Sunday, September 1, 2013

Labor Day Weekend

Well, It's labor day weekend! Me? I'm home with my family. I was supposed to ride home with some friends on Friday but I ended up staying another night and leaving around 11am on Saturday to head home. It's only a 2.5/3 hour drive but I wanted to be fully rested from my busy day before heading home. 

Friday night was quite fun... My roommate Ginny and I were chilling in our room and ended up falling asleep and I woke up an hour later to her coming in the room. After she told me she was making waffles, I jumped up to get some myself. A few nights ago we were at Walmart and saw Ego Waffles and had to get some! I'm not really sure why, but they always seem to hit the spot. 

I have a special memory with Ego Waffles: Over summer tour in 2012, my packing partner and I, Shauna, stayed at a couples house and that next morning they fed us Ego Waffles with coffee. Even though we were fed much more extravagant meals throughout our 2 week trip, that breakfast was the most satisfying and comforting meal we'd had! Find joy in the simple things, right? Well, anyway, Ginny and I made waffles in the dorm kitchen for supper since we'd missed out on food in the dining hall. As we sat and ate I realized that we should have cooked with some friends since we weren't busy. We called our friend Katie and asked her if she wanted to cook dinner with us but by the time she came over we all decided we'd rather go to Los Portales instead because we're super lazy. We invited her roommate Hannah to come and then our other friend Becca and we all piled into her car to go get some Mexican food! The food was delicious, we chowed down like a bunch of starved children then made our way back to campus. 

After getting back to campus, none of us really wanted to go back into the dorm. We all decided to jump from Becca's car to Hannah's red convertible VW bug to try and go Boog-Busting. Wait, wait! You say, What on this green earth is Boog-Busting? Well, Boog-Busting is a Freed-Hardeman term for the people who go and ruin make-out sessions. Boogin' itself is a term used for people who drive out to private locations to play tonsil hockey in the quiet comfort of their vehicles. Boog-Busters are the group of people who seek out those secluded locations, locate those parked foggy cars, and make it absolutely impossible for people to get super intimate (This is what most Freed-Hardeman students devote their late night drives to. ;} In a small town there isn't much else to do anyway). Well, when we got out to actually Boog-Bust, we realized it was only 9:30pm and no on in their right mind would be trying to make out in a car so far away from our Freed-Hardeman 1am curfew. 

Hannah decided then that she wanted to get a piercing so we drove 30 minutes in to town to North Jackson to find a tattoo/piercing place that was still open. By this time it was about 11pm and literally every place we tried was either closed, about to be, or their piercing guy had just left. Regardless of our many foiled plans, we had a blast sticking our arms in the night air, gazing at the brilliant stars above our heads, and singing our hearts out to our favorite blared songs. It may seem like a ruined night to many, but it was a successful one for us! After getting back to campus I went and hung out with my friend Grace before curfew and then did my job that I do every night at curfew. 

Saturday was as uneventful as it gets. ;) I got Up at 10, rustled my clothes together, cleaned up a bit, took out the trash in the room, played some music on my iHome, wrote a note on the bathroom mirror for my suite to read, made some coffee, and left a note for my roommate before I left for the weekend. I wanted to take some friends home this weekend but everyone that wanted to go ended up being too busy. That was quite a bummer, but it's okay, there will be more opportunities! Mostly I wanted to show off our new house and go shopping/dining down on the river front. I'll make sure to bring my friends home soon! 

I drove the 2.5/3 hours that ended up being 2.1 ;) and arrived at the house where my mom and sister had just finally finished picking up from the garage sale that they'd had. They made quite a bit of money off of the sale, we live in an area where people thrive on this stuff! My dad was in Perryville helping some family friends move stuff from storage but when he got home we all sat down for steak, broccoli, and steamed potatoes. My parents left after supper to go take back the tables we'd borrowed for the garage sale and then my mom came back to pick my sister and I up to take advantage of the last night of half-price shakes at Sonic! They were delicious... I ended my night by crocheting baby socks and watching Parks and Recreation before heading to bed.

Sunday, which is today, was a bit of a sad one. Today was the last day that our preacher Edd Sterchi would be speaking to us as the pulpit minister. With the changes the congregation has been going through, the elders decided that we should look for a new preacher. Since finding the new minister, Edd was given this last day. It's been a confusing time for the congregation with the sudden announcement of Edd's replacement back in October of 2012. Since then, a small group was put together to find a new preacher for our church body and there has been a lot of sore feelings going around about the loss of the the Sterchi family and where they'd end up. Even today with Edd's last sermon, who knows where they'll end up, but our prayers reach out to them in the hope that God will find a place for them. My personal prayer is that Edd receives another pulpit job but if not, I will be more than ecstatic if they stay with us! Even though many are still unsure as to why Edd will no longer be our minister, I am confident in the leadership capabilities of our Elder's and strongly believe that they know what they are doing; after all, we chose them to lead! 

Edd had a whole sermon worked out that he'd rewritten upwards of 5 times to make sure he wasn't coming across as grinding the axe or speaking out of turn. As he said this, he stopped what he was doing, smiled, and crumpled up his lesson and threw and tossed the crumpled papers on the ground around the podium. As he did so, he simply said this, "I've rewritten this so many times that I can't even count... let us all just read from the text... all opinions aside, the text is why we're here." I couldn't help but feel a surge of emotions as he did this: PITY for the fact that he would no longer be our preacher, ANGER because of the emotions he must have felt but didn't deserve to be feeling, LOVE for the sincerity of his commitment to our church body, and RESPECT for his willingness to display his vulnerability before the people who loved him so dearly and supported him as he stood and spoke the hardest sermon of his life. Regardless of the feelings within the hearts of others, I couldn't help but listen intently. This was probably the most impressive sermon I'd heard by him, even in light of the reasoning for the lesson. The passage was from the following chapter

1 Thessalonians 5:11-28 (ESV)

11Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 
12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 
14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,[a] encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 
15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
16 Rejoice always, 
17 pray without ceasing, 
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 
20 Do not despise prophecies, 
21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 
22 Abstain from every form of evil. 
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 
25 Brothers, pray for us. 
26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers. 
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Even though he'd crumbled up his notes, he spoke as the well-informed man that he is and I couldn't help but tear up a bit as he said verse 28, sending us off with the hope that the Lord Jesus Christ would be with us through all that we went through.

After services we went to Red Lobster as a family and then rolled over Kohl's, Cato, and Walmart to get some things for me that I'd been needing for school. After spending all day in town, we headed back home for the last hour and a half before services at 6 to rest and nap. I'm hoping that tonight after services wont be too crazy, the youth has a devotional right after and then one of the girls, Jordan, wants us all to hang out at her place. We'll see how it goes I figure... Until then, I wish you a pleasant end to your Lord's day and a safe trip this Labor Day weekend if you're making one!

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