i’m back.

For the past week, 5 of us girls went for a little getaway.

We went to Dali first.  Dali is a beautiful city in my province that is surrounded by mountains and is situated right on a lake. It was an expensive little city, but much fun was had. We cycled around town and then did some shopping. When we left Dali, we went to the capital. We had to take 2 interns to the airport so that they could head back to the states. In Kunming, we just kind of relaxed and did as we pleased. We’re back home now and ready to get back in our routines.

I got to go back to the orphanage today and some of the kids were so excited to see me. Others looked quite frustrated that I had the nerve to leave them for almost a month and then just show up again. This morning wasn’t the smoothest morning I have spent there, but I know He is up to something good. Isn’t He always?

To Him be the glory.

Discovering Sin

I don’t know about any of you, but before I came full time to the M field, I had ideas and a picture of what it was going to look like and how it was going to be.

I was going to be surrounded with a bunch of adventure attics who love JC and life was going to be a constant, big, adventure. We were going to form relationships with locals seamlessly and a love for the culture would be almost instant. It was going to be fun- all the time. I wouldn’t really struggle with homesickness because, after all, this is the life “I was created for.” I would never doubt my choices to move abroad because I am a strong enough woman to handle missing the people that I left at home.  I wouldn’t really struggle with pride, selfishness, or laziness because after 4 years of hometown discipleship, I pretty much had this whole gspl-centered-heart thing perfected.  Their would be little to no need for confrontation among other Ms because, naturally, we’re all here for the same purpose. Oh, &  I almost forgot to mention that singleness would never be something that caused this girl to waiver.

Now that I’ve let you inside my head a little, I don’t think it’s so hard to discover why I wanted to be a part of that life so desperately.  Too bad it’s not exactly like that.

Most times, I do really enjoy life here, but sometimes it is flat out hard. Sometimes, I go to bed with an ache in my heart to hold my brother closer than ever and be a part of my best friends’ weddings.  A lot of times, I miss my family.

Even though sometimes I’m still shocked by how much I miss people and the conveniences of home, I think the thing that has taken by surprise are the flaws and sin in my own heart that I feel are on a huge screen, continuously  on play, right in front of my face.

For me, life here magnifies the sin in my heart. The biggest one for me right now is pride. It’s kind of exhausting, actually.  I never realized how prideful I truly was until I packed up and moved across the world. There are not as many comforts to hide yourself behind or new people to run to when the old ones start to see the true you. The option and ability to hide is just as not as easy. Almost everyday now, I am faced with pride in a different area of my life and, almost always, it is extremely draining to see so little of Jesus in my own heart. Currently, He is turning my world upside down.  I my heart, I don’t find this a particularly fun place to be, but I know in my head that this is a good place to be. It is a place where I am becoming more and more dependent on the gspl and His ever present grace.

Guess what y’all…

The M field is full with sinful people who mess up and are just trying to thrive in the life He has set before them.  For the most part, it’s a lot different than they expected. BUT, they are also saved by grace and restored through the gspl, and through that, He is glorified.

…but, after writing this, I’m taking a wild guess and saying this is just the life of people, anywhere and everywhere, trying to live daily with and for Him.

Oh, the life of a college graduate learning what life is really about and that she never really had it figured out in the first place…. and probably never will. 

*disclaimer: the people I get to serve alongside of are truly a blessing and I count it a privilege.

Exciting Travels

Well, so far so good.

Camp Hope could not have gone better.  We joined forces with people from Auburn, Hong Kong, Beijing, and then us and we tried our hardest to love our best. In return, the kids of Luohe wedged a place into each of our hearts that we will never get back. Autumn and I worked in the “You are Mine” class where one of the ladies from the Beijing crew read Max Lucado’s book, “You are Mine.” We played a game that reinforced what we read over each day and we repeated “you are special” and “we love you” to each one of them on a regular basis. Like, every 5 minutes. 🙂 The last day, we planned to take them to a local water park, but it got rained out so we instituted a soccer match instead. Who has ever played soccer with wheelchair-bound kids? This girl! Too.much.fun. Then, we loaded them all up in 2 vans and had lunch at ole faithful- McDonalds. The kids went crazy. They ate so much. It was precious.

Now, I’m in ZhengZhou. My first Chinese love. Today, I went to visit Simon’s foster mom and gave her a picture frame with a new picture of him in it. She was almost as excited as I was when we saw each other again. That is a special lady, I tell you. She now has her 3rd foster child with albinism who happens to be my Ryan from last summer. He is more precious than ever. I want him to have a family so bad that it hurts.

When I arrived at the orphanage to head over to her house with them, turns out they had invited a journalist to do a report on Simon and me. Who knew he would  be such a celebrity. It should be published in the newspaper sometime soon. It makes my heart melt that the first time he was in the newspaper was for his finding ad. Now, he is in the newspaper because his forever family has finally found him and, boy, do we cherish him! Redemption is sweet!