Friday, July 31, 2015

Five Reasons I Love Ohio

(Snapped this picture yesterday when I needed reminding of why I like Ohio: it's so pretty. This picture can't do it justice.)
My opinion of living in southwest Ohio changes daily. Usually with my mood. Some days I love it, some days I loathe it, some days I'm pretty indifferent. 
Lately I've been pretty negative about it. I met some new people at church through VBS this week, and a lot of them asked how much longer I'll be living in Oxford. I cringed each time I said "two years minimum, but up to three years." Are you serious? Two to three more years here?! I don't know if I can handle two to three more months.
Since I've been so negative, I decided to make a positives list. Just five things that I like (but probably love) about living in Ohio.
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1. I've made so many great friends // Seriously though. The Lord knew what he was doing by bringing these people into my life. I made friends quickly at orientation with people at school that have made lasting impressions. I don't know if I could survive grad school without some of these people. They completely understand why I'm stressed out because chances are either they're currently stressed about the same things or they've been stressed about the same things at one point. Not only that, but my church family is beyond amazing. The welcoming kindness that pours out of my church can bring me to tears.
2. I've been exposed to more places than I probably would have if I stayed in Indiana // My favorite place that I've visited so far? New Orleans. I never would have gone to Nola if I wasn't in grad school. I have friends from so many different states and countries that if I ever want to travel, I'll have connections. (I'm even going to New Jersey in a week with a friend from grad school - never would have thought I'd travel there!)
3. I'm getting a great education // This one is a two-for-one point. I've made and will continue to make so many great professional connections that will be so valuable one day. The second point? I have the best boss. While it would suck not having great friends around through school, without my boss I would have quit a long time ago. He's so understanding about everything and is so encouraging. Not every professor is like that - I've worked for a professor that wasn't very nice (pretty sure he never knew name) and it was so hard not to quit.
4. My relationship with the Lord has changed...in a good way // I'm much more realistic now than I was in college. But I think that's been a good thing! For so long I was in a Cru bubble, unaware of how it was going to be to walk with God in the real world. The hardest thing I've learned is how to allow the Holy Spirit to fill my cup instead of allowing humans to do that. While I love human-to-human encouragement, do you know how sweet it is to allow God to speak his own truths right to you? (Hint: so stinking awesome)
5. I'm still close to home // I think I was placed no more than 3 hours from anyone I love for a reason. Yes it sucks to make a day trip back to Indiana but if I really need to see my friends or family, I can do that. If I lived any farther away I would have to be more careful about planning trips back home. I love my independence but sometimes you just need to go home.
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I believe a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's some of my favorite pictures from Ohio:
Dan and Zach // My first friends in Ohio

Bethany and Lindsay // The reasons I'll visit Michigan so often

Jen and Taf // The two people that keep me sane in chemistry department (Also I wouldn't be where I am in research if it weren't for Jen)

New Orleans // My favorite place I've gotten to visit since moving to Ohio

My community group // These women are a source of constant encouragement and love

Lindsay // Four words: Lindsay and Ashley forever

My research group // This is my first line of support when things in lab start going wrong (which is often)

The Zachtivities crew // Between mud runs, canoeing, and volleyball, they're the reason I get to enjoy the sunshine
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