Thursday, May 30, 2013
And tonight is one of those nights when the words just flow; a night where I'm writing what God wants me to. (I happen to love nights like these!!)
Tonight I met up with a dear friend from YWAM. We were in it together from the start and I thank God for her all the time. We spent a couple of hours in Panera (the best place everrrrr) catching up on what God has been doing in our lives and it was so refreshing. Through her stories I started to think about what has been happening in my own heart. And the theme of comparison kept bugging me.
I have been doing a bible study with some friends and we talked a little about comparison. A question came up like, "What have you been comparing yourself to lately?" something like that. Anyways, I wrote down the generic answer: looks, job, relationships, money, etc. But I wasn't getting at the core of it. I was floating on the surface.
It hit me tonight that I've been comparing myself to other people around me A LOT lately. So much so that I've been in tears over things that I don't have, that I can't do, and so on. It dawned on me: this is a HUGE way that Satan gets to me. He realizes that I may not be so confident in myself and he uses that to his advantage.
I see it in a lot of younger girls too. We are bombarded these days with beautiful pictures of celebrities, ads for weight loss programs, etc.; girls are constantly being told that they're not good enough unless they have the best clothes, perfect hair, and are dating all the perfect guys. (Just read about all the controversy surrounding Abercrombie. He flat out says they don't make clothes in XL and XXL because he doesn't like fat chicks. I'm sure there are girls hating themselves because of this! (Ps. if you are feeling bad about this, don't. He's not worth your time or tears. You are a beautiful child of God!!!))
And that is a lie! Lately, I have been buying into that lie. In fact, I've been telling myself those very lies. It's a really hard thing to realize. Because I could have been avoiding this hurt and those tears. I could have been enjoying life, yet I sit there and tell myself, "You're not pretty enough, you're fat, no one will love you unless you look like this, that picture of you looks horrible."
Honestly, that's been my thought process lately. And it wasn't until tonight that I realized that I'm the one doing that to myself. No one around me is telling me those things or making me feel that way, I'm choosing to feel that way. I bought into the lie of the enemy.
Comparison is a choice. You can sit there and tell yourself lie after lie about how you're not good enough compared to those around you. But it isn't until you're face to face with the reality that God loves YOU, that He chose you to be who you are, not anyone else, that you feel freedom. You can choose to be joyful in who you are.
I am choosing to rejoice in the fact that I'm not perfect! My hair gets super frizzy in this humidity (seriously though, super curls) and instead of telling myself that it looks horrible, I am going to choose to rejoice in the fact that I have curls!! I am not a size 0 and I will choose to rejoice in that instead of bringing myself down!
(This would be a great transition into self worth and I want to talk about that but it's late and this post is pretty long already so I'll save that for a next time : ) )
Until then, I'll say this: To whoever is reading this- you, yes you, are chosen by God. You are loved. You are precious. You are beautiful. God has created you and loves you with an everlasting love. He created you and has a perfect plan for your life that no one else can fulfill that. I think we all (myself included) need to start looking at ourselves how God sees us and not how the world sees us. We also need to start searching for HIS plan for our life- not the world's, the enemy's or even our own plan. Rest in the fact that you are beautiful, precious, amazing, worthy, and a child of God. And wow, does He have an amazing plan for your life.
And trust me, I'm reading those words and telling myself the same things. I am choosing this day to start rejoicing in who I am and who God created me to be. This season of comparison is over.
As always, it's all for Him,
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I cringed as I read some of the posts. I so badly wanted to be loved, to be seen; I still do, don't get me wrong. I think in every person there is a want and need to be loved. But I took it farther than that. It was so apparent in my writing that I wasn't happy with who I was. I didn't believe I was worthy of love so I tried to put myself in situations where people would need to prove it to me. And that was wrong. I realize that now. Because instead of people working harder to prove their love, they gave up. They walked away and I was left hurt. I look back on those times and wonder what it felt like to be the other person, trying so hard to get through to me.
I had so many walls around me. I placed hurdles, barriers, traps, anything to keep people from knowing who I was and what I truly believed. I didn't think anyone would like me if they truly knew me. So I put up a fight against anyone who tried to love me.
Alas, God broke those barriers in Germany. He started to show me what love and acceptance actually looked like. (And I know, deep down, that I had acceptance and love before I went to YWAM but it wasn't until then that I experienced HIS love and acceptance. (And I just used the word acceptance 5 times. Okay maybe 3))
God's love is like no other. It is all consuming, unbelievable, life changing, and absolutely glorious. I don't think I will ever truly understand how much He loves me but to get a glimpse of His love is amazing. There was one day in Thailand when I was angry at God. I didn't understand why I still had these doubts about His love and His plan for me. Just then, JM walks over and starts hugging me. I thought she was laughing but she was crying. She looked at me and said "He loves you. He loves you. He loves you. God loves you so much."
Every time I think of that day I want to cry (happy tears!). The concept of God using other people to talk to me was new when I started YWAM. But He grew my faith in trusting His voice.
He used JM again to say the same thing. I was doubting God in my life a couple months after I was home and I was sharing some of those frustrations with her and again she said "He loves you. You are beautiful and He loves you so much."
It astounds me that God would use my doubt to show up in the greatest ways. There are some days when I want to throw in the towel and run away from my life. There are some days when I don't think anyone loves me, let alone likes me. But God picks that towel up and shows me that HE, the creator of the universe, loves me.
When those barriers finally came down, I saw things in a completely different way. Before I left for YWAM, chances are if you asked me how I was, I would lie. I would tell you I'm fine but only to see if you loved me enough to push that. Because I really wasn't okay. Now if you ask me how I am, get ready, because I will be honest. I have found honesty to be freeing. I thought that it would push people away, but it actually brings them closer. There is great joy is sharing your struggles and life with other people. I think another source of joy you can experience is when you find the love of our Father. When He speaks to you and shows you His love and affection for you.
God loves me. This is and will always be mind blowing to me!
Saturday, July 7, 2012
But I had to leave that. I had to leave the comfortableness of Germany and that community. And at that time, I had plans to go back. I was going to step into a life of missions. And then I got home.
I realized that that isn't where God wants me, at least for this time in my life. I really had no peace about going back and really felt like God wanted me here in Michigan. And I still do.
In these past two months God has blessed me with new friends and renewed friendships with old ones, community, and a little direction in my life. I'm a nanny for a beautiful family, saving for school in the winter, and getting to know God in new ways.
Home is good. God is better.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Thursday we were able to travel to Laos; it’s about 45 minutes away from Mai Sai. That is also where the Golden Triangle is located. It’s the point when Laos, Burma/Myanmar, and Thailand meet. It’s a big thing in Asia. We rode a boat across the Mae Kong River and spent an hour in Laos. As I walked I prayed for the country and the people, just asking God to bless every visitor that came there. That night we went over to some of our contacts friend’s house. They made traditional Burmese food for us and we played games with them. It was so much fun to hang out with them, Thai and Burmese people are amazing.
And we come to what I like to call shrimp on shrimp on shrimp day. AKA the day that we met with Max! That morning as a team we went to hang out with the street kids again. We planned some games and songs for them and were excited to spent time with them again. The first game we played was a new one to me. You sit in a circle and pass a bottle of powder around as someone plays music. If the music stops and you’re holding the bottle, the person who is sitting next to you gets to put the powder all over your face. I say we play this at our next family event :) It was a lot of fun- the kids loved it!
After we were done there WR, PAL, and I went to the gym to meet Max. Unfortunately his girlfriend wasn’t able to come with us but his friend Paul did. We waited for 15 minutes as Paul went to get his car and were shocked when he arrived. Both WR and I were expecting some small Thai car but here comes a 2011 Ford 4X4 truck. It was amazing. Trust me, when the only vehicle you’ve ridden in the past 5 months is a beat up white van, this is luxury. Max told us that we were going to his friends restaurant and that’d it’d be about 30 minutes outside of Mae Sai. WR and I were both worried that we wouldn’t be able to afford it (we get 50 Baht per meal) but we were trusting in God.
We weren't sure where we were going and when Paul turned off into a dodgy side street we got a little nervous but were again trusting in God. And God sure did bless us that day. We pulled into this cute restaurant on a little lake with walkways and tables on the lake. It was beautiful. We sat down and Paul and Max ordered for us. We talked and laughed with them while the food was prepared. It was a lot of fun hanging out with people outside our team. We took some pictures together and then the food came out.
And this is where the shrimp on shrimp on shrimp part comes in. The first dish was shrimp with noodles. The second was shrimp and fried rice. The third was spicy shrimp soup. The fourth was shrimp and yellow curry. And the fifth and final dish was deep fried shrimp with basil. Most of you know that I’m kind of a picky eater. BUT! I tried everything. PR you would have loved it all. I really enjoyed the deep fried shrimp with basil. The whole meal was amazing though! And we were blessed by Paul and Max- they ended up paying for everything.
After lunch they took us up to the scorpion temple that overlooks all of Mae Sai and into Burma. It was cool to be there with people who could explain what everything was and what it meant. We made plans that afternoon to go to a temple in Chiang Rai that Sunday. WR and I were excited to be able to hang out with them again.
Saturday we went to play with the street kids again and spend our last day just hanging out with them. We played some games, colored with them, and had lunch there too. It was good to see them once more before we left. Those kids are beautiful, I pray that God blesses them as they grow up. That afternoon MP and I went to prepare a drama for the church service we were participating in. We wrote a drama that was centered on a story that MP heard when she was a kid that brought her to believe.
Unfortunately when we preformed that same drama it didn’t go too well. I lost my place at one point and accidently said crap in church. Oh goodness, it was so bad. And then CH and PF had a laugh attack at the end of the drama. They were able to keep it together and finish out but once they stepped out of the building they cracked up. I like to refer to that day at Church fail. We all had to keep reminding ourselves that God is laughing with us and that it’s ok that things didn’t go perfect, we were able to get our messages across. AND CNB did an amazing job with the message. His mom would have been so proud!
That afternoon WR, PAL, and I went to the temple in Chiang Rai with Paul and Max. This temple was different than all the other ones we went to. Most of the the time temples are red and gold. This one was pure white. It was beautiful. There was glass mosaic over the whole temple, it was amazing. Then Paul took us to the University he graduated from. It too was beautiful. Nothing like Universities in America! It was a fun afternoon!
Monday closed out our time in Mae Sai. We had that day to say our goodbye and end out time in the city. I spent the morning with Roger and his friend Robert. I didn’t really say a lot but I was constantly praying for them and people that passed. At the end of my time with them I was able to pray for them, and granted they were drunk, it was still good. I pray that God pulls them closer every day.
We had the opportunity to spend time with Brandon and his wife and her family. They invited us over for dinner. It was another amazing meal. Burmese people really know how to cook. We as a team had the opportunity to pray for Brandon and Am. It was really hard saying goodbye to them. They are such beautiful people and have such a love for the people of Mae Sai. God is doing amazing things in their lives.
And then that night I found out that we had to do another border run. That one was going to have be at 630 in the morning. Meaning we had to be up by 530 and walking by 6. And this girl didn’t wake up until 6. But we still made it there in time. We walked in and walked right out. After we got back to our hotel we had breakfast and headed to the bus station. It was the best ride ever back to Chiang Mai. We had 8 VIP seats and my name got picked :) it was so great!
I have more to update but I’ll wait till later, this post is long enough :)
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Wednesday we woke up and started our day with worship and devotions as usual. It’s so different being in a small team- I love it though! We then went to the bus station and boarded our bus for Mae Sai, Thailand- the northern most part of Thailand. That night we got dinner and walked around a bit but then went to bed because we were exhausted.
Thursday we had to do a border run. Since Myanmar is a 5 to 10 minute walk from our hotel and because our visas were expired, we had the opportunity to go there for the day. It is amazing to me how two cities can be so different when they’re yards apart from each other. We got the chance to walk around and pray for the city. TB and I sat at a café and found it hard to pray. There was something different about that city. Not necessarily bad but just different.
Friday was an open ministry day. CB, TB, and MP and I went out as a group; we prayed into what God had for us and we didn’t get anyone specific to find so we just walked. And walked and walked some more. After lunch we bought some coke and cookies from the 7/11 to bless people with. It was harder than you think to find people to bless. We had maybe 5 people say no. CB and MP gave some to taxi drivers and we gave the rest to a man we met while getting ice cream. He just kept laughing at us. But it wasn’t a cruel laughing; we described it as Holy Spirit laughs. It was great.
Saturday we woke up to rain!!! I was one happy girl that morning/all day. I haven’t been in rain since Germany and I’ve missed it so much. Since it was a dreary (or beautiful in my opinion) day we watched some documentaries on Burma/Myanmar. They were very interesting because I didn’t know much about the country or the civil war it’s experiencing. It was really eye opening.
As usual, we had Sunday off. But unlike other days off I didn’t have a Starbucks to go to :( Instead I hung out at the room and then walked with MP to get pineapple for lunch. Pineapple is everywhere around here and SO good. After that we girls watched The Proposal. And then later that night we watched Accepted. Sometimes it’s really nice to take a break and watch a movie.
And here begins weeks 5. It is crazy to me that it’s already been 5 weeks that I’ve been in Thailand. I keep having these moments where I stop and look around and say. “Yup, I’m in Thailand.” So good!
This week began with a day to go out again and meet people. This time CB, JT, and JS and I went out. We first went to a café we had seen earlier that week and just hung out and drank coffee. Then we walked to the border of Myanmar and walked around the market. There are markets everywhere- I love it. TB had told us of a Hotel where our contact went to hang out with people and just talk with the guys there so we walked that way. Right away one of the men started talking to us. We found out his name was Roger and he has been in Thailand for 30 years, originally from Montana. He sat down with us and talked about his family back home and his work here. He explained what he knew about the situation in Myanmar and his schooling. It was really cool hearing someone’s story. We’re planning on going back there and getting to know him more.
Tuesday we worked with a ministry that helps out street kids. The first part of the morning we played with the kids; we taught them duck, duck, goose and then sang a song with them. The kids are so beautiful, most of them being Burmese. The rest of the morning we stripped paint off the walls and ceilings on the top floors. It was actually a lot of fun. We had lunch that day at a restaurant on the border of Thailand and Myanmar. They had amazing food! They also had a 7 floor look out where you could see Mai Sai and Burma. It was cool to see both Thailand and Burma and pray for the two countries.
After we spent some time up there we had another afternoon of open ministry. MP, JS, and I walked around Mae Sai and saw Roger again. We didn’t get the opportunity to talk with him but I think it was good that we let him know that we’re still thinking of him. As we walked we prayed for the country and the people we saw. I love spending days in prayer.
Wednesday I was able to help out with a local kindergarten/day care center. I helped 15 or so kids with their ABC’s and 123’s. I forgot how energetic kindergarten kids were. It was fun to help them write and see the smiles when I encouraged them when they got it right. It was really hard because of the language barrier though. I kept thinking of how much I would love to be a teacher and to see the kids grow everyday into what God has for them.
That afternoon WR and I went to the gym to talk with some guys that she met there. We swam and sat in the sun for a bit because the trainer wasn’t there yet. While we dried off we prayed for the day and what was to come. When Max, the trainer, got there we had him help us with our exercises. It was such a good work out- and it was fun to talk with Max even though there was a major language barrier. After swimming again we had the chance to ask if Max and his girlfriend wanted to have dinner with us. And again, it was hard to talk because of the language barrier, but we finally got our question across and he said yes to lunch.
And here is where I end. I have the rest of our time in Mae Sai written out but for the sake of reading I’ll put this blog up into two parts. The second will be here soon!
Love you all,