got some funny looks from people. I don't really care anymore about what the general public thinks of me. Africa kinda helped to get rid of inhibition.

Maybe I'm becoming a vampire.

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