Welcome to Boulder

All good things must come to an end, and so it was with this summer. Though moving did make for a stressful and sad short period, my overall experience was fantastic! I got to meet a lot of great new people, worked in a fabulous environment with the best team, and saw some pretty amazing sights! But it’s time for all that to come to a close, because, well.. SCHOOL!

I have not been this excited about school starting in a long time. While I was ecstatic last year about going back to Georgia and seeing my friends, running my last year of cross-country, and getting to participate in everything being a senior entails, I did not want to take any classes. By this time last year I was starting to grow a little weary of being in classes that I didn’t want to take to get a degree I didn’t really need. I was so blessed to have wonderful friends surrounding me that turned a long and stressful school year into a complete success (I mean I did graduate as one of the top students in my class!)

This year though things are the exact opposite. While I don’t know anyone, I am super excited about finally pursuing the major that I have always wanted to! The whole process started last Friday when I moved to Boulder, Colorado home to the main branch of the University of Colorado. I am staying in a quant little townhouse about half a mile from campus with three other girls. While the neighborhood is a little rowdy and noisy on the weekend (I am finally in a college town after all) the location is prime. My roommates come from all over the United States, and so far we are getting along really well for never having met each other before. My fingers are crossed that the next few months with them go as smoothly as the last few days have.

Last night I went to mass and was able to meet with the Catholic ministry here at the campus. I am so thrilled with where God has placed me and the fruits that are going to come from it. The missionaries, priests, and other students are so nice, welcoming, and have a heart full of love for Jesus. Hopefully I will be place in a bible study soon, and will get to meet many more people that way. I am also looking forward to the retreats and outings that the group goes on frequently. I  was told last night that they hiked a 14er last year, and I immediately knew that I was where I belonged! It’s been a dream of mine to hike a mountain since I first got to Colorado. I’m sure they will be an inspiration for many posts to come.

And of course there is school to talk about. Classes started today (August 22) and I have nothing to complain about so far, but then again I have only been to two classes. I have another this afternoon, but tomorrow is the full load with four classes. I may have another story tomorrow night.

So for today, here is to a successful semester, great friends, and many unforgettable memories to come.

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A pondering on forgiveness

While studying through the Gospel of Matthew tonight, I wrote down a question in my journal that struck a cord with me:

“Am I actively working to forgive others or am I holding onto grudges I should have moved past long ago?”

So much of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount focus on the importance of forgiveness for his disciples.

  • “…go first and be reconciled with your brother…” (Matthew 5:24) Jesus tells us that true disciples of the Lord do not hold onto anger, but learn to forgive those who have wronged them.
  • “When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” (Mt 5:39) One of the most famous lines in the bible for a  reason. Again Jesus is teaching about the anger we have towards others. There is no use in retaliating against crimes committed against us. Do we serve to gain anything by  hurting someone who has hurt us?
  • One of the Lord’s final points is one of His most profound: love and forgive your enemies. “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” (Mt 5:44)  This is something He finds so important that He not only mentions it twice, but sticks it in the Lord’s Prayer. Forgive my sins, but only forgive them in the way that I forgive those who have sinned against me. We find it hard to forgive those close to us, let alone those we don’t have positive relationships with. But if God forgives us based on the way that we forgive others (including our enemies) are we in a good position or are we swimming with the sharks?

So why is Jesus so fixated on forgiveness? Because forgiveness is entirely an act of love. Forgiving someone means looking past their fault and transgressions and looking at the good in them. It means showing love towards a person no matter what their actions are. Really, love is all that the Lord is looking for. He wants us to love each other the way that He loves us, and for us to model His love we must learn to forgive. If he can forgive us of the gravest of sins that we commit against him, then why should we not be able to forgive small actions that others commit against us?

So what is the problem with all this? As I stated earlier I wrote down a simple question regarding where I am in my walk with Christ. Do I forgive others the way that I should? Sort and simply: no. Not at all. I hold on to some heavy burdens in my heart. Actions that have been committed against me that I find hard to move past, and now I see that not only does holding onto this bring a heaviness to my heart, but affects my walk with Christ. I want to be a good person and say that I have forgiven everyone during the process of writing this post but I can’t. I want to be able to truly forgive from the bottom of my heart. To not just say it, but mean it also. That will take some time. But I plan to make the change (and you should too!) and work on forgiving others the way that the Lord forgives my sins. Tonight I will start by praying that God opens my heart to true love and that I start to learn the true meaning of forgiveness.

Fun Run Friday 3 – Wash Park

Goodness! I have let time get the best of me! This week I had a lovely head cold. Nothing bad: just some sniffles and sinus problems. However I was still feeling weak on Friday and decided that a long run was probably not my best idea for recovery so I didn’t get to go on my Fun Run Friday adventure this week. However I never did post my run review and photos from last week, so I will use my time to update you on that instead!

Last week since I still had to work I didn’t want to go far out of town, so instead I took the middle sister and headed into the heart of downtown Denver. There are two major parks in Denver and we decided to try out the first one I had seen: Washington Park. More commonly referred to as Wash Park by the residents, Washington IMG_2863Park is a 155 acre park located just minutes from the heart of the city. I first heard of the location not just from a family friend, but also because it is where a number of Division II regional races have been held over the years. So of course with my cross county background I just had to go for a run there.

The whole place is absolutely beautiful! Two medium to large sizes ponds sit at either side of the large rectangular park. Beside one is the small Lily Pond, a designated children’s fishing pond. The park consists of two beautiful flower gardens, one of them a replica of George Washington’s garden at Mount Vernon. There are numerous tennis, volleyball, and other recreation fields. There are a number of paths to take through the park, you could do a whole run and probably never step over the same piece of ground twice! I took to running the outer crushed gravel/packed sand loop. It runs along the perimeter of the park and covers a little over 2.5 miles. One of my biggest complaints about running in Denver is that I am always having to run on pavement, so this was a dream getting to run on something a little more forgiving to the legs. My sister walked along the inner paved loop. This loop is split down the middle giving it the typical street look. One lane is reserved for walkers and joggers (the slIMG_2865ow speed people as my sister put it) and the other is reserved for bicyclists and other faster paced park users. We were quite surprised at the number of people we saw roller blading through the park.

I found that Washington Park was definitely worth the visit. There was never a lack of scenery: beautiful million dollar houses across the street, flower gardens, and fantastic lake views. There were a large number of people in the park compared to what I am used to in Georgia, but I never felt like it was over crowed. With the numerous facilities available and the massive amount of acreage everyone is spread around the park and you don’t feel bothered. In fact at some points you feel like you aren’t even in the middle of a large, bustling city. I can’t wait to get back and see a few more of the features within the park and have a little more time to explore.