Saturday, April 25, 2009

the summer road trip revealed.

there's so much going on. assignments to do, thinks to think about, friends to drink tea with, decisions to be made, life plans to ponder... you know, the usual. and so easily i get overwhelmed with it all and try to plan everything or get overwhelmed because i am not planning. but here's something that happened this week that reminds me that God will work all things out, i just need to be obedient. as a dear friend of mine says, "life is what happens when we're making other plans."

i've been planning on going to michigan for two weeks of SEND candidate orientation over the summer, and though i've given the "YES! i'll be there!" i hadn't yet figured out how i would get there. this week i realized, it's two months away and i have not even given a thought to airline tickets. well, there's a reason for that. God has another way of getting me there.

my dear friend from grad school and i have been talking and she happens to be moving back to ohio just a few days before my training begins. i offered to help pack things up and help move things to ohio. this week she called and asked if i would do that - we'll get to ohio the day before training and i can take a bus from her place to detroit. perfect plan! i get to hang out with my wonderful friend, do manual labor, and get to michigan cheaper than flying!

then the question lingered, how would i get back to the east coast?

yesterday that question was answered. let me introduce you to another friend, my dear becca.

becca just got back to the states from her semester in germany and we finally got a chance to catch up yesterday on the phone. i told her of my summer plans and as we examined the dates of our summers, we realized that we both needed to get back to the east coast from detroit on the same weekend. PLAN! summer road trip! becca and i have now made plans to make an event out of it and visit canada and some friends along the way back to our home.

these plans could not have worked out if i had planned them. God definitely had His hand in organizing my trip - all i did was say "yes! i'll go to michigan!" and He took care of my transportation and planning - in such a fun and adventurous (and inexpensive) way!

now i just need to find a friend who is driving out to poland... ;-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

please pray...

please pray for me these last few weeks...

for wisdom, strength, understanding, and faith.

Friday, April 17, 2009

enjoying the moment.

i'm sitting at a friend's apartment while she's gone for the weekend working on my final small group project for graduate school. i have left to write about 2 pages and 1.5 lesson plans. then it's time to edit and format before i send that bad boy to print. as i write about the ambivalance that is felt during a groups termination stage, i can't help but think about the ambivalance i feel right now.

it's nearly 70 degrees and the sun is finally WARM ON MY SKIN which makes my heart so happy. i have country music playing from my pandora and i keep drinking this fantastic strawberry kiwi juice. i'm nearing the end of my huge paper and yet i'm tired. right now, i might consider for a moment laying this paper down to go to the BEACH. but ya know what? i'm going to finish this project, and i am going to enjoy the moment! i'm resting, i'm working, i'm dreaming, and i'm excited.

my small group project is a curriculum for preparing college students for missions trips. as i'm researching, thinking, and writing about it, i am seeing over and over again the huge benefit for short term missions - especially for the student. our professor said that short term trips can be "corrective emotional experiences" (click the link, it will explain what it is). that just EXCITES me. i'd love to lead short term teams. do training. debriefing.

oh you just wait. it might just happen.

p.s. i'm going back to poland this summer. =)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

red pill or blue pill?

i wish that for this next month i was a machine.

and as the words come, i hear the counselor in me asking, "and if you were a machine, what would that accomplish for you?"

i resist my inner counselor because i want to just say the words and not think about their implications. but then i know i should dig deeper into that statement. ok, fine, i'll answer your question. if i were a machine i would not have to feel and i would never get tired. i would be able to get all of my assignments finished and in on time by working diligently for the next month without needing to take time off. taking time off is difficult for me to do when there is so much that needs to get done. but my body, mind, and heart can only do so much at one time. that's why i wish i was a machine. if i was a machine, i wouldn't have to feel the disappointment of not being able to spend time with my friends and i would not have to feel the loss that is coming next month. i would be able to set those intense emotions aside in order to accomplish what i need to do. i could just make decisions easily and not feel the pain of disappointing people around me.

my inner counselor looks at me sympathetically. "wow, it sounds like you have so much going on right now - and so much emotion with so many assignments and decisions and you're tired."

if i was not at work right now, i would cry. my inner counselor is right. she did a good job summarizing.

the inner counselor thinks of the next question to ask. "so being a machine would mean that you don't have to feel and that you could just get done what you need to get done. is there anything you would miss out on by being a machine?"

maybe i'd miss out on growth. being a machine would be a way of avoiding all this pain. it'd be like a drug. right now that sounds like of inviting. like morpheus offering neo the blue pill or the red pill. if he chose the blue pill then he could go on with life and be happy and comfortable in his ignorance. if he chose the red pill than he would be sucked into reality - and he would see and experience the pain of the real world.
he chose the red. why did he chose red? what about reality entised him? he was longing for something more.

what about me? am i going to feel? am i going to feel the pain and the tiredness of pushing myself to finish assignments and the anxiety of work that i don't know
how is going to get done. am i going to feel the longing for closer relationships and the tension of how to best spend my time? am i going to let myself feel the upcoming loss and life transition and let it ache? am i going to let myself get excited with the anticipation of an unknown future and be hopeful of a life with no lingering papers and practicums? how will i spend my last month as a college student?

my inner counselor chimes in to my questioning, "is it worth it to you to not feel? if you are a machine, you will not feel the joy either."

my knee jerk reaction is to wonder if there will be joy this month. of course there will be joy! spring is coming and this morning i woke up to the sun shining on my face and the grass being mowed outside my window! in less than two weeks dunkin donuts is giving away free iced coffee, my favorite warm weather treat! this weekend we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and in just one month i celebrate what the Lord has done in
my life over the past five years. i can find joy in the stress. it's just a little harder to see sometimes. i want to feel that joy. i want to smile at the sunshine and be in awe as i read God's word. there will be joy this month. and i don't want to miss out.

"so you don't want to be a machine?"

well first of all, i know i can't. that isn't going to work. realistically, it's not even an option. and although right now i might prefer it, deep down i don't really want to because shutting down from pain also shuts down from joy! i'll guess i'll stick with the stress, the loss, the anxiety, the tiredness - because it will grow me in perserverence and because i can experience the joy in the midst of it. there is joy. and i can find joy in knowing that.

thank you, inner counselor. your check will be in the mai

Friday, April 03, 2009

why i love this town #2

featured town: gorazde, bosnia.

under communism, there were only 25 cars in a city of about 80,000. the city was not built for cars. now, nearly everyone owns a car. not only do you have a city of new drivers, but you have roads that are not vehicle friendly.

how do people park their cars in a city with very few parking lots? they use anything they can - sidewalks, narrow streets, turning lanes! they're very creative.

it certainly makes driving and walking an interesting challenge!