Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wisdom from Josie...

"Just take life as it comes. And enjoy it!"

Josie. Sweet sweet Josie.
Josie is one of the old ladies at Tumbling Bay that we visit on Thursdays. As we chatted today, the above quote was what she told me to do with my life. Simple, yet profound wisdom.
Don't worry about tomorrow.
Enjoy today.
My new life motto.
Josie is 95. Born in 1915. Not many people get to say that. I love listening to her, watching her laugh, even get a little frustrated because she can't seem to remember things as well as she used to.
Tumbling Bay is becoming a real joy for me, something I look forward to.
We only have a few precious Thursdays left.
BUT! I'm not worrying about tomorrow.
I'm enjoying today.

My housemates aren't enjoying today so much. Steven, Loralie, Dalia, AND Lydia have all been sick this past week. Off and on. With vomiting and all that jazz.
Not good.
Not good at all.
Lou and I have been blessed enough to have not caught anything yet, and we're hoping and praying it stays that way!

Lent has been going alright. I don't think I've explained what I'm giving up/taking up for lent yet, so i suppose I will do that now.
There are a few things I'm doing or not doing everyday. 1) Going through a devotional book called "A Guide to Prayer for all God's People".
2) Praying creatively. Type a prayer. Write a prayer. Pray scriptures. Pray while walking. Pray not sitting down. Pray in tongues. Pray. Pray. Pray.
3) Only allow myself 10-15, which really means 15, minutes of Facebook a day.
These are all habits I want to instill in myself during this time of Lent.
I'm doing a few other things, but they aren't everyday, but only once a week. Things like fasting or reading a book.
Anyway, its been good. We do communion during every chapel and last week we did it a little differently. Usually everyone will just take a small pinch of bread and a little sip of wine and be done, but last week, in the spirit of starting lent, Jem said he didn't want to see any of the bread left over. So some of us had to go back for more bread. Basically Jem was trying to portray that we shouldn't be content with little bit of Jesus, but when things get hard, when we're trying to be spiritually disciplined, when life isn't how we thought it should be, we should keep going back to Jesus. Asking for more. Taking more. Not being content. That really stuck with me and has been really good for me during this week when I feel like I haven't done very well with being disciplined about the lent stuff. But I'm not going to give up. I'm going to keep going back for more.

I haven't really talked about the ELC either have I? Wow! Sorry again for how lame and detail-less my blogs have been lately!

The ELC was really good. The best part of it all though was seeing familiar faces! I saw and chatted with Pat and Kristen Forbes, Don, Cheri, and Stephanie White, Ben Pawlitschek, Dave and Kris Richards, Buck and Jenny Hudson, Hakan and Gunilla, and quite a few of the Danes from the house in Denmark. It was so good to catch up with people.
Jenny and I talked about some dates for me to come visit Denmark. It should work out sometime in early April if I can find some cheap tickets! I met Abby Hobbs, who is married to Az, and they lead a small Salt and Light church in Spain. Abby, myself, and Simon, principal of the college, met together and talked about details for the move in May. Oh yeah.. I guess i should mention to anyone who doesn't know, that I'll be moving to Spain in May after I get back from North Africa. I'll be in Spain, helping Az and Abby for about 5 to 6 weeks. We talked about me doing things like teaching kids english, working with Abby to do a kid's "Holiday week" when they get out of school in June, talking at "church", things like that.
As I heard Abby talk about what kind of church they have and how they meet in houses and not in a building and other things she was explaining, I grew more and more excited. I've been really asking myself lately "what is the church?", and I've been really excited to be given different opportunities like Denmark, North Africa, and Spain to catch different glimpses of church and see different ways its working and outreaching into the community.
I bought a book titled "The Passionate Church" and I'm stoked to read it, but its put aside until I can really focus on it and no other books. I'm reading a few others at the moment. One is titled "Irresistable Revolution: living as an ordinary radical". That book makes me want to do some radical things! Hence the title. It makes me want to do things like sell everything and live on the streets with the poor, walking in their shoes, hearing their stories, letting them show me Jesus. But, realistically, it just makes me want to be a REAL christian. To not be confined in the four walls of a church but to go where Jesus would've have gone and to talk to the types of people Jesus would have engaged with.

PS ( I just took a 2+ hour break from whatever I wrote before. I just skyped with Stephanie for the first time since I've been here. Man is it good to hear her voice.)
Speaking of Stephanie, Pat and I had a chance to have some tea together during the weekend. It was lovely. He had a picture about me being dough used for bread or a pie crust. He said he knows that I'm being stretched a lot and that sometimes it feels like I might break any moment, but he told me to be encouraged, because when that dough is rolled out flat, it can be used to cover a lot. He told me also that he was "proud of me" and that even if he doesn't talk to me much, him and Theresa are thinking of me and praying for me. All in all, it was a wonderful, fatherly encouragement and just what I needed at the moment.

I am being stretched. Kneaded. Rolled flat.
I'm not sure how to go into it in detail, but God is just working on things in almost every area of my life.

I can share one thing specifically though.
I've noticed I'm quick to say "No" to God using me prophetically. Not 'no' as in I have a word or a picture and I'm just not going to say anything, but 'no' as in God just doesn't use me like that because I don't see pictures or get words. Well, once I realized how ridiculous that was and how I don't get to choose how God uses me, but my job is to remain open and moldable, He started using me in ways I never thought He would.
Don't get me wrong. I'm no Scott Squires or Buck Hudson or Michael Newman. I'm just me.
Me being open to God.
God using that openness.
God speaking through that openness.
The day Ellen arrived, a couple students and myself had an Emmaus meeting. We did some praying for each other. Then Steven proposed that we should pray for Ellen and get words or pictures for her. Immediately I ruled myself out of that second group. I can pray. I can't get words. Well, the second I made up my mind, a picture came into my head. I instantly smiled and told God I thought He was a funny guy. I did wrestle in my head for a few minutes about whether or not to share it, but then I decided that its Ellen and she would be a good guinea pig for me. So I shared it. There were no tears and it wasn't some massive, problem-solving, revelation, but it was from God and I think it encouraged her. There have been a few times since then where God's popped stuff into my head. And can I just say, I love it. It doesn't come followed by thunder and lightening. Or a loud orchestra playing in the back ground, but instead, its just sort of plopped into my head. Ha. I love how it works.

Remain open to God and He will use you.

Tomorrow is a day off for me! Some students have to go in, but not me! We are doing these seminar type things and tomorrow's is on "Capitalism". We had to choose two seminars to attend out of the four. I chose the "Poor and Marginalized" and "Politics". The last choice was "Environment". We have to write an essay for one group, but read for four hours on the topic of the second one your attending. Fortunately I'm writing on the poor and marginalized, a subject I'm quite interested in, but unfortunately, that means I have to read for four hours on the subject of Christians and Politics, a subject I could care less about.
See? Stretching...........

If you're wondering why I haven't put up any pictures of my recent voyages lately, its because MY CAMERA IS BROKEN!!
My camera has been a little demonic since I came here, but now its broken broken.
But! I did have it since 8th grade, so it had a nice run.
My birthday is in April. (*Wink Wink*)

I think I'm running out of exciting, new things to say.

I'm going to go do some reading.



  1. Very nicely done, Aeriole! I love all of the details. :) It sounds as though you have MANY more adventures ahead of you, and I am so excited for you and the things God is doing in your life. I love hearing about them! I miss you and love you very much.

  2. Wow. You said so much in that blog, so many good things...I feel challenged through your stretching. Thank you. I am SO excited for you to bring back so many new ideas. And I loved how you described not getting any pictures/words and then how God changed that. I love your honesty. Hope you enjoyed your day off, and I love you!

  3. ok- so I am fighting back crying, just because I am SOOOO glad that you are giving yourself to this journey, that you are hearing and allowing God to mold, form, kneed and reshape areas in your life, that we may be so open and allow him to do the same in our everyday lives! I am so excited about how the things you are going through now will so incredibly impact your future days. Ecstatic that you are going to be going to Spain, when we went there, there was something in me that knew you would go, of course I thought it would be with us, and that you would connect tremendously with Abby and the kids. Az is great too, but deep down, I know there is something special about you going there. I am SO proud of you, excited for the days you are in and the days ahead, thanks for sticking it out, for following your dreams, for persevering and not giving up, for being open and allowing us insight to your struggles and triumphs in God, there really are a testimony and encouragement. This is one more way that he is using you and your experience, I know it has spoken to me! Now, about Josie, why do you only have a few more visits with her? I bet she is greatly encouraged that you listen to her with excitement. We love you babe, we miss you, but are TREMENDOUSLY appreciative that God has given you this opportunity.

  4. thanks mom! you're encouragement means so much to me...
    Well, we only have til the end of this term to go to Tumbling Bay. Which this term ends in on April 1st. So, We have everything from now until then. :( sad..but i'm sure the memories will remain with me forever...
    She talked last time about "going home" and it was sad to me :( ... its much more exciting for her, so i tried to be happy, but it was sad...

  5. I realize your schedule is crazy, would it be possible to still visit occasionally? Wisdom from the older generation is so precious. How about the spanish speaking lady, or is this her?

  6. Awesome! You are doing great! I'm glad you came up with your Lenten fasts/good acts. Your picture was very encouraging and made complete sense with what God is doing in my life. I just finished Irresistible Revolution and I'm getting ready to write a blog on was so good!
    Hang in there! Thanks for the fantastic week, we should do it again sometime!

  7. Mom. Elia is the lady from Venezuela..she is usually who i chat with.she is lovely too. Last week when i chatted with josie, elia came to me before ileft and said how thankful she was that lou and i had talked to josie because alot of times she gets over looked because its hard to hear her and understand her. But Elia was so encouraged to see us chatting with her and she said it was the "first time in a long time she'd seen Josie so happy". It was really nice!

    Ellen=I haven't been able to stop reading that book!!! I've looked up most of the websites Shane mentions on Fair Trade and Human rights abusing Companies.. I am so tempted to join Simple Way and live in Kensington..its seriously that bad! His passion is infectious....