Well, I am down to the single digits in counting down to my study abroad! I'll be out of this world (okay... out of this country) in 9 days!!! It would be an understatement to say I'm very excited! As my last few days are rolling along, I've been trying to make good use of my time, and I've had quite a few mind expanding experiences, lots of time to contemplate, and I've just been very inspired by the things I have come up with.
First off, I am deeply grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord. For the ones I do recognize, as well as the ones that I know pass right over my head! I have such stellar friends! Goodness. The are wonderful. I am here in Texas, while they are all partying in Utah. But, even while I am physically separated from them, phone calls, Skype, Facebook, and many texts have kept them near and dear to my heart. Also, I have had the chance to reconnect with old friends that have fallen out of my life for one reason or another, so it is neat to see how much has changed/stayed the same.
Second, I have really had the chance to spend time and really get to know my family. I've been mostly out of the house for over two years, but being back for over a month, it has really given me some great insight. My family is not perfect, because no family is. But boy are they my biggest blessing and one of my greatest sources of strength! I've had tender moments getting to talk with my mom, laugh with my dad, help Ashleigh with homework, and coach Elliot in tennis. I love the little day to day things and experiences that make us a family. Dance parties, family feud, Sunday dinners, and countless other occasions have drawn me nearer to them, and given me a wider glimpse of eternity.
Lastly, I have gotten to learn more about myself. I have learned that it's so much better to laugh than to cry. Life is funny. It sucks sometimes, but it's funny all the time! That epiphany alone has made a world of difference. I've also learned that you get out of life what you put into it. If I waste my days away on my computer or sleeping or lounging around, then life is not as meaningful as it should/could be. But if I read inspiring books, help my mother clean, take time for my siblings, practice piano, and fill my time with other productive activities, then I feel so much happier and better about life. I've learned that it's always the little things. I've always said that, but it is so true. My time home isn't about the garage sale, or our vacation to Disneyworld, or any other large event that has taken place. The moments I have learned the most from and hold dear to my heart are the UNO games with Elliot and Ashleigh, feeding the dogs with my Mom, pranking with my Dad, and smiling at the smallest of things.
Life is as good as I want it to be. My time home has dragged by, but at the same time I'm shocked it is almost gone. This is probably one of my last extended stays at home, but boy was it worth it! As I wrap up my summer and prepare for my next adventure of life (i.e. Europe!!!), I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for me! I wish all my friends and family a wonderful semester, and I can't wait to see y'all in a few months!