12/31/2007

Missing You....



Kendall, Kristin and I in London...our last moments together!

When Friends Get Married

1st.... Congrats to my good friend Hilary on her engagement! I am so happy for you and I am sure that God will bless you and your husband serve Him! Hilary is a student at Bob Jones and we lived accross the hall from each other. Our friendship was such a blessing to me. She is getting married May 24 to her man, Sam, who is an evangelsit! God has answered all of her prayers in regaurds to Sam and this marriage! I am so amazed with how good God is!

2nd.... It doesn't seem possible that I have good friends of mine married or getting married! I know that i desire it. I know that I want it. I just don't know about it. I know it is not the right time for me, due to my lack of relationship with a male, but I just wonder if I can handle it. It seems like such a BIG thing. It seems like all the little things in my life can be Big things. I know that I just need to live for today and not worry about tomorrow. So, I am going to try not to think about it too much.

3rd.... I am thankful to God that he has preserved me. I know that I can get drawn to a person because I want the image of that person and me together. That there are characters that person has that draw me in a way that could lead to trouble, but God is looking out for me. I am so thankful that he has not allowed me to make my feelings into actions. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me and who the right person is when he brings him along.

12/19/2007

Missing and Thanking

Things that I am missing about Ghana...
1. The kabob stand and the sausage that I was addicted to...

2. Pineapple...until I went to Ghana I had no idea that someone could eat a whole pineapple themselves in one sitting...plus a whole pineapple was only sixty cents

3. Being so hot that a cold shower sounds great! I am so cold that the idea of taking off my clothes...even if it is to enter a hot shower...is a little scary

4. Kendall and Kristin...my two good Christian friends that I made in Ghana...

5. Eveylen's (Devilyn) ice cold water


Things that I am Thankfull to be away from and to have in the US...1. Ghanaian men...I do not feel like I am an object that men just prey on when I am here

2. Coffee and a varity of food that is amazing to my palet

3. Christmas, snow, friends and family...the Swanson's put up their Christmas tree and it smelt wonderful! I could have cried

4. Going into a store and being able to just shop and not be bothered about anything!

5. Being away from my established Christian support system...God was so good to preserve me from evil while I was in Ghana even though I had moments of tempation

11/14/2007

Only One Month Left?!?!

It doesn't seem in the least bit possible that I would only have one month left in Ghana, but as I look in my daily planner in blue ink there it is. One More Month! I was sick when I wrote in my daily and monthly count downs until I return home.

I am really happy to be getting home, but I know it will be hard to leave. I feel like a whole new person. In a lot of ways I am. I see a purpose in my life, which God developed in me while I have been here. I see how truly blessed I am to be a Christian who is from the United States. Not only to have Christ in my heart, but to be given so many opportunities that other people do not have, is truly a blessing from God.

A piece of my heart will forever be in Ghana. I have grown to love people from here. I have grown to love a way of life that seems to unimaginable from where I have been. I have grown to love the spirit of hope that people in the depths of poverty display in everyday life.

I am an American at heart. I long to be in a culture that is not bias based on gender. I long to be in a school who encourages critical thinking and diverse learning styles. I long to be able to have a desire for a burger and have it in my hands within ten minutes. I long to be able to be around the family and friends that have been my support system in my life.

I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place, but I know that it will pass. I know that God will help me through these emotions. I know that I will rejoice in be glad in Him that I even got to come here and I have a place to return to.

8/12/2007

Today...


I am leaving on a jet plane and I won't be back until December!!! I have given my blog out to a lot of people, so I hope you all are checking it out! I am feeling pretty good today, seeing as it hasn't hit me what I am about to do. I am feeling a little nervous about goodbyes. Yesterday I received two gifts that sparked some wetness in my eyes, but I didn't cry! It has been amazing to see the support that has been given to me. God has blessed me with amazing friends and fellow beleivers to worship Him and grow with. (I am trying not to get choked up right now) I will blog as soon as I get to a computer!

8/06/2007

A Week From Today I Will Be in Ghana!

I am under a week! If all goes well I will be in Ghana, asleep, by this time next week! I am really excited about going, but as I start to say goodbye I know it's going to be a hard time. So, this is what I am going to be doing with my last week in the States for a couple of months. I plan on eating all the corn on the cob I can get my hands on! I also need to finish shopping and finish packing. This is going rather well, but the more I pack the more I realize I still need to pack! I only have a few things left on my life. Mainly medications that I might need and some hygiene products. The most important thing is a need to get all of my furniture in storage somewhere. I have a few leads on a couple of storage units and peoples houses that said I could store some things there, but overall I really don't have any place to store my things and I have less than a week to find a place and get my things moves in!!! I am also sick! I have a cold that is leaving me tired and a little grumpy! Other than my complaints things are going really well for me!

7/26/2007

17 Days!!!

I leave for Africa in only 17 days. I am pretty emotional right now. Mainly because when I return home my life will be forever changed. My mom is going to be moving to LaCrosse while I am away. This means that when I come back from Ghana I will be moving into my own apartment and I will be a couple hundred miles away from my mom. I think the unknown is still extremely scary. I don't know where I am going to store all of my belongings. I don't know how God is going to allow me to change...will I be a completely different person.

I realize that this isn't the best thing, to worry about everything. It is my sin nature. I worry! I know a couple of my sister in Christ read my e-mails. So, I need your prayers. Please pray the fallowing for me and my trip...

~That I would continue to grow in Christ
~That I would have safety in all aspects of my stay in Ghana
~That I would trust Christ for a couple of hard things going on in my life
~For good health
~That I would use the time away from friends and family to grow in my dependence in Christ for all my needs...that he will become more of my all than he is right now
~That I would not worry, but rest in the Lord

7/21/2007

Harry Potter

I am currently waiting for the final Harry Potter book to arrive at my home via Amazon.com. Before I read the book I am going to make a couple predictions.

~Harry Godfather, Serius (I think that spelling is right, but I don't want to take a chance of finding out what happens if I search his name) is not dead and somehow returns

~I think Harry will be the one that lives, but his friendships are the key to that...sort of like what happened before

~I think Snape is actually good...maybe?

~I think Ron and Hermonie end up together...and Harry and Ginnie!

This isn't everything, but I hope that these all happen...it would make my weekend!

7/16/2007

I Didn't Get Sick, I Got Hurt

Yesterday I went to my grandma's house to go boating and skiing yesterday afternoon. I had trouble getting the boat into reverse, so my dad got pretty upset with me and came down to back the boat out. When I went to drive up to the dock to let him out he yelled at me because the boat was going to hit the pier. So, I stick my hand out to push the boat away from the pier, but my fingers got smashed between the boat and the pier. So, needless to say I went to the emergency room to get it checked out.

I didn't break anything I just got a minor cut and major soft tissue and some possible tendon damage. The doctors put my middle finger in a split for a couple of weeks and gave me some medication for the pain! My finger is still about three times its normal size and is in the process of changing colors. I still cannot bend it! Please pray that this will heal before Africa! I feel like such a lame duck!

7/15/2007

I Don't Wanna Get Sick

On Friday I went to the travel clinic at the Rock County Health Department to receive my vaccines for my trip. I got the Yellow Fever shot, Adult Polo booster, Hep. A, Prescription for Malaria pills, and Typhoid pills. Basically I am now a walking virus.

I thought the worst part would be the shots, but I haven't been feeling very well since I got the shots. I am worried that my last month here isn't going to be the fullest and best because I am going to get sick because my immune system is in shock. So, please pray that I stay in good health and that my body is strong enough to fight off any bug that I pick up on top of my other vaccines.

7/12/2007

Single, three years left, and living at home

When I was in high school I had goals and dreams of where I would be when I hit certain ages. One being twenty, which I am at now! I planned that I would be dating (hopefully in a serious relationship), I would be half way through my undergrad degree, and that I would be living on my own (meaning that I wouldn't be so dependent on my mom).

All three of these goals are not a reality in my life. I am not dating anyone and haven't sense my sophomore year of high school. This is a really hard matter for me to trust God because I have such a strong desire to get married and glorify God through marriage and family, but of various personal circumstances (of self-esteem and also hesitancy to put myself out there)I have been feeling discouraged. I also planned to be half way through college. It seemed easy enough, but in my transfer from schools I lost all of the credits from Bob Jones. I am now just a sophomore in College. I also planned on being independent and away from my mom. This year started out like that, but in October some circumstances arose that forced me to move back home. At the time I was grateful for the move back into a more comfortable living environment, but being an adult and living with my mom has had some major ups and downs.

I had been feeling very down out where my life is and wishing that many this were changed around, but a friend of mine who got married and moved away came back to Wisconsin and reminded me of God and his sovereignty. She told me that I needed to be careful not to wish for things so badly that I would miss out on wonderful this God has in store for me on the "detours" from my will. It caused me to think about my life and how I still can find fullness through Christ, even though things are not working out as I ordained them to.

7/10/2007

A long lost photo


I found this photo in a long lost folder in my computer...brings back memories!!

A little over a month away


Last night I went with Joelle and Leise to pick up Julia from the airport in Madison, which is where I will be flying out of to go to Ghana. I basically started to cry thinking about leaving all the ones that I love and that love me. I then thought about how fun and exciting it is going to be to see them again after soo long. I know that I will change and that my views on life in general and my life specifically will be changed, but part of me is scared that I will not fit back into my life anymore.
I know that going to Africa is the right move and that if I didn't go I would always live with the what-if's. I am fearful of all the things that can happen here in the states and to my family that will be out of my control. I know I wouldn't be able to stop anything from happening, but what about not being there when something important is going on. I realize that I shouldn't live in fear, in fact God commands us not to. The emotions are just flooding over me. I am so excited and joyous, yet I am so scarred and hesitant.
I am also seeing some friends that I haven't seen in months tomorrow, and I know that as touchy as our relationships have been, will I be able to hold on to our closeness! I also know that this will be the last time I see them before I go to Africa. I wish I could transplant all those who make me laugh during hard times and allow me to cry on their shoulders to Africa with me. Basically what I am trying to say is that I will miss all my friends, blood family and Christian family so deeply while I am away. **I am starting to cry at this point**
It is also my promise to blog at least weekly starting now! I want you all to feel connected to me while I am away and I want to hear all about you guys!!!! One month...ahhh...I can't believe it!

5/07/2007

Here I Come

It is official, I am going to Ghana! I leave on or around August 12 and
I will return on or around December 16! I will be in the capital city
of Accra staying at an international hostel. I am hoping to take a
bunch of classes about Ghana and some courses that will be
towards my major, Communication Studies. I will be sharing my room with
one other girl and will be sharing a bathroom with up to ten people!
Also, there are no such things as hot showers unless I boil the water
myself! I am still working on all the paper work that I need to do to
be able to go ever, but it will all be worth it! Please pray for me as
I make final plans and book all my flights. Also, pray that God will
help me grow closer to him throughout this whole experience.

5/04/2007

Going Up North

Today I take my very first over night road trip! Leise and I are going up north to visit the Benish family at their grandma's cabin! This should be a blast...and I will post some pictures of us!

4/06/2007

Easter Bible Study Dinner






This was a blast! We all had a wonderful dinner together, dyed Easter eggs and had an egg toss.

4/03/2007

Dinner Dilemma






A group of seven girls from my church got together and had a dinner
dilemma night. We had one hour to make a whole breakfast to feed nine
people. On the menu were eggs over easy and scrambled egg's, bacon, sausage, Texas and rye toast, and fruit salad. This ended up being a ton of fun and well needed laughs too!

3/29/2007

I Already Want to Pack My Bags

I AM GOING TO AFRICA!!!
I have been placed at the University of
Ghana in Accra, Ghana. There are a couple of formalities that need to
still occur before everything is official,
but for the most part I will be going to Africa! I am very excited to
see God allow me to opportunity to study abroad. I do not know for sure
everything that is in store for me, but I trust that it will cause me
to be drawn closer to my Lord and Savior. So, I am asking prayer that
God will use this to draw me closer to Him, that I will stay faithful
to Him while I am gone from my wonderful Christian support system and that God will use this as a clarification of His purpose and will for my life.

3/15/2007

Africa #2

I find out my tomorrow if Edgewood is going to nominate me to go study in Africa. If they do nominate me than it is almost guaranteed that i will be going there to study!!!

Please Pray

Green License Plates???


Currently the Wisconsin government is taking up the issue of having the
most extreme sex offenders have green license plates on their cars. The
logic
behind this is that in elementary schools they teach to stay away from
poison by a little green monster called Mr. Yuk (I was never taught
this inEgderton
or anywhere else for that matter), so when children are going to see
these license plates they are going to put two and two together and not
going by the vehicle.
They want this because these sex offenders use their vehicles to commit
crimes. There are a couple of issues that I see with this:

1. green is universally the symbol of Go in America...this could cause some issues
2. child could be drawn to a fun color on the license plate of the vehicles if they are not taught to stay away
3. Why are these people allowed to drive cars if they are using them to commit their crime?
4. If these people are so bad, why are they not locked up where they can't do this again
5. the logic of the little green monster guy is not very logical because
kids use that symbol not as a dangerous one, but as a fun little
animated guy (I told my Health Communications teacher about this and
she
told me the teachings of Mr.Yuk failed because he was too fun and the
kids didn't view him as dangerous), so the chances of the kids making
the connective is sort of naive.

I think this idea is
generally a good one, but I think that there are major problem areas.
Also, what is to stop the sex offenders from using a relatives car or
stealing the license plates off of another car? Also, what about sex
offenders who did not commit a crime against a child? One of my
brothers good friends was on the sex offenders registry because he was
eighteen and dating a seventeen year old girl and they made a tape of
themselves doing sexual things. I just could not justify him having to
go through this kind of public humiliation anymore than he already has
had to. But, if it is going to save a child from getting attacked,
maybe it is better to take a more stern approach to letting the public
know who these people are.

2/27/2007

PMS

is PMS a good enough excuse for being in a mad mood, saying things that
cut at others and sitting in my pj's eating cookie dough and coffee ice
cream? (If you are wondering, yes I have been eating cookie dough with
coffee ice cream like a Banshee lately) I am always making the excuse of
sorry its my PMS. Forcing the people I am affecting to deal with my
issues. For the last couple of days I have been forced to deal and live
with the hormonal issues of my mom. I have realized in my own life that
I often use the PMS excuse when I know that there is no way PMS is occurring
at that moment. I use it when I sin and when I hurt other people. PMS
is not a good enough excuse for when people get hurt by my cruelty . It
isn't a god enough excuse when my mom comes to say she is sorry for the
hurtful words she said (this is what I thought when she came and did
that...I know that is wrong all in itself, but that is a whole other
issue). PMS isn't a good enough excuse for sin!

2/21/2007

Jesus Camp




I have recently watched this documentary,
Jesus Camp. Basically it fallows a couple of Christian kids and a
couple of church leaders as they go to a camp where the kids are indoctrinated with the churches beliefs
. The video also claims that the kids are being taught that they need
to be in physical warfare against the war. Basically the video makes
these people look like they are completely crazy. As a whole I would
like to say that I think camps based on the bible are not bad. I went
to them and I am under the impression that they are good, but I HATE
the way that they portray Evangelical Christians as a whole. Only once
to they mention that this group is Pentecostal, which is known to have a very emotional
and to some people an outlandish way to worship. Then they take the
term Evangelical and apply that to them. They are being Evangelical, so
I can't take that term away from them. But, the issue comes when they
make claims that all Evangelical Christians are like that. We are not
crazy for believing in the word of God. We are not crazy for having
faith in God. We are not crazy to spend our life trying to have a
relationship with Him. You are crazy if you watch this documentary and make the stereotypical opinion that all Evangelical Christians are like that.

~I
would like to to say sorry for being a little ranting, but I was highly
offended by some of this claims that this movie made. I would recommend it for other Christians, but I would be worried about someone who doesn't know Christ to read this.~

2/20/2007

True Friends


I am coming to the realization of what a true Christian friend is and
how many God has blessed me with. I have realized that Christian
friendship isn't about how similarly we dress and how much we have to
talk about. A Christian friend is a gift from God. A Christian friend
is someone who walks beside you when your light is starting to go out
and prayerfully watches out for the snares and dangers that could get in
your way. A Christian friend is someone who is willing to rebuke in
love, even with a risk of ruining this friendship. A Christian friend
is someone who reminds you that CHRIST is the most important thing and
that EVERYTHING is ALL about FAITH in HIM!

I am have been
blessed with a couple of true friends. This weekend a couple of my
friends and I experienced how great God is and how important it is so
be a faithful friend. i really need to be counting my blessings more
when it come to my friends. They are truly a large help to me when it
comes to my relationship to the Lord.

I also want to ad something that God taught me. When I was involved in the conservative
church that I was in they used the reasoning that Christians need to be
identifiable for their legalistic practices. I have often wondered and
thought about how much a Christian needs to be identifiable
when in public. i got my answer to that question yesterday. A Christian
needs to be identifiable because of the fruits of the spirit. People
see Christ in me by my love, joy, patience, long suffering
, etc. I need to work on my insides way more than my outsides...i am so
thankful God finally gave me an answer to that questions.

Africa




I am just handing in my application to study for at least a semester in Ghana, Africa.
I am so excited about this experience and I am praying that the Lord
would continue to open the door for me to go! Okay so here are some
reasons for wanting to go to Africa and study...

~I would most likely never go to Africa in my lifetime
~If
I went to Europe (which is where I was going to to about two months
ago) I would be going for selfish reasons, but by going to Africa I will be able to get involved in the culture and community
(They encourage study abroad students to get involved in Ghana because
it is still a developing country and there are many needs)
~The
population of Ghana is predominately Christian, so I will be able to
fine a good church (As we all know Europe is sadly going in the
opposite direction)
~I
will experience a culture that is so different than mine that I will
come back with a whole new perspective of cultural barriers (that
hopefully will happen)
~They are big on having a good international relations, so I will be rather safe form the majority of harm
~Let's just face it...Africa is soooooooo cool! Who wouldn't want to go there!

So,
I am still waiting to hear the final verdict on how things are going to
work out. There is a slight chance that I will not be able to go, but
the director from my school said that he would be shocked if I could not get into the program! So, please pray for me!

2/12/2007

Olives


I have never been a fan of olives. I mean I like them on my subs, tacos
and salads. Before the other day they were not something I could sit
down and eat...or even have cravings for. For a class paper I had to go
into a grocery store where I normally do not shop and observe thedifferences
. i ended up going to a great little Italian speciality tore in
Madison. All the people were amazingly nice and wanted me to try a
bunch ofdifferent cultural things in their deli. Including these purple
olives that they claimed to have been soaked in Red Wine and are
imported from Argentina. (here is a little side note...they have over
25 different kinds of olives and these were the only odd colored ones
in the case) Well, I took the first bite and I just had to buy some.
They were so good. So, I got some to share with the class when we
talked about our observations. So, if you ever come across purple
olives fromArgentina you must try them!!!!

1/26/2007

Life is good when...


YOU HAVE A PUPPY! I finally talked (well, I didn't really have to talk her into much)my mom into getting a puppy for our new home. He is three months and two days old, a mix between a pug and rat terrier, and he is such a good little guy. Oh, his name it Charlie! or Charley! (Any suggestions?) I don't know which way I want to spell it yet. When I get some good pics of him I will post them.
I am also learning how selfish I am. not only with my time and energy, but in my attitude. Having this little guy rely on me for everything has been teaching me soooo much about myself. **The above dog is not my! I do not have any pics of him on the computer, so I thought I would give you a look- a- like image to compare him with. But, Charley or Charlie is much more handsome than the one in the above photo!)

1/16/2007

Our Youth Today


I work through the YMCA at a little youth center in my home town. I first want to say that I love to work their. It keeps me on my toes, keeps me paid well, and I am learning so much about myself through this job. But, I am so scared for what the world is going to be like in twenty years. I have seen a side of "childhood" that is not only sickening, but scary. Morals and self worth are not being taught. I am not even saying in a biblical way, but a human type of way either. All people need to have self worth. We are creatures of God who should treat ourselves in a way the displays Christ likeness. But, that is not what I am seeing. I wish I could tell you what I have been hearing and seeing, but I can't bring myself to even type the stories of sensuality and disgusting things that the middle school students I work around are doing. I need to pray for the future of our country and the morality that is going to be needed in order for Christ to be declared. I am sorry that this is so mumble jumbled, but I ask you to pray for my work here and pray for the souls of all the kids I come into contact with.