Happy Birthday

Posted by Teen Bean

The BEST english birthday EVER!!

Posted by Teen Bean

My 25th birthday arrived on time... much to my surprise as it began in the very traditional English Birthday Bundle! Ok it might not be a tradition, but on this morning my lovely housemates blew up balloons and ran into my room singing the american anthem whilst loaded down with birthday gifts! They sang me a good round of Happy birthday and i open some of the most amazing birthday gifts ever! we then went down to my favorite breakfast of waffles with peanut butter. Then we headed off for morning prayer and teaching day at the boiler house. At the boiler house i was met by more happy birthday greetings and cards and presents. Everyone was to amazing to remember. I even got prayed over during morning prayer which was amazing! ha ha! 

  oh at this point i should mention that i wore the most interesting outfit i could put together, so i had on this black dress, with a sweater under, gray tights, overlaid with knee high stripe socks, and my ever famous snow boots, plus angel wings i had got that morning for my birthday, and my favorite scare that i just bought! it was ridiculous! everyone was just shaking their heads at me! 
   So teaching in the morning was good and then in the afternoon they said they were taking me out to lunch. They blind folded me and drove me around town, to end up across the road at this amazing couple house Rob and Sally! They had made my favorite lunch ever bread, cheese, and wine!! we ate and laughed and played pass the parcel! Then the guys all busted out skills and sang "the final count down" and played air guitar! I never laughed so hard! it was so funny!
   we went back and finished off teaching. then we came home and the girls wanted to take me out for dinner so we went to this amazing restaurant! it was so good. i got a little sick while eating because i have been sick all weekend and it was a lot of food to consume in one day! but it was still great. And now we came home and are watching Horton Hears a Who!! i've been dying to watch this moving forever so it is like the perfect ending to the perfect day! 
   English Birthdays are freaking amazing! just never ask them what the Birthday Bumps are... cuz dude that is scary!!! 

Sick in a new month!

Posted by Teen Bean

   I have been looking forward to December getting here for a number of different reasons. my birthday, christmas, my family coming to visit!!! This weekend was the first official party kick off weekend. The weekend was speckled with Christmas adventures and a fabulous birthday party. So, i was completely devastated, when friday morning i woke up more sick than i have been in ages. Full blown, back ache, tummy ache, cramping legs, dizziness. I spend the whole day sprawled out on the couch, nursing a glass of water and trying to muster up enough strength to get off the couch. Even today the ache of sickness clings on.

  As i lay on the couch yesterday... completely drained of all energy... bemoaning my life... i thought to myself. "What a waste of a day". And then it hit me. The day would only be a waste if i made it that way. I've been running around like crazy this last month. no time to stop and consider a lot of the life lessons i have been learning. As i lay on the couch, i started thinking over this first term as a transit student here in Corringham, Essex. It has been really amazing, but some days were just plain were hell to get through. From the loss of identity in my job, to a whole new role in friendships; this first terms has really challenged me. Back home i was so use to be very independent. Even among my group of friends and co-workers i was the one leading the way and coming up with activities to do. People looked to me to take charge and come up with the plans and because they did life was  golden. Here, it is a completely different story. I can't function as an independent individual. Not only do i have to consider the people around me, but i've had to learn what it means to follow and listen. Two of the hardest things for me to do. Here my ideas are not the best, the brightest or the newest. 
   Overall i can't believe how much satisfaction i got out of life by making other people think i was a good person. Here, the people are so amazingly focused on God and doing things for the right reason... that when i try and do "good things" to make people think highly of me... it totally just flops right to the floor. For a while, i was feeling completely out of place because i felt like i have nothing to offer this new community that i am living with. They could out give me, out smile me, out plan me... it was beyond any situation i have ever been in. 
   Finally i had to realize the importance of doing all things "unto the Lord". Which is really hard. Taking myself out of the center was something i talked about all the time and thought i had done time and time before. but here i find myself, yet again needing to do the same thing. I live such a circular lifestyle... i really don't know what to say out that, but as i lay sick on the couch thinking what a waste of the day it was, i decided to make the most of being sick. I couldn't do much of anything, but in between moments of dizziness and aching back i had some really good conversations with God. Being sick slowed me down enough on friday to just soak in some God conversation with God. In the end the reflection and time to chat with God was exactly what i need over this weekend! So cheers to being sick in a new month!

december at last!!

Posted by Teen Bean

wooohoooo! its december and my favorite month of the year... well at least for gift giving and getting that is... with a birthday and christmas all rolled into one month, it can be exciting! so last week went out with a bang. we had a hard core thanksgiving meal, that i completely made... i have never been so happy to eat turkey, stuffing, and mash potatoes! i did scare a number of my english guess, because they do not put sweet and savory dishes together and, as i am learning, america is really all about putting sweet and savory together... sweet potatoes, jellos... they had a little fit when i plopped them all on my plate with gravy! ha ha ha!

but i am totally looking forward to a break from transit. we have been going hard this first semester. getting to know each other, establishing our identities in christ, dreaming for life, serving our community... its been quite a ride. sometimes the days are really long and i get bored or think to myself... "this is what i left good american soil for???" but then God reminds me that if i am living in his will, regardless of where it is, it will make an impact. I am involved a little in a lot of ministry work here and sometimes it is hard to see how it is making any impact.. how can wiping down the tables at the prayer house, or drinking hot chocolates with some street kids, or making dinner for a team of travelers really matter that much? couldn't anyone do what i do? and the answer is... well yes, anyone really could do what i do. and i prolly could be doing what i do back in good ol' america, but that isn't where God has called me or where i am suppose to be! so i just need to suck it up!

i do find myself being more and more restless as my time here moves on. we are learning so much about impacting the world, and dreaming big, and trusting God, that i just want to get out there and do it. in some ways i am, but at this moment i totally just feel called to be here in England for this year. So i have a really bad habit of pushing to have all the answers of where i am going and what God wants me to do when this is all said and done. I get frustrated sometimes because i pray for deeper and more detailed vision for life after transit and sometimes it just feels like i am praying to a big black whole. One of the ladies here reminded me that God gives us the tools we need, the desires we need, and the support we need to do the things he has called us to do in the moments he has called us to do them... and not before. That really has been helpful because it just gave me a peace about when i pray for my future. God knows what he has in store and as long as i choose him daily, he will work it out. and when i need to know where to go he will tell me, and when i need to hear how i should go, he will tell me... our God is so amazing that way.

so i am focusing on digging into God more and less into me! this week at the boiler house we are having a week of simplicity. so we cook up soup and everyone comes to the boiler house and eats soup instead of eating at home... then they bring whatever money they would have spend on food to the boiler house and we then, at the end of the week, donated it to a ministry. last time we raised about $800 dollars and we sent it to an orphanage in India! its pretty cool!

love and kisses!