We made it back safe and sound :)
We got to our hotel around 5:45 a.m. Turkish time which was 7:45 a.m. Georgia time. We had about an hour or so to chill before we headed to the Embassy. We were at the Embassy for about 30 or so minutes and then we left and came back to the hotel. We ate a quick breakfast around 10:30 and then went and got some rest. Andja and I are roommates. We slept until about 2:15 p.m. and have been up for about an hour. We leave here in 30 minutes to go get our sports visas and then head back to the border. It is about a 30 or so minute drive to the border, and then we will leave from there around 5:00 p.m. Georgia time is the plan. So we should get home I would think around 10 p.m. or so Turkish time which is 3 p.m. your time. Going to be a long day, but we will make it :)
It was funny because the whole drive to Georgia our driver was smoking off and on and would have the window down a lot so we were freezing. And then the "taxi" we took from the border, was a car that was probably 30 years old, cracked windshield, smelled like gas the whole way so we were forced to put our windows down for fresh air so we were cold again haha - it has been an interesting trip!
We ended up having to wait until 5:00 p.m. to get our visa. So, we chilled a little bit more at the hotel. I got some hot chocolate and everyone else got some type of coffee. Once we got our visas we headed back to the border. This time we were riding in style in a nice BMW car :). On the way back, we stopped at a waterfall and took some pics. We then went through border control, got some cheese toast for a snack, and then we were on our way to make the trek home.
We got home around 11:00 p.m. tonight. It was nice to take a shower for sure :) Bed for me here shortly!
God carried us through :)
A link to check out a few pictures that I took:
"Jesus Calling" - November 28th
REST IN THE DEEP ASSURANCE of My unfailing Love. Let your body, mind, and sprit relax in My Presence. Release into My care anything that is troubling you, so that you can focus your full attention to Me. Be awed by the vast dimensions of My Love for you: wider, longer, higher, and deeper than anything you know. Rejoice that this marvelous Love is your forever!
The best response to this glorious gift is a life steeped in thankfulness. Every time you thank Me you acknowledge that I am your Lord and Provider. This is the proper stance for a child of God: receiving with thanksgiving. Bring Me the sacrifice of gratitude, and watch to see how much I bless you.
I also wanted to share some thoughts with you that I wrote down the other day:
A few thoughts…
It is easy at times to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season. You go from Thanksgiving in November and then about a month later we celebrate Christmas. Over the years, I have come to realize that it isn’t about the gifts given or the gifts received, but what makes the Holiday season special to me is the chance to be able to be with family and friends. It is also a time to reflect on the goodness of the Lord. He has given me more than I could ever ask or imagine. Being thankful is something that I do not practice enough. I go in spurts where I am extremely conscious of being thankful, and then I get caught up in the every day routine and don’t always take the time to STOP and be thankful. We all have reasons to be thankful on a daily basis. If we wake up to see another day, that is something to be thankful for in and of itself.
I was thinking last night as I was laying in bed, how I am so so so blessed. The Lord has given me so much, allowed me to see so much, walked me through trials, and has walked alongside me on the mountaintops. I am thankful for parents who trained me in the right way that I should go, and pointed me to The One who will lead and guide me each and every step that I take. They instilled in me the importance of keeping God number one in my life.
This life is full of mountaintops and full of valleys. We must never forget to praise and thank the Lord in the “highs” as well as the “lows” of life. I think about the different experiences I have had playing overseas. For me, right now basketball in a sense is my job. There are times where it can be frustrating, but then there are also times where I feel elated and overjoyed. Through the mix of emotions, my constant through it all is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can maintain joy consistently despite the circumstances around me. He has taught me so much throughout the course of my entire life, but as I reflect specifically on the last 3 ½ years that I have been playing professional basketball, He has proven faithful and continues to shape and refine me daily. I must continue to remain to be open to his pushing, prodding, and molding in my life.
Whatever place in life you may find yourself right now, I challenge you to look up to The One who is watching you every step of the way. He is willing to lead and guide us, all we have to do is surrender to Him. Surrender – complete surrender is easier said than done. I have learned the importance of surrendering my plans to the Lord. I would have never dreamed that after college I would have played basketball in San Antonio, Ankara, Turkey, Adana, Turkey, Polkowice, Poland, and Samsun Turkey. When we choose to surrender our lives to the Lord, He gives us a peace that passes all understanding. I have learned that without complete and total surrender to the Lord, peace will not be found. When we surrender to the Lord, you never know where the Lord may take you – but I promise you it will be an awesome experience :)
A challenge to myself is to be thankful on a daily basis, to allow the Lord to lead and guide my life, and to live my life completely surrendered to the Lord.
Happy "Hump Day"! Tomorrow night I say bye to my wonderful and awesome sisters. They head back to the States tomorrow night!