Fork in the Road..

I read in my October issue of Real Simple this week of some things that can make you over-tired.  Excess amounts of stress, poor diet and/or lack of exercise, bouts of depression, and so on.  Oh, so that's why I am so tired.  This semester has literally been the very best and the very worst one yet.  Praise the Lord for all the good things is really all I have to say about that one.

I feel like nothing is in my control right now.  My fate, if you will, is in the hands of others in more ways than one.  School.  No matter how well I think I do, ultimately whether I pass or fail (and thus whether or not I pass or fail college in its entirety) is in the hands of other people.  All I can do is continue to do my best and learn and work hard and hope that is enough.  Next year is also out of my hands.  I feel like we are at a crossroads and the next couple years could go in about three directions.  1) A teaching job could magically appear out of nowhere in the midst of budget cuts and firings, and I could actually teach some sort of English class in the fall.  2) If that teaching job does not come, I could finish the three classes of college I have to complete yet a third degree (with still no actual job to show for it), which could lead a number of different ways in and of itself.  3) Nick and I are applying to be the new dorm parents at the girl's dorm at MCC and are really excited about the opportunity that could be.  Right now we are just praying for wisdom and that the right person/people for the job are selected, and that if God does not open that door for us, that another one would open in which we could do ministry as well.  I secretly have always wanted to be the dorm mom, ever since probably my first or second year of college, and see so much how I could be used in that position, but, like I said, am trusting God has a plan not only for me but also the community of Manhattan Christian College and that if Nick and I are supposed to be a part of it, then it will happen, and if not, like I said, I trust he will open doors to do ministry in another way.  Oh, but if we do happen to be selected, I will not teach right away, as the schedule for a teacher (early mornings/nights, lots of planning and paper-grading, large chunk of time commitment required, etc.) is not conducive to sharing the schedule for a dorm mom (later nights, need/want to be on campus at least most of the time, need/want to be involved in campus life and invest in girls, large chunk of time commitment, etc.), but I would still plan on subbing some to stay involved with teaching and continue to develop and build relationships with people in the schools in this area so I would have more ease in finding a teaching job in the future.  I just want to be able to give a hundred percent to whatever I end up doing...

All those things said, I feel just completely out of control and as if I am at a fork in this road of life, and could go any of the three-plus ways and could do great things for the Kingdom in His love... I just want to know which one is right or best for us, and am not doing well at being patient.

I am also about to actually, finally, for real-ly graduate college in just 41 days, including weekends.  OMG, yikes, ptL.


But why?

I am discontent.  I am uncomfortable.  I have been longing for a place I've never known, only heard about.  I get it.  I get that this is how it feels sometimes, that I was created for something greater, that this is not my home.  That this place, this earth will never truly be or feel like home, because it is not, and it never will be.  I hardly take time anymore to long for Heaven, to really yearn to be in the presence of my Lord, to truly be able to worship at His actual throne, but recently I have just felt out of place and so deeply desired to be home

I so badly want people to see something in me, to notice I am different, to wonder why I am the way I am, how I can continue to hope, continue to love, continue to try, to want what I have... but it is just so hard.  I miss being surrounded by a group of men and women on a daily basis who want the same things as me.  Who desire to take His name and power to every single strech of this earth, who want to be seen as different, who serve something and someone so much greater than ourselves.  Why is it so hard, once you have tasted and seen, once you have truly experienced what being His is like, what having eternal hope and real peace, what true surrender of power and control can really feel like?  Why, once we have experienced God, do we turn away?  Why do we not let our lives, every pore, every second of every day proclaim the glory we know and have?  Why do we keep it inside, private, secret?  Are we ashamed?  Are we ashamed of peace?  Of joy?  Of true contentment and fulfilment?  What?? 

Why is it so difficult once we leave our home, our safe, comfortable home surrounded by those who want what is best for us, who desire true joy and love for us, who want those same things as us, why is it so hard to live that out and share that with other people?  Why do we allow sinful life to consume us, why do we allow others' emptiness suck us in too?  Why can't we offer the hope we have to them, instead of them bringing us down into their empty, lonely pit? 

"Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us."  1 Peter 2:11-12


The Prairie Awaits

Now don't get me wrong, I love ol' Manhattan and living in the Midwest is the closest I will ever get to my dream life on the prairie, but shoot, this girl was made for another era!  For years and years and years and years I have been known to read a plethora of books so generously coined "prairie books" (typically comlpete with some sort of scowl) by my dear and favorite sister Sarah.  If you are unfamiliar with the term or even the concept, the majority of said "prairie books" are written by Christian women, most likely just as infatuated as I am by the simplicity and hard working days of prairie life, usually about young women who fall in love, have babies, wear cotton dresses, bake, make friends, and grow to love the Lord more through conflict, struggle, lots of sad sickness and death, and the occasional prairie fire.  Now, please tell me, what about that situation does not sound like something I would like to be a part of??  Exactly. 

I have read approximately 87,009 of these delectible novels and sometimes find myself longing for this time, place, era, that I know only in my beautiful imagination.  I asked Nick if we could move to the prairie and throw out our cell phones and grow our own food and have black-and-white-spotted-cows and build our own cabin... but he said no.  UHH, why the heck not??  I could teach in that precious one-room schoolhouse, and we could have a wagon, and we could live in the wide open hills and spaces and stop missing God in nature because He would be so much easier to see!

I do understand the unrealistic nature of my desire, as well as that the seemingly ideal prairie days too came with hardship and struggle just as our fast-paced, high-tech, busy days do as well, but continue to long for a slower, more simple life.  I suppose I could throw out my phone and shut my computer and turn off the tv, I could become even more of a hermit and have babies (in 43 years) and bake and have a cow (in our apartment?!), but the times call for speed, for keeping up with the Jones' (who are they, anyway??), for rushing, for living vicariously through our to-do lists, and so on.

Perhaps I will continue to, despite my dear husbands pleadings, decorate our little home with touches of the prairie (thank you Mom and Mona for giving us the craft-fair upbringing you did) and begin to simplify my life in the here and now, secretly wishing just a teeny bit that someday, maaaayyybe someday, Mr. Brown will move us out to the hills and all my bestest friends will be the neighbors that live a mile walk away and we WILL one day drink lemonade on our porches and raise those babies to be best friends just like us. 


busy busy busy!

So a few weeks ago my beautiful little sister and her (then) boyfriend got engaged!  I was able to be a special part of that and took her to meet him (surprise!) at the place where they met for the very first time (MCC's girl's dorm lobby).  She was so surprised and thrilled and will be marrying her very best friend Mark Komosa on Saturday, May 21st, 2011!!!!!  I am so excited for them and can see God so evidently working in their relationship and through the two of them, and cannot wait to see where He takes them in the not-so-distant future and the great things that come!  I will be oh so heartbroken to see them (mostly her, sorry Mark-o) move anywhere but where I am living (umm, why did no one warn me that she and I would not always live within ten minutes of each other???  NOT prepared for this separation!) but am so so assured and reassured that God has the two of them right in His hand and is using them to share who He is now and will continue to do so in Indiana, Minnesota, or Timbuctu.  And really, just another place to visit my friends and vacation!  (Hopefully soon I will get to go to Maryland and see mbfitwww....)  I am seriously so thrilled for them and am so excited to have another BIL!  Growing up with just girls (and of course the best and most awesomest man-Dad in the whole world!!!) I don't know a whole lot about boys and boy stuff, but am so excited for the years to come as we welcome now TWO more men into the Troutt family and learn so much about and from them!

So yesterday, the Mom, Alli, Sarah and I went wedding dress shopping for Sarah!!!  We started the day at Hastings with yummy yummy coffee (ps. I have started drinking coffee, one of the better decisions I have made in this lifetime, delishhhh!!!) drinks and headed for Topeka!  We arrived at David's Bridal ten minutes before her appointment so we giggled and talked about how excited we were to all be hanging out and especially for Sarah and Mark to get married!!!  She tried on the first dress and the water-works came before she even left the dressing room!  Sheesh, she is just so beautiful.  The dress was PERFECT and exactly (like, seriously, exactly) what she was looking for!!!  Just in case she tried on like five more, but none compared to the first one.  WOOOOOO-HOOO!!!!!  So much fun!!   (And so nuts that Sar is getting married...I mean, not like bad, nuts, just like, holy cow, nuts!!!)

Then we headed to the mall for some delicious Chik-fil-A and Ice Dream (best!!!) and shopping at the Gap Outlet and Old Navy.  I have been trying to step outside my solid-prints and clean cut lines and widen my clothing horizon and I got a couple new little pieces on great sale yesterday!!!  SO proud.  New little pink argyle cardigan, a ruffled teal shirt, and a sweet belt will hopefully be some fun new outfits this week!

Anyway, yesterday was just the best and I was reminded yet again of how incredible our God is and how He places people and instances in our lives to shape us and encourage us and ultimately make us more like Him.  PtL for those people, and thank you Lord for your blessings!!

We have finally almost finished putting our little home together and I want to post some pics of it soon!  The weekdays are so so busy and I just don't ever feel like thinking or working on anything outside of school.  (Bad mentality, yes, working on it...)  Lots more bloggy to come though, as the leaves begin to change and the wind begins to blow and Jesus continues to be the one perfect thing in our lives.