I’m so glad God created flowers.
I’m so glad God created flowers.
A few projects I’ve done for school recently:
A photo collage.
3D lettering using the Blend tool on Illustrator.
A paper doll.
A font comparison poster.
A line drawing I edited on Photoshop, to make it black and white.
I currently have these vases of peonies and carnations on my desk, and they are just so pretty and smell so good. I wish that flowers lasted forever… they’re starting to fade now. A few days ago when they were new, I took some pictures of them (some were taken with my Ōlloclip).
God is just seriously so creative.
And just like that… Summer flew right by. Now I only have a week left until college starts up, and while I’m eager to get back into all the school stuff, I want to enjoy and make the most of this last week of no schedules.
This summer has been a good one. A quick recap of what happened:
I spent a couple weeks home, hanging out a lot with good friends and making a lot of awesome memories. Then…
I spent several weeks working in the kitchen at a christian camp. It was great; I’ve worked there before and know most of the staff there really well. In the evening, when we weren’t working, the staff played games, or watched the Olympics together, or just hung out some evenings, which was fun. Some other evenings I just spent in my room having some down time, as I was so tired from that day’s work that I needed to get off my feet or spend a little bit of time alone (I love people, but I’m just a bit introverted and need a little time by myself every so often to recharge), and would read my Bible, or answer emails, journal or do handlettering. When we were working, we often played music to make things more fun. We played For King & Country, Rend Collective, and Phil Wickham many times, as well as “Geronimo”, “Baby Baby” (the contemporary version featuring Tori Kelly), “Gone Like A Freight Train” (a classic in the camp kitchen), and “Brother” by NEEDTOBREATHE (one of the best songs ever). We washed so many dishes. I burned my fingers repeatedly while stacking hot plates. I made nearly all of the gluten free baked goods. Sometimes they turned out well, and sometimes they didn’t, so they didn’t tempt me (a good thing; I can always use fewer carbs and sugars in my life). One of the best things about this summer was on the weekends, during staff meetings, when we would tell and hear stories of how the week went and how God worked in the lives of the campers that week. Oh, so good. In short, it was a good camp season, and I am thankful and blessed to have been a part of it.
Now I’m back home, and it feels nice, although not a ton is going on these days. I’ve been setting up my new room, which has been fun (I switched rooms, due to old roommates moving out and new ones coming in). I’ve been putting artwork and handwritten quotes all over the walls, unpacking and such – and sometimes just laying in front of the fan. We don’t have air conditioning, haha. I don’t have an actual bed frame yet, so I’m sleeping on a mattress on the floor (which isn’t all that bad, but once it gets cold and I start seeing mice, I’ll want to be off the floor).
When I haven’t been setting up my room, I’ve been reading for my first class, early. Or helping my friend address wedding invitations while watching olympics and seeing that 1st place tie happen in men’s swimming. Or going with a couple friends to “Targhetto” (a Target in the ghetto, pretty self-explanatory) and then to a used bookstore (I found so many classic children’s books that I had read in my childhood, and I wanted to buy them all! I totally would have if I weren’t a poor college student trying to be frugal, haha). Or biking to a coffeeshop and then (currently) waiting for the rain to stop so we can go home.
Summer has been going pretty well so far. So far I’m still in something like the “newlywed stage” of summer, where all is sunshine and daisies – I have a bunch of free time, and I can do all the things I want to do – and the harder parts of summer haven’t kicked in yet. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there, and enjoy the “sunshine and daisies” for now. =)
Speaking of sunshine, today I got to meet with one of my good friends, whom I haven’t seen since I was 17, and we took a walk around one of the lakes and caught up on each other’s lives. It was great; the weather was beautiful, so sunny, and it was nice to get some exercise. I’m so glad I finally got to meet up with her; we had been talking about it for a while, and now we finally did it. =) After that, I went home (with a nice little bruise on my cheek from whacking her car door on my face by accident when she dropped me off at home, and I was shutting her door), did some online shopping for shoes (I’ve been needing something comfortable for my feet; most of my shoes are those super poor-quality ones you’ll find at those trendy stores at the mall… they make my feet feel awful after a couple of hours), finally ordered a pair of Toms, had lunch, and took a nap. I woke up, read my Bible (I’m currently going through Hebrews, partially because I’ve been wanting to read Tom Schreiner’s Run To Win The Prize, which was recommended to us at school during the class on Hebrews. I thought maybe I should refresh my mind on Hebrews if I’m going to read it), and made supper (warmed up some curry lentil soup that my mom had made. Thanks Mom). So yeah. Summer is going pretty swimmingly, I’d say.
Today as we were walking, my friend asked me if I had a summer bucket list. I said I didn’t really, but later I thought that that was a good idea. I need to make some goals for myself to accomplish this summer (when I’m not working). So with that, here are my summer goals:
What are your plans for this summer?
I found a patch of wildflowers yesterday, and went back to it today to take some pictures of them.
Seriously, aren’t these flowers gorgeous? Most of these types of flowers I had never seen in my life. The deep blue ones stood out among the rest; the shade of blue was so radiant that it was almost fluorescent! And all the poppies! Before this I’d only seen a real poppy about once in my life. There were pinks and reds and whites; some were one solid color, while others were two- or even three-toned. And on top of that, it happened to be “the golden hour”; when the sun just begins to set. It was so beautiful. God is so amazing and powerful and FULL of creativity.
We are so close to the end of the semester, it’s crazy! Trying to finish strong. Studies are very interesting. We’re studying early church history and reading through the Epistles. Yesterday I read the entire book of Hebrews. Such a good book; probably one of my favorites in the Bible. God has been teaching me a LOT lately. We’ve been wrestling with a lot of topics: doctrines, salvation, sin/grace… all sorts of things. A few days ago we had a class on the five points of Calvinism, and it was very intriguing, though I didn’t fully understand everything. Also we’ve been memorizing Romans 8, and we’ve gotten as far as verse 27. Romans 8 is the bomb. So glad that we’re memorizing it this semester. Seriously, I just LOVE going to school here – every day I come away learning something new and amazing about this God I serve. He is wonderful.
Also, God is currently teaching me to give myself grace when I fail, as He gave me grace through His Son. I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to my actions, and sometimes feel guilty for even the smallest mistakes I make. Guilt is definitely something I struggle with, even with things I have already taken to the LORD, and I need to keep reminding myself that these feelings of guilt are not from God, for “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)” – Christ has forgiven me for everything wrong I have done, large or small. Through Him, my slate is clean; I am justified! I’m thankful that God has given me a hatred for sin, but reminding myself daily of His grace to us in Christ. Wow. What love, that Christ would take my penalty for sin upon Himself, and give me His righteousness instead! He is so good.
And He is SO faithful, even in the hard days. These days have been a little tough, to be honest; it’s kind of a fight for joy, with the workload and the sleep-deprivation, learning to every thought captive in obedience to Christ, and just the weaknesses that I’m not proud of (introspection, poor time-management, etc.). But I’m learning to see these days as gifts; they remind me how utterly dependent I am on God for everything: life, breath, provision, faith, joy, etc. If life were totally perfect, I wouldn’t see my need for Him, and that would be awful. And through these trials, whether they be a massive paper I’m supposed to write, or the temptation to worry or doubt or complain about something, God is teaching me to look to Him for strength in these circumstances, and then supplying that strength abundantly. His grace is totally sufficient.
These past couple weeks my friends and I have been enjoying going on little excursions around the city, taking pictures, playing games, going out for coffee, etc. I’m so thankful to have such brothers and sisters as classmates. I’ve been so blessed by the times we’ve spent, the laughs we’ve had, the jam sessions and game nights, the deep conversations about life, theology, Nichomachean Ethics, how to pronounce certain words, etc. They’re amazing. :)
Enjoying my new glasses and being able to see clearly again! The first class I attended after getting them, I squirmed with delight at the fact that I could actually SEE what my professor was writing on the board, and could sit in the back of the class if I wanted! (I still enjoy sitting up front though.) :) I wrote a cheesy little poem the day after getting my glasses:
O former glasses dead and gone,
We’re through (not sorry!); moving on
Not only ‘cause of your decease,
But time to start fresh, if you please.
Since you, I’ve found a better pair
That makes my face look twice as fair.
I chose you when I was thirteen,
My fashion sense was different then.
Now, I’m not saying you looked bad,
But getting new ones makes me glad.
For one can tire of red and blue
rectangular frames; let’s start anew.
So during my final teenage year
I left you for a more hipster
Type with slightly bigger frames
(Don’t worry, they don’t take o’er my face);
Brown; the tortoise kind. Sold!
Something fun but not TOO bold.
And so it happens, I confess,
That I couldn’t miss you less!
And so I hope that you don’t mind.
Thanks to the new ones, I’m no longer blind.
Haha :) Have a good week!
After a rather hectic week, with a mid-term exam and an extended paper, spring break has finally arrived! I am so overjoyed. I keep having this thought “I have things to work on” and then remember “Wait! I don’t!” What relief! :) It’ll be so nice to have a whole week to just unwind and rejuvenate. I’m planning to do some pleasure-reading (i.e. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis and The Things of Earth by Joe Rigney), write (during regular school days I never have the time to let my thoughts flow on paper as much as I’d like), draw, sleep, spend time with friends and get in the Word more. This will be fantastic.
I am LOVING spring. It’s so good for the soul! The warm and sunny days, the fresh air, hearing the birds, being able to use my porch again, the ability to not have to wear a coat and don shorts and sandals/flip flops… ah.
In class we are doing New Testament Survey and Theology, which I am enjoying very much. We recently read through and compared the content, the literary styles, and the backgrounds of the four gospels, then read Acts, and now we are studying the Epistles Just yesterday I finished a big paper on the Kingdom of God. It was interesting to write, and made me look forward to Christ’s return and the coming of His Kingdom.
I’ve started making handmade cards. I had my very first client about a month ago, who wanted me to draw a portrait of Audrey Hepburn, so I did. I’m working on opening an Etsy shop soon and sell cards and art prints; however, those probably will be high-quality printed versions of original drawings. I don’t have time or energy to hand-draw every single product. I’m a busy woman. :)
A couple weeks ago our school did a dodgeball tournament. It was pretty awesome. There were some pretty hilarious team names, such as “the Darth Graders” (professors and faculty, who showed up in Darth Vader costumes), “The Beach Bums” (my team, who wore shorts, tees, bro tanks… summery clothing) and “The Church Dodge-matics” (which is so delightfully nerdy). However, towards the end of the tournament, I got hit hard in the face by a ball, hurting the top of my nose, and… breaking my glasses. Oh no. So for the past couple weeks, I’ve been living in a slightly blurry world, unable to read words from a distance (especially on the whiteboard in class) or people’s facial expressions from far away. It’s pretty sad, but I’m learning to live with it. The night after it happened, I wrote an ode to my glasses:
O Glasses! Dear you were to me,
For you enabled me to see.
But now you’re dead and gone, and so
Blurred vision once again I know.
A couple days later, I borrowed these obnoxious fake hipster glasses from my sister, and wore them to class the next couple of days to see what people would say. I got some surprising “cute glasses!” compliments, a “Those are actually growing on me! You look cute in them!”, and a perplexed “…how do you like your new glasses, Madeline?” (to which I replied, “They’re fake.” To which my friend replied, “Are you sure?“) Haha! :D Thankfully, I just got some new ones (which are pretty funky and hipster, though not in an excessive way) a couple days ago, and God willing, they will be coming soon! It’ll be nice to have clear vision again. :)
This quote is one of my favorite quotes ever, and it’s played a pretty significant role in my life. It’s been on my mind these past couple months. God has been helping me improve in taking thoughts captive, recognizing untrue or sinful thoughts when they come, and replacing them with what is true and worthy of my thoughts. He’s teaching me to set my mind “on things above, and not on things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2)”; to focus on Christ and make Him the center of my mind and affections.
Hello everyone! I’ve been wanting to blog for some time, but I’ve been so busy with finals. Augh. It’s super exhausting and sometimes it is so tempting to just have a big ol’ weepfest about the heavy workload. However, I try to avoid those impulses, press on, and remain cheerful, keeping in mind that this is what God has for me to do right now, and that pretty soon it will all be over; I will get to enjoy a long vacation from studying, and will be able to have time to do enjoyable things again (oh happy day!). This verse has kind of become my theme these days:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-3
When God is putting me through hard times where I honestly have no idea WHERE I’m going to come up with a 5-page essay concerning the theme of suffering in Buddhism, finish all my assigned reading, or come up with something sufficient to say in my student interview (and on top of that, be deficient in sleep), he’s teaching me to “count it all joy”. Each hard moment is an opportunity for me to grow in faith, trusting that He will provide all my needs, rather than freak out in despair. Where I grow in faith, I grow in steadfastness (or some other translations say “perseverance”). And perseverance leads to more faith, and then more perseverance, and so on. It’s a vicious cycle in the best sense, essentially. So God has definitely been using this season to teach me to look to him for everything. That I am in no way self-sufficient; I am fully dependent on Him. He will provide; He’s never failed me, and He never will. So though it’s been hard, it’s been SO good.
Anyway, in my last post, I was looking forward to Thanksgiving break. I’ll quick tell you how that went. It went pretty well: I got to visit my family, hang with my sisters, take a good long break from studying, and celebrate Thanksgiving with some relatives. Our dinner was the bomb, especially the cranberry sauce, the pumpkin custard and my mom’s cranberry apple sweet potatoes.
After thanksgiving dinner, we had a white elephant gift exchange. It was pretty fantastic. The gifts I ended up with were actually pretty useful – two pairs of mittens (I could always use a backup pair of mittens), and a pair of snowman socks (YESSSS. Haha). :)
Our class recently read through Homer’s The Odyssey. It was interesting to learn about the Greek pantheon, and Homer’s worldview, shown through his poetry and storytelling. Then I had to write a paper contrasting Penelope, the wife of the main character Odysseus, with Sarah of the Bible. I concluded that each went through tough trials, but had different outlooks on life and responded in different ways to their circumstances, based on their worldviews (pagan vs. God-centered). It was definitely interesting.
A few days ago, a few of my girlfriends and I went ice skating. I had never done it before, so I was very wobbly and I fell down a lot. Haha. But I think I started to get the hang of it to some degree. It was pretty fun.
God has been constantly showing me his goodness these past few days, even in the smallest ways. Last Sunday, after one of those “God, I’m so exhausted and bored that I don’t know what to do with myself” moments, one of my friends randomly stopped by (my roommates invited him, but I had no idea he was coming), and he, my roommates and I went to a coffeeshop to continue our studies. It was so good to finally get out of the house and have a fun time. It was cool because God knew that I needed a change of scenery, and he answered my prayer and provided it so unexpectedly and at the perfect time. Then last night my small group got together, one last time before winter break, and we all shared what God has been doing in our lives so far this semester. Sitting there, hearing everyone’s stories and being so encouraged, it just hit me how blessed I am to be a part of this school, along with all these lovely people who are like-minded in the gospel yet each have a unique story and calling.
And as usual, class has been mind-blowingly AMAZING. These days we have been going through the minor prophets of the Old Testament, and looking at all the foreshadowings of the Messiah that was to come. They’re EVERYWHERE. My goodness. It’s SO COOL. We went through the basic themes of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, and all the visions of “the latter days” – the end times. We were also shown how there is this recurring theme throughout the Bible of water flowing out of the temple. Let me mention first that the temple was where the presence of God was. Eden (which can be a sort of temple figure, because the presence of God was there) had a river flowing through it. The temples built in the Old Testament, I think, were built by streams or rivers (something concerning water that flows), Jesus (the presence of God, in the flesh) had blood and water flow out of his side when he was pierced, and lastly, Christians flow living water out of their hearts (John 7:38) (and we are temples of the Holy Spirit). And then, another observation is that in Revelation 7:17, it talks about how in the new heavens and earth, the Lamb will guide his people to springs of living water. Well, that is where the presence of God will be. Whoa. Mind. Blown.
(If you’re wondering why on earth there is something about “ten toes” in my notes in the photo above, we were going through the book of Daniel that day, and in Daniel there are a lot of visions. And in one of the visions, the number 10 occurred a couple times, which I found interesting. That’s what that’s all about. Haha)
I am so excited for winter break. I’ll be able to do the things I never have time to do these days. During that time I’m hoping to draw, write and blog way more, write a few letters, spend lots of time in the Word, and be with my family.
Isn’t it amazing how much God cares for His creation? Snowflakes, for example, fall from the sky in the most intricate, symmetrical designs, only to melt soonafter. Think about it. God cared to make something so small—so perishable and fragile—into something amazingly beautiful. This means a lot to me, because if God makes something so temporary so breathtaking, how much more does He care for US, we who are made in His image; bought by the blood of Christ! God just blows my mind. Seriously.
Hey everybody! Just a quick post on my life…
College life has been pretty stressful at times, but really worth it. My classmates are so fun and so hilarious. One of the things we’re learning these days is argumentation. Sometimes somebody will say something, and then somebody else will reply, “that’s a fallacious argument; you just did a false generalization.” Just today we were studying the book of Judges. After a bit of discussion, our prof suddenly said, “and now we’re going to break up into groups, and each group will form a skit based on a story in Judges, but with a modern-day twist.” Wow… didn’t see that coming! So we got to have some unexpected fun that day (I’m NOT saying that normal class days aren’t fun), using our creativity and laughing at each other’s skits.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been gradually adding things to my “dorm room” to make it more homey. It’s not actually a room; it’s a little closet just off the living room, consisting of a loft that one of my friends refers to as the “Batcave” (haha… a very feminine batcave at that), and a desk and a bunch of shelves underneath it. Though it’s small, it’s cozy. The walls surrounding my loft are covered with photos, drawings, written Bible verses and quotes, song lyrics I find inspiring, Rend Collective and Moriah Peters posters… you name it. There are Christmas lights and a fan (I turn it on for white noise at night), and even a little shelf built into the wall (which was there when I came) where my journal, Bible, a pen and a barely-started John Piper book stand.
I’ve been enjoying the beautiful fall scenery. The weather is currently warm and pleasant, and I hope to enjoy it as much as I can, because it will not be this way for very long! This afternoon a few friends and I went to a nearby park that is absolutely gorgeous. In the center of the park is a hill, and around the hill are lots of bright red maple trees. We climbed the hill and had a picnic, sat around and talked, and threw leaves at each other. It was ridiculous… but fun. :) For a while I just laid there in the grass and closed my eyes, taking in the warmth of the sun and the gloriousness of everything. God is so amazing.
My garb of choice has been mostly sweaters, plaid shirts and hoodies, jeans and my pleather combat boots (haha), all day er’day.
As far as technology goes, I’ve been loving Mac OS X Yosemite. Aw yeah. (I’m not as much of an Apple nerd as I was, but I still get excited whenever Apple releases something new.) Also I’ve been loving the Day One Journaling app for Mac. It’s really slick.
I’ve been enjoying chamomile tea, my mom’s creamy chicken mushroom soup (it’s the best), and homemade applesauce. I’m really in the mood for something pumpkin-y. Just bought two cans of pumpkin today at Trader Joes; maybe I’ll make some pumpkin custard soon.
Right now, these songs are my jam:
Wildfire – Urban Rescue
Sunshine – Tigerweather
You Brought Me Back To Life – Citizens
Rejoice – Dustin Krensue
No Turning Back – for King & Country
Oh How I Need You – All Sons & Daughters
My Beloved – Crowder
Steady – for King & Country
Fireproof – One Direction (yes, you heard me)
How has your life been these days?
So ever since I got back from Colorado, this is what has been going on in my life:
I purchased a very awesome but generic backpack. It looks like this:
I feel quite hipster owning it, to be honest. ;) The funny thing though, is that its brand is a complete knockoff of the Levi’s brand. The logo is that familiar Levi’s shape, but instead of saying what you’d expect – Levi Strauss & Co – it says “AUGUR Strauss & Co”. What on earth?! Plagiarism! Haha. Thankfully that logo was on a tag on the inside, which was easily able to be seamripped off.
I recently got myself an Olloclip. It’s so cool! If you don’t know what that is, it’s a 4-in-1 lens clip set for the iPhone. The lenses are 10x macro, 15x macro, wide angle and fisheye. I’ve been experiencing with the macro lenses, and I just love them! It brings my photography potential to a whole new level. :)
About a week ago was the start of a new season of life for me. A season that at times can be hard and exhausting, yet so awesome, beautiful and oh SO worth it. I started attending a really amazing Bible college. I’m learning so much – every day God just blows my mind with new things to know about His power; His might, His glory. I’m growing in knowledge of the supremacy and beauty of Christ. I’m establishing so many wonderful new relationships that mean the world to me – when you get a good number of my classmates together, that’s when the fun and awesome fellowship happens. (A couple nights ago several of us went to a park at night to play ultimate frisbee, then went for a walk through the city to find a Starbucks. Sadly, it was closed when we got there, but I don’t regret the walk.) :)
Yesterday I went to my very first urban farmer’s market. Until now I’d only been to little ones held in a small town. I decided to go all experimental and buy things I either never have had before, or have not had in a long time. So I bought myself some purple green beans, elderberries, and a honeycomb. I also bought a few things I was familiar with, too, like rainbow chard, a cucumber and some chamomile blend tea.
Current songs on repeat:
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United
To Leave It All Behind – Moriah Peters
I’ll Wait For You – Moriah Peters (anything by Moriah, really)
Build Your Kingdom Here – Rend Collective
When The Crazy Kicks In – Francesca Battistelli
Fix My Eyes – for King & Country
It’s Not Over Yet – for King & Country
Love Take Me Over – Steven Curtis Chapman
Have a good, restful sunday!
Camp officially ended about a week and a half ago. It’s been an amazing summer, and I’m sad it’s over, but excited for new seasons of life. Two days after the final camp day, my family and I embarked on a camping trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. The mountains were amazing, and there were so many species of wildflowers and moss that I had never seen before. We also saw hundreds of elk, and several chipmunks (I’m thankful we didn’t meet any bears or mountain lions). :) Many interesting things happened. We had a lot of interesting neighbors at our campsite, including an English family (their children were the cutest ever), and a shy Mennonite couple. We had hot cocoa (or in my case, peppermint tea, since I have sugar and chocolate sensitivities) at a coffee shop located at the top of a mountain, called “Cafe in the Clouds”. We hiked 2.5 miles up a mountain trail, and then back down again, in the pouring rain. We took many trips to Estes park to run errands. We toured an old historic site. Through everything I saw, I got a bigger glimpse of how powerful, creative and amazing God is. It was quite an eventful and amazing trip. Though I enjoyed it, however, I’m glad to be back at home (I’m not much of a camping girl – I prefer comfortable places like home and nice hotels – but don’t get me wrong; I had a lot of fun.) I took so many pictures, but I’ll only post a few. :)