The Transition Rollercoaster: Highs, Lows & Everything in Between

First things first, please accept my apology that it’s taken me so long to get an update posted.

Since that’s out of the way, here’s a little update for those of you following my journey to DC.

CSLEWISCHANGEAs you can see in the title of this blog, this transition has been a roller coaster ride – and it’s still going. Now, I for one enjoy a good coaster from time to time, especially if it’s Screemin’ from California Adventure (Oh Disneyland, how I miss you so!) . However, as I get older I tend to shy away from the rides that have huge drops, flip upside down multiple times, throw me around at high speeds or suddenly stop without giving my body any chance to slow down before crashing into the metal vest that’s keeping me from falling out. Sure, I still ride roller coasters like this at times because they can be so much fun. But I definitely do what I can to avoid them more often than I used to, because let’s face it, I don’t think the thrill of it all is as worth it as it once was.

There you have it, a metaphor to describe what life has been like since I left California about a month ago. The main difference being that my ride has been absolutely worth every jerk, drop, unexpected curve and sudden stop thus far – and I’m confident it will continue to be worth it as time goes on. How can I be so confident about that?  Well the Lord is using this time to teach me so many things about Himself and my heart – that alone is worth the growing pains.

There have been moments where I couldn’t stop smiling or laughing; I mean my stomach hurt I was laughing so hard and I just didn’t want them to end. There have also been moments where I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t hold back the tears. In other moments I’ve found myself  holding on tightly and closing my eyes, somehow thinking I could change the ride by doing that. But then there were the moments where I let go and just enjoyed the “free falling” experience of it all.

If you plan to stay tuned to my updates about the move and our new church family, that’s great! You’ll be happy to know that I’ll be posting a series of more in-depth blogs recounting highlights from our cross country trip  soon!  I’ll also post about all of the things my roomie and I have encountered thus far in this wonderful city we now call home. But for now, I’m going to keep the updates below minimal and then get some rest – I’m battling the sickness that welcomed me back to the humidity (that’s an east coast welcome for ya).

In conclusion, here’s what has happened since I left Cali:

Cross Country Trip:
Three friends and I conquered a cross country road trip; mark that off the bucket list! We drove over 3,000 miles, consumed nearly 390 oz of caffeine, drove through 9 states, stayed in 1 scheevy hotel and then with 5 other amazing hosts. We drove through gorgeous scenery and of course stopped to take pictures! There were car dance parties, 80s and 90s playlists, fun foodie finds, games of “Would You Rather?” and MASH future predictions that I kind of hope come true.

New Home:
We found out that we were approved for it while driving cross country. Emilie and I printed, read, signed, faxed back and wired our deposits for our new place WHILE “ON THE ROAD.” We did all of this without ever seeing our house in person – talk about a leap of faith. The Lord not only blessed us with a great place to live (location and house amenities) and an AWESOME new roommate, but we moved in JUST in time for the neighborhood block party this last weekend. Ironic? I think not.

New Church Family:
They are fantastic. Already since we’ve been here our new church family has been there when we needed a helping hand moving our stuff into the house (because UBox is NOT for everyone; more about that in my future posts) and picking up additional furniture. They’ve also been here to encourage me as I’m sick, spend time in the Word and in prayer and just been great at initiated the building community process. I’m so excited for the vision of our church family and for this time we have to build closer relationships with each other.

New Office:
After 8 Coffee shops and two weeks of a traveling office, my home office was finally set up last week and has been going full force ahead ever since. Though working from home has been an interesting transition (because the SD office environment is so fun of course), it’s coming along and I’m honing in on what it looks like to have a home office of inspiration. I’m actually inspired by living in the city and all of my new surroundings, so that’s good! I still can’t believe how blessed I am to have my job and to work with the people I work with – no matter how many miles are between us.

Support Across the Miles:
I couldn’t post this update without mentioning the vital role that my loved ones from Cali (and other areas of the US) have played in this transition thus far. I’ve felt your prayer support and appreciated any kinds words via text or Facebook message/comment – THANK  YOU. In particular, the Lord blessed the beginning stages of this transition by allowing four great friends to be here in DC with us to make sure we weren’t joining a cult 😉 (two of which also braved the cross country road trip with Emilie and I). Having their love and support here with us was something I didn’t truly know the value of until they left. Not only have those same friends been so intentional about checking in with us, but my other close friends have been really encouraging too! Thank you to everyone who has checked in – I need the connections and open lines of communications even if I seem like a tough cookie who can handle life on her own. Clearly, that’s not the case and the Lord has humbly reminded me of this many times in this transition alone.

Support Close to Home:
Having my family close enough to drive to is a foreign concept to me, but it’s a cool reality now. Having dear friends within a few hours of driving distance is also foreign to me, but again a reality now. My family and friends on this coast have been so encouraging at “welcoming me home” and planning time to connect with me again once I get settled here. There is MUCH catching up to do and I cannot wait for all of the overdue hugs.

The Next Few Months:
We’re having our house warming party in two weeks – which we plan to have a virtual type tour for those of you who obviously can’t make the trip to DC to see our house ;). I’ve got some family and local friends visits/road trips planned before the holiday season gets underway and we’ve also got some cool church events planned over the next few weeks and months – can’t wait to meet more new people!

I’m really looking forward to DC in the Fall; I’ve missed the Autumn season and am counting down the days until it arrives. Speaking of the Fall, I’ll be in SoCal for the last week of October working from my company’s Valencia office and supporting two dear friends as they get married. Maybe I’ll get a chance to connect with some of you that week – if not I’ll be back to visit not too long after that too.

Until next time folks!

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7 Updates on Life & My Move to DC

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, but here we are at the tail end of it all.

If you’ve been following my journey to DC, you know that my friend Emilie and I will be moving to DC soon. In fact, we’re moving next week! We’ve packed up our stuff, filled two U-Boxes, shipped everything off and mapped out our cross country road trip. We start our drive on Monday. AHHHH!  I’m a little excited about it because I absolutely love road trips.

I can’t believe it’s already here, and yet I’ve had moments where it feels like the days are passing by so slow. But I know soon enough I’ll be on the open road pondering about how my last two weeks in California flew by with just the blink of an eye (I wasn’t planning on that rhyming, but I kind of like it). It’s been an exhausting and fun couple of weeks; between the many “final” hangouts and lunches, working and creating, preparing my car for the trip and looking for housing in DC.

Since it’s late,  so I’m going to try to type this as fast as I can. But I thought I shouldn’t go too much longer before posting some updates about the last two weeks and my move to DC. So here are seven updates for your reading pleasure. Why seven? Well, it’s my favorite number and why not?

Here they are:

  1. Packing & Shipping:  We had a bunch of friends show up to help us pack our house throughout the month of June, to pack our UBoxes and to move our beds. We couldn’t have done it without them and I’m so grateful for the people that came to help us pack it all up. We managed to have many laughs throughout the process, which made it an awesome memory. We also were given the opportunity to give away stuff we couldn’t take and to be a blessing to several people who needed those items. It felt great to part with our stuff in that way.
  2. DC Housing: We still need to finalize a place to live in DC; but we’ve got an awesome third roomie (Mandi) whose been doing the leg work in DC to find the perfect place for us to call home. Please pray that we find the place by the time that we arrive in DC on July 21st. We’re confident that the Lord will provide the place in His timing and we’re even applying for a few this week.
  3. Cross Country Drive: We’re leaving bright and early on Monday, July 14th. I’m not a morning person, so I’ll be getting the largest coffee I can order and hoping my car mate doesn’t mind a little silence the first hour of the drive. We also have places to stay with people in every city but two. We’ve booked a hotel for one of those cities and we have some friends checking on options for us in the second city. I was so happy to see how many people supported our cause by connecting us with people who were willing to host four women over night as we make our way through each state. We’re still trying to raise money to cover our moving costs; we’ve raised about $500 of it so far (I think).
  4. Farewells: I’ve been spending “bye” time with people and it’s been super fun. I feel so loved and it’s been great to catch up and spend one-on-one time with dear friends. We also get two last chances to see people at our going away parties this weekend. Not only are our friends throwing us a going away bash this Saturday night, but our church is hosting a BBQ after church on Sunday. I know it will be a bittersweet time, but I’m looking forward to the memories that will be made at both parties and all of the hugs that will be passed around.
  5. Career Stuff: I’m still loving my new position. It’s been so much fun to get to know my new team better; I’ll really miss them when I move. I’ve also enjoyed exploring new ways to make magic happen within our industry – I work with amazingly talented and inspiring individuals. We also just had a fantastic mid-year meeting and it’s amazing to see the new adventures we plan to go on as a company. I’m privileged to be able to still be a part of it all from my new home in DC.
  6. Fun Times at Disneyland: It’s not secret, Disneyland is my favorite place in SoCal. So not only did I get to celebrate a dear friends birthday there last weekend, but I got to spend an entire weekend at my favorite place over the 4th of July holiday. There is A LOT of win in that sentence, I mean A TON of win! I had a blast and got to spend one of my last weekends in Cali with women I’ve been in a Bible study with since 2008. These are friendships that will continue across the miles and I’m so glad we got to make more memories before I moved.
  7. East Coast Greetings: There are lots of people I CANNOT wait to see once I get to DC. Family, friends and new church family. I’ll be driving up to Baltimore as soon as I can to give my family and friends there the biggest hugs and kisses. I’m going to plan a few mini road trips to see my little sister and my dear friends the Stanley’s as soon asI can. Our core team has been making their way to DC from different parts of the country and surrounding states. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again, meeting the new members and discovering everyone’s story. I’m excited to begin meeting with our team regularly and building deeper relationships with our new community. Reunions in general are the best, so bring it on!

There you have it folks. Stay tuned for some fun updates from the road as our cross country adventure begins.

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

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:

IMG_5811 IMG_5810

(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!”

Blessings Come in All Shapes & Sizes

I’ve been meaning to post this for a week now, but I’ve been so busy with work – which just happens to be the topic of this post. You see, I work for a company that I whole heartedly believe in and I absolutely love the people I work with. So you can imagine how excited I was to hear that

I get to keep my job when I move to DC!

Sure, my job sometimes requires long hours because we’re always trying to do the impossible and to set new standards within our industry. But when the going gets tough I try to remember how much I have to be grateful for in regards to my job and how truly blessed I am to have this job. It’s a blessing; even when the demands of the job don’t always come in the “blessing shaped boxes” I selfishly expect gifts to come in.

Here’s a cool fact:

I just celebrated my 5th year anniversary with this company.

I enjoy being creative and I get paid for it!  BUT I couldn’t have imagined (even if i tried) how the Lord would decide to use my time here as He has thus far, or how He would choose to use me and grow me in Him as I filled varying positions over the years.

God used the generosity and gamble of one man to change the course of my life. That man just happens to be the owner and CEO of the company I still work for today. His name is Rustin, but everyone knows him as Roo because that’s the kind of guy he is – obsessed with nicknames and breaking down barriers that are caused by stiff “professional” yellow tape. He brakes the mold of any CEO that I’ve heard of and continues to press the boundaries in a good way.

I could ramble on for paragraphs about how God has used Roo to abundantly bless me over the last five years, but then this post would be abnormally long – even for a talker like myself.  So I’ll just keep it simple:

Roo took a BIG chance on me when he hired me and I am SO HAPPY he did.

38061_415272151711_7511127_nPlainly spoken, I genuinely love this guy like a brother and I’ve learned a great deal from him. I wouldn’t be the project manager I am today without his investment in me as a professional mentor and as someone I am proud to call “brother” and friend :).

I’m not always in tune with the blessings of my life in the moment, but I desperately want to be a woman who acknowledges blessings in all shapes and sizes. So that’s what I am expressing in this post. I wanted to express how amazing God is for writing this story in my life exactly how He sees fit and for doing it as He has thus far. I also wanted to express how thankful I am for people like Roo – he is a blessing in my life. Lastly, I wanted to express how thankful I am to have a job that I enjoy a great deal and that challenges me to rise to the occasion of unlikely shaped blessings.

It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of something so divinely strategic.

With that being said, it’s time for some much needed rest before another day and week full of breaking records. This week will be full of necessary hard work, laughs, pep, tears (just being real here) and little sleep; but all of that will be a blessing from the Lord and will pave the way for great things to come.

Stay tuned for part two of my career journey and transition with my move to DC.

An Impression, a Podcast and Clear Confirmations

Don’t judge me, but I sometimes skip ahead and read the end of books or chapters to see what’s coming up, or to see how something ends – it’s so I’ll know if I want to keep reading. I know it’s ridiculous and I’ve missed the point, but if you ask anyone in my life you’ll hear that I tend to ruin surprises. So keeping true to the reputation I’ve made for myself I’ll “skip ahead” and tell you how this story ends:

I’m moving to Washington D.C. at the end of July

For those of you who like the short points of a story, here you go:

  • I had an impression for almost a year to MOVE; with literally no other direction.
  • I resolved to figure out what it meant and went on a “wild goose chase” for 6 months.
  • I finally let it go and kept living life as I had prior to the 6 month search.
  • About a year after the initial impression I heard this podcast.
  • I figured it couldn’t hurt to read the journey to DC site. So I did and I was hooked.
  • I emailed Steven &Tiffany and started the “what if conversations.”
  • After lots of prayer, lots of undeniable confirmations and an abundance of guidance and support from people I love, it’s become clear that the Lord is moving me to D.C. to be a part of the Redeemer City Church plant and to be closer to my family.
  • Here’s a twist for you: I get to keep my roommate. Yes, that’s right. To add to the craziness of this story, God decided to bless me by connecting my personal journey with my friend  & roommate’s journey.  But, I’ll let her share that with you (Read Emilie’s story).

Finally, for those of you who enjoy actually reading the details of the story, here’s chapter 1 for you: If someone would have told me a year and a half ago that things in my life would be as they are right now and would be changing as much as they have, well I wouldn’t have believed them. I wouldn’t have doubted the possibility; of course we all know that change is a necessary and inevitable part of life. But I would most certainly have been resistant to accept just how many changes would need to happen to bring me to the point of acceptance, surrender, release and joy about what was going to happen next. You see, I am a very critical thinker (too skeptical at times in actuality) and I’ve been told I rarely make rash decisions. So what I’ve shared above may seem out of character for me in that regard, but in fact I think it fits right into God’s MO in my life. He’s done this before. In September 2012 all I had was an unsettling impression of the word “move” from the Lord. I had absolutely no idea what it meant and so began my many conversations with God about what He was asking of me and why I had to wait to know. My soul wrestled over the need to interpret this impression. I wondered if I should move churches, move jobs, move apartments, move my furniture around, or literally move my body from where I was sitting. My failed attempts to interpret what it meant left me no choice but to surrender the need to be in control and to know what “move” meant right then and there. So I reluctantly let it go. It’s funny how when you let go of something you’ve been anxious about the Lord does exactly what He says he would: provides peace. When I least expected it the Lord used a podcast from The Village Church in Dallas, Texas to rock my world and to remind me that He wasn’t finished with that impression from a year ago. Wow, I’ve got to be honest and share that I didn’t see that one coming. IMG_9085 IMG_2841 (Some of our team over Thanksgiving) Now here I am preparing to move across the country (for the second time in my life) and I couldn’t have written this story as it’s developing if I tried. God works in mysterious and incredible ways.  If you don’t believe me, just wait until you read my next post.