Monday, June 30, 2008

Changes

***I wrote part of this post the other day, but I don't want to change it, so I'll leave the beginning as is. Part of it is from right now though.***

6/30/08
Well, I just got back from my lunch break at my new job, Grace School Receptionist/Secretary. Yes, that is the official title. To tell you the truth, I don't even exactly know the difference between a receptionist and a secretary, but I am both apparently. Anyway, before I left for lunch I had a general idea of what this post would be about, now, due to unforseen circumstances it will be changed a bit, oh...there's the title of the post again...but I'll get to that later.
I've been struck recently by all the changes that are happening in my life. There are big things and then there are all these small things too that didn't immediately come to my mind, but nonetheless, they are changes.
One big change is obviously my job. I was working the last five months as a teacher aid in a second grade classroom, now I am at a different school working as what I stated above. I've always somewhat enjoyed when the unexpected happens, at least for the most part, and I definitely didn't expect to become a recep./sec. (My own little made up abbreviation there.) I thought I might have my own classroom this year, but, so far, God had a different plan for me.
***Actually, it's kind of funny. When I was little Emily and I sometimes pretended that we were secretaries in a doctor's office. She hated the game after five minutes, but I loved pretending to schedule patients for doctor's visits. I was telling some people last night that I was making some appointments for people the other day at work, and it was like a dream come true. :0) ***
Anyway, another big change is that I left Crossroads. My old roomie (another change that I will get to in a minute) and I are checking out different fellowship groups at church. People keep asking me why I am leaving...to tell you the truth I could have stayed in Crossroads, there's no exact reason necessarily, it just seemed like time to move on since I've been there for six years. I guess a part of the reason is another change, my Bible study leader and his wife, Eric and Leslie Davis moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to plant a church, (eventually) and they took a group of people with them from the Bible study. My old roommate, Melissa, is one of them. Which leads to another recent change. I moved back to my parents house.
Melissa went to Jackson and at the time we found out that she would move, Megan wasn't sure if she might move back to Minnesota (thankfully she didn't). Jen heard about the possiblity of both of them moving and she decided to move in with some girls from her Bible study. I decided to move back home and save some money.
All of these changes have happened within the last week, although I was anticipating a couple of them for awhile now. For the last three weeks we have had some South Africans staying with us. Clint and Kim Archer came as well, primarily because Clint was asked to teach at the Junior High Summer camp this year. They were able to come early enough to go to the Resolved Conference and a group of people from their church in Hillcrest decided to come too. We met Jen, Warren, Vicky, Liz and Lyle when we went on our trip to South Africa last year. Jen and Warren are staying with us. Because of all the busyness of the last couple of weeks, all these changes haven't really hit me yet. And it's weird. I haven't really had time to contemplate anything that is going on. While I often enjoy the unexpected, change normally freaks me out a bit at the beginning. But not yet...so I'm waiting...

7/2/08
After lunch I was thinking about a completely different change that one day we as believers will experience. While Emily and I were eating, a man named John, who used to be one of the ushers at Grace, approached us on his wheelchair and proceeded to proclaim the excellencies of God to us for about twenty minutes. The thing he kept coming back to the most was that we will be changed when we see God. "We will sin no more" as he put it. I was greatly encouraged and convicted by this man as I was sitting there listening to him. I have never seen John without hearing about how wonderful God is. Not a single time. I remember every Sunday morning, waiting to walk around the corner of the church and hear him say something along the lines of "Praise the Lord, our King!" He was telling us on Monday how he is at the church almost every day with the purpose of reminding seminary students and anyone else he sees about how we need to keep our focus on things above and not on the earth because it is so easy to be distracted by things of this world. He was saying how we have a mission to tell others about Him until He returns, and I think that it is so cool that he doesn't stay at home, which he could easily do, and probably no one would think the less of him. But instead he is out being faithful to encourage other believers, reminding them of the gospel and what we have to look forward to! I want to be like that someday, only it has to start today. My prayer is that God will help me to understand how glorious He is and that He would make me faithful to proclaim His excellencies as well.
We have a huge change coming and it's not that far away!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Kristin Fish

So the main reason why Emily and I traveled to the East Coast was for Kristin's wedding! We were both bridesmaids along with Megan, her sister, as maid of honor. This was special in itself because the four of us have been close since the beginning of High School. I knew of Kristin since Jr. High from church, but we became friends when we were in the same P.E. class at Valencia. I was very thankful for how God brought her along at that time.
I wasn't too fond of High School at the beginning. I was used to a small Christian school with about 15 students in my 8th grade class. It was very different be in a class of around 700. I also wasn't used to the language or the conversation topics. In fact, after having enough of it after about a week, I broke down in tears in the second class of the day. Art with Mr. Bibicoff. An older girl in the class who was pretty outgoing took me outside and talked to me. I don't even remember what she said, but it was a little comforting. However, a few days later I still didn't want to be there and I told Mr. Bibicoff that I didn't feel well. I don't think he liked any sort of conflict and so he immediately said that I could go to the office. I called my dad and asked him to pick me up. Then I tried reasoning with my parents about other options for schooling. Thankfully I made it through the first month okay. I could not understand at the time why my friends that I had from Grace seemed to love public high school, and I quickly wound up not spending too much time with them. I made a couple of friends in P.E. and it was going okay, but none of them were very close. Then Kristin showed up. I never would have thought when I saw her for the first time in Jr. High that she would become a best friend. We soon introduced our sisters to each other since they were the same age, and as I like to say, "forced them to become friends."
From there it took off to slumber parties, "fashion photo shoots", CoolTay Productions, late night t.p. raids, .007 tournaments... the four of us loved to hang out together.
When I first went to Master's, Kristin was going to C.O.C. but I still went over to her house every Thursday night for dinner and we would often meet for coffee at Starbucks. When Megan finished High School the Cooley family moved to Massachusetts so that Mr. Cooley could be an Associate Pastor at a church there with his friend that he met in seminary. It was not easy saying good-bye. It was one of those summers where I felt like I didn't have many friends around, which made it worse.
I won't go into too much of our friendship while she was gone those two years, but I will say that God demonstrated His faithfulness in many ways. He also answered a lot of prayer, which helped me learn that there is never anything too great that I can ask of Him. All of this made this wedding all the more meaningful to me. :0)
Em and I were super blessed to have the Cooley's for two more years when they came back to go to Master's. Something Kristin promised she would never do! Haha. (Just why she couldn't have gone when I went I'm still trying to figure out.) :0)
But, Kristin had already met Jerry in Massachusetts. They worked at Starbucks together and he wasn't saved when they met. God used Kristin to tell him about the gopel, or actually I think he had heard the gospel from his family but she talked to him about it more. I guess he seemed interested at first but didn't give his life to the Lord right away. Eventually he did and he actually moved out here right before (I think it was before) Kristin did. He actually had planned to go to UCLA which he did for awhile. So I am also so thankful that we got to know him when he was here.
The wedding was really perfect. It was fun and easy just having the three of us, I think. Kristin got to have her "autumn style" wedding. We decorated the aisle with leaves and pretty autumn flowers and we wore bronze colored dresses. Kristin's dress was beautiful, it was a mix of ivory and white and had a unique style. There were tears and laughter...and I feel like this is gradually becoming a very corny sounding post, but it's all true. Megan gave a perfect, tear-inducing toast at the reception.
It was a little weird seeing my last close friend from high school get married. As she and Jerry were driving away I had this sense of finality in a way. Like even though my childhood ended already, this felt like the REAL ending.
It's sad to be separated from Kristin and Megan again, but thankfully, as believers, we know it's only for a time!

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