Biola's semester ended on May 24 (late for a college, I know), and literally 5 seconds later, Dave and I hopped on a plane and headed for the good old state of South Carolina. It was a fun and full week of visiting with family and friends, seeing our favorite old spots from our dating years, and celebrating not one, but TWO weddings.
We're thrilled to say that both Beth and Justin and also Ryan and Johnny all successfully tied the knot(s) while we were in town! It was a blessing and a BLAST to be a part of their days.
So far, though, since we've been back, we've done a few things to kick off our final summer(!) here in LA:
- detoxed from all the wedding cake
- started drinking at least half our body weight in ounces of water EVERY. DAY. No exceptions. After 2 weeks of it, I think our bladders are finally adjusting.
|Hugo's restaurant in West Hollywood = crossed off the list!|
- taken a road trip to Malibu!
- crossed off 3 things on our SoCal-edition refrigerator bucket list (2 restaurants and the Hollywood Bowl)
- had a grown up dinner with other real grown ups and used actual real plates, on Balboa Island. I swear using napkin rings will convince you that you're an adult.
Aside from that, I jumped right back into full-time work and Dave has started his full-time (with crazy overtime) summer work schedule. We're trying desperately to find that middle ground of enjoying our summer and all that comes with it while remaining in savings mode since we have both his last school year and PhD applications to pay for AND our move next summer. Sheesh. I can't believe we'll be doing that all over again in 12 months.
On a personal note, I've re-started my Breaking Free Beth Moore study. I had gone through part of it while at our church in Columbia, but never finished and always sort of regretted it. Although I don't have the DVDs (nor the money or time to get/watch them), I decided, with some encouragement from a friend, to go ahead and do the study anyways.
I'm don't care to, for the most part, blast my personal issues all over the internet (for a lot of reasons), but I do want to share how good this study has been so far!
Over the course of my life I've wrestled with something in my heart-- something that closely pertains to my view of God and His character. It's always been a part of me, and I guess I thought/hoped it would just work itself out eventually. Unfortunately (and... fortunately), this past year it's been brought to the forefront, and I think God was telling me that it's time to heal from it. It's been painful already in my life to hold such a skewed view of God because it's kept me from a closer walk with Him, and thus been keeping me from more of His peace and healing, especially in the face of trials.
Going through this last year and moving forward, I finally realized that if I don't work things out with God, I'll never experience the fullness of the joy and peace that He wants for me. In fact, if I continue on the path I've been on, the future can only hold sadness and bitterness, and that for sure is not what I want my life to be characterized by.
Enter Breaking Free.
I'll skip giving my version of the study and just say what Beth Moore tells you the study is about: "[The themes] come from Isaiah, a book about the captivity of God's children, the faithfulness of God, and the road to freedom."
Without going into detail of all the content, I do want to emphasize one particular sentence that really stood out to me in the second lesson:
"[God] cannot be less than who He is."
If I could only tell you how much reading that one line has meant to me. That God is who He says He is and cannot be less than that. No matter what I think, feel, hear-- God is love. No matter how anyone has treated me, even in the name of love, no matter how anyone's life compares to mine-- God is love, and He cannot not love.
I've started a list to keep with me throughout the duration of this study. All I'm doing is writing down tangible ways that I see God's love, whether it's a song on the radio, a hug from a friend, a beautiful sunset-- I just want to write down the ways I see God in my life so I can both recall them in times of sadness and also give Him praise for His works.
So, I highly recommend this study. It's been nothing but good for my soul, and I look forward to going through this valley with God in the days ahead and seeing how He changes and loves on me throughout it.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."