Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Brown Line to Randolph/Wabash

It's a familiar trek. From my apartment to the brown line stop. Brown line to Randolph/Wabash. My destination is down the stairs, straight ahead, on the right. Intelligenstia Coffee.

When I came here this weekend it wasn't actually to get coffee this time, but to meet up with a family I had never met before to take a high-school senior's, Logan's, photos. This family made the trip from Indiana to get Logan's senior pictures done, since he loves this city so much. Where did this "random" connection come from? They're actually acquaintances of my first supervisor at my on-campus job in EGS (she first hired me as a freshman...grateful to Traci)!

We met up at Intelligentsia, and then went off to Millennium Park, which is just across Michigan Ave, only a quick hop over from our meeting place. Stay tuned for photos! It could not have been a more beautiful day, and I was glad for the excuse to be out and about, especially on familiar city routes! 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

When Slovakia Came to Chicago

It's not every day that you get to have coffee with someone from Slovakia. 

This is Katarina, a friend I met at a wedding in Slovakia a couple years ago. She is now married (as of three weeks ago!) and on full-time staff with Josiah Venture. She is also part of the intern recruiting team that is traveling around the States for about a month. 

Even with her busy recruiting schedule, she managed to fit in an hour for tea, and I couldn't have been more thrilled for the opportunity to spend time with her. This girl is incredible, and her faith was so encouraging to me. 

Sometimes worlds collide. On this regular autumn day where I watched the sun stream through the windows of my apartment, where I sipped tea from Polish pottery, and went to classes and work as normal, I also experienced part of my other world. When a day consists of tastes of both my Chicago world and my Europe world, it always feels right.

I long for the day when all believers are gathered up together and we will not only get to be with Christ forever, but we will no longer be separated from one another by oceans and airplanes. We will get to worship the King of Kings for eternity with every nation, tribe and tongue. That will be an incredible day.

Until then, I'll sit in the moments of glowing sunshine. I'll cherish times with friends I don't usually get to see. I'll also grieve the goodbyes, the partings, and the setting of the sun. It won't always be like this though. We have hope in Christ that he will bring the fulfillment of all of these shadows of goodness that we experience here on earth.

"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." - 1 Corinthians 13:12

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Union and Chicago

Missions Conference at Moody is behind us. We are now past the half-way mark of the semester, which is quite bittersweet for me this time around. To celebrate fall and the half-way mark, a trip to a little town in Illinois was in order.

My roommates, Michelle and Michelle (yes, both of my roommates have the same name!), and Cassidy (in the striped shirt!) and I made the trek out to Cassidy's hometown of Union, IL. The other fun thing about this group is that Cassidy is actually going to be "replacing" me in The Little Byt, our apartment, next semester. This was a Little Byt gathering of sorts then.

Union is quaint and an all-American town, complete with a cute cafe, second-hand shops, a local bookstore, and a place they call the "opera house" (which is really just a place for any and every show in town). We also stopped by the apple orchard, where Cassidy's younger sister works. We're close to the end of apple picking season, but we managed to find some anyways!

It's times like these that I truly realize that I am in America. That may sound strange, but it does still strike me sometimes! It was good to get out of the city, but not so much so that I could be gone from Chicago, but so that when I came back, I would realize how much this place has endeared itself to me. The city was foreign to me when I first got here. I didn't know how to appreciate its beauty, nor praise the Lord for it. He has definitely changed my heart. Although I don't see myself living in Chicago for the rest of my life, this city is dear, and holds a lot of special memories and friendships.

While we still had fall break on Monday and Tuesday, I went out to the lake early in the morning with a friend. We looked back at the cityscape from the Lakefront Trail and soaked it in. Is it not beautiful? God created people with the creativity to make things like skyscrapers and high-rises. That's pretty incredible.

Monday, October 17, 2016


It was already a little over a week ago that Mom and Dad were in town (ahem...in the city) and got to be here for my birthday. I love that board meetings out in the suburbs so often coincide with October 8th! It's special to have them here. 

Love you both, Mom and Dad! So much of who I am and what I do has been shaped by your love, care, and dedication. Thank you for all that you have done to teach and guide me these past 22 years, to live in a way that points me to the Lord, and to have fun and adventures along the way too!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pre-Birthday Celebrations

On the Friday before my birthday, two of my buddies took me out to a walk around the park and then to Middle Eastern food for dinner. They sure know me well! Those are two of my favorite things. Not only that, but along the way, we all looked for beautiful sights that bring us joy. It couldn't have been a better way to spend a Friday, especially in the company of Michelle and Kelley. 

Thank you Kelley and Michelle! Love you both!