The Giving of Thanks

I missed Thanksgiving. I’m in Chile, and they don’t celebrate it here. Yesterday my host mom pulled the Christmas tree out of storage and it makes me sad because it reminds me of the Thanksgiving shaped void in my life right now.

Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday next to Christmas and my birthday (which tie for first). I love the amazing delicious beautiful food that I’m allowed to gorge myself on once a year and not feel bad about my life choices. I love that my family goes around the table and says what we’re thankful for.  I love the story behind the holiday of two races coming together and celebrating their friendship and the plentiful harvest. I love that once a year, all over the country, no matter how terrible a person’s life is or how pessimistic someone is, they have a reason to think of the things and people that make their life wonderful and express that to their loved ones. I love that families who are broken can set aside their differences for just a little bit, eat an amazing meal together, and say something they are thankful for about one another. I love that when you normally wouldn’t express this to someone, you have the excuse of a holiday to tell them just how much you love someone and are thankful for them. I love that we have a once a year reminder to thank God for blessing us so abundantly and we remember all the things in our lives that are worth being thankful about.  I just really love Thanksgiving a lot!

I wish I was in the States right now. I’m missing it by nine days!

But on the bright side, I can still be thankful even from 5000 miles away from home. Obviously.

I’m thankful for my family. My mom and dad are wonderful and they’ve taught me so much. They’ve stuck together through the good and the bad and they’ve set an amazing example for what it means to love unconditionally. Rachel has a beautiful and fun personality. It’s been wonderful growing up with someone so close in age and to know I will always have someone to talk to and turn to. Lucas is funny and has a kind heart. He is a protector and I know he’ll always have my back. Jonathan is so creative and affectionate. He’s really sweet and he loves to love by spending time with his family. Even though we’ve all had our differences and we get fed up with each other sometimes, I know that in the end family is forever and we’ll always love each other.

I’m thankful for Zach.  He has a beautiful heart and a creative mind. He loves God and strives to honor Him. He is loving and thoughtful and sweet and I kind of really love him. 🙂 I’m so blessed to know him and to have dated him for the past year.

I’m thankful for my friends. Elaine, Kayla, Lauren, Caroline, Xanda, DJ, Tris, David, Jihoon, Sodam, etc. They are all beautiful people who I love dearly. They encourage me, challenge me to be a better person, and make me laugh. I’m so blessed to know every one of you.

I’m thankful for Grove City College, for the opportunity I’ve been given to receive such an excellent education, and the amazing friends I’ve made here.

I’m thankful for Chile and for the experiences I’ve had and the memories I’ve made and for the people I’ve met. I’m especially thankful for my host family, Rosy and Manuel, for caring for me and inviting me into their home and family for four months.

I’m thankful for music, and the beauty of nature, and everything else I love that I don’t have time to talk about right now.

Last but definitely not least, I’m thankful for God because all of these other things I’m thankful for are gifts from him. Even though I don’t deserve it I’ve been forgiven, saved, blessed abundantly, and loved unendingly by the creator and sustainer of the universe and that is truly amazing.

Okay so I know I’m posting this a day after Thanksgiving but that’s okay because we can be thankful every day of the year!

Also, I will be posting about Machu Picchu and other adventures very very soon I promise!

Peace!

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Hollidaysburg

The other day I hung out with my good friend Katie Conrad and we went to Hollidaysburg. We stopped at a cute little coffee and crepes shop and a cold girl with a tattoo sleeve sold me a mocha frappé and a brownie with walnuts and chocolate chunks in it. They had fresh blueberries out front and  I bought a pint, shared some with Katie, and ate the rest of them within the hour.  I also saw a guy who looked like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite.

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Here is a picture of me eating blueberries and drinking a mocha frappé.

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We also found a super awesome bike.

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And a Church which says “Worship God” on the front of the building.

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And an ominous prison.

I wanted to take blueberries to the prisoners but Katie was against the idea.

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We hiked up to Chimney Rock Park and climbed on the chimney rocks. Here is a picture of Katie conquering the mountain.

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This is a very small part of the incredible view which can be seen from the highest of the chimney rocks.

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I am standing on the edge of a cliff pretending to be a queen surveying her domain.

Call me Queen Converse cause I like converse shoes.

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Here’s a little more of the view. Stunning.

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Katie took all of these super awesome pictures 🙂

Peace!

Summer goals

It’s usually a good idea to have an idea of what in the world you’re doing with your life. Right? right.

True confession: I have no idea what to do with my life.  So I take it a day at a time.

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Here is a picture of me from today. I’m listening to my jams on my cans and staring into your soul.

 

Anyways…

At the beginning of the summer I started looking for a job. Unfortunately, no employer in their right mind would ever want to hire a competent, intelligent, hard working, poor-and-desperate-for-a-job college student who can only work for two months out of the year.

It follows that I have a lot of free time on my hands and very empty pockets.

So here is a list of some of the goals I set for myself to fill that time.

  • Get organized.

check. I have a lot of shit. I threw most of it away and I’m selling some of it. The rest is essential. Sort of. Except for a blue tissue box which is full of cards and letters, a drawer full of shirts that I might wear some day,  and that huge cardboard box that I labeled: “Sentimental Storage.”

  • Find a job

fail. Fortunately there are other ways of earning money, such as babysitting, yard sales, and raiding my little brother’s state quarter collection (I made $10. wow).

  • Keep in contact with my friends

Hopeful: My best friend from home is not home this summer, as she is getting married soon. (!!!)  My other best friend from home is a guy, so I’ve hung out with his group of friends a few times this summer. But guy friends are sooooo different from girl friends and I’m lacking in the later. So I’m lonely.

Thus, staying in contact with my friends from college is very necessary. I’ve been facebooking people, and I just got off the phone with my best friend from college and it was so nice to talk with her because I miss her a lot and she’s incredibly encouraging.  I also talk to my boyfriend every day (thank God for technology) and he’s coming to visit this weekend! (!!!) So it’s certainly not as bad as it could be, but then again it could always be better. I guess deep down that is true of every single situation and happenstance that ever occurred in this world. I’m a realist. Sometimes.

  • Start a blog

Done! Here is your proof. Revised goal: Finish a blog.

  • Go for a daily walk

Sort of…More like a weekly walk. I live on a 52 acre property of woods and fields and streams and yet I choose to stay in my bedroom and write a blog post. What is my life?

  • Get up at 8:30am

I am a miserable failure and I deserve to crawl in a hole and die. The earliest I’ve awoken in the past week is 9:30, and the earliest I’ve rolled out of bed in the past week is 10:07.  I have good intentions, isn’t that close enough?  (no)

  • Get a hair cut

Complete. My hair is happy now!  Next summer maybe I’ll chop it all off and get a pixie cut. Thoughts?

  • Read Harry Potter

I have a confession to make: This summer I read Harry Potter for the first time ever. It. Was. So. Freakin. Good. This series is like my long lost might-have-been childhood best friend. Or something along those lines.

  • Grow spiritually

With all this free time I have you’d think that I would be able to spend a little of it with God, right? Wrong. I keep putting it off and making excuses and conveniently “forgetting” to open my Bible. Last week I managed to spend like fifteen minutes with God for four days in a row! This is a huge accomplishment considering how not even remotely busy I’ve been.

It’s not like I’m required to read my Bible and pray every day or else get zapped by lightning, or that it will somehow make God love me more. Because it won’t. He already loves me like crazy and there’s nothing I can do or fail to do that will make him love me more or less. I want to learn how to love him back. I need him desperately and I want to learn how to rely on him and trust him. That is why I want to spend time with him. That is why I don’t know why I don’t make more of an effort when he’s already done practically all of the work for this relationship. All I have to do is open my heart and a book.

Wow that was deep. Anyways, so my goal is for two weeks: to spend 15 minutes every night at 10:30pm reading God’s word and praying. Hopefully after that it’ll just be a habit. Hold me to it.

  • Prepare for Chile

Yeah guys. I’m going to Chile next semester. Wut. I still need to come up with over a thousand dollars to pay my parents back…but whatevs. I’ll deal with that tomorrow. (fun fact of the day: I am the Procrastination Queen.)

I’ll keep y’all updated on how these go!

What are your summer goals?