I've been living in Frederick now for just over a week, and though I miss the people that I left behind in Virginia Beach, I'm enjoying the slower pace here. I'm also getting to spend lots of great time with family, which I love, since this was part of the reason I decided to move back here in the first place. I've spent the last week taking care of my nephew, wrapping up some details from the move, and figuring out the final preparations I need to make before flying to Africa. I've got a list of things to do and a list of things to buy, and am working through it slowly, piece by piece.

Yesterday I met with Tim to discuss some more details of things in Gabon, and some of the things that we talked about have shifted my focus a little. For the last several weeks, I've been focusing mostly on preparing for the next big thing. Two weeks ago, I was thinking, what has to be done before I move? Last week I was thinking, what has to be done before I get on the plane? I'm still thinking about that, but I'm also dreaming about Africa. I'm starting to be able to picture, at least a little, my time there, or at least the first few days. And its good, to be reminded of what I'm doing and why I'm going, not just what needs to be done to get there.

I'm reminded too, of how desperately I need to be pushing into Christ. Its embarassing to admit just how easy it is to get caught up in my to-do list and forget that what I need to be doing more than anything is spending time with my Savior.

So, exactly one week from now, I'll be somewhere over the Atlantic, on my way to one of the greatest adventures yet! I can't wait!

changing happy.

It's interesting, if you think about it, how much we let our circumstances determine how happy we are. Have you ever thought about that? Last night when I went to bed, I felt great. I had gotten a lot of things done, I had a great plan for the next day, and though there were a lot of things to do, it all felt possible.

Today I woke up sick and with very little energy, the buyers for my car changed their mind, I found out the moving schedule is going to be significantly tighter than I want it to be, and I have gotten absolutely no packing done. Needless to say, its been a frustrating day.

I was thinking about all this, and I started wondering why it is that I let circumstances, especially ones I have no control over, so affect my mood?

There's a great song by Jadon Lavik, called "Changing Happy." Here are the lyrics:

I've always found that happiness hides
Just around the corner, just out of my reach
And the moment its found, the next that its missing
I need to change my own definition

Cause nothing's ever quite all that it seems
And I am not convinced that anybody's ever living the dream
Expectations kill as reality plays this show of your life
It's a whole different scene

I'm changing what it means to be happy, what it means
Back to the way I know that it should be
Close to you is where I need to be

No matter how hard we push or how hard we pull
There's just a little bit more until we're full
Cause we've all tried to cover sadness and sorrow
With temporary things that never seem to last

I'm changing what it means to be happy, what it means
Back to the way I know that it should be

So explain to me why we fill up empty with empty
And at the end of day, we're confused by the longing

Change it back, change it back, change it back, change it back
Change it back, change it back, change it back, change it back

I'm changing what it means to be happy, what it means
I'm back to the way I know that it should be, the way that it should be
I'm changing what it means to be happy
What it means to be happy, to be happy, truly happy
Close to you is where I need to be

Change it back
Change it back

So this is my resolution - I'm redefining happy. I'm counting the gifts that God has given in order to get some perspective. And I'm not going to let circumstances deter me from believing what I know to be True.

update and prayer requests (#2).

It's been almost a month since I last wrote a post with prayer requests, and so much has happened in the last few weeks! Its hard to believe that in just two weeks I'll be moving to Frederick, and in just over a month I'll be flying to Gabon!

I've told a few friends lately that I feel like I have ADD because my mind is constantly spinning from one topic to the next. In the space of ten seconds I'm thinking about my strategy for packing, ny nephew's birthday gift, how much contact solution I need to take to Africa, and who is going to take care of my dogs. Moving to another state, then another continent for a few months, is a lot of work! I know it will all get done, one way or another, but boy, the next few weeks are going to be busy!

  • I found a home for Harvey while I'm gone! A good friend of my sister's is going to take her, which is a wonderful load off my shoulders.
  • I have almost a quarter of the amount I need raised! Here's the progress so far:

  • I accepted an offer on my car, which is one more thing I don't have to worry about!
Prayer requests
  • I'm still looking for someone to take care of Dakota for the next few months. This is probably my biggest prayer request and the thing most likely to stress me out. Please pray for a good home for her, and for me to trust that God has this in his hands, too.
  • As I said above, the next few weeks are going to be so busy, with packing and moving and selling things, and with saying goodbye to the friends I've made here. Please pray for energy and peace and motivation.