Thursday, December 30, 2010

Take a breath, take a step...

Well, this is it, folks! ;)

I'm sitting here on my bedroom floor, surrounded by my suitcases...I have never packed SO much stuff in my life! And my sisters will attest to the fact that I usually pack excessively, but I've never had to pack for such a long trip.

In a few hours, we'll be heading to the airport. It all feels so surreal. I'm still not sure that I've gotten used to the idea of being gone for over four months. The last two weeks of Christmas break have been a haze of cleaning, getting together with friends and family, watching God provide for my financial needs for the trip (being completely blown away by the generosity and encouragement of friends and family), and packing. It's been an awesome break, though.

I don't have time to write much, but I wanted to share this song which has been running through my head constantly the last few days. I think it expresses my feelings quite well!

"I never got anywhere
By running away
I never learned anything
Without a mistake
Never loved anyone
By playing it safe
It's a long way down, but
I'm here right now, so...

Here goes nothing,
Here goes everything
Gotta reach for something
or you'll fall for anything

Take a breath,
Take a step,
What comes next
God only knows
But here goes

And what good is chance not taken?
What good is life not living?
What good is love not given?"

-Here Goes, by Bebo Norman

Not gonna lie, this trip scares me a little bit. It's out of my comfort zone....a leap of faith....a step into the unknown.

But I feel confident that this is where God wants me, and I'm excited to see what He has in store for me in Mexico City!

Besides, He's going with me. :)

I hope to post updates soon!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Um, hi.

K, so most of my blog posts start with an immediate acknowledgment of the elephant in the room: the fact that I have not blogged in eons. Usually I apologize profusely for my neglect.

This time? It will be different. I am living in a state of denial.

See, I'm such a prompt and informative blogger, keeping my readers fully up-to-date on everything that goes on and LALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUNDS OF MY OWN AWESOMENESS.

Oh, look. I've just gotten a blog comment...hmm, it's spam:

"Rather cool place you've got here. Thank you for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I would like to read more on that blog soon. How about changing it once in a few months?"

Hahaha, even the spammers are guilt-tripping me!! I just can't win...

Aaaaanyhow, I am here. I've got Pandora playing away [side note: Pandora rocks. I'm a little late to be joining the Pandora bandwagon, but it's just as cool as everyone says]. And I've got a lot of thoughts floating around in my head that would like to be blogged...we'll see how that goes!

First off, it's hard to believe that it was exactly a week ago today that I was heading in to my very last final. Yep, the sophomore fall semester = pwned. Actually, I didn't get that elusive 4.0 that I've been shooting for from the beginning, but I came closer than I ever have before. (It looks like it will be 4 As and one A-, but I'm happy). It was a long semester--I was working for the first half and trying to keep up with outside activities--so it's SO good to be done!! God is good.

I was a tad apprehensive about taking a class on campus (you know, being in the classroom setting for the first time...ever), but it actually was a great experience. The Spanish 1 & 2 classes that I took over the summer were sufficient to get me up to the level of Spanish 3, and I learned so much in that class. I met a sweet girl who was incredibly helpful as a study partner, and turned out to be related to me very distantly. Life is funny.

Thoughts on papers: PHC is forcing me to write. A lot. It's good for me, especially because I've always hated my writing and still don't think I'm good at it (and I'm seriously not fishing for compliments here, just being honest). That said, I have learned specifically that it's bad to use words that are not really words. Um, yeah. Even if Word agrees with me that convincingness is a's not. Actually, there are a lot of words that should be words but aren’t (at least, according to Microsoft Word). Like perfectify. And assentive. Memorability. And unforgetability. Oh well.

So, that's that.

Second, I am going to Mexico. Actually, I'm flying out almost exactly one week from today. week ago today I was taking a Spanish final (and then running out of the building and jumping into a snow bank out of sheer joy), and a week from today I'll be boarding a plane bound for a warmer climate. WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Sorry, had to get that out.

So far, break has been fantastic. My new laptop came yesterday, and I'm actually using it right now, trying to get used to the keyboard. I've been cleaning my room, sorting out the clothes I want to take, spending more time with siblings who don't want me to leave (awww!), and overall getting SO STOKED about this trip.

I've been completely overwhelmed (in a good way!) by the generosity of family and friends. I spoke in church about my opportunity to go on this missions trip, and people have been so supportive. Such a blessing.

Speaking of blessings, my conniving friends and sisters totally shocked me on Saturday with a surprise birthday/going away party. I was flabbergasted! I never suspected a thing...I guess I was nicknamed "Jessica the Oblivious" for good reason. =P It was a very special day; one that I don't think I'll ever forget.

GAH. Talking about birthday parties reminded me...I'm going to be 20. In like, five days? Yikes. It's funny, because when I was little, I decided that I would be married by age 20. Ha. Obviously that didn't exactly pan out, and I'm glad it didn't. Pretty sure I'm not mature enough to handle that sort of responsibility! Besides, God apparently has different plans for me right now, and His plans are always better than mine. =)

Lately I've been trying not to focus on the "lasts." You know, the last PHC distance learning semester at home, the last days of being a teenager, the last Sunday at my church, the last time seeing someone before May--that sort of thing.

Sometimes I'm thankful that I don't cry easily, because otherwise I would have been a complete emotional wreck the last week! (And other times I wish I were more emotional because it would be appropriate to cry and I just can't...haha.)

Well, this is getting more and more random, so I think I'll sign off. I really hope to write updates here while I'm in Mexico, but I know better than to make any promises. ;)

To any remaining, long-suffering blog readers, have a very Merry Christmas! It's cliche, I know, but do remember what we're celebrating: Christ, the Creator of the Universe, became flesh and dwelt among us!

As my new favorite song says so beautifully, "Down from His glory, Ever living story, My God and Savior came, And Jesus was His name. Born in a manger, To His own a stranger, A Man of sorrows, tears and agony. Oh how I love Him! How I adore Him! My breath, my sunshine, my all in all! The great Creator became my Savior..."

Isn't it wonderful?!