Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Can I Stop And Think About My Life for One Second?!?!!

Someone please make it stop.

Last week, I was in the midst of scrambling to get all my homework done. It was a relatively easy load, but seriously, I had no "free" time (fun time doesn't count- I have to schedule that in, and do it well, if I may say so myself). And I had to get as much as possible done because I was going to InterVarsity's Fall Conference on Friday and didn't want to bring up homework. I ended up bringing it up anyway. But consider Thursday night, when I had to finish everything because Fridays have no free time, pack my stuff (which ended up getting done at midnight), and look at the email I just got from my Earth professor. Oh, look. Earth grades are up- let's have a look.

I then got a little depressed. Okay, maybe a lot. I tried not to think of my horrible grade- my horrible grade that was worse than some kids' BELS tests...and that's bad. I started to think what I could've done wrong to fail A MULTIPLE CHOICE TEST ABOUT ROCKS. I mean, c'mon. I deemed myself a failure at studying, and then ran to Digger Den to grab pizza and chocolate. I ended up forgetting about the chocolate.

So after packing, I went to bed, and began crazy Friday. All Fridays are crazy. It's a rule. But I basically ran from work to Earth to Calc (where I tried to finish my worksheet) to Maple to grab all my stuff and finish packing to the parking lot. I think I ate somewhere in between there. But the hard part of Friday was over. A car had some marker on the windows: "Fall Conference or Bust!" "IV yay!" "wubwubwubwub". I smiled.

Rebecca (a girl in my Bible study Maple small group) and I stuffed our stuff into Aaron's (our happy red-headed driver) trunk. We are girls and had a lot of stuff. David (the other guy riding with us) and Aaron had less stuff. But we stuffed it in, and hopped in, and were off. I was Shotgun DJ. Heh, what an awesome job description: Shotgun DJ. The ride went quick. I think I fell asleep. But we got up there....safely.

In the town of Estes Park, we had lunch and stopped by the chocolate factory before heading up to the retreat site. We almost got lost but made it, and it was pretty nice, if I say so myself. The dorms were heated- maybe a little too much. There were ponds. There was a really cool building by the pond that was the prayer room.

But the first night was fun. We all (Mines, CU, CSU, UNC, Auraria) cheered really loud. Mines cheered louder when Will MC'd. We cheered whenever Mines was even mentioned. We were awesome, and we knew it. Almost 70 of us had come, and we comprised around a third of Fall Conference. Nerd. Domination. Breaking ice and breaking into little groups for the games. Then finally grouping into chapters. And randomly shouting "OHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" while another joins and another then

"I wish I had a barrel of rum and sugar three hundred pounds.
A college bell to mix it in and a clapper to stir it 'round.
Like every honest felLOOWWWWW I take my whiskey clear.
I'm a ramblin' wreck from Golden Tech, a helluva engineer...."

It was the best and most spirited redition of the fight song I've heard since I've been here.

It was fun. The Speaker talked about stepping in- to Fall Conference and to whatever God has planned. Gently easing into the cold water of a pool was not encouraged, but rather, cannonballing. We broke into chapters after that, and played more community-building games. Then we had to be in bed by midnight, which is funny.

The rest of the weekend went like this: meals- which were a great break from Slate, and sessions which started with games, ended with the speaker talking about stepping (up, through, out), sandwiched by songs from the worship team. Saturday was awesome because of two things. First, because of amazing God is. I woke up and there was an inch of snow on the ground and snow was still steadily falling. After morning session was a time set aside for prayer and reflecting for one hour. Quiet time. Now that is almost funny, but so needed and it was so quiet. I chose a place outside even though the temperature was dropping and the wind was picking up. But it was awesome. And so still. And so quiet. I prayed and then thought about my life for a while.

I thought about school without thinking about school. It might be hard to explain, but every stinking second of my life is spent thinking about school, what I need to do, where I need to go next, what is the minimum about of homework I can do tonight and still get it done by tomorrow. But this time, I thought about school and the big picture. My grades so far and my study habits. My insane schedule and how I somehow manage it. How much I needed success.

I thought about my life. Where I might go. What God might be wanting me to do next. The big picture. All the amazing people I've met recently. All the past things in my life that...were not so great. All the past things in my life that were awesome. I thought about how amazingly blessed I am with what I have. Not everyone has that, y'know.

That was good. During free time I played soccer in the snow rather than doing homework. It was really fun, even though I only had my Mines hoodie to keep me warm and socks for mittens. Those socks proved to be crucial, for a mass snowball fight erupted. Throwing snow in people's faces is always fun.

Rachael (my Bible study leader), Rebecca, and I went to the prayer room before dinner together.  The prayer room was a really cool building that had a bridge leading to it and everything. Inside were a bunch of stuff to make art with, and maps of the world, US, and individual campuses with sticky notes on what we feel needs prayer. Boulder had a note for "the sinners on the hill". Most campuses had "finding a place, being successful". Mines had that stuff along with the main one- "Tests.". I added a +1. And "community" for the spot on 17th and Maple Street...

Saturday night was the main event, I suppose. The speaker talked about "stepping through" apathy (laziness, like falling asleep in class, or plain lukewarmedness), habitual sin, gossip, and guilt. During chapter time, we all shared how God quenched our thirsts or revealed what we should be thirtsting for. All 60-odd kids went up and shared, then dumped their cup of water in a tub. I expressed that I want God to really just quench all my thirsts...'cause I want a lot. Like success in school. And all the other things I want that, if I pursue on my own, will be empty and I'll die trying to cram everything in and eventually explode. So...yeah.

We broke into our small groups including previously mentioned Rebecca and Aaron, and Daniel, Devin, and another Daniel and Lee. So some people I know well, some people I was just getting to know, and some people I'd just met. Which brings me to the second part of why Fall Conference was awesome- building friendships and meeting people and... stuff. Our small group was pretty awesome. (And I know I use the word awesome too much). We were to share our experiences throughout the day and then after we all prayed for one another individually. Not all the small groups did that, so we were the last remaining while most of the  others went to CU's dance party. Heh, Boulder. But yeah- amazing. Oh and there are many, many awesome people in IV in their own funny ways- and I'm so glad to have spent the weekend with them. A few of us instead of going to Boulder chapter's gig, huddled around John (the piano player) while he played and sang along. Funny- the only Boulder party I'll probably be invited to and... ha ha ha.

But again, the community among Mines was awesome. We know each of us is weird in an awesome way with molecular bonding and wookie noises and us girls not being able to talk about shoes and then laughing at the other guys asking for tips as they held open door because we're so used to it for free. I even won one of the games representing Mines by blowing up the most balloons. I literally had my own cheering section then, and at other times during the weekend was part of the cheering section for other kids. It was even a lot of fun just to sit and be silly with the other freshman in IV. Even more exciting- my Bible study leader was proposed to in front of 150 people and that night, all the girls were buzzing about her engagement. I mean, that's cool- bunking with a bunch of girls after something exciting as that.

By now it is nearly Thursday, and I am still trying to let God control my life rather than myself. Sunday, I found out that my horrible Earth grade was actually a high B, which is what I was expecting, and was a huge relief after I saw it. I haven't totally crashed in class. I'm paying attention. I hardly have homework this week (compared with the craziness of most weeks), and I'm enjoying life. I'm still really tired, and am going to end now.

Oh and this weekend is fall break! Sara is going home and so am I this weekend. I'm gonna sleep in my own bed...if I can even claim ownership to it anymore. I'm gonna chill with the fam, go to church Sunday (yay!), and do something Monday and Tuesday....something besides Chemistry. I need to think of ideas.