So I realize that it's been a long time. As July came to an end, I had to complete an online class, move back to Purdue, unpack my life, exterminate my apartment of icky-crawlies, and begin the last semester of my college career. Whew! Out of all of this, the most exciting thing was returning to my awesome God-sent community of Jesus followers and my favorite college church, Purdue Christian Campus House.
In all of this, I found no good time to blog. Sadly, it's true. And it's been an amazing semester so far. We are in Week 7 out of 16. And why, do you ask, am I blogging today? I called off work with a cold. I just couldn't work with food and a snotty nose! It's just wrong. But I KNOW God will provide. My bills will get paid :)
Now, enough formalities. Let me tell you about my life these past 3 months! August 4th, Jasmine & I drove to Chicago to see Beauty & the Beast on Broadway! Amaziiiiing!!!!
The show was absolutely hilarious. We enjoyed Chicago life for a day, by walking the Magnificent Mile the next morning, before our 3-hour commute to Purdue. We visited the LEGO store and H&M!
As we drove back, our parents loaded up the rest of our things (that wouldn't fit in the Camry) and came to meet us at Purdue so we could move into our apartment. Wonderful weekend with the parents! I had to temporarily leave them on Saturday to make it to my good friend Rachel's bridal shower. After a weekend of enjoying our parents' company, we set to begin the school year!
Jasmine & I had a few run-ins with centipedes and stink bugs, but alas! We are alive!! The only way I could get to sleep after the first run-in was prayer. Totally. Scariest night ever.
But our apartment is finished!! And it looks so nice and cozy. Btw, we are an official Intentional Housing house for Campus House. So we intentionally invite people over that we normally don't hang out with, like our neighbors or new students to Campus House. It's so much fun! There are 6 houses, each with a unique name and quirk about them. Ours is the Tollhouse. We bake! Naturally; I mean have you seen my other blog? One Charming Teaspoon. Lately, we've been cooking for guests more than baking, but it's all starting to come together well.
In the last 3 weeks, I have gone to a series of awesome events: Roadtrip Indy, Passion University Tour, Starry Night Festival, and Third Day/Tenth Avenue North concert!!!!
God has blessed me so much to have a chance to do all of these things. Let me highlight these Jesus-filled events for you:
Every year, Campus House visits Trading Pointe Church in Zionsville, IN (almost Indianapolis) to enjoy a wonderful dinner and all-nighter of games and community. This year, most people went home and didn't sleep at the church. But the few of us that did had an amazing night. After volleyball, basketball and 4-square galore, everyone went back to campus or went to sleep. But 8 of us did not. We stayed up the entire night, sharing our testimonies and showing compassion for one another. It was truly amazing. So awesome to see how God has brought each of us to where we are today. We are such good friends now, and I hope this continues on after I graduate!
On a Wednesday night, Passion 2012 came to campus to highlight what would be preached at Passion 2012 in January under the Dome in Atlanta. Louie Gigglio sent us a personalized message for Purdue's campus to tell us about our generation. We are a generation that is hungry for Jesus and want to make Him famous. But he had a message specifically for our own hearts, not the people we bring to God. He told us a story about a series of revivals happening all over a country, due to one man. Other priests would come up to him and ask "whole towns are being revived in Christ. how are you doing this?!" The man said to them, "go home, go into your closet, and draw a circle around you. And pray 'God, we need a revival. But it starts inside this circle. Revive what is inside this circle so the outside can be revived too.'" And that was it. I felt like he was speaking directly to me, because I needed a revival. After a summer of feeling like I was standing still, God needed to revive me back to Him. I really feel like He has. This semester has been so God-filled and I wouldn't have it any other way!
Starry Night Festival
Friday night Campus House set up their awesome festival outside their coffee shop Greyhouse to outreach to all of Lafayette. Students who would never step foot in a church, joined us in making art, telling stories, sending postcards, getting henna done and listening to artsy music all night. It was so awesome to see so many people turn out for a good time, many having no idea that Jesus is the reason behind it all. Rob, campus house pastor, said that the entire festival is worth it, whether someone asks "why are you all doing this?" or not. It's about serving, not bait-and-switch. We aren't serving in order to ask you questions about your faith or lack of faith. We serve because Jesus said to serve. And if anyone is ever curious about the 'why', we will give them that same answer. Because Jesus said to serve. Rob said "it's the reason for the festival. For Greyhouse". I love that.
Third Day/Tenth Avenue North concert
So here I am. With a group of people that are very close, but I'm not very close to them. I don't understand their jokes or anything but agreed to come to the concert with them. We are sitting on the main floor of Elliot, while the people I do hang out with are up in the balcony seats. I was a little peeved when I sat down, thinking, "this is a mistake. I should just feel blessed to come to the event and excited to worship with all these students, and families in Elliot Hall but I'm not happy. I don't even have room to dance! I freaked out. I told them I wanted to go to the bathroom and that I'd sit on the end when I came back. But I waited until Tenth Ave came out. So naturally when I reached the aisle, I stopped to hear the first song. My frends were like "Jess?" and I replied, "I'll go after this song, which was true!" I raced to the bathroom on the 1st floor (2 stories down) and could hear "You are More" through the walls. So I raced back up! And was glad that the feeling was mutual that I should sit on the end. They enjoyed each other's company and I enjoyed the concert. I just wanted to have room to sing, dance and lift my hands high. I am a huge fan of Tenth Avenue North, so this was my favorite part of the concert. Although I'm not a big fan of the headlining band Third Day, I enjoyed some of their songs too. The whole time, though, I watched a woman 2 rows in front of me just standing there. Just watching the show. I wondered about her story and why she was here, but not enjoying herself. Like maybe she just brought some kids or was there for a specific reason.
Later I found out what that reason was. They had a special guest opening for them, an independent artist named Trevor Morgan. Truly talented and living for Jesus. Afterwards, I got in line to grab a copy of his cd and he autographed it for me. While in line, the woman from earlier, creeping near the line of people to Trevor, came up to me and said she was with the exponent. She asked me how I liked the show and my favorite part. I told her that I enjoyed seeing this many people come out to worship God and Tenth Ave was my favorite! She thanked me and left.
I couldn't help but wonder how she got assigned to this story but I hope it made an impact on her. She sat through the entire show, very poised and professional-like. So unlike a concert-goer but I do hope that the messages sank in for her. On Monday morning, a friend facebooked me that I was in the paper. Surely enough, I looked up the exponent and she put me in! Wow, I've been interviewed 4 times at Purdue. First time I made it. She did a good job of telling the rest of campus how the concert went. But I still wonder about her.
There's a reason I'm bringing this up again. Friday afternoon I was talking to my dear friend Angela in the Campus House lobby. She was leaving for class when her friend Sarah stayed behind. I had met her before, but couldn't remember her name. I wasn't feeling too friendly and frankly wanted to leave the lobby and go home. Lame, I know. Normally I want to talk to everyone. I was in one of those moods. But the Holy Spirit was like "stay". Ok, I said. Sarah came up to me and we re-introduced ourselves. We had met last year on Spring Break, awesome! Somehow we got on the topic of Passion University Tour and how awesome it was. She asked me if I was going to the actual event in Atlanta. I said that I couldn't afford it but that I really wanted to and that I'd never been. She told me that Beth Moore had a scholarship where she was sending 1,000 girls to Passion, between ages 18-25 and had never been before. And that she would personally pray for each girl by name at some point during the conference. Sarah said that her roomate applied and was accepted within 5 minutes! She gave me her computer to apply and friended me on facebook so I could let her know whether or not I got it. Now this was a busy week for everyone: Passion was Wednesday, Starry Night is tonight and the concert tomorrow. I still had to eat dinner, my good friend Kayla was in town and staying at my place so she invited people over to eat her cooking and my sister was bringing her Global Connect partner to dinner as well. So our place is hoppin! It's 5:30, 2 hours after my conversation with Sarah. As a 6-8pm volunteer for Starry Night's hands-on art table, I needed to be there at 5:45. As I rush to eat, I tell all the ladies at the table about the scholarship. I checked my email. And I got it. I GOT IT!!!!! I'm going to Passion 2012 with Louie Gigglio, Lecrae, Beth Moore, sooooo many people. I was sooooo excited I couldn't handle all the excitement of the week at once. My friend Jazmyn, her sister Michelle and my sister Jasmine all applied that same night as well. I was just so thankful. I still can't believe. All I need to do now is save up for food & travel. But God is awesome and God is good. I cannot wait for January!!!!
So what now, Jess?
Here's a real up-to-date on my life. God has been so good to me. He has given me so many revelations about myself. I see a new one every week, seriously! I want to finish reading Beth Moore's So Long Insecurities because it explains a woman's heart so well. Our struggles are the same, no matter what walk of life. You can tell by our bevahior, such as what we pay attention to when around others. If a woman is insecure that day about her toenails, she will look at other people's feet to compare them. Or her hair. or her body type. Anything. Everything. These things you have to surrender to God in order to be freed from them. But that's not entirely what my revelations have been about. Mine have everything to do with the opposite sex and my behavior around them. God has shown me the definition of truly not needing a man to have a Jesus-fulfilled life. It's awesome. And even the guy I'm crushing on right now can't fill Jesus' shoes. That's just one example and it's so awesome to see how much He is growing me.
Until next time,