Friday, January 28, 2011

Why I love Colorado (Part Two)

8.  The weather here is amazing.  Currently, it is 65 degrees outside. Enough said.

Going for a run in Garden of the Gods

9.  Dry Weather.  My eyes might hate it, but my greasy hair and skin are loving it!

(I thought I'd do us all a favor and skip a picture for this one...)

10.  Architecture.  I'm not really into design, but I must say that the Midwest could learn a few things from the Springs.  Everything here, from the colors to the layout, goes together so nicely.  

One of the buildings at Focus on the Family

11.  Beautiful, beautiful mountains

12. And last but not least, these awesome people who I can now call my friends

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why I love Colorado (Part One)

I have decided that Colorado might be one of the greatest places in the whole world.  I know some of you might disagree, so in defense, I have come up with a few reasons why I love it here (in no particular order)

1.  I was born here.  

No, its not great because I was born here, but stating that makes me feel less like a tourist and more like I actually know what I am talking about (when I clearly don't)

2. The Sun! My goodness, coming from the cloudy Midwest I forgot that the sun even existed during January. And now I have to carry my sunglasses around with me.  Its glorious

(don't judge the picture, that is what you get when you google sunny colorado)

3.  Due to the wisdom of my dear friend Laurie, I learned that you can get a free drink at Chipotle in the Springs with a student ID.  As if I needed another reason to love Chipotle...

4.  The speed limit here is 75.  Granted, my car can't really get up to that speed in this altitude, but I'm sure going that fast is really really cool

5.  It's not Indiana...

6.  You can get a tan here so quickly! After spending the day outside on Saturday I had a realized I almost got burnt. And if that fails, there is a free tanning bed in my apartment complext (you should be proud that I am practicing self control)

7.  The altitude is a great excuse. For everything. Being winded walking up the stairs.  Having a shorter work out. Or maybe not working out at all.  But seriously, who would have thought it would make that much of a difference!

(picture I took on a hike this weekend. please believe me when I say it is 10 times more beautiful in person)

well, speaking of the altitude, I'm exhausted.  Stay tuned for the second half of my list 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mountain Weekend

I just got back from spending the weekend in the beautiful Colorado mountians.  I really can't even begin to describe how amazing the scenery was.  We were at a remote retreat center owned by InterVarsity that is used by different churches and Christian organizations. Apparently we weren't the only ones who knew that this was a great place to get away. We passed Search and Rescue/Colorado Police on our way up the mountain as they were looking for a bank robber who had fled west and was hiding in the mountian.  Stuff like that just doesn't happen in Minnesota.

The retreat was really great.  Very relaxed and spent most of our time just hanging out and exploring.  In a recent goal of mine to become more "fun" I have decided to take every opportunity presented to me.  I hiked, played hockey for the first time, went tubing, played broomball and everything else inbetween.  I also played lots of board games and had some really good conversations.

Being in this new social setting has also helped me learn a lot more about myself.  I am learning that I am not nearly as introverted as I think I am.  I have realized that meeting new people and small talk is really draining to me, but I get so much energy from real conversations.  I guess this is something I probably knew about myself before, but such a heavy contrast of both types of socializing this weekend really helped me to see that more clearly.

I am still constantly amazed at how different Focus and the people are than I expected them to be.  In fact, I would say Taylor is actually more conservative than Focus has been so far.  In addition, with sitting down and talking to the faculty and staff here, I am learning just how conservative I am! The students here are also great and fall on a pretty wide spectrum.  I love hearing where they are coming from and what their perspectives are on different issues.  Now that I have met almost everyone here, I am still trying to figure out exactly where I fit in. It is a humbling experience and has really taught me about what I desire in true friendships.

Once again, I'm sorry that none of this is ever really planned out before I sit down to write it.  Some people have also asked about pictures, I will put some up as soon as I can find that sneaky little USB cord that seems to be hiding at the bottom of my stuff. But for now I will let you live in your denial that wherever you are reading this is just as great as my balcony view of the mountains and 40 degree weather :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm finally here! Im sorry this is the first that I have updated because I'm sure you are all hanging on my every word...

After spending two weeks at Taylor working, I made a very quick trip back home to Minnesota.  Due to bad weather, my mom and I decided to leave early, which was a great decision. However, my time at home was very quick and very chaotic.  So crazy in fact that I forgot both my purse and computer at home.  And if you know me at all, you know that is not like me at all. But despite some early setbacks, it was a great trip.  My mom and I beat the weather and had a smooth trip out.

I must say that I wasn't looking forward to driving to Colorado, not that anyone would.  But it ended up being great. Because of busy schedules and 620 miles between us, my mom and I don't get to sit down and just talk very often.  During the 15 hour drive we never listend to music and almost never stopped talking. It was great to just catch up and enjoy time together. And my mom's excitement about visiting the Springs definitely helped me to become more excited as well.  So, thank you mom :) I know it probably isn't the ideal way to spend your vacation days, but I had a great time and truly enjoyed spending those longs days with you.

So, as for my time at Focus, it has been pretty exhausting.  This is the first time I have really sat down and just processed through everything (so I'm sorry you have to be victims of my mind's jumbled mess).  So far we have moved in and day 1 of orientation was this morning.  Being an introvert, I have really tried to push myself out of my comfort zone to get to know people.  I have met some great people and am excited for the opportunity to get to know them more.

Today, during lunch, some of the staff came to eat with us.  I sat next to the Director of Christian Values. So basically, he is the guy beneath the president that makes sure Focus stays consistent on different issues. Given the fact that he is really the brains that directs what Focus believes in, I loved the opportunity to talk to him.  We talked about how Focus is changing a lot under the new leadership and trying to approach the culture in a different way.  We also talked about homosexuality and specifically the hot button issue of what makes a person gay/lesbian.  This conversation was great for me.  I realized that Focus really doesn't fit in this narrow/ultra-conversative mindset that I had placed it in.  His views were very similar to mine and not only incorporated what the Bible had to say, but what science and research has shown as well.  I could rattle on about this forever, but this blog is already boring you I'm sure.

In the future I will try to keep my posts much shorter, I'm just trying to make up for lost time so I apologize. But here are some things you can be praying about for me if you so please

1. That God would keep breaking down the assumptions and expectations that I had set about the people and ministry here.

2. Continued growth in relationships with the people here. I'm not a huge fan of small talk and I am excited to finally develop friendships that go beyond "What school do you go to and where are you from?"

Thanks! I look forward to hearing about what is going on in your lives as well!