Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
And because I am a nerd I decided to look it up in French...I like comparing the languages because sometimes you get something you just won't find in English. It says: "Dieu ne tolère aucun rival de l'Esprit qu'il a fait habiter en nous."
Direct translation: "God tolerates no rivals for the Spirit that he has made to dwell in us."
What is there that you let fight for your soul besides God? Because I can tell you that anything that fights against God won't win, because we are a "war already won," (lyrics taken from Starfield's "Revolution").
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I ended up not applying for many reasons:
1) Wanting to love on, encourage, and impact the people I live and work with throughout my last college summer (omigosh omigosh omigosh I'm graduating and gonna be a real live teacher!! *begin freaking out*)
2) No sub-leaser and definitely NO funds to pay for my apartment for the summer without having a full-time job. (Super-duper thankful that my awesome parents paid for my apartment last summer). It's not that I don't trust God to come up with this money, because I've seen him do it, but I feel like with student loans on the horizon I need to save...because I have debt that I owe and I don't think I can just push that off.
3) My roommate is getting married and I already missed one roomie's wedding last year (sorry Al). I know I could possibly come back for it, but it's May 21st and that would mean me being in El Paso for like a week and then coming back. Not a very good example for new interns.
4) Student teaching is next spring and I am not going to be able to really have a job while doing that AND I have to pay for 12 hours of school...even though I'm technically not taking classes. So taking the internship would mean coming back and having like three months to work on top of classes and try to save for spring.
5) Spending time with family before I graduate. I'll never forget how hard I cried and how hard my mom cried when I got off the plane in August and saw my family for the first time in three months. Now some of you say, "I haven't seen my family in years." Well, I grew up in a tight-knit huggy, "I love you," sort of family. I miss them a lot when I'm gone.
ANYWAYS, I've been thinking over all these reasons and still have been wanting to go back. But tonight I am at peace, because I realized something as I was listening to my Alex Campos Mexico song....
I was an absolute wreck when I came back to Kansas in August. My first day back I went to Sunday school at Olivet and I was holding back tears all the way through. It was like a mini panic attack. For some reason, I had to get out of there. So I did. And I cried and cried when I left. I cried for the next few days. And even called Shane once in hysterics not knowing what the heck to do with myself because I was going insane. (This is very hard to explain if you've never been out of the country or on a missions trip for a long period of time...it's heart-wrenching).
I even went to therapy where she really listened to me talk through what I had seen and dealt with. I talked about the homes that burned down and how three families were living in a burnt shell of a home. I talked about the people I worked with. I talked about how my brain wanted to explode by the end of the summer from Spanish overload. I talked about how I didn't cry for three months straight but instead bottled everything up so that teams wouldn't see me freak out.
The point is...what if God thinks it's not good for me right now? Because I HAVE to come back to school again in the fall. I have things to finish here. I have a lot of learning and growing left to do. What if God is saying, "Stay here," because I just might not be able to handle coming back again?
Just my thoughts. It seriously breaks my heart to think about a summer not in Mexico after last summer...but God has reasons. And I am here. And I will be obedient. And I will try to be loving to everyone...which I have been SERIOUSLY bad at lately. I will have to post the story of the pickle-flicker sometime.
But I'm tired and have a long week ahead. Just thought I'd share what I believe God laid on my heart tonight.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Dear 13-year-old Aubrie,
It is 2002 and you are about to start 8th grade at a new school. You've lived in Wichita for a couple months and you miss your best friend. But don't worry. She'll still be your best friend ten years from now. Call her and keep hanging out with her. You will walk into your new 6A school and wonder if you will ever make friends. A few days later a girl at volleyball practice will ask to be your warm-up partner. Say yes. She'll be one of your best friends throughout the next year and high school.
There will also be a girl on the team who will call you names and put you down and use you. Don't let her get to you. And don't snap at her. She wants someone to love her. I promise.
Oh and you know the guy on the football team that will jokingly ask you out a few times? Ignore him. It's a bet with his friends and you'll only get hurt. (Good, you took my advice. Now pass it on.)
Enjoy every minute of 8th grade, because here comes high school, and it's a whole new game. Freshman year, 2003. The year of drama, drama, drama. One of your best friends will have everyone turn their backs on her and spread nasty rumors about her. Sit with her at lunch even if it means you get made fun of too. It'll be worth it in the end. Stand up for what you believe in.
Spanish I....You'll be good at it and people will make fun of you. But when your teacher says to go all the way with it, do it. It will come in handy.
Summer "romances".....My only advice to you would be to not date someone your friends set you up with. You'll beg and plead for Dad to let him take you out. Just wait till you're older.
Sophomore year, you'll be cut from the volleyball team for not being tall enough. Don't worry too much because later you'll wish you were shorter. Take yearbook instead. I know you're just a lowly writer who gets sent out to do the stories no one else wants, but stick with it. Editor your senior year will be a fun position.
Summer 2005. Here's the biggie. You know that church camp you've been invited to twice? Go. Do it. You'll have a really bad cold and hate the first two days, but wait for Wednesday. You're gonna meet Jesus and He's gonna sweep you off your feet. You will feel more free than you have in a long time. Get ready because the course of your eternity has changed.
When you come back, people will think you're crazy. It's okay. Keep seeking God because He has big plans for you.
Junior year a boy will trick you and make a bet behind your back and then dump you. Cry, but don't hate him. Forgive him and let him go.
Senior year. Live it up. Love God. Love your friends. Spend every minute together, because you'll miss them when they're gone. Oh, and the last night before graduation you'll be on the football field looking at the stars at midnight with those good friends. Well, that's called trespassing and here comes the athletic director. Run. And don't forget to turn around and help when Sharisse gets stuck hopping the fence. You'll laugh so hard you almost pee your pants. And you'll remember that night forever.
And first loves...they're amazing and heart-breaking at the same time. Have fun and try not to be too mean. You tend to do that sometimes. It'll be three years of a rollercoaster ride and God will do big things, but send you different ways. It will take a while, but you'll be okay.
You'll travel to Mexico, unsure why you even chose to go on the trip...until you get there. Your heart will shatter when you leave. You'll wait three years for an internship and your time will finally come.
Bible college. Freshman year will be rough. You'll cry a lot, your heart will ache, and you'll miss your friends. Try not to go home too much because dorm years pass quickly. And hey, you get to live with that best friend you missed so much! See, told ya she'd stick around. You'll fight like cats, but only for a while. You'll learn a lot about yourself and about God. Take naps. Go mattress surfing. And MCC breakfast for lunch...THE BEST. Hit it up.
Sophomore year will be the best. Seven crazy roommates in one awesome suite. Be open with them because they truly will love you and care about you and pray for you.
Ok so you'll teach a kindergarten class that will make you want to rip your hair out and drop out of school. Don't do it. It's not all that bad.
Internship. It will be life-changing. Brace yourself for the hardest summer of your life. People will trust you to build a house for them. Teams will think you know your way around...when you get to Acuna, pay attention when David shows you around.
You won't take my advice and you'll get more lost than you've ever been in your life. In a foreign country. With a team behind you and rain hammering down and the streets flooding from a hurricane. Don't worry, you finally find where you're going. You'll come out alive even though sometimes it seems like you won't. You'll cry for days in August because you didn't cry for three months straight. It's okay to cry. But remember that you need to move forward.
And now, it's senior year at K-State. You have one year left. One year to love people and impact them for God's kingdom. Carry these memories with you because they make you who you are. Walk with God and let him teach you and carry you when you need it most. He likes to do that.
And know that you are loved.
Your older self
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
I like to listen to music sometimes before I go to sleep. It helps me think. Some people think better in silence...I think pretty well with music going. I turned on "Tu Poeta" by Alex Campos that my little amigo Irvin got me hooked on this summer. I call it my Mexico song although it has absolutely nothing to do with Mexico or ministry.
I listened to that song over and over in the weeks when I got back, over and over in the darkest times of last year. So now when I hear it I remember the heartache of the first few months back in the States.
And I had a realization in my late night thinkings. I've never thought about moving forward. I dwell on the past. I was looking at different job opportunities tonight from teaching to just random things I can do with my Spanish experience. God has so much ahead of me. I can't waste my time looking back, even though part of me is screaming, "That's the best summer you'll ever have so you might as well give up all hope of future ones!"
I am ready for this summer and all it has to bring.
I am ready for my life.
I am ready to follow God where he leads.
I'm moving forward. Finally.
"Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told." - Habakkuk 1:5
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Grace. Mercy. Both things come from an amazing God.
I love dessert. Cheesecake is the way to my heart. No chocolate sauce and NO fruit. Fruit preservatives are just nasty. Just plain cheesecake. I have to say that McAlister's cheesecake rivals Cheesecake Factory. No joke.
I love the smell of libraries and old books. If you put me in a library I could entertain myself for hours. I can read just about anything except Dickens.
I love to sit on the highest hill in Manhattan and watch the fields burn in the distance.
I love walking into my basement at home and remembering all the good times my high school friends and I had there.
My favorite candle is the cranberry one from Bath & Body.
I love dogs. All kinds from Dachshunds to Great Danes. Notice how I didn't say Chihuahuas. Sorry.
My socks absolutely never match and I love this. I got over matching socks a long time ago because I lose them.
I love how my parents take care of each other and I want this someday. They've been married almost 30 years and are such an awesome example to me.
I love my brother and sister's sense of humor...so different yet so the same. I love all the times we've had laughing attacks in restaurants with my mom and my dad has probably wanted to disown us.
I love music. Country, Christian, rock, rap....music.
I love warm towels fresh out of the dryer. Sometimes I wish I had one of those cool hooded ones you get when you're little.
I love high-thread count sheets that stay oh-so-warm in the winter.
My favorite shampoo is Aveda Rosemary Mint, but as a college student I can never afford it!
I love flowers. My favorite are Gerber daisies.
My favorite lotion is probably a tie between Pink, Very Sexy, or Strawberries & Champagne from Victoria's Secret. But my favorite lotion to put on when I go to sleep is Moonlight Path by Bath & Body...it's oddly soothing. Hence the name.
And of course, my fave shoes have to be my Chacos.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I've been struggling lately, mainly with two things:
- the fact that I want to be in Mexico so badly this summer, even though I said I'm not going back. ugh. I seriously can't stop thinking about it. It's been almost six months since I've been back and here I am blabbing on about how I can't forget about it. You wouldn't forget either if you'd been. And if you have been, then you know what I'm talking about.
- self image. SERIOUSLY, what is the deal with this? I was on the treadmill today, another girl was on the bike, and another on the elliptical (I can't stand that machine...I also can't understand how people read while on that machine. That's pukey-ness waiting to happen.) And I wonder what we're all working for. Then I remember - that body that doesn't exist that we see on the front of magazines.
But honestly, I look in the mirror lately and tear myself down. "Hey, face...yeah, um, I'm 22 now. It's time to stop with the acne thing."
I recently saw my dermatologist about possibly starting a drug called Accutane, but she wouldn't prescribe it to me because I run. Well, she would prescribe it, but I'd have to not run for at least six months. And then not run for however long it takes the medicine to get out of your system. It dries up the juice between your joints. They give you this book when you go in there that warns you against everything that could potentially happen to you if you take the drug:
dryness of the skin, discomfort with contacts, joint pain, back pain, dizziness, drowsiness, nervousness, dryness of the lips, mouth, nose, and skin, cracking or peeling of skin, itching, rashes, or changes in finger nails. In extreme cases, it has also been known to cause severe birth defects or even fetal death, depressed moods, trouble concentrating, insomnia, agitation, change in behavior, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, blurred vision, sudden or severe headaches, vomiting, hearing problems, seizures, severe pain in upper stomach, fast heart rate, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay colored stools, jaundice, severe diarrhea, rectal bleeding, black, bloody, or tarry stools, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, purple spots under the skin, easy bruising or bleeding, or bone fracture.
Awesome. Sounds like fun. Now, many people have taken this and never had a pimple again; however, many have severe problems after taking it. Gosh. Call me paranoid, but just not worth it for me I guess.
And now I'm off to Challenge. That's my rant for tonight. On a side note I think soon I'm going to do half my face in makeup and then take a picture to see the difference.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I was going through some old files on my computer a while back and found this paper that I wrote for my senior AP English class about my first trip to Mexico. It's so crazy that my feelings about Mexico remain the same four years later.
"As the chilliness began to settle in around me, I pulled my blanket in tighter and laid my head back. After many attempts to get comfortable and numerous kicks from the boy sleeping on the floor, I gave up on sleep. As the hours wore on, I thought about what the following five days would bring. In March of 2007, our charter bus headed for El Paso, and, eventually, Juarez, Mexico.
Morning finally came and we pulled into El Paso. After abandoning our beloved bus for six vans, we invaded the local Wal-Mart. Each of our teams was given $200 to spend on gifts and household items for our families. Pretending we were members of Extreme Home Makeover, we stuffed our carts with towels, plates, curtains, sheets, blankets, rugs, toys, a ceiling fan, and even a folding table with four chairs. We checked out, loaded the cargo vans with our newly-bought décor, and headed for the church where we would take our last showers for the next four days.
We crossed into Mexico and found our work site, crammed into the midst of other houses. We set to work making concrete and laying the foundation for the house. As I was helping shovel sand for the mixer, I became aware of a small girl watching us from the tiny shack that she shared with about eight other people. She moved slowly outside and sat on the old washer that stood just outside the house. Her two year old sister, Diana, remained behind, hiding behind the bars that kept the house safe from any burglars roaming the streets. The two girls belonged to the family of five that we were building the new house for. After a couple of hours, the first girl introduced herself as Flor. Soon, boys and girls from the many houses around us ventured out to see what we were doing. Many of them began to help us shovel or carry buckets of rocks.
Over the next few days, I became attached to Flor, along with a three year old boy named David, Diana, and many other little kids. When we weren’t working on the house, we played with the kids. We played Pictionary in the dirt, we taught them the Macarena, and we also got deeply involved in a game of Pato, Pato, Ganso (Duck, Duck, Goose).
One day, Flor came up to me and out of nowhere, she wrapped her arms around me and said, 'Te quiero mucho,' meaning, 'I love you very much.' She didn’t care that I smelled, that I was dirty, that I hadn’t showered in three days; she saw through the things that would probably make some of my friends at home back off.
By our fourth day there, the house was finally finished. Though it was about one-sixth the size of a small house here in the U.S., the family was overjoyed, especially the children. Over the course of only four days, I fell in love with those children. It was then that I realized that something had to be done. Something must be done to help these children have the life they deserve.
I thought about it the next couple days. I still remember the exact moment when our van slowly drove by the tiny preschool on our way out of Juarez at the end of that week. It was white with brightly painted cartoon characters on the walls. About twenty feet from these walls stood a tall fence made of barbed wire, complete with the spirals at the top like you would see outside a correctional facility. It was then that I knew I wanted to make places that are safer for kids to learn. Without education, they will never make it out of there."
My heart broke into about a million pieces when I left Mexico that year, and little did I know I’d be back every year and then again as an intern. I guess you could say it was the beginning of my love of serving the impoverished, of teaching, and the start of a journey that has taken me on a wild ride. Some people call it obsession, I call it passion…because I think that’s what Jesus would call it too. God desires for us to be passionate about the things that break his heart, and the poor and the lost are just two of those things. Align your heart with God’s heart and you will begin to see the that the things that break your heart most likely break God’s too. Find your passion and run with it. And don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.
“…there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.” – Jeremiah 20:9
my favorite picture of David and me
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I'm trying to study but I just can't, because I found out it is going to be 8 degrees in Juarez tomorrow. At the table next to mine is a baby girl who is watching me carefully and waving, and I can't help but wonder how many beautiful babies just like this one will die this winter because of the bitter cold, because they live in a cardboard box.
I don't know how I sit in a college classroom and do my homework when I know that people are dying all over the world of preventable causes. People that I met this summer who are still waiting for a home from Casas might die before their house comes. And this breaks my heart and makes me feel pukey as I drink my sweet tea and eat my second meal of the day.
But at the same time I can feel God each day reassuring me that being in school right now is the right thing to do. I am learning each day from him. I can't tell you how many people have told me that I should be a teacher because I have a "natural teaching ability." I took a class on missions a couple years ago and the textbook talked about how important it is to be prepared to go out into the mission field. I want to be the best teacher I can be...so I guess for now it's back to studying. In writing my platform for my ESL portfolio I am realizing how much I don't know...kind of scary but then I remember I have another year to study.
I am thinking about putting together another team to take down this summer...if you're interested, please come. Your life will be changed.
My friend posted this video on her wall the other day, and I'd like to share it with you: