Guys – this past semester has by far been the craziest, most stressful, intense, exhausting, challenging semester I’ve had in Highlands College thus far. I think a big part of it was the last 2 semesters I wasn’t working, and I was really struggling with my time management skills and physical exhaustion. Being in the 1st trimester of this pregnancy didn’t help my case either. Not to mention I attended a small group AND led a small group. On top of that, we had homework every week (reading assignments, papers, outreach and Sunday serve requirements, our mission trip, etc.) – I’m getting exhausted again just reading all that we crammed into 4 months. But even in the midst of what seemed like a relentless semester, the Lord was so sweet and met me where I was and taught me a couple things along the way that I really wanted to share.
One of the first things I learned this semester was that I needed to find my rest in the Lord. I went to the ReCreate Women’s Conference a couple months after school had started and it was much needed! God was so gracious and really met me where I was at, which was really just pure exhaustion – physical, emotional, and spiritual. But I left refreshed, refocused, and rested.
The second thing I learned was that I didn’t have to go it alone. Although we initially were just checking a requirement box, going on the Mission Trip turned out to be one of the most unexpected but most needed things we did this semester. Not only did we serve that church & the surrounding community, but we gained some amazing friends from our mission trip and we keep in touch with them on a weekly (if not daily) basis. It has been such a blessing to us to have this second family in our lives!
Similarly to the mission trip, the 2 small groups I was a part of this semester was a great opportunity for me to grow closer to some girlfriends which opened doors for me to share my heart and be comforted in areas of my life. Having close, best friends that I feel comfortable sharing all aspects of my life with (the good, bad and ugly) and being completely transparent is something I have been working on and God presented a couple girls to me this semester that welcomed and encouraged me to share my heart and met me where I was. I am so thankful for these girls! ❤
Finally, class. The first half of the semester was really rough. Partially because I was struggling to keep my head above water and manage my time, but also because our teacher was extremely hard and taking any test or doing any homework assignment brought a lot of uncertainty and stress. She had a very dry teaching style which did not help my already exhausted mind stay awake, so it was a struggle and I won’t lie and say that I was very thankful when her class was over.
The second half of the semester though we had probably one of my favorite teachers of all time! He is the creative director for the church and just a hilarious guy full of fun and realism. He was very sympathetic towards us evening students and therefore made an extra effort to keep the class humorous and light. Some nights my belly hurt from laughing so hard. It was a much needed change of pace and God really showed me through that class some things that I can incorporate into my work environment which was great.
We read a variety of books this semester, but my two favorite books were:
We had to read “Anonymous” for a book report and it was a surprisingly good read and probably one of the best books I have ever read. It’s all about Jesus’s hidden years – the time of his life that wasn’t in the Bible (basically from his birth until he was 30 years old). Alicia Britt Chole pointed out how Jesus reacted to things during the time of his life that IS in the Bible and how it actually shows us what his life was like during his childhood and young-adult years. It was such a beautiful, eye-opening read and really humanized Jesus. Ugg, just talking about it makes me want to read it again haha so good! So, so, so good!
“Creativity Inc” is written by one of the co-founders of Pixar and shares the history of the company and some of the principles they run their company by which was phenomenal and inspirational. Pixar is something Aaron and I have really enjoyed since we started dating so it’s been a lot of fun for us to read together.
Overall, it was a very full semester but we conquered it and are now very much ready for Christmas break 😊