Sunday, May 1, 2011

Breathing Life...Into My Abandoned Blog!

Wow! It's been about two years since I've posted on my blog...guess I haven't been taken over by every aspect of the online world, yet! To me, the idea of a blog is a great one. However, putting my ideas into action is an area where I could use some improvement!

As I looked through pictures, pictures, and more pictures tonight for my graduation slide show, I slowed had a realization. In a few short months, three to be exact, I will be packing up everything I've ever known in life and moving. Not with my mom and sister, my cats, my bed. Just me. That thought is so foreign to me and I don't think I've fully wrapped my head around the concept quite yet. While I'm still trying to get used to this idea, I cannot wait for the next step in life! Hard to believe that I have 12 days of high school left! Twelve days in a building I've spent the past 4 years of my life learning and growing. It's become my life and that chapter is almost over. I can't even imagine the feeling of walking across that stage and then moving my me goosebumps! :)

After that, the next step begins. That next step for me: college. I will be moving four hours west of home on August 19th to Orange City, IA. It's a little town, a bit smaller than Charles City, and extremely quaint and welcoming. Very traditional Dutch community and each time I've visited it's felt like home! Starting this fall I will be a freshman at Northwestern College with the intention of majoring in Spanish while receiving endorsements to teach high school Spanish as well as English as a Second Language. At this time, I feel like God is calling me to Mexico, or at least the southern United States. My dream is to live my life on a daily basis speaking Spanish more than English. I long to impact Mexico through my teaching, my music, and my God. Something about the culture and the people of that country captured my heart way back in 2006, and I haven't been the same since. Every time I see a picture of the place I love, my heart aches to be back on those dirt roads I've come to love. I can't wait to see where God will take me. I'm in for the ride of my life, I can feel it!

Friday, July 31, 2009

From dirt roads, to blue waters, to corn...

I realize now that keeping a blog up to date is a way harder task then I first thought! I give props to all of you keep up a regular blog! It's not easy! I realized fairly early into my time in Mexico that keeping this blog up to date was going to be nearly impossible. I was constantly so busy, and in the times that I did have a moment of relaxation, blogging was the last thing I wanted to do! So in these next few weeks leading up to school I will go through my month in Mexico and talk about the many things that went on. The fun times, the challenging times, and the many God moments. I will also put up some pictures from my time at my Dad's in Antigua. We just got back early this morning after a LONG day of travel...let's just say I'm glad I don't have to get on a plane again for a long time! :)

Thank you to everyone, you have all been awesome in this time I have been gone! It's been fun to hear people tell me they've been checking this blog often! And then I feel bad because there hasn't been an update for so long! So for that, I'm sorry!! But thank you for checking up on me! It means the world to know I have people in my life that I can look to for encouragement!

More posts to follow!....I promise!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

the long awaited post...

ok, right off the bat i will just let you know that puncuation, grammar, and spelling do not count on these posts...i cant type on laptops worth a hoot! and they may not be very long!

but things have been going extremely well. i absolutely love being in mexico again. i never realize how much i feel at home here until i got down here and lived here a while. i just love the environment!

right now i am sitting at the place im staying listening to a ton of cars drive by...very loud, but just something i have come acostum to. ive gotten used to the quick showers, the never clean hair, constant sunburn, different language, crazy driving, banged up legs...just, mexico.

we have been busy the whole time ive been here. had a few days to relax which has been such a blessing!

im pretty worn out today, we poured a concrete floor and i shoveled, using muscles i havent used for a long long long time! :) i should be going to get all cleaned up, but i figured i would make everyone happy and get a little of something on here, at least to tie you till the next one! :)

last weekend was kind of rough for me. having everyone leave from home was harder for me than i thought it would be. i never realized how comfortable i was WITH them here. so then when it came time for everyone to leave, i realized i was completely on my own. definately helped me trust god more than ever before.

we have prayer every morning this week, even without having a group for the week, so its just our team. which has been such a great time to start the day...being able to spend up to a few hours with god in the morning is so refreshing, something i desperately need while im down here..because i get so easily exhausted.

we have our first group arrive on saturday, so for now we are in the relaxing stage. we are going to a outdoor fun center tomorrow...should be a blast! then on saturday the craziness begins. we ahve groups getting here and from then its full speed ahead. it will be a crazy next few weeks. but it will be fun. we always find a way to make everything we do a blast! we are always laughing!! so fun!!

hope everything is going well with all of you back at home! i love getting all of the emails and notes! keep them coming!!

and my fellow moose! :) i hope everything is going good with your transition back home. take time to rest, i was burnt after last week! i had a blast with all of you and it was fun to serve with you and watch you all pour out you love to the kids. rumi and i went on saturday and the kids couldnt stop talking about all of you! alex said he cant wait until he sees all of you again in heaven someday, the day when he wont have a wheelchair and he can run up to all of you and talk to you! all of the boys are praying for you all and they wanted to make sure you were praying for them too!! i drove by today and jose was sitting by the gate, just watching...they miss you all! and so do i!! see you all soon!! keep serving back at home!!

sorry for no pictures...cameras have been limited here...trying really hard not to be a tourist...but later, i promise!!

miss you all and thanks again for you prayers and support!!


Friday, June 19, 2009

T-Minus 8 Hours!!

So in about 8 hours we will be headed to church to load up into 3 vans. 20 people in purple moose shirts and about 22 suitcases, 20 backpacks, and 4 drivers. And I am beyond beyond being excited!

Just the thought of being in Mexico in less than 24 hours is amazing. I cannot wait to return to a place I love so, so dearly. To see the people that in the course of either one or two weeks completely changed my life, to see people that are new, that I've only talked to on the internet. The thought of being able to wrap my arms around all of the precious people is thrilling.

My bording pass is printed, my bags are (almost) packed, my clothes laid out for morning. All that's left is going to sleep and waking up. Well, ok, MAYBE sleeping and waking up! :) That one may not be the easiest thing in the world tonight!

As I think about being in Mexico for an entire month, I can't help but think about all that will go on, and all that I will experience. I hope to impact people in a greater level, but also being impacted myself more than ever before. I want to make myself fully open and available to anything and everything God wants to use me for. I know that God has a plan and a perfect plan at that for me to be having this experience. My prayer is that over the next month, that reason would be made clear to me. I want to be able to see the reason God put me on Team Moose. The reason He put me in Mexico for an entire month. It excites me and I can't wait to look back on this trip and see all I gained. Although, I'm not sure I want it to go all that fast! :)

I am going to try to get on here fairly often to let everyone know what I am doing, and I'll say it now, I'm not sure if pictures will be up or not. If not while I'm there, look for them when I get back! :)

Thank you to everyone who is praying for this trip and supporting us. It means the world to know I have a web of people thinking of me!

Counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds :)


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The next step..

I am definately not a blogger! But I figure I might as well use one so people can follow my various activities, at least if they want to! :)

So I am leaving in 2 short days for Ensenada, Mexico, and I am excited beyond belief! I can't wait to get back to a place that I love so dearly, and see the people that have a permanent place on my heart. It's almost like seeing family after two years, so exciting!

The first week I am there, I will be working with a group of 20 other people from my church. We will be working mainly with a special needs orphanage, Gabriel House, doing various things with the kids and for the staff members. I am excited to be able to see a different part of Mexico, it will be an experience I will never forget, I'm sure. There is a video on their website that will move you to tears, and definately gets me excited to go and serve in this area. Another part of serving at the Gabriel House is through building onto their dorms. We will be starting a project for them to be able to care for even more children. Throughout other parts of the week, we will also be doing VBS in a village. Doing things such as playing with the kids, doing crafts, singing songs, and performing skits.

On June 27, the group from my church will be flying back home while I stay behind. As they travel on to San Diego, I will be starting the next part of my trip. Until July 18th, I will be doing what we call an "informal internship" with Rick and Tammie. I will stay with them for three weeks, doing a variety of things, many of which I don't know at this point. I would have to say I am very excited for this, to be taking a next step in my journey is exciting.

I will try to get to a computer at some point throughout my time there to try to get some of my thoughts down, for me and for you. Inform you on how life has gone and things I have been doing! I can't promise a lot! But I will definately try! :) Thank you for all of your prayers and support! I greatly appreciate it!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My far

When you go on a trip with church, you are always told to have your testimony written out and ready to go. Now, after being on 3 different mission trips, I've had my story written out for a long time, and I've had a few opportunities to share my story. This blog right here is another here goes...

As many people would start out their story, I grew up going to church. I went to Sunday School every week and sang in the choir from a very young age. I knew all of the bible stories and grasped the concept of God and His son Jesus, but never really understood fully what it meant to have a relationship with God. It stayed this way up until about the summer of 6th grade.

We had recently just moved to Charles City and towards the end of the year, one of my friends asked me to come to the youth group he went to. At first I didn't really want to, but I finally decided I'd go. I showed up at this school, and went in and was overwhelmed by the number of kids that were there, enjoying themselves and having a great time together. I met some the adult leaders while I was there. People such as Ellen, who was pregnant at the time, Gayle and Andy. Who would guess that these people would come to be such good friends and people so dear to my heart...

I enjoyed myself so much, that I told my mom I wanted to go back. So we checked out the Sunday Service that next week. My mom enjoyed Bethany Alliance, so we decided we would start coming. I started going to youth group, a discipleship group, and just began to become very invovled with the church. My whole 7th grade year is when my relationship with the Lord grew a ton. I began to realize what it meant to have a relationship with God and began to grow deeper in my faith.

The summer of 7th grade, I had the opportunity to take a mission trip to Ensenada, Mexico with the youth group. I jumped at this opportunity. It was on this trip that God put a desire for mission work in my heart. He stirred something up that trip and since then the desire hasn't grown any weaker. I came back a changed person. I went back the following summer, and each time I came back with something new that God had taught me. I began to do more with church, between a few different ministries or other things, I started looking for more ways to become involved.

Not only did I gain a deeper relationship with God on these trips, but I also gained relationships with friends that are amazing. The bond that was formed on these trips is one that can never be broken. I thank God frequently for my friends. We all get along so well, and have such a good time's amazing. I'm very lucky to have such a good group of friends!

Now up to this summer...As a youth group we planned to take a backpacking trip to the mountains in Montana. We were all way excited! We were all looking forward to spending one last summer together before people started leaving for college. I had my decision made from the beginning, I was going to Montana. But then one Sunday, Kent got up and started talking about the different Taiwan trips, and I felt God stir my heart. I just pushed it away because in my mind there wasn't any way it would work, I couldn't do both, and I was going to Montana. Boy, did God have other ideas! Taiwan seemed to be popping up everywhere, it got to be the last week to sign up for the trip, so I thought I would do the second half of the trips, that way I could still go to Montana. I had my mind pretty much made up and then I met with Kent, and he told me to pray about it. So I did, and I knew then that I was supposed to go on both trips to Taiwan, Montana wasn't in the plans for this summer, and that was tough to accept.

Now as I look back, it's amazing to see how God works in our lives. He had a specific plan for these trips to Taiwan, and I was a part of it. He taught me so much and again I gained TONS of new friendships, that will, like all the other ones, never be broken. I'm so thankful for the way God works. It's not always easy, but His plan is always just have to be willing to do what He asks of you. When you do that, your life will be full of sweet, sweet things.

As I look ahead to my future, I'm at peace knowing God has it all figured out. He knows exactly where I'll be, whether it's here in the US, or around the world, He knows. And I find great peace in knowing that. I find it hard to wait sometimes, I want to find out His plan and run with it now. I would love to be able to live overseas right now. But I have to keep reminding myself that God's timing is perfect, and it will all work out. For now I have to focus on serving him here, where he's put me. To honor the King and advance His kingdom...