From our youth, we are pressured to make something of ourselves. If you can dream it, you can do it; find the best paying job, the most handsome spouse. Life is so fast paced here in America, and its so easy to get caught up in this mindset.
In these last few months, God has been revealing to me that I am too caught up in a fast pace. I need to slow down and do something that scares me - listen. What will I hear? Condemnation or admiration? our god is a god of love, of conviction and not condemnation.
"Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear. Forget your people and your fathers house. The kind is enthralled by your beauty. honor him for he is your lord." (Psalm 45:10)
What defines us? Our past, our future? What about resting in the knowledge of being a child of the lord most high? Who am I to argue with such love? Forget your people and your fathers house - leave them behind and focus on God, our true Father.
My purpose is to find who I am as a daughter of the King.
I am loved - cherished - adored, and my duty is to be open to his plans. Not knowing my future used to scare me, too. But i now see that worrying about the it is pointless, because plans change daily.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Who am I?
I am Laurel, a daughter of the Lord most high. and my life is in his hands.
i had such a routine down at home, and im trying to figure mine out here. blogging is really hard to fit into everything!
Ecola is so glorious. Theres ALWAYS something going on. I'm really happy to be so active....swing dancing, volleyball, skimboarding, basketball, or just walking between the dorms.(ours is really far away from everything. my dorm is named anchorage :)
So far everything is great, even with the roommates. Its inevitable - there's going to be fights, but for now its calm.
Yesterday my boxes came in, all 8 of them!! Feels so nice to have something besides my 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of BLACK shoes (meaning i couldnt wear anything brown) and 2 sweatshirts.
I went to the store yesterday to buy cleaning supplies since it was my week. I went through the line, and the cashier asked me, "Do you own a cleaning business??" I was tempted to say something sassy (imagine that..!) but i didnt. Do I look old enough to own a business? Anyways, I just explained to her that I just moved here and told her a bit about Alaska, and she brought up the topic of Sara Palin (thats normal now. not a bad change of subject from polar bears and igloos when alaska is brought up.)
So after I got back and cleaned and unpacked a bit, my roommate Steph asked if I wanted to go to dinner with her. So we skipped out on cafeteria dinner and went to Pizza A'Fetta just next to bellas cafe (a minute walk from Ecola...seriously.) It reminded me alot of Fat Olives, and made me a bit homesick. But it was really great having a one-on-one with my oh-so-sarcastic friend. I'm really happy to have her for a roommate. Before I moved down here, I knew I should start praying for my roommates. I could have prayed for friends who I would easily get along with, but instead I prayed for girls that I need in my life right now, and who need me. It really made me realize that no matter who they were, I knew it was who God wanted for me and vice verca.
[sorry my thoughts are really random, or if I'm repeating myself. I cant remember what I've posted in the last few days...]
I played basketball last night, despite how nervous I was. I was the only girl on my team, and thats what was so frightening...playing with all these good guys. But I wasn't doing too bad, considering that I haven't played in a few years. Felt good to run and be part of a team after so long. and I made two baskets...hooray!
I called Livi last night, since i miss her oh so much. We talked for nearly a half hour, and I really want to go visit her in Spokane for All Northwest if she makes it. The concert is in February and I have a few girlfriends who are from Spokane, so its not completely impossible...
Mom got home today, so tomorrow I need to call her and have her walk through my room to see what else I forgot. I'm such a space cadet....
Its been sunny almost every single day. I'm so thankful for it. Today I went to the beach with kaja and candi to work on some papers and read. Felt SO good to lay in the sun on the sand, AND be productive.
Its so amazing already. We're reading through Genesis this week, and normally I would read through it and not think anything about it. But I'm already looking at it differently. I have questions...that never has happened before. Its like looking at it in a whole new light. Seems like thats the same story for a few other people.
People are beginning to not be so shy/awkward. Its nice. I'm definitely past that. ON TO BEING NOISY AND SILLY! people dont seem to mind too much....yet.
Mom said that theyre flying me down to utah for thanksgiving. (did i already mention that? oh well.) Mel called me a few days ago and said she will be there too. YAY! i miss my sister...
anyways, that was productive. but its dinner time. I'll post again when I can. LOVE YOU ALL!!
At last! internet connection!!
so catch up on the last few days...
Friday was a mess. Bre came up to my house with a cup of love to wake me up. We chatted for about a half hour, and had a tearful goodbye. Ugh. I hate goodbyes.
Then the insanity began! Packing up the last minute things. We wanted to get on the road by 10, but as always, we didn't reach our goal. Mom and I were headed to anchorage by 11. As we were passing Diamond Ridge, I realized that I had forgotten some sushi I had made the night before for the road. No big deal, really...its just food. But it was just a foreshadowing for the rest of the day.
As we got to Soldotna, I asked mom, "Did you grab the hair straightener off of the table?"
"No, I thought you did..."
"Uuuuuuuugh. I guess We'll just buy one in Anchorage. But where can i pack it? I HAVE NO ROOM!!!"
We get to Anchorage, and head over to the new Target. Woo hoo!! So we looked for the same style of hair straightener, but didn't find it. "Maybe I got it in Wal Mart..." Mom suggested. I ended up buying a folding hair dryer and a tube of mascara. When we got to the car, thats when I realized the worst. "I FORGOT ALL OF MY MAKEUP!!!!" Mom did her best to calm me down, reminding me that its all replaceable. "But I just bought a bunch of new makeup!" I was ill. I couldn't believe I forgot it. And its going to be another 2 weeks before I get it since mom is in Utah for awhile. So, over to Wal Mart we went. No hair straightener there either. But I could replace the real necessities.
I finally calmed down. I was so tired, so stressed...but amazing mom was there for me as always. I was really mad at myself, but mom was right. It was all replaceable. $50 later, and I was restocked.
We went to dinner with Melissa and Lance. We all caught up on whats been happening lately, and shared many laughs about old memories. Such a good way to end my last day in Alaska.
The flight went well; just a short three hours. It was better than I was expecting, due to the newborn baby sitting RIGHT behind me. I thought it would have been screaming the whole time, but thankfully, it was a good baby. I was sitting next to mom, and Steven. Needless to say, he had me laughing for half of the trip, so I got a few glares. Mainly from this weird guy sitting one seat ahead/across from us. I felt creeped out, so Steven put on his sunglasses, and put up a pillow, and peered over it at the guy. (I was sitting next to the window, so Steven's little charade blocked me from the creepers view.) I love Steven....its never a dull moment around him.
We got into Portland at 5:30, and got some breakfast. Steven went down to baggage claim to meet up with his brother, so mom and I went to the first class lounge area. (Cant remember what its called.) I wasn't going to be picked up until 11, so I was really thankful for the quiet area to catch up on a little bit of sleep. I kept getting phone calls from wrong numbers. Why does that always happen? Whenever I get a new number, it happens to be THAT number...the one that always gets called by banks, or other stuff. Previous owners had bad credit. Or they were drug lords. Ug. Just my luck, I guess. Anyways, so finally around 10:30 mom and I headed down to baggage claim. Steven was sitting there with his bags, and had been there the whole time! His brother was sick, so he didn't come pick him up, and Steven didn't want to go back through security. I felt bad for him.
We met the other girls who flew in; Stephanie from Chicago, and Julie from Concord, California. I had to say goodbye to mom then. SO HARD!!! I wasn't as much of a mess as I thought I would have been. A few tears...but I think I was so tired. But it was a really fun trip, even tho we got lost and doubled our car ride. I was so tired, I didn't notice. It was a sunny day on Saturday, so I was super excited about that. It was perfect weather to me, but cool to everyone else.
As we drove into Cannon Beach, it was just like coming into homer. Just like baycrest! There's a hill with a big reveal; but instead of the bay, you see haystack. So amazing. It so strange to me being at the ocean with no mountains across the bay. And the sand! Its so soft, and NOISY! They call it barking sand (not to be confused with barking spiders haha). I've been to alot of different beaches, and I've never heard sand like it before. Its also a shock to see that its white sand, and not the normal grey I'm used to. But I totally feel at home. Same rainy weather, same small town feel, but without the hovering feeling of having your personality caged.
I thought that registration was on Saturday, but to my surprise - and relief - it was on Sunday. I was really not looking forwards to traveling for 24 hours and showing up without any makeup, slept on hair and PJ's....here I am...take my picture. Awesome. So I was really thankful for a day to recover, and I didn't have my roommates yet. But problem...a bunch of my stuff is still in the mail. including my blankets and towels and pillow. Oops. So I've had to make a pillow out of my sweatshirt and scarfs. Thankfully, I'm not a picky sleeper. Lights on. Noisy. The floor....doesn't matter to me.
Molly, my dorm R.A. is super sweet. She's my age and we get along really well. She gave the 6 girls a tour (thats all that had showed up at that point) and introduced us to the RA's, interns and deans around campus. I felt like I already knew Diana and Meagan (office worker and the Dean of Women) because of facebook. They really make you feel so welcomed here. But as I met more people, I kept getting the same response. "Oh Laurel! You're Kevin's friend, right?"
"Oh no." I moaned to myself. "...expectations. Just what I was happy to get away from."
After about the 5th time hearing that, I nearly started crying. It was a mixture of exhaustion, and frustration. I was on overload. So many people to remember, and so many more to meet. I still had to meet my roommates the next day, and I was still dreading that.
Saturday night we walked to crescent beach, which is about a 20 minute walk away from the school. It was really cold that night; clear skies and almost a full moon. I still don't have all of my sweatshirts either. They're being shipped too. So, I was pretty cold, and everyone was making fun of me because I was from Alaska and cold. "It's damp cold!" We had a pretty good laugh about that. But once we got to the beach, a group had already gotten the fire started. Before long, it was huge. Molly and I got a little crazy and waded into the water. She went in a few feet, and I just kept running till I was knee deep. So refreshing, and made me feel back at homer. I dont know what it is about the ocean....but it calms me down. I have such a connection with it. Molly and I ran back to the fire and dried off. It wasn't long till we went back in again. "I can tell we're going to get along really well," Molly said. It felt nice to hear, especially since I was hearing this when I wasn't even being the real Laurel. I was more like Zombie Laurel. Of course, I took some pictures. It was such an amazing sight; the 7 foot bon fire, with the sparks flying into the air, reaching out to the moon. New and old friends gathered around. The sound of the waves. This is like home to me.
The walk back was really entertaining. Kevin introduced me to John - a skinny red head, with a talent for impersonations. "Do some of your voices, Laurel!" I had to ask Kevin what voices I COULD do. I was so tired I couldn't even remember. "TEEN GIRL SQUAAAAAAAD!" I went off on that tangent for a few minutes, and the voices kept coming to me as John and I took turns. My goodness...he's amazing. Can't say I've ever heard so many perfect voices from one person.
I got back to my dorm and continued unpacking. I was really glad that there were 4 dressers, and that I had first dibs. I made sure to test the drawers to see which one didn't stick. By around 11:30, I was wondering why I was still up and organizing. "JUST GO TO BED!" I told myself. I had no problem falling asleep. New places/beds dont bother me either, apparently. I didn't wake up until 11 on Sunday when Livi called me. We talked for a few minutes, and then I got my butt in gear and finished unpacking, and then showered. Very awkward drying off with a sweatshirt...
I headed to the gym for registration, where a line was just beginning to form. I was second in line, and Steven was the official "door holder", so he was first in line. It wasn't long until the line was past the first dorm. We made small talk with people around us, but I was still being a little 'awkward turtle.' Its going to be probably a week until everyone starts getting past that. It so hard stepping beyond your comfort zone, even in a Bible College. Our society is so about privacy and first impressions, judgements and appearance. Its so strange. I look around the faces, knowing that most, if not all, of these kids are my brothers and sisters in Christ, yet we are still scared to talk to each other. There's something majorly wrong with this picture. After a quick run through the registration line, Steven and I went to Bellas Espresso, for my first Bella experience. SO AMAZING!! (In fact, I am in Bellas right now :)
Supposedly, its going to be one of the 'best' winters (this is coming from snowboarding addicts, which means TONS of snow). I must admit...I am torn. Part of me is happy I won't be here this winter, and instead off having different adventures. The other part of me wants to be here to enjoy some of the snow. I love snow machining. And snowboarding. Just not for seven months of the year. Last winter, I bought a snowboard and got to use it a grand total of ONE TIME. So, thats another reason why I would like to be here...get some use out of my 'new' board.
My week is being filled with last minute errands.
-retrieve lended out books, sweatshirts, and 'the office' series.
-picking up my last paycheck, saying goodbye to the crew, and getting my amazing letter of recommendation.
-going to salvation army looking for a duffle bag with Livi. [but instead, Livi got distracted by the shoes and got an amazing find - a killer pair of boots. lucky. I didn't have such great luck with the duffle bag.]
Tonight was my last swing dancing session. I'm so glad I got to do that. Seems like my last week is being filled with so much goodness, so many little blessings. This week will forever stick out in my mind. I'm such a sentimental sappy person, its ridiculous. But this is my home, and I am leaving it behind. Its such a big first step to me. I think I have the right to be that sappy, emotional, sentimental romantic that I truly am.