Monday, August 30, 2010

Catch Up, Continued

Continuing from where I left off…

Sunday, Mom and Dad and I got up and went to church. The directions we got from the church website took us to the Baptist church- not exactly what we were looking for! So Dad called the pastor, and got updated directions, and we were there in no time. We walked into the building with the pastor, and I saw immediately a girl from another MC that I knew, and so we started talking, and then her mom came over and talked with my parents, and then the pastor’s daughter that I “met” on Facebook came over, and then all of a sudden church was starting. We worshipped, and then the pastor introduced us, and told the congregation that they were my new church family!

After church, my friend’s mom and my mom were talking, and I was informed that I could go over to their home any time, any weekend; I was more than welcome! It was very encouraging to have all this excitement and support, and I began to feel not as lost as I had been.

My parents and I went out to lunch with the pastor and his wife, their daughter, her husband and three kids, and my friend and her sister. Afterwards, my parents drove me back to campus, and on the way, they said that they were very happy with this church and the pastor and the families. They told me that they felt confident leaving me here with this church body, and that they knew I would be well taken care of. That gave me a sense of peace like none other!

Now here comes the sad part: I had to get out of the car and go back to my dorm room, and my parents had to drive to the airport and fly home. I can barely think of that moment without tears coming, because it’s so fresh and tender, but I will do my best. There were tears all around, and both my parents told me that I was going to succeed here, and that this is God, and that they are proud of me, and they love me very, very much. I could barely stand to walk down the long sidewalk to my residence hall, because I knew that I wouldn’t see them for at least 3 months, probably 4. I think I turned and waved 3 or 4 times before the rental car was out of sight and I reached the door.

I walked inside, and my Hall Coordinator asked me if I was ok. I could barely speak without tears, but I managed “I just said goodbye to my parents.” She came over and gave me a hug, and I smiled and nodded and walked up two flights of stairs to my room. I was alone, and I put my head on my new comforter and cried out loud. Then I tried to unpack my backpack, and then after I put one thing away, I would cry some more, and then I’d put a couple more things away, and then I’d cry some more. This lasted about 20 minutes, and then I had to go downstairs and do some orientation stuff.

That evening, I had been planning a “homesick party” so I got out my Bible and journal and letters from two dear friends, and I wrote in my journal and read the Word and the letters, and I cried a little, and then I went to bed. After that, I was fine! I don’t think I cried the rest of the week! I think I got too distracted by new friends and finding locations and getting lost and laughing to remember to miss my family, which is fine by me!

Wednesday was Labor Orientation, where we got trained in our jobs. In the morning we had general sessions about how labor is an integral part of our education, and then we went to 3 different workshops on different topics. For lunch, we dined with our supervisor, and then we went to 2 sessions that our boss chose. I’m working on the budget for a specific department, which is nice because it’s a little different, but at the same time it’s challenging because I am NOT an accounting major! But we’ll see how God uses this.

Thursday was the first day of classes, and they went pretty well! I have 3 classes that are T/Th, and then one that is M/W/F. My PE class is Monday nights. Last week was a great week for classes- just 2 days! I think I’m going to enjoy all the classes; the challenge will be to juggle everything. But I do appreciate having a day to do homework, since all my classes are every other day. I work on M/W/F, for a total of 10 hours a week, which is required.

On Saturday, I slept in, and then did homework while hanging with friends. We actually went to the gym, and since I can read on the elliptical machine, I did! I finished my marketing chapter while working up a sweat! My friends thought I was crazy, reading and walking/climbing stairs, but I love that I can be active and still get work done. I feel doubly productive!

Saturday evening, I went to my new family’s home. They had another one of my friends over, and he totally surprised me by being there! Our joke is that he’s stalking me, so it was quite humorous that he was there! We all talked and hung out and started to watch Emma and drank margaritas. We went to bed around midnight, because the friend that was visiting had to drive an hour and a half to get home.

The family I stayed with has a Sunday morning tradition of dad making breakfast and everyone eats together before church. That was really fun! And then church was exciting- the fire alarms kept going off! So part of church was outside in the shade of a giant tree, and I got to hold the pastor’s granddaughter, who is just starting to crawl. I tried holding her in my seat, but it was not successful, so I moved to the side of the sanctuary and sat on the floor so she could roll and rock and push herself up without falling off the chair.

At home, my new family had another family over for lunch, and so there were a LOT of people at the table, and a lot of kids in the kitchen! My friend drove me back to campus, and I finished the small amount of reading I had to do, and then talked on the phone with a couple different friends, and then Mom.

Oh, it killed me to say goodbye to Mom, and I called her back at 11:30pm! I had tried to go to bed, but I couldn't stop crying, so I called Mom back and talked to her for another 30 minutes. Before I called her, though, I prayed and wrote in my journal and heard the Lord reassure me of His perfect timing and placement. I felt much better after hearing God and hearing Mom, and I fell asleep almost instantly.

Today was sort of lazy, sort of crazy. My first class on Mondays isn't until after lunch, so I got to laze around a bit, then go to class, work, dinner, and PE. It was a little stressful getting from work to dinner to PE, because the dining hall and the gym are on opposite sides of the campus {intentionally, I think!} and so I was worried about being late to class. But I actually had plenty of time to eat and get over there, and I was even early!

Since I have an 8am class tomorrow, I’m going to bed now. I hope you all enjoy this update, and I will try to keep you up to date of my thoughts and classes and interesting things that happen at college. Goodnight!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Catch Up

Goodness, readers, has it really been more than a week since I've written? Has it been that long? For me, yes! It has been long, but at the same time, the past week and a half have flown by. It’s totally God, because if the days were dragging, I would be miserable. I would miss my family… but let me back up and start at the beginning of the journey.

Wednesday night, I had to say goodbye to all my friends, and to my sisters, which was really hard. We hugged, and then I turned around to hug someone else, and when I turned back my sisters were all crying. And so we had to hug again, which made us cry harder. It was really, really difficult to leave everyone.

BFF, I know you’re reading this, and I miss you and love you tons, and I smell your note often! Sis {I know you know who you are!}, I miss everyone more than I thought I would, and that was a lot, so yeah.

After we said to goodbye to everyone, Mom and Dad and I went home to pack. Mom {aka, Superwoman} got everything into 3 suitcases. Ok, I had done a pretty decent job, but she squished and pushed and weighed and condensed, and we got it! We flew out Thursday, and then went shopping on Friday. I got the cutest bedspread and sheets and pillow and soft blanket- check out the pic!

After Mom and I had finished shopping, we went to the airport to pick up Dad. We went to dinner, and then back to the hotel.

Saturday was move-in day and orientation! We got to the dorm at 8:30am, and thank God the elevator was unlocked! When Mom and I had toured the dorm on Friday, the RA told us that the elevator only went down; no one could ride it up because there are offices in the basement and the first floor, and they don’t want creepers riding the elevator up to the residences on the 2nd and 3rd floors. But thank goodness she had unlocked it for the first few days so that we could take the suitcases up to my room on the 3rd floor!

We separated the beds and raised them so we could fit our dressers under them; that saved us a ton of space! During the arranging time, my roomie came in! Yay! She and her mom were there, and once they saw the room and us, they went back downstairs to bring up her luggage.

After we had dropped our luggage off, we went to do orientation stuff. Thankfully, I had got my ID printed the day before, so I didn't have to stand in line for that! There were some papers to sign and some people to meet, and that took us a few hours. FINALLY it was all done! We went back to the dorm and began unpacking in earnest.

It was a little crowded at first, but once my roomie put the desk where she wanted it, and got her dresser under her bed, we had plenty of room. Except for the several suitcases. Mom and Dad and I got everything put away, and then it was time for the group orientation.

It was really weird being there, because it was HOT and most of the students there were freshmen and their parents, and they all looked more worried and scared than my parents and I did! After we played some games {the parents got to go inside and be reassured about the safety of their children}, we met with our advisers, then went to the Ceremony of Dedication, which was pretty interesting. All the faculty got dressed in their graduation gowns from their highest degree, and there was a song sung, a prayer read, a couple speeches given, and then it was over.

That was the last event that parents and family could attend; everything afterwards was for the students. Mom and Dad went back to the hotel and I went to dinner with my adviser and others in the same department. It was fun, and afterwards our “small groups” met again with our advisers and we just talked of general things.

I was exhausted after that, but there was more! We met in our dorms {actually, I didn’t; I met with other transfer students in the Alumni Building} and we talked about general resident-hall policies. We got done early, thank God, and Dad came to pick me up. Our hotel room looked empty without all of my suitcases! All I had was my backpack and my purse, and my clothes that I was going to wear to church tomorrow. We went to bed pretty early Saturday; I think we were all mentally and emotionally exhausted from the day.

I’ll tell you about church on Sunday later. Thank you for your prayers!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Counting Down to the Wrong Day

Yes, readers, it’s true. My count-down is wrong. You see, I've been counting down the days until I fly away, and that count is accurate. But I should have been counting down the days I have left with my family and friends, because that is one day less than my flying countdown. Also, I should be counting down the days until I meet my room-mate, which is two days after I fly.

Friends and family, I’m sorry for neglecting your countdown. Only one more day! I wish I could spend every minute with every one of you, and believe me, I am going to miss you beyond words.

Roomie ~ 5 days!!! I can’t wait to meet you face to face, to see how our stuff compliments or clashes, to realize once again how God has totally orchestrated our rooming together. Good luck travelling, and I’ll see you Saturday!

That’s all I have for right now… guess I’ll see what else I can pack!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Today was my last Sunday at my home church. My last worship with familiar songs and singers, my last announcements in the traditional and not-so-traditional way, my last message with my amazing senior pastor. Oh, it was bittersweet.

After the service, my dad and I went to the front of the sanctuary to get prayer for me and this phase of my life. My senior pastor, my MC director, and my former teacher and current pastor prayed for me. It was truly amazing, because these men of God prayed for me exactly what my heart has been crying out for in regards to this journey. They prayed that I would change the campus, instead of the campus changing me. They prayed that I would remain firm in my identity as a confident, outgoing woman of God. They prayed that I would become a deep, connected part of the church body near my school, and that I would always remember “the rock from which I was cut” and remember my roots at my home church. They prayed that I would press deeper into the Lord as I experience all the new things that I’m going to experience.

And with those prayers, I feel a finality come over me. It wasn’t entirely real to me until today. Even at a week left, I was still in a little bit of a haze about the reality of my leaving. But now that I've been prayed for and sent, and that I've said goodbye and “see you at Family Camp" to almost everyone I know, it’s really real to me. And I don’t know how I feel about that.

My BFF is deeply saddened, and I’m sorry to leave her.  My parents are more quiet about me leaving; they make comments here and there so I know they do feel it, but I’m honestly dreading next Sunday. I know that there will be tears on both ends, and I think my parents and I are all the kind of people who cry more when they see other people cry, as if we weren't crying enough by ourselves!

And to top this all off, this evening I saw my grandparents for the last time before Christmas. As I wrote about previously, my grandpa has Alzheimer’s, so it’s difficult to say goodbye. And my grandma has been so incredible and strong, and I had to say goodbye to her, and it just about killed me. If I didn’t have a friend over, I probably would have gone to my room and sobbed.

So as much as I’m excited for this new adventure, I’m dreading saying goodbye. Wednesday night and Sunday night are going to be the hardest… I really don’t know how I’m going to get up the next morning and keep going. BUT GOD is good, and so I know that, somehow, I will get up and keep going.

On that happy note, I’m going to finish this post and go read Les Miserables. Ironic, I know. I’m not miserable, though. Just missing people…goodbye for now.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Down to a Week…

Alright, readers, the countdown is down to seven days. In one week, I’ll be boarding a plane for a far-away place. In a week from Saturday, I will meet my room-mate. Woot! And in a week from Sunday, I will say goodbye to my parents and watch them drive to the airport to board the plane home…without me. And in two weeks from today, I’ll start classes at my new school.

Alright, I admit: I’m scared. Not just nervous-excited, but good ol’ fashioned petrified. Terrified. Scared stiff. Worried. Concerned. Horrified. Trembling. Shaking in my boots. Dreading next Thursday, and pretty much everything that comes after it.

But at the same time, I’m so excited to see what God does! I’m excited to meet new people, make new friends, be considered the girl with the funny accent! I’m thrilled to have a dorm-room experience, to have a job on-campus, to be considerate of time zones when I call home. I’m excited to unpack my suitcases, to put pictures on the wall instead of taking them off.

Yes, I’m definitely going to miss my family and my friends and my church and the weather here at home. But simultaneously (if possible) I am filled with anticipation of what God is going to do on campus. I can’t wait for the revival that I know is going to be started, just by being a Burning One for Him. I can’t wait to have those deep, intense, tear-filled conversations with people as we struggle together and come to know Truth. Aughghghgh!!! I can barely wait!

Thank you for your prayers, readers! I’m grateful for you, and I am so excited to begin blogging about this new phase of life!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

End of the Book

I finished my summer reading today. It took me less than 24 hours to read, and I don’t know if I’m glad that I finished it. It was a good story, and the characters were well-developed. It’s the story of a ten-year-old boy in the summer of 1976. His dad is back from fighting in Vietnam, and his aunt was a war-protester, so there is some friction there. His father has nightmares of the war, and times when the war comes back and takes over him, so to speak. That was a confusing time period, and as a ten-year-old, Eli has some keen insights into the adult world.

I’m glad I finished it. I can’t say that I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was a good, well-told story. It made me think, so I can respect it for that. I don’t agree with the author’s worldview… too much emphasis on the trees “speaking.” At the end of the book, Eli protests the Iraq war, and I don’t agree with protestors. But then as I think on it, I guess I don’t dislike his protest so much as I disagree with what he was protesting.

I’m grateful that Americans have the rights to express differing beliefs… I differ with the author on this one.
If you would like to read this book, please let me know, and I’ll loan it to you. But hurry: you’ve only got 8 days!

Summer Reading

Yesterday, I received in the mail a book from my new college. It’s called Eli the Good by Silas House. It’s rather interesting so far… there’s nothing wrong with it, per se. It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth, mentally, you know? I’m in the 4th or 5th chapter, and already there’s been a few scenes where I read a line and then stopped and considered just shutting the book right then. Finally, I just shut the book and picked up Les Miserables, the classic by Victor Hugo. I needed some redemption in my mind!

I asked the Lord about the summer reading book this morning, and He told me that it’s practice for when I go to school. Things aren’t going to necessarily be bad or good, but they’re ok. He told me that I need to know that He is speaking and listening all the time, so at any point while reading, I can pause and get His perspective. He also told me that I’ll probably want to declare His Blood over my mind after each reading, and that’s what I plan on doing.

One of the things that bothers me about this book is that the sentences are not totally clear. They’re not easy to follow, which makes reading it more laborious. Also, the book is written in the typical American style, and other than Mark Twain and Laura Ingalls Wilder, I can’t say that I’m a fan of the American style. Sorry, USA, but it’s true.

Here’s my goal: not just to finish the book, but to finish it and have Father’s perspective and answers to the issues the book raises, and then be able to discuss His answers with the other students who have read it. Who knows, I may even be able to discuss His perspective with Mr. Silas House himself, since I’ll have the opportunity to meet him at Student Orientation next week.

Golly, it’s next week. This is my last weekend at home…I keep saying “last” like I’m never coming back, but in reality, it’s just for 4 months at a time, for 2 years. I can so handle 4 semesters! If my God is for me, then who can stand against me?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ten Days

Ten Days. In 10 days, I'll be flying to my new home, 1,300 miles away. I can't believe it's this soon!

Everything felt close when I started my countdown at 30 days...10 days seems like tomorrow! Most of my belongings that are staying here are already packed. Today, in order to get some headway on my closet, I pulled out a suitcase and began packing winter clothing that I obviously won't need for a few more months. I'll have to pack the rest of my clothes the day or so before I leave, because I don't want to live out of a suitcase in my own room. So that will happen probably Tuesday or Wednesday of next week...gosh, I can't believe how time has flown by!

On Saturday, my mom and sister and I went to Macy's to shop their big sale. I got two gorgeous tops, a long sweater, and then two t-shirts to wear under tops that need just a little more fabric. I feel pretty well prepared, except for shoes. I'm sorely lacking in the sandal department! Flip-flops are about all I have in abundance...I'm not sure I can live in those all the time, though. We'll see.

I don't know if I'll have the guts, time, or desire to write anything more between now and The Big Day, but I promise to update you once I get settled. Thanks for your patience and your prayers!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Today, I went to a doctor's office and had an EEG.

Now, first of all, do not ask me what EEG stands for; I only know what it does and feels like. I have no idea if EEG is an acronym, and abbreviation, or something doctors say just to sound cool. But I can tell you how my EEG went, and what it felt like.

The lady asked me to lie down on the table, and to flip my hair over the pillow. She asked me why I was getting an EEG, and as I told my story, she began marking my face, scalp, and chest with what I assumed to be marker. She then followed each of those marks with some cold, gunky paste, and then the small circle of rubber attached to wires. This whole process took several minutes, with her turning my head to one side and then another in order to mark up and attach what felt like my entire skull.

Once that was finished, she told me that I would have to not talk, keep my eyes closed, and not fall asleep! No problem...right. I lay there for a while, and every few minutes, she would say "Open your eyes. Now close them please." Then she told me, "Ok, I need to to hyperventilate. Ready, go!" And so I began what I assumed was hyperventilation: breathing fast and hard, but not getting enough oxygen for a while. After what felt like forever but was probably only a minute, she told me "Too hard! Slow down please." So I slowed down and waited for her to tell me to stop.

After an eternity, she told me "Good job! You're halfway done!" And I thought, "Halfway!??!?! What the crap??" So I kept going, and then she FINALLY told me to stop. But little did I know, after the hyperventilation is worse than actually doing it.

My body felt like it was in motion; my left hand and forearm went numb and tingly; my head felt as if I was shaking it violently back and forth. Oh, it was bad! But then it got WORSE! She had to flash the strobe light on my face, to see what my brain would do then. I thought it was just going to be the one series of FLASH...FLASH...FLASH. Done. WRONG! It would flash faster, and behind my eyes, it looked like there were two giant circular saws closing in on my face. And then there would be darkness. Phew, I thought, it's over. Wrong again!

The flashes continued for probably five minutes, and each blurred image behind my eyes would be more and more painful, and the blessed relief in between lights was only a tease. FINALLY it was over! Then more aftershocks. My head felt like I was falling backwards; my arm was still numb, and my right arm seemed to be waving back and forth. My legs felt like they were on the "very dry" cycle of a laundry dryer. All I wanted to do was shut my eyes and lie down...and then I realized I had my eyes shut and I was already lying down. Yes, it sucked.

 Then it was over. She turned on the lights again, and got a warm washcloth to wipe my face and hair as she pulled the wires off and cleaned the gunk off of me. She recommended I shower. Um, duh? Just a little.

The only real downside was that she knew, right then and there, if I was having sub-clinical seizures or not, but she couldn't tell me. She had to send the results to my doctor and they would discuss it, and then my doctor would call me. So after all that torture, I have to wait to find out what my poor brain is doing. But oh well. It made for an interesting post, didn't it? :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Yesterday, I "met" my room-mate over the phone! It was so exciting! I think that we get along great... well, at least we had a great 23 minute conversation! :)

 Based on that 23 minute conversation, I think we compliment each other pretty well, and I'm so excited to meet her on Saturday, August 21st. That's when we'll see our room, too, so it will be a giant culmination of anticipation in one small room! I can't wait! We're both transfer students and both juniors. We both love Jesus. We were both homeschooled, and both of our jobs were taking care of children. Neither of us have lived terribly far from our families, so hopefully we'll be able to bawl our eyes out together and then cheer each other with laughing fits.

 On Facebook, we're asking each other questions back and forth so we can get to know each other a bit before we start school. I loved doing this a few years ago with some of my MC classmates, and even with one question asked and answered, I feel like I know my roomie a bit better. I'll keep you posted about this amazing transition time.