Wednesday, June 22, 2016

There

Wow, twice in a month is rare for me to blog. But I had some extra time on my hands so I figured, why not?

In less than a month, I'll be one of three leaders on a trip to Europe. We're going to Ireland, Wales, England, and France for a total of eleven days. If that wasn't already awesome enough, I decided to extend my trip by 9 days and visit Kraków, Poland for 5 and see Brie in Berlin for 4.

Because of the math test looming over my head, it's been hard for me to get excited about anything. But sometimes, when I allow myself to think and ponder, I get almost giddy inside thinking of being in Europe for three weeks. I think that as excited as I am about traveling with some of my kiddos and friends, is getting to explore Kraków.  I've even made a Pinterest board about places I want to go and see.

A lot of people have been like, "Poland? Really?" Yeah, I know. Most people if given the chance would probably pick a more exotic location like Capri or Malaga, but I've always been fascinated with this country, particularly the city that holds so much of the history of the Holocaust and World War II. And I'm also excited to explore by myself and rediscover the nomad within.

Some of you know that I have a goal of 40 countries by the time I turn 40. That leaves me a little less than 2 1/2 years (oh. my. gosh.) to get to 9 more countries. Here's what's on my list:

-Iceland
-Sweden
-Finland
-Estonia
-Latvia
-Russia
-China
-S. Korea
-Australia
-New Zealand
-Brazil
-Argentina
-Chile

There's definitely more I could list, but these countries are the top places I would like to hit before my 40th. Or at least have 9 of them knocked out.

Any travel buddies to accompany me?






Wednesday, June 15, 2016

peace.

I only lived in Orlando about a total of six weeks. My time there was pretty rough, as most of you know. However, after the events of this week, I cannot imagine how people living there must be feeling right now after the tragedies that happened this week.

I wasn't really a fan of Christina Grimmie. I knew who she was because of The Voice, but I didn't really follow her or listen to her music. Yet when I heard of her tragic passing, I was in shock. The news reports said that there wasn't heightened security because of the audience she attracted. I'll be the first to admit that had I been younger, I totally would have been a fan and perhaps had gone to her concert there. You guys know I love pop music and the concerts I've attended in the past were very much like the one she did. I can't imagine having to witness that.

And then of course the shooting at Pulse. Many of my friends and students are in the LGBTQ community. As much as this tragedy shook our country and our world, my friends were shaken even more. I had friends of friends who lost someone. I had a sweet conversation with a friend and his husband who told me they hugged their family a little tighter that day. My heart breaks and every morning I have woken up with these victims' families on my mind. All I can do is pray that our sweet Heavenly Father will comfort them and they will feel the presence of the Almighty.

But this morning, I woke up to news that a little boy had been tragically attacked by an alligator at Disney World. Next to Germany, Disney is my favorite place on earth. My niece is almost 2, the same age of the little boy. I don't want to even imagine what that would be like. That poor family. It's just too much to even bear.

In each of these situations, I want to do something. But I'm helpless and the only thing I can do is sit and pray and wait. I don't know if our world will ever get better. If I rely on people and politicians to make it a better place, I know I will be very disappointed because a person cannot change an entire system. So I rely on Jesus. I rely on the Holy Spirit. I rely on the Heavenly Father. If I rely on anyone else, I'll be devastated.