November 2005 Update Letter

Hello! Greetings from Virginia.

I came home for the week of Thanksgiving and was able to attend church at Maranatha so I was able to see many of you. Thank you for the hugs and the welcome smiles, I definitely realized how much I miss all of you. 

Classes are still going well. Since my last email I wrote 4 20 page papers (that was fun 😉 I currently have one 5-10 page paper left to write due next Tuesday, I have an exam on Friday, an exam next Wednesday, I’m looking at 2 or 3 final exams from a total of 5 classes.

I will be coming home the 16th of December, so I can go to Ange and Brian’s wedding and then I’ll go back to school the 17th of January (or so).

School starts the 18th of January. I’m plan to work for a few weeks at Meijer and go skiing with my family. Other than that, give me a call, maybe we can get together.

I’m currently scheduled to take 16 credits for the spring. Two hard classes, one moderately hard class, and three easy classes. It’s starting to get to the point where I need to really be making decisions about next year.

I’m praying for clarity of thought and discernment. I would like to come back to Liberty for my masters, but my dilemma is housing, if I choose housing off campus, my dilemma becomes finding a means of transportation to and from school. So I’m really praying about whether starting my masters immediately is a good plan or not. So I would enjoy it if you would pray along with me.

I’m reading through the Psalms these days, It’s so cool to see David’s love relationship with God, I love his honesty and openness, sometimes I feel like I’m reading his diary.

I’m sorry this one is really short, my brain feels really blank.
See you soon!

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January 2005 Update Letter

Hello Friends and Family!

Well, to begin my second semester as a sophomore…. I traveled to Virginia in a Dodge Dakota with two other Michiganders. Very much fun… until we hit the border of Virginia and… we hit some ice and rolled into a ditch… We rolled all the way over and then landed on the driver’s door. It was the single most terrifying event of my life. I was in the back-seat without my seatbelt on (one of the only times I have ever been without it in a vehicle… I am a major supporter of the seat belt wearing movement) and so I rolled with the truck. I managed to bang up my head pretty well, twist my ankle and scratch up my shoulder. Several vehicles stopped to help us and call an ambulance (Praise the Lord for kind strangers). I had my first ride to the emergency room in an ambulance ever… definitely a frightening few moments where I was fearful that I had seriously injured my neck. I survived the x-ray process came out w/ no broken bones (but I did have to wear an air cast for two weeks on my ankle)!!! However, the cut I got in my head needed stapled shut. The very nice doctor put 5 staples in my head (not fun at all). (Unfortunately the doctor had already placed 8, before deciding 5 would suffice, so all 8 came back out before he re-placed 5.)
Truck Accident
My friend came to rescue us from the hospital 2 hours away from school at 10pm; he then took us to the junk-yard where her truck with all of our stuff had been taken… Seeing that truck in the light was a sickening feeling… I was so thankful to be alive… The emotions didn’t hit until I was back at campus at 1am then I sobbed my eyes out. My wonderful R.A. and NEW ROOMIE (more about her later) made my bed for me and carried all of my stuff into my room (they have been an amazing blessing). I spent the next week in a crisis-induced funk of not really understanding all that was happening… but eventually the emotional impact faded and I began to feel better.
During this time I also began my second semester of school for this year. I’m taking 18 credits this semester AND I have my first 8 am of my college experience. Time management is becoming my middle name (oh, wait… ;)) I have three upper level psychology classes, an old testament class, a human biology class and a world lit class. I’m really excited about the Old Testament and one of the psych classes, the rest will be relatively enjoyable and frustrating. I have more papers and projects this semester than I’ve had yet so…major prayers are appreciated!
I switched rooms the last day before Christmas vacation, a choice that was prayed and cried over for many days. All during break I prayed that I would have the room to myself, but I also prayed that if God didn’t want me to be by myself that he would provide the right roommate for me, either someone who I could be a blessing to or someone who could really bless me. And Jennifer has totally blessed me in so many different ways. She’s from Virginia Beach and she wants to go into counseling as well.
For all of you who were unaware… my birthday was on the 24th! I am now 20… wow… It sounds so cool sometimes, (okay all the time) to say I’m 20 now… For my birthday, my friend decided to surprise me with a party. The day of the surprise party I must have been completely dense because he totally almost gave it away so many times. We went over to his parents house to watch the football game and I had asked if I could just wear really bummy clothing but he said, “no, you want to make a good impression, at least wear jeans and a nice sweater,” of course I got frustrated that he was picking out my wardrobe for a football game, but whatever, I rolled with it, and then when I got in the truck, I smelled frosting, but I rationalized that away as he wanted to make my cake early so he didn’t have to make it the next day (we had picked out the right cake and frosting earlier that day-I’m really picky when it comes to birthday cakes 😉 imagine that.. me being picky!) And then during the game his phone kept ringing, but I just gave him a hard time about it. Then in the 3rd quarter his roommate calls and invites us to go hang out at a friends house, I couldn’t figure out why he was willing to leave the game (his favorite team was playing) to go hang out but again I rolled w/ it… we get to our friend’s house and I’m looking around for the normal vehicles and they aren’t there so I commented on it and he just shrugged it off (I thought we were early) and we walk in and my friends all yell surprise, and I was still confused… it finally clicked that it was a surprise party for me!
I’ve been reading through 1 and 2 Kings for my quiet times these days. It is absolutely amazing, totally touching my heart and teaching me more about my Creator. I’m loving the power God displayed through his prophets. It’s astonishing. My two favorite passages are: when Elijah asked God to hold back the rain for 40 days and then challenged the prophets of baal to a contest to see which God would provide rain. Of course God was the only one who could make it rain, but he did it in a way that displayed his amazing power it awes me every time. And then the other one that impacted me was when Elisha told Naaman to go wash himself in the Jordan River, Naaman complained because it was too easy and disgusting, he wanted an amazing sign from God. It reminded me of how often I ask God to do amazing things through me and ignore the simple little ministry opportunities, that are amazing as well.
Speaking of ministry… I went on a trip last week to a church in Roanoke. I taught a bible study to children two nights in a row. The first night there were three children, the next night eight. The three children who were there the first night memorized their bible verse and came back to say it to me. It’s so amazing to watch children learn scripture! And they all understood what I was saying to them, all that I was teaching them. It was so encouraging.
We are on the beginning days of spiritual emphasis week here on campus… I’m really excited about the speaker they have brought in… so I’m going to go do some homework and eat dinner so I can go listen to him and learn.
I love you all, thank you for your prayers. As always, please ask questions!! I love getting mail of any kind 😉
Nicole Elise

April 2004 Update Letter

Hello!

Can you even believe it is almost the end of April?  I have two weeks of school left, exactly.  I’m almost done with my freshman year of college!  WOW… does every year of my life have to fly by from this point on? I enjoy living so much, and usually I like to move quickly, but I want to enjoy every moment!!

Right now I have details of this summer and next year zooming through my head!  I’m not quite sure where I’m going to be living yet next year, I have a few options open but right now God hasn’t revealed the plan to me.  I filled out an application to be a prayer leader here on campus.  I would lead a small group each Thursday night after hall meeting (our time to get everyone on the hall together and hear announcements).  I would also be praying for those girls and being there for them whenever they needed a listening ear or help or whatever :-).  So far, I’ve had one prayer leader interview… and they didn’t want me :-(… I was sad, but I might end up on their hall anyway even though I really wanted to be on leadership on their hall.  At this point I’m waiting to see if anyone recommends me to someone or if a hall sees my name on the approved list and gives me a call.  I know that wherever God wants me, He’ll give me many opportunities for ministry
🙂

I’m planning on attending the same church next year, I’ll just have to find a new ride b/c my usual ride will have graduated (Miriam and James, the couple I mentioned in my last letter).  There I’ll still be involved in ministry in some form.  I’m planning on trying to limit myself to two ministries and a job. (we’ll see how I stick to it).

I’m looking at taking 17 credits next year, almost a full load. I’m excited, but nervous.

For this summer, I’m hoping I can find either a completely new job that will pay better than my current job (working at Perkins) but if not, than an additional job that would supplement my income so I can pay for school :-)…. So… if any of you hear of any openings and could give me a recommendation that would be awesome.  My mom sent me the want adds, so I’ll be looking through those, but I love it when “connections” happen. I’ll be home from about may 11 to either aug 13 or 20 depending on whether I’m a prayer leader or not.

Well, I feel kinda boring right now so I’ll stop, as always, I love hearing back from you, so send me your questions!

Nicole Elise