Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Many the Miles.

There are some things in life that people don't understand looking from the outside in, and currently I have something I deal with daily that people don't understand.

Long-distance relationships.

"It's not real, it won't last, it'd be different if you were closer, etc."
And I'm not just talking about dating, I'm talking about friendships as well.

For some reason, 21 years ago, when the big guy upstairs created me, He put in a wire labeled "can-handle-being-away-from-the-ones-closest-to-her" or something along those lines. Away from my boyfriend, some of my closest friends, and I'm not a homebody so I hardly go home to my parents.

My best friend and I have known each other for over ten years, and yet have never spent more than one consecutive week together. How do I call her my best friend with such little time together? Because we communicate like there's no tomorrow. Text, phone calls, skype dates, letters, emails, etc. We've done it all. Oh, and the in-between dates - like hanging out in Wal-Mart for a few hours because that's the only way we can spend time together.

If anything, my communication skills have improved over the last few years. Communicating long-distance is not only important, but I firmly believe it strengthens the relationship. When your only option is to talk... you focus on that, and use it as much as possible. That's why Ellie and Aaron know me so well - both the good and the bad parts.

Is it frustrating? Do I wish I could hang out with them every day? Do they miss special things like birthdays and holidays? Yes. Does that make our relationship any less real or important? Not even.

It's not ideal, and it's not easy, but don't underestimate the strength of long-distance relationships. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Recap.

Summer is basically over.
And, it was a summer.

Although I tried not to compare, this summer didn't compare as well to last year.
It was different, but in a good way. It was still impactful.

This summer had it's challenges. Different people, same job, similar guests, crazy schedules. I'd like to say that through all the difficulties, I grew a lot and had some major break through, but that isn't entirely true.

Did I learn, did I grow, did I change, did I finally let go of some things? Yes.

Life is changing. It's beautiful, even when it's frustrating.
It's messy, sometimes I feel like my head is just an unsolved puzzle.

He is entirely faithful. Faithful to His promises, faithful to transform our hearts, faithful to work everything out for our good, faithful and sovereign.

The best part about our God is that He changes things and provides for us, sometimes before we even know we need it, and sometimes when we don't know why we need something. But, He knew I needed this summer.

My favorites of the summer include...
- rooming with Kelli again. none of that awkward, at times annoying, adjusting to a new roommate. it was like we had never stopped being roomies. the half-asleep glares, taking naps together (as in, at the same time but in our own beds), the late nights, the talks, the laughs, and... the one crying session.
- seeing why God brought certain people into my life. some to help me, some to help them. many of those Georgia people I know I will be friends with for a looooong time :)
- covenant leader group, always what I looked forward to every weekend. a group of devoted, smart, true friends. not to mention the family that let us into their home, laughed with us, fed us, and taught us.
- taco bell or dunkin donuts run. these things seem insignificant, but I tend to find the most joy in the smallest things... the trips were fun, spontaneous, and pointless, but just more memories we made.

oh... and baby-sitting for Addison Road.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Purposeful Accidents.

Last night, I listened to Michael Kelly speak at the Collegiate Week service. He said something that I've been thinking about a lot lately.

"There are many situations in life that happen so coincidentally that it almost seems on purpose."

When looking back at the last few years, that's all I see.

Dislike my town during high school so much that I want to get away.
[which leads me to WT, not KSU like I had thought]
Attend Collegiate Week two weeks prior to starting college.
[I like to think of this as one big pivotal moment]
Attend Collegiate Week a second year, recommit my life to Christ.
[join leadership team at BSM]
Decide to spend a summer away.. in Glorieta.
[meet Aaron]

Then there's smaller things like sharing purple paint with Taylor my freshman year - we are now best friends, the roommates I have had and will have, friends I have through camp, the classes I've taken, the job I have...

Things that seemed so simple at the moment, I now see as small pieces of what He is sewing together.

Jesus, I don't know what You're working out right now, but You haven't failed me yet.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August Weekend.

Dear Boyfriend,

Just as it gets harder to say good-bye everytime, each visit is more and more enjoyable. I think one of my favorite parts of this past weekend was how we did all these new things together.

Lunch was complicated, and made me grumpy, but that was some gooooood pizza. It never fails that I end up in the ghetto in almost every city I visit, so just get used to that. And the shopping syndrome... sorry about that too. Someday I'll enjoy shopping like a normal girl.

Dinner on the other hand, was fabulous. You can never go wrong with Panda. :)

I've been to a few baseball games (two, to be exact) but this was by far my favorite. Minus the people behind us sloshing beer on us. That wasn't cool. 

Ziplining = favorite. Even better that we got to do it at the same time (on different lines, just to clarify). Those harnesses were so attractive, I might add. Maybe next time we can both hit the pole... or not. Also, that mulch area is where I taught you how to two-step, and Alex taught us how to pretzel. Good times, keep working on it though... 


We always talk about our big roadtrip around the U.S., and traveling the world. I guess you could say this is the beginning. A day trip to Colorado, with a quick run to the Utah state line. Two more down! I wonder if all states have the repeated cow signs, reindeer signs, tractor signs...

 Date night. Date nights are always my favorite. Even though I'm a t-shirt kind of girl, a black dress once in awhile is good too :) I think this picture conveys how fun we are, and ridiculous. Never forget how ridiculous we are! Another visit to San Francisco Bar & Grill, walking around the plaza, sitting on the back porch in rocking chairs... pretty nice way to celebrate a year together. The diamond necklace and earrings helped too ;)

 I love you. 
Thank you for the laughs this weekend, and the new memories.
Especially when you took me to see the sunset :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

One Year Anniversary!

"How do you measure a year?

In daylights,
in sunsets,
in midnights,
in cups of coffee,
in inches,
in miles,
in laughter,
in strife...

How about love?"

Has it really already been a year with Aaron? Yes, yes it has.

Last summer included: a trip to the zoo, an Iron Maiden concert, him giving me DDP and peanut butter, a drive-in movie, a date to the opera, lots of Panda Express, star-gazing, watching a sunset from atop a hill, and of course... many nights of playing Rock Band. After all that, we became an "official" couple.

Then started our long-distance journey. A hard year, but an amazing year.
full of Skype dates, phone calls, letters, texts, flights, driving...
full of inside jokes, uncontrollable laughter, Bible study...
full of DDP, Taco Bell, flowers, surprises, Chinese food...

We keep each other accountable, we challenge each other, we're genuine and real with each other, we laugh (a lot) together, we pray together, we read together, and we trust, respect, and love each other. The only "don't" in our relationship is we don't fight - one year, and a not a single fight. Yes, it's tried our patience, and Satan's tried to trick us with doubt... but His peace surpasses it all.

Neither of us were expecting to leave last summer being in a relationship, but God works in unexpected ways when we're least expecting it. A lot of people say our love isn't real, that it's not conventional, that it wouldn't work. But, anything is possible with God - and geography does not stop Him.

The longest we went without seeing each other was 16 weeks (and two days).
The shortest, 5 weeks.
But, the time flew (most of the time) with as much as we talked.

"Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It's for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It's for those knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don't see it nearly enough..." 

One year down, many more to go... :)