Here is a glimpse of what Vienna looked like in September, at least out the window of my apartment. We had some beautiful weather here right after I got back. But now fall is definitely over and winter is here. Time for hats, gloves, scarves, heavy coats and LOTS of chapstick!
a London opportunity
In October I traveled to London with one of my teammates, Vera. We went to a conference to find out about serving at next summer’s Olympic games in London. We’ll be serving on a hospitality team doing various things which could be anywhere from handing out water to spectators and those visiting London; helping serve athletes’ families who may not have otherwise been able to come to the games, but were granted accommodations; or even helping people get around the city and to various venues.
I’m excited for this opportunity to serve and to see how God desires to move in the UK and beyond. If you’re interested to find out more about what will be happening in service and outreach during the games check out: www.morethangold.org.uk
On this site there will also be ways you and your church can join in through prayer!!
writing on the wall – He HOLDs my heart
One of the special parts of going back to the United States for gallbladder surgery was an idea my mom carried out. She had a bunch of my friends and some of our family come and write messages all over the walls of my bedroom there in Indiana. I had notes that made me laugh and smile (for example: BOO-YAH!, Panera misses you, etc.) and also had notes that made me cry (prayers, scriptures, special memories shared from friends and family) because of how thankful I am for the people God has brought into my life. Here is one of the scriptures that was up there:
This verse from Philippians is such a key verse for me right now. More times I think about the work that God is doing through me than the work He is doing in me. And the work He is doing in me is actually more important because it impacts the work He’s doing through me.
In summer of 2010 I found myself on the beaches of the Oregon coast. This trip was just following my announcement of remission. I had escaped for a few hours to have some time by myself while my parents walked the beach. Well, in actuality I demanded time by myself and told them not to follow. (hee hee!!) Funny thing is that this is the most appropriate time to share this story because my parents and I didn’t bring towels with us to the beach. So instead we bought holiday flags to sit on. Needless to say mine was of a HUGE cartoonish Thanksgiving Turkey (gobble, gobble). I was sitting on it in the middle of July on the beach of the chilly Northwest coast.
I sat and read, journaled and listened to my iPod. I listened to a lot of 10th Avenue North that day, especially their songs “Times” and “Hold My Heart.” These songs talk about believing God is who He says He is and that His love is (lyrics from Times):
“Well My love is over, it’s underneath. It’s inside, it’s in between. These times you’re healing, and when your heart breaks. The times that you feel like you’re falling from grace . . . My love will keep you, by My power alone. I don’t care where you fall, where you have been. I’ll never forsake you. My love never ends.”
In those moments on the beach I needed to know God and His infinite love. I needed to be reminded that He holds my heart whether we’re walking through cancer together, dealing with my pride, when I question if forgiveness really is there for the millionth time or when I place people’s opinions and/or love for me in place of His Unchanging love.
Before I left that spot on the beach I found that rock pictured above. It was a fairly tiny rock, that had such a resemblance to a heart. I held it in my hand. I tried to imagine my little heart in the hands of my BIG and Mighty God. So small, and yet so precious to Him.
Recently, I was given a challenge to stop for at least 10 minutes each day and allow God to enjoy me. To simply be in His presence. This has been really hard for me. I find that I have my to-do list running through my mind, thoughts about what I should be doing right in that moment instead of being there.
However in one of these moments God gave me a picture. He reminded me that He enjoys being with me and my worship through being with Him. The picture He gave me of my worship had nothing to do with stellar performance, it is similar to what Kaleb and Khloe give me to hang on my refrigerator. I ADORE the pictures they give me. I don’t really care how many scribbles there are, if the people in the picture really look anything like what I know of people to look like, or if I can even make out what they were trying draw for me. It really doesn’t matter. What I love about these pictures is that they were focused on giving me something so special and from their hearts.
God desires the same. I tend to get caught up in the work He wants to do through me. How do those outward works look? How’s my performance, Jesus? And yet He says to me, Bring Me your heart. I want to hold it. I know You completely and I want you to know My Love. I enjoy simply being with you because you are Mine!
a few ways to pray this week
November 21 – 10 a.m. (EST) I have an oncology appointment; this is an appointment to get bloodwork done and be checked out before an upcoming CT scan
November 22 – I usually go to a prayer meeting with a few other people in my church on early Tuesday mornings. We pray for Austria, for God to move in this country, city, in the government, in the lives of the people here, and especially to use our church for His glory.
November 23 – I’ll be meeting with a women’s Bible study this morning. We’re doing a Kay Arthur study. Pray for my time in German and that God would move among this study for His glory. Later that day I’ll be meeting with some of my language school friends. Pray for my time with them.
November 24 – Happy Thanksgiving!! I’ll be thanking God for each one of you, and the blessing you are to my life! Thank you for joining me on this adventure.
November 25 – While you may be out shopping the Black Friday deals, I’ll be getting a CT scan. This means I have to drink a liter and a half of milk at 5 a.m. Bleh!!! Pray for my stomach and this would be a clear scan. I should know that results on chemo day.
November 26 — Candle-making Day! There is an event at our church this day that I’m serving at where families can come and make homemade candles. Pray that our church would be a place where the community feels welcomed and that connections would be made. Pray for my stamina as this will be a long day of being in German.
November 29 – Chemo Day! I have chemo at 3 a.m. (EST), which is 9 a.m. my time. Pray that this would go smoothly in a physical sense, in a financial sense and that I would be wise in what my body needs to recover.
Thank you for your prayers! Drop me a note, if you get a chance, to tell me how I can be praying for you.