Thursday, October 30, 2008

songs in my pockets

27% raised: 62 days

I miss writing music. Its been at least 2 or 3 months since I had time to sit and write for myself (or work on teaching myself guitar and piano) I just don't know where the inspiration went. Is there a way to recapture it?

Monday, October 27, 2008

I don't know where to go from here

27% raised: 65 days to go

well. after a very stressful and frustrating morning in LA, my visa application is in. There were many tears shed, there was not enough coffee consumed and I am just glad the whole thing is over

it started at 4:45am with an argument with my dad on the way to the airport. My parents are being... well not exactly unsupportive, but they think that I am being impractical. At least once a week I hear how I should have waited until next year, or I am not going to get the money raised in time, or something along those lines.

Got on the flight and to LA ok, had to wait for my shuttle to take me to the consulate. Then my shuttle driver got lost on UCLA campus, during morning rush hour. I was 10 minutes late to my 15 minute appointment. Got into the consulate and they were nice enough to squeeze me in. BUT apparently the person who I had emailed to make sure that I had all of the necessary paperwork from University of Salamanca lied to me and did not let me know that I had to prove that I have paid my deposit for school. SO I walked 6 blocks to a fedex/kinkos, got online and printed my bank statement that shows I paid it. Return to the consulate to find out that I have the wrong kind of prepaid mail envelope (their website is wrong... it says they only take USPS express mail... FALSE. They want fedex express mail which would have been nice to know when I was at the fedex/kinkos) So I leave again and go to the mailboxes, etc that is just next door, get the right envelope and go back upstairs. Of course while I am doing this last trip, my shuttle to the airport tries to pick me up, so I have to call and reschedule a new pick up (which I ALMOST missed that one too!). Finally made it back to LAX and had my first cup of coffee of the day and had time to sit and just relax for a bit.

Now I am at the house where I am dog sitting, and I just got an email from my mom. She thinks I am avoiding her and not talking to her. Sigh. I have just been busy. That whole time management thing again. My mom and I used to have so many issues when I was growing up, but we have become amazing friends since I graduated high school. I don't want to ruin that, but I don't know how to tell her how much her negativity hurts me.

gah. sorry for the long story, I just needed to rant. I don't know if this is just one of those obstacles that I have to get through that will make it all more worthwhile in the end, or if its just satan being a poop. (that's for you Romi). I think the only thing I need to worry about now is raising the rest of my money for the trip. Tuition is due December 20th and the rest is my money for while I am actually IN spain. Here is the breakdown for those who have asked/care to know

School tuition - 880 euros
Housing - approx. 1210 euros
Food/Personal - 1350 euros
city transportation - $100
other travel - 500 euros
retreat - 60 euros
cell phone (with min.) - 35 euros
ministry - 225 euros

with the current exchange rate (at this very moment it is 1 euro=$1.26) this leaves me with about $5,500 left to raise. I am having another car wash on November 8th (ask me or see facebook for details) and I am trying to think of some more clever ideas for fundraising!

Friday, October 24, 2008

27%raised: 68 days


I am feeling sick today. I think this is 20% due to excitement, 20% due to stress and 60% due to the fact that I have had 6 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. High School Musical 3 premiere with my girls- totally worth it. We stayed up late Wednesday night to make shirts and watch the first 2 movies and then went to the midnight showing last night. We had so much fun and were "way too aggressive"

Visa appointment on monday in LA. scary. I have never been by myself in another city. I'm a little nervous about having to get myself from LAX to my appointment and back without anyone there to help me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

more than words

27% raised: 71 days

I am amazed, loved, overwhelmed and just floored right now. This past year God has really been teaching me to ask for help instead of trying to do things on my own. And He constantly surprises me with how He decides to show up when I do. I am at a loss for words. I am feeling so many things that are going to burst out of me. The people at Starbucks probably think I am a nutcase because I am crying while typing.

I will be able to purchase my plane tickets to Spain this week, go to LA next monday to get my Visa application in and move forward with raising the rest of my budget. The next 2 1/2 months are going to be hard, but this past week has only reinforced my faith that I am doing the right thing and the God does want me to be in Spain next semester. I know that this is what the immediate future holds for me and I am trusting Him to take care of the rest.

I don't even know how to begin to thank you all. Words are not enough, but they are all I have. So I will tell you repeatedly and wholeheartedly, Thank you. Thank you for your unfailing support and encouragement. Thank you for believing, even when I could not. Thank you to those of you who are supporting me financially. Thank you for the continued prayers for the ministry of En Vivo and the students in Spain. In so many ways, you all are just as much a part of this as I am.

Friday, October 17, 2008

top 5

22.9% raised! 75 days until I leave

Frustrated this morning with myself and with plane tickets, so I am taking this from Jared and Tara in an attempt to chill out before I have to go to work.

Favorite Bands/Artists:
1] John Mayer
2] Sara Bareilles
3] The Fray
4] Coldplay
5] Bethany Joy Galeotti

Favorite Songs from those bands:
1] 3x5 by John Mayer
2] Gravity by Sara Bareilles
3] How to Save a Life by The Fray
4] Fix You by Coldplay
5] tie between Feel This and Leaving Town Alive by Bethany Joy

Favorite Movies:
1] My Big Fat Greek Wedding
2] 13 going on 30
3] Hairspray
4] 10 things I Hate About You
5] Sleeping Beauty (all time best Disney movie)

Favorite Trilogies:
1] Pirates of the Caribbean
2] Bourne Series
3] Spiderman
4] High School Musical (I don't even need to see the 3rd one yet to know)
5] Indiana Jones- The original 3

Favorite recent/current TV shows:
2] The Office
3] One Tree Hill
4] Pushing Daisies
5] I love to watch the Discovery Channel shows

Favorite classic TV shows:
1] Saved by the Bell
2] I Love Lucy
3] Bewitched
4] Full House
5] Mad About You

Favorite Resturants:
1] PF Changs
2] BJ's
3] Bellagio's
4] Olive Garden
5] Applebees

Favorite Fast Food:
1] Steve's Krazy Subs
2] Wendy's
3] Fazoli's
4] Taco Bell
5] Panda Express

Favorite Places I've been in the World:
1] Spain
2] Jamaica
3] Monterey, CA (will ALWAYS be on my list)
4] hopefully I will be adding some more places soon!

Favorite NON-Fiction Books [other than Bible]:
1] Blue Like Jazz- Donald Miller
2] Captivating- John & Staci Eldredge
3] Wild At Heart- John Eldredge
4] Velvet Elvis- Rob Bell
5] Your Brain on Music (can't remember who wrote it at the moment)

Favorite Fiction Books:
1] The Shack by William P Young
2] I read far too much to pick any favorites after that

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm giving up on doing this alone now

still at 21%: 77 days to go!

Well... as soon as I know when I am coming home from Spain- I can buy my plane tickets! I'm also NOT staying in Atlanta for 3 days as originally planned. I will arrive in ATL at 6am, go to our orientation and then back to the airport with the team to fly out at 6pm. Yay for 12 hours of Atlanta.

I don't know what else to do for fundraising. I'm at a complete loss for creativity on this one. We are doing another car wash in a couple of weeks (mostly because I still have all of the stuff from last time), and the possibility of a garage sale in november. After that I have no ideas and no plans for how to raise this money.

Monday, October 13, 2008

You're on to me, and all over me

Still stuck at 21%: 79 days to go!

I have been having a hard time maintaining my positive attitude of last week. It seems that satan is throwing things into my life to drag me down. Between major health issues in my family and my almost family, to a negative attitude from others about my trip, to several run ins with people I prefer not to surround myself with anymore. It has been hurting my heart and making me doubt. Several people who are close to me have said "Well what happens when you don't get your money raised for Spain" (note the use of 'when' and not 'if') and they seem to scoff at me when I tell that I trust God to get me there, because that is where He has called me to be. Then when I am by myself, those negative thoughts start to creep in. What if they are right? What if all of my faith in this trip is just silly? What would I do if I can't get the money raised and I can't go? How would I possible pay back all the money that people have already given? I am trying to jut shake it off, but negativity is a persistant little annoyance. I need to remain faithful, but mostly I need for those around me to remain faithful (or at least keep their doubts to themselves) I DO truly believe this is where I am supposed to be next semester and I trust God to get me there.

I am constantly stuggling with discipline and time management. This is probably going to be a lifelong battle for me. I admire my friends who are so good at both. Now don't get me wrong, I love the fact that I am a dreamer and involved in so many things that I can't keep them straight. The only problem is that without discipline I end up trying to give of myself to too many things and I have nothing left for me. I have been feeling pulled in a million directions and unfortuantely the 2 areas that have suffered the most are my schoolwork and my personal music. I almost need just a free week locked in a blank room with my textbooks, a computer that can only do my homework, my music books and my keyboard. Can someone work on that? I need to catch up where I have fallen behind, but I don't know where to find the time. The past 2 weeks have flown by. Monday arrives before I even realize it and its time to start all over. Where can I find the time without trimming out the things that sustain me and make me feel whole? How can I make time for my quiet time, school, work, personal music, 3F music, jr high girls, family, friends, my health and everything that is important to me?

Yesterday Dan, Brittany, Halley and I went to Payson to hike at Natural Bridge. It was so refreshing and great to get away. I love being with them. It is amazing to me how much they are a part of my life now, when I hardly knew them a year ago. The hike was beautiful and just awe-inspiring, i love being silly with them one minute and then having serious conversations the next. On the way home I was driving and everyone else fell asleep. For about 45 minutes, it was just me, the highway and my I Heart CD. I felt peaceful and grateful for an amazing day.

I am just asking for some prayer support in a few areas:
- for God to continue to be faithful as I am raising support for my Spain trip.
- for those around me to be encouraging, and MY faith in God's calling me to this trip to continue
- Health issues in my family (I really can't be more specific at this time)
- Discipline and time management, knowing where to build up and what needs to come down.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My heart beating out of my chest

21% raised: 85 days until I leave!!

I am SO very close to being able to purchase my plane tickets. Like tantalizingly close. It is torture waiting. It now looks like I will be back in May instead of June next year. Kristine and I are not going to be able to do our European Escapades. That is a little sad, but it will be for the best. Just less time you all have to miss me :)

I just love it when God answers prayer. Even when it comes out of unusual places or is not how/when I expect it to be. (You would think I would have learned by now!!) I have been praying for a couple of areas of my personal life for months now - trying to be patient, asking God to please let me know if I am doing the right thing, give me peace about the situation and take away my desire if it is not what He has planned. This past weekend was an amazing, difficult, whirlwind of emotions, but I came out of it feeling refreshed, excited and ready for what God is bringing in the next few months. I am sleeping less than ever, but I feel sustained. I am daily uncertain about what this Spain adventure is going to bring, but the stress is receding as I know He will take care of it all. I am feeling encouraged and challenged by my Christian friends - I love love love reading all of your blogs and seeing what God is working on your heart. I really love reading the discussion postings about the NT readings.

This probably just sounds like me gushing emotions, but I really am so happy and just... chill about everything. My soul feels at rest for the first time in a very long time.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

21% raised: 88 days until I leave!

Well God must just be laughing at me today. After I wrote the post this morning about worry, WAY too much drama happened. I don't think I passed if I was being tested :(

We showed up to do the car wash at Val Vista and Guadalupe... and there was a girls soccer group doing a car wash at the gas station we had reserved. When one of the girls went in to talk to the supervisor- they at first tried to tell us that we didnt make a reservation. Then we proved that we had, we were basically told "sorry- this other group showed up and said they were from central, so we gave them the stuff" For the record- they were not. Then Halley and the girls drove to like 10 different gas stations to see if anyone would let us in at the last minute. We finally found a place and even with the threat of rain, made $202.02 towards my trip.

So my undying love goes out to my small group girls, Dan and the Shell station at greenfield/baseline.

You bring me life, You bring me hope, You're all I need

18% raised: 88 days until I leave!

Car wash today- Val Vista and Guadalupe. I love my small group more than words can say sometimes. The fact that these girls (and a couple of awesome guy friends) are giving up a Saturday and sweating it out to help me with my goals... it is just amazing. Most have them have been in my life for such a short time and I already know I will miss them SO much when I leave. I think this is part of what has been missing for me the past couple of years. A group of people my age to go through life with (this must be why they are always saying that you NEED to be in a small group!)

In my NT reading yesterday, I was really challenged by Matt 6:27-34
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is life not more important than food and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single day to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, oh you of little faith?So do not worry, saying what shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

How much time do I spend every day worrying? Especially recently. What a waste of time. I could be spending that time in so many more productive ways. I could be working on my music, focusing on school, spending time with my family.. enjoying life the way God wants me to have it. Instead I am freaking myself out and having panic attacks about things that are not even in my control. I know that God is going to take care of the finances and preparations for this trip, because that is where He has called me to be. I need to focus on my heart.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'll take the truth at any cost

18.5% raised: 90 days until I leave!

I am really excited about reading through the New Testament with a group at Third Format. It has been awhile since I have read the entire thing and I think it will be beneficial to have it fresh in my mind when I go to Spain. I love having people to discuss and interact with, I think it challenges me to read the scriptures in a new and different way.

My small group is also reading the book "Captivating" By John & Staci Eldredge. If you have never read this book, I HIGHLY recommend it. (man or woman) The last time I read this book, I was in a relationship (that I later realized was unhealthy and unfulfilling), but now being single I have different perspectives on the book. I think it is important for women to realize how valued and adored we are by God and how the world has damaged our perspective because of the shortcomings of our fathers/boyfriends/husbands. I also think men should read this book to gain some insight on women and the way that our souls work.