Showing posts with label thankful thursday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thankful thursday. Show all posts

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Finding God

Last fall I went through a phase of desperately needing to better understand the world and my place in it. An overwhelming direction from God led me back to church after having been away since I was a young girl. I didn't know much about my faith, and I didn't know where to attend church. All I knew was that I needed to find that place. 

The first church I visited was Portland's Church of Christian Science -- it's right beside a Lutheran church where I meant to attend service. I didn't realize where I was until the sermon was starting so I politely stayed. The messages I heard there didn't help me connect with my faith and the church vibe wasn't the warm comforting love I needed. The next Sunday I attended church at First Presbyterian. Ever since that Sunday the people there have been a second family.

My first service happened to be the day all the different church organizations set up a table and recruited church-goers to extend their faith to a new activity. A few sweet, sweet ladies reached out to me and asked if I would like to join their women's Bible Study. The focus and concentration I put on God during those meetings has gave me a better direction to serve Him. I learned to love myself and others. I learned to forgive. And most of all I learned that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and will forever seek to better my relationship with Him. 

Last November I was baptized as a member of First Presbyterian. My parents came and I was surrounded by love from them and ladies in my Bible studies. At first I was embarrassed that I was being baptized as an adult, but now I am happy that I will always be able to remember and cherish that experience. One thing that was very special for me was being baptized my our associate pastor. She is inspiration for the Christian I want to be; dedicated but admittedly not perfect, and progressive yet traditional. I was the first person she ever baptized (with the exception of a Cabbage Patch doll at seminary, apparently) which made it extra memorable for both of us. 

My parents and myself at First Pres after my baptism (November 2013). I am holding the fantastic study Bible I was gifted from my Bible study ladies.
Since that day I have learned to better understand and love myself, those around me, and the world we life in. I am far from understanding what it means to be a Christian, but the endless journey of trying to better understand that has led me to be the best version of myself. I can never thank God enough for leading me toward his Grace. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Lewis & Clark and My Team

All year long I try to be reflective and thankful for the blessings around me. November is an opportunity to share my thanks with others so I wanted to do a Thanksgiving series this month. I decided to post once a week on Thursdays discussing a larger topic as opposed to every single day in hope that my writing will be a more thought through and in depth. 

This week I want to talk about going to school at Lewis & Clark College and my debate team. I talk about both these things quite often, because they are very important to my life right now. My undergrad years have been completely defined by coming to school at LC and deciding to debate. There have been multiple times where I have questioned if coming here was the right choice or if spending my time debating was what I actually want. In the end I realize that those choices have surrounded me with some of the most amazing people I know and I am genuinely happier than I have ever been before.

Photo via PDX|Cept

My freshman year of high school I began looking online at colleges. In Eastern Oregon the number of people who end up going to college is lower than in most areas and the majority of those who do seek higher education attend a regional state school. The idea of attending an expensive and competitive private school is more rare. When I set my sights on Lewis & Clark I received alot of snarky yeah, good luck with that! comments. 

When I found out about Lewis & Clark I instantly fell in love with it's beauty (LC is always ranked in the top 5 most beautiful schools in the nation!). I remember staying up late looking at pictures of LC with my mom, but subconsciously telling myself not to get disappointed when my application gets rejected. For four years I dreamed about LC, but never expected to be accepted. I was in Italy when I recieved my "Welcome to Lewis & Clark" email, and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. My parents still have my acceptance letter framed and hanging on the wall. It's not that Lewis & Clark is Harvard by any means, but for my family and I it was a big dream that somehow I was lucky enough to achieve. 

Attending school here has been the best decision of my life thus far. The academics are more rigorous than expected and that has encouraged me to learn more than I would have at another school. It also helps that my professors are so supportive. They remember things about me from semester to semester and know what my academic strengths are and push me to overcome my flaws. 

Hands down the best part of my undergrad experience (and probably life thus far, honestly) has been being a part of LC's debate team. I talk about it all the time, because my life is focused around my teammates and our tournaments. The people are super weird, but they're my family. I have hated each of them at points yet love them always. Each member of the team has done something to help me become the person I am now. I am more outgoing, confident, and intelligent than I would be if I had to go through college without their support.
This is the team in 2012 at our annual Christmas party.

This is my eight year of doing debate and still every round teaches me something. I consider myself somewhat intelligent and that is 75% because of debate. The activity itself is really beneficial for me, but most of all it's just really fun. For my last semester I am starting a new partnership with a girl I've never debated with before. Together we should be successful, but regardless of that I know we will have tons of fun together. (There may or may not be matching American flag trucker hats involved...)
Sarah, my partner this semester, and I debating in our favorite round we ever had together.

I am not sure how I became lucky enough to be at Lewis & Clark, but I am thankful for it every single day. 

Other bloggers have been writing Thanksgiving posts that I love reading. If you have posted something similar please share! If not, what are you most thankful for this holiday season?

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