My Favorite Places

Random 5 Friday is a weekly meme over at A Rural Journal.

Today I want to tell you about my five favorite places!

1. Pine Haven Christian Assembly, specifically anywhere in or near the bay.  I have had incredible conversations with both God and friends here.


2. My family’s farm in Kimball, Minnesota.  This is where I grew up and where my parents still live.


3. Northwestern College, 100 acres on the shore of Lake Johanna, where I have lived and learned and loved and worked since 2000.

places4 places3

4. Barnes & Noble.  In the presence of books, I am among friends.


5. My apartment, which we lovingly refer to as Cair Paravel.  The stories those walls could tell!

Where worlds collide: Dora (real life) dressed as Mrs. Weasley (for a Potter midnight show) in front of my Narnia wardrobe (and art)

Where worlds collide: Dora (real life) dressed as Mrs. Weasley (for a Potter midnight show) in front of my Narnia wardrobe (and art)

Where are your favorite places?

a poem I wrote

I wrote this back in college, but I was thinking of it recently when I was up north at my summer camp.  The poem is about a boy with whom I shared one wonderful week– and after that, things fell apart.  In college, this was my assessment of the situation (which, for the record, took like three years to heal from.  One week, then three years.  Boys.)


It appears to be about the temperature,
the way your body reacts to the sun,
how you kissed my hand and left.

You sang raw songs aloud, white flags
you spited for the sake of the sun,
a clumsy surrender to the afternoons,

later blaming the northern countryside for
the way it slows your blood,
allowing more time to warm.

And so you dressed your hurts in city shade,
where haste is the liquor to rinse your mind
of that summer and the way your hands were soft.

I left St. Paul and welcomed the day’s damage
because of the lessons that leak into open sores.
I make the most of my summer wounds.

But I want you to know—I would have helped you adjust:
dark faces shadowed by a background of pines,
only the moon with no warmth of its own.

Remember, dear, the northern nights are cold.

back to summer camp

So, I know that on June 1st I said I would not be returning to my beloved camp this summer, but plans changed.  A few weeks ago, my friend Aaron sent me a text asking if I would be willing to serve as a counselor for Last Chance camp over Labor Day weekend.  Since my heart had felt the absence of time up there, it was pretty easy to twist my arm.  My roommate Desiree and friend Ashley went up too, as well as my brother and a TON of great friends.  It was fun to look around at the other counselors and see so many wonderful camp friends– there is just something special about the people you’ve spent time with under the pines in northern Minnesota.  If you don’t know what I mean by that, I’m sorry for you. 🙂

Anyway, it was a wonderful weekend, even though I forgot all my OCD meds.  Stupid, stupid, stupid!  I took Benadryl at night so that I could sleep without my Risperdal, but in the afternoons (when there were no planned activities), I could feel my spirits sag.  But I survived.  And laughed a LOT, so much that I lost my voice for a day.  Kinda love that.

In other news, I have continued to apply for writing contests and stuff, and I found out that I won a week-long writing retreat in December.  I’ll get to spend a week in this arts retreat house, focusing strictly on my novel, and I can’t wait!

More news: I discovered the band Mew last week.  They are from Denmark.  I like them a lot.  I have been reading a bunch and buying books faster than I can consume them (but what else is new?).

Life feels really good right now.  I feel like God is unleashing blessings on me, and I am praying that I will praise Him regardless of any of it.  My primary goal in life remains to stay connected to my Savior at all costs.  I am so glad that He is a pursuing God.

Okay, off to write some more!  Some book reviews coming up soon!

What about you?  What have you been up to lately??