And a lot has happened since that epic trip to Chicago. In fact, so much happened in Chicago that I never really got to touch on. For instance, the wonderfully melodious and heart-pattering concert by Josh Groban, the incredible collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the fateful night of meeting my friend from South Africa's Chicago friend, accidentally devouring a huge bowl of potato-made gnocci, puking Kermit green all in the Chicago City Transit bus and provoking a rather mad-dash evacuation.
What's happened since then? A semester of hard work, disappointments, victories, too much fun, too much seriousness, controversy, new friends, new priorities, new limits, and breaking down walls.
God has really tested my trust in Him this year after my return from South Africa. I came back with no money in my pocket and I am not much better now, but He gave me work to do so I could at least pay for the massive car problems I had.
God paved the way for my brother and sister-in-law to minister in the Middle East, and he holds them in love and safety still.
When I really needed a Godly friend to encourage me and lift me up and share in my joy and struggles He put Ali in my life. She is one of two Christian peers in my life that keep me accountable in all the ways I need to be held accountable.
Sometimes I get caught up in myself- being myself, making my art, reading my books, thinking my thoughts and forming my opinions, that I forget who I am in Christ. It is then I forget that I am a sinner redeemed, no longer bound by the chains that held me previously. I put emphasis on me instead of Christ in me. Even when it comes to forming relationships, I focus on our common ground in terms of hobbies and personality and forsake the importance of Christ in our mutual lives. I've failed in this area too often, especially when it comes to romance, and I'm determined not to do it again.
As in the past, I just keep on trucking and keep on learning.
I'm nearly done with this fall semester...a very dramatic semester at Shorter University! I can't say I'm sorry to see this semester end. We all need a breather. Shoot, don't we. Although I am looking forward to the classes I have signed up for next semester...scene painting...woot! Hopefully that will help to negate the drama I will be exposed to otherwise.
In terms of exploration, the only exploration I've done since returning from one of the world'd most beautiful countries is the GA National Fair. Don't get me wrong; the fair was pretty fun, but unless you call a bearded and braided-ponytailed man singing Three Doors Down a change of scene it wasn't much of a detour from Rome, Georgia.
Although I will say I have done a good bit of thrift store exploration. The best kind.
In January, though, an excursion will by made by Ali and myself to Ashville, NC for just plain lollygagging. I plan to make a trip to Penland Craft School to get a feel for the campus, since school won't be in session. Who knows what nonsense we will get into.
Anyway, enough about me! Boring!
As far as musical exploration goes, this is about as far as I've gone in the last few months.
Um, just go read Lonesome Dove. Seriously.
What's a shoe's favorite kind of music?
(I made it up)
That's all the exploration for now.