Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Semester

Today is definitely not Saturday, which means that I'm late in posting, but I want to put out a short, sweet request this week. Due to a holiday and two snow days (which has to be some kind of record??)  tomorrow marks the delayed start of second semester. I love the fresh newness of beginnings of things. Middle times can be difficult. Endings bittersweet. With especially these last two in mind, I would ask you to pray with me for the students and staff as they begin tomorrow. That they would come with a mind set to please Christ most of all. That they would really truly love Him. That we would all run our race with patience. That nothing would rob us of our joy. And that we "may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." Philippians 1:10

I can honestly say that I am looking forward to what this new semester will bring. Thank you for your prayers! I look forward to sharing with you again soon!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Resolutions (sort of) and a wedding!

I'm not normally one for making New Year's resolutions, primarily because I'm not very good at following through with them. However, a little over one week ago, I decided to blog once a week, and here I am following through :)
School has started up again, and with it, all the joy and drama that Academia brings. During Christmas break I attended the wedding of some family-friends and while the I was challenged, rather indirectly, to live each day with joy. I realized at that time that joy was something that I had not been seeking, at least on a regular basis. How convicting! It was rather startling to come face to face with the fact that I was attempting to live without one of the essential elements of the Christian life. Of course I had been asking God for courage and strength, because those seemed to be the obvious things one would need when doing something difficult. But joy. So this week I've been asking for joy. And with it has come a lifting, both of my spirits, but more than that, of the eyes of my heart beyond myself to the needs those around me. I am not able to meet needs or fix hearts, but that's not what God is asking. His grace is sufficient. He's asking me to be available so He can work through me. This week was good, but I have a feeling this is the beginning of a much longer journey steadily upwards, and I cannot wait to see what He will do.
So that wedding I went to? Well, some dear friends, Timmy and Kristi Gaster (Hooray! I can finally write that!) got hitched in Seattle a few days after Christmas. What an incredible, joyful, emotion-filled time of celebration we had. Guests came literally from around the worlld, which was in itself amazing. But in the faces of those present, one could see the luster that only comes from having been changed  by God through another human being, and in the case, because of the willingness of Timmy and Kristi.  Many words were spoken, memories shared, stories told, and encouragement given. But beyond that, there was hope expressed, for the future these two will share, and what God will continue to do through them. It was so sweet to see BFA friends and former staff and students and reminisce and share about how each of us is handling our transitions. What amazes me is how God has a distinct path for each of us, and how He has been guiding us all individually. So although I was sad to say good bye yet again, I look forward to the next meeting, and to all that will happen in the meantime. So to my BFA family: May God make His face shine upon you until we meet again! Love to you all. 

Here's a pic from the wedding:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

So it's been a while since I posted last, and there are lots of excuses, and maybe some valid reasons. But so much has happened in the 6 months since my last post. I made a heart-wrenching move back to the US, worked another summer of Csehy, got a new job at my old school, started transitioning back to life with my family, had German 'Danke's' caught in my throat every time I was at a cash register, got grafted back into the loving community of my church, and tried to maintain some degree of 'normal' without really knowing what that meant. All the while, I was dearly missing the people, places, smells, sounds, and emotions that composed BFA in Germany. Tears and waves of emotion stronger than I'd experienced in my short life were my constant companions. And still are sometimes. The reason is simple: I have loved hard, long, and at great cost. This left me feeling much like a worn out piece of elastic, with about as much energy. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Because when God calls us to love others, He doesn't only ask for half of our hearts. It's His greatest commandment. 
This year God has allowed me to keep on loving in an opportunity I didn't expect (more on that later), but the call is the same. There was need, there was me; God said go and I went. Every day I ask God for strength to serve, and every day He is faithful. 
As the new year begins, and the smell of snow is in the air, I have hope. 
And this is why: "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6), "The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever." (Psalm 138:8) 
"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him." (Lamentations 3:21-24)