Thursday, May 30, 2013

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hi blog! I've been meaning to post, but have had a crazy week! Tests and rehearsals and just hanging out with people. Life has been twisty and turny. And I am waiting. Whatever that means. But more on that later.

It's now spring break! I'm taking a needed rest from life planning and school stress. I plan to be back to posting after the break.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Freedom and Messiness

My last post was kind of about fear. About how I sometimes I freeze up because I'm scared of something. I'm scared to give up the title of "right". What if someone looks at me and thinks I'm not doing the right thing? Heaven forbid they think I'm sinning! See, I have always always been a rule-follower. And man, I'm pretty good at it. From a young age I knew how to keep up appearances even if my heart wasn't in it. My Dad likes to tell the story of the time when I was 5 and he was disciplining me. He told me to sit on my bed and I told him, "I'm sitting down on the outside but I am not sitting down on the inside." Pretty insightful right? Talk about an innate sin of pleasing people and being reallll good at keeping up appearances. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?), I keep discovering more ways in which this tendency has rooted itself in my life. And since it seems to be a theme of my life right now, I want to talk about it.

My church recently finished a sermon series on Jonah. I don't think I ever would have guessed that the book of Jonah would apply so much to my life. But wow, it's powerful. One of the biggest things that stuck out to me during the weeks we spent on it was that we shouldn't be afraid to get messy. You know when you're standing by a gross pond and a kid throws a boulder in and you get splashed because of his actions? Yeah..... Think about it. Jesus got pretty messy. But wait. It's not just that He hung around the people who were splashing around in the pond - and He basically did that all the time. He actually took on all our sin - God turned away because of the sin that was on Jesus! JESUS WASN'T AFRAID OF SIN! At all. Yeah, He hated sin. But He didn't hate it just because it was sin. He hated it because it kept us in bondage. It kept us away from Him. It kept us from being able to talk with Him and go spend eternity in His presence!

Sometimes I think sin is gross. I try to stay away from it. I try to stay clean and make sure people know that I'm saved and that I fight sin. Seriously. I've thought this way. But this isn't what Jesus died for. He didn't die to make me "clean" and nice. He died so that I would be free and would be like Him. And Jesus didn't fight sin - He fought darkness and bondage. And you can't fight darkness and bondage unless you go to those places. Sometimes I'm afraid of sin. Sometimes I'm afraid. Father, help me to remember that perfect love casts out fear. You died so that I may live, that I may live free from bondage. And because I am free, I can get messy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Direction


I’m suddenly terrified of this decision I’ve almost made. I’ve spent so much time praying, seeking God, asking for wisdom. Yet I still feel like I’m making the decision on my own. I’m standing here almost frozen, not wanting to make the wrong decision. I trust that God speaks to people, that He guides us along the path He’s made for us. I trust that He won’t let us fall away. But I don’t trust myself. I don’t believe that I can make a decision without another human. I feel completely unworthy and naked. I can’t do it. I long for someone I trust to tell me explicitly and completely that I am making the right decision, this is most definitely where God is leading you. But why do I believe God can speak to someone else so clearly, but not to me? Why would God choose to let me hear Him clearly? I don’t deserve that. But wait. No one does. I find myself proclaiming the unending, amazing, beautifully deep love and grace of the cross, but deep down I think that only other people can experience Him intimately. But I’m also afraid. Afraid of what other people think. I’m afraid my parents will say I’ve made the wrong decision, I was foolish, too na├»ve. I’m afraid I’m doing this for the wrong reasons. After all, my heart is deceitful, right? I don’t know. I just really don’t know. But I’m gonna take this first step. I’m going to choose to confidently make this decision. I’m going to trust that God isn’t out to confuse me. He doesn’t operate based on fear; instead He guides me and directs me and pursues me.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Show and Tell

This. This is a tuk tuk. A great little 3-wheeled mode of transportation. They were really fun to run around Delhi in. And yes, it looks little because it is. The first day we were there, we had three people in one and two in another. The last day we were in Delhi, we squished all 5 of us in one, plus the driver. Fun times.





This is the view of the village from the top of the school. I LOVE this view, and miss it a lot. We would hang out there at night and star gaze and get ready in the morning by sitting and watching the village hard at work.




Indian food!! This is rice (obviously), vegetable curry, and chicken.




This is the mountain we climbed! Towards the end of the week we took a picnic out to the base of the mountain and after we ate, we started hiking! We went about halfway up, to this big rock overlook. It was awesome.




These are the kids in the school!! This was the assembly, where we sang songs and acted out Bible stories. The kids were awesome. They were so sweet and I loved the time we spent with them.




This is a thrashing floor! Yes, think Boaz and Ruth! We even got to practice gleaning - talk about hard work. Ruth was an awesome person. She had soo much faith in the midst of such a hard situation.




Sunday morning, the ladies REALLY wanted us to wear saris to church. So they found some that would fit us large americans and everyone came to help dress us and watch what was going on.




This! Is the precious little girl of one of the teachers at the school. She was SO shy when we first arrived and Bailey's and my goal was for her to let us hold her by the end of the week. Success! 




This is what Delhi is like. Super crowded! This is just a glimpse of it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thoughts

A week ago exactly we landed in Dallas after 2 weeks in India. Wow. I think a part of me is still there. I went to a movie with friends last night and I was sitting there reflecting on the trip and the week I've been home. It sounds so obvious, but life here is so different from life there, and I'm trying to figure out what all that means. Where does seeing what I saw leave me. I encountered so much love, so much joy, so much FAITH. And here I am back to where I have WAY more than I could want or need. And I'm trying to avoid saying that one place is bad and one is good - I am where I am because God put me here and it is good. It was a very life-giving trip, so I guess I'm trying to figure out what to do with all that when I'm here in a place where it's all about school and making yourself better so you can have a good future. Where is the evidence of God in this? And that must be why I'm here, and why you're here. Just as God came to that village through Abhi, I hope that I will let God come into my world through me. There are no literal thrashing floors here at school, but God is still here and the Bible is as real as ever. So. That's where I'm at right now. (pics and more stories to come)

Monday, January 14, 2013

The First Days in India

After 20 hours of travel, we landed in Delhi at 1:30 am on Saturday December 29th. Though when you're getting off a plane trip like that, the time really doesn't even matter! We easily made it through customs and immigration and were able to get our money changed. Hooray for Rupees! Pastor Abhi was waiting for us outside the airport (in India, you can't even get into the airport without a ticket), and he got us two taxis. We threw our luggage on top of the car and headed to our hotel. It was a rough night. For some reason, the water was not turned on, so the sink didn't work and the toilet didn't flush. At that point I was too tired to worry about it anyways and just went to sleep. We met Abhi around lunch time and headed to KFC. This time we got to ride in little autos, or tuk tuks - the real Indian experience. They were great! And KFC was delicious!

After lunch we got to do what girls do best - some shopping! Abhi took us to a market so that Bailey and I could get some Indian clothes. We needed Kurtas to wear and wanted some "balloon" pants. This first market was busy, but not too overwhelming. It was great to have Abhi with us to bargain for our stuff. He would explain to the sellers that we were college students and we needed a better price! A couple times we had stuff picked out, but the price wasn't good enough so he had us just leave. Oh well! I ended up with enough clothes to last for the trip, and barely spent any money. We ate real Indian food that night and it was served family style. Abhi used the meal as an example to talk about the difference between book culture (individualistic) and oral culture (community). In an oral culture, what one person does affects everyone else. So whoever ordered a not-so-great dish caused everyone else to have to eat it too. Of course, he didn't tell us this until after we got our food! It's a good thing we all ordered mostly-yummy dishes.

Bailey and I were super excited to wear our Indian clothes to Church on Sunday! Mark and Stephen dressed up with us and wore their indian man-dresses too. Fun times. Church was really enjoyable. It was mostly just siting and watching for us, but I loved it. I loved the worship and also enjoyed hearing Abhi preach. He threw enough english words in so we could understand at least the gist of what he was saying. The church eats together after the service and so we got a chance to eat some home-cooked Indian food. SPICY!!! Our noses were running and our mouths were on fire, but it was delicious. Fortunately we were brought some sprite. After church we went to another market, but this time it was insane. So many people, I was overwhelmed. Eventually I figured it out though and was able to buy a few things. But still. So many people. After I dreamt about meeting Adrian Peterson, we left early Monday morning to fly out to the village. I'll admit I was a little anxious. I was definitely out of my comfort zone these first couple days and I had no idea what to expect for the coming week. Butterflies!! Little did I know how awesome it would be!