Donnerstag, November 01, 2007

Passions and Purpose

I feel like I am walking in the desert. I don't know how or why I got to this point; it's like I woke up one morning and God was gone. I know that it is my fault. I haven't been reading my bible or talking to God as much. At all, really. Sure, I will open it and skim through it, but that is not what I want. I want to immerse myself in it. But I seem to find other things to occupy my time. Last week, I was on a YWAM base here in Germany. It made me remember Salem and all the good times there. I want that. I want to live with people that are passionate about Jesus. I miss it. At the same time, being around all those wonderful people with dreams and passions, made me realize I have no true dream or passion. I say I want to help kids, but I have no idea in which way. Do I want to teach them or make them healthy? Or maybe help train young adults to pursue their passions. I know I wouldn't be happy living in the suburbs with 2.5 kids and a dog my whole life. I want more. But I don't know what. I thought doing a DTS would help make me realize my passions, but it seemed to make them even less defined. I know God has a plan A for my life, but I want to know what that plan is. Or at least a direction to go in. When I go back to Grants Pass, I don't want to feel like I am taking a step backward. I want to keep moving forward. On to my destiny. This is a jumble of thoughts. I hope it somehow makes sense. Anyway, here is a quote I have been repeating over and over to myself- 'If God can make a shepard a king, turn fishermen into world changers, and a group of slaves into a nation, what more can He do with you?' I know there is a plan and a purpose for me, I just need to not rest until I find it.

Sonntag, August 26, 2007

What the world needs now...

I was listening to the radio the other day, and a commercial came on that really got me. Weird, I know, but keep reading. Now I am your typical English-speaking type and I don't understand German radio. So my only option is the Armed Forces Network. Needless to say, a commercial for Army Chaplains comes on. The story goes along these lines... Two Protestant Ministers, a Catholic Priest, and a Jewish Rabbi were on a boat. (Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but bear with me.) The boat collided with a reef and began sinking fast. The Chaplains took charge and helped get all passengers aboard into life-jackets and lifeboats. When the life-jackets ran out, they selflessly gave up their own. When the lifeboats were filled, the men stayed behind so others could be saved. As the ship went down, they were seen holding hands and singing hymns. Wow. That is pretty heavy stuff. There was no arguing over who had the correct theology, who was getting to Heaven the fastest, who God listened to more... Nothing. They just came together and did what needed to be done. I think this is an example of how we all should be living.
I stumbled upon this blog the other day, and I was blown away. How on earth can we proclaim Gods' love for all when we can't even love or respect others who may have different views??? I am not saying that we should just agree with everyone and never speak up, but I am saying that we should stop and listen to what other people have to say. I am tired of hearing us put down others 'in the name of the Lord'. Where did we get that authority? I know we are human. I know we make mistakes and we screw things up, but maybe it isn't as complicated as we make it out to be. Love God and love people. Hmm. Sounds pretty simple. So when that one person who you find really annoying and you would rather punch in the face than help them without expecting anything in return, try it. It just might make their day better, and *gasp* help you to start living out what you hear on Sunday mornings. This is totally a lesson I need to learn. A lot of the time I just complain about things that seem like a huge deal, but in reality they are not. I need to stop complaining and start serving. I'll let you know how it is going...

Montag, Mai 21, 2007

I am the worst blogger ever. Sorry. But I am getting in the mood to type my thoughts down again! Here we go...

A good friend of mine asked me a simple question the other day. One that I can't seem to get out of my head. The question? 'What did God put in your heart that wasn't there before you left for YWAM?' As I was typing my response, I realized how much God has put on my heart and how it has developed over the years. I have always been passionate for helping kids and being there for them, but there is more to it than that. I want to get to know people, any people. Whether they love Jesus or not. I want to listen to them, laugh and cry with them, learn from them, and be a friend to them. Now, I know this can happen anywhere, even in the states, but I want to do this outside of what is comfortable to me. I want to be stretched. And I want to travel. (This is earth-shattering stuff for me. I am from a small town where people usually graduate high school, get married, and have a baby all in the same year. And then they settle down into the house across the street from Mom and Dad and live there 'happily' the rest of their lives. They only travel to California and they never think of leaving the country. Now, there are few exceptions to that rule, but for the most part it is life for Grants Passians. Thank God I have remained unmarried and babyless.)

This is not even close to being finished, but it is late and I am leaving for Türkei tomorrow! It's nice to know, even a year later, I am able to keep processing my time during my DTS.

Dienstag, Februar 13, 2007

What am I doing with my life?

This is the question of the year it seems. I know that God has given me a dream to help kids, but what does that entail? Aneta and I talked last night for a few hours about life. She told me that she had been in school for 19 years! That is over half her life! The discussion got me thinking about my life had I stayed in school. I would be graduating this year with a degree in... I don't even know. Four years ago it would have been a major in Physical Therapy and a minor in Spanish. Last year it would have been a kindergarten teacher. Now? I am looking into becoming a mid-wife. But do I really have the courage/ability/stamina to be able to bring a life into the world? What if something were to go wrong? Would I be able to live with myself? But I digress. If I had stayed in school, I would not have traveled or met all the wonderfully crazy people I now know or be anywhere near where I should be in my relationship with God. Sure I would have my degree, but at what cost? I am so thankful that God points us in the right direction even when we aren't asking Him to. I love that Troy brought up the fact that God always has plan A for our lives. No matter how far we go, He always brings us back to where we are supposed to be. When God calls forth destiny, He will make sure it comes to pass. I am so thankful that with every step I take, I am becoming the woman God has called me to be. Even if I can't see it right now. So, what am I doing with my life? I don't know, but I am finding out more and more that that is ok. I don't need to know what is going to happen a few days, months, years down the road. I think this is the first time in my life where I actually know that, in the Hebrew sense. I also know that I want to change the world for the better and not waste the short amount of time I have here on Earth. Starting with one kid at a time...

Montag, Januar 08, 2007

New Year's in Barcelona!

This New Year's Eve was one like no other! First, I got to spend it with Miss Courtney and second, I was in Spain! The night was perfect! It started out with dinner at 10pm with the family Courtney is an au pair for. They were very welcoming to me and I felt right at home. We had an amazing seafood platter. Fresh crab, calamari, octopus, shrimp, mussels, ect. There was also duck patte, cheese and French wine. The whole time we were eating, the TV was on so we could not miss the moment the clock strikes twelve. At midnight, it is tradition in Spain to eat twelve grapes, one every three seconds. There is a bell that rings so you know when to eat your next grape. Apparently, this is a dangerous custom as people tend to choke on the grapes. So, throwing caution to the wind, Courtney and I decided to totally immerse ourselves in the culture. As soon as the bell started ringing, we started popping the grapes in our mouths! It was a little difficult to swallow, as there were seeds in the grapes, but we survived! After a salute with Spanish Cava(sparkling wine) and many hugs and kisses, Carlos drove us to the metro. After a long, crowded ride, we finally arrived at our destination. La Rambla. A very happening place, especially on New Year's. As we were walking amoung the crowds, we realized we were the only single girls out. Hmm. Seconds after realizing this, I was grabbed by a Pakistani man and kissed on the check. He was trying for my lips, but I managed to turn my head just in time. Weird, we thought. Then it happened again! To Courtney this time. She was able to somehow get a great picture of it. After a few times, it stopped being funny and we were starting to get annoyed. We could see guys looking at us with the intent to kiss us, so we could push them, or slap them, away before they could.

After about two hours of this, we were getting tired. And the next train wasn't due to take us home until 6:30! So we found a place to sit and people watch. A group of Gambians were sitting by us and one of them came over and talked to us for a while. He really wanted us to go to a disco with him, but Courtney and I didn't feel like paying a €30 cover-charge. And we didn't want to go with him. Finally, James saved the day by calling Courtney and giving us an excuse to leave. As Courtney was talking to James, I was able to sit and watch people be funny or stupid. I saw a guy on a motorcycle try to stop at a stoplight and completely fall over. He stumbled around for a bit before getting back on his bike. I was very glad I was not driving that night. Then there was a dancing Pakistani. Very entertaining! He was listening to an iPod and just dancing. It was awesome! We did a little more sightseeing after Court got off the phone. I was able to see some more Gaudi buildings. Then Courtney talked to an Indian boy in Spanish and I just sat there. It was ok, though. I was too tired to talk, even in English. Finally we went to the train station, where it was warm, and bought our tickets for the way home. On the train ride home, we sat by more Gambians, apparently there are lots of them in Spain. They told me that my name, as a last name, meant you were a Christian in Gambia! Very cool! So, if I ever go to Gambia, my name will be well-known! When we arrived home, we had warm crossiants and hot chocolate with peppermint schnapp's! And Courtney, being the wonderful friend that she is, let me use her phone card to call Ryan at midnight in Idaho! It made me very happy to be able to talk to him and wish him a happy new year. As I was talking to him, the sun was rising over the Mediterranean. A beautiful ending to a crazy night in Barcelona!

Montag, Dezember 18, 2006

Get angry with God!

You know how God has a way of revealing Himself to you through strange things? Well, that happened to me today. Last night, I got angry at God. I cried, I yelled, I pleaded. All to no avail. I guess I thought God would give me some response, but I got nothing. I ended up falling asleep with a pounding headache. That was it. It wasn't until today that last night made sense. I am reading an excellent book called 'The Sacred Diaries of Adrian, Andromeda and Leonard' by Adrian Plass. This is the first book I have ever read to make me actually laugh out loud several times! Anyway, as I was reading tonight, a passage really spoke to me. So much that I felt the need to blog about it right away. Here it is...

(To catch you up, Adrian is a Christian author and speaker. The book is written as his diary. He is in the middle of speaking at an outreach dinner.) "I said, 'Look, I could be wrong, but I think God is saying to me that there are some people here tonight who need to forgive God.' Panicked suddenly at what I could hear coming out of my own mouth. 'Of course,' I went on hastily, 'he can't actually do anything wrong to be forgiven for, but that's what's so difficult sometimes, isn't it? I mean - well, it's not very easy to have a real row with someone who never ever gets anything wrong, is it?' Suddenly seemed to know exactly what to say. 'I mean, there must be some of us who want to climb up onto God's lap like small children and bash at his chest with our little fists, and say, "I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! I asked you to help me and you didn't help me. You knew what I was feeling - you knew what needed to happen and you didn't do it. You say you love me, but you don't! If you did, you would have done something, but you didn't! I hate you!"'
Suddenly spotted Gerald's face, his eyes wide with surprise at what I was saying. Remembered when he was just a little boy.
'When my son was very small,' I said, hoping Gerald wouldn't mind, 'he did exactly that once or twice. First, he'd be really angry, and then when he'd worn himself out with crossness, he'd cry, all curled up on my lap. Then, when he'd cried the last drop of energy away, he'd just fall asleep and I'd hold him for ages. And the important thing is - I think the important thing is that he had to go through all that fighting and fretting to get the nasty spiky feelings out of himself, and he did it in the safest place he knew, which was in my arms.'
Gerald's not the sort of chap whose eyes mist over much, but when I glanced at him I'm pretty sure that's what they were doing.
I looked around at the other faces in the room. 'God doesn't mind you being angry with him,' I said.
What was I saying?
'He's used to taking the blame. In fact he'd rather you took it out on him than someone else.'"

During DTS, a speaker(Troy, I think) told us how he would yell at God. The idea seemed completely foreign to me then, but now it doesn't seem so strange. God actually likes us to yell at him. At least we are actually talking then.

I feel so alone here! I have friends that I do things with and I love my 'job', but I miss my family and friends back home. Maybe it's because Christmas and my birthday are coming up. I don't know. But I wish I knew why I was here. What is God's plan for this? I am doing stuff here that I could do at home. Yeah, it's a new cultural experience, but why? Am I 'called' to Germany? I don't think so. At least God hasn't told me.

I kind of like writing on here. It helps get all of my crazy jumbled thoughts into one place. Hmm. Interesting.

Donnerstag, Dezember 14, 2006

The wait is over!

So, I have finally been able to get my pictures off my camera and onto my computer! Hooray! It has been a long time coming, that's for sure. So, enjoy these pictures and I will write more later.