Sunday, October 27, 2013

How are you?

Week four ends today... As I think through my emotions, I realize how happy I am here. The more time I spend in this place, the more I fall in love with the people, the surroundings, and my God’s presence. This place is not without it’s hardships and struggles, but if you fall there are 200 people waiting to help you up. I have some amazing friends and companions and roommates and the like that come alongside me and actually care. There are many times in a person’s life when you are asked simple questions out of habit and not truly out of care for the person. A common greeting is “How are you?” How often do you actually desire to know how the other person is doing? Or how often do you answer honestly? I always answer the same way. “Good, how are you?” But I am realizing that I really do want to know how people are doing. Truly and deeply. I desire to hear about their struggles and what is going on in their head and heart. And I answer honestly too, and that has truly helped me work through lots of the issues I’m having on a day to day basis. I certainly do not have it all together, and there are many things that I still do not understand or know how to handle. But it all seems just a little bit easier.
And then there’s God. He is always there when human relationships just do not suffice. Sometimes you just need Him to help you sort through everything. I am so happy to be able to call on Him no matter where I am. Being here and immersed in the Word is incredibly fulfilling. God fills you from tip to toe, if you let Him, and it is so sweet. If I did not have Him to lean on, I do not know where I would be. Probably sitting in a dark corner going slowly insane. I am so blessed. I am so blessed. I am so incredibly blessed.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Littles

As week three comes to a close, I have realised that after going thru the initial homesickness, you stop missing the big things as much and start to miss the little things. Like specific things people say or do or a certain food or a particular comfort of home or the convenience of life at home. It really makes you appreciate those little things. One big little thing that I miss is being able to be alone and uninterrupted in my room when needed. It's incredibly difficult to be alone here. Most of the time I really love that because it's really nice to always have someone to hang out with and talk to. I have not been bored once since being here. But, on the flip side, when a quiet place is not readily available, you tend to not look for one. At Capernwray, you are constantly learning things about your faith, and one thing I have realised it that I get very distracted when I pray in my head. I wish I could pray aloud, but that is next to impossible here. It is also hard to tear yourself away from the fun everyone else is having to be alone with God. Even though I know God is much better than any earthly friends I could ever make, they still bring me joy and make me laugh. They are incredibly company to keep, and they love God as much if not more than I do. It is crazy! I am so blessed to be in a place like this. God is very present here. I will be honest and say I have not heard His voice since being here, but He is working in other ways. Last night there was an impromptu worship service in the lounge and it was crazy to look around and be able to see God speaking and moving in others at the same time as He is moving in you. I could not say is any better than this: God is good. I would never ask to be anywhere else, but it is sad to be missing out on the little things. I know that my being here is part of a bigger plan, and I praise God for that. It does not change the fact that missing out on those things is hard, though. I suppose they will just be that much sweeter when I return then, and I am okay with that.
Until next time

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Week in the Life...

Well, cheers to me for making it through week one. 
It's not like it was hard or anything… Just long. The constant friend-making mode is a little overwhelming and very tiring. But it was an extraordinary week. I have made so many amazing friends and I thank God for each and every one. They are a support and comfort and make me smile. I have played games and watched movies and walked the loop and sat around a most likely forbidden campfire. I have star gazed and scottish danced and hiked in the Lake District. I have gone out with my girls and gone to lectures and sat and chatted all in just one short week. And those are just the highlights. 
It's been loads of fun here at the castle. I am so glad God sent me here because it truly is an amazing place. Today in lectures, we started learning how to summarize the whole of the Old Testament in three minutes. With hand motions! It is an incredible lecture, if you can even call it that. It's more like an interactive. We have a guest lecturer teaching it named Paul. He's very funny and really a great guy. I'm excited for the rest of his lessons this week and that he will be coming back during spring school to teach us the New Testament portion. 
Other than that particular short lecture series, we also have series called Introduction to the Bible, The Transforming Friendship, and A Praying Life. Intro to the Bible is part of our accredited course of lectures, which basically means we get tested on it. (I have a multiple choice and short answer quiz on that this Thursday.) The other two lectures are supplementary lectures. No lecture lasts more than a couple of weeks, which is nice because I'm not a huge fan of all of them right now. Some can get a little boring.
But I really like the course of my days, here. We typically have three morning lectures and one morning "other" period. Tuesday mornings we meet with our family groups which are randomly created groups of people assigned to a set of Capernwray staff "parents." Monday mornings we meet with regionally-based interactive groups, which are peer-led bible study groups. (I will eventually end up leading once or twice with a partner.) And then Wednesdays and Thursdays our other period varies. Fridays, half the student body goes to a seminar while the other half does duties around the campus. And then Saturday is free, as well as most of Sunday (we have one morning and one evening chapel service).
So that's how my weeks go! In the future I will be posting more on one specific thought, but since everything is so new I wanted to give everyone the low-down.