Monthly Archives: September 2012

Valencia vs. Zaragoza

We’ve been lucky! Valencia is the 15th ranked soccer team (out of 20) in Spain and the two games that we’ve seen them play they have won . . . Their record consists of two wins, two loses, and two tied games. Both the games we’ve seen have been really exciting, Spanish people love their soccer! Interesting fact, instead of “booing” when the referees make bad calls, everyone whistles really loud (it’s quite disconcerting). Instead of putting up all the pictures I took I picked a couple that I think sum up the game, Grayson would probably disagree with my choices :). In my defense I was watching the game when the most exciting things happened. Here’s the story:

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Mercado Central

It was rainy and slightly cold in Valencia yesterday. It made me a little homesick thinking of all the festivals and fall activities I will miss, but excited that maybe I wouldn’t miss out on the weather of my favorite season after all! Despite the cold and rain, Grayson and I decided to visit “El Mercado Central” both out of curiosity and need. I have a homework assignment in which I must find several fruits and vegetables that I have never seen or heard the names of before and the market is the best place to go looking. The market itself is a good half hour trek from our house, but there are a lot of interesting things to look at including this fountain right outside of the Cathedral and the colorful art all over the buildings.

We had to stop and ask for directions a couple of times, and after a little bit of wandering we found our destination. Disclaimer, if you don’t care for photography or pictures of fruit and meat than these next pictures won’t be very interesting. I love them only because it was super fun to use my Canon EF 50mm f1.8 ii lens. 🙂 Our trip was very successful because it turns out that there are several fruits and vegetables I have never seen nor heard the name of. A+ for Jaklyn on this homework assignment!

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Living in Today

We decided that on our walk to school everyday we would be silent. Instead of talking to each other, we would spend our time talking to God. Due to our future plans and the place we are headed and their mission there, the Gospel has been a thoroughly discussed topic of conversation. With that in mind my prayer today went a little like this:

Dear God I pray that I would live in this day.

I pray that instead of thoughts like “I can’t wait till December when I will know so much more Spanish. I can’t wait till next week when things will be better with Mercedes. I can’t wait till next month when we will do some more traveling!” I pray that my thoughts would be consumed with anticipation for the things that you will do today!

I pray that I would live in the moment, giving thanks to you for all the blessing you give. Giving thanks to you for all the ways in which you reveal yourself to me.

I’m tired of living for tomorrow and missing all the good things that you are doing today.

I pray that this day, today, I would sense your presence in my conversations with Grayson.

I pray that I would consciously let the Gospel shine through me.

I pray that my behavior would reflect the love you have for my classmates, professors, and Mercedes, because my words cannot.

I pray that I would be filled with compassion for the people that I come into contact with, a passion the makes much of you and less of me.

Convict me of those sins that I do both knowingly and unknowingly.

Let the words I speak be from you and not from my sinful heart.

I need you today, right now, in this moment . . .

Lord I am your humble servant please use me today in this amazing story you have written!

It always surprises me when God answers prayer, and in those moments I am reminded of how small my faith truly is. And yet, I can thank God all the more because he continues to surprise me despite my lack of faith!

It just so happened that Grayson decided to be honest. A character trait I both love and hate! He pulled aside all of our (5) classmates from Cedarville and apologized for our behavior that had been un-Christ-like during our first few weeks here. We had been bad examples, we had been selfish and we had been constant complainers. He then invited our classmates to work with us towards living out the Gospel this semester in Spain (this is not to say that they weren’t, but it was just a public discussion of practical ways in which this could be done whether it be in our classes, in our host homes, or in our extra-curricular activities).  It’s amazing what a leader can do :). After we talked for awhile we all decided to share prayer requests and then we took the time to pray. With Grayson’s confidence and courage, I found myself living in today.

All of that got me thinking about all the ways in which people have been a blessing to me over the past couple of weeks. I found myself thanking God for those people. For Grayson

These are the flowers he bought me for our anniversary (which I absolutely love). Flowers that remind me of that day in December when he asked me to be his wife! He proposed at the Cox Arboretum because he knew how much I love flowers and botanical gardens.

For Mercedes

These are the bracelets that she bought me (Grayson was wearing his) for our one year anniversary.

For Melody and Jim

Who sent such a thoughtful gift. Spanish Banana Grams, candy, and a sweet note!

I also found myself thanking him for those little things in life like siestas and fans (that help us sleep when the house is too hot)

I have been so blessed, and today, like every other day, I have so much to be thankful for. I pray that today you would find those things to be thankful for as God works in and through you.


A couple memories from last week . . .

Along with a perspective change, several things happened last week both good and bad that looking back make me smile and laugh. As you all know, we celebrated our one year anniversary. On Sunday we found a Japanese Restaurant serving sushi, just what I needed to fulfill my craving. On Monday we found an amazing little Italian restaurant called La Pappardella. The restaurant is situated near the Cathedral and is a tiny two story establishment that is both cozy and fun. We sat on the second story and looked out a huge window onto the busy street below and reflected on our first year together. We have been so blessed in everything that we have been able to see, do, work through, take part in, etc. Life has been a whirl. We have owned an apartment and moved out, graduated, traveled with Heartsong all summer, made amazing friends and have been separated from some, traveled to several states and countries, and are learning a second language. Along with all that fun stuff we’ve had our disagreements and some trials especially with the passing of my grandpa. In sum, we have made many memories and are looking forward to making many more!

Life was pretty normal after Sunday and Monday, but Thursday afternoon right around four I puked my lunch out and I continued to puke every hour after that until twelve. At that time Mercedes, our host mom, insisted that we go to the hospital. A Spanish hospital, at twelve at night, were no one speaks English can prove to be a difficult experience. But Grayson did a great job at answering all the questions and after they took blood, gave me an IV, took an x-ray, and we waited for about an hour, we were finally able to go home at two thirty. Needless to say we didn’t go to school the next day. In the U.S. I would have waited out the virus and not gone to the hospital, but for some reason (I don’t know if it’s a Spain thing, or a Mercede’s thing) but going to the hospital seemed normal because there were at least three other people who were there suffering with me. And I’ll admit, the nausea pills they gave me really helped!

This is an entrance to the garden that we pass going to and from school. Valencia has so many gorgeous structures!