Friday, August 26, 2011

so do you remember...with your white dress on

Summer is my friend Katherine's season. She loves it and it loves her. "Summers change people," she has said to me multiple times. "People come back different." I've always nodded and agreed, but I didn't realize just how true that was until this summer when, for whatever reason, I thought I could spend 2 months in new surroundings and be unaffected. I obviously thought wrong and can officially say that my life has been changed in more ways than one. For example...

I have developed an obsession with Magnum bars.

I have developed an equal, if not stronger, obsession with the Train Game.

I have remembered what it is like to live simply.

I will never be able to think about the songs and/or names of certain Christian music artists the same way as before.

I have moved from a state of total panic to one of controlled fear towards my thesis.

I have an overwhelming desire to play outside all hours of the day.

I cannot hear a Ben Rector song without being immediately transported to McCauley Road, driving through horse fields in the bright sunlight while dodging some very low-flying birds.

I have learned anew in my heart - and not just in my head - that God is good.

Kentucky got inside of me, and I wasn't expecting that. And now after all the new friends, places, and changes I am back in Oxford. Home of Nike shorts and oversized t-shirts, where people sleep all day and party all night, and where you are expected to be out (wherever "out" really is, anyway) on at least Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

There are adjustments, for sure, because let's face it: Wilmore, Kentucky and Oxford, Mississippi may be the 2 most opposite places on the planet, and time away from the Ole Miss culture makes the ridiculousness of some things stand out that much more. But I love Oxford, with all my heart, and the Oxford and Ole Miss I know are much different than the Oxford and Ole Miss that most people see at first glance. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the place that I am called to be and to serve, and I have the best friends in the world here to do it with me.

I am going to miss Kentucky. One week of school in and I already do. But I know the inevitable homesickness is a good thing. At 21 years of age, I can confidently say I am a better person because of the surprisingly many places, people, and experiences that have made up my life. So here's to time spent in Wilmore. Here's to Summer 2011. Here's to one more piece of Katharine Elizabeth Smith...

God is so good.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

the lord is my shep-herd

When you come back from another country, everyone expects you to instantly write on blogs and journal and post pictures on Facebook and share about your experience. Ironically, these times are almost always the times when words and photos are not even close to enough. I'm hoping that for now, the following words and faces can speak for themselves...

Jehová es mi pastor; nada me faltará.
En lugares de delicados pastos me hará descansar;
junto a aguas de reposo me pastoreará.

Confortará mi alma; me guiará por sendas de justicia por amor de su nombre.
Aunque ande en valle de sombra de muerte no temeré alguno, por tú estarás conmígo;
tu vara y tu cayado me infundirán aliento.

Aderezas mesa delante de mí en presencia de mis enemigos;
unges mi cabeza con aceite;
mi copa está rebosando.

Ciertamente el bien y la misericordia me seguiran todos los días de mi vida,
y en casa de Jehová moraré por largos días.

[Salmo 23 - La Senda 2011]
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