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Jewel in Cambodia Scarves for Cambodia Journals for the Journey

Friday, April 30, 2010

Home: If only for a short while...

Exams are over. I haven't looked at all my scores yet, and I don't care cause I'm just over it! HA. Packing was unusually relaxed because, instead of waiting until one or two days before, we started about five days before and already had two loads at home before exams started. Wednesday afternoon I was a big mix of emotions - thrilled because the semester was over, but sad to say goodbyes. Most of my friends are within either of my majors [Intercultural Studies and International Community Development,] and almost everyone is traveling far this summer - to India, the Philippines, Haiti, Russia, Cambodia, Uganda, the Karis People, even Los Angeles, etc.; some are also getting married and going on tropical honeymoons or cruises.

On Thursday I leave for Mozambique. Thursday. I cannot believe it.

With the semester over, I have finally started working on my sermon and lesson preparations. I'm still lacking ideas for classes at the creche [daycare - ages 18-months to 3-years]. I have an awesome Bible story coloring book, but it isn't enough and the kids are so young. My suitcase is also small, and my budget f0r supplies is also.

Second, I still need to learn how to drive a stick shift [will be driving a 1956 VW beetle] and purchase my international drivers licence. This will be rather interesting because I simply don't like driving; it's out of my comfort zone. I have these ideas about what the roads in Xai Xai will look like, and it's nothing like Mainstreet G. City. 'Intimidating' seems to be just the right adjective to use there. It will be interesting...

Finally. I just received a phone call from Global Partners this afternoon to say that my budget was miscalculated and I owe $510 before Monday morning. It's Friday evening now. Still trying to figure this one out...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Bear

Studying for exams is keeping me pretty occupied this weekend, so for today's post I'm only going to share with you this video:

The Bear - Film by Jean-Jacques Annaud

This is worth your four minutes:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Interesting Week

I knew yesterday as I was walking to my first morning class, eating a bag of pre-popped popcorn for breakfast, that it would be an interesting day. As it turns out, it has really been an interesting week in its entirety. The last week of my junior year. Crazy.

Considering the interestingness of this week, as I began to pre-sketch blog ideas in my head [or rather on my hand, as in today's case] I decided that my best option is to summarize all the things that have been running through my head.

So, this is Thursday's Random Dozen:
[Kinda random like this picture above. See me?]

1. Yesterday afternoon, the very same day that I had popcorn for breakfast, I realized that I went to chapel and my morning classes in two different sandals -- a brown flipflop, and a very dark brown flipflop. As I was putting on the dark brown sandal I thought, "That's interesting... I thought I forgot these puppies at home this weekend." You see, I went home on Saturday evening to welcome Mom home from Haiti, and I had indeed forgotten my dark brown flippy floppies at home - or rather only one dark brown flippy floppy, and one just brown flippy floppy. That means, since Saturday evening, I had been wearing two different sandals. Yes, for FIVE DAYS I was seen wearing a brown sandal and a dark brown sandal. Thanks "friends" for not informing me of this!!!

2. I had a conversation in Urban and Rural Development class this afternoon [my LAST Urban and Rural Development class] with my friend Abby about our proposed development strategy papers. She wrote about housing in Russia, and I wrote about youth empowerment in Cambodia. I said "Why Russia?!" You see, I have zero interest in ever visiting Russia or really anything Russian. Then Abby says, "You know, I have the same idea about Cambodia." I thought, "Wow. I'm glad God called me to Cambodia, and I'm glad He is calling Abby to Russia, because it certainly isn't my cup-of-tea."

3. My to-do list has decreased tremendously in size, even just in the past two days. I had given two presentations this week, finished my development proposal for Youth Empowerment in Cambodia, and turned in all my journals, notes, and paperwork for a fourth class. With only one more day of classes and three days of exams, I only have a couple more things to finish, but they are significant - 3 exams, 1 test, 1 paper, and 1 lab report. Then of course it's pack up, move out, and go to Africa!

4. Considering it's April 22nd, I am presently very disappointed with the amount of sunshine that has been blanketing (or NOT blanketing) campus this week.

5. On Tuesday afternoon I got an email from Prof. Kern stating that Exam 3, which was scheduled for Wednesday evening, would instead be given as a take home exam and would be passed out in class Wednesday afternoon. I instantaneously threw a dance party and I danced like I never had before. It was a happy moment.

6. I have been encouraging encouraging encouraging myself to remember that academics are not the most important thing. While it is important, I cannot let myself get lost in papers, books, and exams while forgetting my relationship with God, friends, and self. In previous semesters I have been hospitalized twice because I have let stress affect me physically, and in only one week, I have friends graduating and spreading across the globe (as most students do in the Intercultural Studies and International Community Development divisions) - friends that I likely won't see for years, if not forever.

7. God is my constant. As I think about the past semester, the past three years, and the past seven years, I realize that the only thing that has been constant is God. Friends have changed, interests and passions have changed, my lifestyle has changed, and in moving away to college, even the idea of family has changed.

8. I'm trying to balance my emotions of anxiousness to meet my niece or nephew, and gratitude because he or she has not yet arrived. For about three weeks the reality has been, "any day now." While I would love love love to see this little baby before I leave for Africa on May 6th, I realize the implications of being premature. I want to hold the little baby hands, and poke the little baby feet, but not through the holes of the baby aquariums in the NICU.

9. Somehow I only have nine meals remaining on my meal plan. Usually I still have at least twenty after the semester is over. So I'm trying to figure out how to preserve nine meals over a seven day span. Mostly I'm relying on the kindness of others who still have meals swipes left.

10. Thanks to Ashton for swiping me, I had dinner with my old Cambodia team tonight. I love love love those girls!! Between weekly meetings, a weekend retreat, and three weeks in Cambodia, we experienced a lot of things together that really brought us close. We've cried together, slept together, [almost] tried fried tarantula together, etc. I'm hoping we can have a "weekend getaway" next semester too!

11. I was accepted as a Global Partners missionary intern this week, which means I have a lot of paperwork to fill out in the next less than two weeks before I go to Africa. Exciting stuff!!

12. Oh my gracious, tomorrow is Friday!! You know what that means.
Aunt Sue's Tea Room and Ivanhoe's icecream!!
[See yesterday's post HERE.]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Anxious for Friday...

I'm so so so anxious for Friday because NOT ONLY is it my LAST day of classes for the Spring semester, but...

Lunch at Aunt Sue's Tea Room
Where I'm going to have the Queen's Tea
[Sweet Angel Falls Mist tea, a double portion of yummo chicken salad, and a beautiful assortment of de-lish finger foods]

With this young lady::
My dear dear friend Andrea

and THEN going to Ivanhoe's for dinner and dessert::
Where I'm going to have a juicy juicy cheeseburger, tots, and the totally awesome Health Nut sundae with bananas, almond slivers, granola, and frozen yogurt.

With these guys::
My Mozambique team!
[Rachel, Jess, Daniel, Caitlin, Dr. P
Emily, Jillian, Jenni, ME, and Christie]

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Campus at Spring Time

Check out these beautiful pictures that my sister took on campus last week. Indiana Wesleyan University has THE most gorgeous grounds I've ever seen!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

This baby is ready for a baby

My neice Baby Face is ready for her little brother [or sister] that should be arriving soon!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday's Fave Five - Fighting a Headache

Click HERE to see what others are liking this Friday.

It's been quite a while since my last Friday's Fave Five entry, so here goes!

1. Blooming Trees
Yesterday the cool afternoon breeze was just strong enough to pull lots of little petals off the trees and give a strange April-snow effect. It was beautiful!

2. Coffee
I gave up coffee for lent, and since Easter I have been loving it! I gave it up because I had become too reliant upon it, and I wanted to make a commitment that you would communicate to God that He is my strength, not my morning coffee. It was difficult, but it really was a good experience. Every time [literally] I would smell that fresh aroma, I would be reminded, "God is my strength. I don't need coffee; I just need Jesus!" Now God is still my strength, but I sure do love my coffee!

3. My youth in Kratie
Pagna, Vandy, Chanta, Sophol, Zanda, Nary, Piset, Rachana, Rado, Ki, Titus, Limang...
Many of these are some of my students from the Cambodian province of Kratie. I have had a chance to talk to 5 of them since I left in June, in addition to Pastors Vandy and Titus [black tshirts in front row.] This is a picture of them gathered at the youth conference last week in Phnom Penh. I miss them so much!!

4. Napping
I've been fighting a nauseating headache off-and-on since Wednesday afternoon. Yuck yuck yuck. I plan on getting at least an hour nap this afternoon, hoping that will kick it so I can be productive and have some fun this evening.

5. Passport to Culture
Tonight on campus there's an event that highlights different cultural groups that are either represented by IWU students, or are heart cultures of the students, or are just an interest of some students. Different students, staff, or local families volunteer to hosts booth in the Commons area and there is food, live entertainment, free give-a-ways and more. It's pretty sweet. If I kick this headache and I'm able to attend, I'll post pictures sometime soon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

No News is Good News

My mom is in Haiti now working on the island of La Gonave doing clinical work. She went with a small missions team from our church - some medical, some handy[wo]men. They left last Thursday and should return late Saturday evening. I haven't heard anything and I'm assuming no news is good news. Right??

Since she's gone I went to visit Dad and Grandmom yesterday. I sat with Grandmom while she was eating dinner, and I checked her trash, mail, etc. Then I went home and found dishes, handwashed, drying on the counter, and clean laundry folded on the couch. Impressive. :) Then I laid on the big comfy couch and watched an hour and a half of Game Show Network with Dad.

^ Mom with Baby Face

^ Open air clinic in Haiti

I'm excited to see her and hear her stories when she returns, AND to see what she bought me. :) Maybe it's an elephant for my international elephant collection??

Update from Mary, who is with Mom in Haiti::
"well, your mom is doing great and keeping really busy and making me laugh, too!! please be praying, though, because several of the rest of the team have been ill."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Really Really Random!

Welcome to Wednesday's Random Dozen, hosted by Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee.

1. How do you feel about "Gladiator" sandals, also called "Roman" or "Jesus" sandals? A fashion yea or nay?
My sister has a pair that I am rather envious of. I saw them initially at Payless and made fun of them, then she tried them on and I said, "Give those back I saw them first." I've still never tried them on. :(

2. What is your favorite pizza?
Barbecue chicken and pineapple. Yummo! In Cambodia, we eat corn on our pizza -- it isn't as good.
3. There are plans in the works to sell roughly 1,000 items from Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas. This means you could buy Picard's chair for your family room. If not a Star Trek item, what prop, background, set, etc. from what TV or movie would you buy if you could?
[Ex: Hurley's "I Love my Shih tzu" shirt from LOST, the plantation home "Tara" from Gone With the Wind, or Tracy's tambourine from the Partridge Family.]

4. Name a local food or restaurant that your area is famous for.
Ivanhoe's on South Main Street in Upland, Indiana. They have 100 sundaes and 100 shakes, and can make it all in hundreds of ways. Click HERE to see the menu.

5. What is your current favorite snack?
Graham crackers in milk.

6. Hypothetical: You are required to be a reality show contestant. Which show would you choose based on your probability of success?
A. Dancing with the Stars
B. Biggest Loser
C. Survivor
I wouldn't anticipate being successful in any of the three HA, but I would choose Survivor. I wouldn't even know how to weasel my way to the top, but I tend to not have a lot of enemies, and I'm pretty sure I could make it physically. So.. I'll choose that. :)

7. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being uninhabitable and 10 being cleanliness that meets the standards of OCD, how clean is your vehicle's interior?
7. It's not full of trash, but I do have a few church bulletins lying on the floor and some other randoms in the back seat. Also, I have quite the embarrassing red gatorade stain that consumed the carpet behind the drivers seat.

8. It doesn't feel like Spring until _________.
...lawns all over campus are busy with students lying out on blankets or playing frisbee and campus golf.

9. Something that made you laugh really hard recently is ____.
Remembering two years ago on St. Patrick's Day when my sister accidentally set the door alarm off in the dorm, and because she knew people saw her, she ran upstairs and changed into a green shirt so she would blend in, then hid in her bed. haha. I will never forget her face when she realized the door was alarmed.

10. Tell me about a goal you're working toward.
Finishing my development proposal before the night before it's due, and losing 20 pounds.

11. Share a thought-provoking or inspiring quote this week.
“Eve was not taken out of Adam's head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him.”
- Matthew Henry

12. Name one thing that you do as a parent that you absolutely know will make your kids happy. If you're not a parent, feel free to substitute "friend" or nomenclature that works for you.
My FRIENDS appreciate when I swipe my card for their meals, and my professors appreciate when I bring them coffee. Yes, I'm a favorite. :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Story: The Little Boat

It will take a little time to read this, but it's a good story.

There was a little boy who lived by the sea and the one thing he loved best was to carve out little boats from the pieces of driftwood. One day he found a beautiful block of wood. After sculpting it in perfect detail, he sanded it and painted and lacquered it. He took it wherever he went, always showing it off to his friends.

One day, he waded into the sea, put his little boat on the water, and watched it float on the water. Then suddenly a great wave descended on the little boat, the wave engulfed the little boat, and it drifted far, far away from the boy and disappeared. The boy ran to his father, crying. To no avail, his father tried to comfort him.

Days went past, then weeks, and then months, and the boy still missed his little boat. One day, while accompanying his father to town, he wandered into a store. In the store, among the other souvenirs and merchandise, was the perfectly sanded, painted, and lacquered little boat! The boy approached the owner, who told him that it had been brought it the previous week.

The boy explained to him, “I was the one who made that little boat. I carved it, sanded it, painted and lacquered it. It’s the best little boat I ever made, and it got lost at sea. I’ve searched and searched for it and now I’m so happy to have found it. May I have it back?” The owner told the boy that if he wanted the boat, he would have to pay for it.

As soon as the boy and father returned home, the boy went to his room, and broke his piggy bank. He counted the money, but it wasn't enough. As he sat there, tears rolling down his face, his father entered the room. He asked, “Son, why do love that little boat so much? There are so many pieces of drifting wood; you could always make another boat."

The boy replied, “Father, I loved that little boat so much. I couldn’t eat nor sleep, wondering what had happened to it all these months. And now I have found it! Father, I don’t care how much it costs, I’m going to work hard so I can save up to buy back my little boat.”

His father lovingly looked at his son’s sad face, and said, “Okay, my son, I understand. Here, I’ll give you the money to buy back your boat." Receiving the money, the boy hugged his father tightly, whispering, “thank you, father.” He ran off towards the store, and bought back his little boat. He took it home, cradling it in his arms, and showed it off to his father, his mother, and the rest of his family. From then on, he never let it drift too far at sea, and always kept it at his side.

Jesus is the boy, we are that little boat. He molded us, polished us, and cherishes us. When we drifted off to where he couldn’t find us or reach us, His heart was broken. After having found us again, He did not hesitate to pay whatever price in order to redeem us. He redeemed us with His life.

I made you and I bought you;
you are mine.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Journals for the Journey

Entrepreneur Jewel finally got her act together. :)
Check it out HERE and tell all your friends!!!

[Copy & Paste code above to advertise :) :) :)]

Friday, April 09, 2010

At the top of my list..

Today's to-do list is very very long, but at the top is praying for my mom, dad, grandmom, and two sisters.

Mom in blue glasses, Yo in green, and Jessie in red

As I write, Mom is on her way to Haiti. She was born a missionary's kid in Sierra Leone, Africa and lived there for a few years before returning to America as a pastor's kid. After college she returned to Africa as a missionary nurse. Now for about eight years she has watched Jessie (twin sis) and I travel the world to places like Mexico, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Cambodia, the Czech Republic, the Philippines, etc. Now it's her turn, and she'll be working in medical clinics on the island of la Ganov for two weeks.

With Mom gone and our cat passed away, Dad is left home alone lonely. I'm praying that he actually eats real food, not just chips, Snicker bars, and coffee; and that he finds jobs so he can keep his mind busy. He told me that he is taking one of his sisters to dinner tonight.

Then there's Grandmom, who Mom told me just before she left, is DNR (do not resuscitate.) She's 81-years-old and just a few weeks ago we CELEBRATED her returning to 100 pounds after her hospitalization in the ICU this summer. She's living on her own, and semi-independent, but we check on her everyday. In fact, just last week she walked down the driveway to get her mail for the first time in months. (Go Grandma!!!) I love Grandmom more than anything, but the responsibility of checking-in on her weighs heavy on my heart. Sorry Grandmom, but if it's my decision, I'm going to resuscitate you. :)

Joni. My sister is 33-and-a-half weeks pregnant and on Wednesday she was two cm. dilated with contractions four minutes apart. She spent some time in the hospital for monitoring and was given a shot to pause, and steroids for the itty-bitty baby. She was put on bedrest and they doctors are trying to hold her two more weeks until Mom is home and the baby is stronger.
<----- Here she is at 30 weeks.

Jessie, my twin sister, left for Chicago this morning for an Urban Encounters trip. She is a social work major and going to experience needle exchanges and such. I'm stressed and I wish she was here to rub my head and pat my back, but I think I can make it 37 more hours, 12 minutes, and 16 seconds. I'm praying she is safe there, and between there and here.
On a side note, between my errands to Wal-Mart, home, the church, the eye doctor, and the bank (All during my lunch break,) I had a great interview with Global Partners, working towards my mobilization as a missionary intern. I was also blessed at the eye doctor to realize that what I thought was only a downpayment, was actually a co-payment and all I owed! Yay!!!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

New Countdown

You may notice I have a new countdown in my sidebar.

Some of my summer plans have changed and I will now be accompanying our church's youth group to Puerto Rico this summer! I'll be home from Mozambique a full week, then I'll be off to Puerto Rico for 2 weeks!

Ahh, spanish!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

It's April already??

I can't believe there are only three weeks of school left. I can't believe it's already April. I can't believe it's already 2010! I have been busy busy BUSY. Schoolwork mostly, but enjoyed time with family during my five-day Easter vacation. (Everyone else only had a four-day vacation, but I was conveniently sick sick SICK to my stomach on Thursday, so I took it off too. :] )

Easter was wonderful.

I've been learning a lot lately; I suppose it's because I have recently rendered myself teachable. There will be more to come on that once I finish the next twelve projects on my to-do list, including Saturday's rummage that I was given only two weeks to pull together.
I have however managed to keep updating my status on facebook, so I'm just going to copy and paste the last few days and CALL IT A BLOG. [Apparently the "♥ ♥ ♥" is my new thing! HA]

If you limit your choices to only what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from all that God wants for you and all that is left is a compromise. I choose to let God's plans flourish in my life. ♥ ♥ ♥

I'm writing an essay about the beggar in Kampong Chhnang; won't forget her. ♥ ♥ ♥

The wind is strong and the water's deep, But I'm not alone in these open seas, Cause Your love never fails!! ♥ ♥ ♥

From Indiana to Haiti, to Mozambique, to Cambodia and the Philippines.. Today we celebrate one God, one mission, one sacrifice... So that all who believe shall be saved... 100s of 1000s of believers restored to Him because the grave could not hold down the Son of God! He is risen; my Redeem lives! Amen! ♥ ♥ ♥

Jesus doesn't call us to give up our dreams, but to give them to Him. ♥ ♥ ♥

Enjoyed my 5-hour nap this afternoon. Feeling much better now!!

Sometimes everything goes wrong at the sametime, but Jesus is still good. ♥ ♥ ♥

Is this a speed bump or a wall? I still don't know. Matthew 21:21.

Happy Spring everyone and hello freckles of 2010.
I hope you have been enjoying the past few days, because the cold-front and the storms are coming in!