Monday, October 31, 2011

Yet another chapter in life

Well now. I don't really even want to think about how much time has passed since I last updated. I suppose that by now most of you probably know me well enough to just assume that I had forgotten... or just wasn't in the mood to write. Both are true in part :). I think that I will agree with my mom in saying that the biggest blow to my blogging has been Facebook. Facebook is such an easy, fast way to post updates that I never feel the need to sit down and type out a whole post for my blog.
That said, I have now given my blog a face-lift, and I am hoping that the change will give me more incentive to write. Time will tell.

So, last time I put my fingers to the keys I was, to coin a phrase, "on the path to self-discovery"... well, I am still on that path, but fortunately I have made a little bit of progress in my journey. I am out of the mire of self-pity and gloom and now I am on my way up a new hill, the other side of which is, as yet, unseen.

Anyway, enough with metaphorical analogies, let me tell you a little bit about these last months.
Recounting all the details would be impossible, so I'll just hit some highlights from each month :) ! Quite unfortunately I have discovered that on my own I am not much of a picture-taker. I took a camera along with me on the last trip that I took and I didn't even use it once... I don't know why. It's not that I don't like taking pictures. Maybe it's that I am a little perfectionistic, so if I can't get an awesome picture, I'd just rather not take any... either that or carrying around a camera with me all the time isn't high on my list of things that I really like doing. All this to say that I am sorry that this post doesn't contain any pictures. I will try to be descriptive in my words ;) .

JULY -- The month of waiting and expectation...

Emily, my roommate, left for Mongolia at the beginning of July, so I was quite on my own for a lot of the time. The Ewerts' daughter and her husband and children came to visit for a week or so toward the middle of the month. It was nice to have kids in the house after a couple weeks of almost complete silence ;) .
Since I had so much time on my hands, many of my thoughts were directed toward my planned trip to the mid-west in August. I couldn't wait... but, of course, I did.

AUGUST -- The month of travels and new experiences...

The beginning of August found me on a plane to Nebraska. I won't bore you with all the details of what I did there, but I will tell you what I thought were the best parts of it.

I got to...
Help stack 300 bales of hay into a barn (YAY!)
Chase a cow through the cornrows
Make tons of awesome new friends
Road trip with aforesaid friends
Attend a Do Hard Things conference (which was even better than I had expected)
Participate in a barn dance (that was SO much fun)

But when I think of Nebraska, the memory that rises above all the rest is of the wind playing with the tops of the cornstalks and making the bean plants dance, almost as if it were a huge ocean of green, the waves rising and falling. It gave me so much joy to see the beauty of God's creation!

After Nebraska came Kansas. I rode down with some of my new-found friends to Wichita, where my grandparents met up with me. I got to spend two wonderful weeks with them. It was very peaceful and quiet. I was even able to get into the habit of going for a run every evening. Truly it was quite enjoyable!
But all good things come to an end... or so the saying goes. August 28th saw me deposited nicely back at home in Oregon.

SEPTEMBER -- The month of surprises and decisions...

September brought with it many good things. The first of which was the end of summer, and the second a visit from my family! I was overjoyed to see them again, especially since I had not expected to see them until December. My brothers were all considerably taller (well, Andrew was only slightly taller, but he's getting there) and quite as rambunctious and mischievous as ever. And Evie has quite grown into a young lady, and without my permission too!

Oh, and I mentioned decisions. Well, I'll tell y'all (that's the mid-west rubbing off) that I have been praying and taking steps and praying all the more over the past 7 months. The funny thing is that it often seemed like I had figured out what I was going to be doing next year and then, right when I was almost certain, something crucial would change and everything would be up in the air again. The last thing that I wanted to do was make a decision that I would later regret, or make a decision that I honestly couldn't feel a peace about. There are so many things that one "can" do at this point in life, but how many of them "should" one do? This question swirled round and round in my mind.

But, as with all decisions, there comes a time when the time has come, and one way or another something has to be done.
After a lot of talking with my parents and friends and with my Father, I have made the decision to go back to Mexico. I don't really know how "permanent" this is. From where I am standing now I am not seeing God calling me away again any time soon, but I guess I have learned from experience that God's ways and plans are not my ways and plans. I am content to take this next step that He's shown me and then wait actively until something changes.

And this bring us to OCTOBER -- the month of planning and busyness...

So, plans for my trip began. And plans for the short-term missions trip traveling to Mexico in December from my church continued. And plans for the gigantic Dinner Theater/Auction fundraiser for said trip progressed. As October draws to a close, I feel like heaving a sigh of relief as I look back on all the things that have been accomplished toward all of these goals. There have been times in the preparation, especially for the fundraiser, when I honestly did not see how we would be able to pull it off. But, God is faithful. Once I realized that there was only so much that I could do and that the results had to be left up to Him, things began to fall into place.

And here I am. The fundraiser is this Friday; and I leave next Friday for Mexico. Wow. Where has the time gone? I am torn in my feelings. Glad? Yes, most definitely. Sad? Yes, that too. As I leave Oregon, so closes another chapter of my life. But I am leaving behind more than just the life I have lived during this past year. I am leaving behind my childhood and all the memories that I have held on to so tightly throughout these past 7 years.

I am going to Mexico, but this time it's my choice.

Isaiah 40:28-31
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Blessings, friends!