Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Czech and it's beauty part 2...in pictures

Well, I am still trying to figure out if God is calling me back to Czech again this summer. I am not sure if it is even an option with my work, but it is something that is so dear to me. The thought of not being able to see students like Pavla, Adela, Ondra, Jana, Hani, and so many of the others just makes my heart break. In fact, it makes me think of a song I used to sing..."where or where has my little dog gone, oh where oh where can he be?"...Okay so it doesn't really make me think of that song, but that song DID randomly pop into my head, and I do feel like I have lost something, so I wanted to share it with everyone! BUT, maybe it makes me think of something more like the game "Duck, Duck, Goose" and I am wondering if I am going to be the goose that gets to go and "run around" or the duck that sits and watches everyone else go. ANYWAY...while I am still thinking and praying about this trip, I thought I could share some of my most favorite pictures that I took of Czech with you all.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Czech and all it's beauty...

As I sit here in Colorado, thinking about the fact that Aaron has handed out Czech trip application, and having heard just recently from so many of my friends in Czech, it makes me think about how much I love that country, the people, the scenery, and the way God is moving over there. Everything in my body wants to go back so badly. If I could live half of my life there and half of my life here, I would do so. And in fact, I feel like I already do that in a way. My home and my heart are split between the two countries, the families I have here and the families I have in Czech are both so dear to me. In fact, when I got married, I was so nervous to have Aaron meet my friends in Czech because they mean so much to me. It felt like I was introducing him to my parents or something. And they all loved him and he loved them!!!
But as I sit here thinking and praying about if God is wanting me to go back again this next summer, I want to reflect on some of my most favorite times in Prague and in Czech.

My Top List: (in no specific order...they are all top)
1. Returning my second year and feeling like I was "back home"
2. Staying with the Lipus family and eating European cheese and drinking Czech beer
3. Hearing Jumper tell me "The cool thing about you is that I can tell you are not here just to do a 'mission trip thing' and check it off some list. You actually love the people and care about it here and that's awesome"
4. The moment when the Czechs stopped calling me Seleny Americanka (Crazy Amercian Girl) and started
calling me Seleny Ceska (Crazy Czech girl)
5. Sitting in the pub with Cilco and Georgey
6. Talking with Osvald about Heaven
7. Singing with Adela and having her in my english class
8. Hiking and talking with Radek and Boris
9. Going to a Czech hockey game with Cilco
10. Watching Ondra accept Christ
11. Seeing Daniel accept Christ and then watching him lead the next year
12. Introduing Aaron to everyone, specifically Jumper and Osvald
13. Staying in Cesky Tesin with Jumper and his family
14. Going to a concert put on my Jumper and then catching a train with Lukas, Darius, and Petr at about 2 in the morning
15. Going to a cajovna
16. Sitting on the trains watching people or going past sunflower fields
17. Having Cilco request "It's a Beautiful Day" by U2 for me on the radio and all the sudden hearing the announcer say "Americanka Cheryl" over the radio and then having the song played!
18. Listening to Dave or Nate or any of the other missionaries talk about what God is doing.
19. Eating Hot Raspberries with Lenka
20. Spending New Years Eve in Brno...CRAZY
21. Having discussions with my class from 2006 where I was also able to have Georgey as my translator.
22. Getting coffee with Monica
23. Hot Chocolate in Malenovice
24. The blueberry fight I had with Jumper, Lucka, and Tomas
26. Watching the American students grow
27. Going on the morning walks with Cindy
28. Talking with Pavla in the pub
29. Coming back again and again and again.
30. The friendships that have turned into family

Osvald, me, and Jumper after I introduced them to Aaron and we got to sit in a pub for a while and just chill.

My Class from 2006 (Georgey and I are in front)

At the top of Serak after the hike we do with the students!

Daniel back at camp as a leader!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Snow Days

There is nothing like waking up in the morning and seeing that the ground is covered in fresh, beautiful, powery snow. It is such a soft and gentle reminder to slow down, remember that each day is new, and that each moment we can make a fresh start, fresh tracks in life.

And I don't feel like there is anything right now that I want to cover up or need a fresh start with in the sense of something bad needs to be redeemed specifically, but even the idea that every day I get the choice to love Aaron more, to have more of a servant heart at work, to take a new picture that was never taken before...it is like a blank canvas waiting to be painted. Oh the idea of it is wonderful.

I remember as a kid when it would snow my brother and I took simple spray bottles and filled them up with colored water. We had bottles for red, yellow, and blue, and then sometimes we would get creative and make colors like teal, violet, or amber. We would take all these bottles, turn the spray setting to spout instead of spray and we would decorate the snow. While all the other yards were perfectly white, we would take our spray bottles and make our yard...well stand out to say the least. And the beautiful thing about it was that it would either melt or it would be covered by fresh snow every time. We were able to create master piece after master piece. Each one new and unique. Every time it snowed we had a fresh start, a blank canvas. And while sometimes our art was a little less desirable, sometimes it was absolutely beautiful.

At least for me, I believe that snow is meant to remind me to live completely each day, and let go each night. As it even says in Scripture...

Matthew 6
33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

May every day be a "snow day" where we embrace the kingdom and not worry about what will happen tomorrow until tomorrow becomes a new snow day.