Sunday, February 8, 2009

Officially moved site but not "unpacked"

Soon to come, I'll be blogging again, no doubt. This time from another continent but hopefully we'll keep it interesting! Life is interesting and amazing.

New blogspot:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Moving my blog again....

So with a week left in Budapest, I'm planning to move my blogspot as well.

Thank God this part of my world is containable within cyberworld. No papers to sort, files to throw away, or things to stress about fitting into a suitcase. Oh I love this world.

Although I'd love to keep running this current blogspot, the URL name is jeninbudapest and that will be a lie after next Friday. In choosing a new URL, I decided I should steer clear of naming blogs by location as I may be in several in the years to come and I don't want to do this again.

I think I found one I can live with for a long while. If you know how to import my old blog to here, that would be amazing and I would be grateful for the help.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to writing just as much as last year.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Golden Gate Half

I started worrying about the Shamrock Half that I planned to do mid-March. Not only has my training been completely thrown off course during this transition, but I was realizing I probably need to give myself more time to prepare for the change in altitude before jumping into an event. It will take me double time to get miles up in Reno.

So, the next event in sight that looks doable and incredibly fun as I'll be taking in some scenic routes, which I love, is the Golden Gate Half....

I have a new goal! April 4th.

Monday, February 2, 2009

11 days...

Each time I get home and look at my apartment, I'm worried. How am I going to fit things in two bags? I've already downsized so much. Hmmm. Oh well and off I go to check facebook, watch a movie or eat some more of this delicious garlic concoction that has become my main stay. It's difficult to take down all the wall hangings when I still have guests coming over through the weekend. I guess Monday and Tuesday of next week will be the time I really hanker down, take down all the stuff off the walls, clean the corners, etc. It truly is not an easy task when you can't just throw everything into your car and move to the next spot. I mean oversized baggage is costly not to mention another bag. Lord, help. This is rough. With exactly 11 days and counting, wow. I'm just hoping with high school, hosting, cleaning, packing, I get out of here alive :) haha.

Oh and workouts this past week have been almost completely thrown out the door. I'm actually reconsidering the Shamrock Half because of many reasons, but one of them is that the change of altitude is going to take a while to adjust to and because it's so darn cold here in Budapest, I haven't had the nerve to freeze myself to death for a workout. So, I've got some aerobic video time done and some pilates, but I can't wait to get on a schedule when I get back to Reno. :)

Thanks for your prayers in this transition.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Matthew 5:6

I woke up this morning thinking about a variety of things while looking at a very cluttered apartment. There are piles with categorized items (what to throw away, what to give away, what to fit in suitcases) and the general mess of papers and miscellaneous crud lying around that I have yet to sort through. With the state of my external world in major transition, my life feels out of sorts at the moment. I actually wouldn't expect things to be any different. Moving back across the Ocean after almost 3 years is going to take some adjusting - emotionally, culturally, environmentally (and I'm sure in some other -"lly's" ways too.) I'm not exactly bothered by these things yet, just making the observation.

What has bothered me more are things going on inside, on a personal level. In the midst of a messy external world, I found myself reaching inside to find order in the private world of my thoughts, my intentions, my inner dialogue. Alas, there's been a lot on the brain, I won't lie. It's not all bad or good, it just is what it is.

Deep inside as thoughts have tossed between joy and sadness, fear and faith, excitement and a general state of "blah", I was reminded of Matthew 5:6. What I really need right now in that inner world that will order my private world is to hunger and thirst for Him -- for more of the one who actually defines living, who anchors me, who refines, molds and shapes the essence of who I am. Without Him I can do nothing and even more real to me these days is the fact that without Him, His perspective, His way of viewing people and life in general, I AM nothing.

Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life. If I want to find out what it means to fully come alive, to be fully living, then He is and always will be my starting point. He is all things perfectly wonderful and genuine. He alone makes all things in life perfectly wonderful and genuine. And in this journey across the Ocean, I'm finding my one and only anchor is to remain hungry and thirsty for all things HIM. He makes sense out of things that I can't even begin to understand. He alone fills the deepest parts of me in truth. He alone fills me up.

two weeks

I can hardly believe that in two weeks I'll be returning to the USA and not just for a "home" visit. I'm definitely excited and looking forward to being reunited with family and friends. It's been 1.5 years and way overdue.

I wonder how much of Hungary I will miss. I know I'll miss the people and the laid back lifestyle. But it's time to be home. I'm excited about that too.

Monday, January 19, 2009

So much to write....where to start.

I've got so much I'd love to write here but at the moment, I don't know where to start. Not only that but I've been preoccupied and loving it. I'm waiting for the moment when it's overflowing and then perhaps I'll take those extra moments late at night and blog. For now, all is good. I thank God for friends, family and the future which is bright because He's in it. He's in all my days and that makes all the difference. Sometimes life can just be "life." No excitement. No real adventure. Just living your days. But Jesus said He came to give us life more abundant and I'm convinced that part of this translates into finding those moments and creating those memories that bring forth abundant living. Another thought I've had recently (or actually it's a re-occuring thought) is how life is about maintenance - from relationships, cars, taking showers, health, gidgets and gadgets -- everything in this world has to be maintained and that includes the inner place of my heart and soul before God. So much more I want to write on this topic. But I'd like to do it thoroughly and as of now I have no time.

Hope you're having a great week!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Setting Goals.....

So most people are tired of making new years resolutions. One thing I love to do is set goals and think about the future and what i really want to accomplish in life. The thing is, we only have one life to live and oftentimes if we're not purposeful about living, the days will pass by. That's not all bad. Of course if you have family and great friends and you're spending that time with them, maybe that's purposeful enough.

I guess for me, I enjoy setting something in my sights and then working towards accomplishing it. It can be in little things or in big things. I've been trying to clean out my email inbox and we all know how tedious that can be. I just found an email about setting goals and thought I'd post it.


To give a broad, balanced coverage of all important areas in your life, try to set goals in some of these categories (or in categories of your own, where these are important to you):

Do you want to achieve any artistic goals? If so, what?

Is any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem.

What level do you want to reach in your career?

Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information and skills will you need to achieve other goals?

Do you want to be a husband/wife or a parent? If so, how are you going to be a good husband/wife or parent? How do you want to be seen by a partner or by members of your extended family? If you are a husband/wife/parent, how can you improve the quality of these relationships?

How much do you want to earn by what stage? Are you weighed down by debts? What plan can you create and do that will help you get free of those debts?

Are there any athletic goals you want to achieve? Do you want good health deep into old age? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?

How do you want to enjoy yourself? - you should ensure that some of your life is for you!

Public Service:
Do you want to make the world a better place? If so, how?

Spend some time brainstorming these, and then select one goal in each category that best reflects what you want to do.

Then consider trimming again so that you have a small number of really significant goals on which you can focus.

As you do this, make sure that the goals that you have set are ones that you genuinely want to achieve, not ones that your parents, family, or employers might want (if you have a partner, you probably want to consider what he or she wants, however make sure you also remain true to yourself!)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thank you Dick

Tonight I found out that an 80 year old friend, Dick Dankworth, died on Christmas Eve. As I sat here with tears in my eyes mainly for his high school sweetheart Carla ( that tender but beautifully strong woman) who spent the past 60 years with one man, I’m reminded again just how short this life really is for all of us.

Although we don’t think about it much when we’re young, it’s true nonetheless. And behind the wrinkled faces of men and women we barely notice anymore as they age away, there are stories and lives that have been lived that we could really get a lot from if we'd stop long enough to listen.

As I think about Dick’s life, my heart is rich and full and sad and happy all at the same time. Being over 50 years married these days is a novelty. Dick and Carla were a novelty but in the most beautiful terms. Some would take issue with this idea but being married that long (after even the slightest observation of this statement, you’d have to agree) you could definitely call it the adventure of a lifetime! Of course I wouldn’t know but someday I hope to test all my theories out on the fun and obliging fellow whose up for that lifetime adventure with me…..

The Dankworths have served God wholeheartedly in adventures of another kind too. Dick was always actively investing his time, his talent, his energy in an organization called Youth With A Mission. I think he was on the board or something. But he actually got out and did things even in these senior years. Dick was always traveling or speaking or giving away something of the things God so richly and deeply gave his family. Last summer he was telling me of a trip he took to Asia where he set up youth sports camps. The man was 78 at the time! Not only that he was a community builder. He was a coach and administrator at the University of Nevada for years and was also really involved with starting one of the first Christian Business Men’s group in the area in the 70’s. I found all this out by listening to his stories. They weren’t elaborate. He never was a bragger. It was more a brief statement about being a part of this or that as it applied to our conversations.

I can hardly imagine 60 years of breakfast, lunch and dinner and the ups and downs of raising three boys, of acquiring daughter in laws and grandchildren and life spent with your best friend coming to a complete stop in one day. Of course life goes on but I think all of us know what I’m trying to say here. This part of living really sucks!! And so God I pray for Carla, that her heart would be strengthened now during this time of being separated from her best friend by this thing called death. Yet in the long term I guess that’s what the Bible meant when it said, “Death, where is your sting?” The pain now will not always be there. Jesus conquered death’s final sting and we are the beneficiaries.

I remember the first time I met the couple in Reno. I think it’s the only time I’ve ever eaten brunch at the Nugget in Sparks. We went after church and over lunch they shared so openly and richly about the adventures they experienced coming from Southern California and moving to Reno in the 50’s. Oh to take the time and listen to a story. It’s so worth it! They told me of their high school romance and their days living in Southern California, practically in the same neighborhood where I lived when I was in LA. You can read about his life in the Reno-Gazette tribute but even these words don’t really do the heart of the man justice. Eighty years is a lot of living. (

The last time I saw Dick and Carla was two summers ago when I was visiting them in their home outside of Reno. A perpetual source of encouragement, Dick gave me a book to read called “The Book That Changes Nations” by Loren Cunningham. Now with his passing, I wish I wouldn’t have passed the book along so freely after reading it. For inside that book lies an inscription penned by Dick and I’d like to read it now and wallow in my own sadness for a minute. (If I gave it to you can I now ask for it back? Haha)

Sadness. Really how can we talk of that when there have been 80 really good years? Yes, it’s the sadness of those who are left behind. But then last summer as we sat on their patio overlooking the creek that runs by their house, I was strengthened in this journey called life, invigorated by the life of this couple – their love, their challenges with Carla’s health yet they were moving on. The last thing I would ever be in their presence was sad. I was well aware of their aging and with Carla’s health problems, I prayed specifically for God to sustain them in these times. But sadness was not the operative word.

I guess I'm writing this now as my own tribute. I just want to say thank you to Dick for living such a beautiful life, for loving one woman for 60 years, for raising three boys and for being committed to His Lord, Jesus Christ and letting that shine until the end. Thank you Dick for giving us all something beautiful to hang onto. In a world that holds very little for those looking for a moral compass, thank you for being one to so many people. Thank you for being one to me. My prayers are with your beautiful wife now but no need to pray for you. I’m sure you’re doing just fine. With tears in my eyes but a heart of joy, I want to ask you, how’s that new body of yours? And is it as good as Jesus said it would be? I imagine so.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009; it sure looks fine!

So what are some of the things I'm looking forward to doing in 2009??

A stack of books I want to read are piling up beside my bed. Hungarians are known for being avid readers and a few of the books that are bedside were Christmas gifts, which I surely appreciate. I hope to make 2009 a year that I read more books than I have in the past. It's difficult to keep on this task and time consuming but such are the best things in life to some degree or another. Someday I am going to write a blog all about maintenance -- how everything good and worthwhile in life must be maintained. I've started this blog months ago, just need to finish it.

2. SEW
Yes, I have been thinking about this economic crisis and how cool it would be to actually have some skills that you could survive on with less. For example, I'd like to have a garden someday. Seeing that I'm not the best with living plants, this could be a problem but I'm willing to give it a shot. My mom had a small garden growing up and I remember I thought it was really cool. Strawberries and tomatoes mainly, but cool nonetheless, especially since it was grown in Nevada of all places. So back to this whole idea of sewing. If I could be handy with this wouldn't that be cool? You could make clothes from just about anything, maybe even go into fashion design. Seeing that I won't be in Europe forever, maybe I could make my own European style clothing line when I get back to the States.

Yes, I'm officially addicted to training for these events. I love having a training program to guide me through workouts towards a goal. When there is a goal in sight, I do much better. So, I'm planning to complete atleast one, maybe two Sprint Tri's and atleast one 1/2 marathon. I really enjoyed the Sprint Tri in London and I'd like to do a few more this year.

Thanks to and Renea, I've been slowly learning a few things on the instrument. I'd like to get better. I'm not going public with it, I just want to be able to play worship songs and sing my heart out to God in the quiet of my own room. it's pretty cool to think about being able to play better so I'm planning to put new strings on my guitar back home and get back to playing.

I'm excited to continue taking dance lessons in 2009 and having fun with it! To get your groove on sure is fun! I'm looking for a fun dance partner too!

6. ART
I'd like to get more involved in an art community and meet new people who are artistic. i think it's a lot of fun to cultivate and develop this side of life and I want to do it more in 2009. I'm not the best painter, but I'd like to learn sketching. It's all good.

I might try snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, rock climbing. I just want to spend more time outdoors.

I am very excited that included in some of the changing fixtures to my job, I will have the opportunity to continue working with youth, focus on missions, and travel to various locations both in the US and abroad. Very very excited about this.

Last, but not least, I'm looking forward to being closer to my family! We will make some new memories in 2009. Being away from family for the last 2.5 years and limited to the occasional skype call has been tough. I'm sure all my neices and nephews are completely different people because a lot changes in just one year. My parents are getting older, a fact that I lament but realize I have an opportunity to make some memories with them as well.

I have a love relationship with this massive body of water, specifically the Pacific Ocean. I hope to make trips to see this beautiful creation. I thank God all the time for the ocean and ocean views and anything oceanic - it's a gift.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Passion

Watch. Pray. Stay here. Pain. Agony. God’s love. God’s calling. The tempter’s voice. Deceptions call to turn away. His destiny. An unseen burden carried. The world on his shoulders. Souls saved. My soul saved. Great expense. Another way? No, Your will be done. Evil’s question “Who is your father?” The snake sent to bite. The snake crushed. Death, where is your power? Betrayal for coins. No fear in His eyes. The kiss. Confusion. Fights. One pair of eyes in flaming fire. Healing a bloody ear. Will you have ears to hear? Not by the sword. Love alone conquers. Conquered and beaten. A man of strength and love. No angels rescue. A crown of thorns. No father’s intervention. Pain at the hands of man. Demons taunting. Judas remorse. It’s not a party. Prince’s death begins. Unlawful questions. Unfair treatment. A son’s childhood memories but now a man or more than a man? Questions revealing. “Are you the messiah, son of the living God?” Only one answer. “IAM.”

Roaring crowds. Peter’s betrayal. Confusion and anger in the city. Beatings survived. Demons taunting Judas. Cursed to death over innocent life. Pilates questions. Jesus answers “My kingom is not of this world.” Pilates solution. More beatings. Herod mocks. Pilate’s wants to release Jesus. Barabus gets a new life instead. Jesus’ sustaining love. Road opens. Blood-stained and heavy cross. People taunting. Mary weeping. Disciples remembering. Life blood. Life words. Pondering it all. Will you carry my cross with me? Darkness covers. A hill above the city for all to see. Hands are pierced. Feet nailed too. Cross is lifted. Earth’s gift is His love. Dark clouds gather. Hopeless thief on the cross gets second chance. Lightning flashes. Left alone. Rocks split. Sword pierces. Graves open. Jesus dies.

All is still. Lifeless earth.

Heaven welcomes. Celebration. Good will towards mankind. Wonderful God. Counselor. Prince of Peace. Peace on earth. Mighty God. Resurrection crowns Him. Words remembered. New life imparted. Words carried like a torch. Pain forgotten. Fires lit by the love in His eyes. A people set ablaze. Every generation seeking His heart in a heartless world.

The Passion.

My soul is stirred with a noble theme - the God of all wonders made life possible through His purposeful plan in Jesus. In 2009, I'm asking God to etch this story on my heart in a fresh way. I am needing a fresh sense of passion in my heart towards God. When I stop long enough to ponder His work, the renewal comes. Lord, help me stop and ponder in 2009. I want to know you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Perfectly New Year

As the Elf says, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loudly for all to hear

And I say the best way to spend New Years Day is lounging quite lavishly in your bed all day....!!

Happy New Year!