A Place of Normal

It occurred to me, early in my sophomore year, that attending college had become my normal. The low bed in the corner of my dorm room has seen me many more nights in the past three years than the top bunk above the little girls’ big bed at home. I’ve returned to this floor, this room, these friends, these neighbors, much more frequently than I have to my home in the past three years.

School may be normal, but home is home.

I came back to school early this afternoon, 2pm found me in a meeting with 13 other students, lead by one of my favorite school staff members. I sat there in the meeting, listening to the schedule, the discussion, the planning of New Student Orientation, which begins tomorrow, and suddenly began to feel very… normal.

There was routine, normal, in Christmas Break. Mar asked if I was refreshed during break; she perched on the desk in the corner while I unpacked, organized. She asked, I answered, then we traded; that’s conversation. I stopped to think about her words, because I wanted to answer well.

Then I nodded, because yes, it was refreshing.

Refreshing because of three littles girls and a brother, two parents. Because there were friends and visits and movies and neighbors like family. Work and church and games. Cooking food and feeding little ones and washing dishes and all the normal, routine, tangible things that make life a rhythm.

And there was change and deciding, tears and laughter. A journal, a dedication, decision, accountability to read the Bible again, to connect with God once more.

I believe it was refreshing.

But there in that meeting, the life I live and know at school was spread in front of me. And I sat, my mind half at home, in the movement of that life and those tasks and relationships, and the other half of my mind there at school. And slowly, I felt the beat of my life steady to the pace and swing that I’ve lived for three years past.

There is good and value and joy and growth in new things, different things, exciting things. But there is also wonder and peace and energy in things familiar. In places I know and faces I recognize and an entire culture and system of studying, working, learning, growing, investing, developing. Trying, failing, trusting, doing.

It felt right- feels right- to be back at school.

And I’m hoping, dreaming, praying that this semester, this year, will be one of growing and learning, relationships and joy, and glorifying Him, most of all.

~Natalia

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