So we are back, and the count is down to 5 weeks! There is definitely longing to be home (after seeing my awesome family and friends and YG, I think the list includes MY BED, a real shower, no more bugs, good food, Saturdays to sleep in, rainy days, wearing warm clothes, reading in bed, actually needing blankets to sleep with, WASHING MACHINES, and clean feet), but we all know that we will miss this place. It is still wondrous every day, and while some days it takes more help from Jesus to appreciate that, I am trying! There was definitely a time today when Aimee and I both looked at each other and said we were praying for patience (the whole group is getting a little cagey since we have such a rigorous schedule now)! ;) Besides, we all know that a week after we get home we'll be longing to be back! ... And I'll be fondly remembering meals of rice and chickpeas and showering at night with cold water and chasing off ants...;)
We only have 2 more weeks until exams again so that means 6 hours of class for most days of the week...which is exhausting. There is a lot of coffee and tea being made in the mornings and anxiousness to get out of our seats. We have lunch after hour 4 and then afternoons have been a bit better, usually with field lectures/activities so we get moving a little. The other days are for directed research, and I have a much-needed relaxed schedule for that. In the midst of all of this, I am trying to savor the wonderful little moments that I have every day, the ones that are so amazing I have to remind myself this is real.
Late this afternoon after we were done with class, a couple of girls and I got our books and beach towels and laid by the pool to read and watch the sunset. It was some people I don't know as well and so it was great to talk to them and branch out. I had an experience like that on Sunday, with a different group, and I was out listening to a sermon with my Bible and journal open, and a girl who I rarely talk to asked me what I was doing. When I explained I was listening to a church service she then was intrigued why on earth someone would do that and wanted to know if I thought it was fun. I was so caught off guard and I feel like I could have done better at explaining, but it was a great opportunity to share about my faith and how important I view my relationship with Christ. Anyway.. today was great to just relax and watch the sky full of amazing colors as the sun sank below the horizon. The sky is so big here and we are so close to the ocean and the wide open horizon and you can see for miles and miles. God's beauty is just so amazing it is hard to comprehend... it's so unreal! I literally just sat and watched the sun set (yep, still in my swim suit, still 80 degrees) and savored the moment. It's a good reminder that our human fixation on so many things--always hurrying everywhere, watching the time, social media (yes Facebook and Pinterest, I am guilty too), cell phones, even school and grades, clothes, decorating our houses-- is so unimportant in the big picture, and even a waste of time. I was thinking how much of my life I spend doing time-wasting things rather than appreciating God's awesomeness and doing things for Him. Being stripped away from most comforts of home has made me realize how happy I can be without all of that "fluff"... I can still have a full life without following what the American society tells me I should do/have/buy to be happy and successful. These are the things I really treasure: laughter, sisters, family, my relationship with Jesus, singing, young group, smiles, long talks with my sisters/friends/sisters-in-Christ, all-nighters with my girlfriends, bonfires and hayrides, family time, stormy nights, hot cider, wearing sweaters, reading under the covers or when its raining, lightening, travel, hammocks, chocolate. (Side note: you can tell I am missing fall from that list;). But really. The things I love about life are not going to be bought with a huge paycheck or a fancy house. Being at the college age and stressed sometimes about the future, I need to remind myself that God has it all in control and whatever He asks me to do will be for MY best interests and I can be completely happy in it. And what a load off that I can just give it all to God and wait on Him! Aimee and I have been talking about how we've grown during this experience and what God has in store for our futures... knowing that it will be wonderful even if it is difficult! He takes us through the trials to bring us to awesome mountain tops where we just stand in awe.
Tonight we went mermaid bathing again and had another great conversation out in the water under the stars. These are the moments that I appreciate so much and will never forget!
Appreciating the sunsets and wide open spaces that I know I will miss!
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.