Monday, December 31, 2012

So long 2012!

It is 2:30am on the last day of the year and I just can't sleep.  I guess this is how I would explain this year... lots of sleepless nights with God choosing to do open heart surgery.

When God is trying to change my stubborn heart to follow him... unfortunately it normally takes several sleepless nights of wrestling to get me to line up with His perfect will.  It is only appropriate to note that even though I am up my heart is at peace with the decisions He has put on it.  I can finally say that "It is well with my soul."  Twenty twelve will go down in the history books in 20+ hours as a year that I wrestled through.

Thankfully God ended victorious and for that I am blessed.  Twenty thirteen will enter with my heart headed in the right direction.  It may not be popular or what I particularly want at the moment but He sees the entire year in advance while I see only the day.  I will continue to live intentionally with no regrets following wherever He leads.  It is not my will but His!

"Those who hope in the LORD... will soar on wings like eagles." Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A crossroad for faith

If faith is truly built on stepping out on things unseen... what happens to our faith when we choose to obey God and disobey man even when the outcome is unseen and not popular?

Recently I was faced with the reality of where would I be if I had disobeyed God and chose to follow man.  My path would have taken a very drastic turn.  I was told that had I moved back when he was asking we would have gotten married.  I clearly remember the question and knowing God was calling me back to Molokai.  If I had stayed in NC, I would have gotten what I thought was my hearts desire and made several others happy... however I would have displeased a Holy God.  Could God have used this situation?  Yes!  Would it have been His best? No!

At the moment, I know obedience is so much more important and that God's calling is so much more important but it means sacrificing something that I have desired for so long.  Is that what it looks like to pick up my cross and follow Christ?  In order to pick up the cross, I have to lay down my hopes and desires trusting that His way is best.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A walk down memory lane

It has been twelve years since I have lived under my parents roof (other than the occasional visit).  Slowly but surely I have gone through everything that was mine.  All but one box has either been gotten rid of or sent to Molokai. 

This morning I was going through the last box of momentos... most of which I want to keep but have no purpose for on Molokai.  In the box was a stack of cards from high school and college graduation.  As I was going through them my heart was overwhelmed by the nostalgia and encouraged by what others saw in me that I didn't see inside of my self at that point.  Many well wishers have passed away which reminds me to take each moment and make it count because we are not promised tomorrow.  The messages in the cards remind me of my calling and to put the Lord first in my life.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Living beyond our strength

In a place where many people live beyond their means... spending more than they make... it got me thinking of what God has called us to as His children.  Humanity as a whole are weak sinners that can do very little on their own.  However from the outside looking in, it looks like we have it all together.  You know what I mean... two story, four bedroom house, 2.5 children, the "perfect" spouse, all enclosed with the white picket fence.  But what would happen if all the stuff was striped away and we were left with nothing.

In the book of Job, God is bragging on his servant.  The enemy retorts that it is because he has always been kept in a perfect little bubble.  God allows the enemy to strip the perfect bubble facad off.  Through a painful process true character and strength are revealed.

Just imagine the "perfect" suburban lifestyle.  What would be left if your house burned down, your spouse left, you were fired from your job, and your children were taken away?  Would there be anger and bitterness or joy and strength?

So many times we have no problem worhshipping God when everything is going well... but what happens when things turn south?

The Warrior is a Child

While in NC for Christmas, I met up with a long time friend for lunch.  During our conversation I realized that I put on a facad of strength that I don't always feel on the inside.  When asked what my hearts desire is and hearing my answer, the friend was shocked with my response as it didn't line up with my independent, adventurous spirit.

This got me thinking of a song that dad and I used to sing called "The Warrior is a Child".  The lyrics say...

Lately I've been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight
People say that I'm amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don't see inside of me
I'm hiding all the tears
And they don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while'
Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child
 
Unafraid because His armor is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I'm amazing
Never face retreat
But they don't see the enemies
That lay me at His feet
And they don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child
And they don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and look up for a smile
'Cause deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child
Most of the time I feel like a small child... not being able to do it on my own.  It is these moments that my mighty heavenly father comes alongside and provides above and beyond what I could ask or imagine.  To the outside world it may look like I have it all together but in reality it is not me at all... but He who lives within me!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My outlet

Journaling has become an outlet to me over the years.  Some of these journals have been published in blog form... many have stayed in the hand written form to live out their lives of solitude in a filled journal on a dusty shelf. 

Many of the entries end in a prayer expressing my heart to my maker.  Yes, I know He made me and knows my heart... but I really think He wants a relationship involving conversation.

It seems lately that more of my journal entries have ended asking for God to speak.  What if God is speaking but I am not hearing him for all the other voices?  What if I am not wanting to hear because it is not what I want? 

Unfortunately I know lately it has been some of both.  I want to be like Samuel that says... "Speak Lord I'm listening."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I hear voices


How many times do the voices of the world intrude our daily thoughts? Even in the midst of the season of our Savior's birth the shouts of “I want”... Go here... Do this... Buy me... drown out the small quiet voice of our Lord. God is not dead but drowned out in many cases.

These voices surrounding us each day bring about fear and anxiety rather than peace and joy. God comes to those who will take the time to listen to his quiet voice.
 
Don't get distracted by all the voices trying to get our focus off of the real meaning of Christmas. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wrestling with God


After a temper tantrum and a sleepless night 24 hours ago, I am seeing a bit more clearly. I am beginning to see what Jacob must have felt like after wrestling with God.
 
I have realized my timing is not God's timing.
 
I cannot force a guy to be my knight in shining armor.
 
 I am going to follow God's prompting even though I am not liking the decision at the moment.
 
I am trusting that God knows best.
 
So as of this moment, I am going to start making preparations to go to Uganda. When I get back to MKK, I will get the ball rolling. I will also submit my letter of resignation.

Meltdown 101


I feel like such a spoiled brat ready to throw a temper tantrum. I am kind of hoping that the 21st is to be the day that Jesus comes back because I don't want to face upcoming decisions. I am normally ready for a new adventure but at this point I feel like a basket case not wanting to go anywhere...


I want to be a wife and mommy...

I want a safe, stable life...

I want to be near family and friends...

I want answers...

I want to be my best friend's helpmeet...

I want to serve God...

I want to travel...

I want to not be so emotional!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions


After months of tying to wait patiently and trusting God to work in great and mighty ways, I am tired of waiting. The silence is deafening and the anxiety is creeping back in. No one here seems to understand that I want God's ultimate will... I keep hearing “just choose one of the options and God will bless it.”
 
It scares me to think of all the unknowns and how I am going to do it all on my own. Part of me just wants my knight in shining armor to show up, sweep me off of my feet, and take care of all the details... wishful thinking! When I pray I have a hard time focusing on what God is desiring. The only thing I am hearing from God is that I am to write and submit my letter of resignation. This only adds to my frustration and worry as to what the future holds.
 
At this point is seems like Uganda is the door I am headed to... but what about insurance, funds/support, the house, the cats, the preschool, my parents concerns,... even as I write this my heart is beating profoundly and there is a lump in my throat. I know God is using this to stretch and grow me but what I really need at this point is someone to take my hand and lead me to the next stepping stone. This someone needs to be a shoulder to cry on as well as whispering encouraging words in my ear as we walk along together.

Lord, I know you want to be this in my life... allow my heart to let you. You are not a God of confusion and I need you to make sense out of this tangled mess that I am in. I lay my wishes and desires at your feet... I lay my expectations and intentions before you.... I plead that you will place within my heart a peace that passes all understanding. I have not because I ask not so I ask for your wisdom as to what to do in the future.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Stand Amazed!

Anyone that has followed my blog for any length of time knows that I use music lyrics quite often that the Lord uses to speak to my heart.  After eleven plus hours of a non stop flight from JFK to HNL the song "I stand amazed" by GlassByrd started playing through my head phones.  I am pretty sure I have heart it many times before but for whatever reason the words hit a chord in my heart...

I bring you my heart, I bring you my praise, I bring my broken dreams lost along the way.  I lift up my voice.  I lift up my hands.  I lift up the moments of my life that I don't understand.  And I lay it at the cross where I'm surrounded by your grace and I marvel at the wonder of it all.  I stand amazed.  I stand in awe.  I stand forgiven in the midst of it all.  Before you I bow... before you I fall...

 So many times we as "Christians" think that God wants us perfect before we come to Him.  No matter how hard we try we will never meet up to God's perfection.  He desires our everything- wants and all.  Most Sundays we have no problems worshipping with hands lifted high but how many times are our hearts not truly in submision to HIS call.  So many times I have my own dreams and desires set in to stone before I consult with my maker.  Ultimately my dreams end up broken and desires crushed because things didn't work out the way I thought they should.  God reminds me to bring my brokenness to Him.  I am truly amazed that He chooses tto use me despite me.

Through the years, I have learned to trust Him despite my lack of understanding.

It's beginning to look (and feel) a lot like Christmas

After a week in New York participating in numerous winter events, we are headed back to Hawaii.  As I looked at my schedule, in a little over two weeks I will be headed this way again to start my official Christmas holiday.  Unfortunately my brain and body feel like it should already be Christmas.  With the snow, decorating the Christmas tree, seeing a Christmas performance, and eating many holiday treats the next two weeks are going to feel like forever.

Yesterday before we left for the city, it was snowing.  By the time we got there it was raining with sporadic snow showers throughout the day.  This morning I awoke to a snow plow and salt truck in the neighborhood.  All the way to JFK the sides of the interstate were covered with snow.  No matter how long that I have lived in Hawaii, I still think it should be cold for the holiday season.  New York has definitely made it feel like the Christmas season is here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dining New York Style

Each area its own local delicacies... here in New York they are known for their pizza.  While wondering around Times Square we found this little hole in the wall place called Patseria.  Kim ordered a slice of tomato basil and I ordered veggie.

The veggie slice had a mountain of olives, peppers, mushrooms, onions, and broccoli.  Definitely a two handed pizza experience washed down with a Stewart's Old Fashioned root beer. 

Kickin it with the Rockettes


Day 6: Lady Liberty

The Statue of Libery has stood for decades welcoming weary migrants to a land filled with possibilities. 

Today she was socked in with fog and rain but still she stood strong and tall.  Just weeks after Hurricane Sandy much of Staten Island and the surrounding area are still dealing with clean up... subway lines are being cleaned up... structural damage is being checked. 




Kim and I took the Staten Island Ferry around the harbor despite the weather.  The ferry ride is free and leaves every half hour.  With coastguard escort, it took us by the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Day 6: A moment that changed history

Each generation has that defining moment that they can remember where they were at and what they were doing.  For me and my generation that defining moment happened on September 11th, 2001 when the World Trade Center and Pentagon were hit by planes hijacked by terroriests. 

At that moment, I was living in Hawaii and due to the time difference heard about it when my roommates alarm went off.  She came to my room and told me I had to hear this.  My first reaction was "this can't be happening".  Very surreal!

One cannot look at the New York City skyline and not remember that fateful day that not only left a gap in the skyline but also in every American's heart.  As I walked around the 9-11 memorial today, my heart was saddened and overwhelmed by the immensity of how it has changed the set up of that area of the city.  To stand there looking up imagining what it must have been like to see the first plane hit one of those buildings then the other... to see people jumping out with no other choice, is unfathomable. 

In the freezing cold pouring down rain, we walked around the memorial for the South Tower reading the names... mothers and their unborn children... fathers and sons... husbands and wifes... rescuers... emergency personnel... very somber.  Each name has a story behind it.  A family missing a member that was truly loved.



With tears in my eyes and a heavy heart, I write this as a reminder to be thankful for what God has blessed each of us with... we need to make sure those around us know they are loved and that they freedoms we have are not to be taken for granted.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 5: Eating & Shopping

Eating and shopping our way through the day.  Started off with brunch at Cracker Barrel ... chicken and dumplings... biscuits and gravy... crackling fire place... old fashioned games!!!  Then drove to the outlet mall... shopped til we dropped at stores like Vera Bradley and GAP outlet.  Found some really good deals!  So fun to shop with the girls!

On the way back to the house we stopped by Panera Bread ... oh the restaurants that are missed living in Hawaii.  You kind of forget what you have until you don't have it! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Redeemer... Restorer... Savior

Psalm 103
v4- who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion
v5- who satisfies your desire with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.

A perfect reminder of His love for us.  He has not only pulled us out of the pit but also covered us with love and compassion.  For a sinner such as I, it is overwhelming.  He restores!  He is the provider of every good thing despite the fact that we don't deserve it.

Thank you Father God for your redeeming love that despite my past you love me anyway.  You have rescued me out of the pit and instead of giving me what I deserve you bless me with good things.  I am humbled by your live and mercy towards me.  Thank you!

Day 4: Change in Perspective

In years past, when I thought about my future, I never dreamed of going back to the US mainland or the cold weather or finding a church similar to MBC.  The past few days have opened my eyes that this is possible... I could get use to the cold weather. There are other really good churches out there like Valley Christian Church... very down to earth... up beat worship... message from the Word... friendly family.



Ultimately wherever God leads it would be my temporary home.  I am realizing that when you dream big you have no other choice than to do big things.  After today's message, I am at peace with whatever God calls me to do.  I have met some amazing single women that are serving with contentment where God has them.





Enjoyed spending the day worshipping with these lovely ladies and then spending a relaxing afternoon reading before heading to the mall and movies.  Ate fish and chips at Nathan's... famous for their hot dogs.  Got home a little after 9 in time to watch the NY Jets beat the Green Bay Packers.

Psalm 103...
v4. who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.
v5. who satisfies your desire with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles

A perfect reminder of His love for us.  He has not only pulled us out of the pit but also covered us with love and compassion.  For a sinner such as  I it is overwhelming.  He restores!!!  He is the provider of every good the fact that we don't deserve it.



Thank you Father God for your redeeming love that despite my past you love me anyway.  You have rescued me out of the pit and instead of giving me what I deserve you bless me with good things.  I am humbled by your love and mercy towards me.  Thank you!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 3: O Christmas Tree... O Christmas Tree


After several Saturdays packed with things to do it was so nice to have a day to sleep in.  Woke up and cruised.  Had french toast and turkey bacon for brunch and then ran to Walmart to see if Kim could get her glasses that got left in Hawaii.  It was going to take a week so it was a no go.

We came back to the house and met up with Judy and Lisa, loaded up the cars and went to a Christmas tree farm.  Had a great time driving, listening to Christmas carols, and talking story.  When we got to the tree farm it was snowing!!!  We were all bundled up... so all six of us women cut down a 7 ft. Concourse fir and hauled it down to the barn to wrap it and tie it down so we didn't have to hold it on the roof the entire ride back.




Lisa, Judy, Kim, and I came back to the house.  Kim made mac nut pesto pasta for dinner.  Had a fun evening eating, decorating the Christmas tree,and watching Christmas movies.  We watched "The Christmas Story" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 2: Wandering 5th Avenue

My body forgets how it feels to travel.  At 7:30 this morning my alarm rang and my head said... "No it is not time to get up!"  I got up anyway knowing we were going into the city to sight see today.  Looking forward to seeing the sights and having some fun today.


Waiting at the train station in New Hamburg




Love the fall leaves!!!

Took the train into Grand Central Station and then walked 5th avenue to Rockefeller Center.  Passed many high dollar stores and lots of shoppers as it is Black Friday.  We didn't join in!  The lines were amazingly long.  In all of our wanderings we passed stores like American Girl and the NY Harley shop.

On almost every street corner there was the Salvation Army Band... not just a bell ringer! 

At Rockefeller, they were still in process of decorating the tree just in time for the lighting of the Christmas tree on the 28th.  It was huge and covered with scaffolding.  Crazy!  Thought about skating there but decided to wait.




 






Walked to Central Park... the fall leaves were amazing.  Passed the hotel from Home Alone.  Also saw the rocks and tunnels that are on Law and Order. 


In one of the tunnels there was a guy playing christmas carols on an alto sax.  The accoustics were amazing and the sound was so rich and full.  Brought back a flood of memories.  Ended up skating for half an hour at Central Park.  Super fun... checked another item off of my bucket list... and I didn't fall!






Had clam chowder from Luke's at the Plaza... it took 20+ minutes but was well worth the wait.  For dessert we went to Sprinkles Cupcake shop... featured on Food Network.  Bought a box of four cupcakes... red velvet, pumpkin, chocolate marshmellow, and black and white.  We were all amazed as their utensils were wooden. 

Meandered back to Grand Central Station... did some browsing at the market.  Caught the 4:28 back to New Hamburg... it is barely 5pm and the sun has already set.

It has been an absolutely fabulous second day in New York.  Temperatures have been in the upper 40's ... low 50's and absolutely gorgeous.






Deep thoughts from a dreary head

Surprise... Surprise... after going to bed at 6:45pm... it is now 12:20am and I am awake and hungry....  So I am sitting here reading... munching on goldfish and journaling.

I feel like I have been down for hours and just got up from a very restful nap.  Praying that I am going to be able to go back to sleep soon.

In my reading and in the spirit of Thanksgiving... I am reading the verses on being thankful...

Psalm 106 says... "Praise the LORD.  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."  It goes on as a hearts cry of repentance from the Israelites.  In the midst of all that is going on in Israel at the moment this verse reminds me of two things... 1) to pray for the peace of Israel and 2) that God's sovereign hand has and is on His chosen people.  Verse 8 states- "Yet [ despite everything that they have done] he saved them for his names sake to make His mighty power known."

When I look at all the people groups who over time have been wiped out it astounds me that God's chosen people- the Jews- the nation of Israel is still around.  It makes me thankful that we serve a sovereign God that WILL have His plan done no matter what.  We can't "get in the way" or thwart the plans of God.  Very reassuring!  He protects despite our disobedience and stubborness. 

Oh Lord... thank you for your love, protection, and provision.  May I not grumble or run from your plan to seek my own.  Do not let me anger you and when I have please forgive me.  Do not let me rebel and when I have headed the wrong way... away from you... redirect my steps to fall in line with you.  Be my guide... the lover of my soul... my all in all.  As Psalm 106 ends, I pray.... "Save us, O LORD, our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.  Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, "Amen".  Praise the LORD."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade


Charlie Brown
Kung Fu Panda
 As we are walking down the NYC streets looking for a good place to stand and watch the parade.... Charlie Brown was our first citing of the 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade....  we came to the corner of 6th and the America's and even though there were tons of people we had a pretty good view of the balloons.
The "big apple"
Papa Smurf
The subway publicized the parade

Kim showing just how cold it was!


Best seats in the neighborhood... from your own living room window!

Trying to warm up with a peppermint mocha after the parade.


THANKS-giving

It is 5am New York time... midnight Hawaii time... and we have about an hour and a half before arriving it to JFK.  I have cat napped for the past six or so hours and will be relying on a strong cup of coffee to make it through the morning.

Wednesday started off with waking up at 4am after a restless night.  Finally got up at 5:30 to shower and finish packing.  Got to the airport at 6:30am to check in my bag so that it would go through to NY.  Once that was complete I headed to school to start the day with my little ones.  Made pumpkin pancakes for breakfast then finished the igloo and set up for our thanksgiving lunch.  We let the little ones play outside until lunch which made for some tired babies by the time mommies and daddies came for lunch.  Lunch went great.  First year I got to eat and didn't feel like I was policing.  Everything was cleaned up and children taken home by noon which meant the staff had time to clean the classroom before closing up for a long weekend.

Went to the airport at 2pm... flight left at 2:15 and I was in Oahu and at the gate to catch my next flight at 3.  Met up with Kim at Gordon Birsch before we boarded. 

Very thankful that everything went so smoothly.  Despite lack of sleep, stress level and anxiety is really low and I am not super tired.

A fun adventure awaits!

New York Thanksgiving Dinner

It is 6:45pm on Thanksgiving... my heart (and tummy) are full and my body is tired so I am headed to bed.  Before I drift off to moemoe land I wanted to share the blessing of dinner with strangers. 

Kim's sister Kacy is friends with Diane... Diane is who we are staying with and it is Diane's Puerto Rican Family that came over for thanksgiving.  Quite a lout family gathering but very welcoming and fun.  Also the food was absolutely amazing.  Not what I would expect for thanksgiving but delicious none the less.


Monday, November 19, 2012

"In a New York state of mind"

It seems like when something big is happening in my life, I am more aware of the topic being mentioned around me.  Tonight I was flipping through channels while I was doing stuff in the house and "The Voice" was on.  One of the gals was singing "In a New York state of mind."  It caught my attention.  I am not familiar with the lyrics but it got me thinking of my state of mind.  Even though I leave for NY in less than 48 hours my mind has been a battlefield... the Lord must be about to do something BIG because the enemy is attacking hard. 

Anyway a dear friend called today to just chat.  Candace was such an encouragement and blessing!  Agreeing with me on the recent disappointments but reminding me that my trust and hope needs to be in Christ alone.  A good friend is like iron sharpening iron... both get sharper!!

My mind and hard are focused on Christ and what HE has in store!

Monday, November 12, 2012

100 more things to do...


100 More things to do...

Because I am more than halfway through my first bucket list... I am realizing there are so many more things that are out there to do that need to be included....

This will be a work in progress because I am not sure I can come up with 100 more items but we shall try!! http://perfectbucketlist.tumblr.com/list

  1. Live intentionally
  2. Visit Bora Bora
  3. Swim with the dolphins
  4. Go to the tunnel of lights in Japan
  5. Visit Rio, Brazil
  6. Explore Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
  7. Pay for a stranger's tab at a restaurant
  8. Dance with my daddy at my wedding
  9. Visit ground zero
  10. Go on a Disney Cruise
  11. Visit the Sistine Chapel
  12. Take his last name
  13. Make a fruit bouquet

  14. Experience the Christmas holiday season in New York
  15. Travel first class- OAK to SLC 8/19/2013
  16. Have a daughter and name her after my great grandmother
  17. Be a spectator at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
  18. Go on a date to the zoo
  19. Meet an online friend
  20. Eat pizza in Naples, Italy
  21. Send a message in a bottle
  22. Go to Budapest, Hungary
  23. Shop in New York City
  24. Set foot on all 7 continents
  25. Adopt a child
  26. Visit the walk of fame
  27. Drive down Route 66- June 2014
  28. Kiss under mistletoe
  29. Shoot a gun- May 2014
  30. Go zip lining
  31. Attend a new year's party
  32. Get a disney balloon
  33. Have a natural birth
  34. Adopt a dog
  35. and name him Hamlet
  36. Move to a different country- Uganda Sept 2013
  37. Drive an expensive car
  38. Go to China 
  39. Eat a decadent dessert at a bakery
  40. Drink coffee in Seattle
  41. Go for a run walk in central park
  42. Go to Barcelona, Spain
  43. Send an off the wall birthday gift to an unsuspecting friend
  44. Donate my hair
  45. Spend a day at the spa
  46. Attach a lock to a love bridge
  47. Visit Auschwitz
  48. Go on a night picnic
  49. Visit Mall of America
  50. Have my fingernails professionally done
  51. Build a blanket fort with someone I love
  52. Try a new flavor of pizza in New York
  53. Build an exquisite gingerbread house
  54. Buy a pair of white shoes and doodle on them
  55. See a wholphin
  56. Be a stay at home mom
  57. Tie messages to balloons and let them go
  58. Eat belgian waffles in Belgium
  59. Build an animal at Build a Bear
  60. Carve something into a tree together
  61. Visit a vineyard- California 8/2013
  62. Make cake pops
  63. Take a photo everyday for one year
  64. Visit Lanai
  65. Stand under the Hollywood sign
  66. Order dessert first at a restaurant- Ghiridhelli 8/13
  67. Build an igloo
  68. Get through a long distance relationship
  69. Step foot in each ocean
  70. Visit Ikea in Sweden 
  71. and purchase something there... just because!
  72. Live off of $100 for a month
  73. read 50 books in a year... one of the joys of living in the village!
  74. In a difficult situation, act like a Southern lady even when you don't feel like it.
  75. Read through the entire Elsie Dinsmore series
  76. study through the Bible and write a devotional
  77. learn zumba
  78. learn pilates
  79. enjoy a cup of hot cocoa in front of a roaring fire with the one I love
  80. Go on a ride with a sled pulled by dogs
  81. research something I enjoy and get it published
  82. write a book about my adventures
  83. eat the local delicacy- fried grasshoppers in Kampala
  84. learn to stand up paddle board
  85. Dive with the sharks
  86. Encourage someone to do something they have never thought of doing
  87. Buy a fancy dress just because
  88. Try snow sking
  89. Hike diamond head
  90. Go to Polinesian cultural center
  91. Bless a child with a paid for education
  92. teach a child a new game
  93. Live off the grid
  94. See Lion King on stage
  95. See Phantom of the opera on broadway
  96. Get through grad school debt free
  97. Kiss the Sphinx
  98. Sit on the beach in Zanzibar
  99. Visit Mombasa
  100. learn another spoken language fluently
  101. make a woven mat
  102. Plant a garden and eat the fruits of my labor
  103. Have a caricature done
As I am going through other blogs with bucket list items looking for ideas I am finding lots that I have already done so I thought I would start listing those as well...

  1. Go vegan
  2. See a volcano erupt
  3. Visit Amsterdam
  4. Finish a scrapbook
  5. Live in a college dorm
  6. Meet Minnie Mouse
  7. Build a snowman
  8. See a moose in the wild
  9. Swim under a waterfall
  10. Lay in the road in the middle of the night
  11. Catch a jar of lightning bugs
  12. Go to Universal Studios
  13. Go to Hard Rock Cafe- London, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Cairo, Lahaina, Honolulu,
  14. Have a water balloon fight
  15. Go to Sea World
  16. Try fried ice cream
  17. Visit glass beach
  18. Buy my first home
  19. Be confident enough to wear a bikini in summer
  20. Make up a recipe
  21. Learn how to crochet
  22. Learn how to knit
  23. Try Mochi ice cream
  24. Skinny dip in an ocean
  25. Go to Myrtle beach
  26. Swim with a sea turtle
  27. Own a bunch of reptiles (technically I guess they were Jared's)
  28. Receive a dozen red roses from a man
  29. Stand on top of a mountain
  30. Go to Disney with my best friend
  31. Pet a Kangaroo
  32. Learn how to sew
  33. Make a quilt
  34. Eat crepes in Paris
  35. Rescue an animal
  36. Ride in an airplane
  37. Climb a tree
  38. Visit South Korea
  39. Try ketchup chips
  40. Try funnel cake
  41. Eat and not feel guilty
  42. Wear heels to prom
  43. Visit Paris
  44. Visit Tokyo, Japan
  45. See the Eiffel Tower
  46. Try Sushi
  47. Ride an elephant
  48. See the Great Pyramids
  49. Move to Hawaii
  50. Fit into a medium
  51. Eat chocolate at Gheridelli
  52. Eat fish in San Franscisco
  53. Run down curviest street in the world

Dealing with disappointment

Everyone has those days that they "get up on the wrong side of the bed".  Normally other people notice the grouchy behavior and comment.  However when you live by yourself and admit to having a bad day... you know its bad.  Thankfully there was no one else around today to experience my fussyness.  Not sure it is hormones... tiredness... anxiety... or just emotions from being disappointed but I have battled over it all day.  I have prayed... cleaned despite... napped... spent time in the Word... and still can't shake the feelings.  So  I thought I would write it out. 

A couple of days ago, I was requested to send school paperwork to assist in the starting of the school in Uganda.  Basically with the school starting in January, they are looking for someone to administer sooner rather than later.  After sending the info, the peace about going to Uganda and my future plans seemed to shatter leaving behind a lot of unknowns and anxiety.  I leave for NYC in less than 10 days... expectations of meeting up with friends while there is just not happening. 

Ultimately I do know who holds my future.  HE has a great plan for my good and HIS glory.  At this point my brain knows it but there is doubt/unbelief in my heart.

Lord, what I need right now is your peace that no matter what happens or what you're calling me to... that it will be good.  I specifically pray for certain friendships.  I am really struggling with all of the unknowns... the ups and downs... either make this or break this!  As much as I have tried to guard my heart... I am in deep.  If I go much deeper and this is not of you... it is not going to be good.  Protect my heart and help me to trust You fully.  Lord I cast my anxiety and unbelief at your feet.  Show me what you desire of me to do and pursue.  Renew my first love.  May I love with reckless abandon knowing that you hold my heart in your hand.  May you bless this trip to New York... may I be an encouragement and blessing to everyone I meet.  Open new doors... keep me safe, well, and protected... go before me.  Thank you for the opportunities you have allowed and provided.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Packing for NYC

Ten days and counting... decided it was time to pull out the winter clothes.  I have been working to make sure I fit into last years clothes by cutting out sugars and carbs for the past month.  This has worked tremendously well to trim a little so that I "comfortably" fit into my clothes.  However trying on sweaters, jackets, and scarfs when it is 80+ degrees is not comfortable.

Anyway started packing a weeks worth of clothes plus gifts for the hosts.  Normally I could care less what I look like when I travel... in my min comfort counts.  However this is NEW YORK CITY we're talking about.  Can we do cute, stylish, and comfortable???  Oh and maybe warmth is something else to take into consideration....

Well now that the majority of the sweaters are packed... I guess it is time to figure out a carry on...

Hunger for eternity

Last night I really was struggling with anxiety over the future.  Something happened that didn't line up with what I thought should be happening and to be honest it rocked me a bit.  That is until I hit my knees and cried out to the God of the Universe.  I was quickly reminded that there are going to be times of dissatisfaction to make me hunger for the things of eternity.  If I am truly seeking His will for my life than who do I expect Him to do things my way.  Again a chance to trust and obey.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An American freedom

Today is Election Day... the day that decides 4 years of our countries leadership.  For many this is a momentous day when their candidate wins... for others whose candidate loses it can be disheartening but either way the course of history can be changed by one vote. 

This post is not going to be about who you should vote for... your opinion is your opinion... but that you should VOTE!  We are blessed to live in a democratic nation that allows our voices to be heard.  We have the freedom of speech.  If we don't like the way our country is going WE have the right to change it!!

 After traveling to many other countries throughout the years, I have realized that many of the freedoms that I have taken for granted are not FREE for others to experience.  Simple things that even in our country haven't been free for all to do for very long... like women voting.  We have the right to express our opinions... we have the right to worship freely without the fear of persecution... we have the right to education, land ownership, a just judicial system, ... and the list could go on!  This is all because we live in a place called the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and our constitutional rights!

Before anyone starts thinking I am being cocky and taking these freedoms for granted... my heart is heavy for all those men and women that have given their lives so that I may have these freedoms.  For these men and women my heart is filled with gratitude!!  It urks me that there are people out there that won't vote today but want to honor the veterans next week.  Honor your veterans by voting.  A non-voter has no right to complain if they are not letting their voice be heard in the manner that counts.

So on this day... no excuses... JUST GO VOTE!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Living Intentionally

The goal for this year has been to live each day intentionally.  Basically meaning when an opportunity is given by God... to take it and run with it.  So begins this trip...

During fall break, I received an email from Hawaiian Airlines telling of these $465 RT flights to JFK from HNL.  These were too good to pass up, so I posted on facebook to see if anyone else would be interested.  Within minutes, Kim, a friend from grad school replied that she was interested and had a sister that lived an hour outside the city.

So long story short the night before having my wisdom teeth pulled we bought our tickets.  So super excited!!!  Anyone that really knows me knows I am a planner.  Spur of the moment actions rarely happen.  Well mark this down in history as one of my rare spur of the moment actions.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pumpkin time!!

 Fall break officially began for me an hour and a half ago after finishing parent-teacher conferences and mounds of paperwork.  Kicked my fall break off with a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a few items and headed home to work on a couple of pinterest recipes!!! 

Have been tagging pumpkin recipes for the past few weeks just waiting for fall to officially get here...  needless to say I REALLY LIKE PUMPKIN!!! 

Found a pumpkin pie dip recipe that would be perfect for our women's fellowship brunch in the morning so I thought I would try it.  The recipe calls for caramel so my first step is to try "Crockpot Caramel"  . 



Should that work according to how it should.  It will go in the Pumpkin Pie Dip that I will put together and serve with ginger snaps in the morning.
 
Let the pumpkin festivities (and cooking) begin!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Moments

It is moments like this that I really struggle with God's realness...

Yes He is God of love but tangibly I want to feel it...
Yes He is God of direction but sometimes I want a hand to hold while going through a difficult situation...
Yes He is God of peace but I need to hear an audible voice saying "It is going to be ok"...
Yes He is the perfect bridegroom but when push comes to shove I want a husband following the LORD that I can follow. 

I was reminded again today by my pastor's wife that I am on this journey "alone"....

Yes I have God providing directions along the way but it is really hard when family and friends aren't being supportive or have their own ideas of what you "should" do.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What peace!

This morning as I was trying to get up to prepare for church and potluck afterward... it was a battle.  Not only was I tired but my head was pounding and my emotions were everywhere.  Throughout the morning I tried to suppress the emotions to get the needed things done until I realized I needed to spend my quiet time with Jesus.  As I was on my knees I admitted I couldn't do what God is calling me to do in my own strength.  I have so often failed when I try to do it on my own.  I realized how grateful I am that His mercies are new every morning.  As I prayed, I asked for His joy and peace in the midst of what He is calling me to do.  Not sure what all that calling looks like at this point but I do know that it is bigger than what I can handle on my own.  I was reminded that no matter what happens in the future God knows what it is and as long as I trust Him He will make it clear.  Along with that comes His joy and peace.

"What joy... what joy for those who's hope is in the name of the LORD.  What peace... what peace..."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Heart to Heart

Lord- You and I need to have a heart to heart about life... and direction... and boys... and ministry.  My heart is torn.  I want answers but all I hear is wait... trust me... faith is things unseen... be content for today.   I am making the changes you have called me to but these changes make me more emotional and nervous.  You are a big all knowing God and I know you can handle my questions... I also realize that you see the bigger picture and I don't.  I need answers and your calmness despite the emotions.  I want to be that calm, steady woman but I feel like I am on a boat in the midst of a storm. 

Here are my questions...

  • You have made the promise that I will be a wife and mother on this earth... when is this going to happen?
  • I need your wisdom to know what are deal breakers and what you desire me to handle and grow through.
  • What am I transitioning into?  Where am I heading?  What are you prepping me for?  Everyone has an idea but I want YOU!
So I guess I need to focus solely on you.  Trust that when it is time all answers will be revealed and live a life of purity! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What speaks to your heart?

Nothing speaks a message clearer to my heart than worship before God through music.  Words that my mouth can't utter through plain spoken word can be put to music and transfer me to the foot of the Jesus.

After prayer and praise tonight my heart is so overwhelmed with emotion.  I went in with a heavy heart seeking God's direction.  With in moments the heaviness of my heart is lifted and I am singing "How great thou art" in 3 languages... English, Hawaiian, and Samoan.  As I am recounting the words "then sings my soul... My Savior God to thee... How great thou art" my soul is singing!  God is so faithful to provide exactly what we need when we need it.  As I petition for direction, God's answer is "Not yet... my grace is enough."

God may not be working the way I think He should be but He is working.  He is working mightily!  I needed the reminder that it is not my will but His.  My desire needs to fall in line with His and I need to trust that His ultimate plan and direction is for my good and His glory.  So as Matt Redman sings... "10,000 reasons for my heart to praise."

Friday, August 17, 2012

Whispers

That still small voice that whispers in your ear.  Do you make a huge life change by just a whisper?  After following Christ for quite a while, I know His voice but what if He is whispering and calling to do something never done before.  I am so used to God following His whispers with an open door. 

What if I am hearing the whisper but not seeing the open door?  Am I mistaking my makers voice or am I pigeon holing God because He has never done it that way before????

As I seek Him all I am hearing is ... Trust Me... do what I am calling you to do and my plan will be revealed.

Trusting is so difficult at times especially when you have no clue as to where it may take you!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

At the foot of the cross

Have you ever pondered... "if I were the only person on this planet, would Jesus have still come and laid down His life?"  The answer is a solid YES! We are all sinners in need of a Savior.  Looking at others, we often compare thinking things like "my sin is not as bad as theirs" but comparing orselves to God we fall short everytime.  God looks down and sees people in two categories... sinners and sinners saved by grace.

Too many times "christians" take the 'holier than thou' approach when judging others.  In this mindset there is a sliding scale of sin... some sins are worse than others... some sins are worse than others... some are small "minor" infractions.  We can always find someone with a worse sin than us. 

Personally, I am saddeded by this because at one point I had this mindset.  God has since convicted my heart of this and often brought to mind the quote "There be I but for the grace of God." 

At the foot of the cross, there is a level playing field no matter what your background or struggle.  There is no judgement or condemnation... just grace and mercy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Birthday Fun

After an intense summer in grad school and an emotional week adjusting back to Molokai, I have been in need of a fun girls weekend.  On Friday afternoon, Whitney and I flew to Oahu to start our grand adventure.  The afternoon started with pedicures, some shopping, and dinner at Outback before heading up North Shore.  We stayed the weekend with Nicci and ALL the Pou boys... her hubby, four boys, and a couple of extra friends.  Friday night we stayed up til 1:30am or so talking story.

Saturday, Whit and I kidnapped Nicci and went to Kapolei shopping/browsing. Had lunch then headed to Mililani for an adventure.  One of the things on my bucket list was to go rock climbing and since I am trying to retrain my brain that fun doesn't have to revolve around food... this was as good of time as any.  After a brief training we harnessed in and took turns climbing....

 Up... up.... and away!
 Made it to the top!!!  Woohooo!!!
 Nicci's turn...
 Whitney did it!!!
 An absolutely amazing workout and a fun time with friends.  We will have to do this again soon! 

After rock climbing, we went with all of the boys to the movies... some of us went to see Ice Age and a couple of the boys went to the new Batman movie.  Before heading home we stopped at Baskin Robbins to pick up an ice cream cake and stuff for dinner.  Dawn and Bella joined us for a birthday dinner at the Pou's. 

The evening was finished off by a Just Dance competition... which was just plain ole FUN!

Today we went to The Mission for an amazing message and time of worship.  After church, we headed to do some shopping before I dropped Whitney off at the airport.  I have a meeting downtown tomorrow so I don't head home until tomorrow evening.  But it has been a fabulous birthday weekend!  Now I am ready to hit the ground running with school stuff starting in 2 days!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Trust

After a four and a half hour conversation with my mom tonight, it seems that the topic of trust came up numerouse times.  Mainly... am I trusting God for ______?  Fill in the blank... finances... health... relationships... future.  This has been my weakness lately... not trusting enough to not be stressed.  Basically I start off trying to figure things out on my own.... issue is bigger than I can handle... I stress because I can't... then God kindly reminds me... "You're right... you can't but I CAN!  Just TRUST me!". 

Back to the present moment,  I sit down to work on my Bible study, open to the page where I left off and the question is posed "Will you trust God even when there is no immediate reward?"  REALLY.... I think I am getting the hint that God is growing me to trust him more.  Trust Him when health is failing... trust Him when the bills are piling up... trust Him when you're called to do something you don't understand... trust Him when someone is removed from your life... trust Him when doors keep closing... trust Him even when the washing machine spins its last cycle.  Just TRUST Him!

Ultimately it is in those times that we trust Him despite not seeing the outcome that our faith has a chance to grow.  It is also at those times when we come to a place of ultimate surrender...not my will but yours.

"My life is in Your hands.  My heart is in Your keeping."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Bachelorette

This is the first season that I have gotten hooked on the reality tv show "Bachelorette" on ABC.  Normally I don't get ABC at my house and most seasons there is just too much drama for my liking.  For whatever reason, I stumbled upon Emily midway through this season. 

A little background... Emily is a single mom who has been left at the alter on a previous season of The Bachelor.  She as invited back to find her "chance" at love again with 25 guys.  Each week at least one guy doesn't receive a rose and is sent packing.

I think that is enough background.  Any way most seasons, in my opinion it is based on lust not love.  The majority of the show is spent with the bachelorette making out and making false promises to the myriads of guys in hopes of finding "love".  I guess, this season, what really caught my attention is how genuine some of these guys were.  Some were very respectful and had a heart to find true love even with risking a major heartbreak.

Ok... all this leading up to the episode tonight...  Emily has narrowed it down to three guys... spends an enchanting week in Curacao with them.  At a very emotional rose ceremony she sends Sean home.  Sean is  the one that I really thought Emily would end up with... just a truly genuine heart.  As Sean is leaving, he lovingly says to Emily, "I care about you.  If this is the best for you then do what is best for you."  Sean left shell shocked as this had caught him off guard and he was truly heart broken.  His comment reminded me out of 1 Corinthians 13, the verse that says "Love is not self seeking".  True love looks out for the other persons heart before their own and I think that was evident in Sean's heart.

So much of our world is built on "if you love me, you will...".  The self-gratification type of love that puts "me" ahead of others.  God's view of love is opposite... it is not self-seeking... His love says "I love you so much that I will lay down my life for you so that you may live."  Such amazing TRUE love.

Monday, July 9, 2012

What if????

Such a small question with big ramifications.  The enemy often plants those two little words to get our minds reeling over something that more than likely will never happen.  From those two little words comes endless hours of worry and wasted time.  Sometimes those two little words inflict self-doubt (what if I fail?) ... other times horrible assumptions on others...Our brains so often go toward the negative "what ifs" first.  Recently I have been called out on making these "what if" assumptions concerning myself and others.  Jumping to conclusions and worry... instead of seeking His truth and peace.  I have been blessed with people in my life that will "check my heart" and see where  I am headed with my "what ifs".  After being called out on these, I am trying to focus on my reactions that they give the positive outlook rather than the negative.  God has been putting numerous opportunities in my life to "assume" the best of others.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Less of me... more of YOU!




Lately in my quiet time, I am sensing a recurring theme that I have to decrease so that HE may increase. I have to lay down my selfish desires in order to completely, wholeheartedly follow His desires. I can't have it both ways. My expectations must be put in the trash so that I can expect Him to do great things. This life is not about me but ALL about HIM!!!

Well in my free time tonight I ran across this video of Eric Ludy giving a commencement speech. It is very thought provoking so I thought I would share. Let me know what you think!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Meet Mr. Smith

Found this intriguing book on the half price shelf at the local Christian bookstore on Sunday.  The authors names, Eric and Leslie Ludy, caught my attention as I had read their book several years ago entitled, "When God writes your love story".  This books title, "Meet Mr. Smith", had me curious especially when I read the subtitle... Revolutionize the way you think about sex, purity, and romance.  Our culture is so filled with junk (aka sin) that it is a daily struggle to live a pure life.  Recently some christian friends were discussing a "hot" new movie that had just come to the big screen.  The temptation was there to go see it but then the conviction of the Holy Spirit set in and reminded me that Christ is calling me to a life of purity.  Not just physically but in what I see (tv, movies, etc), in what I read (internet, books, magazines), and in what I listen to (music).  I will be the first to admit, I fall so short but I am truly reminded at how God truly protects when we allow Him to.

As I was reading this book tonight, a couple of things stood out to me about purity...

1. " Purity is the opening act for the greatest acttion drama of anyone's life.  (It) sets the stage for heavenly love stories that leave Hollywood's lusty counterfeits blushing with bewilderment (pg74)."

2. purity is here for one purpose- to make people's lives beautiful and amazing.

3.  it takes works- "if people want the best, they need to be prepared for a little pain, a little discomfort, and a little hard work."

I truly want God's best.  I refust to settle for an imposter when God's absolute best is right around the corner.  Lately He has been showing me that there is blessing in obedience.  Anything good is worth waiting for... so while I am waiting I will be about my Father's business and at this point that is making purity a priority in every aspect of my life!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sleepless in Honolulu

It is 12:30am on Saturday night/Sunday morning.... for those of you that know me, know I am not a night owl.  However, I slept in today, worked on papers and projects, and then took an afternoon nap due to a headache.  Now unfortunately I can't sleep... 

With my mind going a million miles an hour, I thought maybe it would be beneficial to do some reading (other than grad school articles)... still no sleep... decided to exercise.... still no sleep... so I have been reading past blogs... this has made me think about the cyclical pattern of trials in our lives... ok bear with me and hopefully it will make since.  Trials come into our lives to grow us.  The enemy uses these trials to try to stumble us and get us to doubt God's love and faithfulness.  The more we trust in God's strength and wisdom during the trials, the smaller the trial becomes and the larger our God shows up.  When we are confident in who our God is in the midst of a trial the less ground we allow the enemy to have.

Reading blogs from several years ago, to be honest, there are still issues that I struggle with to this day.  In many of these situations, I have realized that they may always show up during certain seasons however they are not as big of an issue or trial as I know now that my God has ulitmate victory.  He is large and in charge.

Ok... switching gears... as I am sitting here I have my itunes playlist running and we have hit the christmas section... it made me realize that we are officially in July as of 30 minutes ago.  I know it sounds silly to equate Christmas music with the month of July but it brings fond memories of Christmas in July parties when I first moved to MKK. 

July also means...
  • we are halfway through another year
  • school starts this month
  • I officially add another year to my age and we get to celebrate!!! :)
So as I am "walking in a winter wonderland" my eyelids are getting a little droopy so I think I may go try this novel idea known as sleep!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thought provoking

After just finishing my first week of graduate school, I am reflecting back on all that I have learned in the past 5 days.  Honestly if I am asked to describe my first week in one word, I would have to say... INTENSE.  Classes go from 9-4 every day and then I have been spending 4-5 hours in the evening working on papers, reading, and projects.  So far it has been a good experience... overwhelming at times... but good none the less.

A couple of things have come up this week that have been thought provoking...

Why I am going back to school?  -A few months ago, in my blog, I posted  Dreams Come True. This really has been a recurring theme in my life.  I truly enjoy travelling, working with little ones, and teaching big ones how to work with little ones.  These themes are being combined in the research that I am currently doing so this is tying in all of my passions.  One of my professional goals has always been to get my master's degree and since I am passionate about working with little ones, what a better field that getting my master's in Early Childhood Education.  God has placed this desire on my heart and I will follow him as He continues to open the doors in His plan for me.  I am not getting my master's for career advancement or a better paying job (however if it happens that is fine!).  It is what He has called me to for right now and I am enjoying every step along the way.  Ultimately He only knows the plans He has for each of us. (Jeremiah 29:11)

What do you want to be doing in the next 5 or 10 years?   This question has come up several times this week on surveys from professors and discussions with classmates.  Whereas most of my classmates have listed getting a better job or opening their own center, my answer has been short and sweet... to be a wife and mommy.  At this point, God has not opened those doors so I will continue to pursue what He has for me.  However, at the point that those things change I will willingly lay down my professional life to be a wife and stay at home mommy.  Friends through the years have commented on the fact that I am so independent and goal oriented that it shuts the door on those things.  I truly believe that His timing is perfect and that He is good.  I have been given those character qualities as a gift and only God knows how I can best use them for His glory.

So overall I am throughly enjoying this chapter in my life and being able to continue my education.   God uses all we go through for our ultimate good and His glory!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The first day of grad school

Ok... it is almost 9pm and I have been sitting here since 6pm researching information on social development.  I have finally gotten a dozen resources so I am going to take a break and fill everyone who cares in on how my first day of grad school went. 

A few answers to key questions...
Where am  I???  University of Hawaii- Manoa getting my Masters in Early Childhood Education


my single room
Where am I living???  For the first time ever I am dorming on campus.  Moved in yesterday to what will be my home for the next month.

I am having to share a bathroom/shower with the entire hall.  This has taken some getting used to as I am used to living by myself.  A very helpful piece of advice from a dear friend was to bring a robe and rubber slippahs for the shower.

 
where I will be spending a lot of time!
Communal kitchen-  Everyone on the floor shares a kitchen... not too bad because it is a rather large kitchen and it is summer.  I did find it funny when I went to the kitchen to make breakfast this morning, there was a girl with a bag of fresh fish and she was cleaning the fish at 7am in the kitchen sink.  To each his own, I guess! 

Went to Costco yesterday with Nicci and stocked up on the essentials... fruits, veggies, water, and beans.  Should be set for the summer.

the view from my window
Back to the day at hand....  there are 20+ people in this cohort... 19 ladies and 1 guy... at this point I am taking 2 classes... one runs from 9 til noon the other runs from 1 til 4pm every day for the next 3 weeks.  The final week is an elective ... it runs from 8-4 everyday.  This is a jam packed summer...the instructors warned us today not to plan on having a social life for the next month.  I am thrilled that I planned ahead and got all of my pre-reading done along with my discussion notes and 15+ reflection papers written. 

So with that said... I am going to finish reading the five articles for tomorrow and I am going to bed!