The Bookish Book Lover’s Tag

This is not the kind of post I normally do, but when the tag showed up in my WordPress feed from http://www.thrivinghope.wordpress.com, it looked like so much fun that I just couldn’t pass it up! If you know me, you know that I’ve always had a borderline unhealthy love for reading and books (although, is it really even possible to have an unhealthy love of books?), so this tag is right down my alley.

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1) What book are you currently reading?

Dolphin Diaries by Dr. Denise L. Herzing. I’ve actually been reading it since mid-June, I think; I don’t normally do this, but I keep setting it down, reading another book, and not picking it up again until a few weeks have passed. I literally have five pages left. Dolphin communication is really interesting stuff, so I’m not sure why I keep abandoning it. Sorry, Dr. Herzing.

I also started Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis on the plane home, but I was too sleepy to focus. I found it again a couple of days ago, and it’s next up. You know, after those last five dolphin pages. 😉

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2) What was the last book you finished?

Either Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery, or Escape from Warsaw by Ian Serraillier. I reread both of them this week, but I can’t remember which one was first. They’re both excellent.

3) What is your favorite book you’ve read this year?

That’s like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. I’m not even going to try to answer this. We could be here for a while.

4) What genre have you read the most this year?

Probably historical fiction. I love historical fiction. This year I’ve actually branched out into dystopian, though–something I never saw myself enjoying, but now I’m obsessed. I read The Hunger Games series, the Divergent series, The Maze Runner series, and The Mortal Instruments series for the first time this late winter/early spring and loved them all. These are all popular series that I had been hearing about for years, but I avoided them because I didn’t think I would like them. I was so wrong. What I didn’t take into account is that the reason people love these books so much is because of the characters–because Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, James Dashner, and Cassandra Clare are absolute geniuses at creating characters that stay in your mind and heart long after the books are finished. Although I’m kind of late to the party in most cases, I’m glad I waited to read these books, because I was able to read each series in a matter of days versus waiting a year or two for the next book. 🙂

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Me when Finnick died. Oh, and when Prim died. And Rue. And when I finished the series…
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Me at the end of Allegiant. I literally sobbed. I’m not gonna give out any names in case someone else is late to the party, but–chapter 50. You know what I’m talking about, people.
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A summary of The Maze Runner series.

5) What genre do you want to read more of?

I’d like to begin reading more biographies.

6) How many books have you read this year, and what is your goal?

I record my books according to the school year, not the calendar year. So, in the last 12 months, I have read 173 books. I don’t have a goal, but if I did it would be much larger than that. I’ve spent much of my time reading textbooks lately, so my list is not as expansive as I would like. 🙂

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7) What’s the last book you bought?

Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan. Ladies: YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK. It absolutely changed my life. I can’t say enough about it.

8) What books are you saving up to buy next?

My parents gave me a coupon for three books for my birthday. They bought me Finding our Balance by Lauren Hopkins when it came out this spring, and I’m anxiously waiting for the other two books of the trilogy to come out. If you’re a hardcore gym fan like me, Finding our Balance is a must-read, especially now that Rio is somehow less than a week away (!!). Lauren, who runs thegymter.net, knows not only how to tell a story but also all the ins and outs of what elite gymnastics is really like.

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9) How many books did you last check out from the library?

40ish a few weeks ago. Sadly, I’ve been so busy that half of them are still sitting in my room waiting to be read.

10) What’s a book you can’t wait to read?

I want to reread the Betsy books by Maud Hart Lovelace! I’m also anxiously waiting for the second Magnus Chase book (The Hammer of Thor) by Rick Riordan to come out. October 4th–I literally have it written on my planner. 🙂

11) What’s a series or book you recommend to everyone?

After the War, Carol Matas. The Green Glass Sea and White Sands, Red Menace by Ellen Klages. The Lions of Little Rock by Kristen Levine. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle and all the ones that come after it. My Vicksburg by Ann Rinaldi. Seven by Jen Hatmaker. The Chosen by Chaim Potok. Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Under the Baseball Moon by John H. Ritter. There are so many more, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

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12) Who is an author that you hope writes more?

I honestly can’t really think of anyone.

13) A few books your heart adores:

See the answer to question #11. 🙂

14) What series conclusion makes you sad?

The ending of The Hunger Games makes me sad because everyone is so emotionally damaged. I do appreciate that aspect of those books, because it was true to life–some stories that involve war and trauma say that the characters live “happily ever after,” which you know couldn’t be true if they were real people. But it’s still sad to me.

The ending of the Lucy series by Nancy Rue makes me sad just because there weren’t any more. Yes, I know they’re FaithGirlz books, and adding a to any word that should have an instantly makes it incredibly juvenile–but I don’t care how old I am, I will never stop loving those four books.

15) What books do you have on your wishlist?

None, really. In reading back over my list from the last year, I see several books I’d like to reread, but I either already own them or I’ll just get them from the library. I love owning books, but I’m also a cheapskate, so thankfully we have such a thing as public libraries. 😉

 

This was so much fun! I tag anybody who wants to do it. Just use the banner, answer the questions, and use lots of book covers. None of the photos used are mine except for the one of me. 😉

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Colombia Mission Trip 2016

Some of you who read my last blog post may remember my promise to blog throughout the week in Colombia.

Yeah.

That obviously didn’t happen.

I have good reasons, though. Promise. 😉
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Last Thursday, July 14th, I flew with a small group from my church–my dad and family friends Mrs. Misty and Mrs. Joyce–from Atlanta to Miami and then from Miami to Bogota.  In Miami, we met a couple from London; they were headed to South America for a two-month holiday, and asked us with the coolest accents (I’m a sucker for cool accents) if there was a reason we were “queuing in that particular queue.” We caught up with them again standing in line for Customs in Bogota and were able to discuss our trips and our homes.

We had several travel difficulties that caused us to miss our flight from Bogota to Pereira on Thursday evening and then miss it again on Friday morning after getting three hours of sleep Thursday night. Friday was spent dozing in the airport waiting for medical updates. We were finally able to fly to Pereira, arriving only 24 hours late. 🙂

 

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Bienvenido a Colombia!

We jumped right into ministry on Saturday morning with our two missionary families (Mike and Tisha, with kids Jamie and Kolby; and James and Heather, with kids Gabi, Piper, Josiah, Jonah, and Judah–and Zoe, who lives in the States) and the NY team (Mr. Paul, Josmel and Julissa, Ruben and Rosdaly, and Mike and Tiarra). On Saturday and Sunday, we worked with children from a group of people, doing a VBS-type program that Josmel and Julissa created. It involved Spanish worship songs, a Bible story with a skit, and crafts and games to reinforce the Bible story. On Saturday we had over 100 kids, and on Sunday there were over 50. Volunteers from a church in Pereira came out and helped us both days. They were great with the kids and such a pleasure to get to know. We had a late lunch with them once ministry activities were finished.

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(Tisha’s picture)

On Sunday I sat for quite a while talking to four young girls from the group, Mrs. Joyce, Dad, Mr. Paul, and Cecilia (a volunteer from the church). The girls wanted to know everything about us–did we like it in the States? Did I have siblings? Why did we have strange names? Was Mrs. Joyce’s hair a wig? (The members of this group of people always have black hair.) Dad, ever the Tennessee Volunteers fan, told the girls that he wanted an orange wig, and I explained why. He took off his hat to show his receding hairline, and Cecilia asked him if he had sinned–just like the disciples asked Jesus about the man born blind in our Bible story from John 9 that day. She then proceeded to very clearly lay out the plan of salvation to the girls. Dad and I were able to talk to Cecilia quite a bit that day, and she’s such a sweet and strong lady with a real servant’s heart.

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Margarita from the Colombian church, and Mrs. Joyce from my church

Saturday and Sunday were very hard health-wise. It seemed that all my worst fears about my health were coming true. I was so physically and emotionally exhausted from the stress and little sleep of Thursday and Friday that I was barely functioning. I wrote in my journal,

I have never been so tired in my entire life… I’ve constantly been in this semi-awake state where I’m zoned out and voices swirl around me and I don’t know what they’re saying or what language. I can’t focus on anything. Mrs. Misty asked me to go in a store and get apples (apparently)–I went in and told the lady my dad wanted scissors… Last night I kept waking up because I was nauseous, and there was a thunderstorm… I’m dizzy just lying here writing this… God, give me strength.

Late in the day on Sunday, I started feeling better. We drove to another town and got settled in a hotel there, and I went for ice cream (twice) and played Uno with several team members. (No, I do not cheat by looking in the mirror at people’s cards.) On Monday and Tuesday, we did ministry in the afternoons instead of in the mornings, and I was able to sleep much later. I woke up on Monday morning feeling physically better than I have in months, and I stayed that way for the rest of the week. Thank You God!!!

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Our breakfast every day: arepa, queso fresco, scrambled eggs, bread, and guava juice

This town is the one that I went to last year, and it was so wonderful to see familiar faces–the waitresses at our favorite restaurant, and other members of our group of people. I’m really obsessed with this town–last year, Dad described it as looking like a movie set. There’s a cathedral in the middle of the square, cute little shops, a small park, and of course the breathtaking mountains.

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On Monday afternoon, we headed out to a finca (farm) to work with more people from the group. They are such a beautiful people, and the children are so polite, grateful, and well-behaved. Something that really made an impression on me this year is how kids are really the same everywhere. Yes, these kids look different than American kids, live on the side of a mountain, speak Spanish and their native language, and don’t have all of the “stuff” that most American kids think they can’t do without. But when a little Colombian girl colors a picture and comes up to show it to me, the look on her face–pride in her creation, expectancy of my affirmation–is the exact same look that my six-year-old has when she gets off the bus and comes running down the sidewalk to show me something she made at school.

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Tiarra, Piper and I making a prop for the Bible story video

Dad and Mr. Paul, who are both video producers, filmed a Bible story video with the kids on Monday. We did some of the VBS activities, including the skit of Jesus healing the paralytic, and then just played soccer and hung out with the kids. Around 6:30, we headed back to town and had dinner and ice cream.

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Judah was brave enough to be the paralytic(:

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Tuesday morning followed pretty much the same schedule as Monday–a late breakfast, some down time that we used to check out a few panaderias (bakeries) in town and play Uno at the hotel, and then heading out to the finca around lunchtime. Our mode of transportation all week was Jeeps. If you like amusement park rides and have an iron stomach, you would love these Jeeps. You stand in the back as the driver flies around bumpy curves in the Andes mountains, just on the edge of the cliff, with the wind in your face and the scenery going by at what sometimes seems like alarmingly rapid speeds.

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(Rosdaly’s picture)

We did a few games with the kids at the finca and then moved on to crafts that reinforced the Bible story of Jesus and the paralytic. I was kneeling on the porch reviewing the Bible story in Spanish with one of the little boys, when another little boy–who had arrived late–came up and gave me the sweetest smile and a big hug. Later in the afternoon, we again had some down time where we colored with chalk and just hung out with the kids.

In the evening, we showed the Bible story video filmed on Monday to the kids and some of their parents. They loved seeing themselves on screen and asked to see it again. This group doesn’t have the Bible in their language, so we are always very excited to show them the Bible story video with the narration in their language. We also had a prayer time and sang “God is So Good” in Spanish, English, and their native language. For me, those few moments spent singing the song were some of the most meaningful moments of the entire trip. It was like a little taste of heaven, when people from all nations, tribes, and languages will praise God.

I teared up as we left and the kids called, “Ciao Hailey!” I certainly plan on going back, but right now, our next trip seems a very long time away.

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On Wednesday morning, we headed back to Pereira, with a stop along the way for arepas de choclo (sweet corn cakes with queso fresco inside) and maracuya (passionfruit) juice.

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(Tiarra’s picture)

We settled into what was my fourth and final hotel of the week. Mrs. Misty and Mrs. Joyce and I went out to walk around Pereira. We bought some souvenirs, went inside a beautiful church, and stopped at a cafeteria for a snack. July 20th is Colombia’s Independence Day, so there were flags and people everywhere. Last year I didn’t go anywhere in Pereira beside the airport, so it was fun to walk around. The town felt very Latin American.

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In the evening, we went to Crepes and Waffles (my favorite restaurant ever–why can’t we have one in the States?).

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Waffle with arequipe (caramel) and banana
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(Mrs. Misty’s picture)

We then went to a park outside the restaurant for our final devotion and debrief. We prayed over Mike, Tisha, James, Heather, and their kids. After all, they are the ones running the marathon; we only joined them for a short sprint. It was such a special moment. I sat listening to Julissa lead the devotion as the city–lights, noise, people–swirled around us, and I prayed with all my heart that His truth would penetrate Pereira, the two other towns we were in, and all of Colombia.

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(I think this is Tisha’s picture)

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Thankfully, our three flights on Thursday the 21st went very smoothly and we arrived safely home around 1 A.M. on Friday. There was another quick connection, but we made it this time–if someone in your group has a wheelchair, you all get to go to the front of every line. 🙂 Dad and I had dinner together in the Miami airport; his sandwich and Sprite and my salad cost more than the cost of all of the Colombian meals he and I had eaten all week long. Toto, we’re not in Colombia anymore. Sigh.

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Many people have asked me what my favorite part of the trip was. I don’t think I could choose just one thing, but here are a few thoughts that really impacted me (I’m wrapping this up, I promise).

My new favorite saying is “you can’t save people, you can only love them.” We planted the seed of the Gospel, and now–as our pastor said a couple of weeks ago–what happens under the dirt is none of our business. Our job is to love and to tell. God will take it from there.

Singing with the group of people was so special to me; so was that moment in the park on Wednesday night, when we all discussed how privileged we felt that God would let us be part of His plan to reach the people of Colombia. I had not been to Colombia for a year and a half, and had forgotten how much I love that country and its people. About a year ago, I felt that I was being called into ministry–to be a missionary in the States working with kids through softball, and a foster parent. Going back to my “little piece of heaven” definitely solidified that. After sightseeing on Wednesday, I lay in my bed at the hotel praying that God would help me boldly reach people and thinking about more ministries I could be involved with back home. This trip has gotten me into a great mindset of being intentional about sharing Christ as the school year begins, a mindset that I pray will never leave me.

Another big part of each trip is the fellowship with the NY team and missionaries. It’s amazing each year how God brings together very different people from very different backgrounds and unites us so well.

Finally (if you read this far, you’re allowed to give a sigh of relief), I want to leave you with this quote:

It’s a funny thing about coming home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You realize what has changed is you.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Stepping Out in Faith

Tomorrow I’m going back to my favorite place: the beautiful country of Colombia. I haven’t been there in a year and a half, and I really do miss it so much. We had some Hispanic guys at our house this week putting on a new roof, and just hearing them speak Spanish made me long to get on that plane (I may or may not have made them cookies for the sole purpose of having an excuse to go outside and speak Spanish to them).

I should be packing right now. I really can’t believe the trip is almost here. Last week was pretty rough (see my last blog post, Letting Go, linked on the sidebar to the left). I was so wrapped up in fear about physically surviving the trip that, this time last week, I was seriously considering not going. After lots of prayer, by myself and others, I realized how dumb of an idea that was. If I backed out now, not only would I regret it forever, but what would that say about my faith in God? So I prayed for all I was worth and He came through in a big way. This week has been nothing but the deepest joy, peace, and excitement; “Celebrate” by Rend Collective pretty much sums up my feelings right now. I can’t stop moving, I’m so ready and excited; if you’re in the Atlanta airport tomorrow, I’ll be the girl with the I Heart Bogota shirt and the ear-to-ear smile (because yes I am totally that cheesy tourist. I figure my gringo self is going to stick out no matter what, so why not embrace it?). I’m feeling so blessed and beyond excited to go back to South America and see what God has in store for the hearts of both the indigenous people group we work with and our mission team.

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This weekend I was looking through some old papers and came across a report that I wrote for Spanish class when I was twelve. The first part of it read:

Colombia is located in northwest South America. Its president is Juan Mantel Santos, and the capital city of Colombia is Bogota. The population is 45,925,397. Colombia’s flag is yellow, blue, and red. Popular Colombian attractions include the historic Candelaria district of Central Bogota and numerous colonial towns. Colombia declared its independence from Spain in July 1810.

Never would I have dreamed that, a year after that report, I would go to Colombia myself and walk through the “historic Candelaria district of Central Bogota.” I never expected to learn Spanish, become addicted to bunuelos, and spend a significant portion of my life trying to get people to understand that it’s Colombia, not Columbia. I didn’t think I would meet girls my age who lived with their babies in a shelter with bars on the windows, deep in the heart of the Bogota ghetto; I certainly never thought that I would fall so deeply in love with them and then have to walk away. I never pictured myself playing soccer with indigenous children high in the Andes mountains surrounded by coffee plants, or becoming so closely acquainted with the (insert sarcasm) joys of third-world taxis and tap water. In short, at the time I wrote that paper, I never dreamed that I would set foot in the country of Colombia. Now, five years later, I’m preparing for my fifth trip to what has become my favorite place. As one of the missionaries that we work with once said, I kind of grew up in Colombia.

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Tomorrow my dad and I, along with Mrs. Misty and Mrs. Joyce–longtime friends from our church–will be taking three flights, starting in Atlanta and ending up in Pereira, to meet the rest of our team–seven people from New York (Paul, Mike, Tiarra, Josmel, Julissa, Ruben, Rosdaly). Our ministry activities for the next week will include making Bible story videos and doing a backyard Bible club with, we’re told, as many as 300 indigenous children–meaning we need a lot of prayers.

I could talk all day about both past and upcoming Colombia adventures, but I really do need to pack, so I’ll leave you with one final story. The last time we went, in March 2015, my dad upgraded to first class on the flight home and left me in the back alone. It may sound cruel and unfeeling of him, but it actually wasn’t; I wasn’t in a good mood about going home to catch up on math, and I was glad to have the whole row to myself. I was sitting there watching a movie and flipping through my journal from the week. Earlier that morning, I had written, “Last morning in Santuario and I am so depressed about going home. Nothing at home excites me.” As I was reading back over these words, something prompted me to glance out the window. I saw a rainbow in the clouds, directly at my eye level, and was amazed at its beauty and the fact that God really cares about my small feelings. I took it as a promise–my own personal promise that I would be back. Or, at any rate, that it would all be okay. (If you look closely, you can see the rainbow in the picture below.) Since then, I have found many meaningful ministries to be involved with in the States. But a little part of me always misses Colombia, and tomorrow I am going back.

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Hopefully, I’ll be blogging here throughout the week. If you want to stay updated, you can click the “Follow” button on the left sidebar, and you’ll get Colombia updates in your inbox. Who doesn’t want that?! Check out my dad’s blog too: thudsonblog.wordpress.com

Letting Go

This is a mishmash of some things that have been on my mind as we’ve moved from June into July. June was full of VBS songs and ice cream and concerts/night swimming with friends, and it was so good; but it was lots to process, too. And somehow Forsyth County schools start in less than a month (what??), and July is going to fly by, so I figured I should try to organize my thoughts into some kind of coherent order. For posterity. Or something like that.

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Lately I’ve been thinking about identity. I guess I’ve always struggled with it, but lately more than ever. My problem is that I change, ever so subtly, depending on the people I’m around. Some days I want to feel like–or, more accurately, I want others to see me like–an athlete, so I wear UnderArmour (because, let’s just be honest here, it’s hands down much better than Nike) and jump into any pickup games being played and make sure to talk about “my hard workout this morning” or “that one game at our last tournament.” I used to want people to view me as a musician, as a classical pianist. Sometimes I identify most as a writer, or I want people to know that I work with kids. It doesn’t really matter how I want to portray my identity on any given day; the point is that I shift my behavior, looks, and actions to try to fit in (or stand out) in a certain group of people. Reading articles about finding your identity as a child of Christ is all well and good, but it’s a lot harder to actually do in practice. I want to go around telling people about what God is teaching me because that’s who I really AM, not just because I feel like identifying as a Christian that day. I was stargazing the other night (wow, that sounded cool. Oops, am I doing that identity thing again?) and thinking–I’m so small, and God is so huge and so infinitely good. In light of eternity–why does it matter if people think I’m an athlete or a writer or if I’m good or bad with kids? Lord, let me internalize that it doesn’t matter what people think of me. That’s what this whole identity thing is boiling down to, and I hate that I’ve started putting so much stock in what humans think. It’s natural, but I also think it’s wrong. I should only worry about what One thinks of me. Help me to truly find my identity in You.

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On to the next stop along the crazily scattered train ride that is my brain. I think that my generation, myself included, has romanticized the idea of “wanderlust.” I like just as much as the next person to travel and see new places, but from what I’ve observed on social media lately, it seems that a lot of teens and young adults these days seem to feel that they can’t be happy unless they’re going and moving and seeing new places. I’m definitely not trying to judge anyone, because I have so been there. I’ve spent so much time wishing I was in Colombia instead of Cumming. I’m a homebody, but I started off this summer wanting adventures–hiking mountains and enjoying the view from an eno, taking mini road trips around Atlanta, finding cute little restaurants with friends. Only a few have happened. They’ve been great, but so have the days at home that, somehow–caught up in the prettily edited Instagram pictures of friends’ adventures–I forgot I’ve always loved so much.

“Wanderlust” is defined by dictionary.com as “a German word for the irresistibly strong desire to travel or wander.” It reminds me of the C. S. Lewis quote, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world,” which makes me think that we’ll always have a little of this “wanderlust” until we reach heaven. That we’re wired to be nomads. But for the here and now, I don’t want to let wanderlust consume me. I want to have a heart for reaching the world for Jesus, yes. However, I also want to learn to be content in my own country, my own community, and my own bedroom when circumstances prevent me from being elsewhere.

This kind of goes along with the whole desiring-elaborate-summer-adventures theme, but I have spent SO MUCH TIME planning lately. I mean, I’ve always been a planner, but it’s gotten kind of overkill. I spent so much of my spring planning for summer, and now it’s about to end. I’m spending much of my summer planning for this fall. I’m so busy planning that I can’t seem to stop and appreciate this season of life that I’m actually in. Does anyone else get stuck in this rut?

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Standing on Georgia. Pic creds to Brooke.

Next week I get on a plane and fly to Miami. Then Bogota. Then Pereira. It hasn’t even sunk in yet that it’s just over a week away. I’ve been going on mission trips to Colombia for years, and I absolutely love it there; but somehow, this year, I’m not even excited, which sounds awful to admit. In case you missed it, I’ve been struggling with lots of health problems the last several months–basically, I can’t breathe and I’m always sleepy/fatigued even if I haven’t done anything. Since our Colombia trips generally require things like playing soccer with kids in the Andes mountains, my current health condition is obviously not very compatible with our planned activities (of course, the plan always changes, so who knows?). I haven’t really been thinking about the trip because every time I do, I start worrying about surviving it. Earlier tonight as I was listening to “Come to the River” by Housefires and doing laundry, I scribbled, “God, You are so good but I just don’t feel it right now. I feel so selfish because I know I’m blessed in many ways, but I’m just fixated on this one little thing. You’ve always been good. Let me truly truly taste and see that You are good. I’m trying and trying to feel You and be joyful but it’s just not happening. Maybe that’s my problem; maybe I’m trying too hard. I need stop trying and let You. Oh please, let me really feel You.”

You’ve brought me to the end of myself
And this has been the longest road
Just when my hallelujah was tired
You gave me a new song

I’m letting go, I’m letting go
I’m letting go, falling into You

I confess I still get scared sometimes
but perfect love comes rushing in
and all the lies that screamed inside go silent
The moment You begin

and I’m letting go, I’m letting go
I’m letting go, and falling into You

You remind me of things forgotten
You unwind me until I’m totally undone
And with Your arms around me
Fear was no match for Your love
And now You’ve won me

As I’m writing this blog post tonight, I have “Letting Go” by Steffany Gretzinger on repeat (see lyrics above). I want and need to take that leap of faith and throw myself wholeheartedly into Colombia like every other year. I want to be SO excited about the trip, because I get to hear Spanish being spoken and eat bunelos and see New York friends and mountains, oh, the mountains. Most importantly, I get the amazing opportunity to show God’s love to a beautiful indigenous people group. Basically, all of my very favorite things. I just feel awful because everyone else on the team has been planning and praying for months, and I have, too. But this year, somehow I’m not as into it. As I sit at my desk right now after a windy day on the lake, my body still feels as if it’s being rocked side to side, which is a convenient parallel for how my mind feels–rocked with worry. I’m in the corner focusing on my petty little needs when really, this trip is NOT about me at all. Where is my faith? Oh please, Lord, help me truly let go of all these things that are holding me back and trust that You will give me a new song when I am tired. Help me to blindly, trustingly, fall back into Your arms. Change my life again through this year’s Colombia trip, and change the lives of many others.

P.S. I’ll be blogging (hopefully somewhat consistently) from South America, so stay tuned. Prayers also appreciated. July 14-22. Tony, Hailey, Misty, Joyce, Paul, Josmel, Julissa, Ruben, Rosdaly, Mike, Tiarra and missionaries Mike, Tisha, James and Heather.