Monday, January 31, 2011


21. Seeing God work in students through the prayers of many

22. A white cloud shaped like a flower seen through a hole in dark grey storm clouds

23. The song "I will glory in my Redeemer" running through my head on repeat

24. Cranberry Juice

25. Perfectly timed sunbreaks in a freshly cleaned kitchen

Thursday, January 27, 2011

18. Being able to talk in Kurdish for 2 hours... however incorrectly!

19. Coffee with Baileys.

20. Overcoming the fears of becoming a student again.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

15. My meeting was postponed and I get to spend the evening at home!

16. Gentlemen who carry things for me... thanks Erik!

17. Learning to live without a camera... it is good.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Walking through the water...

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;"
--Isaiah 43:1b-3a

Amazing... we walk through the waters on dry land.

Monday, January 24, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

One of the things I'm thankful for is for Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience. My mother first introduced me and God uses her. I am reminded of how to revel in the simple glories of God, how to even see them. So I continue my list that I've begun so many times but always forget what number I'm at.

11. Buying flowers from a man who rattles quickly at me in Arabic like I can understand

12. Dancing wildly in the kitchen alone

13. God made miniature lemon trees

14. All the different kinds of laughter, how each is like a fingerprint for each person

Friday, January 21, 2011

8. Feeling well again after food poisoning!

9. The cozy warmth of fleece sheets.

10. A hot shower in the morning.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

4. Cutting fresh parsley

5. Fresh squeezed lemon juice dripping down my arms

6. The moon large and close to the mountains reflecting brightly with snow

7. Earthquakes--get your heart pumping, no exercise needed!

Monday, January 17, 2011


I am thankful:

1. for the man who ran to the nearby shops to look for Energizer batteries when all I really meant was that I needed a battery the same size as the one I brought in, not the same brand.

2. that I was able to find the right kind of short concrete nails so that I don't have to mess with cracked plaster and bent nails.

3. that my room is really well insulated and keeps in the heat.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Music and Video

Watching music videos in another language can be an interesting way to pass the time. You watch the video and try to figure out what the song is about or what the storyline is. This becomes a bit confusing sometimes. It is a popular thing in hotel lobbies and restaurants in the ME to play a music video on a television screen. However, the music playing over the speakers does not often match the music video.

Example: At this moment I am listening to love songs, this one has a Spanish flair... but the video on the screen is something of a rock band, head banging, flashing lights, strange face paint. Hmmm...

Friday, January 07, 2011

Another Round of "I'm an Idiot on My Way to Istanbul"

(In case you have forgotten first round was several years ago when I showed up in Istanbul with only 14 dollars and had to beg the rest of the money for my Visa.)

This year, I came prepared. But then in Seattle, I lost my wallet. I still don't know how. By God's grace, I was with friends who were able to gather up enough cash for me to make my way back across the world. I felt horrible. All my enthusiasm (there hadn't been much) for travel was gone.

But that's not all! I got a two for one deal on losing stuff this time around. Somehow in an airplane or airport I (groggy, dazed, and half asleep) also managed to lose my camera. Fabulous, isn't it. So... instead of taking pictures around the beautiful and sunny city of Istanbul, I'm writing a blog post.

I rarely lose things. So why now? I hear the ever selfish question, "Why me, God?"

But God knows what he is doing. He is faithful. And I felt I had the answer as I read a passage from an anthology of George MacDonald's writing arranged by C.S. Lewis.

"For love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds. Where loveliness is incomplete, and love cannot love its fill of loving, it spends itself to make more lovely, that it may love more; it strives for perfection, even that itself may be perfected--not in itself, but in the object... Therefore all that is not beautiful in the beloved, all that comes between and is not of love's kind, must be destroyed. and our God is a consuming fire."

I know my God loves me. And as he consumes the self-reliance, pride, and independence in my heart, it might hurt, like Eustace's dragon scales coming off. But this is only to make me more lovely and more like Christ.