Beyond the clear and obvious that I am thankful for this year(my relationship of love, grace and salvation with I Am, my family, friends, and good health) here are a few silly (and not so silly) things for which I too, am thankful for:
coffee, happy hour at Common Grounds, red leaves, scarves, Glee, the possibility of Paris, Lolita's breakfast burritos, hydrangea, Gossip Girl, internships at Fort Worth, Texas Magazine and Catholic Charities, the style section of The New York Times, writing, the power of the written word, a free heart, ads for Tiffany & Co., new friends, $5 movies in Waco, gut packs from Vitek's, swings, blogs, flowers and headbands to wear in my hair, boots and tights, Sonic Happy Hour, weheartit.com, the beauty of nature, that New Moon the movie is way better than Twilight the movie, the budding success of Kate Leverenz Photography, the overflowing talent of Kate Leverenz, sunsets, windows, the feeling that comes from soaking up every moment of the last year of college, the ever fabulous Sarah Jessica Parker and her alter ego Carrie Bradshaw and the inspiration they provide, the bravery of David Crowder's music, days of class that don't start until 11 am, performing front row in Pigskin, shoes, canceled class, and
the fact that no matter how far I might run or hard I might try, God will always be there. No matter what I think I might have done, His grace is greater, His love is more crushing, and His presence is more powerful. That He is willing and wanting to make me more like his Son every day and that He is never willing to give up on me. It's more than I will ever deserve, more than I could ever put into words, and what I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to articulate.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2: 6-7
On Thanksgiving Eve 1888, approximately one hundred and twenty-one years ago today, two woman at Boston University decided to form a new organization. "Let us found a society that shall be kind alike to all and think more of a girl's inner self and character than of her personal appearance." And so with it's first four member, the sorority Delta Delta Delta began.
Some people are quick to judge Greek organizations, claiming that they are just ways to buy friends or party through college. While I can't say that Greek groups are perfect, I can say that I have been changed by the last three years I have spent in Tri Delta. In Tri Delt, I have watched two hundred plus girls with one goal in mind, accomplish great things. I've learned about what excellence and what it means to strive for excellence in everything you do. I have seen and experienced examples of steadfast love- the kind of love that is an imitation of Christ. In Tri Delt, I've learned, I've served, I've been changed by the girls around me and by the mission that guides us. And my story is only one among thousands. For one hundred and twenty-one years, Tri Delta has been changing lives. On the eve of Thanksgiving, I'm thankful that I am among those lives changed.
It's funny how you talk about certain events for months and months and then suddenly and finally, it's here. And then it's gone.
Matt and Sarah's wedding was a beautiful, lovely, honest, touching, and unforgettable celebration. A celebration of family, friends, and above all, love and the goodness of God. God is the giver of all good gifts and I'm so thankful He has given Matt and Sarah to each other.
Us, looking good in the 90s... It's a day that many people have prayed for, waited on, dreamed of, prepared for- and now it's actually here. My brother is getting married this weekend- and to an absolutely wonderful woman. When Matt was little, he decided that he never wanted to learn to drive- he'd let me learn so I could drive him around for the rest of his life...oh, how things have changed.
The Future Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers *Photo by Kate Leverenz
Thinking about Matt this week, I realized that I have no idea how many sporting events I've attended in my life to watch him: there was tee ball, baseball, basketball, soccer, roller hockey, flag football, actual football. There is just something about sports that has captured Matt's heart. And his dedication to sports says something about his heart in turn: he is a passionate, driven individual. If I could only say one thing about my brother, it would be that he has the most incredible heart. It's deep and strong, brave and alive- always tender and feeling. I don't know if there is another person in my life with a heart like Matt's. He has picked me up many times when I was afraid or hurt. He is a man fully alive, living from the heart.
I remember thinking when I was younger, amidst all the girls who had crushes on Matt that when the day came for him to choose one ofthem- to choose the one- well, she was going to have to be absolutely spectacular in every sense for me to even begin to agree. I wouldn't accept anything less for Matt.
Well, the day has come. The choice has been made- and what a choice it was!
I first met and got to know Sarah the summer before my freshman year of college. At Baylor, Sarah rushed me for Tri Delta. Only now do I truly know all that that meant- Sarah stood up for me, fought for me, and didn't give up on me- that took guts. The gift of Tri Delt that Sarah gave me is something I will never be able to thank her enough for.
Sarah also introduced me to one of the very best friends I will ever have. I will be forever indebted to her for that. I love Sarah because she is smart, adorable, loving, a real beauty- and doesn't let Matt get away with anything :) She loves Matt fully and bravely- the most you could ever hope for a brother. I look forward to many years of friendship and sisterhood.
What a blessing to be able to watch your brother marry the woman who has captured his heart. Matt, I love you and am more proud than words could ever express. You are the man.
Little by little, I'm collecting "last time" memories. At the beginning of the semester, I promised myself that I wouldn't dwell on the fact that this is my last year and I think I've stayed true to the promise. But still, you can't help but notice when these moments come by. Something inside tells me to pull these memories in tight, they're the ones I'll never forget.
Running the Baylor Line for the last time at our last Baylor football game as students.
God has been teaching me a lot about relationships in the last few months. I have been struck by His goodness, willingness, and desire to restore certain relationships in my life that I had given up on. You yourself may have personally experience a time when for one reason or another, some kind of relationship was severed. It probably wasn't comfortable, it probably wasn't a mutual decision, and it probably left an ache and/or festering somewhere within your heart. Or maybe you just lost touch with someone- simply having drifted in different directions.
Whatever the case, if you ever think a relationship is beyond repair, take heart. If you ever assume that you'll never have a certain relationship again- don't be so sure. God's plan for us is one that involves a continual refining of our hearts and minds so that we become more like Him. And if that refining has anything to do with a past relationship, I think He is going to bring that relationship back to us, in one way or another. Forgiveness and restoration are worth it, anger and resentment are not. Thankful today for my God who gives second chances to relationships.
I am a wee bit obsessed with the CW show Gossip Girl. My roommate and I got DVR just so we would never miss an episode and we even sometimes discuss the characters and their problems like they are real people. On top of the over the top drama and witty banter, the fashion on the show is out of this world- or at least Waco world. Preppy doesn't even begin to classify Mr. Chuck Bass, I sigh at the sight of each and every one of Blair's headbands, little J Humphrey is the young fashion ingenue many girls wish they were, and Serena is the envy of all. It's an absolute feast for the eyes as these Upper East Siders take to the small screen every Monday night.
Yesterday, a wonderful friend went for her dream. She is applying to appear on Extreme Makeover Home Edition as a designer and as a part of her application, wanted to make a video to show the people at Extreme Makeover exactly how much she wants this.
So picture this: a gorgeous afternoon on Baylor campus. A crowd of sixty or seventy students with balloons and signs cheering on the side of the street. A chant of "Lisa, get on that bus" (a la "Move that Bus"). Then one of Baylor's giant campus tour buses rolling down the street with Lisa waving from the open door. President Garland even happened to stroll out of Pat Neff just in time to make an appearance in the filming. You better believe a Sic'em was thrown in the mix too.
So much love and excitement in that scene- all because of Lisa's dream and her willingness to chase after that bus- with all she has.
For many people I know (including myself), a bus of their very own will be coming in the somewhat near future. I just learned yesterday about another friend who will be moving to Austin after graduation. Plans are starting to form. Routes being drawn. Where in the world will my bus be headed? I have no idea, but thoughts and dreams are beginning to sprout up.
Baylor, my bus may be on it's way, but it's nice to know that for at least a few more months, I'm staying right here.