Friday, March 7, 2014
Sometimes, in the midst of a crazy semester, you need to take a weekend off! So instead of getting as much homework done as I should have, I spent last weekend with my lovely friend Grace and her family at her home in North Carolina. We took off after class on Friday to her parent’s house and spent the night relaxing and watching movies- the perfect solution to a week full of work and classes! The next day we got to see her former high school’s musical production before heading back to campus on Sunday morning to finish up homework and get ready for another hectic week.
Gracie was on Liberty’s debate team with me last year, but this year she got a job and focused on school and graduating early. Luckily, I got to live with her this year, and she has been such a joy in my life! Balancing everything can be stressful, but finding people that motivate you to work hard when you need to and rest when you need it are a continual blessing.
Recently, I got to celebrate two of the people Liberty has brought into my life by spending some time at my parent’s home in sunny Florida - Grace and Meagan.
These two women have been hugely influential in my time at Liberty and each is going such big places under the direction of their Lord!
I hope and pray that all of you at Liberty and considering attending invest in people that will invest in you, growing together towards a greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ!Posted at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Thursday, February 27, 2014
As anyone will likely tell you, each semester at Liberty has seemed to pass faster than the last. I can’t believe we’re nearing halfway through the spring semester, and I definitely can’t believe I am nearing halfway through my time at Liberty. Just to give you a quick glimpse - here’s what the last few weeks have been like:
The beginning of this semester was incredibly hectic - I had a string of debate tournaments, classes to catch up on, work to do, and I was struggling to keep it all in balance. Over Christmas break, I had some serious conversations with God about reorganizing my priorities and keeping Him at the center of my life. But when I got back to school, keeping Him at the center became harder and harder as other things vied for my undivided attention. What frustrated me the most, though, was that I felt like such a failure - like every time I made right with God, I messed up again. It felt like I was still so far away from God and was constantly having to repent and start the process over again.
But in the process of this turmoil, I watched Kyle Idleman speak at Convocation on Wednesday. (Watch it here, it's incredible.) His message hit me hard- I had been so focused on how God could use me in debate, at school, and in the world at large, that I was not focusing on what still needed to be done in me. But one small line of the passage Kyle read from hit me even harder- “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)
I was floored.
In our world of sound byte sermons and 30-second testimonies, one thing I struggle with the most is that I keep messing up. My testimony is not an open and shut case. I’ve hit the floor, crying and confessing and convicted, a million times. It’s not that I don’t learn or that it’s not genuine. It’s that I’m not perfect, and I keep messing up. I’m still a long way off. And that’s why that rather insignificant part of the verse hit me so hard - while he was still a long way off, his Father ran to him. He didn’t wait until he had gotten himself together. He didn’t wait until he had fixed all his mistakes once and for all. He didn’t even wait for him to finish his walk of shame back to his parent’s house. He was so filled with compassion at the sight of his son’s choice to come back to him that he ran to him.
My perfectionist self is slowly coming to grips with the reality that I’m not going to have it all together so long as I live on this earth. Like Kyle preached, there are times I need to be faced with the sin I’m ignoring and be convicted to the point of tears in order to shake my complacent and selfish attitude and wake up to the reality of my depravity and the depth of His unfailing Grace. And that needs to happen a lot more than once. But I can rest in the assurance that my Father loves me enough to come running while I'm still a long way off.
I hope and pray that everyone is surviving the semester, and keeping His promises at the center of their hectic schedules!Posted at 9:14 AM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
It’s only a week into the new semester, and I already feel like I’m behind! I got back to school last week, and within a few days, I had to pack up again and head to the Naval Academy for a debate tournament. The tournament was amazing, and our team won two divisions- and my partner and I won one of them!
Now that I’m getting back into the swing of classes, work, and debate, I’m also looking back at the amazing winter break I had!
Over break, my family and I traveled to Colombo, Sri Lanka! For those of you that don’t know, Sri Lanka is a small island off the southern coast of India. My aunt and uncle are serving the Lord in Sri Lanka, and we had the incredible opportunity to visit them.
While we were in Sri Lanka, we hiked through tea plantations, shopped, and had high tea at a beautiful British hotel. It was an amazing trip, where my family and I got to witness God’s beautiful creation and His love for people on the other side of the world.
It also gave me a lot of time to talk to Jesus, and sort out my priorities in the middle of what has been an incredibly busy and challenging school year. Sometimes life can get so overwhelming, and I personally get lost in the business of balancing all of the responsibilities I have. It’s a wonderful gift from God to spend some time away from your worries and distractions and get to spend time refocusing your hear and your mind.
I hope everyone had an amazing break and a great start to this new semester!Posted at 4:15 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
The end of the semester is always a stressful time, which is why I was so glad to get a week off for Thanksgiving right before finals started! I was blessed enough to go home for break, even though my parent’s home in Florida is pretty far away from Lynchburg. Besides all of the sleep and break from school work, I also got to spend some great time with my family and have some fun in Florida!
On Thanksgiving Day, before we had our own celebration, we went and served Thanksgiving dinner to airmen and veterans on Patrick Air Force Base, where my dad works as a Colonel in the Air Force.
Later that day, we had Thanksgiving dinner with some neighbors, and since the weather is still sunny and beautiful in Florida, spent some time outside!
For someone like me, who loves Christmas with a passion, one of the best parts of Thanksgiving is just that it marks the official start of Christmas celebrations! Once Thanksgiving happens, no one can whine and roll their eyes about the Christmas music, wreaths, twinkly lights and jingle bells! We started the season off setting up our fresh Christmas tree and decorating around the house.
Even though the break was relaxing, I'm already getting excited for Christmas Break! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and is getting in the Christmas spirit!Posted at 4:15 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
At Liberty, you’re guaranteed to meet a lot of different people and make some really fantastic friends. Sometimes those friends are with you for a season, and sometimes they’re with you for the whole time you’re here at Liberty! This last week, I got a chance to catch up with a good friend of mine who I lived with my freshman year at Liberty- Angela!
We had been in a small group together in high school, and decided to live together when we came to Liberty together last year. Angela’s now a prayer leader on the other side of campus from where I live, so it was such a joy to get to catch up with her. We got talking about how different this year feels from last year- I’m only a sophomore and it feels like my time at Liberty is already moving too fast! Our conversation got me thinking about how good it is to look back on the time I’ve had at Liberty in only the short year and half I’ve been here.
So much has happened! I couldn’t have known when I was applying for college and making decisions about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go, that I would end up loving my time here as much as I have.
As the most sentimental time of the year approaches, I loved catching up with a good friend and thinking about all the good times we’ve already had in our short time so far at Liberty.Posted at 4:15 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
As Thanksgiving Break is fast approaching (yay!), it got me thinking about all of the things I’m thankful for during this stressful time of the semester.
1. Getting lots of sleep- it’s rare at this time of the semester, but getting in a full eight hours still feels wonderful!
2. Fall leaves
3. Classes that challenge and professors that inspire!
4. My debate family - I can’t imagine a semester without the thrill of stressful tournaments and the joy of being together!
5. Learning lessons- I mess up every day, but my God is faithful and forgiving!
6. Fuzzy socks and tall boots when it’s cold and rainy
7. Pumpkin EVERYTHING- I know I’ll get sick of it eventually, but right now, everything smells wonderful!
8. Technology that connects me to the ones I love at home!
9. A warm cup of coffee to go with a long night of studying!
10. My home away from home- campus is gorgeous this time of year, and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else!
As the semester winds down, I hope you all have some wonderful joys like these to be thankful for, especially the greatest Joy of all - our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.Posted at 3:51 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
I had the first calm weekend I’ve had practically since school started! I didn’t have a debate tournament and I didn’t have any big assignments due, so I planned on spending the whole weekend just having fun.
After three weeks in a row of long debate tournaments, midterms, and stressful all-nighters, I was thrilled to get a weekend off!
It started on Thursday night, when a bunch of friends and I went to the last College Night of Scaremare! I do not enjoy scary things, to say the least, and I was apprehensive about the whole thing. We had barely gotten in line before clowns with chainsaws were following us, and it was made pretty clear that I was the one to target. (They pick out the scared ones!) The worst part was when my lovely friends decided to tell the “Scarers” my name! It’s bad enough when they’re following you through the line; it’s even worse when they’re screaming your name! I finally overcame my fear, (primarily by hiding in between my tallest friends and running as fast as I could through the house.) Despite the rocky start, Scaremare was a blast!
On Saturday morning, the debate team headed to Sandusky Elementary School to do some Christian Service- we set up games, did nail painting and hair dye, and made popcorn and snow cones for the school’s Fall Festival. We got to spend the day working with adorable kids and hanging out with other Liberty teams that had also volunteered for the festival. It was absolutely freezing in Lynchburg that weekend, and after four hours of scooping snow cones, my hands were frozen solid, but had a great time!
After the festival, I got some much-needed rest - homework, hanging out with friends, and SLEEPING. It may have been a somewhat uneventful weekend, but it was perfect for recuperating from the past few weeks!Posted at 3:51 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Last week, my residence hall had our “Worship Hall Meeting.” Instead of our usual Tuesday Hall Meeting, when RAs give weekly announcements about life on campus and upcoming Student Activities, this week we all went over to the R.C. Worley Prayer Chapel to have a deeper time of fellowship together. We had our regular announcements, but we followed them up with a time of worship, a time of prayer, and a time of testimony. My hectic debate and school schedule has left me very little time this year to get to know the girls on my hall, but this night changed that. Before hall meeting even started, my prayer group went out to ice cream to celebrate Natalie’s birthday, and a few of us stayed together for hall meeting, as well. I have been so blessed to start getting to know these girls, and this hall meeting made me appreciate the community we have even more.
A few weeks ago, we took some pictures in downtown Lynchburg to decorate one of the walls in our hall, and since then I’ve come to an even greater appreciation of these people the Lord has put in my life. I don’t think I thank God often enough that I go to a school where little communities like this exist, and where things like prayer groups are put in place to allow us to grow spiritually together.
Another great example of this was our Worship Hall Meeting. It was really a beautiful example of how God brings together the right people at the right time to glorify Him and fulfill His purposes. None of us could have known going into that night what healing and fellowship it would bring to people on our hall that needed it the most. People shared their testimonies, what struggles they were going through, and we all were reminded that we weren’t alone.
Even now as I think back to that night, I thank the Lord that He lead me to a school that fosters this kind of fellowship and that He is constantly showing Himself in these communities in miraculous ways.
Posted at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
This week got a chance to hang out with a few of my newer friends on campus: some of the freshmen on the debate team. As we talked about things we wish we would have known before coming to Liberty, we kept coming back to one topic: decorating our rooms. If you make the (totally wonderfully awesome) choice to live on campus at Liberty, you’ll get a lot of benefits: a residence hall full of people who love you, fun activities to get involved in, and the underrated proximity to your 7:40 class. But the one element that you might want to change: the appearance of your new little home. Too many people underestimate how much good it can do to liven up the space you’ll be studying in, sleeping in, and laughing in for an entire year. And I have one word for you: color.
That’s how I approached my first room at Liberty. It was colorful and it was loud, and I loved it. Lucky for me, I had two roommates that trusted me enough (I think) to let me start decorating before they arrived. Trust me, I know that when you first open the door to that little room, it can feel….grey. But that’s just because it hasn’t been given life yet! And by life, I mean color.
When I made the final decision to attend Liberty, I started my decorating process. It sounds tedious, or maybe a little bit silly. But when you are going to live in a small space with one or two other people for an entire semester, you want it to be a place you actually like looking at! And while one of my roommates my freshman year had more of a penchant for monotone color schemes, she quickly saw the light: when you have a smaller, white room to work with, color does the trick!
We did a few things that made our space the best it could be:
Whatever you do with your space, make sure it’s both functional to your lifestyle and interesting enough to make studying a little more fun.
Have fun making your little space at Liberty the best it can be!Posted at 8:53 AM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Fall Break is almost here! I am going to a debate tournament this weekend instead of going home, but I think everyone on campus can agree it’s time for a break! So while I’m extremely jealous of everyone spending their weekend at home, I did get a little break this last weekend with a Girls Night! In between the tournaments of our crazy debate schedule, a group of girls on the Debate Team decided to take the night off and have some fun. We started the night off by having a little photo shoot around campus, and I couldn’t help but share some of our favorite results!
After the photo shoot, we headed over to Vinny’s for dinner. After some conversation and too many breadsticks, we went to Meagan’s apartment for some real Girls Night activities: watching What A Girl Wants and baking!
As we near the middle of the semester, a lot of us had homework piling up, those of us on the debate team also had tournaments to prepare for and arguments to research. But taking some time to relax and have fun with the people that make this whole journey worthwhile was so fun and important to maintaining our sanity!
Posted at 2:47 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink