December 15, 2013

Life as of lately...

I haven't had much time to keep things updated on here as much as I'd like, due to school being pretty intense the last couple months. I'm not going to lie. It was HARD. I had several breakdowns, questioned myself a lot and whether I'm where I want to be. It was also hard not to compare myself to everyone else, when they all seem to have so much experience or had been going to the university longer, and my relationship with God took a bit of a backseat here and there, but it also helped me cling to Him more, if that makes any sense. However, looking back, it was a great experience.

I was able to learn a lot and put into practice things that already have my interest, gave my first presentation and my professor thought it was excellent. I made so many great friendships while I was out there, and I was really starting to wonder at the beginning whether I'd get to know anyone closely. I was also able to step out a little more with writing on the newspaper and proving to myself that I CAN do this. And all while freaking out about the future; in the midst of doubt, confusing and feeling lost, the bottom line is…I PASSED MY CLASSES! I had 4 A's and 1 B. I couldn't have been more excited and proud of myself, and I was so glad that all of the hard work, lack of a social life (okay, who am I kidding? I never have a social life), and lack of really being able to do a lot of the things I love, all payed off. I proved to myself that I really can do it. I can succeed and make it through anything. Now, that my first quarter is out of the way, I'm like, "bring on the other three." I'm not as worried about how long it's going to take or when I'm going to get out of there, but I'm going to savor the moments instead, especially with the great friends I've made. We really had a great support system going, and I couldn't be more thankful that they were there to eat lunch with and vent with when the occasion arose, whether it was about grades or other nonsense, because they were going through it, too.

And then came vacation...

Thanksgiving was lovely! My mom and I made things extra festive this year, by really going all out and decorating the table with fancy centerpieces and baking our first pumpkin pie. I also helped out more with dinner this year- peeling potatoes and seasoning the turkey. You could say I felt very accomplished. I also dressed up a little more for the occasion, which was fun!  We had the family over as always, ate a lot, braved Walmart for the "Black Friday" deals starting on Thursday, and just hung out with one another, which is always a hoot.

The next couple weeks have been pretty uneventful, really. I've been sleeping until noon, staying up WAY too late, watching Christmas movies, reading a lot, writing, brainstorming, editing pictures, and taking advantage of not having anything to do. This time, I know what to expect when school starts back up again and I want to be ready to go again. Straight A's, here I come. I want to be more focused than ever, and maybe a little more willing to put my phone down for awhile. I also would still really like to get a job, so there won't be so much free time…Ah, the joys of growing up.

I have been taking in the sights and sounds of the Christmas season; listening to the music and reminding myself of the joy that comes with this time of year. It is SO easy to get sucked into the commercial side of things, but when I've turned the focus back to Christ, everything in my heart and mind that usually weigh so heavily and bring me down, are lifted up and I feel like I can do anything. I'm trying to see everything with childlike faith, and to remember that this time of year isn't about couples or presents or food or even family, really. It's about Jesus coming to the earth to be our Savior and our Lord, because we all need saving and we need His grace. I'm really learning this time around to appreciate the relationships that are in my life, and to not take them for granted. All of this down here is just temporary, and I want to put my hope in something that is everlasting.

I'm going to get back to reading Debbie Macomber's, "The Gift of Christmas" and might start watching Love Actually.

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

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