Monday, November 15, 2010

As My Journey Ends...

Oh my goodness. I leave TOMORROW! I can't believe journey is almost over!

As I've been thinking today I keep thinking about a new beginning, (which is actually one of the words I was given yesterday at Hillsong). And, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about my new beginning that I'm about to embark on. However, every new beginning innately requires an end to the old - you can't have a new beginning while you're still a part of the old. Which is sad, but freeing.

I'm so sad that I have to leave all of my family here in Australia but, it's worth it when I think of the rich memories I've made, the experiences I've had, and the amazing lessons I've learned. And all of that wouldn't have even been possible if I hadn't made such deep relationships while I've been here.

When I think about myself sitting on the airplane tomorrow all I can think about is what I felt as I sat on the airplane on the way over. I had BARELY convinced myself to actually step foot on the plane and into this new adventure, and I was completely and utterly scared out of my mind. I was unaware of what I was getting myself into, I didn't know a soul, I didn't even know an address!! The only information I had was a PO Box...and yet, I had this weird un-explainable peace and excitement.

I am so incredibly glad that God (with a little help from my mom and Kevin) convinced me to get on that plane that ended up taking me directly into life-change. And I'm even more excited and expectant about this new plane flight that will, as well, take me directly into life-change, again, but in an absolutely unexpected and new way!

If I tried to explain everything I've learned from this trip and everything I'm grateful for it would probably take at least a week! And, even as I try to write it all my mind is becoming overwhelmed with emotions that can't be put into words. The best way I can describe it is as a complete sense of expectancy, peace, contentment, and excitement! God has blown my mind over the past 3 months, and I know that he's going to continue to amaze me over the next 3 months, and the 3 months after that, and the 3 months after that... :)

The transition from old to new is awkward because I posses so many seemingly contradicting feelings - I'm excited to get home, but I'm sad to leave, however, I don't want to stay! I guess I can resolve all of these feelings with one feeling: ready-ness. My first blog ever was about how I was ready - that didn't mean I was prepared, it didn't mean I wasn't scared, it didn't even mean I was excited - it just meant that I was READY.

And, I am ready now. However this time my sense of readiness is accompanied with EXCITEMENT! I am so incredibly excited about stepping into my "old life" but with this new life IN me! It encourages me SO much that God's presence will be with me WHEREVER I go! Even as I write this, I'm making myself ecstatic, I can't wait to get home!!! Honestly, the more I think about everything that I'm going to do at home the more I can't wait to be on that plane!!! It's going to be AMAZING!

I invited God to come on the plane with me this afternoon (hopefully that will mean the seat next to me is open). And, as lame as it sounds it really does give me comfort. I'm not leaving God down-under. Wherever I go from this moment on, God will also be with me - how awesome!? The SAME God that has shown me comfort, excitement, life-change, prosperity, and SO much more in Australia, is the SAME one that is coming back to Dallas Texas with me, and he was with me even before I left!

One thing that has stuck with me VERY significantly this entire trip was what God told me as I flew over Syndey harbor on August 25th. As we started flying lower over the beautiful water with the sunset rising in the background God whispered gently to me, "This is where our love story begins"...and it has been the theme statement of my trip, and has become more true than I could ever have hoped for. But something that God has whispered to me since is , "This is not where our love story ends..." And a truer statement couldn't have been spoken. My love story has a beginning, but it will never have an end. I will be able to look back and say that I found God's heart in Sydney Australia but I didn't leave it there.

This time tomorrow I will be flying thousands of miles above the Pacific ocean as this journey truly comes to an end...but I'll soon flip the page and start reading the next chapter of this endless love story, just with a new backdrop.

Mika and Hillsong College!


I absolutely can NOT believe it's already 9:30PM here in Australia! It blows my mind how quickly my day has gone!!

So, a few days ago they informed us that we have lectures today, but since it's supposed to be a day off they didn't schedule anything in the morning so we could all sleep in until lectures started at 10:30. Well, they told my mind that, but apparently it didn't communicate with my body because I was up and wide awake by 8 in the morning. Granted that's a lot later than I've been used to waking up, but it's certainly not "sleeping in" by any standards.

However, I took the extra few hours and made LaChelle a birthday breakfast in bed, (her actual birthday isn't until the 18th but since I won't be able to be here we decided to change her birthday to the 15th). But, it was pretty much a fail. The watermelon I cut up was bad because I bought it yesterday and left it to heat up in my backpack all day...ew, and I burned the toast so it was kind of like a rock, and we were out of milk so I had to use milk powder in her coffee, and the muffin I got was stale... :( BUT it was the thought that counts, right? I hope so...

After running into the room to try and surprise her, I found out that she had already woken up...lame. But, she still liked it! I think.

Anyways, after that we got all dolled up and headed off to lectures. This week we're learning about "Biblical Worldview" from a FABULOUSLY hilarious lady from South Africa. We only got to stay for an hour, though, before we had to head out.

Mika picked us up at around 11:45 and we headed off to Hillsong College's chapel. It was FABULOUS! Mika had to go back to work so she introduced us to a girl named Roxy who showed us around a little and helped us not feel completely awkward. The chapel was seriously awesome, the entire thing was worship and prayer and it felt like only 10 minutes long!! Then Roxy introduced us to a guy named Cody who is a first year student in the Pastoral stream of the college, and took us to sit in on one of his classes!!

We sat in on his "Church History" class that was led by one of their top professors!! However, it was the last week of their semester so it was not a normal class, which was PERFECT! Cody ended up getting up in front of the class and teaching a little bit and then the professor asked him if he had any words to bring to anyone in specific. And then she asked everyone who didn't get a word during chapel and wanted one to come down to the front of class. So, LaChelle and I got up and went down! And the professor, Cody, another guy AND another professor all had words for the two of us!! AND we were the only ones in class that got prayed over!!!

It was WONDERFUL!! The words were encouraging, uplifting, sweet, personal and DEFINITELY a confirmation of my decision to go home on Wednesday! They all made us feel not only accepted but actually a PART of the college! The professor asked if I was seriously looking into attending college there and I told her I was, as I did her and another guy both laughed and smiled knowingly. They said that they would never want to tell me a prophesy that would influence or manipulate any sort of decision I would make, but they said that they hoped they would see me again. :) She even said that as I walked into the room she FELT the presence of the Lord on me, and even as she talked to me she said she could see it on me!!! She said that often times when she feels that about someone it's the Lord saying, "pay attention to this one, I'm doing a big work with her/him!! Watch out!!" HOW COOL?!?!

It was WONDERFUL! And after that Mika picked us up and we went to go grab a cuppa together! We talked for almost two hours without even noticing a thing! Honestly, Mika has been SUCH a HUGE blessing! And I know for a FACT that I will see her again, hopefully sometime soon! She's so incredibly sweet and the kind of person who makes you think, "oh my goodness...It's possible!!!! It's actually possible to have a ministry and a calling for the Lord but also have a life, and a good balance between the two!" She's so levelheaded but down to earth! And did I mention she's absolutely sweet and cool?! Definitely cool. I love her, a lot, and I've only known her for a little bit - is that weird? ;)

Anyways, after we kept her away from work for WAY too long she dropped us back off at the base just in time to skype with Kev for one last time before I come home!! WEIRD! It is SO weird to think that tomorrow is my last full day in Australia! WHAT?! I can't believe it! It hasn't hit me yet, I just feel like I'm going to leave for a little bit and then see everyone again. I've decided that I am DEFINITELY ready to be back at home but I am NOT ready to leave everyone here! They're seriously like family! I mean, hello, I've lived with the same 30 people CONSTANTLY for the past 12 weeks...we're bound to be close by now!

Tomorrow consists of packing in the morning and lectures in the afternoon and evening. And then an early morning trip to the airport the next day - AAAHHHHHH!!!!!! I don't know if I can think about it yet - so, I wont. :)

Right now I'm going to go get ready for bed and then watch Wall-e with LaChelle in our room. I'm serious, that movie NEVER gets old - ever. I love it. But, that's a whole 'nother blog... :)

I'm fighting off a migraine right now - ugh. I took some Excedrin migraine about 3 hours ago which helped for a bit, but now it's back. However, it's too late to take anything else with caffeine in it, so it looks like I'm just going to have to rely on prayer! :)

I'll DEFINITELY write again tomorrow to let you know how my LAST FULL DAY IN AUSTRALIA goes!! Thank you for all of your prayers!

I love you all!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Big Bow of Australian Sun

I am currently sitting in a roast-y basement with a burning and full belly, completely satisfied and exhausted. Let me explain:

I don't know where to begin! I guess I'll tell you about yesterday first!

Youth street was great, I'm definitely going to miss all of the kids. But, after youth street was the BEST part!!! So, I was just sitting on the computer minding my own business about to write a blog when a group of people started getting their shoes on and getting ready to leave. At first I was kind of bummed that I didn't get invited but then I convinced myself that I had better things to do... :) But then LaChelle grabbed me and told me to put on some shoes and put a blind fold on...?!

Then all of a sudden I found myself being led by my ENTIRE school on this wild goose chase of twists and turns where I tripped over a million things (my guide wasn't very good at warning me of things BEFORE I ran into them...), stepped on a few cockroaches without knowing it, had to be carried over "water", and walked almost a half mile BLIND-FOLDED!!! It was crazy!

And then finally we got to our destination and I took off my blindfold to see my ENTIRE school stuffed into Macca's with chocolate cake, and of course, my favorite ice cream Sunday! They had all decided that my 18th birthday was too special to be overshadowed by the boy's special dinner the night before, so for the past two weeks they had all been planning a SURPRISE birthday party!!!! :)

Seriously, I couldn't express how happy and thankful I was! I wanted to throw all of THEM a surprise party just so they could feel how special I felt...well, I guess it would defeat the purpose of making them feel special if they all got a party...but still, that's what I wanted to do... :)

No one else in my entire school has had a party like this - why me? It seriously touched my heart more than they could ever know! It was so sweet that they all planned it, that they all walked that far for me, and that they were so excited about celebrating ME! It felt so absolutely un-deserved but so incredibly wonderful! I can't even describe to you the feeling in my heart right now!! It's like my heart is jumping, and bubbling, and totally warm! Well...that warmness is probably from my sunburn. Speaking of sunburn, let me tell you about my day today!!

So, I didn't get to bed until past 1 o'clock because our lights were still on...and then I woke up at 6:45 to skype with my dad and talk to kev for a quick second before I headed off for a full day!

A big group of my friends all decided that we wanted to spend our last free day in Australia, where else? THE BEACH! So, we all headed out at 8:00 and embarked on a day FULL of sun! We walked to the train station to get some breakfast at an over-priced waffle store, but I didn't want to spend that much money so I went bargain shopping for fruit. By the time I actually got on the train I had 3 donuts, 1/2 a grapefruit, a mango, and 1/2 a watermelon in my backpack... :) And all of that was under $8!!

Of course, the train tracks were being worked on so we had to take one train to another train station, get off there and take a bus to another station and walk to a ferry, and catch a ferry to the beach. After all that walking in the incredibly hot Australian sun we were SO ready to dive into the freezing water! Then I laid out, listened to my ipod and fell asleep. It was WONDERFUL! Then I got up, got some ice cream, looked around the local market, and laid back out to read "Gone with the Wind" (I promised my grandmother I'd try to read it while I was here, I am LOVING it so far!)

By about 6:00 we were all ready to head home. So we made the long trek from the ferry to the train station, from that train station to another one, from that station to a bus, from that bus to another train station, from that train station to another train station, and from that station we walked about 2 1/2 miles home and straight into the showers. :)

Upon exiting the shower I discovered that I was burnt!!! We all thought that I was the ONLY one of the group that somehow escaped the burning Australian sun without getting toasted - I thought I had just picked up a nice tan. But, once I got out of the shower I realized that I had forgotten to put any sunscreen on my stomach, and while I was sleeping my tankini showed about an inch of my stomach (scandalous, I know). So, now I have a large red mark about an inch wide across my stomach...yes, in this case modest was not hottest. :)

By the time we were all clean and toasting with our sunburns it was time for us to devour about 5 pounds of spaghetti and meat sauce! And now we are all walking around like zombies getting ready for bed. :)

So, that explains the burning and full belly, the completely satisfied and exhausted part - and as for the roast-y room...we live in a brick building in Sydney Australia which at the moment is going through spring time, which is equivalent to an INCREDIBLY hot day in the middle of summer in Texas - and, we HAVE air conditioning...but we're not allowed to use it. We just open up the windows (which does absolutely no good considering there's no breeze) and turn on a few fans - yeah, it's ROAST-Y!!! Okay, I'm probably exaggerating a lot, but it is hot. However, we're allowed to use the air conditioning in our rooms so it is deliciously cool in there at the moment.

Well, I think I have started to ramble, which means I am thoroughly exhausted and ready for bed. Normally Mondays are our day off, but tomorrow we have lectures at 10:30 - but, nothing before then so I'll get to sleep in for the first time in about 4 weeks!!! And then, LaChelle and I are only going to sit through an hour of lectures and then we're getting picked up by Mika and taken to a Hillsong College chapel! :) Hillsong College is definitely an option for me so I'm really excited about checking it out! It's my first college visit...and it's in Australia!!! HOW COOL!?

After our chapel we're going to go grab a cuppa and chat some more - I seriously love Mika SO much! She's been one of the biggest surprises and blessings of all!! But, I'll tell you more about her tomorrow! :)

I love you all! Please pray that this sunburn goes away QUICKLY so that when I get home I can run up and jump into my family's arms...without being in pain. :)

I can now say a very anticipated G'NIGHT with a delicious sigh of contentment from the wonderful day that God specially wrapped up and gave me - with a big bow of Australian sun on top!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Well, I am no longer a child. I am now officially and legally an adult. Weird. I feel like I should no longer use words such as "yikes" and "doozy", but more adult-y words such as "oh my word" and "an exciting announcement"....but, I won't! I mean, hello, in that past sentence I used the word, "adult-y"...come on.

So, let me tell you about my fabulous day!!

I woke up to a sweet birthday text from Kev, a loving e-mail from my dad and a few facebook comments from some friends which was a LOT more than I thought I was going to get, considering it wasn't my birthday yet back in America. And then I went to breakfast and devotionals and intercession, but the entire time my stomach was KILLING me!! It was awful! :(

But, in all honesty I've never been that grateful for a stomach ache before, because it gave me an amazing opportunity to skip lectures! :) I read my Bible and journal-ed, and can I just say, I don't think I've ever hungered that much for the word! It was crazy! I just wanted my brain to open up and soak the entire Bible up into it!!! :) And then I took a nap which was incredibly refreshing, after which I woke up with NO stomach ache!!!

And then my entire school celebrated me! :) I walked upstairs to find that they had made sushi rolls (my fav) and had even set up a birthday table for me! And, the best part was the FABULOUS cake! It was the most moist chocolate and vanilla cake EVER with mocha icing and chocolate chips!!!! YUMMMMMM! Then everyone prayed over me and sang me "Happy Birthday" and then we all got wasted because now I'm legal!!

...hahaha, did you catch that last part? It was a joke! Of course I didn't drink!!! Not only is it not legal in America it's certainly not legal at YWAM! :) I just thought I'd throw it in there to see if you were paying attention! ;)

After that Kev set up a skype date so he could wish me an Australian happy birthday and then stayed up late enough to wish me an American birthday too! :) I then called my sister who said since it was finally midnight in America she could wish me a happy birthday! :)

Then all of us DTS girls cooked a three course meal for our boys including all of their favorite deserts, drinks, and snacks, and of course STEAK! :) They fight spiritually for us all the time so we wanted to show them that we want to be there for them to come and rest after the fight. :) It was wonderful!

Now I am doodling around (yeah, I'm definitely not an adult...I just said doodling) on the internet procrastinating on doing my homework! :)

Seriously though, can I just say I'm an adult?! I have to say it a bunch of times because it doesn't seem real! Normally I make a HUGE deal about my birthday and I look forward to it for weeks! But last week someone had to REMIND me that it was my birthday coming up! So, today hasn't even felt real! Maybe it'll hit me next week when I get to have a little family celebration! :) But, seriously, I've always thought that 18 was a HUGE birthday and now it's here! YAY!

Anyways, I'll let you know later on if it kicks in!

Tomorrow is my last youth street and then it's Sunday!!! I'm going to go to the beach all day Sunday to spend my last free day on the beach! And THEN on Monday Mika is going to take LaChelle and myself to visit a chapel at Hillsong College!!! And then Tuesday is packing day/lecture day and then I leave for the airport early Wednesday morning!! WHAT?! Oh my goodness! I have a feeling that these next few days are going to FLY by! :) But, I'll keep you all updated on everything that happens from now until then! :)

Thanks for my birthday wishes and prayers! I really appreciate them!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stuck in Limbo

Guess what?! My birthday is tomorrow!! Well... it's tomorrow in Australia, but it's not for another two days in America. That means that tomorrow I will no longer be a child, however I will not be a legal adult (in the US) for two more days....I feel like I'm stuck in limbo! :)

I was talking with my mom today and mentioned that it will be my birthday tomorrow and she was so confused! She forgot that I'm a day ahead in time! So, I figured if my mom couldn't even remember that tomorrow is my 18th birthday for me then I should probably not get too disappointed if I don't have any birthday wishes tomorrow! But I bet I'll have a lot on Saturday! :)

Okay, enough about my birthday...for now, at least! Let me tell you about my day:

Well, it was another one of those days where a LOT happened...but I can't really tell you about any of it. I'm sure you've guessed by now that I absolutely do not agree with the lectures this week - but, I don't want to talk badly about the person or the specifics of their teaching over the internet, so I will just have to skip over that part of my day when describing things to you.

But, something that I can tell you about lectures is that God is completely working in me! I can't believe how clearly I can hear His voice! These past three months I've had to stand firm on what I believe and work out what that means in my every-day life, and this past week has really tested it. And guess what?! I can pretty much see the light at the end of the tunnel! Tomorrow is our last day of lectures and even though it's been really hard, I've learned a lot! But not from what he's been teaching...rather, I've learned a LOT from what GOD has been teaching me.

It's really easy to be told something awesome and have a Bible verse to back it up, but when I'm challenged with convincing teaching that even has verses to back, it is incredibly hard for me to stand firm on what I know and what God has taught me about His character of the past years and especially over the past three months. However, with some sweet people God has placed in my life and some even sweeter scripture, He's really helped me to come out the other side even stronger in His grace and love than ever before!!!

I am REALLY excited about coming home and being surrounded by people who have really similar beliefs as me so that I can lean on them and vica-versa. But, I'm incredibly glad that I've had this time, this week especially, to really build a firm foundation upon which I can build the rest of my life!!

So, all of that to say - I can't talk about lectures.... :)

But, seriously, all we really had today was lectures and then my team made dinner and went to hand out tea and coffee at a local mall! I caught up with that girl I met last week and asked her if she had read any of the Bible. She said that she opened it up a few times and enjoyed it! But, she seemed kind of embarrassed to talk about it - so, hopefully I'll be able to catch up with her on facebook!

Now I am thoroughly tired with my teeth-brushed and my face-washed, waiting for the screaming upstairs to stop...yeah, the Tahiti team is really enjoying the Lord and they're now all screaming and playing drums...:) I'm going to miss that freedom! :)

The next time I blog I will no longer be a child!! Well...I guess I'll still be in limbo, but soon enough I'll be an actual adult!

I love the fact that I left America a child but will come home an adult - both legally and now spiritually too. :)

Talk to you later!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Deceivingly Un-Eventful Day


Currently I am sitting on the couch downstairs listening to what sounds like a helicopter fly approximately 30-40 feet above our base ever 10 minutes....I have NO idea what the emergency is but I sure do hope it's over by the time I go to bed...did I say that out loud? :)

Anyways, let me tell you about my day:

I woke up, skyped with my mom, listened to a devotional, had a quiet time, cleaned up the dining room, gave a presentation over Uzbekistan, listened to lecture - skipped out half-way into lectures to call my mom and vent about lectures, went back to lecture, lectures went over by 45 minutes so we all skipped intercession.

Then started my afternoon-long skype date! :) It started with a date with my dad at 2:00 then I talked with my mom at 2:30, then I talked with my sister and Aaron from about 2:50-3:30, and then I talked with Kevin from 3:45-6:00...yeah, he stayed up that late for me on a school night. :) And it was FABULOUS. Yes, he is awesome.

Then I went and ate some leftovers - I skipped out on dinner to talk with Kev, but since it's fasting day today I was pretty much starving after we finished talking! :) And I downloaded with LaChelle while catching up with some other girls.

Then I took a fabulous shower and now I'm wasting time on the internet until it gets late enough to turn out the lights and go to sleep. :)

Today SEEMS un-eventful, I'm sure, to you readers but, TRUST ME it was probably the most eventful day of my week!!! I just feel weird talking to you all about lecture stuff and Kevin stuff - but trust me, it is all good and I am loving the fact that I'm going home soon for multiple reasons! :)

Please keep me in your prayers! :) God DEFINITELY told me to come here for a reason, and now I'm just stepping into the fact that I've got to trust that His timing is perfect even if it seems weird to me sometimes...or like it's dragging on. ;)

I love you all! :)


Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday and Tuesday Update!


I don't know why I didn't blog yesterday! I guess I was just too content with soaking up the day that I didn't even think to blog about it! Weird!!

But, let me tell you about it now:

I woke up at 7AM to skype with Kevin...yeah, that must be true love - I got up on my ONE day to sleep in just to talk... :)

Then I skyped with Aaron and Haven...well Haven was there but she was asleep... After that I went and had a little breakfast date with a girl named Mareike (She's German). Then LaChelle got up and while she had breakfast I watched Wall-e. Then we all went out and sunbathed which was AMAZING! There was a fabulous cool breeze but the sun was incredibly toasty! It hit me while I was getting ready to go outside that back home it's probably freezing and some stores have started to put up Christmas decorations, however, I was here getting ready to go lay outside...WEIRD!

Then it started raining :( So we went inside and I skyped with my mom! After which we went out and danced in the rain, which was fun. And then I made a little lunch/brunch of pancakes! Then LaChelle and I got dressed to have a cuppa with Mika!

Mika is a girl who works with Christine Cane and is seriously AMAZING!!!!!! We went out and talked for a few hours over coffee and I absolutely LOVED it! She makes both LaChelle and I feel sane and not crazy! :) Then we headed home and I relaxed for the rest of the evening by watching a few chick-flicks! It. Was. Fabulous.

Then this morning I was up early for devotionals and quiet time. My quiet time this morning was in "His Dwelling Place" which was FABULOUS! I seriously just love God - you know? :)

After my quiet time was worship, which I was really excited about...and it was good. To be completely honest sometimes worship is hard for me here...I mean, I'm used to the kind of creativity and excellence that is pretty much un-comparable to anything else. But, I still got to connect with God in my own way. And then came the most hillarious song I've ever heard. There was nothing wrong with the song in and of itself, but the picture I kept getting while I heard it made it incredibly hard not to bust out laughing.

The song kind of sounded like a Scottish punk rock 80's hair band song...and the main part said "people get ready, Jesus is coming" and the only thing I could picture the WHOLE time was the clouds opening up and Jesus coming out with a huge mullet, a hairband crew of angels, an electric guitar, pyrotechnics, giving the rock sign as he descended to first I felt incredibly guilty for thinking of that but then I realized that God appreciates a sense of humor so I just started laughing with Him! :)

Then LaChelle and I cleaned all the windows for our base clean-up time - just a side note, we're both 2 of the shortest people here at the only the bottom half of all the windows get cleaned :) Anyways, we finished quite early so I decided to take a nap. Oh wait. I live in a room with 10 girls...that's impossible to do. But, I still tried.

After "waking up" to the sound of my entire toiletry bag being knocked over I went upstairs and had some lunch. Then our lectures started. So, I don't know if I'll blog much about my lectures this week because, to be honest it's one of those weeks where I'll probably learn more by being challenged with what I DON'T believe as opposed to learning by being taught, you know? Like, I don't agree with a lot of what's being said so now I'm having to go figure out what I do believe! I got so frustrated during lectures that I actually wrote Jesus a letter and poured out my feelings of frustration and just asked Him to open my heart to His truth and close it to anything else. That made me feel better, and now I feel very comfortable with being able to enjoy the things that sit well and peacefully dismiss the things that do not sit with my spirit - that would not have happened 3 months ago! :)

Now I'm waiting for dinner and then we have another 2 hour long lecture!

I'm really really enjoying my time here in Australia and soaking it up, but at the same time I'm getting excited about the things that are to come! But, don't worry - I'm thinking that I'll keep up my blog even AFTER I get home...I'll just have to change the name to "0 miles from home"...well, that is unless God calls me somewhere else! ;)