March 28, 2015

Before I left...

I realized that I never posted photos from the potluck at church...or any details about my small going away party thrown by my friends.

A few weeks before I left the country, my church hosted a potluck in my honor. I know I touched on this event briefly, but it deserves another mention. My church family has been so extremely supportive...of my life really :) I was going to say that they've been supportive of my Romanian adventure, but it's been so much more than that!

The potluck was full of food, encouraging words, hugs, and some teary eyes...mostly mine. My childhood (and most of my adulthood) pastor and wife, John and Donna Hollis, came from Indiana to send me off. It felt so right to share this experience with them since they are definitely two (of the many) people in my life who set an example of how to love and serve others. I could go on and on...

I might be biased, but my church throws some of the best potlucks around. It was a good Sunday to say the least.

Next up, the "La Revedere" Party that a few of my friends threw for me on the day before I left. Another fabulous Sunday afternoon full of food, encouraging words, and more teary eyes. Christi and Erica planned an adorably decorated and fun gathering for my family and friends. They served most of my favorite foods, which included black olives, sunflower seeds, no-bake cookies, Reese's, meatballs, weenies, etc. Oh and coffee!

Did I mention that I have some of the best of all time?! Well I do. Everyone who attended the party filled out a travel themed postcard. I saved them and read them when I was in the London airport. They were the sweetest. I need to find a way to display them in my room. I am so thankful for the time spent with those who attended. Thanks to everyone who planned, helped, attended, etc.

Trying to point to Romania.
Most of the guests.

March 17, 2015


Photo courtesy of my mother. Thanks mom!

I'm writing this blog post from the London Heathrow Airport. Now that is a sentence I could never have imagined typing! I texted a friend earlier saying that I had landed in London and it just sounded odd coming from me. I was always the girl who lived vicariously through other people's adventures, and never really thought I'd have my own. And definitely not one as amazing as this! I think that comes from a few different places, but mostly from the simple fact that I'm not much of a risk taker. As soon as I typed that, I thought “well I’m still not much of a risk taker so that really hasn’t changed”. However, I don’t really see this adventure as a risk. It’s truly what I feel like I’m supposed to be doing right now. The way everything fell into place…and much faster than I had anticipated…yeah, this is where I’m meant to be in life. 

(Side note…I use the ellipsis a lot. Just a warning!)

During my last few weeks at home, many people asked how I was holding up with all of the preparations and big changes about to happen. Honestly, I was fine…and I continue to be fine. I kept answering that question by saying that I’ve felt such a peace throughout this entire process, which just goes to show the power of prayer. I am constantly amazed and overwhelmed by the amount of support that I’ve received on this adventure. Even though I haven’t specifically asked for prayers of peace, that is what I feel like I’ve received. My personality is not always the type that goes with the flow…I’m learning though, and I feel like I’ve come along way in that area, or rather that God has done some work and helped me with that. 

To give a specific example, I packed and re-packed a few times due to 2 suitcases that I knew were going to be much too heavy. A few years ago, I probably would have freaked out and cried or got upset about it. Instead, I re-packed, left some items at home, rearranged, etc. Yes, the bags were still too heavy when I got to the airport and I had to rearrange and take more stuff out, but it was okay. HUGE thank you to my mother (and sister) for helping me with that at home and in the airport. And I have to thank Erica as well…she became my packing assistant on Sunday night and helped to rearrange a bit as well. Support and peace. Sensing a theme here? 

Want to hear/read another example? Sure you do! My flight (out of Chicago) was delayed by two hours, which meant that I’d miss my connecting flight (from London to Bucharest). I had to call the airline and cancel my connecting flight. The lady booked a later flight, which meant that my layover would be 9 hours instead of 3 hours. I had to email the lady who was planning to pick me up in Bucharest and make sure she wasn’t stuck waiting at the airport for hours. How did I handle this? I spent the day people watching at the London Heathrow Airport. I ate a delicious breakfast, made myself all cozy and took a little nap, wrote this blog post, watched the people, etc. I’ve actually had a fabulous day! A day alone to spend however I please…introvert alert :) 

Now I don’t give these examples to talk myself up and say how flexible I am, but rather to show how God can change someone’s heart (and personality traits!). Obviously there have been a few ups and downs…leaving my family was extremely difficult, but I think that’s a good thing. It’d be a little odd if that wasn’t a difficult process. Leaving Raegan is something that I have struggled with, but I know we’ll Skype/FaceTime. I also look forward to telling her all about it when she’s old enough to understand.

Anyways, I need to go find my gate, but I wanted to make sure I wrote a quick post before I head to my next destination. I’ll be flying into Bucharest late this evening, and then getting a ride to Sighisoara, which is about 5 hours away I believe. Prayers for continued travel safety and peace would be greatly appreciated. Until next time…