Weekend in California…

I traveled for 18 hours (and 6,000 miles) this weekend–and am still recovering. It was strange to be in Southern California only two months after I left, but it was filled with good fellowship and amazing friends. My New Orleans team pitched in to fly me out for the APU Missions Celebration–and it was so great to be back with my team…sharing memories, catching up on each other’s lives, and talking about the “what now”…what do we do with all that we experienced in New Orleans?


I was also able to spend time with my closest friends–and that was exactly what I have needed. Moving to Pennsylvania has been quite lonely at times–which I know is completely normal, since I just moved to a brand new place. So it was wonderful to be with close friends.ย 

While I was on a plane, I had plenty of time to think and to reflect on life…and I’ve come to realize that I have nothing to fear with being in Pennsylvania, unemployed: the Lord clearly brought me out here, so despite the periods of loneliness and unemployment, I can fully trust Him to continue to provide for all my needs! He hasn’t let me down, ever, so why would He now? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll share more of the reflections later…

It was a great weekend, but it’s great to be “home” ๐Ÿ™‚

Back in California…

We returned safely from New Orleans on Thursday (the 19th), and are still recovering from our amazing experience…our team blog is still functioning, so check it out as we continue to process all that we have seen and experienced.

Last night I went to my own “funeral” ๐Ÿ™‚ I was completely surprised (which is a feat, for those who know me) when I walked into a goodbye party (where everyone was wearing black, there were R.I.P. signs everywhere, etc.) that was thrown by the youth group. SO sweet! I still can’t believe that Kevin didn’t let on at all, even though I was with him the entire afternoon/evening. Now, of course, things make sense ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, I felt so loved, so special…and it was really an amazing time with friends and youth group kids.

I move in a little under three weeks…and it’s absolutely surreal to me. I am looking forward to it, but am also feeling more emotional as the days pass by. I’ve lived here for nearly 7 years, and so much has happened here…so many memories…but, I am ready for the new chapter that the Lord has waiting for me.

I’ll try to blog more soon–too many moving details to take care of… ๐Ÿ™‚ Check out the team blog, and check out the links to pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

Transitions…

It’s hard to believe that the time has finally come…tomorrow morning we leave for New Orleans, which sets in motion the rest of the transitions I will be undergoing this summer. Yesterday was my last day of work at ADP. Today I moved out of my house, and into my car (LOL, well, my stuff is in my car)…tomorrow, my team and I leave for New Orleans, to rebuild houses and love people…and after I get back, I will be moving to Pennsylvania.

As I packed up my belongings today, shipped boxes to Pennsylvania, I realized that all of this is really happening. I really am moving across the country, to start a new life…and it’s an interesting realization. Part of me is excited beyond belief, as I love Pennsylvania, and I truly feel that the Lord has called me to serve there…however, part of me is also feeling nostalgic, and sad, as I have come to realize that Glendora has become my home.

There have been many things to ponder lately, and I am looking forward to the continued reflection…

Meanwhile, I don’t know how often I’ll be posting to THIS blog while I’m in New Orleans, but read our team blog to catch up on our adventures in “The Crescent City” ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, we will be able to check email and voice mail about once a week, so I would LOVE to get messages from you all! ๐Ÿ™‚ Feel free to call, text, email, etc. during the trip if you’d like. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s going to be a wild summer…and definitely one to remember.

Four Days!!

Check out our team blog for updates during our adventure in New Orleans!

http://teamneworleans.wordpress.com

We leave on Saturday, and we are VERY excited… ๐Ÿ™‚

In other news, in the past week I have gotten back in touch with a friend I met five years ago, and it has been awesome. Sometimes, God brings people into your life with whom you just connect SO well–and this is definitely an example of that.

Three more days of work!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Weekend in New Orleans…

Crawfish

Holland and I spent the weekend in New Orleans, preparing to bring our team there in May/June. We did some fun things–such as the Crawfish Boil depicted above–but we also worked hard to nail down some details for our trip.

How to describe the weekend…

Exhausting…enlightening…encouraging…sobering…intense…

I am left with much to process. Seeing the effects of Hurricane Katrina in person is an absolutely __________ experience. How do you describe it? As we took a “driving tour” of the damage, we saw hundreds/thousands of houses with the doors and windows still boarded-up, the spray-painted x still on the house (indicating that it had been checked, etc.)…but what impacted me the most was a portion of the Ninth Ward where there is nothing left…NOTHING…no houses, no signs of life…absolutely incredible.

This wasย home

We saw the FEMA trailers (that were dispersed very late)…we saw the areas that were hit the hardest–but also those who look like the storm ignored them completely…we saw a city struggling to get back on its feet, a city attempting to redefine itself for the future…

The television coverage doesn’t do it justice…you have to go there, to see the destruction that still remains almost three years after Hurricane Katrina and the breaking of the levees. It’s absolutely incredible, and very humbling.

On a more positive note, it was absolutely amazing to see the number of college students and other volunteers who are spending their Spring Break serving the people of New Orleans. I believe that the fact that we are coming to be with the people of New Orleans means more than the work that might be accomplished.

This being said, I am anxious to get there with the team to serve…to love…to bring with us the hope that we have in Jesus…it’s going to be an awesome trip.

I’ll post a link to more pictures later, after my team has seen them ๐Ÿ™‚

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