Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Reality is hitting hard this week. Some people call it syllabus shock. It's partly that, but more too.

The reality is that I have six syllabi that I have to work through this semester.

Reality is that I have two jobs, one that I don't know what to expect from yet.

Reality is living in the city again and being far away from mountains, pastures and wildflowers.

Reality is having a stack of books on my bookshelf that I not only have to read and understand, but write big papers on too.

Reality is getting a sore throat and not having time to stop and rest.

At the same time, reality is this:

I get to study at one of the best Bible colleges in the world. I get to encounter God in new ways this semester, no matter how hard I'll have to work to get there. The city is bustling with people and every one of those people is uniquely put together by our Creator. Although I'm surrounded by peers and that can be overwhelming, God has prepared a community for me to be a part of. Reality is that no matter if I get sick or not, God knows and will take care of me every step of the way.

(This is simply a picture of my view from my desk... and the things that make it feel bright and cheery!)

Classes have started, life is rolling faster than I feel like I can handle, but as always, God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I will cling to that truth. And I am thankful for all the blessings of this new reality as well. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Jetlagged Guest

On my first morning back in Chicago yesterday, I could not have woken up in a better place: Caleb and Haley's apartment. 

Caleb picked me up from the airport on Friday and then Haley came home from work later in the evening and we had a comforting dinner together. This was my first time in their new home, and I loved soaking it all in. It's a cute little apartment with dark wooden doors and windows that look out to trees and charming brick buildings. 

I was up and completely awake at 6AM because of jetlag (granted, I did go to bed at 9:30), but I got to enjoy a nice quiet morning in their place. A few cups of tea later, everyone was up and the scent of waffles filled the little kitchen.

Haley cooked waffles and Caleb made coffee and our morning was leisurely.

Thank you Caleb and Haley for hosting me after my flight! I LOVE your new home!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Airport Hellos

Moments like these are priceless.

The Lobels have been in the States the whole Summer, while I have been in Czech for the past month. Now I'm coming back to Chicago, and they were flying from Chicago back to Czech. I'm coming from Frydlant, they were heading to Frydlant.

My flight got in at 3:00pm and their flight left at 6:30pm. So in that window right between our two flights, we were able to see each other in the O'Hare airport!

I hadn't seen the Lobels for a whole year. It was such a blessing getting to see them at least while standing in the airport! That couldn't have worked out any more perfectly. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

All In

I am currently sitting in the Dusseldorf airport, taking advantage of 30 minutes of free wifi. This airport is not particularly exciting, especially coming from my other connecting airport, Munich (free coffee and tea!). 

I happen to have sat down in a gate near my own that has a big picture of the Chicago skyline. It's God's reminder to me that that's where He wants me to be again and that He'll be with me there too.

I look forward to my sophomore year. So many times I've thought about how different it will be from my freshman year. I will get to hug my friends again, instead of coming in not knowing anyone. I am leaving Czech for the second time, which is ten times easier than the first time, because I know what I am going to on the other side. I know the blessings of Moody and I have favorite spots in Chicago to look forward to.

But of course, I will miss these hills.

And these walks.

My parents.

The rich history here.

The quaint houses that are tucked away in villages or perched on hillsides.

One of the things I prayed for when I arrived in Czech a month ago was that I would be able to integrate the two sides of my life. That I would be one person, with two places a part of me, instead of two different people in two different places. It's been tricky figuring out how to still connect fully to Czech while in Chicago and vice versa. After lots of thinking, praying, talking with my parents and friends, I feel so much more rooted again.

As I go back to Chicago, I want to follow my dad's advice: Lean in and engage completely. The more I lean into the Lord and depend on Him for strength (like I got to practice at Gull Lake), the more joy I will actually experience. If I am following Him completely, then I actually might have more energy doing something hard than I would if I did something easy all by myself.

I will live an integrated life. Combine my past with my present, be fully where the Lord wants me to be. But not by my own strength. Only by His grace and with His help.

It won't be easy. I tend to fear, to worry, to hold back and conserve energy for fear of running out. That never works out for me though. God's provision of "water" is a flowing river, mine is simply a cistern that will run out. May I know this running water of Jesus more this semester!

My flight leaves Europe in an hour, and soon I will be in yet another chapter. I guess I'll turn the page and see what happens next!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Photos: Barca and Danek

Way back in the Spring one of my friends who I went to class with at BMA asked if I would take pictures of her and her boyfriend. I'm so glad it worked out while I was home! This past Monday I had the pleasure of capturing these two. 

Barca is a sweet friend, and I'm happy I got to meet Danek too! They are pretty cute together. Here are some of the photos!