Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Bro-sis" at Moody

Every girls' dorm floor is paired with a guy's floor at Moody. These floors become the "bro-sis" floors.

We can sit at a table in the cafeteria together, we have events together, and it helps connect people at Moody (not necessarily for the purpose of dating, but yes, that does happen sometimes! Don't worry- nothing has happened like that yet!)

Mostly, the bro-sis floors are a way to bring community and fun to the school life.

On Friday, we had a bro-sis event. We went on a photo-video scavenger hunt in the city, and it was hilarious. I laughed so hard that night, because everyone was just being silly! We were put into groups of five, and explored the city taking pictures and videos of the most random things. College wouldn't be college without these experiences, right?

Plus, we celebrated our brother floor's RA's (Resident Assistant) birthday! It's been great getting to know the traditions of Moody - including the bro-sis events!

Good times, hard times; silly times, challenging times; content times, homesick times. This is college! 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Using the oven

I used the floor oven for the first time! I was a little scared to try baking, because I've heard the oven usually burns the bottom of things, but Carlie and I braved it. The result was delicious!

Carlie is wonderful. She is also hypoglycemic, meaning she has to watch her sugar intake, and loves healthy food. I found a food buddy!! She lives on my floor, Smith 4. (By the way, our mascot is Abraham Lincoln)

The recipe we used to bake this deliciousness can be found HERE. It did taste really good. However, it's not like traditional crisp. It's not buttery and brown sugar-y, or even especially crispy. So if you're up for a less sweet, healthier version of a crisp, this is great! I wouldn't recommend it so much as a sweet dessert though... that is, unless you used brown sugar instead of coconut sugar/agave! 

Still, this crisp was a success! Yay! 

The best part? Making memories and building friendship by doing, creating, and talking and laughing along the way. (And eating yummy crisp!) 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Good gift

Remember how a couple of days ago, I talked about finding beauty?

God brought beauty to me.

It reminded me again that He knows my deepest desires, and He is a good Father who gives good gifts!

Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, all Moody students go to chapel. Usually we sing together, we pray, we are told about any school activities or news, and there's a word from the Bible. Occasionally we have chapel on Fridays too, but that one is optional.

Today, the Moody gospel choir led worship on the plaza during chapel hour. The weather was perfect this morning. If I could choose my perfect weather-day, it would be today: crisp, cool air, warm sun, blue sky. On top of that, the Lord was being praised with joy and gladness!

I felt so refreshed after today's chapel, thankful for God's gifts, and thankful for Moody.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Favorite Almond Milk

As I'm in the middle of writing an essay for college writing, I pulled out my carton of almond milk, poured a mug-full of it (I don't have any glasses yet, just mugs!), sprinkled in some cinnamon, and enjoyed it as a quick pick-me-up, as a boost for the next part of my essay.

Then I realized, "this isn't something I usually do!". Because usually, almond milk doesn't taste good enough for me to enjoy it all on its own (thought this time I did add a little bit of cinnamon for fun). This almond milk is delicious just as it is.

The Trader Joe's almond milk is affordable, actually tastes like almonds, has a silky smooth texture, and doesn't taste "watery" at all. It's just delightful!

Well, now back to College Writing. I hope that you get a chance to try this almond milk one of these days! It's my new favorite!

P.S. Notice the unattractive lovely window sill in the picture. It's the only place to get pictures with light in my room! Haha... maybe I'll find a nice dish towel I can put there to make it look prettier in the future!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

As long as there's beauty

One of the challenging things about moving to Chicago is the change of the environment around me. And I don't mean (just) culturally, I literally mean the change of landscape.

I'm the kind of person who likes to go for walks on quiet trails, who gets giddy about flowers in fields, who can't help but take pictures of the changes in seasons, and who loves the sound of rustling leaves. I also love warm colors, cozy nooks in a house, a kitchen to be creative in, and waking up and seeing the sunrise.

I miss home.

I do.

I miss the kind of beauty that surrounded me there 24/7.

Beauty surrounds me here too, I just have to look for it in different ways. I need to create it for myself, or learn to appreciate it in different shapes and forms than what I'm used to. What to do? I have one little dorm room to make my own, and a huge City to explore. Where to start?

As long as there's beauty around, I will find it, somehow. I'll soak it in, and breath deeply. I do need those quiet times of looking for something striking, or of simply sitting and taking in God's Creation. I just need to look harder here. And I need to stay thankful.

The search begins! I will find beauty that makes my heart happy!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Place to Be

It's hard sometimes to find places in the city just to "be". There are plenty of places to "do"-- to move, to walk, to talk, to drink coffee, to shop, and to stare up at huge buildings.

But there are not many places to "be", to rest, to breath. I have, however, found one place so far.

This park, when it's sunny:

One of the things I really love about this park is the culture of it. Families come here. Kids play, and ride their scooters and bikes. Friends meet to talk. Boats drive by on the river. Dogs walk happily.

And this Caribou Coffee shop right next to the park:

Discovering the city is fun, and discovering restful places is important. I am thankful to be at Moody, and it's crazy to be in the city. Finding favorites is an adventure, for sure!

P.S. I'm hoping to pull out my camera again here soon! I'll photograph it properly one of these days! Until then, my iPhone will have to do!  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Their world, my world

Mom and Dad are still in the first part of their sabbatical, which they are spending in Croatia. Our worlds are so completely different right now. Both are unique, and spectacular, in their own ways.

My view (from the rooftop of a dorm):

Their view (thanks for the photo, Mom!):

Completely different, right?

It's hard to believe that I left Czech, and then Croatia, over a month ago. And it's also hard to believe that my parents are still in Croatia, and I am in Chicago!

Mom and Dad will be coming to the States in a few weeks (they'll be here in my area for a month), which I'm looking forward to! But until then, this is for you, Mom and Dad - ENJOY!! And... Chicago awaits you! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

At the Patty residence

Dinner at the Patty residence in Chicago:

There is no gas in Tyler and Lara's apartment yet, so no oven or burners were used for this delicious dinner. Yay for Crockpots and rice cookers, and for our hosts' creativity!  Mexican food!

Laughs, yummy food, silence in conversations that isn't awkward, because we're family. This was a refreshing end to a busy week! Thank you Tyler and Lara for having us! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Meet my Roommate!

This is Hyejin (pronounced hey-jin), and she is my lovely roommate!

A couple random fun facts about Hyejin...

She is 24.
She is a twin.
She loves classy clothes.
She drinks tea. (Yay, tea!)
She is from South Korea.
She is engaged! (To a Korean, getting married in 2015)
She is so sweet!

It's been great getting to know Hyejin a little bit over these past couple of weeks!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Answered Prayers

These past few days, and even weeks, have been filled with answered prayer. I can't even begin to express how much the Lord has been showing up. I find myself amazed every time, as if I didn't know what a powerful and loving God He is!

To be honest, there are times when I struggle with worrying, fretting, fearing. It's something that I've had to work through too many times! My verse has always been...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

One minute I'll be thinking I am "past" that problem (worrying), and the next I'm reciting those verses in my mind over and over, reminding myself of the truth that I should be living out. 

Since being here at Moody, it's been easy to fall into worry, as it always in when things are new and in transition. God, however, has been proving Himself so much already. Despite the small amount of faith I have when I pray about the things that worry me, He has shown Himself mighty and extremely gracious.  

I have been praying God would provide just the right job for me at Moody. I hadn't even applied for any, but through Lara, and Lara's friend, and by God's grace, I went in for an interview last week, and was given the position today! It is an on-campus job in Event and Guest Services. Some day I'll hopefully explain that better, but for now, it's enough to say, I will be working a job, and that was totally God's doing! 

There was a second, smaller, way that God provided today. On Monday, I lost my keychain that had my room key, and fob (a thing you swipe to get into buildings). I thought it would turn up, but two days passed, and I still hadn't found it. I wrestled with panicking about it (it's expensive to replace), and had to will myself to not give into that worry. I prayed, and others prayed. 

This afternoon, I went down to facilities to buy a new fob. I was ready to pay the money, because I can't get along without it for long. The fob was the cheaper thing to buy, and I'd take care of the key later. 

Lo and behold though!! 

God had another plan! I went to facilities, and they said someone had turned in my keychain with everything on it this morning! I just beamed, and told her that was an answer to prayer. 

I think the Lord is trying to show and teach me something in these two, and many other little lessons. Faith is what He requires of me, as His child, and trust is invaluable to Him. Surrendering to His will is not easy, but that's how He can also shower blessing. Giving Him control is disconcerting sometimes, but He knows what's best. And, in the end, He is worthy of all of my trust, because, He always cares!

I'm still working through all of these things, but what better place to do that at than Moody? It's been a great first few weeks being here: challenging and joyful at the same time. God is good!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Moving day

Guess who moved into their new apartment this weekend?

Tyler and Lara!!

I am so excited that they decided to stay in the city (instead of moving to the suburbs), because it means I'll get to see them more often. They found an apartment about half an hour from Moody, easily accessible by public transportation, so even I could find my way there without getting lost!

What a lovely day spent moving boxes and furniture, unpacking, organizing, and arranging their apartment. I loved just spending the day with all of them.

And we couldn't have done it without the help of a dear family friend of our's - Jim Miller! (Don't be too creeped out by Caleb in the window!) Thank you for coming, Jim!

Both Tyler and Lara are so happy to have a place of their own again now!

Love you all! Can't wait to see the apartment all done, once you finish unpacking! (I guess I'll have to come over again? Teehee.. ) 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Through the window

This is the view I looked out on this afternoon as I studied.

And here is a window into my world these days!

It has been so much fun having my brothers around here at Moody. They both work at Joe's, the campus coffee shop, and give me a big smile whenever I come in, which always brightens my day! They have both been encouraging, and helpful as I've been figuring out the system here, and adjusting to a whole new world. I'm thankful for family!

Today was a day of quizzes, classes, Old Testament reading, and community : a good-kind-of-busy day!

* All pictures taken on my iPhone! :)