Thursday, July 25, 2013
Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD. Psalm 117:1-2 It has been one year. Wow. One year ago today I stood in front of a judge and listened as Andrew asked that he be granted a divorce. I listened to him say there was no hope for our marriage to be saved. I heard the bang of the gavel as my marriage was terminated. In the elevator on the way down I took off my wedding rings and put them into my purse. Then I stood in front of the courthouse and waved goodbye to Andrew. And I haven't seen or heard from him since. That last part is still so strange. I still wonder sometimes how he could have done this. I wonder if he looks at the calendar today and realizes, or if it has all just been the 'relief' he thought he would find. Last year as I was dreading the looming divorce, I read something about women throwing divorce parties and I felt really sad to read that. I will never celebrate Andrew choosing to end our marriage. But I WILL celebrate my God and all the good He has worked through this. I remember so many days thinking my future was bleak and hopeless. This year has been an amazing testimony of how GOOD God is. And how great is His faithfulness. I remember so many times my mom would ask me "do you trust God?" and I would answer that I didn't know anymore. I wanted to, and in my mind I did, but my heart was fearful. This year has eased that fear, and I can confidently say 'yes, I trust God.' A college friend was sharing earlier this week about the Jews passage through the desert as they journeyed from Egypt to the promised land, and said, the desert is a place of suffering but it is also a place where God meets us. He was asking me if I could share about 'my time in the desert'. I do feel like God met me in the desert and led me through, and I am so thankful. So many things helped me during this time. My family, my mom who called me nearly every day, my friends, my divorce group, my counselor Stan, my church; but mostly my savior. There were also so many helpful books and messages that spoke to my heart. One church sermon I remember said that in the storm our response is to wonder where God is. But God is in the storm, He knows what He is going to do, and He's coming to find me. On the other side of the storm we will have more faith than we did before. I think this does apply to me, and I'm so glad He came to find me. I am so thankful to God for all His wonderful blessings to me. Thank you to everyone who has stood by me in this storm, and prayed for me, and listened, and helped me up when I would fall. Thank you.
Monday, July 22, 2013
This weekend was wonderful. Friday after work a friend came over and we got some icecream and talked a few hours. Then after he left I finally had some time to myself. Ahhhh. I think the 40% introvert in me really needs a full day or at least a half day to myself every week. What I'd really love to do is just lay around and read or nap or something. But it always seems there is stuff to do. This weekend I caught up on laundry, finally unpacked everything, grocery shopped, unjunked my room, did some errands and returns. Also caught up on my Bachelorette :) I got a message from my friend saying our next book club book is The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake and all I could think of was mmmmm, lemon cake... So I made these muffins A lemon cake mix box, I made mine with just 2 eggs, the water, and yogurt instead of oil. And added some raspberries fresh from mom's garden. They turned out quite tasty indeed. I feel like I haven't cooked anything in weeks. Well, I was gone in Guatemala, but before that it was 90+ degrees in the condo and the last thing I wanted to do was stand over a hot stove. It was a little bit cooler this weekend, and I was hungry, so I made this Pan fried veggies (zucchinis also from mom's garden, thanks!) and on a bed of red lentils made from a recipe on the back of the Trader Joe's red lentil bag, quite tasty. Sunday I went to my bf's house to help her move her business "for a couple hours" (which ended up being the rest of the day). She got into a kitchen in a cider mill somehow, anyway, I think it is going to be great for her business and she was excited. So we moved tons of storage stuff, containers, etc, I loaded like 1000 mangoes by myself, and then it was time to move this behemoth industrial fridge. She had her husband, brother-in-law, family friend, coerced neighbor and me and we rolled and winched this 1000+ lb fridge up into a trailer. When we got to the cider mill the owner came with his forklift to get it out. Hallelujah!! (angel chorus music from heaven played here) And at one point the fridge started to tip and I watch Liz dart in there to stabilize it. Later I yelled at her for risking her life being crushed for a fridge. Luckily that didn't happen! Tonight my sister comes in town, I am excited for this week and finally seeing my family again!
Friday, July 19, 2013
I am really looking forward to this weekend. My room is an absolute mess of papers, books, laundry, mail, bags, clothes, shoes, suitcases, crafts, stuff. I need a solid hour or two to put some music on, turn on the fan, and organize!! This week has been so busy with something every night. Mostly I do like being busy, and sometimes I think I may have a messy room, but I am enjoying a full life :) but then it's like I seriously need to get this mess under control! I'm also looking forward to some relaxing and catching up on my Bachelorettes and (ahem, guilty cough) Dexters. Although I haven't felt as guilty watching that show lately since his one very graphic girlfriend season ended a couple seasons ago. So that's good. One song I have been listening to in my car almost continually on repeat and always at top volume is this song Prog by Pinback. I can never understand the words, but I love the guitar/drum part. LOVE. Then I see they are coming in concert in September and tickets are only $15. Anyone want to go??? Times like these I especially wish my bro was in town, he'd be my concert buddy. But alas, so any other concert buddies out there? I am REALLY looking forward to next week when my sister will be in town. And then Joel & Michelle come in on Thursday. We have wedding prep, but I am looking forward to all being together again!!
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
I went to my counseling yesterday, filled in Stan about my date and this busy month. He was really proud of me going on a date, he reminded me that 3 months ago I said I couldn't imagine ever dating, and now I've been out there and actually had a good time. We talked about how I do feel afraid of being 'sucked in' to something that might not be good just because someone might seem so fun and funny- but not necessarily good in the right ways. I'm sure I would figure it out eventually, but it is always so hard to break up with people - and I would rather do it earlier than later. Sometimes I wonder how I look from Stan's chair. He said he was proud of me, and that I did really good with what I said to that guy, and that I'm not operating out of 'neediness'. I do feel like I'm growing and learning, and moving on. And I'm ready. It's been a year and 7 months now, dealing with everything, and will be officially 1 year divorced this month. I still hate that I am divorced. But I love what God has done in my life because of it. I've been getting these daily divorce emails from the divorce group I was a part of and today was 365 days. Time flies. God has been so good to me, and I share the email girl's voice, "My Father loves me, and He’s reaffirmed it in a thousand ways. I know that I’m going to live. I’m not just going to get by, but I’m going to live victoriously." And again, I'm so thankful. The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.Zephaniah 3:17 ARISE! Shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! Isaiah 60:1 I am so thankful for my amazing family and friends and support group too. I've been busy since coming home from Guatemala, my room is a complete disaster. But I've been too busy having fun! I went away on a girl's sleepover trip Monday night, spent the next day with them and at the outlet mall. It was great to see out of town friends, we had so many laughs and time to catch up. Then I got a call from a friend who had an extra ticket to F.U.N. so I zipped over there, parked across the street and ran in since I didn't have any parking money, and sat on the lawn listening to music. It was perfect! Tonight I'm hanging out with my co-worker, and then Thursday a dinner hang out with those out of town friends again. This weekend I can relax, and then next week my sister is coming into town for the wedding!! It's busy, but it is wonderful to have such good people in my life. I told Stan last night I feel 99% back to my original self, and I feel loved, and happy, and blessed, and thankful. Thank you Lord.
Monday, July 15, 2013
I'm home! I got in yesterday evening after a long day of traveling. But I am mostly unpacked, re-packed for my girl's night tonight, and facebook pictures have been uploaded :) This is El Tesoro (well the school in El Tesoro). It is a village that was created by the government for the indigenous Guatemalans that were displaced at the end of their 30 year civil war. 200k of the poor Mayan Guatemalans were killed, compared to 40k of the wealthier Guatemalans that took their land. These buildings are the school buildings that partially the government build, and Circle of Love (my aunt's medical mission organization) built. It was a good, busy week. We started out in Antigua and then went out everyday to El Tesoro about an hour by bus. Everyday we held a morning and afternoon clinic with a break in between for lunch. The government so generously put these poor people pretty much out in the middle of nowhere and it was very hot and muggy everyday. But it was beautiful. The lands were green (rainy season!) and there were hills and creeks, and volcanoes, and fields of sugarcane and pineapples. I did not know pineapples grew on the ground! Everyday I set up my little station of getting people's names and ages. And then I would take the adults blood pressure, and their pulses and all the pulses of their kids. Out of 225+ some patients, I think I had like 3 with high blood pressure. So that was good. Most peoples' were so low I was wondering how they weren't fainting away. And the kids were so cute as they would shyly stick out their little wrists to me. The missionaries have been working down there with the Guatemalans for 13 years now. I was so impressed with them and their dedication to these people. The guy told me he has seen tremendous things happen in their village over the years thanks to Jesus. I guess some of the people were at one time warring Mayan tribes, and now there is a lot of unity. That was awesome. As soon as I was done getting everyone going, I'd go sit in my aunt's room and observe her. Before the trip I asked her what she was going to do specifically, and she said: "see the patients and lead them to the Lord" and that is exactly what she did. Here we are during a wart removal. This lady had warts all over her leg. The girl in the middle is an American who has lived down there for 3 years teaching in the school English and Bible. I was really impressed with her, she was a huge help translating. I spent a lot of time as a 'surgical tech' this trip getting all the supplies ready for my aunt. And here I am fanning her, there is nothing worse than trying to do something and sweating. I know I hate that anyway. I felt embarrassed a lot when I'd try to take someone's blood pressure and I was dripping sweat. At least they were too, but it was gross. We ended up a team of 12 and there were a lot of really great people on the trip. 1 doctor (my aunt), 2 nurse practitioners, 1 nurse, 1 nursing student (me), 1 pharmacist, a pastor and his daughter, and then just other people that wanted to come. It was great to see how quickly we were able to work together and every person had qualities that really added value to the trip and the work. It was great. And there was time for fun too. I'm really SO thankful I was able to be a part of this trip. We saw 408 patients, and 201 accepted Jesus. Awesome!! Thank you to everyone for supporting me and joining with me in prayer!
Friday, July 5, 2013
Tomorrow morning at 6am I fly out to Guatemala! I'm excited for the trip, a bit nervous and hoping I won't be too bumbling and not helpful, but that it will be a really good experience and a chance to impact and help some people that need it. I'm going to share this prayer request from my aunt who runs the organization: On Saturday, a team of 12 from Circle of Love Foundation will be heading our to Guatemala where we will partner with Andrew and Becky Loveall in a medical outreach. We will once again be going to the war refugee village of El Tesoro to provide a free medical clinic. Half our team will be veteran participants and half will be first time team members with Circle. I love new members because they see everything with fresh eyes and are so enthusiastic. Please pray for them as they adjust to new conditions. May God give them grace not only for the necessary cultural adjustments but also to open there eyes to the needs and opportunities around them That God would show them their own destiny in His kingdom.. Please pray that the patients what we treat will feel the love of God flowing through us and will be drawn into a closer relationship with God. Pray that those who have never know Jesus as Savior will take this opportunity to be reconciled to God. Please pray for Andrew and his team on the ground. Two very large team have just left and they are tired going into this outreach==but very happy with what has been accomplished. Please remember that this is the double salary month for Andrew where he is required by Guatemalan law to pay double salaries. Please pray for smooth travel for the team, a quick encounter with customs when we declare our medicine, and freedom from sickness or injury for all team members. I would appreciate prayer very much over the next 9 days as I'm gone and for the people to receive healing and Jesus!
Monday, July 1, 2013
I went on my first date in 4 or so years yesterday. On Thursday I went to get my oil changed, and they said something was wrong with my car so I went out there to see what the problem was. The guy was showing me and talking to me a little. I didn't think much of it. Then the next day at work I get a phone call and its the guy calling from his work telling me he forgot to put the sticker in my car, and if that were a first date he would have really screwed it up. We joked and chit-chatted a bit. Then the next day he texts me to ask if my dad fixed the part for me, and somehow gets around to saying we can talk about my car troubles over dinner and drinks. Which surprised me. I sat and thought about it for awhile, talked to Jill. The thought of going on a date really scared me, so that's why I said yes. I can either force myself to do things that scare me, and learn how to deal with people and situations, or sit in my room for the rest of my life. Plus, while some people might be creeped out with him using company files to find my phone number and make up an excuse to call me, I thought it was something I would have done and I liked it. So I asked him how about lunch and icecream instead, so that's what we did. So the next day he picks me up and we went to lunch. Right away I found out he was only 23 (he looks at least late 20s). He asked me how big of a deal that was to me, because he didn't care, and I was like, yeah, it is actually a pretty big deal. But we still had our lunch, got icecream, walked in the park. It was actually super fun. He kept making these jokes like when we saw motorcycles later and he said something about riding, and I asked if he had one, and when he said no my face must have looked sad and he made jokes about how if he had a motorcycle the age thing wouldn't be an issue at all. Yeaaaahhh, motorcycles are irresistible. So then the end of the date. We were sitting on the porch and he's asking me if I want to go out again and I'm trying to talk about how I think besides me not wanting to be called a cougar the rest of my life, our lives were really different. And he asks me what I'm looking for, and I said first of all a Christian. And he comments that he knows he swears a lot. And I think that's something non-Christians really just can't understand. It's not just if you swear or not, it's that my belief in Jesus is what makes me who I am and why I live the way I do. You not swearing, is not enough. And even though I liked him and actually had a great time with him, I need more in my life than just hilarious British and other assorted accents and jokes and fun times. Well - I want that too, but I really want to build a life with someone. So anyway, a bit of an awkward end, but a good date I would say. Yeah. So I think I learned from this. I was able to completely be myself, and share things about what I had learned that day in my church, and talk about what makes me me and that felt great. And I think I was able to explain how even though I had a great time, I am really looking for a deeper connection. And explain how I want to be someone who is careful with other people's feelings and time and going out again would not be respectful of that. This weekend was a really great weekend all around. Dinner after work Friday with my co-worker, a birthday party hangout later that night for a guy friend from church, a road rally on Saturday with some friends (we won 3rd place) and a bonfire late into the night at their house, church and date on Sunday and then watching the fireworks. It was a great weekend.