Tag Archives: blessings

Five Years?!

July 11, 2011.

I can’t remember what I was doing that day – but according to WordPress, I posted an ‘about me’ on this page. AKA I started “ceaseless serendipity” (first known as ‘Girl Meets World’), five whole years ago!

Wow… what was I doing five years ago? So much has happened. Five years ago, I was in high school. I was having a… rough patch. High school wasn’t easy, and to be honest, I was mostly doing things on my own. I still consider myself to be fairly independent, but now I have the most amazing friends, and I’m graduating from college in a few months. 2016 must have seemed so far away. Who would’ve thought I would be here now, right?

As an education major, I feel like I am obligated to do a then vs. now Venn Diagram. So here it is: What my life was like five years ago (the then) and today (the now).

venn-diagram

#comicsans

Two and a half years ago (a half-way marker), I was enjoying college and life in general: I was just beginning a summer internship at an orphanage in China, enjoying life, and about to begin my sophomore year in college – my personal favorite year, in my opinion. Now, I am thankful to be able to still enjoy the same college with many of the same friends I made freshman year. A lot has changed, but some things remain the same!

In my Venn Diagram, I forgot to include epilepsy (my seizures) – but I’ll leave that for another time. However, I’ll try to get a post in before the end of the month – November is epilepsy awareness month! woot woot! Another honorable mention: I’m teaching, for real! No, I don’t have my own classroom, but I am in schools, teaching kindergarteners. Now THAT is awesome! Also I’m still incredibly awkward.

Not everything that happens in life is awesome and worth having a party or blog post about. I get that – things like that have happened to me. For me, I process things by journaling: seeing them on paper (or a computer screen) makes craziness in life not that crazy, because they’re sitting on paper and not circling in my head. There are many of ways to process things that work much better for others, but that’s what’s good for me. I wonder about the readers of this blog – YOU! I know I don’t have a lot of readers, but I know a lot happens in your life. It’s not just me that is awkward and indecisive …right? In the grand scheme of things, five years isn’t that long. But it’s not all about me here – I’m sure a good amount of things happened in five years for you, too! I would love to hear about them in the comment section 🙂 Anyways: if the going is tough for you right now, know that sometimes you just have to wait it out… for a long time. Like, a REALLY long time – it might be more than five years. Read: good times are a’comin. 🙂

 

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Thankful

“I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.” -Benjamin Disraeli

I just really like this photo.

I just really, really like this photo.

Call it cliché, but it’s that time of the year and I have a lot of things to be thankful for. This morning as I walked out of the door, my secret sister (like a secret Santa, but for a semester on my floor) left me a Bible verse on my side of the door. I almost cried at the verse, it was so relevant to me:

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me lie down in safety. (Psalm 4:8)

What am I thankful for? So many things. The other day, one of my friends from China challenged me to post five pictures that made me happy. It was a lot harder than I had thought it would be! If you had asked me the same question five years ago, I would’ve chosen funny pictures, with a chance of being an Internet meme or comic. In recent years, however, I have been blessed with friends that I enjoy keeping in touch with. I know, I know: #blessed. Right? Such a basic, commonplace, regular thing to do, a word repeated so often that it shouldn’t really matter. As it turns out, this whole thing of being blessed has a direct impact on my life. When I was in middle and high school, I didn’t have a lot of friends. So much has changed since then, and I am so grateful for a chance to start over in a completely new place.

Ireland, England & USA!

Ireland, England & USA!

My friends? Oh, they’re the best. I have friends all over the world now: Ireland, England, New Zealand, China – it’s fantastic. Oh, America too 🙂 My friends at school are wonderful as well: I have friends in my education classes, friends who do Bible studies, friends who are in Gospel Choir… man, life is good.

RoommatesThis year, I am especially grateful for my roommate. She is so wonderful in so many ways. She always listens to me talk. She takes care of me and looks out for me and talks me through the whole seizure thing. She is a role-model – she is so dedicated to exercise and cleanliness/organization! She takes time to understand and be involved. I love her lots, and am so thankful.

 

This isn’t to say my life is perfect. Far from it! There are a lot of things I wish I could change about myself and my life – but I’ve found that accepting those things as they are is ultimately the better option. Now, the actual acceptance process is the hard part, but the first step is knowing that acceptance is good, right? The awesome part is that when you’re choosing to accept everything, including the hard things, in life, you’re also accepting the good! Call me crazy, but I think that’s something to be grateful for. Okay, life isn’t perfect, but God is good and that’s enough for me to be happy about. Even if I wasn’t extremely grateful for the blessings in my life, God has provided the condition of the possibility (that would be getting into the philosophy that I’m learning about in class… yes, I’m even grateful for my required philosophy class!). And that’s good enough for me.

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

“Every good and perfect gift is from above.” -James 1:17

(enter title here)

So, what’s been going on in Margaret’s life? Well, glad you asked.

I’m still going strong with The Office. (Jim and Pam all the way!)

I don’t have a ‘home church’ yet – I’m still ‘church-hopping’: going from church to church on Sundays, seeing which one I like best. It’s hard to chose because there are things that I like and things that I don’t like about each church, and sometimes the things I don’t like outweigh the things I do. I’ll end up at a good one, though!

I need to do laundry, a lot more often. I could probably be doing laundry now, matter of fact. I have some really dirty clothes that I need to wash! But why would I want to do laundry when I have the option of blogging at watching The Office? Priorities… sometimes they need a little straightening. But sometimes, they’re alright.

One big (well, one big and one mini) change I’ve made is my conversion to the Paleo diet (at least, for the next month). Basically the Paleo diet cuts out everything that had to get processed to get to you. This includes all rye, wheat and barley: gluten-y bread, pasta, cereal, and so on – which also cuts out a good deal of carbs. So no grains or processed foods. But! What I appreciate is that you eat whenever you’re hungry (as in, you’re not counting calories or other things), and you can eat whatever meat you want (so long as it isn’t dripping in syrup). You eat when you’re hungry, until you’re full. A simple, but good rule to live by. This link explains it a lot more in-depth.

I made a previous post about my seizures. And, as it turns out, I had one the other day. Sometimes it takes hard times to find out how much people care about you. My roommate and RA, for example. My roommate is seriously the best. She stayed up with me, called the GoPo (Gordon Police, some of whom are trained EMTs) when she felt the time was right, and took care of me in all the ways that she could. My RA, too. She wiped the blood off my face, bought me orange juice, copied her math notes for me, wrote my Bible verses. I love the people in my life, and I couldn’t be more thankful for them. For the headache I had the next day, people were totally understanding and a lot of people asked if they could do anything for me. Did I mention I love my friends? Not only that, but the day following my seizure, I took my Chinese language placement exam. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do on it, because my head hurt and I was tired and ready to not take an exam. But I did anyways… and passed! All the levels. Thank you Jesus!

My classes are doing well in general. Friday, I didn’t have a lot of work to do, but by the end of Friday, I have more than enough to work my tail off. My one class on Tuesday was cancelled. Instead of meeting in person, we had a whole-class group discussion online, where we posted our projects and commented on each one. Trying to find that article was stressful, and making sure it posted and followed up right even more so, but it ended up okay. Things usually have this way of ending up okay.

picstitch

New England autumn is one of the best things ever!

53. Roommate relationships

54. Dinner dates

55. My RA

56. Pillow talk

I typed this up and meant to publish it about a week ago. For some reason that didn’t happen… maybe I was waiting for a creative title to strike me. Well, better late than never!

curl up and…

I should be finding an article related to a current issue related to New England geography. Not that finding that kind of an article isn’t fun… but since I’ve tried for several hours and haven’t found something yet, I’m taking a break. What can I update on? Hm…

  • I’ve started watching the TV show The Office (the American version). I had watched episodes before, never actually following the show, but I’d forgotten what a jerk the boss, Michael is! The only thing that keeps me watching is Jim and Pam’s relationship. That’s enough for me 🙂 I’m in season two… I haven’t decided yet how much of it I’m going to watch, because there are nine seasons!
  • My classes don’t have a ton of work, but enough to keep me busy when I need to be (e.g. now). I’m only taking 14 credits (the usual is 16) – I was planning on taking 18, but a class fell through and it ended up working out with 14 credits, plus a PE class. So, I’ve found a lot of free time on my hands. To fill it, I’ve been joining some clubs, working my job, and keeping myself busy with different odds and ends – but I’ve also been investing myself a lot more in relationships and my friendships. I’ve come to the realization that the ‘love language’ I receive love in is quality time. When I haven’t spent time with someone in a while, I feel distant from that person. Spending time with them brings closeness, for me, in that relationship. Like, my ideal date would be doing something – anything, really – with a date. With food to follow. E.g. a hike, then a picnic. Volunteering somewhere, then Panera. Cooking food, then eating it. (However, the language I show my love in is often gifts!) So using my time to connect with others is enjoyable and relationship-building. yay!
  • I’ve joined my school’s gospel choir. Not because I need to fill my time up with something, but because I was looking for a more fulfilling choir experience than what I was getting with another choir I was a part of last semester. Gospel Choir is all that and more. We sing amazing songs, have an wonderful director – but more than that, our rehearsals are truly a worship experience. Jesus at the center. I love it so much. It’s hard to describe, but it’s absolutely wonderful. Taking an hour and a half out of my Monday and Thursday nights might seem like a sacrifice, but it’s nothing in comparison to what I’ve gotten out of it.
  • My roommate is the best. Seriously, the best. That is the most unexpected blessing that I’ve gotten since this school year started. That being said, my floor is great too. I’m pretty sure we’re perfect for each other: we share similar living styles, food choices, taste in TV shows… we even have the same riding boots! (not the same size, though… that would’ve cinched it once and for all!) She really proved her worth to me when I was going through a bit of a rough patch last Sunday night, and stayed up with me, making sure I was okay. (I’m just fine now, in case you were wondering!) I am so thankful for her, and all the other amazing people in my life. They’re the best.
  • I’m training for a 5K (five kilometers, or 3.1 miles) that I’ll be running in mid-October. I haven’t run an actual race, much less 3.1 miles, so this is a big deal for me! I’ve been doing a little bit more each time… thank goodness for the Internet to come up with 5K training plans. Instead of listening to music (I lost my phone with all my music on it for a few weeks), I pray on my runs. That’s been really good.
  • Fall is here. It may not be autumn just yet where you are, but it’s arrived in New England. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooler, and it’s wonderful. At Gordon, fall is my favorite season of the year. It’s so beautiful! Back home in Virginia, spring has always been my favorite – I love seeing the flowers bloom and grow. Around here, spring is more of a warming up that eventually ends up at summer. Even when I leave after finals (in mid-May), people are still wearing long pants. It’s ridiculous. I rest my case: a New England fall is majestic, even more so when compared to the spring.
  • Totally random, but… my new favorite song is Stars by Switchfoot. I go through phases of favorite songs. I’ll just take you through recent memory: I Need Your Love by Calvin Harris, Love Never Felt So Good by Michael Jackson, Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle – as you can tell, they can be just about any genre – but they’ll be on repeat for at least a week. I’ll phase them out eventually – still enjoying the song, of course! – but new song obsessions have to come and go. That’s just the way it works, you know?

What can I say? Life is good. God is good. I’m blessed. I’d just like to find my article now. Then I can curl up, maybe watch The Office and drink tea (make that watch Harry Potter, come to think of it) – but definitely go to sleep.

Good to be home!

You know that feeling when you get home, and things just feel right in the world? Even if there’s a lot going on, once you return home (generally after a period of being away), you feel – well, back home. For me at least, it’s a mix of return to normalcy, nostalgia, anticipation, and just plain happiness. After a year at Gordon, the return experience has been all of that and more. That’s not to say I miss my home in Virginia, because I do. I get the same feeling there, but there, I’m returning to nostalgia and family – there, I’m returning to so much more anticipation. It’s great. It’s had its ups and downs which would take too long to get into if got into every detail, but all I can say is that it’s good to be home.

I live in a new dorm now – Ferrin Hall. There are a lot of freshmen on my floor (our dorms are mixed years), and it’s been fun giving them advice, giving them the down-low. One of the biggest pieces of advice I would give to freshmen would be this: college will be home. You might as well expedite the process by making friends and reaching out instead of staying in and Skyping home. By the end of the year, you’ll miss school. Do your best to miss it now.

On another note, my new classes have started well. I’m taking a variety of classes, including but not limited to: paddle boarding for my PE credit, a philosophy class (I wouldn’t be taking it if it wasn’t required!), and math (haven’t taken that in a while!). However… there is one class, Disabilities and the Young Child, that could very well be the death of me. I haven’t taken a methods class, which teaches you how to plan, create, and use and lesson plan – and how to teach in general. Which is a problem, because I’m going to have to do all of that (without the prior knowledge of how to do so). Oh, and it’s too late to drop courses. I just emailed my professor and my advisor, who should help me out a little in this regard. eek… Well, whatever happens, I’m just glad to be home.

Roommates

My fantastic and beautiful new roommate, Emma!

49. An amazing roommate

50. A wonderful floor and RA

51. Classes

52. Smiles

End of Summer Thoughts

The end of summer?! It seems surreal. I’m starting this post by typing it on my bed at Cape Cod, where I’ve been with my family for the last two weeks, and ending it on my bed for the next nine months at my university, Gordon College. I’ve done a lot this summer, so I thought I’d start at the beginning…

I finished my last final exam on my birthday. Is that a good or bad thing? I haven’t decided yet. Only one class, one exam, and everything was finished afterwards. It felt good to be done with my first year! The next day, I went home – to start school again! I took Old Testament online. It’s a required class for me, so I decided to get it out of the way. For four intense weeks, I had a lot of assessments and work and reading every day. Except Sunday, of course. 🙂 During that time, I started a running program called Couch 2 5K (C25K) – over six weeks, this iPhone app would get you a little closer to running a 5K every day. After the course finished, I had a week to pack… for China!

I packed my bags and set off by myself. I blogged a lot about my time in China, so you can read all that for yourself – just scroll down. Like, a lot. To make a reeeeeally long story short, I met a lot of amazing people, saw some awesome things, and did some crazy and wonderful things as well – including teaching my own class for the first time, chopping off a lot of my hair, and white-water rafting down a heated man-made river with a tiny ladle instead of an oar! I miss them… but at the same time, I’m really glad to be back (at Gordon now)!

My return flight from China landed in Boston. I had a transfer in New Jersey (I don’t really get it, either), where I left my iPhone behind. Why Boston, you ask? My family was at Cape Cod, where we go every year, vacationing for two weeks. They arrived that day, and I joined them – with a little more jet lag than them, though. ha. It was good to have nothing to do for two weeks! I finally finished reading Gone With the Wind, which I had been working on all summer, and also read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in the extra time. Good books, all of them! A few standouts from the Cape include our annual trip to the Chatham band concert, eating lobster, and traveling by boat to Martha’s Vineyard for the Grand Illumination.

Well, our time at the Cape eventually ended. The Saturday we checked out of our cottage, we road tripped to Gordon College, and I moved into my dorm. I was so excited to get back to Gordon! Gordon is really starting to feel like home now. I lived in the Fulton dorm last year, which is a right turn from the cafeteria. Now, I live in Ferrin hall (which I am super-excited for!), and a left-turn from the cafeteria. I didn’t realize how much I called Fulton home, because I’ve been subconsciously turning right to leave the cafeteria, instead of left. I think I’ll miss Fulton, but I know my time there is done. The Hill is not where I belong, especially during the winter trek down it! I am excited for what my year in Ferrin holds. My RA is awesome – already a big plus – and as my floor is mostly freshmen, I’ve gotten to meet several already. Unfortunately I’m not too good with names, so I’m hoping to get the names as we get on… heh.

My roommate’s birthday is today, and we’re planning a surprise for her. As in, kidnapping-esque surprise. Shhh. Anyways, I’m excited for classes to start, because I need routine in my life! – but even more excited to see everyone I’ve been missing all summer.

P.S. I said I was going to mention about my phone missing, but I didn’t have a really good place to talk about it. Well anyways, since I lost my phone, it’s been found at the airport and will be making its’ way back to me. Eventually. I’m not sure how long it will take. Since then, I’ve been figuring out how people have figured out civilized life for centuries without phones! I’m being very detailed with a planner (color-coding is involved), and using an old-fashioned alarm clock and everything. I’ve been stressing about this a lot, but something good has come out of it: I’ve been training for a 5K (using C25K this summer), but that required an app, and my phone provided the hardcore music I listened to while I ran. Now that I have no music but still have to run, I’ve been praying: about anything. Anything that comes to mind, I’ll pray for. I think I’ll take a list with me, to give me ideas, so when I go for longer runs, I won’t run out of ideas. Instead of distracting me from my run and how much I hate running right now, I’m refocusing – focusing on what’s really important. I like that.

45. Reunions

46. Gordon College, with every strength and weakness

47. Hard goodbyes.

winniethepooh

Ceaseless Serendipity

Serendipity is one of those ‘word-of-the-day’ words. According to the Random House dictionary, serendipity is defined as: “the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for; also, an instance of this” – or, in the Merriam Kid’s Dictionary, “the gift of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.” I like the kids’ definition, seeing these serendipitous things as gifts rather than accidents or pure chance.
I find that ‘serendipitous activity’ goes on all the time in my life: meeting up with a college friend by chance in another country. Going to a store to buy something and you find there’s a buy one, get one free sale on that exact item. It’s serendipity.

Funny thing is, this serendipity has never had a start or stopping point. Sometimes I go, “what a small world!”, or “that’s awesome!”, or maybe “I’m so lucky!” at one thing or another. But wherever I go, I find that this gift of finding valuable things I had never been looking for happens all the time. Ceaselessly, in fact. So it’s with a breath of fresh air that I rename my blog “Ceaseless Serendipity”. Misadventures? Yeah. Life is a journey, and mine has always had a tint of awkward. But the serendipity I find? It’s constantly there. And that’s not an accident. It’s a blessing; a true gift.

FamilyPicture

PS. I just guest-wrote on another blog, Love Grows Here – the blog of the organization that I worked for for the past six weeks when I was in China. The blog is fantastic, and I feel so honored to be writing a post there! Check it out… prepare for cuteness. 🙂