Monday, November 29, 2010

The "W.T.H.D.I.G.M.I.?" Post

Please, when you understand the title of this post, pardon the expression.

It goes something like this…

The day I arrived to Costa Rica, nearly 5 years ago, I was sleep deprived, anxious, and excited.  My host family gathered me from the airport and eventually showed me to my temporary home and room.  Once I settled in, I really didn't know what else to do given that I had no idea where the school I was planning to attend classes was located and I couldn't just call someone and make a plan to meet for coffee.  So, as was needed, I took a nap.  It wasn't exactly the best idea.  You know those moments you're caught in the middle, between sleep and wakefulness?  I was caught in one of those moments and had a pretty awful feeling fall over me.  "W.T.H.D.I.G.M.I.?!!?!!!!!!!!"  Yep, there it is- WHAT THE HELL DID I GET MYSELF INTO?"  I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach for the rest of the day.  I think it finally began to fade when I met my friend Anita from Switzerland (she's been in many previous blog posts).

Well, I promised in a previous post to share those small steps forward and here is a bit of a clue (though I think most of you already know where I'm headed).  I woke up this morning with that same feeling of "What am I about to do?"  It's a bit different this time around because I have an awareness that I lacked the last time around.  It's really not that crazy, but it still causes me to question.  I KNOW, KNOW, KNOW that this stint away is what I want and where I need to be heading, but it still causes my head to freak out.  And then I thank God that He knows and will fulfill His promises to me as I walk forward.

In four words:     Prince of Peace, Guatemala

More to come!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunshine in November

I have to say, I think we've had a pretty nice fall here in Oregon.  The colors have been amazing, as expected, and I've enjoyed the changing of the seasons.  It's not uncommon for those of us who live in the Pacific NW to complain about the winters here, long-gray-wet etc.  It's true, it can be a little disappointing when you look at your watch and feel like you've been tricked!  How can in be 4:35 in the afternoon and mostly dark?!  Even so, consider this, that very long summer day, driving into the sunset and still having a hint of light at 9:45pm.  That makes the long-gray-wet-& dark winters worth it for me!

However, I've been extra spoiled and had a little more sunshine this month than most of you PacNWerners.  I made a quick trip south and east to the sunshiny state of Florida to attend the beautiful wedding of Colin and Cayla.  It was many things…fun, restful, encouraging, connecting, loving, gourmet eating, & drinking Dunkin Donuts's coffee.  (YUM on the right!) 

It was a grand opportunity to see SO MANY (missed the Roman crew!) of those people who were strong figures during my Florida life.  The whole weekend was packed with good things, a special wedding and lots of running around.

Colin&Cayla's wedding-Erin, Greg, C&C, Mary Kay, Jaime, & Jordan.

 And here are my newest Oregon recruits, Mike and Judy!  Judy asked me about the 'Stephanie Inn' @ Cannon Beach and I spouted off the other 100 reasons they've got to make a trip to OR (including free tour guide!).  Mike and I worked at FL Church of God offices together.  We were separated by a measly 6' wall.  Sometimes things would just drop out of the sky and onto my desk and other times I'd walk around the wall, grab a handful of M&Ms from his candy dispenser and then kick my feet up while we considered the lyrics of Leeland or Shane & Shane's newest and greatest song.


Mother of the groom, Mary Kay, and I after the ceremony.  The venue was about 40 minutes outside of Orlando at a beautiful Italian style villa, Bella Collina.  I've never been to Tuscany, I felt like I was in Tuscany---reflecting pools, arches, fountains, stone, stone, stone-everywhere--- a gorgeous setting for C&C to exchange vows.
This picture just puts a big smile on my face.  These people
 have inspired me, counseled me, challenged me,
encouraged me, and loved me.

Beautiful setting, beautiful wedding=ALL DRESSED UP!

Tuesday Night Starbucks crew (minus Shelly)-Janann, Liz, Randee, and I.

Mary Kay, Greg, Payton and I took off early Monday morning (a few hours before my flight back to PDX) and dined at one of my favorites, Cracker Barrel.  It capped off a very fine long weekend.

***Hey 'Florida', I'm pretty thankful for you!  Thx to C&C for a great reason to skip out of the rain and catch a few winter rays.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Echoes and Whispers

Looking ahead…

Take just a few minutes and be reminded, we do not merely exist in this world alone.  I follow a blog of a family who are (partially) from the US and have been living in Haiti for the past several years.  They recently posted this from Boston Globe Photos

Looking beyond...