Even as a senior at Liberty, I’m still discovering awesome new place to eat, get coffee, and hang out with my friends before I graduate!
Recently, a friend and I checked out Millie’s Living Café, a little spot connected to Health Nut Nutrition.
The food - an Acai Bowl and a gluten-free Carrot muffin!
My friend is gluten-free, and she was excited to check out their gluten-free bagels and muffins. Millie’s also has a great selection of vegan sandwiches and wraps, as well as our personal favorite – smoothie bowls! Seriously, I could eat one of these bowls every day for the rest of my life.
I got the Classic Acai Bowl - it has banana, acai, kiwi, pineapple, granola, and coconut!
You can check out Millie’s menu or other information to go try one of their awesome bowls! I’d highly recommend the Classic Acai Bowl – so good!
With food this pretty, you have to shamelessly take a few pictures. My friend Alli needed to photograph her Dragonfruit Bowl!
As a soon-to-be-graduated senior, my friends and I have been creating a list of “Lynchburg spots” we either need to check out for the first time or need to make sure we visit one last time before graduation. Millie’s has made the list in two ways – it started as a place we needed to check out before leaving, and it ended up being a place we need to visit one last time before leaving!
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be checking other spots off the list – our favorite coffee shops, restaurants, and outdoor spots!
Recently I got to take a much-needed break from school and go home! And to be honest, the best part of going home is always seeing two of my favorite people on this earth.
I was blessed enough to be given incredible parents I have strong relationships with. My parents have supported me in every dream I’ve had – from law school to seminary. They drove me to speech competitions and debate tournaments in high school, and once I got to college they learned more of our technical debate lingo than some debaters. They have been my biggest fans, my strongest support system, and my best friends.
I’ll be graduating in a few weeks and lots of people will congratulate me, but they should be congratulating my parents.
My parents have listened to every tearful outburst and every excited happy dance. They (despite some fighting and frustration) helped me with physics homework, taught me to drive a car, and proof-read and proof-read and proof-read everything I’ve written.
And since we’re a military family that’s still moving all over the place, “going home” doesn’t mean hanging out with friends or visiting my old high school. It means watching way too much HGTV with my mom and talking politics with my dad. It means baking and painting and watching cop dramas.
My insanely creative Mom is helping me decorate for my apartment and this was the very beginning of something that would become beautiful.
And when I hopped on a plane to Lynchburg, leaving this little puppy face was almost as heartbreaking as leaving my two favorite people.
So thank you, Momma and Daddy. Thank you for teaching me, guiding me, and loving me. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus in my life.
The Liberty Debate Team travels all over the country (and sometimes, all over the world – check out my blog about our London trip). But it’s unusual that we get to spend any time in any of the cities we visit – we’re usually too busy debating all day in the school that is hosting the tournament. But for the last big tournament of the year with the whole team, we got to leave Liberty a day early and spend a day exploring Boston!
All the debaters ready for a day of exploring!
We started out at Faneuil Hall, a historic marketplace and meeting hall where many famous Revolutionary-era politicians gave important speeches and held meetings.
On the second floor of the Hall were these historic steps with the names of the original states on each step.
We saw many historic sites, including the Old North Church, where Paul Revere famously hung the lanterns to alert revolutionary forces that the British were coming to attack during the Revolutionary War.
The church was both historically interesting and simply beautiful.
My little group at the Old North Church - Moriah, Claire, Hannah, and me.
We finished our off-day with a delicious dinner at a seaside seafood place.
The ship rirght next to the seafood restaurant.
Let's just say that the seafood place had some music we liked - Amanda, Brianna, and Alli especially enjoyed it.
But the best part of the weekend didn’t come until we were done exploring and had started the actual tournament. During this last tournament of the year, we have a tradition on Liberty’s team – we spend a few minutes talking about what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown spiritually over the course of the season. It always gets me emotional, but this year was even worse – I was finally the senior I always saw crying during the meeting. I love my team, and I loved getting to tell them all how much they have meant to me.
Amanda and Alli sat next to me and laughed at how emotional I got!
And even better, our novices (first-year debaters with no high school experience) took home the championship!
Our trip to Boston represented everything I love and everything I will miss about the Liberty University Debate Team – loving each other, having fun, and learning more than I ever imagined I would learn.
Today is Good Friday, and we had a beautiful and moving service at Convocation this morning.
The worship was beautiful and incorporated some older and newer music, spoken word, and different musical styles.
Senior Vice President for Spiritual Development David Nasser spoke on the meaning of the day we call Good Friday. He spoke about how too many churches and Christians want to avoid the messy, gruesome, gory details of the crucifixion. They want to skip right on to Sunday, where we celebrate life, not death. But he encouraged students that those uncomfortable details are what bring meaning to the resurrection and accurately describe the price Jesus paid in our place.
All morning, I kept thinking about the passage in Matthew that describes this day in history.
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land[g] until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
The part of this passage that’s been running through my head all day is verse 51: “And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.”
The veil has been torn.
This symbol of our fundamental condition of separation from God has been broken. We have unbelievable access to a holy, omnipotent God.
I like to imagine what it would be like to live during Jesus’ lifetime. How incredible would it have been to live in a time when God was faraway and distant, and then…not. God being far from our lives was not a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of His Word, it was truth. Can you imagine living in that harsh reality, and then living through the day when the death of our Savior destroyed that barrier?
One day, a distant God had become flesh and dwelled among us. But there’s more. He died on a cross to save our lives, and He didn’t even stop there. He could have died for us to one day have access to the God our sin separated us from. Instead, He tore the veil and guaranteed we’d have incredibly access while still on earth. Every time we utter up a silly and frivolous prayer, He is listening. Every time we cry out because of the pain in this broken world, He is listening. Every time a lost soul cries out for a Savior, He is listening. Praise Jesus!
It’s almost halfway through the semester, and I’m starting to get nostalgic! I’m on my last semester here at Liberty, and after four years here, I have a lot of memories. I can honestly say I would not be the person I am today if not for the four years I spent learning and growing here at Liberty. Here’s a look back at some memories from my freshman year – if you’re a freshman or about to start your time at Liberty, hopefully it’ll remind you to savor the moments while they last; and if you’re nearing the end of your career here as well, hopefully it will remind you of your treasured memories!
This was my first football game and my first roommates! The girl on the far left is Hannah, my first prayer leader! She was the best kind of prayer leader - kind, nurturing, and a lover of Jesus! Next to her are my two freshman year roommates, Sarah and Angela! We had a lot of fun together, from late night coffee runs to Sunday brunches.
Here's Sarah and I again - this time, we're celebrating her birthday by dressing up and eating dinner at one of our favorite local places - Macado's! (We really go for the giant cinnamon roll!)
Another important part of my freshman year was my introduction to the debate team! I would end up spending all four years at Liberty traveling around the country, debating with my team. I've learned more from this activity than anything I've ever done.
I also met some pretty amazing people on the debate team. This lovely picture was taken over the Easter break my freshman year, when a group of us went home with my friend Meagan. I was still in my Easter church clothes when we broke out the nerf guns and went to war!
And I can't forget my first Coffeehouse! Liberty's annual variety show occurs at the end of each semester, and it's always a great time. Here I am at my first Coffeehouse with another debater that would become one of my best friends, Vida.
Whether you're a freshman, a senior, or you haven't even started your time at Liberty yet, I hope this trip down my personal memory lane reminded you to treasure the memories you're making!