Life. As most of you know, I have never moved, never gone off for college and never lived anywhere but at home with my family. Traveling and being in different cultures isn’t new to me, butttttt living in a different place that isn’t my home is quite different. Spain is also different. So here are some differences that you will notice right off the bat (or at least I have). Spaniards eat their meals at different times. Breakfast at 9-11am, lunch at 2-3ish pm, and dinner 8pm-12am. (<—- SERIOUSLY). Isn’t that wild?!?! I had dinner at 9:30pm today. (It was very delicious and my host mom is a pretty good cook.) They don’t say excuse me or sorry when trying to pass each other. They personal space bubble is quite smaller than ours in the US so they don’t have to say sorry or opps excuse me. They just go and walk and live life. Life in Spain is slow which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, unless you are a 30 yr old still in college living at home. Don’t get me wrong now. I not saying this is wrong. It is just different from the way people live in the States. Some people take10 years to finish college here. I just have to be honest and say heck no. That is not for me. What I do like is that people take their time. They will sit and have long conversations at a cafe/bar and there is no rush to move on to the next thing. They live in the present and notice what happens in the now. I feel like they really get to know people here because of this. Lastly, life does not happen in the home like in America. Life happens outside the house. People go outside, walk for miles a day (most people don’t drive and we walked about 8 miles yesterday), hang out with friends, visit places, play soccer in the plazas, talk on the phone on a bench, and just life. Many of them don’t invite friends over, but invite friends out. It’s a different concept of life I think. Very cool nonetheless.
Now, I bet you are all wondering what adventures Cathy is having. OK, some might not care or even read this which is okay. ANYWAYYYY
Home. On Thursday, we went on a long journey from Toledo to Sevilla, our new home. We met our host families and went to our new homes for the next 3 months. I’m living in a house with a mom, who hasn’t been around much because she works in a pueblo (another little town/village/city) and her daughter, who is about 30. Elena, the sister, is so nice and considerate and her boyfriend, Juan comes to visit almost everyday. He is super talkative and speaks English which actually helps a lot with my roommate and I learning Spanish. WAITTT I don’t think I’ve talked about my room mate yet! Her name is Dara, and she is such an awesome roommate because I’ve never really had one before. I am so blessed. Please pray for the family. I found out they are Catholic, but they don’t attend Mass that often.
Yesterday, we took our placement test for the Spanish classes. I was so nervous because my Spanish is completely terrible and I had to text in the advance classes in order to get the classes I needed for credit. It is so difficult to listen to what people are trying to say here. The accent is different and it all sounds like one huge long sentence. We got our results and class schedules back and I was so excited to see that I got all the classes I wanted and I tested into the advance classes. This coming up Monday will be the hard part of actually taking those 3 upper level classes. God, seriously, I need Your help on this one.
We also met our mission mentor, who has been a missionary for about 20 years. They planted a baptist church in Sevilla and are about plant another one. Her and her husband are church planters in Europe. Super cool and super awesome! I cant’ wait to see where God is going to put me here and how He is going to use me. I talked to one of my friends who was so encouraging by letting me know how God is already using me, because I was a little discouraged this week. God is so good all the time, and we will never really know exactly what He has planned for us, but I am starting to see it unfold.:)
Since, school hasn’t started yet, I have had a lot of free time to explore and to get to know people in my study abroad group. Everyone is so nice and friendly! I was so worried about that and God has already answered that pray and concern of mine. :) Today some friends and I went to Plaza de Espana. We decided to be super touristy and American, by being a little louder than normal (which was normal to us) being amazing by everything we see and taking silly pictures everywhere. OH MY GOODNESS! This place is so gorgeous! There is a mini lake, moat thing where you can row a boat around in and a giant fountain in the middle of everything. Some Spaniards will take you on a horse and carriage around as well. Then some bridges will take you across and into the palace (of course in front of the place we had to take a jumping picture, which none of them turned out super good, but it was very funny). We walked to one of the levels and it just had a super gorgeous view! You just gotta see this! Also all of us bought some fans for the bull fight we are going to see tomorrow. (or well today depending on when I post this blog) These Spaniard boys are super crazy too! So one came up to us selling post cards at any price we wanted to pay because the money went towards little kids playing soccer or something like that and then he looked at me and asked if I had a boyfriend. Stupid me said no. So then asked me if I’d like to meet with him in the garden across the street in 10 mins. OH MY! I just said I had to go and walked away with everyone else. I could explain the story better in person, but this is just the short version.
I felt like a totally Spaniard today because my friend Mirium and I went shopping at the local store because I needed some shampoo and all that good stuff. Their baskets for shopping are just too cute. They roll on the ground kinda like a suitcase! It made shopping so much easier, but you have to pay for a plastic bag. Being cheap, I did not like that.
So I just have so many adventures and stories to tell, but I wish I could tell all my stories and tell them better!
Keep Praying and God Bless.
Well in 2 days I will be leaving for the beautiful country of Spain and live there for the next 3 months. I honestly can not believe God has lead me to go here. I am very excited for this opportunity, and yet terrified. Literally. I have never lived anywhere but home, and I’ve never moved. I have traveled to other countries in the world, but never livedin another country. God is so crazy! He has some mighty big plans for me for the next 3 months because the past few months have been pretty crazy! God works in such mysterious and amazing ways!
For now here is a small bucket list for my trip! If anyone has any good ideas of what I should do there feel free to comment, fb me or let me know!
-Learn to cook a traditional Spanish dish
-Scrapbook a photo album for the host home family
-Watch a futbol game
-Go to a bullfight
-Get a haircut in Spain
-Learn to flamenco dance
-Ride a roller coaster in Isla Magica
-Play in a fountain
-Find 2 parts of the old Roman aqueduct
-Go to a cave concert
-Ride a camel
Keep praying for the Spaniards and for me!
God Bless You All!
While I was reading Isaiah 53, I was thinking that we should have been on that cross, not Jesus. He was righteous, blameless and perfect. But like it says in verse 5, “He was pierced for our transgressions.” Even in verse 7-9 it predicts Jesus’ behavior while he was being slaughtered. He was silent and accepted His death. Jesus didn’t whine or walk away. He took is like a true redeemer, lover and Savior. This made me think of how many times do I whine when God is punishing me or well disciplining me (as it says in Hebrews). After reading this prediction of Christ’s death, it just made me so grateful and thankful for my Savior. I wish I could explain it better.
“He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”
Also because God has given me such an interest in the human body check this out. Did you know there are 5 different types of wounds? On that one day of Jesus’s crucifixion, Jesus experienced all of them.
1. Lacerated Wound: produced by a tearing instrument (Matt 27:26- cat of nine tails)
2.Penetrating Wound: produced by a sharpened insturment (Matt 27:29-crown of thorns)
3.Contused Wound: produced by blunt instrument causing severe bruising (Matt 27:30-beaten on face by rods)
4. Incised Wound: cut produced by a sharp edge (John 19:34-spear)
5. Perforating Wound: pierced (John 20:24-29- spikes/nails hammered into Him)
Jesus went through all of that pain, for a group of people who are ungrateful and who take advantage of His death. At least I do and I am so sorry Jesus for forgetting the great magnitude of what you have done for me! You have saved me from God’s wrath and helped bridge the gap between God and I. I am now able to spend eternity in Heaven with my Father and to have a personal relationship with Him, all thanks to Your sacrifice. :)
“Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.”
Passage-Romans 6: 15-23
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!”
Sin means to miss the mark and our mark to follow is God’s perfection and we all know we can never reach that and that we are born sinners. In verse 23 it says “for the wages of sin is death” and our sin can’t go unpunished therefore we deserve death as a result of our sin. Also, God can’t ignore sin because then His righteousness would only be compromised and we all know that God does know compromise. He is perfect.
“But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin.”
1 John 3:5
**I have alot more to say but I’ll just keep that in my journal. Maybe i’ll go back and add more to this later. :)
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”
I’m not totally sure if this is a correct interpretation or if this verse is suppose to be foreshadowing but this is what I got out of it this week. I’m still meditating on this scripture.
Satan’s offspring/seed (depending on translation): demonic forces
Woman’s offspring/seed: Jesus (because everyone is a descendant of Eve)
New Testament Verses to back it up:
1 John 3:8
1 Corinthians 15:24
Can one single moment effect the lives of the whole human race for years to come? Can just one choice determine the fate of not just one man but of all men? Can someone influence someone to make a choice that ruins the lives of every generation? This moment happened and we question it. Some people even joke around about how we should always blame the woman for eating the fruit. Yeah, I’m talking about in the very very beginning when God created the world and everything was good.
“God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the sixth day.”
When God created the world, everything was good and everyone in the world was good. It was prefect. Man’s relationship with God was as close as it could have ever been. Perfection. Just the way God had intended us to live. But from one act of disobedience everything changed.
“but you must no eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Death just didn’t mean physical death, but a spiritual death because after eating the from the tree of knowledge of good and evil man was separated from God. The knowledge of evil had then entered the world which our thoughts bring about our actions, therefore evil had entered the world. Our hearts became tainted and corrupted. This one single act effects us still today, because it is on that day that sin had consumed our lives. Sin has consequences that not only effects the sinner but the people around just like this one act effected us and kept us away from our perfect relationship with God.
Can one man fix it all?
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”
“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the rightfulness God.
1 Corinthians 5:21
It’s so funny how God works. The passage and topic I am reading today is something that we have been talking about in my college ministry for the past couple of weeks.
“I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”
God who is full of wrath is still a God full of wrath, but is and always will be filled with compassion and grace.
Just read the whole chapter of Malachi 3. It’s pretty awesome (like the whole Bible). :)
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from teh Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Wrath: intense anger, rage and furry towards something.
God hates sin, wickedness and godlessness.
The wrath of God is being revealed form heaven againist all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
God is a God of justice and truth. He can not let any sin go unpunished. We would be worshiping a false God if we ignored or even denied God’s wrath again ungodliness and unrighteousness (which is also called sin). But God’s wrath towards our sin was satisfied with the sacrifice of the fully righteousness Jesus Christ, the perfect lamb sacrifice. The wrath and punishment that should have been for us, was passed down on to Jesus Christ, a blameless man.
After reading this part in Romans 1, it made clear to me what justification was and what Romans 3:21-31 was trying to say.
“God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in His blood. he did this to demonstrate His justice because in his forbearance he had left sins committed before hand unpunished— He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Justification: Christ’s righteousness took over our unrighteousness; faith brings about justification
Atonement (sacrifice): one who would turn aside God’s wrath and taking away our sin
It is at the cross where justice and love meet together.
Monday, I didn’t have to work and I just couldn’t figure out what to do with myself. Okayy so I needed to study hardcore and clean my room, but besides that, I actually had some time to sit down and spend good quality time with my Lord and Savior with no distractions. And let me tell you, I was so filled with The Spirit, knowledge and joy. This happens every time I dig into the Word of God an d spend some quality time with Him. God is so good and His word has life and meaning. This made me think of how I was just telling someone the other day that I am trying to become a living sacrifice everyday for the Lord and just to sacrifice more of my life for my personal Savior, Jesus Christ. (trying is the key word) But I’m not really sacrificing my time for God. I’m just giving Him some small moments and pockets of time here and there. Which brings me to my challenge for myself, and that is to spend consistently 365 days with God in the Word and to record what God is teaching me here on my blog. I got this idea from a blog of a Christian band I really like and they have consistently for 365 days put a blog post of what God is teaching them in the word. That inspired me as well. I have a small confession to make on here but I won’t put it up yet (not that anyone cares or reads this. lol)
Not only that but I am physically trying to become active and fit. I want to be able to do the warrior dash this year and run a 10K next year. I have created a small schedule to follow in order to get the results I want and to stay active and fit. God has given me this body to take care of and to use to glorify Him and I intend to keep the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit in shape spiritually and physically!
Day 1 and 2: (I will post what God has taught me tomorrow! )
Day 1 Scripture: Romans 1:18, Romans 3:21-31
Day 2 Scripture: Malachi 3:16 (more like the whole chapter)
-God is so inspiring.
-I’m running on 4 hours of sleep. It’s time for bed!
Do we ever consider if our actions or lifestyle are grievous (causing pain or sorrow) to the Spirit of the living God?
“Do not quench the Spirit.”
I’ve been digging into God’s word and reading the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan. And this is one verse I had never really given much thought to honestly. I hardly think of myself quenching the Holy Spirit which dwells in me. The word quench gets to me, because it makes me feel guilty for not daily actively pursuing the righteousness of the Holy Spirit and Christ. Another thing is that this is a command. Not a lightly taken suggestion or concern in the Bible. God wanted this statement written as a command.
Quench: to put out, to extinguish, to put out the light or fire, to eliminate
(Thanks to Webster’s dictionary online, here’s the definition)
We can quench the Spirit by ignoring Him working in us or ignoring Him telling us what do to. But also we can go too far and put our own desires or thoughts in the way of the Spirit and the Word of God. Have you ever prayed for something, like for God to give you the money to go this college, but you didn’t even pray for the peace of God to let you know that you should even be going to this college? Sometimes (I know I do this) I make my will, God’s will in my life and then ask God to bless what I want. I ignore what the Bible says and what the Holy Spirit is guiding me to do. When I do this, I am quenching the Holy Spirit. I am sinning. I am not following the commandments of our Holy God. I am subduing the light and fire inside of me and it makes it harder for me to hear the real voice of God to guide me through my decisions in life. I don’t welcome the Holy Spirit into my life as well as I should. And this takes a daily surrender to God. And I struggle with this all the time. I am sorry, God.
As today’s generation of young women, we have not been given much hope for the future. When it comes to singleness, marriage, femininity, or even a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we are often told, “This is all you can expect, so get used to it.” But we do not have to live according to the mediocre standards of the world around us. Singleness, marriage, and womanhood do not have to be a dull, depressing drudgery. Those areas can be a little taste of heaven on earth, if only we will pursue the very best God has for us and never settle for less.
Who are you going to school for?
Who are you taking tests for?
Who are you driving for?
Who are you working for?
Who are you making money for?
Who are you loving others for?
Who are you majoring for?
Who are you going to church for?
Who are you living for?
So I went to 6 flags the other day with 2 of my friends for FREE! Yeahhh that’s right we scored some free tickets! Well everything was fun and dandy except we waited in line for The Batman ride for like 2 hours, but that’s not all. When we got to the front of the line, some drama went down. Some people were sitting on the railings and the one of the park employees asked us to get down. Almost everyone got down. So… they asked again and again and again and again. There were 2 teenager/high school girls who weren’t dressed appropriately (there were a total of 4 girls in that group) that would not get down. The 6 flags guy even resorted to saying, “Oh I can say this all day long,” and kept telling them to get down. THEN people started yelling at them to get down. Finally everyone waiting was chanting “KICK THEM OUT! KICK THEM OUT!” And guess what one of the revealing dressed girl’s did. She had the audacity to yell back, my blanky blank feet hurt and then flick everyone off, and there were little children in line too. The girls never got down until it was time to get on the next ride. Everybody was fuming mad. Including me. We had to wait a whole another ride because they let all the fast pass people ride because those girls would not listen and follow the rules. I had wished that got kicked out. It made me and my friend that I was with get so angry with them and they way they were acting. We ended up talking about this for awhile after too.
Which brings me to when God decided to use this situation as a lesson for me, starting with this verse:
“Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;”
People will always not follow the rules, especially God’s. People do not care of the judgement that await them. BUT sometimes when we see people doing wrong we want to carry the burden of judging them, when that is God’s job. We don’t need to carry that burden. We should trust in the Lord to judge those who do wrong. He even tells us this in Romans 12:17-21.
“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
God even tells us to feed our enemies if they are hungry and to “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” This can be such a hard thing to do and to “refrain from anger and turn from wrath” (Psalm 37:8) because we know that when someone does wrong they deserve some kind of punishment. I mean even for me in a movie or tv show if some big shot who is all rude, crude, mean, all wealthy, ignorant and well you get the idea ends up “winning” or like getting exactly what they want without consequence or anything like that. It makes me SOOO UPSET! Like I just wanna yell at the TV and be like NO! That person is terrible, they don’t deserve that! It’s like a natural thing for me to be that way and I bet other people are like that, but we are not God or have the right to try to plan revenge or try to “get back at them” or fret over their sin. That is God’s job to avenge with His wrath.
Just something I have learned recently! Hope it all makes sense and I was able to communicate what God was showing me and as always there are prob typos all over and wrong grammar! haha
“God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
Does your spirit growl in hunger for Christ Jesus? Do you feed your spirit with the spiritual Word of God?
“Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”
So after I got home from Thailand, I was so in tuned with God that I became sohungry for The Holy Word of God. It was pretty crazy because I had never been so hungry and had desired to read my Bible that much (or that much in a long time). I even took a trip to Orlando with my friend and her family, I had to take my Bible with me and I had to read it everyday. It was like a piece of me wasmissing if I did not spend time with the Almighty Father. And the desire was so great that I wanted to give up sleep, or didn’t mind keeping the lights on for an extra hour while my friend when to sleep or honestly it was just SO crazy!
“My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips m mouth will praise You.”
Honestly now, after a month has passed, the desire and hungry hasn’t been so great. I still am spending time with God, but it’s not as much (sadly) and I am praying that God will give me that desire back.
“My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”
My friend and I actually had a discussion about this, this week. It was about clinging to God because we had read Hebrews 12 and the last part of chapter 12 talks about God “shaking” the world and “not only the earth but also the heavens.” How God will remove the things that can be shaken off and “so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” This and Pslams both encouraged us this week to cling to our Father in Heaven!