Quickly alienated from the world we live in

Last night when I turned on the radio, I suddenly felt a wave of comfort sweep over me. Ok that is a bit strange, but there was something so lovely about hearing a good Australian accent, on ‘702’ as I tuned in to midnight talk-back radio. Usually I wouldn’t care less about the radio, in actually fact, I usually avoid listening to it. In the car, I have an extensive list of cds just to avoid having to listen to ‘gardening on a Sunday’ or trivial topics like ‘what was your first job and where did you first get the sack?’  I spent my child hood listening to James Valentine with my mum as we came home from school. When you are overseas, despite the cringe factor, there couldn’t be anything better to remind me of home and those countless hours spent in the car with mum laughing over the random topics.

The reason I actually started listening to the radio in the first place was actually to get an update on what was happening in the world. It came to my attention earlier this week, that I actually have no idea! No longer do I sit down to read the newspaper on the weekend, or watch the 6pm news with Mum whilst we wait for Dad to come home. It frightened me how little I know about what is going on in the world. So  I decided to listen to the radio, however unfortunately the news never came on…

I think when you are living abroad it is so easy to fall into the trap I have fallen into. I have become obvious to both my mother country, as well as world affairs. It is something that should keep one connected to their country, and without remaining connected you quickly become very distant from where you once lived. Originally I thought ‘oh if anything important happens, mum and dad or a friend, or even Facebook will tell me’, but I am quickly coming to realise that that isn’t enough. It isn’t enough to be just concerned about the little minute portion of the world you live in at one particular time, but rather we need to be aware of what is around us. Why? So that we can pray about events happening in the world. So that we can pray for those suffering in war, poverty and trauma. In James 1:27 we are told to “look after orphans and widows in their distress”. Sometimes it isn’t always possible to provide immediate care to everyone, but we can always pray! In the past 6 weeks, I have definitely learnt the power of prayer.

 

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So Long, farewell, I don’t want to say goodbye

Saying goodbye isn’t always easy, but I guess in a weird way, the harder it is, the better. “Huh? How’s that work?” you may ask, but hear me out. I think the harder it is, is a symbol of how important a relationship is. But it also a good sign that it would take a lot to break such a relationship apart. I have definitely done my fair share of goodbyes these last few days, and it has really affected me. With each person, it has affected me though in a different way. Some people I’m upset because they are part of my daily life, and won’t be for the next 7 months. Others I am going to miss being at uni with, or seeing each week at church and bible study. I am going to miss praying with the girls in my bible study, who so open heartily welcomed me only a few short months ago. Others are new or revived friendships that I fear may not last the time I am away. I find myself wishing “oh if only I were going next year” or “if only I were leaving later”, and yet nothing I do can change the commitment I have made.

It’s hard saying goodbye to such a familiar environment. Saying goodbye to friends and family who know you so well they can look at you and know what your thinking. It is hard coming to terms with the fact that I won’t see some people for 7 months (apart from on Skype).

Yet despite all this I know it will be worth it. No matter if I might think the timing is bad, I know that it isn’t my timing that’s important. It is God’s timing that matters and is right.

“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).

I love this verse because no matter how anxious and nervous I feel, it gives me strength and hope that what I am doing is the right thing. A few months ago when I hadn’t officially been accepted on exchange, I decided that if God planned for me to go on exchange, it would all work out. I would be accepted (yes I was), I would get accommodation (couldn’t have been easier despite the odds) and my visa would come through (it came through this week, after a lot of praying!) So despite my insecurities, I know that God has great things planned for me over in Denmark, and this is what makes me excited!

So even though this doesn’t take away the sadness of having to leave my friends and family, I know that Jesus will be with me the WHOLE way, no matter what!!

Run legs, Run!!

Over the past month or so I have really been getting back into running. It has been such nice weather lately. In true Australian fashion, winter has brought with it beautiful sunny days, with bright blue skies. Sure it has been quite windy, but that somehow hasn’t stopped me. I have always enjoyed running and have always gone through periods where I run heaps and heaps, and other times where even all my motivation can’t seem to get me to put my joggers on and just go for a run. Luckily though, this past month has brought with it heaps of running for me. After running one day, and just sitting on the beach watching the waves crash against the sand, and the sun setting on the mountains behind me, I decided to try and take a photo journal of all my runs. I thought it would be a great way to remind myself of each run, especially in those times when I am not all that motivated to go for one.
Unfortunately I have often forgotten to take pictures, but here a few I thought I would share with you.

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7th June, Fairy Meadow Beach. Distance: 4kms. Not the best of runs, but I hadn’t been in a while. It was the day before my first exam, and I remember I was really stressed, so coming down to the beach was a must. How cool are those clouds!?!

 

 

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26th June, North Beach. Distance: 8kms. This was the first time I had run 8kms in a very long time. I had just finished exams the day before, and so really just wanted to get out there and give it all I had. And that I did. Lets just say, my legs were QUITE sore that night!

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27th June,  North Beach. Distance: 4kms. The day after my massive 8km run. Not sure it was the greatest idea to run, but I was pretty keen. I think the start of the run however was actually the worst part.

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1st July, North beach. Distance: 8kms. This was such a good run! I had so much energy, and somehow ran really fast. Not only that, but the weather was beautiful, I was listening to good music, and there weren’t too many people.

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This wasn’t a run, but it was definitely a very good bush walk (Sublime Point Bush Track) I did with friends. The walk is only short, but quite steep. At one point, it is so steep you have to climb up ladders! Despite it being scary due to the lack of a harness, and my hands feeling like they might fall off as it was very cold, it was worth it!! The view was amazing 🙂

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Just some fun shots after a walk with my puppy, Ellie.

I hope in the coming months I document my runs more. Often I forget how far I have run, or where I ran. Not saying this is heaps important, but it would be a nice all the same.  After looking back at these pictures, I realise that I have missed taking pictures after runs, so lets hope I get better at that!

If God brings you to it. He will bring you through it

The last few weeks have kind of past somewhat in a blur. Zero to hero didn’t happen (unless you count day 1) but a whole lot else did…

When you are exposed to a situation you only thought happened in TV shows, your whole life does a little summersault. And by ‘little’, I mean that you look at every little aspect of your life and question it. When I let someone know what happened to me 2 weeks ago, they give you this look of ‘what!?! are you joking?’ and are left speechless. I don’t blame them. Even I am trying to comprehend what happened. Yet despite all the trauma, somehow these last few weeks have brought me a fair bit of joy.

Within 24hrs of the incident, I was in stitches of laughter with my friend because I had been trembling so bad that when trying to take a sip of water I somehow spurted water not only all over my face, but also on her. Then slightly later I couldn’t even eat due to my hands shaking so much that another friend decided it would be a perfect opportunity to feed me. Now when I say ‘feed me’ I don’t just mean, placing food in my mouth…no it meant playing ‘aeroplanes’ which then became a train…a boat…even a hot air balloon a think.

Situations like this also help demonstrate just how amazing the people close to you are. My house for the first week after was a flow of people. From family, to my parents friends, to my friends. Just as I am writing this now my mum said “you do realise, this is the first time in 2 weeks that it has only just been us in the house?” Yet I don’t think I would have it any other way. My friends have been absolutely amazing. Coming to and fro from my house, taking me to church with them, supplying me with an endless supply of movies, even answering phone calls at ridiculous hours of the night.

One of my friends sent me a quote that really helped. To date, I am still unsure why it made such a difference, but then again can we really have an answer for everything? I guess this quote also answers that…? You can decide that for yourself.

If God brings you to it. He will bring you through it

As cliché as it may sound I know this experience is a life changing one. One that has made me think about what is important in my life in a completely different way. One that has made me appreciate the life that I have lived and how lucky I have been with my life to date. Sure I now also have little trust in every person I see and meet, but maybe before I was just naive…? I guess what I am trying to say in writing this blog isn’t to tell the world ‘hey I had a bad experience’ but to demonstrate that even when everything around you seems to crumble, there is something stronger that will keep everything going.

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