Friday, December 14, 2007


I'm going home for Christmas!!


There are snow flurries in the air in Budapest!!


I'm going home for Christmas!!

And I'll be home for New Year's Too!!!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Rainy days are not lazy days

It's raining in Budapest and it feels as though I've been out in the rain all day. Oh yeah, maybe it's because I have been in the rain all day. I wish rainy days could always be lazy days like when it snows and there's a blizzard and all you can do is stay inside all day. Rainy days are perfect lazy days. Read a book, drink some coffee, get your favorite blanket and curl up on the couch.....ah. But unfortunately in the real world, rainy days are not lazy days.

It's 8:15 pm and I just returned from Chris and Renea's. They already left for the states but are kindly letting me store my stuff in their flat. I'm taking a few bags over every chance I get and on Thursday after staff meeting, Nori and the guys will help me take the rest of the stuff over. When I get back in January, I'll stay in Chris and Renea's flat while they are gone until I find a new flat.

My roommate, Anna, is moving to a smaller city outside of Budapest where she teaches English. It's a great move for her. She'll be closer to the school and the community of Hungarians she has come to love, but it's too far and not practical for me to move there with her. Everything I do (except for Hungarian lessons and High school club) is about 10 minutes from where we live now. I have to say that I'm going to miss the girl. She's probably one of the best roommates I've had. Quirky, funny, kick-back and just plain adorable. It's been great. I will treasure the memories with village girl.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Unfailing Love

This morning I awoke to a subtle sense of God's unfailing, unconditional love. 

And now as I think about it - what enables the heart to know that there is such a thing as "love"? If it were not possible and true, then we would not desire it. But that's another blog for another time.

If God could physically greet me with a kiss and breakfast in bed, He did that this morning. My whole being came alive as my mind was captured with thoughts of God's incredible presence in my life.  He is so real. His love is reliable, constant, steadfast, unfading, boundless, and tireless.

The funny thing is - I'm not always reliable, constant, steadfast, unfading, boundless and tireless in my love for Him and in my love for others.

I don't know about you but sometimes I get tired of people. It's easy to love people when it's on my terms. God is not like us at all. His love is not ambiguous. It's not limited or restricted to God's good days. God doesn't have any bad days. For that, I'm thankful.

The opposite is also true. People get tired of us. I don't think I really know how much love costs until I do something stupid and hope that the love of family or friends doesn't wear out. It's in these moments that I realize I don't know how much unconditional love is worth until I need it. 

Unconditional love is difficult to comprehend. This kind of love is not subject to any conditions. I realize I'm very conditional by nature. If certain things aren't done a certain way, sometimes I hold back. What is that? That's not unconditional love.

Unconditional love is wholehearted. So many times I am half-hearted.  I may limit or restrict or reserve some of myself so that I don't get hurt. Out of self-protection I am guarded. Yet, God holds nothing back. His entire essence and purpose in our lives is clear and plain. 

David Crowder sings that he will be "even more undignified" in his love for God. But I think that God is often what we might consider undignified in His love for us.  Sometimes our lives are just not pretty. But God loves us through all the mess, all the "jank" and continues to lift us by that love. That's amazing.

His love should leave no doubt in our mind about His intentions toward us. He is not ambiguous but very clear that He is committed to us for the long-haul and He won't turn back. His love should be indisputable, undeniable. He has made it clear and plain. His love is not open to our interpretation. 

What Jesus Christ did on the cross is a settling and sobering thing. 

He left us no doubt. What will we do with His unfailing love? First, I believe I must allow it to penetrate my life and transform my thinking. God's thoughts and His ways are not my thoughts or my ways. And finally, unfailing love is worth giving away! Find someone that you can tell or share His presence with today.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fun times...

One of our team members, Chris Gill (whose wearing the Santa hat) leaves for the states next Tuesday. His wife, Renea, is having their first child in December. So, Chris wanted to have the high school Christmas party early. The students are having a really fun time. It's evident when Chris asks them, "What was the highlight of your week" and the answer is "English Club" that atleast in the minds of these few kids, something is working. I believe the students feel God's love and concern through us. And we are not what they may associate "religious" people to be like so that's actually really great.

For the Christmas party, I was Betsy Baker - fun Christmas bread, banana bread and oatmeal raisin cookies. We were able to use the very nice "Klub" room. Chris had a box of swiss miss hot chocolate so we brought that and shared with the students. I don't think they appreciated it nearly as much as we did. It was the hot chocolate with mini-marshmellows too!

We sang the 12 days of christmas and feliz navidad. I even did a guitar solo! (ha ha)

Thanks for praying for the high school and for great things to happen in the spring. Right now Tina is the only girl coming. Believe with me for more girls!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Multi-tasking in chaos

My mind is an amalgam of organization and brinks of chaos. My day planner is riddled with a list of things to do. Yet other things often come up and I don't take the time to write them down. I just add them to my mental checklist. I have to incorporate them into my world and a lot of them are "time sensitive." Sometimes I start thinking of someone I need to get in touch with about something and so I follow it up. Or there's something I have to do and pursuing it takes time.

Today, in the middle of doing 4 things (organizing a plan with Nori and Chris seperately through text messages, making stuff for tomorrow's high school Christmas party, studying for my PT course and packing for the US), I thought about following up on a hotel reservation. I arrive into Chicago on December 15th and I'm so grateful that a friend booked a hotel for me. But I need to find out if there's a hotel shuttle. I know, I know. Why did I have to do it right then? I didn't. That's the thing. But I wanted to know in that moment and so it became the "tyranny of the urgent knowing".....So I logged onto skype and gave a call to the states. That's a lot of random things to be doing all at the same time. But this is how my brain works.

I get a lot of things done, which is important to my personality type....I'm proudly a Sanguine/Choleric, (fun test to take.. but sometimes the world around me looks more like a whirlwind with a destination than the calm in the storm.

still packing
figured out a plan with Chris/Nori
still preparing for Christmas Party
started a load of laundry
texting a few girls to meet this week
still studying

Am I driving anyone crazy yet?

Abraham Lincoln Quote

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Abraham Lincoln.

So true. So true.

A daily choice.

Some days are easier than others.

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's raining, It's pouring...

It's pouring outside and my coat is soaking wet. Thank God last year I got a coat that keeps the cold out and the warm in, with rain rolling off the jacket like water on a ducks back.

I love the sound of rain. On days like these, I want to just hop in bed and stay there but i'm only here for a little while until I have to go back outside. So, I'll sit here now with a cup of hot coffee with creamer and honey, listening to music, and rest under the covers with enough time for a lil' reflection and writing.

I love the rain because it washes away the junk on the dirty streets of Budapest.

I love the rain because it just makes everything seem "fresh."

I love the rain because everyone gets wet!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Valerie Burton Archive

I love this woman! She is practical, she writes well and asks you tough questions that you can actually move forward into a better future. I'm loving her stuff and have purposed in my heart that each morning I will read one of her short articles as I drink my coffee, read my Bible and pray.

Let me know what you think.

thanksgiving and christmas

Abraham Lincoln once said that people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be or something like that. I agree.

I do have to say that getting a plane ticket home for the Christmas holiday is right up there on the list of delightful things. 

I'm already starting to compile a list of things I need to get while in the states. Peanut butter, tuna, starbucks, bath and body works lotion, ink cartridges, bargains at Patagonia outlet, Neil Anderson book about breaking bondages, and a ton of other books I need to dig out from underneath mom and dad's staircase.

I'm looking forward to seeing how much Savannah has grown. And the Scofield kids are always a ton of fun! And of course, every opportunity to kiss mom and dad and siblings and tell them thank you is a good thing in my book, especially as the years just keep going by.

Last night my brother Greg called me on Skype. Funny thing is we found out I have a camera! We had fun. I got to show him my apartment and introduce him to my reluctant roommate who didn't feel camera ready. 

Sometimes it's tough to cross the ocean of distance between two places I love so much. But thank God for skype, blogspots, cameras on laptops and the list goes on. 

And THANK YOU God( and know who you are) who provided for me to get home this Christmas!  Thanks Lord. Really.