Thursday, May 19, 2011

Second Year of College? Done.

My second year of college is officially over. In my mind it is currently a huge relief that I made it out alive from this last semester. In my mind I am also amazed at how time seemed to fly by, as this makes it one whole year since I left Nashville. (Well, FWBBC anyway...I didn't leave Nashville until June.)

When seasons end I enjoy looking back at memories that were made and the cool things that happened or that I got to participate in. Usually I do this with school years and summer vacations. (You know you're a college student when...Life is organized around two seasons. School - and Summer.)

This list won't be crazy long as usually the long one is at the end of the summer time, but here is some of the main things that happened or that I tried...Oh - and this may be out of order.
  1. I transfered to Fresno City College from FWBBC. Not an easy thing to do. To be honest, it was rough, especially in the beginning. After a year has gone by I do see what God was trying to do in my life this year. Maybe I don't see all that God has done yet or the full purpose of bringing me back. I do, however, see some of the beauty in the complex puzzle of life.
  2. My baby cousin was born. Until this sweet little kid came along, I was the baby in the family.
  3. Until Spring break I had never changed a diaper before in my life. (Look at #2)
  4. I had a job in a photography studio.
  5. I found out I'm going to be an AUNT! Yeaaa!
  6. My dad got super sick and almost died as he spent about 2 weeks in the hospital...(Seriously. He basically had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.) I'm so blessed to still have my dad with me today.
  7. I took photography classes as well as a class for photoshop.
  8. The College and Career class started working with our high schoolers/junior highers at church.
  9. Through this semester I've learned how much I LOVE working with the teens. (check out previous number) Before this year, I had no idea. I'm praying that God will guide me in my future to work with the youth, whether I become a Youth Pastor's wife, work at a camp, children's home, work with Truth and Peace or E-TEAM, etc. The possibilities are endless. Regardless of wherever I end up in my life, I know I want to be involved in someway with the youth!
  10. After being away for a year and then returning I realized how beautiful California truly is.
  11. With the college and career class at church we helped plan a mission trip to Mexico for this upcoming June. We're all super pumped for this trip!!
  12. I did NOT injure myself ONCE! YEAHHH! Talk about a record and something to be proud of! ;-)
  13. During the semester I found out about Operation Mobilization. I dug for more information and learned a lot about the organization. Now I have been accepted to go with them in January of 2012 to go for about 4 months to London and 10 days in Germany.
  14. In January I went to Nashville!
  15. We lost our little dog Harley. This was within the last couple of days. I have hope and faith that he'll come home and that we'll find him!
  16. With the amazing women in my family we all went and saw Wicked together. We took a limo and ate at the Tokyo Steakhouse in Clovis. What a night!!

That's about it...I think...Those are the big moments I can remember off the top of my head anway..."What now?" you ask? Here is a brief look at my upcoming summer plans:

May 20 (AKA: Tomorrow): Leave for Seattle
May 21-28: Alaskan Cruise!
May 28: Leave for Nashville straight from Seattle!
June 7 (I think): Start Road Trip from Nashville, TN, to Fresno, CA.
June 11 (Or EARLY June 12! Who knows how this will go...): Get home
June 12 (yes, the 12th!): Leave for Mexico!! (We're building a house, doing women and children's ministries!)
June 18: Get home...again.

July 1-13: I'll possibly be in a group headed to Japan to help with disaster relief!!

From there I'll be home...that is until...

July 31: Leave from Camp (I am the camp counselor for our church's teen girls again this year! YEA!!)
August 5: Go home...Once more...

There might be some traveling with my aunt as she goes out of town for work in all of that too. There should also be fundraising for London.

I am ready for an exciting summer and I hope you are ready to buckle your seat belts to come along! Check out my blog often. Who knows what will happen and what will come my way! While I've done a lot of things in my life time I haven't done a lot of what is considered "normal things". That being said, maybe I'll even visit a taco truck sometime while I'm in my hometown. (Yes, Bryan, that was for you!)

Put your reading glasses on and travel the world through my blog.

The Travelin' Chick,

PS: For my friends who actually read the blog - I wonder how many pictures my camera will take this summer? Take a guess, and whomever guesses right or the closest to the right amount might get something cool from the adventures

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wherever, Whenever!

If you know me, you know I love to travel. You know I enjoy seeing new cultures, tasting new flavors, and smelling new smells. To me it's not just seeing a new culture but experiencing it as well. It's about getting to know the people - regardless of our possible language barriers.

This blog will hopefully help me tell you about what's going on in my life, and more then just a Facebook status update's worth. My friend once wrote me an email titled, "Where is Waldo? I mean, where is Crystal?" This will hopefully also help other's know where I'm located at the current moment since we all know I move around a lot! (Is that an understatement??)

In the Spring of 2012 I'll be taking a new journey. I will be going to Germany for 10 days and London for 4 months, traveling with Operation Mobilization. While I'm there I'll be doing street ministries while taking pictures and writing about the experiences for OM. I've done a lot of traveling and have been on a few mission trips. Usually, however, they have only lasted a few weeks - not a few months.

I'm excited about this new opportunity. I have a lot of fundraising to do, but I know God will provide. Please pray for me as this journey continues on during the fundraising, time there, and the time of return to my home in California. As excited as I am, let me be honest. I am nervous. While I am nervous, it's a good kind of nervous. It's like the nervousness I felt when I found out I'd be going to FWBBC.

This experience will be different then any other that I've had in the past. I hope you all join me as I start down this road whether it be through reading this blog, checking out my pictures, praying, or financially supporting me. This is an exciting time for me and I would love to have you apart of whatever God brings my way.

As I start to prepare for London I think of the future. I can't help but wonder at times, "I wonder what God has for my future." I don't know what He has planned. I don't know if it includes being a full-time overseas missionary, or being a missionary here in my local community in California while taking the occasional short-term trip overseas. Maybe he'll just have me move to another state. I don't know if it will one day include being a wife and a mother. I don't know what type of job He'll one day bless me with. I don't know what stories God will give me to tell, or the people He'll have me one day cross paths with.

Basically: I don't know where God will lead. I don't know what is in store for my life. What I do know is that God loves me and He's going to guide me with every step. What I do know: Where He leads, I will follow...Whenever, wherever!! Life will have it's ups and downs and God will never let me go. God has created me to be who I am. He knows my gifts, talents, passion, weaknesses, and strengths. Knowing who I am as a person as a whole, He's going to use those talents and gifts and help me strengthen where I am weak.

Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

As I end my first blog entry, I hope you hop on this ride and become a continuos reader. This is going to be an exciting ride to be on. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Crystal - The Travelin' Chick