Sunday, January 31, 2010

Verses for the Road

There is something so inexplicably comforting about Psalm 139.

I love knowing that I am so well known, that my Creator cares who I am, what I do and where I go. At times, it can also be unnerving because the things that I think that I do in the dark, that are so cleverly hidden, are actually clear as day to the One who matters most. It is a psalm to remember, memorize, take comfort in, hold onto and take seriously.

When I finished graduate school, I chose Psalm 139:9-10 as my career verses, knowing that I had chosen a life of international work:

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."

I cannot tell you how often they have brought me comfort. In the remote jungles of South Africa, their promises rang true. In the desert of Senegal, they brought me reassurance. In the slums of India, the villages of Nicaragua, the streets of Havana, the midnight flights over the Atlantic, each time I have clung to these verses because they bring me peace that I am not forgotten nor lost in a strange new place.

As I begin to pack and look ahead to my next adventure, I find myself once again holding tight to these two verses. Most of the time I embrace these trips, but in those moments that cause uncertainty, hesitation and fear, He gently brings these words to mind.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Peanut Butter

Every time I travel overseas, I take a jar of super crunchy peanut butter with me. This is for two reasons: First, I never know what kind of cuisine I will encounter. For instance, in India, curry seems to be the dish of choice. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of curry so a big jar of peanut butter and fresh bananas tied me over many, many times.

On another trip with a cousin of mine (who for some reason can't stand the stuff), I literally dug the peanuty goodness out with a ball point pen. Hey, I am not proud of it, but what else is there to eat in France?

Oh wait. Never mind.

And heaven forbid I should go hungry. Especially so far from home. That could induce panic. And we all know that panic only makes you hungrier.

The other reason that I always carry peanut butter is because I absolutely love the stuff. LOVE. IT. I very rarely buy it when I am not traveling because I can easily eat it all in a matter of days. And I'm talking straight out of the jar with a big honkin' spoon. So, I tend to ration myself when I am stateside.

However, I am about to embark upon another transcontinental journey, so I am highly anticipating my stop at the store. But get this...I am going to buy TWO jars this time.

No, people. Not for me.

Let me just tell you a little story. A few years ago my sister and I met a nice Turkish guy, named Cetin, who had come to study at Denver Seminary. We invited him to my parents' house for dinner and he immediately became part of our family. So much so that I now call him my brother.

Since I will be spending one week in Turkey and part of my time there will be visiting him and his family, I asked my Turkish brother what I could bring his family from the good ol' USA. I was assuming hummus would not be on the list.

His response was a bag of Ghiradelli raspberry squares for himself (See? We are totally related) and a jar of SUPER CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER for his mom!

Get. Out.

I love this woman. I have never met her but I can already anticipate a wonderful visit. It is obvious that this woman has got spunk. I mean seriously...who else asks for the super crunch if you aren't a little on the spunky side? She is a woman after my own heart...and appetite.

It's going to be a good trip.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tap, tap, tap...Is this thing on?

Hello world! Here I am, in all my 30 year-old glory. Don't be overwhelmed. It's not that glorious. Well, my shoe collection is glorious. But that's about it.

So, let's just jump right in, shall we? I am currently craving the bag of dark Ghiradelli chocolate chips that are in my freezer right now. In fact, the only thing that keeps me from inhaling them is my attempt at this blog thingy. Truly, you are saving me from a morning of guilt, an extra hour on the treadmill and a new pair of stretchy pants. Thank you, people. Thank you. I like you already.

What are you craving? Sweet? Salty? A big bag of Twizzlers? Spam? Let me will make me feel better. We can wear stretchy pants together.