Saturday, November 20, 2010

Goodbye, Autumn!

It is no secret that autumn is my favorite season. I think many people would say the same. There are so many things to enjoy: changing leaves, football, cooler temperatures, etc. However, I recently watched this video to remind myself of the main reason I love fall. It was pretty sweet of God to organize the seasons in a way that tells the story of His gospel and of our lives. So, when I think about fall, I think about change; how painful it can be, but also how beautiful. I think about how God does not allow us to go through changes just for fun, but rather in preparation for a new season of life. Just as the trees lose their old leaves in preparation for a bare winter that will produce new leaves in the spring, certain parts of us are often stripped away leaving us bare and exposed, but ready for our own "new leaves." Living in a new place this year, this is a story I've had to tell myself quite often.

As I've been walking through this "autumn" in my life, I've been given good gifts along the way. Below are some of the things I've enjoyed this fall. Some are silly. Some are meaningful. All are wonderful, and I'm thankful for them.

1. Living a dream by studying at "Mr. Jefferson's University."

2. Fun fall days at apple orchards, wineries, Monticello, and football tailgates/games.

3. John Piper's new book, Think. Reading this while being a student has been a challenge and an encouragement to me this fall.

4. Auburn's football season and getting to attend a game in September

5. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin beer, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, etc. You get the point.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wearing Red and Cheering on the Elephants

What's that you ask? Am I changing my Iron Bowl Allegiance? No, no. I'm just reveling in the Republican victories from last night's elections.

For the sake of those reading this blog, I will not fully delve into my political thoughts. However, I will touch on how I feel about recent politics with a baseball analogy. You can liken Obama and the Democrats of the past two years to the New York Yankees of this season. They had everything--the House, the Senate, and the White House. Think Jeter, A-Rod, and Sabathia. And yet, they couldn't get it done. Think Yankees loss to the Texas Rangers in this year's ALCS. The Democrats barely passed a health care reform bill that, in all practical purposes, had to be purchased with bribes and false promises. And their other policy agendas (Cap and Trade, Immigration Reform) were held at a stand still because they were so unpopular and un-passable (if that is a word). Here's hoping that, with control of the House and only a slight lag in the Senate, Republicans will be more successful.

What hit me more than the politics this election night, was the emotional ties I have to elections, politics, and our nation's capital. Tears surprised me by surfacing as I watched this girl's boss give his victory speech. And as I watched this girl's boss be the first in 34 years to repeat as a senator from North Carolina, I couldn't help being filled with pride and joy. When two of your best friends' jobs are on the line in an election, it gets personal. Though both Senator DeMint and Senator Burr are Republicans, I don't always agree with them. However, what I can say is that I have seen these two girls learn and grow during their time in the Senate. I can say that, along with myself, they have learned lessons and made memories that simply cannot be learned or made outside of the United States Senate. While DC itself holds a special place in my heart, the US Senate occupies a spot that is completely unique. With that, I'll spare anymore sentiments and leave you with some images of my favorite memories of the Senate.

1. A Staff helicopter flight over DC with a lovely view of my "office" and the Washington Monument

2. Showing off my "office" to sweet friends who came to visit

3. Seer-Sucker Thursdays from Memorial Day-Labor Day

4. Working for someone I believe in and trust

5. Getting to leave work early for events such as the National Christmas Tree lighting, the White House Christmas tour, and Recess (when the Congress is out of session)
The National Christmas Tree on Capitol Lawn

The White House Christmas Tree with ornaments from each Congressional district

Afternoon margaritas in the office--Recess at its finest!