God knows I've been naive…

…but I think it makes him proud of me.
Ah … Summer.  Deep breaths of air filled with the smells of grilling and a hint of sunscreen.  The sounds of laughter and good music floating all around you.  Gentle creaks of the porch swings and books that take you to far away places that only exist in someone’s imagination.  The knowledge that it doesn’t matter how late you stay up because tomorrow morning the only thing that awaits you is a cup of really good coffee.  That’s the name of the game for this girl, at least for a little bit.
This past week and a half has been filled with all of these things and more.  I know that this won’t last forever, especially since Hebrew will be here before I know it but until then, I’m enjoying the laziness of no work, no classes and no responsibility.  This last year was a challenging one, getting back into school mode, moving to a new city and finding a new community to call my own.  It was rewarding to say the least, totally worth it.  I know this because even though I love being at home, I find myself longing to be back in my little apartment on Carmen and staying out late with friends.
But for a period of time I am here, in the sunshine of Colorado (if the sun comes back out ever).  I am able to see my goddaughter off when she leaves for China and welcome her back to hear all her crazy stories.  I am able to celebrate my niece’s 6th birthday with a bowling Justin Beiber party, I am able to rock my 9 month old niece to sleep in our over stuffed black chair.  I am able to have long lunches/dinners/coffees with my dear friends that have known me so long we have trouble remembering when/how we became friends in the first place.
My summer is all about slow, deliberate movements or more so, moments.  It’s about the time you take to slow down and enjoy the people and things around you but to be deliberate in those moments.  To draw near to those who are called “loved ones” and to pull away from those who make you feel less of who you know you are.  Part of the reason for this, in my case, is merely the amount of time I have here and with certain people.  The farther away I move from this home state of mine, the more I realize that my time spent here is so very valuable.  And this may be my last extended visit here and I’m trying my hardest to be intentional in who and where I spend my time.
I joke about “the one thing I’ve learned in seminary” with various people.  My answer usually depends on the crowd but I will say, one of the more valuable lessons I’ve learned is to enjoy the people I’m with at any given moment.  Authentic community grows out of being present in people’s lives.  To shut off the digital world and spend time with the people in front of you.  Which is part of the reason I quit “the book” … to sort of force my relationships to be more authentic.
So, if I lack the time or energy to blog this summer, then so be it.  But I predict I may be blogging more, simply because of the mere fact that I like sharing my life here, the things I’m learning and battling with.  And I’m sure those will be a lot, since I am currently reading 4 books.  (not an all time high for me, but up there) as well as spending time with people who bring out that introspective part of my personality.  Those who spend the time calling me on my crap and allowing me to process the jumbled mess that I call my head.  I’m looking forward to more of this life here and hopefully sharing it with you all that read the blog…. all five of you.
Lastly, because Jill likes to tell me that my blog titles rarely relate to my posts, or make sense (pot – kettle), this blog title comes from a song I found from Steph’s blog a few weeks ago and it struck a chord in my heart.  It’s called Naive by Sleeping at Last and in a lot of ways I think it sums up my first year of seminary.  You can read into this statement whatever you like, but instead you should maybe just ask me why.

everything's closer to the end

The end of the semester is upon me. I am 3 papers, 2 finals and 1 test away from the freedom of Summer. In attempts to cleanse my palate a bit as I’m in the middle of paper writing, I thought I would try and reflect a bit on what has been going on in life as well as what’s coming up… we’ll see how it works.  So totally random and in no specific order, here’s what’s going on up in my head …

  • I was elected President of our Student Association. Before you get all impressed, I ran unopposed so there was no competition, but still, I’m coming to terms with the fact that this is kind of a big deal. So far, not much has changed except that I’m suddenly super visible on campus and people are starting to call me “Madame President” and the rare couple of people enjoy saluting me in the library, on the green space and in the Seminary building. But basically, little has really changed …. yet. I know the change is coming, I know it’s happening soon, I just can’t wrap my head around it quite yet.
  • I’m starting to realize how much my community here has blessed me and shaped me within this first year of seminary. I look at those around me and realize just how much of an impact they have had on me. The people who have pushed me to be a better version of myself, those who have made me stumble in challenging ways, those who have broadened my interests to include things like the Lord of the Rings movies, and those that have taught me valuable life lessons – like self-confidence.  It is almost impossible to leave a community like this unchanged, and I think this year has changed me a lot, in a lot of good ways.  I’m looking forward to continuing this community in coming years but realizing how much it will change with a new class coming in as an older class graduates and moves on.
  • I am not ready to spend two and a half months away from the roommate.
  • I am, however, excited to spend six whole weeks with my nieces and the goddaughter.  I think I’m going to teach Bizzy to walk so that I don’t miss her first steps…
  • I survived my first Chicago winter, and while the spring is slowly arriving, I am excited for the Colorado summer ahead of me, at least part of it.
  • I babysit three children on a regular basis, different families – their names all started with Es.  I think E-names might be trending right now.
  • I do not miss facebook, not even a little bit.
  • After several conversations lately with a new friend I realized … I really miss the dance world.
  • Research papers are way more fun when you’re passionate about the topics.  I’m writing one right now on the lives of John and Spencer Perkins and the Christian’s call to Racial Reconciliation.  Boo-yah.
  • Friendships/Relationships are messy and sometimes they hurt like hell, but if you can make it through the pain, there’s beauty on the other side.
  • Some days, coffee and music are the only things that help me survive…my own personal gifts from the Lord.
So that’s the mumbled jumbled mess inside my head.  I like to call it “end of semester brain.”  It’s an interesting place.  However, in exactly 10 days my first year of Seminary will be complete and I will be free to sip coffee and read for pleasure all my days.  It shall be glorious.