Growth: Slow, Messy, & Beautiful

I have often been someone who tries to actively seek out opportunities for growth in my life. I also try to be conscious of stagnant seasons in my life where growth doesn’t come without a push from myself, others or God to keep cultivating the soil in my life. Pursuing growth is a scary endeavor. It means discomfort, fear, and stepping out of your comfort zone. It means patience, persistence, failure, and learning. It means trust, grace, and hope. It means immense beauty, change, and blessing.
I have been plopped right in the middle of fertile soil rich with growth potential. I knew these things going into my semester abroad experience and it scared me. It also made me really excited to see what God would do. I have recently been reminded that being here, in this soil rich with growth potential, means being in a place requiring patience, getting my hands dirty, and watching the beauty of the growth that comes. I have definitely experienced the mess and the patience required as communication can be frustrating, when hard days make me want to give up, and when things don’t go as I hope or expect. However, I have already seen the beauty of growth in relationships, in continuing to learn more and more Spanish, and learning what it means to be immersed in the Spanish culture. This growth only happens with the scary, slow, and messy in-between which is right where I am sitting now. 

I think this place of mess, patience, and beauty is right where God desires us to live. In these in-between places we get the opportunity to not only depend on God when things get messy or go slowly, but to watch and see how he uses them to cultivate incredible growth and beauty in our lives. 

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Here is a peek at what a day in the life of a SISer might look like in case you are curious! Cheers to half a semester left of growth, learning and new experiences!

7:15 Wake Up/Get ready, eat toast with jam for breakfast
8:10-15ish Leave for School (40 minute walk)
9:00 Classes Begin I am enrolled in 4 classes while I am here along with an independent field study class.
                        Advanced Grammar
                        Spanish Short Stories
                        Don Quijote
                        History of Spanish Art
1:30 Classes End, Walk home for Lunch
2:15ish Lunch with my Señora. Usually lunch in our house is some sort of hot dish like rice and shrimp with a salad, fruit and jello.
3-5pm Siesta Time: Many of the smaller shops are closed (all of the main malls and supermarkets are open). Usually I try to get my homework done during this time. Some people nap, some people go out and get coffee, some people go out at this time so they can avoid the crowds. Just depends on your preference.
5:30-8:30/9:00pm: This is the Sevillan afternoon. Sometimes we have activities during this time like Sevillanas class (Flamenco dance class), or other planned activities. Otherwise it is typical to go out and get drinks/ice cream/tapas/coffee with friends or hang out in the city center. EVERYONE in the city is out at this time because school is done, lunch is done, and it isn’t dinner time yet. There are endless things to do and explore. Sometimes I spend my afternoons out with friends, or by the river reading or journaling and enjoying the sunshine. Other days I’ll take a bike ride or go explore, or use that time to rest and do homework.
9:00 Dinner time! Usually consists of some type of soup, fruit, and salad, and sometimes croquetas. Croquetas look like mini corn dogs, but the inside is a creamy cheese sauce sometimes with meat. THEY ARE AMAZING! Definitely one of my favorite foods here.
9:30-10:30ish Sobremesa. Sobremesa is the name for conversation after dinner. In Spain, conversations after dinner can last up to 2 hours depending on the culture of the home you are in! Usually we talk with our Señora for about an hour or so after dinner and then clean up and get ready for bed or finish homework.

Thanks for following along on this journey we are on!

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