Friday, May 29, 2009

home again.

last week i...

watched 17 episodes of lost.
drove HUNDREDS of miles.
caught up on a season of american idol in a night.
slept in 4 different places in 6 days.
lived from my car for a week.
hiked up a mountain by myself.

and the week before that i graduated from pbu! : )

now i'm back in connecticut spending time with family and friends (i've been to starbucks twice this week) and *trying* to unpack. i'm also back to reading for fun again (current read: fahrenheit 451, by ray bradbury) and watching lost (i'm catching up fast!). it's been a good week. i am also loving being back around the trinity community. yesterday i went to a woman's bible study and i am so excited to spend time with and learn from women older than me and to be a part of such a wonderful group of believers.

being "graduated" hasn't really hit me yet. i get excited when i think about actually HAVING my degrees, and i get sad when i think about nothing ever being the same in my pbu community. but i think part of me still expects that i'll go back there in the fall. it's just summer break, right?

in other news, i just purchased with some of my graduation money a round trip PLANE TICKET TO BERLIN in august! i'm going to berlin on august 4th and will stay there with a friend for a few days and then take a bus to wrocław. there i'll visit with friends and work at the english camp (august 18 - 28th). i'm really excited! i think this will be a good time for me to spend time with people, and also to process these past five years - AWAY from my home and my culture - and to pray about what's coming next in my life.

for graduation pictures - click HERE!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

i hope to dance.

i hate packing. figuring out where everything needs to go in order to find it again is not a task i've mastered yet. i have, however, figured out a system to label my boxes so i know what is in them. so the box i have next to me says this on it: "tea, mugs, food, picture, coasters." the box on top of it has a similar mismatch of items: more mugs, tea, my jar for change that april gave me when she graduated, my can of strawberry tea that i bought in bosnia, and a wall hanging i purchased in disneyworld last christmas. my goal is to do a little at a time so that it is not all overwhelming at once. recently, i've been packing until i my heart realizes what my head is doing - i'm packing to leave pbu. not for break. not for summer. forever. every shirt that goes into a suitcase and every mug that gets carefully wrapped and placed in a box is one step closer to being an alumni.

all week long i've been beaming. a friend told me today that i look lighter and less stressed. it's true. but there is something different that weighs on my heart now. and i haven't been thinking much about it lately. i've been busy getting ready for what's coming next - sending emails, filling out an application, making travel plans. but today i stopped.

i knew i'd have to. i could feel it coming. it all started with a tim mcgraw song (don't most moments like this begin with a country song?):

"you beautiful baby from the outside in,
chase your dreams but always know the road
that'll lead you home again
go on, take on this whole world
but to me you know you'll always be my baby girl."

and even as i write this now, my tears are warm on my face. i think of that look in my daddy's eyes that i'll see on saturday when i come up to him and give him the biggest hug with my diploma in one hand as i hold on tight to him with the other. i think about all that is before me and i think about how much has happened over these past five years. i am thankful, incredibly thankful. after saturday so much changes. the part of me that wants to figure everything out is so scared. i have been asking the Lord to change my heart so that it would rest in him rather than scrambling for control. i need to let go. please pray that i'll let go.

as i sat on my bedroom floor crying as the playlist went through more songs: "don't forget to remember me," "what hurts the most," and "bless the broken road," i wondered if i have a limit of tears that i'll cry these next few months. and as i think about it now, i know that those tears will be sprinkled in the excitement and the adventure that is before me. there will be both. and there is joy in both.

the next song that came on the playlist was one that was perfect for the moment:

"i hope you never fear those mountains in the distance.
never settle for the path of least resistance.
living might mean taking chances,
but they're worth taking.
lovin' might be a mistake
but it's worth making.
don't let some hell bent heart
leave you bitter.
when you come close to selling out
give the heavens above
more than just a passing glance.

and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,
i hope you dance."

Monday, May 04, 2009

last day of grad class.

today was my last day of graduate classes. the reality of it hasn't sunk in yet, and i don't expect it to for another few weeks at least. i have one more paper due on thursday (a final for advanced psychopathology) which will probably kick my butt, but other than that i am rejoicing over the major projects and assignments being over! yet what is so unreal is the loss of fellowship, the loss of my community that i have lived in and grown in and LOVED for the past two years. today i came to the conclusion that it may not feel real right now, and it may not sink in for a few weeks, and that's okay. when it does, and when it hurts, i'll cry and i'll let it hurt. but now, i am thankful and amazed that i SURVIVED and that i'm DONE.

i feel free. my heart feels free. i have grown so much over the past two years - and it has been the Lord's work! i am excited to see where He will take me now in the future, when my time is not bound by syllabi and set reflective assignments.

all i can do right now is smile. it's not an overly expressive smile; it's a simple satisfied smile. it's a thankful smile.