Well, I was accepted into the Longwood Graduate Program. Meaning I'll be moving to Newark, DE in June. I know I previously mentioned Philly... closest big city. Incidentally, this will be the second Newark I've lived in; I was born in Newark, OH. This will also be the fourth state I've lived in; Ohio, Indiana, Missouri...
It's been an interesting year for me. I feel really altered, some for the good and some not so much. I hope to make the best of the months I have left in St. Louis, and face new challenges with strength and courage (thanks, Joshua).
I am single again. Kind of strange after 13 months. But honestly it's a good thing... for both of us! Many lessons learned.
On another note, (Lord willing) by the end of this week I'll have submitted an application for a graduate school near Philadelphia. It's fairly competitive, but I thought I'd give it a whirl- one doesn't come across an opportunity for a masters in public horticulture with classes paid and an international trip and laptop included very often!
I miss people. Perhaps that sounds overly profound, but I feel like I've isolated myself this year... God does not mean for us to 'go it alone'; He gave us families (both biological and spiritual) and friends for a reason. Maybe this weekend's Purdue girls' reunion made me realize what I've been missing. Half a dozen of us went to Metamora, Indiana to shop and catch up:-) Thank You, God, for friends!
My mom googled me this week and found these comments I wrote up after a class this year on the fruit of the spirit. Sorry for the redundancy, Ellisvillians!
Growing fruit costs the plant an enormous amount of energy. Think about the amount of calories/energy in an apple. Now think about eating the leaves or bark off the apple tree: terrible taste and you wouldn't get many calories for your efforts. Plants that produce fruit put much more energy, flavor, scent, design and color into their fruit than into themselves. Plants 'want' their fruit to be taken - whether by animal, person, wind or water - to where it can grow, spread and multiply itself. It doesn't matter that energy is hard to come by, sunlight via
photosynthesis being the only source. Plants that live year after year do store energy to survive the winter dormancy and come back in the spring, but fruit and seeds are the major channel into which collected energy is funneled.
Fruit is a vehicle for seeds: future plants. Fruit, while the plant spends an enormous amount of energy on it, is not the main focus. It is simply a means of transportation for the seed(s). The plant's 'goal' by producing fruit is to provide opportunities for more plants like itself to germinate and grow. The fruit itself is used up in the process: eaten or decomposed. It is not the lasting result; a germinated seed is the result of a 'successful' fruit.
The plant has no control over which fruit/seeds become another plant. Plants are not concerned with which specific fruits/seeds are successful;they focus on producing as much good fruit/seed as they can. The more fruits/seeds the plant produces, the better chance that some survive.
There are many kinds of fruit. Each plant species produces a different kind of fruit. Each is welladapted to its environment (assuming natives in their natural habitat) and designed specifically to be carried by a certain means. Whether by animal, wind, water, or person, each fruit/seed has a successful but often unique way of traveling and becoming another plant.
I take it you already know
of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
on hiccough, thorough, laugh and through.
Well done! And now you wish perhaps,
to learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word,
that looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead - it's said like bed not bead -
and for goodness' sake don't call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt)
A moth is not the moth in mother,
nor both in bother, broth in brother.
And here is not a match for there,
nor dear and fear for bear and pear.
And then there's dose and rose and lose -
just look them up - and goose and choose,
and cork and work and card and ward,
and font and front and word and sword,
and do and go and thwart and cart -
come come, I've hardly made a start.
A dreadful language? Man alive.
I'd mastered it when I was five.
Picture two plants. One germinated in a warm greenhouse, its every need carefully taken care of. The other plant sprang up unnoticed by the fringes of a wood; subject to strong winds, hungry deer, mowers and careless hikers.
We know which plant perhaps looks healthier. But which would be stronger? A plant in the wild that has undergone stresses has literally grown from the experience: deeper roots from a drought, thicker stem from strong winds, and newer more plentiful leaves after being cut off by a deer or mower. I think sometimes as Christians we strive for a life in the greenhouse, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But when a crisis is thrown our way, we have two choices: to be cut down or to grow from the experience.
Thank God for hard times; it is one of the best ways for us to grow stronger.