Naples, Florida (May 13-18)

Food, fun and friends!

I left Charlottesville the day after my last final, for beach week in Naples, Florida with two of my closest friends. It was a spontaneous decision I made right after coming back from Munich and I know probably not the smartest decision, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

It was a week full of good food,

Oatmeal and apples for breakfast, pizza, fish tacos, soup/salad, and thai chicken curry for lunch/dinner, and ice-cream for dessert. Tasty icecream combinations included: black raspberry, coffee with chocolate covered espresso beans, toasted coconut, blueberry cobbler, and vanilla oreo with brownie bites. YUM!

fun and restful days,

We went to Tin City, chilled at the pool, lied out on the beach, played put-put golf, saw the sunset while we ate cheesecake, had late night talks, started a mini bookclub (Angelfall by Susan EE), and took pics on the pier.

and friends who make me laugh!

From the unexpected start of our adventure to making it out of DC alive, traveling with these two was so much fun. It was a blessing to spend time together and reflect back on first year core group, this year, and what’s to come.

Other highlights included: Talking to my friend Kellie about her wedding AND being surprised by my core group girls who facetimed me while at SICM! I just love them so much.

Munich, Germany (May 2-9)

May 2-9, 2017 I was in Munich, Germany on vacation with my older sister. We bought flight tickets over spring break when I visited Cincinnati and didn’t look back. It’s important that I reference the dates because I had a 8-page religion final paper due during my stay and two finals to “study” for when I came back to the states. That’s right, I took a vacation during finals week.

Why? Continue Reading ->

April 2017 Wrap Up

April=the last real month of school. It’s crazy to think how fast this semester has gone by. I am now a rising fourth year! Where did the time go? April was full of growth, surprises, and bittersweet transitions.

Elected Chi Alpha VP: My fellowship had elections for the new exec and I was nominated. My dear friend and role model, who was the previous VP of Chi Alpha, spoke upon my behalf. By God’s grace, I was elected as VP of UVA XA for the 2017-2018 school year along with a FEMALE President! I am so excited to serve in this new capacity and be a bridge between staff and students.

One of my current housemates got engaged: She’s a year older than me but graduated a semester early. It’s crazy to see people I am close to get engaged, but super exciting nonetheless! We celebrated as a house at Mellow Mushroom.

One of my old housemates got engaged: My old housemate/house mom got engaged at Brooklyn Bridge and I couldn’t be happier for her. I know both parties because her now fiancé was our neighbor. He’s a great guy. 10 out of 10 would recommend. Their relationship is so beautiful not because they’re perfect, but because they both pursue the Lord in their relationship which allows them to extend grace to one another and communicate when things are wrong.

Nursing Networking: I went to my first networking event and it was so stressful. Ugh. It was at the Dean of Nursing’s pavilion and I got to meet the nurse manager of the UVA Hospital NICU. I enjoyed talking to her, but it was so painfully awkward trying to sell myself. I hope this gets easier. I got her contact info and sent a follow-up email afterwards though because I’d love to work in the NICU some time after graduation.

Baptisms and Brazos: 2 of the girls in my core group got baptized!!!!

3.2 for 3.2: I ran the 3.2 mile (not Kilometer) run with one of my housemates and got to visit her hometown. It was my first time visiting VT and I get why people love it. VT is much prettier in person and has great open spaces. The community of Blacksburg was also a beautiful sight to see. It came together for the 10 year anniversary of the event and provided support for the participants. After running, my housemate and I showered/changed and ate lunch at Macados. The food was so yummy. We low-key put ourselves in danger when we drove back to cville though because could barely keep our eyes open. Thank you Jesus for taking the wheel.

New House Hangout: The Arrow 2017-2018 had our first house hangout where we painted canvases for our bedroom doors. I am so excited to live with all of them next year!

Picnic with an old suite mate: I ran into my old suite mate from first year three times in the same week. I’ve been meaning to grab lunch with her to see how she was doing. It was so great to talk to her about summer plans, comm school, and wanting more in life. She asked a lot of questions about Christianity and I was able to share a bit of my testimony. She thought I had been a Christian my whole life when in reality I was saved in college. It was cool to dispel those preconceived notions and share what it’s been like to walk in faith. Definitely keep her in your prayers! God’s doing some crazy stuff in her life.

Last one-on-ones: The girls I met up with this year are all so different, yet all so wonderful! I finished up our last formal meet-ups of the school year and cast a vision for what the next year will look like. I learned so much about God and myself from our meet ups and I can’t wait to lead the same group of girls next year as a 2nd year core group leader! My core group will merge with one of my good friends, who was in my first year core group!! AHHH SO EXCITED FOR WHAT’S TO COME.

Climbing Outside: I went to Elizabeth Furnace for the first time and got wrecked. Loved climbing outdoors again though. The weather was absolutely perfect. ❤

Last CG, MNL, and Semiformal of the year! : All the feels. Read more about it in the previous blog post!

SPRING 2017: Affirmations, Semiformal, Last MNL

This past week has been full of the feels.

LAST CORE GROUP

I had my last core group of the school year. We washed each other’s feet, did affirmations, and read the letters we wrote to ourselves at the beginning of the year. It was so beautiful. 3 people affirmed each person and I couldn’t stop rejoicing over what the Lord had done this past year. As a core group leader, I was blessed enough to see the fruits of my labor at the end of this year. And after leading my second year, I recognize how truly special this group of girls are and that only by God’s grace we were able to get this close to one another. It can take more than one year to start seeing the fruit. And that is OK! That was something I had to learn for myself and was expectant towards the possibility of that happening again. The hours spent writing each handwritten note during fall blitz, coordinating with bro/sis leaders, prioritizing one-on-ones, juggling 3rd year nursing, and continuously dying to oneself was and is all worth it though because He is worth it. He is worthy of it all. The three girls I discipled affirmed me and it was magical. It’s been a joy to see them tangibly grow in their faith and go on to share that with others.

My affirmations

Katie: steadfast love, from going from a non touch person to a “oh yay i get to hug laura”, pursing so well even when she didn’t want to be in chi alpha and do the same thing as nat, being the first person to offer to share her eno even being on the higher tree, being welcoming, challenging her faith and to do devotional time
Kyla: texting about mnl, low key guilt tripping me, being mom/supporter means a lot being out of state, opening up house to stay for sicm, being so welcoming and pursuing even when she didnt come out to mnl/cg in the beginning, meeting up fun
Jay: telling the hard stuff even when it hurts, being persistent, and knowing the first question I’m going to ask when she returns from summer break

SEMIFORMAL

We got our CG photoshoot done before semiformal by my lovely housemate Hayley. We took them in a garden and they turned out beautiful! Afterwards, we ate at Waffle House with our bro/sis core groups and then danced the night away at Semiformal. It was a beautiful thing to feel totally at ease dancing like a mom with my core group and beloved friends. I felt a surge of nostalgia come over me, when the fourth years went into the middle of the circle during Lean On Me. These were the first people who pursued me in college. They radically showed Christ’s love for me and the plans He has for my life. There are not enough words for me to express my gratitude for the class of 2017, which brings me to the last MNL of my third year.

MNL
UVA chi alpha has a tradition of having the graduating fourth years walk in a progression like they would for graduation. This is a chance for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd years to cheer as they take their seats in the front as the worship band plays some music. The class was split between the two aisles but I watched as Marcellus, Clara, and Debbie walk past me. I started to tear up. My heart so full of gratitude not only for God’s goodness in placing these people in my lives, but for the many hours they gave to pour into me. Marcellus was one of the first men in Chi Alpha who I became close to and showed me how valuable opposite gender friendships can be. Clara was my first year core group leader and my first mentor. She met up with me every.single.week. And Debbie who showed me how to love unconditionally and serve others well, even when it seems like no one is appreciative of it. There are many more people I could talk about in the class of 2017: Ashley, Jenny, Brian, Katherine, Hannah S, Sarah L, and Tyler K.

Philippians 1:3-11 “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you…” Continue Reading ->

Baptisms!

Last Friday, two of the girls I disciple got baptized! It was on good Friday and was also on my 2-year anniversary of my own water baptism. What a beautiful time of worship and celebration. 23 people got baptized!! It was a joy to see these two beautiful women of God declare their faith in public. I am amazed at how God has moved and transformed each one of them and how our core group has loved each other so so well. They organized posters, flowers, and candies to give to Kyla and Katie. SO PROUD. Also, I couldn’t help but tear up during worship over the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice for us. The weight of His glory and presence was overwhelming and continues to humble me. What a great God we serve.

March 2017 Wrap Up

I kicked off March with Spring Break 2017: Cincinnati, OH and great convos with great people about missions.

Bhangra night: It was my first experience seeing classical Indian dance. The food was delicious and it was so much fun to watch people dance! I went with two of my housemates.

Brunch at Cafe Caturra: I had a friend date with one of my housemates and past co-leaders. The food was pretty good, but I’m in no rush to go back to try something else on the menu. The atmosphere was cozy and nice though. It was the perfect spot to have real talk and share common struggles of being soon-to-be fourth years.

La La Land: My school was showing it for free one weekend, so I stopped by to watch. I left pretty disappointed. It was not worth the hype. The soundtrack was 10/10, but the plot was pretty bland. The lack of diversity in the main cast for a movie about Jazz bothered me… And why was Ryan Gosling explaining the history of jazz? Not cool.

India Day: ISA hosted their annual culture show and half of my house went to watch. The dancing was AMAZING! I had no idea there was so much talent at UVA. The show was also very well organized and time efficient It was so fun to be exposed to Indian culture for a day. The free dinner was also a plus.

Charlottesville Symphony Concert: After India Day, I went to the Charlottesville Symphony Concert. I was one of maybe 5 undergrads in Old Cabell Hall. The rest were 50+ year old seniors. The orchestra was great, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the setlist. It was Tchaikovsky and I prefer more of Debussy’s style of music. Nevertheless, the crowd seemed to really enjoy it! They gave a standing ovation to 3/3 songs. I left during intermission, but I’m guessing they also gave the last song a standing ovation.

Downtown Pie date: I had a pie date with one of my housemates (no new friends) downtown. We were originally going to go to Paradox Pastry, but it was closed… on a Sunday! It turned out to be a blessing though because we got to check out a cute little pie shop called The Pie Chest. I got a vegetable pot pie while my housemate got a dark chocolate mouse pie (YUM!). They were both so so good and I will be coming back for more.

Sherry coming to cg: My friend who I met through Veritas is a nursing 2nd year PhD student who’s interested in experiencing the presence of God. How awesome is that?! She’s come to MNL a couple of times, but came to CG for the first time this month. I made dinner at my house beforehand, so we could walk over together to CG, and she brought a chocolate silk pie! My house and I ate some before I could get a proper picture, but it was delicious. She also really enjoyed cg and said she wants to learn about who Jesus is. We’ll be reading the book of Matthew together!!! It was a great night for her to come. I spearheaded this weeks study and the girls in our core group talked about their experiences with God and how they recognize Christ has changed their lives. As a result, that’s why we desire to invite others to experience His love and be saved.

Met my Thailand team over Skype: After CG, I met my Thailand team for the first time over Skype. They’re wonderful and I love them already. We went through a couple of logistics, but it was a relatively short meeting. AND PRAISE GOD!! I’ve support raised the amount for my first deadline. I am blown away by the body of Christ’s generosity and the amount that working people give. It was such an encouragement as I continue to pray through support raising and give-a-year.

Joining climbing team: I went climbing with UVA’s climbing team and had a blast. The people were wonderful and supportive. It was also nice to travel outside of Cville. We went to Rise Up in Lynchburg but the week before I went with Outdoors club and saw them at PEAK in Richmond. I can’t wait to get more involved and get to know more people in the club. It’s a small group of peeps, but a good group.

Why Thailand?

As I was sharing to a friend about about why I am going to Thailand this summer for missions, I thought a blog post would be a more organized way to share God’s faithfulness.

Spring 2015 (1st year) 

A missionary came to mnl and asked for people to stand if they were ready to give everything up for Jesus. He was referring to international missions and I was immediately taken aback. What about the lost people in America? Are the lost oversees more important than the lost here? What if I had brought a nonbeliever to this kind of message? Needless to say, I did not respond well. That week I met up with my mentor, at the time, and she explained that while there are lost people in the states there is a great need for missionaries abroad. And she challenged me to start caring for the lost abroad by asking God to place a specific location on my heart.

So I did.  Continue Reading ->