Thursday, October 23, 2008

Double for your trouble

     Isaiah 61:7    Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion.  Therefore in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs.

     When Paul and I are lucky enough to have been given tickets to what he calls "the promised land", an OHIO STATE football game, we always walk through the maze of tailgaters who have been going at it since the wee hours of the morning,  Whether or not he likes to admit it, he is as nosey as I am. So, we both enjoy finding out what those tailgaters are eating.   Then we drool and head over to 711 and buy boring ol' regular hot dogs.  We are not cool enough to have an RV and  a OSU tent with a grill  and make all that great food ourselves.  And, Paul is too cheap to buy something from the street vendors... even if it means he could choose a hot Italian sausage smothered with hot onions and mustard.
      However, above all the great smells of food, there is a smell that permeates the air and about knocks me down.  The smell of beer.  And, whenever I am engulfed by that smell, it takes me right back to my college days at the University of Dayton- the #4 beer drinking school in the nation.

     There was a lot of partying that went on at that school.  Lots of drinking, staying out late, sleeping places where people probably should not have sleeping and everything else that accompanies that college lifestyle.  And, while I was in no way perfect, I really tried to live out what I believed God says in his word about how a believer should conduct themselves.  I could go to the parties and leave with a very clear conscience, but it just was no fun for me... at all.

     Because that was how I chose to live, even though I had a lot of friends, I was really lonely in college.  I had trouble finding friends who were like-minded.  

    6 years later, I was able to do college all over again.  Sort of.  Paul was hired as a resident director at Cedarville University.  That meant we lived in an apartment inside the dorm.  We lived free, we ate free, but we didn't have to study.  Well, I didn't have to study.  Part of the reason for taking such a job was so Paul could get a Master's degree and we wouldn't have to go in debt.

     We lived with 180 guys.  And, while it may sound like a barbed-wire enema to some of you, it was 4 of the best years of my life.  College guys are an interesting breed.  Here are just some of the things I remember about living there:

     1.  Cedarville has a lake on campus.  One night this group of guys pulled out this huge dead fish.  They brought it to the door outside of our apartment to show us.  (We told them we didn't want to know what they were planning.)  They put it in  a box, left it in the lobby of one of the girls' dorms, and let it fester.  I forget how long it was there.
    2.  I remember someone bringing me a camera and having me look at a picture that I never in a million years would need or want to see.  A guy had eliminated in such a manner that I think he was afraid no one would believe if he described it to them, so he took a picture.  Use your imagination... enough said!
    3.  Paul kicked a mother possum and her babies to the curb because some guy was harboring them in his room.  (I wonder why, when I was pregnant with Gracie and living in that dorm, I had a dream that she looked like a possum when she was born.  A baby body but a possum face.)
    4.  Guys would eliminate in empty pizza boxes.  Guys don't throw empty pizza boxes away so....
     5.   A guy put a container of milk in the heating duct in another guys' room and let it sit and sit and sit...........
     6.  Guys would take off their clothes, jump in another guys bed who was not there and roll around in their sheets.  Later, they would tell the owner of the sheets what had been done.
     7.  They would have contest to see who, if anyone, could drink a gallon of milk in an hour.  And, since no one can, they would all puke.
     8.  One guy, who was graduating the next day, put a bag of microwave popcorn in the microwave for 20 minutes.  It set the fire alarm off in the middle of the night.
     9.  A guy peed in a SOBE bottle and put it in the refrigerator.  Then, watched as his friend popped off the lid and starting drinking...... and then spewing! 

     I think you get the point.  Although, I am going to be honest and say, I don't get why any normal human being would do any of those things.  But, they did.  And, while I thought most of it was really funny, I had to have some sanity.  So, I hung out with college girls.

     Many, many nights, our apartment would be full of them until curfew.  And, because I had connections, sometimes they would even stay past curfew.

    It dawned on me because I had established great friendships with these girls that I was getting to do college over again... only it was way more fun!

     Not too long ago, I ran across Isaiah 61:7.  I could be taking this verse a bit out of context.  I don't mean to... it just seems to fit.  I tried to live a life that would honor God in college and it wasn't much fun.  So, 6 years later I seemed to have been given double for my former trouble.  And, isn't that just like God?

     I am still in contact with many of those girls.  They are my really close friends.

    They are now married and have children of their own.  Abby and Gina came to visit and meet Emme yesterday.  We had such a great time.  They are two of the funniest people I know.  We laughed and laughed and laughed.  We made dinner- the best lasagna ever and pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing!
     We ate and then marveled at the fact that we all have babies at the same time.  Hopefully, Emme is my last and hopefully, Anthony and Nolan are their firsts.  


     Emme and Nolan (Nolan's mom is Abby).  Check out those feet on Nolan, they are like little fat sausages.  (That's a direct quote from Nolan's mom...I told you she was funny.)  Nolan was kind of a bully with Emme.  Once, when they were both sitting so nicely, Nolan lunged at her and knocked her down.  It broke her little heart.  Now, he's trying to take the bow.  I think he doesn't like it because it's as big as her head.
     What a little digging in the ear amongst friends?
     There's Anthony joining the group.  Emme looks a bit paranoid.  Don't you think?
Nolan is 8 months old, Emme is 14 months old (on the 30th) and Anthony is 18 months old.
     Nolan and Emme trying to be helpful.
     And, here we are in the midst of cooking.  Me, Abby (middle), and Gina.
     I love you girls!!


Gina said...

I'm first!! =)

Thanks for the post about us! I'm so glad that God gave you another chance and blessed us in the process. I love you too!

Anonymous said...

How fun... seeing Emme next to those handsome boys put her size in perspective... she's a smidge, a cute smidge.

That verse is really cool. One thing God has been teaching me over the past couple years is His redemption...

Abby said...

Ah, WE MADE THE FAMOUS BLOG. You are the next pioneer woman. And could you FedEX me a piece of the best lasagna ever. DELICIOUS. It was so fun to see some of my favorite people, and of course, to meet adorable Emme. Sorry that Nolan had to show his masculinity so powerfully with her. As usual, however, our time was MUCH TOO short. Someday, we will hang out forever, dancing it up with our kids and hubbies at the Pearly Gates Night Club. (So cheesy, but you know you like it.)

Sharla said...

What a blessing to have friends like that...

But April friend, you described those years with 150 guys as some of your best ever...and then you described some of their really disgusting habits...makes me wonder what the rest of your life has been like if that's some of the best... LOL!!

Glad you had fun!


Jenney said...

I remember when you guys were RD's at Cedarville...that is when I first met you. My husband was a RD (they call them Hall Directors) at Bluffton University so I know what you mean about all that weird guy stuff. Lucky for you the guys at Cedarville didn't come in drunk and puking all over like they did at Bluffton. EW. I hope to meet Emme someday, she is just so cute.

April said...

ok, april... it's been awhile -- like 6 or 7 years. But a friend of mine is here & told me about your blog. So, I said I wanted to read a bit. It's so amazing to see what God has done in your family's lives.

It's been great to see pics of your kids too... Shelby has grown up so much -- so beautiful!

I don't have a blog, but I'm on facebook if you want to check out my page, let me know.:)


April said...

ps. ok... i guess i should have put my last name - lol.... it's april HAND:)

Sharla said...

Hi April...I'm tagging you! You can go to my blog for the details!