Monday, June 22, 2009

I thought I wouldn't be posting here anymore since I'm home, but I was reading "Streams in the Desert" today. My friend from the program recommended it to me, and I thought it would be a great help in processing my time away. There was a poem in today's devotional that hit home. I had to read it atleast twice. It more than fits why I decided to leave and how I healed in ways I had both hoped I would, and ways I was unaware of. Even when I've forgotten that my God is there, He is. Even when I've forgotten how His hand has been in my life, or forgotten that He is still at work, He is.

There was a scar on yonder mountainside,
Gashed out where once the cruel storm had trod;
A barren, desolate chasm, reaching wide
Across the soft green sod.

But years crept by beneath the purple pines,
And veiled the scar with grass and moss once more,
And left it fairer now with flowers and vines
Than it had been before.

There was a wound once in a gentle heart,
From which life's sweetness seemed to ebb and die;
And love's confiding changed to bitter smart,
While slow, sad years went by.

Yet as they passed, unseen an angel stole
And laid a balm of healing on the pain,
Till love grew purer in the heart made whole,
And peace came back again.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Four months have past, and I'm home now. I'll be making slideshows and videos all about this whole experience, and hoping to share them with anyone I can. If you don't see it through pictures and recordings, you'll see it through me. It has become a part of me. If you'll know who I am, you'll know how this has made it's way under my skin. For the better.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Saying goodbye is never easy. It has been the best. There is a season for everything.

The courtyard.

The alley.

The market.



The Cathedral at night.

On a walk.

One of my favorite views.

It is time to close. But I'm called home, and I'm ready. Thank you for the prayers in every way. My grandfather is doing so much better... I don't doubt it's a miracle. All PRAISE to the ONE!

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Grandfather's spirit is a thousand times stronger than his body. Please pray that he makes it through this, too.

I'm in the last days of my stay in Italy. Just 11 days left. I can't believe it went so fast, and nothing can calculate how truly amazing this experience has been. At the two-month-mark, I felt an unfamiliar, unsettling dread that only two months remained, and that was quite the struggle. Now, I feel a healthy pull towards home. No, I don't want to leave. If I can, I'm coming back. But I can firmly say that on the day that I take my bags and get on that plane, it will have been the best it could have and should have been.

All things outside of my control, I give to my Father. Uncertainty is faith. Not knowing, I will only trust.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

What's there left to do, but pray?

When is there anything better to do, but pray?

Two weeks. Just hold on for me, I'm coming home...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

PICTURES. But, don't miss the previous post!


Cannoli, of course.

Some famous church in Palermo, Sicily. It's dark, I know.

The group that went!

Our hostile room.

Yup, the beach. Yup, we went swimming.

So blue! Look out the different hues as it goes deeper into the distance :).

My friend found her relatives in Piana Degli Albanesi, and came across a street with their last name. Apparently, her relative by the name of Cassara was a good cop, and was killed by the mafia. Cool, eh?

Piana Degli Albanesi. The typical cluster of houses among the hills and valleys. Never gets old.

Bristol and London, England

Cloud Farm in Exmoor, England :)

Horseback riding!!

Oh, hi Tess.

Lindsay Roper!!!!!!! We ate lunch together in a park in London!

Tate Modern

Outside the London Eye with soft-serve ice cream :).

Classic phonebooth photo?

Inside the London Eye.

View from up above.

Outside the London Eye.

A pub at night!

A perfect weekend. As always, I have so many more photos than I can post. I'm glad to share what I can.

It's time to wrap up Italy, but I know for sure it won't be that last time I'm in Europe. I can't even begin to say how great it's been.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Apologies for the lack of posts. Internet time goes by fast. Maybe time just runs quicker here? Because I don't know how, but there are only two and a half weeks left. I'm ready to wake up any minute now and find that this was all a dream. I am living a dream.

The weekend in London was amazing. Every minute of it was incredible... I don't think I ever went three days straight without a dull minute. We did so much! I met Joe's brother Dave and saw a lot of his artwork, including roughs for a new book he's illustrating for. That was awesome. I made some new friends and learned how to play Perudo. We went horseback riding through streams, hills, trees, and in the bright sun in Exmoor, England on Friday, and I went to Joe's Christian Union group, where I made more friends and watched a movie afterward with ice cream and Rosso wine. Saturday was a great day spent in London. From Buckingham palace, the Big Ben, Parliament, the Tate Modern museum, the Glode Theatre, the London Eye, and more, everything was perfect. It was so good to see old friends and make new ones. I loved meeting up with Lindsay Roper amongst all of it, too! We hung out in pubs, got to walk around a lot, talked, and we had a traditional Sunday roast after a service at a Hillsong Church. And on top of that, a whole other story developed when my flight back to Rome was late, causing me to miss my train to Orvieto. The next one was 6:00 AM, giving me 3 hours to get to my 9:00 AM class.

When I could've chosen to freak out and hide away in the train station til morning, out of sight of strangers, mulling over the fact that I could be in my bed sleeping, I chose to keep on praying and keep my spirits up. Good choice. I saw a guy there that looked American and a little lost, so I knew I should talk to him. Turned out some Italians gave him the wrong train to Florence and he ended up in Rome, causing him to wait all night for a 6:30 AM train to Florence. We decided to stick together and talk. He said, "I hope I get to come back to Rome some time. I hear there are some pretty cool things to see." Then I said, "Let's go!"So, from 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM, I took him to the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, past these monumental buildings all lit up and being circled by birds that gave the illusion of swirling stars, we stopped at a number of places overlooking the empty piazzas complete with sculptures and fountains, and had a pleasant stroll through the perfect weather and empty streets. He mentioned how glad he was to experience Rome for the first time like that. At 4:00 AM, we crossed a pastry shop that was just opening, and he bought me gelato. We made it back the the station in time for our trains, and what could've been a long and dreary night turned out to be such a great one. I'm glad I was able to share what I knew about Rome, and allow somebody else to experience it under such unpredictable circumstances! Thank the good Lord for it.

More and more, I'm seeing how everything can be seen as an opportunity. An opportunity to step out of one's comfort zone, to dig deeper, to learn, and to try something new. I'd rather not be sitting still.

I am starting to see little ways in which I've changed. From what I see, I like it. I can't imagine how it will all surface once I'm finally home.