1. Cold-weather runs
Starting my freshman year in college, I started going on runs with the girls I lived with on my wing. We’d run around campus in large groups, listening to loud music from someone’s phone and usually laughing way harder than we were running. I continued to run while I worked in Montana the next summer. A group of us would get up before breakfast and run down the rocky, rugged road, taking in the cool, dry air and gazing at the mountains that surrounded us. It took some time, but I learned to fall in love with running. I think it was these morning runs in the mountains where I discovered I specifically loved running in the cold, bundling up and enduring through the wind and crisp air to experience the stillness and quietness surrounding me. I try and run outside in cold weather whenever I can, bundling up, releasing the energy from constantly being inside, and spending needed alone time with Jesus.
2. Loose-leaf tea
I’m not a coffee person. I wish I was and there have been so many times where I’ve tried to be, but aside from doctored-up Starbucks drinks, it’s just not for me. But I love the routine of drinking something hot in the morning or with friends, so I turned to tea. I discovered a tiny teashop when visiting family over fall break and fell in love with everything about loose-lead tea. There’s something about the unique flavors and the brewing process, it’s not something to be rushed. Teatime, now, encompasses a slower lifestyle, filled with coziness and hospitality with those I live with and those we invite into our home. It allows us to pause and relax together in the midst of the craziness of school, to enjoy something beautifully made and specially brewed, a chance to sit back, remember and commune together, slowly.
There’s something about an unplanned opportunity that brings life and joy and fun into the everyday. I’m thankful the Lord calls us to live spontaneously and dependently on Him, discovering the chances he offers as he invites us to live more fully.
4. Cozy living rooms
I am a senior this year and because of the housing policy at my school, this is the only year I can live off campus. So, I moved into a small brick house with four of my best friends. Compared to dorm living, we have an abundant amount of space and we use it to it’s full potential. Our living room is the perfect size with two sofas, a TV, a wooden coffee table and a basket of blankets. I love being cozy and comfortable, so this hospitable space has become one of my favorites to watch a movie and read and laugh with my best friends. This space embodies community to me, the community the Lord has provided this year with my incredible housemates and the community we invite into our home and share life with during our last year together.
5. My students
I student taught this past semester, experiencing 18 crazy weeks in the classroom. I spent half of my time in a high school and the other half in a middle school, teaching almost 300 students about Edgar Allan Poe and classifying sentence structure and voice and main idea. Through these lessons and the involved amount of time I spent with these students, I connected with the kids who stepped into the classroom everyday. I discovered a passion I used to be unsure of, one for teaching and English and communication and positively influencing teenagers’ lives. After a tough past year filled with confusion and a changed path, this semester was so, so needed. The students I had a privilege to teach and connect with played a major role in my healing process. I needed them this semester to learn a lot of big lessons on my own just as much they needed me to teach them about writing and voice and how to find meaning out of Poe’s creepy stories. I became confident in my ability to teach young minds and fell in love with my time in the classroom, finding energy and joy from the craziness and lives of the students I spent everyday with.
Kelsey Emery is a senior at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, living in the tension of loving where she’s at now and jumping into what’s next. She loves Jesus, her black lab, conversations over tea, and running in the middle of deserted back roads. She is going to be an English teacher because she thinks high school students are super great and wants to spend everyday teaching them about words and how they are used well. She processes the everyday happenings at theinbetweenmoments.wordpress.com and you can follow her on Twitter @kels_emery