Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Trip Back....HOME!

It's been awhile since I last wrote...oops! What can I say? The college life is busy! This last weekend was my first time back to little Bemidji, MN. It felt like a very long drive and when I finally got there it all seemed so surreal. I ran into my mom's open arms and got the best hug ever! Then we were off in our little beat-up car to our house.

Before I even got all my bags out of the car, my little brother was running down the front porch stairs to give me a HUGE bear hug and spin me around in the air. We tripped and almost fell to the ground but my little brother isn't so "little" anymore...he caught us and kept us from making even bigger fools of ourselves :D I enjoyed a relaxing night at home talking with my mom and then finished the night with a much missed bath!

The next morning was Thanksgiving Day....time to go to DADDY's!!!! Manny and I got ready and had our mom drive us out to Dad's. We were the first of the kids to get there (other than my little sister Brandi, of course) and we were greeted by the new addition of the "farmers" animals...A HUGE TURKEY by the name of Clyde. He strutted right up to us and I felt like I was in the twilight zone! I thought we were eating turkey....kinda made me feel a little morbid and cruel to greet this turkey when I was about to enjoy some turkey meat later that day....

My brothers and sisters all started to arrive and the fun began! Our family is getting bigger each and every year. (There are 8 of us kids and 6 grandkids and 2 our the way!) So to say things get a little crazy sometimes is an understatement but I LOVE IT! We have a great time together :) I'm kind of the oddball because I younger than all the adult siblings and older than all the younger ones so I just bounce around enjoying being with my nieces, nephews, and younger siblings & the adults.

The food was delicious like it always is :) I'm lucky to have such a great cook as my stepmom! (Thanks Barb!!!!) And I really appreciate every minute I got to spend with my family.

The next day, my dad, stepmom, little sister and brother, and I all went Black Friday shopping. (Didn't see that one coming!) It was so much fun. I loved the car ride and the laughter that was shared, usually because of my dad and his silliness. We got some great deals and had a blast shopping for the grandkids :) Then we treated ourselves to some chinese for lunch....YUM. It was a great day!

On saturday, I was a little cranky...but my mom and little brother love me so much that they put up with me and tried their best to make me laugh....***key word: TRIED. :P After a good nap, I woke up feeling better and there was dinner waiting for me :) I'm so spoiled now!

I enjoyed dinner and then I was off to Michael Willie's house for a Thanksgiving Get Together with a bunch of friends. I was honestly a little nervous because I didn't know if things would be different because of college but it was a wonderful night. I am so blessed to have such amazing friends. It was a good mixture of college freshmen and high school seniors so that made it even more fun.

We played a ghetto version of catch phrase, a dice game from Pirates of the Caribbean, ate LOTS of junk food, and just enjoyed laughing and catching up with each other.

After the party, Michael, Matt, Lauren, and I all went out to Applebees for half-off appetizzers. We order WAY TO MUCH and barely ate anything but we had a great time :) It was kind of bittersweet. The next morning we would all be going back to our seperate schools and back to the "real world." But as I looked around the table I had this peaceful thought that in heaven we will be able to enjoy moments like this, moments that we wish would never end. All these friends were children of Christ and I smiled with a tear in my eye, as I thought about just how much God had blessed me by putting these amazing people in my life. <3

The next day, I packed up and headed back to Crown College. Austin and Cody picked me up and I enjoyed some quality time with their little sisters in the backseat. (Tori and Lexi are pretty incredible girls!) It was a very very long drive. We were all tired from the long weekend but we did our best to endure the ride. I got to drive from St. Cloud down to Crown and that was fun! We arrived safely back and I am now working hard to finish up the last two weeks of the semester.

It's funny how much you miss something that you used to be so ungrateful for...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

An Encounter with Jesus

Another week has gone by, and I'm getting closer to finally visiting home again! Classes are getting CRAZY busy and stress gets to me every once in a while...but I just have to keep on working hard.

Last night I had an incredible experience during one of our random worship sessions here on campus. I went with my friends Austin and Cody and my new friend Rinada. :) She is from Kyrgyzstan, and she is one of the most genuine women I have ever met.

After only a few minutes, Rinada came up to us and asked how she could pray for us. I was hesitant to say anything and I was a little uncomfortable because I wasn't expecting someone to come pray for me. I asked her to be praying for my dorm room because there has been some serious problems (especially over the last month)  that I had been stubbornly avoiding to bring to God.

She began to pray for me, and in that moment  I felt God was right there beside me, forgiving me for the mistakes I've made concerning this situation, and giving me hope that he would be guiding me and my room the rest of the semester. I forgave myself and had a new perspective on the entire situation.

The words Rinada prayed, were exactly the words I was too proud and selfish to say to my Savior. I felt the depth of my need for God to come and renew me. And as Rinada poured out her prayer for me and tears streamed from her eyes, I knew that God was healing his broken daughter.

I am so thankful for this selfless action from Rinada. And I felt so priviledged to witness the effects her simple obedience to the Holy Spirit had on everyone in that room. Because she not only, prayed for me and my two friends, but she took the time to go and pray for everyone in the room. I even had the opportunity to go and pray with someone. <3

This unexpected more has now set me free from the weight of the burden I put on my own shoulders! It didn't promised me that my living circumstances would become any easier or guarantee that I would never again struggle with patience and respect towards my roommates, but I was reassured that God is still God and he is always good to his children. :)