Friday, October 31, 2008

Under Construction

For the past few weeks "they" have been doing road construction outside my office. Inbetween answering the telephone and browsing the internet, I now have live entertainment right outside my window with bulldozers and neon cones.
Subsequently I have been thinking alot about construction as an analogy for my life. In general most people find road constrauction a pain in the behind. It is inconvenient, annoying, messy, it causes traffic jams, alternative (longer routes), which means we have to change our schedules, leave early, find a new route, or be more patient. At the same time, people don't like roads that are in bad condition, but in order to make the roads better we need the construction. A conundrum.
As a person I want to grow and change and become a better person, the person I was created to be, especially in my faith. In order for change to occur I need to go under construction, and its going to be inconvenient, annoying, messy, uncomfortable, painful, its going to require change, and patience. There is no alternative route, cos somewhere along that route I will run into another construction sign, and line up of neon cones. So there is only one thing to do, slow down to the 35mile construction speed and learn, grow, change, get messy, get annoyed, get real, and become who I was meant to be, created in Gods image with a purpose far greater then my own dreams or desires!

Monday, October 20, 2008

snap shot

A couple of recent pictures of us.....
I realised the other day that we don't have many pictures of us together...So we recruited Josh's sister, Lisa, to be our photographer for a couple of shots. The first one I put here cos it cracks me up.....Sometimes (most times) Josh forgets to smile his great smile....anyway...it reminds me of that painting of the farmer and his wife with a pitchfork...ha ha....
US in the US




Grant Wood, 1930: American Gothic


Friday, October 17, 2008

Neon signs

I live in Modesto California. When Josh and I were dating I thought it an awesome thing that he was from California. I remember a conversation we had once, when we were first dating, about his home. He told me that Modesto means "modest" in Spanish, that should have been a clue. When we got engaged it was a relatively easy decision that I would move to California, as Josh was already settled there, and I was still getting settled in Canada (it made sense at the time anyway).
Now, I know when one says California, a whole number of hot, sunny, beachy, surfy, hollywoody images come to mind. Although Modesto is definitely hot and sunny for most of the year it lives up to its modest name. For the most part I have been very happy living here with Josh. Then there are odd days when I feel completely antsy and discontent. I feel I live in the middle of nowhere. Modesto is close to San Francisco, by 2 hours drive and the beach by 2 and a half hours drive. Not close enough to spontaneously jump in the car for a quick trip out of the valley. It always has to be a planned day trip.
So I live in California, in Modesto, which is like dangling a treat just out of reach of your dog. At least that is how I feel on those days. Last Friday I had one of those days. I suppose the whole process of buying a house has been somewhat overwhelming to me as I see my roots growing deeper and deeper into Modesto soil, and the word settled comes to mind. That's when I get freaked out, like I did last Friday.
I am not a great adventurer, or traveler, by any means, I have just (compared to some people) moved around alot in my life. Even when I lived in South Africa for 18 years of my life my parents were constantly talking about moving somewhere else. For me to say I will live anywhere forever is a hard thing to say, I cannot say it cos I don't believe it. Life can change in an instant, or in a couple of years, you just don't know. All I know is that I want to be where God wants me.
Part of my issue on Friday is that I feel like God wants me here right now, but then I am like "why can't I have a cool adventure in a cool place God? why do I have to be stuck in this valley?". I was chatting to a wonderful Mentor of mine who is currently a missionary in South Africa but lived in Modesto before that. She struggled with the same feelings about Modesto, as have a few other "imports" (as they call non-modesto-ites here, let me just add that Modesto roots run deep!! like generations and generations deep) I have met and become friends with. I said to her that maybe God likes to use Modesto to teach people about contentment. There is this sign downtown Modesto that Josh reminded me of when I shared this conversation with him. (sign shown above and on the right) I have always thought it is the most random sign/motto for a place, I always puzzled over it when we drove past it. Now it makes the most perfect sense. We had a good laugh about it. It truly is a place that teaches contentment. God has a great sense of humour, and he gave me a sign, a real sign...ha ha.....
So I live in Modesto California, and I am learning about contentment. After struggling through these thoughts last Friday, I love the lesson I have come away with. My main subject in my art recently has been about simplicity and finding it in my life. I had these ideal images of simplicity being set by a beautiful beach or on a mountain top. But God has showed me that, right now, simplicity in my life is right here in this Californian, farming valley, a city called Modesto, which literally means modest. How perfect. As my mentor from South Africa reminded me, alot of our life is lived in the valley and not on the Mountaintop, its down in the valley where God meets us, teaches us, carries us, shows us cool lessons, and even bright orange neon signs....all I have to do is stop scuffing my feet in the dust and look up, take notice of the awesome things God is doing in my life. The simple beautiful things he has blessed me with, the things he is showing me. I am happy, I am excited for this adventure I am on with him right here in Modesto.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Catching up

I have been terrible at writing the last while
Life has been busy but I haven't seemed to have much to say about it.
Its been good. Its been blessed.
I am thankful.
Thankful for Josh, for friends, our small group, art, art shows, photography, family, tea, jamba juice, birthdays, celebrations, surprises, trips to Canada, houses, sunglasses, boots, books, soup, flowers, music, sunshine, blankets, hugs, beautiful views, and most of all thankful for my God, for the lessons he is teaching me, and the things he is showing me, and for his love. There is always His Love.
This time pictures say it best......

We were both a part of an art show held at a local Christian book store...The Art we are standing in front of isn't ours, its by an artist called Phil Baker.... the trike is part of one of my pieces...











Both of us turned 26....


















Birthday trip to the hills and Birthday sights......I only let it be fall after my Birthday.....


















Surprising Dan for his 21st Birthday (a weekend home in Canada)...











Dan's giant 21st Key...

















a city Visit (Vancouver).... photos by Dan













Our Friends band's (Colour) EP release and Nephews 15th Birthday












Its getting a bit colder (boot weahter) and a bit darker (lights are needed) here in California.....winter is slowly setting in behind the dust of the harvested almond orchards....


And in other news......
We are hoping to buy a HOUSE!!! Well actually we are currently in the process of buying one. What I mean is that we have offered on a house and the offer has been accepted, and we have had our inspections etc, BUT it has been appraised at a lower price then the offered amount/asking amount....so we are in a place of waiting....once again....waiting to see if the bank will lower its pirce....if it does....we have a house!!! If it doesn't we walk away, and keep looking, and saving, and living in our lovely cottage :o)....
So we are just praying Gods will for that situation.....