Happy 2011, everyone!! I hope 2010 brought you all as much joy and blessings as it has for RJ and I!
Things have been so crazy this past quarter and it has been so long since I’ve blogged! I used to pop out cutesy and interesting posts in a snap like every other day, and now I feel like I don’t even know how to write for an audience other than grad school professors anymore.
With all that said…
Memories and Blessings of 2010
1. I started my Master’s at Loma Linda University in Marital and Family Therapy, and I am LOVING the program, my cohort, and my professors!! I have never been among such helpful, non-competitive, and generous colleagues before! And not that I don’t absolutely love my Nav family, but it’s nice to have community and friendships outside of Navs.
2. Along those lines, being a student again has reminded me of the hardship of being a student while walking with Christ and gives me a greater appreciation for what our students go through. I used to always tell the girls, “You guys need to eat, of course you have time to meet up!!” but I’ve learned how hard it is to perform well in school while investing in others and being invested in. These students are powerhouses because I wussed out big time this quarter!
3. Last January, our house got broken into. Is it a fond memory? Not really, but we saw firsthand how everything Scripture says about God being our shield and protector had a new and real meaning in the wake of it, not just the nice “Oh, God is my shield and protector” way that it was before. We also witnessed the love, support, and community from our students, people around us, and churches who generously prayed for us, replaced lost items without being asked, and gave money to replace what insurance didn’t cover. Not only that, but in doing so, God got rid of a lot of things we didn’t need to support us financially in a really tough financial season. Though our Navigators account was in deficit for most of the year, we were never in debt, never in want, never in need. God provided for us and showed us more of who He is through the break in and we consider ourselves blessed because of it.
4. The Navs at UCR really took on a form and personality! The fall of 2009 was the beginning of our second year here, and things still seemed a bit precarious. God took what little we had and established it into something firm and raised up some key players in our ministry who take on more than they are asked.
5. The girls I’ve been investing in since our first year here have taken off spiritually! They are absolutely fantastic and amazing, and I just love them to bits! It’s neat to see Scripture come alive in their lives and the truth and reality of God’s love pop out at them.
6. We got our sweet, adorable puppy Daisy, who has been one of the greatest blessings of last year. She has the sweetest demeanor and will befriend anyone who comes along, lets kids pull her every which way without us fearing she’ll attack them, and cuddles anyone who will let her. She has been a comfort and companion to me when RJ travels out of town!
7. My brother graduated and is a freshman at UC Irvine, going to Navs, and living with some Navs guys! This is a milestone because I feel like my brother is my kid or something. I’m super proud of the man he has become!
8. RJ’s sister, Rachel, graduated from college and we were able to surprise her with a visit to Eugene!
9. RJ’s mom, aunts, and sister came for a quickie visit to Disneyland just last month. What a fun time!! His Aunt Joy is the ultimate Disney tour guide!!
10. Marriage is just all the more sweeter. I can’t believe all these celebrity divorces after two years of marriage (or even 7 weeks!) . I am having more and more fun with RJ each day! I mean, the first year I would have said it was easy peasy, but now in retrospect, that was probably our hardest year and it wasn’t even that hard!! I am so blessed with a thoughtful, open, honest, generous, servant of a husband, who just happens to be good looking too. =) Lemme tell you, after a long day of classes, it is AMAZING to come home to a clean home and a nice dinner!
11. RJ and I were the first ever married emcees at the Sunland Navigators regional conference in Pine Valley this past year! It was SOOO fun to serve together and to feed off each other on stage. There’s this comfort level in emceeing with your spouse in that you know what they’re thinking and where they are going, this natural flow. People have seen me in action before, but I’m just so glad people got to see RJ for all the funnies he is!
12. I went on my first ever cruise! I can’t say I liked it. But I like the idea of it.
13. We started this insane exercise regimen called Insanity. We’re not even following it to the t, and it is crazy! Now usually, you can find me laying down on the couch eating potato chips, so I totally died the first few times we did Insanity, but RJ and I both notice that we are a lot stronger than we were before. I’ll keep you posted on our progress!
14. I know we moved into our house in November of 2009, but it feels like it was just last year! We’ve had so much fun having students and friends over and opening the home God gave us to others!
15. I got a new sewing machine! I’m hoping to make amazing pieces to wear and be able to hem and tailor stuff myself! Project Runway, whaaaaaat??
16. I got over my weird white people phobia more. I’ll explain this more in depth in another post, but it’s been good!
17. We had our first UCR Navs spring break camping trip! What an amazing time in nature, enjoying God’s creation and one another’s company! We had lots of camping n00bs turned believers!
18. A really good friend and one of the girls I discipled throughout college and my first couple years on staff got married this year! We used to talk about boys and stuff, so it’s great to know she’s found a great catch in Jimmyboy!
19. Two years later, I still fit into my wedding dress!
20. RJ and I were able to serve as retreat counselors at my home church’s annual family retreat! It was my first time since I’ve graduated college! I was also able to lead a workshop for the ladies on dating and relationships.
21. I chopped off my hair to the shortest it’s been since sophomore year in college…and I did it mostly by myself!! I definitely can’t wait to have long hair again.
22. We started our own vegetable garden in the backyard, and are starting to produce sugar snap peas!
23. Usually before a major endeavor (i.e. missions trips, going on staff with the Navigators, etc.) God gives me a promise verse. I was so happy when I stumbled upon Isaiah 50:4, the verse and promise I believe God wants me to cling to as I’m getting my Master’s in Marital and Family Therapy. It goes as follows:
“The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom,
so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
and opens my understanding to his will.”
Resolutions for 2011
1. In the busyness of school, ministry, and interning, I don’t want to forget time with Jesus! Even if it’s just one verse or 5 minutes with Him, I want to be wakened morning by morning to His will, so I draw upon His strength and not my own to better serve others and be sustained.
2. Keep working out and making healthy choices for my life and body! This includes eating out less, drinking more water, and exercising consistently.
3. I don’t want to lose myself as I meet with clients, to lose hope, to forget why I wanted to be a therapist in the first place. With every client, I want to bring Jesus, whether or not they know it.
4. Stay in better touch with friends. I just suck at it.
5. Love, serve,and encourage others more, complain less.
6. Be more involved with Navs at UCR for the rest of the year than I was last quarter. Transitions and balancing acts are hard!
7. Blog more consistently!! I want to aim for once a week at least!!
So there you have it, folks. Thanks for reading!