Sunday, September 19, 2010

Romanian Girl's Conference

Months ago, our friend from Romania, DU, wrote to my friends, Amy, Laura and I, asking if the three of us would consider coming to speak at their girl's leadership conference in September this year.

Each of us have spoken at this conference in Romania - Laura in 2007, Amy in 2008 and me in 2009. Now we had the privilege of going there together to speak!

After traveling 22 hours on three different trains (even spent the night in a sleeper together...a great slumber party!), we arrived in Brasov, Romania where DU greeted us on the train platform. How good it was to be there again, all together!

We spent three days with 115 Romanian women sharing our lives, our stories, our relationships...speaking about women friendships and how the Lord wants us to live and love each other better. We specifically looked at four poisons that damage women's friendships: our "self" (such as self protection), betrayal, comparison and unforgiveness.

What a powerful time it was as these women really dug into processing these areas of their did we. It was such a precious time together, talking about these sorts of things. Many said that this is an area that they've heard little or talked much about - yet that it was things they often think about. We're glad we could open up this topic and be a small part of bringing healing into relationships between them and others they are in relationships with.

It was equally good for the three of us...we've been friends a long time (Laura and I, 26 years; the three of us for 13 years), but we've still got lots to grow in and want our friendships to go deeper. So we're glad we had the privilege of doing this together so that could happen!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tastes of Heaven

God is good...HE IS!!

He has given us so many tastes of heaven these past months since I last blogged - I feel like I'm going to burst from joy as I think about what He's lavished on us.

I really want to capture all His goodness so I remember it and can give Him thanks for it even years from now...but sometimes it's just hard to know where to even start when I think of all He has poured over us. Especially hard to know where to start when I haven't blogged about anything in two months (sorry Mike! That's my brother and faithful blog reader who often keeps me going on this blogging thing!).

It might be lame to start off with the proverbial theme of "What I did for summer vacation", but hey! Truly there were glimpses and tastes of heaven during our vacation this summer that I want to capture.

For the past 8 years we have vacationed with the same three JV families - Ellenwood's, who live here in Czech, Hash's who live two hours away from us in Poland, and our family.

The 13 of us have camped in  Croatia six times, and in France and Greece as well. Right there gives you the first glimpse of heaven...seeing God's amazing creation in all those different places! My eyes literally feast on all we see during our two weeks together.

Then there's the taste of relationships that point me towards I love being with these people who all love Jesus like I do! How cool it is to spend time with each other, knowing that our hearts all beat for the same thing...adults and kids (who are not really kids anymore...but I call them that anyway!).

It's just awesome on vacation listening to conversations that are sprinkled with loving, kind, encouraging, and sometimes even challenging, words that end up pointing me/us back to the Lord...and it happens between everyone!

We also taste some of the best food while on vacation...the "finest of fare" we often say! I don't mind telling you that we pull it on out on vacation when it comes to food! From Creme Brulee flavored coffee each morning at our campsite, to amazing meals at night, to Croatian ice cream that is, what we think, the best in the world...we do "taste" a bit of heaven when we're there!

One of the nights we were in the campground, there was an absolutely spectacular show of shooting stars - I think we heard that there were 100 or more every hour that night! All thirteen of us went and laid down on the beach, in the pitch black, on the smooth rocks still warm from the sun, and let our eyes gaze on another one of God's gorgeous displays of Creation. It was one of the highlights of the trip! Wish I had a picture to capture it but...well, you know, it was dark!

God is GOOD! Just wanted to affirm that and say thank you to HIM for such a sweet taste of heaven while on vacation this year!

More glimpses of heaven to come...when I find some more time to blog!