Tuesday, May 15, 2012

brushing off the dust

Okay. I know it's been a long time since I've written on this beauty, but I had an interesting thought the other day. If this blog served as a wonderful space for me to process while I was away, it should continue to be a place where I  can wrestle with the things that the Lord is placing on my heart at home. Even though I do not have hilarious cross cultural stories to expound upon, I definitely have thoughts and experiences to share about during my journey at home this summer. 

This first week home has been an interesting one. I realized that life at Westmont is kind of a tease of adult life. You have your own space and one schedule to worry about, your friends are close by, always eager to take off on an adventure and you are mainly focused on your agenda. While these things are incredibly freeing and allow for personal development and growth, I have found that it makes for a rather rough transition back into life at home. As the oldest child of three, I came home to homework, dance schedules and CIF golf matches in full swing. All I wanted to do was hang out and be with everyone. However, this was simply not a reality for the other four members of my family. So, I decided to apply for a few jobs. I have yet to hear back from the two companies, and feel rather stuck. I want to work and have some responsibility, but I am not sure if that is a realistic expectation seeing how I am only home for three months, barely. Even though I'd love to start working right away, I completely recognize God's provision and know that he knows exactly what I am to be doing this summer. In the meantime, I'm just waiting. 

During this time of waiting I have been challenged tremendously. My wonderful boyfriend sent me a verse last night that reads, "You love justice and hate evil. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of JOY on you more than on anyone else" Psalm 45:7. As many of you know, joy is the word that I have chosen to live by. Therefore, this verse served as a great wakeup call for me yesterday. I realized that in this new season of life I had become rather complacent, waiting around for a job to land in my lap, and in the mean time not really doing anything productive with my time. Maybe in this summer downtime I am supposed to rest? Maybe God has anointed this time as a time of rejuvination for me before I enter junior year of my college career? While I am certain these things are very true, one thing I know for sure. I want to step out of my comfort zone and do something for someone else, instead of just meeting my own selfish desires all summer long. It would be comfortable to sit around doing whatever I want, whenever I want (in fact I have done this for the first week I've been home). Now looking ahead, I am determined to listen to God's call and step out. I'm not positive what that looks like yet, but I am committing to earnestly seeking that out!

One dictionary defines summer as, "the period of finest development". This idea is what I am seeking to embody this summer. Next year I will be leading a section of women, and pouring into their lives as an older mentor and friend. In order to best serve them and love them well, I need to develop myself this summer. So friends, may we view the summertime as an opportunity to develop ourselves in new ways. 

A closing thought:
Psalm 116:7 says 
"Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me." Rest in his grace and mercy for he desires to restore your soul.


Friday, December 23, 2011

my beloved india

To my loyal followers... I want to fill you in on what I am about to do.


Some might say that this is too ambitious having just returned from FOUR months abroad in Mexico. However, I could not be more confident that the timing of this Indian adventure couldn't be more perfect. The Lord placed this passion on my heart in 2005, when we went as a family with a few others from our church. It was my first exposure to missions and my heart has never felt a more compelling sense of purpose and joy as it did on that trip 7 years ago. Now, we have the opportunity to go back as a family, with 32 other members to serve and be used as tools for the furthering of God's kingdom in his beloved country of India.

Considering that Brian is as tall as my dad now, it's obvious that we've grown a TON
Sweet linds was four when we went last. Like I said, it's been a WHILE since we've been back
The most joyful moment of my life as seen by my MASSIVE smile

We will be partnering with Harvest India, an incredible organization that our church has been in relationship with for 14 years. During our time on the ground we will join the work Harvest India has been doing for years and putting on a VBS at the orphanage, spending time with the bible college students, serving in their mercy ministries (medical clinics, distributing food and blankets), working with women who were enslaved in prostitution and have been rescued, praying over lepers in a leper colony, and a multitude of other things that the Lord will bring to our attention.

Throughout the time there, I will be blogging with two other members on behalf of the team, so if you would like to follow us, our address is: http://rockharborindiateam.blogspot.com/. I am thrilled to use the newly found passion I have for blogging to keep those in the states involved with the work we will be doing on the ground in Tenali and surrounding villages!

Please be praying for God to MOVE and for us to be on board with the things he does there. Pray for BOLDNESS to step out of our comfort zones and allow God to use us. Pray for health and safety as we travel. Pray for those who work at/with Harvest India, that their hearts will feel full of joy and that they would feel blessed by the time we spend with them. But most importantly, pray for a REVIVAL in India, that the whole nation would come to know our Lord and Savior and accept him into their hearts, that they may begin to live a life that brings glory and honor to him. Alleluja! May your hearts be filled with awe and reverance as we celebrate the birth of our Lord this Christmas weekend!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

not for sale

Okay, so seeing that I am done with school for the next four weeks, I decided that I should read something. Something that would motivate me, challenge me, and stretch me. I just finished reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan and absolutely LOVED it. The Lord has blessed him with such a unique ability to articulate the things that the church needs to hear the most, and allows him to speak in a way that will spur the body into action. Having read this book, I feel incredibly compelled to encourage the people God has placed in my life to seek him in a BOLD and unconventional way. To live in such a way as to bring him GLORY and fully surrender their lives to HIM, and the work that the Holy Spirit desires to do in their hearts if they just would give all everything to him.

My dear friend Emily is the Not For Sale rep at out school, because her uncle started the organization. Naturally I desired to learn more about this incredibly impactful ministry and gain a more thorough knowledge about the problem of human trafficking globally and in our own country. So, I cracked the book last night and dove into the extremely moving story that David Batstone unfolds page by page. Just in reading the introduction chapter I felt absolutely drawn in and immediately began thinking about what it would look like for me to join this fight for freedom. This afternoon I read through chapter one that specifically focused on Thailand. I couldn't put my pen down because every page was chalk full of disturbing statistics that continually blew me away. My brain is literally spinning thinking of all of the injustice that goes unacted on. I cannot imagine living in such poverty that my family's best option is to sell me into prostitution. How is this possibly happening in our world? Another thing made me absolutely sick to my stomach. Batstone was talking about how the concept of purity is completely skewed for these women. Culturally, "when an unmarried woman has lost her viriginity, she is considered despoiled. Purity is all or nothing; either she has it or she doesn't. The girl might as well be sold into prostitution, for she has lost her innocence" (Batstone 34). This made me so incredibly sad. In high school I made some terrible decisions regarding purity, but I repented from them and know that God in his UNLIMITED GRACE has forgiven me and given me a new fresh start. Those decisions NO LONGER DEFINE ME, and God says that he has removed them from us as far as the east is from the west. The fact that these women don't know this truth about their creator makes me want to cry.   

Let's just say I feel so incredibly excited about the fact that I'm going to India in 10 days, because I am not sure that I'd be able to sit here in the comfort of my beautiful home in Newport for the whole break now having started to immerse myself in this problem. I am honestly not sure as of right now what it looks like for me to play apart in this, but I do know that God has placed a burning passion in my heart for these enslaved women who are forced into prostitution. I firmly believe that on this trip coming up in 10 days, he is going to speak and move in my heart, making it a little bit clearer what he has for me to do. I am praying that once he shows me or gives me a slight hint as to how to play a part, that I will have the BOLDNESS to act on that and actually make steps forward to do something rather than sitting around. 

If you want to read more about the organization and their mission visit: www.notforsalecampaign.org

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Here I am, sitting on my OWN bed, in my OWN room, writing to you from my OWN home. I find it hard to believe that a little over a week ago I was living in Mexico. Actually it freaks me out when I think about it for longer than a second. Thus far my reentry has been fairly smooth. I arrived home on Tuesday afternoon (the 6th) at about 3 o'clock. As I came down the escalator, I was greated by my amazing fan club, and by fan club I mean family!!! They made me a sweet sign that is still sitting on my floor, and had flowers and balloons!! It was the ultimate greeting team. I felt SO loved and cared for and I know that they were as excited about making all of the funness as I was about seeing it. We went to Houston's Steakhouse and I had the best burger ever. I am obsessed with the Veggie Burger at R+D Cafe by my house, and Houston's is owned by the same people, so I got to feast on my favorite burger. HOWEVER, it was SO massive and filling that I barely ate half of it! Not to mention the fact that my body was completely unaccustomed to eating "dinner", having just come off of a semester where the big meal of the day was served between 1:30 and 3! Nonetheless, it was an absolutely divine feast and although it felt strange to not have my 14 other family members (our WIM group), it was delightful to be with my family.

Wednesday was full of errands and running around with my mommy, christmas tree shopping, almost forgetting to pick up my dress from the tailor. WHEW! It was an eventful day, but so great to be home with my sweet family. We have a tradition where we pick a tree that is still wrapped up and take it home and unveil it on the front porch. Well, let's just say, this year we rescued our tree from the pound. While she might not be the most noteably full, or respectably tall, she has character!!! And, considering that we are leaving for India in 12 days from today, it doesn't really matter what she looks like because her life is going to be cut short. In order to ease the process of getting out of town, we decided to go with homemade decorations for our little charlie brown tree. My mom lovingly cut strips of christmas paper for us to make a paper chain, and then we cut out snowflakes and Lindsay strung popcorn (which by the way is WAY harder than one might think). We adorned her with colored lights and our intricately made decorations and called it a night. I planned on leaving for Westmont the next morning at 7am, so I needed to get some sleep.

I took off at 7:10, and headed up to pick up ERICA! Seeing her was unreal. I missed my sweet adventuring buddy SO much, which made our reunion even sweeter. We spent the hour driving up to Westmont telling stories and comparing our trips, which is honestly impossible considering that they are completely and totally different and unique experiences. We talked and anticipated what it would be like to reenter Westmont culture and how it might be hard at times, because people don't necessarily understand the amazing experience you just underwent for four months. But, we both decided that we are super excited to see what God has for us and the ways in which he challenges us! We made it up to Westmont at 11:30, I dropped Erica off at her brother's house and then headed down to the beach to surprise WESLEY! We worked it out where a friend and her boyfriend would somehow get him down to the beach, and then I'd be standing there ready to jump into his arms and give him the hugest hug ever. It was SO EPIC waiting for him to arrive, my heart was practically beating out of my chest. When they finally got there, I had the biggest smile on my face. He looked so handsome and we stood there like staring at each other because it honestly didn't feel like real life. Needless to say, it was a glorious reunion. After hugging for like 20 minutes, we headed up to Blenders to get a delicious/long awaited smoothie. Then we headed up to Westmont and I went and surprised some friends in their room. It felt strangely natural to be back on campus, although it was odd that my friends no longer lived in Page Hall and there was suddenly an influx of 400 people that I had NEVER seen before in my whole life... FRESHMAN! So strange, but I got rather excited about getting to know some of them and investing in them. That afternoon we went and shopped on State St, and had Chipotle for dinner, which tasted absolutely delicious.

The next morning Erica and I went on a run down to State from school, with Backyard Bowls as our final destination. For those of you who have yet to experience the life changing nutritious and deliciousness that IS an acai bowl, I'm sorry you might not understand the excitement I had and motivation that caused me to run 6 miles to State. SO incredibly amazing and scrumptious!!!!!! Fruit smoothie topped with granola, strawberries, blueberries, honey and coconut. DIVINE. Then we went back up to school, thanks to David Dry and his massive truck, and began to get ready for the DANCE! YAY! I conviently left my makeup on the counter of my bathroom in my rush to get out of the house thrusday morning, so I borrowed and we got all did up. Then we saw the men, and they looked absolutely awesome. We were sitting in my car because it was SO cold outside, and they proceeded to walk infront of my car and stand in the headlights posing like models. It was great. We headed to Silvergreens and had deliciously MASSIVE sandwiches and salads. Riquísimo. After dinner we went down to the beach and killed time listening to dubstep and looking out over the moonlit ocean. When it was the appropriate time we drove up to the Monticito Country Club and went inside! It looked absolutely beautiful inside and everyone was dressed so gorgeously! I saw my sweet roommate from last year, and we made a scene in the entryway screaming and hugging like long lost sisters who had been reunited after years apart. It made me feel so loved! The dance was insane. So fun to be reunited with everyone that I love and go CRAZY together. Afterwards we headed back to school, everyone changed and we ate some quality dominoes pizza.

Saturday morningish Wesley, David and I went to Jeannines and feasted on delicious breakfast (if you hadn't noticed, this weekend was rather full of FOOD, considering that I have a minor obsession...). We went to REI and wandered around, then headed back up to Westmont. I gave Wesley the journal that I kept for him all semester, and in turn, he played me the song he wrote me while I was gone. After that super special and fun time of gift exchanging, we ate at Your Place Thai restaurant with some friends and then came back so I could go to my roommate REUNION sleepover in Kylie's room. Being back with those girls allowed me to realize how much I value them and really missed them in my life. We stayed up for entirely too long talking and catching up. The next morning I went to Reality Santa Barbara with Wesley and his friend Jose, and it was so amazing to worship with a body of believers. After church I picked up Whitney, who is leaving next semester and we went out to lunch and tried to catch up. It was so special to spend time with her and hear what the Lord had done in her heart. We hurried back so to make it to Vespers pictures/practice in Page. It was so awesome to join the team finally after skyping into practices and being so far away!! We took team pictures and then began practicing. I am absolutely so excited and feel so blessed to be apart of such a neat ministry!!!  The Parsons took us all out to China Palace and we FEASTED on asian food. SO GOOD. Then we had Vespers, Christmas edition and it was epic. After I persuaded people to neglect their finals studying and we went to McConnells for ICE CREAM. Even though it was raining, it was so good. Monday morning we went to Coffee Bean, and then Leanne and I drove home in the rain.

I feel so blessed and excited by this weekend! Next semester shall be an awfully big adventure, and I can't wait to see what God has in store!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Praise the LORD! I woke up feeling so much better!! Last night we had our family dinner as a group at one of the nicest restaurants in Querétaro, and I didn't think I'd be able to make it in the middle of the day. However, I mustered up enough strength to walk into the centro with the group. It felt awesome to be out in the fresh air after being cooped up all day. When we got there, I didn't feel super great, but found a couch in the back and sat there with my other friend who was sick pretty much the whole dinner. Our director bought us some pedialyte and we rehydrated with that. It was pretty comical because while the rest of the group was sitting at this super gorgeous table eating like kings and queens, we were passed out on the couch drinkin apple flavored electrolytes haha. But, towards the end we started to feel a little better, so joined everyone at the table. We went around and shared favorite memories from the trip and it made me SO thankful for this family that I have acquired over the past four months. Looking back on all of the silly memories it is EVIDENT that we were all handpicked by God to be apart of this group for a specific reason. I am so incredibly blessed and thankful for the time that we shared together on busses, climbing pyramids, walking around museums, eating DELICIOUS food, dancing salsa with our art teacher and her husband, venting about frustrations, encouraging each other to be present... the list goes ON! Returning has never seemed like it would be that difficult, because obviously I have been SO excited to see my family and friends. But, as I look forward to this next week, I am anxious to see the ways that challenges arise at unexpected times. As much as I adore mi querido México, I am so ready to be home!! But I know that when I get back into the groove of school next semester and begin to feel the stress of work, I'm going to wish I was back in Querétaro, sitting in plazas, eating pan dulce, people watching and appreciating the beauty that IS Mexico.

As for right now, I need to pack my suitcases and make sure they don't weigh more than 50 pounds... yeah right. That's going to be a stretch considering that I'm coming home with gifts and goodies that I didn't have on the way here!! It will all work out! Tomorrow at this time i'll be half way to Houston! Pray for me today as I say goodbye to friends and family that I would have peace and feel a sense of closure in this epic chapter of my life. Thank you for all of your sweet prayers and for walking with me during these four months of ADVENTURE!! I can't wait to share with you face to face and hear about the ways in which God has moved and worked in your lives!!!
 Our Spanish 100 class. She was by far my favorite teacher!!
 Arianna and I with our Señoras at our goodbye comida.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


so yesterday I had a family fiesta, to celebrate the 21 anniversary of my senora's mom's death. ALL of the family was there and it was super neat to meet them, although I'm kinda bummed because it turns out I have like 5 girl 'cousins' between the ages of 19-26 that live here... that would have been fun to know about three months ago, but whatever, it was great to spend time with them yesterday. Also, it was super awesome because the first saturday that I was here we went to a family party, and now on the last saturday we went to a party! Super cool how my semester came full circle like that. After the party, I met up with some friends and one of their señora's at this restaurant that is famous in queretaro. We've eaten there before a few times and it's always been fine. But somehow last night was not, and I woke up this morning with food poisioning... BOO! On my second to last day here? Really?! So, with that being said, please pray that I will be content today and understand that I need to rest. We have a 'family' dinner tonight as a group one final time and I am praying that I'll feel better by the time 7 oclock rolls around tonight.

just wanted to update ya real quick. don't be worried about me, I have amazing friends who are coming to doctor me up with some gatorade and caldo de pollo (chicken broth)! SO LOVING! Please be praying for us as we say goodbye to this city that we love so much, and the families that so generously took us in these four months! See you in 2 days!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

freaking out

So basically, I feel like I'm living in a dream. Today we had an art exhibit at this gorgeous gallery downtown (thanks to our incredible teacher who happens to be a famous art restorer here in Querétaro). After we wandered around in the centro and found this jazz concert taking place in our favorite plaza. The band was french and they had the most unbelievable sound I have ever heard. Sheer brilliance. OHH! I almost forgot. So I have this pair of boots that I have literally worn, I'd see 3/4 of the semester. At this point, week 16, they are pretty thrashed. All around the plazas are these shoe shining booths, and I've said all semester that I should get by boots shined. So I finally did. It was a super interesting experience, and now I am convinced that if I looked hard enough, I could probably see my reflection in them, they are so shiny. But hey, I guess that's what I paid 20 pesos for huh?! Super cool experience. So, anyways, back to the concert. After we had sat outside in the 47 degree FRIO, we decided it was time to leave (as much as we loved their sound, we were muriendo de frio). So, we went to our favorite restaurant/pub place called Wicklow's. We all got a Dos XX and Emily and I shared possibly the best hamburger that I've ever had in my entire life. It had union rings, BBQ sauce and mushrooms. DELICIOUS!!!!!! We sat and chatted for over an hour about the semester and other random things that came to our minds (which is always fun). As we sat talking, I began to realize that I'm actually starting to feel sad. This semester has been an absolutely epic life changing experience and in 5 days, it's going to be over. I literally can't get over it. It's real now. The day that I thought would NEVER come three and a half months ago, is now right around the corner.

I feel so incredibly blessed by the friendships that the Lord has blessed me with over these four months. We have grown together, talked about super challenging life issues, explored and encountered places that we LOVE, played music on train tracks, gotten through history classes, made murals of mexican farmland, jumped off cliffs into turquoise blue water, eaten delicious pan dulce and a million and a half other things that I cannot even begin to capture adequately with words on a web page. I honestly feel so incredibly at peace about leaving, but there is definitely a part in me that is anxious about what next semester will look like. I have no idea who God is going to bring into my life, or what passions he is going to spark within the depths of my heart. BUT, the cool thing is that he knows, and it is all going to be bigger and better than I could EVER dream up. I'm banking on that promise.

So excited to finish this semester strong with an incredibly full weekend of fun and adventuring!! Last class tomorrow, brownies at Laura's house, goodbye comida, graduation, dancing with our art teacher and her husband at a salsa club, HUGE family fiesta on saturday, dancing that night, fancy dinner out with the group on sunday, lunch with friends here monday, PACKING (what, pray that I will fit everything and that nothing breaks in transit!), and then our early flight out on tuesday morning. Holy moley. This time is literally going to FLY. Pray for joyful goodbye's and that we will leave with PEACE and satisfaction knowing that we lived this semester to the fullest.

love you guys! see you in less than a WEEK!