Friday, April 13, 2012

Be Loved

Have you ever let yourself be loved by the one who made You. Have you ever told your soul to believe that His heart is on your side. You could even try to run away. But there's nothing you can do. Just be loved. Be loved. He loves you. Just be loved. Be loved. He loves you. Have you ever let yourself be held by the one who holds this world. Have you ever told your soul to rejoice that His arms are open wide. You could even try to run away but He'd come running after you. Just be held. Be held. He holds you. Just be held. Be held. He holds you. We didn’t earn it, He just chose to give it. And it’s in our resting that we rise up singing. Rejoice! Again, I say Rejoice! Rejoice! Again, I say Rejoice! You are loved. Be loved. He loves you. You are loved. Be loved. He loves you.

-Written by Christy and Nathan Nockels and Eric Hill

What One Summer Can Do..

Just recently returned from a trip to Ukraine. Almost five years. Im so thankful that I was able to spend time with a sweet friend(s). The trip was so necessary, to just step back and rest, and enjoy the sweetness of friendship. To pray, to talk, to laugh, to fellowship, to worship together. To explore a new place, to breathe and relax. I am so thankful that this trip happened. Thankful that five years ago this friendship was built, and has continued on, despite distance, despite changing lives. I am grateful.

It's amazing what one summer can do..

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My own world

I am

Reading, walking, thinking...
Skype dates, good food, new town, new people,
healing, discovery, company

studying, trying, understanding..

questions, answers, waiting..

learning, loving, feeling, laughing, crying..


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Technicolour yawn

Friday night, culture shock reared it’s vicious head. A vulgar state of the soul, yet inevitable. I walked through the park, admiring all the lovely, crunchy, colourful leaved, with that childlike desire to crunch them, throw them, and dive into a large pile. However, it hit me, it would look rather odd and silly if I did this alone, and it hit me: No one here to do this with. Loneliness unveiled herself to me, taunting me. I went to play the church piano, to help cope, but the tears flowed down. I cried, prayed and played for five hours, until I realized the time was 10:30. I left, went home, cried more, and beat my mattress. Finishing “Horton hears a who” helped enormously.
Skipping ahead to today: I was dreading it. I didn’t want to go to church, specifically to a “Thanksgiving” service. However, God answered my prayer:

The mall has Christmas decorations out, already.

I enjoyed the testimonies given at church

I am thankful for Jarka continually translating for me.

Getting to know Josh better. My compassion leans towards him as a fellow American.

A lady from church told Slavo I look like a fairy, I took it as a compliment 

Slavo catching me after church: My attempts to be more honest (Including, Slavo’s public decloration” Oh it was you who had Diarrhea” .Nice).
I found out about the future vision for Narnia, the grammar school, for the church, the land, the cottage ect.. I confessed my desire for another native speaker, found out it could be a possibility, confessed my “lonely state”, was then invited to dinner with the Polohatsi,
Politics lesson, Sign language, and good fellowship and fun. I also found out the full story on Slavo’s side, on my hiring process, which was interesting, and I feel blessed. It helped to hear that too, from a Native’s mouth.My boss's mouth. Ok, from another human being.

Best highlights: Natik giving his pre-presentation (for my English class) with “I have to go to the bathroom” inserted. Yes child, please do that during class tomorrow...

Signing at dinner.

Timko: “But God wont understand Natik’s English prayer.It's not good enough. He should pray in Slovak"

Timko: What’s a flamingo? Natik: It’s a dumb, pink ostrich that swims in water

The boys playing their instruments and Timmy’s meerkat collection

Hearing the expression “Technicolour yawn” in reference to throwing up

Explaining what a “wifebeater” is

And as always, Timmy's wide, half toothless smile, accompainied by a lisp. It doesn't get much more precious than that.

Ahh, how I love spending time with families. Especially this one. It is exactly what I needed.I'm realizing that even though I'm away from my family, and will not be apart of a family here, God will still provide moments, and oppertunities, during my lonliest times. Friendships in the making. With the big and the small. I am learning that I cannot expect encouragment, and I cannot place that expectation on anyone, however, when it does come, I am so thankful. Missionary life is teaching me so much, and that the only true encouragment comes the Lord. Spending time in prayer before school this week, has helped tremendously.

Thanks again, for reading this. It's a rather clumsy post, and I have much more exciting things to say, but I'll wait for another day..

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 8, 2007

The story told: 23 years ago , a young couple in Texas was expecting their first child and neither had parents around to help them. They were alone in this, and some elderly friends of theirs, a couple by the name of Roy and Rhea Leach came to visit. They had known the couple from church. Roy had a brother, Don, and Rhea had a sister, Donna. (The two brothers were married to the two sisters, if you can follow that). Don and Donna had heard that this young couple had no parents to help, so they and their daughter Marilyn went to the hospital to see this new baby girl. The details, I am unsure of, but this older couple decided to “adopt” the younger couple, and this little girl. The young couple were my parents, and I was the new baby.
According to my parents, they went to doctor’s appointments, babysat and did all things that parents do to help with their child with the first new baby. They were always Papa and Grandma Donna and Aunt Marilyn for as long as I can recall. I really do not remember when I found out we weren’t related I just remember being surprised. I think of my grandfather, and I think of a most loving, self-sacrificing man. Probably the most I’ve ever met. Every Christmas, every birthday , my grandparents were there. I went swimming in their pool every summer. Papa was always taking me to the park. I remember him giving me rides in his wheelbarrow, that was my favourite. We went to carnivals, parades, and to the food lion together. I loved going to the food lion with papa, another favourite memory. My grandparents were a constant part of my life. I begged mom to let me spend the night at their house, and I also nagged her on making them my legal guardians. (I was an odd child, in that most children are not concerned about having legal guardians).
I almost never saw papa apart from Grandma Donna. She was his sweetheart, and he her honey. They constantly held hands, and loved until death did them part. They did everything together and everything for each other. My grandparents marriage was a beautiful picture of what a marriage ought to be.
Four years ago, my papa was received at the gates of heaven. I’m not sure what the gates of heaven actually entail, but I know and believe that there is something of the sort because the Bible has written of it. What do I know of these things? Not much outside of what the Bible mentions. Will there be harps? Choirs? Literal mansions as the ones we think of? It is all so mysterious still, but I take comfort in knowing that it is good. It is the best thing we can hope for. To spend an eternity with God, which that alone, tells me it must be good.
Papa’s faith is what inspires me most. I did not really appreciate until after he was gone. Of course, I knew they were Christians and I sat with them in church many Sundays. But later I learned that Papa would pull out his prayer list daily and go through everyone on the list. He sought out service to others, and memorized the written word. He was a spiritual giant in my eyes. I remember papa catching him with his Bible in his lap often. I think of him often, and how seriously he took his faith.
I cannot write much more, as tears still come to my eyes, which do not seem to stop. My mother even wrote a story, (which I will post if I can get her to send it) about us. I recall it involving that food lion maybe? And a little toy rabbit he gave me, which I continued to call “beady eyed bear”. He even got a little bed for it, and cut a cloth blanket out for it. My favourite game was finding the bear. He used hide in their house and I would search up and down for that little animal. However, one day papa hid it so well, he couldn’t even find it. It turned up just a few years ago when my Aunt cleaned out the house. Such sweet memories.
One day, we shall meet again. I look foward to that day. I can reminisce and enjoy the memories which were made in the 19 years we spent together. I smile, and hope in the eternity we will enjoy together in the presence of Jesus. Then, we part no more

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thank you again Sara Groves..

I was about to give up and that's no lie
cardinal landed outside my window
threw his head back and sang a song
so beautiful it made me cry

took me back to a childhood tree
full of birds and dreams

from this one place I can't see very far
in this one moment I'm square in the dark
these are the things I will trust in my heart
you can see something else
something else

I don't know what's making me so afraid
tiny cloud over my head
heavy and grey with a hint of dread
I don't like to feel this way

take me back to a window seat
with clouds beneath my feet

from this one place I can't see very far
in this one moment I'm square in the dark
these are the things I will trust in my heart
you can see something else
something else

From this one place-Sara Groves

Have you got a pet? Or the time...

Slovakian life is busy..

And pardon the title, I am teaching British English, so that's my grammar lesson for the day..

Not to excuse myself. This morning of choas ended with My bosses letting me "relax" this afternoon and tomorrow. I wont' go into details, but my ever understanding roommate took me to Slavo and Martina's office and I told them about my culture shock some, stress, and a few other things and they were very understanding. It's amaazing what happens when your honest about your feeings. I am not always good about that, especially with people I don't know well.

So thanks to their compassion, and Emily's empathy, having "been there" as a newcommer, I am now able to lock away in the computer room, away from students, faculty and just catch up with emails, and this blog. I try to glance at and a quick sweep of facebook mini-feed each day as well as read the emials sent to me, but reponse is hard.

I am still experiencing some culture shock, as much as I hate to admit it. It's incredibly difficult sometimes. yesterday, there was no one to translate the faculty meeting which lasted an over two hours. That wears on you. Granted, I am learning the language, but it does not come overnight. On this blog, I will be honest about missionary life. It's not always pretty. We are not superheroes of the faith by any means. Missoinary life is not perfect, and it can be messy. I've broken several cultural norms unawares, struggle with the language, I get frustrated, and I've had moments where I just long to see someone familar, to be at home with my family, to have coffee with a close friend, someone to laugh at Dwight Shrute with..(Hulu nor Nbc. com works here by the way..) well, you get it right? Sometimes I feel like a child. After spending the last nearly three years of my life in Chicago, America's third largest city, living an independent life, I now feel needy. Needing a translator, needing soemone to assist to the store or on the bus because there are different ways of doing things..

Missionary life requires great sacrifice, as I am learning. However, with it comes great joy. When you finally beging to understand even the smallest of phrases and words, when you can go to a grocery store and converse in their language, when you hear a worship song that you know in your first langauge, when a friendship is made, when a student tells you that English is her favourite's the beginning of what is to come. I am enjoying the Bible study that I'm attending at church. Even thought it's translated, I feel welcomed. Last weekend some of the girls invited me to a cave with them, and I highly enjoyed it. I thank God that I am here. I really do. It takes time, and effort, but I know I am called to be here. Forgive this unsystematic, rather raw read. It's been a long past two days, full of joy and tears for various reasons. Pray as I continue to learn, to lay down and surrender. Thanks for the prayers everyone. You have no idea how precious they are.