September 11, 2013
What does it mean?
Never forget the tragedy of 12 years ago.
Never forget the 3,000 lives lost.
Never forget the courageous.
Never forget the brave.
Never forget the sacrificed.
Never forget the grieving.
Never forget the Hope we have to share.
Never forget. Remember.
August 27, 2013
I’ve now been here 6 1/2 days.
Endured 2 days of classes. Except for maybe that one duller history professor, I should say I enjoyed 2 days of classes.
And it’s been a blast. I’m loving the people, the professors, the weather, the classes, the activities, the heart of this school. God’s already beginning to do the great things I’ve been so anticipating.
There is truly nothing like 1,500ish students and faculty gathering the night before classes begin, simply to take communion, worship, and turn their eyes to the Lord in prayer. I was completely and utterly overwhelmed. I cannot imagine a better way to start a new season with new brothers and sisters in the Lord.
And then walking with new roommates, sharing testimonies and God stories. Blessings.
Speaking of these new brothers and sisters… I’m so thankful for my roommates, my stairwell, our brother stairwell, and everyone else I’ve met. God truly put this together with care. From having fun times, to buckling down and studying, to respecting but enjoying each other – none of my roommate worries have come to fruition as of yet. I absolutely love our RA and Discipleship Group leaders — and the truth from God’s Word that they incorporate into everything we do. For example, we’re the Boondocks stairwell. Women of the Wild, y’all. And my room? We’re the elephant room. Why? Because it stands for a trait that women wild after God’s heart should possess – steadfastness. The other rooms hold themes of perseverance, watchfulness, courage, etc.
‘Course, it’s not all fun and games. I’ve done some homework. Emphasis on some. The real hard stuff won’t come until next week, and that’s okay. I did have to be steadfast and persevere in several areas today, however… some pretty small things that could have ruined my day if I’d let them. I’d be lying if I said they didn’t make me slightly anxious. For one, I lost my new retainer. New, because the permanent one I’d had for two years post-braces wasn’t keeping my teeth straight and the orthodontist is trying to move one stinker-of-a-tooth back into position. Some new brothers in Christ were generously clearing plates at breakfast and accidentally threw it away.
That trashcan was nasty. The search? Futile.
Good thing I have an appointment on Thursday anyway. Pray I don’t have issues getting a new one!
Second trial: laundry. Oh yes. I made friends with someone who possesses laundry facilities, a room of overflow freshman in upperclassmen dorms… washed all my cloths… left some stuff in the dryer… came back later… the girl’s roommates barely spoke to me. Thought that was weird until I realized they’d shut the dryer off on me and my clothes were still wet. That’s the only explanation I’ve got, since the one girl who invited me over there wasn’t around upon my return. Who knows? Maybe the machine just stopped running in the middle of the load. Regardless, I quietly resorted to paying for a dryer in the laundry room… only to discover it won’t take my card. Which makes no sense. I tried it over 10 times, still no luck. So now I have clothes on a drying rack and spread all over the room. Welcome to the boonies!
Fortunately, after almost a week here, those are the only major negatives… and they aren’t major at all. I’ll figure them both out in time. The second with older and wiser help, most likely. I do miss my family and my friends-who-are-family back home a stinkin’ lot…. definitely a major negative. Can’t wait to see some of y’all this weekend! But honestly, I haven’t hit homesickness hard. Yet. So over all? Loving the college life and seeing God’s goodness grow each bright, new day!
Oh, yeah. And my reputation continues – I’ve already been smashed in the head with a volleyball, tripped numerous times, stepped on, and slammed into. So much for leaving my accident prone habits behind! I guess I wouldn’t be Bri without Bri moments, huh? Same girl, different people to tease me.
I love my life. I love my Lord!
“Look among the nations and watch—
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe, though it were told you.” - Habakkuk 1:5
August 20, 2013
You know how you wait and wait and wait and then whatever you’re waiting for is upon you and you don’t know how to feel?
Well, tomorrow is the day! Colorado Christian University, y’all have no idea what you’re in for!
I’m utterly and thoroughly excited… and simultaneously my heart sinks at the special people I’m leaving behind. I know, I know, I’m not going far. And I know, I know, I’ll be back several times a month. But I also know, I know, that it’s not the same.
Up until Saturday night, saying far too many goodbyes, all I felt was peace and excitement. Probably because it was too far in the future, not real enough to feel uncertainty or fear or sadness. And then I spent all day with my horse buddy, and all evening with my brothers and sisters in Christ… and it hit me all the little moments I’ll miss.
No, life won’t be the same.
But perhaps that’s okay. Life can’t be the same forever, right? Change happens. Changes must happen, for growth. And so, if change must happen… well, I’ve got it pretty good, then. Despite my nerves about the new environment and staying connected at home, I’ve got it really good.
Yes, some friends may change. I guess that’s the big fear of mine, having moved so many times and seeing close friends soon act like I no longer exist. Friendship takes time and effort – it’s a two-way street, and distance reveals who is not only willing but diligent in sharing life. Thankfully, with that moving experience, I’ve also learned that true friendships only blossom into something more beautiful when the special effort must be consistently made. And so, my true, enduring friends, those sisters, those brothers in my Savior (I’d say “you know who you are” here, but I always feel it’s unnecessary… I mean, duh. We all know who we are. Otherwise there might be an issue. I’m definitely Bri, not Chester. Sorry, peeve of mine.)… believe it or not, my leaving will only bring us closer.
If you’re reading this, I’m looking forward to continuing to pray for, with, and over you, confide in you, be a confidant, share stories, be encouragers, and get enormous hugs when I drop into town (or, you know, you come to visit and we explore concerts or Bass Pro or IKEA ;).
Yes. Mixed emotions. Since Saturday, I’ve flip-flopped from panic to excitement to fear to peace to impatience to sadness to elation at the journey before me. Through the emotions, my soul is confident in His plan, what He is calling me to do… and the people He has chosen to walk it with me.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19
“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are My servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10
August 14, 2013
In one week, I move to college.
That’s right. In only one week, I’ll be on my own, adjusting to dorm life, preparing for a semester packed full of courses.
Kinda crazy when you think about it, you know? This stage of life. I mean, I don’t know about you, but when I was a little girl, college was equivalent to a nursing home. It felt that far in the future. And I’d dream about it, what it would be like without my parents around, what I’d study… bliss. Yup, my six-year-old self would be pretty happy right now.
And honestly, I guess I’m still the same dork ’cause I’m super excited. Panic? Haven’t reached that point yet. I mean, I start feeling sad… and maybe a speck lonely… when I think about going through life without seeing my family and friends-who-are-family on a daily basis. But I’m not panicked. And I guess that’s a God thing.
While I haven’t reached the panic stage, I have reached the: “Oh. Everything is changing. So. Very. Fast.” stage. Other people are moving. My family is planning things without me. I start talking about the fun stuff my friends and I can do… and realize I might not be around to do them. And that’s depressing. I know change is necessary, I’ve just never been very good at it. So by my standards, I’m handling this all brilliantly. At least so far. For that, I’m constantly thanking my Abba. It’s only by His peace and the security His arms bring.
Another thing I’ve been thinking about is goals. What are my goals for this semester, this year? Besides getting straight A’s, learning how to better communicate, making new friends, and getting involved in a therapeutic riding ministry? I guess I mean… what are my spiritual goals? Because “growing closer to God” is too generic, too broad. It’s something to strive for, of course, but you have to set a tangible goal for doing it. Is it continuing to be consistent in my time with God? Extending that time? Doing it both mornings and evenings?
Somehow, that’s excellent, but not enough. Like I’m learning from John Piper, I don’t want to waste my life. I refuse to waste my life. So, as I dive into this semester, that’s something I have to nail down, whether it’s my personal time with God, my worship, my service, my ministry, my evangelism, a specific fruit to practice exercising… my priorities in general.
How about you? Whether it’s middle school, high school, college, work, family… what are your spiritual goals for this fall? Where do you want to be, WHO do you want to be IN CHRIST? Be bold, and be intentional.
August 6, 2013
For those of you who know me well… or are mildly acquainted with me… or have talked with me for any amount of time from April to October… you’re likely fully aware how big I am on baseball. I mean, I stinkin’ love the game. I grew up watching and listening to St. Louis Cardinals games nearly every day of the summer with my dad.
And if you say there’s a better team, prepare for a fight. I am fiercely loyal. 12 in ’13, baby.
Yup. Baseball is something that I am passionate about. My dad and I get decked out in our red and white, following the games, talking players, statistics, and standings. I mean, we’re hardcore. Period. I’m listening to my Cards slaughter — I mean, play — the Dodgers right now.
So where am I going with this? Well, you’ve all heard the analogies from pastors and church leaders that we should show as much enthusiasm for the Lord and His work, praise, and purpose as we do for our sports teams. It’s an excellent point, often sadly true, if a bit overused… but frankly, I don’t think it’s an accurate parallel.
As believers, we are supposed to go all out for Jesus. We should be all-consumed with His praise, need to be decked out in His gear, are called to be more passionate about Him than anything else. However, that’s just not enough. With baseball and other (inferior) sports, we sit on our couch or our stadium seats and yell and scream as we watch the teams vie for the win. But as believers, we’re pathetic if all we do is stand and burst our lungs from the sidelines. No, instead, we are God’s team. We’re not just fans, we’re players in a very real stadium. And as players, we can’t just watch as the outfielder dives for a inning-ending catch, groan when the opposing pitcher throws a killer curveball, or get red in the face when the ump makes the wrong call.
Nope. That’s us, on the field, diving and swinging and running and sliding and slinging fastballs. Or at least… that should be us. So get up off your seats, toss the hot dog and the nachos in the can, and step up to the plate.