First post of 2013!! Just barely squeaking this in before January is over! How has the new year been treating you so far? I hope well! I've never been one to make New Years resolutions, but I always love the idea of a whole new year with so many new experiences and roads to travel. You never know what the future will hold, and while that can be scary, it is also exciting! So here's to a new year full of adventure and growth!
|At the Baths|
I have really been loving this new semester so far. And it all has to do with the girls. It's funny to look back to September when they were first arriving, and compare it to their arrival back at Storch in January from Christmas break. Very different experiences! It was awesome to meet them for the first time, but it's more awesome to have them come back and be excited to see you again! I loved the squealing, the hugs, the laughter, and the stories. Now that we've laid a bit of a foundation for our relationships in the first half of the year, we're ready to continue building on that. There haven't necessarily been any crazy breakthroughs yet, but just the fact that we're more comfortable with each other makes it easier to have conversation and share our thoughts and feelings. Obviously each person is different, and my relationship with each person is different, but I'm just so excited to know these girls on a deeper level. We as a staff are planning ways to spend more intentional one-on-one time with the girls, and I'll be having an ice cream date in my room on Thursday with one of the seniors. :) Please pray with me that the Lord will have His hand on these relationships, and that He would guide me and the other staff in how to approach each girl in a way that they would feel especially loved and important. We want them to know their individual value as well as our value as a “family.”
We've already had some pretty fun things going on in the last few weeks (as well as exams...ugh). We took a trip to the baths one evening, and enjoyed swimming around in the warm mineral water while outside in freezing weather. Stacey brought her underwater camera with her, so we had a grand time taking loads of ridiculous pictures! Another fun thing we did one day was play Zombie Tag in the dorm. We bought nerf guns at the Euro store, turned off all the lights in the dorm, and had a crazy game of zombies chasing gun wielding civilians haha. They totally loved it! And some people think girls don't do things like that... :P Another thing that the girls have really been enjoying (as well as Callie and I) is the new PlayStation that the Babiches bought for the dorm. We have a bunch of dancing games that go with it, and most days the girls go out in the living room and dance away. Great laughs, as well as exercise!
|Birthday banners outside my room|
So my birthday was two weeks ago, and let me just say that it went way beyond my expectations! I think the Lord knew I needed a boost since I was away from home during all the holidays, so He provided some great encouragement from friends here. Callie, my fellow RA, let me sleep in for an extra hour and took over my breakfast duties, put banners up in the hallway, and had the girls write notes for me to hang in my room (the notes were SO precious by the way...melt my heart!). I had small group that afternoon, and one of the gals made me a funfetti birthday cake, another made Sopa de Mani (peanut soup from Bolivia!! So awesome!), another made jelly filled croissants, and our group leader made super yummy baked brie with brown sugar and walnuts. YUMMO! I got two bouquets of flowers, gifts from home, homemade cupcakes from a friend, a very loud “Happy Birthday” song from my girls, a short call home, and tons of well wishes from all over the place! Oh, and get this...on the way out the door in the morning one of my freshman got down on one knee, kissed my hand, and called me “Your Excellency”...haha!What a blessed day! So a big thank you to the many people who helped make my day special!
I would like to ask for prayer for good health. Colds and flus have been going around, and several are sick with colds at Storch, including myself. It just makes life so much harder when you can't breathe well and don't have much energy. We also have been without a stove for the last 6 days...it broke and maintenance had to order new ones. They're supposed to be installed in the morning, so just pray that there are no complications with that! God is good and He's been carrying us through the slumps by His grace.
|Dressed like Steve for "Twin Day"...or quadruplets ;)|
When the new year rolled around, I started reading the devotional book entitled “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. If you haven't heard of it before, each reading is written from the perspective of Jesus in the first person, and He is speaking to the reader. The main themes are living in the presence and peace of Jesus in very real ways. The Lord has been teaching me more and more about what it really means to live with Him and how to focus on Him. One thing I would like to do is start practicing more spiritual disciplines. I would appreciate some helpful reading material on this, so if you have any suggestions, let me know! I read “Streams of Living Water” when I was in college, and that had some great insights, but someone might have another book to recommend. Thanks guys :)
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”