Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I don't think I have ever been more blessed by a family than I have with the Hadleys.  Charlotte and I were planning on meeting up for drinks before heading to Bible study with Sandy, but for various reasons, Bible study got canceled tonight.  So, I sent Charlotte a text saying I was bummed that we wouldn't hang out today.  Shortly after, I got a call from Wendy (Charlotte's mom) inviting me over to their house for dinner tonight.  I was surprised by this, considering today is Wayne's birthday, and I figured they would want to do a family thing.  Of course, I said yes, and was excited to meet up with Charlotte beforehand.
While waiting on a park bench, listening to my favorite Christmas song, two people came up to me and asked if they could talk to me.  They looked nice enough, and I figured they were trying to sell me something.  Within moments, I realized that they were Jehovah's Witnesses.  I tried to explain in the gentlest way possible that I was a Christian, I had my Bible with me, and that one of my majors is Biblical Studies.  When I said this, the man looked shocked and wanted to shake my hand.  I thought, "Great, now they'll leave me alone!"  That, however, only seemed to encourage them more into convincing me my ways were misled and that the real deal was through becoming a Jehovah's witness.  Thankfully, Charlotte arrived and after a longer sales pitch (as that is what it felt like), I finally looked at my phone and said that Ben was waiting for us.  The couple thanked us for our time, wished us luck with our studies, and left to find more lost souls.  Now, I don't want to come off as hateful, because I do love everyone, and I respect different beliefs.  However, I do not agree with the idea that faith can be sold, which is what this couple was trying to do.  You cannot sell a relationship, and that is what I have with Jesus Christ.  Alright, I'm going to start getting preachy if I keep going.
Anyway, Charlotte and I ran a few errands, went for hot chocolate at Cafe Life, and then headed out to meet Wayne and Ben.  I always am so happy when I am with that family, I can't even say.  It was-and is-overwhelming at times because they each have poured into my life more than I thought was possible.  I've only known them for a month, and already it seems like they've been part of my life for years.  So, we enjoyed a lovely dinner of KFC, had some birthday dessert, and then I got to introduce them to s'mores!  I had to improvise with the graham crackers, so I used thin cookies, but the outcome was still quite good.  Charlotte, Wendy, and I watched an episode of Friends while the guys watched some youtube videos.  It was a lovely evening, and I am so incredibly thankful that I have that family in my life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Weekend in the Alps

This weekend was utterly fantastic.  At first, I felt really awkward and uncomfortable, as I typically do in new situation, but my lunch on Saturday, I was joyful.
Friday mainly consisted of driving up to Camp des Cimes.  It was raining, so we couldn't really see much on the way.  At one point, I asked Wayne if what I saw on the left would be considered a small mountain.  Every person in the car immediately said "Nooooo".  As it turns out, what I thought was a small mountain was a large hill.  I'm from the midwest, what do I know?  After a very draining week, I spent the majority of the ride drifting in and out of consciousness with splashes of trying to explain "Three Cups of Tea" to Anne-Laure (another girl going to the camp) in French.  This was not nearly as difficult as when I tried to explain the book to the surprised Turkish man in my class (who is a Muslim) in French and trying to correctly pronounce the Islamic words.  Nevertheless, it was a tad difficult.  When we finally got to camp, we ate a late (more or less, it was only around 9) dinner and I got to enjoy all kinds of ridiculous jokes from Mr. Wayne Hadley.  That family is too fantastic.  I also got to meet Daniel (finally)!  Daniel is one of Ben's close friends whose family goes to my church here.  He has lukemia, and has to go back to England for more chemotherapy in a couple weeks.  It was amazing for him to be there.  He even had the strength to play drums during worship!  It was an incredible blessing to see that.
Through talking with Randy and Sandy on Saturday morning, I realized that I have hit the wall created by exhaustion and becoming bilingual.  What happens is, you are incapable of thinking, speaking, or comprehending in either language.  You can imagine my frustration, particularly during the first chapel when the speaker (who I am sure was American, based on his accent) was giving an incredible message through the use of pottery.  He was standing up there, with a potter's wheel and lumps of clay basically, as I understand it, saying that God creates beautiful, unique things that can be used for specific purposes.  But then, inevitably, it breaks and can no longer perform its original function.  However, Gos does not give up on that broken piece of pottery.  Instead, he takes other broken pieces of pottery and creates something new.  Tom, the speaker, illustrated his message by making a jar, a lid, a vase, and a bowl.  He broke each of these (and it tore at the art appreciator in me) and then attached them together to make a teapot that looked alarmingly like Mrs. Potts.  He attached a handle which represented Christ, through which we as a church can pour out into others.  It was beautiful, and I wish I could have actually understood what he was saying.
After a, naturally, glorious lunch, we packed up into 6 cars and headed up to hike in the Alps.  Words do not even describe.  Unfortunately, it was rather foggy, so the view was obstructed for the most part.  At some moments, though, oh my word.  The clouds parted and my breath caught in my chest.  Never have I seen anything that beautiful.  I could really get used to living somewhere like that.  If not living, definitely visiting fairly often.  While walking through the fog, I found myself singing "Once in the Highlands" from Brigadoon.  And then, while climbing a large rock to get a better view, I began singing "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" from The Sound of Music.  I'm a nerd, and I love it.
As the day progressed, I began to understand more of what people were saying and I was even able to carry on a conversation at dinner.  That is particularly difficult at the end of a day, so I was quite pleased with myself.  That night, I was in charge of getting the tea, coffee, and such ready after evening chapel.  One thing that I love about this church is that it reminds me so much of my home church.  Even if you're new, you just jump right in and there are all kinds of people to help you figure things out.  It made me so happy to set things up and get things ready for people to enjoy, and then I got to watch them enjoy it.  It just filled my heart.
Today, after a very interrupted night of sleep, was just as wonderful.  As for the interrupted sleep, I was sleeping on the top bunk of a bed.  Now, I do not like top bunks in the least, but this one was truly terrifying.  Every time I moved, or Anne-Laure moved on the bed beneath me, the ENTIRE bunk bed shook.  The slightest movement, such as pausing the iPod in my hand, caused the illusion of a small earthquake.  Okay, so I may be embellishing ever so slightly.  This morning, after a delightful breakfast of coffee (in a bowl), and bread and jam, butter, and nutella, I got to enjoy the beauty of a (nearly) cloudless view of the Alps.  I was in such bliss.  During lunch, Ben and Charlotte taught me how to properly eat flan.  The technical term is "Gobbing".  If you want to see the video, check out the ol' facebook.  If you don't, it basically means sucking the entire thing of flan up in one go.  It was entertaining.

And now, some pictures.

I'm a big fan of the different settings I've found on my camera.

Yes, Ben wore shorts, trainers, and a jumper to hike around in the Alps.

I was in heaven.

Nearly cloudless view from the dining hall.

The first attempt at globbing flan.

Some beautiful flowers.

 Daniel and Ben checking out Daniel's present.

 Charlotte and me.

One of the lakes on our hike.


 She's an explorer.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

La Fete du Renaissance

Yesterday, I went to my first Renaissance Fair.  What was interesting about this was the fact that there was very little organized (quelle surprise).  The majority of fair-goers were dressed in elaborate costumes, and there were musicians and street puppet shows and things of that nature, but it was all independently done.  Yes, these people had their own horses, medieval instruments, and costumes.  Normally in the United States, the people who attend Renaissance Fairs in costume are considered nerds (i.e. those in my family), but here it is entirely normal. 
Naturally, as we were in an older town in France, we had to go see the cathedral and the statues and such.  Katie, Ian, Filip, Bianca, Vlatka, Laura, Chelsey, Meagan and I started out together, but after a while we lost Laura and Chelsey who had gone to see the statue of Notra Dame de France.  Meagan and I went up to find them, and when I say up, I truly mean up.

Here is the view from the top.

It was so beautiful.  I honestly cannot get enough of the country here.  And evidently, these hills are nothing compared to where I'm going this weekend in the Alps.  I realize that it seems like a given that hills are nothing compared to mountains (much like men, to paraphrase Pride and Prejudice), but compared to the mid-west, this is breathtaking.
We eventually made our way down to find the others for dinner.  Again, everyone in town was dressed for the occasion, including those who work in the restaurants.  After a dinner of chicken and pasta, we went to a crepe vendor for dessert.  I must say, French crepe vendors are artists.  There is a beautiful and delicate art to making a crepe, that only the French can do.  So beautiful, so delicious.
There was a marchee for souvenirs, costumes, and such, but most of the group didn't want to hang out there (it was getting quite cold).  So, we ended up at an Irish pub.  I'm sorry, but why would you go to an Irish pub, in France, and listen to American music when you could be at a Renaissance Fair?  Those of us who thought that, meaning Chelsey, Meagan, Bianca, Vlatka, and myself, decided to return.  We got some coffee and hot chocolate at a stand and then returned to the marchee.  I was able to find some really cool things, for not very much, and it was just so fun to see all of the booths.  There was one area where there was a fire where they had obviously cooked some sort of meat earlier.  See if you can tell what it was.

Overall, it was a marvelous day.  See my facebook for more pictures.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm in love! I'm in love! And I don't care who knows it!

I'm serious, this is insane.  I am head over heels, madly in love with the most fantastic coffee shop. 
Yesterday, I decided to go to a coffee shop I went to with Charlotte and Camille last week to read and journal before meeting up with Ben and Charlotte.  I went down to Place Jean Jaures, but I couldn't find the place, so I found Cafe Life, which is where we will be having Bible study every week.  I went in, and it was empty.  Then, a guy who looked a bit like a Yooper, came out and asked what he could make for me (in French of course).  I didn't hear him, so I said "Pardon?"  and he said (in English), "Oh, you don't speak French?"  I then explained that I did, and I was an American student at Jean Monnet.  We talked for a while and he made me a peach lemonade, and then asked if he could give it to me for free because I'm American!
After about an hour and a half of reading my Bible, journaling, and reading Three Cups of Tea, I looked up and Ben walked in.  We were both surprised to see each other there, as we weren't meeting for another half hour, and Sebastian came out to greet him.  When he realized that Ben and I knew each other, he said to me "I knew it!  I knew you were a Christian!  I was about to ask if you had a church to go to!"  How cool is it that brothers and sisters in Christ recognize each other? 
Back to this coffee shop.  It reminds me of La Spiaza, as it has creaky wooden floorboards, and big chairs, and great music.  It's just down the street from Jean Jaures, so you can still hear the sounds of the fountains and busy streets, but it's just far enough away that you feel somewhat enclosed.  I just love it there.
Yesterday ended up being one of the best days that I've had.  Hanging out with Ben and Charlotte just made my day even better.  I really am blessed to have them in my life.  I'm thinking that I'll end up back there at least twice a week.  It may get expensive, but I'll have to just order cheap stuff!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A weekend

Yesterday was so much fun.  Since it had been a long week, I decided to sleep in and then go grocery shopping.  In the mall, they have these quasi-low element challenges for little kids.  It's so much fun to watch!  It made me miss Covenant Point pretty badly, but since when do I not?
Anyway, so after I did that, I met up with Camille, Riley, and Chloe for a picnic.  We were meeting the Italians (Francesco and Frederica), and it ended up being a group of about 15 of us.  What was pretty cool was that we all came from different countries, so our mutual language was French.  Let me tell you, it is EXHAUSTING to speak in French all the time.  I guess I should get used to it though, hey?  So we ate lunch for quite some time, and I was planning on meeting Charlotte to go show shopping.  When I told Francesco that I had to leave, he said "Oh, how come?"  And I said I was meeting a friend to go shopping.  He said "Oh, that's okay then." Gotta love those Italians.
I met up with Charlotte at a little...piazza? I don't know what the French equivalent for that is...and we started on a search for shoes.  We ended up walking all the way back to the mall right down the hill from my building!  Who knew shopping for shoes was so difficult?  I ended up finding a very cute pair of black flats, that were too expensive, but I thought "Hey, I'm in France.  I may as well."  So, 40 euro later, I have cute shoes.
After shopping, Charlotte and I went back to Jean Jurges to wait for Camille before we headed to the Gorrell's house for dinner.  I got to make chicken and my three cheese macaroni and cheese for them!

This morning, we had church at the Gorrell's house (in their garage).  I stayed afterward for lunch, and in true French fashion, I didn't leave until about 4pm.  I cannot believing how incredibly tired I get just from speaking and hearing French!  My mind is on such an overload because I'm constantly translating and by the time I figure out what they're saying, it's too late for me to add to the conversation.  I really hope it'll get easier.
Let me ask a question.  Is it bad that I want to spend more time with people from church than my school?  It's difficult to meet actual French people in my classes because they're all foreigners too.  I'm not against spending time with them at all, but I'd like to hang out with French people too.  So far, the majority of the French people I've met have been from church.  I also really like the people at church, and I get along really well with them.  My guess is that I'll be hanging out more with them than people at school, which means I'll be spending a good amount of time alone I guess.  Well, I guess not really.  There's a University Bible Study that my friend Ben leads (he's British, but has lived in France for almost 15 years), I'm joining a growth group with Charlotte and Sandy, there's youth group on Saturdays which is really for any age I think, and there's prayer meetings twice a week at people's houses.  I really do think I'll like being here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


On the previously stated rainy day in Saint-Etienne, the internet cut out.  They finally have it working, so here I am.
The funny thing about the French is that they never do more work than what is required of them.  For example, re-setting the wireless router.  The guy at the desk, Franc, said that a technician had to come in to check it out.  This way, the internet guy has a paying job and gets to do work. I guess it's a mutual respect for each other in this economy, or their desire not to do more than they need to.  The important thing is we have internet, and everyone got paid.
On Tuesday, there was a strike picketing the retirement age.  Evidently, there may be another at the end of the month.  Randy was telling me that a few years ago, the students at Jean Monnet picketed and there wasn't class for a month.  Here are my thoughts if that happens (which it may because everyone else is picketing)
1. E-mail Dr. Morrissey and tell her the situation and pray that I can still get credits.
2. Travel the heck out of my time here.  Seriously, can you imagine the kind of adventures I could have if I didn't have class for a month, am surrounded by beautiful countryside, and have nearly unlimited means of transportation?
3. Some serious shopping.  My poor chacos feel so out of place here! As does my green stripey bag. I guess I'll just have to succumb to the fact that I am in one of the most fashionable countries in the world and act accordingly. Oh darn.

Today was a good day.  I finally had class!  Am I such a nerd for enjoying that?  Yes.  And I'm okay with that.  I was placed in the advanced level, and it seems really good.  We spent half of the morning filling in the blanks to a song.  It was a little challenging because we had to think about the correlation to the beginning of the line as well as look at the rhyme from the previous line.  The song was, naturally, a love song and it had the basic message of "You are the ___ and I'm the ____".  As in, you are the tea and I'm the glass, you are the racket and I'm the ball.  The strangest ones though, were "You are the marijuana, and I'm the joint" and "You are the butt and I'm the chair".  Normally, I would not consider that to me romantic terminology.  But, hey.  That's just me.  After class, Chelsey, Meagan, Laura and I went to have lunch at the Resto-U (the cafeteria) and met some of Chelsey and Megan's friends from elsewhere in Europe.  After that, I found my way to one of the many bus stops and got on to go to the Moyer's.  People here are honestly so nice!  I couldn't tell what stop we were at, and didn't know how many until my own.  I asked a woman next to me who didn't understand what I was saying in entirety.  So, I asked the guy across from me, and he said he would tell me when I had to get off.  So, I got to read a chapter in "Three Cups of Tea", listen to The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and then got off and met Randy.  It was so nice to spend an afternoon in a house!  Randy and I spent most of the afternoon talking about things at church and how things were going.  (If I haven't mentioned before, Randy is one of the pastors at my church)  He also let me borrow The Sound Of Music, so I will be happily watching part of that tonight.  I am very blessed to have found such great people.  When I got back to my dorm, I made a dinner (not very French, though) of scrambled eggs and bread with jam.  Don't worry, I'll get a baguette after class tomorrow.  Sometime, I really should get on the whole French food thing.  Maybe I'll play with some cooking tomorrow.  Who knows?
Matt and Dad got safely to London, and I was able to skype with them for about an hour tonight, which was lovely.  I'm really looking forward to tomorrow!  I think I may even spend the weekend here exploring the town a little bit.  Maybe Charlotte (my British friend) will want to meander around town with me.  Et pour maintenant, c'est tout.  Bon soiree!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Rainy Day in Saint-Etienne

Today, the public transportation is protesting.  The government wants to raise the retirement age from 55.  So, a few months ago, everyone decided they were going to protest today.  They'll be back up and going tomorrow though.  They picked quite a day for it, as it is raining for the first time since I've been here. 
So, Laura, Camille, Riley, Chole and I went to turn in our last bit of paperwork this morning.  I should have brought my umbrella, as well as some other things like rain boots, a pillow, and some sort of twine so I can hang dry my clothes.  I truly am contemplating hand washing everything in my shower.  It'll save me a few euro.  Man, how cheap do I sound?  Back to the point.  All of my paperwork is now turned in, and I'll have my bank account ready this afternoon.  At the bank where I set up my account (thank goodness Ray came with), you can't deposit money.  We have to go down to centre-ville to another location to deposit it.  It's a bit of a walk, especially in the rain, but at least it will be done.  I haven't taken any pictures since we were in Lyon, and I wish I had taken some at the picnic on Sunday!  I really like my church, and the people there are honestly so wonderful.  I'm going to put up some pictures on facebook, and hopefully I'll have some interesting ones on here too. 
I don't know exactly what else there is to do today, besides the bank, and eating of course.  I'm being very un-French and eating half of a panini that I bought from a boulangerie yesterday for lunch.  It was huge and I couldn't finish it!  People here don't do leftovers, and it's considered poor manners to leave food on your plate.  At least they're not wasteful!
Tomorrow, we have orientation, for real this time.  We're going to see the school, figure out classes I think, and learn about student activities.  It should be great.  If I really don't have anything until the 13th, I kind of am contemplating finding a way to London to see the 'rents and Matthias.  It would be fantastic if I could swing it, but I don't know how many flights to London I can afford.  We'll find out!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Observations of the French

1. They always look good, even when they are walking up a very large, steep hill.
2. They know how to relax and enjoy what they are doing.  For example, they work 35 hours a week, and the retirement age is 55.  The government is trying to raise it, and the people are striking on Tuesday.  They also take two hours for lunch.  At a restaurant, they never rush, and typically it will take the full two hours to drink your wine, eat your meal, eat your dessert, and drink your coffee.
3. They are much more personal than Americans.  When a woman (such as I) meets a man, they shake hands.  By the time they leave the event they are attending, they "faire le bise".  This means an air kiss on the cheek a certain amount of times.  Depending on your area, you could kiss up to even four times.  Here, though, we kiss twice.  When you arrive somewhere, if you don't kiss everyone, it is very rude.  The same applies to when you leave.  Therefore, when you are ready to leave, it will take quite some time to actually leave.
4. Here in Saint-Etienne, the people are much more patient with you if you are lost or don't speak French very well.  They will often help you find your way, or even accompany you to where you need to go.  While at the bank on Friday, Mrs. Bearden needed to get money exchanged.  We went to a bank, but they couldn't exchange money there.  When Camille asked where they could get it exchanged, the banker and a woman there explained how to get there, showed them on the map, and the woman offered to walk with them there.  They ended up going only with Laura (a girl from ISEP) while Mom and I bought shoes.  That sounds like we ditched them, but we didn't!  Mom needed new shoes because hers were not the best for walking.

Those are some observations thus far.  On a side note, I am not sure if people actually live in my hall.  I hear people, but never see them.  Everyone locks their door, even when they are home.  It's just a security thing, but so different from being at North Park where I had my door open almost all the time.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day trip

Today, Camille, Laura, Jacqueline and I decided to go to Lyon for the day.  I had to say goodbye to Mom, which was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  It's going to be so weird not to see Mom and Dad, or even call them, for so long.  It's an adjustment that I don't think I'll enjoy.
Anyway, the four of us, along with Mrs. Bearden, went to Lyon for the day.  We missed a train, got another, checked Mrs. Bearden into a hotel, and then began exploring the town.  We got to see two rivers, and took many a tourist picture.  After that, we headed to the centre-ville, where we found...STARBUCKS. That was the most reassuring thing I have even seen.  After we walked for a while, we found a place for lunch.  They served gallettes, which are like thick crepes.  Here, crepes are eaten primarily for dessert and snacks.  I'm not sure if I like gallettes very much, although it may have been in part due to the emotions of saying goodbye, the incredible amount of smoke, and the fact that I was having my first glass of wine.  Jacqueline, Laura, and I shared a small bottle of a Rose wine, and I only drank half a glass.  It was only lunch time, and I didn't want to be too ambitious.  Also, I hadn't eaten much before then, so I thought it would be safer to limit my intake.
After lunch, we explored the town a bit, and tried to find the basilica.  I don't know if you've heard of the Basilica on Lyon, but it is BEAUTIFUL.  It's not terribly old, maybe 17th century.  Yeah, that's not old here.  We found a beautiful cathedral, and then found a way to get to the Basilica.  That was the longest hike of my life.  It probably took a good hour to walk there, and it did more work for me then all of my running last year.  When we finally got up there, sweaty, thirsty, and tired, we saw the view. 

It was totally worth it.  And then, we got to see the Basilica.  Sometime soon, I will post pictures of our trip.  That was one of the most incredible places I have ever seen.  Architecturally, it was breathtaking, and the stained glass was even more beautiful.  A Basilica is kind of like a church devoted to Mary.  One cool thing, though, is that at the front of the building, above the statue of Mary, it says "In the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit".  ABOVE, mind you.  I thought it was cool. 
Once we had our fill of gorgeous architecture, we headed back to the centre-ville.  I got Frappe Cara from Starbucks (caramel frappachino) for far more than it should cost.  I thought prices in the States were bad at Starbucks, but they're nothing compared to Europe!  A tall frappachino cost 4,60€.  That equates to about $5.90.  Starbucks will not be a habit here.  The delicious taste, though, was very comforting. 
After a little more wandering, we hopped on the Metro, got on the wrong train, got back on the right one, and then caught the train back to Saint Etienne. It was sad to say goodbye to Mrs. Bearden too.  There's just something about having a mom around, whether yours or not, that makes everything feel better.  Luckily, I have already met three wonderful women from my church here who are taking care of me.  I'm excited to go to church there with Camille tomorrow.
When we got back into town, we got on the tram and went to the French equivalent of Wal Mart to buy some salad, bread, and wine.  We got back to the dorm and made some pasta and had dinner.  And now, Camille and I are in her room enjoying the luxuries of the internet, all for the low price of 6€ per month.  It's worth it though. Oh! We're able to Skype, but I'm not sure if it's technically allowed.  We'll find out!  I think we're going to watch some Friends, and then head to bed. Bon soir!

Friday, September 3, 2010


After two flights, 2.5 showings of "Letters to Juliet", and one fairly disgusting airplane meal, I arrived in Saint-Etienne around noon yesterday.  I was very blessed to have my mom come with me and all of her contact with local church planters and missionaries.  The couple picked up up at the airport in Lyon and drove us to my dorm.  Everyone in France goes for a two-hour lunch break, so we had to wait a while to get my key.  My dorm is about as wide as I am tall while holding my hands above my head. (I'm still quite jetlagged, so my apologies if things don't make sense).  My room has its own bathroom in the room, which is wonderful since the only people I have found in my hall have been guys.  I've never been in a co-ed dorm, so this will be interesting. 
After Mom and I unpacked, set up my room, and bought groceries, the pastor of a church here (it's a house-church, so it seems very New Testament to me) picked us up and we went to his house for dinner.  There, we met three families from the church, which was a huge blessing.  One couple is from Pennsylvania, one from Texas, and one from England.  The British family has two kids, a charming 22 year old guy who (sort of ) fixed my computer and a very wonderful 17 year old girl who already seems like we've known each other for years.  I think it will be good here.
Today, Camille and I finally found each other, and we explored the town with our moms and another ISEP student.  We started setting up things at school (which was a nightmare).  The French are MORE unorganized than North Park. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? In theory, I have a meeting of ISEP students on Wednesday, but the CILEC classes (the French program we're in) start on Monday. Luckily, we're all together, so it should be alright.  The lack of structure is going to drive me crazy, I just know it.  We met another ISEP girl and the four of us are going to spend the day in Lyon tomorrow.  Apparently, we don't have anything else! 
And through all of this, I have already learned that my dependence on God will be very great this semester.  Last night, I couldn't sleep even though I was so tired, and I was really uncertain and scared.  Thankfully, I put the North Park worship album on my iPod, so I listened to that and prayed that God would stay with me and help me sleep.  At one point, I felt a great peace, and I knew people were praying for me and that God was in the room with me. He always is, but I really felt Him there last night.  It's just like Jesus said in John 16:32, "Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me."