Tuesday, January 29, 2008

stop and smell the roses...

On Sunday my pastor was talking about Joy and how we have joy when we count our blessings and remember how faithful God has been to us. So I thought I would take a few minutes to count my blessings so you can also rejoice in God's faithfulness...and just maybe you will take a few minutes to count your blessings too.
1. I arrived at training!! It was a crazy trip coming but God worked everything out and I am learning a lot and am so encouraged just being here! Sooo good.
2. AND I got to go running today. It was unusually warm for Illinois and January. And I ran under this cool bridge to a marsh. It was so beautiful and I was thanking God almost the whole way for giving me the ability to run, and just how He uses that for me to clear my head and spend a little extra time with Him.
3. Mi Familia!! I had the awesome opportunity to go back and live with my family for the last two months of my time in the USA and it was really great. I learned a LOT about me and got a more realistic picture of my heart and attitude which often needs adjusting. But God used that time as a great way for me to appreciate my family more and hopefully express to them how much I love them...'cuz you just never know when your last chance to do that will be.
4. My Christian Family. Never have I been so blessed, humbled, encouraged, and amazed by my Christian brothers and sisters. There is a handful of people that has been incredibly supportive and encouraging of this adventure and it's so humbling to know that people are praying for me every day...but I know they are.

Okay...there's probable about a million other things that I could list...but I guess that's enough for now.

I leave FRIDAY for Bolivia. Pray that travels go well!!

Keep it real, ya'll.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

One day at a time

Well I DID get my VISA for those who don't know. Yay!! It came via courier mail so I didn't even have to go all the way back to Houston.
I finished up at work last Saturday. :( Sad day.
I managed to pack my life for a year into two suitcases and two carry-ons. I am so proud! And they even made weight-'though the carry ons just might be almost as heavy as the checked bags!!
Then I said goodbye to my amazing family. I think I probably have no real grasp on going a whole year without my family!! But I know that if God tells me to do something He'll give me the strength to do it, even if it means bringing me through homesickness.
I was blessed with the opportunity to make it back to Ohio for a very brief stay to tie up some loose ends and visit some dear friends and family. I even got to go to church!! I was quite happy about that! And I saw snow. I never thought I'd be so happy to see that. And I think Ohio's not soo cold as I used to think...or else I just came at a good time! (I might try to put some pictures up for you Texas folks!)
Then I said goodbye to the rest of my family and my house--which will never be mine again. It was a good house.
My flight left from Cleveland at 3:34 today. I was then supposed to fly into Philadelphia and from there get a flight to Chicago which would arrive at 7:30 p.m. local time. However once in Philadelphia the plane had some technical difficulties. So we hung around for two hours, then they canceled the flight. Soooo....I am now in a hotel in New Jersey for the night. i fly out tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. and should arrive in Chicago at 9:05 for my missionary training. I leave for Bolivia on FRIDAY!!! Cool! I cannot believe how fast time flies!!
Thanks to all of you who so faithfully pray! I am so humbled to know that people are lifting me up to the Most High God. That explains why I feel so at peace. God is sooo good!
Good night everyone.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

VISA update

I should have my visa by noon tomorrow. So keep praying!! I'll be soo happy when I get it! :)
I'm starting packing...it's really hard to know what to pack for a whole year when you only get two suitcases and a carry on! What's a girl to do?!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Year, New...well, basically everything.

Life's been so crazy lately.
For the most part it's been a pretty good few weeks since I wrote last.

The youth pastor here asked Katie and I to help out with the youth overnighter. I had a BLAST. It was really fun! I'm developing a new love for teens (who aren't related to me, of course). I'm thankful to Darryl and Joey (and Jon!) for cultivating it! I love feeling like I'm helping! I know it's weird, but it's been a tested spiritual gift of mine! It was the my first overnighter...like in my whole life! ...and I survived! We had a video scavenger hunt and played games all night so we weren't tempted to sleep. I came home really sore and a little bruised (we played a game kinda like capture the flag in the dark sunday school classrooms).
My Sunday School class is GREAT! My teachers are like geniuses...no exaggeration. One invented the first PC and sold it to a friend who sold it to Bill Gates. It's in the Smithsonian! And our other teacher is a military man, a university professor...and a rancher! (I saw him at TSC one day!) Anyways, we just finished studying the book of James and I learned SO MUCH! I love studies where we just dissect passages of the bible, because 1.) I learn so much, and 2.) I get so motivated to go home and learn more. And I think that's what a good teacher does, whets your appetite so you WANT to go learn on your own.

The weekend after Christmas we went to the Coast. It was so fun! I could only go for a day because I had to work the next day. The weather was pretty nice and my cousin came and taught us how to surf and skim board...I didn't try surfing this time, though. It was super fun, until my cousin's friend had a severe allergic reaction and the ambulance came and took them away. She was okay though.

I'm still waiting on my VISA. I drove to Houston last week to get it and they were closed. Argh! Who would have thought that the Bolivian Consulate would be closed for TWO WEEKS for New Years and Christmas. Well, they are. So I have to go back this Thursday--As if I have no better way to spend my days and money! ...So PRAY that I get it this time!
I still love my job. I think I just might cry when I leave.
It breaks my heart to think of leaving my family for a whole year. In fact I just can't think of it very much or I get very very sad.
I miss Ohio, and can't wait to go back and visit.
I'm still (most of the time except when I'm sad about leaving here) super excited about going to Bolivia. I have heard from two of the interns who are currently there.
I got my plane ticket! That's when it started to hit home...
I got an i-pod which should make the 12 hour plane ride and 3 hour layover go a little faster. I also have 3 1/2 blank journals and a backpack full of books (the missionary said English books and literature are difficult to come by over there.)

Pray that I sell my car too! I'd like to have it sold by the time I leave.
Well, I guess that's all for now.
Keep on keeping on, y'all!