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greater things have yet to come.

You're the God of this city
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You are

You're the light in this darkness
You're the hope to the hopeless
You're the peace to the restless
You are

There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this city

Chris Tomlin: "God of this City"

I was asked a couple of weeks ago to teach them a song in English. After much thought and prayer I kept coming back to this song. I have always liked this song but I have really come to believe it about Mongolia. These words resonate with the change that is happening in my heart.

Greater things have yet to come...

Teaching the song was relatively easy, they are not very confident in their English abilities, though. They tried pretty hard to get the words down. They all jotted them down in their notebooks, and many of them pulled out their flash drives so they could put the song on there (they really love their flash drives).

The next morning I arrived at church and they were humming the song and singing the lyrics it really made me smile as I joined in with them. The song was stuck in all of our heads.

A couple of hours later we had some free time in between the adult worship service and the kids worship service so the praise team started practicing the song. It sounded great. They practiced throughout the next hour and a half of Sunday School. As I was leaving church, I could hear them practicing in the big ger. I have no idea how long they practiced it but I know they really enjoyed learning the song.

As we walked away from the church I could hear them practicing and I was so thankful that gers were not sound proof.

I am leaving for Cambodia for two weeks but you better believe when I come back I'm going to be teaching them more and more worship songs. I am planning to teach them a song from some friends' band (in Auburn), The Riverside Worship Project. My prayer and hope is that I will need even more songs to teach them. If you have any simple-English song suggestions, I would love to hear them.

The way those words resonate in my heart are only the beginning of the change that is happening in my heart. I am reminded of a conversation Erin and I had after we first got here about something she read somewhere. It was about life in new places and how that life progresses in a way that causes you to survive, thrive, and then dream.

To survive, you need to eat, learn the basics of the language and be warm. We've figured out how to do that, thankfully.

Then, to thrive, you need to be fairly self-sufficient, for lack of better words. I see it as being able to get places you need to on your own. To figure out the answers to questions. And not to need to depend on other people for everything. We can now take the micro-bus, bus and taxi to and from many places with ease.

Then, you get to DREAM. This is my personal favorite. I think that part has just begun but I can already tell it is going to be really life-giving.

Part of the dreaming for me is that song. It was really a big deal when I realized that I believed what that song said about Mongolia. That greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city. And then I got to share that with the people at church.

I also found out recently that I may be able to start visiting an orphanage here. One of the orphanages is for infants and they just need people to come and hold the babies. That is an answer to prayer, for me.

I think another part of the dreaming for me has been the way God has been answering my prayers. I have been praying for joy, or to allow joy rather. I know that my joy should not be conditional, but my head gets in the way too often. I have also been praying a lot about community. Going from having such a strong community in Auburn to being surrounded with a community in a different language has been hard. I so desperately long to be connected with people here and to share life with them. God is so faithful, how many times am I going to have to learn that?! Just tonight, we had several youth from our churches over to watch a movie and hang out with us. It was really fun and I'm really starting to feel like they feel comfortable with me.

God has been teaching me a lot and really been changing my heart in a way that is allowing me to begin to see Mongolia like He does. My prayer is that my dreams would grow bigger and stronger so that they may become reality. I have really found myself loving this place.

Like I've said from the beginning, if you ask God to teach you how to love ALL of His children, then He's going to be faithful. Now it's my turn to be the faithful one. I not only have to believe that greater things have yet to come, I have to allow Him to use me to help those things happen. "He must become greater; I must become less." John 3:30

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An ode to my wiser self

I've been thinking about blogging a lot lately. Well, writing, rather. I used to write a lot. It was therapeutic and life giving for me. It helped me to be in a constant state of process where I was not just taking in life but searching for and digging for meaning. It kept me grounded and real, for lack of better word.

I have been starting to write more lately and have several little bits I'm working on. In the process of digging out my blog from the depths of the internet, I found this jewel that I wrote years ago. Yes, that's right... years ago. I thought it was beautiful and worth sharing. So, in an attempt to revive this way of sharing my thoughts and processing...

Here is an ode to my younger (and probably wiser) self:


Welcome to The Chronicles of a Confused Citizen.

Here I am, residing in the country I was born in, living the life I knew from my birth to year 22.

It doesn't quite feel right, though.

Recently, as I found myself living in Mongolia, I started feelin…

bring it on, world.

October 26, 2011.

That is the day I last wrote a blog. That's not the day when my life changed but it is a day that I can recognize as one of the last ones when I knew who I was and what my purpose was.

I'm not generally a quitter. Sure, sometimes I quit on books or I quit on small projects but in life, nope. I  try hard at most things, usually right until the end. I won't say that quitting is not a thought that meanders through my being when something gets tough but I have come to learn that when I stick things out I come out having learned a thing or two.

But I did quit. I quit a big commitment. I said I would live in Washington, DC and I would do my best.

I tried. I also had my very first panic attack, too.

It was too much. I couldn't think or breathe. I couldn't cope with the devastation I felt for leaving Mongolia early that March morning. I couldn't cope with no one understanding what Mongolia had meant to me and how it had changed me right down to my bo…