Curiouser & Curiouser

Visiting Bellingham

I recently took the kids up to Bellingham to visit Jonathan while he was away for two weeks. We visited a couple parks, drove around a lot, went to one of his concerts and found the house where Jonathan lived for several years as a child. It was hard work, but so worth the time and effort (and lack of sleep!) it took to be away from home for awhile.

 

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Puyallup Fair
Curiouser & Curiouser

Starting Again

I figure it’s time to start writing again. My fiancé, Jonathan, was recently put on swing shift (3:30pm-12am, I didn’t know that before he was put on it) and my once pleasantly full evenings are pleasantly quiet for the time being. It’s been 55 days since I arrived back in Washington State, and it’s 43 days until our wedding. To start my writing (hopefully) habit, here’s a list of everything that’s been going on.

  1. Wedding planning. My mom thinks that I need to be doing more of it. Apparently, I’m keeping her awake at night with my apparent lack of planning.
  2. Home buying. Jonathan and I found a house to buy in the same city that he works, about 15 minute bicycle ride away from his work. We like it, we’re hoping the bank appraiser likes it enough to tell the bank to give us the loan.
  3. Spending time with Jonathan. This should have come first on the list. It’s very nice. 🙂 We go to his trumpet lessons, watch movies/TV episodes, go places and eat good food.
  4. Losing weight. The happy fifteen has struck. It’s a bit early considering we’re not even married yet. I’ve used MyFitnessPal consistently (15 whole days!) for the first time in my life. We’ll see how long that last. Apparently, I’m supposed to fit into my wedding dress.
  5. Playing with kittens. This is also very nice. There’s currently nine on the property, five hellions who are terrified of people and four munchkins who lick your ankles, they like you so much.
  6. Church and community group. We’re worshipping, learning, praying and studying with some very lovely people at Seaside Community Church.
  7. Crafts. I knit a rug/floor mat out of fabric. I also just carved a crochet hook. I also made some flowers out of tissue and crepe. I need to make a bazillion more.
  8. Time with God. I’ve been struggling with this one since being home. Focusing on relationship with God is a lot easier when you’re surrounded by people who are also focusing on him. I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re not meant to walk by ourselves. God has still managed to get in some good conversations with me when I wasn’t ignoring him!
  9. Communication. Oh…well, right. That hasn’t been happening, at least with people outside of the ones who are face to face with me. Sorry, I suck. God’s been talking to me about it, and I’m working on it. I feel like I’m always working on it!
  10. Is there supposed to be a number ten? There’s no number ten. You have before yourselves a complete and sum total of my life so far. That, and I want to go read a book! Laters!
Puyallup Fair
This is colorful and fun. We went to the fair, which I’ve been looking forward to for a year!
Curiouser & Curiouser

Explore!

As a team, one of the things we’re trying to do this year is get out a bit more and explore the beautiful and interesting places in our back yard. This week, we went to Nant Mill near Wrexham, and walked to Minera. It was the perfect day for me!

First of all, we don’t have enough space in our car to fit everyone, so I got to go by bus with two other people. Normally, this wouldn’t be so wonderful of a thing, but this time around, I didn’t know how to get where we were going. I love adventures where I don’t know the way (entirely). We managed to find the rest of the group at our starting point at Nant Mill without any problem though, thankfully.

Once we got to Nant Mill, there was no plan. (Hooray!) I love it when there aren’t any plans. We decided to walk where most people hadn’t been before. (We had taken them to Nant Mill for the team building day, but they had walked through the Plas Power Woods.) There was lots of stopping for photographs, laughter and conversation as we walked along. When we got to a field that had some cows, we decided to pray for England and Wales and for reconciliation and blessing for both nations.

And then we decided to walk all the way to Minera! There were sheep and cows and a horse along the way, and we had fun exploring the old lead mine. Sadly, the information centre isn’t open, and hasn’t been open for a long time, as far as I could tell. There were cobwebs growing on the door handles.

When we got back to the Nant Mill car park, we decided to go for coffee in Coedpoeth because we had some extra time. Again, due to lack of space in the car, three of us walked up to the village. Along the way, we took a detour through an odd-looking door…we found fields and a partridge! We also saw rainbows, and we ate some delicious apples that we found fallen off of someone’s tree.

It’s just so good to enjoy the small surprises that lie along the way!

 

Curiouser & Curiouser

Sometimes, life is just good

And it’s usually people who make it that way. It’s hard to imagine life without people, and I’m not sure I want to either! I really need time on my own to rest and recharge, but the reason that I want to rest and recharge is so that I can be a fully functioning human being around others again.

This is something that I’ve been learning about and getting better at over the past, I don’t know, 10 years? I still don’t love people to the best of my ability all the time. And sometimes, “to the best of my ability” isn’t very much. Which is why I was glad that this week was about evangelism. Often we think about evangelism as this scary thing that involves preaching on the street, trying to tell people things they don’t want to hear, and generally being annoying. But this week we learned how to make evangelism genuinely about good news. We learned that evangelism is about loving people and listening to them, asking questions and sharing our stories. We learned that it can be fun to tell people that they matter to God and how Jesus lived and died to make all the broken parts of life and the world whole.

So even though it’s still a little bit scary to start conversations with people (because you don’t know how they’re going to react!) it’s become more of a joyous adventure than a dreaded chore. Hopefully that will continue to grow, because I truly believe that telling people about the hope that God offers is one of the best ways that I can love them.

So, about the photographs. Thursday nights, my colleague’s family comes over to dinner. It’s a loud, crazy, boisterous, and fun evening each week, and I love it! Their youngest daughter, who is four, has been using my camera to take photographs more and more often, and this week, I taught her how to use my remote. Some of the photos are hers, some are mine.  Hope you enjoy them!

Beautiful & Curious

Two for the taking

Here are a couple of videos that I’ve come across in the past week. They’re very different, but they both invite us to look outside ourselves and consider-to consider the intertwined lives of humanity and the things that we share in common. Hope you enjoy them! More tomorrow about this week…it’s been amazing!

Curiouser & Curiouser

A House Full of Women

This post has been on the back burner in my mind for about two weeks now. I wanted to write this after the first week of DTS, but I had other priorities. Tonight, I finally feel like I have the space and time to blog (rather than rest)…plus, I have pictures!

Before the DTS started, I was a trifle nervous. Six women? Six?! Women?! What was it going to be like with six new ywamers joining our team and doing dts? Were they going to be catty? Was I going to be able to cope with the amount of people joining the team? How was co-leading going to work? There was so much potential for things to go poorly.

But they haven’t. Instead, things have been wonderful. The women who came are a diverse and lovely bunch. They’re first and foremost relators, staying up until eleven at night just sitting in the same room, talking and laughing. And that’s the other thing-the house is now full of laughter over stories told and silly things that happened (and silly things we’ve done). Not a day goes by without a new story being created as friendships are built and places are discovered. And best of all, people don’t leave the table immediately after a meal. The conversations continue until those on dinner clean-up move us on.

So far, we’ve had our orientation week, a lecture week about the Abrahamic Covenant and Mission, and now we’re in the midst of a week focused on outreach. I’ve gotten to teach a couple of times, which has been fun. In the orientation week I taught a session about hearing God’s voice and intercession and on Monday, I taught about decision fatigue.

Yesterday, we all went up to Dinas Bran, a nearby ruined castle. It’s a stiff walk up the hill to the castle, but so worth it for the views! When I was looking up information about the castle, I found a cool poem about it (or possible Caernarfon Castle) by Wordsworth.

THROUGH shattered galleries, ‘mid roofless halls,

Wandering with timid footsteps oft betrayed,

The Stranger sighs, nor scruples to upbraid

Old Time, though he, gentlest among the Thralls

Of Destiny, upon these wounds hath laid

His lenient touches, soft as light that falls,

From the wan Moon, upon the towers and walls,

Light deepening the profoundest sleep of shade.

Relic of Kings! Wreck of forgotten wars,

To winds abandoned and the prying stars,

Time ‘loves’ Thee! at his call the Seasons twine

Luxuriant wreaths around thy forehead hoar;

And, though past pomp no changes can restore,

A soothing recompence, his gift, is thine!

Also, Dinas Bran means something like “City of Crows” depending on who you ask. So there are lots of ravens flying around when you get to the top, and some cool crow/raven sculptures along the way up. (One of the photos is my friend and co-leader Sarah on the left and me on the right.) Also, my battery died and the spare I had brought along was dead too! Sad day.