Wednesday, February 17, 2010

mandarin madness

March Madness is right around the corner (go Boilers!), but right now I am in the middle of Mandarin Madness. We just finished celebrating the Spring Festival, which is the Chinese New Year and are back to our full days of Mandarin lessons, much like our student have full days of English classes. We had classes last week which I missed because of my migraine, so I am trying my hardest to learn as much as possibly can in order to hopefully survive Mandarin only which will happen Friday-Monday. I am anticipating a lot of sitting and listening and hopefully giving one word answers when I can. It should be interesting!

In other news...God is SOOOOO good. He has been teaching me massive lessons and bringing me closer to Him in huge ways. If you want to know more send me an e-mail...and I'll try to explain :) Thank you so much for all of your continued prayers...I love you all!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Sometimes I wish I learned things the easy way. That God would just tell me the lesson He wanted me to learn and I would say, ok God, I understand, and will live my life that way. But, I am human, and it really doesn’t work that way. Lately, I have been learning a very important lesson the hard way. My whole life I have had a hard time really and truly resting, taking time for myself and putting myself before others. I had come a long way in this lesson, but apparently God wanted me to learn more.

Last week I got a really bad headache that didn’t go away after taking ibuprofen, so I thought maybe if I rest for a day or so it would go away. That thought proved very wrong and I ended up with a migraine that lasted about 6 days. Let me also say that last Thursday, when it started, was the first day of Mandarin TIP, the program that I worked to help develop over the past month and was very excited to participate in. Let’s just say God had different plans for me right now. Instead of my brain being filled to overflowing with new vocabulary and the Chinese language it has been keeping me in my room avoiding stimulation as much as possible. For the first few days I tried to participate as much as I could, but each time I found myself with a worse headache and headed back to bed. I wanted to push myself so that I could learn more of the language and help my teammates but I was constantly told no by those around me. Which means that for the majority of the past 6 days I have been trying to learn how to truly rest, something that God calls us to do and something that I am not good at doing.

Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” This is a verse I have read and heard countless times and I have always known that we can always find rest in the Lord. Knowing it and practicing it can be such a different thing. During this past week I have had to lie so much down at the feet of the Lord. I am what you could easily call a control freak and a perfectionist at times. Putting so much work into TIP Mandarin brought some of that out of me and finding the balance between letting go of the planning I put into it and fully becoming a student was a difficult prospect for me. I was having a hard time letting go of the control, and resting in the fact that the Lord had it covered, and didn’t need me anymore. But obviously I didn’t learn this lesson the easy way, but I fully believe that I have learned it in a much fuller way that I would have if I hadn’t had a migraine. These past 6 or so days of rest have been so fulfilling.

I have found myself in quiet conversation with God so many times when I couldn’t do anything else because my head hurt too much. The normal distractions of daily life were taken away and I sat for hours and listened to Gods still soft voice speak words of love to me. I have fallen more in love with the one who has created me and know that He loves me despite all of my imperfections. I am humbled that I serve a God who knows me so intimately and yet loves me so purely. I am able to rest in the reassurance that He is in control of my life, He always has been and He always will be. I am learning and growing, and loving the fact that I serve a God who is patient enough to teach me lessons in the way He knows is best for me.