This blog is going to be a little bit different. Because I did not have a solid internet connection these past few days, but I did have my computer I decided to type up different things as the time unfolded here at the palace in Poland.
We lost a close one in Torun today.
So here we go:
Thursday – November 24th - 2011
It is Thursday evening as I am typing this up. We have been traveling since 3:00 a.m. Polish time, and I am just now settling in at 11:30 p.m. at night. We had a long day of travel, but I am thankful that we made it safely back to Poland. We almost missed our connecting flight in Frankfurt from Moscow, but God is faithful and allowed us to make it.
When we arrived back in Poland, we had a two-hour bus trip to our sponsor’s palace. When we pulled up to his place, I was thinking – WOW!! Really, pictures can’t do it justice of how nice it is, but I tried to snap a few pictures when I could.
Here is a link to some pictures I took:
When we got to the palace we were split up with another person. I don’ know how many rooms this palace has, but more than enough. It has a main entry floor with a formal dining room, a study, a mini movie theatre, and a lot of other rooms. The second floor is where we are all staying in some amazing bedrooms, and then the basement is where there is a jacuzzi, sauna, game room, etc. There is also a third floor, but I am not sure what is all up there.
We were immediately served dinner, which consisted of an amazing shrimp salad, and then something that kind of resembled chicken parm. After supper we all went down to the Jacuzzi to relax a little bit. I then came back up to my room to shower. I am thankful for a roof over my head and the ability to be able to take a warm shower after a long day of travel.
I know today is Thanksgiving, and while I am away from family and friends, I have SO much to be thankful for. We all have things to be thankful for if you really take some time to stop and reflect on what the Lord has done in your life. I am thankful for my relationship with my Lord first and foremost. He has brought me through ups and downs in life, but through it all, He remains faithful to me, when at times I am not. He has shown me so much in my life, especially during the times that I am away from the familiar, family, and friends (while I am overseas). I feel like He grown me and showed me so much. I praise the Lord for the opportunity I have to be able to play a sport that I love. I know there will come a time when I am not able to play, or the Lord may lead me in another direction. My ultimate goal and desire is to be in His will. I am thankful for the many wonderful opportunities the Lord has blessed me with. As a result of the game of basketball, I have been to numerous countries, not to mention different places in the USA.
I am thankful for my family. God has blessed me with wonderful parents. I could not ask the Lord for better Christ-like examples than them. I have seen their devotion to the Lord first and foremost and that is reflected in their devotion for one another and for my siblings and me. Now days, sad to say it is rare to see a marriage that withstands the test of time. I can honestly say, that I see my parents grow in love with each other more and more each day which is awesome to see.
I am thankful for some awesome siblings – WOW!! The Lord gave me the best brother I could ever ask for, and two wonderful sisters who are my best friends. I am so proud of what the Lord is doing in their lives and how He is using them to further His Kingdom. I am also thankful for a great sister-in-law. The Lord knew what He was doing when he brought my brother and Amy together. Their relationship with one another is neat to see – I love you both.
I am thankful for my extended family – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. The Lord has blessed me with a great family heritage for which I am thankful. I have four amazing grandparents who I love and cherish. I have seen them live out their lives for the Lord, and it is reflected in my parents, who have been able to instill in my siblings and myself the importance of establishing a personal relationship with the Lord. I also have some wonderful aunts, uncles, and cousins who I love dearly. Thank you all for what you mean in my life. I look forward to spending some time with you all at Christmas
I am thankful for dear friends. The Lord has blessed me with so many amazing people in my life. I am not going to take the time to mention them individually, because I might forget someone, but YOU know who you are and I cherish your friendships dearly.
I hope you have taken the time today to reflect on some things you are thankful for. I can’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the things that I am thankful for. If you are reading this blog, you can be thankful that you are still breathing. The brevity of life is something that is uncertain. None of us know when we will take our last breath, but until we do, our ambition and desire should be to serve the Lord wholeheartedly with all our heart, soul, and mind.
Well, I think I am going to close for now. As the clock strikes midnight, and another day is nearing an end, I go to bed with THANKS TO MY GOD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. Thank you Lord for who you are, what you have done in my life, and what you have done in the lives of so many people. I love you Lord.
With thanks until tomorrow,
Friday – November 25th, 2011
What a day a difference makes! I was able to sleep a full 10 hours, which hasn’t happened in a long time. This week I have been living off of about 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night. Praise the Lord for a quality good night of sleep. This morning we have all been able to chill which has been super nice. I have been able to do a lot of reading, which has been great. I have finished 2 books since starting this trip. The kindle has been a godsend for me J Not only am I able to read books, but I can send short messages to my family through the internet which is super beneficial to let them know I arrived safely from traveling.
I pretty much read all morning up until lunch at 1:30 p.m. Lunch consisted of an appetizer of raw salmon wrapped up with lettuce. Then we had mushroom soup served along with some salad and pork chops. The food here has been delicious. Oh, and I forgot to mention that we had an amazing warm, chocolate cake for dessert – delicious!
Well, I am headed off to practice here in a couple minutes. After practice we will come back here and get ready for dinner tonight. We have been told there is going to be a concert at 8:00 p.m. The sponsor is bringing someone in who plays the piano (I guess a well-known person).
I am getting ready to call it a night here in a little bit. Practice went well. The gym has a rubber floor, so we had to make sure we were careful. Thankfully we are not playing on this floor, but it is better than no floor at all to practice on. After practice, we had to hurry back to the palace and take quick showers. We had dinner at 6:45 p.m. It consisted of salad, salmon, rice, and some amazing cheesecake. After dinner, we all had to attend a concert in the palace. Some famous guy in Poland played the piano for 2 ½ hours, and is actually still playing, but I decided to leave because I wanted some down time before I go to bed.
Tomorrow we have breakfast at 9:30 a.m., so I will be able to sleep in again and get a good night’s rest!
We play Torun at 5:45 p.m.
Talk to you tomorrow...
Saturday – November 26th, 2011
Today we lost a close one to Torun 89-84. We are no longer undefeated in the Polish League, but I think sometimes it is a good thing to get the target off your back so to speak, and buckle down to work on some things that need to be improved.
I just got back about an hour ago and am pretty exhausted, so I am going to hit the sack here in a few minutes. Tomorrow we have OFF which is a huge bonus J I will blog more tomorrow.
I attached several pictures at the bottom of this blog from the palace that you can take a look at :) Click on the pictures to make them bigger or to see if there is a caption with it.