{ smitten with the mitten }

it’s like that little butterfly in your stomach. just about Michigan!

FRESH AIR | LOTS OF TREES | CLEAR WATER | BIG LAND | OPEN SKY

really, i didn’t know how much i would love this place. especially after my last trip here and the close call with catching airplanes. today, i have spent early morning time with my beloved betsy, then flew off to grand rapids where my honeylove picked me up.

he has to host this weekend and work a few days next week while i’m there, but i am thankful to get to live normal life with him for the next six days.

{ beginning an ending }

the end of college is near.

it’s a time i’ve felt for so long would never come.

i remember sitting with the pastor of RUF my freshman year wanting to drop out and pursue property staff because i didn’t want to be in school anymore. and, now look what i’m walking into…

surrounding my move to the swamplands, there is excitement, boxes already packed, leases in the works, but there is much to happen before may 11th.

i hope to soak in the moments of the next few weeks slowly, intentionally, and with thankfulness.

it all started thursday at my last staff meeting as an intern at Hope Resource Center. after lots of discussion of the center’s fundraising event happening next thursday — the staff prayed over me. “lord, keep emma jane longing to learn and pursue your gospel.” “thank you for her boldness that sometimes gets her in trouble.” “remind her father, that 6 glasses of wine is 4 too many.” (whoops, it was over a 5 hour period.) we all laughed at that one. “father, we are thankful for the life and laughter you radiate through her.” i don’t remember all that was said, but i know the lord was there, nudging me a little, to be confident as i leave knoxville in the weeks to come. for i have served, i have made new friends, and i have another “home” to come back to if Southwind isn’t a good fit. (obviously, those are my boss’s words. she’s in denial i am leaving.) it was a moment where i had to let them encourage me because really all i did there was God’s work, making His appeal through me. that’s something i have been working on for years. not an exaggeration. y e a r s. all encouragement given to me is is only Christ being displayed, not my own goodness.

then, friday was my last day of work at hope — the staff through me a cupcake surprise party to give me a gift. they all pitched in to get me a target giftcard to help decorate my new condo! what a lovely staff. i’ll miss them truly. they’ve been more than a staff, they’ve become my friends. i left work to rush to sub in the 4th grade class at cedar springs weekday school (my old kids!), then rushed off to Dorothy’s cabin with the roommates.

this was our last planned time together before i move to florida. an overnight in the cabin was wonderfully restful and just what we needed— full of each other’s company. lots of laughter. porch sitting, a drink in hand. as girls, we got freaked out by all the moths and bugs. listened to good music. put our phones aside because there was no service. we talked of our favorite memories of 2012 thus far. i fell asleep on the couch in the middle of a conversation. but, it’s just good to get away sometimes.

when we are all together, life just becomes simpler for us all, which lets us rejuvenate. we couldn’t quite get over how beautiful the cabin is that Dave, Dorothy’s husband, built. we loved that about it. saturday morning we went on a nature walk before heading home…

morgan found the field where Rue died in the hunger games.

jenn was our photographer extraordinaire (and then she blogged about it).

time together was the best medicine.

{ we are done! }

tonight marked “our cohort’s” (dr. roberts’ words) last practicum class — we’ve all completed 510 hours of service to our field agency. shoo wee, that merits a big ole:

H A L L E L U J A H 

it was hard for me to imagine this day, but we were all excited to be done with weekly logs and narratives. for the last time. ever. next stop — graduation in some silly hats and gowns. 2 weeks to go til we are officially alum.

{ links }

sometimes i catch myself thinking that people know about everything i do, function the same way i do, or like the same things i do. that really just shows my selfishness. i’m working on that, but it’s the truth.

i wanted to share some of my favorite go-to websites with y’all:

Back Down South : all things southern via caroline fontenot

The Gospel Coalition : great for articles on our society through a gospel lens

Peanut Butter Fingers : inspires me to be more active & my new favorite breakfast (whole wheat bagel, egg, blackberry jam) and knows all about Ocala

Paul Tripp Ministries : my #2 mustached-man with overflowing wisdom of gospel living

Rockstar Diaries : i’m in love with their bulldog, Sir Kingsley. plus, i’ll never live in a big city since i can live vicariously through these people

A Holy Experience : encourages thankfulness through joy and simplicity

Today’s Letters : i love letter writing and this is about a husband+wife’s letters to each other

Martha Stewart : creativity through eating, cleaning, creating, entertaining, living

Don’t Waste Your Cancer : Young Life family who is raw and real about a triumphant cancer battle