When God closes a door

It has been four whole weeks (or maybe longer) since my last post. Not much has been going on. Fall has come and almost gone, and I am still searching for a host family. I wanted to share this story with you, not just to give you an update, but also to encourage you.

About four weeks ago I got a text message during church from a very excited host mom in Boston. Let’s call her Stefanie for the purpose of making the story easier to tell. Stefanie was very eager to get to know me and even facetimed me that evening. We totally hit it off and had multiple great conversations. From what I understood, it seemed like Stefanie’s family was ready to invite me into their home and stayed in contact for a few weeks. During this time, quite a few other families contacted me. Some of them I just ignored, and some possibilities I explored further, although I was pretty set on going to Boston. After all, it’s been on my bucket list for some time now. Just a couple of days ago I was starting to question whether that would be the right decision and whether or not I should even be thinking about leaving Minnesota. I know, I know… I was so set on seeing another state, and if that’s what God has for me, I’m totally up for it, if not, I’d be super excited to stay. You see, I have started getting more involved with the young adults group at our church, and also I have even been given the opportunity to serve on the worship team later this November. Our new pastor has a huge passion for our generation and the church is starting to focus on raising up a people of God. I’m so excited for this. I started to be concerned I might have to disappoint Stefanie and her family, I was doubting myself and my capability of hearing from God and I had this huge knot in my stomach for days. Where am I supposed to go? What am I supposed to do? Finally, last night, I shared my concerns and a lovely couple at life group prayed for me. They prayed for clarity, that I would not be left guessing, and that God would show me exactly where to go. The prayed for peace and for confidence in our good God. The knot in my stomach started to release and I started to feel God’s peace. Israel and Alyssa, you are awesome and I love you so much! (Btw, they just had a beautiful baby girl 10 days ago and are already back at life group. Can we acknowledge how amazing they are!!!). Ok, trying to wrap this up… about 30 minutes later I received a text from Stefanie saying that they were not going to go through with their decision and for personal family reasons didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do at this point. Well God couldn’t have made that more clear if he wanted to. With a hint of disappointment, I was so thankful that our prayers had been answered so simply and so clearly.

This led me to the thought: When God closes a door, he doesn’t just open a window somewhere because the gates of His kingdom are already open, we just have to walk in and rely on His presence. (Can I hear an Amen?! :D)

I am continuing to hold onto God’s peace and guidance and am excited for this second part of the process. There are a couple of possibilities here in MN, but if He wants to use me elsewhere, that’s where I will go. I’d still appreciate your support. Whether you are praying or sending me some kind words or thoughts, I’ll take it all. If you pray, please pray for peace, joy and patience, as well as guidance from God and trust in His perfect purpose for my life. Thank you!

Love, Sophie x

PS: I got to meet up with a friend I know from Germany. Aimee and me have seen each other in various states and various continents throughout our friendship. img_3902d2ece594-1Whether it’s Georgia, Germany or like this time, Wisconsin, we always have a wonderful time catching up and having great conversation. We met up at a German restaurant in Hudson, WI, for dinner. The Winzer Stube is the 5th best German restaurant in the US, and they do not disappoint. The Schnitzel, red cabbage and mashed potato reminded me of home.
The warm Apfelstrudel took the whole meal to the next level. Lucky for me, it’s only 15 minutes away from where I live right now. So hopefully I’ll be going there again in the near future. Thank you, Aimee, for such a wonderful evening. I’m curious to see where we’ll see each other again. 🙂

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Like a kid in the Candy Store

Last week I hit my eighth month here. Summer is officially over and autumn/fall has crept its way into this year. The wind is colder, the leaves are turning, and you can buy everything with pumpkin flavour. This Sunday I had a couple of eye opening experiences. Paired with our usual plans, I will sum up our 4-C Sunday.

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From the right: Maria, Marisel and Me 🙂

First C – Church: As for usual, Marisel and I go to church together. We attend River Valley Church in Woodbury and we absolutely love it. At the moment we are in a series called Family30, which talks about God’s purpose for family. Lead Pastor Rob is talking about mended, blended and extended family. You can listen to the sermons online here. Usually we will go to brunch with friends from our life group. Today, we decided to join our friends Jeff and Maria for a fun mini road trip.

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Second C – Minnesota’s largest candy store: Although it doesn’t look as big as expected, the inside is HUGE. There are so many sweets to choose from; and not just that… puzzles, puzzles, and more puzzles. It’s packed with international treats, old fashioned soda, apples from the orchard, pumpkins, home made goodies like apple pies and strudel… the list goes on. The highlight though, was not like many of you may assume, the German sweets I found, but the life sized Doctor Who T.A.R.D.I.S. with sound effects and everything. AMAZING! I made a complete but of myself getting Maria and Marisel to capture the perfect shot of me returning from an adventure in time and space. In case you haven’t noticed already, I have a hidden nerd personality. The pictures didn’t come out as well as I’d thought, so you will have to leave those images entirely up to your imagination.

Third C – The Cheesecake Factory: to my German friends who enjoy watching The Big Bang Theory, yes, this restaurant does in fact exist for real. Although I knew about it, I had never had the opportunity to stop by and have some food; so we did on the way home from the candy store. Oh my GOODNESS…. where has this been all my life?!?! The food is to die for. I had the Chicken with Lemon Couscous. I don’t really know what else to say other than that it was an eye opening experience. If you ever come across this restaurant when you are visiting the US, you must go. No excuses!

Fourth C – The Couch: after a long day out and about, we all crashed at Maria and Jeff’s house, ate some strudel and enjoyed more of each other’s company. Thank you, for letting me hang out and do nothing with you. Those kind of weekends are the best. Maria corrected (technically a fifth C) some papers (she is also a teacher, yay 🙂 ), we watched football on TV (definitely not as interesting as it is live), and then Marisel and I headed home, ready for a new week to begin.

Some things on my list for this season are road trips to Iowa (I just want to be able to say that I’ve been there), a road trip to New Ulm (the town the movie New in Town is set in), and maybe visiting a corn maze. Keep your eye out for some small adventures to come.

Love, Sophie x

New News

Hello everyone!

Some weeks ago I hinted that there would be some upcoming news as to what the future may hold for me. Since then, emails have been sent, references have been filled out and contracts have been signed. I can’t answer the question 100% accurately, but I will say with some certainty, that I am planning on extending the Au Pair program for another 12 months. Yep, one whole year. Although some of you may be shocked, others will not be surprised at all. Truth be told: I feel like ging back to Germany and starting my teacher training would be a step motivated by obligation, rather than conviction. Right now, I want to follow what God has placed on my heart, and that is staying in the US for another year. Here are some details you may have been wondering about:

  1. No, I will not be staying with the same family. They have chosen to take advantage of other childcare opportunities within their family, and I strongly agree with that decision.
  2. Will I be staying in Minnesota? To be honest, I’d love to experience another state. Minnesota has been really enjoyable so far (the winter is yet to come), but there are so many other places to see. If I find a great host family here, then yes, I would stay, but I am most certainly open to other locations.
  3. When will I have more details? I have no idea. It could be next week, it could be next month or the month after that. My profile has been successfully uploaded to the Go Au Pair website and sent to other Au Pair representatives in different states. Now all I can do is wait. Wait for my phone to ring or my email notification to chime. I have signed the contract with the agency and have until 6 weeks before my visa expires to find a new family.

I’m really excited for this new development and for the opportunities that will come up. If you pray, please consider praying for me. For peace, wisdom discernment and patience. I’d really appreciate it. I’ll keep you posted on any news. Thank you for supporting me, where ever you are, by reading this blog, praying, contacting me or just sending over a positive thought.

Lots of love, Sophie x

The Most American Day Ever

This past Friday I think I experienced the most American day ever. I’m not really sure what could have topped it. Part one covered the number one attraction in Minnesota and the second covered the number one sport in the Unites States. Can you guess what they are? Well, if you don’t know, read on:

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Eating a Corndog

The Minnesotans pride themselves with their annual state fair: The Great Minnesota Get Together.
It really is spectacular. The food ranges from deep fried pickles, deep fried cheesecake and deep fried anythings to corndogs, hot dogs, Sweet Martha’s famous cookies, funnel cakes, Wisconsin cheese curds, fresh milk, lemonade and German root beer (apparently it’s the same as the regular which I don’t actually like). There are rides and games and animal shows and butterfly houses and rodeos and the lottery and and and. I could go on. IMG_2019Anything extravagant, you name it, it can probably be found at the Minnesota State Fair. I was lucky enough to go with my host family who invited me to come along and enjoy the amazing weather and quality time. We ate way too much food and spent way too much money, but it was well worth it. I even tried some Oktoberfest beer at a saloon bar. What a combination. Cheers! The boys were so tired, they both fell asleep in their strollers (buggies) on the way to the car. You’d think that was enough for one day, but I was invited to join Jeff and Maria to go to an (American) football game with, of course, Marisel.

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Halftime Performance

My first Friday Night Lights experience: We watched the local high school team play and enjoyed some more American food i.e. a hotdog. Sadly, our team wasn’t doing so well, but that didn’t matter. You go for the atmosphere and the solidarity. I must admit I did feel a small hint of pride when the Woodbury team scored. What I enjoyed most about the football game as a European or as my official title states: a non-resident alien, is the realisation that all the movies you watched growing up (aka High School Musical, Cinderella Story) are actually based on true life. The coaches and their headsets, the marching band, the cheerleaders, the huge amounts of people supporting a high school sports team and even the guy dressed as the mascot are all real. If you grew up in Europe this was just a fantasy. Now I got to live it. Marisel is considering going back to high school just for the sake of the American experience. Just kidding, but wouldn’t that be fun. I now understand the most basic rules of the game and even caught a t-shirt the cheerleaders were shooting to the crowd. Success! It did come in handy. When it starts getting chilly in the evening, you know summer is coming to an end and autumn is just around the corner. I can’t wait for this next season. Although I love summer, I am ready for the leaves to change and the days to get cosier. That, my friends, concludes my most American day ever. You’ll hear from me soon.

Love, Sophie x

Halftime.

I can’t believe I have been here for 6 months. What an adventure it has been so far. I am pleased to say that I have added a few things to my list of experiences here in MN and out of state. I went to go see the Lynx Basketball game in June, went golfing for the first time in 10 years, enjoyed a Broadway musical in NYC, and caught my first ever fish. I celebrated my birthday a few weeks ago and have been keeping busy with the kids and my wonderful friends from life group and of course helping Lilly and Wes plan their wedding.

IMG_1741The Lynx game: Minnesota’s most successful sports team, and yes, it’s the women. I even gave some of the players a high five. Who’s house? Our house! We smoked the other team which made for quite an enjoyable game. I went with Marisel and our friends Jeff and Maria from life group. We have become quite the squad. Although the game was awesome and the atmosphere was amazing, my favourite part of the evening was the Faith and Family night that followed. IMG_1747This post-game event included a short testimony from some of the players and worship. I loved praising Jesus with lots of people from many different churches around the twin cities area. What a blessing this happened to be the night we got tickets.
For my birthday I was given an afternoon golfing with another friend from life group and Au Pair host mom, IMG-20160731-WA0001Kristin. We both haven’t had much experience, so loosing the odd ball or two didn’t feel too bad. I hit a few good balls, but what I was most excited about was the weather and the great company. A perfect day. Who knows, you might see me out there again in the future. And by out there I mean between the shrubs… looking for lost balls.

A couple weekends ago I was able to fly to NYC for a few days to enjoy the city and friends’ company. My two college friends from Germany planned their summer vacation so they could see me. How blessed am I. I was able to introduce them to Times Square, walking across the street even though the little man is red (yeah, we always wait in Germany), show them Lady Liberty and visit a Broadway musical.
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At Times Square with Sabrina and Miriam

We got Fiddler on the Roof tickets for only $35. That’s pretty hard to beat. I vaguely remember seeing this show as a school production many years ago. It was definitely worth seeing again. We managed to find the bar that inspired the TV series How I met your Mother, McGee’s, we found the oldest pub in the city, McSorely’s, and no, we didn’t spend all weekend drinking. Just a beer here and there to cool down. it was super hot and super humid. I was so grateful when we made it out to Brooklyn and got some much needed air. Also, I took my first Uber ride. A cheaper alternative to Taxis. I probably saved about $35 or more driving from the airport to our airbnb in Harlem. I can highly recommend it!

And finally, I reeled in the biggest catch of the day (only a sunfish) last weekend when I got to spend Maria’s birthday weekend with her family at the lake.  A true Minnesota experience. I had to get my MN fishing license and even did all the dirty work, sticking the worms on the hook and taking the fish off once I’d caught them. I loved it. Jeff’s dating advice for the weekend: don’t date anyone who doesn’t like fishing. I don’t think we ever got behind the reason of why, but thanks anyway 🙂 we topped off the day with tubing and a failed attempt at waterskiing. My arms hurt nonetheless. Believe me.IMG_1990

In other news: my youngest sister Amy got engaged. Congratulations to you and Tim. Love you both and excited for your future.

Love, Sophie x

PS Sorry I haven’t been blogging much, the site needed some updates and repairs (Thanks, Dad!). There will be more, I promise. Also, in the next couple of months I will be revealing what next year may have in store for me, so keep reading 🙂

Second Visit to the Second City

I warned you about this: another post about Chicago (and some other things).

IMG_1510This time we drove down. Marisel and I were joined by two of our Au Pair friends in her trusted “Statefarm Mobil”. Yes, it has become quite the handy travel companion. With 6 hours of driving we had to stop and get Culvers in Wisconsin. On the menu: their famous cheese curds, I can highly recommend. You have to have cheese in America’s Dairyland. We arrived at our hostel at about 2 am. Luckily we were able to find a cancelation and stayed at HI Chicago again after having had a really good experience the previous time. This time, however, it was not to be. We got to our room (this time we shared it with 8 other girls) and were greeted by open suitcases and clothes all over the floor, covering half of the room. NICE! After kicking aside random shoes and unidentifiable pieces of clothing we finally got comfy in our beds ready to drift away to dreamland. Nope, not going to happen. About 3 minutes later the owners of that wonderful mess they may call organised chaos, stumbled into our room. Drunk and half naked. It didn’t take long for the other half to be uncovered. If that had been my first hosteling experience it would have been my last and an airbnb for me the next time. You’d expect to connect with people from all over the world and enjoy each other’s company, but that doesn’t work when they spend all day in bed asleep and disappear at night. I’m not quite sure that’s the most resourceful way to experience Chicago or any city for that matter. Why am I telling you this? Probably more for the sake of my own reflection and reminding myself that it’s not always going to be perfect, but it’s good nonetheless. You just have to make sure to use your time and money wisely.

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Luckily the weather was amazing. A lot of sunshine and a nice cool breeze from the lake. We started off our long weekend by walking to the Navy Pier. We walked up from our hostel along the lake front and enjoyed all the different views of the city. There is so much to see. As I told you last time, riding the ferris wheel was on my to-do list. Totally worth it. We got a great view of the city and just a little bit of adrenaline. We finished off our morning by having an early lunch before heading back to the hostel to get a quick nap and get ready for our afternoon of classes at Roosevelt University. IMG_1499This weekend was less about sightseeing and more about community and the city’s diversity. A tour of Chinatown and a visit to the National Hellenic (Greek) Museum were part of our schedule. Chinatown was fun. I’ve never seen two protective dragon statues outside a Catholic church before. It was also Marisel’s first time eating “real” Chinese food other than Panda Express.
Chop chop, the weekend must go on. We were signed up to volunteer at Cornerstone, a shelter for homeless people and even entire families. We spent about an hour sorting through people’s clothes donations, deciding whether or not they were nice enough for the free thrift shop the organisation runs. Sifting through a pile of children’s underwear isn’t particularly new to me, but it’s not exactly the same when you don’t know where they’re from. The only thing that made me feel better, was the fact that I was helping children get underwear and other clothes they would never be able to have if it wasn’t for this organisation.

To end our weekend we walked down to Buckingham Fountain. It reminded me of home. Buckingham Palace in London, England, Britain, Europe and the oblivion as to what was going to happen only 96 hours later. This has been the first time ever I actually see the value in having two nationalities. Before it was more if an identity thing (I am English and German), now it’s more of a necessity thing (I am British and European). I am no expert on politics, so the only thing I will say it that I was honestly surprised at the results, maybe even shocked. No one likes change, especially if your family is directly impacted. I am also curious to see how things will develop from here.

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What I am not shocked about, is England exiting the UEFA Euro 2016 (the European “soccer” championship… for my American friends). This has been the loneliest football championship I have ever experienced. I have to make my friends get excited. It’s not really working. It’s like getting Brits to like American football or Germans to like cricket. For reasons I can’t imagine, football, sorry soccer, isn’t a big thing here. I notice in particular when Americans ask me what the outcome of the Copa America is. Oh well, at least no one will see me go crazy over a goal when Germany plays.

Have a great weekend everyone! Especially to my American friends who are celebrating their exit from the Brits. Happy 4th July! The last time I celebrated this in the US was eight years ago. Wow, time sure does fly. Talking about time flying… can you believe that in two weeks I’ll have been here for 5 months. Probably a good time to talk about some of the differences I have encountered and gotten used to here in the states. That should make for an interesting post. 😀

Love, Sophie x

 

The Great American Pastime

I can’t believe it… I went to a baseball game and I didn’t like it.

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I LOVED IT!!!

Now I must admit, it wasn’t just the pure joy of baseball, but a sweet concoction of amazing friends, good food, and the best seats in the stadium.IMG_1412 We indulged into Wisconsin cheese curds, fries, and of course: HOT DOGS. Delicious!  By the way, did I mentionIMG_1396 the tickets were free. Given to us by Marisel’s host dad, who was given extra tickets from work. God doesn’t stop blessing us. Some one had told us the tickets were good after looking at our seat numbers, but even they did not know they were THAT good until we actually got to the stadium and the staff redirected us to the Legends’ Club. Padded seats, servers who will take your order and a perfect view of the Minneapolis skyline at sunset. I don’t think it gets better than that to enjoy the great American pastime (and by that I mean baseball… 🙂 )
I had no clue about baseball, except that there are players; the one pitching throws the balls, the one batting tries and hits it. Usually there is running involved (please correct me if I’m wrong). Luckily, our dear American friends were able to explain the simpleIMG_1392 rules of the game to us, which helped me understand what was going on. A little bit more than just hitting and running. Besides just watching the game, we clapped along to the songs, cheered, booed and went nuts over a steal, that wasn’t counted. COME ON!

What is the ultimate goal of a baseball game from the crowd’s perspective? I don’t know for sure, but I’m going to guess it’s catching a foul ball. And FullSizeRender 5boy did they deliver… And not only that, but we got to take a picture with the mascot, sit in the bronze glove in front of the stadium, take touristy pictures, and above all, enjoy a great evening. Conclusion: baseball is definitely not the fastest game out there, but going with great friends makes such a difference. Even they said it was one of the best games they have ever been to, even though our team “The Twins” lost. Again 😀 Next on the American sporting event to-do-list: basketball and high school football in the fall.

This week I have been preparing for my second trip to Chicago to finish my credits. This time we are driving down (about 6 hours) and will hopefully get to enjoy nicer weather… Unlike last time. No matter what happens, I’ll let you know.

Love, Sophie x

Road Trip in America

Most of you can guess what I was up to last weekend. That’s right, saving a baby racoon. Well… not really. I just watched my sister’s sister-in-law to-be, Lindsay, save a racoon from a trap and set it free in the forrest. And of course posed for a picture with her.

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You all know what I really did. Yes, road trip down to Ohio. 11 hours each way, not including gas stops. Of course I couldn’t do it without my travel buddy, Marisel. We took her host dad’s “state farm mobil”
IMG_1361and left at midnight after only 3 hours of sleep. IMG_1302Next state, Wisconsin. We only realised on the way back how beautiful this state is with its rolling hills, forests, fields and endless sights of roadkill. BIG roadkill. Not roadkill like I’ve ever seen in Germany (the usual is a squirrel or maybe a fox), but here you see deer, female deer, and they ain’t no drop of golden sun. Anyway, we drove far, a longer way to run. Ok, I’ll stop now 😀

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Spot the Coffee

The state after that: Illinois. Right around Chicago to avoid the morning rush hour and tolls. Not much to see. We did drive through Chicago on the way back, but I won’t bore again you with my new-found love for this city. I’ll do that in two weeks when we drive back down for the second part of our Au Pair course. I’m hoping to eat deep dish pizza and go for a ride on the big ferris wheel by the beach.

And another boarder: Indiana. We stopped to get Starbucks in Indianapolis after a long stretch without coffee. I seriously think I’m addicted. Should I be worried? Almost there… finally: OHIO. I couldn’t post any of this because I was planning on surprising my newly engaged sister, Lilly, after not having seen her for eight months.

As the video shows: it totally worked. We got to spend time together and I even got to help her search for a wedding gown. So special. 🙂 IMG_1315Her fiancés family is wonderful. It felt like a little piece of home away from home. They are crazy, in the best way. Also, Marisel and I got to introduce them to Culver’s. Have I mentioned it’s the best fast food I have ever had? No? Well it is 🙂 Anyway, we had an amazing time there and can’t wait to come back and perhaps get the chance to shoot a gun. Yes, you heard me. As crazy as this may seem, it’s on my bucket list. Along with some other crazy stuff we don’t have to discuss right now. 😀

My final thoughts on road tripping through the US (sshhh, no one mention that I changed the subject): It takes a lot longer to get to where you want to go, because your stuck at the speed limit of 70mph (110 kmh) at the most. I mean, seeing the condition most of the roads are in, I’m not surprised… potholes galore! I didn’t mind paying tolls if it meant that the road wasn’t bumpy. Maybe this is just the midwest? I’ll have to do some more road tripping and find out for myself. The other thing I find a little strange, is having to exit the interstate to get to a gas station. In Germany, they are usually incorporated into rest stops on the side of the Autobahn. Now I would argue that this saves you time, but we have to go inside to pay… There are ups and downs to everything, not just the American potholed roads. 😉

Watch out for next week’s post: A European’s perspective of Baseball. A little documentary on the Twins game I will be attending next week for Marisel’s birthday. Should be fun, not sure about the baseball though…

Love, Sophie x

Only in America III

It has been way too long since my last post. Please accept my apologies and this new (very long) blog post to make it up to you. Also, in case you haven’t read the other posts in this series, you can catch up here: Only in America IOnly in America II.

Only in America III: From Lakes to Mountains to Ocean and Desert

Originally I was going to tell you all about my “Uptown Funk” line dancing experience I did as part of our Au Pair program. Pretty American, right?. But then the days went by so fast, I found myself filling up my suitcase with clothes rather than my blog with new posts. That’s right, I flew out to California two weeks ago (has it already been that long???) to be apart of my ex-roomies/best friend’s wedding in a beautiful park by the Sacramento River in Northern California.

Wednesday = Travel and Party. Flying across the country was breathtaking. From Minnesota, filled with its many lakes and green trees towards Colorado and the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. Although I know I can’t count Colorado on my “List of States I have been to”, I did see the Mountains from the air in the plane and from afar at the airport. I need to come back. I love me some mountains! It’s not only my love for snow covered hills that I rediscovered there, but also my morphing American, sorry, Minnesotan accent, I can here myself speaking… especially around people who are not from there. Let’s just say it’s all part of the experience.IMG_0835

Next stop: San Fransisco, CA. Again, only the airport, but there it was: the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. In only a matter of hours I had gone from Lakes to Mountains to the worlds largest ocean. I love how geographically diverse the US is. Anyway, one last flight to Redding, CA. Let me tell you: it was a loooooong trip. Totally worth it though. After doing my make-up on the plane and hurrying to Amanda’s house to get ready for her bachelorette party, we had a very fun and successful evening. Need ideas on a 20s themed party… just ask me.FullSizeRender 3

Thursday = First year graduation for the students at Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM). I am so grateful to have been apart of it. The message was great, the worship was even better. These people are so anointed. I felt God’s love like never before. Not only through the worship and the message, but through all the people there who serve with unconditional love and an attitude of fellowship.

Friday = Wedding Day! After spending the night in a lovely hotel, the day had finally arrived. Ding dong the bells are going to chime, let’s get her to the park on time. I have been a bridesmaid here in Germany before, but that requires far less. FullSizeRender 4Basically you just show up and take pictures after holding the bouquet during the ceremony. Here in the US, it’s a job you do with pride. You are responsible for making sure her bags are packed for the honeymoon, that she gets up on time to do hair and make-up, and that she has eaten and drank enough before the ceremony, even if it means reminding her to eat every 5 minutes. It means you are responsible for her dress and not getting it wrinkled. You are her mental support and calming down system. You don’t talk to the bride about issues before the ceremony, you come to the bridesmaids. You get the picture 🙂 I had the pleasure of sharing this duty with my wonderful new friend Alyssa. Although it can get pretty stressful at times and we were completely dead afterwards, I was so honoured to be in this wedding and carry out the duties of a bridesmaid. We literally crashed on the hotel hallway for about 5 minutes after the ceremony before Aunt Tina arrived with the room key.IMG_1077

Saturday = Home day… well almost. To complete our duties as bridesmaids, there was one more thing left to do. The prank. Not sure if everyone does a prank, but if the bride leaves post-it notes and pens lying around her room, the bridesmaids will surely take advantage of this. I shall say no more and leave it up to your imagination to figure out what we did 😉 Bags packed and ready to leave, we drove down to the Sacramento airport. I must say: Northern California is stunning! Having said our good byes, Alyssa and I departed to our gates and soon realised: DELAYS, HUGE DELAYS. The reason being a mechanical issue on my plane, which probably affected the other planes’ landing routes. Not good, when you need to catch a connecting flight in Seattle. You know it’s really bad when they start calling you up to be rerouted. And guess where I got a free flight to?! Phoenix, baby! The first time I have taken someone up on their “You can come anytime.” I called my startled Auntie in Scottsdale to ask before the airline booked the flight and couldn’t believe we were actually going to see each other in a matter of hours. While everyone at the gate was looking pretty grumpy, I was jumping up and down at the front desk screaming my thank you’s to the wonderfully friendly Alaska Air staff. And of course: THANK YOU, JESUS! You never fail to bless me and shower me with your love! So off I went to the desert.IMG_1113

Sunday = Cacti and other things.
We had an awesome day together, pancakes for breakfast, cooked by my very talented cousin, Alec. Church, and Mexican food (as you do in AZ). I had an evening flight back to MSP after spending some quality time with my family there. I still can’t believe I got to do this.

Now you would think this were the end of my post. Ooohhh no, there is more. On Monday evening, as I was slowly getting back to normality, normality changed. I received a text from my sister’s (wait for it)… FIANCÉ!!! They got engaged. Boom – new normality! As my dad put it: “We are now officially in wedding planning mode.” Congratulations, Lilly and Wes! From one wedding to the next. At least now I know how to be a bridesmaid. BRING IT ON! 🙂

IMG_1288Click on their names to see more of their journey. Lilly & Wes’ Instagram.