Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Missions Month 2009-Haiti

This Friday night is the kickoff of Missions Month at The Bridge. This year we are going to be raising funds to help our brothers and sisters in Christ in Pignon and San Raphael, Haiti.

As I have been preparing for this month, I can't help but think back to my time in Haiti last March. And I can't help but long to go back there. To fellowship with them. To try to establish positive cycles of income.

If missionaries go into a country and create dependency, then something has gone terribly wrong. That is one reason I am extremely excited about this years project. We desire to create ways for the Haitians to help themselves, only first by providing the main resources, and then having them take over. 2 sugar cane machines and 2 dug wells so that syrup may be produced, and either used or sold, and water to be able to grow crops to eat and sell. If they are able to sell their product, they can buy other items...and the money goes on and on.

And my heart longs for simplicity. It is easy to get caught up in the busyness of life here in the if it is a status of importance if you are busy. I long to be able to slow down. To be able to serve. To be able to invest in people.

And although I have seen how they live, I will never fully understand their way of life...even though I desire to know. To know what it is like to depend on the Lord for everything...what it is like to wonder where my next meal will come from...

And again I am reminded of how much I have, what I have been given, and how I should be giving away what I am able to.

And once again my heart is breaking for the injustice that takes place all over the world. But not only for those that are in the midst of the injustice, but for those in the US who are ignorant to what goes on in other countries. If only people knew...

Growing Up...

When I was younger, I couldn't wait to be in jr high. When I was in Jr High, I couldn't wait to be able to drive. When I was in High School, I couldn't wait to be in college. When I was in college, I couldn't wait to have a job.

Essentially, as we are growing up, we are being taught what it means to be a grown up. How to be responsible. How to act. How to function in the "real world"

I am in the stage of life where all of this is coming into play....

I am out of college. I have a job. I am engaged to the most wonderful man. In just about a week I am going to have a mortgage payment.

And apparently, now I am adult. Except, I don't feel like an adult. I mean, I am responsible, with my time, money, belongings, etc. I know how to take care of myself. I know how to function in the "real world". But I still don't feel like an adult.

And I am not sure if I ever will.

And I think that might just be ok.

One thing is for sure...if Blake and I can raise our kids (years from now) half as well as my parents raised me, I think we will have done a darn good job.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Let the Chaos Begin!

Today starts the end of my life for 2 months...going into high speed for missions month preparations. I am still going to try to have somewhat of a life in the midst of all the meetings, planning a wedding, moving our stuff into our house that will be finished the beginning of February for Blake to move into....

We have 2 extremely busy months ahead. Amidst the chaos, I am going to stay positive...these months will fly by, which means I am that much closer to marrying my love.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Winter Vacation

One of the things that still gets to me is not having a winter break, spring break, and especially a summer vacation. My mom works at a school, so she gets this time off. Every summer she almost has me convinced that I need to go into teaching or working for a school in some way...but not quite.

Since Christmas and New Years fell on a Thursday, and The Bridge was kind enough to give us half days and one of the two Fridays off, I used some of my vacation time. I left work on Tuesday Dec 23rd at noon and will be going back into the office tomorrow. Along with spending time with family and friends, Blake and I were able to spend some great time together and we got a lot of wedding stuff taken care of.

Here is a recap of this past week and a half...

Tuesday Dec 23rd:
Off work at noon
Appt with the florist
Christmas Eve Eve-Dinner and Bowling with the fam
Made candy for Blake's mom while she took care of embroidering something for Blake until midnight

Wed Dec 24th:
Finished making candy
Watched movies with the fam
Went to Visalia for Christmas Eve with the soon to be in-laws
Opened up presents with my family here in Fresno

Dec 25th:
Breakfast at Grandma's with one side of the fam
Opened up more presents at home
Christmas lunch with the other side
Played Rock Band
1st annual Ridgeway German Gingerbread House Buildoff

Dec 26th:
After Christmas shopping...bought Christmas decorations for the house next year!
Lunch with the parents
Movie-Marley and Me

Dec 27th:
Lunch with the fam

Dec 28th:
Awesome sermon on prayer
Brunch with my girls!

Dec 29th:
Coffee with Rachel
Wedding stuff the majority of the day with Ash
Hung out with the Phillips...Blake and I kicked 2 six year olds butts along with their parents! :)

Dec 30th:
Ran a bunch of errands with Blake
Movie-Bedtime Stories
Dinner-Elephant Bar

Dec 31st:
More wedding stuff with Ash and Blake
A group of friends went out for New Years and danced the night away!
Oh, and we had Denney's at 2 in the morning like we were in college again

Jan 1st:
Watched the Rose Bowl at the Phillips'

Jan 2nd:
Blake and I escaped Fresno for some sun on the central coast...there is another whole post with this one...

Jan 3rd:
Coffee with Ash before she left me again to go back to SoCal
Lunch and stuff with Blake's parents
We saw that our house was painted the wrong color (this too, is another post...)

Jan 4th:
Sermon at church was great...very thought provoking, allowing for great reflection time.
Lunch with Luke and Sarah Mundy!
More errands
And work....I got a lot done this afternoon and am ready to get back to work.

It hit me yesterday that there is less than a month before missions month starts. And instead of dreading it like I did before I was able to get away from work, I am looking forward to it. Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I believe in this years project 110%, but there is so much that goes into it, and when you are in the middle of planning a wedding and building a house, it becomes a little much. But the Lord renewed me today. I am ready to tackle these next two months, not because I can do it on my own, but because I know that Jesus is walking through all of this with me....all the joy and the frustration.

So although I don't get a "winter vacation", if I can have some time off like I did this year, I will be in good shape. And it looks like I will get a spring break this year too...2 weeks off, the majority of that in the Caribbean, is not too shabby....