Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm a Liebster.

 Here is something a little different:
Sarah from Doodle Pad tagged me with the "Liebster Award" (which I had no idea existed, by the way), and because I'm blowing the dust off the keyboard and rediscovering the world of blogging, I'll be a good sport and cooperate :)

1) Each person must list 11 things about themselves.

2) Answer the 11 questions that the tagger has set for you PLUS you MUST create 11 questions of your own for the 11 people you will nominate with this award.

3) Choose up to 11 bloggers linking them to your post.

4) Go to their page and inform them of the nomination.

5) Absolutely NO tag backs (no awarding who awarded you).

6) Remember to ONLY award bloggers with less than 200 followers

11 facts regarding me, myself and I:
1. Jesus Christ is more important to me than anything else on this earth. My greatest desire is to know Him intimately and become more like Him. He has given me salvation and to my great joy, He is willing to take my life's broken mess and turn it into something beautiful. 
2. I would rather do hard labor (preferably outside) than anything involving sitting at a desk. It makes my brain feel better.
3.  I find myself tripping over my own idea of perfectionism all the time, instead of looking to Christ for His righteousness. This is one of my greatest weaknesses. 
4. I love adventure and will go out of my way to find it. A flat tire, getting lost in the woods, falling on my face, and getting bucked off of a horse all sound like exciting activities :) Please note: depending on the situation, my attitude is not always this optimistic. I'm speaking in general here, people. 
5. My attitude is at it's worst when I find myself with nothing to do. 
6. Horses are my happy place!
7. Listening to music is one of my favorite pastimes, but I have very limited musical abilities.
8. I'm terrible at making small talk, and it irritates me. 
10. I like mixer games. Actually, I like group games of any kind...
11. I have strange dreams, and find myself trying to figure them out all throughout the day.
9. (I just realized that I missed 9) I don't have a normal, but then again, who does?
12. Insects don't bother me, but I'm terrified of mice.
(How many of these do I have to do again?)

Alright, here are my answers to Sarah's questions: 

(these are really great questions, by the way!)
1. Why do you blog?
 My prayer is that through blogging I can encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ, share the gospel with those that do not know Jesus personally, and ultimately to glorify my Lord. The purpose of this blog is to give you a taste of what God has placed on my heart as He continues to teach me more about Himself.
2. Do you like pickles? 
What kind of pickles? As far as I know, I haven't met one that I don't like.
3. Are you afraid of heights? 
Not usually. But you won't find me any closer to the edge of a cliff than necessary. 
4. If you were guaranteed a position in any job/career, what would you want it to be?
Working at an espresso stand :) 
5. What would you value most in a spouse? (this is hard!)
My husband needs to love Jesus more than anyone or anything else, including me. An eternal perspective is something I would really value. I want him to be unattached to this world, with a strong desire for ministry. On a more specific note, I would really appreciate a husband that is encouraging. 
6. Would you rather go bungee jumping, clean a pig's pen, or eat a jalepeno?
I would rather eat a jalepeno
7. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
I don't have a favorite... But if I had to answer right now I would say something with chocolate and peanut butter.
8. Have you ever seen a shooting star?
9. What is your favorite camp memory? Or campING memory?
I have WAAAAAY too many camp memories. One of my favorites was singing while washing dishes and having a soap suds war. In the midst of our battle Miss Krissy, the leader of the dish crew, walked around the corner and we all froze. She looked like she was going to scold us, but pulled out her camera instead :) I have some great memories praying and singing praises with my brothers and sisters in Christ as well. *sigh* I love camp!
10. What is the coolest (as in unique or interesting, not temperature) place you've ever been?
Indonesia. Hands down.
1. Heels or flats? Flipflops or boots?
Flats. Boots (better for horseback riding). 

Here are the nominated bloggers (sorry, I don't know too many other bloggers):
Olivia and Abigail
Kati Shiloh
Autumn Rose

And here are my questions for the nominees:
1. If you had one day completely free of obligations and responsibilities, how would you spend your time?
2. What is your greatest fear?
3. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
4. If you had the opportunity to meet anyone you wanted to, who would it be? (living or deceased)
5. What is the most exciting thing that's happened to you in the past year?
6. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
7. Do you enjoy traveling? 
8. What are you most passionate about?
9. What is your biggest pet peeve?
10. What is something that puzzles you?
11. What is your favorite song?

That was a lot harder than I thought it would be....

P.s. Go look up what "liebster" means :) I did!

Unbelievable. (part three)

I still can't believe it.

It's been 60 days since I returned home. Two whole months. 

I can't believe it's over. I have been brought to tears many times during the past few weeks as I've reflected on all that God showed me through my trip to Indonesia. 

I've mailed my final letter to my support team.
I've given my presentation and showed pictures.
I've told story, after story, after story.

This trip is over, but I still find my thoughts drifting back to the heat, the smell, and the taste of Indonesia. I can still close my eyes and picture the kids of Sekolah Gracia and Abigail gathered around us, meeting us for the first time. I still remember what it felt like to work in ministry beside my team, a group of people that were strangers a year ago, but I now call family.

Maybe you're sick of hearing about Indonesia, but I have to write just one more time. 
Please forgive my scattered thoughts, I have many things running through my mind right now.

I am in awe. 

God wanted me to go. 

I can now say that with complete confidence. 

I went through my notes, pictures, and journal, and finally packed up my keepsakes. Memories flashed through my mind. I was reminded of the reason I went on this trip.

This trip was not about a cultural experience.
This trip was not about work projects, or teaching English.
This trip was not about making new friends.

Do you want to know the reason behind this trip? 

Two thousand years ago there was a man that died to take the punishment for my sin. He wasn't just an ordinary man. He was the Son of the living God.
God chose to come to this broken earth as a man, so that He could buy us back from the slavery of sin.
God created us, He knows us inside and out. He knows every deep dark secret we try to hide. He knows every thought, every word, every action. Every evil in the world is laid out before Him. He sees it.

When we visited the garbage dump community in Jakarta I caught a glimpse of the true awfulness of sin. This world is corrupt.  It's been corrupted by us! The image bearers of God! The ones that He formed, and breathed the breath of life into! We are the ones that rebelled against our Creator. We chose filth over royalty. 
And yet His love for us is so great that in order to satisfy His righteous justice, He became our perfect sacrifice. He chose to bridge the gap between us and Himself, so that He could fellowship with us.

I have been washed by the blood of Jesus. I am innocent of my sin because He has said of me, "Not Guilty". The wrath of God was poured out on His own Son so that He could call me His child. 

It's as if God asked: "Do you want to know how much I love you?"

There is no greater way that He could have demonstrated His love for us.

When you realize the incredible truth of the good news of Jesus Christ, you will have a burning desire to serve the One that has redeemed you. 

The reason that 11 people from the United States invested themselves in a trip to Indonesia is because we want to serve Jesus, and in doing so, become more like Him. We love Him, because He loved us first. There is an incredible need for the gospel to be shared. There is an incredible need for the love of Jesus to be demonstrated.

For a King that has laid down His life in order to call us His own, shouldn't we be willing to do anything, and to go anywhere to show our love for Him? 

A year ago, I would have told you that I planned to spend the summer of 2012 at home with my family. A year ago, I would have told you that I was too busy to add anything else to my to-do list. A year ago, I didn't know God had something else in mind. 

He chose to use Youth Missions International to send a team to Jakarta, Indonesia. He chose to use Ken and Linda Wakefield as the leaders of Team Indo. He carefully selected each member, and prepared our hearts for the things He wanted to teach us. He chose Sekolah Gracia and Abigail as our two main ministry sites, and worked out all the complicated details for us to impact, and be impacted by the people there.
God was the mastermind behind my trip to Indonesia. Every last detail had His fingerprints on it. 

This trip was just a short chapter in the unfolding story of all God has planned for me. He could have chosen to teach me about Himself through a summer spent at home, but He didn't. Instead He chose to take me all the way to Indonesia to amaze me with His love. 

I can't believe all the ways He's blessed me. He has proved His faithfulness and goodness to me all year long. Looking back at how God provided for me, and brought me to the place I needed to be in order to go on this trip leaves me short of breath. He is so awesome. I am so unworthy of His love! Praise God! He's not finished with me yet! One day I will be completed!

Will you surrender your life to the King of Kings? He will take you on an unbelievable adventure in order to make you more like His Son. 

Does that seem impossible?

God is not limited. 

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." 

-Philippians 1:6

Team Indonesia found an elephant :)

The creation pantomime at Sekolah Gracia

Quakdidllioso at Sekolah Gracia

Smile :)

Learning how to lay cement...

Duck Duck goose at the school :)


Braiding friendship bracelets at Abigail

Dishes at Abigail!

Peeling paint!

Painting :)

Swimming with Abigail
Team Indo
(Forget About Me I Love You)

Do you want to hear more about Indonesia?
Read the trip updates from my team leaders: Here
Read stories from one of the members of Team Indo (Ali): Here
Contact me for any of the following:
The journal I kept during the trip
A video recording of my presentation and slideshow (stories and pictures)
My support letters (recording God's faithfulness)
More information about Youth Missions International