Sunday, May 20, 2012

from dixie with love

I have officially survived the first week of post-grad, and so have my brothers and sisters.  This week has literally felt like a month.  There are still lots of emotionally overwhelming moments, but there are lots of hilarious ones as well as we, of course, are staying in touch as much as possible.  We have been making great use of our cell phones and the group text, and camp mail is about to kick in too.  Last weekend at this time we were overwhelmed to say the least, but seven days later - no worries, everyone - while it is still hard, it appears we will survive.

Speaking of surviving, the Smith family has a new addition:

Meet Dixie, our new kitten.  This girl rode under our Suburban the entire way from Oxford to Lexington and survived the trip!  The kitten is officially Laura's, because she can actually take care of it.  But what a better way to always have a piece of Oxford in Kentucky!

From Dixie, with love.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

go forth

Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister... [Mark 3:34]

“Isn’t it crazy how we’re all in God’s will but we’re going all over the place?”

Picnic talk at Rowan Oak, Sunday April 29.  It is crazy.  So crazy I’m still not really certain what to do about it, even though at last the time has just about come... 

This year has been better than I could ever express.  I’m not sure why the Lord chose to bless me, and bless my friends, with community and with life so much greater than we deserve, but for some reason He did, and so we have sought all year long to live a life worthy of what we have been given.  Over the course of the year that has looked like a lot of different things; in a nutshell, it has meant prayer, encouragement, service, milkshakes, camping, breakfast, disc golf time for the boys, coffee shop time for the girls, Sots, Muffin Club, and more.  It has meant spending intentional time with others, reaching out to them and seeking to show them what Christ has done for us and what Christ wants to do for them.  It has also meant spending intentional time with each other, encouraging each other, rebuking each other, laughing with each other, and loving each other as only brothers and sisters can.

And now, at long last, it seems the year is up and that it is time to go.  To go all of the places we have always talked about going.  To do all of the things the Lord has prepared for us to do.  When I say go, I mean go.  For a couple of us, go means stay – stay in Oxford, finish school, continue to hold down the fort and look after those we are leaving behind.  For the rest of us, go means go, quite literally.  To Georgia, Kentucky, Texas and Jackson, to South Africa, to the Middle East, and even to places yet to be revealed.  Some of us go to what seems like our dream job, and some of us go to Ninevah.  But however we feel or whatever we fear, we go.  We go in peace, and we go boldly, because it is the Lord’s will for our lives, and because it is why we were brought together in the first place.

The last few days together have been so sweet, and continue to be sweet.  This weekend we attempted camping one last time, only to be ousted by mosquitoes and chiggers in the middle of the night.  But with a grove of cypress trees, a full moon, and a beautiful sunset, how could we not be reminded that everything is all right?  How could we doubt that God has orchestrated all of this as part of his perfect plan?  Just like all we have seen this year so far.  Just like always.

It’s hard to process this stuff, to think about change and about saying goodbye, to deal with finals and packing and the weight that all of it is.  Or, at least, it’s hard when we focus on it.  But when we focus on Christ – when we fix our eyes on the eternal perspective, on running to win the prize – we realize that it is actually quite easy to go and to go boldly.  After all, we’re actually not going away for all that long.  Yes, it’s inconvenient to not be able to hang out at the Brick House all together every single day for the rest of our lives.  But one day soon we will be together again, for eternity, doing what we all love best – worshipping at the feet of Jesus, together, forever.  And that day is sooner than we think.
Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.” [1 Samuel 20:42]

Go forth.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

goodbye thesis + quote(s) of the day

Reason #328971 my brothers and sisters are champions: they rocked my thesis defense this afternoon.  Seriously.  It had very little to do with me.  They made everything so much smoother and stress-free than I could possibly imagine.  I knew a few friends would come, but I had no idea they all would.  The looks on my 3 readers’ faces when they showed up to a totally filled room was pretty priceless.  (As was our collective reaction when a random but super sweet stranger rolled up in the room singing the “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning” hymn…story for another time.)  But truly, the support I have from these people consistently blows my mind.  Hours later and my heart is still so full.  I kind of don’t know how to handle it. 

On top of the joy I have from finishing my thesis and doing it with the people I love, this conversation that took place afterwards still has me laughing.  Make that reason #328972…

David: “Look at our cult friends.” 
Emily: “Yeah, don’t forget to wear the shirt tomorrow!”
David: “Wait, what?”
Emily: “Tomorrow, we’re all matching…”
David: (confused looks)
Me: “This is the problem!  You actually think us all wearing a matching shirt is a legitimate possibility!”
 Mary Margaret: “Wait, we’re getting family reunion t-shirts?  YESSS!”

Ohhh the joys of brother/sisterhood.  Headed to sleep tonight with sweet dreams of love and friendship family and the fact that the thesis weight (which was heavier than I thought it was) has been lifted from my shoulders.  Sweet dreams to you too, and happy May 1.  I have a good feeling...while seemingly impossible, May is going to be a good month, somehow.

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