Monday, May 28, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sweet Blessings

...Tammy came to visit last weekend. Always lots of laughs and fun when she's around. We went to layout at the pool, ate too much (which is why I've been seeing my trainer almost everyday this week!), and just enjoyed being together before I go off to Europe and before she becomes Mrs. Brawner.

...I recently have been able to discover the wonderful world of the iPad. I've also discovered Scramble, Angry Birds, and Draw Something. I've never been much of a "gamer" but I'm slowly becoming addicted.

...Started my Summer 1 course at the Jax GCTS campus. I will be taking Systematic Theology 3 or as we seminarians dub it, "Sys 3." At the end of the course, I have to write a ten page paper on my statement of faith and what I believe. This will be challenging but also exciting to discover all I've learned and what I believe now as a result. TULIP, anyone? ;)

...My brother's wedding is a week from tomorrow and we are all excited about this big event! I'm thrilled to have someone as sweet and wonderful as Bridgett to be my new sister-in-law :D

...and finally, partnership for my ministry in Germany could not be going better. Since I've been home, I've had multiple people at church tell me they're praying for me and have received donations that I've prayed for specifically. God is good, that's all I can say, and I am blessed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Meeting" the Choir

This morning I set my alarm early to get up and get ready to Skype with some future choir students next year. Seeing them and answering some of their questions ("What kind of music do you like?" "Will choir be fun?") was so great. I think I grabbed their attention when I told them I listened to Coldplay and Regina Spektor! Ha! I told them we'd be doing a variety of music and how much I was looking forward to being their choir director. When I got off of the call, I wanted to drive to the airport and hop on the first plane headed to Germany. Being able to Skype and see my future choir room and students made it all the more real that this is going to happen. As hard as it is to see the forest through the trees, I know that 3 months from today, I'll be there, sitting in Orientation and thanking God for bringing me to BFA.

Also, for those of you in Jax - seriously, what is up with this weather?! I'm ready for some beach and sun!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day

We took my mother out for brunch at the Hyatt along with Bridgett's parents.  Afterwards, we took this picture in front of the St. John's River and Jax skyline.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Back in Jax

As emotionally draining as Monday was for me, I have to say it is good to be home. Granted, I will only be here for about 10 weeks, but I'm going to try and soak up as much as I can while I'm here. There is much to look forward to, especially with my brother's wedding coming up. I also have Orientation with TeachBeyond in Minnesota at the end of June as well as lots of time to spend with friends here.

The warm weather is addicting and I'm looking forward to many days spent at the beach and poolside. I'm truly a Florida girl at heart :)

Please continue to pray for me as I readjust and miss my friends in MA.

Here are a few pics taken from the last week:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Last Day

Breakfast at Sugar Mags with Brie, Melissa, Lyndsay, Brittanie, Katie, Steph, Joel A, Nathan, & Peter

Prayer with above + Sam, Brad, April, Caroline, Tony, & Lee

Packing and shipping boxes to Germany with Brie & Nathan

Airport ride with Caroline, Brie, & Melissa

Sitting in the Boston airport and reflecting on the day's events, trying to wrap my head around the fact that I won't see some of these friends for a long time. I think what's different about this good-bye is that with the others I've known I'd be back. As hard as it was to say good-bye 4 years ago to friends in Germany & Switzerland, I knew that I'd be back sooner or later. I really don't know when I'll be back to Boston or when these friends will be able to come over to Germany and see me. I've cried about it but it hasn't really hit me yet that I won't be coming back anytime soon.

As hard as the last few months have been, I've taken solace in knowing that I had these people in my life to hold me and pray for me and cry with me and laugh with me. I've known them for nearly two years and I can't believe it's just been that short of an amount of time because I feel like they've known me forever.

If you're reading this from GCTS, please know you will not soon be forgotten. I love you all so much and it literally hurts to type this because I already miss you so much.

Love you all.

PS Watch out for those turkeys ;)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Last Night

Dinner at Latitude 43 w/Joel, Nathan, Melissa, Brie, & Peter...
Walking around Gloucester at dusk...
Ice cream at Cherry Hills w/Lee & Tony...

It was a perfect way to spend my last night in Massachusetts.

Tomorrow brings a last breakfast at Sugar Mags, lunch together, & then a sweet prayer send off in the chapel.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Nostalgic Memory

We were 21. Heather, Me, & Lindsay. We were ecstatic because we were going to see 'Nsync in concert in Atlanta and had waited months it seemed for this night. We'd gone shopping together to get the outfits pictured above and thought no one would look as cute as we did. I was in love with Lance, the other two, with Justin. We blasted all of their songs on the way and didn't have a care in the world or so it seemed.

They're both married and mommies now to Emmie (Heather) and Liam and Webb (Lindsay). This seems so long ago and yet, I can remember it as though it were yesterday.

Thanks for the memories, girls. I love you.

PS Happy Birthday, Lance! (you didn't think I'd post this w/o putting that on here, did you? ha!)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Waiting in the Rain

I'd been waiting for it. I wondered when it would hit me that I'd really be leaving GCTS. I had shed a few tears in the last few weeks, but today they spilled over into full on weeping. Weeping for the last year and a half and for the people who God brought into my life to teach me lessons that they probably had no idea they were teaching me, to encourage me when I just did not think I could do the whole seminary/student thing anymore, and to make me laugh when a day had gone as bad as I ever thought possible.

I'm not going to lie. This has probably been the most difficult year and a half I've ever had. Isn't it funny when you think that you are already broken because you remember the time and the day and all of that when God brought you to your knees? And so after that, you think, "Ok, well that wasn't fun, but I'm glad that I'm broken now.." and God is going, "Oh, just wait. You're going to want to cling to me even harder than you did before."

I found the above quote/picture on Pinterest a few days ago and felt it was quite appropriate for not just the pain of losing friends here, but for a semester that has been, in its own varying ways, painful. But I have not lost hope and if you're going through your own pain of loss of whatever it is you feel you're losing, just remember, that something new is about to be born. Something new is on its way. Because God has NOT forgotten you.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Becoming a Palace

We went over this in our Gospel Centered Life study last summer in Vienna. Someone posted it on Facebook tonight and it was such a great reminder of what God is doing daily in our lives. Nobody could ever put it more eloquently than C.S. Lewis (or, as I like to call him, Clivey).


“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks (and mold) in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” CS Lewis