A Birthday Abroad

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24.

That’s how old I am. I celebrated my 24th birthday 7000 miles from home on my small island. It made me realize how truly blessed I am.
Anna made cupcakes yesterday to bring to school. Something in me just couldn’t handle making my own birthday treats so we made a deal that she would make cupcakes for my birthday and then I would do the same for hers in February. They were wonderful.
This morning, I woke up to a present on my door. I had found this ring at the street market that I loved, but didn’t have any cash with me that night so I couldn’t get it. Anna, who is so thoughtful, bought it for me and gave it to me this morning.
During our morning meeting, everyone sang “Happy Birthday” and it was a nice reminder that those around me do care.
I then spent the morning with all the junior high students at Man’anko. It is a retirement facility and they played their ukes. It was so cool. I was very proud of my students. Then we got to go to McDonalds for lunch! I know it is not very healthy, but I love it! And I drank a coke. My favorite drink ever that I have given up since moving here because it is just cheaper to drink water.
The “healthy” eating continued as I went to Pizza Hut for dinner with my good friends Anna and Kayla. The lady I tutor for gave me some money for pizza which totally made my day. She has no idea how much I had been craving pizza! We split a large and I have leftovers:)
After dinner, we went to Bible study. One of the ladies had us over to her house to enjoy her REAL Christmas tree and to celebrate. It was an amazing evening. I know I say this a lot, but I don’t know what I would do without my Bible study. They constantly encourage, challenge, and love me. And I even got candles on my cake, a birthday gift and a very nice card! It was wonderful.
I got to talk to my parents twice today-at the beginning and the end. It was a wonderful treat and I am so thankful for them! God is oh so good to me!
In conclusion, I would say birthday #24 was one of the best I have in awhile, if not ever! And year #24 of life is looking pretty good too. If things go as planned, I will travel to 4 different continents:)
So bring on 24-I am so excited for this year of life!

Thanksgiving

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One holiday down..two more to go.

I had a nice Thanksgiving. It was not what I expected it to be and made me realize how much I really miss my family, but it was a growing experience. And the break provided for lots of opportunities to ride my bike. I might be the only person who loses weight over Thanksgiving-40 miles on a bike will do that to ya!:) And I got to spend a lot of time with Kayla and Anna which was so nice!

I wish I felt more full of holiday cheer, but honestly, I am just tired. And it just doesn’t feel like the holidays. My family and friends are far away. It’s hot and sunny here everyday, which I am not complaining about, but just doesn’t quite feel like Christmas. I did put up a Christmas bulletin board in my classroom, but that is the extent of my holiday decorations.
It’s just hard. I am sure most people deal with this the first set of holidays they are away from home, but it has just hit me as I head into this time of year how truly lonely I feel on this island. I miss my friend Leah and her uncanny ability to just understand me. I miss Christmas shopping with my mom and being able to drink egg nog with my dad. I am sad that I will spend Christmas 7000 miles away from my love and best friend and one of the few people that actually puts up with my craziness!
However, lest this post be completely depressing I am truly thankful for my family. They are the ultimate support group and I love them with all my heart. I am thankful for Anna and my new friend Kayla and for the times we have had laughing and cooking. I am thankful for the ability to run, bike, and breathe. and I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be stretched and grown. I am learning a lot and realizing what I value in life. I am thankful for Drew and the way he is there for me each and every day. and I am thankful for the people here in Saipan who have opened their lives and homes to me.

Christmas is coming..

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..it’s never too early to start thinking about gifts.

I have decided that other than a few things I am going to bring back from Bali, I am buying gifts from Food for the Hungry.
http://www.fh.org/give/catalog
You can purchase things that will drastically change people’s lives and give them hope and a future.
What a better way to spend your Christmas budget!

SNOW

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The first snow..

It’s Thanksgiving-the beginning of the holiday festivities. And it snowed! Now, normally I hate snow. But it was so pretty and made everything white and well..it struck me at how everything goes from being brown and green to being white. Perfect white. Not to mention I’m a sap, and think snow falling is like one of the most romantic things!:)But anyways..Snow falling reminds me of what happens when we get saved. We go from being covered in sin to pure white. Christ’s blood washes us white as snow. We become pure, perfect, clean. Like freshly fallen snow before anyone walks over it or cars drive over it. I hope you all take some time over the holidays to think about what this season really means. And enjoy the snow!

Just a thought..

Amanda

A New January Holiday(EC)

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A New January Holiday(EC)

January 29, 2004 is National Set-Someone-Up-On-A- Blind-Date-Day. I don’t really have any substantial reasoning behind it, other then the fact that I have always wanted to go on one. I honestly don’t know why, but it is one of those things. So it is becoming a new holiday! I think our English teachers are reaching into the creative aspects of their minds, and it is stretching mine. So now, I have to write 50 some more words on why this should be a new holiday. Maybe I’ll try my hand at being match-maker-although I don’t know who I would I set up. Most of my friends probably wouldn’t even go, and most of us all know the same people anyways. Wow-I am really liking this holiday! I think I should write to the national holiday place and request it..or maybe not! anyways-enjoy this holiday, even if all you do is read my blog!

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It’s 40 minutes until Christmas day! I can’t wait..I’m so excited! I honestly don’t think I’ve been more excited about Christmas or my birthday any year. But you know, I’m not so much excited about opening my gifts..I just can’t wait for my family to open their gifts. I splurged this year..and spent more than I had planned on Christmas..I have no gas, no money..but you know, I haven’t been this happy in awhile. I have so much, and not that the rest of my family doesn’t..but they don’t have closets full of clothes and shoes. I was able to spend some time with those close to me, and have truly come to realize that impact this season has. If there were no Christmas, we would be on a fast downward sprial to hell. God has blessed me in so many ways, and for the first time in my life, I am content. Perhaps there will always be that sweater or pair of shoes that I want, but I am not going to make it my obession..I am going to focus on the one thing I’m not content with-my walk with God. I hope you all can find the joy and satisfaction of a life with Christ!

Merry Christmas!!

My Birthday!

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My Birthday!

Guess what?! Tomorrow is my 17th birthday! (12/15) I can’t wait..but as a wonderful gift, I have my three hardest finals. I’m telling you..never be born during exam week, it’s no fun! Instead of dreaming about my birthday, I’m going to be thinking about muscles and spanish. And guess what I get to do on my birthday..study and take finals! yay!! talk about a fun way to spend my special day! But hey, it isn’t all bad! I only have to go to school for 1/2 a day! And my mom is taking me out to lunch. Oh and my brother got me a steering wheel cover:) anyways, I need to go keep studying, survivor finale is on tonight!! Update you on that later!! Have a great week and good luck on all your finals!

What I am going to give of myself this Christmas(english)?

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I just had a nice long post typed out, but I had put it on my other blog..oops, and lost it when I was trying to switch back. Anyways, I am going to give of my time and I am going to give it to God and my family. I am going to work at spending a considerable amount of time with God each day. These past few weeks have been busy and my devotions have been shorted, but I am going to work hard to having some meaningful time with God over break. I am also going to work at serving my family. I am going to work at doing things to help out my mom and hanging around with them. I love to hang around them and am going to work at showing them that. I am going to do some chores and clean my room and bathroom of all the clutter that is driving my parents insane..well, not in a literal sense of course. My grandparents are coming and I am going to give of my time and spend time with them. A lot of times when they come I go hang out with my friends or work, but i am going to try to spend time with them. I can’t wait for this Christmas. and I’m going to work at giving and focusing on others not me.

Untitled

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Untitled

Have you ever stood back and looked around at all the holiday bustle and business December brings? Have you ever looked beyond the anticipation of Christmas day to the bigger meaning of December? In just a few weeks the greatest birth that ever took place is going to be celebrated! Just think, if Christmas had never happened, we would be wretched sinners headed for hell with no hope of heaven. But our merciful, loving God decided to rescue us in our sad, desperate state and sent His only son to die for us. How would you like it if tomorrow your dad told you, Son (or daughter), your purpose on life is to die. I know I wouldn’t be all too happy, and I wouldn’t act like Jesus did. The decorations are great, the food is always delicious, opening presents is always fun, but there is something so much greater. There is a birthday that should be celebrated first, and a savior who should be worshipped above all.

So, amidst all the fun and excitement of Christmas, don’t forget the real reason of the season. Don’t let your heart become hardened to the greatest message of all time. Although this Christmas I know I am going to heaven, there are far more people who will spend this Christmas headed on a path to burn in hell.

Just something to think about…

Holidays

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Holidays

Thanksgiving has come and gone, the turkey has been stuffed and ate, the pies are gone. The shoppers fill the malls carrying package upon package, each with special purposes. Some snow has fallen, with the promise of more to come, “I’m Deaming of a White Christmas..” floats across people’s minds. Dear Santa letters’ have been written..

cookies are waiting to be baked, teachers are waiting to eat them:) school is winding down..exams are on the way. Friends, presents, get togethers with family, all that yummy food..Christmas is coming. And the most important reason for the season..a savior is born! So to echo a song..”It’s the most wonderful time of the year..”

I love this time of year!!:)

I’m out..

Amanda