I have been lucky enough to visit this treasure of a place twice in my life. This isn’t the best picture, but others who have been there may recognize it. I’ll give you a hint: it’s in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania…
Because I feel the urge to add more scenic pictures to this blog, I am going to be posting a series of pictures from places I have been. Feel free to comment with your guess about where the picture was taken.
We’ll start with this lovely historical town. I was able to visit this locale over the holiday season.
Can you name this city?
How about this building?
It’s funny how we tend to be most productive when we have the least amount of time to do things. This past weekend – the whole week really- has been a whirlwind for me. I’ve had assignments to turn in, classes to observe, situations to correct, decisions to make – the works! But was I stressed? Not very much. Were there late nights? Of course. Was I tired throughout the day? Yes, at times. And did I manage do get it all done and to my satisfaction? For the most part, yes.
As busy as the week had been, I had started to dread the conference that I knew I would be attending this weekend. After all, I was lacking even the energy to stay awake through two full days of workshops, not to mention the energy that would be required to put my best professional foot forward and network with old and new colleagues. However, I am pleased to say that after making it through the weekend conference I am feeling inspired. Yes, inspired is truly the word! It reawakened some passions within me that I had forgotten in the chaos of the past couple years. I’m also in more of a reflective mood after this conference. I’m not sure what my future holds, but I’m excited about the possibilities.
Some topics at the conference included childhood obesity, civil rights in education, children’s love language, and the trends of the 21st century. All were very fascinating to me. The biggest surprise of the weekend? I was elected secretary/treasurer for the upcoming year. Other pleasant surprises were the unexpected goodies, yummy food, and intimate moments around the dinner table with friends and colleagues (who felt more like family this weekend.) I am so thankful for the connections I have made not just as a result of this conference, but because people have taken the time to invest in my life and encourage me to take advantage of opportunities such as this.
One night recently I realized that I am a very selfish person. Especially as of late I have been so absorbed with my own thoughts, activities, and feelings that I have overlooked the wishes and needs of my family, friends, and unfortunately my Lord. Here I am sticking my nose into God’s business – trying to plan out my own future. Rushing to get a degree, get married, get a job, get pregnant, get a house, get a car, get an adult life! Notice a trend? I have been planning out all of the things in life that I feel like I should get. Lately I’ve had a selfish attitude. Not once in the past several months have I planned out and executed a plan that involved giving back to others.
Luckily, this week, I’ve been able to reverse that to a certain extent. I have spent valuable time caring for and lifting up others. I am convinced that the Lord created me to serve others. I am never truly happy unless I can be of help to someone else.
Thank you Lord for fulfilling your purpose in me. Help me to continually walk more closely to you. Guide my steps each day. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight.
Below is an excerpt from a diary entry I wrote several months ago. I came upon it last night as I was thumbing through the pages of my journal. The cursive letters in my precious notebook portray an uninhibited version of my most intimate thoughts. I do not share them often, but I was so taken by the raw emotion I had exuded that I felt the urge to share my reflection with others. Maybe you too can relate to how I have felt…
I’ll admit it. I’m feeling sorry for myself. I’m sad deep down and I know it. I’m sad because of the loss of a lover and friend. I’m sad because I feel I will not be given another chance at love. I’m sad at the thought of unused, unrecognized talents. I’m sad because I reach out to people only to be ignored. I tell not a soul that I’m struggling, lest I should sound pitiful and whiney. I eat and watch tv incessantly. I yearn to travel and meet new people, try new things, see new sights. I yearn for the touch of another. I feel the disappointment in my God’s heart, yet know that he is eagerly awaiting my return to his arms. I am not moved by the emotions of others, but rather by the own emotions at turmoil inside of me.
I realize that he is in the past. There is no going back. Some of those bridges cannot or rather should not be mended. But even though I know these things to be true, my whole being mourns over the tragic death of this relationship.
There were days when I was content to be chasing one after the next boy. Even though the chases usually only occurred in my daydreams, it kept me happy. Hope is what fueled me.
Now my hope is gone. I see the handsome faces of men as they kiss their wives and embrace their children. No longer does this sight bring me great joy at the dreams of my having such a family one day. Instead I see a world of what could have been, but shall not be. I am afraid that I will never be blessed with these comforts. I am afraid I will live a servant’s life in solitude. I am afraid that my plans for the future will be whisked away. I am afraid the world will move on without me…
I can report that I no longer find myself feeling deeply saddened. My outlook has improved recently, but there are still realities that weigh heavily on me. It’s important to know that everyone gets in a funk from time to time. Rest assured this season of life is not permanent. Meanwhile, in the midst of these sad times, don’t let the dismal atmosphere prevent you from creating your own pleasant memories. Hope is often on the horizon.