Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dios responde a la fe, no la lógica

Translation: God responds to faith, not logic.*

So, wow. I went to church this morning with the Director and his family, and how blessed I was to I accompany them. It was as though God wanted me to rest completely in where I am; I have been telling those closest to me that I have talked to since I have been here…that I can already tell I will easily fall in love with this place, and that I am at peace.

Now I can say it with all that I am, with utmost confidence. I felt His presence upon walking in the church, one of those moments where words truly and utterly fail. The title of today's post was a quote from the pastor, that I found quite fitting for where I am.

I then accompanied their family to Vibs for lunch and then I went with the girls and their grandmother to Starbucks and Suburbia.

It is a beautiful thing to be able to tell you my heart is at peace here, and definitely so soon. I would have never thought I would know it, in these first few days. I know there will be moments here where those I love are terribly missed; moments where I feel overwhelmed. Yet, I will look back on this morning and last night and allow God to remind me that He has brought me here, for such a time is this.

Puedo descansar que mi corazón está con su corazón.

Yesterday, I ventured downtown with my sister to accompany her with a project. Afterwards, we took the combies, a form of bus transportation here, to a birthday party of a student in NOE. We listened to Hillsong, a side-note: they played my favorite song twice, Forever Reign, watched basketball and soccer games, and then played charades and mafia. And yes, I actually participated in charades after my name was yelled consistently for a few seconds.

We then went downtown to the Cathedral and watched the fireworks and the lighting of the cathedral. The birthday boy was given a cake- to the face and thrown into the fountain. They tried to tell me that it was my turn in the fountain, but I resisted. I was able to talk to a few of the students, trading Spanish for English. One of the guys said I don’t need to be afraid to talk in Spanish, because we are family. That comment right there is evidence in itself, that this place and these people are easy to love…that I am feeling right at home:

A heart at rest, in a place until just a few days ago, was just a name,
Your hands at work, nothing she can claim…
And so she sits with the city noise, as her company,
Recounting the moments of this place, where You have brought her to be.

She’s coming to know it as home,
Such a beautiful comfort, to be known.
Those days of mindless routine,
Were more than they seemed.

You were preparing her heart to be with Your’s.
You were paving the way, and opening doors.

Tears have already fallen with utmost joy and peace,
Resting in Your confidence, of which she knows full well, will never cease.
Because Your hands placed her right where she is,
Because Your hands molded her for such a time as this.

And so, she will welcome the coming days,
She will love, until her heart is spent, come what may.
This passion within her, unlocks a reason to live,
So she will gladly love and give until there is nothing left of her to give…

Saturday, March 26, 2011

first words and feelings...

So I have been promising an update for quite some time, and I have some free time in between our ventures for the weekend. So here is your update... long overdue, I know. I arrived in Morelia at 7:30 on Wednesday, and I had no problems with customs and immigration, hooray! And I was greeted by the director and his wife at the airport, who then proceeded to take me to my home to meet my new family. The nerves were still very, very present. Although, I continued to give them over and place them in my Maker's hands for the duration of the ride...

I met my family and I immediately felt at home. Sure, I was still nervous, I had just trekked a country away from all I knew, but it was though, in those first few moments God let me know it was going to be alright, that I was at home. Questions were traded as we got to know each other over a late snack, every piece of clothing and luggage was stowed into its' proper place. And after a bit of watching tv with the family, we turned in for the night.

The next morning I was able to sleep in and was greeted with breakfast by my sweet house mom, fresh mango, orange juice and quesadillas with pico de gallo, a muffin and coffee. We talked about many different things, and she made sure to tell me not to be nervous about speaking spanish. After that, I met with the Director at NOE, and was given an orientation...and then I went home to eat dinner with my family at 2. I went back to NOE for an emergency seminar, and met a few of the NOE staff members.

Yesterday, I met with Sharon, the woman I will be replacing for the upper level english class and Juan, who gave me a tour and explained some other things concerning the internship. I went back home for our early dinner, and then returned to NOE for another meeting regarding teaching. I stayed looking over material for my classes until time for youth group--we watched the Book of Eli, and I was formally introduced to the students.

I hope I am not boring you with these daily details. It's truly the only way I can think of to give a proper update.
Furthermore, God is already showing me that I will easily fall in love with this place and the people here. I am seeing His faithfulness in each moment of my stumbling over the language and it is such a comfort to feel His presence with me, even in the smallest of things.
I am so thankful for your prayers; there hasn't been a moment where I have felt alone in this. Praise be to Him, the author of my dreams!

I haven't taken any pictures, yet. I am sure I will have some soon. Below is a piece of the Baja, and it seems to be fitting, cause I am pretty certain that love will come easy for this place too:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Eight years, and You've brought me here.

Almost eight years ago to the week, I was prepped to venture out of the states for my very first time, donning a missions jersey and braids, with limited language skills-and a heightened sense of a wary traveler leaving all I knew with my family and home.

And here we are, I am sitting at the gate awaiting my solo international flight, to the country that I came to love those eight years ago. Not with a group of people, but just me and my Maker. Not for a week, but for three months-the first of many, many extended stays.

God has grown me since that first trip. The wary traveler is now quite comfortable in her own skin, and finds something about traveling solo awakens her spirit and enlivens her. The girl donning braids is now okay with accepting the natural curls, the girl who used to keep to herself and latch onto others is learning, surely learning to speak up and use her own voice.

These past eight years have been spent loving, loving the people of Mexico. Falling in love with the language, the culture, the very country. These past years God has taken every carefully figured out moment-and turned it upside down. The times when I have been stretched, have been the most freeing, joyful, beautiful times of my life.

It is in those times when my heart has made a home in more place than one, met some of the people that I carry closely to my heart-it is in those times when I have seen the abundant life God created for me.

Those of you reading this have been with me through and through…you have helped me take hold of the call God has given me, you have believed in me-when I thought surely there was nothing left of me to believe in, you have encouraged me to look up and cling to my Maker, in the midst of uncertainties. And I thank you, yes all of me, thanks you. You are very much a part of my story.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Unspeakable Joy

Pictures from my first trip, ever since I have known You orchestrated this beautiful place, to be my home:
"Precious child, may home be the place from which you launch your dreams..." Maryanne Radmacher
6:30 a.m- I am awakened by my mother, encouraging me to get out of bed for the meeting that awaited me at 7:30, with Shannon and Mark, discussing future plans for the Baja.
6:44 a.m- I pause in the middle of getting ready to read today's excerpt from "My Utmost for His Highest."
It reads as follows... [interesting, and telling side-note, I just realized that God led me a month ahead, to April 18th, as I went back in search of it]:

"God called to Him, and he said, Here I am...

When God speaks, many of us are like people in a fog, and we give no answer. Moses' reply to God revealed that he knew where he was and that he was ready. Readiness means having a right relationship to God and having the knowledge of where we are. We are so busy telling God where we would like to go. Yet the man or woman who is ready for God and His work is the one who receives the prize when the summons comes. We wait with the idea that some great opportunity or something sensational will be coming our way, and when it does come we are quick to cry out, "Here I am." Whenever we sense that Jesus Christ is rising up to take authority over some great task, we are there, but we are not ready for obscure duty.

Readiness for God means that we are prepared to do the smallest or the largest thing-it makes no difference. It means we have no choice in what we want to do, but that whatever God's plans may be, we are there and ready. Whenever any duty presents itself, we hear God's voice as our Lord heard His Father's voice, and we are ready for it with the total readiness of our love for Him. Jesus Christ expects to do with us just as His Father did with Him. He can put us wherever He wants, in pleasant duties or in menial ones, because our union with Him is the same as His union with the Father. "...that they may be one just as We are one..."

Be ready for the sudden surprise visits of God. A ready person never needs to get ready--he is ready. Think of the time we waste trying to get ready once God has called! The burning bush is a symbol of everything that surrounds the person who is ready, and it is on fire with the presence of God Himself."

7:30 a.m- Mark and Shannon meet me and are quick to tell me that Monte and Joe will be joining us.
7:30 a.m-8:30- My heart and my dream is embraced, fully recognized, discussed further and most importantly given a date, in the very near future.

July 16th is my date of departure to my home, where my Maker called me long ago...

A sudden surprise visit of God?, I think so. I have a date within my palms! I will be spending July 16th to the end of October in the beautiful Baja! I am fully overcome with unspeakable joy. My hands are shaking and have been since I left the meeting. This has been years in the making, a dream of mine, since my sophomore year in high school. I wish there more words to tell of my feelings, but there aren't words telling enough. My eyes are twinkling with joy and I can't contain these feelings that are enveloping my heart. Praise be to Him, who truly does give us the desires of our heart.
Here's the picture that started it all:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

six days?

This is one of those moments, when I rightly don't have any idea...what to do with myself. Such moments are foreign to me, after devoting these past two years of my life into a full-time job.

I know, of course, I could be packing.
But packing?

That holds such finality.
I mean, I am ready to go, because I am certain that Morelia, Mexico, is where God desires to take me.Yet, I still have moments left to hold, within my palms.

And packing? Seems as though it would be taking those precious moments from me. I'd be reckoning with clothes, rather than reveling in the precious company of my beautiful family.

So here's to another day spent, not packing. Another day, where I allow myself to know, truly know rest-'the beauty of doing nothing,' with those I have been given to love.