"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, oh Lord..." Psalm 19:14

Saturday, August 28, 2010

On being a woman, pt. 2: the personal spin

Sorry this second post has been so delayed. As I've tried to put my thoughts together, I've also realized how much I'm in mid-process with a lot of this stuff! To see Part 1 click here.

I must admit, I've only scratched the surface on understanding and reclaiming all that was lost in the "monument shift" of growing up. And as much as I believe in God's love for me, I'm still uncovering old lies from the enemy, especially in regard to my femininity.

In recent years, I quietly backed away from the world of womanhood. I avoided conversations with guys and created excuses to miss formal events. I stopped thinking about how to look pretty, and I turned away from fancy dresses and nice jewelry. Oh sure, some of it was an attempt at contentment and humility, but also some of it was just me guarding my heart and avoiding my fiercest insecurities. To God's credit alone I am getting much better, but as He continues to redeem every part of me, I've realized that those lies not only caused me great unrest, they also took captive my deepest longings.

This summer, it seemed the whole theme of my conversations revolved around being a woman. I talked with wives and moms and newlyweds. I talked with those who are single, and those who are dating, and those who are engaged. We discussed the sweet sacrifice of having a family, the reality of marriage, and the reasons why there are so many single people these days. Throughout those weeks, I also had the joy of living life with many families. I sat at several dinner tables. I watched spouses interact and make decisions. I observed the exhausting yet beautiful ways of parenting.

And in the midst of it all, I realized something.

I want it.

Yes -- the marriage, the family, the kids, the sacrifice. I want it all.

Of course, this is not surprising. I'm a single, 25 year old woman. I grew up like most girls, playing house in my nightgown and dreaming up names for my potential children. Yet while I've never decided otherwise, somewhere in the midst of life and loss, sometime after the "monumental shift" of growing up, I sort of "shelved" those dreams.

But now. Now that I've seen the healing work of God in my life and relationships. Now that I've drop-kicked so many of those fears and insecurities, I am faced with these hopes that all this time were entangled in the lies.

And right away I remembered why it's just so much easier to ignore these types of things.

For, as with any desire so close to our hearts, God can do what He wants. He can fulfill it...or He can wait. And to be quite honest with you all, both of those possibilities scare me a great deal.

Hmmm...it seems I may just need a Part 3...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Great Expectations


Me with several new ICS teachers at Koh Samed!

SO, having an un-working camera means stealing photos from other people. (This is when we say thank goodness for Facebook, right?) Anyway, last weekend several of us took a delightful trip to the beach since we had four days off! And even getting stung by a stinkin' jellyfish-type animal thing my first ten minutes in the water couldn't stop me from enjoying myself!

We just finished our first full week of school. My voice is gone (what else is new?), but other than that I think we made it through unscathed! :) Already we've had some student ministry events too, which I must say, are maybe the most worthwhile things I'm a part of here. It's hard stepping into a world of opportunities overseas and knowing where you're meant to serve. I juggled a bazillion things last year and tried out every possible way I could be useful. And I've come to the conclusion that I just need to bloom where I'm planted. Being a part of ICS and their ministry to students and families here, building relationships with the kids I teach and showing them Jesus -- I think that's enough for me. Maybe not as exciting as other things I could be doing in Bangkok, Thailand...but I really believe it's what God has for me in this season -- and what I have most enjoyed!


Me, Kristi, and Kristi at ICS' Back to School Bash
(square-dancing w/middle schoolers in Thailand = too much fun!!)

And, hey, did I mention the best part about my new place? It comes with a roommate!! It's quite the perk -- especially for an extrovert like me! :D Tawnya and I both taught 6th grade last year, and now she's teaching 4th grade at ICS. (Sorry she's not pictured below, hehe. But, this is our apartment. We just bought the furniture from a teacher we work with.)


Last of all, I just want to reiterate that our God is amazing. I'll save the details for another day, but He has brought me so much healing, and so much hope, and so much growth in the past year. I don't know if I've ever felt more at peace or more secure. I look forward to what He has in store every day, with great expectations.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ready...set...GO!


And we're off! Another fantastic summer has passed me by, and already my second school year in Bangkok has begun this week! It's kind of weird when 17 hour flights become normal and I can jump from one world to the next without hardly thinkin' about it.

So...sad side-note: I think my camera's broken, and so my blog as of now will be picture-less for a time, it seems.

Other than that, just wanting to keep you all at home posted on the latest...

  • My time in America was more than I could ask for (except that I didn't make it to Montana, sad). I got to attend Karshner Field Day, visit with dear friends in Oregon and Washington, spend quality time with my mom, have a brothers-only birthday, and soak in the amazingly mild summer weather! Ahhhh! I never felt hot once.
  • I'm teaching 6th grade language arts/social studies again this year, and YES, it's nice teaching the same thing and feeling ahead of the game for once! (We'll see how long that lasts!) Year four of teaching -- it's gotta get easier, right?
  • I have moved to an apartment building right next to school with my friend, Tawnya. It's convenient and a nice little living space. My bedroom kind of reminds me of college life again -- it has that on-a-budget, this-is-temporary feel, haha.

Ways you can be praying...

  • Pray for ICS, my school. Pray that God moves mightily this year and transforms the lives of students and families as they come to know the love and truth of the Gospel. It's an awesome ministry we have here, and I'm just overwhelmed by the privilege to serve in this way.
  • Pray for Thailand. Pray for continued peace, and for the church in Thailand. Pray that Jesus is made known here and that the hopeless find hope in Him.
  • Pray for me, as I make my decision to stay in Thailand or go back home next year. We have to decide by the start of December, and while I'm rather certain I'm meant to go home, please pray for continued clarity and peace in this decision!
Can't believe where God has taken me since last summer (and I don't just mean the location!).
I pray that He's taking you places you never imagined and increasing your faith too, as you seek and follow Him.

Pics from the summer!!!