This week my Five on Friday is a little different. Three years ago today, Brandon and I were officially all alone in Michigan. We officially arrived on July 31st, but they left on August 2. I remember waking up and having a knot in my stomach. We went by the front office to our apartment complex and then we came back to the apartment and began unpacking and organizing.
Today, I am a little over 4 months from moving to our next chapter. It's already begun in many ways. I am so excited about being with Brandon again.
But in the meantime I want to be thankful for Michigan. So much has happened here and I want my Five on Friday to be about what I'll miss most when I finally move!
1. My running group and coach - This is without a doubt, #1. In just a few days, I will celebrate my running anniversary. Yes, I was running beforehand, but when I started training for my half, I felt like I was on the path to becoming a legit runner. And these women were the reason for that. They changed me in the very best way. I know I say this somewhat regularly, but I feel like running has saved my life. I know that God saves us, but God uses things and people in our path to help us from ourselves. And running being in my life was totally God. I love icing on cakes and cookies most. So for me, when someone says, "it's just the icing on the cake" I perk up because I know how much I love icing. I want to know what they consider the best part. And my running group and my running coach were the icing for me in the blessing that is running. I will miss them the most when I finally move. They've had such an impact on me and I know that is Jesus at work in the details. When I started running with this group of women, everything began to fall into place. My prayer life improved, my grades improved, my attitude improved, my weight loss improved, my marriage improved, everything just got better. They gave me a solid foundation as a runner and it is the knowledge from all of their many years of running that I will fall back on when I have a question or a frustration.
As you can imagine, I am praying hard about my next running group.
****************The rest I consider equally the things I'll miss the most.
2. Becoming Mr. and Mrs - I have mentioned this before as well, but when Brandon and I were first married, we lived in my hometown. And everywhere we went, Brandon was the girl who married Samantha so and so. And my name is hyphenated. But when I moved up here for law school, I was simply, "Samantha [Married Name]." And it was and is so nice. We're just simply the [Married Name's]. It is now weird for me to hear my maiden name. I know that might seem weird, but I love that we have become "just us two."
3. Fall and Summer Time - The summers here are divine. They are 10-20 degrees cooler than Oklahoma depending on the day. We only have about 2 weeks of 90 degree weather and that is it. It's green the entire summer and most days I can still get in a mid-day run if the day gets away from me because it really is that nice here.
The Fall is where it is at in Michigan. When you picture apples and the leaves changing and old college buildings and pumpkins and apple cider and soup and everything stereotypical about Fall. It's here. And it is totally and completely magical. I swear you can smell fall arriving here.
I don't think football is quite what it should be here, but I am willing to bet that Notre Dame probably has a decent show that will complete the picture. (And for those of you know that know me, you know what it took for me to make that last statement.)
4. My law school buddies - These men and women have made our time in Michigan wonderful. So many fun times together out and about and studying together during the dreaded month and a half before finals. We have done battle together and I have learned so many different lessons from everyone of them. I have met some wonderful people here. People that make me smile and people that get me. Not all are the warm fuzzy lessons, but still I am glad for them, because I am stronger and better because of it. Going out into the real law world seems daunting at times without them by my side...but I know they are pulling for me and I am pulling for them. If I need them or they need me, I am only a phone call away.
5. Our churches - I've attended two churches since living here. The first church was a home away from home when we first moved here. They are the most welcoming and unconditional loving people we've ever met. When I started running, it wasn't easy for us to make it because my long runs ended when church started. Jessi and I found a church that is nearby and has a service that allows me to get my long run in and a shower before church as well! The first Sunday we went the sermon blessed my heart immensely. It was a word that I desperately had been craving to hear and I am still thinking about it 3 weeks later.
And while I'm talking about church, I want to mention that church is about God's people gathering together for encouragement, edification, iron sharpening iron, and worshiping the Lord together and so much more. It doesn't take a fancy building to do that. In fact, it doesn't even require a building that is owned by the church to do that. It doesn't require fancy pews or a pretty pulpit or bathrooms decorated in the latest fashion. God can do his work anywhere if there are people willing to be obedient to Him. And both of these churches are excellent examples of that.
There really isn't a good place to leave off in this place. I am sure there will be more that I'll think of as time goes along. Example: I just thought about how I love grocery shopping here because there are so many options. I could go on and on about it. But I'll save it for another day!
Hi y'all! The name's Samantha. You can call me Sam if you like. I am a lover to a boy I met at Falls Creek in the summer of 2005, that is a student of Jesus, a Sooner born and Sooner bred and when I die I'll be Sooner dead, Democrat by party, blonde to the core, and oldies but goodies kind of girl.