Sunday, December 23, 2007

My family is...

awesome. That is pretty much it. I love being around them. It seems like we are constantly laughing...partly because we (mostly me) make fun of my mom, but she's a good sport. The truth is we all make fun of each other.

My sister said something that threw me for a loop the other day...on Friday she actually said that she wished I was coming to dinner with her, my mom, and dad. I asked her why, and she said because we have fun together, and because she loves watching me jack with mom. I thought for sure she wouldn't say she wanted me there, especially since we had spent the last 3 hours together, 2 of those in Target where she seemed constantly annoyed with me... That comment pretty much made my day.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Today you will be with child....

I started reading the Gospel of Luke the other day. This gospel isn't what I would call my "favorite" out of all the Gospels, but I do enjoy it nonetheless. For the past couple of days, I have read and re-read Luke 2, which is appropriate since we are about to celebrate our Lord's birth. This was not done on purpose. In fact, I have been reading in Daniel but for some reason the other day felt compelled to turn to Luke.

I have been pondering, meditating, praying, thinking about what it must have been like for Mary. In Luke 1, it tells us that Mary responds to the angel Gabriel, after he tells her that she will be giving birth to the saviour of the world, by saying "I am the Lord's servant, May it be as you have said"

My first thought is "wow, what faith she had. She believed and was obedient (not like she could be disobedient "sorry God, I don't think I want to give birth to your son..."), without hesitation" But I can't help but think along with the excitement, that she was also scared. Can you just hear her telling her relatives... "I promise, I am still a virgin...Yes, I know I am pregnant, but I have not yet slept with Joseph or anyone else for that matter"

There was not a hint of hesitation at the time...but that is not what I want to talk about.
After Mary gives birth to Jesus, the angels lead the shepherds to the manger. In Luke 2:19, it says "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." The actual idea of giving birth to the Messiah would have been way more than enough for me to treasure, and ponder them in my heart...what a miracle to experience. Sit back, and try to imagine that you are Mary. It is extremely hard to do, but try it. You have just given birth to the Messiah, but even you (Mary) don't know what that really means. I think she had a deeper understanding than others may have, but she still didn't get it.

Case in point, later in Luke chapter 2....
It gives an account of Jesus, when he was 12, being left behind at the temple and nobody noticed he was gone, until a day into the journey. The parents become upset with the saviour of the world. Vs 48 "When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, 'Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." Listen to Jesus response in verse 49, "Why were you searching for me? he asked. Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" Vs 50 tells us "But they did not understand what he was saying."

Mary didn't get it. Although in chapter 1, the angel Gabriel tells her that "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end" Apparently Mary forgot this tidbit, if she hadn't, she would have understood why Jesus said what he did in 2:49-50.

What is interesting though, is in vs 51, it says "Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all of these things in her heart."
She didn't understand a lot of what was going on, but she trusted in God. She knew that something exciting was going on , and so she clung to God. She trusted while being in a state of great uncertainty.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The absent voice of God...

Today in staff meeting, Scott led us in a short devotional on the Israelites, the coming Messiah, what they expected due to their circumstances, and how Jesus DID NOT fit the mold that the Israelites were hoping for. God last spoke to the Israelites in 450 BC, through the prophet Malachi. The Israelites then waited 420 YEARS to hear from God again. During that time of waiting, they were held captive by the Babylonians, the Persians...well, you get the picture. They expected the Messiah to come in and kick some butt, not act the way that Jesus did.

The reason that God did not speak to the Israelites wasn't because He didn't want to, but the Israelites were choosing not to listen. They had become prideful once again and were not dependant on the Lord. They were no longer seeking His face. If they were not going to seek Him and listen for Him, then He wasn't going to speak to them, period. So they waited.

As Christians, we should be seeking Him daily and listening for Him to speak into our lives. Jesus tells us "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find it; knock and the door will be opened to you." I believe that Jesus is just waiting for us to come to Him and ask Him to do big things in our lives and through us, but we have not because we ask not. He desires to shower His love on us as we put our faith, hope, and trust in Him. We are so busy in our lives that we are dependant upon ourselves, we are not seeking Him, and we have become a prideful people. God will not push His way into our lives uninvited. As we push Him out of our lives, He will stop speaking to us.

In what ways are you depending on the Lord? What are some of the big things that you have been asking God to do in your life lately?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Romans 5:3-5

Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also rejoice in suffering because we know that suffering produced perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us"

Suffering. Perseverance. Character. Hope. Each one is dependant on the other.

This has been the theme of my life thus far. I discovered this verse a month or two my senior year of high school right after I tore my ACL playing basketball. In a high school students mind who plays sports, it is as if life is over if you injure yourself your senior year. The scholarship that I was seeking to play basketball was no longer available to me...I was devastated. But through that time of suffering, I asked God a lot of tough questions, and He was faithful to answer. I have clung to this verse over the years, and believe that it will be one that I will continually go back to through out my entire life.

I believe that God allows us to go through tough situations, struggle and suffer because it draws us closer and opens our eyes to see more of Him. Our sufferings takes us deeper into the realms of God's character and enlarges our vision of Him. It is in these times that our character is refined to be more like Jesus.

AT&T Still Sucks

Had another conversation with an AT&T customer service rep on December 6th...I am suppose to be receiving a call from somebody higher up than a supervisor at a call center. I asked the guy who I was talking to if I could get the CEO's number since apparently nobody could take care of the problem, he just laughed. I will say this 50 minute conversation was more delightful than some of the others. They told me I'd receive a call within two weeks. So when I don't receive a call by December 20th, looks like I will be calling again.

Trust me, I am not holding my breath wating for that call....

Customer service reps I have talked to: 9
Hours on the phone with AT&t: 5 hrs 15 min
Number of dropped calls with an AT&T rep: 3
Number of problems solved: 0

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A time of reflection

Every December, I have a birthday...it is inevitable. And every December, I like to reflect on what has happened in my life in the past year. The highs and lows, the great and the horrible, all of these things have shaped me and define who I am to this day. I do not want to be like the Israelites who did not remember all that the Lord did for them. My life is drastically different than I thought it would be a year ago looking ahead. Here are some of the lessons/experiences that I have been through in my 23rd year here on earth...

-At this exact time last year, I had accepted a full time job at one of the premier lobbying firms in Washington DC after completing an internship there. My life today is vastly different than I thought it would be.

-I think I have the Jonah complex. Not because I am trying to avoid what God is asking me to do, but everytime that I try to move away, and move away permanently, God brings me back to Fresno through one circumstance or another. I have never purposefully disobeyed God in this, but have felt that He was giving me the choice...

-As a woman, I need to be grounded in theology. Theology is one of those words that usually scares people off, but theology is about a relationship with God...really knowing God. When hard times hit, and we are not sure why God is allowing certain things to happen, if we are not grounded in who Christ is, our whole belief system can be rocked.

-It is essential to ask God the tough questions...it draws us out of ourselves, beyond our circumstances and into serious dialogue with God.

-I am running the race that God has marked out for me.

-I once asked a friend if there can be two paths set out before me, and if she thought that I would end up in the same place no matter which one I chose. She didn't have an answer for me. But I now believe that no matter which path I choose, as I seek Him, He will keep on track. It may seem like I zigged when I should have zagged, but since God is sovereign, there is no missed opportunity. I have never missed an opportunity. I am in God's plan A for my life. There is no plan B if God is sovereign.

-I like to be in control, which means I very much dislike not being in control of certain situations...which happens often.

-I am constantly learning how to shed my own expectations.

-When you choose to enter into a relationship with somebody, you give up the right to not be hurt, as does the other person.

-I have an amazing family who loves me more than I realize sometimes. The older I get, the more I appreciate them. We constantly laugh when we are together. It is great when the four of us are able to be together, which doesn't happen a lot these days.

-My sister is becoming one of my best friends.

-Ending a relationship with somebody you really care about is extremely hard, even if it is for the right reasons.

-I still haven't figured out how my heart can be in three places at once...

-People in the United States are extremely ignorant to the injustice that occurs in the world.

-People enter into your life for only a season sometimes, and only God knows the reasons why.

-I eat vegetables now! For those of you that know me, I hated anything green until about April of 2007.

- I still feel so small when I sit out and look at the vastness of the ocean. I am reminded of how big the God I serve is.

-God is faithful.

The list could continue on, but I think this is good enough for now. It brings me joy and excitement to think off all that happened this past year and to look forward in anticipation of what God will allow me to be a part of and the circumstances I may encounter in the year to come. I think I need to take more time to reflect on the things that God has done in my life. It is good to remember.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Being sick....

is no fun. I am sick of being sick. Hopefully the antibiotics I am on will help my situation quickly...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Best 24th Birthday ever!

From my previous post, most of you know that my birthday was on Friday December 7. Although I am a year older, I don't feel older. I remember when my sister turned 24 and was telling me how old she felt...maybe it is because I work with quite a few older people who talk about their life as in the past and I have most of my life ahead of me, Lord willing.

Thursday night, Ashley, Amada, Blake, Gia, Brian, Bella (baby Davis), Luke and Sarah, Brandon and Megan, John and I went to Cheesecake Factory for my birthday. I had such a great time with my friends. We talked, we laughed, we made fun of each other...all of the usually happenings when we get together. By the end of the evening, the girls were all at one end of the table and the guys were at the other. The guys talked theology and seminary while the girls talked about....well, you name it we talked about it. :) I got some really great gifts, but they def didn't beat spending time with them celebrating my birthday.

On Friday, the parentals and I headed down to Pasadena. I was up WAY too early on my birthday. We got to my sisters place about 11, and then headed to Disneyland! I love Disneyland. I am not even sure why...probably because it makes me feel like a kid. Since it was suppose to rain, and did earlier that morning, there were not a lot of people there, which was extremely nice. My friend Rachel who lives in Costa Mesa came and hung out for a few hours. We left the park a little after 5 to go to Downtown Disney to get some dinner. We ended up eating at the Rainforest Cafe, which is loud and a lot of fun. After dinner we headed back into the park for a couple more hours. My parents had never been to Disneyland when it was decorated for Christmas so we had to go back for it to snow :) We left right around 10 to go home. We literally spent 6 1/2 hours inside Disneyland and went on 14 rides...it was phenomenal. I had such a great time with my family. We constantly laugh when we are together. I am appreciating my family more and more these days.







Friday night I stayed with my parents in the hotel...bad idea. It was a suite, but my bed was the pull out bed from the sofa. Although I was extremely tired, I didn't sleep that well since the top of the bed was in a slanted, upright position. It was horrible. I love sleep, and when I don't get enough rest, I can be a real big...well, you get the picture. So I had to remind myself all day Saturday to be nice, since my filter clearly was not working due to lack of sleep...

On Saturday, we went to Mimi's Cafe for breakfast. I had never been there for breakfast...it was good, but not anything spectacular. Then I had to go...I mean, I got to go to my sisters White Coat Ceremony for PA school at USC. It was not as long and boring as I expected. The speakers were actually kinda entertaining. It didn't hurt that I had my phone with me. I sent a few work emails, sent a few text messages, surfed the web a little...it helped the time pass right on by. Saturday night my friend Carrissa, and also my sisters roommate, came shopping with us and then out to dinner with the fam to PF Chang's. Great food followed by great dessert. When it comes to my birthday, I don't just celebrate for a day, I try to get a whole week out of it. Each place we went, we told them it was my birthday. At PF Chang's, they have this great fried banana thing with coconut ice cream. One word: phenomenal. Then we headed to Coldstones before we went back to Stacey's apartment where I passed out from a food coma...not really. I was staying at her place on her blow up air mattress. I slept so good that night!


Sunday we got up, went to good ol' IHOP for breakfast...they have these really great pancakes right now. I had strawberry cheesecake pancakes....might sound sick to you, but don't knock it 'til you try it. I am not a real big fan of breakfast in general, but these were good! We got home from Pasadena around 3...we made a pit stop in Visalia to see my grandfather. We went out to dinner on Sunday night to continue the celebration, and because my mom didn't want to cook.


All in all, I had a pretty good birthday weekend. The only complaint is the lack of sleep on Friday night, but in the scheme of things, even that wasn't a big deal. My parents told me that this birthday was going to be hard to beat...I told them they better get ready for my silver birthday, my quarter of a century year old party...cuz I only turn a quarter of a century old once!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's my birthday!!!

Technically, it was my birthday, it ended 11 minutes ago. My birthday extravaganza weekend began on Thursday evening having dinner with a group of my friends, continued at Disneyland today, and will continue the rest of this weekend in the LA area. I realized last night that I have a great group of friends. Everytime we are together we are constantly laughing and giving each other a hard time, but I also know that these people would do anything for me in a moments notice if I needed it.

For all of those that called me or text me today...thank you so much. I definitely felt the love on my 24th birthday. :)

One of my best friends husband, and a good friend of mine, Luke Mundy, wrote a blog about me that was really nice. Check it out here.

Luke, just for you I changed my layout...I was sick of the pink background too, but was too lazy to change it!

More on my birthday extravaganza with pictures later....

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmas Tree Lane!

Last night, Ashley, Sarah, Amada and I walked down Christmas Tree Lane! It was cold, but so much fun. Since my friends are always late, I told them to meet at my house at 6:30, since I knoew they wouldn't show up until 7. Amada showed up first, at 6:40. Sarah at 6:58, and Ashley at 7:04. Now, we would have left right then, but they all critiqued my beanie, so they made me put on a hat and then made me switch my scarf. In the end, they were right :)



We were going to go to Fig Garden, park there, go to starbucks, and then walk to Christmas Tree Lane...it seems everyone in Fresno had that idea. The line at Starbucks was outrageous. We ended up driving to Shaw and 41, where there was no line, and then drove back to Fig Garden. We decided to avoid all people, and parked at The Cross Church at Palm and Gettysburg. We parked, walked 2 blocks, and joined the rest of Fresno walking down Christmas Tree Lane.



Although it was cold, it was so much fun! I love Christmas lights, hot chocolate, and hanging out with friends. When we get together, something always crazy/funny happens. This time, it had to do with a bathroom and a couple of fire fighters...

AT&T Sucks

I have been trying to get a problem fixed w/ at&t for the past month.

Nov 8th- Spoke w/ 5 customer service reps. The first two disconnected me...
Time spent on the phone, 2 hours 40 minutes
I was suppose to receive a call by Wed Nov 14....
Nov 19th- Spoke w/ 1 customer service rep. Time spent on the phone, 40 min. Was given a case number, was suppose to recieve a call by November 22nd....no phone call.
Nov 22....no phone call.
Nov 29th-Spoke w/ 1 customer service rep. After 40 min on the phone....I was put on hold, and 30 seconds later was at the beginning prompt...

Now, each of these times I was disconnected, I NEVER received a phone call back. Now, that would be ok if they didn't have my phone number, but they do....they have my cell phone number, which I was calling about in the first place.

Needless to say, I am going into a store this coming Wednesday night to speak with a manager. I figure a person can not disconnect me if I am standing in front of them....

I hate at&t....

Goodbye to the 70's style kitchen...

Here are pictures, from the beginning of the remodel to now, with everything except changed hardware and the new refrigerator...



Before....








After....




Tuesday, November 20, 2007

remodeling is ruining my life...

Ok, maybe that is a little dramatic.

My parents are in the process of remodeling their kitchen...which has now turned into plans to remodel pretty much everything else. While i do like the new tile and granite, it has been a little annoying to not be able to do laundry or cook at my parents house for last 5 weeks. I found out this morning that the washer and dryer will be back in today. The only good part about this remodel (besides the end result) is I have started this trend of hanging out with Mike and Sue on Thursday nights, staying the night, and doing my laundry and hanging out at their palatial mansion on Friday... I might still do that once in awhile.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

DC for the weekend...

On Wednesday, October 17th, I decided that I was going to buy a plane ticket to DC for October 25-29. Just a short little trip to visit some friends and to be in a place that I absolutely love. It was one of those things where I just needed to get away. I got into DC around 7 pm on Thursday, and didn't leave until 5 pm on Monday...so a good 3 1/2 solid days there. It was great to get away from Fresno, well, California for that matter. It was great to not have an agenda that was set by anyone else, but an agenda to do and see who I wanted. I was able to connect with a couple of friends from Fresno who recently moved back there and another friend who is interning for the semester. Besides that, I was able to hang out with some of my great friends from McLean Bible Church. I stayed out in the boondocks of Maryland with Jenn...I thought parts of Clovis were white trash! Besides being able to see all of the things that I love in DC, I was able to walk around the beautiful campus of Georgetown, went to a slammin' Halloween party, and got to see the Chesapeake Bay. I got to eat at Cosi, Potbelly, Clyde's, and Front Page...but didn't have time for Capitol City Brewing Co.

It was definitely great to get away, refocus, and get some perspective on things in my life. For me, I have to purposefully take time out, get away, and spend time seeking the Lord to regain focus and to allow Him to knock some sense into me. It is so easy for me to become consumed with my life, forgetting that this isn't my life, it is His.

With that, this week has definitely had some bumps, but thinking back to just this weekend and what I know to be true, I find peace and comfort knowing that I am right where God wants me.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Livin' the Good Life



This whole blog thing has not been hapenning for me lately...I guess that is what happens when you have a job that keeps you going, and going, and going....you get the picture. However, my social life has not lacked one bit. :)

Stacey's birthday is on September 20th. Being the wonderful sister that I am, I took the afternoon off of work, drove down to Pasadena, and threw my sister a surprise birthday party. She had no idea! It was great...I have never thrown a surprise party before, so the look on her face was priceless. The funny thing is that Stacey says she does not like surprises, but she does. The night was fun. On Friday, she got out of class around 1. We headed to Rubios, got fish tacos, and then got pedicures. It was fantastic. I went shopping and then that night we went to another party (house warming/birthday party for Stacey and Bethany). Had a great time at the party, had a couple good conversations, met some new people....all in all a great time :). The next day I hung out with a friend for awhile and had a good conversation. That night, Stacey's new roommate and my friend Carrissa came in town, so I hung out with her. Came home on Sunday to another busy week.

The next weekend I went with Susan Phillips and her twin boys Blake and Jole to Catalina. The weather was wonderful! Laid out on the beach, played a little mini golf, walked around, danced until 2 in the morning, ate a lot of wonderful food...all in all a fantastic weekend. Once again, was met with reality on Monday morning.

I am not even sure where this last week went, but once again had a great weekend. I went out to a great dinner on Friday night with a couple of friends. Saturday I headed to the great city of Visalia (more accurately, to a farm in the middle of the country between Visalia and Hanford) to see my grandpa. Apparently my mom and my grandpa's mistress have been trying to get him to buy a new couch for a couple of months, I go down for one day and I got him to buy a new couch...gotta love the power of a grandchild. Ate at the wonderful restaurant called Sizzler (my parents take my grandpa to Sizzler EVERY Saturday). Took a much needed nap. Went to a friends house and went to the corn maze with her family. Stayed up and talked until almost 2 in the morning. I got 6 hours of sleep last night because I had to work this morning...gotta love working at a church. On my way to church this morning, driving 80 down the 168, a bird ran into my windshield! The bird played chicken with me, and it lost. Luckily my windshield did not break, but I did have to go get my car washed later in the day... Went to lunch with the Davis Trio (Brian, Gia, and Isabella), went to the grocery store, washed my car, did laundry, and then had some friends over for dinner. I laughed non-stop for about an hour and a half...it was great. I really do have some of the greatest friends...

All in all, it has been a good last couple of weeks...As busy as I am with work, I am blessed to be able to have a lot of fun in the process...working too much is completely overrated. I will say this, time seems to be flying by these days...

I do have a good life...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

External Focus Blog

For work, I now have a blog so those in our church family and beyond are informed on the goings on. You can access the site here or here.

New Phone!!!!

I got a new phone about 2 weeks ago...it is the AT&T 8525 and it is awesome!

where did the time go???

I can't believe that it has been so long since i have written anything. Let's just say the past month has been quite eventful....again.

I had the chance to help put on a wonderful outreach at the Pomona Migrant Center in Madera, CA on August 18th. God definitely showed up in a big way...not like I was expecting anything else, but it is always humbling when the God of the universe does his thing in such a real way. For all the details, check out this site.

This past weekend I went down to visit my sister and some friends in Pasadena/LA. I had a wonderful time. On Friday night, I went to the House of Blues in Hollywood, was on the VIP list to see Mat Kearney. Being VIP let me go all over the place at the House Of Blues, along with free food, free drinks, and a great view of the concert. Chris Franz got himself, my sister, and Jen Fernandez on the VIP list, then he decided not to go...so I got to be Chris Franz for the evening.
Saturday Stacey and I went shopping, then spent 2 hours at the AT&T store getting her a new phone. That night, some of her friends were having a tailgate party since it was the first USC game. There was a lot that went on that night, but ultimately it was a lot of fun. Sunday I hung out with a friend, went on a motorcycle ride to Malibu, had some great food, hung out at the beach, saw Superbad (hilarious), watched Blades of Glory, and had some really great conversations. Monday it was time to head back to Fresno. Luckily, traffic was not bad on the way home, and 3 hours from the time I got in the car I arrived home.

Today was back to reality at work...I felt like I was kind of out of it today, not being able to concentrate a whole lot, but I should snap out of it in a few days...hopefully.

I might be climbing half dome this weekend, so it will be nice to get out Fresno and head up to yosemite.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Phase 10

My friends and I have discovered a new game...it is called Phase 10. I first played this game with my friend Meredith and her family years ago. This game has become somewhat of a weekly occurence. Since all of my friends are competitive, it becomes quite enjoyable when we begin skipping each other...and I become just as mad as the next person when I am skipped repeatedly. One of the best moments happened last Sunday night...I kept skipping Ashley, who had her phase and couldn't put it down b/c I kept skipping her, and who is one of the least competitive people I know, and she got pissed! I don't usually find joy and delight in people getting upset, but I couldn't help myself... :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Show em....How to Read the Bible

At The Bridge, we started a new series called Show Em/Grow Em. The series is going to focus on basic spiritual principles. By showing those in the congregation certain spiritual principals, they will be able to grow in their walk with the Lord. This past Sunday at The Bridge, Scott Hansen preached/taught on how to read the Bible. Now, for those of you who have attended church for a long time are thinking, "I know how to read the bible". And I have no doubt that you do. But, he gave some practical advice that even the most seasoned Christian is most likely not doing. The sermon was good because it gave practical advice to new believers, someone who may feel overwhelmed when walking into a christian book store to buy a Bible, and practical advice to go deeper into studying the Bible for the more mature believer.

I sat down at Starbucks tonight, and opened up to the book of 1 Thessalonians, and read chpt 2 vs 13 "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe"

In 2 Tim 3:16, 17 it says "All scripture is God breathed (in the greek this actually means the breath of God) and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in rifhteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

This is God's Holy word put on paper...for me. It is his love letter to me, how He wishes that I would choose to live my life.



He said in scripture there are commands, facts, and promises... If it is a fact, believe it... If it is a command, obey it...and if it is a promise, make it your own.

Back to reality...

On July 26th I headed back down to LA for a little vacation. On the 27th, I went to Catalina for three days to hang out with the Phillips family. Although I had never been there when Mike and the boys were there, I had an absolute blast with them. I got to lay out on the beach, eat great food, see Ratatouille, do a little mini golfin (hole in one on the fifth hole!), and go out dancing! Oh, I also watched all of season 2 of the office...i love that show.
On the 29th, i headed back to la for vacay with my family. No, I love my family, but what I think i realized is that I can not be around my family in such close quarters (all of us stayed in my sisters one bedroom apartment, and Ash was around for a few days). I had a good time...saw the Simpsons, did A LOT of shopping, went to the beach, went to a Dodgers/Giants game...but I don't think I want to go on another family vacation that does not include some personal space unless I am going to a different continent or to some tropical location.
Needless to say, I went back to work on Sunday the 5th, and have been going non-stop ever since. I have a conference in town that i am suppose to attend thursday-saturday, all while preparing for my next missions committee meeting and planning/preparing for an event that The Bridge is participating in on the 18th at the Pomona Migrant Center in Madera. Let's just say if it could go wrong at this point, it has.
So, if you wouldn't mind remembering me in your prayers over this next week and a half, I would appreciate it. I know this is a time where God is teaching me patience and to trust in Him, that it is all going to get accomplished and he doesn't even need me, but choosing to use me....yeah, prayer would be great.

Friday, July 20, 2007

How true is this of me?

St Francis of Assisi is credited with the statement "Preach Christ at all times and when necessary, use words."

Am I preaching Christ at all times by the way in which I am living my life? Are you?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Huntington Beach

I love the beach. I was able to spend some time there today after my conference. I am about a shade and a half darker by being out in the sun for an hour and a half. I took a little nap and then read out of The Externally Focused Church, a book that I am reading for work.

Anyways, I was thinking I was going to go into detail on how the vastness of the ocean makes me think of the vastness of God's love, which it does, and then go into more detail about being in God's creation, but I am really tired. So, I'll have to leave that blog for a later time.

Just remember that God's love is as vast as the ocean! (even more vast, but our puny minds can't even comprehend the previous statement to its fullest) :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Medieval Times

So my hotel room is right across from Medieval Times. Although I have never been, all that i can think of when that name is mentioned is the movie Cable Guy... "Since there was no silverware in medieval times there is no silverware at medieval times." "But there is Pepsi?"

Anyways, there is also a restaurant called Pirate's Adventure...but who would go to that when they could go to Medieval Times!

I am not going to either ($40 is kinda steep for a place that doesn't have silverware) but I would choose Medieval Times over Pirate's Adventure any day.

Doin life full speed ahead

These past few months have been quite the whirlwind. Along with my job, I have kept up quite the social life. Due to a few people making comments that I am no longer blogging, here ya go...
Recap of the funness had by me....

Memorial day I soaked up the sun and danced the night away in Catalina.
Lots of work...which has been good but kind of tiring. In fact, I am going on vacation for a week in two weeks!
Hanging out with my awesome friends...grizzlies games, bbq, swimming, mini golfin', ice cream runs, chilin at Vinnie's, Starbucks...
Donut run at midnight with Gia and Ashley
Missions committee meetings, meeting with different ministry directors in the Fresno area
In two weddings, attended another
Catching up with friends
Visiting my sister in good ol' socal
Burned my finger lighting fire works on the fourth of July (which I wasn't surprised, what i am surprised about is that it has taken 23 years for this to happen)
Put together my dad's new bbq for fathers day
Convinced my parents to buy a firepit (who cares if it is 108 outside, it will be fall before we know it)

And now, I am at Talbot Theologicl Seminary for a conference. The good thing about the conference being in LA, is that my sister and her friends are about 20 minutes away. So I am not stuck eating dinner by myself and posting up in my hotel room every night. Last night we went to Bodega. It is a wine bar that has really good food and a very cool atmosphere. Sunday night I went to Mosaic and got to hear Erwin McManus speak...he brings it everytime. Tonight Stacey and her friend Jen came to me and we ate at Fuddruckers and got ice cream at Baskin Robbins. For those who do not know, Tuesdays are $1 scoop Tuesdays, so hit it up! (we just happened to come across it ;) ) Tomorrow night, I am going to Huntington Beach. So not only is the conference awesome (for the most part), I am having a great time at night in socal. Friday night we are going out dancing...which I am extremely excited for!

Then I go back to work for four days (and hang out with a bunch of people) and I am going back to socal and Catalina for a 8 days!

Life is good, God is good.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Giving up on blogging....

I have decided to give up on blogging...at least for now. I may be back sooner than ya'll expect, but there is life to be had right now.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

My crazy life....

Update coming real soon on the happenings in my life and some of the awesome things the Lord is doing....be on the look out :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend Fun

Tomorrow at 3 pm, I am leaving Fresno and going down to LA. I am going to be in Catalina from Friday to Monday. I'll be back in town late Tuesday night. I am so excited to relax and do nothing for 4 days. I am even more excited that I won't have access to my email. :)

Coordinator of External Focus

That is my job title at The Bridge Evangelical Free Church. I am in charge of everything that is focused outside of the church. My job has engulfed the previous missions director position and has added a whole new element to the mix.

My heart beats for people and for the lost. When the Lord first began giving me this passion for the lost, he gave me a heart for the people in the world. Over these past few years, especially while I was in DC, God has really shown me His heart not only for the people in the world, but also the people int he US and especially in Fresno. Not only am I able to serve my Lord and Savior by serving those who are out in the ends of the earth, I am going to have the opportunity to develop outreach in our community, in our neighborhood, in the nearby school.

My job follows the Acts 1:8 model. Jesus calls us to be his witnesses in Juruesalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. You can't just skip to the last one. You have to do the other three. The Bridge does the ends of the earth very well, they have for years, but the other three we have not been so good at.

It is my prayer that the Lord would continue to give me vision as to what He would like this ministry to look like. I am so excited that as a church, we are going to begin serving those in our community. Jesus didn't come to be served, but to serve.

And the coolest part, I have a bio up on our website. Actually, until I give them my bio, all that is up is a picture, but it is a darn good picture. :)

I am officially an adult....

because I opened up a retirement account today. That's right. I have a mutual fund.
I also have a financial advisor. It was actually quite hilarious. I showed up, she kept asking me questions, all of which I had no idea how to answer.

The only question I knew how to answer was my job title. Everytime I tell people what it is I do, they ask me to explain it, which is awesome (more about that later).

So, yeah, I am an adult now. I don't feel much different than I did this morning....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Life

I have been on the go, basically non-stop, since April 26th. Join me as I recount all that I did...
April 26-29
Went to Pasadena to visit my sister. Went to a Dodgers v Giants game w/ the sis, Garth and John. Went to Disneyland on Friday. Parents made it down Friday night. Went to Disneyland again on Saturday. Sunday, my sister took my parents to Costco so they could buy her food. Drove home. Went to church. Hung out with friends.
May 1
Started my new job as the Coordinator of External Focus at The Bridge Evangelical Free Church. Got to go on a field trip...toured parts of Fresno, including downtown and different ministries.
May 2-4
Ash came over for dinner. Went to coffee with Sarah. Went out on a date. Worked a whole lot more. Realized I loved my job, that it was going to be really really good and at times really really hard. Hung out with friends. Went to a grizzley's game on Friday night. The triple A dodger team was playing the triple A giants team...the grizzley's won.
May 5
Cinco de Mayo...had Mexican food twice that day. Hung out with friends. Wanted to take a nap but didn't.
May 6
Church, hung out with friends, needed to read book for staff retreat...but didn't. Went to Target and had ice cream (but I didn't have ice cream at Target).
May 7-9
Staff retreat at Camp Sugarpine. Got very little sleep. Sat and talked a lot. Prayed quite a bit. When I am out in nature, I am continually reminded of what an awesome, amazingly powerful, creative God I serve and that loves me beyond anything I can imagine.
May 10
Work, hung out with Ash, and then had dinner with Ash, Blake and Joel. Watched the Office and Grey's Anatomy.

Basically, I have been working and hanging out with people. It has been a crazy couple of weeks. I definitely am going to be taking a nap on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

South Beach Diet

I have been on the South Beach Diet for 8 days now...let's just say that I am doing it, and pretty much sticking to the things I am "allowed" to eat, but have officially decided that I hate diets. The ONLY reason I am even doing it is because my father needs to lose weight, so we are doing it as a family...darn moral support. I will say, if you stick to it, the diet works...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Heads Up!

Saturday night, I went to the Grizzlies baseball game with Ashley, Steph Tort, Amada, Gia, and Sarah Brady. We all went in the same car (minus Amada). Sarah sat next to the window, which was a mistake. Sarah likes to yell out the window at people. Saturday was no different. She began asking people, in a spanish accent "Do you know where is the West Side Jungle Club?" One guy actually stopped to answer the question, but he couldn't understand her.

After harrasing numerous people, we finally made it to the parking garage. We paid the attendant in a whole bunch of change, since none of us actually wanted to pay to park...which made the attendant laugh. After we parked, we finally got to the stadium. We purchased the cheapes tickets possible and then found some great seats on the third base line.
Before I go to any Grizzlies game, my mother reminds me and whoever I am with to watch out for fly balls. About 3 years ago, my parents were at a game with my aunt and uncle, and a foul ball came crashing down on my mom's butt as she tried to move out of the way. I always shrug her off, telling her that I always pay attention to the game, at least somewhat, and know when foul balls are hit.

I am not even sure what inning this happened in, all I remember is that it was raining. Steph Tort had my blanket and her and Ash were under an umbrella, I had my hood on, Sarah had her trench coat on, and Gia and Amada were under my other blanket (how did I not even have one of my two blankets?). Anyways, as we were all talking, laughing, making fun of the players and other people, a fly ball was hit. We all looked up, and I realized that the ball was coming right for me. We all stood up, and the ball missed me. Whew! or so I thought. The ball bounced off of the cement and back onto my head, then off my head and some guy caught it. I thought it was really funny, at first. The guy ended up giving me the ball.

As we continued to watch the game, I realized that my head was beginning to hurt. Sarah was harassing the cotton candy guy to give us some cotton candy for free, or at least at a discounted price. I ended up asking for some ice from one of the employees who had already asked me if I wanted some, but had declined. Well, instead of just bringing me a bag of ice, these two "paramedics" in leather jackets came. They were there to make sure I was ok, all the while Sarah was concerned about getting some free cotton candy. I don't think the guys took me that seriously, due to the fact that Sarah would not shut up about the cotton candy. One of the guys placed the ice on my head. I almost didn't put my hand on the ice to see if he would hold it there for me...but decided not to chance making this guy any more made or annoyed than he already was.



Well, Sarah ended up getting her cotton candy. She told Gia, who told Amada to ask this little girl that was sitting next to us if she would give me her cotton candy since I got hit in the head. I tried to give it back to the little girl, but couldn't get it to her before Sarah inhaled the cotton candy.

We left in the 8th inning since it was raining and we were cold. So, off to Coldstone we went. And yes, I did have ice cream even though i am on the South Beach Diet...I got hit in the head...I deserved it. :)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Content

Being content, in the society we live in, is hard at times as a follower of Jesus Christ.

Never a Dull Moment

I am beginning to realize that there is never a dull moment in my life. Case in point, last night.
I was having coffee with my friend Becky at Koffeeheads. Actually, she blogged about it, so instead of me re-typing what happened...this is what took place in the words of Becky Kruse.

"Tonight I had coffee with my dear friend Steph at Koffeeheads in Riverpark. We were sitting, laughing, chatting, enjoy our lattes when all of a sudden we hear "Open the door, this is Fresno PD." An officer was pounding on the bathroom door of the women's restroom, where a women had been in there over a hour. She came out of the bathroom and the officer put her hands behind her back and proceeded to escort her outside. While he was escorting her out he asked her, "Do you have the stuff on you?" And the woman replies, "What are you talking about officer? I was just using the restroom..." Apparently she either had a really bad case of diarrhea OR something else was going on in the bathroom...After all that happened, I needed to use the restroom, but for some reason I decided to just wait until I got home"

The difference between Becky and myself is that I had no problem using the bathroom after all of this happened. All the lady left was a little cocaine, and I took care of that for her...just kidding, there was nothing in there. :) Hey, when you gotta go you gotta go.

This is just one of the crazy things that I encounter, well, basically every day. What an adventure life is! :)

Trickery


On Wednesday, I went out to my cousins. The reason I was going out there, well, the reason that I was told, was to watch the twins while they sheared the alpacas. They own Sunny Acres Alpacas, a ranch that has alpacas. Well, it turns out that I was there to help pick up the fiber as it was shaved off the alpacas. Tricksters.


The first alpaca actually spit...and it spit on me. I was kinda pissed. After the first one, the rest weren't that bad.

I just didn't know what to do. I felt like I was always in the way of the man actually doing the shearing. It was such a quick process, and since the wind was blowing pretty hard, I am pretty sure that I didn't collect as much of the fiber as I should have, but o'well. I stayed out there and helped for about two hours. After that amount of time, I was d-u-n, dun.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Monday April 16th

My Monday:

Cook Breakfast (mmm...eggs)
Wash clothes/towels
Unloaded and reloaded dishwasher
Vaccum
Clean bathrooms
Clean Mirrors
Clean Kitchen
Lunch w/ Mom
Make Vegetable Quiche for breakfast the next day
Wash Car
Prepared Dinner
Went on a Walk
Cooked Dinner
Ate Dinner
Went to Brian and Gia's place to hang out
Got home around 11
Went to bed at 12

Monday was one of the busiest days I have had in a long time. I slept so well on Monday night. I got a glimpse of what it will be like when I have a family to care for...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Someday...


I watched Mike and Sue Phillips' twin boys, Blake and Joel, tonight. It is Sue's birthday, and apparently the boys were a little out of control today, and she wanted a peaceful birthday dinner, so I got them. I had actually offered yesterday, and I got a call this afternoon asking if I could still watch them...which of course I did.


I had something planned tonight, so the boys were just going to come along with me. We went to McDonalds for dinner (yeah, I know, real healthy, but come on, there is a playground for them to play in). Then we went to Starbucks to hear Luke Mundy play. The boys were good, for the most part. Once we got to Starbucks, I knew they weren't going to last long. Since I knew the way they had been behaving most of the day, I wasn't surprised at the stuff they tried to pull with me.


The thing is, with these boys, they are like my nephews. I have known them since birth and they are like family to me. Let's just say they didn't get away with a lot of crap. Don't get me wrong, we had fun. But I draw the line when there is hitting (since that is a rule at home) and when one intentionally spits vanilla bean frappachino on my sweatshirt.

All of that to say...I think that I'll make a pretty good mom someday. Not that I was super concerned, but watching the boys tonight, taking them out instead of watching them at their house (which is completely different, by the way), has given me a little more confidence that when I do have kids, I won't completely jack them up. I am just praying that I don't have twins.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

My best friend...






is going to be home in 4 days! I am so excited to pick her up at the airport. She has been gone for 3 1/2 months. I have missed her so much. It just isn't the same when the only communication you have with your best friend is email and a phone call every few weeks. I appreciate her so much more now than I did before (and trust me, I appreciated her and our friendship so much before she left).





Monday, April 2, 2007

I Am Now Complete

I received my stuff that was being shipped from DC on Saturday. After letting it sit for a day, I decided that I would begin to go through it and unpack it. This morning was spent walking ALL around my house. I unpacked all four boxes...I now have piles in various locations in the house, including my room, the dining room, and the living room. I didn't realize how much stuff I had accumulated while living back there. Let's just say that I have SO many pairs of shoes that I am not quite sure where I am going to put them all.

The stuff that was in the boxes isn't stuff that I necessarily need. I mean, I own all of the stuff, I bought it with my money, but I have survived without it for 3 months.

One of the good things about having all of my stuff on this side of the country is I feel complete in some way. Maybe complete isn't the right word. It now feels that I can move on with my life. I don't have to think about how or when I am going to go back to DC to get my stuff. I can begin to look forward.

Not only do I feel like I can move on, I can watch some of my favorite movies...like Zoolander, AnchorMan, and Dumb and Dumber. :)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Do Not Eat McDonald's Eggs!

On Tuesdsay night, when Jenn, Natalia, and I were at McDonalds, I saw something disturbing. One of the workers had a few boxes with different items in it...cups, biscuits, and some unidentifiable items. One of the boxes fell over, and a package that contained about 20 yellow, frozen squares fell out. I just looked at it, trying to figure out what it was, when Jenn asked "Are those eggs?" to which the worker replied "yes".

In all reality I knew that McDonalds didn't crack the eggs open and cook it there, but seeing it, in that square shape, did something to me. This was disturbing for several reasons...1) the way it was packaged 2) the fact that it was square 3) there was no white part to it...just yellow 4) and it is just weird! Thank goodness it was frozen. In all reality, I know that the eggs are cracked before hand, put in a square shape, freezed, and then shipped....but still!

When I do eat McDonald's breakfast, I never get the egg anyways, but even if I did, I would not anymore.

Last day in DC

My last full day in DC was on Tuesday. It was absolutley beautiful out...about 80 degrees.

I got off at Farragut North, which put me 2 blocks north of the White House and right in the middle of the business district in DC. I walked around for a little bit, looking for a Cosi to eat at. There were 2 places that I really wanted to eat at while I was in DC, and Cosi was one of them. There is one on every corner, it seems, much like Starbucks. I found one just when I was starting to get hungry...funny how that works sometimes :)

After I ate, I began walking south towards the monuments. The plan for the day was to read, journal, people watch, walk around, and sit in some of my favorite spots. The night before I left my journal and Bible in Jenn's car, so I had Lesley's Bible and some paper.

There is a lake that is just north of the reflecting pool (the one by the Lincoln Memorial) with grass all around it. I sat there for awhile, pondering different things. I read a little bit, and was going to journal some, but wasn't inspired to do so...the sheets of paper weren't doing it for me. I decided that I was going to walk around some.

This led me to the Lincoln Memorial. With my ipod on, I sat on the steps of the memorial, and took it all in. There is something about sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, being able to see the WWII Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol all in one view. There is so much history that the Lincoln Memorial alone holds, let alone those other places. After sitting there for awhile, I decided to continue on walking. Somehow I ended up sitting on a bench by the Potomac River, near the Jefferson Memorial. After walking by the Jefferson Memorial, I ended up sitting in front of the Washington Monument, directly facing east towards the WWII memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. The White House was my next stop, both the South and North sides. (Oh, and on my way to the North side of the White House a nice guy named Jerry tried to get me to sign up for Green Peace...beware, they are always there. The funny thing is that I am just as good a talker as he is, so he didn't get to say much, and before he got to make his point (after references to Anchor Man, made by me), I let him know I was not interested. Better luck next time Jerry.) The man who runs our country lives in that place...now it may seem trivial to you, but everytime I walk by the place I can't help but think of all that he endures everyday and then feel a deep respect for the man.

I ended up getting back on the metro at Farragut North and made my way to Dupont Circle. I went to the Starbucks, which faces the circle and is made of glass windows, so you can see everything. I sat there drinking by caramel macchiato, read some, and then people watched. After giving my feet a rest (I had worn old navy flip flops all day, thinking that I wouldn't be walking around that much...I had blisters that night), I went to a bookstore, and then headed back to Lesley's.

Tuesday night is small group night, so the girls that I had not gotten to see yet I would get to see. It was so good to be in that setting again, with those women who I love and respect deeply. I was able to catch up with those that I had not previously had a chance, and we laughed quite a bit before we began the study. Jenn, Linda, and I were on the couch...it is never a good combo when the three of us are next to each other. It felt like I had not missed a study, that I was jumping back into the normal routine.

I was staying with Jenn that night, since she was taking me to the airport the next morning. I said bye to everyone, both sad and excited, assured that the place that I was suppose to be was Cali. Jenn, Natalia, and I talked outside for about an hour and a half, mostly laughing, and discussed the lotion test again. I hadn't eaten anything, so we decided to find a place that was open. Turns out the only thing open at 10:40 at night is McDonalds. I am sure that was good for my body. :)

I got on the plane yesterday, with mixed emotions. I am glad to be home, to sleep in my own bed, to be with my friends and family again, but am sad that DC has to be so far away. Thank goodness I have friends back there who don't mind me staying with them. I am sure that I am going to be back across the country visiting before I know it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Back in Cali


I am once again on the West Coast. I am really excited to sleep in my own bed. It is only 10, but my body is telling me it is much later than that. Details on my last day in DC and an experience at McDonald's to come...

Monday, March 26, 2007

I Love DC!

Today I was able to venture into DC. The first excitement of the day was riding on the Metro. Public transportation rocks for several reasons...1 I don't have to pay attention to where I am going, I hop on the metro and when I get to my stop, I get off, simple; 2 I can read the newspaper, my Bible, read a book, study vocab for the GRE, for about 20 or so minutes...awesome; 3 I can people watch; 4 the unselfish reason, it is good for the environment.

The next exciting thing that I was able to do is WALK. I forgot how much I love to walk. I walked to the metro, once I got off the metro, walked to find something to eat, and then walked around the National Mall and around some of the monuments. I had my ipod on and walked around...it was glorious.

I realized, with more certainty, how much I love this place. There is something so unique about it.

After strolling around for the better part of the afternoon, I headed to the Financial Services Roundtable. This is the place I did my internship at and then was hired on with. I ended up being there for about 3 hours, talking to different people and catching up. It was so good to see them and to be that office again...such a familiarity to it.

I met up with Jenn for dinner. We went to a place that I frequented often with my friend Ashley called Capitol City Brewing Co. They have a killer happy hour and give you free hot soft pretzels. Plus, they brew their own rootbeer. After dinner, we went bowling at Lucky Strikes. Our friends Linda and Phil were suppose to meet up with us, but they each had stuff come up. It didn't matter that it was only the 2 of us, there were many moments of laughter and fun. Lucky Strikes Lanes is an upscale bowling alley and lounge. It was really cool. There is one in Hollywood that my sister has gone to, so the next time I go down I am makin sure we go. Cedar Lanes has nothin on Lucky Strikes.

After we went bowling, we went into CVS. We grabbed some magazines, sat down in some chairs, and caught up on the latest celebrity gossip. It was really funny...it reminded me of a time when Ashley, Shannon, and I went to Wal Mart and sat in the furniture department and talked for hours. Before long I had to get back on the Metro to get to Grosvenor in time for Lesley to pick me up on the way home (as much as I love walking, I wasn't too keen on walking in the dark in a neighborhood I don't know that well for about 20 min).

I am going to head back into the city tomorrow. There are a few spots that I love to go sit, people watch, read, and journal. I have all day to do whatever I wish. I have a lot of thinking and praying to do about future opportunities, and figure that tomorrow is just as good a day as any to seek the Lord in what He wants for me. It will be nice to ponder such things is such a great place.

For those of you that know me, do not worry, I am coming back to California. One thing that is clear to me, at least for now, is that I am not suppose to be in DC. There are certain things that I still need to learn before thrown back into a life here in DC, things that I don't even know about.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Chillin in the DC Metro Area...

I got into Dulles Airport Friday night at 10 pm (east coast time). It was raining and muggy...which was not a good start to the trip. I was excited to see Jenn, who was waiting out on the street for me. Now, what you all need to know is that when Jenn and I get together, something always happens, and there is always a lot of laughing. It was no different this time.

Jenn called me right after I got off the plane. She let me know she was at door 3 at the departure area...and her gas light came on. Now Dulles is kind of in the middle of nowhere, so this presented an interesting obstacle. I told her there was never a dull moment and she agreed. I walked down to baggage...and as I was picking up my luggage, I received another call. A cop had told her she couldn't stay there, so she had to start moving...and she did...at 2 mph. I grabbed my bag and hustled to the street. I saw her a few doors down...literally going 2 mph, breaking every second or so. I was on the phone with her, telling her to stop moving, laughing hysterically. She finally stopped and I was able to get in the car.

The next obstacle we had to face was finding a gas station. We were on the freeway, and she took some random exit, with no gas station in sight. We drove around a little bit before I reminded her she had a GPS that would tell us where the nearest station was. We pulled out the GPS and found a gas station right before we ran out of gas. She filled up the car with gas and now it was time to get me some food.

Airlines no longer give you food on the flight. American Airlines doesn't even give you pretzels! I couldn't believe it. It was close to 11 now, but in my mind it was only 8. I grabbed her GPS and looked at food places. We decided to stop at a KFC (since they do chicken right!) which was about 2 miles away. We followed the directions the lady gave us in the machine, but what the GPS doesn't take into account is road construction. Somehow we ended up going on some random freeway, in no way the correct direction to her house. The KFC was now going to be 5 miles away, and since we were coming up on a McDonalds, I decided that was as good as anything at this point. We pulled up and could barely understand the gentlemen helping us. We decided to order a 20 piece chicken nugget (Jenn said she wasn't hungry but I convinced her to eat with me) and a large fry. With more effort than it should have taken, we took off about 10 minutes later. I was hungry and didn't want to wait to eat at her house, since she said we were about 30 min away. I gave her a chicken nugget without any sauce...mine tasted fine but apparently hers tasted like cinnamon. We got the sauce out immediately after that (good ol' sweet and sour).

We ate, we laughed, she convinced my mom to buy us John Mayer tickets for June 6th, we laughed some more, we listened to some ghetto music...it seemed like we were driving forever. Dulles is in Virginia and she lives in southern Maryland...Dunkirk to be exact. (see map for distance) Dunkirk, I soon realized, is kind of out in the middle of nowhere. I kept asking her if we were almost there, like I was a little kid on a road trip. We finally made it to her house...at 12:30.

We decided to watch a movie. I am not sure why, since we were both exhausted. In the room downstairs, they use the playstation 2 as a dvd player. We put the dvd in, put couldn't get it to start. She had a remote for the cable and a remote for the tv, but no remote for the playstation (they do make a dvd remote for the playstation). After trying many different methods, we grabbed the wireless game remotes. We were both standing in front of the tv, each with a different remote, and we began pushing all of the buttons. After about 10 seconds of this, we looked at each other and started busting up laughing. I asked her how many college graduates does it take to figure out how to work the dvd player? She said apparently more than 2. Low and behold my education at Fresno State beat out her education at the University of Maryland because I figured out how to work it. There are sensors that have to be plugged in so the wireless remotes can work...duh!

After about 15 min of the movie, Jenn was out cold. I decided to try to watch it for a little bit longer, but soon decided it was time to hit the hay.

Day 2 with Jenn consisted of more laughs before she dropped me off at Lesley's place. Once I got to Lesley's, Lesley and I had a chance to hang out and catch up on each others lives, and take my boxes to Fed Ex (I will have my stuff in Fresno next Monday April 2...yay!). I went to a fucntion at our church (Mclean Bible Church or Frontline) regarding the children in Burundi. This was put on by the International Poverty and Justice Mission chapter of Frontline. There will be a blog later about all that I learned (I know you can't wait!)

Today, I went to brunch with Lesley, Jenn, and Natalia. We had a really great time. We went to a restaurant call Eggspectations. Once again, the conversatin left all of us laughing hysterically. One such conversation consisted of Jenn telling us she doesn't put lotion on because it takes 10 minutes....who in their right mind thinks it takes 10 minutes to put lotion on their arms and legs? Lesley and I were cracking up. When Natalia came back, she agreed with Jenn on the length of time. We had Jenn show us how she would put lotion on her arms...and the way she was doing it would take way more than ten minutes. To settle how long it takes, the two of them (Jenn and Natalia) are suppose to time themsleves Monday morning to see how long it takes and then let us know. The crazy things we talk about. I promise we do have intelligent conversations...sometimes. :)

By the time brunch was over, it was nap time for me. I crashed for 2 hours, and could have slept longer but Lesley woke me up. We went to Panera so she could do some homework and I read my bible and journaled some. Before we knew it was time to go to church...Frontline.

I was so excited to be able to worship there and to hear Todd speak. Right away, everything felt right. It was so good to be back worshipping in such a familiar setting. The message was great, as always. After church, I had the chance to hang out with my friend Linda. Lesley, Linda and I went and ate at Panera. We were able to catch up on our lives...jobs, missions, trips, boys...it was so good to talk with Linda. After dinner I went with Linda to get a few more of my boxes. We hung out for a bit at her place and talked some more. Then off to Fed Ex we went (again).

I have enjoyed being back here so much. Seeing all of my friends back here and catching up has been great. I forgot how much I loved this place, the people, the church. I haven't been to Downtown DC yet. That is the plan for tomorrow and Tuesday. I am looking forward to riding the Metro (yay for public transportation), walking around, people watching at the National Mall, going into my old place of work...and just being for a few days. I love Downtown DC!

Being back here has also made me excited for what God has next in my life. I know that what comes next is in Fresno, or at least California, but after that, only God knows, and that makes me really excited.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Government and our Freedom

Tuesday night I had dinner at my Grandma's house. Besides my parents being there, my cousin Andy was there too. Before dinner, we started talking politics, which always makes me happy. We covered a multitude of topics...from the recent Gonzalez and DOJ scandel, to the Iraq war, to sending more troops...then I brought up the question "How much freedom are you willing to give up to be protected by our government?" He wasn't quite sure.

My junior year of college, I took a public policy class at Fresno State. I didn't learn a whole lot about public policy per say...in how it is developed. In the class, we discussed current events and the latest public policy. During that time, the Patriot Act was the hot topic. We discussed this Act extensively, and the question I asked my cousin was a question that was posed to us.

The Patriot Act broadened the authority of American law enforcement in terms of fighting terrorism. What most people do not know, is that it covers so much more than just fighting terrorism.

I believe that the government continues to infringe upon the rights of its citizens. Directly after 9/11, it seemed that every citizen would do whatever was necessary for the government to "protect" us. If you polled Americans now, I don't believe that would be the case. There have been too many instances where the government has used the Act illegally to obtain information on US citizens. Part of the Act allows the government to bug your house, phones, etc., if there is any suspicion that you may be a terrorist or helping a terrorist...they can do this without a search warrant, on their own accord...for national safety. We all know how far the government took such acts directly following 9/11. In fact, some parts of the original Act were considered unconstitutional because they infringed upon our civil liberties. Other laws and Acts have been amended due to the Patriot Act, including laws on immigration and previous Acts such as the Foreign Intelligence Service Act (FISA) and the USA Act, which became a part of the Patriot Act.

The Patriot Act was renewed in 2006. It was passed in the Senate on March 2, in the House on March 7, and President Bush signed the renewal on March 9th.

The day after I had this discussion with my cousin, I received an email from Christianity Today titled Life, Liberty, and Terrorism. The timing on recieving it was interesting.

How much freedom are you willing to give up so the government can protect you?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Erin Go Bragh!




For those of you living in a cave or under a rock...or something like that...St Patty's day was this past Saturday (that would be March 17th). I hope all of you wore green and joined in the festivities of the day. If you were in downtown Fresno on Saturday night, MezCal was hopin. I didn't go there, but we drove by. One thing that is true, is that people of hispanic ethnicity know how to party, even on an Irish holiday.





Gia, Amada, Sarah Brady, and I decided to go out for this great holiday. Now, Sarah is the only one of us that is Irish. Amada is Mexican and Gia is Italian. We went to TGI Fridays and ate a little dinner. We were going to go to the only Irish pub in the Fresno area, Groggs, since Fagan's shut down. But I got a lovely call from my sister saying that they weren't letting anybody in. With this information, there was a change in plans. We ended up going back down to Tower (we met at Gia's, and they live in the Tower area) to Vinnie Vidi Vici's. It was 10:45, and the festivities hadn't started yet. We hung around for about 15 minutes and then decided to go to Full Circle Brewing Co.

We arrived right as the music was finishing...boooo! We decided to stay and check out the place. This place is really cool. They brew their own beers and root beer. We sat around, drank a little bit, and talked in these old beauty salon chairs. The aestitics of the place is great...I am not even sure how to describe it. We laughed a lot, which is easy to do when it is with the people that I was with.

All this to say...we had a great time, but next year I wan't some corn beef, cabage, and some good music. :)





Sunday, March 18, 2007

Alpaca Farm!!!!



My sister was in town this weekend, which meant that we got to see a lot of my family. My sister wanted to see my cousin and her twins. I haven't seen the twins in awhile, and the rest of my family was going, and they have alpacas...so I decided to go. One of my best friends, Sarah, has wanted to go out to the alpaca farm for a long time. She got to see them when she was in Peru and I would say is somewhat fascinated by them (or something like that). So I gave her a call, and she came with.




The twins are now 2 1/2, and are so much fun to play with! Not only did I get to play with the twins, I got to pet the alpacas. My cousin and her husband actually have an alpaca farm...Sunny Acres Alpaca. They breed alpacas, so they have a lot of them. They actually have literature, stuff made out from alpaca fiber, etc. Sarah got the royal treatment...she was basically in heaven. She was so funny. She is going to be teacher, and loves to learn new stuff. My cousin told her all about the alpacas, the baby alpacas, gestation period, their fiber, etc...Sarah even got to feed the alpacas and feel how thick their fiber is.

Because she visited the farm, she go a teddy bear made out of alpaca fiber. I asked where my alpaca teddy bear was...apparently I don't get one because I am family. That's ok, a couple of years ago I got socks made out of alpaca fiber...I don't know where they are at the current moment, but when I find them I'm going to wear them everyday.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Weekend in Pasadena

I went down to So Cal this weekend. I went to a concert on Thursday night in Ventura...which was interesting. The opening act was horrible. He couldn't sing and he was sort of a spas. He moved his arm and leg around...if you know me, the next time you see me ask me to do an imitation of this guy. The second girl, Kimberly Jean, was decent. She could actually sing, but she was bad at introducing the next song. When she sang a song called Banana in my Drive Way, I lost all respect for her. When Eric Church finally came on, I was more than ready for him. He didn't come on until 10:00, and I was really tired, but he was really good. He definitely was worth listening to those other two and worth waiting for. I didn't get to my sisters place until 12:30, which I am not too sure she was happy about considering she had to get up around 5 to continue studying for a test.

Anyways, after my sister got done with her test Friday morning, the fun began. We hung out with two of her friends and went shopping. Her and I got to eat lunch together, which was really nice. The day included watching a movie and trying to take a nap. That night we went to a pre-spring break party with the 07's, 08's, and 09's in the Physicians Assistant program at USC. I had a blast. I forgot how much I love to meet new people.

Saturday consisted of going to Universal City Walk to eat lunch and hang out. Then I took a nap and my sister went to Ikea with two of her friends from Fresno that were visiting. That night we hung out at the apartment and went to 21 Choices, which is the best frozen yogurt shop that I have ever been to. They have six different flavors every day, and then you have the opportunity to mix in different items (kind of like Coldstones but with yogurt). I received a coupon for a free yogurt for the next time I am in Pasadena. :)

On Sunday I had the opportunity to meet up with some friends who moved down there for grad school. It was great to catch up with them. Stacey and I went to lunch at the Corner Bakery. I love this place. There was one in Virginia that I was able to go to. So now every time I go down to Pasadena I make my sister go there. It was great to hang out with my sister. I love hanging out with her and just being able to talk about whatever. I know that there aren't going to be many times in the future where that will happen, at least while she is still in grad school and especially when she starts her rotations. I ended up coming home around 2 or so.

The consensus is that I love Pasadena. The town has such history to it. Downtown Pasadena reminds me so much of Georgetown in Washington DC...if I can't be in DC the next best place is Pasadena.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Concert Tonight!!!

I am going to a concert tonight in Ventura...and I am really excited. I am going to see Eric Church. If you like country music, you will like him. He has a song that is out on country radio called How 'bout You. He is kind of like Dierks Bentley, similar style. I suggest that you go to his website and listen to his music if you like country. :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Addicted to Cell Phones


I was pondering the issue of anwering calls and texts messages today. I have realized that I am "addicted" to my cell phone. If I am at home, I usually have it with me, no matter what room I am in. If I am leaving the house, there are three things I make sure I have, one of those things is my cell phone. If I forget my phone, or realize some thirty minutes after I have left the house that I forgot my phone, I freak out. When my sister was living in town and I was still in school/working, there was one time that I forgot my phone, and since I was having lunch with her and my mom, I called her before she had to go to work and asked her to stop by the house and get my phone. I couldn't even go half a day without having it in my possesion.

When did I get to the point of needing to have a phone on me at all times? Fifteen years ago, even ten years ago the majority of people did not have cell phones. If they were driving or out, if you wanted to reach them, you had to leave a message in hopes that your call would be returned. Now, most everyone has a cell phone. When I was a jr high leader at my church it amazed me how many of the kids had cell phones.

We have become a nation addicted to cell phones. Today, I was driving to an appointment, of course on the phone with my sister, and I looked over to the cars that were next to me, and the drivers in both cars next to me were on their phones. I laughed out loud, which kind of confused my sister, since nothing funny was being said. Part of me was laughing because I realized that if I am in my car driving, at least half of the time I will be talking on the phone.

Out in public, I try to keep my phone conversations to a minimum and try to speak quietly...unlike the girl at Starbucks tonight. She was talking so loud, that I could hear her above my ipod, which wasn't quiet. I could care less about her ex-boyfriend, but now I know all about him.

We are becoming a nation that can't stand silence. It is amazing when you actually stop and look around at the number of people talking on a phone or listening to an ipod. This was even more evident to me when I was living in DC and walking to and from the metro from home and work. Any kind of noise will do.

There have been times when I have deliberately not answered a call or turned my phone off. As much as I like being able to get ahold of people when I want to, I don't always want to be available to everyone. I decided this is kind of healthy. I wonder if there will ever be a day when I could go without my cell phone without freaking out all day because I don't have it with me.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Psalm 23:1

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want"

Psalm 23 is a psalm that is known inside and outside the Christian community. It is one of the most well known scriptures in the Hebrew Bible. I was pondering and meditating over this scripture today. The psalm shows God as protector, provider, and comforter.

The very first part of the verse is "The Lord is my shepherd..." This is a statement, a fact, a promise. A shepherd was one who protected and looked after the sheep. The shepherd provided all that the sheep needed. A sheherd leads and guides the sheep. The second part of the verse "I shall not be in want" is a consequence to the first statement. Because God is our shepherd, we have all that we need. Period. There is no question about it. The New Living Translation puts the second part of verse one this way, "I have all that I need".

As Christians, do we truly, deep down believe this? I do believe that the Lord is my shepherd, my protector and my provider, but how often do I think I need more. More of what, I am not sure. I know that I have all that I need. I do believe this scripture with all of my being. God has provided above and beyond what I could have ever asked for, and he continues to. When my mind is dwelling on eternal things, I know without a doubt that not only do I have all that I need, I most likely have more than I need.

I would be lying if I said that there were not things that I wanted. But a want is different than a need. According to the original Hebrew, the word used here for want is rox, which is translated as a need and means to lack or be without...a need is something necessary to live. Since it says that I shall not be in need, God will provide all that I need, so that I am not without that which is necessary to live. A want, according to merriam-webster dictionary, is a desire. I don't have to have certain things to survive, I may think I do, but I don't. Just as it says in Matthew 6, if the Lord provides for the birds of the air who do not reap or sow or store away in barns, how much more valuable am I than the birds of the air to God, since I am made in His image, and how much more will He provide for my needs.


Since I do believe that all scripture is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), I believe that the Lord is my shepherd, and He has given me all that I need, at the present time, to live an abundant life for Him.

The GRE

I took the GRE on Wednesday afternoon. I ended up studying, a little bit? Actually, I really didn't study at all. I had surgery 8 days before the test and therefore didn't feel like studying. I can sum up in one word what the test is like, it...sucks. It is computer based, which makes it interesting. You can't move onto the next question until you answer the question you are on. Once you have answered a question, you can't go back to it, even if you have time at the end of the test. This is because the next question that you get is based upon the answer you gave for the question you are on.

For example, if I get the question right, it is going to give me a question with greater difficulty. If I get the answer wrong, then I am given a question with less difficulty than the question that I just answered. Basically, you know if you got the question right or wrong right away. Or at least I did. I knew that I wasn't doing so well when one of the comparative questions that came up was larvae:adult as...and the answer was tadpole:frog.

The plan was to take the GRE once in Febraury and once in March. I was just going to take it to see what the test was like in February. In all honesty, I was hoping that I would get the score that I needed the first time I took it. I knew this was unlikely, seeing as how I felt horrible while taking the test, but I was hoping.

I am going to study for the GRE this time around. I really don't want to, I hate standardized tests, but if I want to go to grad school, then I have to take it again. I need to find some internal discipline to study.