Friendships have continued to deepen, and I continually marvel at the people God has placed in my life here. He really has sustained me with friends this past year - so much encouragement and mutual growth. Time has not allowed to develop many new friends, but I've gotten to know a few freshmen.
I miss my family a lot this year. Not in a homesick way, as in the past, but just in that "I'm growing up" way. It makes me sad that I miss out on so much of their lives, but I do thank God for the times I've been able to go home and watch soccer/volleyball games, cuddle with the little ones, and talk with the older ones. We've skyped once, which was very exciting for all involved. :)
Mark and I have continue to grow closer in our relationship at a manageable rate. He is planning to go to graduate school next fall, probably somewhere far away, so we enjoy every moment we get together right now. 2.5 years doesn't sound like a long time, but it seems like a lifetime - hard to remember what it was like not having his calming and encouraging presence in my life, and not knowing what laughing with him was like. We've enjoyed spending more time with his family this fall, including his brother David, and sister in law, Emily.
Went to a really good sunday school lesson this weekend. He talked about how, in the Lord's Prayer, everything Jesus tells us to pray about are things that He has already promised us as believers. . . so why does He want us to pray about them? Won't they happen if we don't, since they are promised and they are God's will? He proposed that prayer is a means through which God performs his will. As we pray, God works the things He has planned for us. It's a way He has given us to be a part of what He's doing in our lives and in the lives of others, and in doing so, build relationship and intimacy with Him. Even through struggles and trials, prayer helps us gain a right perspective, not asking God to take pain away, but to use it to accomplish His will and draw us closer to His side.