Icelandic Cold

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As the days get somewhat colder here in Nashville I’m reminded of our recent trip to Iceland. By somewhat I mean 40 degrees here which isn’t much compared to Reykjavik’s “feels like 15 degrees” weather. But still, the cold reminds me of time spent there. Shivering to the bone as I would walk to meet a friend at a coffeehouse. You have to dress in layers though because as soon as you walk into any shop or home it’s about 80 degrees or warmer with the fireplaces going and sipping on heitt sukkulaði (hot chocolate).

This was especially true on this last trip we took at the end of October. It was during Iceland Airwaves–we didn’t get tickets, but we planned on attending many off-venue shows. Which meant we’d walk to a venue a few blocks away, wait to get in, freeze, then be in the venue pressed up to someone you don’t know as your craning your head around to see the artist and be burning up in your winter parka. It’s a blast, really!

I’ve yet to post about this adventure, it was so beautiful to be back where Tyler and I met. Back in the crisp air, remembering the first days we felt sparks, wondering if the other was thinking the same. Not to mention reuniting with old friends we hadn’t seen in a year or so. God spoke so clearly and favorably over us and we came home feeling completely refreshed.

Please enjoy some of the photos I took while listening to  Ólafur Arnalds , an Icelandic artist I saw three times. Yeah, I kinda like him…Image

The Reykjavik Harbour.

Image2012-11-05 23.46.512012-10-31 07.44.28Spending time with good friends.
2012-10-31 07.44.472012-11-03 10.45.222012-11-01 14.08.16Olafur performing at The Rex

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This year has been one for the books. Looking forward to 2013. Hope you had a merry christmas and have a happy new year!!

Bless,

Felicia Marie

Rhythm

“There is a rhythm, a movement back and forth in the way He created the world and its systems. The ocean swells and undulates, we inhale and exhale. An infant requires rhythm of attention (stimulation) and rest. Our spiritual lives are much the same. We as individuals and communities must move in rhythms of inward experience (winter, fall) to outward expression (spring, summer)——from intimacy to changing the world around us, or from hidden to known. Lately the change undergoing Grace Center and church bodies elsewhere seems to be this transition from inward focus on healing & intimacy to outward —- outreach & empowerment. In order to sustain this move we must keep the healing while moving. I feel God speaking that the transition we (Felicia & I) are undergoing is of the same kind.” -Tyler wrote this just before we left for Iceland and it left such and impression and I’ve been pondering over it throughout this trip to Iceland. I think that’s what Papa showed us both through refreshment, rest and releasing—-that it’s a new season of “exhaling” for us. Beautiful.

Married in Iceland

 

Today is our first full day in Iceland. Kicked off with breakfast by the hubs next to our kitchen view of the sea & mountains. It’s breathtaking here and it’s funny how much it feels like home. Last night just having dinner with friends felt so normal, like we’d only been gone for a short while. Enjoying this time very much!

Goodbye Iceland, Hello Kenya!

The first YWAM base in 25 years!

The first YWAM base in 25 years!

WOW! I can’t believe 3 months ago I was getting on a plane to come here to Iceland, last night we had to say our goodbyes to our dts leaders: Carl & Mayke. They are off to Holland to have a beautiful baby!! Some days it seems like these 3 months flew by and other days it seems as though we’ve spent a year or more together. All these wonderful people have been here with me through all the growing and stretching that God’s been doing in my heart–we’ve all cried, laughed and shared sweet moments with the Lord together. It’s been quite the roller-coaster, and now we’re hoping on for another ride–this time in Kenya.

On Thursday we held a benefit concert at the Cafe here, to raise support for our team going to Kenya. It was truly a beautiful night. The amazing people of Mukkaló agreed to give their time to play for the concert as well as our very own Nicholaus Ross & Michelle McEver! After Mukkaló’s  set a few Kenyan ladies that were attending sang some worship songs in Swahili! Everyone started dancing, there were tambourines going and so much joy! It was really freeing. It made me so excited to have many more moments of worship like this in Kenya!

So here’s the wonderful team that I am going with:

Nicholaus Ross, Tyler Dougherty, Benjamin Rave, Þorgils Gunnarsson, Josh Brawdy, Michelle McEver, Me, Kathrin Laurisch, & Ariel Zadai

We fly out in about 16 hours, eeek! We will land in Nairobi and travel to the Athi River YWAM base and stay there for a week. From there we will be working with orphanages, in the slums, widows and their families that have suffered through AIDS and also with two organizations that are in Kenya;  Tears Children and Samband Islenskra Kristniboðsfelaga (S.I.K.). Most of our time will be spent in Nairobi & in Kisumu. Ah so exciting!

During our preparation for this trip we prayed and spent time writing down what we as individuals and as a team want to be about. This is the vision we have:

A family of people clothed in Christ

simply choosing in joy to love,

to listen and laugh

will from fullness pour out hope,

in childlike grace and fearlessness,

led hand in hand by the Father of light,

we will see great wonders and bear sweet fruit,

constantly keeping our eyes on Christ.

As we see ourselves as channels of God’s grace, a workmanship created to do works that are prepared for us in Christ, we see his glory being released through all of who we are. Through our senses, our personalities, our body parts, the way we communicate or behave, the way we touch and the way we laugh, the way we treat each other and those we meet; through us being one body we see his kingdom being released.–We choose to pour out ourselves in obedience, in ministries we partner with or that we initiate, as we follow Jesus.–In all that we do we depend on the presence of God, being lead by the Holy Spirit and simply being obedient to the voice of God, we want to move from a place of intimacy with Papa.

Oh its going to be such a wonderfully sweet adventure with the Lord!

“What I ask during this time is that you just pray, and not only for us as a team, but for the people of Kenya that we will meet; the families that have been through death; the children who do not have a home; the fatherless and motherless; pray for them and hold them in your hearts…they need us.” –Ariel

Financial Update: God’s been good– we raised close to $700 during our benefit concert and money has been coming in for my costs as well. I am still in need of close to $3500–but no number is too big for God!

Thank you all for your prayers and blessings–especially those of you back home–you’ve been so supportive! I will update as soon as I can when we get into Kenya!

A Magical New Years.

Wow! Looking back through this year–its been such an amazing journey.  The Lord has just lavished me with his love and kindness. It’s just been quite the year of growth to sum it up.
Had someone told me this time last year that I would be spending New Years in Iceland I would have said they were crazy! But it was so magical! We started off the night attending a insanely huge bonfire to signify the burning of the old to start off the new year:

Then we headed to the wonderful Eric St. Clair’s house for his birthday party/New Years party. The fireworks started about 2 days ago…but really started going off around 9pm here. It looked like a grand finale in the sky at all times, I’ve never seen anything like it before! SO Magical!

I know this New Year ahead is full of amazing adventures starting with KENYA (we leave in 4 days!!).

I hope you all had a beautiful New Years!

Gleðileg Jól!

This week has been fabulous, full with unexpected surprises and “pure goodness.”
The Christmas spirit overtook us all when our outreach team went caroling to raise money for our upcoming Kenya trip. Þorgils (one of our team members who is from Iceland) told us that people were going to think we were crazy because no one Christmas caroled in Iceland. We soon found out that the response was just the opposite, we brought smiles to the houses we visited and we were shown such favor—we raised close to $100 and we only went to a few houses! After a couple houses it was late and everyone was freezing but we decided to stop at one more house. When we knocked on the door the lady who answered the intercom said we could sing to her inside. She had us each put our faces to the camera that was attached to the intercom and then allowed us inside. We sang to her in her kitchen and then she was so kind to offer us coffee or hot coco. We were all a little unsure because we weren’t really prepared to be in someone’s home and she was so persistent there wasn’t really an option to say no. So we all made ourselves comfortable in her living room. Come to find out she was just recently out of the hospital & she is trying to get sober. She had been sober for 3 days, but that night she had a drink just before we had arrived. She let us pray for her and her sister-in-law (who was there as well). It was so powerful, just speaking worth, life and destiny into this woman’s life. It was so beautiful to see the hope in her eyes after we left. Praise the Lord for divine appointments, right?

Thursday was a beautiful site (or scary depends on where you’re standing). Christmas eve, eve. The main street in Iceland (Laugavegur) is closed to traffic and opens up for shopping! People flooded the street for their last minute shopping. There were Red Cross stands at every corner handing out free hot chocolate and to top it off it started snowing! Now normally I’m not the biggest fan of snow (except for a pretty view out a window where I’m sitting all cozy with hot coco) but it was pretty magical. I spent some lovely time with Miss Michelle McEverrr eating yummy sushi—AND at the sushi bar they gave us some delicious chocolate desert sushi! After sushi dinner I went back to the cafe to find a package from my momma had arrived (!!) filled with all kinds of goodies! Later Ariel and I ventured back out into the shopping craziness—she bought me the most incredible Icelandic sweater ever….and then we all watched Pride & Prejudice together :)

Christmas eve we all served food at the Salvation Army—it was so amazing. Just to see peoples faces light up, especially getting to sit a listen to a few stories. We also participated in the Icelandic tradition of dancing around the Christmas tree–ahhh so fun.


Christmas morning Tyler and I cooked—-we made pancakes, bacon, frittata, oh there were strawberries (!!!), bananas, and mandarins—hot coco, chocolate syrup & banana muffins—eating like kings. MmMmmm. We exchanged gifts with our Secret Santa’s and then we were all surprised to hear that there was a bag full of presents sitting at the doorstep. The beautiful Hannah Lisa had dropped off gifts for each one of us—such a wonderful surprise! The day went as most Christmas days do, full of movies, games and sleeeep. At dinner time we got all fancied up, put on our Sunday’s best and had a fiesta dinner! We ended the night all holding candles and reading the real Christmas story, the birth of Jesus.

Cheers to the best Christmas I could’ve imagined not being at home with family…

Hope you found yourself being taken away by the beauty of Christmas as much as I was :)