DC Journey Milestone 1: Cross Country Move & Drive

Let’s face it, I say “I’m moving to DC” and one of the first things to pop into people’s minds is:

“Won’t that be expensive?”

Why yes, yes it will be :). Although it is a reality that moving to DC will not be cheap, I am encouraged to know that there are so many people in my life that have a heart to support the cause I am moving for and also just to support me in this new journey. Even more encouraging is the fact that there are so many other people who would like to support the journey of those associated with our new church plant, people I have never met and may never meet, and therefore they may hear about this need and consider sharing or donating.

Photo of the Washington Memorial, taken by none other than my roomie.

Photo of the Washington Memorial, taken by none other than my roomie.

Whatever happens I know the Lord will provide for Emilie, myself and every other person and needs associated with our team. As I’ve said before, one of the ways the Lord provides is by using people. I like that He does this and allows us to play a role in His plan in our own way.

So with that being said, here is a link to my new fundraising page. It is initially set at a goal to cover the costs Emilie and I will have in moving our stuff and driving our cars across the country in July. In reality this might seem like an odd thing to find raise for, as it isn’t life threatening and seems a bit presumptuous and self-serving, but I hope I’ve communicated in my YouCaring post that asking for support for myself is actually a way that the Lord is teaching me to trust him.

With that in mind I’ll leave you with this:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Phil. 4:4-7

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Any and All of Our Afflictions Are Meaningful

I’ve got a 15 minute break and what better way to spend it than to share some encouragement with anyone who reads my blog :). I felt a little defeated earlier this week and a friend of mine shared this song by Shane and Shane with me. The lyrics are really amazing and speak truth; not to mention they’ve coupled the song with a great excerpt from a John Piper message. He hits the nail on the head when he says that our afflictions are not only light in weight in comparison to what Christ suffered for the glory of the Lord and in light of eternity, but our afflictions are meaningful in the Lord’s eyes. I was blown away when he put into perspective that the Lord cares about any and all of our afflictions for the purposes of growing us in Him; Piper says “…all of it is totally meaningful. …every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that. I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism. I don’t care if it was slander or sickness – it wasn’t meaningless. It’s doing something…”

Just listen and watch. It took me less than 15 minutes to share this with you and it will take you less than that to listen. It’s a necessary reminder that I need to preach to myself every single day.

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An Unexpected Friendship. An Anticipated Reunion.

I’d like to introduce you to a dear friend of mine. Her name is Marla and I absolutely adore her. She is a friend I met in college and this fall will mark ten years that we’ve been friends  – ten years that we’ve been sisters.

Wow. A lot happens in ten years.374_38548461711_9741_n

Needless to say, she is one of my oldest , closest and dearest friends. But she is also a friend I never saw coming, an unexpected confidant and sister in Christ. We really were unlikely friends when we first crossed paths all those years ago and I’m so grateful for the role she has played in my life and the fact that God knows what He is doing when He brings people in to our lives – He has a plan for everything!

The Lord has used her to challenge me to love Him more, to truly see myself before Him and others, and to not take life so seriously all of the time. I learned so much from her in our time as college roommates, as spiritual life directors on campus and in our many travels together.

We’ve cried together. We’ve laughed together. We’ve matured in Christ together. We’ve plotted together (oh the prank stories!).

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We’ve gone on double dates together. We’ve gone through break-ups together. We’ve seen each other go through highs in our individual walks in the Lord and we’ve seen each other go through the lows  – and we’re still friends! 😉

Our friendship has survived living in a girls dorm full of drama, sharing a room, living in different states, being in different time zones and even living in different countries. (Thankfully we had Skype!) We’ve got a history of good times (great times really) and I am blessed to call this woman friend. The point is we’ve lived life together in the Lord, both in close proximity and across the miles, and our friendship has only gotten stronger.

1077046_10153050055125195_889413644_oSo why the sentimental blog you ask? Well, I received a timely birthday card from her on Friday evening and it made me tear up to think about the fact that we’re about to be reunited by living within driving distance of one another again! That’s right, watch out VA and DC because this duo is back and ready for the fun times.

How amazing is it that the Lord’s new beginning in my life with moving me to DC to be a part of a church plant also includes such a sweet reunion between kindred spirits? I didn’t see it coming and, yet again, I didn’t expect God to reunite us as He has chosen to.  Just like when He brought together a girl from Korea (Marla) and a girl from Baltimore (me) at a school in Boston to be unlikely friends, He is blessing us by allowing us to live closer together after such unpredictable events in both our lives resulted in us moving to those locations in the first place.  It’s really intentional and wonderful on God’s part and I love it.

Bye DC, I’ll See You Soon!

Well the DC weekend has come and gone and I am writing this as I wait for our plane to board. It was a great weekend with friends, family, and more friends. I am sad to leave, but there is much to go back to in LA for the next three months and I want to finish strong there.

IMG_5862We got to experience some cool places and spaces on this trip and I’m happy we were able to fit so much in. We visited the Lincoln Memorial, walked across the Memorial Bridge, mastered the MetroBus system and the blue line. My family drove in from Baltimore and VA Beach to go to the Natural History Museum with us, we visited Redeemer Arlington, and ate at a popular burger joint  – it was good!

All of that was just icing on the cake, because the real reason I was here this weekend was for our vision cast meeting. We got to hear stories of how people on our team heard about the plant and how the Lord is leading them to DC. I loved meeting everyone and hearing about God’s work in their lives – we all have such unique stories of being called to be a part of this plant and I love how diverse our group is already!

IMG_5870God is doing amazing things and I am so excited to already be a part of it. I still can’t believe that I will soon call this city home and my mission field. As I walked around the city my heart longed to build relationships with people around me so that I could get to know their story and so our stories could intersect and grow God’s story in our lives. It’s a diverse city, and I haven’t even seen all that there is culture wise.

So long DC, I’ll see you soon. I look forward to what God has planned when we meet again – watch out because He isn’t bound by social class, race, pace of life, family size, marital status, musical preferences, career choice or any other classifications or identity factor that might put us as individuals into a certain network or community.

He is a powerful God who has great plans for this city.

My First DC Update – Traveling, First Impressions, Anticipations, Vision Casting & More!

So this is my first official post from Washington DC and it feels great. Though I don’t officially live here yet, it feels like home already. I can already imagine myself becoming a Metro regular, learning the back roads to places that will become my favorite getaway spots, and wearing out the soles of my shoes while exploring the hidden treasures I don’t even know exist yet!

Here are a few selfie glimpses of the excitement I’ve experienced so far:

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(Clearly I’m in a silly mood. Clearly Emilie and I are both oozing with excitement here while waiting for our plane to board.)

There is something so intriguing and satisfying about the history surrounding me as I sit in this adorable coffee shop in Arlington, VA. Needless to say I was inspired to post a blog and share about this journey to DC. Our trip has been great so far (all 24 hours of it) and here are a few things I’ve learned already:

  • Southwest is one of my favorite airlines – Free checked bags, pleasant flight attendants and overall an enjoyable experience for travelers like myself.
  • Reading remains one of my favorite past times – Having a busy life makes it difficult to carve out 5 hours of quality reading time. BUT yesterday that’s just what I did; got lost in a good book! It was absolutely delightful and before I knew it I was on chapter 19 of Insurgent and the captains was saying we would be landing soon.
  • SuperShuttle from IAD (Dulles Airport) offer reasonable rates – We needed a ride from the airport (about 30 miles away from our hotel) and Super Shuttle was a great option.  We received quick service, a comfy van to rest in for the ride and it ended up being less than $40 for the two of us. It was VERY convenient for a late night flight.
  • Priceline has some great deals – Steven, the pastor of our new church plant, found a great deal for us on Priceline. Our hotel is beautifully decorated, in a perfect location and overall I’ve been very impressed.
  • Goody’s has HUGE slices of pizza – After getting settled into our hotel room at 12 am EST we realized how hungry we were from a day of traveling.  So of course we ordered pizza after checking out reviews on Yelp for this popular, late night pizza place. It was tasty, it was VERY LARGE, it will last us the entire trip and overall it was good. They did take a little longer than I had hoped to deliver it, but in the end it worked out.
  • Living in a city with a Metro again is going to be fantastic – The thing is, I’ve REALLY missed having easy access to public transportation. It saves gas, and it saves on being stuck in traffic or going around in circles because of the many one way streets around here.
  • Sky is the limit with touring options in DC – We’re about to set out on a little exploration of Arlington Cemetery, Georgetown (can’t wait to do all of these fun things I found here by Rachel Cooper), and whatever else we find! I’ve missed living in a city environment and also living so close to historical and architectural wonders that are so close and within driving distance.
  • I’m a city girl at heart and always will be – I say this a lot, so this isn’t a new revelation. But being here right now reminds me and rekindles in my soul a longing for the person God created in me: a woman who loves fast pace, city life and also loves the varying cultures and lifestyles that comes along with it. I anticipate meeting a mixed group of people on this trip and when I move here and all I can say is “LET THE RELATIONSHIP BUILDING BEGIN!”