Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Journey

For the past year or two, I felt as though God were preparing us to do something. Something big. Maybe go somewhere. Maybe give something. I searched for it. I tried different jobs, talked about it with friends, tossed around different ideas with Dave, but still didn't know what it was.

During the same time, one of my friends introduced me to her. This lady (I don't even know her name!) reminds me of myself. She had plans for her life - what it would look like, what her family would be like, where she would live, what she would do. Yet God's plans are bigger than ours and the things that she planned did not happen. It was difficult, but she finally began to trust God and He blessed her with peace and trust. Her life is still hard and she has struggles, but she has so much joy and love that exudes from her. And as I read, I realize I want that.

The last year was not how Dave or I expected it. I thought I would have a full time job. That didn't happen. Maybe just a good job? No.... I thought we would have a baby. Nope. At least be pregnant? nope again. Maybe Dave would be happy at his job? Eh.... on and off. Long story short, the year did not end up how we pictured it. And yet there were days I felt content. I felt blessed because I knew that God was using those difficult times in my life to teach me and prepare me for what was coming next.

For example, because I don't have kids, I am able to work with the 7th and 8th graders at our church. And I love them all. Over the last year they have become like my own children. I have cried for them, rejoiced with them, prayed for them and tried to teach them from the lessons I had learned. I have gone to camp with them, had sleepovers, gone to the mall, got coffee, unlimited text messaging, beach trips, singing Taylor Swift (oh well, I do that for myself, too).

Anyways, God has opened a door - he has revealed a tiny part of our journey. Dave has accepted a job that requires we move to London. We are in the process of packing and tying up all the loose ends. We will probably be leaving sometime in March or April. It is a two year job, and we are so excited to be following God in this adventure! I have been looking for ministry opportunities and/or jobs in the area. I am sure that God has something for us there whether it is in our future neighborhood, in the church we will attend or the people we run into.

Please be in prayer for us as we take this first step in our journey. We are very excited about all that is happening, but there are still many things to work out. Pray for Dave's negotiating to go well and for us to be taken care of in that aspect. Pray for me to find a "job" or somewhere I can volunteer or serve. Pray for our condo to be rented to a wonderful Christian family. Pray that we find a place to live that is in a good neighborhood. Pray that we will continue to listen to God as he guides us in this process.

Oftentimes, I want an ordinary life. I daydream about my house with a yard and 2.5 children and the rest of the "American Dream". But then I think about how awesome a life with God can be. Its exhilarating, rewarding, and joyful. Its so much more than what I can ever picture. I know I wasn't made to be ordinary.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Inspiration

I am a part of a women's Bible study at our church (Baseline Community Church). The lady currently leading it put together a weekly devotional for 2010. There's a short devotional every week with four or five scripture verses to look up. The cool thing about God is that sometimes He wants to speak to you. So, as I read I looked down and saw that the next passage looked interesting (although I was done reading for the devotional that I was doing). So I read it, and found a few verses that have become important to me for the time being.


Do you not say, 'Four more months and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life....I sent you to reap what you have not worked for."
John 4:35-38

I have this verse written down on a 3x5 card and posted in my kitchen. I feel God gently nudging me.... Where is my field to harvest? What am I called to do today? tomorrow? this year? I am praying that I can be used to do what He has called me to do.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two truths


Two things I have recently found:

1. I am a terrible cook but could compete in many baking competitions.

2. There is an awesome website that I am very much in love with that gives me inspiration to keep on believing that.

Let's go back to the first truth. I grew up in a family in which we ate a lot of good food. It was just that usually my mom or dad made it. But, when they started baking, they invited me to help them, and I learned some of the tricks of the trade at an early age. Some of my earliest memories (before the age of 6) are sitting at the kitchen counter watching my dad roll out
sugar cookies and then getting to place the cookie cutters and make the cookies. Then, we'd get to decorate them and eat them. Yummy! Making cookies is sort of like an art - it looks good and then it tastes good!
Cooking, on the other hand, is more of a chore. We do it because we have to eat. I guess we could just go out to Taco Bell again, for the 2nd time this week, but it is healthier to make something at home..... okay.... what will we have? Do we have to go to the grocery store? Do we have time to cook that?
And that's how the arguments go in my mind...

So, this is the website I've happened across. It completely fuels my argument - baking is way cooler than cooking. For those of you who like being in the kitchen and have a creative bent, this website takes art and mixes it with baking. It is like making decorations or crafts that you can eat. Its sweet! These are two of my favorite posts from this author: here and here.

So, first take a look at the Bakerella. Then see what I did this Christmas:

The first thing I made was cakeballs. That is what Bakerella is known for. Yes, its a ridiculous name, but they are like a little slice of heaven in your mouth.

Basically, a cakeball is cake plus frosting and then dipped into chocolate.


This one I made with red velvet cake plus cream cheese frosting.


The next things I made were sugar cookies. Bakerella does a beautiful job on her website, but I also sneaked a peak at Martha Stewart's for the recipie that I used. I wasn't completely happy with it. The cookies didn't have much flavor and were rather crunchy. (I prefer the soft mushy ones). If you have a good sugar cookie recipe, please share with me!

I rolled out the dough on wax paper and it made it nice and easy to put the cookies on a baking sheet in the oven! No worrying about if they will fall apart or break!

Then, the fun part: decorating them! I may have gone a little crazy..... I had to buy cake decorating supplies at Michaels and Wal-Mart and at Sur La Table.....
but it was worth it
(or at least thats what I tell myself)
But really, in like 10 years when we have lots and lots of kids and they're able to use all the cool cake decorating stuff, they'll thank me. Uh huh!

I went all out. I did the piping around the edge, and then flooded the cookie with color. I did other designs, used sprinkles, everything. Of course Martha Stewart's still look better.... but I'm getting there!

And finally.... the last thing I made this Christmas was chocolate and peanut butter fudge. It was melt-in-your-mouth goodness! Again, thanks to Bakerella who saved the day with this awesome recipe. I will keep it and make it again and again. This fudge is amazing!

Well, hope you enjoyed some of my baking. If you know of any fun cooking sites, let me know!


The Holidays

So... I have not been the best blogger since November. Sorry about that. I have been very busy with house guests:

I had these two crazy (hehe - love you girls!) people plus my sister come spend a week with Dave and I over Thanksgiving. They are my twin cousins (from my dad's side of the family), now honorary Wallace's, since they spent Thanksgiving at Dave's parents house..... man that was a long introduction!
In this picture from left to right, me, Missy, Teresa (my sister) and Miranda.

Dave and I both agree that if we could properly host three teenage girls for a week in our house without any major problems, we can do pretty much anything with our life!

During the week the girls were visiting, I also invited the junior high girls over for a sleep over. We had an awesome time and stayed up way too late:

Doing really random stuff...

Eating weird food and taking pictures....

and maybe TP-ing someone. But just maybe. You'll never find out for sure...

After Thanksgiving, the Christmas parties started. We had a junior high Christmas party, a cousin Christmas party, a Wallace family Christmas party, a young couples Christmas party.... you get the idea? Well, we had something going on almost every night of the week for about three weeks in a row. Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures.... but here are the ones I have.


This picture is Sarah (a JH leader with me), Melanie and Julia (two of our JH girls). We went to a Christmas concert in which some other girls from our JH sang.
Here is a picture of just part of our group. From left to right: me, Julia, Eden, Sarah, Melanie, Amanda, Cassy, and Cassy's brother.

The last thing I have pictures of is our small group. Its not the best picture (sorry!); Brandon has a December birthday and is the oldest in the group (he's 30 now!) so we celebrate it every year now by going out. So, here's the group: the Scully's (Jeremiah and Courtney), us, Paul behind us, the Mooneys (the new additions to the group - John and Julie), and then the Troyers (Carrie, Sadie and Brandon).
We just love our small group so much! We've been together for a year now, and it has been so wonderful to get to know these people and see them every week and share our lives with them!