Saturday, August 28, 2010

Randomness of College

So much amazing stuff happens in college. It's awesome. Here's a sampling...

-Having a mind-blowing Torrey session, and then having a lovely discussion on how to discuss better.
-Berry Cool. Three days in a row. Each time with amazing people.
-Praying with my Torrey group.
-Getting lost in La Mirada. At night.
-Wearing a toga.
-Reading the Odyssey sitting in the Sigma lobby.
-Playing Apples to Apples til way too late.
-Making references to "destiny" and "fate" and almost getting punched for doing so.
-Holing up in the Biola library for hours at a time.
-Swing dancing!
-Dancing around my dorm room because I'm so excited.
-Little victories. Like scheduling office hours with Professor Klapauzak.
-Watching hundreds of people praising God with you, lifting their hands to Him.
-Singing "They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love" with everyone from Sigma.
-Realizing that for six years, I have said I "want" to go to Biola, I "will" go to Biola, and realizing that now I actually, really, truly, do go to Biola.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Right Choice

So many times within the last week I have prayed this prayer of thanksgiving, joy, and relief:

"Oh, God...I made the right choice."

I have wanted to go to Biola since I was 12, and now I'm almost 18. For about a year, I doubted my desire to go to Biola, saying that I didn't want to live in Southern California. But, then I decided to apply anyway, almost as a afterthought, since I had been so interested in it for so long. I thought it would be a good back-up school. When I got my acceptance letter, my response was something along the lines of "Oh, I got into another school. Yippee."

Ever since then, God has been working on my heart. He pointed me to Torrey. He showed me hidden gems of Biola that made me want to go there. Then I got the financial aid estimate, which was about equal to (though slightly less than) the estimate from my other top school. I chose Biola even when I didn't know if I would be accepted to Torrey or not.

Ever since I made the decision on March 21, 2010, I have been praying that I made the right decision. When I thought some of my financial aid had been cancelled, I prayed I had made the right decision. When I realized how much books would cost, I prayed I had made the right decision. When I got sick a week before I was supposed to move onto campus and stayed sick for a full two weeks, I prayed I had made the right decision. When I was missing my family and discovering the trouble they were having getting my brother home from school without me to drive him, I prayed I had made the right decision.

After a week here, I know I have made the right decision.

So many times, I have smiled and just thanked God with my heart because words were not enough. When I was greeted with a hug when I walked onto campus on the first day of Torrientation. When my father prayed over me at the communion service. When I heard Dr. Reynolds speak at the Torrientation events. When my seers took time to say hi to me and see how I was doing. When I heard someone I had only known a week call out my name. When I met my Torrey group for lunch. When I spent hours in the library reading the Iliad (and laughing). Each time, I breathed, "Oh, God...I made the right choice."

Friday, August 20, 2010

So Much

So much has happened in the last few days. I left for college. It's so much to take in. I've laughed and I've cried. I've cried because I felt so blessed by God and I've cried because I felt so homesick for my family, my friends, my high school, my church, and all that was "home" to me.

I've been able to get to know wonderful men and women of God. They have prayed for me and with me. I've met fellow freshmen who will become some of my closest friends here at Biola, Lord willing.

I am thoroughly exhausted both physically and emotionally. These past four days have been some of the most important of my life as far as bringing me closer to God and trusting Him to make me feel that home is whenever I am with Him. I have so enjoyed the many little (and big) blessings He has given me this week. On top of that, I have had tons of fun, and laughed a lot.

At the same time, this week has been one of the most trying of my life. I think there are only about three other weeks in my life that could compare. I have felt so lonely, not due to lack of people around me, but due to the lack of people who I haved cared about in Bakersfield. Being sick has not helped. I longed for the sound of my parents coming into my room with orange juice and medicine to take care of me. Instead, I had to take care of myself. I longed for a hug from Ryan, but he is 100 miles away. I longed to plop down on my mom's bed and tell her my woes. I longed to walk into one of the classrooms at my high school and be greeted by a hug and a listening ear.

Tomorrow, my dad is driving down to see me and be here for opening weekend. I can't remember the last time I so desperately wanted to see my father.

It will get better. I know it will. God is with me, after all, so I shouldn't be afriad, whether things go the way I hope or not. One day at a time. One step at a time. One breath at a time.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm Half-Way

I'm half-way a romantic and half-way a cynic.

I'm half-way a sensible girl and half-way a rebellious one.

I'm half-way a creative and half-way logical.

I'm half-way smart and half-way idiotic.

I'm half-way shy and half-way outgoing.

I'm half-way cautious and half-way impulsive.

I'm half-way a debater and half-way a listener.

I'm half-way wise and half-way foolish.

I'm half-way serious and half-way silly.

I'm half-way a woman and half-way still a girl.

I'm me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dang it!

I was on the radio yesterday, and I really enjoyed it. But now I can't stop thinking about how I should have said one thing instead of another, or how I didn't mention a certain thing, or how I probably sounded like a ditz. I wish I had mentioned the doubts I went through during my junior year of high school. I had it all written out in my notes, but I was determined not to read off my notes (and I had no idea how long the little bio spiel was supposed to last). That's what happens when you're a debater. You know you could talk forever, so you cut it short, hoping you didn't ramble for too long, but also said at least something half-way decent.

Then I worry that I sounded like this little high schooler who has just the peachy little life and gets to go to amazing colleges because she's a spoiled rich kid. Well, I'm not a high schooler (anymore), and I don't have a peachy little life (which I failed to mention because a) I forgot and b) I didn't want to talk about certain parts of it on live radio). About the spoiled part...I guess that all depends on your perspective. I would definitely call myself blessed, but not really spoiled. And I'm not rich. At all. And I guess people who really know me won't get that impression, or at the very least, won't tell me that they got that impression.

To be honest, I can't even remember everything I said. It went by really fast. I remember trying not to burst out laughing when the host played those nutty sound clips (including but not limited to some Aslan quote from the Narnia movie or the radio drama series or something, the Oompa Loompa song, the "Imagination" song from the old Willy Wonka movie, something about nerds [at least it wasn't in reference to me] and a laugh track.) I also remember laughing into the mic, probably sounding like a giggly little junior higher. Great.

On a similar-yet-not-so-similar note, I got lost in the parking lot trying to find the radio station. How does one get lost in a parking lot?!

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Passion

I love kids. All kids from infancy to teenagerdom. Actually, I love kids before infancy because I think they're the living handywork of God, then, too. I want to spend much of my time with these kids. Kids make me feel tired, but not in a "I can't deal with them anymore" way, but more in a "I feel like I've given something back" kind of way.

One day, while I was housesitting, and idea came to me quite suddenly. Why not set up a ranch for kids in troubled situations? Anything from rebelliousness to kids who are abused to even kids who have some type of handicap. This idea took many forms as I thought about it in the last few weeks. I thought about adopting kids and taking in foster kids. I thought about setting up a ranch get-away type thing.

No matter how the fine details work out, there are some things about it which I am passionate about. I want these kids to learn the value of hard work. I want them to learn the value of love. And I want this to be in a Christian environment. Those are the three absolute "Musts." Then there are the "Maybes." These points include homeschooling the kids who are living on the ranch, raising chickens, having nightly worship, and teaching the kids to cook and deal with animals. I even have "maybe" idea of using the barn that my family has as the living/dining quarters. My dad built that barn, but sort of loss his passion for building and maintaining it. I've always loved that place and never wanted him to sell it. We set it up so that, if necessary, it could be adapted to live in. In my seventeen-year-old eyes, it would be perfect with enough fixing up.

I know God gave me this idea and this passion for a reason. I have no idea how the finer points will work out, how the legalities will play out, and if this will change my major for college. I'm letting God worry about all of that. But when I have such a powerful idea that I can't go to sleep at night at midnight until I've written out all my ideas and looked up Bible passages about it, then I know it's an idea from God.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm Excited

I don't get excited a lot, but I'm excited today. I got to see a bunch of my friends today who I haven't see since the beginning of the summer (then the sad rolls in when I remember that I have to leave all of them).

I got to go to FUEL last night after missing it for three weeks in a row. I got to see some amazing people, and worship God. Which always makes me wish for heaven.

Tomorrow my cousins are coming over! I haven't seen them in more than FOUR YEARS. And I get to see them tomorrow!

I get to be on the radio on Saturday! Which makes me a little nervous, but a lot excited.

I get to go to church on Sunday and see everyone there. Which, again, makes me sad, because then I remember that I have known these people for thirteen years, and they have watched me grow up from a little munchkin to a big munchkin, and now I have to leave them. I'll be back, of course, but it's still sad that I won't see them every Sunday like I'm used to.

And then next week I have a load of not-yet-etched-in-stone plans. Like calling up Marie and Austin and seeing if they will help me pack. Like taking Marissa to Starbucks. Like hanging out with Brice at one time or another. Like kidnapping Tamara and convincing her to apply to Biola. Like taking some kind of mini road trip with Cassie and having a movie night...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Still Need To Get...

Rain boots. Preferably with a pretty design on them. Preferably from Payless or Ross. Preferably cheap.

Duct Tape. Actually, I would love to find the roll I probably still have somewhere and kept in my backpack for a few weeks as a standing threat to boys with mouths that never close.

Conditioner. Something that works. Which narrows the field. And something cheap. Which erases the field.

Binders. At least those are cheap.

Printer paper. Wish I could liven that up some. But I'm guessing most profs won't be as forgiving as Mr. Sadowsky was regarding neon green paper.

More socks. Since mine keep disappearing.

A water filter. Apparently SoCal water is gross. Which makes me wonder: Is Bakersfield SoCal? Because I like Bakersfield tap water...

More boxes. So I can store all this stuff on the back patio and give my cousins the illusion that my room is neat, the house is clean, and that I am Susie-homemaker.

Motivation. That would be nice. So I could blaze through Manalive and the Odyssey and write notes. Not to mention pack.

A car. Wishful thinking.

A dog. Because I miss mine so much and really want to cuddle with him right now and get a kiss from him.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pearls of Wisdom From Various Places

On Prayer:
"Prayer is more than words; it is an attitude of the surrendered heart to be conformed into the image of Christ." -Josh McDowell
"Prayer doesn't 'work.' God works." -Dustin Adams

On the Christian life:
"Morality is not our god. Jesus is our God." -Anonymous
"There's nothing like your heart being at rest with God." -G. Bruce Hatton
"God isn't a Build-a-Bear god." -Andrew Levins
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." -Jim Elliot
"My task is to love God, make God loved, and lay down my life to these ends." -Elisabeth Elliot
"Keep making God smile!" -Gabi Hickman
"Life is repentance." -Martin Luther
"Life is so much more exciting when you give it away." -Dustin Adams

On Beauty:
"I'm so thankful for friendship. It beautifies life so much." -L.M. Montgomery
"Her beauty was not her own." -Jill Mason

On the Sanctity of Human Life:
"The womb is holy ground." -Dustin Adams
"Because, after all, a person's a person, no matter how small." -Dr. Suess
"If you don't believe the baby in the womb is the living handywork of God, you will do nothing to protect it." -Come What May