Intercession

True intercession involved bringing the person, or the circumstance that seems to be crashing in on you, before God, until you are changed by HIS attitude toward that person or circumstance.

-My Upmost for His Highest

Today there are several circumstances crashing in on me, some of them significant, some of them more along the lines of my selfishness. Today I will try to lift them up and seek Christs attitude towards these people and circumstances, that these times may be filled with Joy and Peace.

“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices….”

Image

photo found here.

Its Saturday!

Image

Weekends for me are busier than weekdays because when you work at a church, Sunday is game day. But luckily, today I have found a little pocket of time where I have the apartment to myself (Richie is off buying himself a new laptop/tablet combo thing). I fully plan to plug in all my christmas tree lights, put this movie on, and prep for baking I am doing for a Christmas party my mom is hosting.

I am making Dark Chocolate Souffles and Salted Carmel Apple Tarts. Yum!

This morning I ate breakfast with a friend at this adorable bakery. Can you say Honey Lavender scones and salted carmel candy? (didn’t say it was a healthy breakfast).

Oh and, whose falling terribly behind on Christmas Shopping? This girl. I have plans to go raid my favorite store and cross my fingers they have something for everyone!

Bittersweet

Image

Last night was one of those nights that can be wrapped up in one word: laughter. Richie and I got home from back to back events and I looked over at him and was like, I have a headache from laughing so hard. It was one of those little gifts life sometimes hands you in the best possible way.

What was unique is that last night, amidst all the laughter, there was a deeply bittersweet feeling in me. We began the night by meeting with our small group, which is potentially our last time getting to meet with them. We all just kept cracking up at each other’s honest stories about life being married. I looked around the room genuinely grateful that I have gotten to be a part of this group, a group I have trusted, have opened up with, and learned so much from. I cross my fingers that we can meet again in the spring, but realistically, life may get in the way.

From this group we booked it over to my staff Christmas party. And oh my gosh did we laugh. We all sat around a long table with glasses full of crisp white wine and plates piles high with pineapple coconut cake and sweet potato pie and we opened up with each about all we are grateful for and what we hope for our little church in the coming year.

My experience with my staff has also been bittersweet. Since I am new on staff, I have only been around for a month, I am still struggling to find my place. It can be a little lonely, and there are some people who have been less than welcoming. But there are also people who have welcomed me with arms wide open, and that is so sweet. Looking around that table felt different than when I looked around the room earlier that night in small group. It felt like hope. Hope that real community will develop with these people, that reconciliation can happen, that growth will occur, and new opportunities found.

God gives and God takes away. I may not get to meet with my Small Group anymore, but He is so faithful to provide me with new communities. Sometimes they look different, but they all have the potential to be deeply impactful. I am so curious to see, as this year comes to an end, what next year will hold in store. It is a year brimming with potential.

New things are no longer only around the corner..

So after a lot of waiting and waiting I finally have a job! And not just any job, an amazing job, a dream job really. I am now on staff at my church working with some amazing people to grow and develop some new programs we are launching. Things centered around missions, service, and  volunteerism..aka stuff I am TOTALLY passionate about. Once again I am getting paid to do ministry, something frankly I probably would have done for free (dont tell my boss).

The process of getting here was not easy or pain free, nor will the transition into it be.  But how I arrived here is nothing short of the Lords complete orchestration, and I am just EXCITED. I am working doing something I love and in a grad program that amazes me. Thank the Lord! And thank you to everyone who has been praying for me through this journey. Like my last post showed. I love my world wide web of family and friends!

Hello Monday {Goodbye San Mateo}

This weekend I got to cruise on up to San Mateo to celebrate one of my favorite people, Margaret. Marg decided to turn 22, and I figured celebrating with her was a must, seeing as how I love birthdays. Hello San Franciso!Image

The weekend held lots of much needed adventures, including a great lookout spot, lunch at an adorable seaside town, shopping @ Height and Ashbury, breakfast in Half Moon Bay with her bff Kim, and of course 5 episodes of Reba while waiting for the UPS man to bring the birthday iphone 5. (apparently im really into sticking my arms out…note to self: not a cool photograph pose)

ImageImageImageImage

Hello Birthday celebrations! We feasted at an awesome restaurant called B Street & Vine, and then headed over to this funky little bar called Grape and Grain…which I think we need down here in SoCal STAT.

Hello delicious Brushetta!

Image

Image

Image

Hello Birthday girl!

Image

Hello Roommates!

Image

Hello Kim and Jessica 🙂

Image

Hello Wonderful gifts….

ImageImage

Hi grapes and Grain. I liked you a lot!

ImageImage

Im sad to leave but happy to be home back to smoggy LA, and my hubster.Image

wanderlust

I have a hard core travel craving, and I dont just mean to the beach. I want to get AWAY. Not just a vacation. I want to wander, meet new people, make a difference somewhere besides my neighborhood. Another country. New food. New culture. I want to immerse myself in something different.

You see, I had this awesome summer where I got married and went on lots and lots of trips. So far: Palm Springs, Santa Cruz, Ensenada, and Texas. Up next: Durango, Atlanta, and back to Texas. But then there are my super awesome friends. They make me jealous. They have been to Nepal, Kenya, Europe, one of them is about to move to turkey, my sister lives in Ethiopia, and the list goes on. Jealousy is bad, I know but its what im feeling.

I have all these invisible handcuffs that are keeping me form just taking off. They aren’t all bad per se, they are just my current reality, the natural consequences to the life I have chosen. I have an apartment, a husband, a graduate program, friends, family, and stuff. They keep me here.

And really, its ok, and really, I do love my life. I know I am where God wants me. But consider yourself put on notice: Im ganna wander, and its ganna happen soon. And im ganna bring my husband. We may or may not come back.

Family Vaca (Kinda)

Image

Today I got back from our final summer trip with my parents and brother to Mammoth Lakes, California. Totally gorgeous. I have a serious love/hate relationship with my family’s idea of vacationing. It is usually in a stunning place, with a nice hotel and delicious food. Love this. It usually also is what some consider boot camp. Less Love.

Day one we completed a TEN MILE hike climbing something absurd like 2,000 feet in elevation to Duck Lake.      

Image

Image

          Image

Day two the boys did some epic downhill biking, I spent the day on top of a mountain with my mamma praying that no one cracks open a skull.

                                                   Day Three we Kayaked our hearts out.

Overall the trip was a raging success, if you consider success losing five pounds and not being able to walk. Which in a way- I do. 

Austin

These summer months have been flying by, and there are many words and pictures I want to get up on this blog before summers gone and its time for the fall. This last week was spent in the wonderful state of Texas. Richies job sent him out to Austin, which just so happens to be about an hour away from my lovely in-laws house.

Within the first ten minuets of arrival, Richie had his cowboy hat perched on his head. Que all things texan: thick tortillas, cold beers, tubing down the river, boat rides on the lake, and lots of country music. We spent most of our time eating way too much good food, and/or in some sort of water (pool, river, lake, etc). I have to admit, I would not consider myself a “texan”, but truly, the people are nicer and the pace of life is much slower, two things that I often forget californians are missing out on.

overall it was a great little trip. up next over the next few months: mammoth mtn, Durango Colorado, and Atlanta Georgia! Life just doesn’t slow down….

ImageImageImage

Le Apartment

We are officially moved in and life has begun. While Im sure getting the apartment put together will forever in process it is at least no longer a maze of boxes and mattresses.

Image

This is our front door and favorite couch. It is seriously so comfortable and used often. Still to be added are a few more pictures up on this wall. Maybe. I actually can’t really decide.

Image

our fake entertainment center. note the large state of the art flat screen TV in high def with surround sound.

Image

some wedding momentos. I still need to find a frame for our certificate….

Image

all my kitchen goods…there was not enough cupboard space so we found this free shelf that I stained!

Image

the kitchen table/ additional shelving (we have too much stuff). off to the left you can see the corner of a picture frame. This will be for wedding pictures once we get them back!

Image

where the magic happens… le stove

Image

hallway. pull up bar. where Kayla Richie works out.

also note laundry that is air drying.

Image

the den/study room/richies closet/spare bed for guests.

yes that is a fish mounted to the wall.

yes that is my husband posted up on the phone with Tex.

Image

our room. cost plus world market furniture central.

Image

other half of our room. it still needs wedding pics, maybe some art. TBD.

And there it is folks! The Brown Family Apartment. My only complaint is it gets little to no naturally lighting which makes me feel like I live in a cave sometimes. But oh well, what can you do? I looked into renting a chainsaw to take the tree down in front of it but Richie thinks I would get in trouble. **praying for a wind storm**