Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lessons from the mind

I think a lot.  Often, while I am going about my daily duties and normal life, I am thinking about things.  Lately, I can't get my mind off of this quote by C.S. Lewis.  I know, I posted about it before...but in the new year, every single bump and ditch in the road of life has caused me to think about this quote.
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised...."
I'm imagining right now, the state my "house" was in when God first stepped into my life.  Of course, I expected my life to get better!  Isn't that what everyone thinks will happen when they follow God? God will make you happy, give you friends and pay all of your bills...oh and of course, give you extra money to go shopping with.
Now, back to C.S. Lewis...
"But presently He [God] starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards."
When unexpected "curve balls" are thrown your way, how do you react? All too often, I find myself looking about, getting pouty as if thinking, "but God, why are you DOING this? You were supposed to make me happy right? That was the deal?" I seem to forget that When God came in my "house", He came in to make repairs, so rebuild my life. 
C.S. Lewis...
 "You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
God always knows what is best for me...He knows when I need a wall knocked out, or when I need a new courtyard. 
Like I said, I tend to think a lot...and though my thoughts tend to come out jumbled and confusing, it's important that I write them down sometimes, because they serve as a reminder to me.  I am becoming increasingly certain that every thought I have can serve as a lesson to myself, and perhaps to others.  This thought was certainly a lesson to me.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New York City

I was able to visit my dear friend Elsa last weekend in New York City and I had such a lovely time!  I took as many pictures as I could with the little bit of battery life my camera had.
First, I have to say, it was soooo amazing to see my friend, whom I hadn't seen in seven years.  We met at Speech and Drama camp when we were young, and now, she attends college in New York City and I am in California.  After all these years, I decided we needed to see each other again. 
I drove my car up to New York City and then parked in the closest garage I could find.  We rode the subway a lot, and it was my first experience doing so! I loved it...
I was able to see the statue of Liberty from a distance through the fog.  :)

This is a super old church right by Wall St. in NYC.  This is where Alexander Hamilton is buried.

My friend took me to the MET museum...I loved it!  We saw mummies, tons of artifacts and it was like being in a history class. 

I should have taken more pictures, but alas, my camera died on me. 
Anyway, I was able to drive home safely and now I'm preparing for my next trip: driving out to school in California.  Whooo!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas break time~

I realize it has been forever and a day since I last posted on my blog.  I have been on Christmas break back in Pennsylvania...that being said, I'm sure you can imagine that blogging was not priority, spending time with family and friends was.  Anyway, now that Christmas and New Years are over, I have a little more time to write and study and blog like I'd like to. 
My first week at home was spent with these adorable girls...I babysat them and enjoyed it immensely.  They've both grown so much since the summer when I left!

The next few days I did some Christmas shopping and also spread a lot of Christmas cheer in the community.  I volunteered at the Salvation Army to ring the bell outside of Shur Fine.  Then on a Saturday evening, Oliver, Sarah and me went to the Hanover mall and I wore a bear costume and we wished everyone a Merry Christmas. 
Who would come up with an idea like that?

Of course, anyone who knows my brother, knows that it was his idea.  Anyway, we got a picture with the man who was ringing the Salvation Army bell outside.  You would not imagine the number of people who wanted pictures with me and wanted me to give them a hug.  I was hugged more as a bear in one night and I have in my entire 22 years as a human!  Pretty crazy!

Despite being strange and goofy, it was fun to do!

Christmas morning we had our church service early, and then me and Oliver and Sarah set out to wish the nearby Ville's a Merry Christmas like we did last year.  Last year, we drove around to all the nearby towns and rolled down the windows and simply yelled "Merry Christmas!" to everyone we saw.  A sort of the George Bailey kind of 'running down the middle of Bedford Falls' kind of thing.  Last year it was very successful and we had a lot of cheery "Merry Christmas's" back...but this year there was no snow and it simply didn't have that "Christmas" feel.  So after only hitting two Villes and Gettysburg, we drove to Grandma's house where we had the rest of our Christmas day.

I enjoyed spending time with my nieces and nephew!

Then just last week, I went with my dear friends to Longwood Gardens- a huge botanical garden near Philadelphia. 
This display of floating apples was pretty impressive to me...
But I had a great time and everything was so beautiful!

On New Years Day, as is the custom, we (the Keckler family) had our Christmas Day.  It was held at Katie and Ryan's house this year. 
Here is a cute picture of Hudson trying to open his present

I took a few "sister" pictures. 

Then when we came home, I wanted a few pictures with my parents and brother too...

In the 2 1/2 weeks I've been home, this is what I've done...and that's not counting the small things like pruning and baking Christmas cookies. 
 It's good to be home!