28 Days Later

Well well well, here we are again. It’s been a month since I gave you an update and I suppose a fair amount has happened since then. I feel it’s only fair to let you know right now that the title of this post has nothing to do with the zombie film set in England *shudder*. I hate monkeys now. I just liked that it’s 28 days after the end of 2012 and the title was appropriate. Moving on. 

My room mate Kate from Capernwray, who I spent last New Year’s Eve with, came for a week long visit to spend this New Year’s Eve in the Queen City. We had a lot of fun, walking around Charlotte, exploring NoDa (the artsy district of Charlotte), drinking a lot of tea, introducing her to southern things like Bojangle’s, and catching up. I know I don’t take the time to express how grateful I am for the people in my life nearly often enough, but I have been so blessed by my friendship with Kate over the past two and a half years. God knew what He was doing when He brought us together as friends, and has used her quite a bit in my life as I’ve struggled through life. 

After Kate left, I returned to school for the second half of my second trimester. A quick word of explanation for anyone who might be confused by this. Johnson & Wales runs on a trimester system. The first trimester ended just before Thanksgiving, and so we were halfway through the second trimester at Christmas. This second trimester will end February 21st, at which time I will be sojourning to Florida for the NSMH National Conference in Orlando, as well as spring break with my family. After a wonderful week in Orlando I’ll go back to Johnson & Wales for my third trimester, which will finish on May 16th, at which point I will be flying out to Colorado to stand with one of my best friends as she says, “I do”.

I’m so honored that Lynea has asked me to be one of her bridesmaids, which means that now is the perfect time to express my gratitude for her friendship as well. Lynea and I officially met when my family moved down to Peru in 2001, but we had been emailing each other for a few weeks before we made the move. My first night in Pucallpa I spent at Lynea’s house, the first of many sleepovers. We don’t get to see each other very often, but when we do we always manage to pick up where we left off. She has been an encouragement to me over the years and I know that I can always count on her to give me steady advice, and I am so thankful for her. 

Thankfulness, and expressing gratitude is something that I am trying to work on more this year. I guess some people would call it a resolution or something, but it actually ties in to a slightly different concept. The last couple weeks of 2012 I began thinking that it might be good to choose a sort of theme word for the year to focus on as a goal. I will never cease to be amazed by the way God can confirm an idea or plan because the last Sunday of the year my pastor gave a sermon on joy and thankfulness, which is something that had been on my heart. The result was that I took those concepts and thought about them, prayed about them for a week. Then, the next the pastor of another church I went to gave a sermon about choosing one word as a focal point for the year. Crazy, right? So this year I’ve decided to focus on having an attitude of joy. 

Those of you who know me well might laugh a bit, or perhaps scoff. I know, I’m not the most cheery person all the time. In fact, I can be downright difficult (to put it nicely). However, that’s kind of the point. As a Christian, joy is a concept that should be cultivated in my life, and learning what joy really is will help me get started. It hasn’t been that easy so far. I’m only 28 days into the new year and I know that people probably would not be able to see a big difference in my life, but I’m still learning. Hopefully by the time December rolls around there will be a noticeable difference for those who know me. 

On a completely different note, I was inspired by a friend of mine (thanks, Devin!) who is doing a 365 challenge to create a special 2013 Bucket List. Yay, bucket lists! So, in the spirit of full disclosure I’ve decided to share what’s on the list and hopefully update you as I cross things off throughout the year. 

-go to the beach (should be easy enough)

-share what God is doing in my life with at least one other person (maybe saying “one” was a bit of a cop out, but I did make this list at 2am)

-try a new restaurant once a month (I am so unbelievably excited for this one. I absolutely adore food so this is a great excuse for me to go to certain restaurants that have been on my “list” for a long time)

-do something that scares me (It doesn’t have to be big, but maybe it will be!)

-make a craft/food/drink from Pinterest once a month (I have waaay too many things pinned to not try at least 12 of them)

-host a 1920s style lawn party (Great Gatsby pre-premiere, anyone?)

-go to a jazz club (Who doesn’t enjoy jazz music? I’ve been having an awful time actually finding a jazz club in Charlotte, though. If you know of one, please let me know!)

-learn how to introduce myself in Russian (learning Russian is on the full bucket list, so I thought this would be a good place to start.)

-participate in The Color Run 5K (Let me know if you’re interested, I’d love to have a team!)

As you can see, there are a lot of things that I would like to accomplish this year. God has given me so many opportunities that I am amazed and often a bit frightened by all the possibilities. What I’m truly hoping for is the ability to finish well. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens! As always, thanks for keeping up with me, encouraging me, and actually taking the time to read this. Any questions, comments, concerns, insight, guidance, etc are welcome!