first impressions of the windy city

So, I've been in Chicago since Saturday evening, when my parents sacrificed their day to drive the 7 hours. It was really by God's grace that we made it safely - ask my parents if they want to tell the story..:)

The program started on Monday and I almost feel like I've been on a buzz since then. "Business casual" was the debate of the day, but we soon became accustomed to the loose dress descriptions. I've already met so many great people and I can see the beginnings of new friendships! Actually, I can see the beginnings of many things - first time living in the city, first time staying in a hotel that looks like Home Alone 2, first time looking at an apartment, first time SIGNING for an apartment and paying first month with CASH, first time interviewing... the list continues.

I'm trying to quiet my nerves, but the pot of coffee I drank this morning has my blood zinging to my fingertips. I'm hoping it'll wear off in the next couple hours - before I need to start impressing people.
I'll be interviewing with the Field Museum of Natural History, which currently has the renowned King Tut exhibit on display. I am excited to get a peek and walk around after my interview.

I also turned in an application today at Starbucks, which I could almost throw a o rock at from my apartment. Great! Convenient! Too true - which is why it's good that I'm hoping to make money there instead of spend it. I've already become quite thrifty - a trait one acquires rather quickly when there are no other options.

Sadly, I cannot say much about the people here, because I've been around mostly other students and people from my program. Although, I took a liking to the bus driver that drove us to the apartment this morning, and a man named Jose that is the building engineer at the apartment building. I also noticed that the manager who showed us the rooms wore a cross and fish necklace and had a beautiful smile.

There are grocery stores within walking distance and I spotted a bookstore a block away. My new plan is to buy fresh bread, fruits, and veggies every couple days and store little in the apartment. I think this will be cheaper and I will waste little food. ..I've started to enjoy different fruits - grapefruit juice has become something I crave... I just thought this was so random, because I always puckered my face at the fruit when my grandpa would eat it with crackers, but now I like it.

I enjoy the little nuances and quirks about my days so far... the Lord has kept surprising me and I continue to be grateful. I am continuing to read in Kings and right now I'm wrestling with Solomon. Who was this man and where did his wisdom end and foolishness begin? I'm getting to know him a little better and filling in some wide gaps in stories from my childhood.

I am completely trusting the Lord's direction and wisdom for the next three days of interviews. I have 5 different interviews and they are hard to compare because they are so different, so I'm counting on the Lord's direction, because that's all I've got!

More of a reminder for me than anyone else, but I've got to keep the main thing the MAIN thing... no matter what I am breathing, walking, talking, interviewing, and smiling for the Lord and His glory. ...and with that - God showed me in Poland and through the summer that people are people are people - and they are beautifully formed and created in His image and for His plan.

amazing. truly beautiful.