The Cusp of Change

The first few weeks of summer have been a whirlwind of events. I went to Scotland, I am preparing for Royal Family Kids Camp (see my posts about them here and here), the MCAT, my study abroad experience for this fall, and to top it off I’m trying to squeeze in some work and volunteering. I just realized that my early 20’s will be flooded with change, more than I’ve ever experienced. As a person who is comfortable with consistency and routine, all of these upcoming life events are completely overwhelming to me. I think God is using this point in my life to challenge me: Am I going to rely on self-sufficiency or trust in God?

While my inner self feels a need to exert my independence and take control of this period of change, I know that I need to work through this cognitive dissonance and rely on God to lead me through this season. At this point in my life, I don’t really view God as this all-controlling being. I think God allows us to use our free will to make decisions about our lives. However, when making these decisions especially in these new situations, I don’t want to ignore God—I hope that I can recognize God walking through life with me. It’s so easy for me to outline my future: I want to study abroad, finish school, go to medical school, establish a career, have a family, etc. Now that I am on the brink of so much change—change that could drastically alter my path in life for the next few years— I need to take a step back and be honest with myself. Am I doing this for myself or for God’s glory?

I have been thinking about these upcoming life events, and I do believe that this plan is what God is calling me to do. I think, more importantly, I need focus on integrating daily prayer into my life. I want to be intentional with these changes in my life and ask key questions for each new situation. Who do you want me to meet, God? What am I supposed to gain from this change? How are my experiences going to help me make Earth more like Heaven?

I can’t be swept away by the idea of change in the future. It all is so uncertain, and no matter how these changes affect my future, I want to make sure that I am living my life for God first and foremost. I trust that God can use my passions and strengths to do good. On this cusp of change, I hope that I can rely less on myself and instead trust that God is leading through these new periods of my life.

 

Lots of love,

Hannah

Cheers to a Wonderful Scottish Adventure

Yesterday, I got back from an amazing week in Scotland. I mostly stayed in Edinburgh, but I also ventured to North Berwick, the Highlands, and the Pentlands. I’m so thankful to have been kept safe and healthy throughout the week, and I am even more grateful for my friend who graciously showed me Edinburgh—her home for the last five months. I can definitely say that I am in love with Scotland, and here are a few reasons why…

The Smell

Scotland is known for their whiskey, and where I was staying, there was a distillery nearby. If the wind is blowing right, you smell this yeast scent that to me smells like popcorn/hot dog buns. For some reason, I really enjoy this scent, and from now on, any yeast smell will connect me back to Scotland.

The Hairy Coo

Scotland’s highland cow, the hairy coo, is just too charming. They are these long-haired cows that really serve no purpose as far as providing meat or milk. They just mind their own business, and I find them completely charming.

The Food!

The UK has it right when it comes to food. One, their scones are far superior to those in the States. Secondly, they have Digestives, which to me are like a cookie/graham cracker hybrid. The best ones also have a thin chocolate layer on top. They are the perfect end to any meal or with a hot beverage.

During my time in Scotland, I tried a variety of coffees and teas. One of my favorites was a Chocolate Abyss tea— a black tea with chocolate and coconut.

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Whilst in Scotland, I tried two classic Scottish dishes: haggis and black pudding. I really enjoyed both, honestly. The haggis had great spices and was served with mash, and the black pudding was revamped by adding cheese, caramelized onion, and greens.

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Finally, two of my favorite sweet treat destinations were Lovecrumbs for delicious, fresh cakes made daily (I got a slice of chocolate coconut cake) and Mary’s Milk Bar for amazing gelato ( I had a scoop of rum raisin and a scoop of salted caramel).

A Harry Potter Fan’s Dream

So much of Harry Potter was based off of Edinburgh. First of all, JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book at The Elephant House, a local cafe. Secondly, Hogwarts is based off of a nearby school that supposedly has four different houses. Thirdly, Tom Riddle’s grave, as well as graves that inspired the names of many characters in Harry Potter (like McGonagall), can be found in Greyfriars Kirkyard. As a Harry Potter fan, I loved seeing how JK Rowling got inspiration for this monumental series.

The Community

Edinburgh is a city with a small town feel. I love how the buildings are made of beautiful stone, and that the city has a mixture of buildings with plenty of green space. Furthermore, I love how people are always out and about walking and enjoying life (oftentimes with their dogs). The people in this city seem very relationship focused rather than work focused. This is seen primarily in how early the shops close each day. I wish we adopted more of this lifestyle in the States.

I love all that Edinburgh offers. There are shops, cafes, parks, hikes, and more. It is only a bus ride away from even more breathtaking sights, such as the Highlands—full of lochs, glens, and bens. This trip was a wonderful introduction to experiencing other cultures. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to travel; I know that traveling really is a privilege. I hope that I can use this experience (and any future travels) as a way to learn more about myself and to gain a greater perspective of other people’s lives.

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Cheers,

Hannah