Tuesday, October 25, 2011

College Adventures and Pictures.

So here are some silly/fun pictures of college. (There's a lot. I couldn't choose just a few.) Enjoy!
 Making Flickerball Tshirts! We are the crazy crayons. Slash Rosie's ducklings. :)
 Every good southern girl needs a monogrammed Flickerball shirt.
 Field trip to the Mint Museum for Writing 101. We were looking the Romaire Bearden exhibit....but stumbled upon this amazing piece!
 "PLEASE, Ian, PLEASE buy me this $150 leather cow!?"
"Girl, you crazy."
 Some fun times were had at the museum and in the gift shop. :)
 3rd Cannon's resident models.
 Spencer and Alex.
Classy guys.
Just a late night Cookout run--which of course involved Maggie clambering onto the Wildcat.
 Cat thangs on Rosie's door.
We needed her.
And this seemed like the most logical way of getting her...
 India pants romper???
 So I basically have the best friends in the world. These three drove all the way to Davidson for my birthday weekend. I am so blessed to have them.
 I'd say this is fairly typical.
 Maggie just takin pictures of me being ridiculous.
 This was on my birthday. We had a bestie date and she bought me dinner.
 We lead such foolish lives.
 Hello. We were made for each other.
Also this picture was at Davidson's club rugby game. Good times.
Taken on an absurd, but fabulous trip to Winston-Salem. Thanks to Daniel Padgett for this photooo.

Loving life.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bosom Friends & College Adventures

Here we go.
It is so strange to think that I have been at college for over two months now. I am now two decades old, a freshman....I'm pretty much out of the house. It's just bizarre. (Don't worry, Mom. I know I'm not really out of the house yet.)
The Lord has been faithful in so many ways, but the main demonstration of his grace has been in my dear friend, Maggie. I creepily (but not so creepily) messaged Maggie this summer because I discovered that not only was she on my hall, she was a believer! We chatted about finding a church and a campus ministry to get involved in and found that we had a lot of similar interests. We got to school and started spending time together. And in Maggie the Lord has graciously blessed me with a friend for life. We are kind of the same person--similar interests, quirks, thoughts, hopes, struggles, and joys. It's a little creepy how alike we are sometimes....
I have been so fortunate to have Maggie as an encouragement in my faith as she seeks to love the Lord more. A phrase we've both found so important in these couple months here is "by grace"--we have realized how every good thing is from God's grace: our friendship, life, the ability to appreciate small things, our salvation, the love we have for people and each other...
We are so dependent on God's grace.
Backtracking a little: Maggie is incredibly talented in so many ways (Check out her photography site: http://maggiecaltonphotography.com/. She is amazing!). She is creative and original and she sees things in ways that just amaze me. She has always wanted a tattoo--something I've thought of for years, but never really thought would happen, cuz I just wasn't brave enough.
Anyway from the start of the school year we have talked about tattoos. Over fall break, I was inspired with a bunch of ideas while I was home--one that was really prominent was the phrase "by grace." I told Maggie and she said she had been thinking of the same thing. So. Last week we went to NODA (our favorite area in Charlotte) to Fu's Custom Tattoos and got our tattoos!
Now. Before you all freak out--know that I did NOT get a tattoo because of Maggie. These tattoos each mean something to us individually of course. But it made it that much sweeter to get this tattoo with a friend whose friendship has so amply demonstrated God's grace to me. So here's a picture of the tattoo:
Photo cred: Maggie Calton
So I've enjoyed taking random adventures with Maggie around Charlotte and the area surrounding Davidson. She likes driving as much as I do and just exploring random things. So we have a grand old time together. We are trying to discover all the cool things about each exit. NODA is probably our favorite place so far--there are tons of fun restaurants and cool little stores. So far we've been to Amelie's (an amazing 24 hour French bakery--eclectic, delicious, fun hipster-watching place), the Crepe Cellar, Cabo Fish Taco, and....I think that's it for food. We went to a fun concert at The Evening Muse, and the church we've been going to, Christ Central Church is right down the street from all these places.
So. If you're ever wanting to explore Charlotte, NODA is a fun place to start. Good food, cool people, fun place.
Maggie and I love to just do foolish things around campus as well. I'm interested to know what people wonder about us as we wander loudly around campus cracking ourselves up. We go to Toast and Summit Coffee and the cute little Main Street shop with the funky hats.
Basically we're ridiculous, and I love it. I am getting to know the area, myself, and lots of different people on campus, and it's been great.
I am blessed to be here.
God is good.
Pictures of college adventures/shenanigans to come soon.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Blessing

I've been a terrible blogger, for those few of you who read this thang.
At the start of the school year, and even throughout the summer, I was able to be a resource for the students going on this year's Global Gap Year (GGY) with Thinking Beyond Borders. There are two GGY groups this year as well as a Gap Semester group in Ecuador, which is so exciting! More driven and bright students who want to learn about creating change on a local and global scale. Anyway, some students emailed me with questions and concerns, and I attempted to allay those concerns and answer their questions from my experience with TBB. It was such a neat thing, reflecting on my journey and really beginning to understand the gravity of what we did.
I did a huge thing.
I took a trip around the world! For eight months! It's amazing how quickly I make that seem like no big deal.
But anyway, I keep receiving emails and updates from Robin, and my TBB group has a thread going on Facebook that's particularly active right now. I am just realizing what a rare community I am a part of: people who genuinely care, who work and think hard, not for themselves, but for the sake of others.
What a beautiful picture of God's grace and how we are created in His image! 
I am so blessed to have had this opportunity. And it just makes me more excited for whatever it is that I end up doing in life. The Lord has made it clear in the past few weeks that I can use my passions and talents as a way to give people a voice--to share their stories with the world in ways that will affect lasting change.
I don't really know the details surrounding that yet, but the Lord is gracious and he provides, so I'll figure it out eventually.
Basically, I'm just thrilled to be a part of something like TBB. That trip truly changed my life in so many ways. I think differently now, I question everything--but not in a maddening way. I question the way things are done because I am always wondering if there is a better way. And I find that I am more willing to take on a challenge; if I believe in something, I'll stop at nothing to get it done. That is all attributed, by God's grace, to Thinking Beyond Borders. TBB stretched me, pushed me, infuriated me, and ultimately allowed me to see exactly what it is I am capable of: anything I put my mind to.
So. I'm excited to say I've found some students here at Davidson who are like-minded; they believe in the power of youth creating change and of real, grassroots level work. We are beginning a youth-service initiative here in Davidson, and things are moving fairly quickly. I don't want to spoil anything, but once we really get things up and running, I will post something more in depth about that project.
(Get excited. It's gonna be awesome.)
Also. I'll be posting soon about college in general and the adventures I've had the past couple months.
Thanks for reading this long, rambling post. And I have to say thanks to Mrs. Dougherty, who found TBB for me and encouraged me to take a gap year--I would not be where I am without you! Thanks to Robin, Chris, Andrea, and my awesome PLs for your vision and everything you do to serve all the TBB students. Just know that I am so grateful to be a part of such a passionate and inspiring community.

Also. I was looking through pics from TBB. Here are some highlights:
 Me and Colin
 Ecuador host family and Alex
 Inca Trail budsss
 This was a random Indian family who wanted a picture with us at the Taj!
 The girls with Scott at the top of the cathedral in Quito. I miss them!
 First ride to Los Naranjos--in the back of the truck. Yes please.
 You know, just jumping on the Great Wall with the girls.
 Laughing at a fort in India. Love these girls.
 Looking ridiculous on the Inca Trail on Halloween. Raynie, I miss you!
Sweet friends. In freezing cold China.

Thanks for stopping by! :)