Since May 15th at 7:00 pm, when I triumphantly handed in my last final of my Junior year, I've slept in 8 different beds with 2 more to go before I return to my bright raspberry creamsicle room.
I never expected to stay in (multiple) strangers homes, co-author and self-publish a childrens' book, go to Boston, or take up kickboxing during this past 3 months span.
Through a series of conversations, packing up and moving out, getting caught in the rain (always), making friends at the Y, learning how to write (again), learning about what makes a family, Skyping Siberia, and waiting tables at barn weddings, I finally picked up on God's creative ways of teaching me to love better by:
Loving Myself Less
I've always had a surplus of confidence, allowing me to walk into almost any situation with the assumption that I will not only learn quickly the necessary skills to thrive, but that I would come up with a better way of doing things. Being an intern for HOPE International, an excellently run organization with competent leadership and a vision way beyond my overly confident self, was incredibly humbling and refreshing. I was valued for my skills but expected to stretch myself and learn from those around me. Not hard to do, when surrounded by some of the most intelligent and faithful servants of God I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside.
Loving Change More
Even though I'm leaving the summer with more to-do lists than I came in with, I've learned that plans not only can change on a dime--they will. It's part of life and being able to embrace the unpredictability of not having the world under my control (who knew?) has released me from the impossible burden of always arranging everything just so.
[This book helped immensely.]
Loving Others Better
It's only because I am a mere 4 days from seeing my fiance again that I can say that this summer has been a wonderfully growing experience in learning how to one day (soon!) be a godly wife and in the meantime, love and serve to the best of my ability. Of course, a month ago, I would have just whined about time zones and distance. Thank you to all who have showed me examples of Christ-centered marriages and shared their candid advice. More on this to come.
Loving Life Fully
Its a crazy adventure, but it's worth living.