Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A reminder...

It feels so wonderful to be back at school, and back in the community that I love so dearly. It seems so ironic to me that despite my various commitments to my studies, clubs, student council, and sleep, I still manage to have more time for prayer, meditation, and church than I have had in months.

The church that I attend in Durham is home to a vibrant, active, well-established, and progressive congregation that I look forward to joining each week for worship. It reminds me of the church that I was raised in, before the pastor moved away and attendance fell. When I was little, I used to imagine raising my own children in the same church, but when my parents left the church, everything changed. My dad often says that he is sorry we did not have a church community growing up, but in truth, I still think of the Presbyterian church as my home. The wrinkled and soft faces kissing my cheek, the sweet (and sometimes tone deaf) voices joining together in praise, the haunting sound of the organ echoing from the vaulted Gothic ceiling, the smooth feel of the lacquered pews, and the taste of cookies and juice after each service are all vivid memories of my childhood.

When I set foot in church each Sunday that I'm at school, I feel those memories rushing back to me, and through the week I am filled with thoughts of God's love for me. How He always makes things come full circle. It's a wonderful feeling, and I'm so glad I have found a place that will help me cultivate that feeling.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

School is Back in Session

It seems like ages ago that I last posted, and it really was, in the scheme of our fast-moving age of technology. Here is a brief recap of my wonderfully long (and blog-less) summer.

After leaving my position as an RA at the end of May, I moved back home for the summer to work as a camp counselor for my local recreation department. I worked through June at the local bakery (my fallback employment since Senior year of high school,) and helped my parents keep the house together as we anticipated my sister's graduation. Oh, the stress of two children in college. It had begun to wear on me before Claire had even received her diploma.

Aside from working at the bakery and keeping the family sane, I spent most of my time in the garden in June. Each day I would wake up, eat breakfast, dress, weed and tend the garden until about ten or eleven, then work on some project for the rest of the day until work. Within the first two weeks of being at home, I made a potting bench for the back yard, a tin lantern, a nesting box, and about fifteen candles.

As June wore down, Ethan prepared to leave for his summer math program at Hampshire College. We dropped him off on July Fourth, and immediately our family dynamics changed. It was strange not to have him around the house, eating all the cereal from the cabinets or playing Chopin on the piano, but we became used to it. Claire and I both started working the week after he left, but were briefly interrupted by a family reunion in Michigan. It was wonderful to travel this summer, as the previous summer found me away at sleep-away camp.

The Antrim Rec. Department turned out to be the perfect summer job for me, and I felt that I had made the right choice as soon as I started. I learned valuable lessons from almost every aspect of the experience, such as working with the kids, getting along with co-counselors, and balancing my home life with my work life.

Although most of my friends were working for the summer, I was able to spend a lot of time with a few of my dearest friends, which was more than I could have asked for. Barbara and I traveled to Maine with her parents and spent an unbelievable week on Eagle Island. Our adventures left me with an even deeper love and appreciation for her than ever before, and memories that will last me a lifetime.

Too soon, the summer drew to a close as camps ended, Ethan came home, and Claire began preparing for her great departure to Skidmore. I tried to take everything in stride because it was all happening so quickly, but the last night before leaving for school was still difficult. I wasn't sure I had made the right decision moving back to Hubbard and no longer being an RA. I was nervous that I wouldn't get along with my roommate, and that I would have a difficult adjustment to being back in school.

All my fears were proved wrong almost immediately. I feel so blessed to have been able to move in early, because I formed instant bonds of friendship to people I would have otherwise missed. My roommate is wonderful, and I feel as though we share bits and pieces of each others' soul. So much has happened in the past week, that I cannot even recount it, but I praise God for all that He has done for me. In the dark days that I experienced just months ago, I could never have imagined that He would bring me to this contentment in such a short period of time. He is so good to me!