Thankful Thursday: August 30th

It’s Thursday! I almost missed doing my weekly post for the second week in a row. Almost. Last week I was in Charleston on vacation, enjoying some R&R with no computer. It was a delight. Actually…that’s my first item on the list!

1. Vacation. One week at the beach with the fam, in a beautiful home, and in Charleston, no less. It’s only my favorite city in America. We got to visit the only tea plantation in North America (Charleston Tea Plantation, if you are interested). So fun, and beautiful!!

Charleston Tea Plantation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Huddles Fro-yo. Last night was my Goodbye Indy party, and it was delightful. Not only was the fro-yo just as delicious as always (I got seconds, since it was my last time), getting to see so many dear people one last time made it that much sweeter. So blessed by these friends, and I will miss them!

3. Wedding festivities! Lauren and Jesse are getting married tomorrow, and I am so thankful and excited to get to serve them as their day-of coordinator. Let the fun begin!

Me and lovely Lauren!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. My parents. In the midst of wedding festivities, the moving chaos has continued, and today was load-the-truck day! My dad used his fabulous packing skills to load the truck better than any professional, and then they cleaned my entire apartment so I could go enjoy Lauren and Jesse’s rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. So thankful for them!

5. My apartment. I went by tonight on my way back to the hotel to say goodbye, and just spent some time thanking the Lord for His gift of that little home. I was remembering the first time I walked in the door in February 2010 it felt like Christmas. I could not believe that I got to live there! And it felt like Christmas every morning I woke up in that apartment. It has been a place of refuge, a haven, a place of community and joy and laughter, my first home-on-my-own, and I loved it. I am going to miss my patio, and the lake, and my neighbor, and my cave bedroom, and my kitchen, and everything else about it.

Thankful Sunday: July 22nd

Last Thursday was an action-packed last day in Salzburg, and then Friday we were traveling all day, and then yesterday I pretty much slept and went to the grocery store. So, now it is Sunday, and I am finally getting around to posting my thankful list. Haha. Enjoy!

1. Sleep, and Melatonin. For those of you who know me well, you know my utter inability to sleep in past about 9am. Just can’t do it. My brain wakes up, and I just go until I fall asleep again that night. Well, all of that changed on Saturday, thanks to my good friend Melatonin (coupled with sheer exhaustion). I arrived home from Summer Project at 12:30am after traveling for more than 24 hours (body clock time) completely and utterly spent. I collapsed into my bed, and then true to form, woke up a mere three hours later at 4:00 in the morning, brain awake and ready to go, telling me that it was actually 10:00. I said no way, Jose’, took a melatonin, and slept 9 more hours until 1:30 PM. You know the saying “I feel like a new person”? I think the Lord literally revived and rejuvenated me into a new person during those 12 glorious hours of sleep. So thankful that He created us to need rest, and gives us the time and space to take it.

2. Summer Project! In 4.5 weeks on campus, our team initiated 493 conversations, and shared the gospel 98 times! In addition to being on campus, we had a lot of fun getting to know the city, and each other. I love our group so much, and am thankful for each person the Lord brought to Berlin this summer!

3. Celebration. One of the main themes of my summer was learning to celebrate what God was doing – the big and little things. I love that the Gospel-centered life is not one of drudgery and performance, but joyful freedom to serve and follow Jesus. I love that even in the hard times, we can still celebrate God at work in our life and the lives of others. Praise Him!

4. Alone time. I knew I wouldn’t get much of that this summer, and I am thankful that the past few days have afforded me a bunch to catch up. 🙂

5. New friends! Our team developed some sweet community while on project, and I am thankful for the way the Lord is using each of them in my life. No matter where we go in the future, we will always have Berlin Summer Project 2012 to tie us together!

Thankful Thursday: July 5th

Week 3 in Berlin and thankful for these 5 things…

1. Our hostel. Thankful for mattresses (even though they are thin), and pillows (even when they are the size of a candy bar), and breakfast that is the same every morning, but with enough variety to change things up at times. Thankful for the delightful staff, and their willingness to accommodate our needs whenever they can. Also, for the groups, that keep things interesting. All the time.

2. Discipleship! Love getting to pour into two women on this project, learning from them and also teaching them. Seeing someone grow in their walk with the Lord is one of the best parts of my job.

3. Our team! They are so awesome!

Our team at the top of Teufelsberg, or Devil’s Mountain, in the Grunewald, with the panorama of Berlin behind us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Berlin, also tied to the picture above. We had a great view of the city from this mountain once the clouds cleared, and it was so beautiful to look all the way across the panorama. Love this city, and love what God is doing here. God is moving mightily in this city, and it is awesome to be a small part of it! Thankful for another 10 days here before heading home.

5. Sunshine after clouds! Sunday afternoon started out gray and dreary, but by the end of our Great Adventure we had the sky in the picture above!

Thankful Thursday: June 21st

In Berlin at the moment, and thankful today for…

1. Week one of project successfully completed. Although not without challenges, this has been a great week of seeing God at work in our lives and in the lives of students at the university. The Lord has convicted me of my own sin, and shown me His great grace through my teammates. We have grown together in community and relationship, and each day I love them more and more! So thankful to get to spend the next 4 weeks with this group.

2. Elaine still being in town! We only overlapped for three days, but it was such a joy to get to see her twice in that time and spend time together in person. Sometimes Skype and emails just don’t cut it between girls (although both those modern marvels do make it much easier). Love her wisdom, depth and compassion, and how much she pushes me to look to Jesus. I’m sad that she moved back to London-town, but excited for what the Lord has in store for her future and thankful we got to see each other again in Germany!

Me and Lainey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. God at work in Berlin. Sometimes it can be so easy to believe the lie that God has forsaken this city and the Spirit is no longer working here. But then a student has a great conversation on campus, or we go to an awesome church service, or I literally see God working in the lives of one of my friends, and I am reminded that there is no place that God is not.

Sunlight reflecting off the TV tower in the shape of a cross. What a great reminder that God is present here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Encouraging days on campus. Honestly, yesterday was pretty rough for our group. Few good conversations, lots of hard ones, and rainy, cold weather to top it all off. This morning we all had a hard time getting out of bed, but then even though the weather is still cold and rainy (um, isn’t it summer?), campus was an entirely different story from yesterday. Great conversations, friendships started, sweet times in prayer and generally encouraging and uplifting. Hooray!

5. Eye mask and ear plugs. The sun starts rising around 3:30A.M. here…yes, you read that right. By 4:00 it looks like it is about 9:00 in the morning. And since we are in a hostel that has over 400 beds, the noise level can be a bit much. The first few nights I wasn’t wearing the mask or ear plugs, and was waking up around 4am thinking it was time to get up. Then I started wearing them, and life got much happier. I actually slept through the entire night, and woke up rested! Amazing grace.

Berlin, Berlin, Wir fahren nach Berlin!

Well, briefing is over, and we are on the way to the airport! 6 staff and 11 students (fully funded!), ready to step out in faith and see what God does over the next 6 weeks in the city of Berlin! The last two days have been full of bonding together as a team, talking through our four themes for the summer – Love the Lord, Love our team, Launch movements and Learn a new world – learning about healthy conflict resolution and sharing what we hope the Lord does in and through us this summer as we minister to students.

The team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back Row: Jeremiah, Matt, Andy, Mark, Brock, Jim, Taylor, Kevin

Front Row: Me, Nicole, Joelle, Brenda, Layne, Alyssa, Sara, Lindsay, Miette

 

Some prayer requests:

– Smooth flight over – no cancelations or delays, no fears for our first time flyers!

– Rest on the plane

– For God to be glorified through us as we travel for the next 18 hours together, that we would speak with love and grace, be patient and caring towards one another

– That God would continue to prepare the hearts of the people we are going to talk to

– For boldness and courage as we begin this great adventure!

Thanks friends! I’ll be back with another update on the other side of the ocean. 🙂