Thursday, June 28, 2012

What a Week!

I've wanted to write about everything that I have learned, people I've encountered, and of course the future coworkers that have been specifically knit together to work at BFA next year. But every night there's been a pattern of a few of us getting together to play games or just talk and do nothing and by the end of that, it's nearing midnight, such as right now.

Every evening we have had the opportunity to share testimonies. We were divided into groups and it's been such a great way to get to know not only my other teammates, but other TeachBeyond members as well. I prayed and asked you guys to pray that there would be unity among the staff. Obviously, I know that not everyday is going to be harmonious and that there will be issues that we will have to deal with. No school is perfect. But there has really been a unique bond linking those of headed to BFA.

I've been drawn to this school for nearly the last ten years. I've been on the campus several times, even gone to see a show the students put on back in '08. And finally, in about six weeks, I will set foot on campus not as a visitor, but as a faculty member! Can you tell I'm excited?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Orientation Begins!

"What's your name?"

"Where are you from?"

"Where are you going to teach?"

This has been the conversation starter for the last 24 hours. There are still several people I haven't met yet, but the people I have met have been just wonderful! A lot of us are going to BFA and so there's lots of excitement as we talk about the future and sharing life together, at least for the next 2 years.

Since last evening, I keep thinking that everything I've gone through, especially in the last 10 years, has brought me to this point in my life. Every struggle, every joy, every move. They've all added up to the calling God has had on my life for MKs, TCKs, and Germany.

There is much to learn this week. I know by the end, my brain might be somewhat fried and I will have to look back at notes to remember what I've taken down. But it's all bringing me closer to the road where the journey truly begins.

"...He who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son to me, in order that I might preach Him among the Gentiles..." Galatians 1:15-16

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Almost Time

Today is June 19 and two months from now, I (hopefully and prayerfully) will be settled in to a new apartment and a new job in a country I've been wanting to go back to for four years. This weekend, I will leave for Minneapolis and will start Orientation for TeachBeyond on Sunday evening. I'm really looking forward to this next week and all I will learn. I'm also looking forward to meeting the people I will be working with at least for the next two years! I know the sessions will be long and we will be taking in a lot of information in one week, but it's also going to be extremely beneficial and in the end, we'll know so much more about where we're headed :)

If you've noticed, I put up the downloadable pledge form on the right hand side. Still thinking about partnering? Remember, now is the time :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

What I'm Looking Forward To....

There is a lot that I'm excited about in the coming months as I return to Germany. Seeing old friends, going back to ACB, beginning new friendships, becoming a part of the BFA community, and teaching what I love - Music & Drama! These are only a few things that excite me and continue to remind me that God has me right where He wants me (notice I left out the bakeries, gelato, and spƤtzle!). I'm also looking forward to developing relationships with students through small groups. I am excited about the possibility of eventually having my own girls small group and discipling these girls through all walks of life. It's just another way that BFA is so great at connecting the relationships between teachers and students.

I read this in my Bible study this morning and thought it was quite appropriate for all that is about to take place:
"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving" Colossians 2:8

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Worry, Death, and the Meaning of the Cross

Reading Erikson's Christian Theology yesterday for Sys 3, I came across this quote:

“The demythologized meaning of the cross is that each of us must put to death his or her strivings for self-gratification and for security obtained apart from God”

I've thought a lot about my "security" apart from God lately. Where does it lie most of the time? In my physical appearance/diet, in recent sporting events (NBA finals & the Euro Cup), and whether or not the funding in partnership will come in time for me to get a plane ticket. So I worry. I worry about if the size 12s will fit today or if I have to dig out the 14s from the bottom drawer. I worry that "my" Miami Heat won't win the Championship. I worry that I'll still be sitting here after August waiting for the rest of the funding to come in. So my security is certainly not where it should be and I'm not resting in who I should be resting in.

I found this picture the other day after a friend posted it on Facebook. I think it's the answer to what we are all seeking is most vivid here:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Finding That Rhythm

It's been hard to find a rhythm since I've been back home. Every week holds something new, something different. Last week, I caught a cold on Wednesday and am still trying to get better. I went to Disney with Erika on Thursday and the fact that we were out until 2 am on Friday riding rides at Magic Kingdom probably didn't help my cold.

This week, there isn't much going on, except the occasional babysitting job here and there and working out with my trainer. This means that I finally need to get started on reading for my Systematic Theology 3 class. The books have been staring at me ever since I picked them up from the library 3 weeks ago and tonight I plan on getting through at least a few chapters in the first two books that are due. It's been harder to find the motivation needed for this task. I'm constantly reminded that I need to work on partnership, contact people, and find time to reflect on Him above all. I have to admit, I haven't really been "in the Word" so to speak as of late. No excuses because there are none. There is life but we are all busy and yet I know in the midst of busyness, I can find time to spend with Him.

Next weekend, I will leave for TeachBeyond Orientation in Minneapolis. I'm looking forward to meeting new friends that I'll be working with and also spending some time with old friends in the area (Amanda, Brie, and Michelle I'm talking to you!). I'm looking forward to hearing people's stories of how they came to want to teach abroad and what brought them to this point.

I apologize for not blogging as often as I had in the past. I hope to get better at it again very soon ;)

PS Here's a few pics from my Disney weekend. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Wedding

As you can see, I haven't blogged in over a week and I haven't been the best about updating. That would be due to my brother getting married this past weekend and the festivities leading up to that.

On Thursday, some of the wedding party met up at Town Center to start the celebration early:

Rachel, Me, Bridgett, and Melissa

On Friday, we had the Bridesmaid's Luncheon, a mani/pedi together, and the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner:
Reina's back porch looked like something off of Pinterest

A few bridesmaids, the bride, and flower girl

Jennifer, Nicole, & Carrie Beth ready for their pedi!

Five maidens all in a row!
And finally, on Saturday, my brother and Bridgett were married in a beautiful ceremony and a reception that had us dancing into the night:

Mom and Me

My new sister!

Chip & Bridgett Stroud

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend! To top it all off, I caught the bouquet!