Sunday, August 30, 2009

a big city doll once again... :)

The past week has been pretty insane -- I moved into school on the 20th, and ever since it's been going, going, going... maybe it'll settle down soon?? :)

This semester is going to keep me pretty busy. I'm taking almost all music classes: music history, contemporary music theory, piano service playing, conducting, and church music philosophy. I'm also taking a course in church history/western civilization, plus piano lessons and ensembles. I'm pretty excited for most of my classes... it's just going to keep me quite busy. :) (When your textbooks are taller than you are, it gets a bit difficult.)

For those of you wondering about my job situation, God is continuing to provide in that area. I'm working a variety of "odd jobs" in the music department this year: I'm a TA for one of the professors, a music building deskworker, a student accompanist, and a teacher in the Community Music School. There's a couple other possibilities, too... we'll have to see how those pan out.

I'm loving being back in the city. I think I've missed the activity, the bustling streets, the city sights and smells. The other night one of my roommates and I went down to the water and enjoyed a picnic lunch. It was so much fun! I've realized I need to do that more often: get off campus and take in the world around me.

Well... that's all for now. I'll try to keep you updated a little more often. :)

With love from an absolute doll,
Erin Joy
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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Simple Blessings

"Life is just a bowl of cherries..."

My summer has not been a perfect bowl of cherries. In fact, I was pretty discouraged in mid-July. I found myself wondering why my summer wasn't being perfect and simple like I wanted it to be. The cherries were staining my fabric, and I felt like I was biting down on the pits. What was I doing wrong, and how was I supposed to fix it?

But God never promised that life would be easy. God never promised that it would all go my way. He simply promised to love me and make me grow through it all. As I realized that once again, I became more aware of the need to look for the little things in life, the simple blessings.

Simple blessings are things like...

--Finding a huge mound of sweet corn sitting on the table for supper... and getting to eat it! Fresh, home-grown sweet corn, picked the right way, cooked the right way... mmmmm..... :)

--Playing a round of Scattergories with my sister at 10:00 at night... and winning!

--Driving to Bible camp on my day off

--Watching an episode of Hogan's Heroes with my family

--Calling my brother at nearly midnight on my way home from work because I had a rough day

--Fun voicemails from friends... and calling them back :)

--A gorgeous rural America sunset

--Getting a $20 tip at the restaurant... for a $30 ticket!

--Having a friend tell me she can see the joy of Christ in my eyes

--Knowing that Jesus loves me, no matter what! :)

When we look for these simple blessings, life takes a whole new perspective. Yes, there are still hard things in my summer, moments when I need nothing more than a good cry. Yes, there will continue to be times when I have to grapple with these difficulties and figure out if I need to change something. Sometimes, things will happen that I can't control and that will cause me great pain... and sometimes, life will be rough. But when the cherry stains get bigger, and when the bowl seems to be more pits than anything else, we need to look to the Savior and thank Him for giving us the bowl, trust Him to know best... and pick out whatever cherries we can.

With love from an absolute doll,
Erin Joy
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