Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Thoughts

Happy Easter!! Albeit a little late!
Normally this would have been one of the busiest weeks of the year for me, but it seems that Easter really isn't as big a thing here in the States. Of course, I already knew that, but often you don't really "realize" things until you experience them first-hand. My family, on the other hand, has been very busy. I am sure that they will post about it all soon and I'll link to the post ;). Anyway, this has been my very first Easter on my own. We had a sunrise service out at the Wildlife Safari and then we had a wonderful breakfast at the church. I also had the priviledge of being able to participate on the worship team. The people of this church have been such an encouragement to me as I have been adjusting to life here. It's so great to know that I have so many brothers and sisters here who love me and who support me in what I am doing!

As for the people I am staying with, they are amazing!! I don't know what I would do without their love and encouragement. I thank God constantly for His love and care. It is wonderful that I serve a God who not only saves me, but who watches out for me even in the little things. My family isn't here anymore, but God has blessed me with a wonderful sister who has helped me in so many ways!
I think that the Ewerts are finally getting to know me, quirks and all! I have known them since I was 8 or so, but it's different getting know someone as an adult than it was knowing them as a child. We have fallen into more of a pattern of life, I believe, and I am finding my own little corner in the household :) :D. Last night I introduced them to our enchiladas. They were pronounced delicious, so I know that it isn't just us who like them. My mom will appreciate that! (btw, Mom, I added veggies to the ones I made as well. It tasted really good. I think that the only thing I was really missing is chilis *winks)

Plans for the coming year are still a little bit foggy. I have been praying that God would give me wisdom as I decide what I am going to do. I am looking into the option of enrolling in Umpqua Community College come Fall. I won't be able to complete my degree there, but I should be able to get a solid start on it and be able to transfer to Oregon State (or some other college) at the end of the two years. Pray for me in this. One concern is finances. I have applied for financial aid and am praying that, if it's God's will, everything works out. My God is big, and I'm confident that everything will work out according to His plan!

I have started my French up again. Now I am studying on my own. It's a little bit more difficult than when I had a teacher to push me on, but I am making headway! I'd forgotten how much I loved the language until I was finally able to jump back into it. What with the move and all I haven't had much chance to do any studying for the past few months. But all that's going to change!

Come June I am going to be starting up adult Spanish classes. I will be giving two different classes -- one advanced and the other beginner -- and I am going to offer private tutoring for highschool students as well. I have begun putting up flyers in various places in hopes that I will get some feedback. I love teaching Spanish, so I hope that I get enough people interested to be able to have at least one class.

I have also been able to get involved in a girls' Bible study that meets on Wednesday evenings. It's been great getting to know the girls in the group and I have really enjoyed the studies. Right now we are working our way through the book "The Jesus I Never Knew" by Phillip Yancey. It's a very well thought out and well-written book. He has an interesting way of writing. Rather than stating his conclusions outright, he walks you through his thought process, leading you to the conclusion that he came to gradually. I have found it very intriguing and thought-provoking. A good read, if anyone is interested :) .

Oh, and an intersting fact. I now have my own room! Funny though, I had to move out before it happened ;). I have actually missed my little sis' quite terribly. After more than 10 years of sharing the same room you kind of get used to it. I don't think that I would even mind her leaving her stuff on the floor anymore... well, maybe only a little bit :)... love you and miss you lil' sis'!

Alright, I should be getting on with my day. Let me just end with this little poem I wrote. I actually wrote it to be my facebook status on Sunday, so if you recognize it, that's why. This is what Easter means to me.

For I have resolved to know none but Christ and Him crucified
My sins to bear
My shame to remove
My life to buy
Jesus came to be the guiltless sacrifice for the guilty
He, having no sin, became sin for me
Set apart to serve my Lord and Savior

May you all have an amazing week and a blessed day.
God is good!! Let that fact change the way you live this day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Changes Life Brings

Well, here I am again! It's been a long while. I didn't write for some time because I didn't have time, and then I didn't write because I still didn't have time, and then I didn't write because I didn't know how to pick things up where I'd left off. These past months have been months of great change. I have been struggling to find my footing in it all, still haven't gotten there, but my God is a big God and He's helping me to persevere.

In February we left Mexico on our Spring furlough. We had a great trip. God proved Himself faithful time and time again through everything that happened. As of right now my family is back in Mexico gearing up for Semana Santa (Holy Week) and I am in Oregon.

Some of you might be thinking "what???? When did this happen?" The decision was made in December, right after my birthday. I still can't believe that it actually happened, but it did! I have now been here a month. I have two jobs. I work weekends at the Wildlife Safari selling tickets (just for this month) :) and I am also teaching Spanish classes.

It's been such a drastic change for me. I am saddened by so many things that have changed, but excited by what is yet to come. This is a poem that I wrote one morning as I meditated on everything that had been happening. God's been doing some hard things in my heart, but I'm so in love with Him!


Take a step, take a leap
As the years go by the steps seem to become more and more like leaps.
Life is like a dark road;
Sometimes you can barely make out what's right in front of you.
The road draws you forward into the unknown.
Going back is impossible, but what is hidden in the darkness ahead?
Take a step, take a leap
Staying put is ever so much easier than moving on.
Most prefer known hardships to stepping forward into unknown possiblilities.
But just imagine those possibilities!
Take the steps and see what they bring.
The girl becomes a woman
The boy becomes a man
The steps we take make us who we are.
Take a step and trust God for the rest.
Who knows, this next step could be the first step of a new adventure.

So, I am going to pick things up here. My mission hasn't changed, just the country :) . As I undertake this new challenge I could really use all of your prayers!
This has been my passage for the month. I hope that it encourages you as much as it has me!!
Romans 8:26-39
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Just as it is written,
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.