Thursday, July 21, 2011

My summer thus far

Things have been quite a whirlwind, lately.

I've made some friends who already feel like family.  I'll spend days at a time at their house and we can do nothing and everything, all the while being wonderfully entertained by each other.  There's no end to the amount of laughter ringing through the halls of our houses when we're together.  I love them already, and am so blessed to have tangible friends after a painfully dry period in Rome.  After a year of learning how to keep myself company, and teaching myself how to be alone, I'm now reaping the benefits in that I now stand in awe of the glory of friendship.

We've found a house and moved in... for the most part.  There are still boxes here and there and we need to go to Ikea and get some storing containers, but we've figured out places for a lot of our things..  We're in a lovely four-story row house, and I'm at the top floor.  Fifty-three stairs from my room to the very lowest level.  I do believe I'm going to be getting into excellent shape, and fast.

Tomorrow, we go to London for the weekend.  I'm thrilled to pieces about it because London is one of those extraordinarily dreamy places to which every young lady wishes to go.  I do believe I'll practice my English accent, and I plan on going to Harrod's, TopShop, and to ride the London Eye, if we have enough time.  And tomorrow night, we're going to see Billy Elliot at the theatre!  It's this girl's dream come true, I tell you.

I turned seventeen a little over a week ago, and I genuinely feel it.  Everyone always asks if you sense any difference on your birthday, and no one ever really does.  But for some reason, I woke up and thought, "Wow.  A year from today I'll be getting ready to go to college."  I've realized lately that my life is, everyday, a little bit more structured around my own independent plans and schedule.  I can move from place to place pretty well on my own, and haven't needed much help from my parents to get things done in unpacking my room, or much else.  Suddenly, I'm not a kid.  It's a terrifying prospect, but I'm enjoying it, too.

I haven't been blogging much, as you've probably noticed.  Lately I've just been trying to move through my summer and detox in the most stress-free way possible, and the blog has fallen to the wayside.  I'm headed for an incredibly tense year of school, and I'm wanting to make the most of this time that I have without a set schedule and assignments.

This has been my summer so far!  I'm loving Brussels, I'm loving my friends, I'm loving my family, and this is shaping up to be a terrific summer.  I hope you're all having a great time in the sunshine as well!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

To be at Peace

Lately, something has been slowly stirring inside of me.

Some sort of quiet ambition... a desire to change my own mind.

I'm very good at worrying.  I think I worried away quite a few days in the past, and I did so for nothing.  Worrying never moved me forward; it just kept me stuck in a pit.  And once you're stuck in that pit, you merely get mired deeper and deeper into it.

Worry is a terrible thing.  It consumes you and expends mountains of energy, and that energy is usually meant to be used for something else; something productive.  Mainly, my worries have always been about how my adulthood will turn out.  What college I will go too, the people I will know, and what I will end up doing.  Even since I was little, I've just fretted in my own head about how I will turn out.

But lately, I've realized how foolish this is.  There's no magic number of "being there."  If I spend my youth worrying, there's a high likelihood that I'll spend my adulthood doing the very same.  There will never be a time in my life where I have everything perfectly figured out.  That fact proves my tendency to be entirely fruitless.

I have a new mantra, readers.  It's rather cliche, but when I say it to myself over and over, it genuinely makes me analyze my heart and release my worries.

What will be, will be.

No amount of agonizing over the future will change it, and that's ultimately because I'm not the one in control.  Is that not a beautiful thought?

I don't have to worry about "creating my own destiny."  I simply must follow where I'm called to be, and everything will work out for good.  For instance, I don't have to worry about friends who are far away.  I simply keep talking to them and loving them and staying as connected as I can, but in the end, those who are truly meant to be my forever friends will end up being just that.

There is nothing I can do to undo God's grace and plan for my life.  I can't make one wrong move, like picking the wrong university, and suddenly throw my life off course and ruin everything.  That idea brings me peace beyond comprehension.

This new mantra has also taught me to slow down and listen very carefully to the direction in which I should be heading.  If there are a multitude of reasons why I shouldn't go to a college, but I want to dig my heels in because I have friends there or it seems like an exciting place to be, I have to release that and understand that perhaps that's not where I should be.

Worrying has wasted much of my energy; but no more will I allow that to be even a tiny facet of who I am.  I want to be a young woman who can rest peacefully in the knowledge that I'm not in control, and do not have to fret over trying to make everything perfect.  The only one who can do that is God, and I must learn to put that into his hands.

I don't really like the term "living in the moment," because when I hear that, I think of people who misunderstand the phrase and disregard the fact that we must also be listening to the will of God and looking ahead towards our futures.  But in a sense, I do wish to more enjoy my moments and days, even if only because they are free from worry!

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:34

 "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" -Luke 12:25

Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad. -Proverbs 12:25