About Me

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About me. . . I am a California native with strong European background and upbringing. I am a Christian who believes in being active in my faith. I have been involved with missions since 2003 and hope do continue doing this for the rest of my life. If you're reading this blog hopefully you know me or know of me and have taken an interest in following me and the work of God throughout Europe. Keep reading and checking in for updates! If you would like to receive my newsletter personally please email me! aansofie.guzik@gmail.com

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just Sit

So I haven't blogged in two weeks because I have been on the road! I'm writing now from the Missions Conference in Austria and I just thought I'd post quickly before bed!
This is my 6th time at this conference in the last 8 years and every time God is just here! I don't realize how much I need this until I'm actually here. Of course I get fed and worship and fellowship at home in Cork, but I'm also working. I'm making sure that the tea and coffee it set out, that the church is clean, that Eoin is ok, that the tithe gets counted and a dozen other things. But here, here I have no responsibility but to be a the feet of Jesus. And it just hit me tonight at the evening session.
I just felt God just saying, "sit, sit at my feet"; so I sat during worship. Then He said, "no, sit at my feet" and I just knelt on the floor as tears of relief streamed down my cheeks.
Don't get me wrong, I love what I do and I'm not too busy, but it's just rare to get a chance to truly set aside all cares and duties and just sit.
So please as you read this this week, just pray for me. Pray that God would speak to me and just take me under His wing.
There is wifi here so I'll try to post again if I can!

And thank you to all those who have been praying for my feet! I was really worried for this trip, with lots of walking and traveling but they are doing great! I still have to be careful and not overdo it but I was expecting to be in pain and they are only sore instead of that stabbing pain! Praise God!

Monday, August 1, 2011

3 Week Tour!

Hi Everyone! I'm writing this as I'm packing for my 3 week European trip! I leave tomorrow for Sweden where I will be first in Stockholm for a conference and then go to Gothenburg to visit family. There are two awesome things about this trip, first the Neglia's are coming!, and second my parents will be there! I'm so happy to get to spend some quality time with both!
Then from Sweden I will go to Germany, to Siegen to meet up with the group that is driving to Austria for the Calvary Missions Conference! I 'll be in Austria for a week then back to Siegen for 4 days to hang out with friends! Then back to ireland!
This will be an amazing trip to say the least! I'm so looking forward to it!

Some prayer request while I'm traveling!:
Safety and Sanity!
Money for extra expenses
Blesses family and friend time
and most of all that I would return to Ireland refreshed and blessed by God!

Thank you! and I'll be sure to take lots of pictures!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Job? What Job?

So I mentioned in my "I'm back" post that I had got and job and then subusquiently quit that job. Let me explain,

Since I am a EU citizin I can live and work in Europe visa free! What a wonderful blessing and opportunity. Being a "making ends meet" missionary the idead of finding a job had a alsways been on my mind. I would go around and apply every few months. I working in a friends waffle shop for a few months in spring 2010 until they had to close down. The Economy.

Then I'd try and find another job but it was hard as I would be gone for a month in the summer and for a month over Christmas. No one hired me. After I came back from Cali I asked around at a few shops but didn't hand in any CVs (resumes). Then I looked at my responsiblilities for church, the Neglias and counseling; and decided that a job mght not be practical. I prayed and asked God to provide just through support and gave up the job search. This was March.

Not two days (!) later did I
get a call from a friends mother. She was opening a cafe and wanted me to come work. I had actually spoken to her way back in September of 2010 when I was still searching for a job, I told her when you open, I'd love to come work for you. Well I hadn't heard from her so I definitely was not expecting a call 6 months later!
I felt a bit obligated but also the idea of working in a cafe a few days a week didn't sound too bad!
So I started in mid March and it was fun at first.

She had never worked in a cafe before let alone started one so I was hired for my expertise and advice. The place need a lot of work, not major things but just working out a good flow of productivity, honing our menu and recipes, organizing the stock etc. I told myself I couldn't get too involved. I was currently in the 4 bible study, sunday school lesson writing, Eoin tutoring, and various church responsibilities stage of my life and couldn't take on setting up a cafe. But I still cared a lot. Coffee is one of the things I'm passionate about and especially in cafe where customers and money are involved I want to present the best possible product, cleanest environment, and all around good atmosphere.
So basically I couldn't let things just go. The problem was that all my my suggestions were dismissed or ignored. I could go on and on but it was just very frustrating to be hired to make a difference and then be unable to do so.

It was getting so stressful that it was affecting my attitude and my body. I started eating a lot of comfort food and was sore and achy. I even twice in the morning would be so stressed out getting ready for work that I actually threw up my breakfast. (those who know me know that I'm not that kind of person, this was serious) My attitude was very bad too. This is when I got in to arguments with my housemates, with whom I had live a year and a half tiff free!

Well lets wrap this up, I talked with the boss lady and was basically attacked for my ideas and grievances. I decided then that I was going to quit. She was going on holiday though for two weeks and would need her employees to work more more shifts, or would have to be closed half the day. My mother often tells me I'm loyal to a fault, so true to nature I told her I would work until she came back. Those two weeks were great! I organized, worked, cleaned without opposition. She came back and I was done and that was that.

What made this whole thing just awkward is that she is the mother of a friend and fellow Christian. I hate, even painting a possible negative picture of her because she is a lovely lady, I love chatting with her, she is terribly interesting. But that doesn't not make her a good business woman. And that was the disconnect I had to make in my head. That cafe closed down just a few weeks after I left and she moved to Scotland.

A strange experience to be sure. I think I shall not work for friends anymore but shall stick to established places of business.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heal My Heels!

So in my list of events from the last months I failed to mention excruiating foot pain! How could I forget!?

In May I started noticing my feet were really sore in the morning. Then after walking around town for a day it started to feel like I was walking with a thick nail in each heel. Not so fun. I asked our prayer meeting group to pray for it and the next day the pain wasreduced! By the end of the day it was gone! Praise God! noticeable
Two days later the pain returned. I did a little WebMD research and though I have not seen a doctor I am pretty sure I have Plantar Fasciitis.
Planta- what-now!

Plantar fasciitis (say "PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus") is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.

So I sent out a prayer request and started to take care of my feet.
Unfortunately that meant not walking, and i live in a city with no car, I walk everywhere! So I think I sat in my room for about 2 days. My feet felt better but again, after a just 30 min of walking there was the Pain again.

So I went to the drug store and took a look at shoe inserts. There was one with my name on it! It also had a 30 euro price tag! Well I got them and a foot massager. And tried to get lifts/rides when ever I could.

Thankfully with prayers and good care it's manageable. I also learned that it doesn't last forever. My aunt had it and now she it totally fine. So now my feet are managed by these rules (open to debate by other suggestions but this is what works for me!):

No flat shoes, at least a one inch heel to take the pressure off my heel
No going barefoot, not even at home if I can help it
Minimize walking, not more than 30 min at a time

Massage feet every night

Soak feet a few nights a week

Take ibuprofen daily

And Prayer!

So that is what I'm dealing with now! I'd greatly appreciate your prayers! Those two shoes pictured above are the only shoes I can really wear. And the tan ones gave me blisters on my toes (that is why my feet look so gross, sorry!)
I know it sounds silly but a girl can't wear one pair of shoes with every outfit! And the heels are wearing down cause I wear them every day! So pray for heeling (!) and pray I can find suitable shoes.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Back at Last!

I'm back! Forgive me readers! I can truly say that March, April, May and June have been the busiest months I've ever had in Ireland. To be completely honest there we some weeks I didn't know how I was going to do it all. I would even go days with out wearing any earrings! And for those that know me, that is a big deal! But now in July I can relax a bit more, catch up on some things and try and enjoy the Irish summer (which is 50/50 split between rain and sunshine)!

So I know I left this blog without finishing retelling my california adventures, but I'm going to skip a head to the now. I may cheat and do some post-dated entires just to finish my story! But to catch you all up here is a breakdown of my last 4 months!
  • Getting a job at a cafe
  • My dad coming to visit
  • Counseling a women in church
  • Teaching a single women's bible study
  • Easter!
  • An Irish Wedding!
  • Rachel and Eoin go to California for 3 weeks
  • Quitting my job at the cafe
  • Redecorating my living room
  • Throwing Rachel a western birthday party
  • Tiffs with roommates
  • New Sunday School curriculum
  • Throwing a friends a going away party
  • New washer and stove
  • Bathing in the Irish sea!
  • Going to Berlin for 4 days
  • Eoin writing his first letters!
  • And finally blogging again!
Whew! See, I have been busy! And all this with my usual bookkeeping, cleaning, sunday school, supply shopping, babysitting, sleeping, eating and living!

So thank you for being gracious. I've to hop in the shower now cause I'm going to work with Eoin in a bit! See you soon!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Getting things done

How did you not manage to blog at all last week?!?
How you ask? Well let's take a break from our California trip and get a news flash update!

Things have been quite busy! First up, I have a part time job! Oh the irony! Back in November, a mother of a friend of mine was in the process of opening up a cafe. She was planning to open in December and wanted me to work part time. As I was eager for a job then I agreed but said I would be gone for a month over the holidays. When I came back and was still thinking of working, she hadn't opened yet! She kept getting delays of every kind so I just gave up on it. Which suited my fine since I was becoming so busy. I decided to shelf the job search and just focus on ministry. God had blessed me with some individual supporters on my trip to California and I would be okay for money. Then I got the call, the cafe was opening. What timing! I tired to think of a way out but I had promised, she truly needed me, and I honestly missed making cappuccinos. So I started last week! It is a lot of fun but I am busier than ever now.

To top it off I also got sick last week (and still am at the moment). What started as the stomach flu has progressed into a good ol' fashioned cold. I really don't like being sick! It's hasn't been fun since I was a kid and being sick actually got you out of responsibilities and you had someone to wait on you hand and foot. Needless to say I miss my mom!

And thirdly my dad comes this Wednesday! I am so excited to spend time with him and show him the country, city, and people that I love so dearly. We re going to do a trip driving around the Ring of Kerry. A scenic trip around one of the western peninsulas. It should be amazing!

And there is a lot going on in the church too! We hare having a Seder on Wednesday night. It's a little early I know, but we are going through Deuteronomy and it fits in with the text this week so we're doing it now! We also have a men's breakfast, women's tea party and 3 day seminar in the next week.

So please pray for me! There is a lot to do, little time to do it, lots of distractions (good and bad) so please pray that I get everything done! It's my desire to spend and be spend for the Lord but I like to live to see 25! That's a little over dramatic but I'm sick so I'm a little whiny these days.

That is what's going on! I hope you are having a good, less busy week!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

California # 4 - Missions Conference

So once again I'm afraid I have no pictures! I really should have thought this out, the whole Photo Reflection thing. But in any case let's get on with my trip to California before anymore time goes by!

After the Missions day at Santa Barbara, I headed south to Murrieta California for the Calvary Chapel Missions Conference. This year I particularly looking forward to it as I would be attending it as a full guest and not just for a day as in past years. Plus my dear friend Annie Johnson was coming down from Minnesota to the conference!

Now Annie and I met in Germany, oh so many years ago. I can't remember exactly when but it must have been in 2005-06 because I wasn't living in Siegen anymore. Right away, we knew (I did at least) that we were kindred spirits but we never seemed to have enough time to become great friends. With scattered and quick opportunities throughout the years we have become great friends. We would find ourselves in a same place for a day or two and make a point to hang out. She is wonderful! So I was really glad to get to spend a whole week with her at the conference.

The conference runs from Monday to Thursday with loads of speakers and workshops. It was such a blessed time. Not only to hear great teaching, but to see people who I hadn't seen in years! I kept bumping into people! The most amazing was problem my roommate from my time in Mallorca Spain, who now lives in Arizona, but came to the conference! Or wait, a girl from my first semester in Germany who now lives in Texas was there! Crazy!
Each day was filled with amazing meals, meeting new people, seeing old friends, making new connections, inspiring and enlightening messages, amazing weather, and the presence of God.

One things sticks out the most to me that is from one meal, either a breakfast or a lunch, Annie and I sat at a table with 6 girls all under 11. I have a real heart for kids growing up in ministry as I was a pastor's kid from the womb! I asked them what they liked about being a missionary kid and this is what they said:
Katie (10) - Helping people
Trinity (8) - Helping poor kids
Rachel (7) - She likes Sunday School and Church time
Lindsey (11) - Building houses for poor people
Savannah (10) - Helping others and telling people about the Gospel

I about cried! It was so encouraging to see these young girls loving the fact that they get to share in the work of God where their parents serve.

Another missionary daughter, shared with me her song journal where she wrote a chorus for a Psalm. She hadn't shown it to anyone yet! It was the sweetest song I have ever heard! Her heart of praise to God at 10 years old!

The whole week was like this, just wonderful stories and testimonies.
I must confess I did skip a few sessions to relax or nap! But it's supposed to be a relaxing time!

Then I dropped Annie off to catch a train in Oceanside and drove further south to San Diego to meet up with my dear friend. But that will wait for next time and I promise I have pictures of that!