June 30, 2012

I Still Choose You

Saturday was a complete bust since it was pouring until seven pm. I just stayed home and did a bit of cleaning... emphasis on the "bit." Last night I decided to go see a movie with friends. Since our options are limited here, we decided on Cabin in the Woods. I do love a good scary movie, although I reserve the right to watch through hands clasped over my eyes. 
Let me just say that Cabin in the Woods is the WEIRDEST movie I have ever seen. It's not a scary movie, well it sort of is, but it's also like a parody/social commentary/weird movie. Would I see it again?

Most definitely not.

Did I mind looking at this:

Not. At. All.

Today I'm off to meet someone that will be buying my phone & contract. That means I'll be iPhoneless for the next 27 days. OH HOW WILL I EVER SURVIVE?
It'll be kind of fun. 
Maybe I will spend more time doing "real" things instead of perusing Instagram! 
(Yeah... right.)


June 27, 2012

Very Fire!

A precious little second grader ran into my office yesterday shouting "Very fire teacher, very very fire!" At first I thought that there was a fire, I mean, that's a pretty logical thought, right? I wasn't that worried, but decided to peek out of my office and just make sure that I wasn't about to be engulfed by flames. Luckily there was no fire, but then the same kid came in a few minutes later and said the same thing. 
He came into my office again this morning to tell me, once again, that it was "very, very fire." I understand now that he is trying to tell me how it is very hot outside. Well, homeboy is right. It is very, very fire outside. I am not a hot weather girl. I'm more of a "stay between 50 and 80" at all times type of girl. Korea has definitely pushed me outside of those boundaries with heat upwards of a hundred degrees and temperatures falling too far below zero for my liking. 
Since today is "very fire" (90+ degrees. I die.) and I'd rather be inside next to the air conditioner than anywhere else, I thought I'd share some recent Instagram pictures. Gotta love a good Insta, right? 

I've been absolutely lovin' my journal time lately. Nothing better than
iced coffee, some blank pages, and colored pens. 
I am officially addicted to painting my nails.
I came to Korea with three colors... I am leaving with way more. 
Despite the look of death on her face, this little love
is quite the sweety. Coulda fooled ya. 
Enjoying moments with two legged and four legged friends
before we say "See ya later."
Did a chocolate face mask and wondered if it would be safe
to eat. Didn't try it. Resisted. Barely
My latte made me "bear-y" happy the other day.


June 22, 2012

God's Timing

In the past couple years of my life, I've seen such incredible examples of how important it is to be synced up with God's timing and to go where He calls you. I was a complete mess when in the months leading up to my college graduation last year. I had NO idea where I was going next. It seemed like all my friends had things perfectly planned out: some were beginning grad school, some had great jobs, others were getting married. Me? Oh, I had no idea what was in store for me. 

I had applied to teach English in South Korea but was told that all the spots were filled. I was fine with that. I knew that another opportunity would present itself, but as graduation approached, I found myself only knowing that I was returning back to California with my family. 
Three weeks before graduation I got an email asking me if I still wanted to come to Korea. Someone had backed out at the last minute and they wanted me to start teaching that fall. 
I was so caught off guard but after prayer and seeking the opinions of friends and family, I had such a peace about accepting the position.

The summer of 2011 was a whirlwind summer. I had to gather documents and send them off to big government agencies where the return time averaged 3-5 months. I didn't have 3-5 months. It seemed as though every document required another document to be submitted and cleared before the next one could be sent off. I played the waiting game and at times was incredibly fearful that I wasn't going to end up going. 
God had every single document of mine pull through at the right time. I was able to get every single document certified and submitted as well as get approved for my visa in a matter of three months.
Maybe some would attribute that to luck, but I know that God wanted me in Korea and therefore God was going to make a way for me to get here.

When I hit my six month mark here in Korea, I once again got that sense of "What the hay am I going to do when I leave?
I was contacted about two months ago about a job opening at my university in Idaho. For those of you that don't know me that well, I absolutely LOVED my university. I had such an incredible time there, I feel so incredibly blessed to have been a part of that student body and community. 
A job where I'd get to be a part of that community once again was RIGHT up my alley.

The only catch? 
I'd have to leave Korea early, meaning I wouldn't fulfill my entire one year contract. I needed to leave one month early in time to be back for the start of the school semester and leadership retreat that happen in late August. 
My university offered me some great benefits to take this job, including educational benefits. I'm still paying off my undergraduate education (and will be for a while unless someone wants to give me ten grand...) so the ability to pursue my Master's on someone else's dime is just too perfect. 
I had to make a decision quickly. Would I leave Korea early, breaking my contract, but having this great job waiting for me? Or would I stay in Korea, fulfill the contract, but miss out on having a perfect job when I got home? Everyone told me the choice was obvious.

To me, the choice wasn't as obvious. Of course I wanted to take the job. It was perfect. I just felt such guilt about leaving the kids I work with before I was supposed to.
But again, after prayer and seeking counsel, the decision was obvious.
God had presented me with a great job, one that seems to be perfectly tailored to me, and that's something I just couldn't pass up. 

My employer here in Korea requests that if we are to leave before the end of our contract we provide 90 days notice. 
The day I decided to take the job and wrote my letter of resignation happened to be EXACTLY 90 days before I would need to leave. 
That was entirely unplanned.
God provided an opportunity for me to come here to Korea where I would learn and experience things far beyond anything I thought possible. He is also providing me a time to leave. It's not an easy way out, it's simply that sometimes (and by sometimes, I mean mostly all of the time) God's timing looks a lot different from ours. 

One thing that I have gleaned from the past couple years is that God will give me direction, not always when I want it or expect it, but it will come. When it does come, I need to go, whether or not it makes sense to me. 

June 16, 2012

Pajamas & The Church

One thing I didn't really think through when coming to Korea was the issue of finding a church. When I arrived I found out that I had been assigned to a church. It was a Korean speaking one and the message would be translated for me and the other foreigners assigned there. I went to this church a handful of times and it became apparent that what I needed couldn't be found here. I know other people who continued going to the church and it was exactly what they needed, but I knew that it just wasn't a good fit for me.

I heard about a church that met on the campus of the University that I was hired through and decided to try it out. I went for about two months and it didn't click with me either. That church has a great community of people that go there and there are a bunch of foreigners that attend. I liked the community aspect of the church, but there still wasn't that "I'm home" feeling associated with it.
I stopped going to church for a while, didn't fill that void with anything else (podcasts etc..), and began to feel quite empty after a while.

I started listening to podcasts from my home church and things started clicking again. I felt like I was really being fed: I was growing, I was learning, and my heart felt infinitely better than it had the first several months I was here. I do believe that being in a community of believers is vital to your spiritual growth, and although I'm not getting that from a physical church, I am getting that from a really great group of friends.

I am so grateful that my church chooses to record their sermons and make them available online. I don't know what I would have done if this wasn't an option. I now enjoy "church" in my apartment on Sunday mornings complete with devotional time, a message being delivered by my Pastor across the Pacific ocean, my pajamas, and one (or several...) cups of coffee.


The Lord works in all places. He doesn't need a physical building and he doesn't need a pew. He wants your heart and will meet you where you're at. For me, that's the floor of my apartment in a Korean high rise apartment. I'm not sure where it'll be next, but I do have the assurance of knowing that He will be with me wherever I go.


June 15, 2012

From Korea, With Love

It has been exactly 284 days since I have seen my family and I have exactly 43 days to go until I get to see them again.
I never, in a million years, intended or desired to go this long without seeing my family. I had a trip planned home for Christmas, but unfortunately life had other plans. You see, there's just a little bit of distance between San Diego, California and Seoul, South Korea.
The last nine months of my life have been a roller coaster: there have been some incredible highs (strong friendships, traveling in Asia, dancing in the street with thousands of people at a parade) and some really low lows (missing my best friends wedding, missing my sister's college graduation, crying my way through November).
As my time here continues to decrease at an uncanny rate, I just have to pause and take a minute to be thankful for every single moment that I've had here. I have learned so much in the last year, not only about a new culture, but about myself. I have a lot of peace at this moment in time about where life has taken me and where I'll be taken in the coming months.
Korea has been a blessing, one that I wasn't always thankful for, but I have grown up a lot and grown closer to God.
In the next 43 days I plan on being intentional with my time here. I am going to continue being the best teacher I can, I will continue making relationships with the beautiful children I get to work with, and I will continue investing in the wonderful friendships that God has blessed me with.
I am beyond stoked to get to see my family again, but I'm also more aware than ever, that I am leaving a place where I have grown some roots.

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