As of yesterday afternoon, I am on thanksgiving break! It feels so good to be able to relax a bit. To be honest, I slept in today and took lots of little naps (I am SO overtired… I’m trying to slowly “pay back” my “sleep debt”, haha). It will be good to have this break. I’ve had time to do fun things, such as leisurely scrolling through Pinterest, or reading for pleasure, and it has been so nice.
By the way, while I am on the topic of reading, the other day I was wondering what I should do with my spare time, when I’m not in the Word, or socializing, or being with my family, or doing necessary life things such as cooking, doing my hair, cleaning, etc., … and then I remembered that there are these things called BOOKS. And they are a different kind of book than the ones I’ve been required to read for the past three years (Aristotle, DesCartes’ Meditations, Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, Rousseau… not to complain, of course—I’m glad to have read these—but they’re not exactly FUN haha). I remembered that there are fun books, the type that makes one feel shivers of delight over the beauty of how the author using words, captured a human emotion just perfectly. I realized I have almost all of the L.M. Montgomery’s Anne series to finish, as well as a few books by Louisa May Alcott, and hey, when in doubt, I can always re-read Pride & Prejudice… and so I’ve started getting into reading for pleasure again. I am so happy, haha. I just finished Anne of Avonlea last night… oh, I love the Anne series so much. It’s so wonderful. Montgomery is such so observant, in the way she gives everyone such a unique and interesting personality, and she just knows the human mind and heart very well. She captures the beauty of friendship, and the difficulty of growing up and everything changing, and things like that so well. I just started the third book, Anne of the Island, but haven’t gotten very far into it yet.
Yesterday in class we explored texture by making rubbings of different surfaces… and blowing ink bubbles. It was so cool! We used this dishsoap/water mixture, poured some water-based ink into it, and used those little black coffee straws to blow bubbles onto paper and make cool little designs. How artsy. (No ink was accidentally consumed, don’t you worry.) We used this glossy type of paper (like the type most magazines use, but a little more dense), which didn’t fully absorb the ink, but kept it mostly to the surface of the paper. The results were pretty rad:
So fun! That first one is currently the background on my phone.
On a serious note now—I was marveling today… you know what’s absolutely wonderful? Having a solid hope to lean on no matter the circumstance. I’m talking about the Gospel here. Praise God for the Gospel. Life has been hard sometimes, with illness, and adjusting to a new season, and minor depression, not to mention the fact that I am a sinner, and fail multiple times a day and feel awful… but in all of this, I know one thing that is for sure: I belong to Christ. In Him my sins are forgiven.
“My sin is nailed to the cross
My soul is healed by the scars
The weight of guilt I bear no more
Praise the LORD, praise the LORD!”
– Rend Collective, Nailed to the Cross (this song has kind of been my anthem these days… so good and so full of truth)
And because I don’t bear the guilt of my sin anymore, I know a freedom that stays with me even when life is hard. Though I may not have happiness, I can have Joy. Though at times I may not feel free, I know I am, because the Bible—God’s Word, which is truth—says I am free in Christ. And I can trust God’s word, because God is not a liar. I was reading the first few verses of Romans 5 and thinking about the first part of Ephesians 2 today, and wow. While I was dead in my sins, and didn’t care, and was living like hell, following the enemy, who is at work in the sons of disobedience, doing and embracing DEATH, SIN, everything awful—God, in His great love for me, sent His perfect Son to become the sacrifice for my sin. Christ did this willingly, taking the wrath of the Father that I deserved to bear—on Himself. He died, and my sins died with Him. He rose again, because He has complete power over death, but my sin stayed in the grave. Sin, death, satan, are darkness are now defeated, and Christ reigns! Oh what freedom! I am no longer bound by these things… I am forgiven, set free by the sacrifice of Christ! “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” … (Ephesians 2:8-9) This is the hope I have when I can hardly see past my doubts, when I’m feeling sick and don’t know if I will ever find physical healing in this life, when I feel crushed by the weight of my sin. It is finished. (John 19:30) The cry of victory is my anthem, my battle cry. There is still a war to fight, but the outcome has already been decided, and my Captain is the Victor.
Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving! That’s exciting. But I try to be thankful every day, so even though it’s great to have a day every year to focus of gratitude, in my book every day should be thanksgiving. (I’m talking about the focus of the holiday, not all the food… then all things pumpkin and cranberry wouldn’t be quite so special!) But in light of tomorrow, and also because I don’t want to write another post tomorrow, I thought I might devote this little paragraph (or more like the list following this little paragraph) to gratitude. So with that, I’m thankful for:
- (for the millionth time) God’s abundant grace in Christ. What love. What undeserved love. There is nothing better than this.
- Friends. What blessings.
- making new friends.
- music that feeds the soul (namely, worship music)
- the warm, gentle glow of Christmas lights.
- having a backup device when my laptop decides to go berserk.
- days when I feel well and joyful.
- the human ability to tell stories. And how that ability is a gift from God, and… He is the Author of a Story. Whoa.
- the ability to create. Also a gift from God. Similarly, God is the Creator of the universe. *mind blown every time I think of this*
- God’s Word, and the freedom to own it.
- breaks during the semester.
- being able to study what I’m wired to do. (Theology is great. Love it. I don’t feel called to be a theologian. Design, however… aw yeah.)
- sleep. (I wish I got more of it.)
- poetry. Writing it, and reading it.
- getting a hug from a friend when I’m having a hard day.
- One-on-one time with people I love.
- the foods I can eat.
- good memories.
- heartwarming books.
What are you thankful for? How are you spending Thanksgiving? How are you students spending Thanksgiving break? Any good book recommendations?