September 14, 2016

Bali Part III

Guess what I did, friend? I left you with a cliffhanger in my Bali Part II post {:there is also Part I if you missed it:} and have been so busy lately that I haven't finished my scuba diving story.

Remember how I told you this was the only scuba diving picture I have...well, that would be because about 5 minutes after this picture was snapped I hopped my not-so-brave-wetsuit-clad-tooshie back in the boat. 

Why you ask? You see I was not panicking at all about this little endeavor. I was actually really excited. I was even calming down my friend to the right of me in this picture explaining just how fine we would be. 

Then, one-by-one the instructors let the air out of our life vest and sunk us to the ocean floor. I was the last to go. 

During the very brief training our guide told us how important it was to clear our ears once we were on the bottom. "No problem" I thought. Well....BIG PROBLEM people! I got down there, the instructor grabbed my nose to signal for me to clear my ears and nothing happened. I did it again. Still noting. The pressure was making my head hurt and I got light headed. The instructor was just starring at me as if waiting for me to have a full on conversation of what was happening a good 15 feet under water. UM HELLO - we cannot communicate we are under water, mister - re mem ber! 

I am freaking out, about to pass out, and I can not communicate. So I signaled to my friendly guide that I wanted to go back up. I reached the surface. Finally, I was able to communicate with him again and tell him what was going on. In his very broken English he said something to the effect of "okay and you want to go down" to which my answer was a strong and convicted NO! So I got myself back in the boat and watched all the pretty fishies from the boat. 

After hearing about how amazing the experience was, I was pretty bummed I didn't go. But, the sadness didn't last long when we arrived here only about an hour later.

Helllllo Luxury...

Welcome to Potato Head. This places was insane. It was an outdoor bar with cheap drinks, yummy food, good live music, and views to die for! The infinity pool overlooked the ocean and we stayed to watch the sunset...from the pool.

I definitely felt like I was living the dream that night. None of us actually wanted to leave.

The next day it poured rain all day. But we still had a blast spending a relaxed day reading in our open living room to the sound of rain and playing Monopoly Go. The rain didn't dampen the mood for a minute. It probably helped that I had a 90 minute massage that day for $10 too. 

After dinner the rain stopped so we decided to load up on our scooters and go to see the Uluwatu Temple. The sky was cloudy, but even with the clouds the views were stunning.

 Because we were going to a temple we had to cover our legs - even the boys. So this was a picture of the guys "modeling" their fabulous temple attire while still asserting their masculinity. I think they nailed it!

The last day we packed up, said our goodbyes to the amazing staff at the house and spent the last day cruising and exploring different restaurants, views, and the biggest, most amazing grocery store I've ever seen.

I have had some amazing vacations in my life, and I live in Australia for Pete's sake, but this trip will go down in the history books as one of the most memorable, relaxing, and fun vacations I've ever gone on. How often in life do you get to go on vacation with 11 of your friends? Take me back!

What's your best vacation sport to date?
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September 12, 2016

Heart Made Whole - Book Review

Where to begin with this book? I wish I could fill this post with quote after quote and how I continually found myself in its pages. But, you are welcome, I will spare you the 10,000 word essay. And...just so we can call this an "actual book review", let's get this whole rating thing out of the way and say this book was 10 stars out of 5 - seriously!

I am sitting here on my balcony staring at my blinking cursor on the screen. I am at a loss of how to adequately put into words how profound I found this book to be - not profound in its eloquent theological speech, but profound in that it has unlocked something within me. 

I finished it a few weeks ago and I am already wondering if it is too soon to pick it back up for a second read.

When I selected "Heart Made Whole" to read, I had never heard of Christ Black Gifford. I just saw the book pop across my social media feed being endorsed by some of the authors and speakers I love so I thought, "why not?"  

In short, the book is about allowing a Savior to mend your broken heart. It sounds like another great Christian self-help book, but I promise this one is so much more.

I was blown away by how vulnerable and transparent Christa was in this book. She shares some of the darkest trials and seasons in her life and doesn't pretend that she was all love hearts and kisses for her Jesus. She is honest! 

In the book, she writes about how our hearts regularly speak to us through our thoughts, actions, and emotions. Yet, we suppress these neon signs for the sake of "forging on"- our Christian duty, right? She goes on to share how when we do this, we are neglecting the very things that are keeping our hearts hardened to our Daddy.

As Christa shared personal conversations she had with Heavenly Father and Holy Spirit it revealed what an incredibly intimate and beautiful - yet raw - relationship she has with them. It challenged me and caused me to go running after that type of relationship. I am not saying this to beef up this post and make it sound better. I mean this as genuinely as I can and with a thank-filled heart to my Jesus that I found this book in my hands.  

Through this book I opened up wounds to Daddy that I didn't realize I had locked Him out of. I identified walls that were keeping me fully from His invading presence into my heart. And, I located where there were gaps between what I knew about Daddy and what I actually believed. Because of this book I have started journeying my on path of allowing Him to mend, restore, repair, and make my heart whole - as He intends it to be.

This book has been the launching pad for a lot of authentic healing and I am so grateful. Can I encourage you to invest the few dollars it costs to purchase this book and just watch what God can do to make your heart whole? Then, come back here and share because I really want to know how this book touched you personally.

What book has had this type of affect on you lately?

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