I’ve just spent the most lovely five days in Jackson, Mississippi. Kaylee and I decided it was time to finally see where Mary Margaret comes from. So the three of us road-tripped (yes, 10 hours) down on Saturday, and Kaylee and I both flew home today (pictures and stories to come). Well, I’m still in the process of getting there, I’m typing this from the Baltimore airport while I wait for my delayed plane to board. Airport watching has got to be one of my favorite things. There’s one little boy in here on a leash and he is not enjoying it one bit. But his older brother is loving every minute of watching him struggle as he holds in tight. I’m trying not to laugh out loud, it’s not going so well.
     But I must say, that meeting people in the airport is on my list of “top 5 favorite things to do.” Not that I fly that much, so it seems silly that that should be on my list, but I actually just created the list while typing this, so I’m not sure what else is even on it. Maybe I’ll make a real one later if my flight gets delayed again. Anyways, I got of my plane from Jackson and of course my first stop was the bathroom. Once I sat down with my FIVE DOLLAR BOTTLE OF WATER (you would think it tastes like pure gold, but it really just tastes like water from the faucet), I immediately started talking to a nice man named William. Also, I must say that I didn’t ever actually introduce myself, nor did he, but I creeped on his boarding pass. William is the cutest. He told me that he’s 82, and him and his wife were on their way to visit their son and daughter-in-law and grandsons in Indianapolis for Christmas. He started out by telling me their travel saga for the day and how they’ve in in Baltimore alone since 11 am.  It’s now close to 8 pm. I cannot imagine. He informed me that they’ve tried out all the restaurant and restrooms in the airport, so I guess if I had any questions about the fanciest place to pee, he would have been the one to ask. After telling me about his family, he started talking about the airport security and how it’s such a pain nowadays to fly anywhere (because of 9/11). But I could tell in a way that he was grateful for the safety, better safe than sorry. He talked about Muslims and their suicide bombings and mentioned Christianity vaguely. I was very intrigued. Once someone mentions faith, I love to hear what they have to say about it. I’ve found that I love to listen. I like to hear peoples stories. I like to hear where they come from and what they’ve been through. I love knowing about who you are. He mentioned being a missionary in Australia (that came about because he told me he hit a kangaroo once in his car-way cooler than hitting a deer). I decided that was a pretty good opening for asking him about being a missionary. He told me he had been an ordained baptist minister for 40 years. That’s a long time, I was (am) impressed. We talked about that for a while, he told me where he had lived, and where he had preached, I was fascinated.
    But this is what got me more than anything. He was about to board his plane (finally, poor thing) and leaned over to me and said “young lady, can I ask you a question without embarrassing you?” Two possible scenarios flew through my mind, “he’s going to ask me if I have a boyfriend, or if I’m a believer.” I was right, about the second one. He said “are you a follower of Christ?” I lit up. I could feel it on my face. I love meeting people who share the same passion for our Creator as I do. I said “yes I am.” I started to share a little bit of my testimony, but I knew he didn’t have much time. So our conversation got cut short, but I couldn’t have been more excited to meet William.
    Who have you met recently? What neat stories have you heard about someones life?


     Finals week has arrived, whether I’m ready for it or not. I have held back urge to post a facebook status about how much I’m dreading it, or an Instagram of all my papers spread out. But I’m allowing myself to blog about it, not to complain, but out of joy. Here’s why I’m thankful for finals week:

-it means I’m in college
-it means despite all the tears and sleepless nights and fears of failure, I’ve made it this far
-it means I’m one week closer to Christmas break
-it means I still get a few more days with my roommates
-it means the Lord has blessed me with the brains to be here
-it means my family has instilled a work ethic in me
-it means it’s okay not to work out because I’m “studying”
-it means calories don’t count.
     In all honesty, I’m thrilled for the week to be over, but I am so grateful to be here right now. I know how blessed I am to be in college, and I take that for granted too often. But today is a special day. Not a typical special day, it’s not my birthday, it’s not a close friends’ birthday, it’s not a day off, it’s a rainy day. It’s special when it rains because it means the old dirt and dust is being washed away and everything starts fresh. It’s only a little after 10 am, but I know that today holds so much joy. If it’s just now raining, that means I have to the whole day to start fresh. The whole day to find things that I’m thankful for. Why is today special for you? 

wrapping up

our house is freezing. it’s Boone, and Boone is normally a cold place, but it has been in the 60’s this week-remember, it’s december. but today it’s been in the 40’s. and we can’t bring ourselves to turn on the heat because apparently it cost an arm and a leg to heat this house. i have had numb fingers since i got home from class….
     but the good news is, economics is over FOREVER! i’m not sure that i have ever been more thrilled about anything in my life. that class has caused more anxiety, tears, panic, doubt, and frustration than any other class i’ve ever taken. but i am happy to say that i took (hopefully) my last exam in there this morning, and there’s not even a final, glory to God. prayers would still be appreciated until grades come out. i will say that i’m hopeful and optimistic. my dear friend/roomie sent me the sweetest text this morning before i got to class with a bible verse (psalm 16.11 “you will make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”), and an encouraging word. it was long and very thoughtful, but my favorite part said, “He has you and knew you would have trouble with econ since the day he formed you.”she was so right. he did know. and he has prepared a path for me, and for some reason, economics was on that path. maybe one day i’ll know why.
     the semester is winding down, although it feels like a tornado is going to hit first in the form of finals. it’s okay though, i’m ready. i will be ready. i’m spending the rest of today not thinking about school because it has consumed far too much of my life for the past 2 weeks. so i’m thankful for this day of rest. i get to look at pintrest without feeling guilty, check my favorite blogs, do some christmas shopping and spend as much one-on-one time with Jesus as i want. and the last CRU of the semester is tonight, but it is christmas sweater themed. so if you’re having a bad day, that should cheer you up. all my favorite seniors who are graduating will say their goodbyes tonight and i’m not ready for it. kleenex please.
   what will you take time to do today that’s not on your to-do list?

[stunning sunset from a hickory visit a few weeks back]