Sunday, November 9, 2008

Busy Weekend!

This past weekend was a busy and fun one :)

On Thursday morning my family and I, along with our homeschooling group from our church, went on a field trip to an apple picking orchard a few hours away. It's somewhat of a tradition with the group so we were glad to be a part of it. Around three years ago, we also joined them, but that time it was so cold and rainy. It was still a lot of fun, but this year the weather was absolutely beautiful! And you could really see autumn taking place there, with the different colors of the leaves on the trees. The apple orchard is tucked right between the mountains, so the sight was very pretty. We now have a whole basketful of delicious, sweet, and tangy apples! Best part is, they taste so much better than the ones from the grocery... They're so good :)

And on that same day, after picking apples and then eating lunch, we were off to College Days at the college I'm planning to go to. It was a few days of seeing what the college was like, in the perspective of not just a visitor, but as a college student. I was nervous at attending it by myself, since usually they're attended by youth groups, and here I was, the only one from my church. They were actually hesitant, during regristration when I got there. The girl I spoke to was like, "Um, we only have one signed up from that church..." And of course, with a shy grin... "Thaaaaat's me!" Haha. And so I was off to get my souvenirs, a bag of their brochures, a college t-shirt, and of course, my official college slinky ;D
Thankfully, I knew some college students that went to that college (who had attended the camp I went to in Okinawa, as counselors) and I was able to dorm with one of them which was such a blessing... I was already scared enough, going there by myself, but they, including my other "roomies" made me feel really welcome. And on top of that, when I first arrived, I met some girls from a church that one of our friends in Okinawa used to attend. We had visited that church once as well. One girl was a freshman attending the college, and she made me really welcome, and I'm so sure that God placed her in that bookstore at the right time! She was showing around these other girls (also there for college days) and there I just "happened to be there"! God's so good :) And so I spent a lot of time with them the rest of my stay there.
And now if I wrote every detail of my trip, it'd take quite a while, so I'll just tell my story in pictures...

"My" dorm-
College Days Theme-

The girls I met (Yes, of course they're Filipino! Well, except for the tall one, but she still counts since she loves Filipino food :D)-Alumni Basketball Game-

One of my friends, who I met in Okinawa and her boyfriend-

The college's newest building, where I sat in for some classes-

The humongous-est choir I've ever seen-

One of the best parts- Filipino Friday @ lunch! Yum, Kare-kare :P

My other friend (her sister is the one in the other pic) in her dorm-

Friday, October 31, 2008

So yeah, I'm still alive :)

It's been a sorta busy past few weeks, I can only go online on the weekends, and the weekends have been making themselves a little busy lately. And as for everything else, I've really been a little preoccupied with school. Oh, and of course I can't forget trigonometry. The joys of trig >.<>

And of course, it being Friday today, I talked to my bestest! Well, actually we've slacked a little on the whole talking thing for the past two weeks, it being my fault mostly (>_<), but it was so nice to talk to her again. It's a little piece of "home" for me. Just talking 'bout silly things that other people would think to be really crazy, catching up on our lives, reminiscing high school memories. And now I'm here thinking how weird it is that in a year's time we'll both be at college already (sadly not at the same one). But I, for one, am looking forward to all our bestest days to come, no matter what the distance is between us :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thoughts on Wednesday Night...

(Thought I'd separate this from my other post)

Tonight during the message with the teens, during the "Question and Answer" time... One of the girls there asked, what I think, an issue that was pretty hard for her to voice. I give her props for being strong enough to say what she did. Though I'm not sure whether or not she was born again, she asked a kind of question I'm sure many of us ask, though maybe most of us just don't make it known to everyone that we feel that way, for fear of being criticized.

She was somewhat angry with her father who had left her when she was only born, someone who she had only met this year. She said of how he was doing most everything right until her mother died, then he just let go of his life, eventually ruining his life, and in turn his daughter's also. This was something very personal to her, and as she asked it her voice began to break and she began to cry. She asked how one person can go from doing so much good and all of a sudden do a 360 degree turn and just turn from all the good in his life, after such a big tragedy. Our youth director found her honesty and transparency to be a very brave thing, it isn't usual for a teenager to simply voice those type of thoughts in front of her peers. He gave an answer that I found wouldn't only apply to her, but to many who are on their spiritual walk, something that I could take with me when I'm at low points in my life (such as some sad times in our recent move).

He answered by saying how there's no other way he can think of to respond that other than by saying that after tragedies as that, the only One we can run to for perfect peace is Jesus. I find myself sometimes questioning the certain circumstances I'm in and how I can escape those depressing feelings and then I realize I can't always run to my friends, and my parents are always there for my support, but the only One who will fully take away the fear, hurt, or worry is Him. I found myself in tears as she told her story, 'cause here I am, with godly parents, a good church, friends of positive influence, a good Christian education, and still complaining that my life isn't how I want it to be. But here is a girl, with true pain, who doesn't have someone to turn to like I do. Someone without the assurance of a heaven, someone who can't find perfect peace 'cause she as she grieves for her earthly father, there is a heavenly Father grievig for her, and just waiting for her to come to Him. My hurt for her, and if you all could, please keep her in your prayers. I hope to be an encouragement to her, if I can face my fears and talk to someone I don't know. I'm thankful for that perfect peace I can get as one of the benefits of being one of His daughters.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

School Days Are Here Once More

Finally... They have arrived! :)

Last Thursday my dad came home with my first of three packages of my school materials. So the next day I started my first day of my senior year of high school. It feels so weird that in a year's time, I'll be starting college >.<>

On another note...

Another big step of my senior year has passed. Last week was a big one for me, what can I say? :) Aside from receiving my school materials, I also mailed my application for the college I'm planning and praying about going to. Instead of just handing it over to the mail guy at the post office, which I thought would be quite impersonal, hehe, I just bought the stamps I needed and dropped it down the mailbox myself :)

And aside from those "exciting" events in my life :).. It has been another good Wednesday night at church. Heard a good message from our youth director. Saw Danielle from Country Dreams, Dianne from Songs from the Heart, and met, in real life, my newest bloggy friend, Daddy's Girl! It was nice meeting you in real life, maybe we'll see each other again, next time, maybe longer than 2 mins ;D

Al together, it was a good night.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random :)

It's another pretty sunshiney desert kinda day. It doesn't rain much here, like in Oki. The weather isn't as moody here as it is over there- pouring one moment and then the blindin' sun the next :) But I must say, I do miss those tropical breezes... The sticky humidity... The beautiful orange-pink sun setting on the long deep blue horizon of the ocean, seen from our balcony.

Oh, how I miss it.

Anyways, just got home from getting a shot! It was one of the last things I had to get done for my college application. That, and my picture. After I get my pic developed, I'm going to send it off in the mail, with much hope and prayer. I've been praying for a while now about what college I'l be attending. Since this school is close to "home" (referring to our current duty station), parents-appoved, and has the same beliefs, it feels as if this is where God's directing me to. It's not the college most of my friends are going to, something that's going to be pretty hard for me, but I'm sure God will work it out for the best.

Now that I don't have my school materials yet, I've been spending a lot more time reading, studying for SATs, and playing guitar. Just realized the thrill you can get out of a guitar :) So much fun... I don't know that many chords, so I just bear with what I do know (which isn't much!), but it's a great way to pass some time, since I'm piano-less at the moment :( Hehe. And besides killin' time, it's also a good way to make your fingers sore :P My left hand fingers are not all that used to all that pressure on those metal strings, but the music that comes out is pretty worth it :)

While I'm posting, I just wanted to say happy birthday to a dear friend of mine. Pretty sure you won't read this, but if you do, know that I'm prayin' you had a wonderful day. Trust in God and pray always. Only He knows what lies ahead of you, so just give Him everything...

And with that, I'm off to the books again. Or book, that is. The gi-normous one that will "Guarantee a better SAT score!", or so the title says :)


Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Don't be sad that it's over, be glad that it happened."

On the way home last night, I rode with my mom and we had a pretty good talk. It was pretty random, but it's been a while since it was just me and her. The conversation started with how, when her and my daddy weren't married yet, she borrowed my dad's car to go on a drive with her friends. The ride ended up with one of the front tires flying from the car and then her losing control. Hehe. That would probably explain the fact that I'm 17 and still don't have a driver's permit. When, at 16, I could've had my license already. Well, in Okinawa, that is. I'm not sure about here in the states...


We ended up talking about the senior trip my class (in Okinawa) is taking to Tokyo, and how we were gonna plan for it- financially, praying about it, figuring out where I'd be in my lessons for school. All just planning for now, but Lord willing, I'll go. Since I REEEAAALLY wanna go :P Please pray for me!

And somehow that conversation led into missing Okinawa (like how many of our family's conversations have been ending..."Aw, So&so in Okinawa did that!" or "Aw, they only have those in Japan!").

About a week or 2 before we left Okinawa to go to the Philippines and then eventually here, a family from our church took me, my sister, and another friend of ours (she was PCSing also) out for dinner at, what I consider, a fancy restaurant. Talk about special treatment! :) Their whole family was a good friend of ours- the dad led the Jr. Church Services, and their kids were close friends of ours. As we were ending our meal, they made us 3 girls feel even more special by giving us gifts and then the dad gave us a little heartfelt speech. He said how we should keep serving the Lord, like we were doing at our church over there, and that there's no church like our church in Okinawa. Hearing that at first... I thought he was right, I loved our church over there- the beautiful music, the wonderful, friendly people, good messages, and so much more. But then aside from that I thought that maybe we're just biased, since it's the church we go to and whatnot.

However, since we came back to the states, I realize that a church like ours in Okinawa really is a rare one. Being in a foreign country, we as a church really felt like family, and everyone was reaching out to everyone, just trying to make them feel as much as home as possible. I remember just arriving there, and the different kind of welcomes we received. Don't get me wrong, I like our church here also and I know church isn't about the people. But it really is different over there.

And now, being back in the US, I realized how I sometimes took for granted the first-hand witnessing of seeing missionaries at work, or the experience of being in someone else's country, one where I can't always order something at a restaurant without making the shape of it with my hands XD... And I realized that missionaries are normal! Before moving to Oki, I just always thought of how different they were going thousands of miles away from family and all things familiar, but after becoming best friends with an MK, our family getting close to several missionary families, playing the piano in a church where all I can understand is "Konnichiwa!"... I realize how they're just ordinary people, that God uses in extraordinary ways...

It was so hard to leave all our friends, missionaries, Filipino group, teachers, schoolmates... All who eventually we considered family... But I know God had a reason for taking us here. And He doesn't make any mistakes. Instead of thinking all we left behind and all that we used to do, I should just be thankful for that time. Not end the friendships, but make them grow. Not stop the service, but do even more. Not dwell on what He "took away," but focus on what He gave and what He's still giving :)

Just a thought♥.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My First Post :)

Well, here goes :)

My first blog on here. And I'm not too sure how to start. Hopefully I'll be diligent in writing these posts, keep up with old friends, and maybe somebody will want to read my posts too! Hehe. Well, right now I'm at home, enjoying another chill day at home, munchin' on goldfish and oreos, all being washed down with a cold glass of milk XD. Hehe, well, atleast that's how it is for now, until I can finally start on my senior year of high school, when my materials arrive. I'm actually pretty excited for school to start, but at the same time, kinda scared. One more school year, and then I'm off to college. Kind of a scary thought, yet exciting at the same time. Well, I won't get too deep in that thought, being as it is my first post and all. Gotta keep things light :) So, for now, I'm off to go read a book, and hopefully call my bestie in Oki.