March 26, 2012

getting lost in a good book

This weeks tour...reading
I have turned into a bookworm.
Growing up I did not like to read, now that is all I ever do with my spare time.
Before work, after work, during lunch, in the car. (I did not even get car sick!)
It is all I want to keep my mind off of all the things that are running through it.
The focus of most of my books have been amazing people, who have gone through a difficult time.
I find strength and hope in their stories, which have given me courage to know that I will make it through my own difficult experiences. (with God by my side every step of the way)
Moving away from family and friends will be very hard for me. (I have never spent an extended amount of time away from them)
In my heart I know that God has always been with me.
I know that He will always be with me.
Getting lost in a good book, has been helpful to me the past few weeks. It has given me the chance to read about others who surrendered things in their life, to follow God.
I am surrendering a few things in my own life. (family, friends, work, comfort...the list goes on)
As hard as it is for us as humans to give things up, sometimes that is what God asks of us to follow Him.
I look up to people like Bonhoeffer, Corrie ten Boom, and Mother Teresa (she is next on my list of people to read about!). These amazing people have all given up something to follow God.
God is asking me to follow Him and I am boldly taking that step of faith. (I am so excited to see all of the wonderful things He does in my life!)
With that said...I am off to read another book...if you have any good ones I would love your recommendations! (I will read any type of book, so the more suggestions the better)
(if you notice...I did not post this in my home state of Colorado, but from Missouri. I am visiting family this week! that is another story for another day)

March 19, 2012

couch potato

This weeks tour...???? laziness (I do not really want to call it that but I do not have a better name for it)
I have been avoiding and/or being lazy about doing a few things. (sometimes I feel like a couch potato)
They are not super important, just a few things to finish up before I leave.
But I do not want to do them....
Because then I know that I am that much closer to leaving...
(do not get me wrong I am super excited about leaving! just sometimes doing a few things makes it that much more real)
The only thing I have to say about it is this...
March 18
"Trust Me one day at a time. This keeps you close to Me, responsive to My will. Trust is not a natural response, especially for those who have been deeply wounded. My Spirit within you is your resident Tutor, helping you in this supernatural endeavor. Yield to His gentle touch; be sensitive to His prompting. Exert your will to trust Me in all circumstances. Don't let your need to understand distract you from My Presence. I will equip you to get through this day victoriously, as you live in deep dependence on Me. Tomorrow is busy worrying about itself; don't get tangled up in its worry-webs. Trust Me one day at a time."
by Sarah Young

March 12, 2012

who would you want to meet?

this weeks tour...people
you know the random question, "if you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?"
i have never had an answer to that question, there are plenty of interesting people i would like to meet (inventors, artists, etc.), but no one that sticks out in my mind.
i now have an answer!
i just finished reading the book, Bonhoeffer, and all i can say is "wow!" (if you want to know about all those who were against Hitler, and what they did to try to end his reign, you should read this book)
in case you do not know who he is...Dietrich Bonhoeffer...was an amazing man of faith. he is best known for his involvement in the Valkyrie plot to assassinate Hitler. (which later he was arrested and killed for)
i am most impressed with his faith during the time in history in which he lived.
he never let his faith fade away, even during the most difficult of times. (he was imprisoned for 18 months)
from a very early age he knew he wanted to study theology and become a pastor. (i wish i knew what i wanted to do)
the thing that sticks out to me most at this particular moment in my his work and study of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. 
that is what we are currently studying in church. (God has a sense of humor)
i find it interesting that he understood and lived his life the way Jesus wanted us to live, and he preached that through this particular section of Scripture. (he wrote several books, that i am so excited to read!) i am now learning about and gaining a better understanding of what it means to live your life fully for God and His calling for you.
Bonhoeffer knew what God was calling him to do would be dangerous, but he knew he needed to listen and follow God's plan for his life.
as hard as it seems at times...i know what God is asking me to do will not always be easy...but i know that is what He has planned for me.
when i think of leaving for 27 months, i get a little scared/nervous. i know i will never be alone, God will always be with me! 
i know that my time in FSM will bring me closer to God and my relationship with Him will be that much stronger.
i look up to Bonhoeffer as a great example of living out faith in this world.
i am blessed to have this opportunity, and i can not even begin to thank God enough for it, He wants to know me more just like i want to know Him more!
as always He knows just what to say to me...
march 11
"walk by faith, not by sight. as you take steps of faith, depending on Me, I will show you how much I can do for you. if you live your life too safely, you will never know the thrill of seeing Me work through you. when I gave you My Spirit, I empowered you to live beyond your natural ability and strength. that's why it is so wrong to measure you energy level against the challenges ahead of you. the issue is not your strength but Mine, which is limitless. by walking close to Me, you can accomplish My purposes in My strength."
by sarah young
i am so speechless at how God has worked in my life in the past year! and i am so excited for my new journey in life in which He will be my focus.

March 5, 2012

the little mermaid - part 2

this weeks tour...SCUBA (part 2) and an extra day!
first i would like to mention the extra day...
as this year is leap year, i have been blessed with an extra day with family and friends before i say good-bye. i did not do anything special, but all i can say is thank you God for an extra day! (it is the little things that i notice more often...who knew? GOD DID!)
okay now back to the fun stuff!
my childhood dream of being like Ariel is a little closer to coming true. under the sea is my favorite song from the little mermaid. (why is it that we always want what we can not/do not have? Ariel wanted legs and to live on land, and i would like fins and to be under water)
part 2...
open-water certification. (complete 5 dives, with various skills)

Santa Rosa, New Mexico. a cute little town whose main attraction is the Blue Hole.

the drive down was very was snowing...and i am thinking to myself...i am going diving! but the weather turned out to be very pleasant. (upper 50s lower 60s)
the water however...was 64*...
when i went to get fitted for my gear, they gave me three wet suits to wear, i thought that would keep me warm...not so much.
day 1...snorkel and 3 dives. a total of 4 dives for the day. (in open-water certification, it is the only time you can count a snorkel as a dive)
it was a little windy so when we were out of the water it was hard to warm up. i completed the snorkel and first 2 dives with out a problem. (funny story...since i had so much neoprene on...when i did the snorkel i could not dive down for a surface dive) the 3rd dive i was so cold (actually i was frozen!) i could not think straight and had to end my dive without completing my skills. (i was upset, but really i was frustrated because i knew i could do the skills...i was just too cold)
day 2...redo dive 3 and do dive 4.
today we started off by fixing my issue of being frozen. i got another thicker wet suit, and i wore a cap to keep my head warm. they also duck taped around my ankles so that water would not leak into my booties and up the legs of my wet suit. (another funny since i was wearing even more neoprene...i could not get under the water!) i had to be weighted down with 24 pounds! even then i was still having a hard time descending. i completed my 3rd dive, yea! but it was a little feet kept on floating up because a little water did leak in my booties and since i had them taped the water just stayed in and created like a little buoy. we ended up cutting the tape off. (it was only 9 am and it was already a long day!) finally the last dive...tour dive...this is the 'fun' dive of the class. go to 30' swim around for 15 minutes, it was fun to be able to float around in water that deep.
i did it!
i am now a certified diver! yippee!!
and now my dream of being a mermaid is that much closer...Micronesia here i come! 
the part i am most excited about is getting to see God's underwater creations up close!