This has been the craziest of all crazy semesters. If you haven't heard from me....fear not. I'm not ignoring you....I just feel the need to help God hold the world together. Stupid me. As if He needs it. Nevertheless....I still do it.
So.......beginning of the semester....if I can think back that far..........
-Eric had to go home. A few of you have asked me about it. He didn't end up raising enough money to come back to school, so he's takin' a semester off and working like crazy. Keep him in your prayers.
-I moved into The Dungeon. It's been a guys dorm for eternity past and I'm the privileged person who can now claim to be it's first female RA. The guys, both current students and past students, are not thrilled about it at all. Oh...fyi...it's in the basement. haha It's one of the biggest dorms. There are 8 of us down there...4 of them being freshmen. It's definitely been a learning process.
-First week of classes one of my legs swelled up really ginormous with a plethora of bites. The other leg was in bad shape too. Long story short, I was in the emergency room for a while....sent back to the hospital a few days later.....had a Dermatologist come see me at the school....was on crutches and in a wheelchair for a few weeks...had the grossest most enormous blister/boil things on my legs....much pain....etc. It was pretty intense. The final verdict was that I was bitten by a venomous bug (probably a spider) of some kind and had an allergic reaction to it as well. I also found out that I'm allergic to the mosquitoes out here...which made a large contribution as well. Fear not, I'm all healed up now. It provided some very extreme and unwanted excitement to kick the semester off! But as always, God showed Himself to be faithful.
-Aside from my trip to the ER, my roomie Callie was deathly ill for a while to the point where we almost had to bring her in as well. Then last week I was back in the ER with my roomie Kati who was having some intense chest pain and difficulty breathing. I've never been to the ER as many times in my entire life as I have been there in the last month. Fun times.
-With all of the drama, sickness, and quality hospital time, I've been a step behind in my studies from day one. THIS is the reason ya'll haven't heard from me. The teachers have been so gracious in working with me and giving me extra time. However I'm becoming a pro at pulling all-nighters. Not particularly healthy....but often necessary.
-I'm learning the joys of getting along with people of all personalities. Loving when it's hard to love. Being patient, truly patient, rather than simply tolerant. I see the faithfulness of God every day and am constantly amazed that He loves me as much as He does. I'm getting my daily dose of Romans, Hebrews, and Corinthians every day. I get slapped around and then embraced by it's truth. Love hurts. :) In everything (and I've only related the tip of the iceberg here) the most wonderful thing that the Lord has taught me is to choose to be joyful in everything. Once I realized that I was missing JOY in my life, my anger, bitterness, and frustration faded away. I can't declare that it's completely gone, but it's easier to rest in God's grace and His provision when I choose to walk through my day rejoicing in all that He gives me and does for me.
What a good God we serve!!
Before I sign off, I'll give you all a quick (very delayed) overview of my lovely birthday. I had been hearing about how fantastic it was going to be for months from Eric, Becky, Kaylee, Bethany....and others. Everyone seemed to know about it but me! haha
It started with Eric coming aaaaall the way down to school and taking me out to the park for a lovely, traditional picnic, complete with the checkered blanket and big picnic basket. He gave me the most fabulous Bible ever (real leather cover with wide-lined margins for notes!), we ate sandwiches that he made, and then he taught me how to play backgammon. I won. :)
Next, I had to go change into nice cloths and he took me to a small, privately owned Italian restaurant. Becky helped him plan my day, so he helped her by taking me out to dinner with the money she sent him. Teamwork at it's finest. ;) It was wonderful.
I figured the day would be over since it was almost 7, but no! He stuck me in my wheelchair and wheeled me downtown to our favorite coffee shop. We made it there 2 minutes before closing, so we got our coffee and sat by the creek that runs through town and drank our coffee and chatted.
He said that Bethany wanted us to stop by her house so they could give me a gift really quick. I REALLY had to go to the bathroom so I got there and bolted through the house, straight into a group of my five best friends at school who yelled SURPRISE! I almost wet my pants. lol It was the nicest gathering in the world. Eric, Kaylee, Callie, Michelle, Steven, and the Potters....aside from my own family, it couldn't have gotten any better. They gave me gifts including a harmonica, playdough, a whiskey flask lol, a bouncy ball, a sock monkey...and more. haha That's true love! Eric made the cake himself, which I though was pretty impressive.
After that he took me back over to the school where we played chinese checkers. The first time we went to coffee together, we played chinese checkers for 2 hours. lol It was fun to remember it.
My favorite part of God's creation is the stars, so to finish off the night we went to a big open soccer field and he set up his dad's telescope that they'd spent the whole week fixing up. Unfortunately, the sky was full of clouds. It was okay though. It's the thought that counts. So we ended up just hanging out and talking.
I almost forgot...when I was hobbling up the stairs to go to dinner with him, when I opened the door, he was standing there all dressed up with a huge bouquet of orange and yellow gerber daisies!!! It was phenomenal. All in all, Eric did a good job. And believe it or not...this is the super condensed version!!!!
Anyway, I'm still alive. I'm learning. I'm blessed. I'm choosing JOY!!!
I love you guys and I promise to be in some sort of contact soon.
I miss ya'll!