On BCM.

Today was not only my last day of class as an undergraduate, but tonight was my last BCM ever.

I don’t get emotional about moving on very often, but when my friends started giving senior speeches and talking about what the last four years have really meant, I couldn’t help but tear up a little bit.

And as mad as I was about there not being a senior video, I have to admit that it might be a good thing. Don’t know if I could’ve handled that.

I chose not to give a formal senior speech for a couple of reasons, but this post will do a better job of saying what BCM has meant to me than any speech would have anyways.

BCM wasn’t the biggest part of my college experience, and it wasn’t even the most important, but I can honestly say that it had a huge impact on the last four years.

Without BCM, I probably wouldn’t have this group of beautiful friends (plus a few other lovelies not in this picture). There have been crazy times in the last few years, but somehow we managed to stick together since the freshman girls bible study that brought us all together in the first place. & I think we’ve come pretty far.

BCM 1Without BCM I probably wouldn’t have ended up with these two crazy roommates for the past couple of years either. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them, and I don’t know what I’m going to do once we move out of the lovely Harriett Plantation. But BCM brought us together, and I will always be thankful for that.

BCM 2BCM also changed my whole life plan. Whoa. If I hadn’t done Sendmenow Summer missions, I might not have ever even thought about going into occupational therapy, and now I can’t imagine going into anything else.

& speaking of Sendmenow missions, without BCM I would have never started working at Camp Hawkins or Camp Jackie, and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to fall in love with so many precious kids like these::

BCM 3..or have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing people there. Like these crazy ladies and so many more that aren’t in the picture.

BCM 3Without BCM I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go on seven different mission trips over the past four years, and I wouldn’t have gotten to spread Jesus and love on precious babies in Ecuador or Haiti.

BCM 4

And most importantly, I wouldn’t be where I am today in my relationship with Jesus. Just having a time to worship and learn with my friends every week made such a huge difference.

I would like to think that I’ve changed a lot in these past four years, and BCM has been a major part of that. Friends, a couple of awesome interns, a great campus minister, and missions opportunities have all helped me grow in more ways than I would have imagined when I signed up for an email list at summer orientation.

I feel like I need to say that, as great as it has been, it hasn’t been all rainbows & butterflies. People in BCM have hurt me and made me cry, and I’ve probably done the same to them. I’ve been offended, felt unappreciated, gotten mad at the way things happened, and even said a few a lot of things that I probably shouldn’t have. I also didn’t find my future husband, so that’s kind of disappointing. You know, whatever. But overall, I’m so, so glad that I didn’t just give up then because it has definitely been worth it.

I wouldn’t trade these past four years at Mercer for anything. I found a community that I loved here at this school, but I found my family at BCM. & while I’m ready to move on and see what’s next, I’m going to miss it so much. You don’t just find a family anywhere. I have been so blessed.

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Off Week.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have off weeks.

Weeks when I get behind on homework.  When I watch a few too many episodes of How I Met Your Mother on my laptop when I should be doing that homework that I’m behind on.  When I spend money that I don’t have to get a manicure.  When I eat way too much junk food and not enough fruits and veggies.  When I don’t spend enough time with God and fall in places that I told myself I wouldn’t fall again. When I can’t wait to escape on Friday afternoon.

It happens.

Last week was off.  Not detrimentally off: I didn’t have any big emotionally breakdowns, I didn’t cry, and I didn’t get so far behind on schoolwork that it’s a big deal.  But I just didn’t feel right.

I was more than excited to get out of town at the end of the week.

There’s something about spending the weekend with good friends and a wonderful group of special needs kids that can fix just about any bad mood.

I got to spend two days with this guy.

Love.

The weekend restored me. It was glorious.

But unfortunately the weekend had to end. & the weekend ending meant leaving my favorite place on Earth (which is always accompanied by a few tears), and coming back to the little mess I had escaped from on Friday.

Last night I told myself that today I would turn everything around and get back to where I wanted to be.

…but then I overslept my morning class.  & took a nap this afternoon instead of reading. & made a microwave sugar cookie (or maybe 2).

& I started to get mad at myself. That is until I thought about all the good things from today.

That when I overslept I got up and did work instead of going back to sleep.  That I got two excellent test grades back today. & That I have two cancelled classes this week.

& I realized that I don’t have  to get everything together at once.  Things happen.  Just because today wasn’t perfect doesn’t mean that this whole week will be another off week.

God doesn’t expect me to get everything together own my own.  In fact, He is the only one who can help me.  I can’t expect myself to have a perfect day just because that’s what I decided.

Not only that, but focusing on the off-ness keeps me from focusing on the goodness.

I’m in a bible study right now that is modeled after Jen Hatmaker’s book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against ExcessWe talked about focusing on what we’re thankful for during the process, but I didn’t seriously do it until now.

So I’m going to try to post some things I’m thankful for every week for the next little bit. I can’t promise that I will be consistent or deep or what not.  But I know it will be good.

So tomorrow will be the first “Thankful Tuesday” if you will. Let’s just see where that gets me.

Deciding to be Happy.

So I’ve kind of been in this funk.  Like a be-in-a-bad-mood-for-three-days kind of funk.

Nothing super terrible happened.  A few things didn’t got my way because I got my hopes up, but then I just stayed in a bad mood.  I freaked out on the phone with my mom, and I was a jerk to one of my best friends, but nothing happened that was bad enough to make me angry for 72 hours.

At first I felt justified to be slightly moody, but after about a day, I realized that I had no right to have a bad attitude.  I just kept it around because I felt like it.  How stupid is that?

I honestly can’t tell you why.  I didn’t want sympathy.  I think I might have just wanted people to ask me what was going on, but I have a super awesome roommate who listened to everything anyways, and I was still unhappy.

I was just being stupid.  Like for real.

Once I realized that I was choosing to be in a bad mood, I realized that I needed to choose to be in a good mood.  & then I stumbled upon this:

I don’t really know much about Voltaire.  I’ve pretty much only heard his name in The Princess Diaries and I’m pretty sure he’s in my ethics text book, but this is solid.

Seriously, being in a bad mood did nothing but make my mood worse.  Choosing to be happy is better for my soul.  & it’s definitely better for my relationships.

& even more than that, I really have no excuse to be in a funk.  So things aren’t perfect, they’re never going to be.  Get over it.

But this is what I know.  Psalm 13:5 is on the desktop of my computer and this is what is says: “I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.”

I’m pretty sure you can’t be in a purposeful bad attitude while rejoicing in salvation.  It just doesn’t work.

So for now I’ve chosen.  I’ve chosen to rejoice instead of putting myself back into whatever kind of funk I was in.  It’s better this way.  Better for me and better for everyone around me. I hope you decide to be happy too.

Balance.

note: I wrote this post a while ago, but I wasn’t ready to publish it.  Now this situation is completely irrelevant.  Things worked themselves out (probably not how I would have hoped when I wrote this, but in a way that I can now see was definitely for the best. Now that’s is not a relevant subject, I decided to post it.  I liked what I said in the beginning, so here it is. 

When it comes to dating, I feel as if I’ve gotten different types of advice just based on who I am.  I’ve gotten advice based on the fact that I’m a girl, I’ve gotten advice based on the fact that I’m from the South, and I’ve gotten advice based on the fact that I’m a Christian.

Here’s the thing: it all sounds like good advice until it starts to conflict.

I did what any “good Christian girl” should do in high school: I read books about dating. Specifically, I read both Dateable and I Kissed Dating GoodbyeDon’t get me wrong, both of them have good points, but now I don’t find myself completely agreeing with either one of them.

I dated in high school.  Well, more accurately, I had one decently long relationship in high school where we started off as best friends and ended as strangers.  Not the best scenario, but I learned a lot from it.  I learned that there are guys who will treat you like a gentleman should, and I also learned a few stupid mistakes to avoid.  I regret how I handled some parts of that relationship, but I don’t look back and think that I was ruined by that guy or that the relationship was pointless.

I can’t say that you absolutely shouldn’t date in high school, but I also can’t say that you should date every guy that comes along.  It’s a balance.  You have to do what’s right for you.

I held hands with this boy.  I also kissed this boy.  I even made out with this boy for long periods of time in both my grandparents’ backyard and a public park.  (Classy, I know.) So no, I’ll never be one of those girls who has her first kiss on her wedding day.  & I’m okay with that.  I also won’t be a girl who fully gives herself to somebody before he’s my husband.  & I’m okay with that too.  I want that.

However, there are some girls who don’t even want to touch another boy before they marry him.  & there are girls who think a lot more things are appropriate than what I think is appropriate.  Again, that’s (usually) okay.  This is all about a balance too.  You take what God says and what people who love you say into consideration, and do what you think is right.

It’s hard for me to give relationship advice.  Yes, I definitely have opinions, but I also have to take into consideration that I haven’t dated anyone in over five years.  (Whoa.) & that what’s right for me isn’t necessarily right for everyone else.

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I said all of this because I’m at a difficult point.  I’m at a point where I need to figure out the balance.

I’m at a point with a boy where I think a relationship is coming, but I don’t know how to get it started.

All the Christian advice given to me says I need to wait and let the guy pursue me.  All the Southern advice given to me tells me to wait and let the guy initiate the relationship.  But all the girl-empowered advice given to me tells me to initiate it on my own, and that I shouldn’t have to wait around for a guy.

See the problem?

I want to let him be the initiator, but how much can I do to encourage this? How much should I do to encourage this?

When I think about the facts that he’s a pretty shy guy, that he’s never been in a relationship before, and that there is a close friendship at risk here, I feel like I need to encourage it as much as I can.

But oppositely, I don’t want to push him into a relationship that he doesn’t want to get into.

Seriously.  See the need for balance?

I just haven’t quite figured this one out yet.  I’ve realized that it would probably be a bad idea to grab him and kiss him passionately the next time we see each other, but I’ve gone so far as to initiate other possibly romantic situations.

Some people would think a kiss would be perfectly okay, where some people probably think I’ve already gone too far.  I’m not sure what’s right for me right now.

So I’m here.  I’m kind of a mess.  I haven’t talked to this boy in several days (which is abnormal for us), and I don’t know whether to initiate a conversation or to keep waiting on him.  It’s not a big deal when you look at the big picture, but it’s more about me deciding how I’m going to handle my relationship with him.

I haven’t found my balance yet.  Here’s hoping that I figure it out soon.

…or that he comes in and sweeps me off my feet as soon as I finish writing this post.  I’d really be okay with either one.