Sunday, November 28, 2010

With Seeing Eyes

My bed is gone and my room looks rather naked. It's the futon for me tonight.

Thus, begins the moving process.

Last time I posted, I didn't know where I was moving, but now I have a destination. Thank you, Jesus! God's timing is always perfect, so I'm not sure why I forget that and get worried about things, such as where I will live. He provided a place in a basement apartment of a family from church. There will be about a week between the moving out and moving in, so I will be chilling with the family and perhaps crashing with the grandparents for a night, just for fun.

So here's a mind-blowing fact: I have exactly 6 days of classes left and then a few days of exams until I am finished with this semester.

I feel like I just got back from HoneyRock, but obviously I've been back for a while since Christmas is in less than a month and all.

My three months in the Northwoods seemed a lot longer than my three months living in Nashville, working in Donelson, and going to school in Murfreesboro. (If you are a stalker, you know three places to find me. But if you are a smart stalker, you already knew those things because the internet tells all.) For that, I am grateful. Not because these past three months have been bad, but because my experience in Wisconsin was invaluable and was really a life-changing experience. If I haven't told you about it and you want to know, or if you have had any doubts about God - any at all - please email or call me and we will get together and celebrate what God did in my life and how He works miracles even now if you are looking with seeing eyes.

I have a secret to tell you.

I have fallen out of step with what I know and believe to be true. How have I done this? For a split second, I took my eyes off of Christ and allowed sin and humanity to claw at my desire for God. And I slipped. The intimacy I felt with Christ began to be less until I felt very far from God and very ashamed that I stopped looking to Him, because it destroyed me inside. Once again, I discovered the hard way that self-sufficiency does not work. Because of the way in which He so personally spoke to me this summer, I was ashamed at falling away so quickly by not intentionally looking with seeing eyes.

Here's something I excerpt from my journal entry the other day:

"I got back here (to Nashville), and it was hard, but still, God showed Himself to me in every day things. Then my focus shifted inward, and I focused on my impurities rather than His glories. It was then that I felt most separated from Him."

Why do I share this?

Maybe because I believe being transparent about sin and struggles and ways in which we fall short fosters a greater trust. Maybe because I believe hiding our struggles makes us even more spiritually ill. Maybe because I believe God wants more from me and from you than our impurities.

So how 'bout it?

Let's do this.

Let's start every day by focusing our eyes on Him so we can really see and stop feeling dead inside.

I have to go buy stamps because this bill is due in a few days and I need to get re-acquainted with Shakespeare so I can write an impressive paper and maintain a good grade, so that's all for now.


ps I'm not starving myself...the Prague diet was a joke. But I am grateful for your concern. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm Prague

That is what I like to call a "contraction sentence." It's a contraction for "I'm moving. And I'm traveling to Prague." But I was fairly certain you would click on the link if I used this strategy, and guess what? It worked.

It's been a while since this blog has received any attention, but my mind has not ceased to produce ideas and questions and wonderment, so welcome back into the inner workings of my mind. Oh yeah...and I'm bad at communicating happenings in my life to all the people I care about, so this is an easy way to get the word out:

I'm moving. Again.

I'm not really sure where I'm going, but I will be out of my place by the end of the month, boxes and bags in tow. My family lives nearby (that's relative...within a 40 mile radius), so I can always rejoin them. The problem with that is they are currently building a basement in our home, so going back "home" would mean staying at the neighbor's house, which is quite lovely, but I would still feel displaced.

The purpose of my migration out of Nashville is to save money for my Prague excursion in July, because as invaluable as I know the experience is going to be, there is a definite price tag that requires some sacrifice on the front end.

I've already embarked on the "Prague diet," a budgeting strategy.


Go grocery shopping once every three months, spending no more than $50 per trip.

Eat the same thing for a week, two if you can make it last (pasta, for example, or grilled cheese, because it's simple).

If you wake up between anytime after 8:30 am, you might as well wait until lunch time to eat. If you don't get around to eating lunch until 1 or 2pm, you might as well wait until 3pm and make it an early dinner too.

See how easy that is? I just combined 3 meals into one meal.

Then, if you're hungry around 8pm, you can have a snack, or run by Taco Bell because it's cheap and filling.

Bam. The Prague Diet.

I'm also having a garage sale. Proceeds will go towards the trip. I figure if I keep enough clothing to last me a week, I can mix and match and become creative and sell the rest of my wardrobe. (Okay, so that was a joke, but maybe not such a bad idea....)

I'm going to miss Nashville a ton, but every time I pick up my phone with the background of Prague at night, I smile and think "this is so worth it." (So if I'm doubting this two months down the road when I'm living out of my car again because I live so far from EVERYTHING, please remind me that I once thought it was worth it.)

"Why Prague?" you ask. "I thought you wanted to go to South Africa."

Ah, so glad you asked.

Yes, I do want to go to South Africa, but the long and short of it (did you know Shakespeare coined that phrase? Well, he did.) is that I have to leave the country to get credit for my global studies minor but if I go during the school year, I have to go to a Spanish speaking country since I will be taking Spanish for the next 3 semesters to fulfill another graduation requirement.

That takes South Africa out of the semester-long equation.

I could go for a winter or summer term, but there aren't any (or many) summer trips to South Africa, at least that I could see. Besides, I want to write a book while I'm there, and one-two months is NOT enough time to do enough interviews and research AND take classes AND write a book. So that is now a post-graduation goal.

The Czech Republic wasn't on my radar until this summer, when two dear friends told me about their ministry experiences there. Then, my professor told me about her summer experience when I returned to school this semester. I immediately dismissed the possibility of my involvement because I knew it would be pricey. However, for whatever reason, I researched it and was instantly like, "Okay...I'm supposed to be here for this." So now, I'm doing crazy things to make it happen, like sub-letting and moving out by the end of the month, which I decided to do last week.

I guess it's not really that crazy.

I'm used to living with unpacked boxes by now.

So there you have it. The update. I would ask that you pardon my sneaky title to get you to read this, but a pardon would require remorse which would require regret, and I harbor neither. Until next time!