17 February 2012

one day.

1 day until I leave....eeek!

Today was filled with doing all the last minute errands and pleading nicely with the Chick-fil-A guy to have some more sauces.  Let's just pray they don't explode in our suitcases, because that would be a fabulous way to start off our adventures.  I've been feeling really good and excited up until tonight at dinner.  I just started freaking out a little.  I mean my whole life is about to change.  I am going into vast amounts of unknown.  It's crazy and exciting and makes me want to vomit and exciting all at the same time.  

This Brooke Fraser song has been stuck in my head the last couple of days as I feel like it directly pertains to me in this stage of my life.  Its funny how you listen to one song for forever and then one day it finally hits you in a different way.  The words suddenly take on meaning and become real and relevant in your life.  This is exactly how I feel about this song.  I've always loved it but until I was finally at this place in my life the words changed for me and became my prayers.  What an adventure this has already been and how blessed I feel to be on it.  I'm not the same person I was two years ago, even one year ago.  God in his loving grace has changed me, loved me, prepared me, and called me on a new journey.  I can't wait to start it.

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
towards home, a land that i've never seen
I am changing; less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when i began
And I've sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day

when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and the mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

There's distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
but I've heard rumours of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way

You make all things new

here's to new adventures...

16 February 2012

the barnes family comes to visit.

2 days until I leave for Bangkok

Feels a little weird knowing I'll be gone in 2 days.  We're trying to finish up as much stuff as we can in these last few days.  This definitely includes going to Chick-fil-A a couple times and loading up on as much sauce as we can to pack into our suitcases.  It's safe to say I'm pretty maxed out on my 50lbs. of weight.  We've had a good time this week hanging out with our UWM friends and getting prayed for by the office staff.   

Earlier this week the Barnes family, our team leaders, came to visit.  It was so fun finally meeting Heather and the kids.  I have to give a special shout-out to Heather for having endless convos with me about what to bring and not to bring, how to get a visa, which airline to take, etc.  She's the best and it was so good to finally meet her!  They'll be headed back to Bangkok in April and will be so impressed by my fluent Thai speaking (or not).  Speaking of language I start language school March 1st so be sure to start your prayers then.  And pray extra hard please.  

jacob. ronnie. heather. amelia. andrew. kristen. walker. me.

hopefully Thailand is ready for this awesomeness...

14 February 2012

the cove.

4 days until I leave for Bangkok!
Last week I spent the week at the Billy Graham Retreat Center in Asheville, NC for a spiritual retreat.  I met up with my teammates, Kristen and Walker, and some of the staff and board members from UWM.  It was such an amazing week hanging out with everyone and getting to spend some time resting before the craziness begins.  The retreat center was beautiful and I spent most of my days sitting in a comfy lounge chair by the fire and hanging out with the Lord.  It was so cozy and beautiful to go out on the deck and see the mountains in the distance.  It even snowed one day!  I loved getting to see it snow as I know I won't be seeing anything like that in a long time. 

I didn't really know what to expect going into the week but was excited to get the chance to slow down and meet with Jesus out of the chaos and confusion of life.  We went through a series of spiritual exercises reminding us of who God is and our chief purpose of being created.  Most of the week was focused on how to really have a relationship with Jesus, which I fear is a topic that is so overlooked in churches.  We spent a lot of our time alone in reflection which I struggled with because of my constant need to be around people.  However, I realized how I was in desperate need of solitude with the Lord and it was so nice to have it forced on me.  It was a much needed time for me to reflect on leaving and get ready for what is to come.  It was also really special to spend quality time with my UWM family and get to know them better.  I am so thankful to be apart of UWM and the family that they are.  I love how intentional UWM is about ensuring their missionaries are spiritually healthy.  This same retreat is being done all over the world with other UWM missionaries.  What a blessing!

The entire week was amazing and I really felt renewed and ready to conquer the next stage of life.  These quotes really hit me hard on the first day and I was constantly reminded of them throughout the week.  I was struck by how true these words were and how sad I was to admit it.  I was reminded over and over again how much God loves and desires a relationship with me.  I am so thankful for this love. 

"....The real issue is why the church is so unaffected by the transforming presence of the living God."
                                                                                                                                     Erwin McManus

"North American Christianity is 3000 miles wide and 1/2 inch deep."
                                                                                               J.I. Packer

a few snapshots of the week:

view from the deck.

yay snow!


lobby at the retreat center.

my nook for the week.

timeline of billy graham's life. 

an inspiration.

the lovely lisa pointing out our trail route.

the lovely karen who processes all my donations to UWM.  teammate kristen.

some of my favorite ladies.  theresa. kate. lisa 

the girls. 

friday night mountain music.  oh, what an experience.

woody himself.  so presh!

just loved this.

spiritual friendship group.  me. theresa. kristen. 
UWM family.

"my heart is restless, o God, until it rests in thee."
                                                                                     saint augustine

12 February 2012

goodbye texas party.

6 days until I leave for Bangkok

I must confess that I've neglected my countdown this week.  It has been a little hectic the last week or so and I haven't had too much down time to blog.  I apologize.  Fortunately this week I have a little relaxation time while I'm here in Charlotte, NC before the craziness begins!  

Last Saturday before I left Texas my parents threw me a little goodbye party - complete with gumbo (a family tradition) and tears.  It was a really sweet time to spend with my family and I felt very loved and blessed by everyone.  The whole time I was packing up all my bags and getting ready to leave it never felt like I was really going.  I think because I was going to be in N. Carolina for a couple weeks it just didn't seem real.  Now it's only a week away and it still doesn't feel real!  I think probably a week or so into being in Bangkok is when it will hit me hard.  I'm already anticipating the emotional rollercoaster I will be feeling. 

Here are some shots from my goodbye party...

me and jake.

my sweet brother decorated my cake for me.  my aunt name is "fer-fer" for those who don't know and now the name has spread to my whole family. 

me with the grandparents.
my stylish grandma decided to match me. 

glenners. me. bethers.  (aka the parents)

the besties/travel buddies. me. uncle lunsford. lala (she's an amazing stylist. check out her fashion blog). 

the fam minus a few.  jake. kalan. me. mom. dad.

texas i will miss you and the bluebonnets, tex-mex, football, crawfish, big cups, and everything else great you have to offer.


deep in the heart of texas. 

03 February 2012

2 & 15

2 days until I leave Texas
15 days until I leave for Bangkok

going to miss: 
Jason's Deli (aka. the deli, j.del, jasons).  if you live in Beaumont the deli is the place to go and you are pretty much guaranteed to see someone you know.  it's close to my heart as beaumont is the birthplace of the deli.  i just love it.  my mom thought it was necessary to have me take pictures of all my favorite places before i depart. 

excited about:
Songkran - the Thai new year and a 3 day water fight throughout the whole country. so pumped. 

So the packing is still happening and i'm feeling a little overwhelmed about it.  I'm pretty sure tonight I am enlisting the help of my lovely mother.  It doesn't seem real that these are my last few days with my family.  We've been having fun spending time together and playing a lot of Ticket to Ride (super fun game)!  I really don't know how I'm going to say goodbye.  I apologize in advance for anyone hanging out with me in NC for the next 2 weeks because I'll probably be an emotional wreck.  

02 February 2012

3 &16

3 days until I depart Texas
16 days until I depart for Thailand

going to miss:
Christmas time.  I know I'll celebrate, but it will just be different. No family get togethers, money jars, drama, kickball, hallmark movies, cold weather, and warm fires.  Not that those things are the meaning of Christmas but still they will be missed. 

excited about:
remember this from the movie Tangled? 

well it happens in real life in Thailand. get excited!

Best thing about living in a small-ish town is that today when I went out to eat and to the mall I got to say goodbye to about 5 different people I ran into.  So everyone please go to Target in Beaumont tomorrow so I can say bye to you too.  Thanks. 

01 February 2012

4 & 17

4 days until I leave Texas
17 days until I board the plane for Bangkok

going to miss:
coats, boots, scarves, hats, and all other things warm

excited about:
riding in one of these. at least once. 
dear audrey girl, 

a happiest birthday to my favorite 7 year old niece!

remember when you looked like this?

and now you're all grown up and look like this...

who told you that you could keep growing. stop right now. and don't have any fun dancy dance parties without me.  

love you lila!

love, fer fer

online classes: week 4

My work from week 4 at Nicole's Classes...