About Me

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Santa Cruz, CA
living, and loving people. in the midst of my humanity.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"I took a picture so you could Blog About it"

This last Friday I embarked on and adventure that quite honestly I had only been on something similar once before. My Fiance loves to bring people together, and more than that loves to allow anyone that wants to join join, and more than that loves a great adventure. One of his hopes is that we can enjoy some of these adventures. Trying to be the loving and supportive Fiance that I am, I agreed over a month ago to accompany him on this days journey. 
As the days moved closer, I began to ask more questions as to what the day might hold. 

There would be a 3 mile hike in, and a 3 mile hike back out, we would walk along some rocks in the river, we would find a waterfall, stop at places to cliff jump off of, and swim through many pools of water. I would need my outdoor shoes, a camel back, & any item to join us would have to know that, "on this adventure, everything gets wet!"

Everything seemed fine... until a few days before the trip... I begin to realize that even though we are a few months before our wedding I am in the worst shape of my life... this excursion could be painful. I also recalled the last time i was at a hiking adventure and remembered THE ROCKS. Oh the Rocks, how I hate them. If we combine my lack of Balance and fear of Falling the thought of walking on WET rocks TERRIFIED ME. 

Melinda, "Are these rocks, small rocks?"  
Pherf, "No, they are these really great boulder rocks, that are all kinds of different sizes, and really fun to walk on"
Melinda, "would you say that the rocks are a Small portion of the trip?"
Pherf, "Ehh I would say they are more than half of the trip"
Melinda, "....silence.... long pause....."
Pherf, "You ok my love??"

Nothing in me wanted to back out, but I had to tell him, I was terrified to go on this trip. I didn't want to embarrass myself or him in front of his friends. So after a long conversation and an amazing Fiance assuring me that everything was going to be OK...and that if I didn't want to do something I didn't have to.

We started our day with collecting our crew of 13 random people. We began our decent in I felt pretty good about it and was having wonderful conversation the whole time... don't mind me sweating horribly. eeek. After a few miles on the fire trail, we made it to the top of the trail that would lead us down to the River. There at the top we ran into many of my people seeking the same river and waterfall we where going to. Of course the boy talked with them and payed no attention to the man with the machete, but calmly (of Course) asked if they had gone before and if they knew how to swim. apparently I am the only mexi that was excited about the swimming portion and apparently everyone else was fine with these stupid rocks.

I must say that for me the "prideful person" that I am was indeed frustrated with the rocks. I slipped, I stepped on every unsteady rock, my feet slide off and under half of the rocks, I was most constantly the last person on the adventure to catch up to the group. 

In the midst of one of my "Moments of Frustration" I looked up to see my fiance, just smiling at me. On numerous occasions he just... he just loved me well. He encouraged me, and was just so happy that I was with him. My attitude, was littered with sadness that I was not  in shape, with fear that my muscles where about to give, & my knees could take no more. 
Yet my love, smiled and held my hand, and hugged me as I felt like I was done. More than anything he loved me beyond what I expected. I expected him to be mad at me, or be embarrassed by me... all my expectations of how someone would treat me where thrown to the side. 
Many times as he held my hand and patiently walked with my I felt my emotions rise, as he calmly looked me in the eyes and said, "your letting your frustration get the best of you, relax I am here with you, I love you."

...Who am I that I should deserve such love from a man... when I look back at this silly day I am in awe as how God used it to show me once again that I am so easily down on myself, and so un-willing to accept help from others especially those I love. I couldn't take my eyes off the rocks because I felt trapped in a prison of fear. I could not enjoy the company, nor the beauty that surrounded me due to my fear. The Psalm comes to my mind. ohh the lessons from this Psalm, sigh... The older I get the more I have to learn and re-learn.

Psalm 121

"I lift my eyes to the hills -
Where does my help come from?
My Help comes from the LORD,
the maker of heaven & earth.
He will not let your foot slip
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you - 
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm - 
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Venessa is in India...

Hey Gang some of you may have know but Venessa took off for yet another adventure serving God this summer. Last year it was Africa and this year its Calcutta, India. As I drove her to the airport monday july 6th, we talked about how uncertain this trip was. I could not get over how I was not sure what this trip would do for her...How when I prayed I felt as though something would be different. What I am not sure... So my prayer has been that God would use her and work in her heart for a lesson that is unknown to me and venessa. God knows what is to happen in her heart. I feel like there as you read her words below that you will see his workings already. Check back here for info, and updates.

One thing for sure, She arrived safley in india, with only minor confusion and PRAISE GOD she met up with her team!!

Here are some of her updates so far:

JULY 7th

"i'm paying like a buttload to e-mail for a sceond, but i just wanted to say that i got here. i have never sweat before in my whole life, my clothes are actually soaking. i am in a bit of a shell shock." - venessa

JULY 9th

"this has been a blessing...my crew happened to come in a day early, right when i was signing off gracie was able to get my e-mail and i guess they bumped their flight up...i was able to race down to the airport in what seemed like a bumper card...i actually put my backpack in front of me just in case we got in a wreck and could protect the front of me from being stabbed by some piece of an auto...not joking. the amazing thing was that she e-mailed me before i had even sent her e-mail so i was kinda a surprise at the airport. i waited for like an hour and was just so blessed for the lord's protection. i woke up at 4 am this morning to rinse off outside and before i put my clothes back on i was in a thick layer of sweat. i sorta lost my appetite when i got here yesterday morning, so other than the starburst that melinda bought me that i had this morning...i have had no substance of food since on my plane at 2am. i am hoping to force feed food down my throat tonight. jayne gave me some books for my devo and i have been so blessed....can someone maybe forward this to her.......it is so overwhelming and yet it felt so wonderful to wake up at 3am and here a man outside singing out prayers....it was that wake up call where you realize...im not in kansas anymore.....i literally feel like i am in the jungle book....only the sad version of jungle book, the one that disney would ever put out. anyways, i have to go...must e-mail the madre before time runs out...i may have a chance to sneak in here tomorrow..." - venessa

July 11th, 2009

"sorry i am writing so much hahaha. i never guessed i would hahaha. today was our first day at the mother house volunteering. i couldn't decide if i wantd to be at the house of the dying or with the sick and handicap children....in the end i chose to be with the children...i kinda got a little feverish and almost passed out when we visited a friend who works at kaligaut (the house of the dying) after i saw some leg wounds with maggots crawling in it. i hate that i don't have the stomach for things lke that, i felt like i would be more of a pain walking away every time something made me sick...i was quite disappointed with myself, and had to remind myself that we all have different gifts....working with the kids was way harder than i thought. it is basically the same thing only they are children and i really just didn't know what to do...here we are experienced nannies/teachers/people who love children and we didn't know what to do and just felt so inadequate. i have so much admiration for the sisters and the begali women who work there day in and day out. they give us volunteers a chai and piece of bread break...and yet they don't take a break once. there were two little girls who didn't have eyes...everytime i looked at them my eyes would get watery- ... at mass there is a statue of mother teresa where she always sat in the corner and worshipped....its cheesy i know....but ever time i caught it with my eyes i would swell up again..just seeing the way she sat...how uncomfortable we all are with our bug bites, the heat and position of sitting....and here she/the all are i their suris, washing out of a lil bucket...im a wreck to say the least....but i am so glad i have a community here to experience this with. my emotions have gone down the toilet....so anything gets me now hahah. one of the sisters pulled me to the side and asked to look at the back of my leg...which apparently, got attacked with bites all over it and she was worried about me...i wasn't worried until i was surrounded by sisters gasping at my leg...and how did i not notice or feel them.....we came to the conclsion after they took me to the clinic that i have bed bugs. so gross. the surprisingly hurt so bad...and anytime we are on the streets someone comments on them....so i just have to go to bed again and hope that maybe they will get tired of eating me or eat my other leg to make it even. we will see. hahah so with that i have to go...we ae going around the corner to grab food but i will most likely check in tomorrow after the mother house. love you" - Venessa

So those are the updates as of now...Keep praying for my amazing friend who once was afraid of doing anything like this, who is in the midst of serving in conditions I hate to say I am afraid to walk in. I am proud of her and praying like no other for her.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

times & title changes

It is hard to believe that in the fall of 2005 when I first came to Santa Cruz as we pulled 2 part time jobs together to create one job. From that point on my job began to morph and change, next I became the youth assistant, to the assistant youth pastor and now 4 years later, on July 1 2009, I become the Full Time Youth Pastor of jr high & sr high ministries at High Street Community Church.

These last four years have brought me joy, laughter, growth: spiritually and emotionally, tears, struggle, depth, and happiness. I have learned more than I had ever expected from my students, volunteers, and my boss (now the former Youth Pastor Todd Trowbridge)
, lessons I will never forget, lessons that I am forever grateful for. Know that Todd is still around at church... God has just moved him around a bit, he is now an associate pastor taking care of children & administration at HSCC.

Todd & I worked as a team in this ministry of jr & sr high ministries. We found that we where most like siblings, knowing when we did something that it would make the other person mad and knowing exactly what buttons would be pushed, and knowing when to push for excellence, and when to pause in grace.

We fought over students souls, we dug for the best topics and lessons we wanted our students to understand about who Jesus is.

So where is this new adventure taking us... I don't know, but what I do know is that, my heart is, scared, excited, fearful, filled with eager anticipation, and praying for full confidence that we are right where God has us. Hope, is what I have. Hope that God will continue a good work here at High Street in Oasis and Edge. My heart still wrapped in love for students and volunteers, and parents, to come to an understanding of who God created them to be.
Pray for continual smooth transition, and life in the ministry that is before us. Pray for Pherf and I as we walk into our first year of marriage, and more ministry than we have had before, that we be wise with our time and balance our love for people, ministry, family, and our new beginning. Pherf and I have prayed, cried, and processed through this. we believe High Street and the jr & sr high ministries are where God has called us right now.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Details on our Wedding

Dear Friends... would you like to stay updated on our wedding details???

Well our friends at the KNOT have such an easy interface to help us comunicate to you about the upcoming event of the Boy and My little party.

So check it out makes some comments and enjoy our story there!


Friday, April 3, 2009

Texas 2009

Well tomorrow morning I am suppose to be waking up and getting on a plane to TEXAS...

We are talking 20 people adults and students to Texas, Galveston to be exact. We are staying with a church called University Baptist. Funny part is that, is our church's old name. What are we doing???? Hurricane Relief work, some people think its all better but the town we are going to, only the businesses are up and running... little to no people are back living in there homes. Just goes to show you how the when the media goes... so do our thoughts.

Well at this time I should be sleeping... But Honestly Please pray for us! We will need it.

But if you want to keep updated on our trip check out our Youth Blog: hsccOasis.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Clean sheets

Who knew that planning a wedding amongst the rest of my crazy life would cause me to finally this weekend realize that I couldn't remember when the last time I washed my sheets was. So this weekend I washed my sheets.

 "Why is that significant or worth blogging about." - you say. 

Why because tonight I am climbing into clean sheets (OK so they where cleaned Friday but that's beside the point...) and I can rest easy that I have one thing I checked off my personal list of to do's. So Shoot, THAT'S WORTH CELEBRATING! Do you ever find that in the midst of one more thing in your life... that the practical necessities (like clean sheets) get left by the wayside? 
These last few months of bliss, have indeed been bliss! Yet...I am watching myself, make lists, yes the non list making me, is MAKING LISTS, which has been out of necessity for productivity, as well as keep my sanity. I should have paid more attention to my old housemates list making skills. shoot.

Not to mention, did you know how many list managers are out there for weddings, granted they all make me feel like I am behind in something eek. But really the reality is we are on the ball!! I say we because my WONDERFUL FIANCE, keeps me organised, keeps perspective and still is making me feel beautiful and loved through it all. I am blessed.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

on fine night...

What does one say when their heart cannot say anymore.

Have you ever felt so happy and so excited in on fine moment that you have no words...
Have you ever felt so surprised that in one fine moment you have no words...
Have you ever known that with all your heart sitting before you is the man you want to spend the rest of your life with is in front of you on one knee, asking you to spend the rest of your life together. 
I have never felt so loved, I have never felt so special, I have never been so happy!

How did it happen how does our story of the boy and I begin?

We have been dating just shy of 1 year (one week and 1 day from when he asked me)

There feels like so much to tell. I will be back to share... Know I am loved and my heart is in a whirlwind :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Final Moving days, Last Night...first night.

Its all really surreal.

Originally typed Friday Night
Today (as in the day we actually hand in our keys)
I will spend a few hours sleeping
(cuz its 2 am and i still have time wink)
then people will arrive to move
the final pieces
the big pieces
and then the daunting task of cleaning.

Ok so now its technically Sunday the 4th...

We are moved into the church Apt. as temp tenants. We should be here for 2 weeks to a month, as we eagerly await the finalisation on our new house. I was blessed by the Boy, the boy's best friend, my Parents, one of our new roommates, and a handful of other randoms that crossed our paths to aid us in some way in our move. Seriously everyone worked so hard I know I would still be moving today if not for the amazing help. To those who helped we are SOOOOO Grateful. To you I say thank you!! To those that helped in spirit thanks as well. wink.

Pictured below Pherf (the boy) in the midst of
the organizing/packing chaos. He was tired wink.

There where many things that where frustrating about "La Villa", but all in all our little Cabin in the woods was DELIGHTFUL. So many guest so many memories, so many times of depth, growth, & Life truly living out in hospitality in a christian community, where we loved well, and fought well. Even though there where times where I was done with guests and just needed a time to be alone in my house, I still would not trade a thing, and loved having people in our humble abode.

Now we wait for the paperwork to be finished on our new house with our new roommates on the west side of SC. Now we pull as little as possible out of boxes and bags so our next moving day is not so hard. Simple. Right is anything really that simple? That's my hope. Want to know our move in date...so do we...so don't ask trust me we will let you know when we know. : )

Live Life

walking boldly as though nothing can
hold you