Wednesday, September 28, 2011

overflowing joy and overflowing suitcases

The past few days have been incredible. The Lord has blessed me with friends and family that are unbelievably awesome. I feel so loved. 

After much anticipation, the day after I got home... I got to see my divas! Not just my diva brothers... but Tina, Marianne, and Anna came over too. We had a ball. It was great to see them and spend some quality time catching up on the last nine weeks of life. Laughs and hugs were a common theme in our chatter-filled house.

Mom making some of my favorites!

I love my diva brothers.

Breakfast with my divas on the back porch.
Trecie is strong. He did a push up with me on his back.


bahahaha. Mama learning the dougie.

Daddy made us blueberry pancakes for breakfast!

Oh, you know... just some more of my favorite food!

Mama and I made a pizza! It was sooo good!

Sunday was a great day. I got to visit my college church and see my best friends. We also had an awesome time together at my home church. I am so blessed by the Body of Christ that has completely surrounded me. They are sending me out with prayers that I will always cherish.

Monday was a day filled with nostalgia. Jess, Anna, and I had a great time catching up and laughing. Jess and I got to exercise together again. I got to spend some time with friends (Claire, Hannah, and Greg) in the afternoon and go to English classes! We ended the day singing and praying at the boys house. Monday was good for my soul. 

While all of this awesome stuff is happening in the states... This is what is going on in Manila... I have an apartment!!! Here are a few photos. 

“To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory; you stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn." 2 Samuel 22:26-37

Saturday, September 24, 2011

home is where the heart is

Man, it feels good to be home.

Last night, we got home and I went to see Mel and Nandy. It was great to see them for the first time in eight weeks. After that, I came home to see Daddy's watermelon patch... and we picked two of them... He's been saving the big one for me to cut! It weighed 52 pounds! Trecie came home too, and I've been loving it ever sense. We went to see some friends last night, and woke up this morning and made our favorite breakfast to eat on the back porch... blueberry waffles, turkey bacon, eggs, and cheese grits... followed by massages, of course.

Billy Graham Museum... we visited it on the way home. Pretty legit place!

Daddy's Watermelons!!  They are awesome!


Such a big watermelon... and it tastes great!

Trecie and I cooked breakfast!

home. home. home. home.

The prettiest puppy on the planet.

Some of my divas will be arriving tonight, and I absolutely cannot wait to see them. It's going to be a great weekend at the Bolton home!

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine." Isaiah 43:1

Friday, September 23, 2011

my focus is not on the book, it's on the author

We are not being sent to survive, we are being sent to be more than conquerors! 

I am laying in my own bed right now after a road trip with my parents. Here are two of my favorite quotes from the car ride home from Virginia: "Your mama married me because she saw that I had a heart of gold... she just didn't know it was fool's gold." and "Tell me about that Cradle to Christ thing you were learning about."

Needless to say, we laughed nearly the entire way home... at least Mama and I did.

The last few days on the farm were awesome. We had a great time enjoying each others company and laughing over funny memories. It's hard to believe that training is officially over.

Here are some of my favorite songs, verses, and quotes from the last week:
  • "You Said" by Shane Barnard 
  • "So Good to Me" by Cory Asbury 
  • "So, you're missionaries?"
  • "For God, who said,'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6-7
  • Psalm 121
  • "The humblest hearts adore him... and the wisest bow before Him...See the sky alive with praise... Jesus Saves!" 
  • "True freedom consists not in the freedom to sin, but the freedom not to sin....Sin is serious- so serious it sent Jesus Christ to the cross. Flee from sin and stay close to Christ." -Billy Graham

I feel so blessed by the friends I met at training. I will always cherish our time together. 

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." 1 Peter 1:3

Saturday, September 17, 2011

the last few days

So many perks to living on a farm... good views just happen to be one of them.

Training is winding down and we are all gearing up to move all over the world. Literally. 
There are five days left of training and twenty days until I leave for Manila. We are all enjoying the last few moments together and trying to live it up until the very last drop.

Highlights of the week:

  • History on a Page was incredible- “We don’t have any relics, we only have a resurrection.”
  • Jam Session lead by the talented Jeremy and Daniel.
  • Chick-fil-A Breakfast… thanks to my sweet roomie.
  • Bonfire with my divas.
  • Pretty Skies!! Below are a few photos for your enjoyment.
  • Language learning sessions!
  • Myers Briggs Results… ESFP… changing from ESTJ when I took it freshman year.
  • House Church with the kids and listening to 10 year old Carson play his guitar.
  • Mail from my roomies, Missy and Anna!
  • Trip to Washington D. C.
  • Singing in the car
  • The cool weather… Fall is here!

Typical Day: Notes, Coffee, and the Good Book.

Chick-fil-A for Breakfast!!!

In class... just expanding our world views.
My drive into town

"For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you."   Psalm 84:10-12 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

revived and alive

Well, the sun is beaming through the clouds today and it’s such a nice change from the gloomy storms. Affinity week has been a great week for learning and growth. We had an awesome time at our Liaisons house last night. We enjoyed trying new food, talking about our countries, and laughing at Paul.

Assignments are due and interviews are in order. Our last shot day was today, too.

There are only twelve more days of life on the farm. It's hard to believe I'll be reuniting with all of my best friends and family soon. Oh, what a glorious day that will be!

Brad added to the awesome designs.
Afternoon Doodles

"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:20-22


addicted to caffeine and shifting into overdrive

Exhausted. Overwhelmed. That’s how I felt today as I laid down in my bed to rest. My brain felt like it was working overtime, and slowing down minute by minute. I laid down and my arms and legs felt heavy, like they could sink through the mattress. I am learning so many new things and processing so many new thoughts, ideas, and models. I am hearing from the Lord and trying to walk in obedience. I am thankful for times to lie down and rest. I am thankful for time to process things in my brain. I am thankful for the Lord’s grace to be able to understand. 

This week is Affinity Week. We have been with our posea (people of southeast Asia) each day learning things specific to our area of the world. We had the opportunity to go to a Vietnamese restaurant this week. I got to taste some new food and drink some new drinks (one of which had slimy beads in the bottom, which may or may not have caused me to have a different look on my face as they entered my mouth from the straw).

We have been talking about our level of incompetence once we enter our countries, and one of the examples got me thinking… “Man, I am really going to be lost.” 

We were given the scenario of going to a wedding. Where should you sit? What should you wear? Should you take a gift? If so, what gift should you take? And, how should you wrap the gift? What color should you wrap it in (since some colors represent bad things for different occasions in other cultures)? I just began to think how completely lost I am going to be. I am really clueless. I am going to be completely dependent on help from others. I am a learner. I can’t wait to learn. 

We also had cultural mail day this week. Whew, that was an experience! There were papers to be signed and stamped all over the ILC, D. Petro in a security guard outfit, Indian accents galore, and malaria medicine to be picked up in my mailbox. Finally after about twenty minutes, we had bribed the right people for the right stamps and signatures and finally received our mail. Who knew that mail wasn’t delivered to your house around the world? I am learning new things every day. 

In other news, I have my teaching ESL certificate proudly displayed in my room. After hours of class time, I can officially teach English as a Second Language.

“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth, unite my heart to fear your name. I will give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” Psalm 86:11-12

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

one more month

It's official. My flight is confirmed. I leave one month from today. Bring on the 22 hour flight to Seoul with a 3 hour connecting flight to Manila.  

In more news, there are only two more weeks of training. What a crazy feeling. We have all grown to be one big family here. It is going to be harder than I ever imagined leaving these people.

Be in prayer for the Jordan's as they look for my apartment. I'll keep you posted as I find out more information!

Manila- this small town girl's new home.

"And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach" Mark 3:14

"The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word! Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will. Bless the LORD, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the LORD, O my soul!" Psalm 103: 19-22

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

theirs ends with "I hope so"... ours starts with "I know so."

An eventful weekend with a great Monday to follow! 

We celebrated Mia's Birthday this weekend at Dave and Busters. She turned 8. The boys also killed some chickens. What an awesome weekend.

Doug preparing to live in Africa.
Nathan's Newest Friend

This morning was one of my favorite classes.

Here are a few of the highlights:
  • Faith: By faith, we should walk worthy of Him... How? Put off the old and put on the new life in Jesus. Paul NEVER starts with the positive... he always starts with the negative. He starts with the things we should "put off" (Colossians 3:5-10) rather than starting with the things we should "put on"  (Colossians 3:12-17).
  • Love: TSTS- Teaching, Singing, Thanking, Submitting. In Colossians 3:18-4:5 and Romans 13:1-10, we see the roles of relationships. This is the only ancient text that reverses the roles (i.e.- wife before husband, children before father). Wives submit. Husbands love. Children obey. Fathers instruct. Slaves obey. Masters pay fairly. Insiders are addicted/devoted to prayer. Outsiders are wise in the way we speak and act. Christians submit. Authorities reward/restrain.
  • Hope: We are wrestlers with invisible powers. We stand and resist as a warrior. We watch and pray as wrestlers. We are warriors with seven weapons described in Ephesians 6:10-20

 Life's Syllabus: 
  1. Do justice
  2. Love mercy
  3. Walk humbly

"Are you glad you exist to display the glory of God? ... You were made for this."  -John Piper

"The clouds are shouting His glory. He shouts with gold on the horizons... I am Glorious."- Piper

"If the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." Romans 8:11

"Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD."  Psalm 34:11