We had our every-other-week women's time today and it was the last one for the semester. Well, first you must know that we have this dear friend named Grace which you may have already read about in a previous post. She's just one of the most Christ-like people I know, and in 1 week she will be moving back to the States. She's been here in China for 2 years and has decided to move to the next stage in her life which will be working with students at UNC. So since today was the last women's time for a while, and Grace's last women's time ever with these people, Danielle decided we should "honor" her a little bit. Josh and Danielle came up with some random questions and today at lunch we all went around and answered each one. Just so you can get a feel for some of what we were doing, a few examples of the questions are as follows: What's your favorite food in the shitang (the school cafeteria)? How have you seen yourself grow this past year? What was your most embarrassing moment this past year? etc. etc. So after we answered the last question in the bag, Danielle pulled one out of her pocket that said What do you want to tell Grace before she leaves? Coincidentally, each of us had written a card to Grace with the answer to this question. Ok, so it wasn't a coincidence. Then we each went around and either read the letter or just said some things to Grace that summed up the card. A few tears were shed, and I'll be honest, my eyes welled up a couple of times. Yeah, I've only known Grace for less than a month. But honestly, even if I had never spoken to her before and only watched her life, I probably still would've gotten teary. She's just an amazing person and anyone listening to what the other girls had to say and watching her live her life would have known how wonderful she is. Christ is just so evident in her life. We're all so thankful for her. In her card I included the following quote from C.S. Lewis:
"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival."
Grace will most definitely be missed, but fortunately for me, she'll be an hour-car-ride away, and 5 minutes away from Joe's dorm. We've already planned a Chickfila date for the next time I go visit Joe.
Moving on. Sunday is my birthday. And I'm going to be 16. Pretty insane. I don't really feel like a 16-year-old, I feel more like a little kid. But time will move on, with nothing in my finite power to stop it. I'll continue to wish the days away, longing to go to college, then longing to be married, then longing to have children, then grandchildren. And one day, before I know it, my life will be behind me and I'll be wishing I hadn't wished the days away. That I had taken them more seriously and cherished the moments I had. I'm one of those people who doesn't want to grow up and will hardly face the fact that I'm not a kid anymore. But one day I'll realize it, and wish I had embraced each stage of life, rather than longing for the care-free days of childhood. So for now I'll just try to remember I'm 16, know I enjoyed the past years so much, and look patiently to a life blessed by God in the future.
So apparently 16 is a pretty big birthday. I really don't know why. Something about in the old days girls becoming women. I don't know. I just try to go with the flow. So since Sunday is my birthday, we're going to have a day of celebration. Beginning with breakfast made by Danielle...Clone of a Cinnabon. To die for. Then we'll head to the local "meeting" to gather with fellow christians. After this, Josh, Danielle, Harvey, and I will head to a park in the Spring City and have a picnic. They know me all too well...picnics are one of my favorite activities. If my future husband happens to be reading this, keep this in mind. Then we will ride the giant ferris wheel that overlooks the city and takes 30 minutes to go all the way around. We'll head home and rest up for the next big meal: Howard Johnson. This is a five-star hotel that just came to this little tiny town out here that has a fantastic (so I've heard) restaurant in it. So our little family is going, and my 6 friends are all invited to that. Then we'll all head back to our place for games and cake (red velvet, to be exact). So I'm super excited for it, and really pumped that my birthday will be in China, with these spectacular people. Hopefully we'll take lots of pictures!
Now, for the real reason this blog exists...here are some Harvey pictures.
And his 5 week picture...
To see all of Harvey's weekly photos go to Josh and Danielle's blog and click on the link on the right that says "Slideshow."
And just for kicks, here are some funny pictures of Danielle's students' notebooks.
If you can't quite read the words, click on the picture to make it bigger.