Friday, September 25, 2009

A simple equation

I have discovered that the only way to grow in life is to go through a series of difficult events and reflection. It's sort of like a math equation - as you are learning how to solve the problem, the task can seem nearly impossible at times; but once you are finished with it and you look back on it, you see that you get a better understanding of how to solve the next one.

l + i + f + e = LIFE

I know it's short, but that's what was on my mind.

peace, love, and space efficiency.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Really real reality

Man, it has been a long time since I last posted on this thing. To those of you that actually read this, I am so sorry. But now that I'm back on here, let's get down to business.

I've been going through some changes, recently, in all aspects of my life. The biggest ones being spiritual and emotional. Obviously I haven't grown in height, or gotten shorter for that matter; my feet are the same size 8 feet they have been since 7th grade; I think it's safe to say I haven't changed much physically, besides my constant hair color/cut changing.

I won't lie to you - my relationship with God has truly suffered since I've been back from Sweden, but that is beginning to change, and I can tell you that I am relieved to finally feel God again. A father figure of mine, whom I often call "dad," pointed something out to me months ago and for whatever reason, it's just hitting me now. He said that when I go through difficult times in my life, I have a tendency to isolate myself from people - people that love me and care about me and want to see me succeed. But something that gave me a swift kick in the pants was when I realized that I also isolate myself from God, my number one source of life.

Without God, I wouldn't have the things in life I am so blessed to have. Without God, I wouldn't have a voice with something to say. Without God, I wouldn't have hope.

I am beginning to see things differently now; I'm beginning to see myself differently now.

Since I was really little, I've had this dream in the back of my mind that God was going to use me in a really cool way. As I've gotten older, it's gone from just my imagination to mostly reality. And I can't take any credit for that. I've always sort of known that God had big plans for me, and now it's time for me to sit back and let Him start working in my life in His usual, yet unusual mysterious ways. I'm ready for the ride.

peace, love, and reality.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Back in Black... Mountain

As most of you know, I've taken a short vacation to Black Mountain, NC where the air is cooler, the hills are higher, and the water is more clear than Clearwater. I have a friend up here, Thaddeus, that I met when I was going to Holsby Brunn in Sweden and I came up to visit him for a week and then go to a big music festival up in Bushnell, Illinois called Cornerstone. It has been awesome getting to know Thad's family and friends and seeing all of Black Mountain. The second night I was here, we went to a rave. But not a typical rave - it was a no smoking, drinking, or drugs rave. Let's face it, the only smoking was coming out of the fog machines. We had a great time dancing and jamming to the techno beats that were being pounded through the speakers.

Other than that, we swam in a creek, went to church, had great mexican food, among many other things. Then, on Tuesday we packed up the two 15 passenger vans and headed to Illinois at 4 am. There were eleven of us total so we had plenty of room to spread out and make an attempt at some sleep. The week there went by so quickly and I wish I could do it all over again. I saw my favorite bands like Relient K and Family Force 5, along with some bands I didn't listen to all that often but liked - Anberlin and Emery and House of Heroes, and was even introduced to some newer bands that were pretty awesome: Rodent Emporium, Showbread, La Dispute, mewithoutYou, among many others. I got to meet Phatty, Crouton, and Soul Glow Activatur from Family Force 5 watching another band play in a smaller tent. That story is pretty funny. I touched Matt Thiessen's hand of Relient K twice when he was on stage. I had dinner with Showbread one night (we had steaks and invited them). And I kissed the lead singer of mewithoutYou, Aaron Weiss, on the cheek for Kenny (that, too, is a good story). I also got to meet and hang out with the drummer of that same band, Ricky. I have never met so many cool, down to earth people in one week.

But now we're back in Black Mountain and I'm recovering from a cold while most everyone else is recovering from sleep deprivation. Today will be my last day here and I'll spend it hanging out in coffee shops, exchanging music, and hanging out with Thaddy one more time before I go. It has been an awesome trip and much needed in my case. A big thanks goes out to the Stewart family for giving me a place to stay for two weeks and letting me be a part of your family for my time here.

peace, love, and never ending journeys.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

First show... Ever.

Hey everyone.

I have some exciting new for all you back home who have been following my life via blog. As most of you either knew or figured out at some point, being in a band and playing shows has been my dream since I was eleven. My dream has developed into something great and I really want to get started on that as soon as I can. I don't have a band yet, but I do have my first show! I will be playing at the Pegasus Lounge on June 7th! Tickets are $8 if you get them from me, or $10 at the door, just tell them you're there to see me. God has really opened some doors for me to be able to get this show and I can't take any of the credit. If it weren't for Him, I wouldn't be able to do this.

Info on the Pegasus Lounge:
The Pegasus Lounge is a small club located in Tampa. The night I will be playing there is an all ages night so it will be toned down compared to what it would normally be on a regular night. Unfortunately, they will be serving alcohol that night, but it will only be served in a certain section. On any other day, I would not suggest going there, but since I'm playing there, I'd love it if you came out to support me. I need to sell at least 25 tickets or I there is a chance my booking company will not book many more shows with me. So come see me!

The vision for my (future) band:
In my opinion, there are enough Christian artists out there writing songs for Christians and whatnot, but what is lacking is Christians writing songs for nonbelievers. That's where I come in. I want to be in a secular-labeled band, made up of Christians, writing songs so that people can see something different in them, and in us. I want our music to stand out in such a way that they will ask us what our songs mean. I want us to live our lives in such a way that people will know there's something different about us. I know it's going to be a challenge, but I'm ready for it. If you know anyone who shares this same vision or wants to be a part of this and plays guitar, bass, or drums, please contact me. I really want to get this thing rolling.

See you June 7th.
peace, love, and nervousness/excitement

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Final Countdown

Day Thirteen:
One of the main reasons why I wanted to go to Prague, Czech Republic was because of the movie Triple X with Vin Diesel. It looked really pretty (yes, I know Hollywood makes things seem better), so we all agreed to go there. We got there the night before and were checked in and everything, but we needed to check out of this hostel before 11am and go check in at our other hostel before 1pm. We got cleaned up and packed and took care of the hostel situation. It turns out that our new hostel was going through some remodeling so when we got there, they were still basically finishing putting together our room. We locked our stuff in a closet and went out to explore the city. It was really pretty, but not what I was expecting (again, Hollywood). We saw a lot of the older side of Prague. As we were walking across a bridge to see the older buildings, there was a band of older gentlemen playing jazz. I love seeing people play music on the streets. I don't know why, but I have a lot of respect for them. Kjell and I stopped and watched for a bit while Steph, Tyler, and Taylor walked a little ways down. After we had our fill of jazz, we started to catch up with the other three when we saw a guy drawing charactures. You know, those cartoon drawings you can get of yourself. Kjell loves to draw (and he's great at it) so we paused and watched this guy draw a girl in ten minutes. It was awesome. Taylor, Steph, and Tyler came back to see what we were watching and they were just as amazed. Taylor and Kjell ended up getting charactures. Then we saw old Prague - an old church, some government buildings, a torture museum (yeah... creepy), and some other things. At some point in there, Steph and I bought these sweet purses. It was probably around 7pm by the time we went back to our hostel and put all of our stuff into our surprisingly finished room. We changed and then went out to get something to eat and went to a pub to get a beer after that. I actually liked it, which was weird. Then we went back to our hostel and went to sleep. Steph and I were both sort of dealing with some stuff while we were on this trip, and I'm glad that I had at least one other girl there with me (she was too) because that night we just really opened up to each other. I love having the guys there, and I usually prefer it, but sometimes it's just nice to have a girl around.

Day Fourteen:
This whole time since Julia went back to Rome, I had been faithfully emailing her, letting her know where we'd be at what time and whatnot, just in case she would be able to meet up with us somewhere. Our next stop was Berlin, Germany and our train was to arrive there at 3:3opm. Yesterday was the only day I wasn't able to check my email, and that ended up being a very important day. I told the guys that I needed to find some source of internet so I could let Julia know that we had made it to Berlin. Steph checked her email first and got a message from Julia saying there was some legal trouble and that she could receive a major fine for some mistakes she made on paper work. She wasn't going to be able to meet up with us, but at the bottom of the email, Julia said, "Tell Kaeli to check her email." I received the message from Steph and logged on. As it turns out, Julia wanted to play a prank on us, but she needed to tell the truth to one of us to make sure everything worked out. So she told me. In reality, she got her temporary passport and everything was fine. She was in Berlin already and according to her email, she was waiting in the train station. The Berlin Central Station is MASSIVE. As soon as I read it, I told the guys I was going to go wander for a bit while they were finishing up with the internet. I went out and started looking for Julia. Twenty minutes was all I had and I couldn't find her. When I got back I pulled Steph off to the side and told her, so Steph and I both went out and looked for her. It was around 4:45pm at this point and Tyler, Taylor, and Kjell really wanted to go see the Berlin Wall, so we had to leave. I logged back on and emailed Julia to let her know where we'd be and what time we'd hopefully be back (Steph, Tyler, and Taylor were catching a train at 9pm to go to Krakow, Poland and Kjell and I were catching a train at 11pm to head back to Holsby). We went out and explored the Berlin Wall which ended up being pretty cool, got some food, and eventually made our way back to the train station. Finally, I told the guys what was up and we all split up and looked for Julia. I got the guest service center to make an announcement over the intercom. Ten minutes before Steph's train was to leave, Julia showed up. As it turns out, she went out to explore the city a bit when she read that we weren't there. She had just gotten back and went to where the computers where (which is where we were) when we saw her. It was awesome that she could continue on the journey with the other three. Kjell and I said goodbye to them and took them to their train. Then he and I had two hours to kill so we got some food and walked around Berlin to see the night life. There really wasn't anyone out (except for three prostitutes... kind of sad, really) but it was good to just talk and get to know each other better. We made it back in time for our train and slept on the way to Mälmö, Sweden (I think that's how it's spelled).

Day Fifteen:
I think we got to the train station at 8am and took another train to Nassjö, Sweden which got us there around 11:45am. Then we caught our last train to Vetlanda. We had no specific time in which we had to be back at the school, and we were starving, so we went to the tanning salon and worked on our tans, then went to Arena Pizza and ate. We ended up hitchhiking back to Holsby because we didn't have any other way of getting there, and got a ride pretty quickly. Once we made it back, we were greeted by everyone that was already back and it felt great to be back home after not having a home for two weeks.

This concludes my spring break adventures. I hope you guys have enjoyed reading about them. =)

peace, love, and more love.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More from Italy

Day Eleven:
It was a beautiful day when we woke up the next morning. We took Julia to the train station to head back to Rome yesterday (something I think I left out) and so it was down to Kjell, Steph, Tyler, Luke, Taylor, and myself.  Our hostel was right near the beach so we went to the grocery store, bought some food, and ate it on the beach. After that, Kjell and I took a walk looking for sea shells and walking on an old pier that was just stone. Pretty soon, Luke and Taylor were running past us to the end of it. We spent the first half of the day just chilling on the beach, enjoying the weather. Then we decided to go back to St. Marc's Square and kick some pigeons. There were a lot more people out today and there were TONS of pigeons and we had fun kickin' 'em around a bit. The pigeons, not the people. There are a few restaurants around the Square and one of them was playing jazz and swing music, so Kjell and I swing danced to it for a bit. We should've had a hat out or something because people stopped to take pictures or to video tape it. I guess we did look pretty amazing. Later, we went to the train station to see if there were any night trains going to Vienna, Austria, and there were, so we got on one. We booked a car with seats instead of beds because the seats were way cheaper. They ended up being able to fold down to form one big bed, and in the end we were all spooning with each other. It was packed. There wasn't much sleep that night.

Day Twelve:
We made it to Austria okay and just sort of walked around for a while. Kjell had been there before so he showed us around a bit and we saw a cool museum and neat statues and stuff. Then we went to get schnitzel and it was DELICIOUS. That's basically all we did in Austria - walk and eat. Haha. Toward the end of the day we went to the train station and got on a train and headed toward Prague, Czech Republic. We got there around 5pm and NO ONE spoke a word of English. Thankfully, Steph is incredibly organized and had the directions from the train station to our hostel already worked out. It took us maybe ten minutes to walk there. We got all checked (haha, no pun intended) into the hostel, checked our email, and went out to grab something to eat for dinner. Then we got cleaned up and went to bed.

peace, love, and PRAGUE.
kae-li, slapshot mcgee

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Still in Italy, but I'm not complaining

Day Ten:
We awoke early the next morning to catch the Metro to Vatican City. Steph, Tyler, Taylor, Julia, and myself left our bags at the hostel, but Luke didn't want to risk anything so he took his with him. Taylor wore shorts to the Vatican and you're not allowed to wear shorts so he had to wear a pair of Luke's jeans. Taylor is SUPER tall and Luke it a regular sized guy... you get the picture. The Vatican was awesome. Seeing all that artwork was incredible and to think that it was done so long ago. We also got to see the Sistine Chapel where they had professional shhh-ers and we weren't allowed to take pictures. It was beautiful. We had a train to Venice in an hour after we left Vatican City, so we went back to the train station and boarded. The train was long but it arrived on time. There, we met up with Kjell. Colleen was also there on a missions trip so we got to hang out with her for the night. Venice was one of my favorite cities. Probably because after traveling around for so long, Europe starts to look the same - beautiful, but redundant. Venice was so different and that was probably because they had canals for streets. Colleen knew exactly where our hostel was so she took us there and we got ourselves checked in. Then we decided that we would all go out for a nice dinner with pasta and wine so we did. It was really neat. We dressed up in our nicest clothes (which isn't saying much), and had a good time talking and catching up with each other. Then we went out for gelato. That night, it started to rain a little bit so we decided to go back to our hostel room and play a card game called Scum (like President/Butch) and just chill. Kjell and I swing danced in the rain first which was sooo much fun. I am teaching you all how to swing dance when I come home. I've been doing it since I was a sophomore, but I had forgotten how much fun it was until Bekah and I taught it to everyone at Holsby. After dancing, we joined the rest of the group upstairs and played for a few hours until we all got tired.

peace, love, and dancing.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Have you had your fill yet?

Day Eight:
We checked the times in the train station around 6am to see when we could leave, the soonest being 7:45am. Our stomachs were growling at us because we hadn't eaten in a really long time, so we went back out to the streets of Milan to see if anything was open. Unlike America, McDonald's doesn't open at the crack of dawn. They usually don't open until 10am in Europe, so that idea was 86'd. We wandered around for a while with no luck of finding anything and then went back into the train station. It was close to 7:15am at this point and as we were walking in, we ran into our friend Brady who had just gotten to Milan and was sitting on a bench. It was good to see him again. We sat with him for a bit and he gave us food and water (since nothing was open) and we all just talked. Eventually, he walked us to our train and said goodbye to us. Around six hours later, we reached Rome. We found out where our hostel was by asking the Tourist Information booth and started to make our way there. It took us a little longer than expected, but we managed to find it with the help of a nice restaurant owner. Steph, Tyler, and Luke were checked in to the hostel, but they were out wandering the streets of Rome. Taylor, Julia, and I decided to get checked in and shower (it had been three days since our last one) when one of the staff asked us for our passports like most hostels do. Taylor and I gave the guy ours, but Julia still hadn't found hers. After 30 minutes of searching, she started to get frantic. We looked through all of our packs - nothing. Apparently, either from Pisa to Milan or Milan to Rome, Julia had lost her passport. Thankfully, the guy said it was okay and he gave us the number to the Canadian embassy for her. It was Thursday evening and the embassy was only open Monday - Thursday, 9am-11am. Julia decided not to worry about it until she needed to, haha. We got cleaned up and were starving when Steph, Luke, and Tyler came through the door. We greeted them with hugs and hellos and filled them in on the passport situation. After that, we all got ready and went out for dinner at a little place down the road. It was really good. Following dinner, we went to the Trevi fountain, made wishes, and got gelato. Mmm, gelato. Then we walked around a bit more before we went back to the hostel to sleep.

Day Nine:
The first thing we went to see after we got ready in the morning was the Colosseum. We paid 20 Euro for a tour of the inside and of Nero's palace across the road and of the ruins of Rome. It was incredible. Walking through the Colosseum was a weird experience. On one hand, it was awesome to experience that part of history, but on the other hand, it was awful the things that happened there for sheer entertainment. I guess you could say it was bittersweet. Next was Nero's palace. Also bittersweet if you know what happened there. Walking through the ruins was cool. We got to go down into Paul and Peter's jail cell, which was also bittersweet. Unfortunately, we had to pay for all these places, so we didn't eat very much that day. We were planning on going to see the Vatican after the other places, but it closes at around 4:30pm and it was 5pm. Instead, we went to an internet/international call cafe so Julia could call her parents and so we could email the school about the situation. As it turns out, and what was a major answer to prayer, Julia's dad's REALLY good friend and his family were living about 30 minutes from where we were staying and Julia could stay with them until the embassy opened and she got a temporary passport. Unfortunately, that meant she couldn't go on the rest of the trip with us, but might be able to meet up later. We were leaving for Venice in the afternoon the next day and Julia would come with us and stay for a night, but she'd catch a train back to Rome the day after. Everything was worked out in an hour and a half, so we went back to the hostel and chilled before bed.

peace, love, and trusting God.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The break in spring

Day Six:
Taylor, Julia, and I checked out of our hostel in Bern, Switzerland at around ten and went to the train station to catch our train to Zurich, Switzerland. The train was a few hours so I got caught up on some sleep. When we got there, it was snowing a bit so we walked around to try and find some sort of shelter. We ended up in a bookstore, reading about Zurich. Apparently, it has 60 movie theaters, or something. The weather eventually cleared up and we went and walked around some. We didn't have a hostel in Zurich because we were going to take a night train to Pisa, Italy that night, so we carried our packs around with us all day (they were about 22 lbs.), which wasn't too bad, but it did get tiring. The three of us decided to not spend a lot of money on food for the next few days, so we bought a kilo (2.2 lbs) of bread and ate it with jam for lunch and dinner. We didn't really do anything in Zurich except walk around and see stuff. It was a neat city, even though there wasn't a ton to do. We had about 45 minutes to spare before we needed to be at the train station, even though we were so close, so we just stayed relatively near to it. For some reason, I had a mini break down and started crying. I was really missing Sennit that day; I miss him every day, but I don't cry every day. Julia and Taylor just sort of stood there hugging me for a bit, attempting to make me laugh. They succeeded. Even though I was still a little sad, I felt better. We got on the train for Pisa and broke out the bread for dinner. But then we decided to have our own communion, which was cool. Taylor read from the Bible and broke the bread. Afterwards, we sang a song. We were the only ones in our compartment at the time. The other three people filed in at the next stop and then we all attempted to sleep on the train.

Day Seven:
Even though we were pretty tired from not getting a whole lot of sleep the night before, we were excited and ready to roll. We only had a few hours in Pisa before we had to catch our train to Milan, so we immediately started asking around as to where the Tower of Pisa was. We talked to a few different people, and they gave us the direction, but the way to get there was different from all of them. Finally, we just went back to the train station and found out we could take a bus directly to it. The tickets were only two Euro, so we went for it. There were a TON of people there, which was expected, but it was absolutely hilarious seeing all the other tourists pose like they were holding up the Tower or leaning against it. Of course, what did we do? The same thing. We also did some walking around and found this side street with super cute shops on it. Taylor, being a nice guy, let Julia and I go in almost all of them. I bought a necklace in one and a shirt for my brother, and Julia bought a cute skirt. Then we caught the bus back to the station to get on our train to Milan. The train took two hours longer than we were expecting, so we didn't get there until probably around 8pm-ish. We had a hostel booked in Milan, so we went to one of the Information desks to ask where it was. Unfortunately, we didn't have the address but the guy seemed to know where it was. He gave us a map and put a dot on it and sort of told us where to go. We went to McDonald's (because it was cheap, and open) for a quick dinner, and then went out and walked around, looking for our hostel. When we got to the place that was "dictated" on the map, it was a big industrial land fill. Yeah. WHAT THE HECK?! We thought that this COULDN'T be it, so we found a nearby hotel and he told us that it was in a different direction. Long story short, we ended up asking people in restaurants, people on the street, etc. We got a different direction every time. After walking around for three hours (it was 11pm now), we decided to give up on the hostel and go to the train station and sleep. Thankfully, there was a waiting room, but it had the most uncomfortable wooden benches ever (they were like church pews, but awful) and they opened the doors at night to get all the smoke out. Side note: it gets cold in Europe at night. Taylor stayed awake the whole night to keep an eye on us and our stuff so Julia and I could sleep. The two of us curled up on a bench, and made an attempt at getting some rest. I managed to squeeze in an hour (if that), but Julia slept for about three. I played cards with Taylor for a while to help keep him awake, and all "got up" at around 5am. We all agreed on getting the first train out of there so we could get to Rome and meet up with Steph, Tyler, and Luke at the hostel we had booked.

peace, love, and you don't know the half of it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More spring break

Day Four:
This was our last day in France. We got up early enough to check out and walk around some more before we had to catch our train to Bern, Switzerland. Finally, we found a creperie and had crepes in France. They were delicious. So we got some more. Also, I was able to eat ratatouille while I was in France. It was basically just a vegetarian dish (I didn't know that). We continued exploring for a few hours, went into more souvenir shops but didn't buy anything, and just had a good time. Then we went back to the train station and headed to Bern. I think we got to Bern sometime around 4pm, and we got to see the Swiss Alps as the train was coming close to the stop. They were beautiful. We found our hostel after trying to find someone to help us find it. We decided to just stay in for the night because the three of us were pretty tired so we bought pasta and sauce and made spaghetti for dinner and chilled in the hostel.

Day Five:
We let ourselves sleep in to catch up on our rest, but then we went to the grocery store and bought stuff to make breakfast. We didn't actually get out and see Bern until probably around 3pm. Part of the reason was because we didn't know we needed to make a train reservation for night trains (something I forgot to mention: we bought Interrail passes which allow us to get on any train we want within a certain number of days. The only thing extra we had to pay for was reservations and we only needed those for the few night trains we took.) We were planning on going to Zurich, Switzerland and then on to Nice, France, but the night train to France was full already so we had to come up with where we were going to go next. We decided on Pisa, Italy. After we got our planning worked out, we bombed around Bern for a bit. There wasn't a lot to do except walk and look, but we had a great time while we were there. After dinner, I was pretty tired, so I went to sleep while Taylor and Julia went back out to see more of Bern. It was 10pm when they left and probably midnight when they got back.

That's all for now.
peace, love, and out of time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring break adventures

Man, it's been a while since I've written anything on here. I am so sorry for that. I know some of you check my blog (or used to, anyway) every day. Hopefully this will help.

Day One:
It was pretty much just a traveling day. Our trip started off with Julia, Taylor, and myself and the first step was to get to Stockholm. We took a few busses and made it there with plenty of time to spare so we decided we'd just get something to eat or drink in the airport. There was a group of us that was taking a missions trip to Bosnia and we ran into them at the airport. It was pretty cool because we got to chill with them before we caught our flight to Frankfurt, Germany. The flight wasn't too bad. The three of us ended falling asleep, but when we got there it was around 9pm. We were supposed to take a bus to get to another part of Germany so our friend Dave could pick us up, but it didn't leave until 10:15pm. We chilled in the train station for 45 minutes or so to wait for the bus. The ride from there to another train station was two hours so by the time we got there, it was 12:30am. Dave and his mom were there to pick us up. Unfortunately, they lived an hour away. Thankfully, the Autobahn is in Germany.

Day Two:
Dave and his parents were SO hospitable the entire time we were at their house. We got to sleep in as late as we wanted (which ended up being around 11:30am) and they had a big breakfast waiting for us. After that, we all went and hung out with Dave up in his room (his house in incredible) and it was a nice day outside so we sat on his balcony. Then we climbed up on the roof to enjoy the weather up there. At 4pm-ish, we went and played volleyball with Dave and some of his friends in the neighboring village. Or as the Germans would say, willage. After saying goodbye, we headed back to Dave's to get ready for the ultimate free-loading experience. Dave's cousin and cousin-in-law were having their 25th wedding anniversary that we somehow ended up being invited to. Let's just say we were the only underdressed people there (each of us only packed jeans and t shirts and like one nice shirt in our packs), but I'm pretty sure everyone there knew we weren't from around there. Haha. We enjoyed delicious catered food and entertainment. It was all in German, but when Dave's dad got up to talk about God in marriage and stuff, we could almost understand exactly what he was saying. It was pretty neat. The fact that he used tangible objects probably helped. After the anniversary party, we went to Dave's friend's birthday party. Then we stopped by his church to hang out with one of the friends we met earlier and after that we went back to Dave's to get some sleep before we were going to head out the next morning.

Day Three:
Again, Dave's parents had breakfast waiting for us when we were done getting ready in the morning. Dave drove us on the Autobahn to the train station going at around 21o kph (130 mph, for those of you who don't know the metric system. It's okay, I don't either.) and said goodbye to us as we got on our train headed to Strasbourg, France. We arrived there some time in the afternoon and the first thing we did was get baguettes and eat them. We realized at the beginning of this trip that we probably weren't going to be eating a whole lot more than bread and stuff, so we were content with that. Plus, baguettes in France are so much cooler. After that, we found our hostel, dropped our stuff off, and then went and explored Strasbourg. There was an art festival going on so we walked through that and saw some neat pieces of art. Then we found a MASSIVE cookie in a souvenir shop so, of course, we had to get it. IT WAS DISGUSTING. We basically wanted to cry as we were eating it, haha. We ended up feeding it to some swans that were hanging out in the river near us. Then we found a Claire's and Julia had been wanting to get her second holes pierced, so we went and did that. I considered getting a tattoo, but then I thought I'd wait until I knew the artist that was going to do it and that there wouldn't be any communication problems. We did a little more exploring (mainly searching for a creperie but couldn't find one) and then headed back to our hostel for some sleep.

That's all for now. Don't worry, you'll have a lot more to read. I was traveling around Europe for fifteen days. And this is only three.

peace, love, and sojourns.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

We Are Broken

About two weeks after I got back to Holsby on a Saturday, I was sitting in bed just talking to God about things I was worried about and things I was thankful for and other things. I knew I hadn't been on the right track with Him for a while and I wanted to fix that, so I asked God to break me. After I finished praying, my friend Jess walked into my room and sat down. We started talking about how we were sick of being complacent with where we were in our walks and how we wanted to feel that passion and fire for God again. But we had no idea how to make that happen. We talked for about forty five minutes until she decided to go to bed.

On Sunday, things seemed to be going okay. Church was pretty good and I was worshipping in the back with Bekah during the songs. Afterwards, we all went back to our dorms to change into more comfortable clothes and headed to lunch. Most people go to the computer room to check their Facebooks after lunch, and yes, I am one of those people. It was then that I found out. I received a message from Kaydee saying last night Sennit had died. I saw that I had another one from Alyson but I didn't have time to read it before tears were going to explode out of my eyes. I hit the log out button and ran upstairs to my room. There were people gathered outside of the computer room and as they saw me running, I heard them say my name but I didn't care to stop. I needed to get to my room. Two girls had followed me up there but I had no idea who they were because I was already collapsed on the floor crying my eyes out. I could hear people coming in and out of my room, feel people touch my shoulder or my leg for a brief moment, and then leave, all the while one word kept floating through my thoughts like a broken record... "Why?"

After that, it seemed like Murphy's Law was surrounding me; it could've been that I had a more pessimistic view of things. I couldn't be home with the people that knew and loved Sennit as much as I did. I lost my True Love Waits ring in the snow on a trail in the woods. I felt alone all the time. I was behind in my school work. I got strep throat and couldn't go on my outreach for outreach week. What else could go wrong?

But I think that there's a reason as to why all of this is happening. I asked God to break me. I asked Him to rock my world so that I could be on fire for Him. And I think that is what's happening. It's definitely not going to happen overnight, but I think that His love is slowly creeping into my life; at least that I can see. I still don't have my True Love Waits ring. I'm still not home with my friends. I'm still behind in my school work. I still miss Sennit. But I have hope. Although it's a good reminder, I don't need that ring. There are a ton of people here in Sweden, though nothing like you guys back home, that would do anything for me. I'm actually doing my school work. My strep throat should be gone in a few more days. And I will see Sennit again. So, yes. I am broken, and there might be parts of me that still need to be broken, but I do know that God knows what he's doing and I'm going to trust Him with that... as hard as that may be.

peace, love, and brokenness.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Apology and tenacity

Hello everyone who is currently viewing this on the interweb.

I just want to apologize for not blogging in, well, a long time. I owe you all more than I've been giving you because of all the support I've received from you. I really am sorry.

It's just been difficult to do a whole lot of anything lately. I haven't picked up my guitar since Sennit passed away. I haven't tried to write any new songs, I haven't really even prayed a whole lot.

I guess I'm just confused and scared about a lot, and also still grieving. I will blog again soon.

For those that were wondering, I am back in Sweden and things are going pretty okay. There's a lot about myself that I need to change and I'm going to start with one of those things today. As much as I wish I could be back home with all of you to grieve with you, I know that God has me here for a reason. I have no idea what that is, but I am determined to figure that out.

peace, love, and not giving up.
tick tock