Monday, January 3, 2011

thank you.

a few months ago i posted about the book cold tangerines by shauna niequist. it's no secret that i love this book. i love the way that shauna is so so real in her writing and how she pours herself into her books. i've told everyone i know to read it, have given it as gifts, and written a quote from nearly every page of the book in my journal. 

shauna also has a book called bittersweet that i have been reading through recently, and let me assure you, it's every bit as good as cold tangerines. the other day while i was reading bittersweet i began thanking God for putting things in our lives at specific and designated times, like that exact book for this exact period of my life. 

the term bittersweet is a bit of an oxymoron that we can use to identify many situations in our lives. i'm currently finding myself in a bittersweet period of life. the sweet side of my life is filled with thoughts of finally receiving my degree and becoming a teacher, being married and beginning a new life with zach, and learning to live in this world as an adult rather than a full-time student. with every sweet situation a bitter one generally is along side of it. for me, the bitter part of my life right now is moving out of my comfort zone that i have known for the passed 4 years. i will have to say goodbye to friends and instead of seeing them everyday, i will only see them every-so-often. i will have to say goodbye to relying fully on my parents for support and will have to learn to adapt to having a job all day where i can't take naps between class. 

last night i began to think about this bittersweet state of life that i am in and i realized that i'm currently right in the middle of the bitter and the sweet part. semi-sweet maybe? tomorrow i will begin student teaching in my hometown with a sweet little class of 2nd graders. this means that i have moved home for the semester, leaving me in a state of limbo between being a college student and an official adult. i'm not a real teacher, only practicing, and i'm not a real wife yet, only engaged and planning for marriage. 

one of the quotes at the beginning of bittersweet states, "bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a sliver of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich when it contains a splinter of sadness."
i love that quote. what a beautiful picture these words paint of the hope that God shows us during even the most bitter of times.  

i can feel God stretching me. stretching my legs and arms, mind and soul, heart and spirit in order to prepare for the next leg of the run that is placed before me. i am so thankful for this "semi-sweet" time in life that is allowing me to reflect on who i am and who i want to be in Him as a wife and future teacher. 

thank you, God, for the bitter times and the sweet times, and even the semi-sweet times. 

"so when life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. and when life is bitter, say thank you and grow."
-bittersweet by shauna niequist


  1. Good luck tomorrow! You will do great!

  2. What a beautiful post! I love how you describe the place you are in right now. AND I was so thrilled to see you writing about Cold Tangerines! My best friend just sent me a copy, and I cried and laughed my way through it. So great and so great to see that you like it too! Happy New Year to you!

  3. Great post! (And I think I'm going to have to pick up a copy of this book)

  4. I think I need to read both of these books. I hope your first day of school went great, and that you have a class full of really really good kids. (that is probably not the case.) We need to plan girls weekend soon! Miss you Chels!


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