I feel like the luckiest person in the world every time it’s my turn to help in the infant nursery at my church. I love every baby and toddler that comes in, even if they’re new; really, I LOVE them! It can’t be described. Every time I hold a child, even if they’re crying and upset, I am so at peace. I didn’t take a picture in the nursery because I knew some parents might be like, “Uh…”, but I took this picture of my arms afterward because I was holding at least one child the entire morning. The tea is one of my favorite kinds: raspberry zinger, yum! The verse, in case you can’t read it (click on any of these pictures to enlarge them), says, “Even they, if they do not continue in their disbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.” It was a verse that spoke so clearly into where I was that I put the date next to it. Do you know someone who is so defiant, so far from God, that you’ve almost given up on them? There is hope for them. God is not limited; He has the power to bring them back! I needed to be reminded of that. And lastly, it was a freezing cold day and my slippers were wonderful.
I know this one is kind of superficial, but I’ll be honest and tell you why: this day was not positive, and these things are all I had the mindset to find. The boots are a gift from my grandparents (my birthday was last month) and this day was the first day I wore them; I’d been wanting a pair of short boots for a while, and these are perfect. The bench at school is on the second floor and sits next to a floor-to-ceiling window that overlooks campus, so when my next class is in this building and I have time to kill I sit here and read/surf the internet/people watch. I have two daily journals: one for writing prayers, another for recording what I hear from Him (in the Bible and sometimes in other ways). On this day my prayer journal was completely full of things that I hadn’t been giving Him for weeks, but my “listening” journal? Just those two sentences (plus a few verses I wrote in later). But they were two sentences that I actually listened to. And the last picture was meant to be an alternative to the bench picture but at the end of they day this was all I had. So we’ll count it as being my hat, because it’s purple and I do like wearing it.
First, can I just say: please don’t judge me because 3/4 of these are food! Haha! Literally all I did this day was write a paper and eat! The clam chowder was nice and warm on this cold day; in fact, it was so good that you can tell I almost forgot to take a picture until it was nearly gone. My paper took so much planning; writing class is difficult, yet my favorite class! I know all that I’m learning will impact my writing for the rest of my life. I took a picture of my first draft because that’s the hardest part. Once you’ve planned it and gotten your ideas down, all it takes is passion and the right words. [If you’re curious about my paper, it’s about education from a Bible college perspective; let me know if I should share it on Forgiven and Loved or not!] The cheese puffs were a good snack as I typed the essay, and for dinner my mom made this amazingly good casserole. It is the definition of comfort food.
November 6– an invitation, the smell of fall, a phone call with Sierra, and an A on my paper.
I rarely check my campus mailbox since I live at home, but when Emilie hinted, “You– should check your mailbox.”, I obeyed and found this invitation to our small group Christmas party! I am very much looking forward to it; I have the best small group ever! The picture of the pretty trees represents what I was smelling at the moment (haha!). You know the smell of fall? Burnt leaves, cold air, mustiness, first rains? I was reveling in it. That night, my best friend Sierra called! We got to fill each other in on a few changes in life and pray for each other, and it was great. We are the perfect illustration of that C.S. Lewis quote: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'” We have so many “You too?” moments! And the paper I wrote the previous day? I got a 94, which is an amazing compliment to get from my teacher! She loves my writing, and that really encourages me.
November 7– Monsters University fruit snacks, my bed, a Lindsey Stirling music video, and tea.
My only explanation for the fruit snacks? Smiling faces in the midst of intense studying. My bed is so warm and comfortable, a place where I can just sleep and not have to worry about anything. For some reason, I really appreciated the fact that I have a bed the day I took this. (And sorry if you love neatness and are itching because my bed isn’t made! I didn’t want to “stage” the picture and my bed is never, ever made!) All day I was either studying for a biology test while listening to Lindsey Stirling, or procrastinating by watching a Lindsey Stirling music video. If you haven’t heard her before, I recommend changing that! She plays the violin and has both original music and covers of other pieces. My favorite cover has to be “River Flows in You” (although the Lord of The Rings medley is fantastic), and I think my favorite original is “Crystalize.” But they’re all so well done! And sorry I have tea pictures twice this week, but this one represents the kindness of my mom in bringing me some good ol’ earl gray as a studied; I had to miss youth group, which is not something ever I do, so I was a little sad. My mom knew.
My cat Puzzle is so annoying, but she’s also the cutest, sweetest thing and I can always feel her affection for me. The awkward first photo is her sitting on my lap; she’s a snuggler. My small homework load for this weekend is a rare blessing that I am so thankful for! It’s especially nice after a week of tests. Speaking of tests, my biology one went well, but I am fully aware that I would have flunked if I had not studied. I got a solid B, but that was with a full day of studying; you have to put in a lot of effort, but it pays off. Utilize any resources your teacher mentions. My professor told us about the online flashcards I used, and I would not have passed without them. And my mom randomly got me these grumpy-looking owl earrings because everything halloween is on sale right now; I think they’re pretty cute!
I haven’t overslept in a long time, but yesterday I found myself waking up at 10:00! Definitely not normal, but every once in a while it’s nice. The photo is of the clock I’ve had my entire life; my grandma painted it for my nursery, and it’s still on my wall. Both she and my grandpa are talented artists. This art challenge has been fun for me, more fun than I expected it to be! My sketchbook is kind of small, which helps with my problem of never taking advantage of the whole page (my art teacher in middle school always bugged me about that, haha!); I carry it with me everywhere. And you know how I said I have two daily journals? I have another journal, too, but this one is just for recording thoughts and memories whenever I have them. I journaled in it yesterday. And lastly, I’ve been reading “The Living Church” by John Stott for one of my classes. At first I wasn’t wild about it, but now I’m getting into it more; there is a lot of deep truth in these pages. I’ll close with this quote from yesterday’s reading about ministry (page 77):
“But how do shepherds feed their sheep? The answer is that they don’t. To be sure, if the lamb is sick, a shepherd may bottle-feed it. But usually he leads his sheep into good pastures where they feed themselves.” -John Stott
What kept you positive this week?