Monday, September 30, 2013

in the eye of the storm


There are so many things I want to write about and yet how to isolate a single swirling thought long enough to capture it on the page?

I love telling people that "oh, I think I have rehearsal that night" because I love talking about Les Mis and I love this ridonkulously talented cast and I love getting to pour my heart into singing and acting out this story that I have loved for so long.

I love getting to say that I am a theatre major because not only holy moley gosh sakes I get to be a theatre major but also because when people ask me what I plan to do with that degree I love telling them that I have no clue but I'm not worried in the slightest.  Because I didn't plan on studying theatre, and there's no way I would be even now if some things hadn't fallen out of place and other things fallen into place and if it hadn't been a God thing and he hadn't opened up a lot of opportunities and so guess what?  If he has me here, he can figure it out and use me however he wants.

I like working at the statehouse for the House of Representatives.  It's weird, but I do.  I enjoy getting to know people here, and the connections, and running into people I met during my internship.  I love how people call me "Jennnnnnifer" and how people I don't even know ask if I'm "the girl who spills coffee."

I really really love going to church.  I went to church Sunday morning and then crankily went with Cassie to her friends' church Sunday night, but sitting there I was just thinking wowow church is so good.  Not flawless, definitely.  But it has just struck me more and more recently how important church is because, well, it's biblical, but also because God works through it so so much.  There is hardly an inapplicable message to me these days, and I'm not sure if that's God's sense of humor or what.

I am so indebted, so in awe of, so grateful for the faithfulness of my Jesus.  I could expand on that for days, but seriously, my Savior just blows my mind.

I love going to shows with my family (Cirque de Soleil and Jersey Boys, recently!).  I love exploring campus with Grant (comfy chairs and rooftop gardens, yeah buddy).  I love taking my little sisters places and that my big sister comes home for weekends a lot still.  I like going to sit in the closest coffeeshop to study until it gets dark and maybe make friends with the baristas, too.

It's funny how I can write that all out and it sounds like I do a lot, and yet when someone asks me about my life, I usually answer with oh, not much is happening.  Perspective changes things.

Sometimes I feel very small, you know?  Actually, to be honest, I feel small a lot.  I feel like a little kid looking up at this big, confusing, complicated world, and I wonder where will I ever fit in?  But every once in awhile I can take a step further back and realize that sometimes it's the good kind of small I'm feeling.  Where I'm caught up in a grand adventure much vaster than I could imagine and definitely much bigger than myself.  And those are the times when I get really excited for what God's doing, and really grateful that he's the one doing it, not me.

It's comforting sometimes to remember that I'm just a character in this story, not the author, not even the hero.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

morning in strasbourg


on our busy mornings in strasbourg, when we'd be hurrying out into town to go to the market or catch the train, things were boisterous and chaotic as we'd pack our lunches into the backpack and decide which shoes would be best for walking that day.  not this morning, though.  the quiet mornings, they were my favorite, I think.  usually Grant and Malik would run early to get a fresh baguette from the boulangerie, and maybe a couple croissants or some pain au chocolat.  we'd eat with the morning sunlight pouring in the window.  Lori usually left the newspaper on the table, and my mom would often scour the map as we planned our day.  Grant and I would maybe play a game of jungle speed (couldn't go a day without it there, you know), and I would journal, like I did every day.

they were good mornings, those slow ones in strasbourg.  I miss them.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

you'll be in my heart


I was going to write about past things until I realized that I didn't want to write about past things.  I was going to write about sad things until I realized that I didn't want to write about sad things.  Not today.  I want to write about now things, and I want to write about happy things, you know, the little ones.

Like when someone waits to hold the door open for you.
Or you can laugh with someone because you just did something really awkward and, yeah, people noticed.
When you find out someone you already like a lot loves Jesus too.
People smiling at you because you tell them it's Jenn spelled with two n's.
How about seeing old people dance.  Is there anything cuter than seeing old people dance?
And talking with someone you miss, because even if the missing doesn't stop, it's somehow made better by knowing they miss you too.
Then there's sitting on your cluttered floor when your little sisters come into talk to you even though they're supposed to be in bed.
When a random guy you just met on the bus says your eyes are really pretty.
Or when little kids want to hold your hand.
You know how certain smells bring back memories like crazy?  Pretty much all of fall is like that for me.
Running into ten people you know on campus in one day, people who you never see otherwise.
When Grant pokes his head in my door and smiles and says, "coffee?"
How I get out of the car when I get home late at night and whenever I see the stars, I instinctively start to sing "You'll Be In My Heart."
Realizing you're actually grateful to have things to miss.
Friends that will sing with you, go to shows with you, do nothing with you, and it's still the best day.
And when everyone starts to post about sweater weather and pumpkin flavored drinks, and everyone else starts to make fun about people who post said things, but we all know deep down that heck, everyone loves sweaters and pumpkin flavored drinks.
Laughing at the oddest dreams.
Those rare nights when you get twelve hours of sleep.
When you can't stop smiling in theatre class.
When design class makes you look at the world a different way.
And let's not forget those beautiful rare moments when math homework actually makes sense.
Or when someone makes a point to tell you that they want you to come/want to see you, or when they initiate the conversation.
Times that it's still nice enough to drive with the windows down.
Sitting in coffee shops by yourself when there's really good music.

There's lots of little happy things, guys.  What are some of yours?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Esther, Hannah, Rachael | seniors (plus cool things)


Let me introduce you to three of the best girls I know.  From left to right, Rachael, Hannah, and Esther, and darling, each and every one of them.  Hannah and Esther have been part of my "fantabulous fivesome" group (myself and four other friends) over the past many years, and they are like two peas in a pod, really closer to sisters than best friends.  Rachael is Hannah's sister, and as they were all graduating at once, I say, why not have pictures together?

Also to start off as incentive you should read all the way through this post because there's cool things at the bottom yup. (you can do it. this is not bribery. I have faith in you.)


Off we went gallivanting about the wood and down by the reservoir.  Something I find really funny: Hannah & Esther are super super close, and yet holding hands made them super super uncomfortable.  It was absolutely hilarious.  They did it for about a minute and then were like, "no. no we don't do this." ahaha.


Esther has cool sunglasses (and she knows it).


If you knew Hannah, you'd know that one of the first words that comes to mind upon hearing her name is joy.  Hannah is full of life and love for her Jesus and for people around her.  Her heart is as big as her smile and her laugh is one of the best sounds ever.


Esther is hands-down one of the classiest people I know.  She is driven and she is caring and she always has your back.  She's really deep and is someone you can trust and pick up with right where you left off, no matter how long it's been.  


Rachael is an absolute sweetheart.  She gives the best hugs and is ready with a smile for anyone, and you seriously can't help but laugh with her when she does.  Also, the love she and Hannah have for each other is just so so sweet to see.


Love these girls a lot.  (Also they have good senses of style, amen.)  Also you wanna know a good feeling?  Going to a grad party and seeing your photos printed out and in everyone's hands.  Yeeeah, that's a good feeling.

In other news, those cool things!  First off, school is school but guys I'm studying theatre and I love it so much.  Seriously, I walk out of my theatre classes and I can't help but smile because we talk about nerdy theatre stuff and it's just what I love.  So I'm soaking that all up and trying not to drown in homework and focus on the fact that somehow God was nice enough to me to let me do what I love best.

Secondly, and if you follow me on any other social media you may know this, but guyyyyys I'm in a theatrical production of Les Misérables. (!!)  I auditioned last week (where ahem I sang better than I've ever sung in my life before or since) and got called back (seriously guys getting called back for Les Mis is going on my resume) and got to sing Cosette really badly (too high for my range) and found out the next day I was cast (as women's chorus, so...lovely lady, worker, townsperson...with a few solo lines!) and we had our first rehearsal the day after that and wow this cast is so talented and I'm so flippin' excited.  This is like a major life dream being fulfilled. wowow.

So that's the most exciting thing in my life right now.  Welcome to rehearsals four times a week and no social life, Jenn.  If I start to complain, remind me that I asked for this, okay?

xo, meeee