30 July, 2011

UpToWn GirLz

Nine girls in one house. Sounds crazy, right?
Uh, no. FUNZONE! I am getting super excited to move into Uptown with all of them.

These girls are so special to me.

Morgan: Thank God for Morgan.  I probably would have died by now without her.  She cares for people in every way possible, and I really admire her nurturing gifts.  Whether I’m sick and tired, sad and crying, or stressed and overwhelmed, Morgan is literally the first one at my side every time.  She is fully dedicated to whatever the Lord puts in front of her.  Morgan has the ability to speak the truth in love with power, and her prayers have carried me through this past year.
Lindsay: She knows how to make any person’s day brighter.  She floats through the air and frolics into your room with a huge smile on her face and carries an unexplainable peace and joy around with her.  But that’s not all there is to Lindsay…She is one of the most profound people I know, and if she is talking, listen up.  Seriously, it is such a blessing when Lindsay shares her heart and her story, so if you get that chance, please take it-it will change you.
Ashley: I’ve told this to a few people, but I think Ashley exemplifies Jesus more than anyone I know.  She is the most accepting, non-judgmental, humble person I’ve ever met.  The Lord has given her his eyes for the world, which allows her to love others and extend grace.  Her confidence comes straight from God, and through everything, she remains faithful to her Savior.  If you want to be more like Christ, follow Ashley’s example.
Sara: Sara is so in love with the Lord, and it is her biggest ambition to know Jesus better and to share him with others.  She is fully committed to the Word, to prayer, and to communion with the Father.  Sara lets herself be led by the Spirit and flees far away from sin, and I know that God delights in her.  Because of all these things, she has such a kind and gentle spirit, and she is an amazing friend to me and to others.  I feel closer to God when I am with Sara.
Rebecca: She is NOT ashamed of the gospel, and I will be forever thankful to have her to look to since the day I decided to walk with the Lord.  Rebecca is an evangelist in all senses, whether it be to her family or friends, through Young Life or different types of missions, she makes it her ambition to share the gospel with others.  And it is refreshing to have someone around who is so real, open, and vulnerable.  I literally can’t wait to see where God takes her in life because she has opened herself up to him to be used in incredible ways.
Evi: My little intellect.  I absolutely admire how she asks question after question and searches and doesn’t settle until she figures things out for herself.  Evi possesses one of the most humble qualities a person can have: she is teachable.  She is so like Jesus in how she simply attracts people, which is noticeable in the tons of different friends she has.  She is so easy to talk to and has such a comforting spirit.  I would hang out with Evi all day every day if I could.
Colleen: Sweet, sweet Colleen.  God has given me a special friend in Colleen because her presence has been so comforting and crucial to me throughout college so far.  Whether it be at Carrier at 3 AM, at leadership with way too many people, across the world in Israel, during intense discussions at small group, or through painful hours of Justice class, she has always been there to understand.  I admire Colleen’s open mindedness and desire to explore the world and live life to the full.  She is someone who really knows the beauty of the Lord, and she is a joy to everyone who gets to be around her.
Jillian: Jilly is one of my newest friends, but simply from observing how she lives her life and loves others, I cannot wait to live with her.  She is SO incredibly committed to Jesus and living her life for him whole-heartedly.  It is her ambition to serve the Lord and to serve others so that they might know him.  I love how Jillian knows that she is a light in this dark world and how she puts herself in situations where she is able to shine.   I value her words so much because the Lord seems to speak through her so clearly and uses her to encourage others.
Beth: Our honorary house member!  My college experience would have been completely different if Beth wasn’t my freshmen roommate-she was my wing girl and made me laugh harder than anyone.  She has taught me what it means to love the Lord with all your mind.  She pursues knowledge of God more than any person I have ever met.  I seriously wish I read the bible half as much as this girl does because it has made her into a beautiful woman of God.  She loves people, ALL people, and she does it for Jesus.  I am so excited for Beth’s future.

I think this verse really sums up what our house is going to be about:
"Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me."-Psalm 56:1

14 July, 2011

Would You Rather

So let me just preface this by saying that I am not an ungrateful, spoiled brat.  I really loved my two weeks in Spain!  Seriously, it was beautiful.  I had so much fun hanging with my crazy English family and it was so nice to relax, but for the sake of a good laugh, I’m gonna be dramatic and tell you how I really feel…

As life goes on, especially after these two weeks, I am finally comfortable stating with confidence that I like winter better than summer.  Not only that, but I like the cold, everything about it and everything that comes along with it.  I’ve known this fact about myself before, like when someone asks, “Do you like the mountains or the beach better?” I always say mountains.  This topic of conversation actually led my dear friend, Kaitlin, and I to a presentation on contrasting the mountains and the beach.  Ironically enough, it was in Spanish class (we also did one on the North vs. the South, but that’s a different story…actually, I’m not sure how we passed the class after presenting that one).  And in case anyone out there is interested, I have a Spanish presentation on The Phenomenon of Harry Potter as well.  It’s safe to say I got laughed at a lot by my fellow Spanish studying Duke Dogs, and Professor Javier may not have loved me and my attempts at speaking his language, but he sure did love my jokes.  Anyway, with all this Spain talk, it’s also safe to say that along with my preference of winter, I prefer England to Spain.

To recap:
Winter over Summer
Mountains over Beach
England over Spain
And let me tell you why…

1) There is no pressure to be tan. Sorry, but I’d rather avoid breaking out in heat rashes and getting white spots all over my body (yeah that happened, and my doctor said it’s a skin disease called Malassezia furfur) after bathing myself in tanning oil and baking in the sun for hours in a desperate attempt for some bronzin.  People who say you like to lay out, stop lying to yourselves. AND MAYBE I LIKE MY PALE SKIN OK!?
2) Coffee is supposed to be hot.  Who thought of iced coffee and when did it become acceptable? I’m being a hypocrite, but only because I would rather not melt to death on a hot summer day…I want to go out in a much cooler way (no pun intended).  Sometimes, I just really want to order a nice, normal, steaming cup of coffee, how God originally intended it to be consumed, but because of the blazing heat, I can’t.
3) The book-reading atmosphere is 100x better.  You think to yourself, “I have an entire two weeks to spend on the beach, I better get a good book to read.” But I think to myself, “I have an entire two weeks to spend on the beach, I better start liking music more and update my iPod.” Because personally, I like to choose when I want to flip to the next page in a book rather than having the wind decide.  I also like to be able to see the words I’m reading rather than being blinded by the sun or having the words ruined by water soaked pages.  But forreal, who likes sand stuck in the crevasses of their book?
4) Pub life over Club life.  Sitting at a little wooden table in a cozy pub while the Brits yell about the football match on TV in awesome accents, or getting lost in the disco lights and darkness while the Spaniards fist pump to loud music in another language in the club?  I choose the first, thanks.  I’d rather not have to deal with a language barrier when telling Juan and José I don’t want to dance with them and that “Yo tengo un novio.”  Like, I know you understood me, my Spanish isn’t that bad.  Why do I still have to escape while you go to the bathroom?
5) Modest is Hottest.  I don’t wanna see topless women on the beach, and no, I don’t wanna participate in the “who can wear the shortest dress” contest.  I thoroughly enjoy wearing layers and layers of warm winter clothing.

Basically, I just want to cuddle up with a hot cup of coffee and good book in a log cabin up the mountains while the snow falls.
To all you iced coffee-lovin, beach babez out there: please don’t be offended.  Some of my closest friends are just like you, and I still love them!

That being said, here are some summer, beach pictures from Jávea, Spain!