Friday, June 20, 2014

The Gift of Travelling with Sisters

This picture is one of my favorites.  Thanks so much, Rachel, for capturing the moment as we were completely oblivious.  I saw it for the first time as I was going through all my pictures and picking out the hundreds (literally) that I want to print, and it immediately sparked a desire in me to blog.  I feel like it encapsulates the last 9 months in a snapshot. 

The hike that we were on when this was taken was an awesome one.  We took a lot of pictures, laughed a ton, saw some pretty incredible sights, and there was just a sense of adventure in the entire thing.  We even had a fatality on the way (RIP Briana’s drowned lens cap)!  On our way back to catch the bus, we decided to take a different route, which was actually blocked off at one point.  As we walked on the trail, we didn’t really know where it was going to take us.  It got very hot as we trudged on, but as you can see, we had quite a view to take in the entire time.  Finally, we did end up finding the main road and a familiar bus stop, and all was well. 

My God is a professional mind-blower.  The picture shows a great expanse and screams of His majesty and creativity.  And then, as you take in the whole picture, you see that off to the side are 4 average-looking girls walking an old dirt road.  They aren’t the center of the picture, but rather just a part of it.  And that’s how it is in the journey of life.  You walk a road with people, there are ups and downs, and if you keep your eyes on yourself, all you see is dirt below.  But when you stop making yourself the focus and look around at all He is offering you, the view is breathtaking.  The walk isn’t always easy or fun, and at times you have no idea where the road is leading, but He is faithful.  And when you understand that you are not the center of this life but rather just a part of it, it’s a lot less frustrating and much more beautiful.

I’d go anywhere with these girls.  It’s the truth.  These ladies are full of life, hope, love, and light.  It’s women such as these that make the best travelling companions, and even more than that, friends.  I love them…..not just the flippant sort of love that you say about pretty much anyone.  No, I really love these girls.  They have inspired, blessed, grown, and loved me.  They’ve brought me so much laughter, taught me so much about love and Jesus, seen me at my ugliest and shown me beauty through it, and strengthened me with their constant encouragement. Sure, they’ve also driven me crazy with their incessant “Mom” calling, made me mad, assisted me in annoying our neighbors, hurt my feelings, and pushed my buttons.  We were like sisters……are like sisters.  It’s a part of the journey, and our journey was phenomenal. 

When I think of my girls (a term I still use to refer to them), I see beauty.  Yes, they are gorgeous women, but it’s so much more than that.  There’s a strength and power behind each of them.  They are lovers of life, seekers of depth, spreaders of joy.  I am just so PROUD of each of them.  It was such a privilege to be able to appreciate and witness the growth that each one of them displayed. 

Well, team.  We finished.  We are now spread out in distance, and as we have already experienced, It is a lot harder to keep up with each other’s lives now.  But I just want to say that although far in reality you are very present in my thoughts and prayers.  I tried to express what an impact you all have made in my life above, but it didn’t work as well as I would have liked.  I don’t know if you will ever understand what a blessing you were in my life.  The truth you spoke when I was doubting, encouragement you gave when I was down, and love you showered me with throughout it all has shaped me.  You’ve pushed me to the Father; what could possibly be better than that??  NOTHING.  So…..thank you.  I can’t say more than that really.  I’m grateful not only to you all, but to God as well.  He blessed me with you all and has used your friendship to reveal more of Himself to me.  Os quiero MUCHISIMO……y para siempre. 

So while it’s sad to think that our trip together is over, I am beyond thankful to the Guide that He placed you all in my life and that our journey together on the winding road of life has only begun.  

Monday, June 9, 2014


So…..this is a weird night.  I got home from work (a very stress free night) and came home and had no idea what I wanted to do.  There are a lot of things that I SHOULD be doing right now, including packing for vacation, cleaning, organizing things from my life and putting them away, going through pictures, writing letters and emails, and probably even some more things, but the fact is that I just don’t feel like it at all.  I have tried calling a few friends, but no one is picking up.  I sat down to read, but my Kindle needs to be charged.  So now here I am sitting on my bed, bundled under the covers with piles of folders and books all around when I realized, “Kirsten.  You need to blog.”  And that is exactly what my heart wants to do. 

You see, I am home now.  Yes.  I have been home for a week and a half now, and it feels like 2 months or something.  I hit the ground running and started right up in going back to work.  I can’t believe that a month ago I was living in Spain.  It kind of feels like a dream to me right now.  This will probably sound weird and pretty harsh to most of you, but honestly, I haven’t thought about Spain too much since I have been back at home.  Yup.  And until you leave for a few months and come back, you probably won’t understand me.  Now don’t get me wrong….when people ask me about Spain, I think about it and miss it.  And in my heart, I know I miss that place dearly.  But my head just isn’t thinking about it right now.  I don’t really know what is going on in my brain.  All I know is that I kind of feel like I am in a bubble right now. 

Reentry has been going good so far… really good.  I have seen pretty much everyone and have been able to spend time with those that I am closest to.  I haven’t been too overwhelmed or discouraged yet… is just good. 

I haven’t really been asked about Spain too much since coming home actually.  There have been a few friends who have asked really good questions about my life in Spain and the people I grew to love there, and I have really appreciated it, but just a few.  And until now it hasn’t really bothered me.  I think that I am just finally slowing down enough to have time to start processing, and now I wanna talk.  Because now……now I miss it. 

I skyped one of my best friends from Spain today.  His name is Enrique, or Kike for short.  And after our almost 2 hour skype, it feels as though my heart has just been shocked back to life and I miss my friends there so much.  I’d give up a whole lot right now to be back there with them. 

Reading over some of what I just wrote makes me sad and confused.  And I know it will confuse you all even more.  So I apologize. It is quite depressing-sounding actually.  I am not depressed, and I hate that all of this sounds like one big grumble.  That is not what I want to do.  I guess this is just where I am at in life right now.  Life is good here.  I enjoy it.  I am happy to be reconnecting with family and friends again here….people that I really missed while I was gone.  But now I am also in the stage of just really missing Granada life.  And now that I think about it, I am happy that I feel this way.  It’s been weird not really thinking about Spain.  I’ve felt guilty, when really I have known that it would only be a matter of time before everything caught up to me and I would feel like I do now.  So I am glad that it is here.  Is it going to be easy to deal with and stay satisfied and content with where God has me right now?  NO.  Definitely not.  But I am going to continue to fight for joy.  I have so much to be thankful for, and I am beyond blessed with all the privileges and opportunities He has sent my way. 

I would ask for prayer.  As my thoughts have just started and my processing is just beginning, I ask that you pray for a lot of patience and grace in this reentry process.  I want to live in the here and now, but I also don’t want to let the friendships I have made over there just slip away.  And I really want to deal with all of my crazy emotions in a healthy way this time.  Basically, just please pray for Jesus to be my main focus and desire again. 

I plan to write more soon…..when I have more of an idea of what I am even thinking.  It was good for me to kind of sort out how I feel at the moment, even if it is a jumbled mess of feelings. 

Thanks for caring, because I know that if you read this post that is exactly what you are doing…..caring.  Love you guys.