Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Year In Review: My Faves and Living my Bucketlist

Ahh, another year nearly completed. I get very reflective this time of year, reflecting on what has made 2011 all this it has meant to me. This post includes a compilation of my bucket list experiences, favorite meals, songs, movies, YouTube videos, books, and websites/blogs. Friday's post will include all of my favorite memories! I hope they inspire you! I credit Today's Letters for inspiring this idea. Enjoy!
Things I happily checked on the bucket list

Pinned Image

I can’t look at this picture without laughing. x:

Other's checked on the list:
  • Get a professional massage (best life choice ever)
  • Get into grad school
  • Get a graduate assistantship
Favorite New Foods/Drinks
California Sandwich & Texas Omelet, The Omelet Shoppe, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Fresh, local blueberries, blueberry stand on the way to Grand Haven, Mich.
Breaded Shrimp, The Willow Tree, West Branch, Mich.
Optimus Prime Sandwich & sweet potato fries,  Electric Cheetah, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Breaded Shrimp, The Butler, Saugatuck, Mich.
Mommy's Dearest Sandwich, Bewitched Deli, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Den Pop, Den Party Store, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Chicken Casadilla, Baja Grill, Holland, Mich. 
Chai soy latte, Crumbs, Saginaw, Mich.
Hawaiian Sandwich, East Egg, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Eye Catcher Drink, Harvey's, Saginaw, Mich.
Pizza Pinwheels, Holland Brewery, Holland, Mich.
Nachos, Beach Stand, South Haven, Mich.
Dutch Chocolate Gelatto, Santo Stefano Del Lago, Grand Haven, Mich.

And of course, all of those fresh McDonald's Coke's I drank--anywhere U.S.A.

Fave Songs
Best Love Song T-Pain feat. Chris Brown
Free Fallin' Live-John Mayer
God Gave Me You- Dave Barnes
WMU fight song
Sparks Fly- Taylor Swift
Party Rock Anthem- LMFAO
Superbass-Nikki Minaj
Love will hold us together- Matt Maher
Good Life- One Republic
The Show Goes on- Lupe Fiasco
Lay 'Em Down-Needtobreathe
Pumped Up Kicks- Foster the People
Fave YouTube Videos
Sophia Grace & Rosie (makes me  think of my sister & I)
Nature Neat (just ridiculous)
GVSU lipdub
Grand Rapids lipdub
Fave Movies
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
New Years Eve
Pirate's of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides
Fave Books
The Bible (always)
A Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren
The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Peggy Orenstein
Cold Tangerines & Bittersweet, Shauna Niequist
My Year with Eleanor, Noelle Hancock
Velvet Elvis, Rob Bell
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

Fave New Websites/Blogs Discoveries
Pinterest--feel free to follow me!

My friends blogs/websites:
Living in Student Affairs--Josh
Carleigh Courey, graphic design-- Carleigh

(Fair warning, the majority are fashion related, my recent admiration).
Selective Potential (she's a West Michigan blogger!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

What I Learned My First Semester of Grad School

This semester would not be possible without the people above--my family, my best friends, and the SALP staff. My family and friends were able to continuously encourage my journey, reminding me of the richness of the life we live, and the reason we are here: Him.

I've spent many hours learning, laughing, and growing within my assistantship in the Student Activities and Leadership Programs office (SALP) and the awesome staff I get to work with. I've helped plan and facilitate leadership retreats, the emerging leaders program, and am currently working on the Gender and Leadership Summit conference, strengths program, social justice certificate, spring leadership retreat...just to name a few. Which leads me to my biggest lesson learned this year:

#1. Life is about spinning plates

Having nearly 1/2 a dozen programs in the works at any given time, my supervisor Kate continuously stated how it's all about spinning plates. You work on one project and transfer to another and then jump back with enough time that the other one hasn't stopped spinning (i.e. you don't forget about it). At work this was originally challenging, because I can get so immersed in one task it easy to forget of the others--yet 5 months has passed and I am a spinning plates afficionada. I think this mindset has also been beneficial to my life, having family and friends all great distances away. I am learning to 'spin plates' in that regard by sending simple text messages, weekly cards, scheduling phone calls, visits and adventures. Keeping my friendships spinning has been a huge area of growth and improvement to me this year.

#2. Life is about growing where your planted

When I originally moved to Kalamazoo, I was constantly looking to when I could visit Grand Rapids and head home to Saginaw. As much I was enjoying my new life, I wasn't overly concerned with growing roots and planting myself right where I was. As the semester unfolded and classes began, the more I began to pray and reflect on the meaning of now. What does God want me to do here? What is my purpose here? In little ways each day, he began to show me. I began enjoying time outside of class with friends, spending time with my roommates, seeing the blessings in simple interactions with students, getting the Kalamazoo Gazette, attending a church regularly--where I'm beginning a small group with the Women's Ministry director! I feel my roots are off to a great start, and so thankful I recognized that although I have so much I look forward to outside of Kzoo, I have plenty to look forward to, right here, right now.

#3. Working with/for students will be a part of my life's work

Beginning my job and my graduate coursework, I was quite sure that being a student affairs professional and working in higher education is where God has called me, I continuously prayed for His guidance in terms of this time and of what my future looks like. To be honest, I've been overly surprised how much I love my work, my classes, and the everyday thrill of driving to a job and school I love. I feel He has only encouraged me to thrive in His ways, right where He led me to.

#4. Be excited when life goes the other way of "your plan"

Hot damn I am a planner--I enjoy planning for today, tomorrow, next week, next year, and the next century. In many ways I learned this semester that God must continuously laugh at my plans, because many of them did not go as planned this year. He has chartered a course that I certainly couldn't have guessed or planned. And for that, I am daily thankful and grateful for how much He loves me and guides me and has everything occur at the opportune moment, time, place, and with the right people. In short, I am less neurotic about planning in general, because when recently when I have let go and let Him take over more, I have been so unabashedly happy. I truly couldn't ask for much more!

Here's to my first semester of grad school, and the 1.5 years to go! With Him, I am nothing but lavishly excited. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's not everyday you get coughed on by a giraffe, and other Jesus is AWESOME moments

I will be the first to tell you I've never been a huge animal person, but ya know Jesus' continues to find creative ways for me to love all of His creations. On Friday the SALP staff caravaned to Binder Park in Battle Creek, Mich., where many wonders of the world reside. We saw a snow leopard, a dinosaur, monkeys, emus, zebras, tortoises, and so many other wonderful animals. We even took a safari to Africa--only 5 minutes to get there!

On Friday I finally felt what people talk about as "love at first site." No not a man,--one of these days, I know Jesus is doing great things there, but anyways--I met a giraffe! They were just the sweetest animals ever. For a mere $1 for a piece of lettuce, you could feed them. This photo captures the giraffe enjoying his piece, and my shock that he didn't eat my finger! There tongues are so long and icky! But he just blew me away with his gentle nature, his charmingly awkward facial look, and his disposition to the world. He just seemed happy, happy for the day, for the company, for the food, for the little lovely life Jesus created for him.

Oh! And a little while later, he coughed on me! There was a little girl next to me and it blew all of her hair back. It was just the sweetest thing I must say!

So thanks Mr. Giraffe. You remind that each day is full of grace, love, and happiness. You were just such a genuine pleasure to meet, and I hope we meet again:-)

If you feel somedays as if Jesus is not close, pray for Him to show you the beauty of each day, and invite him into everything you do--He will 10000% greet you graciously right then. I think that's been my favorite thing about July; I really learned just how strongly He is everywhere.

Jesus was with me in my travels 2,500 miles, and even danced to the music with me.
Jesus continues to affirm my calling to be a student affairs professional.
Jesus continues to tell me 'You got this girl! I'm with ya!'
Jesus continues to feed me and keep money in the bank.
Jesus continues to nurture friendships that mean so much to me.
Jesus tells me its going to be ok, and not to worry, or hurry, or think too much.
Jesus showed me just how being there to give a hug is sometimes all that is needed.
Jesus has shown me that his trust is always the best way to provide wind and direction to my sails.
He tells me to pray, and to illuminate the life He's called me too.

This little light of my, I'm going to let it shine:-)

How has Jesus been AWESOME in your life this month? I challenge you to write a few things down. Is their a pattern? Is their a message? How does this encourage your walk with Him?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Monday, My Yellow Flowers (16 days until T.Haas & I shake hands)

This week my parents came for the Awards Banquet and brought along with them these exquisite yellow roses. I have enjoyed watching them miraculously unfold with layers of beauty.

In many ways these roses don't just feel like any roses to me. They celebrate 4 years of active voluntary involvement at GVSU. As they seemed to tip toe to unfold, and then suddenly blossomed into magnificence, I feel we've lived a similar life. Who I was 4 years ago was a bud in comparison to the yellow rose I feel to be inside now.

I enjoyed Monday night with my parents in ways that I could not have imagined. The dean of the Honors College gave a keynote speech that encapsulated the rarity and importance of celebrating good work. He recently shared how he performed at Carnegie Hall, and when they ended, the 5-story theatre roared with applause. He said although that meant so much to him, at the end the conductor looked at them and said something that made everything just come together.


I almost begin to cry reflecting on this, because he then said bravo to all those who were recognized. It was very powerful to be graciously recognized for my contribution to student life at GVSU, but he made me realize something so much greater.

He led me to the epiphany that the little bravos are what are the most humbling, rewarding moments of all.

And that's what Monday night felt like. It was a celebration of what has been learned, occurred, transformed, grown, inspired, and humbled within me by Him and all those awesome people of His Kingdom that have encouraged me to become who I am. As much as the award was to me, it was so much more about everything and everyone who I have met, worked with, learned with, laughed with, made a difference with at GVSU.

It was so wonderful to have my parents there, to not only be a part of such a sacred moment, but to congratulate me. I feel sometimes that being at GVSU theirs a disconnect between what I do, and to have them realize how much I love and have been dedicated to student life at GVSU was a tremendous feeling. President Haas even told our table congratulations--how humbling as well.

Monday night reminded me that I am Sarah Amelia Schultz, and I am so ready to continue--not begin, but continue-- to light the world on fire with all of the gifts and spirit and people He has blessed me with.

So for the rest of my life, I will remember that my life changed the day I was told one simple, powerful, genuine word, because I could hear God saying it too.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

50 Final GVSU Adventures

Reflecting on 3.5 years and embarking on my final semester as a Laker, I feel a little bit of everything. I've been continuously transformed through experiences, people, and the adventures that are so sacred to what college is all about. In celebration of Grand Valley's 50th year (I am so excited to say I graduated in GVSU's 50th year of shaping lives--a future student affairs professional would find this cool!) I wanted to make a list of 50 things to do in my final semester as Laker.

Some of these things have been done before, but for the love of GVSU and my senior year, they all deserve one 'grand' round of fun, laughter, adventure, and applause. I can't wait to share these experiences with the people I am grateful to call my family and friends: )

This list is in no particular order (please feel free to comment on what should be added if things are missed!) Here's the Grand 50:
  1. Eat dinner at Fresh
  2. Eat Klienese
  3. Push and/or ride the gravity ball
  4. Attend Presidents' Ball 2011
  5. Throw a penny in the fountain
  6. Eat lunch outside somewhere on campus
  7. Get a picture with President Haas
  8. Go to Laker Late Night and eat something college-y
  9. Attend a sporting event
  10. Study in Zumberge Library
  11. Attend Leadership Summit
  12. Relax in the arboretum
  13. Go to Grand Haven for a visit
  14. Attend a LIB 100 event
  15. Wear a Louie the Laker tattoo (I have never done this!)
  16. Go sledding in D9 parking lot
  17. Eat a Laker Bowl
  18. Go ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle
  19. Participate in National Eating Disorders Awareness Week events
  20. Participate in Leadership Week
  21. Wear an 'I Am GV' tee
  22. Go to a Campus Praise Rally
  23. Go to CRU
  24. Go to a Campus Ministry Service
  25. Chat with a friend at the hidden' fountain
  26. Visit Stafford, my first college home
  27. Go on a run around campus
  28. Get Starbucks coffee downtown
  29. Study in Zumberge Library
  30. Ride the 50
  31. Eat at The Pub
  32. Wear green on St. Patrick's Day
  33. Send thank you's to people who made a difference in my college experience
  34. Get a massage at the rec center
  35. Do the community reading project, The Imortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  36. Meet the author when she comes, Rebecca Skloot
  37. Work out at the rec center
  38. Shake T. Haas' hand at graduation
  39. Walk at Relay for Life
  40. Walk under the Blue Structure my last week
  41. Go to Buffalo Wild Wings, eat breadsticks at Ucello's, and half-off appetizers at Applebee's
  42. Climb the rock climbing wall
  43. Call 20/20 and ask a silly question
  44. Submit something to the Lanthorn
  45. Sing GVSU cheers
  46. Study in my favorite place in Lake Ontario
  47. Go to a performance in the PAC
  48. Be a part of a small group
  49. Buy something at the bookstore
  50. Run in the turf building

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Top 6 Things I Learned in 2010 (because I like even #'s)

Thanks to God, my friends, and my family that my life and growth possible: )

Never Doubt How Much People Care About You
God greatly worked in stretching my understanding and capabilities in friendships and in family relationships. In the past, I often thought there was only so much I could ask, may it be in questions, time, support. God has led me to some wonderful friendships that continuously break down my once barriers, and teach me so much about what it means to care and love someone. God continues to humble me with all the dynamic, inspiring, loving, encouraging people that I call my family and friends. You make my life effervescent, and I am so grateful we are all in this together.
Above All, Believe in Strength that is Unseen
Although many instances come to mind, going to Boston all by myself stands out the most. If you were to tell me as a first-year college student I would be going on a plane to Boston all by myself and staying in my own hotel room and asking a famous journalist questions standing up, I would’ve thought you were ridiculous. I would’ve thought this because even when I’ve been carried by God, I’ve chosen to hold on to the ‘tangible’ hand, adventuring with a friend, a family member. This year I learned that I never have to wait for someone’s hand for help and strength. God constantly reminded me that we are in this together, and that He will keep me safe and always face the day with me. If anything I could share, it would be to not let the tangible thwart you from moving forward, higher above where you are not simply imagining your dreams, but living your life from their aerial view.
Learn to Listen to Your Inner Health and Happiness Meter
I sometimes get intoxicated by the idea that life has a set formula, of what makes me happy, of what keeps me in good health. 2010 challenged this assumption, leading me to realize that what I need to feel happiest and healthiest is always directed by a few things (mainly Christ) but that it’s so important to really listen to myself, because every day is a new day of grace, adventure, and opportunity. God has provided us with road maps, but I am now a huge advocate of celebrating each day for your healthiest and happiest self and finding those unique morsels every day. It’s never easy, but it’s so important to talk to God about these areas and live them out with Him each day. God’s GPS is never off, and it’s important to tune into it everyday.
How ridiculous is this? I Googled 'God GPS' and didn't expect this. Ha!
Learn to Say No
This one has always been a battle for me for a myriad of reasons. God’s knocked on my door plenty of times telling me the more I say yes I cannot adequately fulfill the role, no matter the task. I can acutely remember the times I’ve said no, partly because it was a BIG deal and partly because I was experiencing nauseating cognitive dissonance—but I am working on it. In all honesty, the more I’ve practiced saying no, I’ve realized I feel that much more in control of what is really honest, true, and real in life, instead of saying yes to everything. Therefore, when I say no, I’m really saying yes to so much more, and I love learning this now.
Surprise Yourself
I really learned how awesome it is to tell yourself yes to something that would not typically be your first instinct. This is one of my favorite things about God, of how He is always everywhere, even when we think He may be not, or that He wouldn’t take ‘me’ there etc. I think because of the initial reaction that wow ‘I can’t believe I am doing this and am not failing/crying/whining/wishing I was somewhere else etc., I feel I’ve experienced God that much more, because there’s no way I would’ve done those certain things without Him. I love how God constantly reinvigorates who I am and leads me to the road less traveled, and wherever the destination small or big, He’s always right there in every way. Therefore, surprise yourself, and be surprised by the God we serve.
One of my favor days of my life. Thanks be to God. Harvard University!!!
Never Underestimate the Power of Prayer and Time
The 21st century is the antithesis of patience and waiting I sometimes think. We like our information 2 seconds ago, our food really fast, and instant access to communication. I really learned this year that sure, but for the most part, God has a timeframe of His own. He’s not with us to mass produce anything, but to intricately sculpt and mold everything that we are. There are some things I have prayed about for years that were answered, and it was beautiful to witness their being. Some things I’ve been praying for over the course of years that I will continue to pray for, but I feel in my heart they are being worked on. God has overnight and standard mailing rates, and I will continue to say that I know God always knows best. His timing is always just rightJ God loves to hear and receive our prayers too, and this year I really grew in our daily conversation, and look forward to implementing prayer in deeper ways this year.
    Thanks 2010: ) 2011, this is the longest post I plan to have this year. Holla.

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    New Years Partay! Hello 2011!

    How wonderful it was to ring in the new year with some of my dearest friends! Julie and I drove over 2.5 hours to get to the New Years Eve Partay, giving us plenty of time to catch up on break, Christmas, and life. We made it to Miner Lake without any great troubles (thank you BlackBerry GPS), minus turning down the wrong driveway.

    After over two weeks withdrawal without seeing Lindsay and the others, it was great to be back with people I've had so many fun times with over the past year. We laughed. We danced. We ate. We played Catchphrase. Bringing in 2011 from the Mike's cottage was fantastic! Thank you Miner Lake for geese wake up calls, swans, and a picturesque first morning to 2011 as well.

    Happy New Year! Here's to a wonderful 2011!!!

    Here are a few things I am looking forward to in 2011:

    Learning more about God and the plans He has for me
    Graduating from GVSU/shaking T. Haas' hand
    The adventures to come with my final semester of undergraduate school with friends!
    Spending time at home and up north with my family
    Spending time with roommates and enjoying my time at the apartamento
    Hearing back from the 5 student affairs graduate programs I've applied to
    Deciding where I am going to graduate school
    Beginning an student affairs program and assistantship
    Still being on the CRT Team, a Women's Center Intern & Ambassador, and working in News & Information Services
    Spending summer in West Michigan
    Snowboard trips
    Blogging and journaling and reading
    Presidents' Ball 2011
    My fourth and final Leadership Summit
    Using my Magic Bullet to make smoothies galore
    Running the River Bank Run again