I drove up after class yesterday to join Tim & Ash, beautiful Kari, and several other Wheaton alumni in the area for a "Thanksgiving dinner"... since we're losing T&A (sob) back to North Carolina this month, we had to celebrate together early.
I'm back now, refreshed and content. And this crisp evening, I am thankful.
Sweet gifts in this season...
-Doing life with people here. Matt pointed out to me on the phone last week how perfect this cohort set up is for "the way I love to do life"... I see the same people every day, I form deep relationships with them, I get to do the daily tasks of life with them. As much as I loved my community last year, there were few people I saw more than once a week. I'm in class four days a week with the same people; we study together; we bike together; we plan random fun weekend activities together; we cook and eat meals together.
-After sitting next to me at orientation, a quiet guy in my cohort named Ryan went home and informed his wife he had found her new Newberg best friend. Then he brought her to our house for a potluck the next night and sent us into the kitchen together. Half an hour later we had yet to emerge, and were found leaning against the counter discussing our love of Madeleine L'engle and when we could have coffee. Her name is Chelsea and I LOVE her. And I love her husband and I love them together and I love hanging out with them. They and my roommate and I take turns cooking dinner for each other (they made crockpot basil chicken last week, I made the Barefoot Contessa's roasted-red-pepper-and-goat-cheese sandwiches this week), Chelsea hosts weekly Grey's Anatomy nights, we're holding each other accountable to read for pleasure, we text each other prayer requests. It's. Great.
-My sweet and quirky roommate. She's ridiculous and hilarious and wonderful. I am loving living with her.
-Quaint, beautiful Newberg. I love this small town.
-Everything being within a mile. Love it, love it, love it.
-Insanely approachable, warm, encouraging professors.
-A promising-seeming dissertation topic I am giddy with excitement over and a potential advisor who is excited too.
-Slower pace of life here.
-Lots of time outside.
-Leaves starting to change.
-MY BIKE (thank you sweet cousins)
-The intimacy with God which comes from loneliness. The good kind of loneliness.
-His tenderness and patience with me and a sense of His presence this week.
-A sense of rightness of being here in this season. As Kar and I talked about today, you can be in the right place without it feeling especially right, and that's important to know how to do. But... it's SO great when it DOES feel right. I'm sooo thankful and enjoying that.
-Amazinggg time with Wheaton friends this week. Ame's wedding, SARAH, which will be its own post, and Seattle last night and today.
-The long drive to Seattle alone, looking out at pine trees and mountains and lakes, listening to hymns and letting their truth feed and ground and comfort me. It was so so just what I needed.
-Waking up on Tim and Asharae's couch this morning, cuddling with Ash, going out to eat with them, good talks, good laughter, good friends.
-A long date with Kari, seeing the amazing fit Seattle is for her, seeing so much of what God is doing in and through and around her, watching her radiance and peace, the comfort and joy of being listened to and loved by a good friend.
-Voicemails and texts from my BEAUTIFUL faraway friends. I am so blessed.
It's October. I am thankful.