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blessings

I am truly blessed by my friends here. I've spent a lot of time with my counterculture friends the past few days and it has been really good for me. Coming back here this time was harder than I thought, I'm just somewhat overly stressed out and really figuring out how to deal with the death of a friend hasn't been as easy as I thought it might be. I still think about it and am sort of shocked by it all.

Thursday night last week I went out with Tara and Leah, we ate a nice dinner out, wandered around Barnes and Noble and went back to Tara's and talked. It was a combination of verbalizing the crazy things that are going on and being distracted by getting into one of my passions, alt. worship. I shared some of my past worship stuff with them and really enjoyed that time. (The second of those links isn't my stuff but was at the Emergent convention. My fav alt worship service i did... I lost the film, it was a sad day) Friday night was Nacho Libre time and was a good ending to the week. Saturday of course was counterculture and we did some alt. worship stuff which was really cool. I put my greek skills to use and I think the effect we were going for came off well.

Last night was really the best part of the last few days. Tara and Billy invited me out to celebrate Kel's birthday with all of them which was really a blessing to me in more ways than I think any of them will understand. We enjoyed a great meal, grabbed some Boba tea (or smoothie) and just sat outside the mall and chatted until it was dark. That was really the closest thing I've had to my normal way to release stress and frustration. Back in Champaign, I used to take walks at night in the clean crisp air. I had a good safe mile route that I would take usually 3-5 times a week. I really rejoice in the outdoors and breathing fresh air. Even though we just sat there and chatted, I really felt the presence of God like I used to on those walks. There is something just divine about laughing and fellowshipping with friends that you know really care about you and about where you're at. It was truly spiritual communion.

God steps in at those times where things seem dire, where life is getting hard. I'm a very relational person for being the introvert I am, and I was reminded again today at staff devotion of those friendships and relationships and how important it is to stay connected. You can read that devotion here. It really blessed me and spoke to me today. After we were done hearing that, we each picked words that were spread around the table that described where we are right now. I picked challenge. I'm really in this position right now where I'm feeling challenged and probably need to be challenged. It is terribly frustrating, but wonderfully necessary.

And I've got plenty of blessings to look forward to this summer. Of course more to come on those as they come along.
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