Update Eight-Antigua

Yay, an everyday post! Yesterday I had the day off, and went to Antigua with several other people.

I love going to Antigua, seeing the volcanoes, valleys, the city and all the artistic-ness that is expressed all over the city. But also being in traffic, seeing people go about their day to day lives and watching the culture.

And getting to go shopping in the market, and when you go back and you and the shop keeper remember each other and have a cool conversation.

This is such a cool look out to the volcano ‘Agua’. (and for your info, after that wall, it doesn’t just drop down lol)

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For breakfast we took a shuttle up the mountain to El Tenedor, which is a restaurant up in the mountains, and we got to eat outside with this view.

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The food here is so good. There will be random times when I miss the food I used to eat in America. But it’s pretty rare.

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And one of my favorite parts! They make you an omelet to how you like it right there in front of you. I was so excited to have cebolla, queso blanco, tomate Y jamon on mine! (onion, white cheese(mozz.) tomato and ham.) Drizzled with cream. Think Creme fresh only 100 times better!

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Another view from the restaurant. And it wasn’t just a restaurant, but these huge gardens and so much art weaved into it. It was so refreshing to just walk around with no real agenda, and enjoy nature and fresh air! It’s a lot of diesel smell and fumes in the city.

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Jill is such an amazing person and friend. She pours out so much into so many lives in such a loving and fresh way! Love her so much!

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Part of the group of sweet people!

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A small part of the market.

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You walk by and they ask what your looking for and if you even start to look at something, they get it out and all the other colors they have, or they put it on you to see how you like it haha!

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Then they took us to see the mimo. That was fun to see.

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And at McDonalds, I found a friend! lol

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Going back home. (well, my second home!) It was so special to get to see the sunset. It’s one of my favorite things to watch but I usually am inside when it sets, and being in the mountains with a bunch of trees makes it hard to see it.

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And seeing this, Psalms 1oo:5 comes to mind…

Porque Jehová es bueno: para siempre es su misericordia, Y su verdad por todas las generaciones.

Because the Eternal is good,
    His loyal love and mercy will never end,
    and His truth will last throughout all generations.

Update Seven

All things work together for good. He will never fail or abandon us. He has our best interests in mind and what we are in need of. Even if we don’t know what we are in need of.

He knew what He was doing when he had my path cross the path of a team that was down here for three weeks. We really became family in the two weeks we were together, and I feel like I’ve known them a whole lot longer than just two short weeks. But also it was a good time of laughter, encouragement, lifting each other up or working side by side, praying for each other, pizza parties. The late night card games when everyone is tired and in a goofy mood, or the time I hung out with them while they painted. Some may have gotten on our faces!

Super thankful for each of these people.

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Recently I moved from the main building down the hill/mountain (call it what you want!) to the baby house. Casa de los Angelitos. And it’s been good to be able to be more apart of the family, but it’s also been an adjustment.

And I was recently in a major down swing. In a valley. Kind of wanted to crawl in a hole and not come out.

But something I realized was that, I’ve been focusing on the whole future and not the day in front of me. I was too focused on the next 5 months, how am I going to do ____? What am I going to do when I get home?

There’s a very specific reason God told us not to worry about the future! We get overwhelmed. Depressed. Our tiny human minds can’t process that much future at once!

And so I’m learning to take the day in front of me, and make the most out of it. How can I best love these kids today? What does God have in store for today? And then finding the tiny little beautiful things He places in it for us to find and take joy in! Like little treasures along our path.

Like when you and two of the little boys get in a goofy “chase me and laugh a lot” kind of thing. Tickling and just having fun.

Or walking one of them to school. Seeing the sun rise and breathing in the fresh morning air.

Or tiny little human laughs, hugs and kisses!

There is so much in one day to find beautiful if you let yourself. So much packed into that space of time that you can be thankful for. Opportunities in that day to pray and just talk to God!

We can’t be full of Him if we aren’t empty of ourselves. Give Him those disappointments, fears, struggles. He want’s to take them for us! And just fill up on His goodness.

Through it all, my eyes are on you, and it is well with my soul.

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We went on a walk last week to come and see this view. And the picture just doesn’t do it justice. In those clouds is a huge volcano. and it really makes you stop and think. We aren’t as big and mighty as we like to think sometimes. It puts life back into perspective.

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So on a more day to day “what’s it like”, the weather has been anywhere from 70-79 in the day and 49-52 during the night. I’m starting to get brown (they laugh at me when I say that lol!) and walking at lease 300 stairs a day, depending on how often you go back and fourth makes you lose weight.

Favorite foods- arroz con leche. It’s a warm milk with cooked rice in it. amazing! Refried beans. and of course…the coffee!

And you know you always see those “tall people problems” everywhere. The shower head is at my neck. Yup. Tall people problems haha! And when I see another tall person…I get really excited! (I need to get out more.)

I’m learning more Spanish, little phrases, but it’s still slow. But it feels so amazing when you can understand someone in Spanish. Like wow. My brain can do that?! Little steps.

Also recently got to sit down and facetime my family. It was super good to see them, but man it made me miss them so much! Seeing home and not being able to  go there is such a weird feeling. Love them so!

I am so thankful for this life. Even if I don’t understand it sometimes, it’s such a privilege to be able to be here, and love these kids, even if I feel like I’m changing a diaper every time I turn around! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Update Six

I’ve been here what, not even a week? I flew down on Monday and got here really early Tuesday morning, and ever since then I literally haven’t known what day it is.

And I’ve already got a lot to say. But I’ll start with traveling.

It was so super sad to say goodbye to my family, usually I’m traveling with my flock lol! Not by myself. So I couldn’t just follow them. I had to look out for my gate, see where  to go, ask for directions.

Waiting at Indy at my gate, and got to talking to a family who was waiting too, and they told me they would be praying for me. Total strangers. But it meant a lot.

But once  I got to Atlanta, it was absolutely crazy because our flight was delayed a tad, so everyone is rushing etc.

I had to take a train to my next gate, and met a girl who was going to the gate next to mine. So I asked if I could just kinda follow her because this was my first time in the airport. She agreed and even asked if I wanted her to take me all the way to my gate, and two other girls overheard and were like “oh, we are going to E. So she can come with us!”

Literally a life saver. Because I would’ve been lost without them.

My flight from Atlanta to Guatemala was delayed quite a bit.  And so I just sat down and cried. My friend Allison facetimed me and I told her “I don’t even know why i’m crying!” emotions  I guess! lol. And met a group of missionaries who were headed there (Guatemala)  too.

It is one of the coolest things to be able to just talk about Jesus with random strangers!

On the plane, the lady next to me asked if I would trade seats with her husband because they had two little kids.

At first, I was a little disappointed because I’d be in a middle seat. Not next to the window. But quite thankful I did trade, because I was able to meet another missionary and a Guatemalan guy. That was really cool to be able to talk to him about Guatemala or what he liked in the states or just family! 🙂

But then once we got to the airport, he helped me through the airport and getting my stuff. It’s nice to have a Guatemalan help you through the Guatemalan airport 😉  He asked if I was nervous, and honestly, I wasn’t. The entire trip I wasn’t nervous at all. And when I got here, I was just so happy to be home. It really and truly feels like home!

But I’m just super super thankful for those people God put in my path, and that was just with traveling! I’ve gotten to meet so many other cool people that are here too.

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Only part of my walk everyday. 110 stairs.

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And the days can be so hard. It taxes you if you don’t fill up on the right stuff. And I wasn’t filling up on Jesus the first few days, and I finally took the time to just sit down, and it was so. much. better. Joshua 1:9 keeps coming up in random places.

“This is my command: be strong and courageous. Never be afraid or discouraged because I am your God, the Eternal One, and I will remain with you wherever you go.”

Or Isaiah 40:31 has a whole new meaning to it.

“But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength. They will soar on wings as eagles. They will run-never winded, never weary. They will walk-never tired, never faint”

And when the time gets tough, like when the kids are either asking you to play “caballo” again for the 10th time or your scrubbing poop from pants, or when almost every kids is crying/yelling, I remember Acceptance with joy. Accepting where God has put me, even when I don’t understand a lot of it, and serving Him with the joy in my heart that only He can give me. I’m empty and worthless without Him.

And I have gone to my room and just cried. But. It has had its really good days! Days when you all are in a silly playful mood and there’s so much laughter, or when you put the kids to bed and they all give you a kiss. Right before you head out the door, you hear about 3 or 4 more “uno mas! Uno mas!” (one more, one more!)

God is good. All the time!

Thank you all so much for praying for me, for this trip. It has been absolutely so humbling to see and hear of just how  many people are praying for me. I’m honored. And so thankful!

 

Update Five

Overwhelmed in two ways.

One, that I’m leaving in 10 days, and I have no idea how to start packing for 5 1/2 months.

And two, thinking back to everything God has done for this trip. He has blessed me over and over in so many ways. Provided for every last thing that I need, plus more, and I can’t even begin to count them all.

I told God this morning that I wasn’t sure I could handle being blessed so many times.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful for these blessings! Because I wouldn’t be here without him. Its just that in the midst of me being human, He chooses to bless us, even when we mess up. Or keep messing up.

He calls us higher to who He sees us as. He doesn’t see us as we are in our sinfulness, rather, how He has created us to be. What we are becoming in Him. Blooming and blossoming in His rich love and tender care.

And that, is so beautiful!

And that He places such special callings on each of us. Whether we feel worthy or not. He trusts us with it. He believes in us, and cheers us on!!

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Update Four-Four Things

I purchased my tickets about a week and a half ago! Making it all the more real. ( and yes, I may have screamed because you can’t keep that much excitement in ; )

32 days away.

Lately stress has been right beside me a lot. And to be honest, I don’t even know what about anymore.

Am I going to spend the last 32 days with my family in fear and worry, or in joy and peace?

Last night I sat down and wrote out four things God has been teaching me over this past year. More specifically the second half of the year. Because it’s so good to be reminded of His goodness. And it replaces stress with peace.

1.) To trust. To trust He has my wants and desires in mind, that He knows exactly what I need. Even more so than I do.

Luke 12:24-26

“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

2.) That He loves to bless us. Especially in times when we least expect it. He loves to see our hearts just so overflowing with joy and thankfulness to Him!

3.)He wants me to talk to Him about it. Just like I would to my best friend. He wants to know what’s on my heart. Over and over, things happen, and it grows big until someone reminds me “hey, have you talked to God about it?”

It’s so incredible that we can talk things out with the creator of the universe? Woah.

Thank you so much, Father!

and 4.) Things may not turn out quite how you’ve imagined it. Or how you would have liked it to, but to have an open heart before the Lord and go “God, I really don’t understand. But I trust this will work out for the good!”

He. is. faithful. Overwhelmingly, graciously and beautifully faithful!!

And it refreshes our souls.

No matter what, God is, and always will be good.

 

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Psalms 28:7

“…When I learn to rest and truly trust Him, He sends His help!”

Update Three

I haven’t been too good at keeping this updated.

Being busy kind of does things to you.

Over and over, God keeps putting me in places to trust Him. All sorts of situations. But one of them being the ways I get the funds for my trip.

And the process has been so humbling. To see Jesus come through, in His delight to bless us, His children. The way He’s stilled all my fears with His perfect peace.

After a really hard day, about 2 weeks ago, I got a check in the mail from an anonymous person. (thank.you!)  Instead of rounding up…it was an extra 43 to the rest of the check. And I just laughed! God cares about those details. The little extra!

And more blessings have come from friends, and friends of my sister, siblings, two other anonymous checks and they’ve usually come right after a time where I was doubting God.

I was doing some figuring today, and it’s super close to what I need to go…plane ticket and all. PLUS, the little bit extra I was hoping to be able to have in my bank for when I come home.

Why do we doubt God, when He’s promised us that He’ll take care of it?

And these keep coming up…

And I will never fail or abandon you.

I will remain with you wherever you go.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope-never forget that.

But this is one of my favorites.

May He grant the dreams of your heart and see your plans through to the end!

“Filled with His goodness, lost in His love”

That is my favorite line. And it’s been so true through this journey.

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So in awe of His perfect goodness

Update Two-Call Him Good!

“Call Him good, my soul, and praise the Eternal…You are indeed great…”

That right there has proved so true in this journey. Even outside of the journey to Guatemala, He is still good.

One thing (out of many) that God has been teaching me is just HOW good, and faithful and so, so gentle He is with me. With us. And it blows. my. mind.

How much He’s pursuing me in this relationship. It’s not just me wanting more of Him. He wants more of me.

The Holy, Majestic God, who breathed the galaxies into existence. He doesn’t need this relationship. It doesn’t make Him complete. No. He’s already complete. But He wants to know me.

Crazy right?!

A lot of times, we get our eyes off of who He says He is. We get our eyes off of how great He is, and worry and whine to Him about everything we see that isn’t being done right this second.

That’s how I was Thursday night. Just overwhelmed at how much I still need and do before this 4 months is up and I climb on the plane.

And I was fearful. I let it take hold.

Friday morning, during my morning Jesus time, here’s what kept coming up.

“He. Is. Faithful.”

“Walk with me along paths of trust. The most direct route between point A and point B on your life journey is the path of unwavering trust in me.

Trust in me with all of your heart, and I will make your paths straight.”

I saw that last part as. “Trust me, and things will clear up. you’ll see how it all works out! I promise.”

The question is. Do I trust Him? Do I trust that Jesus, who is the one who started this journey will finish it?

Yes.

Later on Friday, I got two cards with support, and encouragement in them by two dear people. They had no idea how much I was discouraged the night before. But God did, and it was like a refreshing reminder of just how much God’s got my back on this!

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“…As for the Eternal, call Him good, my soul. Praise the Eternal!”