Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Good Things

Here are some highlights of my life recently:
-Moving into my own apartment. I have been busy, but things are finally beginning to come together. My little space is finally starting to feel like a home!
-I AM A TEACHER! I am the ELL Coordinator at a charter school in Holland. I LOVE IT. It has been a lot of work so far gathering data and inputing it, but everyone that I work with is AWESOME. I have felt so welcomed all week. Today there was an orientation, so I finally got to meet a lot of families and students! I even found out that a student I taught last year is now going to my new school. This is good news!
-Teachers invited me out to lunch today.
-Giant tire swing+swing dancing+the Electric Cheetah with good friends+GR from 28 floors up=one good night.
-My family loves me.
-I have good neighbors.
-I can ride my bike around town. I have not been in my car once except to drive to school. Speaking of driving, I really love my drive to and from school. The drive gives me a chance to wake up in the morning and unwind at the end of the day.
-Celebrated Lindsay's birthday with her and Megan and a bunch of great ladies.
-Spent the day in Holland on Sunday. Lemonjello's, Engedi, and an India Reunion.
-Groovin' in the Grove on Monday.
-Sarah Russo is probably coming to West MI this weekend!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

on living alone

I don't care that it's a TV show. If the ladies of Sex and the City can live alone, then I can do it too! This is going to be good.

Friday, August 26, 2011

in the beginning

I am embarking on a new adventure today. Thanks to my friend Chelsea for reminding me that this IS an adventure, and not merely just a "next step" in life. I am moving into my own apartment this afternoon, and I begin a full-time job (with benefits!) on Monday. I will be TEACHING. Livin' the dream, as Christopher Cox told me. It is amazing how God took me, this girl who four years ago said "I never want to work with kids," and turned me into a woman passionate about children and furthering their education. I LOVE TEACHING! I am ecstatic about this opportunity. Alas, I am also terrified. This position is so new to me, and I don't want to fail these children. I am up for the challenge though! My wonderful friends and family remind me of this constantly. I love you all.

and... I am off! Blasting through my radio on the drive across the state will be a playlist, full of songs with titles like: "The Adventure," "Kids," "Spinning," "In the Beginning," "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," "Take Me Home Tonight," and "Dog Days Are Over."

Bring it on, life. I am here to love you and live in you fully.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

love wins

These past couple of weeks, between writing cover letters, searching for apartments, and serving my cousin and her children as an au pair, I have been squeezing in time to read Rob Bell's Love Wins. Before reading this book, I heard a lot of controversy surrounding it. The biggest problem that people seemed to have with this book was that Rob Bell apparently says "there is no hell." Either these people never actually read the book or they completely missed the point. I have been pondering the message Bell is trying to convey through this book. In the meantime, I have also begun working on my "worldview" paper as a part of my India trip/senior seminar. The thoughts I have been jotting down as notes for my paper have been influenced a lot lately by what Bell has to say. We all live in our own little hells. We turn away from God daily by choosing to do or think or say little things that go against the beautiful life God has planned for us. We are actually designed to strive for the best; to strive for a world in which everyone lives according to the free love God gives. But we mess up. We go against God. But guess what? God still loves us. He chooses to love us--He loves us through all the hurt and the pain and our disregard of Him. The real kicker is that this is how God calls us to live as well. Forgive and love. No matter what. How do you begin to put the past in the past and begin to love everyone? A friend of mine recently asked me, "Have you tried praying for those that have hurt you over the past couple of years?" I replied, "It's hard. How do you even begin to figure out the right things to say to God about the people who have hurt you most?" This is tricky, but when you finally admit to yourself that you have also caused wrong and hurt to others (and to God); that you are not perfect or even better than those that have hurt you--well, this is the moment when forgiveness can truly begin.