Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Team Flo 2006

Above is a picture of where I have spent the past week. Notice the large white buidling known as the "tent of meeting." Inside that odd structure, I heard some amazing speakers and learned alot about living abroad. The information I gained this week is going to be so helpful when I move to Italy, but the most exciting part of the week was meeting my team. Look at how cute they are below:

Gary Runn (far left) is my team leader and Nicole (front and center) is our assistant team leader. She has lived in Florence for the past few years and is fluent in Italian. Super cool. There are two married couples on our team, Ryan and Lea Anne Turner from Louisiana and Matt and Cassie Lewis from Waxahachie. Katie and Regina are the other single girls and are amazing. They are both second year stinters, and are full of invaluable information. They made me feel so welcome and I am so excited to live with them. Kaite will be my roommate. Aren't we fun....

I am home now for the next 3 weeks until I leave on September 10th. I am so ready to be there! This past week was so great, it really made my heart ache not only for Florence and Italy, but for the world. I am so thankful that the Lord has chosen to use me in this way. To get to point people to the cross...what could be better?!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Update from Colorado

Hello friends. I am still in Copper Mountain, Colorado. It is wierd to see a ski resort be totally green. During the summer people hook bikes to the lift and then take the lift to the top to ride their bikes down the runs. Pretty funny.

Also in the pretty funny category is the fact that we (campus crusade) are sharing a hotel complex with a Hasidic jewish group. So mixed in with the college sweatshirts and jeans are the ultra traditional, all black, single strand curls, and yamakahs. Its pretty comical. I also saw a jewish man in all his garb riding a scooter down the mountain, curls blowing in the wind. Priceless.

And in other news, I love my team. There are 7 of us. Two married couples and three single girls. I am so excited about doing ministry with them. There has been lots of laughter already--so you know I'll be fine.

I cannot describe the overwhelming feeling of being "right" here. It washes over me every once in a while, and the Lord has been so clear to show me that THIS is exactly where He wants me. Unbelievable.

The growth and lessons that will come from this year are going to be so amazing. The leadership I am under inspires me and I have had the scary thought of, "I could do this for a long time" quite often. Such an odd feeling.

I will post pictures asap so you can all memorize my team. They have already heard several stories about the chicks. One of our ice breakers was about halloween costumes...so needless to say I had some material to go off of.

I have sat through 5 days of seminars and talks and I have one more to go, so I will be processing all this great stuff for at least the next week. My personality quirks have already come out alot, and we talk about personality alot in learning about team dynamics. So I have been forced to recognize my "internal processing" need quite alot.

One thing that does not need processing: I love Italy and I can't wait to be there!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Packing a clothing-addict...

Will it all fit? My closet that is. And my dresser. And those rubber-maid things under my bed. Oh, and my bookshelf.

How in the world am I going to carry it all? Two massive, "supposed-to-be-used-for-hard-core-stuff" duffel bags, and a ginormous suitcase. Will the weight of my junk crush me? Can I hire a bag-carrier-man?

I have often struggled with my love for fashion. The Lord tells us not to be of the world, just in it. So since He made creativity and style, and put those genes in me, can I love clothes while I am IN the world? The issues my brain must tackle.....

Maybe sending me to a foreign country for a year is the Lord's way of saying, "C'mon kid, you don't need all that. You can be creative and cute without all those skirts. Simplify. Be more J crew than Urban outfitters for a year." The Lord knows me really well. He understand my obsession with accessories.

And with books. Hey, He made me a reader. I was little miss book-worm at a very young age. I devoured everything from the cereal box to Babysitter's club. So He knows. How does that translate into living somewhere that writes in a different language that I do not comprehend (as of yet)? What qualifies as Must Haves and what gets tossed aside in the I Love You, But Have To Leave You category?

These are my musings a month out from my arrivederci to the US. My life is one of stuff. I'm not always proud of it, but I come with baggage. And this time its literal.


bonus points for those who caught the "translate" pun earlier.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Buon Giorno!

Welcome to my blog. I have high hopes for this little guy. I plan on covering all things Italy, ministry, and funny. I know--adventurous. But hey, go big or go home, right?

I wanted to let you all know that I am officially at 103% percent in my support raising. So can I get one big, "hallelujah!" Man, is the Lord ever faithful.

The next step in this ever evolving journey is training in Colorado. I am really excited, not only for the conference, but to meet my teammates. We have been emailing and they all seem great! One of them mentioned something about being a list-maker, so I know we will get along just fine.

I am getting into the emotional phase of the process as well. I am thoroughly ready for some new scenery, and try as they may Rachel, Phoebe and Chandler are not fulfilling my need for social interaction anymore. (Don't judge me, I could name names of those who not so long ago jumped into Dawson's Creek, but I won't stoop to that level.) This has been a summer of transition and it has held some very strange lessons. I know that for a while most of life from this point on is transition-like, but I am still adjusting. But just the same, ready as I am, I am still leaving for a year and that is super hard to wrap your brain around. So the teary moments have become more frequent.

How glad am I that the Lord is all those omni words?! You know, always there, everywhere!

Well I love you all. Thanks for putting up with my random thoughts and quirks. I wonder how the "bike horn" laugh is gonna go over in Florence?