As most of you know, Tuesday was my birthday, and it was an incredible day. I went back to the doctor and gained about 85% of my hearing back. That was an amazing birthday present! My ear still has a little ways to go before I can hear like normal again, but I think this will come with time. Then, my roommates surprised me with a Napoleon cake (a type of Lithuanian pasty/cake). It is nothing like what we usually think of when we hear “cake”. It has layers of flaky pastry crust alternated between layers of cream and fruit spread, topped with mildly sweet icing. They also made a “Happy B-Day” sign, which they hung in the window in the kitchen. We had a really nice little birthday celebration with cake, ice cream, and our adventure of making braided Nutella bread. Then, we went to the LCC campus movie night to watch Evan Almighty. At the end of the night, I had the pleasure of Skyping with my parents and finding out how my mom’s birthday was going. It felt a bit strange being so far away (and seven hours ahead) on our birthday, so it was good to hear and see my “birthday buddy.” I also got to see several other people from my community who came by while we were Skyping. It was like receiving a slice of home.
Though I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday, the rest of the week has been tough. For the majority of yesterday and today, I have felt overwhelmed and, honestly, defeated. I think that this is mainly due to the fact that I am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. This week has been packed with school deadlines and next week is even worse. I spent 10.5 hours at the orphanage this week – a blessing and a challenge. And, I have not been able to get adequate amounts of sleep. This has made it much more difficult to handle all the other little things that pop up throughout each day. One thing that has been especially hard for me is knowing how to let God take care of the future but still make sure I am doing my part. I know that God will provide, but I also know He does not control our lives like a puppet show. This area of my faith has definitely grown since coming to Lithuania. I am living here and trying to make sure I am completely immersed in my experiences, but I also cannot forget that I have a life back home. I have been trying to figure out what I will do for a summer job when I get home. At this point, I have no idea what I am going to do. I have also been researching Child Life certification requirements so I know what I need to be doing to be on track for taking the exam after I graduate. In the process, I have discovered that completing my 480 hours of internship is going to be much more difficult than I anticipated. Also, I discovered that I will be short on my practicum hours at the orphanage due to the time I missed while ill. But this is where God showed me that He is still providing… As I mentioned earlier, I worked an extra 1.5 hours this week. The Baby House has been chaotic recently. I stayed late yesterday and today because the two nurses seemed frazzled and overwhelmed with the unending screaming and crying. They have needed me to stay and help feed the babies their dinner. When I walked to the bus stop after working yesterday, I thanked God for providing a need for me to stay longer. I told Him that it was exhausting, but I loved it and I would appreciate it if He did that again. Isn’t it interesting that the same situation occurred today? It makes me smile…
That’s the other thing. The orphanage is where I feel important. I have felt inadequate here at school the past couple days. I am having a really hard time learning the Russian language right now. We are working on it in my Cross-Cultural Seminar in preparation for our trip at the beginning of March. In my other classes, I have struggled to stay focused during lecture and get my homework finished in the evenings. Also, my headaches have returned this week, complicating classes even more. The cool part is this: God is still getting me through all of my classes and helping me complete assignments in short periods of time, my headaches go away at the orphanage (even with tons of screaming and crying), I am able to assist the nurses a great deal, and I continue to learn more about myself and my Father through it all. I love spending time with those little ones, even though I leave each day covered in scratch marks, snot, slobber, and soggy bread. I am able to forget about all my other responsibilities and put every ounce of energy into showing them love. Seeing God at work in this area is a reminder that He is also at work in all other areas. He will provide a summer job, and it will be in the exact place where He wants me. He will also take care of my Child Life certification process, if that is in fact where He wants me to go with my future career. He shows me each day the steps I need to take, and I must remember that today is the only day I need to think about. Just as He guides me through today, He will continue to lead me tomorrow, whether I am in Lithuania or Bryan or any other spot on the globe. It brings me back to remembering what I know about the character of my God….He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So, I know that I am, in fact, not defeated. Some days may be harder than others, and I may feel overwhelmed, but God is bigger than me. My tough stuff is His piece of Napoleon cake. :)
Hi, I'm Katie... just a girl, living this adventure for the glory of God. Thanks for reading!