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Decide What To Be And Go Be It.

My last week in Michigan has been awesome..

Spending a day at The Bowl at lake michigan

biking the white pine trail

kayaking the rogue river

losing my brand new ipod touch in a gravel pit, and then finding it!

Climbing trees and playing ladyball with my livingroom group at Hager Park

Finishing up recording for Patchwork’s album.

stargazing while sitting on a dock by the Grand River 

Scootering around my neighborhood with my best friend

dinner and a movie with the coolest brother i know :P

Friday night Bella Bella bye bye sierra party at Stephen Pell’s house with all my dear friends.

My last qdoba for 6 months 

Getting a sweet Key necklace from one of my favorite ladies. 

And then last night, a barbeque send off party with all of my family. 

It’s been wonderful. Bittersweet. But very enjoyable. 

In just 3 days i’ll be living in Germany. ( oops, i still need to finish packing!)

Yes, I’m excited. Yes, i’m a little nervous.  Yes I’m “ready.”  

I wont have a phone with me so those of you wishing to keep in contact can reach me on facebook or by email:

Also, Thank you to everyone who contributed financially and through prayer! Thanks to you my goal has been met! I love you all!

Germany, I’ll see you in 3 days. 

Yesterday i found a feeling of anxiety overcoming me when I realized i’m leaving in 4 weeks. I began to worry about leaving everyone here, and being left to my own sources to navigate myself to Germany where i will have to start all over with rebuilding new friendships and transitioning into a new environment. It’s so easy to allow myself to become overwhelmed and worrisome. It’s silly how fast we are able to think of how many different things could go wrong. And it’s such a waste of time and emotion. Luckily, this bad habit of mine is something i’m slowly but surely overcoming. I’ve been reading a lot lately about how God calls us out of our comfort zones and in to trials to strengthen our relationship with Him, but also to bless us with the opportunity to share in an adventure with Him. To show us who we really are once we strip ourselves of the people we’ve placed around us and the environment we’ve developed for ourselves. And ofcourse, who He really is and just how much He can and does provide for us. That seems to be what shook me out of my state of worry. Specifically this line from Wild At Heart:

There comes a time when you have to leave all that is familiar, and go on into the unknown with God.

This is my time. And it will be an extremely trying but good thing.

Financially, my goal is practically met aside from needing money for living expenses and still needing to purchase a ginormous hiking backpack and a compact sleeping bag. It’s such a relief. In the 4ish years I’ve wanted to attend MOTA, one of the top 3 things that held me back was finances. Over these last 4ish years, I’ve watched my self grow and have a change of heart about money. Of course it’s important to work hard and put forth effort to provide for yourself, but there’s only so much you can do (Matthew 6:25-34 being my constant reminder) . Being techinically unemployed for a year (i did occasional side jobs and freelance work) really opened my eyes to this. I feel like the four years i’ve waited to do YWAM were so crucial in preparing me for finally going. Looking back i see so many instances and obstacles that i’ve overcome since, and i see why i had to wait. In those moments, it was such a struggle to understand the “whys” to every problem. So this is my moment where it all comes into focus and makes sense, and it’s so reassuring.

See you in 29 days, Herrnhut.

When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of Creation is completed inside us, the doors of our souls fly open, and love steps forth to heal everything in sight.

44 days. 44 days. 44 days

What a bittersweet feeling. I’m already seeing doors start to open as i get closer to my departure. Whether it’s connecting with new friends that I’ll soon be living with in Herrnhut or meeting some lovely YWAMers at Cornerstone festival and having the opportunity to share our stories and pray together. It’s all so encouraging and awesome to feel sense of community before even leaving. 

Then ofcourse, there’s all my dear friends and family I’m leaving behind( but only for a while!). Every so often while spending time with them I catch myself feeling some premeditated nostalgia. I’ve really felt blessed lately with the spare time I get to spend with everyone. I’ve been able to really just enjoy peoples company, and soak it all up. And although there are moments where i think to myself, what am I going to do without this for six months?!  Those worries are soon lifted off my chest replaced with the reason why I’m doing all of this in the first place. Or as I like to say in layman’s terms, “Eyes on the prize.” Because what’s an internet blog without some extra cheese?

I cant wait to meet all of the lovely people I’ve been connecting with over skype and emails and facebook. I cant help but feel at peace about the fact that I’m going to be surrounded by many other people going through the same struggles, feelings, thoughts, and obstacles as me. I cant wait to see how God uses us to spur one another along and encourage each other.  

I already have atleast 4 people I will be meeting up with at the Dresden airport to take the train to Herrnhut, which is a pretty big relief. I hope they wont mind getting hugged by pretty much a stranger because I’m sure after 20+ hours of navigating through airports and flying across the ocean by myself, i’ll be pretty pumped about finally having a group of folks to travel with the rest of the way

Anyway, Now for the most fun part of the blog. Logistics!

I have about $925 Left to raise.

I’m also in the market for a nice big ol’ hiking backpack that i can use for luggage. After talking to a couple ywamers, i’ve found that the consensus is that it’s much easier to do a DTS with a hiking backpack than a big awkward rolly suitcase. Especially when you go on outreach and are taking multiple means of public transportation. Along with the hiking backpack, I’m looking for a compact sleeping bag that will keep me warm (Germany winter is similar to ours here in michigan, or so i hear). It’d be nice to have a compact sleeping bag that will keep my twiggy self warm and also not take up my entire  hiking backpack. (:  So, if anyone wants to help me with this financially, or if you Have any recommendations of good websites or good brands of hiking backpacks/compact warm sleeping bags, please let me know!

Good news: I now have one secured monthly sponsor! This is relief, for sure. It’s nice to know i’ll have a little money  coming in for things like toiletries and snacks or whatever other supplies i might need.

I’m still looking to get more monthly sponsors, so if you’re interested or have questions about that, let me know!

Aside from all of this, prayer for preparation as i get closer to leave would be appreciated. It’s going to be a big adjustment leaving Grand Rapids and arriving in Herrnhut and living in close quarters with new people. Pray that i could keep an open mind/heart and that the transition would go smoothly. 

And lastly, lets get together before I go. We can go get food or coffee or maybe just go for a walk or something. I’d like to see you!

Some folks were asking about this, so i figured i’d share it. 

I have about $1,300 to go and about 2 months left in michigan. 

It’s so crazy to think about, and if i had time to stop and think i’m sure id get overwhelmed, but i’ve been so busy with work at the library, unity, freelance gigs, band stuff, church stuff, and occasionally hiding in my house eating cheesy bread and watching movies to relax and stay sane. 

There is definitely more i’d like to share about what’s been going on, but i have a busy night ahead of me and I leave for Lifelight Festival and Cornerstone Festival tomorrow! Excited to be going on a short vacation, although i’ll probably be getting less sleep than i do now. It’s crazy to think this will be the last Cornerstone Festival, my fifth and final. Bittersweet…

Okay i have to go do a million things! 

Pray i keep my head on and maybe get to some time to relax with loved ones and possibly even by myself. That’s needed sometimes too. (:

I’ll give a better update later. Promise. 

 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Here’s a video to give you a little better of an idea of what I’ll be a part of.

Most of you already know but for clarity’s sake, in two and a half months i’ll be boarding a plane all by my self and flying across a deep blue ocean to a foreign country (Herrnhut, Germany) to attend a discipleship training school for 6 months. Pretty exciting, huh? About half of this time will include me going to Asia or Africa to do outreach. I’m going to see so, so much. Beautiful, ugly, happy, sad, frustrating, liberating, joyous, you name it, it’s out there.  Putting it that way makes things sound so surreal. It seems like i should be nervous, stressed, and overwhelmed by all the preparation that needs to take place yet. However, I’m feeling fairly at peace about all of this. This is unusual for someone who has a history of naturally worrying about things. I haven’t even left to go do missionary work yet, and i’m already learning and growing out of my comfort zone. how neat is that? 

I suppose I should give an update on where I’m at preparation-wise. 

-In order to cover my lecture phase and outreach phase tuition i have around $1700 to raise. 

- I also will be in need of some gear I.E.:

* a camera bag that can hold two camera bodies and some lenses.. and could preferably still fit in a backpack.

* a sleeping bag that i can fit in my suitcase that wont consume all of the space. 

* Boots that’ll keep my feet warm and dry and comfy while walking through beautiful German forests. 

* Film!! If anyone is interested in helping me with this i advise you to contact me personally so i can let you know specifically what kind i need. Also this might be something that i end up purchasing once i’m actually in Germany rather than trying to transport it over. 

* If you’d like to help with any of this feel free to shoot me an email or give me a call.

It’s been really awesome to see how much I’ve been provided for so far just through sending out sponsor letters to friends and family. I was feeling a little nervous and awkward about asking people to financially sponsor me to go on this trip. I soon realized that there’s a lot of people that have a desire to give and help and maybe even go out into the world themselves, but they find themselves in a position where they aren’t able to currently make that a reality. I suppose the next best thing is to invest in those that can. 

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.