Today I had a piece of pumpkin pie. This got me very excited about sweater weather, so I bought some woodchuck, which I drank on my roof, in the dark, chilly fall weather. Amanda and I sat up there discussing our futures. I am on the brink of making a pro-con list of my options. I just don't know how I'm supposed to decide.
Move into Glenwood and teach- I guess this option seems the most viable. I could live with my bff, Nicole, in a neighborhood that very much has a place in my heart. I would love to build relationships with neighbors, and continue to love the kids in that neighborhood. I envision nightly pray walks and my kitchen table full of children doing homework. I could also teach, as I will finally have a degree to do so. I would be very excited to teach. I could also save up money for grad school, or to go overseas.
Fears involving option one: That I am too in love with where I am to move on; that I am simply wanting to stay because of fear of the unknown; that if I stay, I'll never do anything else.
InterVarsity Staff- I have been very involved with IV for the past several years and I love the way that it has the ability to impact people's lives to help them grow in their walk with God. I love the idea of building relationships with students and empowering them to serve God on their campuses. I would be very excited to continue being involved and in different ways than before.
Fears involving option two: That I am too attached to IV and can't move on; that I would have to leave Greensboro and I'm not sure I'm ready; That I wouldn't be able to raise all the funds I would need.
Go to Africa and hold babies- Ever since I can remember, I've wanted to go to Africa and work with an orphanage. I still haven't done it. Post-graduation would be a great time to go, so it seems. I don't quite know what it would entail, but it would be an adventure that I'm sure would break my heart and challenge me to go deeper into God.
Fears involving option three: I'm not sure I'm ready to leave Greensboro, as I've said; I would have to raise funds; I'm not sure how this would play out in actuality.
currently listening to: The Everybodyfields currently reading: Reading, Writing and Rising up: Teaching About Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word real time: 11:07 PM
Today Kristi and I taught our class of preschoolers for the first time since school let out for summer. I taught about Moses and the burning bush. The kids were coloring the burning bush and Liam had lines going all over his picture and I was like, "what's going on here?" and he told me that Moses and his sheep were burnt up by the fire, which is not exactly Biblical, but it was funny. I was reflecting on the passage before I taught and I was struck by something. When Moses tells God why he can't serve God, God's response is to tell Moses who He is. I think it's very important that we understand who we are as children of God. I have to tell myself over and over that I am redeemed, treasured, beloved and enough. I also think that it's very important that we understand who God is, no matter what is true of us.
This has been a weekend of relationship building and hard conversations. I hope to continue to understand God's unfailing character.
There are many things that are on my heart, that I could blog about, but I would just like to say this tonight:
My roommate, Amanda and her boyfriend, Sam got engaged tonight!
I'm really excited. Let me tell you how much I love this couple. Sam knows Amanda's parents so well and hangs out with them all the time. Sam and Amanda helped with the youth group this summer and hang out with people together in their church all the time. When Sam comes to Greensboro to visit Amanda (and me and Ann), he doesn't stay at our house and he doesn't expect to. AND he comes over and just hangs out with all of us like he wants to know us and like he's not just there for Amanda. I actually get excited when Sam comes to visit (Amanda). I think that together they will be able to serve God better and I love them.
When I got off the phone with her, I danced around my room.
I am so giddy, and totally excited. And it just keeps sinking in.
Interview with Sam post-engagement:
emily:How long did you have the ring?
Sam:long enough... kinda burned a hole in my pocket like a kid with money in a candy store
Yesterday Dr. Cooper assigned us our internships, where we will not only intern this semester but where we will student teach in the spring. I was assigned to Northern High School, and I was really disappointed at first. Well, I still sort of am, but I've gained more perspective. Northern High is way out in the middle of nowhere. Not only that, the only houses around the school worth more money than I'll ever make in a year. I'm not really sure where the teachers, or the normal people live. Not only that but I will be driving out there 4 times a week and it's 30 minutes away. Next semester, I will be out there everyday, but at least I'll be staying for the entire day. Really though. I'm worried that I will love it there. And I'm worried that I'll hate it. All at once. It's a brand new school, everything's so nice. The principal is very enterprising and wants to have one of the top high schools in the nation and I like that. I like goals and actually accomplishing them. They have different schedules and different classroom policies and it all sounds very nice. On the other hand, I really just want to be at Dudley or Smith. Those are kids that are much more of a challenge to teach, but just they're still kids. There is only a very small population of kids at Northern that have free or reduced lunch, a very small minority population. And they do this weird team teaching thing that freaks me out.
When Dr. Cooper first said that she thought she'd send me there, I emailed her and asked her to not put me there. She put me there. I assume she has more wisdom than me. Mom said that God had me there for a reason. I think that's true. I think that I need to learn that privileged kids are just as precious as non-privileged. God loves them all as dearly. I struggle with that, but it's funny because I AM a privileged kid. Why do I struggle with loving kids just like me?
I don't know the answer to that yet, but I expect that God has many lessons out there for me. Oh, that I have a willing heart.
I hadn't realized how I felt about my summer until David Mallard, our IV staff worker, asked us talk about our summers. I sat there listening to everyone's summer, with the exception of a few and I was like, man I wish I could have done that. I started to feel kind of bitter as I listened. I did what I needed to do this summer, work and take classes and I enjoyed my summer. I barely even got to go home to see my family, and that was my "last summer at home". When I was home one weekend, I ran into a friend that I hadn't seen since high school and she asked me if I'd been to Africa yet. I'd tried to go to Africa this summer. I've tried to go before. It was just really hard to listen to so many people talk about the mission trips they took over the summer. I sat there and was like, "Did I even participate in ministry of any sort?" And I did. I prayed with people in my church for the Arlington neighborhood. I tried to call Taylor and Lesli, but I never got hold of them. I just feel like my summer was fruitless. I know that that's not true. I accomplished and learned a lot.
God redeems time. He also is a God of purpose. I know that my summer happened on purpose. I did what I needed to do to go to school and to graduate on time. He knew that I would need to do that when He shut the door to Kenya. I loved taking classes, I loved reading and spending time in Greensboro. It was good, it just wouldn't have been what I wished for. Imagine that.
currently reading: Inside Out: Strategies for Teaching Writing currently listening to: The Avett Brothers real time: 11:20
Loneliness is something that I've been thinking about lately, especially as I've been getting to know the Freshmen. I really love Freshmen. They are so willing to get to know people because they have to be and how willing they are to try things. They are so isolated when they first come to school. I am so excited to get to know them better and to watch them grow and to see their ideas about what they want to be and how they want to be be reshaped and revamped. It's good for me to be reminded of where they are and how lonely they feel.
I was also talking to some girls this weekend about how we're afraid of living alone when we grow up, how we feel like we could do anything if we knew we'd have a buddy. When I stayed in Dayna's house in Glenwood this summer, if I felt uneasy and went into the house, there was nobody to tell me it would be okay or to keep me safe.
I have such a precious community of believers around me now. I have no idea what will happen come the spring semester when I am no longer on leadership and no longer on campus or when I graduate, come May. And I am reading through Joshua and God tell Joshua over and over to be strong and courageous. [Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.] I hope that I grow in my dependence on God this year. I know that it won't change loneliness into something that's fun or enjoyable, but it will perhaps turn it into something more bearable, more of a friend even. Who knows what will come after graduation, but for now Nicole and I plan on living in Glenwood and that is something that will bring a different kind of loneliness altogether but we will have each other and lots of papers to grade.
[Tune in next time for Emily's startling revelations about her summer.]
I have loved living in the green house/ shmendenhall. It's so wonderful to be in a house, not an apartment. I would be okay if I went the rest of my life without ever living in one of those again. I love meeting neighbors. I don't knock on doors to meet them, but they're out and in their yards and it's so easy to just make conversation. I met a professor the other day and his granddaughter and I loved talking to them. I also love how close to campus we are. And I have super great roommates. InterVarsity has kicked off, and I look forward to another year of building relationships. Classes are also good, so I think that this semester will be a good one. It's my last one of classes which is a little surreal. It's strange to think that I'll be teaching and everyone else will still be on campus. I'm nervous about my internship placement. I want it to be somewhere where I could actually get a job when I graduate.
I guess Senior year is nothing like what I thought it would be and that is okay.
God has blessed me with wonderful things and I am happy.
currently listening to: THE KILLERS, When we were Young currently reading: Beowulf, Comus by John Milton and various articles about education real time: 1:30 PM