Too Hard for the Lord

Like I mentioned on Wednesday, I’m getting settled in at college right now so for the next week or so I’m posting links to other great blog posts from around the web. So today, enjoy this encouraging post by Whitney from Elm Street Life.

whit post

“We moved to Raleigh three days ago, and despite the excitement of a new place and the assurance that this is clearly where the Lord has us, the past 72 hours have been some of the most stressful of our lives. From a problematic car (which required us to drive my dad’s car at the last moment) to difficulty with a home loan, not much has gone smoothly.

Early this morning, I woke up to feed Liam and the reality of our situation hit me hard. My mind went straight to the many difficult things we’re facing in this transition, and the prospect that we need a house, a car, and possibly another car for my husband’s commute was weighing so heavily. I sat in silence as my heart raced. When you don’t feel like some of your most basic needs are met, it’s hard to focus on anything else.

And then this: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Read the rest here!

Advertisements

Wherever I Settle

Night hike 6 s

{credit}

Two years ago, I learned Psalm 139 by heart at JV Kid’s Camp. I have heard all those verses, and yet, the Lord can use them over and over to remind us of His heart for us. I was reading that particular psalm again a couple of weeks ago, and these two verses stood out…

“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

-Psalm 139:9-10

All of a sudden those verses came alive for me. I’m not rising on the wings of dawn, but I am getting up early on the 15th of August to get on an airplane. That airplane will take me to the farthest side of the ocean, to a completely different world. I will settle far away from where I am now for college.

Even THERE His hand will guide me.

How comforting those words became to me in a moment! God knows what I’m heading into, and He promises to be there. He knows I’m moving, settling somewhere new, but He already has plans set out for me there. His spirit will not leave me.

His right hand will hold me fast.

He won’t let me slip. I think of what it would mean if I were walking somewhere unknown and maybe a bit scary, and my dad held my hand in his. Safety. Security. Knowing that the Lord will hold me fast means that no matter what happens, or what changes I face, He won’t let me out of His sight, and I can fall back on Him always.

////////////////////////

republished with permission from Claire’s blog: Claire’s Corner

Your First Move

This summer, I’m writing a series on being a teen TCK for Denizen, an awesome online magazine for TCKs! Here’s part of my first article on moving to a different country…

////////////////

DSC_0172

“Once there was a town named Pompeii.”

My mom read the familiar words and I snuggled deeper under the covers, my mind wandering to this ancient place that only existed in books. The historic tragedy fascinated and haunted me and I decided that someday, when I was all grown up, I would go. I would walk through the ruins of Pompeii, my feet stirring the dust of a world long gone.

Little did I know that I would be doing just that a few short years later. And it wouldn’t be quite as dreamy. It would be scorching hot, my dust-caked feet would ache, and we would join our fellow weary tourists at Burger King for lunch.

So how did I go from listening to a bedtime story in Texas to exploring an ancient city in southern Italy?

When I ten years old, my parents told my little brother and I that we were moving to Florence, Italy. The year before we moved was spent dreaming about living in Europe and reading book after book about the culture and customs of my new home.

That summer, my dad’s company sent us through cultural training and that was when I first heard the term “third culture kid.” That summer was when I first realized that it wouldn’t necessarily be a walk in the park to move across an ocean, but in my mind it still shimmered with adventure.

After living in Italy for five years and labeling myself a TCK for seven years, my view of moving has transformed. When picturing my adopted country, no longer do bright images of gelato, and of Carnivale, and of gondolas, dance in my head. My glowing optimism and thrill for a transatlantic adventure have been dimmed by the reality that moving to a different country is hard.

Moving to another country requires so much more than the 50 pounds the airport lets you bring. And whether you’re excited, terrified, or horrified at the prospect of moving, one thing is true: you have to pack your suitcase. So allow me to give you some packing advice. I’m no expert, but I’ve gone through this once or twice.

Read the rest here!

 

Fiction by Lizzy G. // Part Two

Look for part 1 here

/////////////////////

…I thought, well, maybe I could work with this. ‘Home’ is a relative word, right?

At least I was feeling that upbeat about it until after I had sat with a forced smile through my first two class periods on Monday and I met that Freshman. My first day of school in America was an experience that is impossible to describe, but I’ll try my best. Maybe it was the fight in the hall or the first time someone asked me if I liked fortune cookies. Or maybe the hardest part was sitting alone at a desk, unsure, and unknown, wondering how long it would be before I could stop making small talk and laugh a real laugh with a real friend.

But because I hate to dwell on things that bring one down, I’ll tell you that the best part of that morning was meeting people who genuinely cared. In each room circumstances and my hungry eyes located a few students who gave me reassuring smiles, a few who stayed with me for the second minute and said “You’re from China? I think that’s really cool.” From a few people, that was a sincere statement, beautiful in its simplicity and cherished in its reception. When the first girl said that to me, a wad of feelings loosened themselves in my gut and rose to press gently in my head. The only one I could pull from the tangled mess was gratitude—tentative, wistful, dependent gratitude.

The girl’s name was Sharon. I told her “thanks,” and as I spoke back I knew three things:

One, that I would always, always welcome future new kids with all the strength and love that I had in me;

Two, that I would push my body and my brain until every last smile and piece of shallow conversation had left me, that I would make connections and small talk also with all the strength and love I had in me;

Three, that if I stepped out onto the slippery wet floor of relationships and worked to gain new friends in this frightening new place, there I would find what “home” was.

As an overseas kid, I know what a real friend is. The relationship formed between the two of you is made by each taking a reckless step of faith to trust. We settle and move again across the world so fast that we have to have the confidence to make friends when we know our time together will be shorter than a celebrity dating relationship. So we make the friends and we leave them, but connections are wrought between us that are never broken and span oceans and cultures. They are small, taut strings that stretch across the globe and are more than just video chat calls and tweets—they hold you together when you need it most.

I knew I was in trouble if I wanted to find friends like that in a sleepy American high school in the suburbs. But by third period I was also really, really determined.

As I remembered all this and felt the emotional pressure again in the practice room, I was seized with a mad impulse and said “Wait, David.”

He came back, possibly surprised that I’d remembered his name when he told it to me.

“Hi,” I said. “I’m Kathryn. You’re in ninth grade, right?”

“Yeah,” he said cheerily.

“Awesome,” I said. “Can you write? Because I’m thinking that I do need to write some songs and they are going to have words.” He sat down eagerly and I thought aloud. “Music can express what someone is feeling, and so can words. Words are probably really important, actually…and wow, do I have a lot of expressing to do.”

He wasn’t really listening, but he started in on playing something. It was upbeat. Words are first steps, I thought. First steps toward friends, and first steps toward a new home.