Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Buddy Pics and 7

August 2007 - I moved to Wake Forest to begin seminary.
August 2014 - After 3 years of school, 7 moves, 9 jobs, 2 churches, many friends,countless trips down the hated Capital Blvd, and many a random nights, I am celebrating 7 years of living in Raleigh.

So in honor of my seven years in Raleigh, I thought it'd be nice to share some things I've learned over the course of the seven years. Sit back, kick up your feet, grab a Coke.. you know that drill.

1) Whereever the Lord leads, He will provide. - I have been blown away by God's provision in my life over the past seven years. Moving to a new city by myself, the Lord was faithful to provide me with a wonderful group of friends and new church. When my main scholarship fell through because my degree was no longer covered under the grant, I had scholarships coming to me. The school was calling me constantly with new scholarships to offer. When I had no clue where I was going to work and how I was going to live, the deli I worked at provided an additional job to make up for exactly what I needed at the time. The many times I needed a roommate, the Lord provided that too. God has been so good to provide and open doors for me to step through in faith. I know this is a series on here, but it's true. When God leads you to something, He wants us to take those steps of faith so we can see exactly how He is going to work. He receives the glory because it is all done by Him and not from our own initiative.

2) I must rely on the Lord. - I'm one of those Type As. You know, the control freaks. I want to know all the details of a situation; and when I don't see the full picture, a certain amount of fear creeps in. It's fear because I want to take everything into my own hands rather than submitting myself to God's plans. Lately, the Lord has been keeping those Israelites on my mind. Their doubt of moving forward into the Promised Land was because they feared man rather than trusting God. An entire generation missed out on the goodness of the land because they didn't trust Him (Numbers 14).  We are to submit ourselves to Him, rely on Him, and toss the worries aside knowing that His way is best (1 Peter 5:6-7). Every twist and turn of our life requires us to lean on Him and trust Him. It is His grace that we get to rely on Him at each of those moments.

3) The greatest desire is to know Him more. - As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants for you (Psalm 42:1). It is my desire to trust the God more, to know His ways and His heart, to serve Him more, to love Him, and to worship Him.

4) When moving, it works best to hire a moving company. - I have moved toooo many times in the same city. I can honestly say that paying someone else to do that whole deal is probably some of the best money I have spent. Let's be real. It's better when we can avoid the overwhelming exhaustion with tears sprinkled in. Yes, inevitably there have been tears at each point of the move.

5) Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. - Being a girl from the itty bitty Darlington, I never thought I would have the travel bug quite like I do. Sure, you're beach trip once or twice a year and the occasional out of state trip. But nothing quite like I've been able to experience over the last several years. Oh, if only the bank account allowed for such a desire. (Note: I do in fact believe that I travel well and a lot considering nothing is job related. But oh how, I'd like to go more.) I would consider traveling a hobby at this point in life. It's something to enjoy doing. From the moment the plane goes up or the boat heads out, I enjoy seeing it all and eating at every cute little place there is on the list. I love seeing new places and knowing the history of it. I love trying to find that unique little souvenir to call my own.

6) Parallel parking is a skill. And I've finally got it. - Ummmm.. well that driving test back in the 10th grade wasn't so hot. I nearly passed. By nearly I mean that I wasn't able to complete the parallel parking portion after 4 attempts (2 mercy attempts), so the instructor just let it roll and off I marched with my freshly printed SCDL. However, that ended quickly upon getting a job with a law firm that required frequent trips to the downtown area, which only had parallel parking. Circling the block until a "slide in" spot became available was no longer going to work. Amanda told me her method, and soon after I was wheeling in like I owned the place. (Note: This skill majorly decreases when not continuously used.)

7) Friends made in seminary are the friends for life. My campus pastor said that he always kept in touch with those friends he made while in seminary. At first I thought, he was crazy because friends seem to come and go. But I know what he means. The friends I made while in seminary are the friends I was able to grow with, argue with, have fun with, and end up in some of the most random situations together. I am thankful for all of the friends I have made these past 7 years while living in the Triangle (and for those I left in the SC). God has been faithful to surround me with sisters who love the Lord. The two below I am especially grateful for. I never got a chance to take Buddy Pics in Junior High, but the opportunity came on the cruise last year. This picture still makes me laugh. - One doesn't know when she met me for the first time, and the other once said "Who is this Erin girl?" But they are my besties.. .. we were looking fantastic that night.. we now have a buddy pic.. and I love them.

On a similar but different note in reference to the seven years: I decided to go on over to the SEBTS website and found an article about their new Master of Arts degree for women to learn how to effectively minister to women in the church. Imagine me sitting at my desk quite puzzled.. wanting to raise my hand and ask, "Ummmm... exactly what kind of degree did I get then?"  Apparently it was just a timely name change of degrees. Whew, that was a close one!

Here's to year 8!

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