Actually, that’s not entirely true. In reality, I’ve had quite a few first-time experiences this semester. But many of them were things that I would have much preferred to never experience. You know how some people say that there’s a first time for everything? Well, I’m a firm believer that there are some things that I never want to do, and this semester has only proved me right. It’s been some of the hardest few months of my life, and it’s only by the grace of God that I’m making it through.
But, luckily for me, God’s grace does get us through the tough spots, and I’m reminded every day how blessed I am to have Him, and my amazing family and friends, in my life. Here are a few of the positive highlights of the past month that are worth mentioning:
I moved again! My new place is lovely, and my roommates are pretty cool. We’re still figuring out how to live with each other – they’re night owls, I’m an early bird, they’re messy, I’m orderly – but I think it’s going to work out well. Hopefully I’ll at least make it to the end of the semester, hehehe. If you don’t have my new mailing address shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you.
My sister’s birthday fell just 2 weeks after school started. Since I had never in her memory been home for her birthday, I decided to change that this year. Her smiles of ecstasy made the six hour drive totally worth it. “Lauren,” she told me, “you’re my favorite birthday present this year.” Absolutely melted my heart. I was only able to stay for a weekend, but it was a much-needed respite from everything that had been happening in Atlanta. The whole family went out to Putt-Putt for her birthday, and of course there was also a birthday dinner with Grammie. It was nice to see everyone relaxed and happy and just enjoying each other’s company, even if it was only for a few hours.
My friend David took me out to dinner at this cool place in Duluth, the artsy section of town. We also wandered into an art store, filled with pieces by local artists. The owner encouraged me to put some of my artwork into the store, which I’m seriously considering doing. (oh, on that note, 2 of my quilling pieces were accepted into Georgia Tech’s student art show! Woohoo!) The art shop owner, an amateur photographer, also asked me if I wanted to model for him!!! I busted out laughing at that. A model I most certainly am not, lol…but it made my day to be asked, anyway! 🙂
Speaking of dinner….I’ve been on the hunt for good Korean restaurants in Atlanta. I’ve been to 4 different ones all over the city since the semester started. Two of them were quite disappointing; two of them, I will almost certainly be going back to in the near future. It feels like a piece of home, when I sit there crossed-legged on the floor, speaking to the waitress in my broken Korean, eating a bowl of pig-spine soup and trying the myriad of side dishes with my metal chopsticks :).
I recently went to the quarterly board of director’s meeting at the Carter Center. I’ve applied for an internship there over the summer, so when I was offered the opportunity to attend the meeting, I jumped at it. It really was quite interesting – they had speakers talking about the Carter Center’s work in China, Kenya, and Latin America. Plus it’s always fun to rub shoulders with ex-presidents ;).
I’m also finally getting back into dancing. I hadn’t gone in months, due to one thing or another. I tried to go 2 weeks ago, but my car ended up breaking down, which was very sad :(. But it was fixed by the next week, and so now I’m back on the dance floor. It feels so good – I had almost forgotten how much I love it, and I can certainly use all the de-stressing I can get. Last week the dance fell on Valentine’s day, so they had flowers and chocolate for everyone who showed – I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the day!! 🙂
God’s been teaching me a lot through all the things that have been going on this semester. One thing that I’ve really been trying to learn is to abide and rest in Him more. Rather than resting from our work, God wants us to work from a place of rest in Him….that’s a tall order for someone as busy as I am!! But I’ve been working at planning out my weeks so that I have all of Sunday to rest and not do any homework. It means that I’m alwayssssss busy during the week….but on Sundays, I get a glorious Sabbath day! It’s been great. I’ve started a weekly get-together (on Sundays, of course) of ladies that I love, trying to build a community together in which we can love on and encourage each other. It’s quite encouraging and exciting.
I’ve also picked up a lot of the things that I am interested in, but had let fall by the wayside – practicing guitar, doing crafts, brushing up on my Spanish and Korean, diligently reading the news, writing more, and working out. I’ve decided to fast from Facebook for Lent this year to give me more time to focus on the Lord; it’s amazing all of the additional things that I have time for when I’m putting God first! Of course I’ve always known that in theory; but I just love seeing God put His promises to practice in real life!!! Sooooo…..that’s my life for now. Prayers are always appreciated (and I’ll never turn down a letter or chocolate….lol ;]).