20,160 minutes

The end of the semester is near. By near I mean that in just 20,160 minutes, all of me will be back in the Hoosier state. Seeing as the closing of another semester is upon me, I find it quite appropriate to reflect back on the last 365 days (approximately).

How did I grow? How did I fail? What did I accomplish? How did I use the very breath in my body to extol the name of Jesus? These questions and more are just a sample of my reflection. The pain that I experienced from growing as an individual pales in comparison to the friendships that I created, the knowledge that I gained and the trust that I now have in my Lord and Savior.

Some of the highlights of the year start with day 1. July 25, 2014 was moving day for me; this was a “normal” morning that consisted of driving 6 hours to a city that I have never laid eyes on.

I don’t think I would call myself an outdoorsy kind of girl. But moving to a state with a national park in your backyard changes things…just a little bit 🙂 I consistently hiked throughout the year, and I am grateful for the opportunity to delight in the gorgeous creation that is literally right outside my window.

Then there is the academics of pursuing a Master’s degree. With a few medical courses sprinkled into the mix, I was intellectually challenged to integrate all that I have learned thus far in my academic career. Right now I am studying neuroanatomy.

Neuroanatomy.

Think about it…I get to study the brain! Without a doubt, I am blessed to have genuine professors who truly care about the students and desire to see us succeed as professionals.

This year has been filled with firsts as well. Like the first time that I spent my birthday away from family or spending my first mother’s day apart from my mother. But then there was the first time that I went white water rafting and the first time that I completed a high ropes course. I could also throw in the first time that I actually took an ethics course and let’s not forget the first time to live with room mates.

I don’t think that I could chose just one specific memory to highlight the year. I recall hiking to the top of White Rocks and feeling overwhelmed with joy and awe. Everything was green as far as the eye could see. I remember eating at Bubba’s (restaurant on Norris Lake) and singing karaoke late into the night. I remember celebrating my room mate’s birthday with cookie cake and ice cream while we ate it underneath the stars.

I cannot forget the ONE time that I had visitors come see me. Their arrival was absolutely perfect and much needed in the month of September. I remember walking the streets of Knoxville and seeing the city through their eyes. I remember  people watching as we observed the Asian festival unfold with dancing. Ultimately, there was that good-bye that I never wanted to say.

Guess what? You can live without a Target. You can live without a Starbucks. BUT you can’t really live without a Chick-fil-a. 🙂  As I have acclimated to small town living, my expectations have changed. But there are some things that you just want to put on repeat and listen to without quitting.

Right now I’m listening to Mountain on repeat by Hillsong. The lyrics are:

See a light in the darkness
A city shining without a veil
This hill becoming a mountain
A solid rock that will never fail

Your name
My hope
Fortress in the raging storm
My heart
Is Your home
Jesus let Your love take hold

Precious Jesus, let your love take hold. Renew my heart and my mind…purify me King Jesus. Let me be ready to do your work, a broken vessel empty for your use and purpose. Let this summer be yours. Let your gloriously name be made known. amen. 

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