Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Mini Vacation and Big Travels!
Ok so stemming from my story about my changed major in school and my mini-vacation, I had a a chance to ponder my future. It was a huge relief back when I changed my major, to have new options-basically ANYWHERE in the world-to do my study abroad (as my new major is heavily into having another cultural perspective and ever a second language under the belt if possible). Ever since a high school trip to Europe, I have been in LOVE with Scandinavia, as I have posted multiple times before haha. I went to Norway and Denmark and simply fell head over heels. I remember looking out of my hotel window in Bergen thinking "I feel quite at home, I'll be back at some point for sure". But I have also wanted to visit Sweden, as the cultures and languages are pretty similar. So since I had this renewed chance to visit...with the intent to study, thus paid for by my dear parents (lol!) I wanted to take the chance. I was so excited, I would get to live in one of these countries and LEARN a culture, some of a language, and learn to be independent (a trait I truly need to work on for the sake of my calling as a Catholic).
But then, as always in the chaotic land that is my mind, I questioned this idea. Maybe, since my major pulls for bilingual grads if possible, I should continue my french as a minor and do my study in France. BE PRACTICAL GIRL! Right? I was set. Scandinavia was just a dream, maybe you can visit again for fun someday. Or so I thought. The weeks prior to finals, I was completely infatuated with a guy I saw around campus (ok I know that's bad, I'm trying to work on keeping my heart pure, but I had a weak moment...this boy was quite attractive). Come to find out, he was not American, he was an exchange student, but nobody knew from where. So we made bets...and, through friends speaking with him, we find out he is Swedish. I SOOOOO badly wanted to talk to him, just to get a feel about his country, studying there, etc...but since I had this little crush, I chickened out and never approached him. How creepy would that be anyway? lol So one night, to blow off steam, I was taking quizzes on facebook like "what European country are you?" all my friends got Spain, Germany, England, Italy, France, etc and I take it and get Sweden. Weird, seeing as I didn't think that would have even been a result on there! Once I was packed and driving from school, I passed the exchange boy again, making me yearn for Scandinavia even more.
Flash to Vacation: near the hotel I stayed at there was a hotel called the Kalmar (a Swedish city) with a giant Swedish flag waving overhead. I could ignore it, it was like I was being taunted. It had taken me a few weeks to agree that France was the place I needed to be, but I had all these little bitty signs that continued to remind me of my original plan. So I prayed about it. On the way home, we stopped in a little town to eat and the store directly next to our car was a Scandinavian imports store...I was in HEAVEN. As I woke from my car-sick induced coma and read those glorious words, I nearly dove straight into the little boutique. I saw Norwegian mugs, Danish aprons, Finnish license plate holders, Swedish patches, and recipe books from every variety. Needless to say I wanted it all...but I settled on a Swedish cookbook and a mug. Now there was this lone mug out of all the shelves of choices that caught my eye for the simple fact that it had "Jesu" on it. It wasn't the whole word I was used to, so I did a double take. Did that cup say the "J-word?!" (As they say, get someone drunk, they'll talk about their sex life, get a Scandinavian drunk, they'll talk about God) So I picked up the cup and it had a whole prayer on one side in English and on the other side, it was in an unknown language (at the time haha)
I brought my purchases up to pay and asked the woman what language this mug was in, and she said she thought Swedish...I disagreed, it looked Norwegian to me. So I cam home and used a translator, it was Norwegian. But anyway, what touched me the most was the prayer itself:
"In Jesus' name to the table we go, to eat and drink according to his word, To God the honor, us the gain, so we have food in Jesus' name" How awesome and true is that? I never imagined having such luck finding such a creation haha, but I don't think it was just luck, I think I have a calling to one of these countries-countries that have incredibly small Catholic populations and whose larger Christian population is in name only.
I have lots of time left to discern, but I'm nervous. Nervous that maybe I am totally off. Nervous that maybe I am spot on. Nervous that this calling could be bigger than I imagine now. I just need to trust Him and follow His leading. He's taught me well in trusting Him thus far, but I have lightyears to go still!
Pray for me! and if anyone here has any personal info/experiences in relation to these countries or study abroad/travel, etc...really anything at all that you'd like to share, do! You know how much I love to hear from you all :)
Peace & Blessings always~