The Anatomy of Slacking

Dear Reader,

Let me begin by saying I apologize. If you enjoy reading my blog, you probably noticed an abrupt halt in my posts, followed by a long period of complete, post-less blog silence. The second semester of my freshman year of college has chewed me up and spit me out multiple times. Sorry for the disgusting metaphor, but I honestly have never been so busy in my entire life. I am taking 17 credits in addition to doing a radio show for 2 hours Monday-Thursday. I also have been confronted with blogger’s block. Every time I’ve gone to start a blog post during these last two months I have been assaulted by terrible fears that I will not write anything a) good and b) worth reading. So I close my laptop in defeat and do something less public with my time.

I have a story to tell you. It’s one of my own stories…taken straight from the pages of the ridiculously absurd, grace-saturated day-to-day existence I live.

These past two months I’ve been at school,working from weekend to weekend, working through the weekend, heading into weeks with more work to do than ever. I’ve been running myself ragged trying to live up to my own standards. I don’t want to let myself, my parents, or most importantly, God, down, so with the motivation of staying in everyone’s good graces I have been pushing myself to my limits. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t try to earn grace; I am not a legalist. I just have this complex where I feel unsatisfied if I’m not achieving. Next sub-point.

Due to a series of emotional events, and after seven straight weeks of school, I decided to come home this weekend. It was like running away to my safe place. I wanted to escape campus so badly.

So I did. I went home with the intention of getting away. I drove my Lincoln Towncar until I ran out of gas. I went to two of my favorite places in the world: Cox Arboretum and the Dayton Art Institute. At Cox, I wandered around by myself, spending an extended amount of time just sitting. I sat on a stone bench about 2 feet from a beautiful, still body of water, watching two ducks, a male and a female, splash in the water. They came right up to me, making a big show of themselves, frolicking around and eventually swimming away when they realized I had nothing to offer. I wished with everything in me that I had some bread to toss to them. I journaled, wrote poetry, read Tim Keller and the Psalms. It was like heaven on earth. I felt myself internally slow down for the first time in what felt like forever.

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Me being content.
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This was my view.

Cox just added a tree tower to their arboretum. A beautiful wood creation towering four stories, I knew immediately I wanted to explore it. I ventured up to its peak by myself and looked out across the wide expanse of greenery surrounding me. The air was crisp and light, the temperatures in the mid 40s.

The view from the tower.
The view from the tower.

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The tower!
The tower!
The tower from the inside.
The tower from the inside.

I would totally promote the arboretum every day of my life. Here’s their website if you’re interested in visiting: http://www.metroparks.org/Parks/CoxArboretum/Home.aspx

After I came down from the beautiful tower, I left Cox to visit the Dayton Art Institute. I have been to the Institute four times, once by myself.  I went alone again this time. There’s something surreal about meandering through the huge, ornate, solemn world of the Art Institute alone. It makes you feel very small and very human. You find yourself in the multitudes of art ranging from every part of history. You see your own story in the stories of countless others. You think about every aspect of life: you ponder religion, the passing of time, our society’s issues and victories. You lose yourself in learning about others. I found pieces of art that spoke to me. I even found artwork that reminded me of my good friends. It was tremendously refreshing to visit the museum again!

This piece reminded me of my friend Casey!
This piece reminded me of my friend Casey!
The view from the window of the Institute
The view from the window of the Institute
This piece reminded me of my friend Jake, who loves driving in the snow.
This piece reminded me of my friend Jake, who loves driving in the snow.

it was a fantastic weekend. I felt like the Lord poured into me in a way I desperately needed.

Extended times of solitude are always a good thing. God has a way of drawing near when we make ourselves available to hear his voice.

in Christ,

angela

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