Saturday, December 31, 2011

Here we go

Christmas break has been wonderful. I've let myself be lazy and sleep in every day, watch tv, read books for fun (the Hunger Games trilogy in 4 days, haha), and play with my dog. I've spent time with family and some friends. I usually don't blog unless I have something that I really want to write about, but I don't this time. I just wanted to blog because it's the last day of the year - and I had seven blog entries last year and only six so far this year so I need one more to make them the same. ;)

I got a Kindle for Christmas! I was not expecting it. At all. But it's pretty cool; I haven't bought too many books on it yet, but I found some free word games haha. I still can't decide what books I want to buy on it and which books I'll want physical copies of. I still love the idea of having a library in my own home one day. But the Kindle is practical - especially because otherwise I have to ship all my school books from California to Georgia. Oh, decisions.

I feel like I should reflect on the past year or something, but I don't really feel like it. It makes me realize, again, how quickly time moves on, even when you're not ready. I waited so long for 2010, and now it's been a year since it ended. Weird.

My best friend is in town. It'd been a year and a half since I last saw her, so it was really good to hang out again. She's also going to be visiting me at Biola in March, and I'm super excited about that. Her sister's getting married this summer, which is weird haha. But it'll probably be a fun wedding. :)

I think God is telling me not to go to Europe. I say "I think" because I still really want to go, and there's a part of me that is thinking if I just accept the fact that I'm not going, then God'll provide the money and I'll be able to go. Like a dream-come-true fairytale. But Biola was my dream, and it's not done yet. I still have to work for it and focus on it. So I really think I should just work all summer to earn as much money as I can to pay for school, and then maybe the next summer I can travel.

On Tuesday, I'm going to start being productive this break. That's when my mom goes back to work so I figure I've had my two weeks of break and then I'll need to do stuff. I want to get to work on my grandpa's story again, and I need to read at least two of my Torrey books for this semester and practice piano. And I'm thinking about reorganizing my room. We put away Christmas decorations today and it kind of got me in a cleaning/reorganizing mood. We'll see.

Well I think this suffices for a decent blog post. Maybe. Happy new year :)

"Hold on to this lullaby, even when the music's gone."
- Safe & Sound, Taylor Swift with the Civil Wars

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Two More Weeks

Something I've realized lately - life is never going to slow down. I think my life is crazy now, with school and a job and life, and that once I'm done with college I'll actually be able to do stuff that I don't have time for now. But why do I think my life is going to slow down when I'm done with college? I'll get a full-time job and be just as busy; and life will only get busier and faster until I retire and realize that I don't have hardly any life left. I shouldn't be surprised that it's already almost December in the year 2011, but I am. I keep thinking time will eventually slow down, but it never does. I'm trying to understand how I should live when it comes to random opportunities that life throws at me; I don't want to miss something that I'll never be able to do again, even if I think I'll have more time to do it later in my life, yet I can't do everything, no matter how much I want to. I'm not sure how many opportunities I should watch fly by, even if it's just a random social outing, and how many I should grab by the hand and force to take me along.

This semester has been a good semester; tiring, with many a late night, but good. Friendships have grown, knowledge has definitely grown, and I'd like to think that I've grown. I turned 20, which of course feels normal now, even if it is strange to think of myself as 20. My birthday was tons of fun - I went with some of my closest girlfriends to see Keith Urban at the Staples Center. I've converted them all to like country now. ;) I've successfully surprised three friends for their birthdays (two with my roommate's help, the third was for her!), discovered the joy and pleasure of doing homework in the huge, comfy, and glamorous hotel in Downtown Disney, been to the beach at least once a month, and almost completed watching season one of LOST with some friends (we're attempting a marathon - a season a semester and we'll be done by the time we graduate!). I spent a night at Lake Arrowhead and a weekend in Oceanside at Havilah's house (which is also where I spent Thanksgiving break - so fun!). I've eaten lots of Nutella and dark chocolate with sea salt (so yummy!) and have discovered that I like chai lattes, even though the caffeine makes me crazy. I've also discovered that I like tea when it's mixed with lots of french vanilla cream, or I can just drink the cream by itself (just so you know, I did not think to do that by myself!). I now know what it's like to work an 8-hour day, with half an hour for lunch being my only break. And that's just the fun stuff...

I've read 15 books (selections of some, all of the majority) for Torrey, not including the Bible (Paul's epistles, 7 so far, 6 still to go), learned lots more theology, been thoroughly immersed in American Literature before the Civil War for awhile now, and been reminded of many important music theory lessons. I've stayed up til 1 a.m. writing papers, spent 42 hours and 45 minutes studying the book of Ephesians (4,000 words and 4 chapters memorized so far), and managed to read and discuss six books of the Bible not for class credit (Torrey Total Bible). - All of this is just to prove to my parents that I'm not just having fun out here; I'm actually doing/learning stuff. ;)

I really want to go on Torrey Europe. It's a 2-week trip to 4 different countries in Europe (Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, and Italy) on a world opera tour. I've never been to Europe and I've always wanted to go to an opera. Some of my friends are going, and not only would it be a really fun trip, but I'd get 4 units of Torrey credit, too. And I need the units. However, it's really expensive, and I can't increase my loans to cover the cost. I missed the deadline to sign up for the trip because I didn't want to pay a non-refundable deposit since I wouldn't get that back if I ended up not being able to go. I was hoping they would still have spots available so I could sign up next semester. They do, so God hasn't completely shut the door on this trip for me. I know that He will provide the money for me to go if He wants me to go; my problem is, what if He doesn't want me to go? What if it's not in His plan for me? What if He says no? I know He wants me at Biola, so I know He'll provide for that, but I don't know for sure that He wants me to go on this trip. Like I said, He hasn't completely shut the door, but He hasn't made it clear yet either. I read verses that say, "Ask, and it will be given to you," and how God wants to give good gifts to His children, and I think, how could God not want this for me? So I've been praying, begging, everyday for Him to provide. I'm not sure what to do if He says no, though. I really want to travel this summer, and I've wanted to go to Europe for as long as I can remember.

That's been the main thing on my mind lately. Kind of going along with the life-doesn't-slow-down thought. In other news, I'll be home in time to see my mom's graduation! I'll be landing about two hours before it starts. And that'll be in 15 days! :) I can't wait to go home, and actually be home for longer than a week. That hasn't happened since before I left for college freshmen year. I'll be home half of December and all of January, and I am very much looking forward to it.

I shall leave you with a Christmas song:

"I am dreaming tonight of a place I love even more than I usually do, and although I know it's a long road back, I promise you, I'll be home for Christmas."
- I'll Be Home for Christmas, sung by many people

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Count Down to Twenty

I don't know why, but the age of twenty has always seemed so old and responsible, like when I turned twenty, I would finally be a real adult and not feel like a kid anymore. But now that twenty looms over me, I don't want to be twenty. I know that once I finally am twenty, I'll get over it and be fine, but right now, I'm not so sure. It'll be my second birthday away from home, and just so many things have been happening lately that I don't want to even think about turning twenty. But think about it I do. I realized Monday that I had twenty days til I was twenty. Arg, life goes by too quickly. I know I thought that I was busy in high school, but honestly, I don't think I've ever been so busy in my life.Which leads me to stop talking about how depressed turning twenty makes me feel and instead talk about the past month and a half.

As soon as I got back to Biola, I was going non-stop. Torrientation was one of the best weeks of my life, but I hardly sat down for most of it. Preparing all the meals for 150 people was not as stressful as I thought it would be, but that was because I had such wonderful help every meal, and God worked a lot of miracles (mainly with the budget). God was very good to me that week. After being away from a community all summer, it was so great just to be thrown back into it, with everything just falling into place. The downside of the week was that I didn't get to get to know any freshmen really, because I was always in the kitchen. But it was still a fun job, and, even though it wasn't barbeque, I think I lived up to my name :)

Then I started my new job (at the library!) and classes started. First off, I don't want to complain. It really has been a really great semester:  I love my job; it's very detail-oriented and of course with books and it's wonderful. I love my classes; American Lit, Music Theory, Torrey (we're reading the Pauline Epistles and a bunch of theology books), and I'm doing a piano duet with someone for an ensemble credit for my music minor. I've only done one other duet in my life, so it has been a new experience but a lot of fun so far! I'm also doing Torrey Total Bible (where we read the books of Bible that aren't in the normal Torrey curriculum, 6 extra sessions, 3 per semester) and my first session is this Saturday - hopefully it'll go well! And I'm doing a new mentorship program for Torrey women, where freshmen and sophomores are mentored by juniors and seniors. Our first meeting is Friday and I find out who my mentor is! So I'm also really looking forward to that.

However, while it's been good, it's also been stressful and emotional. I was feeling really weighed down by a bunch of different things that were happening to different people, and I kept finding out new things, and I didn't feel like I was doing anything right in Torrey, and my busy schedule wasn't helping me process things (especially an 8 o'clock class twice a week and getting to work at 8 two of the other days). I'm feeling better about that stuff, but now I'm just unsure about how I feel about turning twenty and it's got me in a funk. So I decided to blog about it, because I still can't really process my feelings. I'm also feeling a little homesick, this week especially. My cousin is getting married on Saturday and all my family is in town and I really wish I could be there to see everyone. But I can't. I didn't think I'd get homesick much this semester because of how I felt this summer, but I guess I was wrong.

Anyways, there's more I could say but I'm tired and want to go to bed. I thought I was going to go to bed early tonight, but here it is 11:45 (which is still early compared to when I've been going to bed this week). So good night world :)

"Oh, I'm running to Your arms. I'm running to Your arms. The riches of Your love will always be enough. Nothing compares to Your embrace. Light of the world, forever reign."
- Forever Reign, Hillsong

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Adventures

The end of my freshmen year ended with the worst sunburn I've ever gotten. But I suppose it was a good way to end the year - at the beach with friends. My sister Cat came to visit me for a week and a half, and, even though she got a reality check of what living in L.A. is really like - mainly traffic - it was still a great time together. She got to meet my friends, we saw Pirates 4 at midnight together, and we got beach time. Unfortunately, for most of the time she was there, I had to study and prepare for finals, so she had many solo adventures - including meeting the Season 10 American Idol finalists and some of the past winners (including Carrie Underwood and Kris Allen). Yes, I was jealous.

Summer has been wonderful, hot, long, bittersweet, itchy, and a time of growth. The day after I got home from the 3-day trip home, I went to my aunt's house where I've been living during the weeks so I can babysit during the day here in Atlanta. I started my job with a half-peeling, half-swollen face (that sunburn...). I warned them ahead of time because I didn't want to scare the kids on my first day (ages 8 and 6, girl and boy). Thankfully, I didn't and they've actually been pretty great kids to babysit, though a bit spoiled at times. I did that for three weeks, going home on the weekends, and then I had a few days at home before I left for the Dominican Republic.

Throughout those three weeks, I'd been reading old letters that my grandmother had written to her mom and sister throughout her life. I didn't have time to finish them all before my trip (and I still haven't finished), but I did learn a lot about my grandmother through them. For instance, she had a lot of boyfriends. (So did my mother, but the trend apparently stopped with me and my sisters ;) ) I also realized what a brave woman she was. She graduated from Moody Bible Institute, spent a year in Belgium as a single missionary learning French, then was a missionary in Congo before she met my grandfather (who was a widower with three small children), married him and instantly became a mother of those girls, then moved to the Dominican Republic to be a missionary and learn Spanish.

Once in the D.R., the first week and a half I spent with just my mom in the capital city, Santo Domingo. We stayed with a friend of hers who had the cutest little cocker spaniel that I fell in love with. We arrived on a Wednesday; Thursday morning we left for a campground in a city called Maímon, where we went with the team four years ago. This time my mom spoke at a women's conference there until Saturday. I attended the meetings, tried to understand as much Spanish as I could, and ate very delicious food. I also interviewed a few older ladies that went to the early churches that my grandfather started. I enjoyed talking to them and learning about my grandfather - especially one lady who became a Christian because of Grandpa and had five children who grew up in the Lord because of that and her children now have children that have grown up in a strong, Christian home. It was very cool to see that influence and to hear these ladies talk about how much my grandfather influenced their lives.

We left the camp on Saturday and went back to Santo Domingo, staying with my mom's friend. We spent some time with my aunt and cousin that live in the capital on Saturday and Sunday, as well as attending my mom's friend's church. Spanish church services are fun, even though I can't understand much of the sermon. Monday, I spent the morning/afternoon chilling and relaxing at the house, while it poured and flooded outside (they don't have any drainage system) and my mom worked with another friend to prepare for a teacher's conference she was teaching at the next week. Monday night, we had dinner with some of my mom's friends and more people who knew my grandparents. I was able to interview all of them; it was my favorite interview to do because their ideas bounced off each other and they shared many interesting and funny stories. I learned how strict my grandmother was and how much of a jokester my grandfather was (I know where Cat gets it from now).

Tuesday, we drove 2 hours west and visited two cities - La Romana (where my mom was born) and San Pedro. I saw a few of the church/schools that my grandparents started and interviewed the pastors. I also enjoyed good food and delicious fruit drinks (the cherry and passion fruit drinks were my favorite!).

Wednesday, we drove 2 hours east and visited another two cities - Azua (I kept wanting to say Azusa, as in APU) and San Cristobal, where I saw more church/schools and interviewed more pastors. The pastor of the Azua church/school cried when I interviewed him as he remembered my grandfather. He told me that Grandpa treated him as a son and that when he and his family found out that he had died, his children cried in their rooms because it was like their grandfather had died. That was very touching; I'd never really known how much my grandfather had influenced people.

Thursday, Mom and I took a trip to the beach! I got my hair braided (it makes it easier to handle in the heat and cold showers!), enjoyed the cool, clear Caribbean Sea, and suntanned for a little bit. Unfortunately, then it started raining, so we had to leave the beach early. But it was still a fun day!

Friday, we visited the Compassion Headquarters of the Dominican Republic. I had never known this before, but my grandmother was the director there for almost ten years; when she started, they only had 3 orphanages; when she finished, they had 60! She was quite amazing.

Saturday, we went to the airport to pick up the team from church and headed four hours north on a bus to Puerto Plata. We stayed with different members of the church there; my mom and I stayed with the pastor and his wife (the sister of the lady we stayed with in Santo Domingo), good friends of my mom and a family I've known my whole life. It was good seeing them again.

Monday, we prepared for the VBS we were going to do all week and we also did cleaning and painting around their newly cemented basketball court. We handed out invitations to the VBS on Monday as well.

Tuesday-Friday we spent mornings cleaning and painting and the afternoons working the VBS. The kids are absolutely adorable! They love talking to you, even though they know you can't understand them, and taking pictures with you. On Wednesday morn, instead of working, we got to go up a mountain in a cable car. It had the prettiest views! Mountains on one side, the ocean on the other. Throughout the week, we also were put into groups with the Dominican teens from their youth group and had to perform with them Friday night. My group did a choreographed dance thing - it was a lot of fun, especially trying to communicate! I felt that I got a lot better at my Spanish the second week, when I didn't have my mother translator with me all the time ;)

Saturday was beach day! We went to Sosua, a beach that my family has always loved because of its veryyyy clear and warm water (the Atlantic Ocean). It was super fun and we got to do some shopping; but sadly, once again it rained. Except it didn't just rained. It poured, while we were shopping. And they don't have good drainage systems. The shops were outside shops, basically right on the beach, so there were literally little rivers going from the shops to the ocean, and as we ran from shop to shop, sometimes your leg would disappear up to your calf in the water. It was quite an adventure!

Sunday, we went to church and then drove four hours back to Santo Domingo. We were originally not going to do this until Monday (the day our flight left), but there was a nationwide strike planned for that day and it would be very dangerous to drive on the road that long (people would put spikes and smoking tires in the road to keep you from driving and working). So we were able to stay at a guest house of SCORE International (a place for baseball players) so there were many baseball fields around us. Then Monday, we left and God kept us safe from any riots or anything and got us to the airport safely. We flew home and the adventure ended. It was the weirdest feeling for me, coming home. I wasn't homesick, yet I didn't necessarily desire to stay longer in the D.R. I wasn't anxious to get home; it was just what I was supposed to do next so I was doing it. I realized that I was becoming disassociated with my home, which makes me sad. Living at college for a year and then living with my aunt most of the summer has made me not be homesick for my home all the time. I know it's a part of growing up, but it's weird and I don't really like it.

I had the rest of the week off from babysitting, which was nice because I got to process everything from the trip and unwind, and also help my mom clean the house. I learned a lot about my grandparents that I never knew - my grandmother died before my mom was even married and Grandpa lived in Michigan so I only saw him two or three times a year and he died when I was 12. My grandparents live on through many people's memories, and through those memories, I got to get to know my grandparents. It was a little difficult trying to compare what I read in my grandmother's letters to people's memories because I only got to the 1950s in her letters and most people were remembering things from the 70s and 80s. But I'm hoping to continue reading them and be able to have faces to put with names. I also got to get to know some of the young people in the youth group at my church now and that was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed hanging out with them; it was a new experience for me to be the older one on the mission trip.

Liz came home from China the Saturday after we got back. It was the first time my whole family had been together in 13 months, so it was a wonderful time. It's weird how some things never change, even if all the circumstances have changed. Family time was great, but I had to go back to my aunt's house in Atlanta Sunday night to start babysitting again Monday.

This past weekend, we had two family reunions, due to the fact that Liz is home. They were fun, as they always are! (And they always have good food - the desserts for the two days were banana pudding, delicious chocolate cake, and Oreo cheesecake.)

Babysitting is still going well. I got to go to Six Flags with the kids last week, and today I took them to the Atlanta Zoo - I'd never been before and it was really cool! We're going to go to the Aquarium next week, so having trips during the day makes my job very nice and fun.

Next week is my last week babysitting and then next weekend, we go up to Ohio for Kylee's wedding (Liz is the maid-of-honor). Liz leaves Thursday for Ohio, so I'm not seeing her again til the wedding. Then the day after the wedding, she heads back to China for another year. It'll be weird saying bye to her again after such a short time with her. But next summer, she'll be able to come home the whole summer.

The week after the wedding, I'll get to stay home, visit friends, and do a lot of reading for school! Then I head back to Biola on August 14 for Torrientation and I am ready to go back! Granted, I do have to do that reading and finish preparing the meal plan for Torrientation, but I miss all my friends (I've only really talked to three of them this summer) and I miss the community. And the no-rain. It hasn't quit raining since I was in the D.R. and I'm getting tired of it. And I don't tire of rain easily. Anyways, this has been long enough, and I'm tired and have to get up at 6 in the morning. So I think this is a good overview of how my summer's been going :)

"It's gonna be a long hot summer. We should be together."
- Long Hot Summer, Keith Urban

Sunday, April 24, 2011

This has been a crazy semester.

Disclaimer: I wrote most of this Wednesday afternoon and the end while I was traveling home Friday.

So I realized tonight that it's been two months since I last blogged. And I wondered why I hadn't blogged the past two months. Then I thought, Oh yeah, that'd be life. This semester has been one amazing, busy, crazy semester. Have I mentioned that I love Biola? Probably, but I can't get over how much I love being here. The people, the classes, the community. I just really love it all.

Let's see, March included a theology conference and a missions conference, paper deadlines, floor retreat, and lots of learning. First off, I learned that I really love theology. I spent ten hours over two days just soaking in theology, things I'd never even thought to question before about what I believe. As we read the Gospels in Torrey and I went to a lecture on the Synoptic Gospels, I learned so much more about what I believe. As my mentor puts it, there's a difference between knowing God and knowing about God. I've known God practically my whole life, but I've never known that much about Him. That's what I'm learning now, and I'm so glad that Biola makes everyone minor in Bible, because this stuff is too fascinating to have never learned. Secondly, missions conference was amazing! It is completely student-run - a three day event with speakers, a band, and everything in between. My favorite was something called Global Awareness - they have rooms set up that you walk through, and they put on mini-skits of places in different countries where people are suffering and Christians are being persecuted (they also had one in America dealing with abortion). They way they did the skits made it feel like you were actually there, and they were very convincing and eye-opening. Third - paper deadlines. My lit class is interesting, but I'm pretty sure 99% (if not 100%) of her students in all three of her American Lit classes were unsatisfied with how she graded our first papers. She called it a reflection paper which is very misleading because she really wanted a persuasive, argumentative paper. But I was able to rewrite mine with that in mind and will hopefully find out soon what I got on it. My Torrey paper I was actually very happy with, and I am very impatient to get it back. I was hoping to before spring break, but I'm not sure I will now. I wrote my paper on Aeneas from The Aeneid, all 2762 words of it. It's the longest paper I've ever written on one character and I really want to know what I made on it. Fourthly, floor retreat was a camping trip by the beach about 2 hours north of here. It was a lot of fun! I didn't get too much closer to the girls on my hall like I'd wanted, but I enjoyed a Sunday morning walk on the beach and sleeping outside.

April has included a midterm, Torrey freshmen initiatives, and preparing for Torrientation. My midterm was in American Lit, and again, I don't know what I made yet. I'm supposed to find out tomorrow, but I'm not sure if I will. I just really hope I got an A on it. Freshmen initiatives were a lot of fun! The games were interesting (they were how-do-you-work-in-a-group type games), but I really enjoyed hearing from Torrey alum current seniors about their experiences in Torrey. Also, we spent about 3-4 hours getting to know each other better personally. I went to bed after that (it was midnight on a church night) but my group stayed up til 2:30 am. Torrientation is the orientation for Torrey that I came to Biola about 5 days early for last August. This year, I am blessed and very excited to get to be a part of making Torrientation an awesome experience for the upcoming freshmen. I am a seer and foods coordinator. A seer is just someone who helps the freshmen with whatever they need during the week of Torrientation (we are split into groups and put with a group of freshmen). Foods coordinator is what it sounds like - since the Biola cafe isn't open yet at this time, I am in charge of making sure everyone gets fed (which is appropriate since my last name is Baker...haha). I have been so blessed to get to know the other seers and leadership teams better (which include my roommate and 9 other members from my group Edwards :) ). I absolutely love being a part of a group who can turn a 30-minute prayer meeting into an hour and half of holding hands in a circle and praying together. These people that I’ve met our absolutely amazing. :)

Other fun stuff I’ve done the past two months: beach trip to Huntington Beach – we went in the afternoon and stayed til night, had a bonfire and smores, played Frisbee and volleyball, and just hung out and had a great, relaxing time; saw Tangled and True Grit at the dollar theater; watched Monster’s Inc,, Andy Griffith, Emperor’s New Groove, and Life is Beautiful with friends (not at the same time); random trips to Chick-fil-a; Mock Rock (a musical competition at Biola – a bunch of different groups of students perform dances and lip sync to random mash-ups of popular songs to tell a story); and of course random adventures that happen in my dorm room with Elsa, Havilah, and Maci. :)

Right now, I’m headed home for spring break, which happen to always correlate with Easter, and I’m so glad for this break! As I said, this semester has been crazy busy. But it’s not quite over yet. My last three weeks of school are probably going to be my toughest yet; I just have a lot due and I really thick book to read (City of God, which hopefully I will get a lot read over break). But I am very excited that my sister Catherine will be coming to visit me my last week of school and finals week – we’ll be driving back to Georgia together once school ends.

Spring break plans – I’m getting home Friday night. Saturday will be spent with my dad’s side of the family, and I get to see my new baby cousin! And of course we’ll eat lots of good food. :) Easter Sunday, I’m going to church and then spending the afternoon/evening with my mom’s side of the family – Easter egg hunt for the little ones and of course, more good food. :) Monday I’m headed to UGA to visit friends, and Tuesday I’m going to Berry to visit more friends! I might try to visit Kennesaw too – I haven’t decided if I’ll have time yet. Then, Wednesday through Friday are homework days (because I have a lot of it!) and I’ll probably spend time with the Hasteys too. Next Saturday I head back to school. So hopefully it’ll be a fun week; I’m looking forward to it! Especially because even when I’m doing homework, I’ll have sweet Abby there with me! :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Trust and Thankfulness

Trust and thankfulness will get you safely through this day. Trust protects you from worrying and obsessing. Thankfulness keeps you from criticizing and complaining:  those "sister sins" that so easily entangle you. Keeping your eyes on Me is the same thing as trusting Me. It is a free choice that you must make thousands of times daily. The more you choose to trust Me, the easier it becomes. Thought patterns of trust become etched into your brain. Relegate troubles to the periphery of your mind, so that I can be central in your thoughts. Thus you focus on Me, entrusting your concerns into My care.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7
But my eyes are fixed on You, O Sovereign Lord; in You I take refuge - do not give me over to death. Psalm 141:8
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

This is from the devotional book I've been going through, called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It pretty much summarizes what God has been teaching me this past month and what I've been attempting to focus on. Trust and thankfulness. It started out in chapel the first week in the spring semester. I don't remember who it was, but he was talking about being grateful for being here because there are tons of people around the world who are so thirsty for God's Word and I'm being fed it almost constantly here. I've been realizing how incredibly blessed I am, and I don't want to complain about the little things anymore. I'm going to trust God with my problems and thank Him for all that He's given me.

This first month of the semester has been incredibly busy. I went from having a lot of free time over interterm to hardly having any and I know it's only going to get busier. But, at the same time, I have really loved this semester so far. I've stayed ahead in my reading for Torrey, so it hasn't been stressful reading and I've been able to enjoy the books for the most part, which has been nice. I have session three days a week now, which makes it a lot busier, but it's still good. :) I also am taking a Music Appreciation class for my music minor (which, btw, I was able to get into the program at the end of last semester :) ) and an American Lit class. I really like my music app professor and the class is interesting, but he has a habit of turning most of the lights off so we can see the power points and, I'm not gonna lie, it makes me really sleepy. I have my first exam on Wednesday in there; hopefully it'll go well. My lit class is interesting - I enjoy the readings but I still haven't decided if I like the actual class. We shall see.

Another exciting thing about this semester is that I'm about 99% sure that I've found a church! It's a bit on the large side, but I've been able to get involved in the college group with my roommate and another friend and we really enjoy that. I like the worship and the preaching (even though right now they don't have a pastor, but they're looking) and we go to the smaller sanctuary so it doesn't feel quite so big; it's just hard to get to know people. We're hoping to get involved in the children's ministry - they had some openings that we're interested in - and if we can, then we're going to stick with this church. :)

So I haven't just been busy with homework and such; I've been able to have my fun too. :) I've been to the beach twice (though both times, we did reading while there), and last Saturday I went to the Getty Museum and it was amazing! If you don't know what it is, it's an art museum but it also has gardens - they were gorgeous. I have pictures of the day on Facebook. I went and saw the play Into the Woods here at Biola and was super impressed by it. There are some really talented people here. I also saw the movie The Incredibles on the lawn here and got free cotton candy, popcorn, and hot chocolate. It was very cold but fun! Last Friday I watched Lion King 1 1/2 and yesterday I watched Monsters, Inc. and Andy Griffith. It's been some fun Fridays. :)

I can't believe February is almost over. But it is, and then I just have three more months of my freshmen year. Yikes! But, as Marcus Aurelius says, life is brief, so be good while you can. Or, as I'm going to do, trust and thank God in and for everything.

"This is the stuff that drives me crazy. This is the stuff that's getting to me lately. In the middle of my little mess, I forget how big I'm blessed. This is the stuff that gets under my skin, but I've gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing. It might not be what I would choose, but this is the stuff You use."
- This Is the Stuff, Francesca Battistelli

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Este tomó mucho más tiempo que pensé que sería... (This took a lot longer than I thought it would....)

Bueno, había estado un rato desde entonces yo he blogueado, pero eso es principalmente porque estaba ocupada y nada nuevo o emocionante ocurrió durante interterm. Pero aquí está que ha ocurrido los dos meses pasados:

Terminé mi primero semestre con todos A’s :) Estuve muy listo ir a mi casa, y pasé unas dos y mitad semanas maravillosas a mi casa. El viaje a casa estaba muy interesante, con mi vuelo estando demoró, mi padre y hermana se volvieron atascado en tráfico y se volvieron atascado en más tráfico en el camino casa, estando paramos en el interestatal por media hora antes de decidiendo volver alrededor y manejó sur en el camino que se dirige al norte, mi hermana se bajando de el carro y cayendo en su trasero, y entonces finalmente arribando casa a las tres en la mañana y estando salude como yo fui la mayor parte de persona en el mundo por mi perrita encantadora :) El paso a mi casa estuvo bueno; yo me relaje y pase mucho tiempo con familia y un tiempo con mis amigos. Me siente como si yo nunca he salido. Nevó el día de Navidad, y fue mi primero Navidad de blanco y ¡fue impresionante! Excepto el nievo arruinó bastante de nuestra planes con familia, y nosotros no hicimos el blanco elefante regalo cambio ése nosotros hacíamos cada año (de cual yo he comprado un $15 regala tarjeta a In-n-Out…jajaja, así ahora debo usarlo yo mismo). Nuevo Años estuvo bueno además, aunque estuvo más tranquilo que normal. Fallé mi hermana Liz durante las vacaciones. Si tú no conoces, ella es una maestra en China y ha estado allí desde junio. No volvió a casa y fue nuestro primero Navidad sin ella, lo que hizo raro.

Yo llegué a Biola en dos de enero por interterm (una tres-semana semestre). El vuelo estuve largamente y deprimente porque yo no quise salir casa todavía. Mi clase de español comenzó el día siguiente y duró 9-12:30 cada día. Entonces yo tenía quizás un hora de tarea y resto de día gratis. Las semanas de fines yo tenía más tarea porque mi maestra nos dio exámenes hacer a casa que tomaron dos a tres horas. Si tú no te das cuenta de para ahora, la razón que yo escribo este en español es porque yo me divierto mi clase. Saqué una buena nota en la clase y mi maestra me recomendó hacer un menor de español. Ya conocí querer a hacer un menor de español, pero el día antes de ella dijo este, he decidido que no quiero tomar otro interterm, así no deba poder a hacer un menor de español. Pero cruzaré ese puente después. Mi clase terminó el 21 de enero y entonces tuve una semana a relajarse antes de la primavera semestre comienza. Mis amigos comenzaron llegar la semana pasada. ¡Estoy muy contenta tener gentes en campus también! Ha sido maravilloso ver todos también.

¡La primavera semestre comienza mañana! Lunes y miércoles mi solo clase es aprecio de música de 3:30-4:45. Martes y jueves tengo literatura de americano de 10:30-11:45 y después Torrey de 1:45-4:45. Viernes tengo Torrey de 10:30-1:30. Tengo mucho lectura hacer este semestre, pero lo estoy esperar con ilusión. ¡También espero tener un trabajo pronto! Tuve una entrevista de trabajo con Coldstone Creamery anoche. Estuvo una entrevista de grupo pero fue muy bueno. Con esperanza oiré de ellos esa semana porque pienso querer esto trabajo. También, comencé correr ese pasado lunes. Corrí una milla un día cada día, pero entonces falté ayer porque fui a la playa :) Con esperanza podré continuar a correr cada día.

Yo comencé ese libro de devoción al principio del año que recibí por mi graduación de la escuela secundaria. Llama Jesús Llama y escribe como así Jesús lo escribió hablar a tú. Es muy alentador, y mucho clases por enero fue sobre confianza en Dios y descanso en Su presencia y paz, cual estuvo que necesité oír ese mes. Es muy alentador.

Así sí, este es todo este ha ocurrido con mí últimamente. Espero que te diviertas esa edición de español de mi blog :)

(Below is the translation of the above, or at least what I was trying to say. I cannot guarantee the accurateness of my Spanish.)

Well, it's been a while since I've blogged, but that's mainly because I was busy at home and then nothing of excitement was really happening over interterm. But here's what has happened the past two months:

I ended my first semester with all A's :) I was very ready to go home, though, and I got to spend a wonderful two and a half weeks at home. The trip home was very interesting, with my flight being delayed, my dad and sister getting stuck in traffic coming to pick me up and then getting stuck in more traffic on the way home, being stopped on the interstate for half an hour before deciding to turn around and drive south on the northbound, my sister getting out of the car and falling on her butt, and then finally getting home at 3 am and being greeted like I was the most important person in the world by my sweet puppy :) The time home was good; I got to relax and spend a lot of time with family and some time with my friends. It felt as if I had never left. It snowed Christmas day, so I got my first white Christmas and it was awesome! I absolutely enjoyed that day. Oh except the snow ruined some of our extended family plans, and we didn't get to do the white elephant gift exchange that we do every year (for which I had bought a $15 gift card to In-n-Out...hahaha, so now I just have to use it myself). New Years was good as well, even though it was a bit quieter than it normally is. I missed my sister Liz over the holidays. If you don't know, she is a teacher in China and has been there since June. She didn't get to come home and it was our first Christmas without her, which made it a little weird.

I got back to Biola on January 2 for interterm (a 3-week semester). The flight back was long and kind of depressing because I didn't want to leave home yet. My Spanish class started the next day and I had it from 9-12:30 every day. Then I would have maybe an hour of homework and the rest of the day to myself. Weekends I had more homework because my teacher gave us take-home tests that took between two and three hours to take. And in case you haven't realized by now, the reason I'm writing this in Spanish is because I really enjoyed my class. I ended up with an A in the class, and my teacher recommended me to add a Spanish minor. I already knew I wanted to minor in Spanish, but the day before she told me this, I had decided that I didn't want to take another interterm, even if it meant I wouldn't be able to minor in Spanish. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. My class ended the 21st and then I had a week to relax before spring semester starts. My friends started coming back around the middle of the week, but most people got here Friday or Saturday. I'm so glad to have people on campus again! It has been wonderful to see everyone again.

Spring semester starts tomorrow! Mondays and Wednesdays my only class is Music Appreciation from 3:30-4:45. Tuesdays and Thursdays I have American Lit. from 10:30-11:45 and then Torrey from 1:45-4:45. Fridays I have Torrey from 10:30-1:30. I have a lot of reading to do this semester, but I'm kind of looking forward to it. I'm also hoping to get a job soon! I actually had a job interview with Coldstone Creamery last night. It was a group interview but it went really well. Hopefully I will hear back from them this week because I think I would really enjoy that job. Oh, I also started running this past Monday. I ran a mile a day every day, but then I missed yesterday because I went to the beach :) Hopefully I will be able to get on a good schedule with that.

I started this really cool devotional book at the beginning of the year that I got for my high school graduation. It's called Jesus Calling and it's written as if Jesus wrote it speaking to you. It's really encouraging, and a lot of the lessons for January were about trusting in God and resting in His presence and peace, which was what I really needed to hear this month. It was super encouraging.

So yeah, that's pretty much everything that's been happening with me lately. I hope you enjoyed this Spanish edition of my blog :)