Charlottenburg

David, Keri & I walked around the Charlottenburg Palace this [chilly] morning!

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I’ve learned that I wouldn’t mind living in a castle one bit.

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The gardens here were absolutely extraordinary!

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If only this could be my backyard…a true dream that would be!

At the end of the garden pathway there was a pond with two swans and several ducks. I tried to pet it and pretend I had some bread crumbs and, well, it didn’t go as planned.

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He almost bit me, but my super fast reflexes saved my life.

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Of course, I had to take a selfie with it!

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Then I sat down and we became friends.

These people – HUGE blessing!

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Well, everyone needs a (random) 4+ story tea house in your garden.

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Here is Keri picking some berries.

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Turns out they are SUPER sour!

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We kept finding David dealing with some ministry appointments on his phone…so what do we do? Selfie it up.

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Coffee at a castle. I can deal with that.

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Zitrone Eis, Mappenfest And Poland

The past few days have been filled with fun and excitement!

Thursday, after German class, Keri, David, Ben & I met with some friends of theirs at Walter’s for some afternoon sweets! Keri & I had Lemon Ice Cream (Zitrone Eis) and Ben had an American sized cupcake.

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The streets are so pretty here!

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Friday afternoon I got to attend a Mappenfest at Ben’s school, which is a celebration of the first grade students at JFK School entering grade school. They all sat in a circle, with every child’s backpack in the center of it, and sang several songs. It was precious. So grateful I got to witness it!

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Friday night’s dinner was a special one. My first schnitzel in three years! Three years, people….that’s a long time to not have schnitzel. But don’t worry, I got my fix. Also, the dry red wine (sadly, I can’t remember the exact name of it) was suuuuuperb.

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The food was presented so beautifully! But, I mean, what did you expect..

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On Saturday, Keri, some friends & I spent the day in another country. I love that you can [casually] do that here. We shopped for hand painted pottery for hours, and topped the day off with some genuine Polish perogies. YUM!

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The atmosphere was just so adorable. I couldn’t get enough!

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This restaurant was just so cute!

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This sunflower(!!!!)

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I absolutely could not get over the decor inside and out!

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And then the Lord did this with the sky.

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There is the cutest, little coffee shop near the Campbell’s house, called Walter’s, and it is quickly becoming my “home away from home”. Even the things I don’t truly “need”, He provides. He makes it so easy to count blessings.

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“Not My Bow”

Psalm 44:6-7

“For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me. But You have saved us from our foes and have put to shame those who hate us.”

This text has become an anchor upon which my soul rests, serving as a weapon against my fear. It is scary at times, thinking of traveling alone, not always having an immediate contact for safety with me…but in actuality, I do and have had that all my life.

Knowing that the reality of my life consists of being given purpose in every breath by a Creator who loves me deeply relieves every ounce of fret or nervousness. Does this mean that I never question His plans? Heck no, unfortunately. BUT He is always faithful to remind me how every time I’ve fallen (which is a lot), He has graciously picked me back up; not because I deserved it, but because He’s simply just that good.

Having a heart for international missions & love for the unknown leaves me, sometimes, questioning if I can handle such a task. It’s easy for me to lean on my own efforts, in turn neglecting my needy spirit, even though, all my life, I’ve been learning how to not do that because in the end, my way fails. When I share Christ with people, I don’t want to leave a single thing out – but that’s not my weight to hold…not my yoke to carry.

The Lord keeps teaching me that when He wants someone to know something about Himself, He will somehow make it happen. Without fail, He always gets His point across. Whether it’s something He wants to tell me or someone else, He perfectly and seamlessly makes His point.

Though the Lord has always kept me near, I still am learning new things everyday about Who He is, how He works and why. Knowing that it’s “not my bow” or efforts that will rescue His children is hugely comforting to my soul.

My time in berlin is not one bit structured, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Some of the most influential and growing times of my faith have been brought on by unexpected conversations, begun by someone simply asking my story or why I do what I do.

I am asking that you pray for me to have the courage and humility to enter in with strangers (not a strong suit of mine). I believe the Holy Spirit is at work right now, and I don’t want to wimp out of an opportunity to share His goodness with those who haven’t seen it. I believe there are people all over the world who God has chosen for His kingdom, but they just don’t know it yet. What joy it would bring my soul to be used by Him to lead someone to their revelation of Jesus Christ and His love for them.

Besides fellowship with God, my main goal in life is to reveal the joy found in Him to those who do not yet possess it. Please pray for boldness of spirit and a humble posture when the opportunity arises.

Peace be with you!

There’s A First Time For Everything!

Wow, what a time of adventure! Over the weekend, the Campbell’s and I went to Potsdam to walk the castle located there and eat dinner at one of the restaurants in town afterwards.

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It was possibly the cutest town I had ever laid eyes on! One of the things I love most about Europe is the use of color and diversity and character that covers their architecture.

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We took a little stroll that brought us to the entrance of the castle in Potsdam.

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This family – what an incredible blessing they are!

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More of Potsdam:

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The courtyards were filled with beautifully arranged flowers and other various plants. It was breathtaking!

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There was a ginormous windmill on the castle grounds. I’d never seen anything like this!

IMG_0342 Closer view of the King’s summer home.

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We then started down a path that would soon lead to an even bigger castle.

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But first, we took a side trail that brought us to a temple called “The Chinese House”.

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IMG_0365There are trees everywhere. EVERYWHERE. This hippie just can’t get enough.

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We then made it to the end of the (at least) mile long trail to the “more legit” castle, if you will. Sadly it was under construction and we couldn’t go inside, but it was still so ornate and beautiful on the outside!

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And just like that, the sky turned from bright blue to gloomy gray, and drops of water began to fall from it. It’s funny because Ben had brought his [rather large & heavy duty] school backpack, and we all wondered what he might need it for…but it came in handy after all, saving each of our electronic devices from getting wet!

It had started out as a nice drizzle, not one bit bothersome. But then…it came down like crazy. We couldn’t see very far ahead of us; that hard! So, naturally, we all ran back, slipping and sliding, to the entrance of the palace, hoping and praying it would stop or at least lighten, and it finally did.

It felt like we were in a movie, running out of the palace…one of the funnest times of my life! I may have gotten a cold from this experience, but it was well worth it.

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Remember how we wanted to go eat after that? Yeah, we thought about it. But we were all soaked from head to toe. So we went home and had a little TexMex feast. I am so grateful to be in this place for this time. God blesses His children in the richest ways, ways I could never imagine!

And So, The Adventure Begins

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After a nine hour flight to Frankfurt, running like a chicken with its head cut off to my next gate, having to check my carry on (for free, WHOOP), I finally [and safely] am in Berlin!

The Campbell’s met me at the airport, then Keri drove us back to their home which is the cutest red brick house I think I’ve ever seen! The whole neighborhood is quaint & beautiful. Cobblestone streets lined with trees, multicolored homes overflowing with character, people transporting by foot or bicycle…I just can’t take it!

The Lord is so sweet to bring along friends who so quickly become like family. Generous is the perfect word to define the Campbell family; if you know them, I’m sure you agree. They have so warmly welcomed me into their home, family and life – such a genuine example of sacrifice!

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Properly brewed beer – my favorite! 

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Yesterday, David brought some falafel sandwiches home for lunch…YUM! Then for dinner we went to this beautiful Tiergarten and, besides the sugar hunting bees that so rudely swarmed our table, the food was so tasty and the atmosphere was wonderful!

I can’t wait to embark on adventures with this family in the weeks to come!

HOW YOU CAN BE PRAYING:

⧫ Keri & Ben have a cold – pray for healing!
⧫ That I would be a help & blessing for this family.
⧫ For joy and a deeper trust in the Lord.

Excitement & Anticipation

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENIN’:

What a year. On July 27th my internship came to an end at the Village, and to say I’ve learned a lot in the last 12 months would be a huge understatement. I went in to this job thinking I belonged in full time vocational ministry, and came out thinking the opposite.

I know I’m young and still have a long way to go, but He has shown me more about how He’s ornately designed & crafted my mind & heart. It’s weird to think that there is Someone who knows more about me than me, but His gentleness in pulling back the veil of my ignorance has revealed to me more about how deep His patience, grace and long-suffering is.

My goodness, He’s good.

“There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God….The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength.” 1 Samuel 2:2,4

The job I had in 2014-2015 was anything but easy for me; clerical work is not my strong suit. Feeling like I hadn’t finished tasks the way I should’ve, or like my best wasn’t good enough, was not the funnest. But regardless of how I did or didn’t feel, God is in charge and I’m simply a vessel for Him. *easier said than done*

However, in light of that, I know He wanted me here this year for a reason. But just because I believe that truth doesn’t mean I know the full details behind the “why” of it; that part remains unclear. But because He is sovereign, because He doesn’t waste time, because He loves me, I know there is purpose and intentionality in every single thing that happens.

I am mostly grateful for my parents for constantly reminding me that obeying authority is good and right and of the Lord. I am thankful that in all their years of parenting me, they never gave up. What a providence of the Lord to have parents that endure! The things I have learned about God, myself and others this year has been priceless. I couldn’t have imagined the ways that God would choose to grow and stretch my mind and heart. And had I known beforehand the adventures He’d take me on, I don’t know that I would’ve done it. I keep learning that He only shares certain things with His children at certain times; it’s simply more evidence of His wisdom being greater than mine.

With much excitement and joy, I am so glad to share with you that I am heading to Berlin, Germany on August 13th(TOMORROW!) to spend 2 months with the Campbell’s (with YWAM). This family loves the Lord and others so well, and I can’t wait to learn from them on how to serve others as Christ did. Once mid-October rolls around, I’ll head over to Wiesbaden to spend my last 30 days in Europe with my aunt & uncle. I am SO ready for this sweet time with family and friends.

WHAT’S NEXT?

The question of the century! American culture insists that you always have to have the next step planned out and fool proof. But if you know me at all, you know I hate having a schedule & would preferably not live the same day twice (I have quite the heart for adventure).

God has, as I learned this past year, crafted me with a passion and love for many things; something that makes it hard living in a closed-minded culture. Sadly, I still struggle with believing the lies of the world that tell me I have to chose one thing and one thing only to do for the rest of my life…my biggest fear.

I love change. I love people that are different from me. I love acclimating to unknown cultures and learning new languages. Belonging to a God so diverse, loving and life-giving makes it hard for me to believe that He would bind me from doing the thing I truly love: trying new things.

So, to conclude, I don’t know for certain what’s next, but that makes me excited!  

YOUR PART IN THIS:

Pray. Pray, pray, pray. I wouldn’t be here today without the love and support of the friends and family God has provided along the way, and I will need that to continue as I go to new places and try new things!

“I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf” Romans 15:30

Do I feel uneasy at times about not having much direction? Absolutely. But I pray these upcoming adventures sprout a new contentment and trust in the Lord like never before!

Auf Wiedersehen, freunden!