I’ve had a wonderful time getting to photograph families and babies this summer! Here are just a few favorites from recent sessions. =)
These are sweet days of seminary life. Andrew is quite buried in homework, but continues to love everything he is studying. In addition to my administrative job, I am enjoying a few hours a week at the bookstore, checking customers and shelving books.
Over the weekend, we enjoyed time with my grandma, uncle, aunt, and cousins. My grandma had just had a round of chemo so I had the opportunity to help out with a few things around the house and just spend time with her. It was a special time.
Last night, Andrew took me to a fancy little organic bakery in Sherman Oaks. They have an amazing selection of gluten free desserts! I have been nibbling on a delicious blondie and I am saving a mouthwatering piece of salted caramel chocolate cake. Mmmmm. Afterward, we popped in on a few of our good friends and enjoyed some spontaneous fellowship.
Lord-willing, we will be moving to a smaller apartment in a cleaner neighborhood next week. It’s time I started thinking about packing, but I haven’t done a thing yet. This weekend, we are looking forward to a couple of nights at a lodge a few hours away. It is owned by a Christian couple who lets seminary students stay for two nights free! Andrew will be taking homework and I will bring a stack of good books.
I miss my family a lot, but I know that June will be here before we know it. We are making many small but sweet memories during this season, and I am so grateful that this is where God has us.
Blog’s been quiet…a lot’s been happening…Christmas trip to visit loved ones, a couple of good old-fashioned flu bugs, holiday festivities, a trip to SeaWorld, and life in general. The break has been a very special time to share extra time together and catch up with friends and family! A few updates…
Follow-Up On My Good Intentions
I know you’re all on pins and needles to see if I followed through with my good intentions. ;) I scaled back my unrealistic plans and took small plates of brownies and chocolate to ten neighbors, along with a Christmas gospel message. It wasn’t as grand as I’d originally planned, but I love that even in a very simple gesture, God is sovereign and His truth is what changes hearts, not my presentation.
How Christmas Dinner Went Down
Remember my Christmas menu plans? I miraculously followed through on almost all of them. But due to our plane being canceled without warning and arriving home Christmas Eve Day at 6:00 PM instead of 10:30 AM, we didn’t have a nice supper that night, or the bacon with breakfast. The cinnamon rolls and all of Christmas dinner, however, still happened. The virgin orange strawberry mimosas were a hit; I’ll definitely be making those again! So easy, fresh, and tasty. Hooray!
A Short Break From Blogging
In keeping with my blog commitments, I am taking January off from blogging to work on getting myself back on track with consistent quiet times. This was an area of failure for me over Christmas break, with my Bible study ending until mid January and no plan in place for a replacement. I’m hoping to get an accountability partner here to help me stay consistent and I figured a 31-day blogging respite would help while I hopefully grow more disciplined. If you think of praying for me in this area, that would be wonderful! Because a dormant blog tends to attract spammers and deter readers, I have pre-written a few posts that are scheduled to automatically post over the next several weeks.
Happy New Year!
When I’m back in February, I’ll hopefully blog some of my goals, etc. for the new year and maybe some reflections on 2013. It was a wonderful, hard, good 365 days. God’s love, care, and grace were so evident in big and small ways and I am praising Him for another year of life and breath here on earth. Happy New Year, friends!
Have you ever had an apple tasting? It’s something my mom did with us kids every so often when I was growing up. About a week ago, I had some of my Bible study friends over for an Anne of Green Gables with Apple Tasting Party. We watched the first Anne of Green Gables movie, ate hot soup and toast, did a lot of laughing and chatting, and competed in apple tasting.
How to Host an Apple Tasting Party
- Buy a variety of apples. I bought Macintosh, Gala, Red Rome, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, and Braeburn.
- Cut the apples up into small slices and put each variety in a numbered bowl.
- Display randomly-ordered list of the varieties of apples you’ve chosen so everyone knows what to guess from.
- Provide a pen and paper to contestants.
- Have everyone taste the apples and write down which variety they think each number is.
- Winner gets a prize.
It’s simple but really fun and it’s also handy way to determine your favorite kind of apple. My favorite is honeycrisp. =)
This is the 100th post here on Anchored! We’ve been here for a month as of yesterday. Last night at a small fellowship group with fellow sem wives, my friend Tia asked everyone a few questions related to what we’d expected to encounter down here, and how those expectations have been fulfilled or turned out differently. It was a good question. I thought about it a lot more when I got home and decided to blog some of those expectations.
- I expected our apartment to be tiny and cramped, but it’s not. There’s far more space than I’d even hoped for and pretty much everything we brought fits, with a little wiggle room.
- I expected church to feel big and overwhelming, and it does. But joining a fellowship group makes a big church get small really fast. I’m surprised that we run into people we know every Sunday, in a church of thousands.
- I did not expect to feel lonely, but I do. It’s not the homesickness I’d anticipated, it’s different. There are moments, after my work and responsibilities are done and Andrew is still doing homework, when not having my best friend or a family member to call for coffee or a game night hits me really hard and I feel very alone.
- I expected there to be many young married couples without kids in seminary, but there aren’t. There are tons of young families and a lot of single guys.
- I expected Andrew to be swamped with homework, and he is. God prepared me to be fully ready for evenings and Saturdays to be for homework. I’m encouraging Andrew to study and not making him feel bad about being busy. This week he got 105% on his first Hebrew vocab quiz! When I texted that I was proud of him, Andrew replied, “It’s a victory for both of us ’cause the time I spent studying was time I didn’t spend with you…but it paid off!”
- I expected it to be hot, and it is. It’s been around 100 or more all week. As I write this, it’s 101 and supposed to reach 103 this afternoon. The apartment is stuffy and cooking is a drag. But that’s no surprise and I’m learning to get used to it.
- I expected it to take awhile to make close friends, and it does. But we’ve already been so blessed to meet a number of amazing people who love Jesus and have a heart for people and ministry. I know there are very special friendships in store, likely with some of the people we’ve already met but haven’t spent much time with yet.
- I expected to be hard to find gluten free food, and it is. Until yesterday. I discovered Sprouts on the recommendation of friends. It is like our co-op back home, maybe better! It’s in Burbank but so worth the extra jaunt! Thank You, Lord!
Yes, there are a lot of good and hard things about this new season of life. It’s stretching, and Jesus’ presence and love are becoming more dear to my heart. Despite the tearful moments and the ache in my heart that sometimes doesn’t want to fade, I am very content and completely confident that today I am exactly where God wants me to be. No second thoughts, regrets, or misgivings. God’s work in my life is an encouragement to me, and I know He has so much more in store for my spiritual growth as the weeks roll on. Thank you for your prayers…there is no doubt He is answering them!
You probably thought I’d forgotten all about our “current” Fervent Love series, but here’s another post. =)
Fervent love may look like discipling a brother or sister.
I remember at one of our church’s recent missions seminars, the guest speaker suggested that everyone have a Paul and a Timothy in their lives. The idea is that you always be learning from an older brother or sister, while sharing what you’ve learned and grown in with someone younger. I like this concept because it stimulates continued personal growth while encouraging giving of yourself to others.
For most of my life, my mom and I have met regularly for a mostly informal discipleship time where I can learn from her and share what I’m going through. Sometimes we go through a book, although often we talk for so long we run out of time to read together. =) So for now, she is my primary “Paul”.
A year or so ago, I added two “Timothys” to my life. I met with, discipled, and prayed for a younger sister in Christ regularly, and very informally counseled/mentored a young lady as she walked through a difficult time. Both relationships were a tremendous blessing to me, probably more than to these friends! It was exciting to be able to share what God has taught me through failures and victories in my life. Maybe He used me to spare them from making some of the mistakes I did. The Lord also used our times together to show me how much He has blessed me and to remind me of difficult seasons He carried me through and brought me out of.
Hopefully if we have younger siblings we’re all building those relationships with purpose and being an intentional, godly influence in their lives. For me, especially since I don’t have sisters, the timing seemed right to add another opportunity to invest in someone younger. Now, of course, I’ve moved, but I’ll try to stay in touch with these gals, and perhaps find a new “Timothy” in our new church.
How about you? Do you have a “Paul” you are learning from? And do you see an opportunity to turn around and give back to a “Timothy”? It’s a great way to grow and be stretched in new ways.
We are into our new apartment! I’ll be posting a photo tour of it sometime in the next week or two. We absolutely love it and are thankful beyond words that God provided something so perfect for us. It far exceeded our expectations or even hopes.
In the meantime, here’s a quick look at the last week-and-a-half, cubed. So much more happened, but I’m not very consistent about photographing it.