Wicked Weekend!

Hope you had a blessed Monday!  Ready for Tuesday? :)  I honestly feel like everyday is Sunday! haha, and I'm only 23 years young. What will I do with myself? The other day I met up with my close friend Emily to celebrate her belated birthday at a Thai restaurant. (Oh! She's from Argentina too)

She invited me to go to see the musical WICKED with her and some of her friends on the 27th!

I can't believe how low the price is!  This musical typically costs more than a whopping $150, but since we're going as a group, it will only come out to $30! Whoowhooo!!! I'm so glad I waited 5 years to see it! :D  Have you seen WICKED?!

As you may already know, Greg's parents (Sharon & Russell) visited us over the weekend.  They stayed at the hotel next to my school actually, which happens to be 3 minutes away from Greg's apartment.

On Saturday afternoon, we got together to eat lunch at Cafe Hidalgo in Downtown Fullerton.  It's a rather healthy cafe (as opposed to where Russell takes us all the time) that boasts a variety of dishes that include amazing steak!  Their steak is fabulous, and they even serve it in salad form.

Of course, Russell is the pickiest eater you could ever meet, and as you can imagine this was a very gut-wrenching moment for him haha!  He said he'd "get Greg back for this."

Oddly enough, I felt like I was eating the whole weekend, and I believe it was mostly because we had such heavy meals throughout the day.  As you probably already know,  I have some stomach issues.  The meat and the heavy food definitely gave me a case of I-hope-I-can-go-sometime-soon. I know, TMI again! :P  Nonetheless, I think this is a blessing in disguise because it definitely motivates me to have more balance in my diet with less meat and more veggies.

Sharon and Russell are such godly, sweet, and fun people.  They wanted to treat us out to celebrate our recent engagement.

We took them to see the ocean (they're from Kansas, you see) and after walking around the pier for a bit, we went next door to Duke's Restaurant.  Over the course of our meal we talked about everything, from our future living situation, to wedding plans, to kids.

And then....as if we weren't full enough, the very kind waiter brought out a celebratory Macadamia Nut Ice Cream Pie!! 'Twas very decadent and delicious.

And Russell thought he was avoiding the camera...Gotcha!

Then on Sunday we got to have service at church together--Momma Sharon got to see her baby give a message and was so very proud of him!  However, it wasn't just because she's his mother; actually, everyone was so convicted and blessed by the message God had in store for all of us.

He really spoke through Greg as usual, but this time there was something different about it.  :D  He basically spoke about one of God's descriptive names, which was a portrayal of God's peace.  In Hebrew it would translate to Yahweh Shalom.  And boy, were many hurting people comforted by God's peace that day!  He's faithful indeed...  :D

Afterward, we went to...you guessed it! The Mexican place in Laguna Beach!! Yeap, we got to see the beach again and enjoyed the scenery.  Too bad we're always 'not' dressed for the beach on Sundays haha.

Now they're gone and I miss them oh so much!  But, I'm sure we'll see them before we know it! :D

___________________

*sigh* I feel like I drop these bombshells on you guys way too often!  I mean the fact that I go all serious on you all of a sudden.  I mean well, I promise! :)

I just wanted to share a little something that happened tonight.  It was truly an unexpected time of blessing, sorrow, and connecting with a complete stranger.

*Please note that I don't share these things to boast about myself in any manner whatsoever, but rather, I like to share it because these are things that are dear to my heart.  Perhaps you share the same burdens.*

This evening, I was at the Costco parking lot where I met a sweet sweet girl named Lauren.  She was a young 20 year old who had caught my attention for some reason.

I felt like something was wrong, and that God wanted to really give her peace tonight--only to find out that she was desperately in need of emotional and physical comfort at the moment.  As I got her attention asking her if she was okay, I noticed tears welling up in her eyes.  Before I knew it, those tears rolled down her cheeks...Now you may wonder, what's going on here?

Basically, to put it short, she was in the brink of becoming homeless tonight! It was either make-it-or-break-it for her.  The owner of the motel she was staying at was kicking her out if she didn't have the amount by tonight.

I felt so much compassion for this young lady that I knew God wanted me to give her money and pray for her.  Now, I'm not one to give money to strangers anymore, as we all know what many folks do with that money.  I would have much preferred to buy Lauren food, but she was in need of money for the motel, and something told me she was being downright honest.  I really don't believe she was panhandling for the wrong reasons.

After a long talk and getting to know each other, I believe her life was truly changed tonight!! Praise God!  I believe she gained hope for some kind of miracle, and not only that, she started to walk the narrow road of living by God's wonderful plan..the best plan that there can be...She began to know that she can have a relationship with Him--not because she loved Him first, but because He loved her first...with an everlasting love. <3

Well, after our little encounter was over, she got all the Larabars that I had bought to give to Greg! Haha, so he gets none.  But that's okay, because Lauren needed it more.

I have always had a burning desire to help others who are in need; helping people who are on the streets is one of those passions that weigh heavily on my heart.

The fact that I have so much in my life is a true blessing, I admit...But that's not enough, because it's really not what makes me happy or joyful in life.  Giving to others is truly infinitely better than receiving...

It's things like these that challenge my faith on a day-to-day basis; however, it's a good kind of challenge.  It's not the kind that gives me a guilt trip.  It's the challenge that reminds me to live selflessly though I may fail much of the time.  It's the challenge that reminds me to be faithful with what I've got, and that there is more to life than myself.  It's the challenge that makes me WANT to be transformed from the inside out.  And it's the challenge that challenges me to live an extraordinary life for God!

Gosh, I just love the fact that there's so much to learn and grow!  My friends, this is a never ending yet blessed journey ahead of us! Are you ready?  I am!

Well that's enough rambling for tonight and thank you for bearing with my crazy thoughts on this post!  :P

p.s:  It's actually still Monday night for me right now!  But the date of the post makes it seem like it's Tuesday because I'm now submitting this at midnight.

Have a great Tuesday and talk to you soon!

Grace & Peace,

Ellie <33