Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hello from Kentucky!

Hi everyone!

I hope this post finds you well, wherever you happen to be, which could be in so many places I've lived! I have a gut that if you are reading this you are one of the people I miss, or maybe you're one if the awesome people who I've met since my move to Kentucky. I am so thankful for you all!

I haven't wrote anything here in nearly 2 years
(although had over a dozen attempts when I looked in my drafts folder), primarily due to the sheer craze of being a full-time grad student and part-time employee at WMU. Now I've graduated and moved to central Kentucky for my first full-time job. I've really struggled since moving to Kentucky with feeling really out of the loop with everything, wayyy more than I did when I was in Michigan away from family & friends that I love. It's been on my mind to improve feeling connected & allowing others to know that I care about them, and this is one of those places I plan on doing just that. I am so excited and grateful to invite you into my life as I currently know it! It feels homey here, and I really love that:-) Let be honest, I have been craving that feeling to. 

If you've been around this little place before, you can see it's new & fresh & bright, and I think it perfectly parallels how I am feeling about life right now.

I have plenty I could write here, and I think a glimpse into the past 6 months is a perfect place to start, as that marks the time I have lived in Kentucky, which is all still pretty crazy. A little over a year ago I was introduced to the job by my now stellar supervisor at a conference, and I just felt that it was what was going to be my place for my first full-time, professional job, Like He prepared this job for me in a sense (it is brand new to EKU). I am grateful I get to do what I do more everyday. I really love it, and my co-workers and colleagues. And the students are just awesome.

So you may be wondering, what do I do? In short, I am a student affairs professional, focusing on student development and success. In detail, I am the Assistant Director for Student Life-Leadership. I am in the process of creating a co-curricular leadership program for EKU. I have a strategic plan I've created where I've been doing research and doing lots of listening to really create a set program for the upcoming school year and beyond. I am doing programming that I can right now, to really build the foundation for what is to come. I created a leadership certificate series for this semester themed the Leadership Olympics that I am really excited about! I also serve as a consultant, where I have done tailored trainings with student groups who have reached out to me. I also work directly with our student organizations, in terms of helping them get started and whatever they need to be successful! Mostly, my time has been richly made by all of the welcoming professionals I get to work with at EKU, and the students who are super excited about leadership development. It has been so enriching to have so many supporters to launch new leadership initiatives at EKU:-)

Since I started, it has never been just these main areas, lol. We've had a lot of turnover since I started, so I took on the Community Service and Alternative Spring Break responsibilities toward the end of September. It was quite the task trying to maintain programs while trying to create something shiny and new, but we survived! We also had a vacancy for Greek Life, so it was a very "nutty, but good" first semester as I frequently have described it, with so much going on all at once lol. Both positions are now filled with talented professionals, and for the first time since I got here we have a full office! And soon, I will be doing primarily just 'my job,' which will be entertaining to figure out I am sure.

Overall, I am finding myself feeling more settled each day, and am so excited for what is to come this year, with life and work and all the things He knows are on my heart. I want to include some of the highlights/defining moments with 2013 since moving to KY, and will write soon about what's shaking now!

1. Culture shock. I had no concerns about culture shock prior to moving, so I assume when I got here the lack of anticipation made it that much more noticeable. I'll just be honest, and say I kinda felt like a flamingo in Antarctica. I never thought about not sounding the same as the majority of people around me, or how few people have any connection to what I've known forever. I found it very hard, especially moving in the middle of summer when all I could think about was wanting the campus pool to turn into Lake Michigan. It's much better now, and I proudly own my accent, my 'pop,' and 'you guys.' But trust me, I miss the mitten something crazy still.

2. My knee. I screwed it up training in what now I know was too short of an amount of time for the Homecoming 5K, and for weeks I iced it daily when I got home for work. It has seemed to define much of my time in KY. I have been going to physical therapy and it's the best time I've invested in my health in a while! So thankful it's made such a huge difference!! I've gotten almost full mobility back and pray I can start running again soon!

3. I have a date! (No I'm still single, not that kind of date, lol)! For a long time now I've been around people who have had that 'date' when they fully surrendered their lives to Christ. I've found a church that I love that frequently brings up this topic, and it was really bugging me because I didn't have one. I think it bugged me because I've really been pursuing Jesus and living for him for quite some time, but when I got to Kentucky there were a lot of unknowns, which for me translated into a lot of fear and discomfort. I kept hearing, "Do you trust that I will take care and keep you safe Sarah?" many times from Him. And I don't know, one night at life group we were watching this series on sharing Jesus with others, and I was really convicted. And Jesus kindly whispered, 'Are you all in?' And of course I said yes, of course yes! That night I invited Jesus to live in my heart forever. It was one of the neatest moments, so simple and pure at the same time. My life group sang me Happy Birthday after. I was glad it happened around people who I will always care for. It was perfect :)

Oh! My date is 11.24.2013! I haven't shared it much yet, and I really don't know why. I am really excited for what comes from here!

4. Learning. Oh goodness, thankfully I love learning and meeting new people and working hard because that has been the name of the game! I am a better person for all of the working on my tip toes, and learning to be adaptable, and accepting grace upon grace. I really love my job, and I am really learning to love it here in Kentucky.

Plus there's Chick-Fil-A. Let's be honest.

I am really looking forward to the new semester, and sharing life here! I am not sure how often I will post, I assume 1-3 times a month, so we shall see. I will be sure to always let ya know when I do. I have a Facebook 'Like' page that I hope to get up and running again soon. I would love to hear from you all to! Please consider this a place for conversation, or feel free to write via internet or snail mail. I would love to hear what's going on your way. Snail mail has a special place in my heart, it really does.

I really like new years--and even years at that! Woo 2014! Looking forward to sharing life as I know it here with you all!

Lots of love!