After snoozing my alarm several times, I roll out of bed and reheat the coffee that my parents made hours ago. I meander my way over to the couch in my living room and either read or journal or check to see if any of my favorite blogs have new posts. This is my favorite time of day. I make sure I eat something healthy so that I can run later. (Thank goodness for Fitness Magazine and their couch to half-marathon plan because otherwise the couch is where I would live this summer. All I need is a little accountability and the plan has done just that.) After my run through the familiar cross country course, I make it home and spend the rest of the day reading or doing chores or spending time with family. I love being able to be home during this time of year because I spend many evenings going to my siblings final soccer games, choir concerts, and senior activities. It makes me feel like I'm making up for not being around during the semester.
One aspect of this summer that I especially enjoy is that I have several small homework assignments to complete for a summer class that I'm taking. It has been beneficial for me to be forced to continue to learn over the summer. I always say I want to read a million books over the summer. By the end of each semester I lament, "Gah, I can't wait until I can read what I WANT to read."And then I end up watching Netflix or spending mindless hours on Facebook. Ask me how I find hours to spend on Facebook? Beat's me. It's a skill I've acquired over the years, one that I'm not particularly proud of. However this year, I have to read for my class and I love the books that we are assigned. Interacting with a good book is one of my favorite things to do. The margins are filled with my questions, exclamations "wow!", and hesitations "hmm." These books help me put my thoughts together about how and why I am going to pursue my vocation after school. The class forces me to continue writing over the summer, something I always wish I had done by the time school comes around and I feel like an incompetent writer compared to the end of last semester. These are habits that I hope to be forming for the rest of my life: running, reading, and writing.
I spent most of last semester flying by the seat of my pants (as the old saying goes). I had so much on my plate between Young Life and schoolwork that I never felt like I did excellent work in any aspect of life. (I do not think it helped that I did not like most of my classes). I ended the semester with good grades, which was a miracle in itself. However, I do not look back on this semester and feel like I learned anything mind blowing or really had to work through any material that changed my worldview or personal philosophy as classes in semesters past have done. Perhaps this is just due to the nature of the progression of classes in the honors college or perhaps I was so concerned with getting by that I didn't have the time to really wrestle with the material. I want to turn in excellent work. I want to be proud of my assignments. I am greatly looking forward to next semester during which I will have the time to do so.
That being said, I made several huge life decisions this past semester, one of which was to stop leading Young Life. That's another post in itself, but the process that I went to do make that decision was a long and hard one. I had to learn to wait and trust, to be patient, to discern, to seek wise counsel, to pray, and to make a decision. It was a long discerning process, but I am at peace. The Lord made himself evident throughout the whole process and I am so thankful for that. I'm going to miss my team and all my friends at GV, but I know that many friendships will transcend Young Life, for which I have so much hope.
This summer is going to be drastically different from last year's. Not any better or worse, just different. Last summer was a blessing that I didn't know I needed. It provided so much healing and love that stayed with me through the school year. It bonded Drew An and I forever. We learned so much and grew so much. It is a summer that I won't forget and will cherish always.
This summer sabbath rest is much needed after a long and stressful school year and I'm going to soak it in and enjoy and reflect and grow. It is a time to just be. Thank the Lord for the summer time.