Thursday, February 14, 2013

Stop and Smell the Roses

My love for traveling truly started in 7th grade, I had the chance to travel to Australia with a group of student leaders, however that trip didn't pan out. If you ask anyone that knows me really well, where the one place I would like to travel to is, they would say Australia. And they would be correct, however I see that God has led me to many different places so I could experience His glory and His beauty in a different way. With each trip I have definitely had my fair share of ups and downs, but from everything I've learned the one thing that stands out to me everyday is that God takes me where I need to be. I hope that no matter where I end up in life that I will be open to every opportunity and advantage I am given no matter how big or small. I have always loved the saying "Take time to stop and smell the roses," and that's exactly what I do, I hope to never forget to take time and smell the roses God has placed in my life.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Next Adventure

In an earlier post I told you all how I went skydiving in South America, and since then people have asked me one of two things: 1. Are you crazy? and 2. Would you do it again? The answer to both questions is yes...well I don't believe jumping out of a plane makes you crazy but apparently some people, like my dad, do. Skydiving, like any extreme sport, gives you a natural rush of energy. I was free falling, mesmerized by the wonder and beauty of God.

I believe travel gives you that same feeling. It is a rush wondering what your next adventure might be and waiting to find out where God's hand will lead you. This coming summer I will be taking a trip to Europe, where I will be studying abroad. My previous study abroad trips have all been in Spanish speaking countries, so it will be interesting to see how I like a study abroad program in a place that doesn't have the challenge and exhilaration of speaking different language. My hope for this trip is that God will show me another piece of who He is through His creation, whose customs and cultures I may not be familiar with.

In 1 Corinthians 12:27, it says "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." We were all blessed with our own individual spiritual gifts and we all represent who God is, including the people I have never met. By traveling I am able to meet more of God's children, and see how He is working in their lives.

I am excited, maybe even a bit nervous, for this new adventure. But that is what is great about an adventure whether it be skydiving, traveling or even speaking in front of people--it's exhilarating.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Future...

Well I haven't posted on here in quite a while, but I felt I needed to share a few more insights stemming from my time abroad. This blog started out as being simply the story of my time in Uruguay. However I feel that my time in Uruguay was just one stepping stone of my life's story.

God has blessed me with the opportunity to spend a very short amount of time in Kenya, Africa about 6 years ago. This is when God opened up the door to travel in my life. Since then I have lived in Uruguay for four months, and have recently been to Honduras to study for a month. On each of these trips abroad God has granted me with the pleasure of seeing myself in a different way, and hopefully seeing myself the way He sees me.

In Kenya, as a Junior in high school, I spoke to a number of Kenyans at a youth rally I led. There God showed me that I had more confidence and courage than I had ever given myself credit for. In Uruguay I had the amazing opportunity to worship with the body of Christ who spoke a completely different language than I did, and I learned some beautiful things about God. This gave me a greater perspective of who God is, not just who I see God to be. In Honduras, I was able to see that I am capable of having conversations with people who are different than I am, and even in a different language. God has truly widened my view of the world and of myself. I am continually amazed by the ways in which He is working in my life and I long to see what plans He has in store for me for the future.

I have been struggling with that concept for a little while now--the future. What does that even mean? Is  the "future" going to happen in 2 years? 5 years? Maybe 10 years? No matter how many questions I have about what I am going to do with my life and my future there is one thing that God has taught me in my various adventures abroad: Trust in Him. My experiences abroad have shown me that no matter how hard I plan for things to go smoothly, something will go awry and sometimes things need to go wrong in order for me to see how God is working in my life.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:5

As I am preparing for the "future" I need to remind myself that God is always with me no matter where I am or what my job description is, as long as I look to Him to guide my path, He will show me where to go and what to do.