New York City squirrels are weird…I mean, at least in the sticks we can shoot them.
I felt like I was in South Africa watching a herd of gazelle gallop across the wide plains when I was actually watching a group of squirrels running away from a falling leaf.
While yesterday was cold, rainy, and miserable, today was sunny, productive, and comfortable. Girls, you know when your emotions are all out of whack, and, because you know why they’re out of whack, you’re trying to keep yourself from freaking out about everything? That was me today, but I still had a great time 🙂 In my Word, Usage, and Style class, all my professor wanted me to do was use a different word in a particular part of my paper and I wanted to start yelling. If I was watching from an outsider’s perspective, I would’ve been laughing.
I was reminded of how refreshing it is to talk to God first thing in the morning, before completing any other morning routines. If I hadn’t sat down and asked Him to help me control my emotions today, I would’ve been very sassy…..okay, sassier than usual. I checked my mail at lunch today and my box was full of birthday cards from people I love. I’m glad I got them today rather than yesterday, because I don’t think I would’ve been able to fully appreciate them.
When I had to go to Writer’s Studio, it made me sad to leave the beautifully cool fall weather to shield myself in a poster-less, white-walled, stuffy classroom. But hey, it had to happen.
But guess what we did! We went outside for class! 😀 Each of us had to pick a sculpture on campus and write a story about it or just a straight observation. I sat on a boulder near a piece of art that was made up of three busts constructed from slates of rock. As I wrote, I noticed how my thinking had changed since I had started my classes: I paid more attention to detail and let my mind form a story without worrying about conventions. It was kind of freeing.
Once Studio had concluded, I walked back to my dorm. The leaves of the trees on campus are changing, but the maintenance people won’t let the lawn just die. So the leaves and the cool weather make it feel like fall, but the grass is still green. I know this sounds odd, but the grass should be like straw in the fall season. But I am glad that we have such a hard-working maintenance staff. They’re all very nice 🙂
Do you remember that mid-term I had last week? The one that I remembered to study for on the day we had the test? Well, I walked into Botany this afternoon, trying to reassure myself that it was okay if I got below a 90 on this test.
Hunter, you can do this. It’s college. I know you got 90s and 100s on high school tests, but college is different. And I hate to break it to you, but science is not your best subject. Don’t start crying or freaking out if you get an 89…it’s going to be okay. If you want, you can go eat chocolate afterwards. Yeah…maybe I’ll eat chocolate even if my grade is fine….mmm, chocolate.
That’s about when class started and my heart dropped into my stomach. I really was nervous about my test grade. Honestly, because I’d had that terrible head cold when I took the test, I couldn’t remember half of the answers I had put on my paper. My professor handed everyone their tests and gave me mine last. I took a few deep breaths, played Final Countdown in my head, and slowly lifted up the paper.
“WOOHOO!” I jumped from my seat and did this weird version of the sprinkler mixed with the Charlie Brown in the middle of the science lab. On one of my victory turns I realized that everyone was staring at me. I very calmly and quietly sat myself back down in my seat, marveling at the 91 written in black ink on my paper.
It’s amazing how the little things like a good test grade or having class outside can change a mood so quickly (or maybe it’s not amazing and I just get excited about everything, which is very possible). I would encourage you to think about the things you get excited about and relish them, no matter how small or unimportant they may seem. Just sing Julie Andrew’s My Favorite Things and you’ll totally get what I’m saying. Here, I’ll start the first verse:
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things!
If you’re a Sound of Music person, you totally just sung that in your head. Good for you. You are awesome.
God did something really cool today. Nothing really extraordinary happened, No sign was written in the sky, no butterflies flew through my hair, no angel touched my forehead. I was just sitting on the lawn, eating watermelon and kettle-cooked salt & vinegar chips while reading The Best Question Ever by Andy Stanley and listening to Point of Grace. The song My Savior My God by Aaron Shust came on, and I stopped reading to listen to the words. It was a great reminder of the security that God offers me, the comfort He so willingly gives, and the plans that He has created for my life before I was even born.
Having security in the future is a big deal to me. I was worrying about ten years after college before I graduated high school. How am I going to get a job? Where am I going to live? How am I going to pay back my college loans? Who’s going to take care of me? What’s going to happen to me? My heart was breaking over things that hadn’t even happened.
It’s in those moments that God chooses to show me that my future is not mine to worry about. Even though He has reminded me of this countless times, He knew that I desperately needed to hear it again. Especially as a girl, it’s easy for me to worry, to see my emotions as far bigger than my God, to give into the anxiety and insecurity that plagues my heart. It’s so easy to put God in a little box and let the expectations of the world trample over me.
I don’t think I really understand how much God loves me. I often tell myself and other people how much God loves His kids, but I can’t grasp how much He really does. I mean, think about it. God is a being who has absolutely everything He could possibly want, who, if there’s something He wants that He doesn’t have, can just pull it out of thin air, who is innately perfect, timeless, faultless, and so out of my league…and yet the one thing He wants the most, the only thing that He sees as precious and beautiful and worth pursuing…
Why? Why would anyone, especially someone as perfect and complete as God, want to help and comfort and care for and listen to and have an unconditional and intimate relationship with any of us? Even those of us who are relatively “good?” Why would He want to save us? Why? How? God just doesn’t make any sense. I’m almost shaking as I write this. No words in the English language, or in any other language for that matter, can describe the magnificence and immaculateness and immutability that is Jehovah, God, Lord, Savior, Friend.
In the past couple of days, I’ve had a few people tell me that salvation through Jesus Christ is just too simple. Yes; accepting God’s gift of salvation is simple. But there is nothing simple about the relationship that follows this transformation. There is nothing boring, monotonous, or casual about a relationship with God.
This relationship I’m in with the one true God is the one I can’t live without. He loves me and makes me complete; He’s the only reason I have hope. And He has a plan for me! 😀 How cool is that? So even though I may sometimes feel overwhelmed and outnumbered and frustrated (which I have felt on many occasions since coming to New York City), I can be comforted by not only God’s Holy Spirit stirring within me but also the fact that He has a plan for me and is currently fulfilling that plan as I write. God has a plan for you too (I know how cliche that sounds, but man is it still as true as ever), and if you’re going through something really hard right now, that means that He’s preparing you for something awesome in the future. If a trial you’re experiencing is difficult and trying, imagine what God must be preparing you for. When Job is on the verge of breaking under the pressure and the despair brought on by his trials, he says “But he (God) knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” Job 23:10 (ESV).
In the middle of whatever is going on in your life, whether good or bad, just sit back for a moment, think about your favorite things, wonder about God’s plan for you, and believe that it’s awesome.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11