Sunday, January 22, 2012

Best First Week Ever

Reflecting on my entire academic career, I think this may have been the most enjoyable first week of classes for multiple reasons! The beginning of the semester is one of the most exciting times of the year. You haven’t seen friends and classmates for about a month, classes are new, fresh, and exciting, and homework and studying hasn’t gotten too demanding yet. For me, this first week also marked the return of running! I had been injured since early November, and recently this week my knee injury was properly diagnosed by a new physical therapist I saw back home, and two minor exercises were all it took to correct the problem.
It’s unfortunate that the injury was misdiagnosed for so long. It’s the type of situation where I could have only missed a few days of running if I would have gotten these exercises right off the bat, but sometimes God has other plans. I think he really used these past few months to ground me and make me consider the role running plays in my life. I’m confident that He’s placed me on the Drake track and cross country teams for a reason, and I’m excited to start getting back in shape, however I will be redshirting the indoor track season (saving my eligibility) because I am not fit enough to compete right now. That’s ok, it’ll give me time to establish an aerobic base for the outdoor season, where I plan to specialize in the two longest events held on the track, the 5,000 and 10,000m.
It will also allow me to devote my time and attention to some other interests in the early months of the year. I am almost finished applying to REU programs for the summer, I’m currently coaching a 7-8 grade boys basketball team in my church’s upward sports ministry league, and the guys in campus fellowship are working hard on a top secret Valentine’s Day program for sisters in our fellowship and other girls at Drake. I’ve also started new chemistry research under a new professor, and a few of my classes have already started off quickly.
I will certainly be blogging about much more of these experiences throughout the semester. One week down, fifteen to go, I hope the following weeks went as good as the first!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Some times a long break with a lot of downtime is exactly what the doctor ordered. After the past semester, I felt rundown, burnt out, and exhausted mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Earlier today I was reflecting on a verse, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away, 
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.

Contemplating over the past month or so, I believe this break was really a time to refresh, refuel, and recover. It was different from previous years in the sense that I felt I honestly needed an extended period of time to lie low and not have anything concrete and constructive to do. I needed to let my mind and body rest. Sometimes college and life can hit hard, and it certainly did last semester!
The highlight of break was “Faithwalkers”, a gathering of all the Midwestern Great Commission churches in Omaha, NE for three days. The time is packed full of awesome worship, convicting messages, and lots of reflecting. I’m grateful for how God used the conference in my life this year, I was convicted in many areas of my life, especially prayer, and this conference really helped me get pumped up spiritually for the upcoming semester. It’s exactly what I needed!
After Faithwalkers, I went with 32 other men from Drake on “the Dude trip” to Estes Park, Colorado for four days. It was a fun time with some really cool people in part of God’s beautiful creation. We had many adventures, I’ll be sure to blog about it more in the future!
The last part of break was spent getting good quality time in with family and some friends I don’t get to see too often. For the most part it was really low key, and gave me one last chance to recharge my battery. Today is the first day of the semester, and I’m looking forward to this one so much! My class schedule won’t be nearly as demanding, and I’m excited to see how God will work in my life and in others at Drake!

In Christ,