Guest Post: Bestie in Ecuador.

So meet my best friend. She loves coffee, dancing, running crazy long distances, the color yellow and candy (probably more than the average 5 year old). and she lives in Quito, Ecuador. She loves Jesus a whole lot and is living in another country to make much of the Lord and his Gospel. Here is a post about what she has learned and how she has grown after year one in Quito.

here she is...Kirsten Billingsley. Roomie for a year in friend forever and ever amen. 

A month back in Ecuador has come and gone. Looking at the date June 25th makes me feel like it was just yesterday but realizing it is July 31st makes me see its been a whole month and looking at all the things the Lord has taught me in this month reminds me it is definitely July 31st.

So you may be wondering, “What has the Lord taught you, Kirsten?” (well, actually you may not cause you don’t even know me but if some of you are then good because....)
Thats exactly what I want to share---not only for you but selfishly for me to be able to take this moment, look back and see just what all the Lord has graciously taught me.

Since most of you readers may not know my journey thus far and my journey to Ecuador I am sorry I won’t be sharing that full detail at this time but I will tell you it hasn’t been a smooth one, its been full of bumps in the road (literally, i live in a third world country--there are bumps everywhere) and it has not been an easy ride--but lets all admit it--the best roller coaster rides are the highest, scariest, longest, and craziest. Well, those of us that like roller coaster rides can admit that, sorry to those of you who fear roller coasters and heights--this is probably a bad analogy for you all.

Soooo, on a lighter note I am happy to tell you all, those of you who have known the journey since the beginning, and those just being exposed to this crazy life of mine that I am sooo thankful to be back in Ecuador. The Lord has shown me/ taught me...however you want to word it that this is EXACTLY where He wants me to be.

And I am sure of this because of how gracious He has been to teach me so much over the past month.
For starters:

--He has taught me that my position for next year is just where I need to be. Not only that but He has given me an excitement for my teaching position next year and a passion to do it well. (We all know, that this girl, NEVER wanted to be a teacher)--check out my previous blog on my site to learn more about that one.

--He has taught me to appreciate friendships- I am reminded that we aren’t necessarily promised to have friends or even best friends in this life we live but the Lord has really out done himself in the friendships I have: back home, here, old and new. I am learning to appreciate friendships for what they are- to embrace them and not take them for granted. 

And now: Here comes the big one.

--He has taught me contentment. Oh wait, He has taught me that I lack contentment---thats a better way to word it.
Let’s rewind just a bit- I am a single, 23 year old, christian girl. I am very outgoing. super laid back. hate a plan. and all in all really enjoy life. (and no thats not the beginnings of a sales pitch boys---sorry for the confusion) Thats me sounding like a pretty content girl right? I thought so. I have always considered myself content in who I am and the singleness season I am in. Well, guess what? The Lord loves to prove me wrong and as a prideful person thats not always fun.
With all that being said I have officially been made aware of my discontentment. (That was a tough sentence to write or should I say type)
But :) I have made the FIRST STEP- I am aware and I admit it.
So now what? Well, I don’t know. I was hoping you “content” people could tell me.
I kid, I kid. Im only using this moment to encourage you all to be content in the Lord--to be vulnerable in telling yall this and to share with you what the Lord has taught me thus far through this: ( not to make it all about me or anything just saying, I can only speak for myself :) )

The Lord has me, in this moment, in Quito, Ecuador, single for a reason.
I need/want to take advantage of this time and the experiences that come with it; to learn and become wiser.
I NEED to use this time to glorify the Lord. I am CALLED to use this time to glorify the Lord. (Luke 2:14)
I should use this time to not only grow as an individual but also grow closer to God. (1 Corinthians 3:7. “....What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.”)
Just a few to remind myself and you of.

Enough of that right? haha

I have also been taught to be THANKFUL.
Thankfulness and contentment seem to go hand and hand and its about time I realized that. Its about time I realized I have lots to be thankful for. I live in a beautiful country (Ecuador), I have AWESOME parents and friends, I have gotten to experience some pretty cool things..I am blessed and I need to remember that daily.
Entry from Jesus Calling: July 24th
“Thankfulness opens the door to My presence.” (the door to the presence of Jesus)
1 Thess. 5:18- “ thanks in ALL circumstances.”
Just a reminder folks...don’t shoot the messenger. Its a reminder to me too!

So I am starting to realize that I have learned alot...alot more than I can type in this one blog...alot more than you want to read in one sitting Im sure.
But I do want to leave you with one more thing (bare with me)

-I have learned to have a teachable spirit---or to have the yearning for a teachable spirit.
The Lord loves you and I and cares for you and I so much that He chooses to teach us. He purposefully puts us into situations/challenges to allow us to grow. He sees a better us, knows our potential and graciously gives us opportunities to reach that potential. :)

-Story: (know me long enough and you will find out i’m full of them) but anyways--the story: At camp one day, one of the last days I had a class of 1st and 2nd graders--one of my favorite groups--and there was one little girl who I became very stern with (in a loving way of course) but I wanted to get my point across and I had to be stern and it just so happened that my best friend Mandi was in the room and began to laugh (RUDE right?) yeah I did not appreciate that until later I realized it was because she liked that I did that, she was proud I did that and she explained to me that when a teacher is stern with a student it means they love that student, they see the best that that student can be and that teacher wants to guide them to their best! Whether its through stern statements or consequences the heart behind the teacher is to teach that student a lesson that will lead to them become a better person, a wiser person.
What a small glimpse this is of how the Lord feels about us--His children. The Lord puts us in challenging situations, allows heartbreak, puts obstacles in the way, allows tears, all because He loves us, cares about us and wants these “lessons” to make us the better person that He created us to be. (2 Timothy 4:5, Romans 8:17)
This is actually TOO BIG for me to fathom so therefore to type this out on paper and try to make it make sense is a bit of a challenge in and of itself so I hope somehow it made sense to you readers.

**With this realization, I vowed to pray for a teachable spirit on a daily basis. I want to be open to whatever the Lord has to teach me. Yes, I have been able to share with you some of the specific things the Lord has taught me but I know with all I am facing this summer: good and bad that the Lord has sooo much more to teach me. Yes, the unknown is a bit scary...okay, a lot scary but if I am not willing to learn then I am not willing to grow and I am only 23: which is definitely not the cut off for growth in the Lord.

---I do want to leave you with encouragement (it has been shown to me that it is my spiritual gift, so I should probably use it huh? :))
** I want to encourage you to genuinely pray for a teachable spirit. I want to encourage you to be willing to learn. I want to encourage you to seek growth.
*The Lord wants to make you wiser, better...take advantage of it! :)

NOW.... a BIG thanks to Rachel for allowing me to be a part of her blog and a part of her life as her best friend.
And thank YALL readers for letting me take up your time: PROPS to those of you who made it to the end of this post! :) (Perseverance --Hebrews 12:1)
Thanks to the Lord for giving me the words to say on what BIG and MIGHTY things HE has done/is doing! :)

Choose Joy!

Feel free to continue to follow my life in Ecuador/life in general via my blog at

Until next time,
Saved by grace,