Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 1: St. Louis!

What a wonderful, sunny day for driving! We jammed out to a mix I made for this trip and read through 120 pages of The Hunger Games. Jillien hasn't read it yet and so is very anxious to see how it ends--I'm trying not to give anything away when she guesses what is going to happen, since I am terrible at lying. :)
A tree down in Bexley right by Trinity Seminary--what a crazy storm!

I love being in the Midwest--states go by so quickly! I always feel very productive in my travels when I go through state lines every 2 hours.

Really cool cross structure! Jillien proclaims that it is the coolest thing we have encountered so far.
Missouri state line on the MLK Bridge

It was over 100 degrees in St. Louis today, which provided plenty of heat for us on our jaunt to the St. Louis Arch! It was grand fun to be a tourist at the Arch; one of the more difficult monuments to take a picture with...we had many tries at it though!

We have officially been spoiled here at the Anderson-Little house--homemade pizza (it was made on the grill! so innovative!), Mary Kay goodies, hawk-watching, cheesecake, and homemade mani-pedi's! It is such a blessing to stay with fun people that welcome us into their home. Thanks Dan, Linda, Leah, and Marcy!

Quotes from today:
 "Oh you guys are from Colorado? Do you have any of that wacky stuff?"--guy that took our money at a parking lot at the Arch; we think he wanted wacky stuff from us....

"I totally love Phasing's the best feeling you can have."---Leah


The day is here to move and it seems so surreal. Perhaps it is because I've been thinking about this day for a few months now, or maybe it is the fact that the last 24 hours have been quite a whirlwind (literally).

Over 300,000 people in Ohio are without power because of a raging storm that hit around 5 pm last night.  I have been counting my blessings that I had much of my packing done this week before I lost power, so I was able to do what little packing was needed by candlelight.  My friend Jillien and I packed my car awesomely, though most credit goes to Jillien and her beastly arms. :)

I hope that the people without power are able to find ways to get out of the heat and be a little comfortable.  The AEP website said that it would take about 5-6 days to restore power to everyone in Ohio.  I am praying for everyone I know and don't know that has been affected by this storm.

Today we drive to St. Louis to stay with family friends! Let's pray for sunny weather and clear roads along the way.

So many goodbyes have been said this past week, it seems as if I will never be done saying goodbye to all of the people that I love here in Ohio.  I can feel the stress of these goodbyes in my neck and back (where I carry my worries).  I know that it is a wonderful thing that I have so many people that care for me and that I love here; I really have created a home here in Columbus.  I will miss it very much and will carry Ohio with me in my heart.  But now it's time to move into uncharted territory for me: seminary, the West Coast, and the Bay Area, and an independent me.  Thank you all for your love and support during this time; your encouragement has helped me remember why I am making this big move.  I want to learn the ministry of God and how it works in our lives in order to help people in this world the best that I can.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

In the Home Stretch

Whew. The days have gotten hotter, and my to do list seems to keep getting longer.  Stress levels are at an ultimate high for me this week, so please keep me in your thoughts in the coming days.

 My lovely '99 Buick, Eugene, is vacumned, clean, and got maintenance this morning (for a chunk of change but I imagine that's how it is with all cars).  I'm getting new tires in the near future so my car will be all set to run great for this roadtrip.

Despite the stress of finances, packing, and saying goodbye to many wonderful people, I am very honored to have received the Fund for Leaders scholarship!  The Fund for Leaders is an ELCA full-tuition scholarship; 16 people were chosen from all 8 seminaries to be awarded.  I am overjoyed that the ELCA sees the potential for me as a leader within the ministry!

As much as I worry over the burdens of moving, I know that there is a greater purpose that will be fulfilled in my experience of attending seminary.  How can I remain stressed when I know that when I need it, there is always someone there for me.  Family members, friends, and even strangers have stepped up to support me.  God works in wondrous ways. :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

15 Days.

15 Days.

15 days stand between me and the morning that I, along with a close friend, tightly pack ourselves into my 1999 Buick LeSabre leave the comforts of Columbus, OH and begin my journey that ends in Berkeley California.
Two weeks? No way. These five years of Ohio that have culminated into this two weeks seems quite unreal.  I write these words, shocked that I will no longer be able to grab a delicious hot dog at Dirty Franks, my all-time favorite restaurant in Columbus, or indulge in the unique and amazing Jeni's Ice cream.  I will not walk the streets of Bexley and run into children that I know and love because I meet most of Bexley's children while working at the Jewish Community Center Daycare.  I can't venture to German Village for a walk in Schiller Park and then comb over the books in the 32 rooms of the maze that is the Book Loft.  These places hold so many memories for me.

Last night, I had a going away get together at the fountains of Capital University.  It was fitting to say goodbye to dear friends at the place where we frollicked as students (Alright, maybe only I frollicked on campus but it was always to the amusement of a friend walking with me).  Capital University and Columbus have been a place where I blossomed into the confident leader that I am today.  The late nights, the numerous executive board meetings of groups I was in, the early morning studying, the hours spent in my fraternity's room, the laughs over cheap beer at the local bar Liepzig Haus; I adore Capital University for challenging me to be an intellectual and compassionate leader.

I've been glad to be able to be back in Columbus to fall into the place of Capital alumni while being so close to campus.  More importantly, I am overjoyed for the extra time I have had to be with my family members and friends here in Columbus.  College is a crazy whirlwind and I am glad to have had time to relax here in Columbus while working in a job that I adore.

Working as a daycare teacher has been a beautiful experience and I could not ever trade my memories of the Ladybug Room for anything.  The twelve children that I have been able to love and teach are cemented in my hearts forever as their infant selves.  I so wish that I could stay here and watch them grow up and continue to be their teacher for life.  But not everyone can be Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World. :)  I leave these children here knowing that I love them with all of my heart and that the love I gave them will stay with them forever.

As you can tell, leaving Ohio is going to be a challenging experience for me.  I have a great life here that I enjoy and wonderful people that surround me with love and kindness.  When I pray to God, I often hear back that there is much more in store for me.  These wonderful experiences that I have here are just the beginning of a great journey.  I am more than happy to heed the call to seminary.

The only thing that I can imagine will make me happy in life is to support others in their emotional and spiritual lives.  God gave me gifts of hospitality and compassion and the ability to connect with others in ways that I never thought imaginable.  I am thrilled to see what else God has in store for me.

As someone who loves to be a support for other people, it can be hard to let other people support me.  I am very happy that though I try to be self-sufficient, I will never be able to support myself the way that my loved ones do.  I started typing out each of the peoples names of people who have held me through my discernment these past years, but I've decided that the list would go on for much too long. :)

I am overwhelmed with humbleness by the kindness of congregations and individuals who have donated to help me be able to make the road trip from Columbus to Berkeley!  I have to laugh whenever I am surprised when people support me emotionally, financially, or mentally.  My aunt wisely told me this a few weeks ago: "Well, isn't that what you would have done for them?"  Still, I am grateful for the love and kindness that people pour into me.

There is so much more to share and talk about, but I fear that this post is quite long already! Thank you for reading.