27 January 2011

The Bible in a Year, Female Clergy, and 19th Century Hymns

If I had to sum up my semester (so far) in one word it would be...religion. I don't really consider myself a religious person -- for me, it's not about the religion, it's about a relationship with Jesus Christ. And it's about saving grace, through faith alone. This January, my knees hit the floor. The world was pulling me a long way from the faith of my youth. So I decided my relationship needed a little work. That's why I have made it my goal to read the Bible in a year -- thanks to Our Daily Bread Devotional. It's amazing the difference that five minutes can make.

I am also taking a class on religion in America. I was instantly enthralled in the readings, and I don't think I've ever been so excited about a research paper. This semester, I am going to be researching female clergy in 19th century minority religions and comparing them to those of the 20th century Protestant mainstream. I have already found some incredible stuff -- for example, one article from the 1870s talks about how the woman was not fit to be a minister because she tripped on her dress on the way up the pulpit!

All this religious fervor in my life has led me back to the old hymns. My all-time favorite is "Come Thou Fount" (Hence, the title of my blog). Perhaps the lyrics speak to my wanderlust, or maybe it's the promise that God will never leave us, but this words of this hymn have always been close to my heart. However, I also enjoy "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" because it reminds me of the peace and security that I have in God. And that He will never leave me. One of my new favorites is "On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand." It reminds me that this land is not my home, I'm just-a-passin' through. I especially like this version by the band Jars of Clay.

21 January 2011

Top 10 Destinations

Here are my Top 10 Countries I Want to Visit:


10. United Kingdom -- If you know me at all you know I have a thing for British accents.
9. Russia -- St. Basil's Cathedral? St. Petersburg? And there's that whole Cold War thing.
8. Egypt -- I want to see the pyramids...and I must ride a camel.
7. Costa Rica -- Eco-tourism at its finest!
6. Italy -- The language, the food, the art, the architecture -- need I go on?
5. Australia -- I've been inspired by A Town Called Alice by Neville Schute and the books of Jill Ker Conway
4. Ireland -- It's so green! And beer!
3. Greece -- One of the items on my bucket list is to swim in the sea off the coast of the Greek Isles. It's going to happen one day.
2. Vietnam -- I'm a history major who focuses on the 1960s. Enough said. And it's beautiful.
1. Ghana -- For as long as I can remember I've always wanted to go to Africa. And what could be better than the Gold Coast?

13 January 2011

Arkansas? Yes, Arkansas.

Sometimes I'm wondering if by seeking a degree in History I am missing out on my true calling as a travel agent. Yes, I'm serious about that one. I get way too excited about planning trips. Take Tuesday for example -- a friend casually mentioned that Mumford & Sons (one of our favorite bands) only has one U.S. tour date...and wait for it...it's in Arkansas. Arkansas? Yes, home of the Razorbacks and Bill Clinton.

So I immediately and with all together too much excitement started researching this as if we were actually going to go. As it turns out the band is playing at a huge music festival in Ozark, Arkansas. Technically, it's the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival at Mulberry Mountain. So I decided that it would be perfectly plausible for us to road trip down from Illinois on a Friday, go to the show Saturday night, and then drive back Sunday. I looked up the fastest routes, approximate travel time, and possible hotel choices.

I have way too much fun planning trips. And apparently to obscure places like Arkansas. What started out as a joke has become pretty serious. There is a definite chance I'm going to be in Arkansas the first weekend of June.

Now I just need to plan a spring break trip...any ideas?

06 January 2011

Miss you...

A year ago yesterday, I moved to Washington, DC. Now that I'm back in Illinois, I can't help but miss it...just a little.

Here's my Top Ten Things to Do in DC -- in no particular order.

1. Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street -- you're not a local until you eat there.

2. Walk down Wisconsin Avenue past the National Cathedral to Georgetown.

3. Go to Eastern Market on a Sunday morning.

4. Walk along the Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season. This should definitely include some swinging from the branches.

5. Get lost. (It's not hard!)

6. Chinatown

7. Take the Metro to Anacostia for a little history.

8. Head out to Nationals Park by the Navy Yard for a baseball game.

9. Snowball fight in Dupont Circle

10. National Portrait Gallery, Postal Museum, Building Museum

Back to the Blogosphere

Well, I'm back! It's been seven months, but I am ready to make my triumphal return to the world of blogging (Well, not really because I've been doing a photo of the day blog, but you know what I mean). I used this blog to chronicle my semester in Washington, DC, but here's my new proposition: This site will now house all my crazy dreams. It will probably end up being part bucket list, part vagabond, and part college.

Thursday is my day.