Friendship

“Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” Muhammad Ali

Of the many things that college promises you, almost every last one of them  talks about the life long friendships you will make, or as I like to call them: lifers.

I like to believe at least some of these friendships are lifers, but there are few guarantees. How do you determine how much you should be reaching out versus them reaching out? Sometime there are long periods of not talking because life gets crazy busy, and sometimes those long periods of not talking can never be made up. I  do know right now some of my friends have already stated their lifer status. We’re all going in a hundred different directions, but no matter what happens we intend to stay friends. I also know though that there were people I was friends with back in my freshmen and sophomore year; we thought we’d still be great friends come senior year, but I don’t even talk to them on Facebook, let alone, spend real time with them.

Friendships, more than most things, shift a lot during college. I wonder how things will go with my friendships over the next weeks, months, years. I’ve always had the people in my life when I’ve needed them, I’m trusting that God will provide throughout my life. I just hope what my school always said about life long friends is true. I do miss being able to see my friends every single day, but I trust even with all the changes going on in our lives right now we will remain friends for the rest of our lives.

Cause you know at least one thing they promised about college should be true.

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Glitter on

I like glitter. I like shine. And like Mandy Hale I think the best glitter is that which comes from within.

Jesus called us to be the light of the world, it’s something beautiful, holy, and true within us, it’s not artificial or fake and we can only set it free when we know who He is.

I’m not sure why I’m focused on glitter. I’ve liked it as much as anyone over my life, but I’ve never been obsessed. Somehow though glitter speaks to my soul right now. I want to spread it wherever I go, like last Thursday I talked about how glitter never dies, it’s both it’s blessing and it’s curse. As anyone who’s ever used glitter you know you can make a beautiful creation, but for days afterward everything you touch gets glitter on it. That’s what a life lived abundantly looks like, everywhere you touch love comes out. That’s the plan anyway.

Happy Thursday!

Glitter on.

I Actually Got an Education or Thoughts on Using My Degree

“What are you doing next?”

“Have you started applying for jobs?”

“What are you going to do with that degree?”

As well meaning and simply curious these questions can be, sometimes they miss the point. I do not have a full time career fresh out of college, but from day one I have been applying my degree to my life. I am richer because of my education.

Through my writing courses I have developed as a communicator and writer. My education has brought me to a point where, I feel, I actually have something substantial enough with which I can maintain a blog.

Through my general education courses I have a greater understanding of how the world is. I know how to analyze new information for truth, take in what I have learned, and help educate others.

Through my own struggles as a student and experience as a tutor I have a deepened appreciation for education and its ability to change lives.

I have learned to ask questions when too-good-to-be-true answers are given.

I have learned the importance of how every day big and little choices make a difference for myself and my neighbor.

I have learned to share my voice; especially for those whose voices are silenced.

Out of the world’s population 6.7% have a college degree. Being a part of that minority, I believe I have a responsibility to use my education to serve my neighbor, no matter how small it may look to others.

Ultimately, it is impossible to know exactly how my education has made a difference in the choices I’ve made and the actions I’ve taken.

But I know that it has.

I have always believed that the pursuit of education is an act of worship. My formal education (for now) is complete. When I think about how God will use my education to bless others in big and small ways, I am overwhelmed and humbled that He chose me.

From homeschooling my future children to being able to write in a way that incites others to deep thought and life changing action, it is clear my education matters. We often talk about getting degrees in America to get a better job. More than improving my financial and career opportunities, education empowers me to use my skills and abilities to improve the lives of others.

I may never use my degree in the way people expect, but I will use my degree every single day, the way God intended, and that is why these past four years mattered no matter how the rest of my life goes.

Introduction to a Journey

My first post was my thoughts just before graduation, now the graduation is over the glitter has settled and I am doing my best to take each day one at a time.

It’s not easy.

So some things about me, my name is Juanita. I’m a hot off the press graduate from a small private Christian college in MA, you can guess which, there’s not that many. It’s the best school I could have chosen. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Writing. Really, that’s the official title, and my major thing this summer is I will be working at a Girl Scout Camp. My future father in law (yeah, I’m also engaged, there will be a posts on that topic, trust me) sent me a card with this poem called “Life’s Pathway” by Emily Matthews here’s a snippet:

“But, if we pause a moment

and remember Who’s in charge,

The hills that loom ahead of us

no longer seem so large”

and the whole thing is really sweet and thoughtful and rhymey and it’s weird how much it’s sticking with me, because right now I’m having a small-what-in-the-world-am-I-doing-crisis. I just want to know what’s next. I want to know everything I do has meaning, and I’m forgetting that things don’t happen in a day. It’s a journey. A journey that may not even make sense until I die. Some days I can’t live with that reality. I want to know and understand and make sense of everything now, then I can go do my job. And God is saying go do something, and whatever you do love deeply and glorify me and it will all work out. So that’s what I’m trying. That’s why I write, that’s why I take my sister out for ice cream trips, that’s why I’m going to spend two weeks with my grandmother, that’s why I’m going to exhaust myself working at a Girl Scout camp this summer. That’s why I’m going on this journey even though the places I will go and even the final destination are pretty hazy, but He knows and right now that’s all that matters.

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What I was thinking hours before graduation

Graduation is weird. Really lovely, and weird. I feel like the rug is getting ripped out from under my feet. One day my life is all about getting an education, accomplishing goals, and moving towards that degree, now it’s over. I have finished all my classes, passed my comps, turned in assignments, all I have to do next is walk across that stage so I can earn my degree underneath a rainbow of glitter.

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Just kidding, there won’t be glitter.

There will be applause though.

I get to pick up my degree and supposedly start doing all the amazing things this degree prepared me for. And it’s prepared me for a lot. I’m a much better writer than I was as a freshman. So much better. I’m a lot more confident, and I’m a much fuller human being. I think about how much I’ve grown, spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

God and I have a much deeper personal relationship. I trust him implicitly and I’m so excited to live out my life glorifying him.

College was easy though. Easy in the sense that I had a clear goal every single day. I knew exactly what I was working towards. Now I have to set up those goals for myself. I really have to work to live out my values and create the life I want to live. That scares me. I think I’m scared God will let me know what he wants me to do and I will just loaf. I will live an apathetic, simple, consumerist, unloving life. I will grow minimally, I will pay off my debt slowly and painfully. I will basically live my anti-ENC life because I no longer have that environment to fall back on to.

I hope my awareness of this fear, and my desire to not live out that fear will keep me from it, that and prayer. Glitter too, always glitter.