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This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery
“[It is] as if [David] had said, Separated from God I am nothing, and all that I attempt to do ends in nothing; but when I come to Him, I find an abundant supply of strength. It is highly necessary for us to consider what we are without God; for no man will cast himself wholly upon God, but he who feels himself in a fainting condition, and who despairs of the sufficiency of his own powers. We will seek nothing from God but what we are conscious of wanting in ourselves. ...the reason why God is represented as a portion is, because He alone is abundantly sufficient for us, and because in Him the perfection of our happiness consists.” -John Calvin, on Psalm 73:26

Follow me as I follow Jesus

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Romania is one of my favorite places in the world.

I love the people, the culture, the scenery, the food—all of it. It’s a gift to be in Iasi again, this time spending two weeks helping Cru with an English Club for university students.

Here are some a lot of photos from the first week.

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So happy to be back with my girl.

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This weekend we went on a retreat with some of the students to Vama, a charming country about three hours northwest of Iasi.

The following are photos from the trip and our time there.

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In Romania, you take your shoes off upon entering a home and wear slippers inside. Here’s the shoes from the students and leaders at the lodge this weekend. I love this picture. 

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On Saturday we took a traditional Romanian steam engine through the mountains and a forest. 

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“And this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.”
-William Shakespeare 

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Some of the students from half of a train car (we filled up two train cars). 

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Yes, I’m on a steam engine with a Romanian donut and, yes, I’m so happy about it.
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On Sunday they learned an important lesson: the greatness (and violence) of playing Spoons.

(I don’t know how to remove this bar or the one above,
so pretend they’re made of chocolate and enjoy.)

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It’s such a gift to be here with these students and to see more of God’s handiwork in this stunning country. 

What I’ve learned from traveling: There’s beauty all around us, if only we have the eyes to see it.

So, let’s savor all the seconds and choose to see the grace and beauty packed into every detail of our lives, no matter our geographical location or preferences.

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“I love you to the moon and back.”

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