Tuesday, November 6, 2007

news from far away

...and then you remember that there is a reason for everything...

He is still sovereign.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

You know who you are...bus riders.
Clouds of diesel fuel blow in your face...you don't care, you're a bus rider - you've had worse. Bring it on - you see your bus. Yes, the next one doesn't come for another 30 minutes, and you see it 4 traffic lanes away...but you're not going to miss this one, oh no - you're a bus rider. You risk your life dodging cars and trucks, paying no attention to horns and offensive fingers waving at you...just to catch it. You left your house smelling good - but one squat in a bus chair and you're smelling worse than your breath that morning. But that's okay...everyone else smells the same way. You become friends with the same 43 other people that take your route everyday...you notice each other but pretend that it's the first time you've seen each other on the bus. After awhile though, you know what outfit they'll be wearing - Mondays, the grey jacket...Friday, jeans and loafers. A green shirt! Someone went shopping this weekend! Looks like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning - Jack, you call him. Yeah, you made up names for all of them too. There's the woman who looks like Celine Dion, and then the guy that looks like a loveable grandpa and one of these days you're just gonna go up for a big hug - hecht, Kenny Rogers even rides the bus! And that iPod you're listening to, the music seems to match the moments, as people come and go and the scenery changes. Oh the bus, how I never knew...
This goes out to you Andrew. BUSt...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lentil Soup

I feel like a chef. I'm sitting here writing this while I am cooking up a nice pot of lentil soup. It takes me back a bit - my mom used to make lentil soup and I have fond memories of it, so here's to you, lentil soup!

The fall breeze is coming in through the window and it is an incredibly gorgeous day outside. Makes me want to go hiking or walk along the beach. But for now, I will have to just imagine it until I can actually do these things. It's been a nice laid back Sunday. Went to church - the bus actually came this week :) Grabbed some joe with Jan and had a little stroll through the grocery store, came back here - cookin' up some grub and just taking it easy. Relfecting a bit, once again.

So, isn't life a little bit like lentil soup? I think so, so I will elaborate. Delicious. Lentil soup to me is delicious. But it's the ingredients that make it what it is. Just as what we put into our lives, make our lives what they are. People have different ways of making it though, just like people have different ways of living their lives. At the core of this recipe is the lentils though. It wouldn't be called lentil soup without the lentils, right? At the core of us, is God. We wouldn't be who we are without God being at our core. The thing is not everyone knows the name of this soup - they're tasting this soup and they think it's delicious, probably the best soup they've ever experienced but they don't even know that it's the lentils that make it SO good. "Taste and see that the Lord is good..." - Psalm 34:8 Far fetched? Maybe.

At church this morning, there were four monks. It was a really interesting service. They spoke on St. Francis and humbleness. Just for kicks, I thought I'd check out to see what 'ol Merriam had to say about humbleness:

1: not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive

2: reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission

3 a: ranking low in a hierarchy or scale : b: not costly or luxurious

thanks Merr.

These guys were talking about Jesus being the ultimate example of humility. Wouldn't that just be like Him? This all powerful God coming to relate to His creation that He's absolutely head-over-heels in love with, to come and live and love them. To come to love them and live among them in the humblest of conditions - to disregard social hierarchy and love regardless of how popular or unpopular they were, how sick or healthy they were, how bad of a reputation or good of a reputation they had, how much money or lack there of they had. To love on them no matter how much they had or didn't have to offer. And I ask myself am I humble...

I would say that this Jesus, I want Him in my life-soup. Sounds weird, but He's become my main ingredient, and my soup has never tasted better. What's in your soup?

Thursday, October 4, 2007


My roomate Jan read this to me tonight...I thought it was worthwhile to share, needed.

" Few are the people who don't suffer from some form of blindness. Amazing, isn't it? We can live next to something for a lifetime, but unless we take time to focus on it, it doesn't become a part of our life. Unless we somehow have our blindness lifted, our world is but a black cave.
Think about it. Just because one has witnessed a thousand rainbows doesn't mean he's seen the grandeur of one. One can live near a garden and fail to focus on the splendor of the flower. A man can spend a lifetime with a woman and never pause to look into her soul. "

-Max Lucado

Imagine what we could see if we only opened our eyes?

Happy Birthday Jan :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007


HUGE smile on my face right now... :) It looks something like this, but the only difference is, I'm sitting on a couch in my living room right now, and this is in a tunnel in a castle...only difference.

My apologies to those SO dear to me that have been reading this - I had no idea anyone knew about my blog (* cough* Andrew and Hope *cough*), so I thought I could play off being anonymous, but alas! I cannot. Thanks guys :)

Just got home from an amazing weekend in Budapest - what an AMAZING God we serve. I am so thankful for the encouragement this whole week, particularly this weekend. Reminded about the calling that God has on my life and even though it's clouded at times and I question whether or not I really heard God right in the first place, He has been reminding me over and over that He was being loud and clear all along. And who am I to doubt the God of the universe?

It's funny, you go through something tough and you forget that God is holding you all along the way and He never lets go. He is with us and He is in the next step and He is ahead of us cheering us on and calling us forward. Even before all of it - He knew and He knew everything about every part of us and how overwhelming is that? How overwhelming is that love? How overwhelming is it to know that God sees us through all of the times we turn away and think that He doesn't know what's good for us and yet He is always reaching out His hand asking us to just grab hold. It doesn't mean it's easy, oh no...because how often do we find that it isn't? Probably more than we feel comfortable with. I know that stepping out in faith to come here was the only way I could do this - grabbing hold of that never-ending grip. Months before, I had been so upset and I turned away from that hand. I could do it on my own, I thought. The more and more upset I got, I barely saw that hand, because I chose not to...but I knew exactly what I was doing. But then that whisper. The one that comes when everything else around you is so loud and distracting. You think you can barely hear it. But that whisper, that voice, it's the only one that actually makes sense and the only one you actually want to hear. He called. He grabbed my hand that could barely hold on...and He pulled me up. He says, " You're worthy...and I won't ever let you go".

In the words of my dear friend Bekah, "God doesn't wait for us to get everything together before He uses us, " boy, does that ever ring true. How many times do we see people in the Bible, what we see to be the most unlikely people, being called to be used by God in the craziest ways?! Yes, that is all of us. But guess what? God doesn't see us as unlikely - how beautiful is that? I love that verse in 1 Samuel 16:7 : " For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. " True love sees us for who we are meant to be, and that true love is God. God sees us for the people He has created us to be. Wow, huh??

Okay, I need to go do lesson plans...6 classes in a row tomorrow - sheesh! I became that teacher too - the one who gives 4 quizzes on the same day teacher...yep, I became her. haha But these thoughts are swirling and twirling around in this head amongst many others. Thanks for actually reading this for those of you who do. And for those of you back home, I will be sending out all of my contact info/pictures soon. But be loved and get your 4 hugs a day for survival - they're important...fo' real. And know how much I am thinking of you all from across the sea/land/ every natural land barrier away....I miss you.

P.S. - Hope Aswell, I put the puzzle together the second I got it :) You are amazing.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Real World (not as seen on TV)

(My students from training in Pasadena, California)

For my faithful readers, (*cough* Andrew and Hope *cough*)

In the words of my dear friend John Mayer "welcome to the real world..." , I realize I have now tasted a slice of reality. It's a bit crunchy and has the ability to give you serious indigestion - not sure how you'll take that, but I felt like describing reality as crunchy.

Celebrating my one month in Slovakia yesterday by doing schoolwork, it hit me. "You are home on a Saturday night, up to your eyeballs in work...reality." Now, I realize it will not be like this every week, but it has made me realize that the days of writing 10-page papers the night before they're due, are over. (mmmm...we'll see though, once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator) Especially when you're waking up at 5 am every morning...I'm turning into an old woman. "Gotta be home by 8 tonight..." ;)

I have been overwhelmed by so many thoughts lately. Thoughts of my life here in Slovakia - literally waking up mornings going " God, why am I here?" , to not even believing that I'm being used in incredible ways to reach people here. Thoughts of friends and family back home, missing those relationships and wishing that I could find a way to instantly bring them into my living room to sit and talk and laugh for hours. I am overwhelmed with the thoughts that no matter where you are in the world, the same human problems exist. We're all searching for acceptance, for LOVE. As a new highschool teacher, and if you're reading this and have ever worked with highschool students you know what I mean, you see alot. What a place to see every emotion possible, every insecurity, every desire to want to fit in...sometimes I feel like I'm some observer to some sociological experiment. I love these kids. I have never felt more overwhelmed with work in my entire life, but have also never felt so excited about it. I have a special place in these young lives ( it makes me laugh to say that, because I'm literally 4 or 5 years older than some of my students) and I have the opportunity to make a difference in their lives. It's weird to be working so hard with lessons, and putting so much time into it, but more than anything - it's not the work and the lessons I even care about, but them - my students. I have fun teaching though - it's a great place to practice your acting skills and getting rid of insecurities, because if you have any - they spot them in a second. It's also a great place to see if you're really as funny as you think you are. :) This is one of the hardest, most trying and exciting challenges I have ever experienced.

"God why am I here??" .... " Just you wait, " He says.

If a man is called a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and Earth will pause to say, Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thanks for reminding us Martin.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A New Start

Slovakia. Never in a million years did I think I'd find myself here - but alas (!) I am here...taking this all in. Life is a many splendid thing, a mystery - you never know where this journey will lead...unless you've got a great guide ;)

Two quotes that I was really enjoying as I have been preparing my seminars for my first week of teaching, entitled " How to Maintain a Positive Attitude Throughout the School Year", yes - that's right...you know you want in on that class. My students probably will think I'm a cuddly tree hugger by the end, but that's alright :

So often time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key. ~The Eagles, "Already Gone"

I don't like that man. I must get to know him better. ~Abraham Lincoln