Friday, September 5, 2008

a new thursday night routine...

I'm back!! Sorry that you haven't heard from me in over a month on this thing...I just haven't made myself sit down to write about everything that has been going on in my life, and it's A LOT. But I am going to try to be regular about writing again.

So much has happened since I have been back. SO MUCH. I could write a post every day for the month of september about these past 6 weeks, and STILL probably have more to say. So I am just going to start with the present, the now, and hash out things that have happened in the past 6 weeks when they come up, or just when I get around to it maybe. Some of the things that have been going on my life are drastically different and might shock some of you who I don't talk to on a regular basis (which probabaly pertains to no one!, because like 2 or 3 people read my blog, and I talk to them all the time). Bear with me on updating :)

Yesterday was one of the hardest days of my life it seemed like, for many reasons. When I crawled in bed the night before, I had that feeling in my stomach of just like a “big sigh”. Does that make sense? I just crawled in bed Wednesday night, sighed, and tried to take those entire sigh thoughts captive. It was a night where all I wanted to do was call Brian, but knew that I couldn’t, and called Brynn instead.

I don’t really like change, and I don’t exactly always do well with it. Actually, coping with change is something that the Lord really taught me and stretched me about this summer, when I was back packing and when Brian came. Really it’s because for most of the summer, I was in a new city, and a new bed, every night, and I just had to get accustomed to not being very stable. And it was GOOD, and the Lord really did give me more peace about change and just following Him wherever He leads me, which FOR SURE prepared me for everything He had planned for me this semester.

My semester has been characterized by change: new house, new room mates, getting my first job in college, getting my second job in college, not being in a relationship anymore, hanging out with new people, going to a new hope group, and I could probably go on. And honestly, the emotions that come with dealing with all of the change come and go in waves, and so there have been good days and not so good days.

I felt like yesterday was one of those not so good days. Really because it was Thursday, and Thursday has equaled Hope Group at the Henry household for almost a year for me. And last night, I went to a whole new hope group, with whole new people, not at the Henry’s, not with Brian. And it was HARD. I spent most of the afternoon at the Henry’s helping Melodi out with homeschool, and when 5:50 rolled around, I had to leave to go get ready for hope group and to let them get ready for hope group. And it was just a sad moment for me…telling Camille that I wouldn’t be over there for Hope Group, her asking “but why?”, seeing all of the chairs set up and knowing that I wouldn’t be occupying one of them, and walking out the door to go to a whole new family’s house. And I was, and still am, excited for what the Lord has in store for me this semester, including in my new hope group. I am so excited that I will be able to share the love that overflows from my former hope group family. I cant wait to establish that bond with my new hope group. But beginnings are always hard, and last night was ROUGH. I was on the brink of tears from like 5:30 when I was getting ready to leave the Henry’s till 6:30 when I pulled up at my new hope group leaders’ house. It was just so surreal to not be at the Henry’s last night, not be around the people I grew to love so much last semester, and not be going with Brian.

The night ended up being really good though. Hope Group was FUN, we went to the college meet-n-greet, and I got to fellowship with so many living hopers.

The Lord is doing AMAZING things in my life right now. Change can be good, and I have to remind myself of that sometimes. What I DO know is that despite change and despite unknowns, the Lord is constant, and His ways are perfect. I rest easy in His stability.

Friday, July 25, 2008

mama im coming home!

my bag is packed...

my outfit is all laid out for tomorrow morning.

in 5 1/2 hours I will be waking up to shower and head to the airport, where I will board a plane, destination USA. In less than 48 hours, I will be at home in Waco, for the first time in 2 1/2 months.

I am not sure what I am thinking right now. We spent the day at the beach, and I didn't really think too too much about heading home. But when I was walking to my apartment at about 8, I realized that it was the last time I would be walking those streets, perhaps for the rest of my life.

that is a very weird thought.

my summer adventures will officially be over tomorrow. This once in a lifetime opportunity will have come and passed. And life will go on.

But never the same. The Lord has changed me, refined me, reshaped me, and grown me is so many beautifully ways this summer. I am not the same girl that left Texas may 12th.

My eyes have been open to so much more this summer. My walk with Him has grown so much deeper. And I have fallen so much more in love with my Savior and Lord.

Life will not be the same when I get home.

Please be praying for the changes that I will be going through. Changes in so many areas. I am moving out of my beautiful house into a new one, with new roomies. Relationships in my life will have changed, and will be changing. I will undoubtedly go through culture shock, and probably greatly dislike America for at least a few days :) And I will miss Europe like crazy.

I'm coming home. finally.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

on the road to recovery?

so im basically a walking infection

I finally caved and went to the emergency clinic this afternoon, after 12 days of trying to ride out the sickness. And I have a pretty nasty infection that has manifested itself- it has even moved to my ears...i have never had an ear infection before

so i will be popping 4 different pills for the next few days....well really 3 and a stomach protectant

there is reason to be thankful in this though. The doctor thought I should be experiencing immense pain and pressure in my ears, and told me that I was VERY lucky that I am not. so thank the Lord for protecting my little hearing devices!

please be praying for quick healing. I really need to be able to sleep through the night without waking up a gazillion times. it is starting to take its toll on my body.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

ready to come home

sooo i cant help but be ready to come home.

we had a weekend excursion to madrid to this weekend, and it was a TON of fun.

but as i was alone in my hotel room last night while everyone was out at a "famous club", i couldnt help but feel worn down by the routine. of always spending nights alone because everyone else is out partying.

i am trying to contain my excitement about the plan ride next saturday. i have an extremely busy week with school, but it will be worth it when im flying back over the atlantic.

i honestly think i might collapse when i get into the dallas airport. collapse out of weakness, tiredness, and joy. i know im going to be SLAMMED with a wave of varying emotions.

the Lord is so good though. He reminded me today that im still here, still serving him in Spain.

A girl named Hannah came and sat next to me on the bus today because the AC went out in the back of the bus, where she was sitting.

And we started talking about Jesus :) she said she has heard me talk about my relationship with Jesus and my small group (hope group) and my church. and she asked questions. and said she has felt like she needed to talk to someone with a strong faith, because she doesnt think she is a Christian. she said she wants to be, but doesnt know if she is or can be. if she really believes. and she wanted to talk to me and get advice and just listen to what i had to say.

and it was really cool. and i just talked about how i was save and how my life was before and the void i had inside me. and she said she feels not complete sometimes, and had never even thought that it could be because she doesnt have God.

it was beautiful. but also challenging for me. she asked some questions that i stumbled through. like "how come CHRISTIANS are right, and not other religions?" and all i could say was that because Jesus says the only way to get to the father is through Him.
its hard to think objectively and answer objectively when you are so biased.

please be praying for her. The Lord is pursuing her heart, and she knows it.
I needed that reminder that I cant completely check out yet. that there is still work here to do. Her decision to sit with me blessed both of us.

please be praying for this last week. i have a 2000 word paper in spanish due thursday, a final, and an oral presentation tomorrow, and im STILL sick.
and i just really want to talk to Brian. it was really hard in Madrid. everything made me think of him. It took every last strength I had not to pick up the hotel phone and call him...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I have to CLING to this song right now. (I just love Casting Crowns)
For some reason, music is so soothing and calming to me on this trip. i HAVE to have my praise and worship in the mornings on my way to class.
I just wanted to post the lyrics to the casting crowns song that I feel like personifies my life right now...

"Praise You In This Storm"

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You?

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

God had big plans for wednesday...

I sent the following out in an email to my hope group today, but I thought I would post it here too:

PLEASE listen to the Sermon Podcast from Sunday if you couldnt be there like I couldnt...
it is SO beautiful. SO BEAUTIFUL.
I listened to the Podcast of sunday's sermon earlier today. You have no idea how encouraging it was to hear. I am surrounded by non-believers here, and it just breaks my heart! The sermon was also convicting, because sometimes I find myself getting angry with their sinful lifestyles instead of loving them.
And I absolutely love psalm 1. LOVE IT. Before I left for Europe this summer, mark henry (i dont know why i always call him Mark Henry and not just "mark") gave me a copy of Living By the Book to study while I am here. This morning I read about reading meditatively, and then Butch's sermon confirmed that need with the part in psalm one about meditating day and night on scripture. It was so encouraging, and convicting, because I need to be even more Scripture minded then I am being. the Lord has ROCKED my world this summer, especially through prayer. It is just SO exciting!! But I have been experiencing EXTREME spiritual warfare these past few days/ weeks. And I just realized that I need to be meditating CONSTANTLY on scripture in order to prevent the lies instead of just using scripture to fight back when they are already in my head. Dont get me wrong, I DO need to use scripture to fight...but meditating constantly wont even give the devil a chance to get in.

thank you again for all of yours prayers. they mean so much to me. and i just challenge ya'll with everything butch addressed in his sermon. about love. about being broken for non-believers. about going against the flow. for taking a stand. for stopping sin. it sure is challenging me!

ahhh it was just so sweet to hear his voice, to hear his wisdom. it makes me so sad that he is so persecuted.

the Lord really spoke to me today. He encouraged me through Butch's sermon about decisions I am make here about how I choose to live. He spoke to me about my relationship with Brian. And he encouraged me with an email from Butch LESS THAN 2 HOURS after I listened to his sermon. It was just a short note of encouragement, but Butch and I have never emailed before. And it was right after such a moving message delivered by him. OK it might not sound all that cool here, but it is SO cool in my head. Just clearly an answer to things in my head.

I have a lot more clarity now. Basically just in that the Lord is the only clarity I need. I dont need to see His hour-by-hour planner of my life (though all of you know how appealing that sounds to ME cuz im a freak about planning)...I just need to trust him completely. He will show me the next step in His timing.

Today was BEAUTIFUL.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

it is NOT passing...that's FOR SURE