"Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there you shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,"even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you."(psalm 139:7-12)It is a crazy feeling every time I remember where I am, what I am doing.
Here in Rome.
Each day is an adventure. I feel confident that I may never fall into the comfortable ease of living while here.
Refreshing. and scary.
Lovely and exciting. and uncomfortable.
All at the same time.
What a beautiful place I have been taken to.
But mostly, spiritually.
I am alone. I am here, no longer able to sit with my friends and family who love and know me so deeply, and share my heart daily.
All I have is Him.
What a powerful. Awesome. Loving thing He has done.
He has taken me to the desert. To speak kindly to me.
I am a blessed person to be so loved by the Lord.
And what encouragement to know that He is here. He is so so so very here.
As my sweet roommate and friend Sarah said in a letter to me before I left, "God made Italy, too."
Yes He did!
Friday, January 29, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Traveling by train for the first time, alone, was definitely a challenge. But the one thing I have learned so far is how great it feels to dominate another aspect of world travel.
The Rome Termini train station may be the biggest nightmare I could ever encounter.
Deeply grateful to my lovely friend Kat for walking with me to the station Friday morning, and taking me step by step through the VERY confusing train riding process.
After getting on the train, things became a breeze. Beautiful views. Comfortable seats. Plenty of leg room. Read the BEST book. "Dear John". Nicholas Sparks. dont judge. it was gooood.
Once in Milan, I sat. Waiting for AJ. Milan Centrale may be the COLDEST place I have ever sat. seriously.
Found AJ, got a cab, made it to the sweet little hotel, ate some pizza down the street. crashed. slept great.
The next day, after a cappucino and croissant we were both bright eyed and bushy tailed. ready to explore.
Throughout the day we were able to see the Duomo, the Galleria (beautiful), the Teatro Scala, a few PERFECT bookstores, window displays of the most expensive shops in the world probably, we got to eat some goood food, drink some great coffee, experience a little taste of fashion week (outside of the Abercrombie and Fitch. of course) AND I met an italian bonnie. it monumentally changed my life.
Our trip was lovely. I fell in love with Milan. The people were unbelievably kind and helpful, the streets were clean and quite. It was just a very pleasant place to visit.
So, in conclusion... Milan, I love you. Here are some pictures to prove how perfect it really was...
Hunter McGehee, you would drool...
We spent a good amount of time here. trying to figure this thing out. in then end. completely worth it. dear metro in milan, you are better than in rome... :/ sorry rome.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Went to my figure drawing class this morning at 10:30.
The studio is further from my apartment than the main campus so I took the tram (even though i promised myself i would walk to class when is pretty). but, I stand behind my tram decision.
and so, its official. I will be drawing nude men once a week.
freak me out? a little bit, yes.
after class, i made it back to campus to apply for my Permesso di Sorgetto (Permit to Stay) in Italy.
A beautiful example of how SLOWLY italians work... but they are happy so who cares.
then i trekked on to the bookstore. About FOREVER away from where I was.
I decided to walk.
On this particular walk, I found myself COMPLETELY lost, until I came upon Piazza Navona.
Oh what a pleasant and lovely surprise.
Tempted to sit at one of the cafes and spend 15 euro on a lunch... but i didnt.
I sat on a bench instead next to a VERY old but pretty italian lady. I wish I could have talked to her...
Then I continued on.
to almost get pooped on by a pigeon.
to walk by a man, a friar, a man friar. he looked like he was in Robin Hood. it was great.
to meet a little limping pigeon.
to see an ACTUAL hello kitty smart car. seriously.
to buy a bottle of wine and some nutella. oh my goodness nutella!
kept wanting to buy something yummy.
to wander around a floral shop.
to discover a shop, just for journals.
THEN I found the book store. It was a dream. A whole shop of english novels, etc. I stayed there wandering for an hour. and, I got my books for class....
then, came home. and slept for two hours.
Its been a good day in Roma.
Monday, January 18, 2010
1. the eldest italian women, even those who can barely walk, go out, every evening, to walk. alone.
it seems like the most lovely, content thing. I wish I could walk along side them, and hear about their lives. I'm sure they have so much to tell...
2. Italian babies are most definitely the most stylish babies in the world. seriously.
3. i have seen about 10 Maserati's in the past couple of days. I guess thats a big deal...
4. pastries. they are everywhere. and i want to eat them all.
5. italian's LOVE their dogs. seriously. i have never seen so many happy, loved, well walked dogs. its a big thing here.
with love from Roma,
Sunday, January 17, 2010
I read this entry today from Oswald Chamber's, The Utmost for His Highest. And oh how deeply it sang to the season of life I am beginning here in Rome.
I believe confidently that I am here for a purpose. My love for travel and Europe was placed there by the Lord. And that, HE, has brought me here.
praise the Lord for a quiet, lonely couple of days. When all I can do is turn to Him and get to know HIM better. Praise.
"His Solitude with Us. When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendship— when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us. Notice Jesus Christ’s training of the Twelve. It was the disciples, not the crowd outside, who were confused. His disciples constantly asked Him questions, and He constantly explained things to them, but they didn’t understand until after they received the Holy Spirit (see John 14:26).
As you journey with God, the only thing He intends to be clear is the way He deals with your soul. The sorrows and difficulties in the lives of others will be absolutely confusing to you. We think we understand another person’s struggle until God reveals the same shortcomings in our lives. There are vast areas of stubbornness and ignorance the Holy Spirit has to reveal in each of us, but it can only be done when Jesus gets us alone. Are we alone with Him now? Or are we more concerned with our own ideas, friendships, and cares for our bodies? Jesus cannot teach us anything until we quiet all our intellectual questions and get alone with Him."
Saturday, January 16, 2010
- Howard Thurman
And the Lord is definitely holding me in his hands. He is so very good.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
it all started after landing at the London Heathrow airport after a grueling 9 hour flight from Dallas.
Exhausted and eager to get on my connecting flight I scrambled through the airport, took a tram to Terminal 5. and found lines. lots of lines. of lots of people. upset. because all flights out of London were canceled due to a "snow storm..."
After hours of speaking with many lovely people with lovely british accents. I got booked on a new flight. that took off a mere NINE hours later.
What to do? lay on three chairs pushed together and try to catch up on some sleep...
and stare at people. journal. read. sleep. eat. try to sleep. ugh...
but, on the bright side, i finally got on my flight, ready to go.
Made it to Rome. both bags made it.
got in the van with the personal driver there to pick me up.
its 11:15 at night.
drove to my apartment.
saw St. Peter's.
almost cried. seriously.
went into my apartment on the 6th floor.
met my roommates.
couldnt sleep. finally slept. woke up at 7:00am to get ready for the day.
met my group downstairs, and took a walk to our school.
rome, really is magical.
the people are so kind.
i attended my first meetings at my university.
met some great girls.
ate a panini at a nice little place
met up with my friend blake from home. so weird how having someone you even kind of know to talk with makes things feel a little bit normal. amidst so much not normal...
of course. with all of the excitement. comes homesickness (which I am so very prone to), wondering why the HECK i am here when I could just be in Waco, with my best friends who always love and support me... and near my family. But then I have to remind myself, that I am here for a reason. It will of course take time to adjust...
And to be around people who don't think just like me and who are from very different worlds... will be a blessing. i trust.
i have visited the grocery store. got some apples. and huge bottles of water. and some shampoo.
planning on spending this evening resting. reading. and getting myself prepared for the day to come.
I pray for new relationships. for a confidence in this completely new and different world. and for the Lord to be very present in every encounter and experience.
Your prayers are much needed and appreciated.
of course, i love and miss YOU and everything about home.
but, sometimes being uncomfortable is absolutely the best thing!
and, I am in ROME.
geez. its beautiful!
with love and pictures to come,
Friday, January 8, 2010
"...For I am not ashamed of this good news about Christ, It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes... This good news tells us how God makes us right in His sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith... It is through faith that a righteous person has life."
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
In one week from tomorrow, I am getting on a plane to Rome, Italy.
To live with six other girls I have never met. And share one bathroom. with all of them.
To walk 20 minutes through the city each day to class.
To speak italian. Well, to learn italian...
To get my groceries for the day at the markets on the street.
To ride Vespas. And drink cappuccino.
To meet new people. To be completely alone.
Oh my goodness.
I am scared to death. and also cannot wait!
I have 7 more days to...
eat my moms food
buy an italy guide book...
get my hair highlighted...
get my ipod charged and ready
get a new battery for my laptop
buy a camera for my photo class
apply for my Permit of Stay in italy
pack. a ton of stuff
run a lot (because im not entirely sure that is common there)
and play with my dog.
pray for me.
but still. I cant wait to be in italy. something ive waited for basically my entire life.