Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Poop face.

(Real post coming soon. Last night was kind of eventful, but I'm still processing it all to be honest. For now, more whining about how I miss my Romania team. . blah, blah, blah I KNOW.)
I'm sitting here drinking raspberry green tea Crystal Light from my AIM Nalgene that has been my companion for the past month and eating sun flower seeds until my tongue hurts from the salt, and I realized how much I miss making this face with these people while having such a snack.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Isaiah 58.

It's not really been a secret to everyone that I've had a hard time adjusting back to American life. Going from being in a tight group of nine with our every day focus being ministry and growth to being home in America where the every day life with my family is focused on getting through the day and ordering text books for my classes has not been really easy. I miss my team mates, I miss feeling useful, and I miss waking up every morning with the mind set of purpose.
Yesterday this was especially evident to me and I was really struggling with it throughout the day. I mean, don't get me wrong, yesterday was also a lot of fun and I'm not just wallowing in a pile of self pity. I went to see Toy Story 3 with Charis, Dave, and Bre and then went to Starbucks with them before making the my return to the youth group. We had a really good time just hanging out, drinking excessive amounts of caffeine, and talking about college since Dave and I are both moving in at our schools around the same time. My struggle yesterday was mostly internal.
Basically, by the time we hit youth and were going into the service, I was not in a happy emotional state. I felt very discontent and overwhelmed and all I really wanted to do was lay under a table and cry.

During worship I was really trying to hold it together, because I really didn't want to cry in front of the group on my first night back. We came to the last song, which was Revelation Song, and my mind immediately went back to the worship session my team had on one of our last days in Viile Tecii, when all of the sudden I very clearly saw a verse written in my mind, like it was on the inside of my eyelids.
"Isaiah 58". Okay.
The more I kept singing and not sitting down to read said verse, the darker and clearer the letters got, like they were being burnt into my eyes. The moment we took our seats, I pulled my Bible out and immediately turned to it, expecting that it would be something really relevant and mind blowing since I had seen it so clearly. Well, you know those little titles above the chapters? The one for Isaiah 58 was "True and False Fasting"
. . . what? Talk about irrelevant.
Determined that I was shown this chapter for a reason, I kept reading and wondering what I could actually learn from this. I had heard a plethora of stories about people being given seemingly irrelevant verses and chapters only to learn something from them after opening their mind to it. Then I hit verse 9-12.

"Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.' If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in."
- Isaiah 58:9-12

Hidden in the middle of this chapter on fasting, God showed me the answer I needed to my discontented state of mind. Just because I'm home doesn't mean the ministry mindset and way of life ends. Being home is just the next step and another form of it. There's no reason I can't wake up every morning at home with the same outlook we had on this trip. I should be constantly seeking ways to be selfless and reaching out to those around me, even when I'm flying solo without my team in person. But I'm never completely without them, because I know they are all only a phone call away and in some cases only 2 or 3 hour drives.
My life is a mission field, not just one month out of my summer.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Adventures with Charis and Remus

I've been home from Romania for 4 days now, and it seems like ages ago that I said goodbye to my teammates and shared ten minute hugs and promises of visits in the lobby of our debrief hotel. Coming home, I wasted no time in jumping back into my friends lives and surrounding myself with people. I've spent the majority of my time back with my dear friend Charis, doing everything from eating bagels in Panera to throwing pennies in a fountain at Starbucks. Today, our planned adventure was to journal shop and then plot out songs for the covers we're planning on doing in the near future. Instead, we got to embark on an adventure of a whole other sort.

After a failed attempt to swim this afternoon, we decided it was time to go home, plot some songs out, and break out the dark chocolate peanut butter I had recently purchased but yet to try. This was a treat that was obviously meant t be enjoyed on apples, and my fruit depraved self loved the idea of biting into an apple after a month with barely any fruit. But for the first time in my 17 years of existence, we had no apples in my house. Outraged, Charis and I jumped into Remus, my 12 year old beloved Jeep Cherokee, and headed off to the store in search of apples, bread, and oreos. We successfully purchased these things, put on some Ingrid Michaelson, and headed home to prepare the best afternoon snack anyone had seen in awhile.

Then we hit the intersection.
I hit the gas pedal to go through the light, and suddenly. . . nothing. No movement. Not a bit of it, even as I push the gas medal to the floor. "Oh shoot! Oh shoot shoot shoot! NO REMUS!" I shouted, desperately pushing the pedal as the car behind me honked and Charis motioned for them to go around me. But there was still nothing.

After a panicked phone call to my dad and a report in to AAA, we were on the side of the road waiting on a tow truck to pick my baby up, and my mom to come pick us up so we could sit in an air conditioned car instead of out in the 101 degree, humid North Carolina weather. Luckily, a really sweet old British man stopped and helped us push the car to the side of the road and then my neighbor offered us a ride home. Also, a pretty attractive 20 something year old stopped to see if we needed help as well. Long story short, we ended up canceling the AAA pick up, talking to a cop, and calling a local towing service before going home and finally getting to enjoy the snack we went out to purchase almost 3 hours earlier.
All in all, it was an adventure. Poor Remus is now in the shop, so I'll be driving my parents cars until he comes home, but it's really a blessing that this happened today instead of tomorrow on the highway or if I end up going on a longer trip next week by myself. Looking back on it, it was pretty funny. We took some pictures while waiting and got a song list written up and got to laugh at all the teenagers who passed by and stared at us. Overall, it was a pretty eventful day and gave us a pretty exciting story to tell while adding to my knowledge of car emergencies. At least now I know how to roll a car out of an intersection!