Saturday, December 17, 2011

Can't Get Over You

First of all, I just wanna start out by saying, thank you guys so so much.  I normally end my posts in this way, but I feel that it is very appropriate to start this time.  I have felt so much support throughout this whole experience, but especially this week, you all have been SOOO GREAT in encouraging me.  Seriously, I got so much positive feedback, and it was so good.  I’ve been struggling with homesickness for a little bit now ( which I have been told over and over again is a good thing) and your comments have been so helpful.  To know people care enough to want to know what’s been going on and then to have you guys share how it’s been impacting you personally and your personal struggles.  I just can’t tell you how much it means.  THANK YOU. 

Also, in saying this, if you wish to reach me or just want to catch up and talk, I would LOVE to.  I really enjoy listening I have realized.  Throughout this whole REACH process, it has become more evident to me how much I like to listen to other people and hear about life.  So if you would like prayer for anything or just need to talk, I’d be more than willing to try and help.  Prayer is an area I would really like to grow in during this time too.  I feel like prayer has always been like a list of my problems to God.  And it’s not supposed to be like that.  So I’ve really been trying to grow in this area and stop focusing on how it sounds and just talk to Jesus, my best friend and hero.  ANYWHO.  All of that to say, if you would like to reach me, feel free to email me.  My address is my first and last name at  So if you know that information, feel free to email.  If you don’t know that information, you probably don’t want to email me.  I would prefer email over facebook messages because I am not going to be getting on Facebook nearly as often.  My internet time is limited and facebook is distracting, so I would rather spend most of my time talking to people, and emailing allows me to do that  most efficiently.  So yeah.  Email please.  Also, it may take me a bit to reply to you, but know that I enjoy hearing for you guys and am thinking of you even in the moments of waiting for response.

Also, I am very happy to report that you guys can now comment on my blogs.  Before, this was not possible, so this message is really for those who tried before and were unable.  Thank goodness a computer wiz, aka Beth Hale, taught me some stuff! :]  So yeah.  Feel free to comment!

And now, the song of the post.  I don’t really know why I have a song of the post, but I kinda like it.  Actually, I really like it.  Just a strange, semi-unique thing about my blog.  But anyway.  The song of the post is Can’t Get Over You by Anthem Lights.  Great song and my thoughts exactly recently.  I just can’t get over my big, big God who loves unconditionally.

Since my last post, my homesickness has grown I would say.  But.  It’s good.  I have come to the conclusion that the first month was going to be hard regardless.  New culture, away from home for the longest time of my life, adapting to newness.  Just a tough thing.  But missing Christmas with family has definitely intensified this “loneliness”.  It’s a lot harder than I anticipated.  But at the same time, I know it’s good.  I am being stretched and growing from it.  And along with this, I know that I appreciate my family a whole lot more now.  Although it will be hard throughout the whole stay here, I think it will be a lot easier after December passes. 

Even in my homesickness though, I have found so many things to be thankful for.  For one, TECHNOLOGY IS INCREDIBLE!  I mean.  Emails.  They take seconds to arrive at their destination.  CRAZY!  Secondly, (typing secondly made me think of Mr. Bean and for those of you who understand that, I miss you greatly :]) we have access to the internet pretty much whenever we want.  What a blessing!  And not only these things, but I have received a lot of videos from home.  I am EXTREMELY grateful for these.  It’s so so good to SEE things.  I mean really.  And if anything can top a video, its seeing the other side of the world live through a screen.  I have gotten to video chat twice back home, and it is truly…..I don’t even know.  Its just a blessing. 

So even though I am missing things like Christmas goodies and programs and such, I know that this is a time for me to cling to Jesus because He is really all I need.  And He has blessed me with the ability to communicate back home so easily.  What right do I have to complain about anything?

This week was a more normal week for us.  No trips, just hanging out in our base town.  It’s been really good.  December is the month for us to just really adapt to the culture and observe mainly.  Take everything in and learn the language as much as possible.  And although at sometimes it feels like we aren’t doing much, I keep reminding myself that we are only 2 weeks in and that God is still working.  It’s also a good time to relax for a bit.  In this not so busy time, I have had lots of time to think and process stuff.  This brings me to a new favorite pastime: READING. 

In the past two weeks I have read two books.  Both have been so good.  Really, really good.  And I have realized just how much I love reading.  During high school, I hardly read at all.  It made more sense to me to work ahead in my schoolwork and then I just fell out of the habit and felt I didn’t have time to sit down and read.  But I love it!  And I have found some great truths from reading good books.  The first book, which I think I might have mentioned in another post but I’m not sure, is called The Real Me by Natalie Grant.  So much to learn from it.  It’s about learning to see yourself as God does and the importance of it.  In the book, Natalie shares her own story and struggle with bulimia, but the book talks about a bunch of different struggles that girls especially face.  Self image and confidence is a difficult thing and something I struggle with, so the book was just so good for relating to and learning. 

The book I just finished is called Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.  Thank you so much Liz S for suggesting this book to me.  LOVED IT.  Couldn’t put it down.  Wow.  And this is the topic that I have been hit with this week.  God’s huge, vast, redeeming love and how I have an obligation and a need to offer this to other people.  Seriously, the book is very…hardcore.  The love that is demonstrated in this book is incredible.  But, I know that this love exists because I have seen it in action.  The love I am talking about is 
selfless and actually appears absurd at times.  It thinks of the other person completely and finds great joy in this.  At the hardest times, when the world would say to drop the person and move on, this love holds on and does the unthinkable.  It provides, cares for, comforts, and pursues.  PURSUES.
In life, when people hurt me and push me away, the last thing I want to do is pursue them and be kind to them.  I mean really, its their problem, right?  And what if they maliciously and intentionally do things to hurt me?  Why would I ever even think of showing love to these people?  It’s pretty simple really.  Jesus would. 

I have seen selfless love demonstrated my entire life.  My parents are a great example of this, and a lot of other adults that I really look up to do a fantastic job of displaying this as well.  Generosity is huge in showing love and compassion on the hurting is key.  But its different when the person is trying to make your life horrible, right?  Wrong.  The love is the same.  Do I show it?  Not a chance.  Do I need to?  DEFINITELY. 

I have seen this type of love in action though.  The person who has been demonstrating it to me probably has no idea she has.  But she is loving someone who honestly, but the world’s standards, doesn’t deserve love at all.  But she loves Jesus and continues to be a light to those around her by the way she lives her life and loves.  It’s truly incredible and supernatural. 

I have been very inspired by this demonstration and this book.  Love has been on my mind lately, and I desire to love in the best way possible.  1 Corinthians 13 sums it up.  So in my endeavor to grasp this love thing, I have decided to memorize this passage.  I want those words to be in my heart forever.  But it doesn’t stop with knowing the words.  I want to GIVE this love.  And it’s going to be a huge challenge, but it’s something that I’m willing and ready to fight for, because in the end, the greatest thing is LOVE. 
These are just a few of my thoughts recently.  Not much else to talk about.  We are getting used to life here.  Eating so much bread and drinking coffee and tea.  Listening to Christmas music on the beach while my skin burns.  Very different from home, but different isn’t necessarily bad.  Just….different :]

Here’s an interesting and totally awesome fact.  All around our little neighborhood, there are these little shops (mercados).  Seriously, like every road has at least one.  Very convenient.  And inside these littler mercados you can find all sorts of goodies.  A really popular thing around here is ice cream bars/popsicles.  You can find them everywhere.  And you can buy them from anywhere between 100-1,000 pesos, depending on the type.  The exchange rate for pesos is roughly 500 to $1.  So 100 pesos is like 20 cents.  STEAL OF A DEAL!  I can get a popsicle and 2 candy bars for a dollar.  And, like I said before, these mercados are everywhere which means easy access and you can go to a different one every time and avoid looking like a pig.  SCORE!  Heehee.  Needless to say, we have been to quite a few mercados :]

Yes, life here is different.  But I am enjoying it and learning so much each day.  So grateful to be here.  Thanks again for your prayers.  Love you guys and God bless!  

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