There’s christmas lights up, the air is cold, the stores are beginning to supply their holiday sales; the Christmas season is almost here. Now that Thanksgiving is officially over the winter spirit is beginning to kick in, don’t you think? There’s talk of presents and family gatherings; there’s Christmas music filling all of the department stores and mall outlets; you can almost feel the excitement. What is it that makes Christmas stand out so much in the hearts of humans around America? Is it Saint Nicholas and his little elves? Is it the decorated pine trees or the vibrant wreaths? Or is there something more to this time of the year?
As you know, it is called CHRISTmas for a reason. This is the time of the year that we celebrate the birth of Christ the messiah, our savior, our father, our friend: Jesus. But yet those of us who do not accept Him into their lives still feel the joy of this time of the year. Why is that? Why is it that almost nobody can escape feeling of the holiday spirit whether they like it or not? The answer is simple: there is no one on this earth that can escape the love of other people when it is as strong as it is this time of the year. The love humans share for one another is inescapable, and all things good and loving can be traced back to God. Everything good comes from the father. So thinking in that sense it is safe to say that that’s why Christmas is so special to people: it’s the one time of the year when we can all feel Christ’s love through one another. But why can’t we, as Christians, do this all year ‘round? How come we can’t share this spirit every day?
That’s our job: to show the love of Christ inside and outside of CHRISTmas. This is the time of year when we get a glimpse of real happiness and real love. So I urge you to make that happiness about something other than just getting, and even giving, material things. Don’t focus on this that will fade in time, but store your treasure in heaven, as stated in Matthew 6. Jesus is your best friend, and He loves you so much that he died for you. Yeah, yeah, I know hearing that Jesus died for you can be cliche at times, but it never loses its truth no matter how much it loses its sting. No matter how many times we hear it, we need to resist hardening our hearts to it. This is the time of year we live, laugh, and love. But what will you live for, laugh at, and what will you love? I pray for everyone reading this to just keep Christ the focus of their lives, to live for Him, laugh with Him, and just simply love Him. And if He isn’t the focus yet that He would become the absolute center of your lives. Just remember these few things: There are many people in this world that love you; God loves you, your friends and family love you, and even I love you. :) It’s so easily to lose site of the most important things in a time of consumerism like Christmas. So go and live like you are loved, because that my friends is the most important thing in the world. Not getting presents
Hello there reader. Did you know that God is so awesome. Well just listen to this story.
I went to ICF this past Sunday with a girl that I became friends with here named Corinna. She picked me up and off we went to the celebration.- They call their services ‘celebrations’ because they want everyone to know that they celebrate the Lord. Upon arrival we are waved down by her friends in the front that had saved us spots. -CELEBRATION HAPPENS- After it gets over one of the girls sitting by my friend starts talking to me. We talked about what I was doing here and she asked me about America and what I missed and what I will miss when I leave. I found out that she had spend like three months over in North America. The conversation went on for a long time with her continuing to ask questions. She was so intrigued and eager to be talking to me but I didn’t really think anything of it. After awhile we finally split and mingled with other that were there. Later in the car on the way home Corinna told me that she wanted to tell me something. She continued and said that her friend that talked to me for so long told her that I was an answer to her prayer. I was totally taken back by this and asked why and Corinna told me that apparently the girl had been missing her time in North America and so she had prayed that day before for God to send her someone that she could speak English with. HOW COOL IS THAT! I was so excited hearing about this and I thought it was so awesome that I got to be someones answer to their prayers. Such an amazing thing to be a part of God’s work…and maybe not even know it!
Okay well nothing is gonna be able to follow that story so I’ll just briefly list a few random things that happened this past week in my Swiss life.
I chopped my hair off.
We fed a TON of bread to the ducks and swans on the dock of the Rhein.
Had a super awesome crazy girls night! – with facials and ice cream and a random dance party that was planned and the Lizzie Mcguire Movie.
Visited the island of Reichenau.
Had an afternoon of candle making in Gailingen. – So cool! (but takes forever)
Had a bonfire.
TOMORROW I LEAVE FOR…………….ROME! I will be spending our Thanksgiving break with Hannah, Erin, and Hayley exploring and soaking in the wonders of Rome for five days. It is going to be fabulous.
Learn something new today: A hippo can open its mouth wide enough to fit a 4 foot tall child inside. -Just a heads up for those of you thinking about getting a pet hippo. *Keep out of reach of children.
Have you ever worked with children? Do you have little brothers or sisters, have you babysat, or are you employed where you work with children? If any of those are true than you know how rough kids can be. All three of those are true for me. I have three little sisters, I’ve babysat many times before, and I have worked at a daycare/preschool for almost two years now. After working with children so much, I’ve gained a few life lessons that will probably stick with me forever.
I’ve learned that children, sometimes, just need to be alone. I’ve seen countless times when a child has gotten into trouble and all they needed to do was just go and be by themselves but a teacher would try to continually confront the child about the situation. All they need sometime is just to be by themselves. I feel like that is the same for us. We have all of these problems in our lives and we can’t just let go. We have to confront it and make sure its all better but we sometimes we need to step back, relax, and let things go. Or sometimes we are in a situation we can’t really handle and we need to just go be alone ourselves. We need that alone time to let things go, relax, and just ask God to help us out.
Another thing I’ve learned is that working at a preschool is tiring. Kids don’t listen 99.9% of the time, they always want to do there own thing, they think they know whats best for themselves, and they constantly hurt one another in striving to get what they want for themselves. Now what if I took the word “kids” out of the beginning of that last sentence and replaced it with “people”? It makes just as much sense half of the time doesn’t it? There is not a huge difference between adults and children. We think we can do everything ourselves, that we know whats best, but then God looks at us and tells us otherwise and we still don’t listen. How can we possibly know whats best for us? A lot of Christians know that we don’t know what’s best for us, yet we continually to neglect living like that. We need to learn to let go and trust in God.
The most important thing I would say that I learned after working with kids is that sometimes, it can feel hard to love them. I KNOW that sounds terrible but sometimes children can be really mean, they don’t listen, and they don’t want a thing to do with you. I do love every one of the children I work with, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes the just get into so much trouble it’s crazy! Then we have to discipline them, and then we have to tell their parents, and then we have to keep them from doing it again and it’s a never ending cycle of endless effort. This is the SAME thing we do with God. We are childish sometimes. We continually turn away from God and continually fall short. Do you think God thinks that’s very fun? Do you think He has fun constantly calling out to us and constantly seeing us get hurt or hurting one another? It’s not, and yet He loves us with all of His heart. There is no end to God’s love. Working as a teacher has really opened my eyes to that. God really does love us ALL!! And that’s really been on my heart lately.
Working with children has definitely pulled me closer to God. I can now see a SLIGHT glimpse of how God sees us sometimes (but of course I still can’t comprehend His thoughts or His love). Even though I go home exhausted most every day, in the end it is worth it. I get to see innocence at it’s finest, and it get to love that and allow it to be a part of my own life.
(sorry there’s no pictures, it’s illegal for me to have pictures of children from any public daycare/preschool service for anything outside of the daycare/preschool)
HEY! I’m so sorry that this is late- for some reason I couldn’t log in earlier this week. But I can now so here we go!
This past week I went to Lucerne and St. Gallen in Switzerland! We also had a fall banquet which was so amazing!
Our fall banquet was a super nice night for all of us to get together with the staff and neighbors that live in Busingen. We all got dressed up, as much as we could with what we had, and had a great time. The dinner that we had was Raclette style which is a special cheese fondue. It was so much fun learning about the ways of Raclette and laughing at Brady’s ‘jokes.’ As cheesy as they were we loved his effort. The night was just a great time of fellowship and memory making.
Lucerne! Oh. my. goodness. One of my favorite places that I have been to all semester! It was the ideal ‘Swiss town’ with its buildings and houses and boats and cafes. Hayley, George, and I actually planned this little day trip the night before going on it and it was so much fun. I loved every second of this trip. We saw the lion of Lucerne, which is a dying lion in the side of this cliff rock type thing. It was so detailed and big! We also experienced an Asian lady getting attacked by swans-HILARIOUS! I photobombed a few times. And then we went on a 2 1/2 hour boat ride down the Reuss (Uri) river and through the Alps. It was truly magical. Being on that boat surrounded by massive mountains was breathe-taking.
St. Gallen! This trip was also planned the night before going. We were bored so just decided to plan a trip through Switzerland.-Yeah so cool I know! Anyways so Hayley and I went earlier than Brady and Erin because we wanted to be there longer. When we got there we went around the city seeing crazy awesome things and then picked Brady and Erin up at the train station a little later. We visited the city red lounge. And yes we lounged there. This is an area where all of the ground and massive lounging furniture things were covered in red playground tar. It was really neat. There were also giant beans hanging above us. We went to a historical monastery- yes another monastery- and it was very interesting. There was a chapel there and that was BEAUTIFUL. Definitely one of my favorite churches that we have been to. We also went where the oldest library in Europe is. We later went to a cafe and got some coffee and studied…yes studied- we studied for our European history midterm in St. Gallen, Switzerland- pretty cool.
We had a fun and busy past week and its only going to get crazier. ICF is Sunday- we leave for Rome on Wednesday- we are gone for five days in Rome- we get home and have our wrap-up retreat- we pack- ICF again/Hannah leaves- and then I leave!
Learn something new today: The most frequent pick pocketing occurs in areas where there are signs that say “be aware of pick pocketing” because when people see the signs they immediately reach to check for their money and valuables. Then the pick pocketers in the area see where they check and they know where to take it from.
The craziness of the semester has come to a hilt for me. This week has been the very essence of scrambling around trying to get everything done, turned in, and checked off my list. However, despite the stress, God has been making his blessings yet again evident to me and is continuing to give me his peace. So thankful for what he allowed me to experience and be a part of this week.
This last weekend there was a Nazarene youth conference called Breakaway here on campus. Nazarene youth groups from the Kansas City area joined together in College Church for a night of worship, speaking, and fellowship, as well as activities that lasted on throughout the night. My roommate Kai was a part of a MNU worship band a couple years ago called Sounds and Silences. Kai, her twin Marshall, and five other MNU students traveled to different Nazarene camps throughout the summer leading worship and participating as camp counselors and also lead worship for our chapels every week throughout the school year. Sounds and Silences was reunited to lead worship for Breakaway and asked me to join and sing with them. It was so refreshing getting to make music with these amazing people. Needless to say, we had a blast and this night was such an encouragement.
Don’t know if you’ve heard the buzz about this wonderful lady, but Miss Kylee Pearson is the newest addition to the Residential Life family, being the new Residential Educator in Spindle as of this semester. It has been so very good getting to know her heart because this gal is absolutely amazing. She brings a good conversation with her wherever she goes and always has a bright smile on her face, possessing the vibrant personality that makes every interaction with her most definitely worth-while. I have loved her genuineness and transparency, which is so refreshing, and her eagerness to hear others’ stories. What a blessing this woman has been and will continue to be to this community.
Yet another encouragement that God provided this week was getting to skype with a dear dear friend who lives in New York City. It was so crazy hearing about the chaos and havoc that has been so present in the city since Hurricane Sandy and all the damage that was caused. Yet, even though she has been immersed in parts of the city that have been completely devastated, helping clean out houses that are no more, she told me of the immense trust that she has in her Father. She explained that she has been experiencing such peace in him and is so rooted in the fact that he is in control. How intriguing and peace-giving it was for me to hear her heart and her deep trust in what God was doing in response to what was going on around her.
This all brings to mind a quote by C.S. Lewis that I’ll close out with.
“God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
I know life is crazy for me! Ups, downs, and every other possible direction! Sometimes, you just have to sit back and take in what God has to offer. When life gets busy and school gets psychotic, and everything becomes a blur, just remember to BREATHE. I mean look at the top picture, how does that not create awe? Everything is perfectly designed by God, in this picture and within us. Make time for Him and find Him in every facet of life! You just have to empty your hands so He can fill them. Even when you do this, Satan tries to make you worry and forget why you’ve trusted God for so long. When that happens just be like
After all, the dude has to FLEE at the sound of His GREAT name Don’t forget how you go this far!
It feels like the longest week in the history of my life.
The elephant on the blog is the presidential election this week. This was my first year to vote, and I feel like an adult officially! To remind us to vote, Professor Ford wore a Romney mask to class on Monday. He said he went to Wal-Mart for marked-down Halloween items. He wanted both a Romney and an Obama mask, but they sold out of Obama faces. He then suggested someone in a Stats class see if there is a correlation between masks sold on Halloween to which candidate wins office. Needless to say, this prof is a jokester!
I will say that on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday everyone on Facebook and twitter seemed very angry one way or another about this election. I almost felt like we were all going to split apart into separate societies at times because of how everyone was posting political rants and points of view. (exaggeration.) Longest 3 days ever!
But, the election is over. We have a president. And now we’re getting back on track with our lives. I’m thankful to live in a country where we can peacefully disagree with one another, discuss our points of view, and go back to being friends.
On Thursday during class, my good friend Emrald was chewing bubble gum. The administrative assistant for the business department keeps a treasure chest filled with candy for the students, and happened to fill it on this day. Lecture got a little dry and… well. We started screwing around. Long story short, I popped the biggest bubble ever and it got in her hair, covered her eye, and stuck in her eye lashes. Funniest moment of my day!
Then on Friday I was setting up for Senior Visit Day and a large group of people were out on the campus mall playing Ultimate Frisbee. My coworker and I were in a hurry so we took the above picture while driving about 10 MPH on a golf cart. Doesn’t seem that fast, but when there is no seat belt or door or road it feels like 60.
All of this to say, no matter what political party you represent, no matter how passionate you are about a particular candidate, here at MidAmerica we put our trust in the lamb, not the elephant or the donkey. At the end of the day, we care about each other and are friends to the end.