Saturday, July 30, 2011

My God Loves Me!

I know it comes as no surprise. I am not surprised at the statement itself. God has done more than enough to prove his love. But I am surprised at how he continues to do so again and again.

Several days ago I posted on my wonderings about making the right choices about money and things. The spark for those thoughts was a series of internal debates about whether or not I should shell out the cash a massage. I decided that it wasn't a wise use for my money.

I thought about it again when I entered the U.S. Decided I would look into it. And... low and behold, a friend had a gift certificate for a massage that he wasn't going to use. He gave it to me!

God provided a free massage for me. Pieces were set up for this months in advance. God was taking care of me and desires I had even before I knew I wanted them.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


It is amazing how familiar I have become with the passport and customs area in the Seattle airport. My luggage always seems to be in the last group off the plane; I don't know why. But it gives me plenty of time to observe the people around me and process what it means to be back in the U.S.

My first observations this time through were mostly that my good friend, Katie, wasn't with me (as she has been for years flying into Seattle from the ME) and that I had no cell phone to call people and tell them I was nearly home.

Secondly, I noticed how tall everyone was. I'm used to being taller than most women and just barely shorter than the men. At 5' 6", I'm a very average height in the U.S. It just felt like all of a sudden I was surrounded by very tall men and women.

Thirdly, there is a relaxation and at-home-ness that I feel even in Seattle. Seattle is hours and hours away from my final destination, but I could drive there if all other transportation failed me. That, and all the airport personnel speak English fluently. This, too, is a relief of sorts. The only downside is that my blond hair no longer gets me special treatment. =D

It is nice to see family and friends. The U.S. is beautiful and comfortable and easy, but I am an alien and a stranger in this world.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Trusting God

So, we all know God will provide, right? But God moves in mysterious ways, too. We don’t always know the methods by which he will provide.

Thus it is when I am faced with a dilemma. My back is in knots from travel, stress, and bad posture. I could spend $75 at a really nice hotel next door for a great massage. It isn’t the most financially wise decision but God will provide what I need, right? And my back needs fixed. OR...

Perhaps rather I should not spend the money and trust God to fix my back and release the tension there on his own. After all, I can do a lot with $75 that will last much longer than 60 minutes. Maybe I’m just trying to step into his plans.

But what if I said this about a dentist? Should I go to the dentist and trust God for the money? Or trust God to take care of my teeth? Or has he provided for my teeth by means of the dentist? What about doctors?

What if it is something less clear, like needing some new clothes… I mean, we could all get by with a few less sets of clothing, but we also have expectations on us to look presentable and professional. Where do you trust God to provide?

Let’s say I have X amount of money. How do I choose to spend that money? What is the highest priority? What will glorify God the most? How am I even supposed to know?

PS. After posting my thankful list below, I am reminded that God loves me more than I know. He does more than I could ask or imagine. My choice in any of these things will not affect his abundant blessing toward me. He will make all things work together for my good.

304. Late night talks with Molly
305. God grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking me
306. Strolling in Istanbul
307. A new skirt
308. Holding a woman's hand on the airplane to calm her during take off
309. Laughing with Iraqi women met in a store... "How can you live in Iraq? We can't even live there!"
310. Man on the elevator asking if I am from Moscow... hehe... He meant Russia.
311. Apple Tea and Jesus
312. God taking care of the things I can't control... like buses and the people they affect
313. Getting OFF of buses... I get carsick
314. I never thought I'd say this, but I am very thankful for McDonalds!
315. Being called beautiful... again... by someone else... when I feel at my lowest (in terms of beauty).
316. God has a good sense of humor
317. Spy skills
318. Sergyn and what he taught me about myself. Ouch.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thankful List.

It's been ages since I've managed to get a post lined up with the Thousand Gifts "Multitude Mondays" over at A Holy Experience. And I can't think of anything to say right now, so I'll just post my list as it is currently.

290. I have arms
291. Agatha Christie novels
292. Vegetables
293. The ability to drive a stick-shift
294. A housemate I can live with and even enjoy!
295. Running farther than I have in a long time
296. My sewing machine is fixed.
297. Successful trip to the bazaar.
298. Sweat
299. Neutrogena lip stick
300. Being called beautiful
301. Being reminded of all the gifts God has given me: joy in my work, peace, joy in things other than drunken parties...
302. Cleansing
303. God is on the Throne
304. Holding a tetra-drachma from around 2 B.C., joy in the history there

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I've been reading through the verses on prayer lately as I study them in another language to therefore learn to pray in that language. I've also been reading and praying through the prayers in a book called "The Valley of Vision".

In all this, I've begun to wonder if I even know how to pray in my own language. There is so much lacking in my faith in my walk with God. I realize how there are parts of prayer I have consciously or unconsciously avoided because they made me uncomfortable or unsure. I would think, "How am I to pray like that?!"

But then I see it for what it is. How can I think that a God who has proved faithful over and over again, who has held up my life in every way, who blesses and overflows me with blessing again and again, who has done all this, how can I think that he will not continue to remain faithful to his word? How can he not keep his promises and do all and more than he has said?

I am a foolish woman.

I pray that I may learn to pray.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Whose Beauty?

It is a gratifying thing to be called beautiful. Every woman yearns to hear it.
But sometimes as nice as it feels there is something more that I want.
The last verse of one of my favorite hymns is running through my head today.

May His beauty rest upon me...

Friday, July 08, 2011

We Eat Well...

This is probably one of my biggest problems with becoming healthier this summer. I love to cook good food. And having a little more free time from school and needing breaks from language study, I have wanted to cook everything in sight. Then my roommate got a new cookbook. It's amazing! It is called The Quick Recipe. And after reading through some of it, my roommate had to sternly command me not to cook cinnamon rolls. Sad... :(

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Walk in the Park...

So... park walking and running has become my new morning recreation. Months ago we were walking at 7-ish am. But it's too hot then, now. But the park we run at is really a wonderful place. There are lots of people, even women. The parks are some of the only green left in the city. They water them so much. Even the plants on my patio are looking distressed. Has anyone tried growing tomatoes indoors?

Anyway, the park is lovely and green and the air in the mornings is less than 100 degree F. I took pictures one morning as I walked.