Monday, April 27, 2015

A Walk in the Neighborhood

This weekend has been full. Very much so. But here's a little glimpse into something that was really sweet on this sunny Sunday...

Floor photos!

Not everyone was able to make it to photos, but those who did come dressed in their spring-iest clothes and we strolled around one of the Chicago neighborhoods, enjoying the tulips, budding trees and unique houses.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Truths and Isolation

I can't begin to express how much the community of my floor and other Moody students has encouraged me and given me the words I needed to hear this week - not only to persevere in these last weeks of the semester, but also to draw nearer to the Lord and His Truth.

I have much to learn. So much. But that is why we have the body of Christ, right? The gifts we have been given by the Spirit are ones that are meant to be used for the building up of the church. My RA, Brynna, has told me multiple times this week, for different reasons, "We are not meant to do things in isolation."

It's true and such a good reminder. We were created by God and for his glory. We were created to be in a relationship with Him. And yet sin separated us from Him. By His grace, he offers us a renewal of relationship with Him by giving us the free gift of salvation that could only happen because of Jesus Christ's death on the cross, and His resurrection. We are restored to relationship with him by faith and repentance. Not only can we live in this relationship with Him now, but we live in the community of believers as well...not in isolation! What a beautiful new reality, only by and through Christ.

As I've been illustrating the 10 truths of the Gospel this week for a group presentation for Human Development, I've thought a lot about the Gospel itself: the Good News that brings life to those who were bound to death.

I have visually seen these truths not only in my illustrations this week, but also in the way that this community has lived out the Gospel. This Gospel is relational, and not experienced or confessed in isolation. Praise Him. Individuality is lonely, but community is so rich when it's grounded in the Lord, in all of who He is. We are still sinful and we have our issues and struggles and problems, but we are covered in His mercy. What a gift. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

City Sunrise

It's a Smith 4 tradition to go to the beach for sunrise in the spring. It's my absolute favorite. I couldn't picture any better way to start the day than with these lovely, sleepy-eyed and beautiful women. 

We sat on the beach with our shoes off and drank coffee and tea as we soaked in the stunning sunrise. Once the sun was clear and bright, a few girls shared what God has been teaching them this past semester, and it was just so sweet and honoring to Him. 

The rest of the day consisted of work (I demoed Q Drinks on Saturday), homework and a Lip Sync event.

Last year's sunrise service: HERE.

Monday, April 20, 2015


I got back from PCM this evening and am actually cooking some millet right now for dinner (one of my favorites). Although Chicago culture still occasionally feels foreign to me, I have loved getting to know the kids I work with on Mondays. I treasure hearing about their lives and seeing them each week. I have definitely grown to love all of them.

I have had a lot on my plate these past couple of days, but it has all been good. I have also been able to interact with a lot of people on a regular basis this past week, almost unusually so. These relationships here are growing and it's sweet seeing how community is rich, and hard at the same time because of our broken world. I have loved getting to taste the beauty of the Body of Christ, but have also seen all the more how much we need our Savior.

There's not much else I can quite put into words when life keeps moving forward. Yet, I trust that this is where the Lord wants me to be at this time too - present. It's something I'm not always good at, and I'm learning.

And here's a picture from Saturday's sunrise service with our floor. Yes, those are ducks. They were awesome.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Julia // Senior Photos

I met Julia through a mutual friend, and the first time I got to actually spend time with her was for her senior photos last weekend. Ah, and what a joy! Julia has so much life and faith and commitment to the Lord. I loved getting to see a bit into her world, her passions, stories and hear about her desires for after college. She'll be graduating this May, and I'm thankful for the privilege of having a morning with her in these last months!