Let the countdown begin: I've got less than three weeks to pump out an entire thesis paper that I've barely started researching and a twelve page clinical analysis on a serial killer (it sounds fun, but don't let that fool you). And that doesn't include finals week and all the tests in between. Grab some coffee, get your butt in a comfy seat, and enjoy the latest rant.
For those who haven't already heard, grad school is a "no-go" at the moment, and my academic motivation is decreasing rapidly. My mother wants me to go, but I've realized my calling, and it's not a $23,000 education. Not right now, at least. Some good news this week: I got a 93% in my neuropsych lab as the final grade! Some bad news: I failed the second (out of two) criminal behavior test. And I mean bombed it. My first college 'F'. It burns! Granted, this is the teacher that just assigns readings and never talks about them and then tests us on them (also, his class is during the hours that I have to work, so I rarely have the chance to come to class and watch his terrible VCR recordings from the 60s about psychopathic tendencies as portrayed in the media), but I should probably stop making excuses and take responsibility for the fact that I'm starting to lose interest in some of the things I once cared about.
I didn't realize that by having to drop criminology from my major to my minor affected me as much as it did until I started thinking about ways I could drop my DIS class. I'm going to kill myself for a thesis-level paper that no longer counts for anything. All because of a woman (my academic advisor) who is completely incompetent (and currently under academic investigation)...and that upsets me! My parents might blame my dedication to church, Justin might blame himself, but it really just comes down to me. I hate school. In fact, it's really no secret that I've always hated school. Now that I know I have nothing else to work toward except my graduation date this summer, I don't care enough to apply myself. I'm so happy around God and my friends and Katie and the baby (and my hubbie, of course), that I just don't want to be bothered by reality. Survival is the goal! What's a girl to do?
Sonshine State at Florida Bible Camp was definitely an experience for me. There were (plenty o') times that I really just wanted to get in Justin's jeep and speed away toward Tallahassee, but it was worth it to stick it out. The hard beds, the cold showers, the flooded bathrooms, and the bugs and dirt and grossness everywhere were really enough to scare me away from going on another retreat...ever. But for that moment, I swallowed my princess attitude and put on my warrior-for-God face. When I let Him, God opened my eyes to see a dirty camp transformed into a wonderland of opportunity abounding with the lost and lonely looking for a hand to reach out and save them from drowning. My heart often gets cloudy when I feel I'm stronger in my faith than the people around me. My God does a great job at keeping my snotty butt in check!
I was absolutely humbled by a guy in our "breakout" group that had turned his life around for Christ and knew the Word backward and forward. WOW! It was so intimidating to see someone my age quote and interpret scripture like a second language. And I thought I was good? Psh. I have a long time before I get that good.
The speaker, Clint Hill, was truly an awesome individual! If you haven't added him on Facebook, you need to! His story and his ministry are equally inspiring. You laugh, you cry, and you learn how to make steps you previously couldn't....or wouldn't. My absolute favorite part of the weekend, however, was the arrival of the foster children. Justin and I were very blessed to hang out with an awesome little man named Alex. At first, this five year old wanted nothing to do with us, and was even a little scared of me as I held my hand out to give him a high five, but as we painted with him, as Justin built him a sailboat, as we played in the bounce house, and slid down the slides in the playground, he came out of his shell and ran around like the most energetic five year old I've ever seen.
I even played in a basketball tournament! (Now if only I knew how to play basketball.....) It's true that I was only on the court for about 45 seconds before it ended up in terrible disaster (see picture for details), but I still played, and still lost the game like a champ. I know that neither Justin nor I will be visiting FBC anytime soon, but one day, I hope to go back and have myself a good time playing in the woods.
On a much happier note, this week Justin and I will be halfway through our counseling experience, and I can definitely see the way it has affected us on a much deeper level than I ever expected. I feel like we're able to communicate our emotions instead of worrying about the anticipation of a blow out. And it's filtering out to other areas of our life. We're working on our friendships with people we have left in the dust, and forgiving those who don't necessarily deserve it. We're getting better at quick conflict resolution instead of letting an insult ruin an entire day. I wake up each day falling more and more in love with him, and never regretting a single decision I've made thus far.
Ever since I was started getting into relationships at a young age, I had been looking for a similar love I [now] share with my number one Bridegroom, but had been incredibly unsuccessful. I'd been searching for a worldly man to fill that void in my heart, when what I was really missing was Him. It wasn't until I stopped looking and wanting that He gave me a wonderful blessing. Say what you want, World, but [He] knows the plans [He] has for [me] and I'm not fighting it anymore (Jeremiah 29:11). I also can't listen to what others say about my choices. Justin and I have wonderful mentors, and look up to some very special people. They see the adoration we have for eachother, and the storms we weather with His ever-merciful Love and Grace.
I love you both so very much,
but the time that you can make my choices for
me is coming to a close. I'm not ready to grow up,
but who is? You say I'm too young, you say I'm
out of my mind...but like my faith, I expect my
God-written love story to be criticized until the very end.
Love is supposed to be hard, and marriage is supposed to be harder. This won't be any cake-walk, but no great cake is store bought, right? It's about keeping the faith, and getting stronger through our struggles. I'm ready, God. Hit me with your best shot. (Ok, maybe not your best shot. Maybe just a little challenge here and there.)