days of old

Lately I've been organizing the desk in the playroom/office. Today I happened upon a journal of inspirational clippings kept during my time at DaySpring as a greeting card designer. I sat on the primary colored puzzle mats and began flipping pages. Career memories flooded my mind. I recalled research trips with talented coworkers. We'd travel to big cities and spend 10 hours a day on our feet, browsing the best paper shops, card shops, gift shops, and inspiring destinations. Once we went to the Dallas Botanical Gardens and spent the afternoon comparing color schemes found in nature. Following these outings we would collapse at a restaurant and discuss our findings. We'd explore ways of bringing the creativity to our card designs. Those trips were heaven.

As I flipped through the pages of the creative journal I found some artwork that caught my eye. Then I saw my name next to it. It was something I had created myself! I didn't remember making it; I'm so glad I jotted my name down as I worked. I thought to myself, "Wow. I did that?" It felt really good.

These work events occurred about four, five & six years ago. Among the clippings was a loose piece of paper. It was a letter I wrote to a friend from college. (I'm notorious for writing letters and never sending them. Sorry, friends.) In the letter I reminisced about our college years. There I was in the midst of a creative fun job, and I was thinking the time four years before. Part of the letter read:

Oh Lord, you're beautiful.
Your face is all I seek.
For when your eyes are on this child.
Your grace abounds to me.

I'm listening to these words right now. They bring back a flood of feelings and memories from JBU chapel days. Back when my heart was full of longing for Jesus. I remember the Dry Gultch fall retreats; pastor Keena speaking about "doing what we're created to do;" singing hymns in the back of the cathedral, surrounded by others' voices so full of passion and force; leaving that big building with a burning deep inside my chest; longing for more of Jesus, to love Him so strong forever.

It's really too much for me to express; how much those days meant to me. It was like I was in the desert every day of my life until John Brown University. And there I found the water that made me blossom and grow. My time at JBU was the highlight of my life. There was so much new hope. I wouldn't trade it ever.

Today's discovery of my JBU letter and my DaySpring journal was a pleasant reminder. I'm thankful for both of these experiences. They shaped me into the person I've become.


Kelli said...

I feel the same way about JBU. It's one of those places on the time line of my life that gets a big significant "marker". I feel like I learned so much there, about my faith, my personality, what I wanted/didn't want out of life. So often I want to go back to that place but then, too, realize that I've grown a ton even since then and don't want to "back-track". But I'm ever-thankful for that time and believe that it was completely Divine that my path took me to JBU and where my life lead after and because of JBU. In the midst of all that, you guys, the smarmies were a huge chunk of all that growing and lovely memories. It makes me think of Joe...how all of that happened...and what a gorgeous, amazing thing God worked out of the tragedy...our friendships.

bekah said...

Kelli, Did you realize that this past April marked 10 years since Joe's accident? And this June marks 7 years since Heather Benner left us.

nikki said...

Thanks for the post. JBU has a lot of good and bad memories for me but I would never trade it for anything.

I love the times when I can dig out the memory boxes and reflect for an afternoon....those are great times.

I really miss you girls!