Saturday, July 11, 2015

If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.

This little fella followed us around at the archery range after my orientation. Change really can be beautiful--especially change that leads to butterflies. And Mississippi College. :) 

Dear Readers,

In all of the moving and unpacking and organizing, I've sifted through many journals (if you haven't guessed by now I love to write :) ). Looking through one the other day, I found the entry when my dad first told us he had a job offer in Mississippi.

Wow. This past year has been insane for our family. If you could see the places I sent my SAT scores to, you would laugh out loud. I had zero clue as to where we would end up so sent my scores out to so many schools in such random parts of the country.

The hardest part was being unable to tell our friends. People seemed to think we thought the two Christian schools in our state weren't "good enough", and that sparked anger.  Everyone's favorite question to ask high school seniors is, "Where are you going to college?". If only they knew that question made my hands shake and my head spin! I wanted to just shout the news from the rooftops that we had no idea where we were going to school but that we were pretty certain we were moving somewhere.

But I couldn't.

 It was emotionally exhausting. 

I learned a lot. I had to trust God, the master planner, with the fact that I couldn't make a plan. I had to believe that He knew what He was doing even when it was so hard to say goodbye. I forced myself to remember that His plans are good.

And here we are. Mississippi.

I have to admit I doubted the goodness of God's plans several times on the way over here--it was HARD to say goodbye, and I ABHOR change. I wondered what was wrong with me the first couple of weeks here when I was just sad and anxious and wishing I could just have one more year to be homeschooled.

And then orientation happened.

My mom jokes I signed my name in blood the first time I visited Mississippi College, but it holds an element of truth because it was the first school I visited that felt  like home. It was the first school I visited that I was truly sad to leave. It was that ambiguous "just knowing this is it" feeling everyone had told me I would have when I found it but that after five states I was beginning to doubt I ever would. As my {incredible} advisor put it yesterday (referring to her decision to attend MC and mine)...I knew I had found my people.

There aren't enough adjectives in the world to describe how wonderful orientation was, but since I'm a Spanish major I guess asombroso will do. It was definitely asombroso. Amazing.

I automatically had a sweet friend to whisper and laugh and text in Spanish with in my fellow Spanish major. Getting to be on campus preparing for classes to start in a little over a month felt unreal. I've been dreaming of MC for a year now and it's actually here! I made my first Cups run with my student ID, made my schedule, got lost in the stairwell every time we took them, and stayed in the residence halls.

If you asked me how I was doing right now, I would mimic my host dad in Argentina and say, "muy contento".

I find it incredible to think God has always known this moment would happen. That He knew the tiny little baby in the NICU who everyone thought was having seizures would go to Mississippi College.The doubts I felt this past year are totally erased--this crazy rollercoaster of a path to MS reminded me that His plans might be even better when you have to just jump in faith. I'm over the moon about where I landed.

Your blogger,

Monday, July 6, 2015

Cookbooks and joy kind of go together.

Dearest Readers, 

I'm long past overdue for a blog post, I know. Forgive me. There have just been too many words hovering in the edge of my fingertips with this move. I've painted the pages of my journal with them, but they're too incoherent to publish for the world. 

It's a hodgepodge of emotions. I'm barely getting used to the rhythm of this new life and soon I'll be moving again. I feel unprepared and as if I'm just floating in space--without roots and with little idea as to what tomorrow will look like. I'm also excited when I think about Spanish conversations and new perspectives on literature to listen to and new essays to write. But also terrified I'm going to fail. I keep studying Spanish as if that's the anchor that determines my success. 

I love the sheltering trees and the lovely people who have welcomed us warmly. I love my school and know I'll love orientation this week. I love our across the street neighbor and the fact that I was able to take an empty measuring cup to his house last night and return with one filled with sugar. I love that he kept his porch lights on for me as I promised to return bearing cookies. 

See? A hodgepodge. 

Tonight I was looking through my most beloved cookbook--The Mitford Cookbook. The Mitford books are my high school years--I strived to create Mitfird in our corner of Arizona everyday. 

The cookbook is peppered with notes--occasions when I made this, how I changed that, ways to improve it. Many talked of surgery.  "I made these the night before Benjamin's surgery..." "I took Mom a mini loaf in the hospital..." "Made on Mason's first day home!" 

Wow, those brought back a flood of memories. I baked because those summers were hard. I baked with my iPod plugged into my ears because I couldn't listen to how painful therapy was. I baked because I missed my mom so much it hurt. I baked because I was scared and sad. 

And my notes reminded me of the joy that we fought so hard for those summers. The night before Benjamin's surgery when we played games and ate brownies that were way too rich. That day in Mason's recovery when we shot a rocket into the air. When I got up early his first day home to make Cynthia's vanilla muffins...and then wrote about it in my book. 

Those surgery summers made up a large part of my childhood. And some people might say that's sad. But not me. Would I love to go back in time and change it so my brothers didn't have to hurt so much? So my parents didn't have to worry? Yes. A million times yes. But those summers taught me something so incredible. They taught me that joy is ALWAYS ALWAYS there. 

It just might take an old cookbook to find it. 

Your blogger,