November 26, 2012

And then I didn't make the basketball team.

Today I exercised.  3 miles on the elliptical thingy (it's different than an elliptical... but I'm not sure what it was).  Yay!  I should rejoice... but I can't help thinking "uh, okay really, how long will this going to the gym thing last... and what is it exactly that will eventually stop me from going?"  I don't think I just get "busy or lazy or..." when I skip out on the gym.  It's deeper.

It's always something deeper.

I believe in this statement.  It never fails to explain people.  The things people say.  The things people do.  The insecurities people have.  I think it is because of something that has happened to them in the past.  It isn't necessarily something extreme, but it's something that made an impact on them at a certain time in their life.  If someone doesn't like sharing things that belong to them, maybe it was because they were pushed around when they were younger.  If someone constantly wants the attention to be on them, maybe it's because they felt ignored by their parents.  

I have MANY issues in my life.  You can laugh, but really, I think we all do.  It's okay.  We will never be perfect on this earth.  Something in my life that could be explained by saying "it's something deeper" is working out.  I think I could throw all things athletic into that category.  Basically, I used to think I liked sports.  I wore the Nike shorts, bought the oversized shirts, wore the tall socks and pretended I knew about pro sports teams.  I thought it was who I was.  I tried to define myself by this.  In the 4th grade.  hahaha Yeah.  

Then, in the 7th grade I tried out for the basketball team.  It was a time when I could actually play on a real team.  I was very excited and I remember thinking "finally! I can play a real sport on a real team..." but you see, I didn't make it.  And it hurt me.  My confidence was gone. 

This still messes with me today.  I don't typically think back to the 7th grade when I dread going to the gym, but I do know that there are lots of negative feelings associated with working out because I didn't make the team.  This is my "something deeper."  

Now, not everyone remembers things that happened to them way back when and not many associate one particular event with another.  I'm a rather sensitive soul. I would even say I'm an over-sensitive soul, but don't tell me that because I might cry. haha

Call me crazy, but when I go into the gym to work-out I have this major insecurity that comes out.  I seriously think through all this stuff: I don't belong here, everyone here is in shape, people are wondering about my life and why I'm in the gym.  STUPID STUFF. But, if I'm honest, all that crap goes through my head.  I think if I'm going to keep exercising and "training" for a half marathon (remember, I'm not running one, Kendall is), I have to get over this. Here are some truth reminders for myself.  

1. Low pride is a real thing.  I think Dr. Duvall preached on this once.  It hits home in my life.  The idea behind low pride is that you feel that everyone is thinking about you and watching you and judging what you're doing.  You believe that people are consumed with you.  Let me remind you (speaking to myself): they're not.  They really don't care that you just tripped while going up the stairs or that you splashed water in your face at the drinking fountain.  THEY DON'T CARE.  They aren't watching you.  Get over yourself. :) 

2. It's allllllll mental.  Having the right mind-set while working out is great.  Believing that it is possible to work out regularly and maintain a schedule is important.  I also think it's necessary to remember my goals.  I would love to lose weight, but that cannot be the focus.  If that's my focus, I'm going to be let down.  I want to exercise to gain energy.  I want to exercise so I can run! I want to exercise so I can hike!  These are motivators that are positive and proven to happen.  The more you run, they better you'll become.  BAM. 

3. Things take time.  I will not instantly be able to run.  It's not like POOF, now you can run a half marathon (which, I'm not so, it really doesn't matter. hahaha).  I've got to work up to that.  Starting by regularly working out.  I might get discouraged, but I just have to push through and remember the points I'm listing right now. 

4. I'm freaking not alone. God cares about us.  He really does.  He cares about our health.  He is with me when I want to stop.  He provides strength like none other.  He helps us to persevere when we don't see success.  I believe that having discipline in this area of my life with translate to the other areas, as well-- right Ken?

While writing this I realized that although I'm training for a half marathon... that's not actually what I'm writing about.  So, just so we're clear.  Not my focus or goal.  It's really more to run and hike.  I love being outside, but I don't feel confident enough to exercise outside.  I'll work up to that.  

Note: Lecrae's album "Rebel" will PUMP YOU UP.
Mmm! My favorites: "Don't Waste Your Life" and "Go Hard"

November 25, 2012

Breaking all the rules...

Sometimes things don't always go as you plan... and sometimes you plan things and then you just don't put forth enough effort to actually get it done. Can I get an amen?

Today the plan was to run/walk 3 miles... buuuut, that didn't exactly happen.  I truly had the best of intentions.  BUT the rec was closed.

Now, I didn't totally forgo exercise today.  No, ma'am.  I went on a walk with my friend Stephanie.  Approximately a 2 mile walk.  Heeeey. If that doesn't mean something, then I don't know what does.

So, maybe I broke some rules.
Am I going to sulk over it? No.  I am going to get over it today and do better tomorrow.

I even made plans to go to the rec so, it's going to happen... because we always follow through with our plans, right? hahaha

Life lesson: something is better than nothing.
(walking 2 miles is better than skipping it all together)

November 24, 2012

Training for nothing?

Yes, this blog was previously used to share about my experiences in Thailand... BUT Thailand was real life, just like this is real life. So... here is my life today...

I am about to start training for a half marathon.

"Oh, so, like you've been running for a while?"

"Have many races have you ran before?" 
I attempted to run a 5k... a pregnant woman passed me.

"But you've ran more than a mile before, right?" 
No, I don't recall that I have.

These are questions that people have been asking me when I tell them I want to train for a half marathon.  Actually, that's really not true.  These are questions I have been asking myself.  Those thoughts hold doubts and insecurities that I don't understand, but I want to overcome.

Here's another little tid bit of information.  I don't actually plan on running in a real half marathon.  Too much hype.  Too much stress for the heart of Leigha Suzanne Hill.  Unnecessary stress.  I am training for a half marathon to provide me with a goal.  Also, my friend Kendall is training for a legit half marathon and I want to support her. Shout-out to Ken.

1. I want to have more energy.
2. I want to maintain a more structured life.
3. I want to do something that appears impossible... something that REQUIRES me to rely on the Lord.
4. I want to support my friend, Kendall!  It's always nice to know there is someone else going through what you are... even if it is self induced.

What are my rules?
1. Follow the plan Ken gave me.
2. It's okay to walk.  Just finish it.
3. Drink lots of water. We're not trying to dehydrate.
4. If I miss a day.  I'm going to get over it and move on.
5. Bring scripture with me on notecards. This is real encouragement.
6. Change the rules, if necessary.

Starting tomorrow! 3 miles in the park. Oh, my.


July 5, 2011

Jacob or Edward?

Well... it's been quite a while, hasn't it?  I apologize for the delayed posts.  No news is good news, right?

I'm pretty certain that I speak for the whole team when I say: we really love it here.  This past week we were blessed with a chance to go to Krabi #themostbeautifulplaceihaveeverseen.  It was just what we needed.  The break was so good and allowed us time to rest.  So fun!  Near the end of our journey we found ourselves missing Bangkok.  We were really excited to return to our "sweet home sweet" (as the Thais say). And... on the way home we got to ride in a VIP bus.  Yeah, I know.  It was awesome.  

After returning to Bangkok, we have found ourselves becoming very comfortable with the culture.  Now, this is both good and bad... really more bad than good.  haha The more comfortable we get, the more we start reverting back to our American ways.  We tend to laugh a lot, talk loudly, and sometimes we kick each other (this is not good in Thailand).  People on the bus are starting to stare.  On our way home from Krabi, a Thai woman on the bus asked (right in front of our faces), "What are all these Americans doing here.  They're so loud."  Then (this is so great), the stewardess informed her the we all knew Thai.  hahahaha... So, we don't all know Thai, BUT Ann knows Thai and she told us what the lady said.  The woman became very quiet, very quickly.  Situations like this are very funny, but they also remind us to calm it down.  *Please pray that we don't kill our ministry by becoming too comfortable.

This week we have all become teachers!  Yes, it's slightly intimidating to know that people are paying money to learn English from us, but God is with us always.  At the BSC, we are paired up and have a schedule of who is teaching what when.  You like that sentence?  Yeah, I am teaching English.  Matt and I actually got our first opportunity to teach with the set curriculum yesterday.  I really like teaching.  *Pray that our classes will go smoothly.  In addition to teaching curriculum based classes, we offer a free Bible English class twice each day.  We cover simple, yet powerful, stories from the Bible while practicing English... it's so great.  *Pray that Thai non-Christians would come to the class desiring to practice their English skills and leave curious to know more about Jesus.  

As I mentioned before, during the day we spend our time visiting universities.  On Tuesdays we'll be on Sripatum's campus and Fridays on Chula's.  During this time we are meeting students and sharing the Gospel.  Sometimes we have chances to straight up tell students what we believe and other times (like when they don't know English--hehe) we are able to invite them to free Bible English classes or other events that are going on at the church.  Building relationships and then connecting students with the church is very important.  Sometimes relationships are built over the strangest things.  Yesterday, it was the question "Edward or Jacob" that brought giggles and laughter.  *Thank-you Jesus for working in ways that we don't understand.  Pray that our team is bold when meeting students.  We are given tons of opportunities, pray that we use those.  Pray that we would remember that we cannot bring people to Christ on our own.  If we were trying to do things on our own-- we would fail every time.  Pray that we will rely fully on the Lord, knowing that he can use all things for His glory... even a conversation about Twilight.  

I can't even begin to tell you how thankful I am to be here.  I am learning and trusting more than I ever expected.  I have seen God work in more so many ways!  It reminds me of how good our God is.  *Continue to pray for our Thai friends.

Love you all.  Thank you for praying for us.

Team Jacob for life.

June 26, 2011

"Come to Me."

Headed to Krabi Phi Phi Island!  We are going on vacation.  Pray that we will use this time to draw near the Lord.  It is so easy to waste time on a beach. I don't want to do that. Pray that we will take this time to re-focus and reflect. God is good.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Matthew 11:28-30

June 20, 2011

God of this City

We're still kicking it in Thailand.  Our days are going well, but there is a heaviness that has been developing in our hearts.  The more people we meet, the more we see that people don't know the Lord.  It's heart breaking to know that people following Budda are living without Hope.  Please pray for these people that we encounter.  Pray that the Lord would work in their hearts.  Pray that they would become interested in Christianity.  I believe in prayer.  I believe that God answers prayers. 

The team is doing really well.  We're basically family.  Pray that we can continue to communicate well with each other.  Pray that we will pick out battles and have patience with each other.  We have to let go of our selfish desires and straight up seek the Lord together.  We must function as a team.  It is important that each of us are focusing on the Lord.  Spending time in the word and in prayer. 

This past week we have spent time teaching english at the BSC (Baptist Student Center).  The BSC is an organization for people of all ages to come and pay to study english.  At the BSC there is an eating area where we go about 4:00 p.m.  We are there to hang out with students, help them with their english, and have an opportunity to share Jesus with the students.  During this time we also have a chance to teach english classes.  We pair up and take turns teaching free Bible english classes and other english classes.  I really enjoy the teaching, however, I need to brush up on my english skills... seriously.  After our time at the BSC we head to Victory Monument to eat.  There are many different little places to eat in that area.  So much fun.

We've also done some university visits in Bangkok.  There are really many universities here, filled with students who like to hang out with Americans.  I had no idea it would be this easy to make Thai friends.  They are so great at accepting us and helping us.  It's such a blessing.  Some days I am absolutely covered in sweat... I'm gonna be real, it's gross.  It amazes me how much the Thais don't care.  Sweat cannot stop their hugs.  I am thankful for Thai hugs.

I do love it here.  Times are going to be more difficult, but man... things are going well right now.  I cannot stress how much of a blessing my team has been to me.  So many different personalities... but it works.  Thank-you, Jesus. 

1. Pray that we would be bold.  Pray that the boldness will not come from ourselves, but from God. 
2. Pray for chances to share the gospel.  There are some friendships we have that are so great.  We love hanging out, but it's difficult to get real with them.  Pray for that, please.
3. Pray that our team would continue to be unified.  Pray that we will desire to seek the Father.  That we can be patience with one another and continually speak in love. 
4. Pray for our safety.  Yeah, Bangkok is pretty safe, but the traffic can be a little sketch at times. 
5. Pray that we would continually focus on Christ.  That when we share the gospel, we would simply be sharing our hearts.  That is my prayer.

Love you, dear friends!


June 13, 2011

thai sty

I have been in Thailand for four days and it already feels like home.  It's amazes me how quickly everything seems so familar.  When we arrived on day one I never would have thought that I would know how to go to 7/11 and purchase a snack or known how to wave down a "tuk tuk" driver and know how many baht would be a reasonable price! 

The culture in Bangkok is something that will be difficult to fully get used to, but I believe we are all learning at a reasonable pace.  After arriving in Bangkok, we sat down with leaders, Ann and Eric, to learn about the rules of Thai culture.  Often refered to as Thai Sty.  Things are very different (not weird) in Thailand, so in order to help you better understand, here is a list.  A list of rules, if you will, to serve as ones guide when in Thailand.  Here we go:

1. Do not flush toilet paper down the toilet. 
I know... it seems a little gross to us, but in Thailand, people don't even use toilet paper.  They have spray hoses. Real life.  If you would prefer American Sty... carry tissues with you.

2. Watch where you're going.
Most places in Bangkok are very safe.  There are low crime rates and people are typically nice, however; transportation is where it gets challenging.  Most Thais don't drive a car.  They travel by bus, sky train, or foot.  Here is the tricky part: when walking, you will never have the right of way.  One must always, always, always look both left... and right before crossing any sort of street.  Traffic is moving at very high speeds in one direction and then motocycles are moving at an even faster pace in the other.  That's right, motocycles drive against traffic. Also, Ann informed us that if a vehicle flashes their lights at us... it doesn't mean "go ahead," it means "I am about to hit you."  Words of wisdom.

3. Just don't touch.
In Thai culture, a person's head is seen as being the best part of their body.  It is almost sacred.  Touching someone's head is not something you want to do.  It is seen as very offensive and disrespectful and will probably make for a few seconds of awkward silence.  Now, if the head is seen as the best part of the body, what do you think is the worst?  That's right! The feet.  It is very rude to point with you feet, touch your feet, draw attention to you feet, pick something up with your feet, touch your feet to someone else's feet... yeah, just don't do anything, but walk with your feet.  Yes, this is the culture, but I have been blessed wtih some really kind Thai friends that know we're not from Thailand.  We are expected to follow these rules, but they do give us a little slack. 

4. Respect the Royal Family.
The King and Queen of Thailand are adored by their country.  The King is on every baht (I think) and his picture can be found all throughout the city.  He and his family means to much to the Thai people!  This means that we must be very careful not to speak about the royal family because our comments, though not intending to be rude, may come off as, well... rude.  I just don't bring it up and if I drop a coin, I DO NOT stop it with my foot.  I could actually be arrested.

5. 'Y'ing is best.
When greeting someone it is important to "Y" them.  This includes putting your hands together, as if you were praying, hold by your bottom lip, and nod your head.  This is a greating, a thank-you, a goodbye... I think. haha It really works for everything.  It is also good to add a little Thai language along with it if you're feeling confident.  Also, a rule that I think goes along with this one is to put say the letter 'P' before the name of anyone older than you.  For example: P'Leck and P'Pom.

Things are really going well.  I enjoy my team and the work that we are doing.  It is still the beginning and we haven't done much enlish teaching quite yet, but we are building relationships with Thai students in the area.  We were able to go to Ayutthaya and see the Floating Market.  It was a great fun and I made a lot of new friends!

How you can pray:
1. Pray for my Thai friends that are Buddist.  They all know the stories of Jesus and some believe they are true, but they don't all believe that Jesus is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Pray that God will work in their lives.  Pray that they will listen and then follow. 
2. Pray for the missionaries here in Bangkok we are working with and for my team from Arkansas.  Pray that we will be spending time with the Lord and applying the scripture to our lives.  Pray that we will rest at night to have energy to make it through the day. 

View from porch in hotel room.

Precious new friends: Tik, Jay, and Nan

Umbrellas are a must.  "Oh no... I think my skin got darker"


I love this woman!  She is the sweetest.

Riding elephants!

Sommer, Matt, Daniel, and Amy... looking good.

Ham Bone


Ancient city


"Sawa dii kah" Manchester United

Matching hats!  (p.s. mine is not... it has flowers)

I hope you feel updated.  Love you, friends.