Sunday, September 25, 2011

James 1:27

This week has felt crazy.  I've had things going on before and after work almost every day and it wasn't until Thursday that I got back the apartment before 11pm.  Although the days felt long and I was tired by their end, there really wasn't anything special about them.  Most of the activities were just life.  But it sure felt like I had a lot of life pushed into only a few days.

One of the more notable events occured on Tuesday evening, when I met with the nurses at RMH to pack 6.5 totes for approximately 5 hours. 

With our 6 team members, we're able to bring a total of 12 totes, each weighing in at 50 pounds a piece.  Once we get on the ground in Ethiopia, we'll have over a ton of supplies with us. 

I'm holding my heart out but clutching it too - Nickel Creek "Reasons Why"

This part of the process affected me more than I thought it would.  I've been excited about the trip from day 1, looking forward to experiencing something new, fulfilling a dream I've had for a long time, and learning many new things.  But seeing some of the things we're taking, and hear what some of them could be used for, really struck a chord with me.  I knew this trip would be hard.  There's no denying that.  But having talked about it with some of the nurses, it has potential to be a lot harder than I could have thought.  Of course, the unknown leaves things open to your imagination, which often translates (for me at least) to thinking of the mroe than worst case senerio.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you - John 14:18

It's a bit like the beginning of a new relationship.  The honeymoon phase is gone and its almost like I'm done dreaming.  Reality is starting to set in and I realize this is going to be hard.  Perhaps the hardest thing I've ever done thus far in my life.  I will have to physically put myself lower than probably everyone that comes to the clinic, something I've never had to really do before.  I'm going to have to work hard and learn hard and pray hard and play hard.  And I'm a little scared.  What if I discover I can't do it (anything medical) and I hate it (Africa) and I just want to go home?  What if I fail?  I'm not sure that I really can fail because I know God is preparing and using each of us differently.  And I know this is a trip I need to go on.  I've known that since March when the idea first started floating around.

I don't know what's going to happen, but I do know my senses are going to be assailed in a way they never have been before.  Not to mention my emotions and my spirit.  But I also know that my God is a loving God and is holding me through all of the pre-trip emotions and unexpectedness and dependency.  And I know he is growing me (I might be feeling some growing pains!)  But I'll be walking taller soon, more confident too I'm sure.

The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' - Matthew 25:40

Monday, September 19, 2011

Life is funny

I'm sitting at a cube at work, off the clock but not at home because I have to teach later and it's pointless to use time and gas to go home when I'll just have to turn around again.  I'm eating butternut squash soup (delicious!) that takes me back to Ireland and all those lovely soups and bread we ate.  Too bad I don't have any bread.

While I was sitting here I decided to blog search and see what else is out there, hoping to learn a bit more about how to make this more interesting for my few readers, and also hoping to find something out there worth reading.  And I stumbled across something quite coincidental.

Let me begin by saying that yesterday in between meetings I found myself in Barnes and Noble looking for a Bible study of some sort.  It's been a while since I've participated in one and I know with some upcoming life events I really need to make a conscious effort to put my faith first and foremost.  I wandered to the Christian Inspiration section and looked at all the shelves, sometimes picking up titles by my favorite authors or things I'd seen other people reading.  It wasn't until my third round that I saw a title - Grace for the Good Girl

The title struck me first off.  I've always considered myself a "good girl."  I focused on my school work and worked hard to make my parents happy and proud.  I always tried to do "the right thing" and didn't do things that made people question me or my motives.  Because of who I am naturally, I find it hard sometimes to accept Jesus's sacrifice for me.  I didn't think I need saving because I'm not a "bad person" (I still struggle with these thoughts sometimes).  I read the first pages of the book in the store before I bought it, and I'm excited to start it in earnest.

What makes this story more interesting is that, just a few minutes ago, I checked one of my real life friends blogs.  E has an excellent writing style and is funny and real and I check in on her virtually every day.  So I decided to see what blogs she reads.  I found one listed under her "inspiration and faith" section called Chatting at the Sky.  When I arrived at the opening page, the first image I see is one of the cover of my new book.  Weird, I thought.  She must have just bought it too.

Wrong.  She's the author.

What are the chances?  (Probably about the same as my airman pen pal has of being neighbors with the brother of one of my high school best friends - yeah, that happened too).

I don't know if that means there's something especially good in this book and God wanted to put it forefront in my mind, or if it was just a happy accident.  But, with all that said, sounds like it's time for me to open that book now.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Sound of Silence

I walked out of my apartment this afternoon to go to work and stopped.  For the first time all summer, there was silence.  It was a little shocking to be honest, as this must have been the locust year.  All season there's been noise, no matter the hour, of these insects loudly proclaiming their presence.  I'm not complaining - it's the sound of summer.  But to have it stopped so suddenly, I guess you never really know what you have till its gone.

Unfortunately the silence outside has no comparable resonance in my life right now.  There are meetings at work, conference calls, two months worth of activity planning, shopping and packing and laundry, new youth groups to start and familiar ones with which to reacquaint myself.  Even though the summer might not have been all I wanted it to be, it was wonderful and I'm going to miss the weather, the lazy pace of life.

So, to commemorate Summer 2011, some cell phone photos for your viewing pleasure.

Engaged 6.27.11

The Fair's in town - June 2011

Sunset from the mountain top July 2011
Moth outside work July 2011
Putt putt poses August 2011

Second to last game of the season August 2011
Awesome presentation on some yummy Chinese food Sept 2011