It’s the Start of a New Year …


It’s been awhile since my last post – probably before final exams … I’m sorry for the lengthy delay in-between posts!

A lot of things have happened between then and now, so let me run you through a quick recap of the rest of November, the entire month of  December, and January thus far:


Overall, my final exams went well. They certainly could have been better, but they also could have been worse, so I’m thankful my grades are where they’re at. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, and I’ve been actively thinking through ways to be even more efficient with my time. I honestly cannot devote much more time to studying, but the trick is to be even more effective with that time … I’ve come up with a few ideas and got a few more from some of the academic support staff here at Liberty, so hopefully I’ll start this semester on a better foot than the first one.

I never had the privilege of pulling an all-nighter – I know many of my classmates did, but I know that for myself, pulling one would absolutely hurt me in more ways than it would help … so I mainly relied on being diligent throughout the entire year at putting in the study and got up earlier than normal during the last few weeks of studying. I always thought I was a night person, but I soon learned when classes began that I’m definitely a morning person. Once 7 or 8 PM rolls around, I simply cannot focus and my eyes “glaze over,” making it almost impossible to continue studying.

Another thing I implemented this semester and will continue to do is to treat Friday night and Saturday morning as a regular weekday. I generally like to stay up late Friday night and take it easy and sleep in on Saturday … but I soon found that sleeping in on both Saturday and Sunday messed up my sleeping schedule for the rest of the week. Going to bed at a decent hour on Friday and getting up perhaps later than regular (but still early), I can get in some quality hours of study before lunch.

Then Sunday truly becomes a day of rest …. the only morning I don’t set an alarm.


Once finals were over, a couple of classmates and I went out to eat at a Chinese buffet to celebrate. We all were thankful finals were over and felt fairly well about how they had went. After lunch, I cleaned out all of my books and study materials out of the library and began to pack my duffel for my flight out of Richmond the next day.

Flights out of Lynchburg were awfully expensive, so I drove over to Richmond, parked my car, and flew out. While going through security, I nearly had a mini heart attack as I thought I had somehow left my driver’s license at the house … it was in it’s normal spot, but I guess I just overlooked it. I caught up on some much-needed sleep on the long flight home … for some reason, I’ve always been able to sleep well on the plane, usually falling asleep before the plane even takes off and waking up right after it touches back down.

When I landed, my family was waiting for me, waving signs … after hugs, smiles, and dinner, we were back at home! It was definitely good to be back in my bed in the “boys room” with Aaron and Toby. After being back home for not even a full day, it was like I had never left. Grocery shopping expeditions, Starbucks runs with siblings, playing the piano, card games, cleaning the kitchen with my “crew,” seeing our funny cat again … life was good.

During my stay at home, we traveled over to Leavenworth, WA a small town nestled in the mountains. All of the buildings are designed to look (European/Swiss-ish) … even the McDonalds! We were hoping for some snow and did get some, but they have a bunch of little shops downtown and some nearby hiking. It was a short visit, but we sure packed a bunch in … the worst part about any vacation is leaving and unpacking the van once you arrive back home.


I think the day after I flew back home, we headed over the local tree farm to pick our tree out. We’re always hoping to get the biggest tree in the lot, but not only does it have to be tall, but it’s got to be wide, with lots of branches. Once we arrive, we all fan out over the entire farm, scouting out the trees and hollering at everyone else to look at “their tree.” Once everyone finds “the perfect tree,” we vote, and through a process of elimination, one person’s tree wins. This year, Amy’s pick won. (I gave my best sales pitch, but apparently, it wasn’t quite enough to sway the voters … it still was a close vote!)

Somewhere in between, I continued a new tradition of making Christmas cookies with my younger siblings. We didn’t have time to make our own frosting, so we bought it this year and all of the “good” cookie cutters were lost, so we only made two types – a tree and … was it a star? There’s an assembly line of sorts that we adopt when making cookies – I make the dough and cut out the cookies, someone does the frosting, and everyone else has a bowl of sprinkles … they turned out pretty good this year, but the frosting wasn’t too good. (Maybe because it was cake frosting?) I think it was our first year that the cookies were gluten-free …

We also maintained our tradition of eating on the floor in the living room picnic-style (rainbow jello, tator-tots, hot dogs, chips) while watching a slideshow of some pictures from the year (Amy put it together), and sleeping under the Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve … it’s getting harder to fit everyone around it! I guess it’s been that way for some time, so a few of us had to sleep on couches. After our traditional Christmas day breakfast, we opened presents and generally had a low-key afternoon and evening, just being together.


I think it was close to the end of the last day of my Washington visit, but we celebrated Aaron’s birthday. He’s just about as tall if not taller than me yet, and probably stronger than I am by now as all of the studying (i.e. sitting at a desk for hours on end) is not exactly helping to keep me in shape.

He’s been (and still is) a terrific bro, and we’ve done a lot together over the years. I wish we were closer so we could still continue to do stuff, but I guess that’ll just force us to make the most of the time when we are together.

This year, he picked the “turtle cake,” a cake that looks like a turtle and is loaded with candy. I’ve had the same cake for many years … it was one of the few times (perhaps the only time each year) that we got candy. We used to have this cake book with pictures of each cake and I still remember cake … the green frosting and all of the candy on top. It was an easy choice back then and I guess I’ve never really thought to have something different.


Those two weeks with the family went by way too quickly. Before heading back to school, I wanted to visit the Hopkins family down in Texas on may way back – I had stayed with them during my internship earlier that year and was an intern with Micah, one of their sons, during our internship with the NCFIC back in 2012. So off to Austin I went …

If two weeks go by fast, I suppose a week goes by even faster. We got a few frisbee, Dutch Blitz, and Settlers of Catan games in, vehicle work, good talks, ditch digging, visited the local nursing home and sang hymns, ate at Pizza Hut and walked through a lights display in Marble Falls … among other things. I’m very thankful to know their family and for their friendship.

While I was down in Texas, I was offered to come back down to Texas later this summer by the attorneys I interned under earlier this year  – it was a tremendous, tremendous blessing. I truly enjoyed and was blessed by the internship and cannot wait to come back and work for them again.


So, I arrived back in Lynchburg not even a week ago. I caught a late Sunday evening flight out and arrived back at the house at 2 AM I think. Fortunately, the research intensive didn’t start until 10:30 AM, so I had some time to catch some sleep and do the reading for class.

Even though it was only one book that we were going through, I still felt myself quite busy. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things I guess, and at the same time, I was fighting a minor cold (which still hasn’t gone away). At the end of the week, we were tested on everything we covered in the book, and I felt as though that went quite well.

Over the weekend, I read for Monday’s classes and bought a few office supplies. It was good to be back at Grace Assembly again this Sunday – I guess it’s been awhile since I’ve been there! I’m hoping to meet with one of the elders next week and am having lunch with another man from the church this Friday.

Okay, so that was a long post!. Hopefully that catches you up … it was a good Christmas break – the only thing I wish was that I got more sleep – one of my classmates was worried because I had bags under my eyes …. but I guess I would rather be tired than to have missed out on something. So there you go.

Hope you all have a blessed rest of your Sunday!

Last thing: found this Spurgeon quote that really stood out to me – thought I’d share it:

“Blessed posture! Waiting truly and only upon the Lord. Be this our condition all this day and every day. Waiting His leisure, waiting in His service, waiting in joyful expectation, waiting in prayer, and content. When the very soul thus waits, it is in the best and truest condition of a creature before his Creator, a servant before his Master, a child before his Father. We allow no dictation to God, nor complaining of Him; we will permit no petulance and no distrust. At the same time, we practice no running before the cloud and no seeking to others for aid: neither of these would be waiting upon God. God, and God alone, is the expectation of our hearts.”


It’s Been Two Weeks …


Well folks, I’m sorry for the sizable gap between posts. A week ago, I was in Asheville, North Carolina, for the annual NCFIC Conference. It was wonderful to see a lot of friends from all over the US – it’s interesting, two years ago, I really had never ventured outside of Washington State and didn’t know anyone outside of the Pacific Northwest. Last week, I reconnected with friends from Texas, Alabama, North Carolina … all over. I have made many friends while at law school here in Virginia, but it was so good to see many familiar faces. 

I ended up leaving at 12:30 p.m. that evening, which was honestly the latest I could have left. I had classes at 8 a.m. the next morning and it was a four-and-a-half hour drive. Well, it ended up taking longer than anticipated to get back. I was going about 70 miles-an-hour on the highway heading back – obviously, there was a total lack of light. It seemed somewhat cloudy at the time. Abruptly, on the left side of the highway, I saw a deer half-standing in my lane, half on the shoulder. His face was turned towards the grassy patch separating the oncoming cars. I don’t know if he even saw me or if he was simply “frozen in the headlights,” as the saying goes. Anyhow, everything happened so quickly. I saw it, realized it was a deer and that it was in my lane, that I was going to hit it if I didn’t do something quick … and then I hit it. I don’t know if I even reacted – it all happened so quickly. I remember hearing a thud and seeing fur slide up against my driver’s side window and then it was gone …

I didn’t think that anything happened, but wanted to pull off and double check that everything was fine with my car. Physically, I was fine – it seemed as though I had light swiped the deer. I pulled off to the shoulder and attempted to step out … when I realized my door was jammed shut. So, I climbed over into the passenger’s seat and walked out in front of the car to survey the “damage.” Well, my left headlight was smashed to pieces. I actually cut myself on my hand several times … my hood was dented and pressed over the headlight, and the “plating” (not sure what the technical term is here) above my front left wheel was dented and was shoved underneath my door, thus preventing it from opening. I attempted to tug at the metal with a rope but it didn’t seem to be working. I was still at least a good hour from home, so I picked up the pieces from the broken headlight and completed the journey, making it back home in one piece, but incredibly tired. 

I ended up only getting about 50 minutes of sleep that night before classes, and, as you might expect, had trouble staying awake through those classes (I fell asleep for brief periods in each class). However, I was very thankful that other than my door being jammed and damage to the hood on my car, I was physically fine. If the deer had been any closer to my car, I would’ve felt the full impact of the deer, my windshield would’ve have been shattered, there would have been greater hood damage (and probably serious “internal” damage as well). However, there was none of that. Other than a broken headlight, dinged hood, and a jammed door, my car was fine and I was spared from death or serious injury. Life truly can be over in a second. I literally had no time to react. I don’t know if I swerved or not. It was a matter of inches, literally. 

Timothy 4:13-14 says: “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

No kidding, folks. You don’t know when you’ll die. But, it’s coming, whether you’re ready or not. Live intentionally. Don’t wait to repent  of sin, to confess sin to others, to share the Gospel, to be a good steward of your time and abilities.

It was certainly a good reminder of that fact.

Well, I’m gearing up for our first final exam, which will take place in just over three weeks … it should be good. My parents bought me tickets so I can be home for Christmas, so I’m definitely excited about that!

Alrighty, well, I know this post is short and there aren’t any pictures today, but I have to write a few emails before I call my family later this afternoon, so perhaps there will be more in next week’s post.

It’s a beautiful day here in Lynchburg! The fall colors are still here, but they’re definitely muted and the leaves are steadily continuing to fall off. 

Have a blessed week, everyone!  

Whoa, September Is Nearly Over …


Wow, I know I’ve said this multiple times, but this year has flown by – I can’t believe September is nearly over and then … it’s October? Yikes.

Well, as my last post mentioned, midterms went better than expected – I still don’t know my grades yet – actually, I don’t know when I’ll know. I heard it could be a couple of weeks. It’s a big difference from the CLEP exams that I took … instant grades immediately after completing the exam.

A few of my classmates have asked me how it’s been being in a classroom setting for really, the first time. Because I was homeschooled throughout high school and did college online simultaneously, I never have been in a classroom for an extended period of time except for two classes at the community college. It really hasn’t been that hard of an adjustment, honestly. I don’t even think about it unless asks me about it directly.

I do enjoy having other classmates who are in the same class as I am. During my undergrad studies, it was just Amy (my sister) and I pounding through the CLEP exams. When we took on the upper-level online college courses, we did have classmates, but the only communication we had was via online discussion forums where we would comment/critique each other’s work.  Continue reading

Reunited in Chicago


Well, I finally made it to Chicago after having to spend the night in Raleigh, due to my flight being delayed over three hours which caused me to miss my connecting flight in Atlanta. Supposedly, it was due to the weather.

So here we are at McDonald’s, eating fries and chicken nuggets and playing board games.