Sunday, December 23, 2007
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
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 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
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.
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
-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
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
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
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
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...
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....
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
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.
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
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
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
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.
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
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
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 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
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.
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.
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.
Cinco de Mayo...had Mexican food twice that day. Hung out with friends. Wanted to take a nap but didn't.
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).
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.
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
Monday, April 23, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
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! :)
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
Cook Breakfast (mmm...eggs)
Unloaded and reloaded dishwasher
Lunch w/ Mom
Make Vegetable Quiche for breakfast the next day
Went on a Walk
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
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Monday, April 2, 2007
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
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.
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
Monday, March 26, 2007
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
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
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
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.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
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
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Saturday, March 3, 2007
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.
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.