It’s been almost two months since I last gave you an update, so here’s what I’ve been up to:
March: Work, work, work, classes, work, work, work, work, Carita came and visited and we had a blast, work, work, work, work, …you get the idea.
April: Work, work, work, classes, work, work, work, work, Family came for a visit and we went to the beach, and I took mom and Alex to tea at The Grand Floridian, and we went to Magic Kingdom one day and then Hollywood Studios the next, work, work, work, classes, work, work.
There’s not a whole lot to tell about all of that, I guess. It’s been business as usual, go in to work around 5 or 6pm and stay until about an hour after the park closes (typically the park is closed at midnight or one am – Sundays we have Extra Magic Hours when the park is open until 2 or 3am).
Right now the biggest thing going on is that I’m getting pretty excited about the summer. For those of you interested in knowing what my plans are, I finish here at Disney on June 1st and will be home the same day (Florida to NC doesn’t take quite as long as England to NC). My sister graduates this summer, so I’m sure there will be many festivities associated with the graduation of my youngest sibling. Also, I’m helping out with the VBS our church is doing this summer – something I always enjoy doing because kids are pretty awesome. At the end of June and for the first week of July I’ll be headed to Washington D.C. with my church to do some mission work with part of the homeless population. During all of this I plan to return to my job as a nanny, something else I really enjoy, and possibly find some additional work to help with school fees and such. Then, in August I start at Johnson & Wales University.
In case you’ve somehow missed it, Johnson & Wales is a Culinary Arts and Hospitality school that has multiple campuses throughout the U.S., however fear not! I will be attending at the Charlotte campus, which means that, if all goes as planned, I should be moving uptown around August. I’m really excited for all of this. I’ll be studying through the Hospitality College with Hotel & Lodging Management as my major. I haven’t formally chosen a concentration yet, but at this point I’m leaning towards Meeting & Event Management. However, the International Hospitality Operations Management is pretty appealing to me because of how much I love to travel and a required part of the concentration is to study abroad 🙂
So, that’s what my summer/fall is shaping up to look like. It’s exciting and scary at the same time because I’m finally catching up to the horizon of everything I’ve been looking toward for the past year or so. Clearly I’m headed where God wants me, there have been countless opportunities for things to go horribly wrong along the way, and there is comfort in that. I guess the scary part is that I know that God is putting me there for a reason and I really want to make the most of all of it. In preparation for the mission trip in July everyone who is going is currently reading “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper and I can definitely say there is some really good stuff in there. It’s not the kind of book you can just read through in a day, it requires some time to stop and think and digest what you have read. Something from the book, and other sources in my life, that’s kind of forming a pattern this past week is the connection between faith and peace. It’s such a simple concept really, but it’s really kind of hitting home for me and maybe sinking in more than it has before.
In “Don’t Waste Your Life” John Piper says that, “biblical faith in Jesus must mean that we trust him to give us what we need most – namely, himself. That means that faith itself must include at its essence a treasuring of Christ above all things.” A concept simultaneously simple and utterly mind boggling. All the things we think we need in life – are they really necessary? A little farther in the book Piper says that, “The design of Paul’s suffering (2 Corinthians 1:8-9) was to make radically clear for his own soul, and for ours, that God and God alone is the only treasure who lasts. When everything in life is stripped away except God, and we trust him more because of it, this is gain, and he is glorified.” Phew. Lots to think about.
The other concept that has been bouncing around a bit in my head is the idea of peace. I think a lot of times we confuse safety and peace in our minds. I know that I do. When things are comfortable or safe, I think, “Yes. This is peace.” Clearly, that is a fractured view of what peace truly is. As Christians, we are called to live a life of risk. Not stupid risks where we put our lives in danger to get an adrenaline rush or play the hero. These risks are those that cause us to make decisions that will advance the cause of Jesus, but potentially put us in uncomfortable or dangerous places. However, we can still have peace in the midst of risky situations. According to Piper, we take these risks because of “faith in the all-providing, all-ruling, all-satisfying Son of God, Jesus Christ. The strength to risk losing face for the sake of Christ is the faith that God’s love will lift up your face in the end and vindicate your cause.” This morning at church the pastor, Isaac Hunter, was talking about the story of Gideon in Judges 6. The thing that really stood out to me was that when we are aware of God’s presence it alters our perception of the circumstances. Before anything changed, the Midianites were still stealing all the Israelites food and Gideon was still “the least of his people”, Gideon worshipped God. See that? Nothing about Gideon’s circumstances and situation changed. Nothing except that he was now aware that God was with him. Peace is being aware that Jesus is with us, no matter what the circumstances are, and when we have faith that Jesus is truly the most important part of our lives the circumstances are no longer relevant!
This is blowing my mind a little bit. It’s something you hear all the time, it’s so basic, and yet my mind can’t really get itself wrapped around this simple concept.
Anyway, I’m not very good with expressing myself sometimes so this might not have come across exactly the same way it processed in my brain. However it came out, I hope it made a little bit of sense. Writing it out just kind of helps solidify the concept in my own mind, and hopefully you feel all caught up on my life. As always, thanks for reading and I welcome feedback if you have any 🙂