baltic amber and living loved

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First week back– rough transition as always, with early mornings, below-zero temperatures, lectures lectures lectures, and a lot of “Do I need to be reading this/when should I start actually doing schoolwork“. My week was freezing cold and a blur of red wine and ice cream with Jess and farmer Chris, eating my mom’s delicious potatoes at Monica’s, spiritual assessments and bold prayer requests with my small group, wearing two layers of pants to walk to the bus, all treadmill running, and sore arms. Saturday day was a Hope vs Calvin basketball game at a bar in Wrigleyville filled with some Hope friends. I didn’t watch any of the game, naturally, but I did wear my Hope sweatshirt, and I did squeeze Monica and Danielle (her ring!) and Allison (on her birthday!) and Virginia and Forrest and Emily, all very hope-like things. Jess and I made chili Saturday night but it was kind of bland, which we think was because her chili powder may of expired over a year ago. And this first week ended at Park church, singing Sweetly Broken, with Jess and my small group and even two younger classmates from school. It felt good to be back worshipping at Park church.

And then my cousin read Shauna’s blog called Burn the Candles, about showing love and living loved, and sent me two of her favorite candles to send me some love. She told me she wanted to remind me how much she loves me. I don’t need candles for that, but the fact that she did this for me is just so sweet. And I got to talk with her last night, filling each other in, connecting over disliking transitions and feeling closer that we were burning the same candle. So thankful to have her to live somewhat parallel lives with. Then I talked to my mom who had a family-filled ski weekend up north, which I was happy to hear about. My little cousin moves to Detroit this weekend. So much is happening beyond just my life, and I can’t get melodramatic about standing on the bus and being cold and exhausted.

2 Peter 1:3
“For He has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him, who had called us by His own glory and goodness.”

He has called us. He loves us. That’s all we need. Prayers to both believe this, remember this, and walk in this. (Sometimes easier said that done).

We all do hard things. And we can all do hard things. And praise Jesus that we do hard things together, and that among hard things we can cry and hit snooze and drink red wine and light candles and rest in truth of how much God loves us.

I think that is what I’m realizing. Life can hurt and suck and be very cold. But in Jesus we can live loved, and with our identity in Him, He is our joy. I may almost fall asleep in lecture, but Jess is there during break as a ray of sunshine (most days…). Alarms are early but I can press snooze. Chicago is cold but there are hugs and blankets and cozy chairs.

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