Overcoming the lies.

grace

Do you remember when I wrote Confessions of a Skinny Girl?

Man, I poured my heart out in that post. I couldn’t believe the feedback I got. The messages from people who said they had experienced the same things…and told me to keep writing.  This blog is such a special place for me to be able to pour my heart and soul into these posts that I’ll have forever. It’s my place of the web and I love that I can write what I want, how I want, and when I want. Like I have said before when I first started it was a way to stay connected to family & friends back home while we are living in South Korea and traveling Southeast Asia. Now it’s become my own little place. Where my hope is that I can inspire one person to live better, travel longer, and spread the love!

In a society bombarded by media it’s really hard to sift through what’s truth and what the lies are. There are so many lies I’m surrounded with everyday. So when Ashley from Overcome the Lie contacted me asking me to write about a lie I’ve overcome- I was all in.

One of the biggest lies I can think of that I most recently was faced with was that prostitution is the choice of the people partaking in it. Actually, most of the time it’s not. When I met girls/boys in the Dominican who are faced with forced sexual prostitution everyday as a need to put food on the table and a means of survival…everything changed. When you’re face to face with the people who are forced into sexual slavery you see that it’s REAL. It’s REAL and it’s happening. IT’s happening all over the world. Even in places where we would least expect it. Even in America.

Sex tourism/trafficking is a thing you guys. That makes my stomach turn. It takes a 10 min google search to learn about it. There are places around the world where you can pay to make a choice from a selection of women while on your “vacation.”  According to World Vision it’s estimated that globally 10 million children are subjected to various forms of sexual exploitation in the commercial sex industry. KIDS.

I don’t even know what to say. I’m left speechless at the thought. Before 2 years ago I had no idea that any of this even happened.

These people I met in the Dominican. So broken and fallen apart. Had no idea that there was a Savior who loved them despite all of our human flaws and mistakes. Regardless, of what terrible things had been done to them, regardless of their past. He loved them no reservations. No qualifications. He loves us in our brokenness and in our darkest moments. To me that’s reassuring that even though we are so weak…that our time on Earth is so fleeting… He is strong. That even though I am in this sinful world & I’ve made a lot of mistakes- that God’s grace is enough. ENOUGH. When the world tells us that we are not enough, that we are need to be bigger, better, more beautiful. God is enough. There is nothing more reassuring in this entire world than that.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” 2 Corinthians 12:9

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Being exactly where you are.

My best moments of “thinking” come in the shower.

I realized this last week…when I was running. When I work out I am always thinking about everything that I need to get done. I’m jealous of those of you who see working out as a time of stress relief. This is what happens in my head when I work out:

“OK, I need to wash the dishes when I get home, make cookies, and shower. What will I teach tomorrow? My kids better listen. Tomorrow is Tuesday… will we be going out for dinner? Where will Tom want to eat? What’s our plan for the weekend? How are my sisters doing. Gosh, they are getting big. Only 67 days until I see them and get to HUG them. Will they be taller than me? Man that’s a long plane ride home. I wonder what book I will want to read on the plane. This past weekend was incredible. Korea is gorgeous.” (looking at the ocean or the mountains) and then I let out a scream (after my second time of almost getting hit by a car.)

…but when I am in the shower. All is silent except for the rushing sound of the water going over my ears. It’s my time. It’s the time during the day where I get to reflect, pray, think. There is no music blaring, I am not talking, No kids screaming. It’s still. The steam fills our ridiculously tiny Korean bathroom, and it’s still silent.

When I am laying in bed at night-  I am thinking about the next day.

When I am working out- My mind gets lost in my task list.

First thing in the morning- my brain is sifting through things I need to remember for the day.

– I tend to worry a lot, and it’s the time in the shower I feel God saying to me “Just. Slow. Down.”

Be right where you are. Right now. Just breathe.

I want to be the girl who listens, and not just listens, but listens well. The girl who can push back the worry or all the thoughts consuming my brain space, and just LISTEN. I always take notice of the people who listen well. Who give me their undivided attention. Responding appropriately with valuable input. I remember the teachers who went the extra mile, the friends who make the effort, and the people who just simply listen with hearts ready to receive.

I want to be that for others.

I want to be right where I am. Right now. 120%

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Faith in Korea

Being a Christian in Korea. Wow, It’s been a journey. The hardest part for me in the beginning was missing our church from Wisconsin…the bible study, the fellowship, Sunday mornings at church. God has continued to remind me that he is every where, and not just America. I see it everyday in the people I meet, the life/jobs we are so lucky to have, the beauty of the country, the kids I teach, and the incredible friends we have made in Korea. Since arriving in Korea I feel like it took time to get settled…Time to find our “groove” if you will. I mean, we just got our apartment decorated for goodness sake. Ya know? It takes time. Time. I feel like God taught me patience in moving to Korea. Just to slow down and take time to continue to grow our faith in him. Time to set up and establish ourselves here at church, and now a new bible study we were invited to join. My faith in humanity has also been restored from the people we have met in Korea, and also those we have met while traveling. It’s crazy how visiting temples and mosques in Malaysia has strengthened my faith in God, but, it really has. I think back to us standing on the stairs of the famous Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur and closing my eyes and just praying that the people of the world would some how feel in some way feel God’s love.

In Korea, we are free to worship freely- so often something that I take for granted. Upon arriving at my new job people blatantly asked “what religion are you?” ,and my kids have seen my cross necklace that’s resulted in stumbling through conversations on being a christian, but what I really want people to know is this:

I want people to notice something different about me and ask what makes me different. I want to show the world that a christian can be someone who just loves them regardless of who they were or the mistakes they have made. That I am not going to judge them or disrespect them because they have different beliefs. I want to show them that God is (just like my grandma once told me) Love and Forgiveness. I want to love people from their darkest moments of despair. I want to love people so I can tell them that it isn’t me… it’s God. I want to love them so they see Jesus. When I say I am blessed I mean that God has blessed me incredibly beyond what I deserve.

Have you felt God’s love in a certain way as of lately?

There is so much I want to say I just haven’t decided how I want to say it.

For now though my faith in Korea has been a journey, but a blessed one. One that has brought me closer to my husband. One that’s made me absolutely cherish our amazing friends we have made in Korea. One that’s made me want to love love love and also to forgive. Korea has been a place where I have been able to see God in big ways, and each day… I just want to show people what faith in God can do.

I want to be love and forgiveness just like my grandma once told me. I’ll never forget that.

 

Love and Forgive.