People are Still People

if you know anything about me, anything at all, you know that i love to travel.

sure. traveling can be stressful. there’s booking all those flights. finding the balance between price and location for places to stay. figuring out how to get from one place to another (and hoping that it doesn’t cost a small fortune). and let’s not forget, trying to decide on what to pack.

then when you’re on the actual trip it is a race between needing to do, see, and eat all the things and exhaustion. you usually end up acquiring too many things and then you have to somehow figure out how to get it all back home. of course, there’s the whole living out of a suitcase the entire time. it isn’t necessarily the most convenient thing.

despite all of that, i love it. i love the thrill of going to a new place i’ve never been before. every place is different and unique in its own special way. some places are more different than others. it all depends on your perspective. and the more you travel, there comes another realization: that there are similarities. you start to see how have different places have little similarities that connect them in a way. it is fascinating to see how one things relates to another which relates to another. things start connecting like links in a chain.

that leads me to my made point. people are still people. that’s a silly statement, isn’t it? but think about it. think about how we have the tendency to act different towards people different from us. now, some of it’s required. like having to speak slower for someone who doesn’t know the language as well or you may have to treat a little differently someone with a disability. then there’s the age difference. you wouldn’t treat a baby the same way as you would an adult. still, think about how often we treat other people differently for unjustifiable reasons. it happens a lot, doesn’t it?

people are still people. no matter where you are, the people you meet have hopes and dreams. they have beliefs and values. these people have emotions. they experience happiness and sadness. they know what it is like to be scared and excited.

and when you realize that people are just people, you’ll come to realize that they are a little bit easier to talk to. it becomes a easier to communicate with them. there’s no reason to be afraid. they are people, just like you and me. just treat them as you would want to be treated. that’s all it takes.

so maybe you’re like me. maybe you’re in a new environment. or maybe you feel like you’ve been “stuck” in this environment for awhile, but nothing has changed. you still feel alone. don’t wait. don’t wait for someone to reach out and connect with you. for all you know, they could be just as nervous and afraid as you might be.

you take the initiative. you reach out. they are just people. give them a chance. you may be surprised. we were not made to go through life alone. relationships are important. of course, our relationship with God is first and foremost. but that’s just the beginning.

having other people walk through life with you is essential. i can not say it enough. it is so important. i can’t say that the same people will stay with you from beginning to end. people come and go, some stay longer than others. but God will bring the right people into your life at the right times.

just don’t be afraid of taking an opportunity and reaching out.

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

So Let’s Love

recently, i read a chapter from the Bible with a friend of mine. we discussed some of our thoughts afterwards. i hope that i can make this kind of thing more of a habit in the future.

anyways, 1 corinthians 1 brought some very similar thoughts to our minds and i think they are worth sharing and exploring more.

first of all, God invites all sorts of people to salvation. it doesn’t matter what you’re from. whether you’re from the united states or brazil or germany or saudi arabia or ethiopia or china or anywhere, all can believe in Christ.

your background doesn’t matter either. it doesn’t matter if you were buddhist or muslim or atheist or any number or religions or beliefs. it doesn’t matter if you’ve come from a wealthy family or a poor family. all one has to do is realize he or she is a fallen, broken human being. he or she must also realize that God is the only one who can save him or her. there are no exception to the rules. one can’t be saved by doing good works. one can’t be save by believing just as faithfully and diligently in another god. no. God is the one and only true god.

this invitation is open to all. all people. isn’t that incredible? there’s no discrimination on race or gender or background. the only division is between those who believe and those who don’t. and whether someone believes or not does not change the fact that we are to love all people. and when i say all people, i mean all people.

just because we love someone doesn’t mean that we’re encouraging his or her lifestyle or that we agreed with everything he or she is doing. no. when we love someone, we love him or her with all our hearts. we may disagree with the choices she or he is making, but we love her or him anyways. love is unconditional. love has no bounds. that it something i think we easily forget.

i think the world could use a little more love. in all honesty, these are very dark and depressing times. technology is continually advancing, but i think our interpersonal relationships are quickly degrading. the family and all the different relationships involved is becoming a rare thing to see. we are more “connected” through all the technology that we have, but we are relationship-wise more lonely and lost than ever before.

so let’s love. let’s spend a little less time on the internet or social media and spend a little more time with the people God has placed here and now in our lives. we are all where we are for a reason. the people that are in your life right now? they are there for a reason. you never know when the time you spend investing in others may be life-changing for them. it also works vise versa. the time you invest in others may be life-changing for you. you never know.

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

Relationship Struggles in a Foreign Country

lately, i’ve talked a lot about all these different uplifting things.

how love crosses language barriers.

how love makes all the differences.

but, as they say, life is not all sunflowers and roses.

life is not always fun or full of happiness.

last week was not a great week for me. at least, that is how the week started out. i made a lot of mistakes while teaching the kids. mistake after mistake after mistake. i forgot things. i didn’t prepare. i didn’t finish the entire lesson in the amount of time that i should have. the list goes on.

more than that though, was this feeling of isolation and loneliness. i have talked to very few people from back home since moving here. sure, i’ve sent some marco polos and texts here and there. but even those have been sparse. i think there has only been a handful of friends that i’ve actually talked to once or twice each since coming here more than a month ago. for me, that’s a very small amount.

if you don’t know me, i’m a very social person. i used to be more of an introvert, but now i tend to be more of an extrovert with introvert moments. so spending time with people is important to me, essential even. and not just spending time with people, but actually talking and building relationships with people.

and that’s probably one of the hardest things about living here. because of the language barrier, it is so hard to communicate and build those relationships. it’s going to take a lot more effort and time to do what would be so much simpler in a place where english is the official language.

that doesn’t mean that it is impossible to do so. it isn’t. you can still build those relationships even if you can’t necessarily communicate directly with each other. there are ways to bridge that barrier. but for someone who puts so much into the communication aspect of relationships, it’s a real struggle.

and communicating through that language barrier takes effort, mentally and physically. i’m realizing that it is necessary to balance the time spent resting and time spent socializing (both with people here and people who it is easier to communicate with back home). it is necessary to have both.

finding that balance is going to take some time. last week was rough. i didn’t balance things well and i could feel it. there may not be a perfect way to balance things, but i do need to find a way that works for me. and what works for me may change from week to week.

but nothing truly worth doing is ever easy.

i don’t claim to have all the answers. honestly, i don’t claim to have any of the answers. i’m still trying to figure things out. i’m still struggling. but realizing that i’m struggling is a step in the right direction i think. you have to first realize the problem to be able to fix the problem.

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

Word of the Year: Trust

did anyone else choose a word for the year?

i first heard about choosing a word for the year around the end of last year. and i found it to be a very fascinating idea.

for one, it’s not really defined with any set list of requirements or “must do’s.” so there’s a lot of freedom in that. personally, i love the freedom to make something your own.

but without defined terms or rules, it does open the door for that word to come in and be a part of more situations than you would think possible.

of course, i know that there’s a lot of things that happens in one’s life in the space of one year. not everything is going to be focused around that one word. but you will be surprised how many different circumstances and situations that one word does cover and effect.

anyways, those are just my thoughts on choosing a word for the year. as i’m sure you’ve already guess by this point, i chose a word for the year. since this is my first time trying to do this, we’ll see how it goes.

i wanted to talk a bit about my word for this year. trust.

a lot of things happened in 2018 that made me realize that trust is something that I really need to work on. trust is something that i don’t have a lot of, especially when talking about God.

trust is important. in fact, it’s essential. in fact, it is an crucial cornerstone in having a strong relationship with God. more than that, salvation itself requires trust.

in many cases, i’ve found that trust and faith go hand in hand. faith is “complete trust or confidence in someone or something” and trust is “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” they are both very similar in my opinion.

then as a christian, i should have the whole trust and faith thing down pat, right?

no.

definitely not.

as i have learned in the past year, i have a real hard time with trust. i’m quick to rely only on myself. a lot of the stress i deal with comes from there being no trust. everything is on me. i need to complete this. i need to somehow make this happen. etc. etc. etc.

and this brings me back to a point i made in my last post.

God is in control.

it is easier to say than to believe. this doesn’t mean that you can sit back and just believe that God will make happen what needs to happen. trust requires effort made from both sides.

and i’m not going to say that there is going to come a point in your life where you’re going to be able to say that you trust God in everything. i think for most of us (if not all) trusting God is going to be a constant work-in-progress. we’re going to have to continue to push to believe that everything is in God’s hands.

that constant effort is worth it though. to know that you are not in control of your life, but God is. what a relief that is.

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

did you choose a word for the year? please, comment below! i’d love to hear from you!