Friday, August 24, 2007

Here's to health!

1 year ago today I was having surgery to take out part of my intestines. I had been struggling with Chron's Disease since I was 13 and I needed surgery. The doctors told me that there was a 50% chance that I would never have to have surgery again or a 50% chance that I would have it again, as soon as in 6 months. Regardless of the odds, I left the hospital in celebration.

And that celebration has continued for me throughout this year. Hooray for eating anything I want....including spicy curries, sushi, all kinds of new raw veggies, nuts, everything that ends in -ito, and corn on the cobb! Hooray for not taking so many pills a day! And hooray for having enough energy and stamina to run a 5k! All of those things continue to remind of what a blessing health is. This year has passed without any issues with my stomach--Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Welcome 2 (to) H-Town!

After a brief delay from tropical storm Erin, I flew into Houston, TX Thursday night. I was flying in for training for the upcoming September Cursillo weekend and also using my time in Houston to spend with friends. The training time went very smoothly and made me very excited to serve with this superb team in September. I'll keep y'all posted on how that weekend goes.

The best gift of being in Houston was being able to see members of my Cursillo family in TX. It boggles my mind to be a part of a community that spans 2,000 miles! I visited fellow Fuller student and Cursillo friend Barbara at her house.
After spending much time with Barbara in CA when she came to take classes it was very fun to see her house, meet her kids, and play with her adorable dog Candy. I've decided that when I get a dog--I am getting a pug. How can anyone resist these brown eyes???
I stayed with Robin--a woman that I connected with during my participant Cursillo weekend back in November. She and I have stayed closely in touch since then. She has become an amazing blessing to me! Robin and her husband Rusty were gracious enough to open their house up to me even though they had just moved homes the day I flew in.
Here are the her kids--Alyssa, Sarah, Bethany, and the cat Tigger. It was lots of fun getting to know the girls more. They made me some lovely signs above the guest bed welcoming me 2 (to) H-town. :) I spent much time that weekend playing card games, playing Polly Pocket, and getting updates on 7th Heaven. All in all, I had an absolutely wonderful, relaxing, and much needed vacation in Houston.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Walking the Tightrope

Yesterday I went business suit shopping. My experience business suit shopping was a disaster. I went in and out of almost every women's clothing store in the Santa Anita mall to find the same situation--no suits at an affordable price to fit my body. I gave up and went to Ann Taylor Loft the next day to find that the first suit I tried on--fit!

My first experience wearing a business suit was awkward. I felt a bit out of place in my own clothes--too professional and formal for my own comfort. The second time I wore my suit I felt a bit more myself. And the third time I wore my suit I found myself even liking my clothes. So yesterday, I tried the business suit shopping again. It took less than an hour to find two suits. I knew what I needed, knew how they would fit, and even got excited at the thought of having to wear a business suit every day! I realized that I've become more comfortable at thinking of myself as a professional and dressing like one...

My friends and I talk a lot about what makes someone an adult. In my youth ministry classes we learn about the "tightrope" of adolescence. And developmentally, one does not leave that tightrope until at least age 25. But really, what constitutes being an adult? Is it being comfortable in wearing a business suit? Is it being married? Or having kids? How about having a career you love? Is it being completely financially independent? I can name a person that fits each of those descriptions but isn't what I consider an adult. I don't really have an answer to my question...I guess it's just something that happens organically. Whatever it is, I know that I'm still learning about who I am, and hopefully one day I'll get off the tightrope. Until then, I'm going to continue to enjoy the journey.

Friday, August 10, 2007

An Intense 4 Weeks

Today at 6:50am I rejoiced. Why? Because it was the last time I'd have to wake up to go to class or get up to get to the library and do homework hurriedly before class for a long, long time. For the last month I have taken 2 two week intensives--back to back. Two week intensives are great for one reason--you have so much vacation time. Two weeks of class is better than ten weeks right? Well....that's debatable. Because I had forgotten the reason the classes were so much shorter--because all ten weeks of material is crammed in the two weeks.

My first class was Reformed Worship with Ron Kernaghan. I had a love hate relationship with the class. There were moments when I was bored out of my mind--repeated case studies from the Book of Order get really old. But it was the other moments that made this class one of my favorites at Fuller. For the first time I really understood why our church services are structured the way they are, the clear relationship between worship and justice, and a practical understanding of how to do things such as weddings and funerals. Ron is a former pastor of numerous congregations so many of my learning moments came from stories of his experience. The most transformative part of the class for me, however, was learning to do funerals. I had the chance to do a mock pre-funeral interview with a classmate of mine in front of the class. I walked away from Reformed Worship with a new love for the Reformed tradition and ready to put the knowledge to practice in my upcoming internships.

Christian Perspectives on Ethics was my second class. We looked at three different ethical traditions--Evangelical, African American, and Emergent. For the most part, it was not my favorite class at Fuller--I really didn't appreciate the hugely discussion oriented aspect of the class (can we say random tangents?). Yet, there were some points in this class that really made me think. I loved having an African American professor and gaining the perspective and knowledge that Dr. Vincent Bacote shared with us. We also had two interesting guest speakers--a prominent LA African American pastor and Rudy Carrasco, the director of the Harambee Christian Center in Pasadena. I think I was most challenged with the reading for this class...particularly the Emerging Church reading. I discoverd that I while I certainly don't agree with all of the Emerging Church movement--that there are many similarities between the Emerging Church tradition and the Reformed tradition. I found a website that is working to bring elements of the Emergent Church in the Presbyterian denomination--neat stuff. Check it out,

To sum it up, I came away from both classes changed--which is always good. But now, I'm tired! And rejoicing in the fact that it will not be until January that I will be back in the Fuller classroom. I love Fuller--but I need a break, and CPE is going to provide just that. I'll continue to have to wake up early, but not for going to class:)

Now I just need to finish all the papers from these classes and do that systematic theology IDL class....

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

i did it!

I wrote in an earlier post that when I had my stomach surgery last August (a year ago in about 2 weeks) that I made a promise to myself that I would do a 5k. Saturday morning Sophie and I went to an annual 5k in a town a bit east of Pasadena. The 5K marked a big step for both of us. Sophie had not run a race since she had mono this past year.

I was not feeling very prepared for the race but as it started the adrenaline of the atmosphere, fellow runners, and idea of the goal kicked in and I was able to run much more of the race and do it in a much better time that I thought could. And what a great feeling! There is something so empowering to cross the finish line and say I did it! I'm psyched to continue training and becoming more healthy and doing more races.

Hooray for being healthy!

We did it!

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Brief Escape to Paradise

Two weekends ago me, Becca, Sophie, and Sarah headed to Catalina Island for a break away from work, job searching, school, and all of the stresses of life in Pasadena. My session liason, Carol, at San Marino, gave us the gift of using her condo for the weekend. We felt like we were living in paradise in the condo...
We took the ferry out to Catalina (1 hour and 15 minute ride) on Friday evening. While there, we enjoyed kayaking, glass bottom boating, eating yummy food--mmm crab legs, sleeping listening to the ocean waves crash, and laughing a lot.
This is a picture of Sarah and Sophie in their kayak. I had never kayaked before--Becca was a wonderfully patient teacher. We kayaked parallel to the island enjoying looking at the different sights and boats around us. Becca and I even "jumped ship" and swam around the Pacific a bit.
And here is Becca and I post glass bottom boating. It actually wasn't quite as exciting as I thought it would be, but we did see some cool fish. We also saw people para sailing and snorkeling in the perfect spot--so we made a mental to do list of things next time we're in Catalina.
All in all it was a perfect vacation. For my schedule our Catalina trip hit right in the middle of my two 2 week intensives. So just as one class ended I headed to the island and got back in time for the start of the next one. And I'm learning that a 10 week class crammed into 2 weeks is A LOT so I was extremely grateful for the break!!! For me, there is nothing like the ocean with my best friends to bring calmness, rest, and recharging.

Friday, August 03, 2007


I feel compelled to share some wisdom with you all that my roommate Julie discovered in her First Aid training class...

When you need 911, call from a landline phone if possible. Calling 911 from your cell phone takes a long time because it doesn't go to a 911 call center. It goes to CA Highway Patrol who doesn't have funding to answer 911 calls--so it can take 10 minutes to get through-which is quite a lot in an emergency situation. If you don't have any other option than your cell phone then call 411 (information) and ask to be connected to the paramedics.

*I know this information is true in CA, not sure about other states--but it's always a good thing to check.

Hopefully y'all won't be calling 911 but it's always good to be informed.