Thursday, July 26, 2012


roland and i are actually play fighting in this photo :)
strong-willed. the term isn't necessarily bad. or negative. but, it's always hard when one of the first things someone identifies about you is that you have a very strong will and a very strong personality. i've been finding this term (or others like it) being used to describe me more and more often lately. and i'm not quite sure what to make of it.
if i'm being honest, i feel attacked and misunderstood. i feel like my thoughts of not wanting to be "fake" or putting on a front, are being disregarded or looked down on. and i feel very discouraged. as a christian woman, i struggle with this part of my personality almost daily. i struggle with the thought that, even though i may feel that this characteristic is uniquely a part of me, it might not be okay or right with God to be that way. or let me put it better, me wanting to not be "fake" and wanting to be real all the time sometimes does not bring God glory because of the actions that those qualities insinuate. 
something tells me that me feeling discouraged and incorrectly perceived is not right. something tells me that God is using these other people to try to break me down. something tells me that God wants to finally put to an end my flesh. 
of course with any comment like this, i have to take it to the Lord. because i can't take what everyone says to me as complete truth. that's where God's word comes in and His discernment and wisdom comes into play. however, since these qualities and traits have been identified in me from several different people, i'm thinking it's probably the truth (for the most part).
it's hard to admit that you need to change. it's hard to see that your own actions and way of doing things has hurt other people. it's hard to let a lot of people and God all point out one of your biggest flaws. it's just plain hard.
but here i am. i want to be able to admit that there is something that needs to change about me. the process is difficult and challenging, but God will be faithful to see me through it. just like He is always faithful to see me through any circumstance or situation. 
before my trip to romania, God put this verse on my heart: Luke 9:23: "Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me'". so am i surprised that God has answered my prayer to grow me? no. did i realize that Him answering my prayer would be this hard and kind of hurt this much? no, not at all.
if anything, i hope that this encourages you. because i'm glad that God brought this to my attention. i know that if i allow Him to change me and to mold me to be more like Him, then it will only be good for me. and really, that's what i wanted all along.

philippians 1:6: "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Reading: lately i have been reading clockwork angel by cassandra clare. i kind of took a week off from reading it, since we've been pretty busy over here. but since i have a free day today i'm really looking forward to digging back in to it! last time i talked to natalie about the book and told her what part i was at she gasped. so, now i need to know what's going to happen. oh and the book is about angels and demons. but, it's different than frank peretti's books. but so far so good! 

Watching: nothing. and it has been so nice! BUT i am looking forward to seeing the dark knight rises. hopefully we can do that on friday! 

Thinking about: honestly, i have so much on my mind right now. i've been thinking about a lot of things over the past few days (and even the few weeks that we've been here in romania). my mind feels like it's on overload. and i definitely have the headaches to prove it. but God is good. and i know that no matter what is plaguing my mind i can give it all to Him. like it says in matthew 11:29: "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." rest sounds absolutely wonderful right now. i'll have to elaborate later, but this verse is so comforting to me right now!

Working on: trying not to gossip anymore. i can look back and see how much damage and hurt it has caused in my life and in others. of course, it's easy to just jump in with everyone else when you're mad or upset or whatever. but, i know that that's not what Christ wants. and when i engage in gossip, i'm not glorifying Him. 

Anticipating:  going to budapest next week! i think i might have mentioned before that i love budapest and i miss it there and all of my friends. so, i am so happy and so excited that next week i finally get to go back there. eeeee!

Listening to: whitnee is typing away blogging. and she has a worship station on. one thing that has been great about living with all of the girls is getting to hear the music that they love (minus the country music...)

Eating: of course i'm still eating nutella. what else is new? haha!

Feeling thankful for: my dad and my mom. i miss them and i'm looking forward to seeing them in a little over a week! i'm really thankful that they are always so excited to see me when we skype. that they are always e-mailing me and reminding me that they are praying for us and for the work that is being done in cluj. and i'm thankful that my dad is always so straight-forward with me. he's honest and goes directly to God's word when he gives advice. it is such an encouragement and i am so thankful for him. 

what have you been up to lately? read any good bible verses later that you want to share? i'd love to read them!

*all of my currently posts are inspired from danielle.

last night with the kona team.

sadly, our friends from the kona team left us last sunday and headed off to london for the next six weeks. we were sad to see them go! we had such a fun time hanging out with them and working with them during the baseball camp. we really enjoyed getting to spend time with other people our age. it was awesome to see God letting us come together, even though we were all so different and from so many different countries. God's just cool like that.

we ended up running around the city all night. we eventually made our way up to the top of a hill that overlooks all of cluj. it is beautiful up there! we had only been during the daytime before, so seeing all of the city at night was absolutely beautiful!

after the hill, we walked to central park. we had done a lot of ministry work there, but it was fun just getting to go there on our own to do our own thing. plus, it was really nice being at the park so late. essentially, it was empty minus a few other people walking around. 

we miss the team! but we're happy that the ywam cluj team is still here with us. we love them too :). i felt super thankful that God let us meet all of the people from kona. i'm praying for the rest of their time in london! if you could pray for them too that would be awesome! i know God's going to use them in big ways over there!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

baseball camp: days 3, 4, & 5

the last few days at baseball camp were bittersweet. we starting missing the kids as soon as they left. it was sad to think that i might not see some of them again in this life. but, i was happy to spend the few days with them and get to know them all better. our group had the best personalities! they would bring the biggest smile to my face. especially when they all would shout, "CHANEL!! I LOVE YOU!". haha! a little embarrassing but mostly just the sweetest thing ever. oh i miss them!

paul wanted to braid my hair
vanna, me, maria, and emma

natalie and alisa

on the second to last day, i got to share with the kids during our bible time. the theme for the day was love and sacrifice. after i shared a little story, i got to read the kids a few verses. 1 john 3:16: "16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." and 1 john 4:9-10: "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." it was so awesome getting to share with them! they seemed really into it, so i'm just praying that God will continue to remind them how much He loves them.

the last day ended with a water fight. well, only between me and the kids. it was great! as you can see in one of the pictures above, they got me completely soaked. it was fine by me since it was so stinking hot that day! and at the very end of camp the kids asked all of us for our autographs. seriously, the cutest. i love them! i am so happy that God had us here in cluj to be apart of this camp. i had the best time!

Monday, July 23, 2012

baseball camp: days 1 & 2

last week we held a baseball camp with ywam for kids and teenagers. it was such a fun time! like ryan kept saying, we all we're so blessed by all of the kids. and it was sweet teaching them how to play baseball! my group was the 7-9 year olds (just throwing it out there that it was the best group! ;). they don't have baseball here in romania, so they were so confused at first! but eventually they picked up all the rules and ways to play.

maria and vanna
ryan and clarie


i miss all of the kids already. especially emma, maria, and vanna. they were so precious. have i mentioned how thankful i am to be on this trip? God is so sweet to me. i'm so happy that He allowed me to be a part of the baseball camp. and the kids made me feel so good! even though i'm horrible at sports, they all wanted me on their teams. they're were so cute!


maria, me, and emma
i'm really hoping that some of the kids come out for baseball this saturday! i really want to see them again before i come home. 

music monday: jon foreman.

well, again it's monday and i have a song to share with you. it's been a favorite worship song of ours while here in romania. enjoy!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

blown away.

this week i have been absolutely blown away by God and how real He is in my life. on tuesday night, we had a worship night at the YWAM base. we've gone to a few of their worship sessions (which have all been great by the way!), but this one was completely different. i can't describe to you how beautiful it is to be in a room full of people who are so in love with Jesus Christ. who have their hands raised and are singing praises to Him. it has been such a long time since i had last felt God's presence so real and so close to me. honestly, i started crying as we were all praying and worshiping together. it really was the defining moment of the trip. the time where i could really say, "wow God. you really had me here for such a time as this. you really did want me on this trip". the night reminded me a lot of my last trip to Hungary. i am so in awe of the Lord. He has been doing such a good work here in the city of cluj. and i am blessed and honored to be a part of it. i can't tell you how awesome and humbling it is to be here in this city serving God for the summer. it's amazing, it's challenging, and it's showing me that i want to be a part of more things like this. who knows what God has in store for my life, but i'm praying and trying to be open to whatever that may be. for now, i know that i am so happy to be here in romania. i'm so happy i was at the worship night on tuesday. i am so happy that God loves me and uses me for His glory. i am so happy that He is so real and so near to me. really, He just blows me away. it's awesome.

psalm 9:1-2: "I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High."

Monday, July 16, 2012

music monday: the mars volta

lately, i've been on a mars volta kick. reminds me of senior year in high school and my first year in college.

another saturday & sunday.

here's what we were up to this past saturday and sunday:

we prayed over near billa and handed out a few church fliers...

we layed around on the hammock after helping make dinner at ywam...

we ate lot's of good food and chocolate cake...

we took a group photo after church to document becca wearing a really cute dress...

i took photos of my saltwater sandals, as usual...

i snapped even more photos of my friends (whitnee looks so cute here!)....

i took shadow photos on the walk over to the jejeran's house for our "real life" series...

and ryan taught a lesson on "love: is it for me?" (see john 3:16-17 and 1 john 4:18-19. it was my favorite lesson that ryan has led so far!)

i'd say it was a pretty relaxing two days.

a good day at ywam.

last friday, we spent the whole day at the ywam base. it was a gorgeous day and i loved spending time there. we got to watch some of the parent's children while the adults went to a conference, we got to make the entire ywam base plus our team lunch + dinner, and we got to rest and relax.

it was the nicest day. making lunch took almost two hours i think. and it was hard work. it was hot and the onions made me cry and it was perfect. perfect because i love serving others and getting a chance to do something for them. perfect because God gave me an opportunity to be more like him and to be more of a servant. it was one of those moments where i knew that i was exactly where i was supposed to be. exactly where God wanted me to be.

after dinner, we played lots of games with the ywam and hawaii teams (have you ever heard of the vegetable game or the animal game? they're hilarious!). i love sitting around the table and hearing everyone talk. it's a mix of so many different cultures! some people are from australia, others from america, others from spain, and others from romania. it's so wonderful thinking about and seeing how God brings all of us together. how we're all family even if we don't know each other very well. it's awesome just hanging out with people who love the Lord and want to serve Him and give Him everything. i left feeling so encouraged!

as if the night couldn't get any better, we decided to take a hike up a local hill in the neighborhood (even though it was starting to rain a little bit). we wanted to get a chance to look over the city and watch the thunder and lightning. it was cold. it was a super steep climb. and it was awesome!! one of the guys played some angus & julia stone on his ipod while we watched the sky light up. i had the best time. it was probably the best day i've had so far on the trip. and i'm looking forward to the next time we can take a hike up the hill and watch the stars again.