Monday, April 28, 2014

the chocolate bunny.

{this is a modified, slightly expanded version of my email update I sent out yesterday}

Hello, dear ones!

Here I am, over two weeks since I left, and am just now sending out an update.

I’m alive and well, loving being back here for a season. I honestly forgot how much I loved this place, and with fifteen of us here from my summer semester, it feels like we never left.

After arriving on Wednesday, April 9, I spent the first five days just settling in. Of course, the first thing I did was run/walk a mile with Morgan and Carrie on Thursday morning and the altitude nearly killed me. Ha! I guess you don’t just automatically adjust back even if you’ve lived here before. Well, well. Live (or die) and learn, right? :P Oh, right - then we all participated in the His Little Feet 5K that Saturday. Let’s just say I was a *little* sore afterwards. *cough*

Orientation Monday evening (April 14th) kicked off the semester, and we’ve been running non-stop since! Each week has a theme, and all our sessions and reading line up with that. We have one Ellerslie staff teacher per week who teaches the afternoon sessions, and the morning sessions are either a video of Eric, or we listen to the audio of a sermon from a hero of the past on the same theme. It’s quite the smorgasbord - I’m loving the different perspectives. Last week’s theme was The Word of God in Text (with Mr. Dan), and we just finished up The Word of God in Person (with Nathan). Today we started in with the theme "In Christ" - Eric's our main teacher this week. Two weeks down, five to go! But time is flying. Too fast.

Homework has been more intense than Basic, but so very rich and it drives us to Jesus in so many ways. Our teachers cannot emphasize enough that it’s not the homework they want us to get, it’s Jesus. He’s our main focus, He’s the reason we’re here - and even though knowledge and learning are important, they pale in light of Him. We’ve been doing a lot of memorizing - you all can test me on my Proverbs when I get home….or grill me on the books of the Bible and how Jesus is the fulfillment of each one. Fun stuff! 

My roommates, Ellenore and Rachel, are lovely - it’s fun to be with people I hadn’t really met before. I’m the oldest in the room by eighteen months…but the shortest by several inches. Oh, the irony! Ellenore and I are so much alike it’s a little odd - everything from musical theatre to Bolthouse Farms smoothies to our love for His Little Feet to coconut oil. Rachel has such a diligent, sweet spirit - she keeps us on track and adds a sparkle to room.

This is "my own little corner" - my happy spot and workplace. If you get a letter from me, it was probably written here (and I have written some - just have to get stamps! :D), and this is where my email updates come from too. Just so you can visualize where my cyber-voice is coming from. *grin* Oh, and in case you missed it, sitting on my desk (until two days ago when I finally ate it) was a chocolate bunny my mama sent out to me for Resurrection Sunday. She also sent a whole rainbow basket of candy and plastic eggs for me to cry over share. And it made a lot of people happy, not just me, so that's why I named this post what I did. *chuckle*
Many of my friends from the summer are here as well, it’s AWESOME to be with them again. Bonds in Christ are so strong - these people are my spiritual family and even thought it’s been less than a year since I met any of them, it feels like decades. This morning, my breakfast table ended up being seven of my "basic family" plus one...and we had a hilariously wonderful time just being together - I really don't know what I'd do without them. :) And the new friends I’ve met are equally amazing and it's hard to even remember who's from which class, and the fellowship is pretty fantastic. 

This past weekend was the “Taste of Ellerslie” conference - so there were quite a few people on campus who aren’t students, and the schedule was really different. The whole thing was very encouraging, and I know it was life-changing for many of the attendees. Funny thing, Sunday morning, right when every was leaving, we walked into my dorm after church to discover there was an overflowing toilet (basically siphoning water straight from the well and dumping it everywhere) that had been running for hours and flooded the upstairs hallway and two rooms upstairs, as well the downstairs hallway and two rooms downstairs. 

So we spent Sunday afternoon moving **everyone** out of 400 (my dorm) into 300 (the other girls dorm) and 100 (the currently mostly vacant HLF wing) for a few days so the guys can fix and clean up the mess. Crazy times! One big slumber party - forty-odd girls in one dorm. We’ll have fun, despite logistical challenges :) My bed in the middle one in the picture below, in the upstairs common area :)

Jesus has been so faithful the past two weeks, bringing me to the end of myself and revealing more of Himself. He truly is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him - and even though I’m barely scratching the surface, I get so lost in all that He is that it’s overwhelming. We serve a big God! It’s so easy to get caught up in the little distractions going on around us and miss Him, but if our focus is on Christ as our North Star, it’s incredible how everything else falls away.

I appreciate your prayers - there’s a lot going on out here, a lot on the brain, but I’m so at peace that it can only be explained by Jesus. Going specific, pray that I would rest in His sovereignty, trust that His plan and timing are always the best - especially as I’m praying through what I’ll be doing next year. Jesus is in control, and He works all things for our good!

I wrote this classic hymn into my journal this week, as it has been so so pertinent to my life the past few weeks. I challenge you to read these lyrics with new eyes and an open heart, and let Jesus press you closer to Him.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

1 comment:

  1. I so enjoyed reading this, Liza. :) Miss you all terribly.