I’d Like you to Meet: The Service House

Through the course of the semester and the blog posts so far, I have mentioned living in the cozy little house with 5 other girls who also committed to serve, grow and love each other and our community! So, it’s only fair that I let them share with you about themselves and their experiences in our house so far. It is my pleasure to introduce you to my roomies!

Pictured above from left to right is Anna Rose, Breanna, Kate, Savannah, myself and Ashton.

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Anna Rose

    My name is Anna Rose and I live in the Service House. This semester, I have had the opportunity to work with an organization on campus called Enactus. It is a social entrepreneurship-based organization that helps various non profits come up with the necessary items for a successful business, such as writing a business plan, marketing plan, finding good quality and affordable raw materials, and so on. It has been a great experience and I have been able to work with wonderful people who truly care about investing in the community around them, as well as learning important lessons in the business world.

This house has been such a blessing, and I cannot say that I have one favorite part of it. I think I just love the community the most. I love that it’s comfortable enough for us to just be together doing homework at night, watching a movie, going to lunch, doing crafts, baking or anything else. We share stories, we laugh together, we cry together, and overall it is just a treat to live with such amazing women. Something that I do really love is that I work at the same restaurant as one other roommate, Breanna, which has been an awesome bonding experience, and something that I have come to value a lot.

For fall break this semester, we went to Asheville, North Carolina, and camped on an organic farm. This was probably one of my favorite memories with these girls because it was such an incredible time together to get to know one another and just be together. We got to explore, cook, freeze, run around, learn about the farming life and drive many hours together. It was a trip I will never forget!

Overall, the year in this house so far has been an absolute blast, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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Ashton

    I’m Ashton,  and I’m a senior psychology major, interested in studying occupational therapy. My internship is at Renewal House, which is a recovery center for women who have struggled with drug abuse and their children. I am mainly working with the children in both groups in childcare. Every time I go in, there is a new quote on the bulletin board about self-love and forgiveness, and I have learned so much from hearing the women’s stories and their healing journey. I love that Renewal House is so empowering toward women, and I love watching the ways their self-esteem, self-love and self- acceptance are growing– and also watching them be such great moms to their babies.

     My favorite part of the house is that it brought together 5 other girls I probably wouldn’t have lived with–or known, otherwise. It is overwhelming to live with so many people at times, BUT I love being able to walk into someone’s room and lie in their pile of clothes and talk and laugh about nonsense, or walk into the kitchen and see someone baking and bringing our little community together in such a tangible (and yummy) way, or hearing different perspectives and learning more about the world and the way others see it.

    Service and community is important at me because I’m learning that it is such a good base for any relationship. You can serve people in so many ways (you don’t have to make it an internship!) and this breeds community. I do think that service is the basis of community, and I love that this house was founded on both.
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Breanna

    My name is Breanna, I am a junior social work student living in the service house this year. My internship is with the YWCA at the domestic violence shelter as the children’s program intern. My favorite part about my internship is growing close with each of the children during their stay and getting to be a place of stability for them.

Editor’s Note: Since it is finals week and everyone is super busy and stressed, it wasn’t really fair for me to ask my roommates to do my blog post for me. So since Breanna is out of time, I want to add a bit about her myself! Breanna is super passionate about helping victims of human trafficking. As the president of our chapter on campus of the International Justice Mission, Breanna leads students to talk about this issue and host events to raise awareness. She has a heart of gold, and she is even wearing a dress every day this month to spark even more conversation!

Breanna is one of the hardest-working girls I know; she has beautiful hair; she puts up with our morning-person personalities with a smile on her face; and she always has a story to tell. I am so lucky to have gotten to meet her this year and call her my friend!

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Kate

    Hello! I’m Kate Patterson, a junior social work student. My internship is at the Nashville Food Project and I have loved every minute of it!! My role there is the garden intern, but my tasks change daily, from driving to pick up a new queen bee to planting garden beds to teaching kindergarten-fourth graders about healthy eating and gardening.

    My favorite part of the house experience is the rich community. I love doing all sorts of things with these ladies. Some of my favorites have been surprising roomates at work, weekly breakfasts and camping at an organic farm in Asheville, NC. Also, sharing life with these ladies is pretty great. I get so inspired hearing about their internships and dreams and goals for the future.
    My best memory from the house so far is having Julie Hunt and her family over for dinner. We spent the day preparing the house and food together as a community, and then we shared stories and laughs with her family. We topped dinner of with an apple cake that Julie baked and brought! Yumm! It is so fun to invite others into our little community- even if it is just for dinner.

    Service is important to me because it is so enriching to see others needs be provided for. There are so many cool organizations and initiatives that are service-oriented here in Nashville. These places are doing amazing creative work, and it is a pleasure to be able to join in to a tiny part of the work they are doing. Community is important to me because we are called by God to live in community and to love our neighbors. It is so easy in this world, and in my own life, to get caught up in my dreams and what I am doing and forget to think about others. This house has provided the perfect place to be constantly reminded to be intentional about relationships and to be nourished by and to nourish others in the relationship. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of ladies to share this journey with!!

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Savannah

    My name is Savannah Halliday and I am a junior math major currently living in the service house. This year, I’ve been interning with University Ministries as the student coordinator of the into.nashville freshman service program. So far, this role has taught me how much administrative effort it takes to put together such awesome events, and has given me a greater sense of gratitude for all volunteers that work behind-the-scenes to make everyone’s experience enjoyable.

My favorite part of living in the service house community is being surrounded by a diverse group of girls who all share the common goal of serving and improving the world. Service is a great way to follow in Christ’s footsteps and show God’s love to others. Community is important to me because life was not meant to be lived alone, but to be shared and experienced together. I greatly enjoy our weekly breakfasts together, as it combines both of these aspects.

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Delight Ministries Invites College Women into Christ-Centered Communities

Mackenzie Wilson and Mackenzie Baker were driving to Texas as they spoke on the phone with me, on their way to meet with five chapters of the women’s college, Christ-centered community they started- Delight Ministries. What started as a few friends, meeting their sophomore year at Belmont University in a small little chapel under the bell tower, has turned into a quick-spreading, nationwide series for women to foster vulnerability and transform stories.

Now college grads pursuing their dream full-time, the co-founders looked back on how far their little community has come. “Three years ago we would always say, ‘How amazing would it be if after we graduated we got to keep doing this on a bigger scale?’ And that is exactly what we are doing,” they said. “We found that, in college, you can find some of the best people, but you don’t always talk about your religious thoughts. We wanted to be intentional about our faith, to be vulnerable and to learn from each other’s stories in a real, raw, honest setting. Delight is intentional about Christ-centered community. There is a gap in the common women’s ministry, and it was put on our hearts to reach out to other schools to give more students the opportunity to be surrounded by women who encourage them and challenge their faith.“

IMG_2311Mac Wilson handles content and marketing, designs content and curriculum and maintains the Delight website and social media accounts, along with all of the creative side of things. Kenz Baker is the relationship director, coordinating new campuses starting the chapter process.

The Delight curriculum is founded on stories. The 12 personal testimonies come from the members, sharing what they have gone through in college and what God has done in their lives in their four years, whether its depression, loneliness or something else, and what they have learned through it. Each story has a foundational scripture, which is what the chapters study each week. The women are encouraged to be transparent, something they do not get from the outside world. The community is real, formed around what is really going on it the members’ lives, sharing those stories and remembering that God is good through it all. The girls don’t have to wear a mask like they have it all together.

Another important way the community makes sure it maintains and sustains the relationships within the group is to have weekly, one-on-one coffee dates. Intentionality. Taking the breakfast hour to start their day off on the right foot: in an open, warm setting where they can be heard and loved. The group pulls names from a hat every week and makes a point to build deeper connections within their broader network.

The thing they say really separates Delight apart from other college ministries is that most others tend not to encourage leadership and ownership as much. Delight, however, is a place that all women are called to be leaders. With more than 40 women sharing their devotions for the curriculum and blog, students are the ones wanting to expand the ministry to their own campus. When the founders and their friends would go home for Christmas and summer breaks, they would tell their hometown friends about Delight, and the passion spread. “The girls are listening to God and are taking ownership in it. That’s why we are growing,” said Mac.

11888540_10205882175467780_7884189916470252306_oFor example, the first leader at Hanover University in Indiana, an incredible leader named Mal, signed up to lead through the website. Her bio mentioned that while she was passionate about having this type of community at her campus, she was incredibly nervous, questioning her calling and feeling inadequate. Mac and Kenz continually prayed for and encouraged Mal, skyping with her and walking her through the process. At the beginning Mal considered transferring universities because of her anxiety, but through her perseverance and prayer, Mal was able to recruit a huge turnout and what the Delight founders described as “the coolest stories” coming from this chapter. At the end of the first semester, Mal received Hanover’s Emerging Leader Award. This is simply one example of how Delight is celebrating women and helping them step forward in their callings from God to be great leaders and change lives.

The “Mackenzies” are excited to watch this community continue to grow in the next few years. “From the beginning, God has just blown our expectations out of the water. Soon, we would love to attend conferences, continue to expand and just always be open to what the Lord has for us,” they said. “Our biggest dream is that every girl in college would be able to invest in a Christ-centered community, and for Delight to be that for them.”

Stay up-to-date on all that Delight is doing on their website, twitter, or Instagram

 

 

Marina Keegan Had it Right

I’m a senior in college. I’m terrified.

Maybe terrified is the wrong word, but that is what continually comes to mind when I think of the future. I know it will all be ok. I’ll probably get a job I like, I won’t be living on the streets and hey, maybe I’ll become rich and famous. I think what I am more worried about, however, is not necessarily not being able to gain more out of life, but losing what I have now. I like it here, ya know? I like my friends; I like living with six other girls who are willing to make a midnight target run; I like all the crazy-exhausting group texts and I’ll admit to liking the feeling of being terrified, or rather, the anticipation of what is to come. I don’t want to lose the excitement of possibilities. This has been weighing heavy on me with the ever-approaching graduation date. And I assume most other seniors are starting to find this same fear.

So, when I read Marina Keegan’s “The Opposite of Loneliness,” I felt a bit more understood. Keegan was an amazing writer and talented Yale graduate, class of 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. She wrote this piece for a special edition of the News distributed at the class of 2012’s commencement exercises. Keegan died in a car accident five days after graduation. She was 22. Continue reading “Marina Keegan Had it Right”