Hello all! I'm Bethany, blogging under the category of “Missions, Service, and Leadership.” I call the quaint little city of Thomasville, Alabama, my home away from Judson. This is my junior year here, and I’m an elementary education major. I plan on revealing Christ’s love in the public classroom, being a children’s librarian, working as a zoo keeper, running an orphanage, writing children’s books, and drinking a great deal of coffee. But for now, I’m just clinging to the promise that God’s not finished with me yet. Feel free to look me up on Facebook if you have any questions about Judson!
The term “pageant” has nothing to do with frilly dresses and world peace.
There are definitely some things in life that only a Judson student could understand. Making cute little signs or posters for other students, especially for a big/little sister, is a common practice at Judson. We have “families” here, all named after a different animal, that every student has the opportunity to join during the second semester of their freshman year. You just ask a sophomore to be your “big sister” at the end of your first semester and later join whatever family she’s in. I’m in the “pig family,” so my dorm room is filled with signs, stuffed animals, and other pig-related items that my big sis and other people in my family have given me.
After the endless hours of step sing rehearsals during Welcome Week of a Judson girl’s freshman year, it’s hard not to have songs like “Marion” or the famous “Judson Chant” pop into your head during a long road trip. Step sings are one of my favorite Judson traditions. During different times throughout the year, almost the entire student population gathers on the front steps of Jewett Hall to sing beautiful songs passed down through the many generations of Judson women. It’s so much fun, especially when alumni come back and sing with us.
Of course there are other, better-known, traditions like pageant and Hockey Dayat Judson College. Then there are secret things that people only warn you about, such as the ghost of Anne Kirtley haunting the freshman dorm, but they all only make Judson more unique and exciting in a way that only a Judson girl could appreciate.
More importantly, Judson is a place where a young woman can grow spiritually. I have never had so many opportunities to serve my community and participate in missions, nor have I ever been surrounded by so many encouraging and influential Christian people. Traditions may be exciting and they definitely add to the “flair” of this wonderful college for women, but faith and service are truly the heart of Judson.
That’s really what being a Judson girl is all about, “knowledge and faith for a purposeful life.”
It takes five Judson girls to build a fire in the old
grill behind the clubhouse.
not sure how it all started, or whose idea it was to begin with, but my friends
and I have a tradition of making s’mores and watching a movie…usually a chick
flick. We used to just make the s’mores in the microwave, but after the
marshmallow explosion incident we’ve had to resort to more extreme measures to
uphold this tradition.
last Friday night Kezia, Beth, Kaitlin, Ashley, and I bundled up for a “cold”
October night in Marion, Alabama, and headed outdoors to try and construct something
resembling a campfire. There’s a grill behind the “clubhouse” at Judson, which
is really just an old log cabin-type building used for different social events
throughout the year, and the girls went to work gathering sticks, branches, and
leaves to get a fire going. Fortunately, there had been a pretty big storm a
few days before that had blown down a lot of the firewood we needed.
Unfortunately, this storm had also included a good bit of rain, and most of the
kindling was still damp. Because our reputation of being relentless, and at
times, ridiculous, young women, we didn’t let the soggy firewood stop our fun.
other girls looked all over campus for something dry to put on the grill while
I raided my dorm room for old magazines and paper to help the process, and I
even brought out some hairspray and hand sanitizer to get the flames blazing. Kaitlin
played around with the mechanics of my lighter, and it ended up looking more
like a giant torch than something you pick up in the checkout aisle of Wal-Mart
as an afterthought on the way out of the store, which turned out to be very
helpful. After the unyielding efforts of “Camp master Kezia” and Kaitlin
Bailey, who I now suspect is a pyromaniac, the fire was going and the fun
began! We spent the rest of the night outside…watching the stars, listening to
music, and just talking.
guess it may sound pretty silly to an outsider, but we have so much fun doing
simple things and just spending time together. I think we all ate more s’mores
than is humanly possible. We should have counted…we probably could have sent it
in to the Guinness Book of World Records
or something. Now that I think about it, I don’t even remember what movie we
watched…maybe we didn’t watch one that night, but I’m sure the tradition will
still live on.
the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh
day He rested from all His work.”
Recovering from surgery, late night traditions,
make-up work, and midterms...what a week! Now that the weekend is finally here
and I have time to think about it all, I have no idea how I survived last week.
I feel like I’ve been going non-stop at full speed since I got back to school
after having missed a week because of back surgery. It’s so easy to get caught
up in the “Judson bubble,” becoming obsessed with exams, homework, and
studying, but the topic spoken on at Judson’s weekly student worship service, the
Core, reminded me of something that is very close to the heart of God.
Resting is not a foreign concept to the Bible.
In Matthew 11:28-30, we read, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and
I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle
and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy
and my burden is light,” and even the LORD himself takes an entire day to rest
after creating the world in Genesis 2.
Christina, Judson’s Campus Ministries
president, focused on the verse in Genesis 2, along with other passages, and
reminded us, during the best possible time, (midterm week) that God longs for
us to rest. He enjoys it when we simply spend time in His presence and enjoy
Him. Although doing our best and working hard at our studies is important,
sometimes all of the multi-tasking and extra workloads college students take on
can be hazardous to a healthy relationship with the Creator. As Christina said,
we often find ourselves working out, while talking to a family member on the
phone, while studying for a class, or joining three small groups and learning
to tango during a semester when we’re taking eighteen or more hours of classes and working part-time. Yet
there are times when it’s just too much trouble to walk a block to church on
Wednesday evening because of all the “important” things we have to do. Or there enough aren't enough hours in the day to spend time in God’s word because studying for that chemistry test
coming up will have a much greater effect on life in the long run, right?
I feel so thankful to have this community of
believers and people like Christina to remind me of what’s important, to remind
me to go away with God, spend time with Him, and actually get some sleep every
once in a while! It reminds me of a verse to a song we sang in communion once:
your heart needs mending, come away
If your soul needs tending, come
Come away with me, to a place
where you can be
In a quiet, slower time, in a
simple state of mind
Oh my! I don’t even know where to begin. I know I promised updates and more information on pageant in one of my previous blogs, but I haven’t been able to supply just yet.Unfortunately, I had to give up my part in pageant to have last minute back surgery. I missed way too many practices because of doctor’s appointments, and I needed the last full week of rehearsals off to recover from the surgery. I did finally get back to school yesterday afternoon after spending a week at home on the couch, and I loved actually being able to watch the production. I left school when the main characters couldn’t remember their lines, there were no props or set, and the musical selections were a bit off, and I came back Saturday night to a masterpiece! Pageant was incredible. Into the Woods was the chosen production, and many of my friends were main characters. Holly Beth, my roommate, played the wicked old witch, and I definitely saw a side of her I’ve never seen before. Kezia, a fellow Judson blogger, took over my part as Little Red Ridinghood. She was cute, sneaky, witty, and perfect for the part! Of course there were too many other characters, back-stage workers, girls on tech crew, and directors to mention everyone…but they all did a fabulous job. I have no doubt that the class of 2012 put on the best pageant yet!
Pageant is something that is unique to Judson College alone, and it’s sort of like a rite of passage for every Judson girl. When you’re going through it the upperclassmen are there to listen to you vent about the late night rehearsals on the days when it seems like things will never come together, and they’ll stand at the edge of the stage after the final curtain closes to hear you sing one last song telling just how much you love them. I almost feel like I've missed out on this rite of passage, but in a way I’m happy that I did. I had the opportunity to enjoy the show and see that unique Judson sisterhood from a spectator’s perspective for the first time. I think that even to an outsider who didn’t understand Judson and all of our secret traditions and emphasis on sisterhood could have sat in that auditorium last night and reached the same conclusion that I came to: There’s something different about this place…sometimes it seems pretty strange, but you can see thelove radiating like a candle in a dark room, and I love that.