Monday, January 18, 2016

The Moment Your Nose Hairs Freeze

I think we all knew that a post about the cold was coming. Anyone who has known me over a good course of time would be able to tell you I'm not a fan of any temperature below 50 degrees. I like warmth, I like the sun, I like country music blaring when my windows rolled down. I like ice in my coffee, and sunbathing on the river bank. I'm a summer child.

Then I moved to Minnesota. 

Before I made the (almost) 2,000 mile cross country drive, I handled the idea of moving to the north in one way. I didn't think about it. When I did I just kept telling myself that I would adjust. Bring enough layering pieces and all would be well. 

My first weekend in Minnesota really wasn't that bad. In fact, the temperature here was warmer than it was back home, which I found fairly ironic. This quickly changed however and very suddenly there was a whisper (it was more like screams, wails, and gnashing of teeth) throughout the dorm. Something akin to, "it's going to be -11 degrees tomorrow."  

I did what my best friend has taught me to do over the last couple of years when I'm unsure about something, which was shrug and say "it'll be fiiiiiiiiiiine," then promptly escort the thought out of my mind. 

Right up until I stepped outside and the hair inside my nose promptly froze. I don't know, dear reader, if you've ever had the opportunity to experience frozen nose hair. At first, you don't exactly realize that's what's happened because you're too focused on the fact that your face is in pain, simply from exiting the building. Somewhere, however, in the midst of wondering why anyone lives in a place where being outdoors causes pain to your face, you sniff once, maybe twice... and then three times. When the realization hits you that the hair INSIDE your nose has stiffened and hardened due to the cold, you really begin to rethink your life choices. Why Minnesota? 

Going to a missions school, I guess it would be expected that I learn a lot about the bible, and religion, and prayer, and I guess I have been learning a lot in those areas, but there are two main lessons I've learned about God in the last couple of weeks. 
  1. He is strategic 
  2. He has a great sense of humor
Bethany was founded in 1945 by five families who sold everything they had and moved into a 30 room house which they called "Bethany House." The house was in Minneapolis. Now, there are several reasons I think God thought this would be a suitable location for what He knew would grow into something so much bigger, but I think He really must have smiled to Himself when He put it in Minnesota. 

I think He was smiling because He knew 71 years later, an Oregonian girl with a summertime heart, would step out of her dorm room, her nose hairs would freeze, and she would proceed to converse with Him. 

"Why Minnesota God?"
"Why not Minnesota?"

"It's freezing. My face hurts because it's so cold." 

"You knew it would be cold, yet you still came." 

"You asked me to." 

He didn't answer, but I know, I just know, He smiled to Himself.

With Love,

Saturday, January 9, 2016

First Week!

Today closes my first week at Bethany Global University. Already, within this first week, I have a quiet peace within me that tells me I am in the right place. I look out my window at the snow (yay, Minnesota), see the trees moving in the wind, and I know that when I step outside my face will hurt because it's so cold. Yet, I still know that this is where I belong at the moment. Despite the cold, despite the 1,770 miles that separates me from my beloved Oregon and all the loved ones who are there, despite it all, this is where I need to be.

My roommate and I became friends within the first day of knowing each other, and since then have continued to realize if we have to share a living space with someone, we got the right person. We've had a little more time in the last couple of days to explore the city of Minneapolis and have had even more of a chance to get to know each other.

Today we got some Indian food in the Midtown Global Market and discussed our love for Africa. Our love for the beautiful landscape, the pleasantly simple culture, the smiles on the peoples faces, and the hospitality we found there. In that moment I saw her eyes light up, and heard the joy in her words and  she was stunningly beautiful, speaking of her passion. In that moment I knew I couldn't have chosen a better roommate for myself.

Yesterday we had the chance to walk around The Mall of America. We were very much like kids in a candy store. Almost everything we saw excited us, and we snapped plenty of pictures to text to family. Also, I discovered David's Tea which made me insanely happy. We brought back childhood memories by walking through American Girl, decided when we are slightly less poor college students we will ride some rollercoasters, and visit the aquarium. We also walked until our feet hurt, but it was worth it.

Our first day of class was yesterday, and while I'm nervous to get into the full swing of things (Monday, woot woot), I'm also excited. It's been so long since I've done any schooling that I'm just ready to learn again, and I already know I will come away from each period having learned something new.

I'm excited. I can't wait to see how I grow here. What I will learn, and to see the person I will become. Already I've met so many amazing people that I know will become important figures in my life.

With Love,