Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm up late tonight...it's almost 1am and I still feel like I'm full steam ahead. If you know me well, you know this is unusual as I prefer going to bed by 10pm and waking up at 5:30am, since my brain operates more clearly in the morning hours.

I'm not sure if it's because I have a lot on my mind...school work (finished an assignment due Wednesday), job search (trying to find something more interesting and more full-time), processing of recent events, or keeping up to date on my friends and familys' lives via social media sites. I'm in need of sleep because I've been up since 6am today and have a busy day tomorrow with the alarm set for 5:30am and a list of tasks as long as ever.

Maybe I'm awake because I just need time to be...to listen to my favorite Pandora station, smell the scent of my favorite candle, reflect on the recent past and daydream about the near future. Without times like this to be in the present and contemplate where I am and what I'm doing, I would be rushing and spinning through life without a clear purpose. So I think I'll sit here in my room, for as long as it takes and just be (but secretly hoping that sleep comes sooner than later so that I can survive tomorrow :)

it does not mean to be in a place 
where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. 
it means to be in the midst of those 
things and still be calm in your heart.

Friday, October 07, 2011


Monday night I went down to the beach with a friend and saw this...these beautiful electric blue waves! I had recently read a story about the red tide  here in San Diego, and being the biology nerd that I am, couldn't wait to go check it out! It was absolutely magical...I couldn't help but pull up my skirt and run out into the waves just to try and get a closer look. Unfortunately, the bioluminescence was pretty far out where the waves were breaking farther from the shore. It was a spontaneous trip so I didn't have my own camera to capture the moment...sad. I've got to get better at bringing my camera with me everywhere. Isn't God's creation simply phenomenal!

On a related note, I was reminded yesterday in my devo, of the light imagery used in the Bible.

Jesus said that He is the Light of the world (John 9:5). We are told to “put on the armor of light” by clothing ourselves with the Lord (Rom. 13:12-14). And Matthew 5:16 instructs that we should “let [our] light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works and glorify [our] Father in heaven.” 

Jesus said that no one hides a light under a basket but puts it on a lampstand to illuminate everything around it (Matt. 5:15). Our light (our actions) should point people to the One who is the Light. We don’t have any light in ourselves, but we shine with the reflection of Christ (Eph. 5:8). (odb.org)

The true source of light, Jesus, lives in us and we shine the reflection of this light in order to love others and point them to Christ. Isn't that what it's all about? 

Again in Matthew 5:14-16 from the Message, "Here's another way to put it:You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand - shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."

I just love that last part...by opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God...that is my prayer, Lord help me to be a light, speaking truth and prompting others to come closer to you.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Isaiah's poetry

On my morning run today I ventured out to Sunset Cliffs and admired the vastness of the ocean, the beauty of the cliffs and shoreline. I love how being present in God's creation bonds me to my maker. I can't help but draw near to him when I see his presence in the world around me. Today that was in the view, in the landscape. Other times it's in the love, generosity, or forgiveness of friends or strangers. Regardless, I pray that my eyes would be open to seeing his work and will being done here on earth.

The Message Bible describes Isaiah as "a poet in the most fundamental sense-a maker, making God present and that presence urgent." It also says that for Isaiah, "words are watercolors and melodies and chisels to make truth and beauty and goodness." LOVE that.

So here's what I read this morning...
"I don't think the way you think. The way you work isn't the way I work. For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don't go back until they've watered the earth, Doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They'll do the work I sent them to do, they'll complete the assignment I gave them.

So you'll go out in joy, you'll be led into a whole and complete life. The mountains and hills will lead the parade, bursting with song. All the trees of the forest will join the procession exuberant with applause. No more thistles, but giant sequoias, no more thornbushes, but stately pines - Monuments to me, to God, living and lasting evidence of God."

Love the imagery used to describe God's majesty!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


The church that I've attended the past two weeks is in a series called "Wired for Love." Today the pastor addressed three different types of love and how they pertain to the development of our relationship with God and with others. It was a good reminder that my love for God leads me into obedience. That it isn't a "good feeling" but a commitment to obey when it is the hardest...when I am fearful, unequipped, lonely, hurt, angry. Romans 12:1-3, serves as the perfect reminder, probably why I chose it as my life verse in those long ago high school days! 

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."

In view of God's agape love, his unconditional, altruistic, unselfish, covental love, I choose to love in return through actively living my life in obedience to Him and His will. Not seeking out the acceptance of the world, but living in the truth that I am accepted and loved by God and that He will continue to perfect his love in me. It's not always easy to receive that agape love from our Father when we continually fall short, but it's not about us, it's about Him and His ability to love.

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." 1 John 4:10-11

Love, it's sacrificial, unconditional. It's not about what you get out of it, but what you do in response to it. My hope is that I let God's love fill my soul, my being...spilling out to the world around me, into the lives of others so that they can experience the agape love that only comes from our loving Heavenly Father.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My OB life so far...

an amazing house to live in
 a back patio for entertaining
housemates that I can call friends
bike rides along the coast
visits with Molly and Corrie
surfing lesson uno
 harbor tour
running along the beach
church shopping
swimming at the YMCA
multiple trips to Target for all the "necessities"
great start to classes
walks along sunset cliffs
working in the charter school grading and tutoring
a behind the scenes visit to SeaWorld
games with new friends
phone conversations with old friends
cooking for one
tasting new wines and old favorites
revealing, getting to know you conversations
time reflecting on God's love and goodness
scheming that next great adventure

"And now children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. then we'll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives.
Once you're convinced that he is right and righteous, you'll recognize that all who practice righteousness are God's true children.

What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! just look at it - we're called children of God! That's who we really are. But that's also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he's up to.

But friends, that's exactly who we are: children of God. And that's only the beginning. who knows how we'll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we'll see him - and in seeing him, become like him. all of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus' life as a model for our own."

1 John 2:24-3:3


One month. That is how long I've been away home, living in a new city, far from the familiar and most of all far away from my loving family and friends...it sounds sad, scary, and overwhelming. But, it is far from the truth...in reality, it has been an experience of God's generosity, faithfulness and love. In losing the proximity of family and friends - their love, companionship, laughter - I'm gaining a deeper understanding of God's love for me as his child. The way he's been working in my heart to prepare me for this adventure, the way he has drawn me to himself in times of loneliness, and blessed me with a place to live and great new friends all demonstrate his marvelous love. 

I still feel like a child in my faith, but want to grow...grow into the likeness of Christ, grow into a life that brings glory to God, grow into a story that God is orchestrating to bring about his kingdom here on earth. It's  because of the love that he first had for me, that leads me to love him with my life in return. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I feel like my head is a jumble of thoughts today...

It's been a whirlwind weekend filled with fun, laughter and reflection. Life is exciting, brimming with adventure...small and big, that I am free to pursue without fear. It's a great way to live, in freedom. Not only in the sense of personal rights and national security, but also in spiritual and personal freedom. Insecurities and fear can exist on so many different levels, keeping us from living the life that God intends...one where we are free to love, fail, confess, and forgive, constantly being transformed "from glory to glory" as we reflect the character of Christ to the world around us. 

It's my desire to live this kind of life where I am an image-bearer of Christ, reflecting his character and glory as I strive to know him more intimately and truthfully. It is a struggle, an impossibility to perfect in this life, but I am free to live in my brokenness, embracing the love, grace and forgiveness freely offered by my God. 

Romans 8 - The solution is life on God's terms (from the Message)

"The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death."

"Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them-living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end, attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life."

"But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells-even though you still experience all the limitations of sin-you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you, you are delivered from that dead life."

A verse that really struck me....Romans 8:15
"This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike 'What's next, Papa?' God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are."

And from Galatians 5...
"My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God's Spirit. Then you won't feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness.These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?

So what does this life in the Spirit look like where we reflect Christ's glory? Galatians 5 continues...
"But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard - things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely"

Everyday, I fail to live this free life as I am entangled in my own selfishness, pride and will, but I will continue to strive deeper into understanding of life in Christ, in order to reflect his glory to the world around me. 

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sun Surf Halter

Awhile back, I found some Amy Butler patterns on sale and thought I would try to sew clothing. I've gotten comfortable making aprons, quilts and other small projects, but have always been intimidated by clothes that I would actually wear...because would they even look good enough to wear/fit right? I decided to make the Sun Surf Halter first...you can probably figure out why from the name alone...I was moving to San Diego where I would be in the sun and hopefully surfing :)

It was a pretty simple piece to make although next time I would make it a size smaller and not use quilting cotton as my fabric choice...it just kind of hangs there. However, it's been my go to top for trips to the beach. I polish off the look with my cowboy hat and walk around like I'm on vacation.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Click on the link above to view nano-scale structures of atoms that have been created via electroplating. The spontaneous arrangement of atoms resemble larger biological structures...like this fern.

metallic atoms

My favorite is the last picture, which somewhat resembles the microvilli of the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed.
made of metallic atoms
microvilli made of living cells
The atomic structures are so small that they can only be seen via electron microscopes. The scanning electron microscope allows for a 3D image as a high energy electron beam is scanned over the object surface and a detector measures the amount of surface secondary electrons that are scattered.

Friday, September 02, 2011

What I made today...

We have some really cute chairs out back, but they were missing seat cushions. I've had it in the back of my head since we got here that I should make some. Well, let me tell you it was much more expensive and harder than I thought! :) But I do like the finished product, so I guess it's worth it. I only made one today...that means I'll have to find time and more foam to make the second this weekend!

It's been a busy week....classes starting, job interviewing,textbook ordering, homework, getting my CA drivers license, and a haircut!

I was a little apprehensive about my classes...I was worried that they would be boring, pedagogical-filled, and non-practical, but I was also worried that I would be discouraged reflecting on my past four years of teaching. I never had any formal training in how to teach, but stayed in the classroom anyway. I am worried that going back to school to learn how to teach would reveal my inadequacies in the classroom. I also feel a pressure to do well in my classes since I have teaching experience...it is a whole jumble of feelings. But I must say that after my Monday and Tuesday classes I am much more relaxed and excited about the process. The teachers are engaging, funny, and care about our journey to becoming excellent teachers. I'm focusing on reflecting on my classroom experience and critically thinking about how to improve my skills. I was affirmed by what I've learned so far about what makes an effective teacher and I have confidence in my abilities to continue to become an effective, expert teacher.

Next week, I'll start a job in one of the charter schools as a classroom assistant. It is a lot of grading and tutoring...not a lot of teaching, but it is an opportunity to get connected with the charter schools and see another side of education. My field experience hours will take place in a local public school. I'm also in the process of becoming an SAT/ACT instructor and private tutor through Revolutionary Prep. All this to say, that the school/work side of things is really coming together. God is directing my path and opening doors, providing me with opportunities and the means to live :) I am so blessed by this move and although I anticipate missing home, I am still excited to be here and hoping to take advantage of my time in the here and now.

Last night, I went to watch the sunset at the PLNU undergraduate campus. There are large swells coming in this weekend and the surfers were out well into sunset...you may be able to see them in the pictures! I'm so lucky to live here...what a beautiful place!

can you see the surfers out there to the right?
sun setting behind the clouds on the horizon
waves rolling in

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sunset Cliffs

Click to enlarge the map for a better view!

I'm posting some pictures of Sunset Cliffs (highlighted on above map). I live in Ocean Beach/Pt. Loma area and the "A" is the location of PLNU's undergraduate campus (which is beautiful!). Unfortunately, my classes are way over east in Mission Valley at a satellite campus, but I don't mind because I'll only spend 8 hours of my week there. Today, a friend of Deidra's invited me to go walking along Sunset Cliffs. We started down at the PLNU campus and then walked all the way up to the OB Pier. It was probably around 6-7 miles and the sun was already hot by the time we left at 9am. It was high tide, but we were mostly able to walk along the cliffs and nearby road. Here are some pics from the adventure!

I know I'm not in any of the pictures....working on it!

Bargain Shopping

So...I've had quite a bit of extra time on my hands this past week and Kukui and I both like a good deal. We went out to AMVETS (supports Veterans) and Goodwill. I was scanning the books for a Ina or Giada cookbook find, but found some teaching books instead and thought that was a pretty good deal since I'm going back to school to become one...well a better one :)

They had two copies of the book every new teacher gets when they have their very first classroom...The First Days of School and then another on classroom management and one on teaching science as inquiry. I have a feeling they might be a bit more practical than the $110 textbook I just bought for class called "Educational Psychology." I hope I'm wrong...

But I hit the jackpot at Goodwill. In the car on the way to Goodwill from AMVETS I said to Kukui, "You know, I should have looked for an ice cream maker at AMVETS, maybe they'll have one at Goodwill." I have ALWAYS wanted an ice cream maker...who doesn't want to be able to make their very own funky flavors of creamy frozen deliciousness, especially now that I live in California! Plus, it'll be a lot cheaper than the stuff you get at molly moons or other fancy ice creameries. So I bee-lined it to the electronics and there in all it's fabulous red glory was a
Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt - Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker...yes that is it's full title!
Perfect timing for the new addition (did I mention it was only $12.99), because I had some over-ripe plums that needed a purpose. So the next day I threw the plums in the blender with a little sugar and lemon and wah lah...the perfect summer heat remedy! I'm really excited to try out the pistachio recipe as well as the mexican chocolate. But it was a simple start to what I think will be a long-lasting and fruitful relationship. My housemates disagree and think the hype will fade after 5 or so uses...only time will tell!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I have loved getting to know my new housemates here in SD and am so thankful that I decided not to live on my own. I've probably asked way too many questions and talked way too much this first week, but lucky for me I have new friends that are excited to show me around and welcome me to their home and city.

On Monday, we had a bonding adventure and went out to Torrey Pines State Reserve. "Nature" definitely looks different here than back home. The landscape is dry and desert-like with cacti and brown vegetation...hopefully due to the fact that it's the end of summer :) However, the ocean makes up for it. I've always wanted to live in an ocean beach community and now I live in Ocean Beach...or OB as the natives call it...although I'm reluctant to take on all the new lingo. Although I'm finding it doesn't take long to pick it up when everyone around you talks shorthand. I'm already saying things like "oh...I take the 8 to the 15 and then...." I guess there are too many interstates around here so you just drop the "I" in front and say "the" instead???

Here are the pics from our hike...with a couple from my last hiking adventure in WA for awhile with my good friend and native Californian, Deidra....she really should move back down here so we can play tennis in the beautiful San Diego sun!

Kukui the "cave monster"

my "sunburst" flower


Monday, August 22, 2011

the Barbie

So, moving into my new room here on Seaside street was a breeze! But assembling my new purchases from ikea and home depot...not so easy. I LOVE my new house. There are palm trees in the yard, grass that stays green all year without watering...you are probably asking, what is this magical grass...oh it's artificial turf! A backyard that is filled with beautiful plants thanks to my housemate Kukui who has a serious green thumb and a house with natural light streaming in all directions! I am so blessed to have a safe and beautiful house to live in so close to the beach and with wonderful housemates. God is good.

However, the wall that I put my new headboard on from Ikea is bowed...meaning we had to make some adjustments after frustrating attempts of securing it to the wall and fitting all the pieces together. It has bookshelves on the side and a shelf on top for extra storage! LOVE it.

And the charcoal grill given as a housewarming gift from my parents had a handle malfunction due to some human error on our part (of course). Well, the handle broke and although it is not necessary for the grill to function properly I had recently acquired some "gorilla" strength super glue and thought this would be the perfect beginners project! So after the goodbyes to my parents as they made the trip back home up the 101 I put dave matthews on Pandora and got to work on reassembling all of the broken little plastic pieces. I was pretty pleased with my progess...it was like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle, but with really strong glue that stuck to my fingers. I was SO excited to put the handle back on the barbie and text a picture to my Dad to show off my handiwork....however....when I got back out to the barbie I discovered that I had FAILED to notice that there were screws that were meant to be enclosed within the handle...aaahh! My moment of pride and success was quickly over and I sulked a bit before thinking of another way to make it work. Tim Gunn was definitely in my head at that moment :) I'm working on my new solution to super glue the nut into the handle so that the screw can go the opposite direction....I'll let you know how it turns out!

Despite a broken handle I broke out the briquets and fired them up yesterday to make my FAV lemon chicken by Ina Garten and some corn on the cob with a side salad...the perfect summer dinner! YUM


Recently, my prayers have been of thanksgiving...

Thankfulness for
supportive and loving friends and family
blessings of surprise parties and gifts
time in packwood with family
safe moving travels
a house and new housemates to enjoy
dreams coming true

and for peace that God has lead me here to San Diego for a time and purpose that he has prepared me for!

I am so grateful to have a God who is more than a name, he is my provider, protector, healer, confidant, and so much more. He desires relationship with me! in my weariness, brokenness, strength and joy. My God never fails and he watches over me day and night. Oh how I love him!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I LOVE my old housemates so so much. Last week we all got together because Jen was in town from Arizona...definitely a reason to celebrate! Sarah offered to make a delicious dinner at her place, which started with appetizers and cocktails out on the lawn...love summer nights :)

It's hard to think about leaving all these amazing friends here in Seattle, but life calls and I know that I will find a great community in my new program and life down in San Diego. But in the meantime, I'll enjoy as much time with these girls as I can get!

San Diego!

Yesterday, I conquered a personal comments essay for entry into PLNU's Master of Arts in Teaching program. Yes, this is a far cry from medical school, but let's be honest...I am a teacher. I can't seem to get away from it. So I've chosen to pursue it until God directs me otherwise. 15 minutes after I sent the email containing the essay, one of my soon to be professors, responded with excitement to say I was accepted and would start this AUGUST! In a few short weeks I will be moving to sunny San Diego where I will live near the beach, learn to surf and of course learn to become a better teacher. :)

I was able to find 2 great roommates who rent a house near Ocean Beach...a total God send! One studied Biology at PLNU and works at Sea World...who wouldn't love that job! The other just finished her masters at Bethel Seminary in counseling and loves to surf in her free time. Really...it sounds perfect!

So I'm cherishing time with friends and family (especially little Owen) and simplifying my life's possessions in order to streamline the moving process. I've been dreaming of a sun-filled beach life for some time now and really can't believe it's actually happening. This past year in Bremerton has been crazy...the ups and downs of applying to medical school, a busy teaching job at my old high school, far from my friends...but I've been close to family, saved money for the move and feel rested for this next life adventure!

God is good...he has been preparing a way for me and I continue to follow him in expectation of his great plans!

If a dog can learn...so can I!!!

trips to Sea World in my near future!

and the San Diego zoo of course!


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