“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”—C.S. Lewis
1. My Parents: What a wonderful pair of parents I have! They are such Godly examples to me in all times. I respect no one on the planet more than the two of them. They are my best friends through and through.
2. Airplanes: What a fantastic mode of transportation. I think too often we forget how crazy it is that we can legitimately FLY places. Like… WHAT?!?!
3. Sweaters: There’s something about them. They make me feel so cozy. There’s a reason they say sweater weather is better weather. I don’t really think it has too much to do with the weather.
4. Bill Rogers, Cristina Wecker, Joshua Dunsterville, and Nikki Ramella: Ok so here’s the deal. My siblings have picked some winners. I could not be happier with any of their relationships and I feel so blessed to welcome each of these individuals into my extended family :)
5. The Yellow Deli: The food, the conversation, and the time shared is always so valuable to me. Whether I get homework done or not. Which I guess is a good thing because I rarely ever get homework done when I go there.
6. My Dad’s New Restaurant Opening: Last night was the kickoff cocktail party and over the next week, they will have the soft openings and the grand opening. He has put so much time and heart into making this place great. I am sure it’s going to be a hit! I’m so proud of you pops!
7. Mail: Specifically mail in my mailbox here at school. What a blessing that is! Expected or unexpected, there are few things that can brighten my day like receiving a hand written card, note, care package, or letter.
“It’s like, it doesn’t honor God to pretend like everything is OK. That’s the beauty of Jesus that so many people miss. The beauty is that he died on the cross for our sins, but also that he existed the way we exist. He understands what it’s like to lose a friend. He’s not unfamiliar with those emotions. He’s not unfamiliar with the difficulty of human life. To me that’s what makes Jesus as God beautiful. He totally understands. He went out of his way to prove to us that he understands our situation. So when he has something to say, it’s not coming from this high and lofty standpoint. It’s coming from this person who understands intricately the perils of human existence.”—John Mark McMillan
I must’ve heard this eight million times growing up. My mom would tell me this constantly as I was a very anxious child. I find myself learning the lessons of my youth all over again in a new and revealing way as God is showing me his grace differently than ever before.
I was always told, “Joy, when you get to college you are going to change so much.” Or, “The relationships you form in college are the ones that are going to last.” I knew these things to be true but never realized their implications somewhat obviously until now, in experiencing them. Relationships in this stage of life progress so much quicker. I’ve found myself feeling as close with some of my most recent friends as ones I have known my whole life because of a new found level of relatability that I have never experienced before. God is blessing me with so many people who remind me of his grace in such unique and separate ways.
I have always had a thing for people. They are my reason for waking up in the morning and relationships are what keep me going. I realize I’m different from most in the way that I approach friendships. I am so used to thinking of myself as someone who is good at friendships. But recently God is humbling me and teaching me that loving people well is rooted in Him and nothing else. I want so badly to be able to be an encouragement to people and to show them Christ’s love. In my prayer and devotion for others, often times I feel as though God will lay something or someone on my heart and I am always so eager to be able to effectively show love to those people. However, I am too quick to forget that it is also important to wait on God’s timing. Just because he lays something on my heart doesn’t mean that he wants me to share it right away. Maybe that person is not ready to hear it and if I had waited, it could’ve come at the perfect time.
Patience. This brings me back to patience. To waiting on God and trusting that he will bring his work to completion. Patience isn’t only required in waiting, but in journeying also. So often we think of being patient as a stagnant state of being. As a long period of content unclarity. We forget that the journey takes patience. In new found friendships, I am realizing that each one requires a unique type of patience and they are all so different from one another. It is so easy to look at past experiences and try to relate them to current circumstances. But every relationship is unique and that is the beauty of love. God’s love is so different from any love we can give or receive from humanity. It’s perspective and understanding that highlights the nature and uniqueness of that love.
I’m thankful for the lessons God is teaching me. I’m thankful for the people he is using to teach them to me. I’m thankful for the burdens and struggles he has placed on me. And most of all I’m thankful for salvation which makes all of that possible.