Category: putt putt

Putting God’s promises into practice

Well, it’s about time for another update from Sinbad!  I’m afraid that my life has been quite mundane recently.  Despite my best intentions to get out and see great city of Atlanta, the combination of a lack of funds and time, and a plethora of other demands on my time and attention, have made my life rather nondescript.

Actually, that’s not entirely true.  In reality, I’ve had quite a few first-time experiences this semester.  But many of them were things that I would have much preferred to never experience.  You know how some people say that there’s a first time for everything?  Well, I’m a firm believer that there are some things that I never want to do, and this semester has only proved me right.  It’s been some of the hardest few months of my life, and it’s only by the grace of God that I’m making it through.

But, luckily for me, God’s grace does get us through the tough spots, and I’m reminded every day how blessed I am to have Him, and my amazing family and friends, in my life.  Here are a few of the positive highlights of the past month that are worth mentioning:

I moved again!  My new place is lovely, and my roommates are pretty cool.  We’re still figuring out how to live with each other – they’re night owls, I’m an early bird, they’re messy, I’m orderly – but I think it’s going to work out well.  Hopefully I’ll at least make it to the end of the semester, hehehe.  If you don’t have my new mailing address shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you.

My sister’s birthday fell just 2 weeks after school started.  Since I had never in her memory been home for her birthday, I decided to change that this year.  Her smiles of ecstasy made the six hour drive totally worth it.  “Lauren,” she told me, “you’re my favorite birthday present this year.”  Absolutely melted my heart. I was only able to stay for a weekend, but it was a much-needed respite from everything that had been happening in Atlanta.  The whole family went out to Putt-Putt for her birthday, and of course there was also a birthday dinner with Grammie.  It was nice to see everyone relaxed and happy and just enjoying each other’s company, even if it was only for a few hours.

My friend David took me out to dinner at this cool place in Duluth, the artsy section of town.  We also wandered into an art store, filled with pieces by local artists.  The owner encouraged me to put some of my artwork into the store, which I’m seriously considering doing.  (oh, on that note, 2 of my quilling pieces were accepted into Georgia Tech’s student art show!  Woohoo!)  The art shop owner, an amateur photographer, also asked me if I wanted to model for him!!!  I busted out laughing at that.  A model I most certainly am not, lol…but it made my day to be asked, anyway! 🙂

Speaking of dinner….I’ve been on the hunt for good Korean restaurants in Atlanta.  I’ve been to 4 different ones all over the city since the semester started.  Two of them were quite disappointing; two of them, I will almost certainly be going back to in the near future.  It feels like a piece of home, when I sit there crossed-legged on the floor, speaking to the waitress in my broken Korean, eating a bowl of pig-spine soup and trying the myriad of side dishes with my metal chopsticks :).

I recently went to the quarterly board of director’s meeting at the Carter Center.  I’ve applied for an internship there over the summer, so when I was offered the opportunity to attend the meeting, I jumped at it.  It really was quite interesting – they had speakers talking about the Carter Center’s work in China, Kenya, and Latin America.  Plus it’s always fun to rub shoulders with ex-presidents ;).

I’m also finally getting back into dancing.  I hadn’t gone in months, due to one thing or another.  I tried to go 2 weeks ago, but my car ended up breaking down, which was very sad :(.  But it was fixed by the next week, and so now I’m back on the dance floor.  It feels so good – I had almost forgotten how much I love it, and I can certainly use all the de-stressing I can get.  Last week the dance fell on Valentine’s day, so they had flowers and chocolate for everyone who showed – I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the day!! 🙂

God’s been teaching me a lot through all the things that have been going on this semester.  One thing that I’ve really been trying to learn is to abide and rest in Him more.  Rather than resting from our work, God wants us to work from a place of rest in Him….that’s a tall order for someone as busy as I am!!  But I’ve been working at planning out my weeks so that I have all of Sunday to rest and not do any homework.  It means that I’m alwayssssss busy during the week….but on Sundays, I get a glorious Sabbath day!  It’s been great.  I’ve started a weekly get-together (on Sundays, of course) of ladies that I love, trying to build a community together in which we can love on and encourage each other.  It’s quite encouraging and exciting.

I’ve also picked up a lot of the things that I am interested in, but had let fall by the wayside – practicing guitar, doing crafts, brushing up on my Spanish and Korean, diligently reading the news, writing more, and working out.  I’ve decided to fast from Facebook for Lent this year to give me more time to focus on the Lord; it’s amazing all of the additional things that I have time for when I’m putting God first!  Of course I’ve always known that in theory; but I just love seeing God put His promises to practice in real life!!!  Sooooo…..that’s my life for now.  Prayers are always appreciated (and I’ll never turn down a letter or chocolate….lol ;]).  

There and back again

Well my nerdy book-worm friends will recognize the title of this blog as a reference to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” which I suppose is rather fitting considering the fact that I’ve just spent the better part of an hour downloading dozens of free literary classics onto my Kindle to keep me occupied during my numerous upcoming flights.  But other than that, there is really nothing relating to Tolkien or Middle Earth or Hobbits in this blog.  This one is about Christmastime in America :).

The trip to America was long and boring, but I would not go so far as to say grueling.  It was uneventful, and marked mostly by sitting and watching movies, but not a particularly pleasant trip, nonetheless.  I started at 2 in the morning from Gyeongju, catching a bus to the airport in Seoul.  I met a girl from California while I was waiting on my flight who was doing the same thing I was, and we got some coffee and had a nice long chat.  It was a much better way to pass the time than just sitting in a corner of the airport :).  So anyway, 1 bus, 2 planes, 3 customs and security checks, 4 airplane meals, and 27 hours later, I finally found myself in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airport.  My friend Sylvain met me at the airport.  We got some airport pizza, he got a good laugh at seeing me so completely jet-lagged, we caught up for a little bit, and then I took a shuttle to Columbus, where my family was there waiting for me.  Actually, I ended up waiting for them for a little bit, but it was ok, because I got to meet lots of interesting people while I waited.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy striking up random conversations with strangers I meet in my travels.  That’s not really something I can do in Korea, as usually there is a pretty large language barrier that makes communication of any depth really impossible.

So anyway, my first week in America was marked mainly by just spending time with family and friends, punctuated by Christmas, my birthday celebration, and visits from Grandparents.  I went on a picnic with my friend Tyler, saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie with James, took daddy to see Mission Impossible, and played lots and lots of games with my siblings.  I went to a Christmas Eve Eve service at my church on the 23rd, got a hair cut and a pedicure with my mom, and went shopping with my grandmother.  Christmas day was a relaxing affair – we waited to open presents until after church, and then just hung around and visited with each other.  It was also the only day that I got to see Chris, which was a nice treat.  Mom and I hosted a tea at our house with some of her lady friends who had been wanting to meet me, which was fun – I’ve been wanting to meet them, too, and I haven’t had a real tea in years.  Then my grandparents came down to visit on the 27th, and stayed until the 30th, so I got to spend a lot of time with them, too.  That was awesome – it had been close to a year since I’d seen them.

Josh’s birthday present – Joshua 1:7 in Korean

Tyler’s Christmas present – Kimchi!!  He was so happy 🙂

My first picnic in years 🙂

She’s such a cutie pie <3

The Fenner family, all together!  Such a rarity these days…

Merry Christmas!!!

I love, love this picture!!

Spreading the Korea love….

Yay for seeing grandparents!! 🙂

Tea with the ladies! 🙂

Haha we’re silly 😀

Christmas presents from the host family 🙂

On the 30th, we packed everything up and made the long drive to Birmingham, Alabama, to spend New Year’s Eve with our friends the Roberts’.  This has been an annual tradition with our families every year for as long as I can remember – we take turns hosting each other in our respective homes, and it’s always a lot of fun.  However, I haven’t been able to be present for several years for one reason or the other – usually it’s because I’m out of the country, lol – so it was especially nice for me.  So we had lots of fun, played lots of games, watched the ball drop in New York City (and for a special treat, watched the moon pie drop in Mobile, Alabama!  Gotta love the south, lol….), went to church, and then headed back home.

Games with the Roberts’ are always super intense, lol…

Happy new year!!

Friends… <3

On the way back to Albany, my parents dropped me off in Atlanta.  So that was goodbye to my family, and hello to Atlanta.  Bittersweet for sure, but it was good to see my friends in Atlanta.  So Rachel and her fiance Ryan picked me up from my parents, and we wasted no time.  That night was spent playing putt-putt with J-Parr, and then going to Jonathan and Jessica’s house and playing games until wayyyy too late at night.

The next day, January 2nd, was the day before my 22nd birthday.  However, since my 22nd birthday was going to be spent on a plane, the 2nd was the celebration day.  I got to watch the tournament of roses parade (my favorite parade…ever!) for the first time in like 3 years.  After that came lunch with David and the Knights and then more games.  And then the evening came.  What started off as a simple dinner with friends morphed, because of my fabulous friends, into a full-blown birthday dance.  They even had a steal dance just for me.  As I was looking around the dance room at all of these dear faces, half of whom didn’t even dance, but had come just to see me, I was overwhelmed.  I felt so loved.  It was a wonderful way to wrap up my visit to the states.

They were calling me the “princess” because of what I was wearing.  I think that’s why I was making that face, lol.  But…I did win the game!! 🙂

Soon-to-be newlyweds….love those guys

Jonathan and Jessica
Me ‘n David 
Old friends from Berry <3

again….spreading the Korea love.  What can I say?  It’s infectious 🙂

My friends are silly 🙂

Yay for sisters 🙂

So, armed with my suitcases and enveloped with the wonderful new jacket that they had bought me for my birthday, Rachel and Ryan took me to the airport early the next morning.  I was fighting a cold, but I sat next to a really friendly lady on the plane who made the trip a whole lot more bearable.  When I finally arrived in Seoul, the plan was to meet Sarah and Leora and Adam and go up to Hwacheon to see the ice festival.  So I met them and they gave me a little birthday party and it was great to see them.  But by then I was REALLY sick, so instead of going north to Hwacheon, I went south to Gyeongju.  I know my limits, and that would have been just too much.

Brand-new fiancees!  And I get to be in the wedding!! <3 

So I finally got home to Gyeongju…and my host father took one look at me and hauled me off to the hospital.  Within an hour, and after much poking and prodding, I found myself with an IV needle sticking in my arm and a bagful of medicine.  Add to that extreme jet-lag, and my host mom’s constant fussing and overprotectiveness was NOT appreciated.  All I wanted to do was sleep, and that was the one thing they didn’t seem to want to let me do.  Although I must say, sleeping with a needle in your arm is most certainly not the most pleasant sensation.

Today, the next day, was mostly spent in bed, with a short foray into town to swap stories with Elizabeth.  I’m glad I got to see her – I needed to get out of the house, and I think talking with her restored a sense of normalcy and acceptance to being in Korea again, which I had been lacking since my arrival.  So yeah, that was America!  Winter camp starts in 2 days – keep me in your prayers!!  I’m super nervous about it – I’ve never done anything like this before.  I’ll have my students for more time in the span of 2 weeks than I had them for the entire semester, and I’m terrified that I will run out of material.  I guess it’ll just be another chance for God to show His bigness!! 🙂