Thursday, March 30, 2006

It took 3 hours of traffic...

On Tuesday afternoon I drove to Santa Monica to meet a friend I graduated with for dinner. It was absolutely pouring down rain--a rarity in LA. I left early and arrived in Santa Monica around 2pm in hopes of getting a little homework done before dinnertime and avoiding rush hour traffin in LA (rain makes traffic 10 times worse). I found some free parking and plopped down with my Chai and Medeival Theology reading. My friend and I hadn't figured out a time and place to meet but she was suposed to call me when she arrived in Santa Monica. By the time it was 5pm I still hadn't heard from my friend...5:30 came...6....6:30pm. I had left numerous phone messages and her cell phone was giving me error messages. At this point I realized that something was wrong and I decided to drive to the hotel her mom and her were staying at. After exploring the tiny town of Santa Monica I found the hotel and called their room. There was no answer and the hotel front desk guy told me he had seen them leave. It was 7pm now and I realized we weren't going to catch up with each other and I needed to start my commute back to Pasadena since I had an 8am class the next morning. I got in the car very wet (the rain kept getting harder), tired, hungry, and frustrated. My frustration escalated as I came to a dead stop in traffic within 5 minutes of being on the freeway. I realized it was not going to be a quick 45 minute drive back and I went through my cell phone voicemails to call people back. No one was answering their phone and I had moved about 2 feet in traffic. I stared at the pouring rain outside more irritated than ever... Finally I turned off the radio, put my cell phone down, and listened to the silence. I started to pray...whining, complaining...then in the midst of the complaining to God, I remembered a conversation I had had a couple days ago. As an exteme planning-type person, I like to know what lies ahead of me, what my future holds (I'm almost never right about what actually does happen...but I try and plan regardless). My friend had said to me, "you know you're such a planner but I think it's going to shock you with what God has for you in the future." I had not thought about that conversation anymore but that thought hit me in the car that night. I was suddenly overwhelmed and humbled by God's love and plan for me. My whining and complaining stopped and I spent the next hour and half in awe of God's divine purpose. I found out later my friend had lost her cell phone somewhere in Santa Monica and that's why we couldn't connect. But after an afternoon/night filled with 3 hours of traffic, pouring rain...I had a new reminder of God's peace--and that was amazing.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Spring Break

I don't have any fun pictures to share with you all because I forgot to take pictures (I know hard to believe), but here's what I did over spring break...
I finished up Winter Quarter Thursday morning and flew to Richmond Thursday afternoon and night. I have since learned it's not a smart idea to cut your finals week short or to fly out the day you finish everything. On Friday I visited my family (all which could be found at UR funny enough) and then saw some extended family at a funeral visitation service. Both Friday and Saturday nights were spent in slumber parties with some friends--you're never too old for slumber parties! Sunday I got to go to Third Pres (always great to be there) and see people. On Monday and Tuesday I spent seeing various friends. Then Wednesday morning I flew back to LA. I had a wonderful time in Richmond visiting some amazing people.
My Spring Break time in Pasadena was much need down time as I spent the rest of break laying by the pool (have I mentioned that I love Southern CA weather) and watching season one of 24 (for those of you who haven't seen 24, it is a great show but beware--watch one episode and your life will be consumed the next 24 hours...).

"Growing Up"

This is a picture of "JMo." In my Sculpture class senior semester senior year I had to create a self-portrait sculpture. Obviously my sculpture skills weren't very good as you see JMo, but I posted the picture for the meaning behind JMo. I ambitiously began the project to make a girl jumping with wings. I wanted to use Kelly Clarkson's song "Breakaway" and make my self-portrait taking a leap of faith and learning to fly. I was about to finish college and anticipated the huge transition that the next year would bring. However, the night before the project was due, as I was finishing JMo I could not artistically create the vision I wanted. Instead I created the above sculpture. Minutes before class I still did not have an explanation of how JMo represented me. When my professor called on me, I rambled about how JMo was wearing a fancy dress and looked grown up (well as much as duct tape can!). I said I identified with JMo because I often felt like I was playing dress up. I would appear grown up or do grown up things--but yet on the inside sometimes I still felt like a scared little girl.
As this quarter closed I realized how much that spontaneous last minute sculpture truly fit the place I am at right now. Seminary is filled with academic challenges but it also has brought me the challenge of growing up. I suppose it all comes with graduating college, moving 3,000 miles away, and starting grad school... I can't really put into words the process that I've gone through and continue to go through but I appreciate the challenge of this time and the people that have and continue to walk alongside of me through it.

Random Winter Quarter Pictures

I have been horrible at updating my blog this quarter but here are pictures of some fun times second half of Winter Quarter. Sophie, Becca, and I playing Catacombs (an amazing game!) with the San Marino youth group fun!

This picture is at Steffi's goodbye party. Steffi moved back to the East Coast after a couple quarters at Fuller. We'll miss you Steffi!

Happy 23rd Birthday Day Alicia!!! A group of us went country line dancing to celebrate Alicia's 23rd. I had never been to a country line dancing club and it was fun to experience the culture there. It was also funny to watch as the night got later and later the crowd got younger and younger, we were then line dancing to Will Smith as opposed to George Strait. In the picture are Sabrina and Alicia.

Valentine's Day! The Presbys spend Thanksgiving, New Year's, and even Valentine's Day together. Here are Becca, Jenn H., Sophie, and Sarah at Islands.

These are some of my neighbors--Ryan, Alethia, and Sarah. We had a potluck one night. If you look closely at the bottom left of this picture you will see a red crock pot. A Christmas present from my parents, my crock pot has turned around my culinary skills--no more food poisoning for me!

Friday, March 24, 2006


When I moved out here I had no idea that one of the biggest decisions I would need to make quickly would be finding a church. In college I had chosen a church from the 3 or 4 churches most UR students attended--I wanted to go to church with my friends. From those few churches I chose according the theological beliefs of the denominations. It was during my junior year that I discovered my theology most aligned with the PC(USA) church and I therefore became a member of Third Pres.
Moving to Pasadena I predicted the church hopping process to be quick--I now knew what denomination I was and there couldn't be that many choices, right? I began attending churches based on others' recommendations. I soon discovered that there were many types of PC(USA) churches with many differences. There were churches with 30 members, churches with 1500 members, conservative churches, liberal churches, various types of ethnic mixes in congregations, different emphases on ministries, churches an hour away, and churches 5 minutes name a few categories.
By the middle of my second quarter I was exhausted from visiting different churches and longed for a place to call my home. I had over-analyzed the churches so much that I could create a complex Excel spreadsheet with all the pluses and minuses of each church.
I then realized that it wasn't this Excel spreadsheet that would make my decision for me, but that God was calling me to a church. I then thought back to my very first visit to a PC(USA) church in Pasadena, and remembered the feeling of peace I had in attending that service. The answer had been in front of my face the entire time!
I am at San Marino Community Church--a beautiful church about 10 minutes away in the middle of the tiny suburb of San Marino, CA. The church just received it's new pastor and I am excited to see how San Marino grows and changes.