He has already begun to give her an incredible servant's heart. When my family first transitioned from homeschooling to attending New Covenant, it was really hard on all of us. I remember being particularly humbled in the mornings when Charlotte would be dressed and have her backpack packed long before the rest of us. She would always ask what she could do to help everyone else. She would spend most of the morning running around the house finding people's books and helping to pack lunch bags. I remember looking outside one morning to see her attempted to carry a backpack as big as she was to the van.
Thank you Lord for this and so many other examples of Your grace in her life :) :) :)
I pray that You would continue to work in her life, that You would continually increase her desire to glorify and enjoy you, and that would use her life to bring about Your glory.
I know most people reading this post already know about this and are presently praying, but just in case...
My parents teach at the school that all of my siblings attend, New Covenant Christian School. I graduated from the school in 2011. In the past three days, quite a number of the students or former students have had an immediate family member admitted to or flown to a hospital for various entirely unrelated reasons, some of them life-threatening. The school is small and all of the students are very connected physically, emotionally and spiritually (which is a beautiful thing). It goes without saying, that the entire school is coming together in support and care and prayer and also finding it difficult to focus on their studies. Please be praying for the students and their families and all of the dear ones presently in the hospital. Also, please be praying for the teachers and headmaster and the administrative staff as they guide their students through these trials with care and compassion and also attempt to work through their course material for the year.
In all things, may the Lord be glorified and may we trust His sovereign will.
"God never pursues His glory at the expense of the good of His people, nor does He ever seek our good at the expense of His glory. He has designed His eternal purpose so that His glory and our good are inextricably bound together. What comfort and and encouragement this should be to us." ~ Jerry Bridges
~Father, How Sweet, From Age to Age (Sovereign Grace Music)
This album came out in the spring. I don't personally like some of the tracks because they're hymns with altered music (there's probably a much more accurate way to say that, but I have no idea what it is). I loved learning hymns when I started going to New Covenant Christian School. I love the depth, richness of the lyrics, but I also like the arrangement of the music. So, I'm not of big fan of rearranging the music. Also, I just have an issue with altering things from their original state, whether that be fairy tales or music or really anything else. I think this stems from living for and by an eternally stable and unchanging standard. However, I've been learning about the inevitability of change and the potential beauty of artistic representation, but I'll save that for another post. Anyway, there are also a few tracks from this album that I love (From Age to Age, Immovable Our Hope Remains*, Father How Sweet).
*I've never heard the original version of this hymn, but I'm guessing I would probably like it better :)
...the first night of Bible Study
...a leader who humbly shares about his own life
...everyone being so open share about their lives and struggles in Bible Study
...a though-provoking English discussion
...a wonderful jazz class
...a perfectly balanced ballet class (i.e. with lots of jumps)
...stepping outside my comfort zone and sharing an article with a new Bible Study member
...spending time praying for this girl and praying that the article would be beneficial to her
...copying my notes so other students can use them as a study tool
...walking home in the rain without an umbrella
...smiling the whole way home (and hoping no one thinks I'm crazy)
...a crisp fall day
...finally getting to talk to my Mama
...desperately missing home
...close friends to cheer me up
...grocery shopping to get healthy, yummy food for the week
...driving to the beach to see the sunset
...a giant peanut butter yogurt cone
...playing Clue with British accents
...being excited for tomorrow because it's Sunday :)
(finally maintaining correct pelvic alignment for more than a few seconds at a time in ballet class) + (jazz class) = extremely sore leg muscles
pro: feeling each individual muscle as I move really helps with identifying when I'm using the "correct" muscle(s) and when I'm not
cons: walking up stairs (the sounds effects go something like: *oww, oww, oww, oww . . . *, similar to the Muppaphone), walking uphill from my apartment to the main campus, moving in general without experiencing pain
By the end of the trimester, I will definitely have increased my endurance and leg strength. Until then, Advil, hot showers, stretching and avoiding excessive moving will be my very close friends :)
p.s. This is my 100th post :) :) :) My dad would be very proud of the fact that I chose to write about math in such an important post.
p.p.s. My dad used to have red truck that could only play cassette tapes. Whenever any of my siblings and/or I got to ride in his truck with him, we would ALWAYS ask to listen to the Muppets tape. One of the tracks was the Muppaphone, Lady of Spain (see link above). I distinctly remember riding in the truck listening to the Muppets with the windows all the way down and my hair blowing in my face and Miriam and Zach or Joel singing along in the back. It seems like such a long time ago . . .
Yesterday LehrerDance came to the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst. I was excited for the performance, but also excited to get dressed up to go to the performance :) I laid out my long lace dress, lace headband and shoes in the morning.
Usually, when I lay out whatever dress I plan on wearing to a special event, there is a little dress* laying next to it and somewhere else in the room there are the three dresses Miriam is still deciding between :P
While I don't have time for much of anything right now except English books (I'm about to start my fourth book for the class) and dance classes, I really miss helping a family get together (to go to school or church or lacrosse games or performances or whatever it may be) with clothes and food and things to do and whatever else may be needed. Just getting myself together feels so empty . . .
*Oh, actually, skirt and shirt because this year Charlotte is only wearing dresses on Christmas, Easter and Mother's Day by her own proclamation :)
My mom says that I like to make nests around the house.
Yesterday, half-way through studying in the library with Kathryn and Elena (Anatomy and Physiology is taking over my life and I still don't remember half of it), I decided to make my picture-of-the-day my "nest" of study materials on the library floor (because, when one walks into a study room decorated in an 18th/19th Century-esque style and full of giant comfy chairs, one should definitely sit on the floor . . . or maybe that's just me).
Kathryn decided that she needed to take an artistic birds-eye-view of me in my nest as well.
Unrelated note: I wore jeans for the first time in several months yesterday. I managed to get through the whole summer and the first three weeks of JumpStart/school wearing only skirts (excluding family and friend hiking/climbing adventures) :)
This afternoon, I was able to spend several hours reading, praying, journaling and writing letters which created the nest below along with blankets and tea (in my super awesome Princess mug). I've really come to love, and therefore look forward to, Sunday afternoons.
I returned to my favorite tree in The Grotto for the first time since last spring :) Through prayer and reflection and Scripture and several sound theological books that I return to constantly, I was able to sort though thoughts and emotions from the week, present them before the cross, and leave The Grotto feeling restored and inspired for the coming week.
It's amazing how emotionally attached we can get to certain places. In this case, a physical, geographic place. I tried to spend my Sunday afternoon in my room, but my thoughts were cloudy and my emotions were in a state of turmoil and the guys that live a few apartment away from me were blasting their modern pop music and a movie was being watched in my living room and I was a restless mess.
Walking to "my spot" in The Grotto changed all of that. It was peaceful and quiet. I was sitting under a tree instead of on a carpeted floor. I was "free" to release everything that was going on in my head and heart and work through it in light of the gospel.
Aside from the environmental change though, there was also something encouraging and restoring about returning to the place that I had met with the Lord so many times last year and looking again at the small wooden cross that I spent hours drawing last year.
While, I should be careful to never become so attached to a physical location that I cannot meet with my Savior wherever I may be (adding a stiff face to a pirouette will soon require it to be there in order for you to turn*), there is also something valuable in entering a place that is set aside and reserved for a particular and, in this case, eternal purpose. Just as walking into the Chapel on Wednesday mornings in high school was a time to prepare your heart and mind for the worship of your Savior and release anything else that may be presently engaging your head or heart.
On a totally different note, this Sunday afternoon snack was wonderful :)
strawberries, dark chocolate and blueberry Greek yogurt
once again, yay for having my own kitchen and buying my own food :)
I live with another dancer, who is also my closest friend on campus, Kathryn, and a fashion merchandising major, Ali. Ali wants to specialize in costumes so her work study is in the costume section of the Dance Department. Basically, she helps create, fit, embellish and repair all of our costumes. She also has studied the French language for many years and is minoring in French. All of that to say, our apartment is very feminine :) In our living room we decided to do a black-and-white-Paris theme with purple accents (Kathryn and I both love purple). We used our own artwork as decorations because we're poor college students.
*side note* Kathryn and I are also poor dancers which are usually even worse off than the typical "starving artist". We both decided it was entirely unfair to be poor college students and poor dancers at the same time, but I guess we're putting ourselves through the torture voluntarily :P
Anyway, our apartment...
our front door
our R.A. loves Dr. Seuss which is totally fine with me :)
(with drying umbrellas because it's Erie so it's usually raining)
dancer pictures from Kathryn's old calendar
Paris wall clings from my Mama
the back walls and the couch
(the couch is covered in sheets we found that have a grey and white geometric pattern that is really hard to see in the sunlight in this picture)
Also, the colorful quote squares are from my grandmother :) They were perfect for the back wall :)
Henry's new home :)
I think he likes it :) and he matches the pebbles rather nicely :)
my elephant picture and the entrance to our rooms and the bathroom
Kathryn brought the green bean bag chairs and all the little decorative pillows from her house :)
Ali's aunt gave us the TV cabinet which just so happened to match the theme perfectly
(and the closet door still mostly opens)
our purple clock and Kathryn's ballerina painting
we bought a new lamp shade because the old one was covered in gross dust and we added some purple ribbon :)
Kathryn's gorgeous painting :)
we also bought the curtains and the tiny ottoman/coffee table with storage room inside
A high school art assignment of Kathryn's that matched the room perfectly :)
we tied the curtains back with purple ribbon too
entrance into the kitchen
my hummingbird drawing
our lovely, but very tiny kitchen
an actually very nice stove and an entirely essential coffee pot
toaster and microwave from Kathryn's parents and purple rug from Kathryn as well
Kathryn's boat painting which matched the kitchen quite well :)
view of the living room from the kitchen
Kathryn's and my door (with extra towel storage because our bathroom is rather small)
Kathryn's and my room
yay little boxes (this is for my daddy :P )
my family :) :) :)
family and friends :)
I decided to go much more black-and-white than I originally planned in my room decoration because the black and white paper behind my mirror matched the flowers on the mirror perfectly and I found the paper in the Target dollar section :)
Kathryn's side of the room . . .
. . . also with extreme purple-ness
Kathryn's jewelry (located behind the door)
my side of the room
Kathryn decorated the closet door with more dance pictures :)
books and ephalents :)
more little boxes and some of my many notebooks (again this is particularly for my daddy :P )
(detailed blog post on the purple "posters" and the brown "posters" to come soon)
. . . and that's the end of the tour :) But you should certainly come visit me in Erie sometime or at least write a letter because I love letters :)