Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it!

It's been almost a year and a half since I've been back to Texas.  Today, I booked my flight for March.  May I be welcomed back with open arms. :)

I'm so excited, and I just hide it, I'm about to loose control and I think I like it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Prayer Request!

Dear friends and family,

I come to ask you for your prayers for my sweet friend Zoe (she's in my cohort), her husband Tino, and their daughter Matti, born February 16th.  She was born premature and is 1.2lbs and 12 inches long.  They have a very long road ahead of them, but their daughter is at a wonderful NICU unit in Atlanta (about an hour ish away from Athens).  Anyway, I know you don't know them, but that's the neat thing about the body of Christ...please join with me as I lift up their precious family to the God of all healing and comfort. 

Thank you.

Ps if you've like to follow their updates, they've started a blog

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Global Lead 2012

Last year, my friend Mallory went on a trip to South Africa as a Teaching Assistant.  The trip was to Cape Town and included five weeks of learning history, leadership, and service learning.  When she returned, I was uber excited about the possibility of participating in the following year.  For me, these are many of my loves all wrapped up into one.  First, I love working with college students.  Second, I enjoy traveling.  Third, the study of leadership intrigues and excites me.  Forth, service learning is a passion as it unites academic (classroom) learning with real life experiences that positively impact a community.  Anyway, I had the opportunity to apply for the position. 

Weeks ago, I interviewed with the program director where I got to express my excitement for the combination of many of my passions.  After our conversation, I was hopeful. However, there were many hurdles.  First, I needed to check to see how I would be able to swing five weeks off of work. I have an assistantship that is a 12 month gig.  Thus, I needed to discuss the possibility with my supervisor.  Second, the trip would mean missing the first week of summer session, thus I needed to clear the missed class with my faculty.  Third, I needed to be offered the TA position.

I promptly talked with my supervisor and she encouraged me (if offered) to jump at the opportunity and told me we would figure something out (I love her, have I mentioned that?! Not just because of this, but she is truly a gift!).  I also cleared missing one class period with my faculty.

Well, after a week(ish) of waiting, I received an email. The program director congradulated me and offered me a TA position, the catch...she wasn't sure if they were going to assign me to South Africa or Greece.  What?!  Greece?!  That wasn't even part of the conversation we had...and unfortunately, it would require missing two weeks of summer session.  I emailed her and told her that Greece wouldn't be a possibility (because of classes) but that I would still like to be considered for South Africa.  Meanwhile, I contacted my faculty to see if there was a possibility to skype in for the second class session.  My fear was that if I limited myself to South Africa, I may not get a TA position at all.  After many emails and almost two weeks, it did not look as though I would be able to skype in for the 2nd class session.  In a last ditch effort (having not heard anything from the program director), I emailed her to ask if spots for South Africa were still available and when she thought she'd make decisions...see I already knew Mallory was going back, and another woman in my program had been assigned as well.  I knew there were limited spots and I was anxious to know how long I'd be waiting to know.

After much waiting, praying, I finally came to peace with the fact that it might not be a possibility.  Truly, one day I was sitting in class and we were talking about NHTI (National Housing Training Institute).  NHTI is housed at Georgia and I know a couple people applying for the program in the summer.  The dates would overlap with the South Africa trip, and as I sat and listened to the presentation on NHTI, I felt a peace come over me about Global Lead.  I reasoned that even if I didn't get to go, there was the possibility of seeing both a former supervisor (Dave Rozeboom who applied for the faculty) and Megan (who applied to be a participant) for a whole week!

Now, I know what you're thinking...right after I felt the peace I found out I was going.  Well, you're right, kind of.  That night, I received an email back from the program director informing me that there was an opening and that she wanted to offer me a TA position on the Global Lead: South Africa trip!

I am so excited!  At first, it didn't seem real.  I had waited and waited, and resigned myself that it might not happen. Because, after all, just because I wanted it, and prayed for it, didn't mean I'd get it.  Life is full of disappointments and sometimes things just don't work out.  But this time, it did.  I will be spending five weeks and two days in South Africa with over a hundred college students.

The waiting was also a time to reflect. At one point I became very frustrated and loathed in self-pitty. But after a really good gut check, prayer, and a swift kick, I chose to change my attitude (for one thing), and reminded myself regardless of the outcome God is in control (always) and that I am blessed beyond belief (I have family & friends that love me, food, shelter, clothes, a car, the opportunity to pursue a great education...the list goes on and on). Yet, I am also humbled and grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity to take students on a study abroad trip to South Africa!

I am blessed.