30 August, 2013

I've discovered what I truly love and appreciate and want out of life, and all that is, is beauty.  I'm amazed by so many things that I just want to sit and stare and gawk at its beauty.  I think that's why so many of my favorite musicians are people like Mumford and Sons, Ed Sheeran, and Passenger.  Their music just speaks beauty to me, and I can just feel it in a way that other music just can't.
So I'm really struggling.  I find beauty in architecture, in people, in exploring.  I don't know how to find this beauty in life here in Minnesota as much as I can when I'm traveling.  It truly is sad, because there is beauty in Minnesota.  There is beauty everywhere, I'm just scared its too close to home for me to be looking for it.  I just miss experiencing beauty every turn I went.  I miss exploring European cities, trying new food and cuisines, hearing new languages.  All I want to do for the rest of my life is see the world, but I feel like that's not going to be able to happen.  I just miss the beauty.

19 August, 2013

It seems I may have left my heart in León.

Today was my first day back from Nicaragua.  I spent the week in León, Nicaragua with On Eagle's Wings Ministry, feeding children and teaching them about Jesus.  I can tell you this with every ounce of truth: I am changed.  I have been 'changed' before from other trips, and I'm not saying that they did not actually change me.  My trip to China taught me that I was holding myself in my depression, and my semester in Italy taught me to thrive in my independence.  My mind changed in both of these times, but I realized something today as I left for work.  My actions never changed.  My heart and my mind said one thing, but my responses were never in concordance with these changes in heart.  I still did the things I said I was no longer going to do, I kept hating, judging, and criticizing.  But today I thought to myself, "No more.  This is not what God wants me to do.  This is not the person I want to be."
Nicaragua has changed me.  Do you remember in the movie/book The Grinch when the grinch's heart swells three sizes?  That's how I feel.  My last night in Nicaragua, my heart hurt at the thought of leaving; I felt a physical pain at the thought of leaving this amazing ministry and going back to such mundane things.  When I think about the positives of my trip, my heart feels so full of God's love and joy that it is going to explode.  I am one of the buckets in the sponge game, overflowing with God's love.  My cup runneth over.  I cannot wipe the smile from my face, for I am so in love with God, and am so honored to be a part of His plan.  I cannot wait for the next time when God asks me to help Him, even though He truly does not need me.
Nicaragua has pained me.  There are times, like last night on the ride home from the airport, and today during down time at work, when my heart hurts.  I can feel a physical ache in my chest where my heart is just at the thought of Nicaragua.  I miss it; I would endure the heat and humidity every day just to play with those children, to feel God's presence everywhere I go, to know that my time was doing something for someone else.  And, selfishly enough, this trip did so much for me.  I felt myself being renewed every day, I felt myself growing.  I feel like going back to my routine is stifling me, and preventing the completion of my metamorphosis.
In conclusion, the past 24 hours have been such a roller coaster.  I've sobbed, I've rejoiced, I've teared and welled up, I've praised God, and I've done most of it behind the wheel of my car (dangerous, I know).  I just feel so blessed to have had such an amazing experience.  With that blessing, however, comes the responsibility of having such a blessing.  By finally understanding how blessed my life truly is, and how amazing God truly can be, I now have so much more responsibility to do something with that knowledge and put it to work.  Nicaragua, you have moved me deeply, and do not think that you will be soon forgotten.


But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

07 August, 2013

Anxious

I haven't blogged in a really long time.  Maybe it's because I'm living a pretty basic life in comparison to what I was three (yes, today marks three) months ago, but I don't really think so.  I think it's because it hurts to write here.  This was where my feelings and emotions went as I lived not only the dream but my dream while in Italy.  I got to travel the world, see and experience new things, and truly live my life to the fullest for four full months.  Without that, everything here seems so, well... plain.  And it's hard, because I don't want to belittle my life in White Bear.  I love my hometown, and I love the people in my life.  People settle down all over the world, and I would be lucky to settle down somewhere as great as White Bear.  But I'm not ready to settle down.  My heart yearns to move, to learn, to experience, to travel.  This heart of mine was made to travel. And how am I supposed to sit here and stay stagnant for the rest of my life?  Can one really expect me to?  My mother has already told me that she doesn't see me living here much longer after graduation, and I'm in agreement with that.  The whole problem is that I don't know how to just get up and move.  How do I get a job overseas? How do I get a job that gives me the joy of traveling with the experience I have?  I feel like I have a dream that is so unspecific that I have no idea how to obtain it.  My past dreams to become a doctor or a professor were so easily laid out for me.  But now I have absolutely no idea.  And that scares me.  Because now, not succeeding means I might not fulfill any part of my dream.  And then there's the whole fear concept.  Though I want to travel the world for the rest of my life, leaving is scary.  As Passenger says in the song Let Her Go, "you only hate the road when you're missing home."  Well, I actually started hating the road while I was traveling.  Toward the end, the flights felt longer, the hostels were more uncomfortable, and it was all purely because I was so anxious to get home.  So what if I sign up to go to South Africa for a year and then I end up crying myself to sleep every night after the high goes away?  I guess I just want someone to say they'll take on this adventure with me.  But I'm guessing that if I get the courage to get out there on my own, that's when I'll meet the person/people I'm meant to meet.

By the way, I leave for Nicaragua in two and a half days!!!