Daily Rhythms


Summit Semester Lauren Miljas 2016Nearly every morning before breakfast we recite these words:

“Christ, as a light
Illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
Overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
On my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
Lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
In the mouth of each who speaks unto me…”

At first, my worry was that after just a few weeks these words would lose their depth. They’d go from being a prayer to have the Lord be a part of every aspect of our life, to just something we memorized so that we could recite it by heart and get to our delicious meal that was so carefully hand-prepared by our amazing kitchen staff (shout out to Max and CK for being awesome!) However, here we are about three weeks into this opportunity of a lifetime, and I feel as though every time these words are recited they become more and more (as Dustin would put it) “rich.” I’ve found myself meditating on these words often as the days pass by. My heart longs deeper and deeper for these words to be true. For the Lord to be “On my left and my right. Within and without me.” Basically saying, “Lord, please infiltrate every area of my day today.”

There are quite a few things that I have come to love in just the three short weeks of being here at Semester. One of them being our meal times which include the above prayer. There are SO many things I could write about. Things the Lord has been teaching me, ways I’ve seen him move, and the small little things I’m going to miss when this Semester is over. So, since I couldn’t narrow it down I thought I’d share with you in a really open and honest way just a few of those things which I’ve learned, come to love, and that I’ll miss. Giving you a small taste of what life here at Summit looks like.

Contrary to popular belief, I’m not necessarily “a morning person.” Even though I get up nearly every morning to get my workout in before the day’s events, it’s still SUCH a struggle to get out of my warm bed. As a night owl (who is also fearful of missing out on all the deep conversations, laughs, and fun that goes on all around the lodge in the evenings) it’s so hard for me to get to bed at a reasonable time. That being said, there’s something about mornings out here in Colorado that I’ve come to love. From the brisk air I breath in as soon as I step out of Echo Lodge (the girls lodging/classroom), to the realization of what a blessing each and every day is; I’ve come to realize how precious mornings are.  The air is chilly but as the sun rises over the mountain it slowly warms my skin. There’s this feeling of freshness. A clean slate, and a few minutes to just soak in the blessing of a new day and all the possibilities it holds. After working out, a little devotion time, and then frantically getting dressed as quickly as possible so as not to be late to breakfast, I walk (well…usually run) into the dining hall ready to start the day’s events. One of my favorite parts of the day is seeing everyone funnel in to breakfast. Some wide awake and some with their eyes half open.  We then recite our prayer(s), do a small staff-led devotion, and sing the doxology (quite terribly in the morning, to be honest). However we get better as the day goes on. By dinner our voices sound ten times better than we did earlier that morning. However, the cycle starts over every day and we go back to our “off-key” groggy doxology each and every morning. Classes have been amazing; the questions the professors have been asking are questions that hardly ever get asked in normal day to day life situations. Each and every one of us Semester students is being stretched in so many ways; our minds are growing leaps and bounds, and our quads are getting ripped. No seriously…in between classes we’ve been doing wall sits (much to people’s chagrin). Often as I’m sitting on the wall classmates will walk over and say “Why do we have to do this?! Ugh!” When in actuality, nobody said they did! It’s a good kind of peer pressure we’ve got going here.  After classes are finished, meals are done, and our daily duties are complete, the card games come out, puzzles are started, groups go out to stargaze, and the all too popular friendship bracelet making marathon begins. One of the favorite activities over the past couple weeks has been buying big packages of friendship bracelet floss and making bracelets, necklaces, and anklets. I’ll never look at friendship bracelets the same in my entire life. It seems everywhere you turn there’s at least a couple bracelets in the process of being made. Each taped with masking tape to either a table or someone’s knee.  These are just a couple of the little things I’ll never forget and will most definitely miss.

Contrary to popular belief, I’m not necessarily “a morning person.” Even though I get up nearly every morning to get my workout in before the day’s events, it’s still SUCH a struggle to get out of my warm bed. As a night owl (who is also fearful of missing out on all the deep conversations, laughs, and fun that goes on all around the lodge in the evenings) it’s so hard for me to get to bed at a reasonable time. That being said, there’s something about mornings out here in Colorado that I’ve come to love. From the brisk air I breath in as soon as I step out of Echo Lodge (the girls lodging/classroom), to the realization of what a blessing each and every day is; I’ve come to realize how precious mornings are.  The air is chilly but as the sun rises over the mountain it slowly warms my skin. There’s this feeling of freshness. A clean slate, and a few minutes to just soak in the blessing of a new day and all the possibilities it holds. After working out, a little devotion time, and then frantically getting dressed as quickly as possible so as not to be late to breakfast, I walk (well…usually run) into the dining hall ready to start the day’s events. One of my favorite parts of the day is seeing everyone funnel in to breakfast. Some wide awake and some with their eyes half open.  We then recite our prayer(s), do a small staff-led devotion, and sing the doxology (quite terribly in the morning, to be honest). However we get better as the day goes on. By dinner our voices sound ten times better than we did earlier that morning. However, the cycle starts over every day and we go back to our “off-key” groggy doxology each and every morning. Classes have been amazing; the questions the professors have been asking are questions that hardly ever get asked in normal day to day life situations. Each and every one of us Semester students is being stretched in so many ways; our minds are growing leaps and bounds, and our quads are getting ripped. No seriously…in between classes we’ve been doing wall sits (much to people’s chagrin). Often as I’m sitting on the wall classmates will walk over and say “Why do we have to do this?! Ugh!” When in actuality, nobody said they did! It’s a good kind of peer pressure we’ve got going here.  After classes are finished, meals are done, and our daily duties are complete, the card games come out, puzzles are started, groups go out to stargaze, and the all too popular friendship bracelet making marathon begins. One of the favorite activities over the past couple weeks has been buying big packages of friendship bracelet floss and making bracelets, necklaces, and anklets. I’ll never look at friendship bracelets the same in my entire life. It seems everywhere you turn there’s at least a couple bracelets in the process of being made. Each taped with masking tape to either a table or someone’s knee.  These are just a couple of the little things I’ll never forget and will most definitely miss.

I think if I had to pick one thing though that has been both the hardest and most enjoyable thing so far, it’s been living in community with a group of people from all different walks of life, from all over the country, with ONE thing in common that unites us all. And that’s Christ! What a joy it is to walk in community with others who are focused on seeking the Lord. Whether it be just discussing class over meals, working together on projects, or getting to have good conversations sleeping out underst the stars in our hammocks, each and every individual here is a blessing in their own way, and I can’t help but be in awe at how the Lord handpicked us all to be together.

Lauren Miljas hails from the great state of Texas, just north of Dallas in Flower Mound. Lauren loves any kind of athletic challenge, and thrives in all of the physical activities at Summit Semester. She often uses her skills as an athlete to help out in community service projects and serve as a coach in sports outreach camps. When not scaling a mountain, setting a volleyball, or improving her batting average, Lauren might be found improving her skills as a photographer, journaling, or eating frozen yogurt. After Summit, she hopes to continue in her passion by working as a personal trainer and pursuing a degree in Kinesiology.