Monthly Archives: September 2010

Just Do It

In the past year, I’ve had the sneaking suspicion that my brain is turning to mush. I quote TV shows and movies more than lines from great works of literature or, yes, even the Bible. Every time I see an interesting book in the store I think, “Wow, I should read that,” then go home and pick up Something Borrowed for the fifth time. My life is turning into one romantic comedy after another, with some goldfish crackers in between.

After college I was so over studying (ok so I didn’t study that hard, but still) that I didn’t want to read anything that required actual thinking. I have still read non-fiction books by Christian authors that provoke thought, but somehow that’s different. They stimulate me spiritually more than intellectually. When I was a Young Life intern, we were required to attend training where we had to read theology and write papers. I realized then that I was definitely rusty on the academic front, but it was refreshing to stretch my brain again; its a worthwhile organ to keep in shape.

But it’s been five years since I graduated college (yikes) and I’ve been feeling the desire to study again. The trouble is, I can’t decide what I want to go back to school for and think that maybe I want to go back because I’m bored. If I find something I’m really passionate about, I’ll go back for another degree, but it’s not worth all the work if I’m only doing it to pass the time. I’ve been working in an office for about a year and half, doing work that definitely does not require a college degree. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly thankful for my job. I’m still employed by Young Life and a part of that community; I also work with two women who mean the world to me. But the work itself is taking its toll because it just doesn’t stimulate my brain. I’m not challenged by it. Now, funny enough, I remember as a teacher being so overstimulated at times that I longed to sit at a desk entering data in a computer screen. But, you know, the grass is always greener. While I do enjoy most parts of my job and do have administrative gifts, I’m just too much of an extrovert to really enjoy spending everyday in an office with no windows.

Like I said, I’ve had a desire lately to go back to school and I think a lot of it has sprung out of a growing boredom in my current job. But since I don’t know why I would go back to school, it occurred to me that there are many ways to expand my mind outside of the classroom. What’s one of the best ways? Reading. I’ve always loved history (which is why I chose to teach it) and so I’ve decided to start reading some more historical fiction and biographies. It’s time that I learned more about our country and the world and had something to contribute to intellectual conversations, instead of quoting Friends episodes.

So here we go – I’m choosing to read things other than *gasp* romantic chick-lit and Harry Potter. I’ve picked up 1776 by David McCullough and I’m looking forward to diving in. The problem is, this whole thing will take discipline, and I’m not always very disciplined. It’s going to be tough to enjoy reading about Abe Lincoln as much as I love spending time with my friends in their Traveling Pants. This doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy the occasional silly book – if you haven’t read The Princess Diaries books you really should because they’re hysterical – but I want to finally read the books that win awards and end up on best seller lists.

On my Library tab I keep a list of books that go along with this new resolve. I created that list at the beginning of the year and am sad to say I haven’t made much progress. But better late than never! I’m determined. I need to read more classics; if one more person tells me how much they adore East of Eden, I’m going through my hands up in the air and say “Alright already!” as I head to the library to get it.

I’m looking forward to learning again. I think it’s important to be a life-long learner and to do the things we always say we’re going to do. I’ve been learning that a lot this year, to get off my butt and just do it already. Join me, it’ll be fun! Then we can sit around and talk about how much we love The Great Gatsby while I play you a song I just learned on the guitar.

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This Time Around

Phew, the school year has started and my head is still spinning! But I must say, it’s going to be a good year and I want to take you along for the ride. So, here we go for another year at boarding school with new faces, stories and prayers.

I am so pumped about my hall this year. I’ve got new freshman who are precious and actually hang out together. I feel like last year my hall was divided and not that interested in being friends – and I know a lot of that had to do with me. I was just apathetic and a little depressed, so I didn’t get into the whole bonding/uniting everyone thing. But this year I feel more like myself and it’s great. I actually put cute name tags on the girl’s doors with a picture of a landmark from their hometown. I also made a decoration for the wall for people to see when they come in:

Yes, that’s the teacher in me, can’t help it. My desire for the hall this year is unity and I think we’re on our way. I like my prefect a lot (from South Korea) and really I just love all the girls. It’s so good to feel like myself – but a better version of me. Amazing what a little counseling can do.

I’m also pumped because I’ve got a handful of girls who are coming to Windy Gap! Whoa, craziness. Last year the weekend fell over fall break, so I only had one girl come. It was tough because I didn’t have the relationships I do now so when I said, “Hey, wanna come to Windy Gap, it’s awesome!” most people looked at me like I had a third eye. But this year is different because from the beginning, I know these girls. When everyone came back, it was like no time had passed. It just made my heart so full to have girls run up to me and give me huge hugs, bursting to tell me about their summer vacations. My prayer continues to be that the Lord would use me at school to be a light in the darkness and to love these girls like Jesus does. They just need to hear about Him one way or another, whether that’s through going to another school’s YL club or participating in one we create at school on our own. Gotta get the truth out there amidst the chorus of lies they hear on a daily basis.

Here are some other fun pictures from the athletic banquet (where new girls find out if they’re either Gold or Purple for the rest of their high school career) and opening banquet (also known as “Smoosh Cake,” where the seniors get a piece of cake with charms inside that tell their future):

Silly seniors

The battle between gold and purple lives on!

New girls eagerly await being dubbed

Love the faces

Love these girls

Precious freshman

Sweet seniors on my hall!

Windy Gap? Yes, please

Gonna be a great year folks

Like I said before, personally I feel better than I ever have. I feel alive again. The Lord has done some major work on my heart and I am thankful for friends and family who have been walking with me through everything. I honestly feel like I had to go through a wilderness period over the past couple of years so I could come out the other side with an entirely new dependance on the Lord. I don’t pretend to know the ways of God (ok, I do sometimes), but I think He slowed me down and stripped me of my comforts so that I would deal with the junk in my heart. I was so blinded by my wounds and ideas about how life should be that I couldn’t see who God really created me to be. I’m still figuring it out, but what I’ve found is that the Lord loves me more passionately than I ever imagined, He has a plan for me and I am free. Why do we sometimes continue to live in bondage when we don’t have to? I am free in Jesus and I pray that I continue to believe the truth of His goodness above the lies of the world.

Here’s to 2010-2011! May the glory of the Lord shine on me and be a light to those in darkness.

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