Friday, April 29, 2011

first year of college = done


my first year of college has quickly come to a close; there is so much that i feel i haven't done yet, but there are many other things that were so much better than the plans i had made. as i prepare to leave, i am burdened with such mixed emotions. i am relieved to be done with school work; i am excited to return to santa cruz for the summer; i am looking forward to seeing my friends from high school; but i am also going to miss my community here; i'm scared that some relationships won't continue into the summer; i'm sad to see the dynamics of my community change again knowing that next year is going to be drastically different...but i am also excited about the changes - i'm excited to be an ra; i'm excited for new students; i'm excited for future growth; i'm excited for strengthening existing friendships...

well, i guess i simply need to trust that God is going to bring the right experiences into my life that will prepare me for the life ahead.

Monday, April 25, 2011

easter weekend in red-town

along with several epic dance parties to celebrate our last weekend in Red-town before our four month separation, i spent a good majority of my easter sunday in irwin's kitchen baking delicious cake balls and cooking red velvet crepes for my wonderful friends.

bake time

cake balls


sunrise


starbucks at sunrise

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

third floor = BEST floor


last thursday, we had the most fantastic, relaxing floor event ever; we had a picnic on the lawn and an easter egg hunt. it was such a wonderful time of fellowship, laughter, and food. i feel so blessed to be a part of third floor irwin. i thank God so much for the women on our floor and for giving us such beautiful, fantastic RA's.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

freshman year = growth = YES!

as my freshman year at Simpson draws to a close, i am reminded of who i was when i came here as compared to who i am now. when i came, i was a nervous, excited girl who, after a summer of struggle and finally finding my place, was ready to put herself out there and figure out where i belong here on this campus. now, i love Simpson. i love everything about it, but most importantly i appreciate all of the important people that God has placed in my life through coming here. what if i had been in a different dorm or on a different floor or in a different room? how drastically different would my time here have been? i guess that's not important; what is important is that this year has helped me grow.

Leeza and Wendy told all of us from the start that we were going to grow this year. of course, we all knew that to be true, but i didn't realize how much of that growth would happen through seemingly inconsequential "random" moments.

now i realize that everything that has happened, all of the pain, all of the joy, all of the heartache, all of the laughter, all of the confusion, all of the excitement, has been orchestrated by God. He is so good and has had a hand in every little thing.

Monday, April 18, 2011

things i here out my window...

i don't need a sidekick.
they're everywhere; they're after us.
can i just have one conversation with you that doesn't involve that.
JEN, YOU'RE CRAZY!
where you find that at?
imma be. imma be. imma be. imma be.
watch out for my painting.
'cus she said...well i don't know...
there's the big dipper.
it's the calm after the storm.
peanuts!
i love you and your head.
SHOTGUN!
it's the same reason...well not the same reason
oh crap.
what are you doing here?
i. feel. so. awful.
stay close to us.
because we're small and you're large!
i'm just sitting in the dark.
why don't you get up and do something.
i'm sorry. i'm a failure.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

what the heck does "love" mean?

this year, and more recently the past couple of months, i've been doing a lot of thinking about love. not necessarily romantic love; but rather, what does it mean to love the people in my life that i see on a daily basis? i've always thought of myself as a loving person and have been told countless times that love and empathy are my strongest characteristics. because of my background, i've tried hard to make sure that everyone i come in contact with knows that they are loved. i give gifts; i rub backs; i bake cupcakes; i write notes, just to make sure that the people in my daily life know that they are wanted, accepted, and loved.

but what happens when love is expressed too much? what happens when i say the words "i love you" after every conversation, after every joke, or during every encounter? is that overdoing it? does the phrase suddenly lose its meaning and begin to take on a new, watered down form?

i have friends with whom i know that when i say "i love you" what i mean is "i am full-heartedly committed to our friendship and your well-being." it took me a long time before i realized that this is not everyone's definition of this phrase. more often it means "i really appreciate the way i feel when i'm around you." so how do i make that distinction? how do i let those others in my life that mean so much to me know that i truly care deeply for them?

this is the question that has been twisting around and knotting itself in my mind, challenging my every thought, my every motive. do i love this person? am i willing to put them above myself in any situation? am i willing to give up my life daily in order to change my plans to help a friend whether that means giving up an hour of my time to take a friend in need to the store when i could have been napping, or missing an important class to be with another while she cries? that is what true love is, choosing the other's needs and happiness above my own, not only in romantic relationships, but in platonic relationships as well.

...i don't have a solution to this question...
what i do know is that perhaps it is time that we start thinking twice before we say "i love you" because if we don't really mean "i will be here to care for you and help you through every step of your journey," then maybe "i love you" is not what we really mean.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

choosing to be joyful

why is choosing to be joyful so difficult? all you have to do is change the way you think about something, which is honestly much easier said than done.

this morning, i woke up at six and couldn't fall back to sleep even though my first class wasn't until after nine. on top of that, i had some pretty valid reasons to mope, but i knew i didn't want to be controlled by my thoughts. they're my thoughts, right? so why can't i control them and decide not to think about the things that could have made my day yucky. believe me, it was hard and i couldn't do it on my own, but with some prayers and a little determination i was able to change my mindset in order to fully appreciate and enjoy the beauty that was all around me, which i certainly would have missed if i had chosen to allow my thoughts to control my day.

in fact, today turned out to be a pretty joy-filled, relaxing day.