Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nostalgic in November

This November has been full of activity, mom's visit, dentist visit, a train trip, church events, and even snow!

My mom was still here during the first week of this month and I myself was surprised at how quickly I got back into normal life after she left. I've now been in Germany 4 months and by God's grace I've so quickly gotten used to things and feel so well in my home, at church, at work, being independent, etc.
The dentist said I have good "mouth hygiene" but should think about getting my wisdom teeth pooled at a convenient time (when is pain convenient?!)
I took a 4 hour train trip to meet for the first time and visit a pen-pal with whom I've managed to keep up with for the last 14 years. She's a deaconess (sorta like a nun but she doesn't live in a monastery) with the evangelical church in Germany. I'm so happy to report that she's a true believer and we had so many good conversations and walks through the snow. It was encouraging to be there and engage with her deep questions.
When I came back home, I found that we in the south had gotten snow also! In fact, it's still on the ground and snowing more as I write. Everything is covered in white dust and all the house owners are responsible to keep walkways shoveled or else we get sued if someone falls around our house...So we shovel all the time to keep it from building up too much.
Last night was the highlight of this month, I think. I organized and hosted an Elders Dinner. I know they put a lot of time and energy into buying the property we just did for the church and I thought they deserved some honor and spoiling for that. I divided it out so that everyone in the church had something to do and somehow with a collaborated effort on everything, we pulled off a 4 course dinner in my romantically-decorated living room :) And us serving had so much fun too and the food was amazing. It was so cool to see the different families represented in this one evening and I do believe it greatly encouraged and touched the elders.
Since last month, another major thing has happened: I am now officially the leader of the girls' small group. Their leader has left and the responsibility very naturally fell to me, as I was quite involved with the group and the girls' lives. I wouldn't have imagined taking over at all, but am amazed again at God's timing and way of things and now willingly and joyful accept this role. I don't take it lightly either, though, because leading a small group means giving direction, structure, empowerment, teaching, etc., which has sort of been lacking. I myself need great wisdom and humility for this role. I appreciate your prayers.

Be looking out for my newsletter soon!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last month of October

Wow, this past month has gone by so quickly!
Some highlights:

--Started using the heater because we've been getting below freezing during the night
--Got a birdy named Yesil ("Green" in Turkish because he's a beautiful deep green)
--My mom's here to visit!!
--Took the Scooter out for a night in Basel with TWO of us on it...that was interesting as we realized the tires need some pumping up and then it started raining on our way back!!
--Got a cold and am getting over it pretty quickly, praise God
--I know I have people around me who really care about me. I see this in that they hug me, turn on the heater knowing I easily get cold, invite me over, give me flowers, come over spontaneously...
--I found out that one of my elderly neighbors won't be coming back to live there anymore because she has gotten too weak and dependent :(
--I tutored a neighbor kid in English and he got a B on his test! woohoo!
--I have the most beautiful drive to work, especially with the trees turning firey colors and skies bright blue (when it's not overcast...)
--I can't believe that my birthday is coming up so soon and I will be 23!!
--Getting used to things at work and enjoying working with numbers and money when it calculates out right :)

PRAISE AWAITS YOU, KING OF GLORY. COME!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sewing Class Testimony

Upon coming to Germany, I was really excited about adult classes being offered at the local highschool in subjects varying from travel, craftwork, dance, to...sewing. Since being a senior in highschool, I've wanted to learn how to sew. I learned alittle bit from my host mom in TX that year, but dived at this chance to learn more.

I signed up...and got declined because the class was already full. I was really sad because I see this as such an opportune time in life to learn--the class is offered, I have a sewing machine here, and I actually have the time to learn and practice. So I figured that if God knows this deep desire of mine and it didn't work out, that there must be a reason...perhaps something regular will come up on Monday nights that He will need me to be involved in.

Vollbild anzeigen
Last week I got an email saying another class was being offered and I signed up! Last night was the first class and afterwards I realized why God closed the doors for the original class: the class I'm in has only 6 participant (more teacher attention!!) and most are beginners, meaning they won't already have a bunch of projects and advanced problems like the ladies from the original course would have had. Phew> save myself that embarrassment of learning!

LESSON: God IS in control. He DOES know how He's leading you. HE knows what's best for me, He loves me the most, and is able to bring all things to pass according to His perfect plan.

Praise, honor, glory to the Lord Almighty.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Stars for Germany




Growing up, I had mixed feelings about Germany--going from awe, to thinking it's a perfect place, to hating it because I had to be here when I wanted to be in Turkey, to never wanting to live there, to not caring that I hadn't been back in 5 years.

When we realized I might be moving to Germany, God approached me about the subject when I was going running one night. We talked about my experiences and evaluations of Germany. There were tears, surrender, healing, and a new open heart towards Germany.

Now I live in Germany. I honestly haven't considered living here since...a decade. But now that I'm here at God's command and good pleasure, I am content. Here are a few things I like about Germany, despite its shortcomings like every country:

--I LOVE all the flowers (many geraniums) that you see on every house, whether in the house, on the window sills, hanging outside from the window sill, in pots welcoming people in...
--I appreciate the cleanness. Every Saturday is "Sweep Day" in which the families rotate sweeping the road and sidewalk in front of their portion of the house.
--I haven't been to many regions in Germany, but where I live, in the Blackforest, is just breath-taking with its many hills, vineyards, trees, castles, fresh air...makes me smile thinking about it!
--As complicated, expensive, and ridiculous as the system is here, it works. You register something, it gets registered. You request this and that from the government, you get it. If you are sick, you're covered. If you're unemployed, 'socially weak,' or dying, you still don't end up on the streets
--People greet you when you pass them
--I love the different dialects and the many ways the dialects express the same thing (though this can be frustrating too because I never know which to use!)
--For online banking, there's a cool calculator thing that generates security codes so that everything you do is super confidential
--And I love how people really spend time outside.
--My neighbors rock, especially in the garden that one of them created:


Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Thoughts on "The Hiding Place"

I just got done reading "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom. It's her biography of life during World War II when the Nazis invaded her safe town in Holland and she was dragged away to a labor camp in Nazi central country: Germany.

This was the kind of book that I always saw on the shelf at the school library but never checked out because of its ambiguous title and the cover was just not inviting at all. Alas, my sister didn't take the book with her when she moved to America this summer, so I started reading it...and could hardly put it down...
The story of her undercover work to hide Jews, her courage and faith to maintain that operation, her capture, her struggles during this time come together in a very fascinating book. She was not younger than 50 years old when she began this kind of extraordinary life and then was punished for it. Corrie and her sister Betsy, both under the mercy of the merciless socialist party, encouraged one another in the Word of God and in faith. Betsy even thanked God for the fleas that were in their quarters. Only later did they find out that it was because of the fleas that guards never came close and thus were they able to tell the others about God and teach His Word.
Another lesson from Corrie that is significant for me is this example:
Her dad once asked Corrie when he gives her the train tickets. "Just before we board, so I don't lose them," she replied. Her father reminded Corrie (and me) that just like that, our Father in Heaven knows when we need what and He does not give before just the right time. He gives us strength, courage, and grace right when we need it.

Great read!

the_hiding_place.jpg

Monday, September 20, 2010

A bondservant of Christ

Bondservant: I am struck by that. The depth of that word is overwhelming.

I am a bondservant of Christ.

I was slave to sin, law, and satan. I could have never paid my way out of it because the debt would take life times to pay off. Then comes Jesus and offers redemption by paying the price, and not just paying with gold or silver, not paying grudgingly and to barely cover my debt. No, He covers my debt with the most precious thing He has--His life! I am not worth someone paying such a high price for me, but He declared me worth of His blood! Wow.

Now, in thankfulness, I willingly become a servant to Christ. Yet in this bond, He offers true life, freedom, eternality...
Such thoughts are too wonderful for me! It is high, I cannot attain it.

In Christ Alone

Stuart Townend, Keith Getty

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Casual Divine Appointment

I was talking to my garden the other morning when I heard the two neighbor kids talking:

"God is invisible."
"There is no God."

Before they could say anything else, I piped in saying,

"I've seen God!" :) They looked at me like I was an angel! I proceeded to tell them about how we can see the Spirit of God moving like we can see leaves moved by the wind. We can see God by His actions around us. I told them about Jesus, how He created everything for Himself, through Himself, out of love for us.

They started getting the picture and marvelingly asked if God even made the airplanes, mommy and daddy, and their bicycles.

It was a beautiful encounter to sow truth in these kids' minds.

Praise be to God.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

MKs Observed

So, tonight I got to eat dinner with a bunch of MKs who knew each other most of growing up years and now attend a boarding school together. Of course the conversation flowed with news of their parents in another country, of childhood memories, and just the depth of personality knowledge they have of each other.

As I listened and joined in some, it made me incredibly miss my own MK friends that I grew up with. Breni, Kel, Val, Eune, Johanna, the Fowlers, Mandy, Hannah, and many others who went in and out of my life in Turkey...Actually, tonight was just a manifestation of my sentimentality, because for some reason, I've been thinking about each of these now-young adults all throughout this week. There's a depth of connection with these people just because we spent childhood years together but because we got to be involved with such a kingdom-expanding work via our parents. And I love how MKs can immediately reconnect and include other MKs they never met, just because we have our own sub-culture that can't be put into words. It's just a special bond :)

So, any MK friends reading this, thank you for being in my life and I want you to know how dearly I remember my time with you and would give so much for all of us to be together in the same place again. But be ye all blessed as you grow into adult life and make new life-long friends.

photo.php.jpg

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Desert Song

This song is so incredible. In high and low--which can be counted on--what matters is how we respond in those situations. During this time of transition--filled with some difficulty but also with a lot of joy and growth--I will choose to say, "Blessed be the name of the LORD."

Desert Song ~Hillsong

This is my prayer in the desert,

When all that's within me feels dry,

This is my prayer in my hunger and need,
My God is the God who provides,

And this is my prayer in the fire,
In weakness, or trial, or pain,
There is a faith proved more worth than gold,
So refine me Lord through the flame,

I will bring praise,
I will bring praise,
No weapon formed against me shall remain,
I will rejoice, I will declare,
God is my victory and He is here,

This is my prayer in the battle,
When triumph is still on its way,
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ,
So firm on his promise I'll stand,

All of my life, in every season,
You are still God,
I have a reason to sing,
I have a reason to worship,

And this is my prayer in the harvest,
When favour and providence flow,
I know I'm filled to be emptied again,
The seed I receive I will sow

Monday, August 23, 2010

Out: Car; In: Cat

My car got sold! Praise God! Friends in Colorado managed, showed, and sold my car while I've been in Germany. I wasn't sure how my car would get sold and of course I was praying God would sell it or show me what else to do, but when a buyer was interested, it went so fast. Shame on me for doubting God's timing (mine would have been the last week I was in America!).

The same day, my neighbor also gave me a cat! I named him Maexli and he's super cute, 3 months old. It's so nice just to know that there's something else breathing and active (!!) in the house with me. He's gotten used me, follows me around, plays a lot, but even cuddles! He's a gift, and I have a few more days to decide whether to keep Maexli. Of course I do, but with me leaving here again in a year and with the upcoming year being so uncertain with daily life, I'm not sure how much I'll be home to enjoy him. I know I would love it when we're here together, but if I'm gone alot or travel, he'll be alone :( So, please pray for wisdom for me!

Transition has been going better. Last week was a little difficult, but I received prayer and I've been filled with more joy, peace, songs, and hope. As one mentor said, these transition days are unique and out of the box. I should enjoy them and journal about them, for I will be wishing them back when I have major structure and schedule in my day/life. Someone else wise gave me a great analogy about transition:
Right now I'm in a tunnel that leads me from one place to another. I'm no longer where I have been and am not yet fully at the place where I will be. Praise God, I know where I'm heading eternally but also in the next few months, but I know I am in the will of God. In the tunnel, however, it is often dark and there's no cell phone coverage :) So you might think you're lost and are getting no direction, but God is Light and in the tunnel, you have to go by what He's already told you.

To the praise of the glory of His grace.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thoughts on Furlough and My new friend

My parents went back to their own home earlier this week and now I'm here on my own. I know I'm not alone alone, but it's strange being here without my parents, since this is their house when they're in Germany and I've never been here without them. Our furniture and everything over 20 years old is still here and when we come back on furlough, it's like we come to a place where time has frozen. We still use our old stuff (who needs new stuff when you only use it a few weeks a year anyway?), reunite with our loyal friends, attend the same church, and do life for a few weeks before we leave again.
Furloughs were always fun for us kids because we got to eat the yummy German food, see our old friends, buy new clothes, and ride our bikes to get everywhere. For my parents it wasn't as restful between speaking engagements, filing taxes, getting us kids and themselves to all the check-up appointments, and still having on their minds the things that are going on with the church in Turkey. Anyway, it was nice to be with my parents here in Germany as a 'grown-up' after I haven't been here for 5 years.
Since they've been gone, I've tried to keep myself busy by adapting the flat to my taste and making friends with our kind neighbors. One of them is a lady over 70 years old who knew me when we lived in Germany 17 years ago and she really likes my family. Well, she lives on her own also, but for the last 2 days, she has invited me over for lunch and it's been such a sweet time with her telling me stories from her life and us reading the Bible together and praying. It's a blessing for both of us to have something and someone to look forward to and we don't have to eat lunch alone!

Praise God.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Stranger in my own Country

Yup, I definitely feel like a stranger and foreigner here!
--I talk funny (they say "with a 'slang'")
--I ask grammar and vocabulary questions that the Germans just take at face value
--I hardly know how to get around
--I ask silly questions
--I view the culture, people, and behaviors objectively, as an outsider looking in rather than an inside German
--I have to learn a whole new system of laws, regulations, norms, speech, etc

It's weird. I feel like such an American here with my good smelling shampoo and smell stuff, with my flip flops and jeans, with my water bottle, and with all my American "stuff." Weird. I wonder if this American-ness will stay with me all my life or if I will be transformed back into a German throughout the span of this year...

...in the mean time, being quite aware that I'm a stranger on this earth in general. My citizenship is in Heaven.

Stay tuned :)


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thoughts on Transitions

While I AM arriving back "home" full-circle seemingly, in Germany, it still is a transition time. My energy and motivation isn't quite in full gear and during the day I get lost with what to do.

I've realized that transition times are difficult for me because it's a waiting time: waiting for life to get into a schedule, getting into new rhythms, waiting for me to establish credibility and give people a chance to get to know me, waiting to feel like I belong here...

Transitions are a change in gear and I would think that growing up as a missionary kid and having moved around since then, I would be really flexible and used to hello good-byes. But I don't feel any more immune to it. Is it ever going to get easier? Will I always have this "TCK" (Third culture kid) syndrome of not being able to identify or fully arrive with any one culture or country? Feeling rooted in many places, yet realizing not a lot of those roots are super deep?


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Please read this

This week, my family got to go to the little town where my mother grew up and where my uncle now lives and runs a Christian rehabilitation center for people needing emotional, spiritual, and physical help in life. They use an amazing integration of worship, therapy sessions, community, and work.
My uncle and his wife have given everything to run this house (an extension of their own house) and to help these people who need some extra grace and patience with everything. Five years ago, I lived at the house for 2 weeks to help out with whatever was needed and just hang out with the residents. Already back then I was in such support of what my uncle was doing. It was really neat to go back this year, five years later with some more life experience as well as some counseling/psychology and theology classes under my belt. Again, I was really touched and the whole deal really had an impression on me--how needy people there can find a balance of 'methods' that gives room to heal and become a more whole person.
Even the worship time in the mornings has developed to be more hands-on and integrative (such as having the residents lay a paper crown at the foot of the cross to symbolize laying down their glory for Jesus'). In this way, the residents are more engaged and it can be very therapeutic for them.

Anyway, thought I would share this.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Safe Arrival

I made it safe and sound to Germany!
This past trip from Denver to Germany was the most hassle-free, convenient, comfortable, and fastest ever! And that with the most luggage and pounds I've ever traveled with. Praise be to God!
I had a very welcoming, sweet greeting rally meet me at the airport and it's been great to be with my family the last few days and just get adjusted back to Germany.

So, a few things I've noticed:
--In England, whoever said tights on girls are out of fashion, was majorly not "in style."
--It's hot here! I thought I was getting away from the heat, but I come here to find that this area is in a heat wave. And I'm realizing how humid even low humidity feels because I've gotten used to dry Colorado!
--It's so pretty here!! When I look around here (where I lived until age 5) I realize that it's no wonder I totally fell in love with the green Appalachians mountains in Georgia and Kentucky
--It's very clean here
--It's such a blessing to already to know a few people from way back when and that they are making efforts to re-connect. Yey!

Thanks for all your prayers, friends!

Friday, July 16, 2010

2 Days to go

Training went so great! My teacher has been so patient, funny, and going at a perfect pace for me. I feel like I am gaining a whole new, wonderful, big family by joining this organization. Yey!

Now I'm back in Denver and have 2 days before I fly out! I still have lots of re-packing to do, cleaning, saying good-bye, trying to sell my car, and trying to process all this! Everything is coming so fast now and I'm very excited to be joining my family in Germany, but it's sad also to be leaving here...


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Upcoming Week

Well, lots going on this week!
So far, training for the new job has been going great! This week I have a few more days learning about QuickBooks and some company lingo and procedures, but I have a great teacher.
The rest of the week after Wednesday will include packing, buying some supplies I can't get overseas, saying good-bye, and (God willing!!) selling my car!

Please pray for peace, wisdom, discernment, and a continuous, conscious awareness of the LORD's presence.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"God sightings"

So, I've been helping out with the Egypt-themed Vacation Bible School at Wellspring Anglican Church this week and we're building a pyramid from brick-colored paper on which the kids write out their "God sightings."
These are ways in which we see God work and remind us of His love through any means around us.
My sightings in the last 2 days have been:
>Seeing the majesty of Pike's Peak (a high mountain in Colorado Springs)
>The laughter of children
>A little girl asking me if I will dance with her
>Bunnies and squirrels chasing each other around
>The fresh air
>Reading and just being in the presence of a good friend
>The sound of the wind in the trees

Countdown: 25 days remaining the United States of America. Mixed feelings.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I GOT THE JOB!!!

For a few months now, an organization here in the USA has been recruiting me for their new office in Europe. At first, I was unwilling and hesitant, but after much prayer and surrender, I started the application process and got the job offer!!
I will be a "regional financial coordinator" doing accounting, administration, and various other tasks. The plan is to leave the US the third week of July and I'll be moving back to my hometown in Germany! It's so perfect that the office will be located there and I will get to live in my family's house there> I'm so excited!
It's been an incredible, filled with "God-details" journey, but here at the end of my time in America, it's taking me right back to where I was born :)
Stay tuned for details!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Update

Well, recently there's just been a lot of day-to-day life that I've been enjoying. It's a grace to be able to utilize this season in which I'm on a tourist visa to just relax and be for a while. I've been reading a lot, memorizing some Scripture, posting ads to sell my car, hanging out with a few people I've met here in Denver, and see how I can help out however and whoever I can. It's been good and I praise God that I can enjoy it.
I'm still waiting for the finality of it, but it looks like a job is cooking up for me in Germany! Many things have been pointing towards it and I've had a great heart-change about moving back, but either way, I'll be leaving the USA at the end of July. This has a lot of implications for me--many good-byes to people, lifestyle, some dreams, knowing how to get around, and to life as I've built it for the last few years since being in America. But all these things--and the whole world!--is in our Father's loving and gentle hands.

God is faithful!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Selling my Car!

My beautiful Honda Civic LX 2006 needs a new home because I'm moving back overseas!
Please let me know if you or someone you know is looking for a car. It's in great condition and there was only one previous owner.

Miles: 53,680

Mileage: 32-40 miles per gallon

Details: Adjustable Seats, Adjustable Steering Wheel, Air Bags, Air Conditioning, Anti-lock Brakes, Anti-theft System, Beverage Holder, CD, Center Console, Child Safety Locks, Compact Spare Tire, Cruise Control, Daytime Running Lights, Door Pockets, Power Locks, Power Mirrors, Power Outlet, Power Steering, Power Windows, Reading Lights, Tinted Windows...

Transmission: Automatic

Exterior: Alabaster Silver Metallic

Interior: Ivory

Body Style: 4 Door

If you're interested, contact me for more information!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The unexpected

I guess I should keep anticipating the unexpected, since it always happens, especially during a season of transition!
This morning I got a phone call that put quite a different spin on my day. It reminded me that the situation is brought back right where it belongs and started--in the hand of God. He truly is all I have. I am at peace, by the grace of God.

"Continuing to be faithful with the ordinary things He assigns us is how He makes His kingdom come through us. "

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Back in Denver

I made it safely back to Denver!
I want to be very intentional about my time left here in the United States of America. I'm officially a tourist here, so I'm definitely planning on taking a few mountain/hiking trips while in Colorado and would love to do some more sight-seeing. Other than that, I will be packing, selling my car, and getting ready to live life on the other side of the world. That's scary...when I've gotten used to living in America for the past 5 years and have figured out how to pay stuff, have a bank account, use coupons, do registrations for different things...when I go over there, I'll be like a kid again, not knowing how to do much of anything!

Thought of the day:
What a grace to contently enjoy the chirping birds, hopping bunnies, snow-capped Rockies, budding vines, green trees, sunshine...I'm thankful for all this and much more. Thanks, GOD.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Surprise Visit to my home in Georgia

The 2-day trip from Saskatoon to Ohio went great! It was a good time of talking, sleeping, driving, looking out the video, listening to audio books, etc. Even the time at Laura's family was restful and peaceful.
Laura was driving down here to Toccoa, GA, anyway for our college's graduation, so I decided to go with her and it has been so fun "appearing out of no where." It's been so satisfying seeing people after these 5 months (that have felt so much longer than that!) and telling about what the LORD has done.
That has been what's been so encouraging, actually--getting to share over and over how God proved His faithfulness and love even during a time that was really dark for me. It's been nice to have objectivity to look back over the last few months in Colorado and see how deeply God has indeed worked both in me and around me. Praise Him.
Graduation was bitter-sweet. Watching all my professors and fellow-students walk down the aisle made me so proud to be a Toccoa Falls College-er and reminded me of how God knew what He was doing when He brought me here. Yesterday was a sad day, however, because once everyone graduated, they all scattered, some getting ready to go to other parts of the world. To think that we will never be in place again, at this season in life, sort of hurts. I guess this is what "growing pains" is partially about and realizing I have to move on because life keeps going. Oh Lord have mercy.
I fly back to Denver on Tuesday and since I'm back in the U.S. now on a tourist visa, I will have to leave the country beginning of August. Please be praying that God will sell my car and finish the assignments He has given me to do.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Day in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Laura spent some time showing me around the city (that has a wide river flowing through it) and walking through the downtown area. For lunch, we met up with her boyfriend's mother and we ate at a German bistro place--wow German food is good!
The afternoon was spent just hanging out with Laura, seeing a bit of her life in Canada. It's strange how it feels so normal being with her even though we haven't been in each others' daily lives for over 4 months. Praise God for treasure friends like Laura!
Before driving over to her boyfriends' family's acreage, we drove through "Alphabet City," so named because the name of these streets are a letter from the alphabet and considered the more "ghetto" part of Saskatoon. I also got to see some "First Nations" people, the natives of Canada that are much more dominant in the area than other ethnicities.
Dinner at the farm was yummy--mostly home-grown food and good company.

Praise God.


At Laura's boyfriends' family farm
Flat Saskatoon Landscape...
In front of a really fancy hotel :)
Celebrating the boys' birthdays!

Friday, May 7, 2010

In Canada!

Greetings from Canada!
Yeah...yesterday morning I didn't know either that I would be in Canada 24 hours later, but here I am! I was talking to a good friend of mine here yesterday and realized I could drive back to the US with her if I got here soon enough. We found a good last-minute flight, and 5 hours later I was at the airport. The 5 hours was spent frantically packing, collecting "evidence support" documents (in case Canada and US need all of it to let me in!), cleaning, arranging for rides, going for a run to get out some of the nervous energy, and then leaving for the airport.
The trip was 15 hours!! They had me go all over the US first, with several hours in between, and I finally arrive at 10 this morning. Thank God it's nice weather here today and it makes me so happy to see my friend again!! Thank you, LORD! No crazy stories and Canada let me in, so I'm thankful. Thanks for all the prayers!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Count Down

2 Chronicles 6:40-42 (New King James Version)

40 Now, my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place.
41 “Now therefore,
Arise, O LORD God, to Your resting place,
You and the ark of Your strength.
Let Your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation,
And let Your saints rejoice in goodness.
42 “O LORD God, do not turn away the face of Your Anointed;
Remember the mercies of Your servant David.


I sort of can't believe I'm at this "last-minute" place again, but here I am :) If I don't have a job by Monday, I will need to leave America. So, really, unless I have a job offer by Friday, I might as well book a flight out. The question is where.
How do I decide where to go when I feel like I'm in the place where I'm supposed to be and don't feel ANY inclination to be elsewhere for a longer time?
I know when I first came to Denver, I didn't get a job offer one day before I would have had to leave the country. I had the faith for that, though, because God had laid it on my heart to be in Denver. This round I'm not so sure what to hope for. I don't feel like I've gotten further instruction, so I stay with that last command, right? > the last thing I heard was "Denver."

All I know that I guess I have to direct my faith on Jesus, rather than on "getting a job" or "staying in America." I don't know what "God coming through" will look like this time, but I DO know that it will be good and God will take care of me in that situation also. He guides me holding my hands and for that I am so grateful!

God is faithful. Good night and keep checking back to see what God has up His sleeve!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lydia Frank's Resume
Post your resume online!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Marking 3 months and Upcoming determining week



Hey friends,
Last week was consumed with helping a godly widow get some practical stuff done. It was such a blessing and joy!
And another point of celebration is my being in Denver for 3 months!
It snowed a few random times this past week, including a mud shower! It was crazy--it left all our cars covered in a thick layer of brown.
This upcoming week will be an interesting one...
I'm on the 60-day countdown (can't be unemployed for longer than 60 days on an OPT visa) and I'm in the last week. I'm still hoping for some leads from the staffing agencies that I had an interview with, but I also have an interview with a Chick-Fil-A in the area :)
It's funny that I'm in this place of last-minute again. I am at peace, surrendered, and relying on the LORD for the next step. I was at that place before coming to Denver, but between that time and now, it was not always so hopeful, confident, trusting, and comforting. The last 3 months I've been here have been something else as far as being stripped, stretched, and adjusted. Despite all the tears, heart-ache, difficulties, and loneliness, I can still testify to God's faithfulness.
: He has placed me in a safe, believing community
: He has been bringing people into my life that I can talk with, feel with, and have fun with
: He has provided food, rent, and odd jobs
: He has blessed me with a loving, believing biological family that I'm forever grateful for
: SO MUCH MORE!

God is faithful. And once again I will step back and watch where He leads me with His loving, Fatherly hand.


Recently, the path where I often take a walk was blocked by the over-flowing river due to a lot of rain and snow--in mid-April...

This is at "Garden of the gods" in Colorado Springs. I guess if the gods had a god, it would consist of those big, red rocks surrounded by 14,000-ft mountaintsThis is also in Colorado Springs, in the mountains by Glen Eyrie. This is on top of the high hill on a mountain sheep (because I guess they usually have a lot of them up there)...


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Finally an Update

Wow. I should have posted more regularly! A lot has been going on and yet a lot of the same stuff.

Things here at the House are great--God has really blessed me with putting me into this believing community where it's a great environment to build deep friendships. This last week, my new roommate moved in! She's also very new to Colorado and going through a lot of the same thought processes and emotions that I have been/am going through. Praise God, however, because I feel further along than a few weeks ago and hope to be seeing the light more and more clearly.

Job search is going well too. I've had interviews with 2 staffing agency in which, after getting to know me a little, they match me with a company that is hiring. I hope to hear something soon. In the mean time, I've had the chance to organize the library of an older couple in this area. That has been quite time-consuming and never-ending at times, but I am so thankful to be doing something "productive" and making some money on the side too.

Future. I have about 16 days in which to find a job or else leave the country. Yup, I'm back to the count-down. I can't be unemployed for more than 60 days and if nothing opens up in the next few days, we'll see where I end up...The past few weeks have gone very slowly and tediously (often hopelessly!), but knowing there will be an end to it in a few weeks helps, despite not knowing what will happen at that time.

Secret of life: contentment. If I could wish for one thing for my whole life, it would be contentment. This would mean I would enjoy whatever I DO have rather than looking and thinking of things that I don't have or that aren't. Really though...we wish for riches, nice car, good job, pretty family, etc> yet those who seemingly have all those things can't enjoy them! That is vanity indeed. Like Paul, I want to say that "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. "

So let it be, Abba.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

God, Larry Crabb, high school friend, and the sun

What do all those things have to do with each other? Those different elements came together today to make it a good day for me.

6 AM: Set up for a weekly event at the House

8 AM: Hang out w/ God

11AM: I went to Colorado Christian University with a friend from the House to hear Larry Crabb speak in chapel. He explained the need for change in this world via the power of God, not just programs and efforts for "social justice," "going green," or whatever. Those things will naturally spring out of a right relationship with God. The rightness of the Trinity, our relationship to the Trinity, and relationships branching out of that relationship is what brings real change.
The cool thing was, as I was walking into the chapel, I saw a girl that looked vaguely familiar. I kept looking at her trying not to be creepy, but finally we both had our moments of recognition and embraced each other. She was a freshman at The Woodlands Christian Academy, TX, when I was a senior there! Her group of friends and I used to eat lunch on the picnic tables outside...4 years later, we re-connect in Colorado and eat lunch together. Tell me that's not cool.

2 PM: I went to the University of Denver close-by to meet with a lady who does volunteer discipleship with YoungLife. I have come to really like and respect that organization and wanted to hear ways I could get involved in campus ministry, especially international students. Hopefully this initial connection will develop more next semester.

4:30 PM: Take a sun-break from searching for jobs by going outside and smiling heaven-ward.

I am starting to see a miracle in progress. It's the miracle of God changing my attitude and perspective. I can see a little more hopefully, joyfully, and contently even though my circumstances have not changed one single bit. This is God's work and I praise Him for it.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wilderness

I guess it takes half of the sting out of pain and a difficult time when I can just acknowledge it as is: I am in a wilderness. Yeah. Not in the sense that I feel really distant and dry from God, but that I'm really in a season of "wandering", searching, and waiting. YET, the cool thing I realized the other day, was that even as the Israelites were "wandering" in the wilderness for 40 years, they actually DID get closer to the Promised Land! I thought that was so cool. They were treading on ground that would get the next generation closer to the Land and that they wouldn't have to cover again. Even this wilderness time is not a waste and even in the wilderness, God is faithful--He is providing food and drink and is not "letting my sandals wear out."
____________

Something else I've been contemplating is this: Are the promises of Jesus to be fully realized in the present? Yes, I know they won't have their full fulfillment until Heaven, but to what extent should the Christian's life characterize the reality of promises such as "Fear not," "Give your burdens to me," "Have life to the fullest," "Where I am, there is freedom" ...
Who is actually living in the reality of this? Wouldn't life be grand if we actually lived in these proposed promises? Yet, isn't it available to us?


Friday, April 9, 2010

Last Week

This past week was pretty good, I guess.
Monday I had an interview. I think I would have gotten the job, except that the owners were both on work visas too and had to hire a US citizen!
The rest of the week was spent serving at the house--I loved it. I enjoyed working in this "hospitality" environment and interacting with different people. The job searching hasn't really gone anywhere else this week...

I wonder, once again, what God has up His sleeve. I wonder if/when I'm gonna get a job, or if I will end up leaving the U.S., or what even this next week holds?? On one hand it feels like this "waiting" time is gonna go on forever, and on the other hand I think, "Surely not!" Who knows.

God is faithful.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Interviews

Well, I had a few interviews this week, posted and emailed a LOT of resumes, sent out applications...
Interview #1 was with an environmental non-profit organization in which I would be "canvassing" to raise money to raise awareness about the pollution being thrown into Colorado rivers...maybe a great cause, but it sounds a lot like the job I just got out of...plus they wouldn't even let me train without my employment papers not in yet...
Interview #2 with Google got canceled...they said not to bother if I couldn't commit to a year of a "completely not people oriented" job of data research and entry...
I submitted papers to be an assistant manager at a cute bakery and cafe shop close to here...I have a few interviews lined up for this week, so keep praying for GOD's WILL.

Happy Resurrection Day!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

God in the stripping business??

"Hang in there!" "Let go, Lydia" >I've been living in that dichotomy for a few weeks now...

This last weekend I went to Texas to pick up my beautiful car. It looks great and I'm so glad God helped bring down the deductible!!

With different things and "inconveniences" happening in the last few days, I am convinced that God is in the stripping business. Stripping of self, in summary. Just yesterday I was reminding a friend that all our possessions belong to God, we just use it and are its stewards. I had submitted my car like this to the LORD when I first got it. He took it away for a month and now it's available for use again--for mine or however else God uses it.
Well, yesterday my cell phone was stolen from the property... As Mam reminded me--if Jesus needs it, you should be honored that He took yours! So wise!

So I am being stripped of my former comfort, security, possessions, anything I might be holding on to except HIM. Such a heart-wrenching process! But at least God is in control and He holds me by the hand...

God is faithful. So let it be.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"Patient Continuance"

Romans 2:7>
7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;

Most of last week was spent in serenity, enjoying the beautiful sunshine before the crazy snow storm on Friday, and searching for jobs. Who knows how many resumes and applications I've submitted, but I have a few leads that could go somewhere. At this point, I'm not even so sure what kind of job to search for...personal assistant? Administrative assistant? Banker? Accountant? I guess I could do all that, but I don't really feel practically prepared to take on "manager" position, marketer, or anything else with a lot of responsibility. I don't know...

BUT church today at Denver Community Church was great. Their Lent series is on "wilderness"> such an applicable topic in my life. I could relate to everything being said and even the plight of the children of Israel. I understand now how they could say, "We just want to go back to Egypt! At least we had food there..." Egypt was a horrible place for them and represented bondage, but 'at least there life was predictable and steady' >they magnified the good in the bad because they were in that transition time between Egypt and the Promised Land. The pastor called this a "liminal" season> in my words, this means "not anymore, but not yet."
Yeah, that's where I am.
Please be praying for wisdom, courage, and discernment. Thank you!



Monday, March 15, 2010

In Peace



{ That's me with all the business cards I've collected over the past 3 weeks with several dozen I didn't get...

Well, my trial week with the marketing company over. This morning, we came to a "mutual conclusion" that I am not the best fit for this company. I didn't really enjoy the job and I wasn't making as many sales as I should to perform well, but I'm glad that the parting was peaceful. As I mentioned last week, I just did not feel right about just quitting or acting in a way that would force the company to fire me. I know that I gave it my best last week and that truly the greater miracle happened in my attitude, but today marks the end of that chapter. I am relieved, but I am also able to think of a lot of good things I learned/did with this job:

--I was not in a cubicle; instead, I got to walk everywhere and be outside (this was especially enjoyable when it was sunny! I walked an average of 7-10 miles a day)
--I got to see a lot of interesting stores and meet interesting business people.
--I got to know this area of Denver really well by walking it. As my friend reminded me, "Lydia, you said you wanted to get to know Denver and that you do that best by walking around it..." so true
--I had some really cool opportunities to encourage Christian business people, testify to God's grace in my car accident, tell people about Jesus, and pray over businesses. I was convicted to pray more for the business that "threw me out" than the ones who thanked me for coming
--I got to smile at "no soliciting" signs. Who knows how many of those I walked right past and only a handful that ignored me or requested me to look at the sign as I'm walking out. Haha!
--I got to see stores and ancient mansions (now school) that I would not have access to as a by-passer.
--I got to spend mornings and afternoons with non-believing co-workers. I am sure I wasn't always the joyful person I could have been, but I am praying that especially my leader saw me as a different kind of person

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Songs

This week has still been rough. I just hate how up and down everything is> my thoughts, emotions, spirituality, feeling adjusted, etc. But God has been gracious. Often I feel like I can't step into another business door trying to sell office supplies, but the LORD has been giving me songs. Truth songs. And reminders of Scriptures I've memorized. Again, truth.

I've also been blessed with many friends to encourage and pray for me. I've been getting texts and phone calls from people reminding me of truth passages and that they're praying for me. what a blessing!

Please be praying about the job situation. It's very much in the air, but it doesn't look like it will be for much longer, since I haven't made any closes in a few days. Oh man. I wonder why God has me here.

Today I read from Acts how the kingdom of God comes through suffering. I would understand if tribulation would come just because you're a believer, but how much do we inflict on ourselves? How much is just "life"? I guess God uses those too, but are they so noble?

Anyway, God IS faithful and good, even when I have no earthly idea what He is doing or going to do. Thanks for standing with me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Women's Young Life Retreat


Young Life Retreat! >My Dorm


This last weekend I had the privilege of going on a Women's Young Life Retreat in Western Colorado. It was so beautiful. The retreat came in perfect time, God provided for me to go, and He even protected us from doing another flip on the ice (this time we only went into the ditch). Young Life is a really cool ministry all over the United States that focuses on building relationships with high schoolers and later disciples them. The women were so welcoming, the food so delicious, the scenery so breath-taking, and the atmospherical warmth so soul-refreshing.
I even got to go snow-shoeing for the first time in my life and talk to another young lady who also just moved to Denver with her husband 2 months ago. The weekend was such a blessing.


Now it's back to reality and making big decisions. Please be praying about the job situation as well as the car situation. I need to much mercy, wisdom, and clarity from God. Lord, have mercy!



Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ponderings and pics of the car

Well, things have been...interesting. Life is pretty rough on my heart, mind, and emotions right now, but I praise God He has placed my parents, siblings, and good friends in my life that are able to such a source of clear perspective and encouragement.
I still have to make a decision as to what happens with my poor car, but I've talked with the insurance agent and he has given me some good options.

Please be praying for much wisdom and discernment during this time. I'm really struggling with holding on to the end, trying to see purpose is what I'm doing and why I'm here, and feeling like I'm very unsettled. Sure, I just got here a month ago (it seems so much longer!) but I still feel so up-in-the-air. One wise friend made a very clear analogy for me: a plant that has been uprooted and re-potted first needs some time to get its roots down and soaked up before it can really start growing again and bearing fruit. I guess I want all the adjusting and "growing up pains" to PUFF be over and start getting involved with different things and people. Instead, I'm sort of frustrated that it's taking all of my time and energy just to settle down. Man oh man.

Well, here are picture of my car before and after the crash :) Enjoy!



Saturday, February 27, 2010

Back in Denver

Well friends,
Praise the Lord I am back in Denver. I was warmly greeted back by the friends I live with. I'm so grateful for them and their companionship!
I finally heard something about my car: it's going to cost a bunch of money to fix it, but I'll just be responsible for the deductible, which is still a substantial chunk.
But the fact is that I am alive, I'm back in Denver, and I'm going back to work on Monday.

The Lord has really used my mom during this time to bring me a lot of comfort, perspective, joy, and compassion. Danke, Mam :) Hab dich lieb!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Unexpected miracle story to tell

Well, I was going to update on how God gave me a car.
And He did :) But read below what else happened...

Work has been trying, but some friends found a great-valued car in Houston for me. With different people pitching in, I bought it and this past Saturday, I flew to Houston to pick it up. It was great to be back home, even if just for a night. Early Sunday I drove to Amarillo, TX, and had a wonderful solo trip spent in silence, prayer, worship, and audiobook. Sunday night a friend of a friend opened her home for me and I left early Monday morning to make the rest of the trip to Denver.
About half a mile out of the house, I pulled into a gas station to fill up my car and noticed that my front tire was flat. Great. A nice man pumped it up for me and we drove to Tire Discount Co. repair shop and they fixed it for me for free! Finally I was on my way to Denver. It had snowed the night before, so there was snow on the side and it was slow going at first. When the roads were clearer and not so snowy, I was finally able to pick up some speed again.
Two hours into my delayed trip, I saw a flipped truck in the median. Praying for whoever may have been in that accident, I slowed down my car. Too late. Before I knew what was happening, my car started swaying side to side uncontrolably and next thing I knew I was heading right into the median. Before I landed in the bottom of the ditch, however, my car did a complete 360 degree rotation, bumping off the sides, landing me on the roof and then back on my tires. Suddenly I found myself at the bottom of the ditch, engine still running, music still playing, except the interior of my car having stuff scattered all over and my windshield being completely shattered. I calmly turned off the car and the music and got out into the bitter cold to evaluate the situation. I had done a flip all right--my mirrors were hanging by a thread, the windshield shattered but didn't break, praise the Lord, the roof had a dent, and the right side of the car had a dent. I couldn't believe this.
After standing there in disbelief for a minute, I saw an SUV hit the side of a semitruck and get flung into the median also. Left and right, cars were starting to fall like flies because of the black ice. Eventually, my car and I were towed into the closest small town and I spent most of the afternoon making phone calls. There was a brother and sister that had also gotten into an accident and I got a ride back to Amarillo with them. God's provision. It felt like we were holding on for dear life on our long way back down the dark highway, but again God protected us.

Today I am still alive with not a scratch or bruise. Such bad things could have happened, but I felt such peace and like there was a bubble around me when I was being justled in the car. And I have been so blessed by the many prayers that went up on my behalf. God does love me and besides giving me the gift of life, He shows me this love by the care and concern of my community.

I am so blessed. God is gracious.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Work

Well, I made my first sale today--2 at that!
Today, my fourth day at the marketing company, I got my own territory, meaning I was sent out on my own to my own area that I'll be working for the next few months and I started walking into offices...
This is gonna be an interesting job...Not sure yet what I think of it, but I sure have run into some divine appointments already! Yesterday I was able to encourage a guy at a construction company in his faith when I shared my miracle story of how I got my job. Today I met a Turkish guy selling--you guessed it--cell phones! I had some Turkish tea and was just so happy to use my Turkish.
This job is hard though. Enough said about that.
Good night, folks, and remember that God is faithful. I must continue to remind myself when I ask myself how I got here to have a sales job :) He is good!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

CO photos


Some views...It's so beautiful here!!
This is the main house.
I guess this is Colorado: have a 5 K even in a snowstorm!



A sunset I enjoyed :)
LOTS of Canadian Geese out here

On the drive to my interview. I couldn't keep my eyes off the moutains


I got the job!! Celebrating in moderation with my new community!

Set for the professional world :) Sorry I couldn't turn it...



First Day at Work

Well, I just got back from a whole day of work.
At 8:45, I was at work, doing "team building" exercises and learning a few things about sales.
After that, I was out all day with an employee and watching how he does things. I even pitched a few sales myself, though I didn't close any deals. At the end of the day, I talked with the CEO and he said he was pleased :)

Already, on this first day of work, I've set myself apart as probably one of the only ones not drinking, smoking, or habitually dating. Not that I put it out there, but I told the truth when asked. And I told them I'm a Jesus-follower :)


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 60 and still in America

wow. wow. wow.
Today marks 60 days after my college graduation, the day I would have to be out of the country unless I had a job. Yesterday I was offered 2 jobs and had the option for interviewing with a third company. Wow. I took the job with the marketing company and will be starting tomorrow, bright and early!
I'm still so blown away by all this. A week ago, I arrived in Denver with only a place to stay. On Thursday morning, I got an interview offer for Friday morning with a marketing agency. Monday I had a second and third interview with the same company and Tuesday morning, I had the employment offer!
Now I get to stay here!! Words cannot describe my giddyness and excitement over staying here. It's been such a long, winded journey following my dream to Denver, but at last here I am!! Now it looks like I will have to get a car for my job, so please be praying about that, but after what God brought together in Denver, I have no doubt He's got transportation for me too.
For those of you who have followed me closely and been on the edge of your seat like I have been, I hope all this is a testimony to you about God's faithfulness and provision. He is a just-in-time God and will carry you through with hope and comfort. I hope this story reminds you to dream big, hope 'foolishly', and follow God in faith.

Now that I'm in Denver, however, I am under no misperception that my journey is over. It has just begun! Will you please continue to pray for me and keep up with me?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

abundant blessing: 2 job offers

Yeah. I got the marketing job!! I passed the series of tests and the marketing agency wants to hire me!!

However, I also got a job offer as a personal assistant, which would be my preference. However, I have some reservation about this, as the offer was made through a series of emails.

Both are amazing opportunities in experience and wealth.

Pray for wisdom.

God is faithful.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My second and third interview

Well, I had my second interview with a marketing agency here in Denver. Today was about shadowing a normal employee and evaluating whether they and I think I could do this day to day.
I think I would do OK. Initially, it would be a lot of direct marketing (personal selling), but that jumpboards me into leadership. There would be tremendous opportunity for career and financial options.
Anyway, the day-interview went so well that I got a third interview as the last part of the day. And I got it with the owner! The cool thing is that this guy is a Korean and knows all about student-visa issues--great! So, tomorrow morning I find out whether I am the one out of many chosen to become their next trainee.

In the meantime, however, I just got offered the other job as the personal assistant. I guess we'll see in the morning if I have to make a decision. Both are great and I would enjoy both. Looks like I may not have to be deported after all, but it's all in the gracious hands of the Father.

thanks all for your prayers!

God is faithful.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thoughts on Denver

Well, tomorrow I go to the same marketing agency for a second interview. It will be all day...oh boy!
But I want to say something. I would love this job and love to be able to stay in Denver (that I'm enjoying more every day!), but if this job does not go through, I will still trust in the Lord's goodness and faithfulness. HE IS IN CONTROL AND KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING.

So, whether I get a job or not, stay in America or now, I will yet praise and love my Lord.

In the meantime, I have some interesting observations about Denver:
--It's really strange to see seminary students drinking beer regularly...
--It's really beautiful here with the mountains surrounding us, but I haven't caught a very stunning sunset...perhaps during another season.
--People here take off their shoes when they walk into a home, but I guess that makes sense so the snow doesn't get all over...
--They have some decent wines, even though I would not have thought winery was big here
--I love how artsy and cultural this city is
--Today it was snowing all day and I saw 2 crazy happenings: the fire department practicing water rescue in a frozen lake; and a 5 K race taking place

but I love it! God, please let me stay here!!

Dios es fiel. That's it.