Thursday, July 24, 2014
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
At this point you may be wondering what this has to do with my life... well I'll tell you. A huge part of me feels like I'm in Babylon right now. I'm not where I want to be, where I think I should be, or where I feel like I am supposed to be. I'm not necessarily talking geographically... although maybe that is part of it. On October 19th last year (2011) I arrived back in the U.S. after an amazing summer abroad. Amazing because I was stretched, pruned, and grown and I was using skills that I had spent my college years and a lot of my life acquiring. I knew I was where I was supposed to be last summer. But as my time overseas grew to an end I knew that home, back in the U.S., was where I was meant to be. There were some callings in my life that I knew God wanted me to accomplish. Some of those things I've completed and some I'm still working on. But most of those things were/are extra curricular activities so to speak, they don't pay the bills and the don't take up all my time... in fact they leave me A LOT of free time. So I've spent the past seven months looking for a job that meets my physical, as well as personal needs. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not starving, homeless, or unclothed but I know that things can't always stay as they are now, I can't always lean on others, I do need to contribute my share and pay off my debt (because the government might not be as lenient or gracious as my family...). I also know that God has put certain passions in my life and equipped me with certain gifts and skills for a reason, so finding that reason is something I'm striving towards. Anyways, all that to say that things aren't as I had pictured them. I feel like I was were I was supposed to be, and now I've been taken from it and can't get back. So as I was reading the beginning of the chapter I connected a lot with the Israelites. Even though I'm sure my situation is not nearly as bad as theirs. Eventually I got to verse 10 "10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place." SEVENTY YEARS! Holy smokes! Ugh... makes my seven months pale in comparison... But the second half of the verse reminded me that God does not ever go back on His word and He will never leave us, He will never leave you, He will never leave me. My perspective can very easily be WAY off, but that doesn't mean I'm lost. It was a huge encouragement to see God's faithfulness, and knowing the end of the story I know that the Israelites eventually returned back to Jerusalem.
That doesn't make the 70 years easy though. I'm sure there were times that they forgot the promise again, and I'm sure there were times when they wondered why they were in this rut, and where God and His plan was then. I'm sure because I forget the promise, and I'm wondering why I'm in this rut, and I'd love a sneak peek into God's plan and fast forward to my return to Jerusalem, my return to doing something and being somewhere that I knew was what I've been waiting and searching for. But I left out some stuff in the middle:
"4 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from
Jerusalem to Babylon:5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8 Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord."
While I'm in the Babylon so to speak, I'm not to not live. I need to settle in, to live life. That's not saying that I no longer have the dream, or that I've forgotten that something immensely better is waiting around the corner. But I can't decrease, I most increase in faith, in skills, in training, in everything. I've been living the past seven months waiting for my return to Jerusalem and I've neglected in some areas living in Babylon. I am where I am for a reason and for a season, and I need to be were I've been placed, however long or short that placement is. And who knows what good may come of it! I also need to be careful not to listen to the lies being placed in my life. I need to make sure that the only one I'm following and listening to is God. The rest of the chapter talks about those aren't where they are supposed to be and others who are deceiving people... Man do I want to steer clear of that! Both listening to the lies in my life and not being willing to move when I'm told to move. Mario Pina last summer talked about living under God's grace and blessing or God's mercy. I pray that I live a life worth of His grace and blessings.
P.S. Please don't take this as mean saying that life is terrible right now and there is nothing good about were I am at, that's not what I'm saying at all. I'm not talking specifically about any person or place, I'm just talking about the feeling that I could be doing so much more, or that there is something that fulfills passions and desires to their fullest extent.
P.S. I just used the word "post" like a billion times in this... post... ugh... if this was a college essay I'd TOTALLY get an F! (Which if you know me an F could quit easily equal an B+... I HATE B+... I'd almost rather have an F! Seriously...they stink...)
Thursday, September 29, 2011
So like I said in my post about the second week of camp I was invited by one of the missionaries at camp, Núbia, to stay an extra week with her at her house. After talking with Lancy and Mário I decided to stay. I really had no idea what we were going to do or how the week was going to look but I thought it would be fun to see life outside of camp for these missionaries. It ended up a week not being filled with anything extreme, but it was filled with fun and new experiences. We started off the week just getting rested after the craziness of the schedule we had had for four weeks during camp. But I found that I didn't like resting so I helped out a little on the construction project next door at the pastors house... I'm not sure I was tons of help but it was fun and a good way to get to know people better! After a day or two of resting Núbia started working again as secretary and I found out that she is a huge help for the other missionaries just by simply watching their kids when they need someone to watch them for some time. A little girl named Sophia spent a lot of time with us and ate with us a few times, she was a lot of fun to have around. She’s a very cute little girl full of energy and opinions! For the longest time she called me “menina” which means “girl” because she couldn’t remember my name, finally after some work Núbia and I got her to say my name. During the week we spent a lot of time at the other missionaries houses eating and spending time together, and it was all REALLY good! We had pizza one night and then another night we used this thingy to make chicken cheese veggie trays (see pics below to see what I mean by the very technical word “thingy”)! Núbia also made this really good lunch that consisted of bread, cheese, ham, corn, and some sort of white sauce… it was really good!!! I should definitely ask her how she made it! In doing all this I had the opportunity to really get to know the missionaries and a few other friends. They all (minus the director) live in a row of pretty little apartments on the side of a cliff overlooking the valley and cities surrounding camp. They are within walking distance of camp and there are a lot of little trails around that lead to beautiful overlooks, grape vineyards and even a different view of the valley which includes the ocean to the west, which means you can have amazing ocean view sunsets within just a few minutes! They have definitely been blessed with their surroundings! Towards the end of the week everyone started asking me when I was coming back and I kept telling them “when God wills it.” And really that’s what this blog is all about, seeing and finding the will of God and sharing what I figure out. But it’s never as easy as one day you hear the voice of God saying “Heather! I want you to…” and then you know what you are to do from there on out. I know that a times it came be as clear as that but I think at least for me He lets me in on His will for certain times in my life, but often it’s just parts of the plan. I think it’s part of growing my faith… something that is definitely not a gift of mine. I like to know that I have at least some sort of control over what’s going on… But I know that with God that’s not what it’s about. The song “I surrender all” is so entitled because it’s about not surrendering some but all. And at times things happen and we don’t know the reason until much later, kind of like college for me. When people find out what I studied in college they always ask the same question “What? What made you study those languages?” My response is always the same “… um… I don’t know… it’s just what happened…” but as I’m sitting here in Portugal I realize that me quickly learning Portuguese my last year in college so that I could graduate wasn’t the only reason I learned Portuguese. It seems all too obvious that, God wanted me here this summer. Yes they needed me here but I also needed to be here. I have learned things about myself, my faith, my struggles, and God’s successes and I am also starting to see a little more clearly where and what God might be calling me to. I have had no sudden and life changing epiphanies, but my will and God’s will are starting to align more and more. And that’s a pretty awesome thing to realize.
Hey all!!! I’m SO sorry this is the first time I’ve posted over the past few weeks! Things got kinda crazy and I haven’t really had time to sit down and write! Anyways I’m finishing up another post right now and then hopefully I’ll be able to post more in the next few days J The following questions are some titles for my next few posts so they are teasers for what y’all have to look forward to! (p.s. if you haven’t noticed all my blog posts are entitled according to questions I've/ I could’ve received based on the subject matter addressed in the post… just in case these and my other titles make no sense J)
What is E.B.F.? Madrid? I thought you were in Portugal… What do you get when you have around 50 Portuguese women, a bunch of flowers and butterflies EVERYWHERE? Whatcha do your last week in Portugal? How was leaving Portugal? Where in the world is Carmen San Diego? So… since you didn’t come home like planned, how’s it going and whatcha doin’?
Anyways I hope this will suffice until I have more time to post! Can’t wait to see you all soon!