Monday, December 6, 2010

Tweets...

Ok. I am on Twitter. I have been for a while, but I'm just getting use to it. The other day a dear dear friend of mine said something to the fact of... "where is my community?" Well friends, I've found mine. I woke up 2 days ago sick with a fever, head cold, etc. Everything you don't want to have during the biggest week of your job. :) I spent from 3:00pm Saturday till this morning at 9a in bed. There were a few moments where I would get up, walk downstairs and hydrate, but other than that... not much movement. Guess what I would wake too?? Little knocks on the door when one of my house mates would brave the germ infested room that I am in to ask if I was ok, to offer to bring me food (which I wasn't interested in.. ugh) or to come and sit and talk for a few minutes. I didn't realize it then, I'll blame it on the cold medicine, but I love these women. I loved the laughter I heard downstairs while I was watching a movie, I loved the whispers as they would walk by my door, and I loved how Maggie still continues to check if I have a temperature! :) What a community I've fallen into.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hello November

I am currently sitting on our couch, while one house mates is finishing up her weekly chore, one is knitting and watching the Steelers/Pat game, and the other is booking some buses home for the holidays. It seems to be times like these when I smile to myself after a restful weekend. Times like these when our Popcorn Sunday's come around and football is on tv, times like these when i love intentional community. This year in Pittsburgh is going to teach me so much about myself, but what I am most excited about is what I am going to learn about these women that I call friends. Their habits, ticks, pet peeves, passions, etc. As of right now... I know Maggie loves the Steelers and anything Pittsburgh and baking, and worship, and singing... Laura loves a clean kitchen, healthy foods, the farmers market, art, laughing..... alicia loves her family, her faith, trying new things, going out and being active in the community, and the environment. These things aren't the only things they all love, trust me there is more, but I those are the things that come to mind when I think of them. This intentional community stuff isn't easy, but it sure can be fun!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

the heat is on...

Well-- it finally happened. We broke down this weekend and turned on the heat. Granted, it isn't very high, it is better than the 54 degrees that it was for a while. We are hoping that we weatherproofed enough to save some money! This week is the first of November. Holy cow where did that come from? There are so many things that happen in November that I don't even know what to do with... Thanksgiving, Our VIP dinner at UP, Laura's Marathon, Weddings galore at work, plus life in the house. I love being busy and having things to do, but I can't believe that it is already November.

Its almost time to break out the Christmas movies and decorations-- lord help me when that time comes.

Have a happy November!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I carry my Heart...

I knew it would happen. October was over before I saw it coming. Things are flying by in the PULSE house. From the chore wheels spinning, the change of temperature, the creamy soups being made for dinner more often-- we can feel the change of winter coming upon us. We have been weatherproofing and gearing up for some chilly months ahead. Seriously-- Beth has been wearing a scarf and hat since September-- I don't know how the girl will survive winter. :)

Life has been going by quickly. So quickly that sometimes I can't catch up. Whether its phone calls with people not in Pittsburgh or paperwork that should have been done yesterday, I can't seem to get my barrings. I was struggling like that for the past 2 weeks, but something and someone reminded me to slow down for a little bit.
On Wednesday morning I walked into the office and was greeted by Carol and Jeffrey. Two of my favorite people. They were chatting about how Jeffrey's wife is exhausted at work and has been for a long time. "She just isn't happy" was his exact quote. He then said, you need to be able to walk into work daily and find a reason to be there. Find a reason why you are excited to go into work, or a reason you are excited to take on a new activity. You don't have to love the job all the time, but you can love the things you are doing.
After that interaction our Seminar for the day was at the Pittsburgh Project. What an incredible place that is. My awesome God is at work in that ministry and in this city. We walked along paths where gangs still meet, but have slowed down. We heard stories from the hurt that has been caused because of violence and drugs, and listened while Mark took us through his stories of students he mentored that were affected. After the stories, we walked up the road to a baseball field that is now fenced in and is a community garden that is flourishing. Through all the frustration, hurt, hatred, a garden is blooming to help this community. To bring people together and to revitalize the North Side.

So-- my hope for this coming week, not to get frustrated with myself and the work around me, not to let things just become another task. Learn to love my community and become a servant leader...

peace-

Monday, October 11, 2010

I feel blessed....

To be here.
To be drinking hot cinnamon tea.
To have a great place at Union Project.
To be so loved
To laugh daily.

To come home from a weekend away and find friends... and not just housemates.

I AM blessed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mighty, Minnie, and maybe a Mickey

What do these three words have in common... a mouse at the end of it. Yes friends, we here at the PULSE house have had some new friends.... or whatever you might call them. Mice. But don't be nervous because we've actually already caught two of them. Even a house full of 8 women can find a way to buy some traps and set them! :) Even if we did have to call our fathers to ask which traps we wanted. We have a chalkboard on the wall and every morning I turn to check if another one was caught.

It's been a pretty uneventful week so far. Work at Union Project is really great and the community that I've surrounded myself with is even better. We eat dinner every night together-- kind of like when I was little!! We talk about our days, our highs and lows, what we have to do this week, when we will be leaving for a PULSE fair at a college or when visitors are coming over. A lot of things-- but one thing we love happens to be those dinners. It's a time of love, of sharing, of community. What we've all come to realized as what PULSE is for many of us.




Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekend full of love, laughter and stronger friendships...

I think as I sit in the living room with my cup of tea and blanket wrapped around me, I feel the fall weather upon me. I know this because I can turn the tv on at any time during the weekend and Football is on, I can walk out the house with a mug of coffee and feel content, I can wear a few layers and not sweat or freeze to death! It is definitely fall weather. I love fall weather. I love everything that comes with it, but I am struggling a little bit because for the past few years, I was blessed to experience fall weather at Bluffton. A place that I love. A place where at moments notice I could find someone to laugh, hug, cry, sing, smile, and walk about the campus with. It was home. I'm adjusting to Bluffton not being "home" anymore. It's more of a challenge than I expected because I not only left Bluffton, but I left people I love.

This weekend was one that was filled with laughter. On Saturday, Laura, Abbi and I ventured out to Southside to register Laura for the "Great Race" which was happening this weekend. We needed to make sure she got her number for the race, but we also just wanted to explore the city. Sometimes... its a bit difficult to catch the buses on the weekend because they only run every few hours. So.. we ran to the bus stop because we didn't want to miss the bus, only to have to sit for 20 minutes for the next one! We made it to our destination and started to pinpoint places that we have already been, but didn't realize where they were. After we made it home with some delicious Rita's (which I will take everyone i know who comes to Pitt there for dessert) we had some friends over for game night!!! :) Friends, talks, food and the Game of Life! What a great weekend!

This morning was Laura's race and 5 housemates took to the bus and early morning with a sign for Laura! We barely made it downtown because of the detours, but we made it with a few minutes to spare. When we saw her run by we were screaming with excitement and come to find out she was the 11th woman to cross the finish line. Dang Laura!! She was rocking!! With a 10k down... we took our shot at walking a few miles to the "favorite restaurant" in Pitt called Pamela's. Our lovely President raves about these pancakes! Food was delicious.

A few things I love about the city..
1. Free things.
2. Delicious food
3. Transportation--even though it can be frustrating.
4. The PULSE house and "family"

I miss home frequently... but I love that I'm learning a lot about myself and the people I'm with!

Keep Peace.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Weekly post...

I'm afraid that this is going to be what happens when life gets busy... posts might begin to slow down. This past week has been a good one and a testing one. It is about that point in time when I start to miss home, when I start to miss people I love alot, but also the point in time when I've started to fit in! I really do love Pittsburgh! I love the excitement of my placement, the spirit that my house mates have about change, the love that I get from people all around me. So, it's been a good week but also one that has tested why I'm here.

This weekend half of the house got to go on a church retreat (I wanted to go, but needed to work at Union Project) anyway, it was a test of keeping myself busy! Maggie and I had most of the house to ourselves so we spent a lot of the time together!! From going to Penguins Practices, to grocery shopping, it was an Anna and Maggie sort of weekend! Maggie is a Pittsburgh sports fan born and bred, but I am one that tries to stick it to her every chance i get, esp. with the Steelers.... so it was actually fun watching Maggie at a Pens game... she was crazy-- but I can easily see why, the Pens are fun to watch!! :)

I would love to have visitors if you are ever in Pittsburgh!! :) I have a lot to show people because I really love this city!!

Sending lots and lots of love!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A fake reality....

A phrase my sister (whom I've yet to talk to while being in Pittsburgh--come on Pawsey, is does Illinois not have phones.) Just kidding. I guess they go both ways...

but anyway-- a fake reality. What in the world is that? A place in life where you might have a job, place to stay and food, but also a place where you don't have to pay for bills, heating, water, etc... well, sister- i think we both live in a "fake reality" now. Beth and I are on grocery duty this week and we just returned from Giant Eagle with bags of food and only a little worry of what we spent. Sure we have a budget as a house, but that budget is just for food, stipend, and transportation. A pretty sweet deal. I think that this reality for me is a pretty good decision.

Today is Wednesday- which means we have seminar this afternoon... we are (i think) going over communication and what it means for each individual. It has been a lot of small things that we've been going over, but is also something that is quite important for a house full of women.

:) Something that i've realized within the past few days... we all like to spend time together, but we also like to spend time together in the Kitchen sitting at the table. It's one of my favorite things so far. Whether we are entertaining the people that are on dish duty for the evening, or if we are just sitting drinking, milk, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, we are laughing and talking.

Community Living-- I could get use to this! :)

Seek out Peace-
Anna

Monday, September 13, 2010

So I Live with 7 women

that are amazing... but also are on their own journey.

If you find time, its fun to read what they think about Pittsburgh! :)
Dill, Maggie, and Abbi are just a few! :)

Sending all my love to you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A place to call "home"

and people that I will grow to love.....

I never thought it would have been in Pittsburgh, Pa, but stranger things could happen! :)
xo




Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Union Project!

unionproject.org

look it up. I am going to be working here for the next 11 months!! It's a sweet organization!! :)

Can you tell that I started work and I'm really pumped about it??!?!

Can't wait to dive deeper into the Union Project and everything they have ready for me.... it's going to be a really really great year!

xoxo


Search for your Peace,
Ap

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Word Became Flesh...

So throughout this entire week of Orientation on the City of Pittsburgh, PULSE, our individual selves, placements and faith, something that we have been discussing has been how we as Christians are going to go out into this city, into our placements and spread the incredible news of our God. The scripture, the love, the greatness of it all. How can we spend our year in Pittsburgh as someone that was called to follow Christ?

On Friday we dove into John chapter 1 a bit, and by a bit, I mean it was just skimming the incredibleness of this chapter!

The Word Became Flesh

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood[a] it.

6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.[b]

10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent,[c] nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,[d] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

As we read through this section of John, Chris (our Director of PULSE) also printed out verse 14 in The Message version...

14The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.

Moved into Neighborhoods with a one-of-a-kind glory. Just what the 8 of us did on Sunday.... we moved into a new neighborhood ready to "make a difference!" Ready to start something new that will bring frustration, challenges, but will also bring love, laughter, friendships, and hope!

Tomorrow I get to see Devon and Kristen at Pittsburgh Mennonite Church!! I cannot wait! It is like another part of this adventure is falling into place...

Find your Peace,
Anna

Friday, September 3, 2010

A prayer of patience....

Sometimes, I think I'll need this more this year than anything....


Lord, teach me to be patient - with life, with people,and with myself. I sometimes try to hurry things along too much, and I push for answers before the time is right. Teach me to trust Your sense of timing rather than my ownand to surrender my will to Your greater and wiser plan. Help me let life unfold slowly, like the small rosebud whose petals unravel bit by bit, and remind me that in hurrying the bloom along, I destroy the bud and much of the beauty therein.

Instead, let me wait for all to unfold in its own time. Each moment and state of growth contains a loveliness. Teach me to slow down enough to appreciate life and all it holds. Amen.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Intentional Community...

Well-
I officially am THRILLED to be in Pittsburgh. Seriously friends, this place is for me! Throughout the past few days many things have been occurring to me... 1. I was made for a city. 2. I live with 7 women that are going to support, love, encourage, accept, laugh, learn, and live intentionally with me. How cool. What and incredible opportunity and experience. Yesterday after dinner we went to a place called the Shadow Lounge and listened to local musicians raise money for a local farm. Music about intentional communities, peace, love, Jesus... how exciting. In that hour and a half we already made connections through previous PULSErs, church goers, and just plain strangers. After our walk back to the house and many laughs, we set the coffee pot for the next morning and either fell into bed or added a few more touches to our rooms! It was an eventful day!

This morning we met at Chris's house down the road for our morning meeting. During this time, we drank coffee, had a small devotional time and discusses our finances, transportation, and more about PULSE. My favorite part of the morning was talking about Psalm 133. Relating this message to our Intentional Community and how we each are affected by each other was such an eye opening experience. I want to share Psalm 133 with you and let you think about it!

Psalm 133
A song of ascents. Of David.

1 How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron's beard,
down upon the collar of his robes.

3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.

Today was a very productive day. We learned a lot, but most of all we learned more about each other! :) We sat and talked through random facts, bonded over Harry Potter and ended our night with Chocolate Cake and Cherry Wine! :)

"You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you."
- Frederick Buechner

Find Peace,
Anna

Monday, August 30, 2010

And so it begins...

Well, here I am, sitting in my room, typing away on my computer that is located on "my own" desk. I've never had my own room before... (other than in Ireland) but it is almost too big. I didn't bring enough stuff to fit in it, even though I brought a ton! Pittsburgh is a beautiful city. Today as our first day, we did alot of team building games. We walked to Highland Park and ran around in the grass. This afternoon we took on the local farmers market... and I will let you know now.. it will probably be one of my favorite places. There was fresh fruit, veggies, local businesses... etc. So incredible. I loved it.

Tonight is an optional hang out at this club where there will be live music, I can't wait! :)

Silly me, I left my camera at home, so once it makes it's way back to me I will take a ton of pictures and show you around the PULSE house! :)

Lots of love-
Peace,
Anna

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I want to get closer...

I need a devotional-- I need to break myself down and figure out what or where I want my life to go... what direction? I know its crazy, me moving to Pittsburgh and all, but I want to. I know its right-- but somethings still feel off in my mind. I don't know if it is because I have yet to focus on the actual moving part because it feels far away, or because I need to "find" myself.

I want to pull an Elizabeth Gilbert in the book Eat Pray Love. Oh how I adore that book. I need to want that, right?! I feel like I'm on the edge of something that I need to dive deeper, but what? Gosh I get so angry at this "What" word. More pissed off than anything.

In just 2 weeks Ill be packing my bags and will be headed off on this journey, adventure, experience that I have no clue what it will bring. New friends? Gosh I hope so. New faith? Maybe a stronger one. A calling? Yes, please.

I want to draw closer... to life itself, love, and my God.

but where do i begin.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Realization..

It is funny to me how life works. The goals that we want to live up to and the choices that we make.

It's one of those days today--- :)

"Hello World" -Lady Antebellum

Traffic crawls, cell phone calls
Talk video screams at me
Through my tinted window I see
A little girl, rust red minivan
She's got chocolate on her face
Got little hands, and she waves at me
Ya, she smiles at me

Hello world
How've you been?
Good to see you, my old friend
Sometimes I feel cold as steel
Broken like I'm never gonna heal
I see a light, a little hope
In a little girl
Hello world

Every day I drive by
A little white church
It's got these little white crosses
Like angels in the yard
Maybe I should stop on in
Say a prayer
Maybe talk to God
Like he is here
Oh I know he is there
Ya, I know he's there

Hello world
How've you been?
Good to see you, my old friend
Sometimes I feel as cold as steel
And broken like I'm never going to heal
I see a light
A little grace, a little faith unfurled
Hello world

Sometimes I forget what living's for
And I heave my life through my front door
And I'll be there
Oh I'm home again
I see my wife, little boy, little girl
Hello world
Hello world

All the empty disappears
I remember why I'm here
Just surrender and believe
I fall down on my knees
Oh hello world
Hello world
Hello world


Blessings of Peace to you,
ap

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So many things.

Summer is flying by. Seriously. I can't get over that today is July 20th. I leave for Pittsburgh in a little over a month, but there is much to do until then!
On Wednesday July 7th, I made my way to Pittsburgh and the PULSE house to start the interview process for placements. Well! I fell in love with the city, the house, and the community. The skyline of Pittsburgh is breathtaking, seriously, beautiful. As an inexperienced driver in cities, I had my moments of panic, but I made it there! My mission the next day was to get dressed up to impress! Interviews consumed the entire Thursday, but good news is that I have my placement! I'm thrilled to know this already and I'm even more excited to see what it will bring for this upcoming year! :) I encourage you to look at this website and browse through! The Union Project is an incredible place and my future placement!

After my very eventful time in Pittsburgh, I am looking forward to this upcoming year. I'm ready for the struggles, challenges, and excitement that it will bring! What a world!

With 3 more full weeks of work, 2 weddings, and 1 week of vacation, Pittsburgh seems farther away than it actually is....

I better start making a packing list in my head! :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hello World...

Well- Here it is.. my first official Blog as a Bluffton Alum. Weird to say that.
Many of you know that after graduation I have been working at Bluffton still for the summer, but I will soon be packing my bags yet again and be off on another adventure. Pittsburgh, PA here I come! :)

I hope to keep this blog going throughout the next year about what is happening in the PULSE house and in Pittsburgh!! :)

Always Blessings of Peace-

Anna

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Final Farewell

Well-
It is finally here. You have put up with my posts about Bluffton's awesomeness, my struggles, happiness, and tears. I want to thank you. I like to think that sometimes when I open up my blog prospective students are out there reading what I have to say-- if there aren't any, oh well, I think my mom still reads! :)

Bluffton will always be a part of me. The people, place, and values. I am forever grateful for what I've learned in the classroom, internships, Chapels, and the people. I almost don't want to finish this blog because this is the first real end for me. I'm on campus for a few more days until graduation, but that doesn't feel strange yet.

I am forever blessed and bid you my final farewell as a Bluffton University Student...

Blessings of a Deep Peace,

Anna

************************************
A Celtic Prayer


Deep peace of the
running waves to you.

Deep peace of the
flowing air to you.

Deep peace of the
quiet earth to you.

Deep peace of the
shining stars to you.

Deep peace of the
Son of Peace to you.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tears of Joy

1. When your best friend is surprised with a birthday gift.
2. When you get to celebrate your best friends engagement at a Bridal Shower.
3. When your roommate helps take down your loft and finishes it even when you have to leave.
4. 12 days of Grad with some of your closest friends.
5. Pushing your beds together in a messy room and staying up chatting with your roommate.
6. Bluffton spring mornings.
7. Laughing until you cry with old friends that come back to visit.

8. Pre Graduation jitters....


Oh how I love tears of Joy! :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's a strange feeling to walk into a place and know that it's your last day... know that you might not see these people again, but that they have changed your life.
Today is it. My last day at my internship in Lima. I will deeply miss the people, the place, and the community. I've learned more from them then they could from me and I am grateful for that.

As for this week--- I will be starting that process of packing. I will be throwing things away, recycling old clothes and remembering a lot. This weekend was the start of alot of tears... but now that I know that-- I guess I'm prepared for it. :)

Blessings of Peace to you all--
Only a few more posts from me....


Anna

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Busiest of Weekends

One more “free” weekend left. It’s strange to think about where time goes after you hit a certain point. Last weekend I was busy working on things for my internship, planning bridal showers and finishing up last minute journals. This weekend— those particular events took place and at 11:00pm last night, I had nothing to do.

My weekend was filled with a lot of fun. From Friday night Live Band Karaoke to Saturday’s Ottawa River Clean-up and Sunday’s Shining Through party. I literally had a few minutes to breathe. But the best part, is that I was ok with that. I had fun this weekend, I spent time with friends and I cried (once again) over leaving this place that I’ve called home for the past 4 years.

Last night was my “last” Sunday Night Worship. This time the speakers were friends of mine talking about “senior reflections.” They talked about what they’ve learned, how they’ve grown and most of all a little advise. Some of it was funny, a lot of it was meaningful, and most of it hit home. My lovely friend Megan spoke of attempting to be content with uncertainty. Not knowing what she will be doing in a few weeks is terrifying, but she needs to also be able to live in the moment and not panic. Brendan, spoke of understanding everything that has brought you to the point where you are today… not just looking towards the future, but also acknowledging the people, circumstances and lessons that have gotten you where you are.

I’m not very good at “goodbyes.” I actually refuse to say them. My best friend moved to North Carolina and I always said that it was a “see you later,” not “goodbye.” But somehow when I looked around last night at the individuals in Chapel I realized that it was a goodbye for some of us. It has to be. I may not see these faces again, and that in its’ self is a bit sad. I received a letter yesterday from my lovely Shining Through-ers and one of the notes that hit me to the core said… “I hate that I’m writing this note… it means that I will be desperately missing you soon.” How true. I don’t think that people ever realize how much they impact my life… and with that small token of gratitude and love, I am forever affected.

So only a few more days left—and possibly a few more goodbyes.

Blessings of Peace-
Anna

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Final Journal...

As I was in my Field placement today I wrote my "final journal" for the class....

I thought it was alright, so I decided to share it with you--- since you have been on this journey with me. :)

------
There are so many things that I can say about my field placement. Almost all of them good, but there should always be some sort of constructive criticism, or just a little more advice.
When I picked the Department of Community Development I was walking into this placement with little understanding of what a city Community Development department does. It felt like I was walking in “blind.” After catching up on who is who in the department and what happens when—things started to pick up. I was involved in Press Conferences, press releases, workshops, board meetings, neighborhood meetings, implementation of new ideas and projects but most of all I was apart of a community of people that wanted to change their city. Whether or not they had different ideas, views, political agendas or backgrounds. I was a part of this community. Throughout the past 15ish weeks I was literally apart of community development.
After that first week, I chose my paper topic for capstone. I wanted to know the basics, what community development was, how it can be implemented, what jobs are available when working in this sort of department and I was flooded with books, journals, articles, blogs, and much more on different ideas of development with the community. After all of that I started to look at Community Development a bit differently. It is more than just neighborhoods, more than just nonprofits; it literally is about the people. Macro Social work is about the mass of people that want to see change.
I’ve learned so much over the past 15 weeks that I will always be thankful for. Whether it is learning about fundraising when researching for a workshop, or about property maintenance when going on a walk with one of the inspectors, there was a huge variety for me.

------

It's strange to think that this will be over on Tuesday of next week...

Blessings of Peace-
Anna

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I also encourage you to check out another Bloggers posts for April. Tasha is a Sophomore at Bluffton and has alot of really great things to say! :)
Living and Loving Life

One of my habits---

I love to read. Anything. Books, magazines, cereal boxes, flyers, etc. This list could go on and on. Recently I have picked up the book Eat Pray Love, which I have read before, but wanted to work my way through it again. Just the other day when it was 80 degrees outside, I picked up my book and magaznies and made my way out to the grass with a blanket. A friend of mine was already out there laying out in the sun. It was the greatest picture ever--- it was as if she was worshiping it. Here eyes closed, a smirk on her face and at peace sweating like crazy. :) I stopped next to her and dropped everything. I couldn't wait to lay there. As I stopped unfold the blankets I noticed a few things, student teachers walking back from school, students coming from class, some lucky ones that were done with class playing tennisball golf, and the individuals around me. We all looked at peace. I picked up my book, opened it to the 5 chapter and continued to read and read and read. I was in my heaven: sunshine, and books. :)

These next few weeks I will hopefully get to enjoy those two things a lot.

After an exciting and crazy semester, I like to think that I deserve these next two lazy weeks. :)

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Monday, April 19, 2010

The beginning of the end…

Seriously, I told you back in the first blog of April that I apologize for the “sappy” blogs, but you have to expect this to come. =)

This past weekend was one where I didn’t sit down. Things are beginning to pick up on campus from events, to regularly scheduled friend time. My weekends start on Thursday Nights because Friday’s are my day off. =)
So, Thursday after dinner 5 friends got together to trek to the Whippy Dip in town! We actually took the LONG way, but we seemed to be ok with that. My camera became our entertainment and we took pictures, told stories from our day and laughed a lot. Friday morning, I was able to have my new “weekly” breakfast date with Janna, Derek, Jen and Joe. We spend our 7am morning with some Marbeck Breakfast and lots of laughs. After breakfast I wanted to jump back in bed, but it was so beautiful out, I took a little walk/run. I went to the nature preserve to walk around, soak up the sunshine and take a little time to reflect. I guess this past week I realized that the end of all this was coming up quick. It was the perfect way to kick off that realization of “the beginning of the end.” Friday night consisted of dinner with friends and then dancing!
On Saturday I was able to get off campus to attend an old friends wedding at a nearby town. My family drove over so it was nice to see them and watch someone dear to our hearts get married! Saturday night was filled with Hannah, and Megan time at the Flying J. We ordered pancakes, eggs, chicken fingers, and some water and just talked. What a blessing these women are in my life. =) From looking into the future, to listening to wedding plans, it was a night that was relaxing, but needed.

As I begin to make my way into my last full week of internship I feel refreshed and ready. Who knows if this feeling will last, but it sure does feel pretty good right now!

Enjoy the sunshine-
Blessings of Peace-
Anna

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Smells---

Something that has been crossing my mind frequently is the idea of smells relating to memories. I think a lot of this is because Spring is here and flowers are popping up along with allergies for some people.
Yesterday I was walking out of my internship and laughed out loud because the weather and smell in the air reminded me of home. It was this warm breeze with a hint of lilac. I could close my eyes and picture sitting outside on my back steps. I got into my car and rolled down the window turned on the radio and started my drive back to Bluffton. Pulling off of the highway I caught the smell of gasoline from the tractor in front of me. I smiled as I thought back to the Shining Through Spring Break tour with a lot of stops being in gas stations for a regular fill up. Two days ago, the skies were clouded with a chance of rain… My gut reaction was to think about the days when I was 10 waiting for that one softball game to be cancelled so I could play in the rain… I call my best friend that morning to laugh about it. :)
The more I stopped to think about this idea of smells relating to memories, I started to question the sorts of smells that would relate me back to Bluffton in a few years. There will always be that distinct smell of Marbeck and Dining Services, but there will also be the smells of the first fall nights outside at the nature preserve. There will be the smell of the fresh cut grass on campus the week before May Day in preparation of the weekend full of activities. There will be the smell of popcorn that will relate back to The Shannon where we would get the deal on soda and a bucket of popcorn for the same price of the movie.

It’s strange what can trigger memories--- but this past week the smells have been doing that for me. :)

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The first of many Tears...

Well- granted, I know that I’ve cried before last night, but I’ll call the tears last night, the first because of Graduation. Sometimes the realization kicks in and I remember that I wont be at Bluffton next year. I won’t have to move back into a residence hall, I wont get to go through LDP the week before classes start, I wont have a Spring break trip for Shining Through again. Wow. I guess I’ve known this for an entire year, but sometimes the realization kicks in.

I know that I am going to love Pittsburgh…. It’s a new adventure, just like Bluffton was, but this place has been my home for the past 4 years. I’ve planned, attended and ran events. I’ve watched my closest friends in musicals, bands, presentations, worship, and classroom discussions. I’ve grown in my faith, beliefs and values. What kind of place can give you all of that?? I am thankful and blessed to have a place like Bluffton to refer back to, it’s a community.

So—after my first tears shed for the upcoming Graduation, I still have this sadness in the back of my mind, but I also have excitement. I get to watch my best friends walk across that stage and get their diploma, I get to watch my closest friend give her MayDay Queen Speech Saturday morning, I get to chat with old friends that will come back to watch graduations, and I get to sit in my room with my 3 closest friends the day of graduation to laugh, grumble, make jokes, and even tear up about leaving this place.

So--- Here’s to the first of many tears---

Blessings of Peace-
Anna

Monday, April 12, 2010

My weekend...

A Friday night babysitting, a Saturday full of Janna and Anna, and a Sunday with an 8 hour car ride. What a weekend. I can tell you that it was crazy busy, but worth it.

On Friday night, Hannah, Megan, Ashley and I got our "quality" time in. We were babysitting Hannah's BASIC leaders 8 month old daughter Teaghen. How beautiful she is. We dealt with the crying, changing, feeding, and playing. (Some were better than others) ;) It was nice to get away from the residence halls and internships to sit with my girlfriends and chat about what we are thinking about these next few weeks.

Saturday was my day date with Janna. We drove to walmart talking about Ireland, last year, what is happening in our lives now that we rarely see each other, her wedding... the list could go on and on. It was well worth it. In the afternoon we pulled down her mattresses from her beds and watched movies and did homework sitting on the floor. Best decision ever. We laughed so hard that day and I was reminded how much I miss that girl. I can't wait to see her get married in July but most of all can't wait for our friendship to grow!

Sunday= Shining Through= long drives= worshiping= friends= laughter!

It was a long weekend, but one that will always remind me of Bluffton! :)

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I apologize in advance....



It is April 7th. In exactly 1 month from today I will have been through our graduation "practice" walk through. I will hopefully be sitting in my room (or Megan's room, or Hannah's room) thinking about where the past 4 years went? I will be pulling out my outfit for the next morning's May Day event and will more than likely be fighting back some tears.

Wow. This year has gone by so quickly. My roommate and I were just discussing the things that we did last semester and were shocked. How fast time goes. How quickly we try to keep up with the things, events and people around us. Sometimes it's nice to just sit and laugh.

I apologize for this months Blogs. I will already tell you that they will be emotional... there will be a lot of "remember whens" and a lot of "Bluffton changed my life." I am preparing myself--- so I wanted you to do the same.

I've been writing this blog since my freshman year of college. I can actually remember sitting on my red futon in Bren-dell with Hannah and Mary thinking about what I wanted to say. Thinking about my busy days and what it was I wanted to talk about. Looking back--- they were all great things. They are what made my Bluffton experience what it is today!-

So-- enjoy the rain, sun, warmth, and or chilly weather that you are having.
There is to be a storm tonight-- I love storms. (Sorry dear Megan--I know you hate them)

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Only a few more of these from me--- what a strange thing to say.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Facebook....

What is facebook? According to Wikipedia (yes, Wikipedia) Facebook is a social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Since September 2006, anyone over the age of 13 with a valid e-mail address can become a Facebook user. Users can add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks organized by workplace, school, or college. The website's name stems from the colloquial name of books given to students at the start of the academic year by university administrations in the US with the intention of helping students to get to know each other better.
So… what does that mean for College students?? Facebook is what keeps me from doing my homework, can keep me up at all hours of the night, and can be frustrating at that. It allows for me to look at pictures of friends from high school that I rarely talk to anymore, and it allows me to post random nothing about myself so that other people can read it. Hmmm, why do I do this?
Well—because everyone else is? Not a good enough reason. I love facebook, but I am learning to live without it. That in itself is a difficult task. I’ve spent the past 4 years updating my status, uploading pictures, writing on others “walls” and staying in contact with friends. And I probably am not the first person to tell you this, but facebook is brilliant. When I was in Ireland for a semester, facebook kept me posted on what was happening back home, my parents could see my pictures online, and my sisters could still communicate with me. Brilliant, but now that I am graduating and will be looking for a job within the next year, it might be wise to begin setting up security settings on my “profile” or getting rid of the people that I am not really in contact with.
Thanks for listening to my rant about facebook--- and if you are coming to college (facebook is a good thing).

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Something new and exciting...

I love getting emails. I am one of those people that checks frequently to see if anything new has shown up in my inbox. It brings a smile to my face (unless it is junk mail). A few days ago I recieved an email that I would like to share with you...

Bluffton usually has a newspaper that is printed ever few weeks. Until this year, it was something would arrive in the regular mail and be thrown away soon after. Due to budgeting and other issues, the Wit is now available online!! So... I hope you take a little time to skim through the news on Bluffton's campus!! :)


Blessings of Peace--

Anna

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From the Witmarsum student staff...


In the past years, The Witmarsum has been Bluffton University's school newspaper, reporting campus events and news. Due to a low number of readers, the high cost of print, and the convenience of the internet, the Witmarsum has now moved online!

Please bookmark this website, TheWitmarsum.eznuz.com, and check it often! It will be updated at least twice a week, constantly adding new articles and pictures. The Witmarsum wants to let you know everything that is going on at Bluffton University.

Want to write something for the Witmarsum? Have a topic you want to discuss? Artwork or poetry you want to show off? An event to inform students of? Please e-mail Jake Short (shojra@bluffton.edu) your article, any information, or pictures. This is a student written paper, and your input would be wonderful.

Thank you. Please remember to check the website weekly!

Monday, March 29, 2010

I have been changed... for good!

Have you ever heard of the Musical Wicked? Its based off of the Movie and Book, The Wizard of Oz. It basically is the “pre-story” to Dorothy, the Wizard, the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man. Its about the Witches and how they became who they were in the movie. I LOVE this Musical, not just because its clever, because it is, but because of the music. The lyrics to one song in particular For Good, are always in my head.
------
I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives
For a reason, bringing something we must learn
And we are lead to follow those who help us grow
If we let them and we help them in return

Well I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you…
-------
How incredible are these lyrics? They are the ones that stand out the most to me, but also the ones that I cherish. I think about the relationships that I’ve made at Bluffton the people that I’ve met, the best friends I can walk out with and the lives that have touched mine and I literally start to tear up. I know that I have plenty of days left, but it is actually difficult to think about what will happen after college. Bluffton has prepared me for life after this…. After living in a dinky room with a girl that I’ve grown to love and call my roommate and best friend, after worshiping with 20 incredible people every year in this music ministry group, after staying up late writing papers with my dear friend until 3:30am. I have been touched by this campus, I have been loved by this campus, and also frustrated by this campus.
Where do I go from here? I know what I am doing, where I am moving, but is that going to be the similar to Bluffton? Will I be able to fit in as easily or adjust to the world outside of this small town?? I was talking to a friend that goes to Bowling Green and how life on campus is for them and I realized that Bluffton is different. It isn’t just a school that I attended for 4 years, it is my life. I’ve grown in my beliefs, my friendships, my knowledge and experience at Bluffton. It has been the perfect fit for me, and even though sometimes throughout the past 4 years, I know I’ve been angry and frustrated at a few things, this place was where I needed to be.

A few things I think about for life after Bluffton,
1. To stay in touch with the people here
2. To stay in touch with the people that leave with me
3. To encourage all of you… to find your place and think about the people that have changed you… for good.

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Realization of sorts





It is funny when things happen. When friends you have grown to love and adore find things that they are going to do for the next few years. As a Senior, there are a lot of things that we tend to worry about. What is coming next? Where will I be? What am I going to do without the same girls in my life everyday? How am I going to leave Bluffton after this May? These questions have been running through my mind for a long time, and when I see my friends find some answers... it makes life better. :)

As I sit on my futon today a few things run through my mind...
1. That I need to get my paper finished for class next week.
2. That I need to start studying for my LSW exam
3. That I need to spend more time with my girlfriends.


Some of these things are fairly important... but the one that I want to focus most of my time on doesn't seem to be one that I am going to be graded on. :)

I hope you all enjoy the good weather that is to come and make sure to spend time with friends... that's what I plan to do. :)

Blessings of Peace,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Holy Smokes... where did the time go.

Well, hello week 10? Or is it 11? I am a student here and I don't even know the answer to that. Things are in that crazy mode, where students are getting antsy to be in the building and are beginning their search for summer jobs. What a blessing it is to know what is planned for this summer. I am one of the lucky ones.
Although I am graduating this May, I am not searching for jobs in my field. I have the next year planned and I am actually just floating through. (I actually like this feeling a little bit)

This summer I am working for Bluffton. There are certain summer jobs that are open to students that apply ahead of time. I was a lucky one. I will be on the "conference crew". I'm guessing this is cleaning in the summer and preparing for different events that might be happening on campus. It is a job and I will be working for my "boss" now, Mark. I'm not very worried. So my summer is planned....

After summer, comes alot more fun. I am moving to Pittsburgh in August to live in a house with 8 people from different places and will be volunteering my time in a nonprofit in Pitt. I am attaching the link to PULSE's website so you can look into it. www.pulsepittsburgh.org

I always knew that I wanted to do voluntary service right out of College, I just had to make a decision where. :) :)

Blessings of Peace,

Anna

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Well... how many days left??

This past week I have realized a few things...
1. That Spring Break is over.
2. That I wish I was at a beach soaking up the sun.
3. That the sun makes the world a better place.
4. Spring is literally right around the corner.
5. Friends are incredible. (Thanks, Joel)
6. I love Bluffton in the Spring.
7. I only have (about) 21 days left at my internship.

It is quite difficult to come back to class when the past 10 days were filled with 23 of your friends crammed into a small mini bus. This past break was one for the books. Shining Through took off for our every other year Spring Break tour filled with adventures. Whether we were laughing on the bus, playing trivia games, making hemp bracelets, worshiping at a church, beach, or high school, making new friends or sitting in silence, this past week was one that I can look back on and smile. I made memories that I will always remember.

So, after that week of greatness, it is hard to come back to Bluffton and jump back into things. I have talked to many of my friends who are feeling the same way. Most of our status' said that the beach looked really great right now, or that we want to have 10 more days together... obviously Administration, we need to make Spring Break LONGER!!! (Who would I go to about this??) :)
A few things that have made this week better, knowing that Spring is almost here, and that the sun is or will be shining. People are happier when the sun is out, and coming home from my placement to a "sun warmed car" is one of my favorite things. :)
Today has been a busy day. I drove into Lima for my placement and then couldn't get my car started once I was there. So after a long process of calling AAA and towing my car back to Bluffton, I realized that I was stranded in Lima. This is where friends are great!! I texted as many people as I could and found out that alot of them were busy at their own internship/student teaching. So I turn to people on campus. My dear friend Joel was able to take a break from sitting outside doing homework (don't get me started) to come and pick me up. :) What great people I know. After a small detour, he made it with a laugh on his face. This is why I LOVE my friends.

On Monday I walked on campus and stopped in my tracks. The green grass is starting to make an appearance, the sun was shining down on campus, the sky was blue and things just seemed at peace. I fell in love with the feel of this campus 4 years ago, and enjoy the fact that I still love it. :)

It is difficult to come back to things after a break, but one thing I did notice is that I only have 21 more days left of my internship. This fact is astonishing to me. I couldn't believe that time has gone by so quickly, but that i'm ready for it. Graduation things are appearing in my mailbox and I only seem to panic a little. I guess that is because I know what I'm doing... which in itself is exciting to say!!

I hope you all have a blessed Thursday tomorrow!!

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Monday, March 15, 2010

Catch up....






This past week was Spring Break. Oh how I needed those 10 days filled with friends. :) I am going to put up some pictures for today, but I hope to actually inform all of you what Shining Through accomplished that week!!! :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sunshine makes a difference..

When it is winter, the first few months people love it. Christmas would be coming, snow is new, its a lot of fun.... after a few weeks of that people being to drag....

Well, we are finally at that point when students are getting antsy. They want spring and sunshine, birds and warm weather. Today was our first little glimpse of that. It wasn't too warm, but students saw the sunshine and walked outside without a coat. What a difference the sun makes in lives. I can be honest and say that my smile was bigger than normal today... I will blame it on the sun. :) After a long day of teaching, my roommate came back exhausted, but hyper. We blame it on the sun.

This Friday starts the beginning of Spring Break tour for Shining Through. We are going to be traveling to North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. All of this will be occurring within 10 days in a bus full of people. It might sound horrible right now, but it is actually one of the greatest trips ever. :)

I am going to be pretty busy this week, and I hope for some time to breathe, but that might not come until Friday morning as I load myself into a bus filled with excitement.

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Sunday, February 28, 2010




My weekend...

The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived. *– Thomas Merton

I stole this quote from a friend of mine that is in South Africa with Radical Journey. Thanks Anna :)
---------------------------
This weekend is going to be filled with friends, food, laughter, more food, no homework and lots of girl time. Well, there are only a few ways that I can discuss my weekend and that happens to be through pictures.... so here we go!

These are pictures from sledding, Hannah's house, shopping, dancing, and a lot of friends.

10 things about Senior year that I love...

1. My friends
2. The spiritual feeling on campus
3. Shining Through
4. The dances
5. My internship
6. My roommate and our fish
7. Watching Bluffton welcome new faces
8. Seeing old friends return for a visit
9. No homework (second semester)
10. and being on this campus for 1 more year...

Enjoy the pictures... it was an enjoyable weekend. :)





Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Week 7?

When did February come and go? I can't believe that I am almost complete with my 7th week of my internship already. Things have been going great so far and I am excited for the next 7 weeks.

Outside of that, I am frantically planning for our Shining Through Spring Break tour. This happens every other year, and lucky me, I've gotten to plan this sort of trip 2 times. :) I am looking forward to this, but I'm hoping that we have everything done by next Friday. This will be a time of fun, friendship, fellowship, and praising our God. Oh how this group LOVES to do that!! It shall be one for the books!!


Whether I am running from internship to work, work to a meeting, class to dinner, or Shining through to my bed, I seem to be speeding past people these days and forget to take interest in the little things. I love catching up with old friends via phone or a coffee date, I love thinking about my Semester abroad that I was able to take, getting a morning text from friends, or sharing laughs with my closets friends. I was able to do all of those things this week. What blessings.
I hope that you find a "little thing" to cherish this week and take time to stop running from place to place and enjoy it.

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What am I doing right now???

Sitting in my room with my roommate anxiously watching the school 2-hour delays go across the screen. See, she hasn't had a full day of school in about 2 weeks. I know, I have entered the wrong profession. ;) Ashley has been excited to start teaching for the past few weeks, but she hasn't been able to with all of the delays and cancellations. Oh the lives of Seniors.... praying for snow delays and being jealous of the other for having them. :)

So far this week I have been in a panic. I took a look at my calendar for the rest of the year and realized that I only have 1 weekend free. Are you kidding? When did I get so busy that my life is planned up until the beginning of May? Don't get me wrong, I love being busy, but I graduate in May, and it is already coming quicker than I expected, so I have NO IDEA what I am going to be doing with myself after that.

I hope that you are all enjoying yourself tonight. It is fat Tuesday, so eat a lot of food, and I hope that you have a great start of Lent!

I am going to post some pictures from Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior year.... :) It will give you a taste of the past few years...



--senior, junior, sophomore, freshman---

Blessings of Peace,

Anna

Monday, February 15, 2010

Social work Capstone...

Well,
Many of you might know, if you have been following my blogs for the past 3 years, that I am a social work major. Yes, am one of those people that want to change the world and make little money. :) In previous posts I've talked about my internship and everything that has come with it, but something that I don't necessarily talk about is the Capstone class. Every Tuesday, I leave my internship early to drive back to Bluffton for an evening full of class. One is to check up on us to see if things are working out and the other one is to focus on Professional Development, Social work ethics and what we might expect after graduation. Within that last class we have a large paper that is due at the Beginning of April. The minimum is 25 pages. Granted, if we work enough ahead then things shouldn't be too bad, but for that one instance when we fall behind... it will be a rough couple weeks.
Within this paper, we are supposed to pick any part of social work and learn about it. Because I am working in a community Development section, that is what I picked. What is community dev. How can it help? What are some examples,etc. It should be an interesting paper, once I get into it, but until then... I am struggling to start it. I just need to put forth about an hour a day.. or even 2 hours. Any free time that I am sitting down I should be working on it... but there is so much more to do outside of homework..... ;)

I need to get my priorities straight. :)

Hope that you are all staying warm!!

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Friday, February 12, 2010

I love having....

This has been such a GREAT week! I have played in the snow with my closest friends, I've had a day off from my internship, and I've run an internship workshop. Oh man, it was incredible. I've had an awesome week. Yesterday at my internship was the "big day" that I've been waiting for. I had been planning for this workshop since the first week of my internship. Yesterday after my internship I've never felt so grown up. I was able to sit down and talk to these members of the Community of Lima and talk to them about what they can do within their organization. How impressive.

It was a good day overall and now I will be going home for the first time since Christmas break. I can't wait to sit and relax at home with some good food and my parents!
I hope you all have a good valentines day! :)
Blessings of Peace,
Anna





Wednesday, February 10, 2010

LDP retreat





This past weekend was awesome. I know that it is Wednesday and I am just writing about it, but I think that it is an important event to talk about. LDP Retreat. Leadership Development Program. This program consists of all of the "leaders" on campus. If you are an RA, Hall Chaplain, Student Senate, MCB, or any spiritual life activity on campus. If you are a student coordinator, then you apart of LDP. This weekend has always been one of my very favorites. It is a time when we as leaders spend time together and learn more about each other. It is a time of fun, relaxation and friends. One of my favorite things about this is that we have a group of our "advisors" also there to join in the fun. From learning about our civic engagement theme, to playing multiple icebreakers and worshiping together, LDP was incredible.

Along with our weekend of learning, came a weekend of SNOW. That was the start of the massive snow storms that would soon hit us this week. Driving back to Bluffton wasn't very exciting, but very terrifying. I learned alot this weekend, whether it was through loving friends, playing games with people I didn't know, or through helping one another push cars out of the snow. There are quality people at Bluffton, and I have the opportunity to know a lot of them.

I hope you aren't snowed in...

Stay warm,
Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A picture speaks 1000 words...

I promise that I will post all about my weekend tomorrow... but I wanted to get some pictures up beforehand! :) :)

There are some from my internship office, this past weekends LDP retreat and the people that I love!! :)

Our weekend pep talk... from Megan...
video



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A February full of things....

Good Afternoon,
I wanted to update you all a little bit on what I am doing within my internship. I am at the Department of Community Development in Lima. I am working with "the city" and have noticed that there are quite a few stipulations that go along with that title. I working towards my social work practicum so I will be doing this field placement until the end of the semester. I will be honest with you... I am already exhausted and have gotten a little tired of sitting around waiting. The very different thing with my placement is that I am working within the Macro field of Social work instead of the micro. I don't necessarily work with individuals like my friends and other social work students might, I am building this relationship between the community, activities, events, and the individuals. I seem to like the term "umbrella group." We have alot that we are trying to "keep dry" and build up beneath our department. We have neighborhood specialist (whom I work under), Property Maintenance, Affordable housing, and much more. Within the department we have about 11 people working. I really enjoy going into work every day because I like to listen to the conversation around me.... chatting about their long day yesterday, about the shows on tv, but also about what it is they want to accomplish within the day. I have my own "cubby" as I might call it where I have access to a computer, phone, printer, and a LOT of informational tools. From older manuals, to new journals and books. My field instructor is an incredible woman that is always encouraging me to read new things. She likes to let me go off and figure things out by myself, which is a challenge, because I'm not a decision maker. :)

This is my 4th week at placement and I have been designing different workshops that will include differnet people from the neighborhood associations as well as the community members. It is a very exciting task. I've been prepping for this event and it is right around the corner. From trying to find speakers, to making sure I know the information, it has been a busy week.

Outside of my internship I have to go back to Bluffton once a week for class. I have 2 differnet classes, that only meet once a week, and I tend to not really call one a class. It meets for about an hour once a week and is alot of discussion.....

I can't wait to share more about how the workshops have turned out, my time at placement, and the last semester of my career at Bluffton.

I hope you enjoy the day and that you are staying warm, because it seems to be snowing here.

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Shining Through

There have been plenty of posts where I mention the group Shining Through and how incredible they are. This post, I will actually go a little more in depth about them(us). Shining Through is a group of 20 students that come together 1 time a week and practice singing different songs. We are a group of 20 different...very different people that come together to worship. Practice usually last for about 1 1/2 hours and is filled with music. We have a piano, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and drums. So after one semester of practice we go out to different churches and hold a service that includes, testimonies from students and music. We do it for the congregation in hopes that they join in with us and a lot of times they do. :)
Last weekend, we had a service in West Liberty, Ohio and I think I got more joy out of singing with them then they might have. We have services that move my heart every time. It is a brilliant group to be a part of, and I am blessed by every person within the group!

--------
Click. Submit. Send.
Those three particular things were very important to me on Wednesday night. I am looking into what to do after graduation and I know that the one thing that I want to do is Voluntary Service. It is a time for me to give back for a year and I think it is a great idea. Well, this past Wednesday I turned in my early deadline for an organization that I am applying for. It is called the PULSE program. It takes place in Pittsburgh PA, and is an 11 month program. I've heard about it from 2 of my dear friends (and past Shining Through-ers). I will copy the website, so if you are interested to read up about it, you can do so. :)

Life seems to be moving along. I can't believe that tomorrow is February and that I have been at my internship for 3 weeks now. I never expected time to fly so quickly, but it has....

I hope that you are staying busy and that you enjoy the sunshine that seems to be shining in my window this morning! :)

Blessings of peace,
Anna

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Many things to be thankful for...

Today is my nieces 1st birthday! Happy Birthday Lete! :)
It is hard to believe that 1 year ago I was just getting back to Bluffton from Northern Ireland and not fitting back in. This little girls birth gave me hope for the rest of the year! Now its one year later and I can't believe that I have to leave this place soon. I am so grateful for my past years at Bluffton,(and I know this sounds corny) but I wouldn't change a lot. I've had my good days and bad days. I've found some of the greatest people in my life and I've shared incredible moments with them. I am so blessed.
Tonight I had the opportunity to eat away from campus for once. There is this incredible couple in Bluffton named Esther and Wendell and they are the two most incredible people I've ever met. They always open their home up for students to come and eat an incredible meal. Tonight I took my roommate from last year and we ate a LOT of food. From Mexican stuffed shells, to lemon fluff pie, with German chocolate coffee, this night was incredible. It is easy to sit down at the table with them and talk all about what we are doing. It is almost like we are home for a split second and our parents are asking us how our days went. Esther and Wendell are kind of like parents to 500 or so college students over the past 10 or so years. I am thankful for Esther and Wendell and their incredible hospitality.

This week has been a busy one, whether I am rushing from one meeting to another. There have definitely been times when I just want to sit down and not do anything, but having an internship doesn't allow that. There is something good that has happened the past few days, I have woken up to a beautiful sunrise every morning as I drive to Lima. Its more of a peaceful "good morning Anna, drive safely this morning." Or maybe that is how I take it! It makes me smile every time.... so I am also thankful for the morning sunshine! :)

I hope you find that you are thankful for little unexpected things this week.
Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Grad School chats, chinese food, movies and more

This weekend was full of the "future". Ashley, Hannah, Megan and I have been busy the past 2 weeks finding out schedules and we have had a hard time finding time to hang out. Within the past few weeks a lot has happened, and its hard to not see your best friends as we have before. So, this weekend was devoted to catching up. We spend Friday night playing games and having fun. Saturday catching up on sleep and starting applications for grad schools, voluntary service and teaching positions. Saturday night was filled with Chinese food and a movie, and this afternoon was our apart day. It is strange to think that within the next 6 months one of us will be married, one of us might be living in a different state, another might be in grad school, and two might have real jobs and their own place. When did college go from being a place we lived for 3 years taking classes and hanging out, to a place that we will only be at for 3 months plus a few days and then we will have to find something else.
There are times when I panic more than I should. I panic about what will happen with relationships when we leave, how will if feel when we all see each other maybe once or twice a year? What will Bluffton be like without us here? There are so many questions that I ask, but know I can't find an answer.
One thing I have learned is that things will happen, whether they are good or bad, they will continue to happen, but it is what we do when they happen. That is important. I know that I won't get to talk to my best friends every day or even see them every month in September, but I can stay in contact with them, and continue to build relationship.


It was a good weekend filled with applications, food, friends, games, laughter and a lot more. I am soaking up every one of these weekends this semester.... It's second semester senior year and I am going to make the most of it. :)

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My week of adventures...

Well,
This week was interesting. I had few days filled with coffee problems and I couldn't wait to post an email that I wrote on my blog for all of you to read.. :)

Well,
I have officially started off my day crabby. I dont know if it was because I needed more sleep, or because I wanted yet another day off, but it wasn't good. I am currently at my internship, but the events leading up to getting here were not the best.
So my alarm goes off at 6:50 and I think its a dream. It wasn't. I had to get out of bed... i didn't want too. Bathroom, brush my teeth, shower. Check. While I was walking into the shower, someone was vomiting in the bathroom. gross. It wasn't like a little vomit, it was a BIG, LOUD, DISGUSTING make me want to vomit, vomit. I ran in the shower feeling sorry for that person, but hoping it wasn't the flu because I don't want to get sick. I get out of the shower, walk across the hall and quietly (because ashley gets to sleep in on tuesdays) start to get ready. Blow dry and straighten my hair and its one of those days when it just wont look right, but due to it being short, I can't do anything about it.... so my hair looks like crap. On the plus side the $650 eye drops seem to be working, because today was the first day I could wear my contact for about 8 hours and they feel fine so far. ;) I'm running behind because I can barely see in my room and my brain wasn't working because I didn't know what to wear. (I don't think I even match today...) I go to grab my black sweater and shoes and there is something all over my sweater... come to find out its wax from my candle warmer... gross. (how do you get wax out of clothes??) Grab everything else walk out to the car only to realize its death outside. Apparently there was a mist of rain last night that froze and made a fine layer of ice. I go to defrost my car and use this spray mom bought me only to see that it fogs up the window when you use it. I'm driving through Bluffton looking out a small peep hole in my fog cover window. I get to Lima in record time (18 minutes.) and go to get out of my car to get my lunch out of the back seat. I of course set my coffee cup on top of the car so I could use both hands to only see that the fine layer of ice is still there and I watched my coffee slide off the roof... I don't know how it happened... there is now coffee in my car, but to my suprise I have a "super" coffee mug that held together and kept at least 3/4 of the coffee in. woot.

Hopefully things will pick up!! :)
-----
This week was interesting. I have started to fill out my applications for things to do after Bluffton. It is intimidating to thinking about finishing up my Senior year and starting over. I've lived here for the past 4 years, I don't think I want to leave. Oh the emotions that are running through my mind...

Blessings of Peace,
Anna

Monday, January 18, 2010

Oh what to talk about.....

There are times throughout the day that I have to remind myself that I must blog this week. I know, many might think that it is an easy thing to remember but with everything going on all the time, it isn't. I love blogging, truly I do, but there are times when I wonder if you are interested in the things that I might write about. ;)

Today, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Which means that students don't have class, student teachers don't have to go to school, and some internships aren't taking place..... mine! :) It was a really nice feeling to wake up a little later than normal and put on jeans for the day. Granted, I love my internship, but sometimes black pant and a dress shirt just don't feel the same as jeans and a hoodie. :) I spent the day curled up under a blanket with my homework laying out in front of me on the futon. I like to call these days... lazy days. It is a time for one to debrief the events that lead up to a "lazy day." Whether or not they were hectic events or a busy week. Lazy days can be great!

Tonight, I am booked solid. I work from 5-8:30 at the front desk answering phones and then have BASIC tonight at 9:30pm. It should be fun to catch up with people from the group, but might also be a long night. I want to make sure that I leave around 10:40 ish, so I am up and ready for tomorrow... the start of another work week.

It feels a bit strange to get up every morning planning on when bed time is, but I guess I need to work on that because in a few short months that will be happening all the time. Crazy.

I hope that you are all enjoying your MLK day, and that you have a refreshing week.

Blessings of Peace,
Anna