Sentiments Regarding Finals & Summer, etc.

Well, folks, it’s been a busy last couple of weeks, as the school year is coming to a close.  Yesterday we had our very last class (and our final Fancy Friday as freshmen!  How many F’s can you fit into one sentence?).  It was a bittersweet day… it was our last class with one of our professors, who will be teaching the new freshmen next semester while we move on up to sophomore status.  I’m going to miss his humor and the “skip around the room”s he had us all do on our birthdays.  He’s great.

Finals Week is next week.  Woo-hoo.  I’m actually pretty excited; I do find it fun to study for finals.  Especially if you study for it in a group setting; that makes it all the more enjoyable.  Last year 5 of us (I, my roommates and two friends) spent the whole day before an exam in our apartment, making a timeline of ancient historical characters, making those virtual flashcard sets on Quizlet, and doing whatever it took to stay awake, focused and sane – techno music, consuming much caffeine, wrestling matches (among the guys), pushups, me sitting in weird positions on the couch (upside down)…  It was a late, crazy, fun, semi-productive day.  (This time around, I intend to be way more productive though.)  :)

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These past couple weeks we’ve been studying the writings of the apostolic fathers, learning about Constantine and how his “conversion” (I’m still not sure whether he did it for anything more than political purposes) affected Christianity and the Roman Empire.  Very interesting stuff.

The weather has been beautiful lately.  Whether sunny or rainy, I’ve been loving it all.  Variety is a good thing.

Current music favorites:  Benny Goodman.  Ben Howard.  Jason Gray.  Jon Hopkins.  Royal Tailor.  And of course, good ol’ Rend Collective.

These days God has been teaching me to be to look to Him for strength (these finals, man!), and has been convicting me these days of pride/vanity.  So often I tend to think so narcissistically sometimes, caring about what I look like, what people think of me, whether or not they like me or appreciate who I am or what I do… and then I catch myself, realizing how stupid and selfish it all is to be so narcissistic.  Oh, LORD, forgive me!  I’m doing my best to turn my mind away from myself, and turn it to ways I can serve the LORD in caring for others (Phil 2:4), whether they be my brothers and sisters in Christ, my family, or the strangers I run into when I’m out and about.  I want to imitate Christ in the way I live, becoming a servant to others.

I’m thinking a lot about summer these days.  In a week we’ll be done with all academics.  No more papers, no more deadlines, no more 300-some pages a week (which will be nice!), no more school-related stress.  However, while a vacation from these things will be nice (and much needed), it’ll be kind of sad as well.  I do love having the blessing of being able to learn what I’m learning at such a stellar college.  I’ve learned so much, and I am so grateful for it all.  Along with this, I will miss everyone terribly.  My classmates have been such a blessing to me.  We’ve grown pretty tight over this past year.  These people have encouraged me, helped me grow in my faith, made me laugh (A LOT)… Awww.  I love them so much.  Thankfully, if the LORD wills, we will all be reunited come fall.  There are things, however, that I am looking forward to doing this summer.  I’m looking forward to doing some reading.  Leisurely reading.  And a lot of it.  I don’t want my mind to turn to mush over these next three months.  Right now on my book list I have Things of Earth by Joe Rigney, Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl by N.D.Wilson, The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges, Salvation Belongs to the LORD by John M. Frame, and Augustine’s Confessions.  And of course, the Bible.  I also hope to blog more often: poetry, short stories, photos, bits of life and what God has been teaching me; also I hope to write on theological things, using writing to grow in the knowledge of this amazing God that I get to call my Father.  I hope to draw more.  Way more.  I hope to spend lots of time outside, enjoying the sun and getting some much-needed Vitamin D.  I hope to take lots of pictures and do a lot of baking.  I’m looking forward to doing everything I’ve longed to do, but couldn’t for lack of time.  I’m looking forward to a pretty awesome summer job, and being able to spend time with friends whom I have not seen in forever.  I’m looking forward to those occasional quiet evenings sitting alone on the dock, watching the sun set over the lake, hearing the waves lap against the shore.  I’m looking forward to serving others.  This summer job I’ll be having will be a whole lot of that, and it will be an awesome experience.  I cannot wait.  LORD, what do you have for me this summer?

– Madeline


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