Saturday, January 24, 2009

Look to the Hills (Chapter 2) Pt. 1

"Oh why excuse me!" the lady exiting Mrs. Hobb's office, exclaiming her apologies. "Oh, not a problem" I mumbled back to her, a nervous quiver in my voice. 

I peaked my head around the door, and faced a simply furnished room with cream walls, an elderly woman, her hair wiry & unkept, perched behind a large mahogany desk typing away on what it seemed to be a keyboard, cluttered with sorted papers and bills. I cleared my throat as the door shut behind me.

"Beg your pardon, but can you point me in the location of Mrs. Hobbs in the Admissions Department?". This caught the attention of the old lady as she pulled down the spectacles that were propped up on the edge of her nose, laid them on the desk and lifted her head. "Well you've come to the right place, that would be me." She said with a rather aged & husky voice. 

"Oh... well" I fumbled my words seemingly unable to communicate & hardly able to formulate my own thoughts. "I'm Cindy Clemmons.. I'm here for that assistant administrative position. Dr. Hendrix is a good friend of my families and he said that position was being held for me?"

"Why oh yes!" She exclaimed with warmth of feeling & clarity of understanding, then, getting up from her desk to grab my hand in a friendly embrace. "I've heard quite a deal of you and your accomplishments" I met her hand with an equal amount of decor & warmth as she continued, "I'm looking forward to observing you in future days and hope that you will make an easy adjustment to our ways here." 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Look to the Hills (Chapter 1) Pt. 5

As I walked through the corridors, peeping in and out of door windows trying to find Mrs. Hobbs' location tears began to unexpectedly fall from my face. I didn't realize that hearing from God would be so hard. My pace quickened. Why is it so hard to let go of the past & move on with the future? Why can't it be like it has always been? 

I pictured the sweet home I left behind, so full of life, so warm & inviting, filled with the ones I love. I pictured my home church and all the people I had come to love so dearly and become so deeply knit with. Honestly, I didn't realize that I would have so much to miss until that moment. Who was this girl walking down the halls with a briefcase in her hand, what sort of dreams & ambitions did she have for life?

I didn't know, was afraid to know. I felt like there wasn't another person in the world who could understand the depth of my sorrow as I spotted the admissions office. Opening that door meant moving on with life, becoming a independent individual, on my own, alone. 

"Lord, heaven knows how far you have brought me here in faith that this is the path you have for me to walk. You have closed the doors & opened others I trust you to give me the strength to move where you lead."

I let out a heavy sigh and the admissions door swung open to greet me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Look To the Hills (Chapter 1) pt. 4

The question was not how but when. I knew perfectly well that I needed to brave up and pull open the glass door, inquire at the front desk where Mrs. Hobbs in the admissions department was located in the building, and scout her out. But was I ready to make this step? My portfolio & 5 years of independent study would direct me to suppose I was... but was i mentally ready for this next step?

"Do you trust me?" It hit me like lightning. "Uh..." I hesitated, taken aback by His voice. "Do you trust me?" He repeated His question. "Yea, Lord.... sometimes I guess" I whispered under my breathe. Although I thought quietly to myself that I tended to only trust Him when it was convenient or easy or when I felt like it... "Do you dare not to trust me?" He asked with such intensity that I immediately felt conviction well up inside my soul... "No" I thought to myself.... No I definitely do not dare, to not trust you.

I briskly grabbed the entrance door and stepped into the grandiose lobby.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Look to the Hills (Chapter 1) pt. 3

As I approached the overbearing brick framework my thoughts ran about me. Wild & untamed they questioned my sanity for reaching this far. How could i do this? Why am I doing this? Doubt crept into my mind as I paced the exterior entrance, unable to make the next steps forward, through the doors, down the hall, to the admissions office. Oh heavens! That seemed far too far away. 

Fear had a heavy hand upon my person.... I was afraid of being disappointed, again, being rejected, unwanted. That seemed to define my life thus far, and for as long as I can remember I've strived for something better, more. Acceptance, acknowledgement someone who could see my dreams and help me fulfill them, these were the things I longed to find at Thorton University, but would I find them here?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Look to The Hills (Chapter 1) Second Section

The air was so crisp and clear, the sky whimsical and soft, my imagination whirling with excitement. I decided to give myself a moment to take it all in, so I placed my bags by my feet. Slowly I surveyed my destination. Six or more finely built brick buildings, which must have been the living quarters, were smartly laid out in a semi circle around a large fountain that seemed to be the central part of the Campus. Down the hill not too far from where I stood I noted more buildings two of which were grandeur in size, being nearly 6 stories high, they topped the rest of the buildings by a good 3 stories. Sitting adjacent to the larger buildings sat a small white church & yet still one more building with high arches & Glass windows that I supposed gave a lovely view of the entire University. 

I picked up my bags and decided to walk down the hill in hopes of finding where I was to check in. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Look to the Hills-(Chapter I) a work in progress

If ever there had been a day that I would remember with tender affection it would be that day I found myself far away from home, in a foreign place, with unfamiliar people. I had by chance the year past found myself in a similar situation that I now found myself. In a small remote town I had never even heard of. The town was of little importance or significance or stature with no real predominate attractions it was located rather remotely between the rolling farm lands of Wheat & Corn. Nearly sixty miles away from Baltimore, Maryland is where i started my quest. It seemed an eternity to arrive as I eagerly waited with each passing turn the bus took to see our exit. As it finally came into view I watched the sun hit the ridges of the ever green hills that rolled around us. I took a breath, beautiful. My heart rate quickened as we progressed to the top of the hill. In a moment I knew that all would be revealed. Whatever lay below would play a key factor into where my life's road would lead. The hill peaked & there lay the beloved destination. "Home", I sighed. 

I quickly grabbed my sketchbook off of the empty seat next to me and carefully placed it along with the other equipment into the front sleeve of my briefcase, then stepped into the aisle and waited patiently for the other riders to exit. As I walked down the steps I turned to thank the driver and lifted my head as if to embrace a challenge, and stepped out to meet the curb.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Blogger Challenge

Here is a cut and paste list of Christmas Questions I was challenged to answer. I don't know why I like these things, I'm sorry I know most of you find it to be lame.. but I think its fun & insightful!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper! I love to make my gifts look neat, plus I don't like that others can peek in bags, I'm big on surprises. Give me wrapping paper and LOTS of tape!

2. Real tree or Artificial? Real, the more fresh the better. I like to smell the beautiful pine. It gives a house a more Christmasy vibe, its crisp & homey.

3. When do you put up the tree? We try to put our tree up either right after Thanksgiving or a week after.

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually by early January.. the tree usually looks rather wilted around then, and its nice to get everything back to normal.

5. Do you like eggnog? I honestly think its disgusting, never again will I drink it!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My Roller Blades. I spent hours upon hours on our closed in back porch pretending to be a professional ice-skater. Best gift ever.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My Mom. Don't ask me why... I have no clue, perhaps because I want her to be able to use what I buy for her and like what I bought for her. We also have contrasting styles.. so perhaps I'm daunted by the idea of picking out something I don't like that I hope she likes? or that I like that I hope she might like even though she doesn't normally? hah (She is the most grateful person in the world when receiving gifts, and she is not picky, I just happen to be picky for her. hah!)

8. Easiest person to buy for? My brothers. Easy. They always want me to buy them nifty clothes, and that is SO fun and easy for me to do!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? We have several one larger and one little wooden one.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? MAIL! So much more personal, its something you can hold onto and have displayed in your house, on your frig... It means so much more to me if sent via mail. Much more thought goes into that.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A barbie. (4 years ago) What were they thinking?!!! Who knows. haha! I smiled and said thank you and gave them a hug, its the thought that counts!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Its a Wonderful Life. The best Christmas movie :)

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I tend to start and end my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving. I don't much care for the mad rush of people and untidily arranged stores.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No, but there are several I could have. Oh how I love white Elephant gift exchanges! ;)

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? A good cup of coffee and a homemade cinnamon bun.

16. Lights on the tree? Of course! I prefer white lights to colored lighting. Its more traditional & clean.

17. Favorite Christmas song? O Come O Come Emanuel.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay at home. :) stay in your night clothes until dinner. Then dress up.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Downer, Blitzen and Rudolf. (Who came up with these names anyways?)

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? We have an angel. But I'm not opposed to having a star.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning when everyone else is awake.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Impatient customers. I used to work in retail and I had a love/hate relationship with this time of the year in the stores. There are those people who are so sweet and accommodating and happy, then on the flip side those who you can't do anything right for... I can understand how shopping in a hectic climate all day can help to bring you to that state.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Our tree right now each ornament means something and has a little story to tell. :) I love this idea. I think I would myself go with a golden theme. Who knows. I can't wait to have my own house and family one day to come up with ideas for!

24. Favorite dessert for Christmas dinner? Nothing! Apple Cider?

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A relaxed wonderful fellowship time with perhaps a few games of cards?! :)

26. Any special Christmas traditions? WE have something called the "Christmas Angel" that comes to visit us on the three days before Christmas. The Christmas Angel always leaves a Christmas book for us to read and we always read it on Christmas night together. On Christmas Eve, we go to a candlelight service together as a family, come home eat a meal called shepherd's pie and all of us kids sleep in the same room and stay up late watching movies together. Then in the morning we can't go look or get our stockings until 6 am (we are normally wakened by the two little ones). We have to wait until 7 to open our presents with our whole family. We start with the youngest and work up to the oldest and open one gift at a time. I believe that this has instilled in us greater gratitude and an enjoyment of others receiving. I'm thankful for my parents leadership in this area! Every Christmas night (of course we have a fun dinner all together with my family also) we watch Jesus of Nazareth the first half of the movie of Jesus' birth together and have a discussion about what the movie means to us, and what it was trying to communicate. We like to have a time of worship also. 

Basically I have an amazing family, filled with fun & beautiful traditions. Christmas time for us have never been about receiving its always been about giving away, like Christ. Although some of my siblings are unable to give gifts because of finances they have always given of themselves in other significant and beautiful ways. In past years they have created services coupon books for family members entitling us to things like: One free I'll make you bed day, or.... One free clean up your room.... or one coffee date out with your brother. Sometimes these are far more special to me. I love their hearts to serve!