May 28, 2012

friends and food...a great combination!

this weeks tour...more good-bye's and yummy food
*10 days until departure...
Is there anything better than friends and food?
I do not think so...
This weekend has been full of lunch/dinner dates with the best of friends. (who I will miss tremendously!)
I am so full of loving and caring friends...oh and do not forget the food! (it was all delicious!)
#1-girls night out (we went to our usual spot...Chili's)
A few of my girlfriends and I have a monthly dinner date...this was my last one...for two years anyways.
Nichole, Me, Beth
I met these girls on my Haiti trip and I thank God every day for amazing women to share my life with! (oh and a big congratulations and good luck to Nichole she got accepted into a pharmacy program!)
#2-BFF (we went to Panera...oh how I will miss their delicious food!)
I have a best friend, who I have know since I was 5! She is the best! 
I am a lame friend...this is an old picture of us (from my high school graduation in 2003! gees I am getting old) 
Me & Aumbree
We had such a great time, we did not think to take a new picture!
I thank God for her everyday...I am so blessed to have a friend who I have known my whole life, and who I will share the rest of my life with!
#3-a great friend and brother in Christ (we had BBQ! Dennis always knows the best food places...Jim 'N Nick' was delicious)
I met Dennis a few years ago...we always have so much fun together...he is a blast to hang out with because he makes everything fun! 
I thank God for him everyday, because he always puts a smile on my face! He also is a great example of someone who lives their life for Jesus (good luck in seminary!)
God has blessed me with amazing people in my life! I will miss everyone so much!
It is time for me to make new friends!

May 21, 2012

surprise visitors!

this weeks tour...the countdown begins, and remembering my inspiration
*17 days until departure...
My life took a turn after my mission trip to Haiti.
I was at a point in my life when I was not sure of my next step.
I thought I had a plan. 
I asked God to move in me in a big way. (be careful what you ask for, or at least be ready for any answer He will give)
He did!
Haiti was a stepping stone for what God had planned for my next step.
I was so blessed by my friends in Haiti, they have left an unforgettable impact on my life. 
The leaders (Dan and Irene) from Faith Missions International and the parents (Smith and Katia) of the orphanage came for a visit this week at church!! I was so excited to see them! (it was like opening a present on Christmas morning)
I was so glad that I had the chance to see them before my journey, and to thank them for the impact they left on me.
Smith and Katia's testimony is so amazing, and their faith is incredible!
Hearing their story was just what I needed in my last few days here.
Smith talked about how when we follow the Lord, the road is not always easy.
I know that I will have good days and bad days on my journey, but I need to remember to keep my faith and trust in the Lord. He will always be with me and bring me through the ups and downs.
Each little step I take is a blessing from Jesus.
I am forever grateful for meeting and knowing Dan, Irene, Smith, and Katia.
Thank you Jesus for everything, even surprise visits from my friends from Haiti!

May 14, 2012

to bring or not to bring...that is the question

this weeks tour...packing
*first...a shout out to my wonderful mommy! thanks for everything you do, you are the best! Happy Mother's Day*
I hate packing...I always wait until the night before I leave to do it. (sometimes I even wait until the morning!)
I know this trip is different and that waiting is probably not the best idea. (the truth is I have kind of been packing since December, my suit cases-only allowed to bring two-have been open on my floor and every time I got something for my trip I threw it in them)
I 'packed' my things this weekend. (with the help of my mommy-thanks!)
I made a checklist and made sure I had everything I needed or wanted.
I now have a little list with some last minute shopping. (good thing I 'packed'!)
I am a planner, organizer, and have been described by my family as a little OCD.
What can I say I like things a certain way.
I have decided to try and let myself give that over to God. (it is SO hard!)
God is teaching me on this journey to release my control of things to Him. To trust Him and know with all my heart that He knows what He is doing.
May 13
"Thank Me in the midst of the crucible. When things seem all wrong, look for growth opportunities. Especially, look for areas where you need to let go, leaving your cares in My able hands. Do you trust Me to orchestrate your life events as I choose, or are you still trying to make things go according to your will? If you keep trying to carry out your intentions while I am leading you in another direction, you deify your desires. Be on the lookout for what I am doing in your life. Worship Me by living close to Me, thanking Me in all circumstances."
by Sarah Young
(I love this devotional...everyday speaks to me so personally...Jesus knows just what I need to hear!)
This journey will be full of unknowns, and I am ready to trust and embrace each one He puts on my path! With Jesus by my side every step of the way!

May 7, 2012

Micronesia here I come!

this weeks tour...good lucks and good-byes (island party style)
I have had a pretty busy weekend.
I am so glad (and blessed) to have the opportunity to do all of these things before I leave!
1. Dinner and a movie with the other half of my brain. (I share a brain with a much so that when we had dinner we ordered the exact same thing!)
2. Peace Corps send-off brunch. Awesome! I was able to meet Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, people who have just started the application process, and people in the same boat as me-getting ready to leave. (great conversations, and valuable packing advice)
Then...this morning I woke up feeling so unprepared! (more than ever during this whole process) I think because the reality is starting to set in.
Then I read this...
May 6
"Do not search for security in the world you inhabit. You tend to make mental checklists of things you need to do in order to gain control of your life. If only you could check everything off your list, you could relax and be at peace. But the more you work to accomplish that goal, the more things crop up on your list. The harder you try, the more frustrated you become. There is a better way to find security in this life. Instead of scrutinizing your checklist, focus your attention on My Presence with you. This continual contact with Me will keep you in My Peace. Moreover, I will help you sort out what is important and what is not, what needs to be done now and what does not. Fix your eyes not on what is seen (your circumstances), but on what is unseen (My Presence)"
by Sarah Young
Jesus always has the right words at the right time! I still have a checklist (and I always will! that is just the way I am) but I am asking for His guiding hand in what is important and what needs to be put on the back burner.
3. Party! My parents put together a going away party for me. It was so great to see everyone and say good-bye before I go. (I did not even cry!) I was so happy to see family and friends that I have not seen in years!
I was not expecting gifts, but I received some awesome (and very useful) things! (Thank You everyone!)
  ~Swiss army knife
  ~collapsible water bottle
  ~travel laundry line (would have never thought of that!)
and this
He will hold your hand Isiah 41:13
I have a thing for stars...this is from my parents with the verse inscribed in the inside. (Thanks mom and dad! I Love You!)
and we took a family photo
Thank you everyone, it means so much to me that I have a HUGE support system! Thank You! Thank You!
God has blessed me!