Thursday, August 15, 2013

New blog!

I have switched to a new blog that I will use while I'm in Kenya. So be sure to sign up for email updates. :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Jobless, packing, 39 days......

Wow, so sorry I've neglected my blog for this long. I did have some legit excuses though. June was just a completely insane month and I was actually relieved to quit one of my jobs a week before I was planning to. I do miss working, but lately I've been so busy I haven't really had a ton of down-time.

Working the coffee shop was amazing. I made some lasting friendships with the people that worked there and I still go in and enjoy talking to them. Besides the people I met, I really enjoyed making and serving their coffee. I've realized that I love interacting with people. No matter how short the encounter was, I enjoyed learning little bits about people and talking with them as if we'd always been friends. Well, and getting to drink good coffee every day was a pretty good plus! ;) The only problem is, now I want to drink coffee every morning just because I like it. Still can't drink it black, but as long as I have a little milk in it (or a lot), I'm good. :)

Exactly a week ago, I was working my last shift on the ambulance. It ended up being a really good shift (had an amazing partner!) and all three crews were able to get together at a Mexican restaurant for dinner without getting interrupted. That hardly ever happens. I will miss the people I work with the most. I feel like we were a huge family and now I'm leaving that. Definitely won't miss working night shifts. Last week was pretty rough when I worked a 32 hour shift and the combined two nights I had maybe 7 hours of sleep. Thank goodness, I can finally get on a normal sleep pattern! There's parts of the job I will really miss as well. Since about March, I've had some pretty good calls and not so much the crazy, dumb stuff. We've had so many cardiac arrests it was insane. A few we saved, but not all of them. Had a shooting that ended bad. And then the normal amounts of wrecks, diabetics (last few shifts that's all we seemed to be running on), seizures, breathing problems, fires, etc. All in all, working for Boone Ambulance Service was amazing and I would never trade any of it. Maybe I would've been better off having gone to college and having a degree in my hand in four years, but nothing in college can give you the experience that work can. I made some amazing friends and I'm gong to miss driving around a honkin, big ambulance and freaking people out by running lights and sirens. ;) Totally going to miss the adrenaline from working the job. SO many good, sad, hilarious memories were made in working EMS. My boss has offered to hire me back when I return from Africa, but I told him I thought my career in EMS was over and that I may do something else instead. I can't imagine enjoying a job as much as I did the ambulance, but I know God will lead and I will be happy wherever He takes me. After all, it could be living in Africa. ;)

I am mostly packed up to move back home.... Have I mentioned how much I hate packing? It seriously has got to be the lamest thing ever. I usually procrastinate and attempt to find something else to do. I'm more of a last-minute packer and will probably get most of it done on Thursday night/Friday morning. It will be hard settling back into a life of living at home. I've been on my own for almost four years and I've gotten used to my own routine. So going to miss the trail that is right next to my apartment. I love randomly deciding I'm going for a bike ride and just hop out on the trail for 20+ miles. In the last couple years, I've made such amazing friends that it'll be sad to leave. And I have such a fabulous roommate that I'm definitely going to miss! BUT, before you think I'm complaining, I am so grateful for the friends and work that God has blessed me with these last few years! And I can't wait to see where these next few years will take me. :)

I only have 5 weeks and 4 days until I'm on a plane to Kenya. Really crazy cool to think about. :) I've received my passport and visa back, so that's a relief! I now won't have to stand in line for several hours at the Kenyan airport waiting to get a visa. Pray everything goes smoothly in my last remaining weeks in the States. There's still many things I need and want to get finished before leaving.
Support raising is going pretty well. I have $2330 raised so far, which means I only have $6870 left! I've been amazed by the support I've gotten from friends and family. I even had a donation by a friend (well we're Facebook friends, but we've only met twice) and who's parents gave as well! I don't even know them! It shocked me, but made me realize again how truly awesome God is.

Well, I've had quite a lazy morning of painting my nails, reading my Bible, drinking coffee, and listening to now I need to run some errands, meet my sister for coffee, make cookies (well I wouldn't have to do that;), and get ready for an evening with my ambulance coworkers :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Crazy life....

Has it really been two months since I posted last? How terrible. Life has been busy.  A typical week consists of putting in 50-65 hours and then my off days are spent with friends. There are some days I spend very little time at home. It's draining and some days it feels like way too much, but it will all be over in just over six weeks! Where has the time gone?! Thirteen weeks from today, I will have just flown into Kenya. It's literally mind-blowing! There are still times I get freaked out when I think about it, but I'm so super excited about it that it completely outweighs the nervousness. :) I don't think it will really hit me till I get on the plane to leave MO. It just feels so much like an impossible dream. That I can't possibly be leaving, and that surely God couldn't use me in Kenya. But He has a plan. And that plan has me going to Kenya for eight months to serve the children there. Why me? Why not someone more qualified? Honestly, I have no idea, except that I'm extremely happy and humbled that He would use me. I can't imagine how much this trip will change me and how much I will grow in my relationship and walk with the Lord.

Prayer cards should be in by Friday (or so I was told), and so hopefully by next week I can get them sent out! :D Then in the next week or two I can buy my flights. I still can't believe it. :)

There's not really much to say besides that life has been extremely crazy the last few weeks and has literally made me feel insane at times. It's all good though. I mean, surely I can't get anymore crazier than I am. ;) Our crew saved a life today, which makes for a good start to the shift. Patient had coded with an unknown down time, and we got her back by the time we arrived at the hospital. Definitely more rewarding then getting threatened while at work or having a gun shot victim at three in the morning....which is what happened last week while I was working. Last week was just a bad week. Way too busy and I'm pretty sure I was extremely sleep deprived. BUT, I managed to sleep in for the past several days! Well, today I still got up at seven, but it was way better than five. :)

Lets see....... Oh! Hospital Hill is this weekend! Kinda nervous since my 7 mile run this morning was awful. Best part though will be spending time with my sisters in a huge hotel. I don't know, but I might jump on the beds..... it's been scientifically proven that it's the best way to tell whether a bed will break or not. HAHA. ;) Ok, maybe not. It's still fun though. ;) Even though, if I remember correctly, these beds are not fun to jump on at all. Seriously lame, but oh well. :)

And honestly, I can't think of anything more to say. I'll try and post after this weekend, but no promises.....since we all know how I am. ;)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Lord, I would place my hand in thine, nor ever murmur nor repine; content, whatever lot I see, since 'tis my God that leadeth me"

Yesterday, I had a phone interview with Empower A Child. After getting off the phone I got the acceptance letter with an orientation packet. Honestly, the "phone interview" wasn't really a typical interview. I knew almost as soon as I started talking to the lady that I was accepted. When I got off the phone, I was extremely excited. Literally, I was jumping up and down with a huge grin on my face and squealing! Yep, never thought I would say that, but I was ecstatic. :D Then it hit me. This is a HUGE deal! This is not just a simple little trip. This will involve tons of time, support raising, preparing, quitting work and moving back home, getting ready for eight months in Africa..... What am I thinking?! Am I really crazy enough to leave everything I am familiar with and love, to live in a foreign country for almost a year? Yes. It will be the hardest thing I have ever done. It will require tons of praying and finding my strength in the Lord. It will force me to step outside my comfort zone and be molded to whatever God has for me. Satan will try and pull me down with doubts and fears, but by God's grace, He will get me through it all. I am nervous, I am scared half to death, but I am confident this is where God is leading me.

God did not place in my heart for seven years a desire to serve in Africa, for me to only go and serve two months. I believe He is calling me to do more, to really get out of my shell and have Him shine forth through me. I went to Kenya last summer wanting to know if God had me in missions long-term, but a part of me was hoping that would never happen. I was scared of leaving behind the comforts I have here. When the two months were up, I did not want to leave Kenya. In that short amount of time, I had gotten used to a whole new way of living and I loved it. Kenya stole more than a piece of my heart. Ever since getting back, I have not gone one day without thinking of my summer there. It seems like no matter what I do, something is always triggering a memory of my summer. There is so much that I miss! Two months seems like a short amount of time, but there are so many memories that you can make in that time. As sad as the memories make me sometimes, I am so happy for them all and would not trade them for anything!

So, Lord willing, in August or September, I will be returning to Kenya....this time for eight months. I will be serving with Empower A Child whose mission is to "bring confidence and self-sustainability to orphaned and vulnerable children of Africa by teaching modern skills, giving the opportunity of education, and enlightening through the Word of God." Each week will consist of going on 4 to 8 outreaches and ministering to over 200 children. These outreaches will involve going to a baby orphanage, boys institution, rehabilitation school (home for adolescent boys who have been rejected by family, accused of a crime, etc), children's home, and evangelizing in Kibera (largest slum in Africa). The projects we do in each of these places depend on the age group we will be working with. To give you an idea though, we will be playing games, sharing Bible stories, performing skits, making crafts, leading panel discussions, disciplining, and sharing/counseling in small groups.
I know it will be extremely challenging at times, but I also know it will be very rewarding and God would not have me there aside for His will.

One of the most important things I could ever ask from any of you, is to remember me in your prayers. Especially that God would prepare me mentally and physically for this ministry.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Changes :)

Isn't it funny how God sometimes takes all the plans you had (and thought was His plans for you as well) and then kinda throws them away and seems to say, "No, I want this for you instead." And you're like, really? I thought it was all planned out and this was the way it was going to be? With God, you really need to learn to be flexible because you never know when and where His plans will take you. With that being said..... my plans for this entire year seem to have taken a different direction. And one that I'm okay with. :) I won't go into any details (mostly because there's not much), but I will not be going to Kenya in June as originally planned. And I won't be going through the paramedic program that was starting this July. Here I thought everything was planned out perfectly and was exactly what God wanted, and then He's showed me that He has something even better waiting for me. :)

So, where have I been for the last month?! Well, nowhere really. I've been working like a crazy lunatic like always. ;) I did start a new job (in addition to the ambulance) and I'm enjoying it quite a bit! It's been exactly 4 weeks since I started working at Dunn Bros Coffee. So yes, I can make almost any coffee you could want. ;) It's right next to where I live, which is extremely handy. I'm sure once it warms up some I'll be walking to work instead of driving. :) Anyway, I didn't really need a second job, but it's something totally different (definitely stress free!), and I enjoy making people's coffee....and making their day! Cause we all know how grumpy some people can get when they don't get their coffee on time. ;) hehe. So, whenever I'm not working on the ambulance, I'm usually at the coffee shop. Which means, I work pretty much every day of the week. Thankfully, I do have my evenings off and I still find time to run. :)

Amazing thing happened a few weeks ago. I had my first real baby delivery at work. :) It's a pretty rare thing to happen. My partner has seen 4 in his career, but one guy said the last time he delivered a baby was in 2005. Crazy, right? Usually we get them to the hospital on time. This baby was already coming when we got on scene. Anyway, long story short, many things went wrong on that call, but thankfully both patients were doing good at the hospital. :) That was the highlight of my month I think. And not much has happened since then. :)

Anyway, I need to get ready for work. I work ambulance tonight and then have an hour off tomorrow (that is, if I get off on time) before time to be at the coffee shop. And then I'll get off at 2:30 and have the rest of the day free.......for running and a nap. ;) Hope everyone has a lovely night! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Take my whole life and make it Thine"

"Lord, I give up my own plans and purposes, all my own desires, hopes and ambitions, and I accept Thy will for my life. I give up myself, my life, my all, utterly to Thee, to be Thine forever. I hand over to Thy keeping all of my friendships; all the people whom I love are to take second place in my heart. Fill me now and seal me with Thy Spirit. Work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost for to me to live is Christ. Amen."

Betty Scott penned these words while studying in college. She later served as a missionary in China, was married to John Stam, and when she was twenty-eight was beheaded (along with John) by Communist soldiers. I guarantee when she wrote that prayer, she did not expect to be martyred. Yet her prayer was that God's whole will would be done in her life at any cost. She was willing to give up everything to follow Christ. 

Are we able to pray that same prayer? Do we really want whatever God has for us even if it means dying for Him? Are we willing to put God first and everyone else second? Would we really give it all up to follow Him wherever He leads?
It's easy to read through the questions and say, "Oh yes, I would definitely do anything He called me to." But do we really stop to think what those questions mean and if put to the test, would we really stand strong? Or would we rebel and try to manipulate God's will to fit ours.

Ever since this past summer, these questions have been hanging over me and I've had trouble answering them. When I was young, I told everyone I wanted to be a missionary. Even before God saved me, I wanted to show God's love for others. Seems weird, right? But God was placing in my heart, even at that young age, a love to serve and help others. That never changed as I got older. When I was fifteen, God placed a huge burden on my heart for those in Africa. I wanted to go right away and serve, but He made me wait seven years before opening a door to Kenya. No matter what I did in those seven years, my goal was to one day serve in Africa. The reason I got into EMS was because I knew I could use those skills in Africa. The desire to serve there never faded or died, and because of that, I knew it was only a matter of time before I went. 

I know I have said before how meaningful my summer was and how it taught me so much. I thought for sure when I returned though that I would have a clear direction as to where God was calling me; remain in the States or serve more long-term in Africa. There was nothing like that. I came back not knowing what to really do, but trying to trust God for whatever His will was. It was a difficult semester as I prayed desperately for God to give me an answer, and yet not (seemingly at the time) to get one. Little did I know that God was answering my prayers those last few months, by making me see who I really was.

I'm not sure when it really hit me, but it's come on gradually how much I put others before God. Most of you know how extremely close I am to my family. I love them so much and absolutely love spending time with them. I love each and every one for how unique and wonderful God has made them. My siblings are some of my best friends. My parents are Godly examples I can look up to and hope to be more like someday. I will admit the hardest part about my summer was being away from them and not knowing what was happening in their lives. Now, this isn't a bad thing and I'm so thankful that God has given me such a wonderful family to love, but I also realize it has made me not wanting God's will to take me from them. What scared me the most was knowing that God could very well call me to missions and I didn't want to think of giving up my family. Am I selfish or what? I was wanting my family to be first and God to be second. I wanted God's will to be done in my life, but I wasn't willing to give up everything for it. Without even realizing it, I was giving God a "list" of things He could not include in His will for me. 

In a way, I was feeling like I would be giving up so much if I were to serve in Africa. I would have to give up my job, my friends and family, my life of ease and comfort, etc. I made it seem like I was giving up EVERYTHING! Surely God wouldn't call me to do that. But in the end, what would I be really losing? Nothing. I would still have my family and friends. Maybe life wouldn't be easy, but that would mean I was leaning more on Christ for strength and not looking to myself for it. Maybe I would have difficult times, but I know God would be there every step of the way. If He chooses missions for me, why shouldn't I be excited, happy, (and humbled!) that He would choose to use a poor, selfish sinner to show His love for others? 

I still don't know what God will call me to or where the next weeks, months, and years will lead me, but I do know that I will constantly strive to put Christ before everything and everyone else. My prayer is that He will always be first in my life no matter what, and that I would have the strength to follow Him wherever His will leads me.

When my life comes to an end, I want to have given everything I am in service to God. I want ALL glory to be given to Him. I want my life to reflect Christ and who He is and what He means to me. 

"For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." (James 4:14)
No matter how short or long my life may be, I want to make every second count by bringing the most glory to His name.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Well, for having so much free time, I've certainly been neglecting my blog. It's really been strange to be off work with absolutely nothing to do. Before, I was either studying, working, or sleeping. So, to be totally free with nothing that absolutely needs to be done, is kind of amazing. I really like all the sleep I've been getting. ;) Working only two nights a week hasn't been too bad either. They have been bad nights, but at least I have so many free days to catch up on sleep. Sunday morning after working all night, I came home and slept from eight to two in the afternoon! Apparently, I was a lot more tired than I had even thought. Tonight's my last day to sleep in my own bed for awhile. Starting tomorrow afternoon, I work 40 hours straight. I'll get off Friday morning, come back to the apartment to shower before heading down to Rolla. Then I'll come back Sunday night and get a good nights sleep (I hope!), work for 48 hours straight and then head home again. :) This will be my first Christmas away from home....hopefully, it won't be too bad. I just keep telling myself how much nicer it'll be for those with kids, to be home with them for Christmas. :)

I'm so looking forward to spending this weekend and the next with my family! I love all the good times we have :) Coffee dates are the best! And I love how extremely loud we all get when we're together. =) I love my family so much and can't imagine life without them. There's nothing better than when your family is your best friends. I'm so thankful that God put me in such a loving, happy family. :)