Saturday, July 23, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Ladies, thank you SO much for your sweet feedback from my post yesterday. I am so excited to know I am not alone in this passion and burden for biblical womanhood. And I'm really eager to see what the Lord will do with this in the future. He is raising up a generation of women who love Jesus first- that is beautiful!
Monday, July 18, 2011
God has slowly been impressing something on my heart these past few weeks, months, years. Last night as I was journaling, I felt like it all kind of came full circle in my head.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
It's 12:45, and everyone is asleep. It's just me, my fruit (i probably eat more fruit than all of your reading this blog put together), Rold Gold pretzels, 19 Kids and Counting, and my computer. Speaking of 19 Kids and Counting, Anna Duggar is about to have her baby so I can't go to bed until the show is finished. I'm pathetic lol.
I have been home for 4 full days now, and it has been wonderful. Time has been surreal, as in some ways I feel like I have been home forever, and in other ways, the time is already going too fast. There have been long walks with Spencer, all the familiar foods, sweet times with family,
sleeping in, and getting to work out again (i know, not exactly everyone's favorite but I do enjoy that).
I have been relaxing while scrapbooking my trip and watching movies. It's been therapeutic to sit down in the basement for hours at a time, letting my creative juices flow while reflecting on my trip. Seeing the pictures on the pages has reminded me again of the incredible opportunity I had the past 7 weeks. I saw so much beauty, history, picturesque sights of Europe.
I have almost exactly one month before school starts. I cannot wait to return to the community that I have there, and I have SO much to look forward to this next year. But I am not at all ready to start school, especially to start another Spanish class.
But until then, I have many more long summer evenings to look forward to, a week of family vacation, a trip to St. Louis to see friends, and more time to recuperate before falling into the chaos of college life again. I'm determined to make the most of every day that I have left of summer, so thankful for the growth the Lord has brought, the blessings He has given, and this wonderful place I call home.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Their latest treasure is Miss Ruby Grace, who they announced they would be adopting here. Tiny Ruby stole her daddy's heart while they were in Uganda last month. And their latest trip, he did everything he could to take care of this precious girl. She weighed 6 pounds when they met her, though she was already 10 months old. She has hydrocephalus, a condition occurs where water collects on the brain. In this case, it is due to her malnourishment. This baby was starved. When they found her at the baby home last month, she was unable to keep any type of food down at all. This past week, they were able to feed her in teeny-tiny bits at a time.
They posted pictures of their precious new daughter, who was left to die- but destined by God to live. My heart broke.
Many ask why. Why would 50-year old parents adopt a baby at all, much less a baby with special needs? Why would parents of 14 children adopt again?
But here's the truth. We as Christians are not called to ask why. We are called to say Yes, Lord, here am I. I mean honestly, who are we to say or do anything but that? Somehow we HAVE to get out of this mindset that our lives are for us. Because they're not. We don't get to live this life for us, and then come back again and serve the needy, care for the orphan, and feed the hungry on Round #2. This isn't a game.
I don't know how to live like that. I don't know that I want to live like that. I write on this blog about how convicted I am, how challenged and encouraged i am to strive to live a life that reflects Christ. But when it really comes down to it, that's a scary thing to actually live out. When you surrender yourself to the Lord like DW and Linny have, BIG things happen. Yet- those BIG things have been beautiful. They have a huge, beautiful family. They have children who once lived in an orphanage, who now know the love of a family and most importantly the love of Jesus.
So as I wrestle through this issue, I want to say YES, Lord, here am I. And if that means adopting a tiny little girl from Uganda with special needs, then I will trust our big God to give me a huge, heaping load of trust and strength.
What big things, or what little things is the Lord asking you to say YES to right now?
He has Spoken
Broken, burdened, feeling lost
Wanting to serve at any cost.
Amazed by my selfishness, blindness, and pride
I act as if I’m the only one in this life.
And then I’m reminded, it shatters me still;
That the children are dying, hungry, ill
My eyes dart away from the face on the screen.
She just can’t be real, it must be a bad dream.
But this precious little girl was somebody’s daughter,
So sick and disabled is she that nobody wants her.
But someone has to love her, someone has to care.
Some has to choose, a jump of faith, a love dare.
This tiny body is perfect in the eyes of her Creator,
A normal life she may not live, but it will glorify the Savior.
What road will we choose? The one of safety, comfort?
Or will we choose to let go and live the one of joy, hurt?
I am crying to Jesus to show me the way
I want to walk the road that makes me trust him day by day
I so long to bring Him glory, serve forgotten, hurting, broken,
And I hold His hand with confidence, knowing He has spoken.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
- 4 days away from going home. God has been faithful.
- Full of topics that I want to blog about. The Lord has really been placing some heavy stuff on my heart. I long for my life to glorify Him, and I also long for this blog to glorify Him. SO- when I get home, I'm hoping to get some of those thoughts from paper to computer screen :)
- Totally and completely burned out on Spanish. Again, God has been faithful to sustain me, but I have never been so unable to listen to or speak Spanish like I am now. However, at the same time, I've never been so ready to fly to Latin America and use my Spanish.
- So ready for Mexican food- Chips, salsa, queso, tortillas, the works :)
- Rambling....so I should stop writing. ;)
Monday, July 4, 2011
1,000+ new vocabulary words
12 vocabulary tests
18 single-sided notebook pages full of notes on the Spanish history
20+ hours of studying for said history exam
1 entire notebook of Grammar and Conversation notes
1 6-page research paper
= 1 accomplished study abroad student.
Only 3 more days of classes and I'm DONE! :)
I had the wonderful blessing to go over to a family’s house for dinner on Wednesday. I had met Jacqueline, the wife, at church on Sunday. She is a short, round-faced, brown-eyed passionate woman. Her face is always in a huge smile that radiates the joy in her heart. She is the most hospitable woman in the church, and she chooses to open her home once a week to students and young people. Upon meeting her, she handed me a pen and told me to write down my email, because I am coming to dinner on Wednesday! Alrighty then! I was nervous, and almost talked myself out of going. That next day, I talked with another student from the church who mentioned Jacqueline and how she has a huge passion for the orphans. What?! God could not have matched me up with a more perfect friend.
So I responded to the email and told her I would be honored to join her for dinner. I met up with another American, and we took a bus (where I saw the poor family from my previous post) to her apartment. Upon entering her apartment, I was surrounded by nothing but hospitality and fellowship. By the end of dinner, there were 8 people plus a baby gathered around their table from 5 countries, united by Spanish and a love of God. Jacqueline’s husband, Alfonso, was a delightful man. There was banter throughout the entire meal, and I was so happy to be able to participate and understand what was going on. It was really sweet to watch Jacqueline and Alfonso throughout the night. Alfonso would frequently address Jacqueline as “Mi princesa,” my princess. What woman doesn’t want to be called that?! There was obvious respect, love, and admiration.
At the end of the night, Jacqueline gathered us all around the living room. We held hands, and she prayed a blessing over us. Just a sweet, simple blessing to the Lord. It was beautiful. 5 nations, 1 tongue, 1 God.
I feel as though this week has been rather distinctive. Definitely a defining week in my time here. I’ll try to sum up all of my experiences. But to start- a scene that has been heavy on my heart.
Last Wednesday I took a bus to a different part of Salamanca, and when I walked up to the bus stop, there was this little girl with darker skin and dark hair, and I immediately thought of Guatemala. She looked to be about 6, and just like any child, she was running back and forth. When she turned around, I caught a glimpse of her face and my heart skipped a beat. There was something about her features that looked so much like Claudia. Except this sweet girl had obviously lived a very hard life. Her clothes were worn, her teeth rotting, and her round, brown eyes were rather sunken. They were the same round eyes as Claudia, and her smile was precious. The innocence of childhood and the spark of joy were still lingering there.
I watched as she skipped back to her family, and my heart broke. They looked like they were merely surviving, just scraping by. The mom had a very long, dark face that was hardened by the world. It had an almost scary look to it, so full of bitterness were her eyes and facial expression. She resembled some of the Gypsies that I’d seen, and I wondered if perhaps that is where she got her unusual features. The dad looked to be South American. In front of the dad was a stroller with a little boy in it. He looked to be about 3, and there was something very, very wrong with him. He reminded me of the pictures I see of pediatric cancer patients in the hospitals. He had peach fuzz on top of his head, with the same beautiful big eyes that just popped out of his thin little face. He was smiling and shouting things at his sister, as his gruff dad stood with arms crossed, waiting for the bus to arrive. A second stroller held a little baby, and though I didn’t see much of him, he had the same beautiful skin as the rest, blissfully sleeping, still unaware of the rough world in which he had entered just months ago. I wrote in my journal the next day, “That family made my heart hurt. They made me uncomfortable, and even a little scared. I had not seen such an unhealthy, poor, desperate family yet on this trip. Their faces have continued to haunt me all day.”
THIS is why I am learning Spanish. To go love on children, to minister to families, to help broken mothers like that get on the path to hope. I so long to do that. Waiting on the Lord for His will and His timing has been so hard, so transforming, and so beautiful.
For whatever reason, that family brought out this deep love and burden even more. I don’t know what will come of it. Sometimes the Lord just desires to remind us of His call. Other times, He’s growing that seed a little bit more, for something special.
Dad, I don’t think our time in Guatemala is finished. Can’t wait to see what the Lord is doing J