Memorable Weekend, Pre-Radiation

I’m several days into the pre-radiation routine–strict low-iodine diet (see previous post) and no thyroid medication. I meet with my radiologist this Thursday to hopefully get more information on my dosage of treatment, length of being quarantined and likelihood of multiple treatments. Prayers would be appreciated!

This past weekend was such a blessing. I started all of the pre-radiation methods Friday morning, and made my first 3.5 hour drive to Grand Rapids, Michigan to visit my cousin Melissa at her school. The drive was stunning, the fall colors are in full swing, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to some great music and taking it all in.

Friday night, Melis, her friends and I walked to downtown Grand Rapids to watch the release of hundreds of lanterns over the river. If you have seen the movie Tangled, you have a good idea of what I’m talking about. In any event, it was one of the most stunning sights I have ever seen. Would have been a great date 😉

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The next day, Melissa and I spent the whole day doing fall-festivities that I truly missed the four years I lived in California, and one of the main goals for the day was to make a bunch of food that would follow my low-iodine diet. We went to a local orchard and bought apple cider, apples and pumpkins to carve.

We spent the day cooking–we made pumpkin bread muffins, spicy pumpkin seeds (from out freshly carved pumpkins 🙂 ) and for dinner we made chicken with cinnamon apples. Everything we made turned out very well, and it definitely lifted my spirits. Not to mention we watched The Hunger Games during dinner, which of course was awesome. I was beginning to think I was going to be eating oatmeal, fruits and vegetables every meal for the next several weeks :). Now, however, I have great motivation to make so many things, hopefully in large quantities so that I have left-overs.

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I cannot express how much the changing seasons does my soul well. It brings me so much joy. When I start to feel the weight of what I’m walking through right now, it often only takes looking out the window and breathing in the crisp air to revitalize. There is so much beauty in the world–even in the most unlikely places.

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After returning from such a memorable weekend in Michigan, I was blessed to end Sunday watching football with great company. I mean how much better could the weekend have been?? Well, my roommate’s dad and sister visited last night and we watched Here Comes Honey Boo Boo–that’s how! Weekend complete. 🙂

I’m definitely starting to feel the weight of not being able to take any thyroid medication. I’m uncomfortably tired all-day, everyday. However, I am still keeping active, laughing the usual uncontrollable amount and even exercising when I feel my heart won’t explode ;). It is very clear to me that my strength is not of my own.

Reflecting on The Red Plane.

For those of you who do not know, RCC’s show this year was entitled “Hope, Dream, Fly.” I have never been a part of a drumline show that was this emotional, this beautiful.

The floor was white with a single red path leading off the floor. The props were large, white “paper” airplanes and one red airplane attached to long poles.  At the beginning of the show, the audience did not know why there was a single red plane.  As the show progressed, the members showed a longing for the red plane, reaching for it, desiring it. At the end, all of the white planes flew off the red path and only the red plane was left:

Photo by: Jenny Jackson

As the title implies, the red plane represented our hopes, dreams, what we are reaching towards, what we are longing to obtain.

After WGI prelims, the entire ensemble sat in the hotel conference room and talked about what the red plane symbolizes to us. Forty college-aged members talked about their dreams, their passions. I didn’t speak but listened as almost everyone in the ensemble spoke through tears about their “red planes.” I had so much I wanted to say, but I couldn’t form sentences at the time.

Our show was based on Adam Watts‘ song “Fly, Fall, Fly,” and as we drove to our last performance, WGI finals, we played this song on the bus speakers.  We all sang… I will never forget that moment.

“Fly, Fall, Fly, fall.
Air flees from beneath me.
Fly, fall, I don’t care at all,
As long as your hand catches me.”

This show was so much more than notes on a page, fast drill, and gimmicks.  It was musical artistry packaged in 7 minutes of raw emotion.

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So, what is my red plane?

I am an extremely passionate person, and sometimes I can barely contain myself. I have such a strong desire to change the world, to truly make a difference, and I want to now. I love people so deeply, genuinely. My dream is to act on this love through international justice.  I want to go to law school and be able to take action against human trafficking, slavery, etc. Seeking God’s justice is my biggest dream. “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly?” (Micah 6:8)

I have become especially sensitive to children born into these situations (brothels especially), children who are trapped with no hope of getting out.  I would love to not only bring justice to their situation, prosecuting offenders, but to help find education for these kids and ensure a future for them.

Sometimes I forget just how lucky I am, just by virtue of where I was born.  I want to continue to humble myself through my interactions with others. I hope that I never forget how blessed I am, and I hope that I seek to bless others daily.

[Every time I performed this show, I thought about the next chapter in my life.  Finishing up my undergrad degree, moving away again to a new state, new school, new friends, pursuing a dream.]

I owe my life and my hope to Jesus Christ. Without him, I would be nothing. As each year passes I realize just how finite I am, and how infinite he is. I realize how broken I am and how great his mercy is. I realize that each day is a gift, and that he can carry me home at any moment. My hope is in him, completely, and I can honestly say I would not be here today,  if it were not for his unconditional love.  My joy is rooted in this relationship.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11

What is YOUR red plane?