Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Maybe I'll Teach!!!

I am currently sitting at Panera. It’s 5:30 p.m. And I’m pretty sure that if given the opportunity, I could fall asleep sitting up and not wake up until about Sunday. The past few days have been SO exhausting, maybe a little stressful, but SO great!

Here’s a quick re-cap for you:

Monday: Mondays are always great days! While most of the time I’m not prepared when they roll around, I think Mondays are sometimes the days I most look forward to because Mondays mean 3 things: Small Group, Young Life, and time with some of my most favorite people, my Young Life team. This particular Monday I woke up, went to class (PTL I’m done with Kinesiology 480 - it sucked), went to CFA for free chicken sandwiches for lunch (Again, Happy Birthday Todd!! and thanks for the freebie), came back to Red Saile, and finished preparing for the Young Life talk I would be giving that night. Thanks to my awesome roommate Chelcie for helping me organize it/and giving me ho-hum ideas/ and telling me the ending story/ and basically writing it for me. I owe you one!

I gave the cross talk at club. And it wasn’t easy. At all. But that’s what I felt Jesus called me to talk about Monday night. And let’s just say the mood in the room wasn’t light when it was over. But I think that’s okay, because sometimes I feel like we need to be left in hard place to truly soak in what Christ did for us on the cross. Because it was anything but easy. 

After club, my team went to McDonald’s. Yes, that’s right. To the golden arches we drove. Sonic is our normal spot, but since it was practically snowing outside, we decided to venture somewhere that was a little more cozy to hang out. (Sidenote: I was SO excited that Delaney was at club Monday night! She hadn’t been here for a while due to mono. Boo! But Lane - we missed you at McDonald’s, but I’m SO happy you’re starting to feel better and can get out of the house now). So sitting in a big booth all cuddled up together, we drank our hot chocolates and mochas, ate our "holiday pies", laughed a lot, and enjoyed being together. I love my team. SO very much. And they are so good at loving me so well. 

After club, it was a late night because I had to prepare a lesson plan for Teach For America. For those of you who don't know...Teach For America is a 2 year program that sends teachers to inner-city schools in hopes of making an impact on kids lives and helping to correct the problem of this achievement gap we are experiencing in the United States today. Honestly, when I first applied to Teach For America, I wasn't even sure that it was something I would ever consider doing. I had never thought about being a teacher before applying, but the more I learned about their program and once I realized that I would possibly a. be given the opportunity to work with children (I'm talking like toddlers - age 3 or 4) all day and b. be given the opportunity to forever change their lives for the better, I said "Sign me up!" I know it won't be easy, but I'm ready to face the challenge...

So Tuesday : I woke up bright and early, as in 6:30, and planned my lesson plan some more. I wanted to get to campus as early as possible, to get the closest parking spot possible, since I was in high heels. You're welcome to all those people I saw walking to my interview looking absolutely ridiculous. Seriously, I legit need to practice walking in those things... I don't know how people do it. Thankfully, once I got to the interview room, there was minimal walking required.We began the day by introducing ourselves to everyone else and getting to know one another. There were 7 other applicants that interviewed with me, all of which seemed so great. I genuinely enjoyed listening to and participating in their lesson plans, and think Teach For America would be lucky to get all of them as future teachers. During the later half of the day, personal interviews were held. I got to talk a lot about ministry in Young Life, and brag on my girls, which was really cool. 

We shall see if it works out! Either way I will be happy. But if it does, I know it's a total God thing. Because never in a million years would I have thought that this is what I would be considering doing with my future. 

So thanks God, whatever you have planned for me! I know it will be great :)

Here are a few pictures to leave you with :

This is my crazy, fun, wonderful, ice cream covered team. Minus one. Olivia, I dunno where the heck you were?!?

Here we are a little cleaner. Love them with my whole heart and soul.

These are my roomies! I've been SO thankful for them lately. They really are SO great.

These are the two best women in my life, my Grandmom and Mom.

This is my family. We are REALLY weird. But I wouldn't have it any other way!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

And so it begins...

I've always wanted to start a blog. But until now, I guess I never really thought I'd have time for one. Actually, let's be real. I still don't have time for one, and it's pretty ironic that of all the times to start blogging, I would pick the busiest two weeks of the year. The time when everyone is stressed out and cramming for finals, and turning in their last projects, and writing ridiculously long papers, and completing their portfolios. But hey, everyone needs a little distraction during finals in some form or fashion, don't ya think?

Okay, if we're being really real, maybe I've never actually started a blog in fear that no one would read it. And why should they (or I guess I should say why should YOU, since you are reading this right now)? There's nothing extraordinary about me. I'm just a simple girl, trying to figure out life like everyone else.

But... I've decided to do it anyway. Not really for anyone else's pleasure but my own, although I will be happy if people really do want to read it. (That being said, this is your warning: there will be NO filter on this blog. Sorry I'm not sorry!). And because it's a great distraction for me from studying (I hate studying). And because just maybe, I may want to have this someday to reminisce; to look back on in a few years and say "Wow! So much has changed since then."

And that's exactly where I am right now. In a place of change. And I can't say that I love it. Actually to say that I even like it would be a little far fetched. 

Change is hard for me. And scary. And very REAL. Maybe that's because I'm a feeler, maybe to a fault. Mom has always said that I wear my heart on my sleeve. Nonetheless, whether I'm more emotional about change than others, there's been a lot of it going on recently in my life. And I can't say that I've loved it all. But I've come to find that sometimes, even though it's rough in the beginning, it isn't always as bad as we think it's going to be.

The fact that I am a senior in college, getting ready to finish up my next to last semester, gives me a lump in my throat. It literally makes me feel queasy. Partly because it's gone by SO fast, and  partly because I have absolutely NO idea what my plan is after college.

A few months ago, if you had asked me what I was doing after graduation, I could have spit it out like reciting the pledge of allegiance in homeroom during elementary school. I could have told you what graduate school I was going to be attending next fall, I could have told you what people were still going to be a part of my life, and I could have told you who I was going to spend my future with.

But things don't always turn out the way you think they're going to. Sometimes change comes along and catches you at the least expecting of times. Your whole world is flipped upside down. Things happen. People change. Or don't change. Plans don't materialize. Some dreams die. And others are born. Something else comes along. And you're wondering how you got to the place where you currently are because it all happened so fast.

And I've come to find in these past few weeks that that's the beauty of it all. The beauty of God being in control. Of Him having a plan. A plan greater than my own ever was, or ever could be. Thank goodness for that.

I don't have it all figured out. Not at all. I'll be the first to admit that. But what I have figured out is that trusting Jesus is in complete control of my life instead of worrying about what comes next, and letting go of the fear of change because it's not part of MY plan, is the most freeing thing of all.

Lately, I've been clinging to this verse. It's a verse that's gotten me through the roughest of days. But I've been practicing it. Constantly. Wholeheartedly. Every day.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My Joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
-John 15: 9-11

And I've found, amidst the change, the change that's so scary and hard and real, that to Remain in His Love is ALL I need to get me through.