Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Changing leaves and an update

It has been a while hasn't it?

Life seems to move at such a rapid pace these days. Sometimes I get so caught up in the activity of it all that I forget to stop and enjoy the ride.

It's kind of like the changing of seasons. I hadn't even noticed that the leaves were changing colors until I was driving down 85 to visit Jes at the end of last week. I left on Thursday and got a late start, which always stresses me out. I found myself driving down the interstate, frustrated that I was behind schedule, and thinking about all of the things that we were going to do over the weekend when I so clearly heard God speaking to my heart, "Stop. Quit thinking, and just enjoy the beauty of my creation." Wow. What an eye-opener. God is painting such a beautiful picture before our eyes, and it changes every day...every minute. We get so wraped up with our work, our relationships, our errands, our worries, our concerns, that we forget to enjoy the beautiful splendor of all that He has made for us.

The weekend was full and busy. I picked up Jes in Greensboro and then we headed down to South Carolina to visit some of our friends at SWU. Our time there was very bitter-sweet. I feel like I've changed so much since I left there last year. Sometimes it is very hard to go back to a place and spend time with people who don't really know the person that you are, only the person that you were in the past. But we had a good time together.

I have decided that one of my favorite things to do is driving with Jes. On our way to her parents house on Saturday, we drove past so many people who looked so somber and were not enjoying their time together. I felt so badly for all of those people and wished that they could find joy out of something as routine and ordinary as driving.

We were able to spend great time with Jes' parents on Saturday and Sunday. It is truly such a blessing to have the support, input, and guidance of both her parents and mine. Our families are very similar and I feel so at home there.

The best part of the weekend came on Monday, when I was supposed to go home, but decided to stay and go up to her school and spend a little more time together. We went to a coffee shop near her campus and spent a few hours just talking and being close to one another. It was so wonderful to just relax and not worry about anything, but just focus on each other and God.

This weekend was so wonderful and I feel so great about everything that lies ahead. My focus has been brought back to where it needs to be...I have a renewed sense of commitment to go deeper with my relationship with God and to truly seek to honor and glorify Him, not only in our relationship, but in every aspect of my life.

No matter what you're doing today....whatever you have on your plate. Take time to stop and enjoy the season. The clean, crisp air of fall makes me feel so alive, and the colors remind us that change can be beautiful.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Napoleon Dynamite and The Beatitudes

After three long weeks, I get to spend another weekend with Jes. I am very excited to share a few more days with her. I'll give an update in a few days about our weekend together.

I am in the middle of a couple of projects for school right now. I am editing my first radio series, and am designing a few logos. It's very exciting to learn new skills...because girls only want boyfriends who have great skills...you know numchuck skills, bow-hunting skills, computer hacking skills...I guess audio editing and graphic design are almost as dorky.

Wow...Napoleon. Good times.

For those of you who didn't know, last fall, my friend Carolyn and I learned the dance from the movie and won $250 at SWU's infamous "skit night"...it was a blast. I definitely don't think I could remember much of it now....probably a good thing!

It's hard to believe that was almost a year ago. My life sure has changed in the past year. I really never would've imagined that I would be where I am now, dating such an amazing girl, leading worship at my church, going to VCU...God is so good. He gives us what we need before we ever know it is our deepest desire.

Jes and I started reading in Matthew earlier this week and today was the Beatitudes. These words are so powerful, just think on them for a few minutes.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for thiers is the kingdom of heaven."

I love how God's heart and passion for people is so evident in these words. He seeks after those who are down and out. He desires to feed those who hunger. His embrace comforts all who suffer and His grace gives us hope. Hope for a future no matter what our circumstances are today. Hope for acceptance and forgiveness no matter how ugly our sin. Hope for life that is full of joy and fellowship with others. Hope for something meaningful.

Be filled with hope today.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bad experience turns good

Sometimes God can use our mistakes to work to our advantage.

This happened in my life yesterday. I got out of my afternoon class early and decided to go down a few blocks to Barnes & Noble to hang out in the Cafe' and check out some new music before my evening class started at 7 p.m. For some reason, being in Barnes & Noble always makes me feel happy, especially when I have time to listen to some CDs, flip through the newest edition of Paste Magazine, and sip on some Iced Chai.

I left Barnes & Noble around 6:15 with plenty of time to spare, and so I decided to take the "scenic" route back to class.

I'll skip ahead and then come back to the good part.

So I got to my class around 6:40 and several of my classmates were sitting in the hall outside...So I sat down and started chatting away. At about 6:50, I said, "Is there a reason that we're sitting outside the class?" and they then informed me that we were donig a one-on-one quiz with the professor. I asked why he decided to start early....It was then that I remembered that my class actually starts at 6 p.m. not 7 p.m. Yeah...I felt like an idiot! I was still able to take the quiz, however, I had points taken off for being late...oh well.

The good part of the story is that on my way back to my class, I ran into a reporter for the newspaper that I worked for last summer. We talked for a while about our lives and such and eventually we talked about my frustrations with not having enough time to actually work this semester and gain more experience. She told me that there may be opportunity for me to work as a freelance writer for the local paper in my home-town.

Skip ahead to today...a few minutes ago, my cell phone rang and I didn't recognize the number. It was the Managing Editor at the paper, and I am now a freelance writer for Media General's Richmond Suburban Newspapers.

Not only is this a great opportunity to gain experience around my busy schedule, but I will also be paid for every story that I write.
I'm stoked.