One of the community service programs that RUF just kicked off this year is tutoring kids at a local elementary school. I was so excited when I found out about this! First of all, I love working with kids. In the future – no matter which profession I choose to pursue – I have a feeling that I will find a way to work with them in some way. Also, I was excited to tutor because I really enjoy teaching. I entered Belmont as an Education major, and I still have a passion for it, even though I don’t plan on pursuing that career as of now. Most importantly, I wanted to be a part of this outreach program because I enjoy connecting with people and being able to make their lives easier in any way that I can. It can be so simple! In fact, sometimes what makes the biggest impact is just your presence.
Most of the kids were from lower-income families, so it offered me a different perspective than what I’m normally used to. Although these kids live just a few miles away from Belmont, their lives seem to be worlds away. It’s almost embarrassing to think about just how big the gap between us is, but at the same time it’s encouraging to remember that every step we take to reach out helps to bridge the gap. During the two hours that we were there, I worked with a darling 1st grade boy named Caleb. He was working on his English homework, practicing punctuation and writing complete sentences. It took some motivation, but we eventually finished the worksheet and challenged each other to a game of air hockey…I won! I can’t wait to go back again to meet other kids and to enjoy fellowship with them.
Something else that is awesome about these kids, is that last year they were able to help design a new playground for their school/community! Click here to read more about it.
Shane Claiborne was at Belmont today and he gave a convocation at 10 that I was unable to attend because I had a class. However, through a pretty funny and crazy series of events one of the University Ministers invited a friend and I to a luncheon with Shane Claiborne which was amazing. He’s probably one of the most unique people I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around. I love when you know people are OK with being themselves, and I feel the people who are always most themselves are those who are closest God. I think Shane is definitely somebody who allows his faith to be the defining factor of everything he does. He really is a beautiful person in so many ways. Christ just shines through him. Aside from getting to attend the luncheon where he was and asking him a question about voting and not voting I also got to visit with him at the service year house where a group of students, ministers from the area, and friends of the service year people were sitting down to talk to him. So, I grabbed a seat on the couch and got to listen to him respond to some really interesting questions. I thought his responses to my questions about voting and race and his response to my friend Julianne’s question about gender and intentional community was really great and really humble and submissive and I loved that humilty he had, not in a self denigrating or downplaying of good he actually does, but in a way that everything he does is just his love and is just rooted in his love for Christ and so he boasts in that not himself. Anyways, if you’re looking for a couple of good books to read The Irresistable Revolution and Jesus for President are some good places to start.
(Picture taken by my friend Sarah)
So last week, University Ministries began its weekly on-campus worship experience called Synodia (pronounced soon-a-dee-a), and it is absolutely amazing. Last year, University Ministries sponsored Refuge, but I wasn’t a big fan of the format, so some of my friends and I went to a worship gathering called Sanctuary that was held at (though not affiliated with) a Church of Christ. However, I have to say that I’m enjoying Synodia so much because it’s a part of Belmont, and its so cool to be able to corporately worship with fellow students and friends. I think it’s a big part of building a spiritual community on our campus.
I am speechless. I just finished the novel, A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest J. Gaines. A quote from this phenomenal piece of fiction stated that “all we are…all of us on this earth, [are] a piece of drifting wood, until we – each one of us, individually – decide to become something else…”
So, aside from my lack of creativity in the area of a title for this entry, I have been very busy. Balancing a social life with school is tough, especially when one of my favorite things to do is hang out with my friends. However, this weekend looks like it’s going to be a great time as I will be celebrating my 19th birthday. I’m so blessed to be able to share it with people who are so loving and fun and fun-loving.
On a different subject though, I applied to be an SLA which stands for Spiritual Life Assistant (More info here and my interview is on Saturday (My birthday!). I’m really excited, a little nervous.
This past week has been pretty eventful for me. Tuesday, I celebrated my 18th birthday by going to see a private Taylor Swift concert at 98WSIX and Wednesday was Ash Wednesday!
I’m so thankful to God that this last week of finals is finally over. The freedom I felt after finishing my last class filled my whole body. I wanted to jump and scream. My first semester of college is done, complete, over. I can hardly believe how much I’ve grown as a person and as a Christian this semester. And now Christmas break is upon us. Almost a month at home and I am so excited.
Wow…I cannot believe that I’m flying home in only seven days! At this point in the semester, many of the students on campus are overwhelmed with the stress of finals, homework, relationships, and the anticipation of returning home! Surprisingly, I have only been moderately stressed due to the fact that the Lord God has enabled me to effectively handle the inevitable tension of stress by allowing me to embrace every moment that life has to offer.
To reduce the stress of finals, I engage in a “work-out” program every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Caroline, one of the most friendly personal trainers at the Beaman, provides me with good advice on how I can exercise safely, but in an efficient manner. On the week days, I typically work out between 10:15-11:30a.m. At the closure of each work out, I feel confident and healthy. For those of you who are stressed, I strongly encourage you to check out the Beaman Student Life Center. Without a doubt, working out has definitely been a “rock-awesome” asset to my daily lifestyle here at Belmont University.
So, today it has been exactly two months since I first arrived on campus (I think). I guess it is a high mark for me or something memorable about my college experience. I have reached the halfway mark here at Belmont; mid terms have passed, along with the stress they bring. Fall Break was half amazing half boring and I’m glad it’s over (That could have been one of the most confusingly fun yet dull weekends I have ever experienced. That’s what I get for staying on campus when everyone goes home I guess). And I guess I could go on about how my past few weeks have gone with studying for midterms (Eh, don’t really want to talk about it), or fun I had during Fall Break (Eh, don’t really know how to put it in words)…