To think that I have been back in "Oz" for a whole month leaves me perplexed. Time goes by so quickly here that everything simply runs together. Getting back and moved into my new place was an adventure in itself. I moved into a room with Marthe, one of my best friends from Norway. We both quickly realized we had WAY too much stuff/clothes. After 2 weeks of organizing here and there, everything magically found it's place.
In Australia, they have something kind of like the 4th of July and call it Australia Day. My friends and I decided it was a great excuse to go to the Northern Beaches, grab a late lunch at Manly, and finish off the day at a favorite place we found to watch the sunset.
It ended up being perfect, with girl conversations, and prayer as the sun went down. My kinda way to kick off the semester. One of the most gorgeous sunsets that I have seen since I have been here.
At the end of January we headed up the coast for Power House Retreat. This was for all students ages 18-25, three days of amazing worship, speaking, and sun. Definitely got me back into the zone before school started. Oh, I think I have failed to mention that it is blazing hot here! Well, recently it has not been as bad thanks to the overcast whether from God. But we had this one week where I thought I might melt into a puddle walking from school to my car. The breeze was like hair dryer in your face hot. I am from Georgia, which is a pretty hot place, but I have never felt such dry heat like this. It is great for days at the beach.. but to be in a house with no AC.. no. You quickly begin to love cold showers and wet hair.
I had many things I was praying about for this year throughout the entire break and God has for sure blown me away. Throughout my first month back he has blessed me with a car, new job, an amazing connect group of girls to lead/disciple, new friends, growth opportunities, and the little things he does each day to remind me he is lookingout for me. Always leaving me in awe for sure. Valentine's Day rolled around and my friend Jennifer organized a night out in the city for the single ladies.. I can honestly say that it was nothing but refreshing to be on my own and single this year. I know it's just another day, but looking at where I was last year and where I am now makes me sit back and thank God I am where I am today. I couldn't be more pleased. We went out for gelato, daydreamed about our futures, and got excited thinking about where all of us will be next Valentine's Day ;) hint hint..? kidding.
I don't think I mentioned in my last post that I decided to become a reader this year. I told myself that I would continuously read throughout the year, when I finish one book pick up another. I have known that I would write a book and have wanted to since I was about twelve years old. So, I have decided I should read more if I want to be a successful writer... makes since. Still going strong, I am happy to say that I'm half way through my second book of the year. It is no longer a forced habit, but something that I look forward to... which was my intention. Over the last two weeks God has begun to lay book ideas and topics on my heart, let the dreams begin! Things like that make me so excited, and I am making sure to write it all down.
I would highly recommend "Radical" by David Platt. It was the first book I read this year and definitely the most challenging/eye opening book I have ever read. He puts Christianity and what it truly should be about into such a great perspective. I am currently reading "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day" by Mark Batterson. It is based on the story of Benaiah in the Bible (a personal favorite) and he encourages us, as Christians, to be lion chasers. To never allow our fear to control us so that we are able to step out into our full God given potential. So far very good. In the morning I have been getting up and starting my day with Oswald Chamber's 365 day devotion "My Utmost for His Highest" and as a result, I have become a morning person. (miracle) So much wisdom in that devotion and gives something to reflect on throughout your day.
Lately, if I had to describe life in one word, it would be incredible. I am so thankful to be here under such great leadership, surrounded by world changers, and the purpose behind it all keeps me happily pressing forward. God is so good.
"And don't be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there." 1 Corinthians 7:17 (The Message)