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Dec 27, 2009

Dec 24, 2009

Dec 21, 2009

The Weekend of Cameras

I literally took a camera with me everywhere I went this weekend.  Today, when I came home from church, I took 4 out of my car.  They were as follows:  my Nikon CoolPix point and shoot, my Olympus SP500-UZ, my grandfather's old Canon T50 35mm SLR, and my brand new baby, a Nikon D3000.  Here's a sampling of the pics I took, not including the 4 rolls of film that have to be developed:









Dear Cassie,
Feel free to steal any of these, or email me and I will send them to you.  I love you!  :)

Dec 13, 2009

Finals

I shouldn't be writing this.  I shouldn't be on this website and I shouldn't even be on the internet, for that matter.  But I need a little break.  I'm about 2/3rds of the way through this monstrosity of a study guide for Anatomy and Physiology and its beginning to make me overwhelmed.  


See, tomorrow marks the beginning of finals.  Final exams, final countdowns to break, final times with Dexter just the way it is right now.  We'll be losing a few members next semester, and I'm heartbroken to see them go.  Its just another reminder that life is comprised of seasons and changes.  But its exciting too...one will be studying in Australia, one in South Korea, and one's graduating!  We have the pleasure of sending them off, remembering the place that they've filled in this house, and waiting to hear about their new adventures on the other side of the planet.  


Finals also brings the countdown to a well deserved break.  I've got 2 exams and 15 pages standing between me and a few weeks of rest and catching up with friends at home.  I'm prepared for that time, too.  I've got a reading list (Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place, Kevin Roose's The Unlikely Disciple, to name a few), some knitting, and a few tentative plans (can you say a photo scavenger hunt around the greater Philly area?).  But mostly, I'm looking forward to just being.  To not having a schedule or trying to figure out when I need to be where and what I'm responsible for.  I'm looking forward to taking some time to rejuvenate, grow, and get ready for next semester.  Oh, did I mention that with this break I'm also saying goodbye to what I've affectionately termed "my Jr. semester" and ushering in senior year?  Yep, you read that right.  :)

Dec 6, 2009

Home

We've gotten into the full swing of Christmas here in Dexter. We've decorated and put up the tree and lights. There's often baking going on in the kitchen or a holiday hymn coming from the piano in the living room. We frolicked in the first snow of the season and built a snowman. Emily and I went on a walk tonight and looked at the lights in Parson's Hill. Its finally feeling a bit more like the season that it is. Of course, it won't fully feel like Christmas until I'm home, curled up on my couch in the glow of the tree, drinking tea and reading a book, but we're getting there.

Maybe its that I'm getting older, maybe its college, but I'm finally really starting to appreciate this season. College in itself is a funny time. Its a lot of growth in a few short years; its living in two separate worlds that only occasionally collide; its putting relationships on hold until "next time." Whatever the reason, I've been coming to understand Christmas as a time for rest. I think I especially appreciate coming home because I get to just be me with people who know me. I don't have to explain myself or guard myself. I can be candid and frank and everyone knows where I'm coming from and understands me. I love being at Gordon, I love the community and the life that I have here, but sometimes its nice to not always be pulled together and engaged, but to just be home.

Dec 1, 2009

Thanksgiving

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory.
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh! How He loves us,
Oh! How He loves us,
Oh! How He loves us.
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes.
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way....

You know how sometimes things just keep popping up over and over again until you have no choice but to throw your hands up and say "ok God, I get it!"? Well this song has been one of those things. Last week when my roommate mentioned it, I didn't think much of it, but then it came up in conversation, was played at church, and I stumbled across a blog with the lyrics as the last post. A lot just happened in a short amount of time and I'm now back at school with all of these questions floating around in my head and no one has answers. And to be perfectly honest, I feel very insecure. But God has just used these lyrics to remind me that no matter what, He is jealous for me and my attention. So in return, I've decided to work on my patience. To turn my thoughts to the Lord and to trust Him with every aspect of my life. No matter how badly I want things to work out in a way that I think is best or that would please me, I'm going to try to sit back and watch it unfold and see what He thinks is best.
In the words of Tara Leigh Cobble, "its less about getting the thing than having a relationship with Him where I can trust Him enough to say, 'God, I think this is a good idea. If You do too, then will You make it happen?'"

Nov 15, 2009

Travels...


That's my mom.


And there's my grandmother.


And here's my beautiful aunt.


We went to Newport, RI.


And saw pretty flowers.


And I'm knitting a yellow scarf right now.

Nov 9, 2009

Dissonance...

I need to write. To vent. Greg has my journal (still), so this is my venue. I'm feeling the uncomfortable, unwelcome, yet familiar feeling of dissonance. Its a feeling that I've found creeps up on you like a New England winter. One day, you're happy as a clam and everything is going fine, then, in both small pieces and all of a sudden, it hits you. Sometimes its just a result of being completely overwhelmed by school, relationships, life in general. Sometimes its because things aren't going according to plan. Sometimes its because there's just not enough time in the day. Right now, for me, its a mixture of the fact that I have 3 exams in the next 48 hours, none of which I feel particularly prepared for, and the fact that small revelations seem to keep popping up and rearing their surprising little heads.

Exhibit A would be the good possibility that I'll be graduating a semester early. Yep, who would have thought? I change my major halfway through school and still manage to graduated early. Humph. This certainly has its perks, most exciting being the fact that it would save me around $10,000. However, the thought of leaving Gordon earlier than expected, having my life start in just over a year, having to figure out what I'm going to do with myself, and finally having to actually face tuition loans makes me start to hyperventilate. And it feels a lot like my parents are trying to let me figure it out on my own, or grow up or something, but I'm not sure if I'm ready for that. Meanwhile, its constantly on my mind. I'm continuously re-crunching the numbers....will it work out credit-wise? Yes. Financially is it really worth it? Yes.

And then there's always the added factor of grad school. Changing my major has probably been one of the best decisions I've made in my time at Gordon, but its also opened up so many more options and I don't know if I'm ready to make those decisions. Either way, I'll only be 21 when I'm done with my undergrad work and I can't help but feel that that's entirely too young to commit to a career or a graduate degree. I feel like I'm missing some great life experience. I want to do something before I saddle myself with a 9-5. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I feel like there's so much out there and if I go right to grad school, will I regret not exploring other options?

This is one of those times when I really wish I could be five again and my biggest problem was getting the Chicken pox during the week of kindergarten when we flew kites and played with hoses.

Nov 2, 2009

Some big news!

I've got some big news. And pretty exciting news, too, if you ask me. News that I remember from time to time and it warms my heart and brings a smile to my face. News that I've been waiting to be able to tell for years.

I'm going to Africa. Zimbabwe, to be exact. In May, with a team from GT and a team from Calvary Christian Church in Lynnfield, Mass. Zimbabwe. The continent of Africa, with all of its pain and joy, its drought and famine, and its beautiful people, is a place that has been on my heart for a long time, and I've been hoping for the opportunity to go. The opportunity has presented itself, and in many ways, I believe that God has affirmed it, and I'm taking one giant leap of faith and going. My grandmother and aunt are already worrying, I know. And to be honest, I'm a little scared myself. The prospect of leaving the safe and familiar confines of the states to explore a world so very different from that which I know is daunting, but I'm also filled with wonder and awe at the opportunity that God has so graciously placed in my lap.

On the way to grocery shop for our house tonight, my friend Cassie looked at me and said, "have you thought about how you're going to spend your summer?" I found this to be a strange question, because a) its only November and b) she said it like I was supposed to be thinking about it already. And then it hit me. This will be my last summer. When I come back to Gordon next fall, I'll be a senior, preparing for graduation, and then, in May 2011, I'll have to start really figuring out my future. This is it. The last hurrah, in a way. My whole life has been defined by school and summer and soon, it'll all be over. So, as of two hours ago, other than going to Africa and taking a bio class, I hadn't thought about my summer, but now just the thought of it gets my intestines in a bunch. Oh man. I'm growing up.

Oct 18, 2009

October

I'm currently sitting in the Philadelphia airport, on a 2.5 hour delay because of snow in Boston. It is October 18th. There should not be snow anywhere on October 18th. Nor should there be snow on November 18th. Maybe December 18th, but definitely not in October. Of course, the weekend that I have fall break is also the weekend mother nature decides to send two Nor'easters reeling up the East coast. Did I mention its supposed to be in the 60s up there on Tuesday? Hah....New England....In other news, life has been good. I've got a great house full of classmates who are just wonderful and I'm loving my classes. October is just flying by and I can't believe I'm halfway through the semester! Break was, as always, much needed and much appreciated. I got to spend some quality time with people I can just be with, which is always great.

Its so funny how people dress to fly. I grew up with a strict dress code, because we were "representing the airline", as if any other travelers would be able to tell that my dad worked for USAir. But right now, I'm looking around and there are a number of people in flip-flops. Now, I'm sure it was gorgeously warm on whatever Caribbean isle they were vacationing on, but its not like they don't know they're on their way to Boston...where its snowing. They didn't just hop on a plane in Rio and learn halfway over Alabama that they were headed to New England. They actually woke up this morning, said "time to head home to Boston" and chose shorts and flip-flops. I mean, personally, I like to go for a classic, yet comfortable look. Right now I'm wearing my favorite straight-leg jeans, my mocs, and a sweater. The lady in front of me getting off the plane had these espadrille wedges on that looked about two sizes too small. And, did I mention they were also peep-toe sandals?

Sep 19, 2009

Some pics I've snapped over the past few months.


Philadelphia, PA



Philadelphia, PA


Rockport, MA


Rockport, MA


Rockport, MA

Sep 8, 2009

I'm 20!

So this post is going to be a little selfish, but I think thats allowed. After all, it is my blog. And I'm pretty much the only person who reads it, which in itself sounds pathetic. But anyway, yesterday I left the quiet and familiar confines of being a teenager and ventured into the realm of my 20s! You know how people always ask you if you feel different on your birthday? Well, I actually said yes. There's really nothing different about me, but I just feel a little bit older and a little bit more mature, or maybe that I can claim the maturity that I've reached, if that even makes any sense, whatsoever. My friend Danielle listed a few things about her or that she had done in her 2 decades on her 20th birthday, and I think I'll steal the idea, so here goes!
  1. Enjoyed countless moments that warmed my heart and left me feeling that if the world stopped right then, I'd be ok
  2. Completed 2 years of college
  3. Developed a weakness for stationary. And pens and pencils. And good handwriting.
  4. Built amazing relationships with family and friends that sustain me
  5. Spent a month immersed in Germany, with a very limited knowledge of the language
  6. Been parasailing
  7. Gone to prom in a 5,000 lb military vehicle that was used in Normandy in WWII.
  8. Flown in a B-17 bomber that was used in WWII.
  9. Tried and failed, time and again, to do a cartwheel, curl my tongue, and whistle
  10. Developed a love of tea thanks to my grandmother and aunt
  11. Decided that my favorite classes in high school were computer science and math, then declared myself a certified nerd
  12. Played a nun, a bird, a tree, an Adelaide, and countless other things in many, many musicals
  13. Helped a doctor put stitches in someone. Helped a doctor take stitches out of someone
  14. Witnessed 3 babies come into this world. Promptly decided that adoption is a great option.
  15. Collected quite an assortment of books (text and otherwise) because I can't bear to sell them
  16. Decided that I love taking pictures and documenting moments
  17. Been a part of an awesome community with people who push me to be a better person
  18. Become an avid fan of entirely too many tv series
  19. Created plans and watched God take them and replace them with His infinitely perfect will
  20. Looked forward to many, many more years to come
So there it is, 20 highlights of my life wrapped up in a nutshell. Its been good, and I can't wait to see what God's got in store.

Aug 26, 2009

New house, new major, new me

I've officially started my junior year of college and am just left wondering where the past two years have gone? I can still vividly remember pulling on to Gordon's campus as a freshman, all ready for field hockey preseason, and sobbing as my parents drove away. Now, as a 3rd year student, a few tears trickled down my cheeks as I left my dad at the airport last Friday and drove "home" to my new abode at Dexter House. Now, mind you, I certainly miss my family, but I've also found a family in my fellow Elijahmites. I love this house, albeit the 15 minute walk to my 7:30 am class. And yesterday, after thinking it through since last spring, I changed my major to Psychology and made Bio a minor! I'm so excited about it because psych will open up a few more doors career-wise, though don't worry! I still plan to go to PA school after Gordon! So at the start of my junior year, I'm in a new house, with awesome people, I've got a new major and some great classes, and I think I'm growing up and becoming a little bit more independent. Everything just feels right, and I feel like God has shown me confirmation of my major decision (haha...punny, right?) over the past 24 hours. For instance, in my Developmental Psych class, I basically get to observe, study, and play with little kids. How much better can it get?

God is so good.

Aug 19, 2009

Resistance...

I took a huge piece of wisdom away from RL tonight that I know I need constant reminders of:
Its entirely too easy to miss out on plans that Jesus has for you because you're looking for or expecting something else (look at the gospels...his own "subjects" wouldn't accept him as the Messiah because he didn't fit their idea of the one who would come riding in and sweep them out from under Rome's rule).
We need to dive in head first, drop our nets, listen, discern, and follow.
Resistance is futile.

Aug 18, 2009

Time Turned Fragile

Well, its almost time for me to head back to school. Its kind of unbelievable that this summer is pretty much at an end. Its been great in a lot of ways, like the fact that I learned a ton and a half about medicine and pediatrics, got more involved at GT, spent some time with family and friends, and, as always, grew a little bit! And as always, I don't feel ready to go back. Sure, I'm ready to see my friends and get into the Elijah house, but I'm just not ready to leave. Just as I get settled and get used to being home or at school, its time to pack up and leave and I'm left wondering...will life always be made up of these transitions? I'm sure not always, but then for how long? And will it ever get easier?

Also, I played with a Wii for the first time this weekend and I love it. So if anyone has $300 just lying around and wants to get me a birthday present, September 7th is coming up soon. :)

Aug 6, 2009

Tired

I just realized that I'm tired of not being able to fully commit to my relationships. The grim reality is that I'm not good about staying in touch. I don't call people and its not that I don't want to talk, its just that I get so busy and wrapped up in where I am that I don't make the time to call people. And honestly, I've been feeling lonely lately. I don't remember the last time I could sit down with a friend, old or new, and really talk. Most of my conversations with people lately have been 40 minute "catch-up" chats with friends I haven't talked to all summer. Sometimes I just get tired of stopping my relationships dead in their tracks and just picking up the next time I'm in town. I hope this is just a season of my life. That life isn't always like this. Someone told me today that life and relationships are like a pendulum and sometimes you're swinging with people and sometimes you're swinging in opposite directions. I need more security and consistency, though.

Right now, I feel as though I'm just sitting at a red light. I feel like I can't tell if God wants me to turn on a blinker or keep going straight, and like He's not giving the green light on some of the intersections that I want to cross. And the funny thing is, I keep finding myself in situations that lead me to say, "really, Lord? REALLY? very funny, but really?!?" Like what I want so badly is just dangling right there in front of me, but I haven't been given permission to reach out and grab it. But waiting for God's go ahead is going to make it all so much sweeter. So that takes us back to the whole patience and timing thing. Really, I could write a book on the subject.

Aug 3, 2009

Surrender



I'm a complete control freak. There, I admit it. I like plans and I like order. I don't like change and I'm pretty impatient. So when Jesus says to trust him and don't worry about what the future holds, I tend to say, "nice one, Jesus, but that's easier said than done." I have this idea of what my life should look like in about 10 years and sometimes I honestly believe that what I've planned actually matters.

Here's the thing, though...God's in control. I forget that on a daily basis. But he promises it in Jeremiah 29:11 - "'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.'" I once heard a metaphor about a life being like riding a two-person bike with us and Jesus as the riders. Everything would be fine if we just sat in the back seat and peddled and let Jesus do the steering, but more often than not, we take the handle bars and try to direct the bike. For me, it takes a crowbar to get me to release my grip on the steering column. But when I do, the ride is so much smoother and I can actually enjoy the scenery we're passing.

All I know is Your mercy surrounds me
Your thoughts for me outnumber the sand
Now I'm gonna sing it out
From my soul, only You understand me
You're holding me inside of Your hands.
"One Thirty Nine", Above the Golden State

Aug 1, 2009

Transparency

I fear that this post is going to be a little transparent and a LOT conceited. Last night, as I was journaling, a whole flood of things came out that I didn't intend and didn't expect to write. One thought, that has stuck with me through today was about the kind of person I want to become. At the root of the person I am now lies the fact that I am SO self-centered. Let this post be an example! Or the fact that today I wore my old sneakers to go running due to the recent rain and I grumbled in my head and to my parents about how my toes were wet and the shoes had no tread or cushioning left in them. Never mind the little girl in Zambia who walked 10 miles today to get water....barefoot. Or the Kenyan refugee who ran away from the rebel military in order to survive last night wearing no shoes. Nope, I was worried about getting shin splints. So in an effort to become more gracious, welcoming, patient, hospitable, enduring, and oh, yeah, humble, I'm going to lay it all on the line and be completely transparent. All of the aforementioned qualities are ones that Jesus exemplified in his life and teachings. I don't think its completely possible to be all of them, all of the time, but I'm going to give it a try.

One other thing that I want to do is to be more giving of myself. My friend, Jen, and I had a great conversation about 2 weeks ago about the cries of the world and how we're called to answer them and she said something that's really made me think. In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the sheep and the goats, in which he says,
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." (v. 35, 36 NIV)
He doesn't say "I was hungry and you gave money to a charity so that they could feed me." Now don't get me wrong, I am NOT saying that giving to charity is not good enough or that they aren't doing awesome work, but I think that its so easy for us to write a monthly check and the wash our hands of the situation, saying that we've done our part. And how often do we do these things out of moral obligation than out of the joy of Christ in our lives? It would be hypocritical of me to say that I don't struggle with this stuff. I mean, becoming a whole lot more giving is going to be difficult, considering I'm not a great risk-taker and I have a feeling this one is going to require a few leaps of faith. But I do think its good to be reminded that putting $20 in a envelope and sending it to a missionary or tithing each Sunday might not be exactly what Jesus meant when he said, "whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me."



Jul 30, 2009

Gotta Start Somewhere

I can't for a second believe that it is the end of July. This summer has flown right by and its amazing that in less than a month, I'll be sitting in class again, starting out my 2nd half of my college years. I started helping out with GT's youth group, Real Life, last week (I use the term "helping" loosely because in reality, I'm not doing much) and I've got mixed feelings about it. See, I entered Gordon as a YM major and then switched to Bio. But I did take Foundations of Youth Ministry and Mark Cannister is haunting me right now as I realize that in four short weeks I'll be back at school and won't be here. That class stressed the importance of investing in ministry and how it works best when you pour time into it. And of course, its not like I'm an integral part of RL right now, and its huge, so there are so many other adults there, but I still feel torn over whether getting involved was the best decision. I'm certainly enjoying it, but I do want to build relationships with these kids, and I can't do that in four weeks. But, like the title of this post says, you gotta start somewhere, right?

Which brings me to another topic....we're talking about being a disciple at RL, and we're working our way through the gospels, which is just awesome because every time I open one of them up, I learn something new. I so wish I could have known Jesus as a person. I think of how many times I read a book and get so wrapped up in it that the characters are real, and here is this awesome story and yet, I often feel like I'm still reading fiction. I lose sight of the fact that these things REALLY happened! He raised people from the dead and cast out demons into pigs and healed the blind and the sick. Its so easy to get caught up in the story and forget that its history. I almost wish that Jesus had written a little autobiography, or commentary, so that I could know what he was thinking when he was walking on water or rebuking the Pharisees. But I guess thats just another mystery of God that I don't need to know right now.

Jun 30, 2009

About Me



Hi there!

I'm Betsy.  I'm a recent college grad with too many interests to count and just a few ideas of where life is taking me.  Four years ago, I was a college freshman who had every intent of fulfilling her childhood dream of majoring in biology, going to med school, and becoming a pediatrician.   Somewhere along the road those dreams and intentions changed, and now I'm a grad student working towards my Masters in Multicultural Education and elementary certification.  

This blog originally started as a way to share thoughts and goings-on with family back home in Pennsylvania while I was at school north of Boston.  Now, it's become this mash-up of photography, crafts, food, and fun, with a healthy dose of those original thoughts and goings-on.  I suppose it would be considered a lifestyle blog, if one were to categorize it.  When it comes down to it, though, I pretty much just write about growing up and the surprises, heartbreaks, and treasures I'm discovering along the way.

Thanks for stopping by! 

Want to know more?  Read this post

Want to trade buttons with me?  Email me at elizabeth.gettis@gmail.com!


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