Friday, April 28, 2006

You Say It's Your Birthday......

Na na na na nah! Yep, it is my birthday today. I am now officially 31. Heading into my 30s and not JUST 30. When did I become someone in my 30s? I don't know what 30s are supposed to feel like, but they don't feel like I thought they would. Most days I don't feel a whole lot older than I did at oh, say, 25. I mean, I AM different. The Lord has restored me a ton in the six years since I turned 25, and my 25th birthday fell right in the middle of one of the worst years of my life circumstantially. However, age-wise, I don't feel much different. I think if some of my circumstances were different....married, kids, etc. I might feel older, but other than being a home owner, life is pretty much the same as it was at 25.

It has been a while since I did an update. Life is plugging along. It has been absolutely gorgeous here the last few weeks. Temps in the high 60s/low 70s with clear skies. With everything in bloom, it is just heavenly right now. It is like a little slice of heaven in a spring that is usually rainy and overcast. Today, for example it is in the 70s, so clear out and warm that I have not brought a jacket to work with me. It is like a fun birthday present from the Lord. Since the weather has been nice, my spring fever of gardening is in full swing again. I have mowed the lawn twice already, have planted and/or moved several plants, done a TON of weeding, and just in general have been spending a lot of time outside. What fun. If my past pattern holds, I'll be burned out by July, but it's fun for now.

The home remodel is still in process. I have pretty much decided that I will do a smaller scale version of it. My upstairs will have some minor work done, and the roof will be replaced, but otherwise, that is it. I will still have room for one extra girl this way, but not overload the house. I think to have two extra girls would be probably too much. An extra bathroom would help, but that does not account for space in the kitchen (which cannot easily be expanded), nor the living room. Really it just makes sense to only add one extra. There is always the option of selling and buying larger, but I just don't have peace about that right now. So, this is the best option for now. I am also trying to sell my car to lower my debt. I would like to sell it and buy something with cash and just have a much older used car to putz around in. So far, no takers on my car, though.

Health-wise things are great. In fact, I have not been sick in months now, PTL. Especially have not been sick with anything major since this winter, which is nice. I had that stretch back this fall and winter where I felt like I was sick continually. Since then, I have been really healthy. Weight Watcher is also going well. I am now 8 pounds from goal. I was plateauing pretty much for the last two months, and have broken through that plateau this week, and lost two pounds. It is like my body just needed to take some time off. I know plateaus are pretty normal, and so I did not get frustrated, I just kept plugging away. My body seems to have just said "OK, fine! I can see you're not wanting to stay at this weight so I give up!" and I have started losing again. Funny how that works.

Getting ready for wedding stuff. Sara moves out it a week, and the wedding itself is like a month away! I got my bridesmaid dress this week and other than a few minor alterations, it fits great. It is the dress you see at the top of the page. Chantel's bridesmaid dress is not in yet.

Piano lessons are going well, also. In fact, Jason, my piano teacher has suggested that I bring my songs in so that we can start putting them to music! That sounds so fun to me! I am still having fun practicing, so far. I know, though, that as I get deeper into the hard stuff, it will take more practice.

Well that's all for now. I'll put a photo update up later!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What's New in the Zoo

Time for a weekly update, though there is not a whole lot new here. Things are just plugging along.

I have hit a snag in the home remodel, and I am seriously rethinking whether this is the Lord's will for me to do or not. The guy from our church who was going to do the work took another job. This was pretty frustrating for me because instead of telling me so that I could find a different contractor, he chose not to say anything. So, here I have been thinking things are progressing, and waiting to hear from him and not until I asked about the status of things did he tell me! He mentioned another man at our church who does contracting work, and I might give him a call just to see whether I am crazy to do this or not. His name is Jerod and he already has his contractor's license etc. We'll see and I'll keep updates on this as I know more.

I am also now unofficially (my home scale) ten pounds from my weight loss goal. I have started running again, and today I am super sore, but it feels good to be moving again. I don't think I am going to train for the race I had been thinking about running, but would like to get my miles up to the three mile mark where I was before. Plus, with the two weddings coming up very soon, I need to fit into my dresses.

We had Sara's bridal shower this last weekend, and it was a blast. I think everyone had a good time, and she got a LOT of stuff. I'll post some pictures soon. I am VERY much in need of a picture update.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Update Number Two

So, onto a continued update regarding my trip to London/Harpenden. After spending a few days in London, we met up with the rest of our group and headed out to Harpenden. Harpended is just outside of a town called Luton. It is easier to find Luton on the map than Harpenden. Let's just say, we are definately out in the coutry in Harpenden. Lots of rolling hills, sheep pastures, grass, and trees.

We arrived in Harpended and the folks hosting us at the YWAM base had a whole spread laid out for us. We got to eat and then a small group of us went on a long walk around the "town." I put that in quotes because it really isn't much of a town. That night we met with Brian and Bruce and the rest of our team and had a quick briefing on what the week would look like, what we could expect to encounter and some tips on praying for people. Basically the week was 8-10 hours a day of praying for people. Some of them had had prayer before, as this was the fifth trip we had sent a team for, and others had not. I got to pray with my good friend Erika, and we were the only "singles" team there. It would have been really easy to get smacked with insignificance about the fact that we were the only single team there. However, Bruce told me later that week that due to the fact that there were so many single gals based in Harpenden, they were very blessed to have people there who understood what they were struggling with. It was also nice because Erika and I could switch roles about halfway through the week and not get burned out praying for so long.

I have already mentioned some of my highlights in praying for people in an earlier post. I will say this, I was so fearful about praying for married men, and those who were humble, left our prayer time restored! One of my most favorite prayer times was with a married couple, and it was so amazing. My fear over it was gone. I realized that it is not me who blocks them receiving from us, it is their issues. Two of the six men we prayed for were very willing to have us pray with them, and two were "on the fence." The two who were more resistant, the Lord saved us just in time and Brian helped us with one, OJ and Suzanna helped us out with the other. Brian had mentioned that we might get people approach us outside of prayer times to ask for prayer and that did happen. But, those that were really in NEED of prayer were the ones we were there for. I am sure some people who wanted to get prayed for did not. I loved praying for these poeple. The Lord was good and met us over and over again in those times. The last night we prayed, I was so exhausted, but as soon as we started praying and the Lord started speaking it was like "Ok, I can DO this!!" I learned that I can have just as much zeal for the last person on our list as I can for the first person to come. I mean, who would think that praying for that lone, that many days in a row could be fun??

We did have some breaks in the week. One night Brian and Bruce took us all out to dinner, another night we had dinner with Lyn Green and his family (director of International Ministries with YWAM), and another night, right a bunch of us met in the lounge and stayed up late playing telephone pictionary. If you have never played this game before, it is a must. I have not laughed that hard in a LONG time. We had such a fun group over there. We all came in liking each other, but I really feel we left as friends. I just fell in love with our group. I had a dream (this is true!!) while over there that I was one of the gals from "Charlies' Angels" and so now I have a new nickname from Brian...what fun!

We finished at 1:00 on the last Friday of my trip, which was unexpected. I thought for sure we'd be going all day Friday. So, the group of us headed into London and I got another night in town. Somehow in the scurry to leave on Sunday, I missed saying goodbye to my friend Jess, who I was staying with, and so I got to see her one last time. I then took the tube Sat. morning to the airport (all by myself!!! with no help!!!) and hopped the flight back home. I tell you a nine and a half hour flight is no fun. But, to think I am only that far from going is all worth it. I mean, when you think about it, nine and a half hours, while long on a plane, is really not that muc time! And, that is all the further London England is from me and me from it!!

It has been so busy since I have been back. Kyle and Becky (brother and sister-in-law) were in town last week, and so I spent a lot of time with them. Sara's bridal shower is this weekend, and this is the first one I have ever planned, so that has taken a lot of time too. Plus, catching up with my small group girls, getting back into the swing of ministry (preschool planning, choir rehersals, serving at a single mom's event, our 40 days of fasting and prayer, and planning for the Sunday school class I will be teaching), and work (working all week, and our Livable Communities Fair this Sat.) has meant that I am actually probably busier than ever. Living in the midst of all of that (laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking etc.) has been a challenge. But, the Lord sustains and does not give more than we can handle. Somewhere, in the midst of the busy-ness, I am managing to get everything done that I need to! Amen!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Badly Needed Update

I am long overdue for an update. I apologize for going so long between them! Last week was hectic with recovering from the trip AND my brother and sister-in-law flew into town from Chicago and I had a good time with them too.

Speaking of trips, I'll do a quick update with that. I landed in London on Wed. March 15 and spent the first 5 days of my trip toodling about the city. It was so fun, and I found myself feeling slightly guilty that I was having so much fun! I got to see people I had been missing, stayed with my friend Jess, got to be a proper "tourist" and visited a lot of fun sights around the town. I got over my fear of getting lost on the tube (subway) and the bus and was able to get myself all over the city completely on my own! How fun! I went to Portabella Rd. Market and saw a ton of sights in and around the city like Westminister Abbey, the Knights Templar Temple, and a bunch of other stuff. So fun! Another hightlight of those first five days was getting to see my friends Dom and Nikki get married. It was quite unlike any wedding I have ever been to. Someone at the wedding said to me "I hope you don't think this is an actual British wedding....they have done things quite differently than anyone we know!" So, it had some unique things about it that I quite enjoyed. I'll try to put some pics up later this week. I also got to see Andrew, the youth pastor at the church and got caught up with the kids from this summer. I also got to see some of the kids too....though not long enough. Hannah, Davey, Sophie, Ibby, John, and Laura. I was hoping to see Emily and Francesca, but it didn't happen. I don't have time to get into all the details of what has happened with the youth since we were there last summer, but if the Lord prompts, please be praying for all of those kids who came to know the Lord as well as the ones who were already involved with the youth group.

I'll put an update of the second half of my trip (in Harpenden/Luton) off for another day.

Last night was our monthly outreach event at church. We combined with three other churches (Church of the Living God, Clover Creek Bible Fellowship, and The Crossing) and filled to over capacity the Pantages Theater. I would guess at the end of the night about 100 people stood up to either recommit their lives to Christ, to give their lives to Christ, or to receive prayer to break addictions etc. It was quite amazing. The choir sang, and that was so fun, as usual. I don't know that a written description of the night will quite do it justice. It was spectacular and amazing. What a treat to be a part of what is happening in our city of Tacoma!