Leaving Trinity Western University in late April, I was worried that it would be hard to find a job for just four months. As I considered where I might even apply, I thought to myself that Chick-fil-A and Singer Hill Cafe would both be awesome places to work. Once back home, I dropped off resumes at 30 different establishments, waiting for calls back. The only two places that ever pulled through with an offer: Chick-fil-A and Singer Hill Cafe.
Singer Hill Cafe has been a special place for me for years, and working there was a wonderful way to give back. It wasn't easy; I have so much more respect for everyone in the food industry. Please, wait patiently for your food - someone probably just burned the order before yours and is now remaking it before they can make yours... And thank you to all the people who tip so generously. It means a lot when customers who could simply treat a barista like a commodity instead choose to value their time, effort, and attitude with a tip.
The best part of Singer Hill this summer was the people! Mostly new faces who I quickly grew to love being around. Even though we were usually so busy that we didn't have time to talk, friendships form naturally when you all have a common purpose. I still laugh just thinking of many of the silly side comments or clumsy catastrophes. I so loved getting to work with one of my close friends, one who has been a consistent friend longer than anyone I know. Being with Hannah was an unexpected gift that I'm so grateful for!
It was somewhat of an honor to be part of bringing Chick-fil-A to Oregon. The culture of hospitality and warmth was new to many Oregonians, and I loved surprising people by serving them. Yes, we will give you 15 packets of Chick-fil-A sauce. Yes, we will make you a special sandwich with well done chicken, extra pickles, two slices of cheese, no tomatoes, and bacon. Yes, we will refill your drink (er, refresh your beverage). And yes, we will say "my pleasure" over and over and over again.
As always, the best part of Chick-fil-A was the people. There were some great guests over the months - I remember several conversations with people who had loved ones in the nearby hospital. We got to talk about things that really mattered, pray for their loved ones, and send them off encouraged. But I spent the most time with my fellow team members. Each and every person was so different that there is no way to encapsulate them in this blog post. But I'm so grateful for their jokes, antics, encouragement, hard work, and friendship. Singer Hill and Chick-fil-A really both taught me once again that no matter where you are, people are worth loving.
In the time that was left after working these two jobs, I started writing a book (which is still very much a work in progress), attempted to read more books, studied some Hebrew, made Tibetan style Hebrew prayer flags, hung out with any and all available friends, and had long conversations with my sisters. I got to go to my grandparents' beautiful home on a Southern Oregon lake with Macaela. Paddling around in the canoe, singing songs, and spending time with Grammy and Grandpa is a beautiful way to relax and reflect. The hardest part of this summer was losing my dog, as you may have read about in May. I honestly thought I would be mostly recovered/over it by now, but I still miss her so much. But the highlight and joy of the summer was being a part of two weddings!
Two of my very best friends have both walked incredibly different journeys as they found amazing, godly men to be their soul mates and spouses. And then they got married within two weeks of each other! I could literally write entire posts, if not short novels, about each of their stories and their weddings, but a few pictures will have to suffice here. If there is any way to pull a brief lesson learned from these two couples that I so admire, it may be this: Trust in the Lord. Listen and obey. Walk humbly and love mercy. I'm honored to share so much of my heart with Rachel and Lauren, and I'm so, so grateful for Blake and Ben to become their shepherds and best friends. All four of them have been examples to me, and I will continue to pray that they are a shining example of marriage, of Christ, and of the church.
And now, I'm back at Trinity Western University, sitting in the lounge, finishing up a Tim Horton's bagel and ready to crash and sleep before Student Leadership Orientation begins tomorrow morning. Grateful has been the repetitive word of this post, but I truly am thankful to God, to my parents, to my siblings, to my co-workers, and to my friends for this season. Another chapter closes, and yet so many more are just beginning.