Crossing

With My One Word for 2013 being Today (or “heute” in German), I wondered what the Lord would do with it.  I know what I want done…..but what about Him?

So far it’s been a month into the new year and I’m quickly figuring out what He means by Today:  Oh, you have that planned?  Yeah, you’re not doing that.  You’re doing {insert something completely different here}.  As someone who loves surprises, I’m all about random side adventures.  Unfortunately, sometimes, these aren’t always the fun flavor of adventures.  They have included comforting a friend, learning a prediction I made came to pass (not the happy kind), reassuring a parent that their daughter’s lab work doesn’t mean cancer, walking with someone on a road they never intended to be walking on, and having a sex talk with my Dad from a medical standpoint.  There’s been awesome stuff too like exploring downtown Fayetteville, trying out a new restaurant on a whim – Chipolte – super excited one is arriving in Wilmington soon – their veggie tacos are beyond amazing, getting to rock climb again and realize how much I miss it, reminiscing about my long past college days, showing up randomly at a panel discussion/movie, and hearing from an old friend.  It’s been quite a month.

And strangely enough, I should be exhausted.  But I’m not.  While my heart breaks for a few situations, I’m not overburdened or feeling hopelessly overwhelmed.  I truly believe it comes back to Philippians 4:19, “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  He will give me everything I need to accomplish His purposes.  Today.  Just today.  I have coffee with Jesus every morning, which has deepened my relationship with the Lord.  “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)  For me, in this moment, this “cross daily” bit means not doing what I had planned – and I’m sure as the year wears on, that will change as I change, as situations change.  I’m someone who worries about the future and what it holds, I must admit I am a bit nervous.  But I know His plans are much better than what I have drawn up.   The good, the bad – it’s all for Him.  And so I walk, I carry, knowing that His yoke is easy.

I did not make the following cartoon and I was unable to find a source for it, but I took it off a random webpage.  It really does speak true.

The Cross Walk 02The Cross Walk 03

Other random things from the road….

Finally, to recap our Ireland/Germany adventures….

Despite the fact there are 3 college degrees between us, we couldn’t figure out how to make an out-of-country call (Germany to Ireland).  Someone got cold feet about renting a car, so we skipped out on our car rental after 3 failed phone attempts and took a bus to the west coast of Ireland.  Bus trip was a fantastic idea, by the way.

Our travels in Ireland led us to Bunratty Castle, just outside Limerick.  Amazing!

In the castle there was an old relic from the Celts found on the property when they were restoring the castle.  It’s a fertility symbol of sorts and the guide said if you touch it, you have twins within the year.  So, we, um, touched it.  A part of me freaked: is this idolatry?  I fully believe the Lord will do with us as He will, and I only want what He wants for our lives – He supersedes it all.  I’ve decided this I’m filing this under making wishes with birthday candles or at 11:11.  Come what may, the Lord has it all in his hands.

The overhead PA system in German train stations is just pointless.  No one can understand what they’re saying.  The could be piping in Hitler speeches for anyone knows.  It’s garbled German.

My favorite part of the trip?  Leaving our hostel at 0600 after a couple hours nap, running across Dublin in the cold pouring rain (no umbrella) to catch a bus to the coast.  I love having a rough idea of a plan and just going with it.  I think it’s because my job is so technical and regulated – I like the spontaneity.

We met a few random people we exchanged numbers with, but no strong friendships were made this time.

Interesting Berlin facts: The only Nazi building still remaining is now the German tax office. Most. Hated. Building. In. Germany.  There is graffiti everywhere — except on the Holocaust memorial.  Why?  Because it’s painted with an anti-graffiti paint.  Who made the paint?  The same company that also made the gas for the chambers in concentration camps.  Oops.  I guess it all comes full circle, huh?  Lady Victoria, the chick in the chariot on top of the Brandenburg Gate, is glaring at something.  That something is the French Embassy.  And they say Germans have no sense of humor.

Ireland was founded by the Vikings.  This explains much.

I still hate Guinness.  I love strawberry-lime cider.

Nothing related to the Islamic uprising happened or even hinted of happening.  No one was upset we were American – quite the opposite – they spoke English to help me out.  I also realized that Germany is currently holding up the EU with their wallet.  No one wants to tick off the Germans.  If my mom’s family is any indicator of the culture, they don’t forgive and forget easily when they’ve been wronged; unlike America.  You never want to upset the country that’s bank rolling your country in these economic times.

The weirdest part: My passport was not stamped back into the USA.  We thought this was strange.  The General was especially upset, as he wants as many stamps as possible before his passport expires in a few years.  We went through a 2nd “American” screening at the airport in Dublin on our way home.  How was it different?  We took off our shoes in the security check.  Ha!  We filled out our I-94 forms in Ireland and turned them over to an American customs agent there.  When we landed on American soil, we were allowed to leave without further screening.  Odd, indeed.

I cannot wait to go back.

Onto the next: Portugal/Spain in 2016.  Unless we have those twins.

Ridin’ rims and boards

If you get in a car with me, chances are pretty good you will have an unexpected adventure.

The General was reminded of this the other day when we got into our wetsuits, pilled in the car, and headed to Carolina Beach to surf.  Once we got out onto the main road to the beach, a thwap thwap thwap sound came from the back of the car.  I pulled over and lo and behold, I had flat tire.  Not just a little flat, but riding on rims flat (which would explain the odd marks I have on my driveway).  Thankfully, I had my General who managed to get my airgun tightened lug nuts off (they were just put on with new tires a couple weeks ago).  The donut spare I had was comical.  It was kinda flat too.  Luckily, we were less than half a mile from home.

There was debate about if we should just keep driving to the beach on the donut or if we should go home and scrap the surfing.  The General opted for the more adult thing to do: go home and get the tire repaired because I had to go to work.  ::sigh::  So we went home for a costume change and ran up to the tire place.  “Ya got a nail in yur tire,” Captain Obvious at the tire place said.  Once it was plugged and we got it home, we still had enough time for surfing!  So we threw on our wetsuits again and headed for the beach.

The waves were amazing!  It was a little chilly, but I had a couple of decent rides.  I’m less likely to take risks in the cold water because no one wants to spend more than a few seconds being held under in 14C water.  Brrr.  We even saw a pod of dolphins!  I freaked at 1st because all I saw was a dorsal fin.  We had a great time — The General got some waves and had one epic wipe out.  I love riding the same wave with him.  We just need to work on that whole steering bit.

It’s all about the ride, after all.