My heart is so full… and so is my belly. I could detail you on the amazing lasagna and berry cobbler we had this weekend (and how I basically ate my weight in cookies), seeing that this is a food blog. But that’s really not what I came away with after retreating to this gorgeous mountain house in Boone with my college fellowship. I’m having trouble focusing on Karl Marx because what’s on my mind is how much I have to be thankful for as a child of God.
Every now and then I am just blown away with gratitude for the experiences, people, and opportunities I’ve been given in life. I’m sure I complain much more often than I praise, but senior year and the lasts that come with it has made me extra inclined to not take things for granted. So, while these thoughts are on my mind, I wanted to share a few things I’ve been exceptionally thankful for lately:
1. God’s perfect timing: People usually talk about this on some grand scale, like with respect to relationships or careers. I’ve seen this (in hindsight) time and again with those situations, but sometimes it’s the little things that wow me. For example, mountain retreat has coincided with Nationals every year until this year. By some senior year miracle, they were three days apart and I was able to attend my first (and last) mountain retreat. This opportunity to spend time with College Collective and hear some capital T Truth that I really needed couldn’t have been more well timed!
2. Selfless friendships: This whole weekend was a testament to how selflessly the body of Christ serves one another, from getting up early to flip pancakes for the whole house to all the other little acts of putting others before themselves. We spend so much time in a world that tells us we should watch out for ourselves first, I am thankful to spend time with people who remind and inspire me to serve others selflessly. (Not only in my fellowship, but also my amazing
roommates best friends sisters who have been an unbelievable support system these four years – you know who you are <3)
3. Ephesians 1:5: “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” Adopt (v): To choose or take as one’s own. We were adopted when we were unlovable, taken in when we were unwanted. It speaks volumes to me that as children of Christ, we are identified by who took us in and not who threw us out. What a grounding reminder of where (and in whom) I should (and should not) seek my identity.
4. Science: Do you ever look at something in nature and think how weird it is that it’s a living, breathing organism? I went to a science & tech specialized high school, but even basic biology still blows my mind when I take a step back and try to wrap my mind around how perfectly God had to design every minute detail to make the world function. Humans have figured out how to manipulate nature to grow massive amounts of food and fight diseases. We’ve figured out how to make chunks of metal to fly through the air carrying hundreds of people (yes, I think about how weird that is every time I get on a plane). Yet there is still endless stuff that we may never figure out. The more I travel, the more I appreciate the omnipotence of our Creator and the beauty we were made to enjoy.
5. Second chances: When was the last time a class at UNC saw their team make it to the tournament championship twice within their undergraduate career? (Answer: It happened once. In 1982.) Since when do you win in basketball by missing free throws? (Answer: When Kennedy Meeks’ second trip to the ‘ship is on the line.) My stomach is in knots for what’s going to happen tonight, but making it this far in the NCAA Tournament two years in a row is honestly already a miracle and a chance for sweet redemption. I couldn’t have asked for a more memorable way to experience the Final Four than in the mountains with College Collective this past weekend. I can only hope and pray for an equally memorable W tonight, when Roy’s boys get a second shot at the national title. GO HEELS!