Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Auld Lang Syne.

It is New Years Eve here in Cambodia. Josh and I had a delicious dinner at the Phnom Penh FCC (pizza and half price smoothies and cokes…perfect!) and are now sitting back in our room reflecting on our time here and all that this new year potentially holds for us. We both have running lists of goals, dreams, and areas of growth we want to achieve this year. The Lord continues to be incredibly gracious to us in our time of living here. We love being married and sharing this time in Cambodia. It truly is an adventure. And it is stretching and challenging to the both of us at times, but we trust (even when we fight against it) that the Lord is using every piece of our time here for a purpose.

I don’t want to miss those moments He brings along. I don’t want to shrug them off in frustration or dismiss the profound when it comes wrapped in the ordinary. I find that a great deal of what the Lord longs to produce in me requires nothing more than my humility and trust. And perhaps my attention. I partner eagerly with Him to begin with and then slowly trail off to follow distraction or veer from difficulty.

I desire more this year. More of the Lord, more from myself, and many more opportunities to be present in each moment.

“For the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, he will be found by you.” 1 Chronicles 28:9

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Motion Pictures.

As a follow up to the last blog, here are two spectacular and riveting video snapshots of our time at home. Videography at its finest. :)

This second one is a recap of our exciting day of sledding. Sometimes we accidentally speak with accents. But the silliness (and the sledding skill) is all on purpose (with the special addition of a top secret mission at the for it..).

Monday, December 29, 2008

Home sweet home.

Josh and I were blessed to be able to go home for 3 full weeks this month to visit with friends and family and experience a surprisingly very white Christmas in Washington!

We had been planning toward our time at home with great anticipation. The entirety of our marriage (minus the 3 days after our wedding) has been spent in Cambodia and we were excited at the idea of finally getting to be a married couple at home, feeling like teenagers as we walked around the Alderwood Mall holding hands (something we don’t get to do in Cambodia…we are so brave :) We loved getting to bundle up in layers of clothing (also something we don’t get to do in Cambodia) and be unexpected participants in the great blizzard of ’08 (it sounds more dramatic that way..)
Prior to the winter weather finding us, Josh went off to sleep overnight in the snow on top of Mt. Pilchuck.

And I had plenty of winter adventures of my own trekking to exotic locations such as "Target," "Kohls," and of course "Starbucks." The latter location was a glorious reunion made all the finer by this new festive Starbucks travel mug which not only kept my many Americano's warm, but also saved me 10 cents per purchase making my Starbucks cards go that much farther! A Christmas miracle!

In the realm of other activities, Jaime, Brenda and I got to do what all 20-something-ish-year-olds do around the holidays.

Have a sleepover/sledding party!!

Yes, we were blessed with the glorious company of each other, my mom, two cats, and yummy food, as well as a treacherous driveway packed with ice and snow, perfect for sliding down on boxes formerly used to transport fire logs! Safety first.

I got to spend lots of time with my favorite Ferguson family.

The senior picture pose is catching for it..


And 3 weeks allowed for plenty of opportunities to lose to Tom while playing the card game Fourteen.
Josh had the great opportunity to preach at Hope the second Sunday we were home (and did a tremendous job at all 3 services), and we enjoyed the luxury of listening to English worship at both Hope and New Life :)
Christmas morning found us in our traditional Santa hats, at our most attractive, and ready for any and all photo ops.
Tom worked diligently one of the first days it snowed to build this highly impressive snow man.

And Matt, Josh, Joost, and Makala increased its usefulness beyond just a thing of beauty to a can-filled BB-gun target of practicality. Christmas miracle number 2.
A snapshot of the whole family (minus Andrew, Megan and family) patiently eating breakfast before opening presents :)

We were spoiled.

And entirely okay with that.

We headed back to Phnom Penh on Friday, slept most of the 13 hour flight to Taipei, and once at the airport immediately got lost (intentionally) in one of their magical, peaceful forest displays. We are suckers for nature, whether real or synthetic.

I also took the opportunity to savor my last Starbucks Americano for the next 8 months. The Taipei airport Starbucks makes excellent Americanos for the record. And it sustained me through our long hike just down the way from Gate C11.
We are so thankful that our time at home was restful, sweet, and filled with many great memories and conversations that we take with us as we are now back in Cambodia gearing up for the new year, and the first team of the year which comes on the 1st!

We want to finish here well, to serve the Cambodians and the teams well, and to grow in ways that the Lord has purposed for our time here. Thanks to everyone for the continued prayer support! We see the fruit of it on a daily basis!

Wedding Bells.

Josh and I were very excited while we were home to get a copy of our wedding pictures!! They capture the big day quite well :)