November 30, 2010

No Plan B

I received the latest Wesley newsletter today, and the title of Bob's letter immediately touched me because it has been so much a theme of Ben's and my course over the past few years. As I read his words, I was reminded that without the work God did in us at Wesley, we would not have had the strength or faith to take the steps we've felt led to take these past few years.

Bob's words touched me... because they represent what Wesley is all about, what God is all about, and it reminded me of the incredible experience it was to serve for a year with these people... how it paved the way for living a life of faith. It reminded me of everything I learned about really walking with God; how it looks different from walking with the world. Almost four years later, I can look back and say that it's a rare ministry or church that truly walks the walk when it comes to trusting in God alone... without a Plan B in case he doesn't come through. I'm thankful for everything God gave us through that place. Without my time there, I would never have been able to trust God to provide for my year at Wesley, to pack up and go to India, or for our upcoming year with a baby while Ben's in school. I wouldn't have the faith to believe God to provide for what he calls us to in the future, without needing a Plan B or to somehow make it happen out of my own planning.

It's rare to find others, even other believers, who don't think you are crazy for not having a plan (usually guised as 'wisdom'), for following God wherever he takes you, or for making decisions that the world views as 'foolish'. Where we are now, Ben and I are not as closely connected to others who live by faith as we were during our community at Wesley. It's been easy to forget, and doubt creeps in. My need to plan wants to take over. Recently a couple of old friends from Athens stopped by, and told us how they may pick up and change their current life's course because they felt God might be calling them to something crazy. They had open hands. It was like a breath of fresh air to hear... a breath of God's spirit alive in people who are willing to trust him. With Bob's letter, I felt God's gentle nudge and reminder of who he is, and who he's called us to be. Thanks Bob, for fostering a community where God moves, heals, provides, and most importantly, loves.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
1 Corinthians 1:25

When there is no Plan B
Bob Beckwith, director

"One of the realities of campus ministry is that there is no Plan B. We have no congregation that we can look at each Sunday to provide for our needs. Every year we lose a quarter or more of our students. Each spring and summer hundreds of students join mission teams going throughout the world, most of whom having no idea where the money for the trip is going to come from.

It's a way of life for us. Either God comes through or Wesley doesn't make it. When I was first appointed here, I wasn't prepared for the trust required to lead a mission entity such as this. Eleven years later, I still live through seasons where the Lord stretches me far more than I'm comfortable with. But I'm starting to learn that this is the way it's supposed to be.

God intends for His people to step out in faith and do the things He calls them to do, contend in prayer for provision and help they can't make it without, and then live in expectation of how the Lord is going to come through for their need. Though my unbelieving flesh longs to avoid it, I've learned that it's the path that brings the Lord's blessing and Presence as do few others.

Wesley has no Plan B. It never has. My guess is it never will. It stretches us, but most of the time we wouldn't have it any other way. "

23 weeks

November 29, 2010

The Bird

“We believe that it was God who made man in His own image and breathed into him the breath of life and said unto him, ‘Now, live in My presence and worship Me—for that is your chief end. Increase and multiply and fill the earth with worshipers.’

Yes, these plain people, these believing people, will tell you that God created the flowers to be beautiful and the birds to sing so that men and women could enjoy them. The scientist contends that the bird sings for a totally different reason.

‘It is the male bird that sings, and he sings only to attract the female so they may nest and procreate,’ he tells us. ‘It is simply biological.’

It is at this point that I ask the scientist, ‘Why doesn’t the bird just squeak or groan or gurgle? Why does he have to sing and warble and harmonize as though he had been tuned to a harp?’

I think the answer is plain—it is because God made him to sing.

If I were a male bird and wanted to attract a female I could turn handsprings or do any number of tricks. But why does the bird sing so beautifully?

It is because the God who made him is the Chief Musician of the universe. He is the Composer of the cosmos. He made the harp in those little throats and feathers around them and said, ‘Go and sing.’

Thankfully, the birds obeyed and they have been singing and praising God ever since they were created.”

A. W. Tozer

Whatever Happened To Worship, 60-61


You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.

Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8

November 28, 2010

Ode to TMJ

I discovered on Friday that I had caught an upper respiratory infection, which then made my TMJ flare up as it never has before. I spent Saturday and Sunday pretty much in bed all day due to a 48 hour continous splitting headache, if you can imagine what that's like. The great thing about severe TMJ is that you don't get a break when you sleep, because your teeth clenching worsens the pain. That means going to bed in pain, and waking up in worse pain! Ahhh! If you're lucky, the pain gets so bad that you vomit, and if you're really lucky and happen to be pregnant, you can't take any medicine that actually eases it. Give me a stomach bug or the flu any day, at least you can watch TV or read to distract yourself. The only thing you can do with a throbbing head is lay on your back in the dark. I tried to console myself about having to spend my vacation in bed with the fact that at least I wasn't using precious sick days.

Ode to TMJ

TMJ, TMJ, why have you come in my life to stay?
I suffer through all the night and the day.
There is no time to think, work, or play.

I can't open my jaw, to eat, drink, or talk.
You take a hammer to my head and continue to knock.
I can't even get up and try to walk.

An invalid state has come my way,
As in bed I ponder when you will ever go away.
My neck and jaw throb while my head's in dismay.
Try what I may you seem here to stay.

The doctor says there is no cure.
But I'm not too sure how much I can endure.

The End.

Ok Jesus, in all seriousness now, consider this an open invitation for healing!

November 23, 2010


Well, I'm back from the wedding in the Dominican Republic and I made it alive. It was great time with people I love. Because it was a destination wedding, it was an intimate event with less than 50 people. All of the bridesmaids represented the different stages of Stephanie's life (Melinda her sister from the beginning, Tiffany from elementary school, Jenny and Jenny from middle and high school, Diana and I from college). I loved the way we all got along as if we had known each other forever. It was such a testament to how wonderful of a person Stephanie is (and how well she picks friends, he he).

I felt really blessed to be a part of everything. Ben was unable to attend due to school and cost, so I stayed with my old roomate Diana Lee, another bridesmaid. It was great to catch up with her- I haven't seen her since two years ago at my wedding because she headed out to California for seminary soon after.

It felt like old times in Athens:

Oh, and because Stephanie and David are so fun-loving, the bridal party certainly did learn the Hoe Down Throw Down, and better believe we did it at the reception (after we did a soul train line to Austin Powers for our introduction). I can't say we were all that synchronized, but I had "put your hawk in the sky, move side to side" in my head for about three days. Here it is for your viewing pleasure. They do the actual dance at 3:54.

And here's a picture of the lovely bride and groom.

I was surprised at how difficult it was to travel and be in a destination wedding while pregnant. I found myself quite run down by the end of the trip between all of the flights, wedding events, standing for long periods of time, late nights and little down time, and inability to access a bathroom every hour :) I underestimated the strain and limits that pregnancy puts on your body... and without Ben there to help with the travelling, it was a struggle to make connecting flights, wait in lines, and juggle my bags across the different airports. I was especially frustrated trying to get home, because my flight in the DR was delayed and I wasn't sure if I would make my connecting flight in Philadelphia. I called Ben and had a meltdown because I hadn't had time to eat or drink anything in hours but had to haul tail across what happens to be the world's largest airport... finally arriving home at 2AM before work the next day! I think that from here until April, significant traveling is out unless I have lots of assistance from the husband, he he :)

November 22, 2010

My Latest Homemade Addiction

Crepes with Nutella and bananas. 'Nuff said.

November 13, 2010


I wasn't planning on putting up anything Christmas yet, but all the music and decorations this weekend got me thinking, "why not?" I'll be out of town the next two weekends, so while I have some free time let's start the Christmas spirit. I'm not big on going Christmas-crazy, but I have a darling little tree my parents handed down to us when they moved. I like it because it's the perfect size for an apartment, and it reminds me of my home in NY where this little tree would be lit up in the window all wintery-snowy season.

Ben and I started the tradition of buying an ornament every year that we've been married. We try to find one that represents the year for us. The one on the left is from 2008 and was given to us by my parents, it represents our wedding. The star is from India and represents 2009 which marked our 6 months in the country, and the horse and buggy is from Charleston and represents 2010, where we spent our last anniversary "just the two of us" with Baby G on the way.

Here's a shot of the backs. You can see the dates added in.

Just a few other small Christmas touches. We don't have much.

This little Advent Calendar was made for us by my step-sister and family. The santa climbs down the sky each day in December and on Christmas eve reaches the roof. I loved this growing up, so they made me one of my own when I went off to college.

Merry Christmas!

November 7, 2010

Baby Girl

We saw baby for the first real time last week and found out we are having a girl! Yay! I thought we might be having a boy based loosely on something God had spoken to me, but I wasn't sure, and as for that gut feeling, I had no idea. We are so excited! Baby girl looks healthy and has all 4 limbs, spine, etc. We actually saw her face which was kind of weird and skeleton-like on the ultrasound. She had the hiccups and was bouncing around like crazy. I was getting tired of waiting to actually feel her move and, soI poked her and, sure enough, she moved for me! (does it make me a bad mama that I poke my baby? :)

Right now she's in the breech position but the doctor said that's fairly normal, and she has a lot of time to switch around.

November 2, 2010


My friend Stephanie had her wedding shower this weekend and it was so great to see her. It's hard to believe I'll be in her wedding in less than 3 weeks! She is getting married in the Dominican Republic to this man:

This is David. He is great. I couldn't be more excited for these two awesome people.

I have known Stephanie Wong for about 5 and a half years. We met at UGA when I happened to be randomly paired with one of her close friends, Diana Lee, in the dorm rooms. The first year I roomed with only Diana, the second with Stephanie (while Diana was in Taiwan) and the last year we all lived together at East Campus Village.

Stephanie is one of the those amazing people where I think God was feeling extra generous the day she became a part of my life. She's probably the most kind-hearted, thoughtful, generous person I know... and she's also uber-talented. Not only does she share my love for all things dance, but she was practically an olympic gymnast, UGA cheerleading firecracker/tumble queen, coach, AND is probably the best physical therapist that ever existed.... well, at least for being only in her first year out of school! She'll likely accomplish more in 5 years than I will in a lifetime, because she's always starting some amazing new endeavor or mastering her next skill.
I'm convinced she can do more with her right foot than I can with all 4 extremities.

Did I mention she's the most down-to-earth, sensible person? You didn't expect that from all the above activities, did you? Despite her amazing-ness, she will usually just blend into the crowd. Unless she has friends who brag about her the way I do. We usually try to get her to perform some tricks or diagnose our illnesses to show off her skills. She's a good sport about it.

In all seriousness, she's not just smart and talented, she has the most incredible attitude, I've literally never seen her lose her temper EVER, and she's always giving herself out to others, expecting nothing in return. She is quality in every way.

Here is Stephanie giving her maid-of-honor speech at my wedding. Those are her parents in the background. They are equally as awesome. sometimes I secretly wish I were a Wong. The family humors me and lets me hang around when I'm in town.

In conclusion, Stephanie Wong is the friend of all friends. If you haven't met her, you're missing out.