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Preview: Jen in Budapest

Jen in Budapest

Live well. Laugh often. Love much. Or as John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans." Besides this life motto on living, laughing and loving, I realize it's not how well you start something but how well you fi

Updated: 2018-03-06T00:54:10.104-08:00


Officially moved site but not "unpacked"


Soon to come, I'll be blogging again, no doubt. This time from another continent but hopefully we'll keep it interesting! Life is interesting and amazing.

New blogspot:

Moving my blog again....


So with a week left in Budapest, I'm planning to move my blogspot as well.

Thank God this part of my world is containable within cyberworld. No papers to sort, files to throw away, or things to stress about fitting into a suitcase. Oh I love this world.

Although I'd love to keep running this current blogspot, the URL name is jeninbudapest and that will be a lie after next Friday. In choosing a new URL, I decided I should steer clear of naming blogs by location as I may be in several in the years to come and I don't want to do this again.

I think I found one I can live with for a long while. If you know how to import my old blog to here, that would be amazing and I would be grateful for the help.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to writing just as much as last year.

Golden Gate Half


I started worrying about the Shamrock Half that I planned to do mid-March. Not only has my training been completely thrown off course during this transition, but I was realizing I probably need to give myself more time to prepare for the change in altitude before jumping into an event. It will take me double time to get miles up in Reno.

So, the next event in sight that looks doable and incredibly fun as I'll be taking in some scenic routes, which I love, is the Golden Gate Half....

I have a new goal! April 4th.

11 days...


Each time I get home and look at my apartment, I'm worried. How am I going to fit things in two bags? I've already downsized so much. Hmmm. Oh well and off I go to check facebook, watch a movie or eat some more of this delicious garlic concoction that has become my main stay. It's difficult to take down all the wall hangings when I still have guests coming over through the weekend. I guess Monday and Tuesday of next week will be the time I really hanker down, take down all the stuff off the walls, clean the corners, etc. It truly is not an easy task when you can't just throw everything into your car and move to the next spot. I mean oversized baggage is costly not to mention another bag. Lord, help. This is rough. With exactly 11 days and counting, wow. I'm just hoping with high school, hosting, cleaning, packing, I get out of here alive :) haha.

Oh and workouts this past week have been almost completely thrown out the door. I'm actually reconsidering the Shamrock Half because of many reasons, but one of them is that the change of altitude is going to take a while to adjust to and because it's so darn cold here in Budapest, I haven't had the nerve to freeze myself to death for a workout. So, I've got some aerobic video time done and some pilates, but I can't wait to get on a schedule when I get back to Reno. :)

Thanks for your prayers in this transition.

Matthew 5:6


I woke up this morning thinking about a variety of things while looking at a very cluttered apartment. There are piles with categorized items (what to throw away, what to give away, what to fit in suitcases) and the general mess of papers and miscellaneous crud lying around that I have yet to sort through. With the state of my external world in major transition, my life feels out of sorts at the moment. I actually wouldn't expect things to be any different. Moving back across the Ocean after almost 3 years is going to take some adjusting - emotionally, culturally, environmentally (and I'm sure in some other -"lly's" ways too.) I'm not exactly bothered by these things yet, just making the observation.

What has bothered me more are things going on inside, on a personal level. In the midst of a messy external world, I found myself reaching inside to find order in the private world of my thoughts, my intentions, my inner dialogue. Alas, there's been a lot on the brain, I won't lie. It's not all bad or good, it just is what it is.

Deep inside as thoughts have tossed between joy and sadness, fear and faith, excitement and a general state of "blah", I was reminded of Matthew 5:6. What I really need right now in that inner world that will order my private world is to hunger and thirst for Him -- for more of the one who actually defines living, who anchors me, who refines, molds and shapes the essence of who I am. Without Him I can do nothing and even more real to me these days is the fact that without Him, His perspective, His way of viewing people and life in general, I AM nothing.

Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life. If I want to find out what it means to fully come alive, to be fully living, then He is and always will be my starting point. He is all things perfectly wonderful and genuine. He alone makes all things in life perfectly wonderful and genuine. And in this journey across the Ocean, I'm finding my one and only anchor is to remain hungry and thirsty for all things HIM. He makes sense out of things that I can't even begin to understand. He alone fills the deepest parts of me in truth. He alone fills me up.

two weeks


I can hardly believe that in two weeks I'll be returning to the USA and not just for a "home" visit. I'm definitely excited and looking forward to being reunited with family and friends. It's been 1.5 years and way overdue.

I wonder how much of Hungary I will miss. I know I'll miss the people and the laid back lifestyle. But it's time to be home. I'm excited about that too.

So much to write....where to start.


I've got so much I'd love to write here but at the moment, I don't know where to start. Not only that but I've been preoccupied and loving it. I'm waiting for the moment when it's overflowing and then perhaps I'll take those extra moments late at night and blog. For now, all is good. I thank God for friends, family and the future which is bright because He's in it. He's in all my days and that makes all the difference. Sometimes life can just be "life." No excitement. No real adventure. Just living your days. But Jesus said He came to give us life more abundant and I'm convinced that part of this translates into finding those moments and creating those memories that bring forth abundant living. Another thought I've had recently (or actually it's a re-occuring thought) is how life is about maintenance - from relationships, cars, taking showers, health, gidgets and gadgets -- everything in this world has to be maintained and that includes the inner place of my heart and soul before God. So much more I want to write on this topic. But I'd like to do it thoroughly and as of now I have no time.

Hope you're having a great week!

Setting Goals.....


So most people are tired of making new years resolutions. One thing I love to do is set goals and think about the future and what i really want to accomplish in life. The thing is, we only have one life to live and oftentimes if we're not purposeful about living, the days will pass by. That's not all bad. Of course if you have family and great friends and you're spending that time with them, maybe that's purposeful enough.

I guess for me, I enjoy setting something in my sights and then working towards accomplishing it. It can be in little things or in big things. I've been trying to clean out my email inbox and we all know how tedious that can be. I just found an email about setting goals and thought I'd post it.


To give a broad, balanced coverage of all important areas in your life, try to set goals in some of these categories (or in categories of your own, where these are important to you):

Do you want to achieve any artistic goals? If so, what?

Is any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem.

What level do you want to reach in your career?

Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information and skills will you need to achieve other goals?

Do you want to be a husband/wife or a parent? If so, how are you going to be a good husband/wife or parent? How do you want to be seen by a partner or by members of your extended family? If you are a husband/wife/parent, how can you improve the quality of these relationships?

How much do you want to earn by what stage? Are you weighed down by debts? What plan can you create and do that will help you get free of those debts?

Are there any athletic goals you want to achieve? Do you want good health deep into old age? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?

How do you want to enjoy yourself? - you should ensure that some of your life is for you!

Public Service:
Do you want to make the world a better place? If so, how?

Spend some time brainstorming these, and then select one goal in each category that best reflects what you want to do.

Then consider trimming again so that you have a small number of really significant goals on which you can focus.

As you do this, make sure that the goals that you have set are ones that you genuinely want to achieve, not ones that your parents, family, or employers might want (if you have a partner, you probably want to consider what he or she wants, however make sure you also remain true to yourself!)

Thank you Dick


Tonight I found out that an 80 year old friend, Dick Dankworth, died on Christmas Eve. As I sat here with tears in my eyes mainly for his high school sweetheart Carla ( that tender but beautifully strong woman) who spent the past 60 years with one man, I’m reminded again just how short this life really is for all of us. Although we don’t think about it much when we’re young, it’s true nonetheless. And behind the wrinkled faces of men and women we barely notice anymore as they age away, there are stories and lives that have been lived that we could really get a lot from if we'd stop long enough to listen.As I think about Dick’s life, my heart is rich and full and sad and happy all at the same time. Being over 50 years married these days is a novelty. Dick and Carla were a novelty but in the most beautiful terms. Some would take issue with this idea but being married that long (after even the slightest observation of this statement, you’d have to agree) you could definitely call it the adventure of a lifetime! Of course I wouldn’t know but someday I hope to test all my theories out on the fun and obliging fellow whose up for that lifetime adventure with me…..The Dankworths have served God wholeheartedly in adventures of another kind too. Dick was always actively investing his time, his talent, his energy in an organization called Youth With A Mission. I think he was on the board or something. But he actually got out and did things even in these senior years. Dick was always traveling or speaking or giving away something of the things God so richly and deeply gave his family. Last summer he was telling me of a trip he took to Asia where he set up youth sports camps. The man was 78 at the time! Not only that he was a community builder. He was a coach and administrator at the University of Nevada for years and was also really involved with starting one of the first Christian Business Men’s group in the area in the 70’s. I found all this out by listening to his stories. They weren’t elaborate. He never was a bragger. It was more a brief statement about being a part of this or that as it applied to our conversations. I can hardly imagine 60 years of breakfast, lunch and dinner and the ups and downs of raising three boys, of acquiring daughter in laws and grandchildren and life spent with your best friend coming to a complete stop in one day. Of course life goes on but I think all of us know what I’m trying to say here. This part of living really sucks!! And so God I pray for Carla, that her heart would be strengthened now during this time of being separated from her best friend by this thing called death. Yet in the long term I guess that’s what the Bible meant when it said, “Death, where is your sting?” The pain now will not always be there. Jesus conquered death’s final sting and we are the beneficiaries.I remember the first time I met the couple in Reno. I think it’s the only time I’ve ever eaten brunch at the Nugget in Sparks. We went after church and over lunch they shared so openly and richly about the adventures they experienced coming from Southern California and moving to Reno in the 50’s. Oh to take the time and listen to a story. It’s so worth it! They told me of their high school romance and their days living in Southern California, practically in the same neighborhood where I lived when I was in LA. You can read about his life in the Reno-Gazette tribute but even these words don’t really do the heart of the man justice. Eighty years is a lot of living. ( The last time I saw Dick and Carla was two summers ago when I was visiting them in their home outside of Reno. A perpetual source of encouragement, Dick gave me a book to read called “The Book That Changes Nations” by Loren Cunning[...]

2009; it sure looks fine!


So what are some of the things I'm looking forward to doing in 2009??1. READA stack of books I want to read are piling up beside my bed. Hungarians are known for being avid readers and a few of the books that are bedside were Christmas gifts, which I surely appreciate. I hope to make 2009 a year that I read more books than I have in the past. It's difficult to keep on this task and time consuming but such are the best things in life to some degree or another. Someday I am going to write a blog all about maintenance -- how everything good and worthwhile in life must be maintained. I've started this blog months ago, just need to finish it. 2. SEWYes, I have been thinking about this economic crisis and how cool it would be to actually have some skills that you could survive on with less. For example, I'd like to have a garden someday. Seeing that I'm not the best with living plants, this could be a problem but I'm willing to give it a shot. My mom had a small garden growing up and I remember I thought it was really cool. Strawberries and tomatoes mainly, but cool nonetheless, especially since it was grown in Nevada of all places. So back to this whole idea of sewing. If I could be handy with this wouldn't that be cool? You could make clothes from just about anything, maybe even go into fashion design. Seeing that I won't be in Europe forever, maybe I could make my own European style clothing line when I get back to the States. 3. SPRINT TRIS AND HALFSYes, I'm officially addicted to training for these events. I love having a training program to guide me through workouts towards a goal. When there is a goal in sight, I do much better. So, I'm planning to complete atleast one, maybe two Sprint Tri's and atleast one 1/2 marathon. I really enjoyed the Sprint Tri in London and I'd like to do a few more this year. 4. GUITARThanks to and Renea, I've been slowly learning a few things on the instrument. I'd like to get better. I'm not going public with it, I just want to be able to play worship songs and sing my heart out to God in the quiet of my own room. it's pretty cool to think about being able to play better so I'm planning to put new strings on my guitar back home and get back to playing. 5. DANCEI'm excited to continue taking dance lessons in 2009 and having fun with it! To get your groove on sure is fun! I'm looking for a fun dance partner too! 6. ARTI'd like to get more involved in an art community and meet new people who are artistic. i think it's a lot of fun to cultivate and develop this side of life and I want to do it more in 2009. I'm not the best painter, but I'd like to learn sketching. It's all good.7. OUTDOORSI might try snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, rock climbing. I just want to spend more time outdoors.8. MY JOBI am very excited that included in some of the changing fixtures to my job, I will have the opportunity to continue working with youth, focus on missions, and travel to various locations both in the US and abroad. Very very excited about this. 9. MY FAMILYLast, but not least, I'm looking forward to being closer to my family! We will make some new memories in 2009. Being away from family for the last 2.5 years and limited to the occasional skype call has been tough. I'm sure all my neices and nephews are completely different people because a lot changes in just one year. My parents are getting older, a fact that I lament but realize I have an opportunity to make some memories with them as well.10. THE OCEANI have a love relationship with this massive body of water, specifically the Pacific Ocean. I hope to make trips to see this beautiful creation. I thank God all the time for the ocean and ocean views and anything oceanic - it's a gift.[...]

The Passion


Watch. Pray. Stay here. Pain. Agony. God’s love. God’s calling. The tempter’s voice. Deceptions call to turn away. His destiny. An unseen burden carried. The world on his shoulders. Souls saved. My soul saved. Great expense. Another way? No, Your will be done. Evil’s question “Who is your father?” The snake sent to bite. The snake crushed. Death, where is your power? Betrayal for coins. No fear in His eyes. The kiss. Confusion. Fights. One pair of eyes in flaming fire. Healing a bloody ear. Will you have ears to hear? Not by the sword. Love alone conquers. Conquered and beaten. A man of strength and love. No angels rescue. A crown of thorns. No father’s intervention. Pain at the hands of man. Demons taunting. Judas remorse. It’s not a party. Prince’s death begins. Unlawful questions. Unfair treatment. A son’s childhood memories but now a man or more than a man? Questions revealing. “Are you the messiah, son of the living God?” Only one answer. “IAM.”

Roaring crowds. Peter’s betrayal. Confusion and anger in the city. Beatings survived. Demons taunting Judas. Cursed to death over innocent life. Pilates questions. Jesus answers “My kingom is not of this world.” Pilates solution. More beatings. Herod mocks. Pilate’s wants to release Jesus. Barabus gets a new life instead. Jesus’ sustaining love. Road opens. Blood-stained and heavy cross. People taunting. Mary weeping. Disciples remembering. Life blood. Life words. Pondering it all. Will you carry my cross with me? Darkness covers. A hill above the city for all to see. Hands are pierced. Feet nailed too. Cross is lifted. Earth’s gift is His love. Dark clouds gather. Hopeless thief on the cross gets second chance. Lightning flashes. Left alone. Rocks split. Sword pierces. Graves open. Jesus dies.

All is still. Lifeless earth.

Heaven welcomes. Celebration. Good will towards mankind. Wonderful God. Counselor. Prince of Peace. Peace on earth. Mighty God. Resurrection crowns Him. Words remembered. New life imparted. Words carried like a torch. Pain forgotten. Fires lit by the love in His eyes. A people set ablaze. Every generation seeking His heart in a heartless world.

The Passion.

My soul is stirred with a noble theme - the God of all wonders made life possible through His purposeful plan in Jesus. In 2009, I'm asking God to etch this story on my heart in a fresh way. I am needing a fresh sense of passion in my heart towards God. When I stop long enough to ponder His work, the renewal comes. Lord, help me stop and ponder in 2009. I want to know you.

A Perfectly New Year


As the Elf says, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loudly for all to hear

And I say the best way to spend New Years Day is lounging quite lavishly in your bed all day....!!

Happy New Year!

He's Always On Time



Walking the streets of Budapest recently, I began to marvel at the really cool street clocks as pictured here. These clocks are atleast 100 years old and brought an element of modernization when placed on the streets of Budapest at the time. Today, I captured their look because they look like something out of antiquity.

As we stand on the brink of a new year with new possibilities, what will be written in this next chapter? I came across this remarkably simple but encouraging quote and was reminded that there are times and seasons for everything.

Take courage that God holds your life in His hands. And although not everything is clear today for your future, these 70 plus years, if blessed with that long, belong to Him. He is in control of our days. He gives us breath to breathe. So shouldn't we trust Him with all our tomorrows? I think so. Our times are in His hands.

"The time came for the baby to be born." Luke 2:6 NIV

Jon Walker writes:
"We manage, waste, spend and save time. We wish it would come...we wish it would pass..we see it fly and we feel it drag. We watch clocks and carry calendars, creating the illusion that somehow we control it. God controls time.... Do you think He was surprised that 'while they were there, the time came for the baby to be born'? We're surprised by unexpected developments...God's never surprised, even by the most disastrous turn of events."

How would your faith be, if you knew God wasn't surprised by your circumstances and is working towards a holy and healthy conclusion?

George Mueller once waited on the dock for a special chair to be delivered because he had a bad back and needed it for his ocean voyage. When departure time came and it still hadn't arrived his friends offered to buy him one, but Mueller said,
'Either God will provide...or...give me grace to do without.'

Then, just like a Hollywood ending...the chair arrived...right on time!

How would you act, think, and live differently if you were absolutely certain God was at the end of your deadline...even if there were only seconds left?

The Bible says, 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever' (Hebrews 13:8 NLT).

Time doesn't diminish His love, or His power to work within your life.

He was there in the past; He's here now, and He will be there in your future. A thousand years are like a few hours to Him.

He's interested in bringing you into eternity, not just getting you through until the weekend." When you see it like that, it changes the big picture, doesn't it?"

While In Reno today....


ha ha ha. Well, I actually did go inside the store. So, technically, I was in Reno today - a Hungarian shoe store. I'm missing the PEOPLE aka MY FAMILY I love so much in Reno, so I thought I'd take a picture :D

Here's me in Reno. :D Boo hoo hoo.

Merry Christmas ya'll.


Seeing Red in Romania



I thought you might get a kick out of this news.

Bucharest (not Budapest) set a Guinness record, representing for the Holiday season.

I was in Bucharest in October and I'm excited that this nation organized this event. There was so much poverty it was really tough to be there and see it. The darkness of Nicolae Ceauşescu's rule and reign over that country until he was murdered by the people is seen in the high level of poverty surrounding the "Palace of Parlaiment", the 2nd largest building in the world next to the Pentagon. Anyways, what a great way to hand out presents to people and set a record. Kind of fun for them.

Here in Budapest I've seen Santa in a VW and a Hummer. Both were pimp my ride nice. In a time of economic decline that's hitting the auto industry, it seems Santa upgraded his sleigh for a sleeker ride in Budapest.

Rest is the best


All day long I've been lounging around my house resting without much of a care in the world. I made an incredible thing of Texas chili and can't stop chomping on it. I pulled out some books I have been wanting to finish, one of which is called "The Scottish Chiefs" by Jane Porter. Although it's a novel, it has been said that she was a true historian of this time period in Scottish history and that this book is one of the more accurate. One biography on her life notes that for this book "She took the cold facts of history and warmed them with the flame of her genius to a warm, throbbing story describing the intimate lives of her characters."

The primary character in the book is Sir William Wallace. Books have been written on his life and many tales have been passed down about him as well. Of course there's the famous "Braveheart" movie (which has some inaccuracies) that live on to tell the story of a noble Scot who rescued Scotland from the hands of England. I'm enjoying the read and of course all of the wonderful honor and nobility that these men portrayed in rescuing women, defending a country and living out great adventures for a nation that had been pillaged and raped of its destiny. Something in my soul cries out to live in more honorable times or atleast among honorable men and women that made up these hard times in the late 1200's. Believe me. I'm not saying I'd like to go back to those rough times. I much prefer the comfort of internet access in my living room and grocery stores down the street but hopefully you get the picture that it's nobility I'm after, a sense of honor and duty when living life.

Call me idealistic but I do believe in the nobility and honor of men and women. Many things have been lost along the way and robbed if you will of our identity and our capacity to live this way. That doesn't mean it isn't true and real and worth cultivating. I'm on a bit of a soap box for this maybe because I'm all caught up in the moment reading this delicious book but honestly I'm quite tired of the stuff that Desperate Housewives and Sex in the City is made of. Where's the fun in that? Such base living. There's got to be more.

And these are the thoughts on a restful day....Resting and reading is the best.

Well, here's to living and living well, laughing often and loving much.

Sifting through stuff and other random thoughts


As I look ahead to some exciting changes for 2009, I sit here in Budapest looking at all the "things" I've collected that will no doubt be a part of the New Year clean out sweep for me. I'm excited to give away a lot of things that I really hold no attachment to anyways and downsize so that perhaps everything I own can fit into three suitcases when I travel back to the US in February. Is it possible? Well, I tell myself I've become a minimalist but we'll have to see how this goes. I'm hopeful though. Truly hopeful.

I'm learning something about myself. I like flexibility in life. I like being open to new things. Although I hold many traditional values, I'm not a traditionalist. I enjoy the surprise of the unknown, on most good days.

When it comes to this workout plan, I like being able to mix up the workouts and don't get too caught up if I'm not able to get everything done for the day that's on my workout list. I can always scratch it for that day and add it to another day. I'm talking about a training plan which includes 30 minute bike rides here and there and 4 and 5 mile runs. I'm trying to be ready for a 1/2 marathon in March and a Sprint Tri in April.

This holiday season is usually a bit reflective for me. I enjoy looking back over the past year and thinking about things. I enjoy praying and looking to God for his encouragement about the future and I enjoy living in the moment, realizing this is life. And I am fully living it and enjoying it!

Government bailouts the same as socialism?


I haven't put an incredible amount of thought into this, but I'd like to consider how government bailouts on a federal level are basically another term for socialism. In a free market society where things either sink or swim on their own, you have to decide the levels of supply and demand and provide goods and services that people are willing to either save up their money to purchase at a later time, or spend their money in that moment to buy. The point is, people's wants and needs in a relatively afforded society give them the ability to manage their money and be responsible for what they want to purchase or not purchase and what they can pay for. They're not going to get in over their heads.

Unfortunately, corporate America has begun a spiraling process since the 1970's of thinking bigger, spending bigger, and producing bigger than what can really be afforded. Some things in history are interesting and understandable perhaps. Take for instance the bailouts of our national railway in the 70's. Airlines were just beginning to really take off and business nearly collapsed for supply and demand. However, national railways are somewhat of a connecting point for the nation and so the government chose to bail out the railway But when you get to the place where you're bailing out the car industry just to save jobs when there isn't a demand for cars, what's happening? This is beginning to look a lot like socialism. Not sure I like it or agree.




Lara (in the middle) recently moved back to the United States from Lithuania. She's the first to touch down. Lara and I have been friends for years and were once roommates in Los Angeles. She was living and working in Lithuania for a Christian church and ministry there and she finished her time last week.

Anna (on the left) is leaving tomorrow morning and I'm sure going to miss her. We were also roommates here in Hungary and we've had some incredible memories. It's so awesome to have someone who can share with you the memories you've had in a foreign land. I will miss her tomorrow. I will miss the laughter, the tears, the hilarious. She leaves at 3 am in the morning and my last act of friendship this side of the continent is to help her get out the door and to the airport with all her crap. Someday that will be me and I hope someone has mercy on me and helps me get my stuff to the airport too. Oh yeah, I am a minimalist and have become even better at this over the years. (Yeah, who am I kidding!)

I just have to say something about friendship. There's nothing like genuine, authentic friends who you can live with and encourage and have fun together and also follow Christ together!

Take care.

beautiful Budapest


As things are winding down on campus and in the high schools for Christmas break, I've had a little time to do some things this past week. I've really enjoyed spending time with my friend Anna who is staying with me for her last week in Budapest. I'm so glad we became friends and were roommates for six months. She wanted to do a few things before moving back to Texas on Tuesday. One of my absolute favorite nights was earlier in the week when we went to the Christmas market downtown, got a glass of hot wine, which is a traditional Christmas wine with cinnamon and cloves, and then walked down by the Danube River. We took this picture while sitting by the Chain Bridge. She will be one person who will always understand the best and worst of Budapest and we'll be able to understand this experience, the people, the culture, the language when we move on from this place.

Anyways, this is the most famous bridge in Budapest. We've had some incredible times of laughter and nostalgia while walking the city. I will always think that Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Garlic dip addictions


I can't explain to you the absolute and complete transformation that I've had in my attitude towards garlic. I am a mincing queen really. It doesn't matter what time of the day, I will eat almost any vegetable with this incredible garlic concoction that my friend Anna introduced me to. I absolutely LOVE it and I'm absolutely addicted.

Try it. See if you like it. Here's what you do.

Get a bowl and mince or chop into little pieces 3 cloves of garlic or more if you'd like.

Add olive oil - lots of it

Put 3 or 4 shakes of salt and 3 or 4 shakes of pepper

Wash some fresh broccoli or cauliflower or zucchini (or almost any veggie for that matter...It's great with tomatoes too.)

Happy dipping!! Make sure you get the chunks of garlic in each bite for the full affect.

All I have to say is that this is probably not the best way to get a boyfriend, but man is it ever delish!! :D

December's cold in Budapest


It's been really cold in Budapest the last few days. Every time I get out and run or bike I'm absolutely and ridiculously freezing. I don't like the cold weather at all and I'm trying to find a face mask that I can wear to keep my cheeks from freezing off. It's actually really funny but I want to stay on track with training and if this cold weather continues like this, I don't see how I can do it without a face mask.

is it really December?


I keep pinching myself when I realize it's December 5th. The colder weather is an indication for sure but I can hardly believe it. My favorite part about Budapest at Christmas are the lights that line Andrassy utca and the quaint, old Christmas market downtown. I also need to make my way over to the Danube and see the lights of the city that way because it's always beautiful around this time. I will have to take some pictures and post them very soon. Anna is coming to stay with me for her last week in Budapest and we are going to try and do all her favorite things before she moves back to the motherland.

Other than that, I'd rather be spending my nights and weekends with family.

Finding strength in His shadow


"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1

"If you say, 'the Lord is my refuge' and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.......Because they love me,' says the Lord, 'I will protect them for they acknowledge my name." Psalm 91: 9,14

You can say He is your refuge but you must make Him your dwelling.

What does that look like? How do you do that?

Dwelling - Not only is a dwelling the place you live or dwell, but when you dwell upon something - you think, speak, write at lenght about it. You linger in your thoughts on whatever it is you're dwelling upon.

What are you dwelling on these days?

My mind needs renewal and I find strength in His dwelling place.

A Noble Man


In an effort to understand the opposite sex and to continue trusting God for a noble man, I came across this article that really encouraged me. All of us have our stories and I have mine too. In the end, I'm determined that the noble man exists and will pursue. It's only right and biblical. Unfortunately today I don't think men or women are being schooled in Biblical truths of pursuit. Instead most of what I see going on in the church is either entirely non-existent or looks like a dumbed down version of Sex in the City. What's happening? Well, call me naive or blindly hopeful, but I am trusting God to instill within the men of this generation a desire for nobility, to be men of intention, to stand out from the crowd and pursue. The Noble Man by Carolyn McCulley, Author & Contributing WriterOnce when I was praying about a man I liked, the Lordbrought to mind the Scripture address of Isaiah 32:8. Ilooked it up eagerly, and read: "But the noble man makesnoble plans, and by noble deeds he stands" (NIV). I had noidea how to apply this Scripture to my prayers, so I waitedand watched. Over the course of time, I came to see thatthis man was not being purposeful in our friendship, thatnoble plans were not being made and the deeds I observedwere careless, not intentional. However, as I later studiedthis passage, I saw several ways to evaluate whether a manwould be commended by the Lord as a noble man. This verseconcludes a passage about the kingdom of righteousness thatreads:"See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers willrule with justice. Each man will be like a shelter from thewind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water inthe desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, andthe ears of those who hear will listen. The mind of the rashwill know and understand, and the stammering tongue will befluent and clear. No longer will the fool be called noblenor the scoundrel be highly respected. For the fool speaksfolly, his mind is busy with evil: He practices ungodlinessand spreads error concerning the LORD; the hungry he leavesempty and from the thirsty he withholds water. Thescoundrel's methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes todestroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needyis just. But the noble man makes noble plans, and by nobledeeds he stands." (Isaiah 32:1-8 NIV)I realize this is a prophetic passage about the Messiah, andnot anyone's husband. But because here in Scripture we findthe characteristics of a noble, godly man contrasted withthose of a scoundrel, this is a useful passage for women tostudy to understand what God calls godly.A noble man (The scoundrel)Is a shelter from the wind (Speaks folly)Is a refuge from the storm (Mind is busy with evil)Is streams of water in the desert (Practices ungodliness)The shadow of a great rock (Spreads error concerning the Lord)in a thirsty land (Makes up evil schemes)Makes noble plans (Does nothing for the hungry, thirsty)Does noble deedsA noble man is a hiding place from the rough elements oflife, a man who offers protection and shelter. He does notleave you exposed - either to ridicule or to harm. He isrefreshment in a dry place, bringing much encouragement. Heflows with streams of living water because he is a man ofthe Word. He is shade in weariness - reflecting the strengthof the Rock, Christ. When a man is making noble plans towardyou, he [...]