Monday, April 28, 2008

Ticket Genius

Let's face it, gas prices are only going up and up, which also means plane tickets are going up and up. Tonight I looked for a one-way ticket from GJ to Ontario, CA (20 minutes from my school) and found tickets no less than 300 buckeroos and up to 550 buckeroos. I was not having this, so I tried to get creative. If you live in GJ, you may know that there are Las Vegas flights on Thursdays and Sundays. So, I checked them out. $141. How does that get me closer to Ontario?
Enter Southwest Airlines. This airline has a "Wanna Get Away" ticket category. And get this - I found a ticket from Las Vegas to Ontario for $69. Yes! What great success. It gets even better...the lay-over time is only an hour and ten minutes between flights. I have just enough time to sip a Naked Juice and a read a chapter in a book. Sweet genius. I lose a day at home, but I save almost $300. I can live with that.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Change or Rest Until You Get Up

Well, the whole going to Honduras for the summer just became really different. I am still going down to Honduras, but instead of staying there until the end of June, I am staying until the end of May, which is quite the change from my original plans I wrote about in my newsletter. The dust is still settling, and to be honest, I do not know how best to express what has happened to me this week as far as my plans changing! :) (it's all good, by the way).
On Monday, one of my professors said something very frank to me. She said that she would not take me out on the field right now if she were my team leader because of how tired I am. Wow. That hit me like a load of bricks - a pleasant load of bricks in the shape of hearts. She noticed acutely that I am on my way to being a "ministry casualty." The Lord has been telling me all year to rest. I must humbly admit that I do not know how to rest. I have tried to rest, but resting is so foreign to me that I have pretty much failed at it. But God is gracious. He is giving me the opportunity to respond to Him and use wisdom. Learning to rest is perhaps one of the greatest challenges culturally for Americans and especially for those within service-oriented occupations such as pastoring. If I do not learn how to rest and care for myself now, I will probably never have such a gracious window of time as the coming summer.
I am now flying home May 29th, in time for my cousin Andrew's wedding. I have not seen all of my cousins all-together for almost eleven years, which is almost criminal! Then I plan to seek the Lord in deep rest for the remainder of my summer. I know I am not supposed to work, and God has even told me not to stress out looking and applying for scholarships for school next year. His mandate is simply difficult: rest!!!
I will still be leaving for Honduras on May 18th, so even though my stay in Honduras is much shortened, I need to raise $1000. Air travel is expensive in contrast to the relatively low cost of staying in Honduras for a week and a half. I am growing accustomed to the idea of not being in Honduras, and I know there will always be opportunities to return there. However, I am learning that if I do not take much needed opportunities for rest, I may not have future ministry opportunities.
There is still a need for prayer and financial support, but both are being modified to fit this new situation. Even though I will be at home for most of the summer, I still need prayer covering for that time...that it would indeed be a time of rest, healing (I really need my tonsils to heal because they are swollen, and I do not want to have tonsil surgery), and spiritual-strengthening. I believe my swollen tonsils are connected more to being exhausted and to the spiritual bondage I am trying to walk out of - it is truly a fight for me to rest. Please pray also that my time would be protected from anything and anyone that would take away from my rest for the next three months. It might sound strange for an almost 23 year-old to be burnt out, but that indicates just how busy and stressful my life has been for a number years.
Let me know if you have any insight for me in the area of resting. I hope this answers any questions you may have due to all the changes in my plans. I would love to hear from you!