Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In the Quiet, In the Stillness

All of a sudden this song popped into my head that opens with the lyrics "In the quiet, in the stillness..." and I thought it entirely appropriate for today. Do you ever have those days where you just feel quiet? Today was one of those days. I have been surrounded by people (friends) 24/7 for the past three and a half months. WOW! That's crazy to think about, but its true. I worked up at camp all summer long and was literally with people 24/7 for about 8 weeks. After camp, I went traveling with my sister and one of her best friends. Of course since it was just the three of us, and we were in foreign countries, it wasn't exactly like we got a ton of solo time. Add those 2+ weeks of travel time to the whole summer. I have been at school now for exactly one month and 4 days. So, yep, that pretty much adds up to 3 and a half months of being stimulated, talked to, interacted with, and generally aroused by people!

Don't get me wrong; I am an extrovert (if you know me in real life and haven't figured this out yet, you don't really know me...hahahaha!). I am a HUGE people person and actually draw my energy and happiness from being with people of all sorts. Lately, its kinda been like overload, though. Upon returning to school, there have been so many people to hangout with, reconnect with, and meet for the first time. I feel like for the first time in about 4 months my life has *finally* reached the point of "settling down". This might seem ironic because last week and these next two weeks are the first of two "hump periods" in the semester ("hump" meaning if you get over this molehill it'll all be downhill from here...yeah, like I said, there are normally two of these per semester. Can anyone say "welcome to riding on the back of a camel?") Schoolwork wise, for most people anyways, its been kinda nuts around here. Thankfully with my major (and minor) I am not required to take tests (like ever...except finals and possibly midterms); I just write papers all. the. time. Literally. I probably whip out an average of three pages double spaced per day. That's what you get for being a linguist, I suppose- lots and lots of paper writing! Some parts of it I love, some parts of it I hate (like my twice a week 8am Grammar and History of the (Old) English Language...kill me with an instrumental noun and call me Olaf. I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself *smile*).

Needless to say, its been a busy period of time in my life right now. For my current friends (whether near or far), thank you for sticking with me. Know that your calls and thoughts of keeping in touch and "just checking up" dates mean *the world* to me!! For my family: I miss you guys, but am having fun here at school! Thank you so much for praying for me and asking after me. It makes me feel loved when you check in with me.

More than connecting with people, as of late, I have found a deeper connection. No, not a boy! (I know that's where all your thoughts went. Puhh-lease!) But I have been falling in love; with Jesus (...ok you got me; he's *kinda* a boy...but he's not exactly human, so I don't think that counts). As much as our poor little apartment walls hear the four of us girls talking about boys (and believe me! its like a tri-daily occurrence) I think they are also gaining insight and a love for Christ too. Ok, that may be personifying the walls to an extreme degree, but nonetheless, there are so many challenging, and good!, conversations that I have had as of late that revolve around "spiritual topics" (bleach- hate that phrase. Sounds so "church-like").

With all this daily-- ok minutely-- interaction with people, there doesn't seem to be much quiet time at all. (Heaven knows there certainly isn't much "stillness" around my apartment). I must admit that when I was at camp, I would spend several hours in the woods/around camp reading my Bible and just having quietness. I think the Lord was preparing me for all the noise in my life that was going to be thrown at me once I returned to Knoxville. I always want relationships to be frozen in time and, of course, that doesn't exactly happen, so when I returned to school (...my first ever experience of returning to a college/university, even though its my senior year...) I was thrown a little off balance. However, I know that my security and sense of identity doesn't come in the people that surround my life, but it comes from my Lover; from the Lord. It is so reassuring that "none but Jesus" will change; "none but Jesus" will every be able to figure out exactly what I am thinking; "none but Jesus" will ever satisfy me. I challenge you to stake a claim in Jesus as the anchor of your identity. The people around you will change and *you* will change big time (...especially if you are in college; keep a journal because by the end of the year you will hardly be able to recognize yourself anymore).

Really listen to this song:

(forgive me- its nor exactly the style of music I like, but the lyrics and musical qualities are undeniably called Talent!)

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