Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'm still alive...

Title because I survived the Mayan Apocalypse AND because I haven't written in an eternity...

Last time I wrote, I said that I didn't see the point in reading the Bible. And that apathy has carried over to most forms of the written word lately. I haven't journaled much, haven't blogged, haven't been reading books, haven't read the things my friends have sent me, haven't read my e-mails, haven't written my stories, nothing.

Hi, my name is Victoria and I fail as an English major.

Good thing I already have my degree, huh?
(See? Screenshot of my degree from a Skype chat with my family)

But now... you get a post written this morning! Enjoy!

I’m laying in bed in Paris. It’s about 11AM and I have about five hours before I plan to head to the city. I would go in sooner, explore, go on a tour, but it’s raining out and I don’t have an umbrella. And my shoes aren’t waterproof. So I’ll go in to Skype my family from Pret (first I’m calling Mom and then at 8:30 I’m calling in to my family’s Christmas party). Tomorrow I’ll be baking up a storm so I doubt I’ll be able to go explore. I’m making chocolate chip cookies and buckeyes for gifts and then cheesecake for Christmas. It should be cherry cheesecake but I couldn’t find cherry pie topping. I do think I have to get more cream cheese than I bought yesterday. I can’t make just one cheesecake stretch to 14 people.

We got here yesterday and were at the house by noon. Normally I’m not afraid of flying and I did not believe that the world was going to end yesterday. But somehow, some bit of something got in my head and I was honestly afraid about our flight. I just didn’t know what might happen. But of course I didn’t want to scare the girls. So when Kathrin and the girls went to the bathroom and I stayed with the stuff, I took a minute to pray and to start reading Matthew 6 (Who of you by worrying can add another second to your day?).

I’m not afraid of dying in general. I believe that since I have accepted Christ into my heart, when I die I will go to be with Him. If the idea of a third-line Christian is what makes someone “qualified”, then maybe I’m not but I am trying to get there. I am seeking. Last night, I told G-d “I want to want only You”. I believe that if something had happened yesterday, I would have gone to heaven. So my fear wasn’t “What will happen to me after I die?” It was more of a sorrow that I’d never see my family again, that they’d have to deal with the pain of losing someone, and the fear of the process of dying (Would I hurt? Would it be quick? If our plane crashed, those last few moments, how would I react? How would I process my own mortality and comfort the girls?). G-d did give me peace as we waited for the plane. I prayed if it was my time, it would be fast and painless but that He would please protect us. Being reassured of my salvation by the peace that overcame me, I was able to enjoy the flight. I sat next to Yael and across the aisle from Noemi while Kathrin and Nuria sat behind us. The girls had workbooks that Kathrin bought which they did and I mostly just concerned myself with them instead of my typical plane activities (reading, music, knitting).

Speaking of knitting, getting through security was SUCH a pain in the ASS this time. I’ve never been hassled more. I know why all the rules are there and I’m glad that they keep everyone safe but man are they inconvenient. My pants went off so I got wand-ed. My bra has metal on it of course so that beeped and I got felt up by the woman working. Then I had forgotten my cell phone and that had to get run through. Then my legs got all felt up and they made me take my boots off to scan them. When my bag came through, the guy started searching through it. I know they’re allowed to but that’s never happened to me. He had his hands on probably everything in there. Took my Kindle out, ran it through separately and ran my bag through again. Then he started rummaging again. He pulled out my (empty) knitting needles and told me I really shouldn’t have them with me but he was nice and he did let me keep them instead of confiscating them.
Which means the knitting project I cast on yesterday needs to be finished by the 26th so I can put my needles into Kathrin’s checked bag. It is going quickly though so I do think that will be possible. I have 30 rows left to knit and I did 22 yesterday. So this one will be done today and the other one could possibly be finished between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My only problem is a small ladder forming on either side. It’s small though so I don’t think it’ll be noticed. I’ve never had this problem before though so I’m not sure why I am not.

Well I do think it’s time for me to get up and brush my teeth (it is almost noon now). See you later, folks.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Relationship Quote

It seems to me that the best relationships - the ones that last - are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know, one day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And the person who was just a friend is… suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with.
 -The X-Files

I came across this quote the other day and feel the need to save it. I'm choosing also to share it with you today. Enjoy.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Confession Night: Christian Style

I'm having a moment that I don't see the point in reading the Bible every day. I'm not sure why I need to. To connect with G-d and speak with Him daily yes. But can't I get that through Christian books, prayer, and journaling?

I've been reading through the epistles and I feel like they aren't helping me much. Because we all know I follow Christ for what I get out of it. (Sarcasm people, sarcasm!)

When I started reading the epistles I needed instructions and practical things that were easy to apply. Now though I think I need the stories and to draw out their meaning myself. This is part of why just reading straight through the bible doesn't work. I need someone's voice other than Paul's right now. Because honestly Paul is bugging me.

I don't want to hear any more about how he's in prison but he believes this church will continue following his example. Strive to be like Christ because He was so merciful with us. Yes, Paul. I know.

I've never heard another Christian admit to this sort of thinking. I know plenty of people who don't read their bible but I think anyone who claims the label of Christian will also claim the importance of reading the bible daily. Even if they don't.

Tonight I'm going to be home alone for a bit while Kathrin and the girls go to the Christmas Market. (I could go too but I feel like staying here, getting in a work out without prying eyes and away from the cold air, and then eating in relative quiet.) Hopefully somewhere in the quiet, I can find G-d too.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Social: Fours

This Week’s Questions:
1. Name 4 jobs you’ve had in your life: 

From most recent to oldest I've been an au pair, a custodial worker, a waitress, and a pizza girl.
2. Name 4 movies you would watch over and over: 
(Photos not my own. Mosaic self organized.)

Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Princess Bride, and The Notebook
3. Name 4 places you have lived: Rochester, Houghton, London, Osnabrueck
4. Name 4 of your favorite foods: Buffalo blue cheese pizza, pancakes, homemade macaroni and cheese, and the pasta penne dish I order at Applebee's

(Pancakes: Denny's, Pizza: Mark's Pizzeria, 
Mac n Cheese: Pioneer Woman, Pasta: Applebee's)
5. Name 4 things you always carry with you: cell phone, iPod, chapstick, and ID
6. Name 4 places you have been on vacation: Niagara Falls, Adirondacks, NYC, and Paris

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A German Thanksgiving

There are so many half formed thoughts in my head. Rather than try to get through some of the stuff related to boys, I'm going to tell y'all about my German Thanksgiving. (All pictures in this post are my own.)

I made up my schedule Wednesday night of everything that needed to be done. I had everything planned out and was also planning I'd have some help from a friend and her boyfriend. Unfortunately the friend got sick at the last minute and wasn't able to come.

I managed to find the Thanksgiving parade online and had little mice watching with me. Then I got all of the pots and pans all set up for cooking.

Things got started cooking... 
(Sorry for the blank space in the last row... I know. It bothers my OCD too.)

Towards the end, after the parade was over, I turned on the Grinch. I bolded everything as we went along so I knew what I'd done already.

The end result?

We had stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, rolls, cranberry sauce, and then afterwards we had the pumpkin pie and homemade cool whip that Deena brought.

How was it? Well I survived the day. It was a little crazy at the end when everything needed to be done at once. The rolls took longer than planned, the yams needed to go back in because they were still hard, and I almost forgot the cranberry sauce until Kathrin asked about it. The turkey that I was so careful to check for a bag of innards still had one in there. (Next year: check the neck AND the butt.) The gravy was lumpy. The stuffing was alright and the mashed potatoes were good. The turkey was a little drier than ideal but not awful.

It was so nice to be able to celebrate this very American holiday though. I enjoyed talking to Deena though I do wish Alle could have come too. Oh, I also managed to massacre the turkey when I carved it because I have NO idea how to carve a bird. A carving fork would've helped too. Damn thing kept slipping around.

Next year, I'll be in the kitchen helping out but in between I'll be in the living room watching the parade on screen and then watching football. It will be very different but I'm sure I'll be thinking of this year and missing my girls.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Home for the Holidays... Yeah Right

Every year apparently it seems there's a Christmas song I can't listen to. Last year, since I was newly single, I remember going caroling with my housemates. We were trying to come up with a song and someone suggested either "All I Want For Christmas Is You" or "Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart". I vetoed it. My dear but oblivious housemates didn't understand until I adamantly refused and said, "Guys. Seriously. Think about it." On a broken heart, I just couldn't do it. Those songs would have made me cry.

This year, cleaning up the kitchen and listening to the Pandora Christmas station. What song comes on...

(Source: My Own.)

Talk about depressing. This year, the holidays will be spent 4000 miles away from home. With a family who I've grown to love but who still aren't mine. This is just a temporary home. One that has changed me and that will always stay in my heart but it's still going to be incredibly strange that I'm not spending Christmas morning throwing balls of wrapping paper in the corner of our living room, making blueberry muffins with my family, and arguing over whose DVD we'll watch first. There might be a cherry cheesecake but if so it'll be made as a concession to me. (Well honestly even back in America this year it would have been.) 

Please don't get me wrong. I love this opportunity and I'm very glad to be able to make these memories. How many years do you get to live on another continent? How many years do you spend Christmas with three little children and see the wonder in their eyes? Or get to be in Paris for that case? I'm going to enjoy every moment of this. I'm going to savour the minutes that I walk around Paris in the snow, that I sip hot cocoa in Berlin, that I bake cookies with the girls. 

But I'm also going to cry when I get done Skyping into the family Christmas party. I'm going to miss it, even if the way it's changed since I was little means it rarely feels like a Christmas party anymore. But this was supposed to be the year I hosted Christmas. It's finally at a home this year instead of in a park shelter. Maybe this year would feel like Christmas again. But instead, my bedroom is probably as decorated as it's going to get. I've got Christmas lights up. That's it. There's no nativity set. There's no ABCFamily to play Christmas specials so I'm finding them online. 

This is going to be one weird Christmas. And I'll be avoiding that song this year...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Planning: Berlin

I'm currently trying to plan two different things at once. I'm planning Thanksgiving and a trip to Berlin. It's a lot to juggle, a lot of chaos in my brain.

Since Berlin is the one I was working on most recently, here's my current plan for my trip:

Thursday: Breakfast and coffee in Osnabruck
Take the train from about 12-3:30
Settle in wherever I'm staying til around 5 or so (less if needed)
Head out for a walk and to get some food for the weekend
Go to bed

Friday: Breakfast (and coffee)
Free walking tour at 11am
I'll be done with the tour around 2pm and will head to Wilhelm Kaiser Memorial Church to check it out.
Then I'm heading to the Christmas market for a bit.

Saturday: I'll be headed to Sachsenhausen Memorial Concentration Camp. It's bound to be a sobering day but how can I not go to a camp when I have the chance? We need to remember what happened and though it's likely to be a depressing day it will be one I'll never forget. When I get back to the city, I'm going to head to a cafe to journal about the day.

Sunday: I'm going to head to the zoo before I leave the city. Or the TV tower to see the panorama of the city. I'll take the evening train and get back to Osnabruck around midnight.

Somewhere in there I'll be getting together for a coffee with another au pair.

I'm still searching a couch to sleep on before I turn to a hostel. (I have two connections that might pan out but am still searching couch surfing as well. Stop panicking, Grandma. It's not as scary as you think it is.)

My Thanksgiving Day plans will have to be the topic of my next post. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Starting Over Again...

It's been eleven months and fifteen days since I broke up with my fiance and called off my wedding. I spent three years planning that wedding. I crafted. I bought. I planned. I saved inspiration photos. Sitting in a box in my bedroom back in America is a wedding dress for goodness sake. I was ready for that wedding. I was ready to get married. I wasn't ready to be married though.

When I look ahead to my future, I have no idea how I'm going to plan another wedding. I absolutely cannot manage another long ass engagement. I don't want to be engaged for more than a year, preferably less. At this moment, I can't imagine falling in love again. I can't imagine starting over a new relationship. I can't imagine learning how to make someone new happy. I just can't imagine how to start over.

I am not saying I wish I was with Ron anymore. I don't want to be with him. It's not about him and this is not some form of denial. I'm seriously over him as much as possible. He was my first love so a piece of my heart will always be his. I will always love who he was. Who he is though? I don't know who he is. I haven't spoken a word to him since May. I haven't kissed him since November 29th, 2011. When I think about kissing and I reminisce about it, he's not the one I think about.

It's just hard to imagine falling in love, starting all over. I'm not sure how planning my next wedding will go. Can I manage it without thinking about my failure of an engagement? Can I plan a future with someone else without hedging my bets? Without holding back because I got it wrong once before? Without remembering and comparing it to the last time I did this? How do you move on after something like this happens?

And yet, when it starts, when I'm flirting with... well whoever I'm flirting with (because yup this girl does have some secrets still), it's easy. I don't compare. I don't think about my ex. I don't think about the next step. I don't have to worry about how to move on to the next stage. It fits. It works.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Weekend Away Part 2: Saturday

November 10, 2012
Today was lovely. Long and I’m very glad for a couple hours to myself before we go out to dinner but lovely. I’d ignored my alarms and was planning on spending the morning by just going to a bakery for something to eat, maybe reading in said bakery, or something along those lines. I was going to wander the town and take some pictures, then probably meet up with the family for lunch/dinner. Instead, around 10:30, Kathrin knocked on my door with breakfast (how sweet is that) and let me know they were leaving in another half hour or so to go to the beach in another town. 

I got ready and we headed to a town about 20 km away. Daniel headed off somewhere while the rest of us went to see the baby seals. 

Nuria slept, the kids played in the play room, I began my next Christmas project (a knit hat). Eventually, we headed in the direction of the sea. That was the weird part of the day. When I say “sea”, that scene you picture? That’s what I pictured. But instead there was a few dunes with sea grass, a span of sand, then after a few stone stairs, a spance of wet sand that squished under my feet. 

I don’t know how far out the squishy part went out but I didn’t see any rolling waves. Not exactly the awe-inspiring scene I’d pictured. The fact that it wasn’t the ocean wasn’t an issue.

The fact that I didn’t see that huge expanse of water though? I am, honestly, kind of disappointed. I was really hoping to just soak in that view. I’m really not sure when the next time I’ll be able to escape to a natural place again. I mean Berlin, Paris, Hamburg… Awesome but cities. And I haven’t spent much time in nature since I got here to Europe. I didn’t realize just how much being in Houghton, the drives between Houghton and Rochester or Rochester and Elmira, how much that was filling up that cup. 
 (Letchworth State Park)
(Right on campus!)

After almost 6 months, my nature cup is nearly empty and I don’t know when it’ll get full again. I started realizing this when I went to Carlotta’s and saw the gorgeous leaves out in the countryside. Another part of my problem is that November is one of the ugliest months. I’m looking forward to the first snowfall. Everything will get covered in white glitter and will be washed clean. I love the first few months of winter. It’s gorgeous. 

And I love the symbolism of the world being washed clean, a fresh slate. It’s like how we’re washed clean by the blood of Christ. His red blood makes me white as snow. I’ve got this picture in my head of how the red drips on me, instead of making me stained like if I pick at a scab, instead it washes away every mark, making me as clean and innocent as the day I was born… except even then I had original sin. Now, I’m even free from that burden.

(All photos contained in this post are my own.)

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Weekend Away (Part 1: Friday Night)

November 9, 2012
Well I’m laying sideways in my bed in our little B&B in Greetseil.
(My very comfortable bed)

Why sideways? Because I’m closer to the TV this way and I’m practically blind with my glasses on. And why, you ask, do I not have my contacts in if I’m still trying to do things? Because my right contact is totally ripping and bothering the hell out of me. I’ve ordered a new box and hoping they’ll get to the shop on Monday so I can pick them up straight away. This trip was decided on yesterday. I’m absolutely loving the chance to just be away for a weekend. I just needed the change of scenery and the fact that we’re on the North Sea just makes it better.

By the way, “meer” does not mean “ocean”. North SEA, Mediterranean SEA, and probably others translate as “Meer”. So yup still looking forward to seeing the water, will still get the same thrill at seeing the huge body of water, but um it’s not the ocean.

My brain is rather scattered right now so forgive the ADD approach. I’ve got German TV on right now. Except it’s Law & Order: SVU auf Deutsch. By the time we got here tonight, it was already dark (thanks to going even FARTHER north) and there’s no internet here. I didn’t expect it but I’m still thinking about how little contact I’ll have with my family and friends. It’s not really about the entertainment. It’s about the isolation, the lack of contact.
(German TV: A dancing loaf of bread)
(American TV: A talking sponge.)

We went out to dinner at “Captain’s Dinner”.

No I didn’t translate that. It was written in English. I had a salmon filet on a bed of pesto spaghetti. So delicious. But I was stuffed.

And now that I’m back and it’s been an hour or so I’m starving. Without any food. I’ve already got my alarm set for morning so I’ll go to breakfast before I head out. And when I head out, I’ll have my camera with me. Why I didn’t bring my purse I have no idea so I’ll probably end up toting around my laptop bag w/o Artemis in it.

I’m going to put on FRIENDS (I brought a couple DVDs with me) and finish wrapping my stupid headphones. Also need to spend some time with Jesus. G’night.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's Okay Thursday

Back in JLand I used to do a bunch of link ups. Except we weren't as technologically advanced and we just left our links in the comments. But with a new blog (and approximately 8 years time since I started A Moment That Is Mine) comes new methods. So today I'm linking up over at A Waste of Makeup with Amber to bring you "It's OK Thursday". (Linkup found through Brie.)

It's okay...

  • that I look forward to the girls going back to school after breaks.
  • that I miss having classes and homework.
  • that I've been single for a year. I needed this time to help me figure out who I am.
  • that it's been six months since my last kiss. I will survive. Even if it doesn't feel like it. Even if that's the longest it's been since I started kissing.
  • that I'm starting to feel burnt out. I'm basically a part time mom and don't most moms feel this way after a few months? Especially if they were thrown into three passionate little ones instead of starting with one baby.
  • that I'm eating ice cream in a chocolate chip cookie cup right now. In fact that's more than okay.
  • to want to know how a guy feels about Jesus before I decide how I feel about him.
  • to read all the secrets posted at Living in Yellow and even to post a few of your own.
  • to cry over your past.
  • that I'm going to end up listening to Christmas music as soon as it starts snowing.
  • that I just canceled a date with the German because guys...

    I am going to the ocean tomorrow!

Do you see the sheer joy that is me in these photos?

I don't know if I'll have internet but I'll be bringing my camera and will post some pictures when I get back at least. We'll be in Greetseil til Sunday.

Also: part of this that's even awesomer? Just this morning I was thinking about how much I need to recharge (see that burnt out thing) and how I'd love to go to the ocean/lake but that it'd be impossible for me to manage with the other things I want to do. Then Daniel came home and said, "I just realized I have the next few days off. Maybe we'll take a trip." My G-d is good. He orchestrates things like this.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sex and the Single Woman

When it comes to sex and the single woman, I feel like there are two types of women. There's Sex and the City types (even Charlotte is having sex, talking about sex, thinking about sex) and there's the "good girls". Now I hate this dichotomy. If I have it in my head, I'm sure others do too. If a woman is Christian, especially if she's "really Christian" then she has to fall into the "good girl" category. Good girls do not think about sex. They don't talk about sex except in that dreamy sort of "someday... when I'm married..." way. If they've had sex in the past, when it's discussed it needs to be apologized for. As in, "I obviously wish I hadn't now. I wish I had waited." And they cannot admit that they enjoyed it while they were doing it. (Can you enjoy a mistake? Of course not. And to admit that you enjoyed a sin? I think that's another sin.) Oh and these good girls? They can't even want to have sex. They can't think about it in concrete terms or look forward to it. They can't have a sex drive.

Do you know why I hate this dichotomy so much? Because I don't fit! I've had sex. It did cause me immense emotional pain when that relationship ended to know that I'd given up such a big piece of me. But do you know what else? I enjoyed it. I miss it. I think about it. Hell, last night I had a dream about it. (An unsatisfactory dream mind you...) Sex is something that comes up in my life. And it's no longer because I'm having it. (I'm not.) Or because, as one acquaintance said, I'm broken over it. I've taped myself back together.

I don't have a next step to get rid of this dichotomy. I don't have a plan to make people aware of it. I'm not trying to pull anything here.

But I notice it. And I don't like it.

I want to be a godly woman but if that means not talking about sex at all, not thinking about it, not enjoying it, not missing it, I don't know if I can be a godly woman. It may no longer be every third word out of my mouth but sex is still something I think about. Most of the other Christian women I know my age are also single and most haven't been kissed yet either (by choice. Mostly. Which I honestly can't understand.) When sex comes up, it's either in light of my past or in that dreamy sort of "someday" way. I honestly cannot remember the last time a Christian friend and I spoke about sex and I heard some sort of a sex drive hidden away in her. Except for one but she's weird like me. :) And she's already married. (Hi, hun.)

So as Christian women, HOW do we deal with this? What are the boundaries for honoring G-d, keeping our purity intact, respecting our brothers in Christ, and acknowledging that sometimes it would be nice to get a little less talk and a lot more action?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday in Review

Yesterday was spent doing a lot of knitting, a lot of listening to sermons, and a lot of time with friends. I'm still really enjoying Craig Groeschel's preaching. I listened to most of the Weird series then started on Perspective. And I was working on my friend EEK's gift for Christmas. I'm halfway through now but just started yesterday and wanted to get through the first tough section so that I could get to the almost mindless knitting which is possible in a movie theater.

At 6:30, I rushed out to meet Marvin, Carlotta, Maike, and...another girl whose name I don't remember. We saw "Die Wand" (The Wall).

Umm.... guys the reason you haven't seen a German film... They aren't the best. This particular movie has two sections. The second part (yup I'm starting at the end. Told you I was weird in my sidebar.) is the woman writing her story. It takes from November til February and she's um incredibly depressed, alone, etc. You can tell the toll life has had on her between her skin, her uber-short hair, and her layers of sweaters. She's constantly clothed in dark, dull colors and never smiles. She also never speaks a word but constantly scribbles down her thoughts, copying notes from a datebook and drinking tea.

The first part is the interesting part. She goes to a cabin in the woods with an older couple and when they don't come back after a trip into town, she goes out to search after them. Somewhere along the way, she comes across a barrier, a transparent wall. She cannot break through and it would seem no one can get out. When she does find another person on the other side of the wall, they are frozen as if sculpted. And her voice doesn't travel outside of the barrier anyhow. Over time, she collects a cow (who then has a baby bull), the dog she began the movie with, and a cat (who also has a baby-because every female creature has to be pregnant). She also wears white for much of this time.

At the end of the movie, at a time somewhere after the first part and before the second part begins, the only other human we've seen enters the scene (homophone confusion much?). He kills the baby bull (the woman claims not to undersand why he did that) and when the dog charges to protect the bull, the dog also dies. The woman shoots him, buries the dog, and drags the mans carcass to a more secluded spot. We then hear her tell us how this life makes no sense and will continue to go on forever.

Depressing much?

Brightside: I understood most of the movie, even when not the exact words the gist. It was my first film entirely in German that I hadn't seen before since 2008. Yup, that long.

The theater was nice though. Among the concessions...
  • Red and white wine
  • Beer (various types-all bottles)
  • Ritter sport chocolate
  • Gummis
  • Peanuts
  • M&Ms
  • Popcorn
I had accidentally sprayed perfume in my mouth in my rush to get out so I bought a popcorn to get rid of the taste. It was sweet! Like kettle korn. Personally I enjoy kettle korn so I loved it, just wasn't expecting it.

Then I got to come home and Skype with this lovely lady:
The one that's not me, I mean. My wonderful roommate. We chatted for about two hours about whatever was on our minds. I love that we can laugh our rear ends off when I nearly swear (I promise that was a mix of words!) but in the same conversation we can delve into some very deep personal issues. She makes me much more myself, my best self.

I also made a button to advertise my blog and sponsored Brie at Simple Single Girl Life. My handiwork (cropped from a picture my aunt took in California):

And with that, I bid you all good night so I can go to bed before tomorrow starts! G'night!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Husband

I started writing the other night to my husband. Yes you read that right. I started writing letters to my husband and I'm praying for him. I didn't run off and get married. I don't even have a boyfriend yet. But I spend enough time thinking about my future, about my life ten years from now. Why shouldn't I put that down on paper?

The danger I have in this is getting too wrapped up, too focused on the future. I tried to write to my husband in the past but it was always focused on telling him about who I am now and about predicting who he might be. Because I know that I'd love to read a letter my 15 year old husband wrote guessing that I was that girl in his home ec class. (Sarcasm again.) I have no idea who I'll marry. I don't know what country he's even from (the joys of dating in Europe).

It's also incredibly difficult to pray for someone you may not have met yet. I find myself praying, "Dear G-d, if my husband doesn't know You yet, led him to You. Make him a godly man. Give him the guidance to follow You and prepare him to led our family." I think a good chunk of why I pray first and foremost for him to come to G-d and grow in Him is because I realize that by being engaged to a non-Christian in the past I seriously stepped out of the path Christ has for me. I serve a miraculous King though who has/is/will be using my crooked path to point others towards Him. I don't want to make that mistake again though. One shattered heart was enough. If it's in line with His Will, I never want to go through that again. I pray my husband might become a godly man, a man like David (without the adultery/murder) because that's what I pray for myself. I want to yearn for Him. I want to be content to curl up in His arms until the day He hands me over to my husband. And even then I know G-d won't be done with me. I'll still be striving for Him, just with my husband as well alongside me.

The things I pray for my husband are based on both my past mistakes and my current longings. I can't pray over specific problems yet. I can't ask G-d give him wisdom to know how to handle a difficult situation because I don't know what situation he's in. I don't know if he's in a grad program or working. I don't know if he's even single right now or working on his "next northern star" as I like to put it. And that is a weird thought. My husband might be dating someone else right now. Wrap your head around that one why don't ya.

Monday, October 29, 2012

What do I know of Holy?

It's 9PM here and it's been a long day. I started out taking oldest and youngest shopping. Sweet Pea grabbed at a few things when I'd rather she keep her hands to herself but was otherwise very good (then took a nap). Munchkin too was outstandingly well behaved. I got so much done and am so so thankful that I had good little girls. Without them behaving, I would have done the "Okay. I'm done. Let's pay and go home. I'll go back out on my own to finish." Instead, I got almost everything I needed. I managed to go to Tedi, KiK, AllFrisch, the Post Office, and Netto. Despite being super productive, and having such good girls, I was exhausted when I got home. Munchkin took a shower, Kathrin got home, and I took my break to recharge. I sought His face. I knew it was the only way I would be okay enough for the afternoon shift to end up not being called "Evil Vickey". (Note to self: When you've already put the little one through a long morning and you know you're tired, don't expect her not to be. I did get called Evil Vickey despite my efforts.)

In the afternoon, we made Jack O Lanterns. I did most of the work for all three but the girls helped clean 'em out and chose their shapes. Well the older two did at least. Nuria took a nap. And then I made pumpkin seeds. </ramble>

During my time with G-d though, a song came on from Addison Road that really struck me. I've included the video below but the very first verse just hit me.

I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

I hope that this song will touch you like it touched me. In other news, during my afternoon off tomorrow, I need to get some things done for the party (like baking) but I'm also planning to get a prayer journal organized. Once it's set up, I'll share my system here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tattoos (and Dinner) with Jesus

31 Cups of Tea with Jesus. Every day I'm supposed to be meeting with Jesus. And at first I did. But then, my faithfulness is a threat to Satan and his evil plans for this world. And he gave me plans with friends which shoved out my plans with Jesus. So I haven't been as faithful to this concept or as faithful to Him. I've talked to Him on my way to my plans and I've chatted a bit but I haven't opened my Bible physically in weeks. I haven't opened my Bible app in a while either. I've let myself get distracted with concerns about the differences in German and American dating and this morning my worry was over the Halloween party. I've started working on Christmas presents but have I started thinking about Advent or His birth? Except for the chocolate Advent calendars and which one I plan to buy myself.

I've written the equivalent of every day this month so far. But not all of them are about Him and not all of them are on an individual day or with a purpose beyond "here is my life". I've wondered if I should have called this 31 Days as an Au Pair and been able to just write about my life and the girls, the challenges I face, the things that make it worth it. A lot of people wrote about Jesus in this link-up. Maybe if I had written about being an au pair I'd have gotten more readers. Because you know that's totally my end goal. :sarcasm: (We totally need a sarcasm font online. Someone get on that.)

I've spent a lot of days lately kind of in a fog. I think it's a good chunk related to my depression setting back in. I have a really hard time concentrating and getting my mind on G-d. But I know that as soon as I do turn to Him and don't try to do it just on my own that I'll feel so much better. Tonight, I hopped in the shower and started talking to Him, thanking Him for the chance to Skype with my dad. Then I started talking tattoos with Jesus. Yup. Go ahead and search that phrase. See how many results you get. (Answer: 21,300 results as of 8:13PM CET on 10/28/2012) And when I had my dinner, I invited Jesus to join me. I pulled up a chair for Him and I started talking, not to the ceiling but to the chair. Or rather to Him in the chair. And as foreign and strange as it felt, as much as I laughed at myself, I feel like this is a good habit to get into sometimes. I need to remember that G-d isn't this far off distant diety. He's not sitting up in the clouds watching me. He's right here. He wants to sit and talk with me. He wants me to invite Him to come with me throughout my days.

There's a group of women on facebook that I've connected with through my online church. I've slowly started to get to know them and I'm working on organizing an accountability group for praying and for Bible reading. I need to do more than take two seconds to thank Him when something goes right.

P.S. On an au pair note? Normally Noemi asks "What are you making?" because that's the direct translation of "Was machst du?" Today she asked, for the first time, "What are you doing?" I love those lightbulb moments where something clicks.

Friday, October 26, 2012


It's Friday night and I'm spending it at home with my knitting, my cocoa, and my laptop. That might sound so horrible but I am so thankful for it. I think tonight, after a long hard week, I need to spend a bit of time counting my blessings.

  • A year in Germany including a month in the summer plus Christmas in Paris.
  • Netflix.
  • Sweet Pea wants to crawl into my lap constantly. It's adorable.
  • Munchkin admires me enough that she wishes she could draw like me. Despite my horrible drawing skills.
  • The purse I'm knitting for my stepsister is coming along very quickly
  • I got a care package today from my mom with a bunch of candy. :)
  • The cocoa that I bought at Rewe tastes almost like American. (Though I'd still love me some Swiss Miss.)
  • Having newly begun using Twitter, it's been wonderful to make a few friends and keep in touch with old ones.
  • My date yesterday went well for the most part. I just need to learn to shut the freak up sometimes.
  • My overarching philosophy of "If it's meant to be, it won't matter" is still intact.
  • I lucked out when I got this family. Kathrin is amazing in so many ways.
  • I get to Skype with my dear Emy this weekend AND my family.
  • My dad texted me today to follow up from a phone call from Wednesday night.
  • I have food, shelter, and clothing.
  • I have plans for a second date with the German.
Even if I am homesick and even if I did spend five minutes in Rewe crying because of Taylor Swift's stupid songs, there are a lot of things in my life that I am so thankful for and that I enjoy greatly. And even more things that I'm sure are along the lines of His blessings through raindrops.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Danger in dating

Well it's 10:30pm and I'm thinking about crawling into bed. Not quite ready to sleep but if I get in bed, with my PJs on and a cup of warm tea... I've spent the last couple hours in the kitchen. Knitting my stepsister's Christmas gift (yes seriously), watching Once Upon A Time, and chatting with Kathrin. I also got my Lunette ready for use in a few weeks. It's sad the things I get excited about. Yup, I am excited about using my Lunette for the first time. Sorry any men that happen to be reading that google that term.

Because I was getting my Lunette ready, I regaled Kathrin with some stories about puberty with a single father. It's strange to think that was half my lifetime ago. I've been chatting with Bernadette lately and I'm now almost as old as she was back when we met through JLand. If I live to be 88, this is the one quarter mark. Some people don't get that far. It's just strange to think of.

I went shopping during my break today and on my way back had another realization.

It's dangerous for me to be dating. 

When I date, it is very easy for me to let my head get wrapped up in when this plan will happen and when that will happen and to let my head get away from me. But we don't talk about that last part. I don't listen to logic and my anxiety channels itself into every possible bad scenario. I worry that he's waiting for me to suggest a day. I worry that if I do it'll be too pushy. I worry that he misinterpreted XYorZ and now thinks I don't like him/I'm a freak/I'm a stupid American. I worry about everything. And currently having two separate cultures just gives more fuel to the fire. I could seriously use a list of rules for how to handle this.

The only thing I'm figuring out is that if I seek Him, I stress less. If I seek Him, I hurt less. I worry less. I spend less time with my stomach in knots.

Do I know what's going to happen? No. Do I know where the balance between spending time with friends at bars and spending time at home with Christ is? Not a chance. All I know is that I need Jesus in my life and that if I trust in Him, the guy meant for me will understand that I stress out about little things, will reassure me that I'm not putting him off/freaky/stupid, and will actually suggest a day for when to have coffee. The guy meant for me is not about to be put off if I wait too long to text him or text him too soon. So if Benjamin is, then he's not right for me.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Alright. It was a great weekend but at the end of it, I'm honestly feeling so distant from Him...

I just didn't spend any time with Him this weekend and I've allowed myself to drift enough that I notice. It might just be a little but it's enough. And it's letting me sink into depression. Depression sucks.

So does anxiety.

I'm not sure I can spew everything out into a blog post. Not sure if it's the hour or the tired or the crap but this is rambling. Here's my point:

My depression gets worse when I distance myself from G-d. I do not believe that my mental illnesses are a result of my particular sin. I do believe that in a world before the fall depression and anxiety would not have existed but that I did nothing in particular to "deserve" this illness, aside from being born into this sinful world. But I do believe that there are things I can do to make the effects better or worse. One of the things that severely impacts my mood and how much my mental illness effects me is my relationship with G-d. If there's sin keeping me separated from Him, my depression hurts me. If there's any reason why I haven't sought His face lately, it hurts.

I was so busy this weekend that I didn't seek Him. And I'm paying for it today. And it's almost 11 pm, I'm exhausted, and I'm going to bed. I haven't sought Him today either. :(

Sunday, October 21, 2012


When I was about 10 or 11, I went to a make-up night with my mom. I think it was Mary Kay. The woman gave us the right shades for our skin and told us how to find them ourselves, gave us a bit of everything, and taught us how to apply everything. Do you think I remember much? Nope. But that's not the point. The point is that when it came time to do the concealer, I went to the ladies room. I kind of pretended that the concealer didn't exist. And it's not because I thought I was flawless. I've got these bags under my eyes that you wouldn't believe. They're definitely genetic (though sleep deprivation makes them worse like nobody's business). I refused to use the concealer though. I refused to admit I was flawed in front of these other women. To myself? No problem. I hate my nose. Not enough to get a nose job (though honestly I've considered it) but enough that when I remember how I truly look, it kinda bugs me. I've got problems with my thunder thighs and my pooch and I could go on. (I'm not looking for anyone to tell me "Oh you have such a cute nose!" Or to negate these thoughts. I know others don't think them about me. I still do.) Now I can admit that but back then? Using concealer under my eyes showed I had a flaw, pointed it out, and they would judge me. I didn't need to be judged. Never mind that *every* other woman in that room used it. I wasn't trying to pretend I was better than them. I just wasn't willing to be vulnerable.

Vulnerability is scary. It's opening yourself up to be hurt. It means letting others know where you're weak and trusting they won't take that kidney shot. When I let others know that I was broken over my sexual sins, that was being vulnerable. And I wasn't willing to do that with everyone. I chose who to share with based on who I knew wouldn't take that shot. I talked to Jess about whether or not I was pure, what being pure meant. I talked to Mary Beth about how much I was struggling with keeping boundaries again. I talked to Eric about how much I missed that intimacy. I knew these people would support me. Jess reassured me that I was pure, that I was determined not to sin in that way again and that I was made pure through that. Mary Beth told me I was strong enough to develop and maintain boundaries and was willing to help me with that (unfortunately, I wasn't yet ready to really be accountable for my actions). Eric understood how much not having that touch meant to me and helped me realize it was normal to feel that way.

Some people are afraid of being vulnerable with G-d. They fear His judgment, they're afraid they can never be forgiven for what they did, or they just don't know how to let the walls fall down. But we need to be vulnerable with Him to experience His healing, His love. We need to bear open our souls and realize that He can see them anyhow. When I come to Jesus, that mask that I love to put up needs to fall down. Because He sees me already. He already knows that I did not want to wipe the baby's nose for the millionth time today or that I'm basically broke already and the month's half over. (Where'd that money go? 40 to a new sweatshirt, 15 new blanket, 12 sheets, and some other expenses. Most of which I probably didn't need. Thankfully, my wonderful host mom was willing to prepay me for next month for which I feel awful.)

It can sometimes feel completely redundant to tell G-d about these things. He already knows. But He wants to hear it from you. He wants you to come to Him and tell Him about your day. I think it's sort of like a parent who got a phone call from the teacher and already knows how their child's day went but they want to hear it from her anyhow. G-d just doesn't need a phone call from someone else. He was right there with you all day. There is nothing we can hide from Him. When Adam and Eve hid in the garden, it was pointless. G-d knew where they were. And when He asked, "Where are you? Why did you hide?", it wasn't because He didn't know. It's because He wanted His children to come to Him and be honest, be transparent, be vulnerable.

Have you been vulnerable lately? How did that go?

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Positive Real World Experience with Men

Yesterday, I went out after work to hang out with some people and have a drink. Since I spent my day with the baby, my break writing in my journal (actually talking to G-d instead of so much writing about Him), and after work I made tacos followed by heading out, there's no post for yesterday. I might do two later on to make up for it

Regardless though, I had a very nice night. This very single girl doesn't go out very much. And if my plans with Carlotta hasn't fallen through time after time until she suggested I go to the CS meeting, I wouldn't have gone out last night either. I'm so glad I did.

Honestly I started the day half dreading it. But that was my anxiety rearing her ugly head. Telling me it'll be awkward and I shouldn't go. I claimed victory over it through and ended up having a a lot of fun. I had a drink, I talked to a few different people, and at the end of the night I left with a huge smile on my face and a new number in my phone.

So today with my mind still on the fact of just how good it felt to feel attractive and wanted, I'm also trying to balance the giddy feeling with the practical side of things. The I don't even know if he's a Christian side of things. Because that is so important to me. But when he asked what kind of music I listen to and I said mostly Christian and country he didn't seem put off by that. I learned the hard way though that "not put off" and "open minded" aren't enough. I need a man who seeks G-d and will encourage me too. I'm not at all claiming that this guy I met last night in Trash is going to turn into anything. I had fun and I got to feel attractive. Even better? I barely had makeup on, had just thrown my hair up, and still had on the shirt I spent all day in. To feel attractive in that is a plus.

AND it wasn't at all creepy! Not at all like with the Greek guy. Or, G-d help him, the columbian creeper.

I'm choosing to label this as one of my 31 days because it does reflect on my journey with Christ. I've come a long way in the past few years. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Glorifying G-d

Today's previously scheduled post on vulnerability has been rescheduled for later in the week. To paraphrase myself from last semester, blame G-d.

This morning while the baby took her (long) nap, I pulled out my journal to get some time with G-d. I've been writing about Him and singing about Him and to Him. I've been listening to sermons and I've been reading books about Him. I've even been reading the Bible. But I haven't spent much time WITH Him. It's like if you spent a few weeks telling everyone about your boyfriend, checking out his facebook page, asking his friends about him, and telling other people how you want to grow in your relationship... But you're not doing much to grow it. When you spend time reading the letters or emails he sends you, your brain is only half there. If you knew someone who was doing this, wouldn't you tell them they're missing something?

Well I was missing something. I pray best when I'm either on a walk by myself in nature, in the shower, or writing. Pen to paper writing. It doesn't work when there's a computer funneling the words through. It's like trying to rinse the dishes when someone else is washing their hands. It's probably possible but it doesn't work as well and I don't like to do it. I'd rather wait. So this morning when I realized I hadn't really prayed in a while, not really truly heart to heart prayers, I pulled out my journal and let it pour out of my pen. And then I thought I was done so I sat down in one of the armchairs and pulled out Minerva so I could read some more of The Christian Atheist. I got a few paragraphs in before I just had to talk to Him. So I started praying. Pouring it out. And one of the things I encountered as I just talked to my Father, my King, was the idea of bringing Him glory.

I really didn't get it before today. And right this moment I do. I think. Enough at least. So I'm going to record what G-d's revealed to me so I'll remember and so maybe it will help someone else who is reading this.

I pray that what I do would bring Him glory but I don't know what that means. My lightbulb moment today is that bringing glory to G-d is like how they tell you in school "your behavior on this field trip reflects on your school so behave yourselves". It's like how when the girls speak English so much and so well considering their ages and the amount of time they've been learning it. People ask them, if they don't know, "How do you speak such good English? Did you learn all that at school?" And the answer is me. They speak English because I'm here. Because I speak it to them. Because they're little sponges. It's not that I'm doing exercises with them or anything but my speaking with them, the language activities we do, the way I clarify to them, it reflects on me. I'm not saying it brings me glory but it's a good reference, a good indicator of what I can do, who I am.

That's what it is when my life points others to Him. When I handled my break-up last year as I did, it was not me. It was Him. Completely Him. Well maybe not the cookie dough part. :) The fact that we're 11 months out and I'm over Ron, I'm ready to move on (when G-d sees fit to lead the right man into my life), that's Him. The fact that I didn't scream and cry, that I didn't hold on tightly until the last possible moment, that was Him. Last Christmas, yes, I was broken hearted. My first love and I ended our relationship. The man I thought I was going to marry basically left me. Yes, I was the one to call it off when I did but he was already gone. At the time, I viewed that as a marriage. My marriage was over. I hurt. I cried. I had a few drinks. And in the aftermath I made a few mistakes. But I drew closer to my family. I clung to those who were there for me. And they were there for me in the exact way I needed them to be.

That was Him. Without my Father to take care of me, I would have been a wreck. People asked me how I was handling it so well. People told me that my strength and the way I coped with it was a testament to G-d. And it truly was Him that got me through. I couldn't have done it alone. The strength He gave me, the moments He held me in His arms as I cried, the nights that I long to be sleeping in the arms of the man I love and I know that I am not alone, that is my L-rd. My father. My King. And He will always be there for me. When I go through a valley and I don't sit down and ground myself there, when I keep moving, that's because of Him. And that is what I will tell people. That is what I will say. When people learn I'm going off my anti-depressants for the first winter since 2006, they're going to think I'm crazy. But I will tell them I can do it through Christ who strengthens me. I will give Him the credit where it is due and I will not let anyone think I can do anything on my own. I can do it only through my amazing Saviour.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Inferiority Complex and G-d

I have ten minutes to write a post before I get interrupted by needing to shower. Why do I have only ten minutes? Why can't I push the shower back or hop in now? Because I'm dying my hair. Again.

In case you haven't been taking notes...

When I left for Germany, this was my hair:

Then on August 8th, I had red hair.

 And last month, after I got a trim, I added black tips resulting in this:

And yesterday I picked up "Tiramisu brown" hair dye at DM. And currently one of the two bottles is sitting on my head. The other will be saved. Along with the other bottle of red dye that I could have used and saved myself the 7 Euros. Oh well.

Why do I do this? I'm 22. I don't have grey hair yet (and yes I realize the two are not mutually exclusive). I claim it's because it's fun. Because "I need a change". Because I'd just rather have rich brown hair instead of funky red. Well if my hair were still red maybe I wouldn't mind but it's faded. But ya know what? That's only partially true.

I dye my hair because I think I'm boring. I don't think I'm memorable. I feel sometimes like people don't listen to my stories and that they'd really rather I just shut up. If I dye my hair, then someone is bound to notice me. And then my hair isn't boring normal average brown. (Yes, I did just dye my hair brown. But it's a deep dark rich brown. It's espresso brown. Tiramisu brown. Not mouse brown.)

I remember one summer when I was at Circle C to pick a friend up or drop my cousin off I ran into Coop. Mike Cooper was one of the most amazing guys I have ever met. He was a counselor there every summer for years. He was so high spirited, so passionate, so loud! He used to literally swing from the rafters. Even at 7am. He was one of the highlights of my weeks there. Unfortunately, I didn't get much time to talk to him. At Circle C though you are allowed to talk to the guys, there aren't many chances. And with the counselors they kind of "have" to hang out with their campers. I obviously wasn't one of Coop's. So we'd met and I'd seen him around but I never expected him to remember me. And when I ran into him I said something along those lines. "Hey Coop! I don't know if you remember me. I was here last summer for Kingdom Bound week." And he did. He remembered me. "Of course I remember you. You're friends with Lindsay. How are you?" His enthusiasm and the way he said of course have still stuck with me. Coop is now in Heaven and I won't get a chance to talk with him again until my time here on Earth is done. But sometime in the millennia that we'll have to worship G-d and to share our stories with one another, I'm going to find that man and I'm going to get to tell him that one moment that was so commonplace meant so much to me.

So I have this complex that I think I'm rather average and I don't think much stands out about me. I'm not gorgeous. A lot of people don't understand my sense of humor. I don't think I'm one of those people that strikes others with "She's awesome. I want to get to know her". And I'd love to be one of those people. (Mind you I don't know if those people who do that to me do that to others.) My point today is that even though I have this inferiority complex, I have a G-d that notices me. Regardless of what color my hair is. In fact, He'd probably prefer if I stopped dying it and just enjoyed His creation. But I seem to think I know better, that I can improve on His design. Yeah. Right. I have a G-d that thinks I'm that awesome person who He wants to get to know. Okay my G-d already knows me. Inside and out. Completely. 100% There is nothing I can hide from Him (come back tomorrow for a post on vulnerability by the way). He cares so much about me that He would love if I take delight in Him, He will give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4).

Father, I want to delight in You. And not so that I'll get what I want but because I want to want You. I want to seek You. I want faith. I want You. Give me an all-consuming passion for You, Father.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lost in Him

That night we attended a Bible study that Amy led for high-school girls. She was amazing, and all of the love cliches I had heard about over the years happened to me. When she prayed for "her girls," heaven seemed to open. When she sang songs of worship, time stood still. Every time she looked in my direction, I simultaneously praised G[-]d and melted. She was funny, loyal, and sincere. Not to mention, on a scale of one to ten, she was a 498 million. (Still is.) I remember thinking, G[-]d, you are good. Nice work.
[... O]ur marriage is now officially old enough to move out and go to college. During all those years, I've come to know Amy better than I know any other person in the world. If there are forty women in a room all talking at once, I can pick out her voice. If I walk into a crowded lobby, with people all crushed together, my eyes find hers instantly. I know her scent, and a single whiff of it will make me think about her for the rest of the day. I know her favorite color, her favorite song, her favorite meal, which of my shirts she likes best. 
--Craig Groeschel, The Christian Atheist
The book I just quoted isn't about romance. It's not about earthly relationships. It's about living life like you are a Christian rather than like 99% of people do. It's about the impact that believing in Jesus Christ as Saviour has, or should have, on our lives. But then there's me. I read the two paragraphs above and I start crying. Because I want that. I want someone to be able to say those things about me. I don't want to have to start over again with a relationship, to learn what he likes, to teach him what I like. I want the intimacy again. I was already here. I've already done this. And I'm not looking forward to doing it again. It should be exciting, it should be fun. But it just sounds tedious. Now mind you I've begun that process again with someone else and it wasn't tedious. It wasn't awful or boring. It's butterflies and that delicious anticipation and all the fantastic, brilliant bits of having a crush and maybe it'll be more and not knowing where the boundaries are and figuring out the little things (because it's always the little things) that make this man different than that guy was. (And yes I did specifically call one a man and one a guy for a reason. Because calling the second a boy makes me sound like a pedophile.)

This is my prayer. That G-d would let me get lost in Him. That until it's time for me to find my husband that I would be so lost in His arms, in getting to know Him, that I'd hardly notice that I'm single. I want to yearn for my King. I want to know Him. I want my life to be a city on a hill, a voice crying out in the darkness that there is hope. I want to miss Him like I missed Ron when we didn't talk for a few days, or even a few hours sometimes. I want to cherish the Word like I cherished those few love letters. I want to cling to every promise, every moment that He has said I am loved. I am cherished. I was knit together with care. I want the words He speaks about me to mean as much as those compliments that stick in my head do. Because when Christ says that He died for me, that should be the biggest compliment. That should be what means the most to me.

Why do I lose sight of what's important? Why doesn't the Word of Christ entice me as much as the memory of "baby you're beautiful beyond words"? Why doesn't knowing that I am so important to Him that He knows the number of hairs on my head? And consider that for a moment. Consider how many times a day, an hour a hair falls out. And how many new hairs grow. And yet at any given moment if called to account for the number of hairs on my head, Christ could tell you. And not just me but every single person on this planet. That is how important we all are to Him. He has so many other things He has to concern Himself with but He cares so much about us that He knows our every breath, our every thought.

The next couple of pictures (all taken from my pinterest board Living for Him) are meant to remind me about why I'm single and why that's not a bad thing.

And, G-d, as I'm growing close to You, I pray this might be true. Because You know that last time I wasn't the woman he needed and I praise You for saving me from a relationship in which I was not ready to be a wife.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My new church is... online?

"Fear of man will be a snare. G-d will lead you to do something that others may find weird. [...] What are people going to think?"
I just opened up this page to write and the sermon I'm listening to said that. Thank you, Craig Groeschel.

While I was at church this morning (I'm still not sure how I feel about saying that... Am I "at church" or am I "watching church"?), I was laughing. I love this church. Being able to enjoy myself and to worship G-d AND to still have moments when I get a 2x4 slapped upside my head is so rare, so cool. I typed into the chat box that since I'm sitting across from my host dad laughing with my headphones in he probably thinks I'm insane. And one of the volunteers that "works" the chat suggested I invite him along.

And the excuses started.

But there's a language barrier. Yes, he speaks English but will he understand the southern accent? Is it too fast?

But this is an American service. Will the references/jokes go over his head? Are they too culturally based?

But his father is Jewish. Would I insult him?

But he's working. I shouldn't interrupt him.

And on. And on. And on. But do you know what? It all comes down to this: I was afraid. I don't share Christ like that mostly. To invite someone to pray with me or read the Bible with me or watch a sermon with me isn't my style. Is that just a difference in technique, if you will? Or is that me being afraid of sharing, of ministering? Is that an acceptable "I just share in other ways" difference or is that a "I'm kind of an immature lukewarm Christian" difference? I don't want to be lukewarm or immature.
I know your deeds that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16
I want to be embraced by Christ and not spit out and dashed aside!  I don't want to hesitate to share my faith. But...

How do I juggle that line between sharing my faith and forcing it down someone's throat? Between being open and transparent and being pushy? I don't want to hide my light under a basket. I want to be a city on a hill. But how do I do that in a way that doesn't alienate people?