Saturday, January 12


Once upon a time, I updated my blog consistently. Ha. 
To catch up on life, I added a bunch of pictures to the end of this post that are in chronological order from the last time I blogged through today :)

Over the past couple of weeks, I have sat in many an airport and on many a plane which has provided wonderful time for reflection. Most recently, as in this past week, I was out in California for a NADCE Conference. NADCE (National Associate of Director's of Christian Education) is the professional organization that supports DCEs & church workers who are serving children, youth, adults...etc in a variety of ministry settings. The conference was a great time - if you're a DCE & weren't there, you honestly missed out! 

However, travels in general + the end of one year and the start of another + the theme of this past week's conference (#CONNECT, John 15:15-17), have all lead to the following reflection:

What a joy it is, in my life, to realize the many different people, different ways, and different places God has connected me to this past year - and how much I look forward to the different ways, people, and places He will connect me to this upcoming year. 

If any of you are like me, often times it feels like life/work/family/friends...etc are incredibly too busy and too crazy. Just thinking about my upcoming week, it would be easy to feel way overwhelmed. I even know that lots of my friends lives look crazy since they are currently looking to start new jobs, planning weddings, waiting to find out if they are staying at internships, finishing school, waiting to hear back about jobs or if they made it into grad schools, or living away from family for the first time, and to really list everything out like that just makes it all seem almost ridiculously stressful. But to step back from the lists and the anticipation of the what ifs - is to step into the arms of a Heavenly Father who didn't design any of us to have to go through all of the daily craziness that makes up our lives alone. He made us and chose us to be in relationship with Him and through that relationship with each other. 

The theme verse from the conference I was just at was John 15:15-17:

"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other."

To realize that we are part of God's plan, and chosen to LOVE people - take a minute and reflect on the different places that you know anyone from. If you write each place on a piece of paper and circle it, then start to write down names of people you know from that place, and write down ways that that place has changed you or things you have learned from that connection...very quickly your paper will become filled and messy, as you remember names and events, and you start to see that there is so much to the story of your life every day. 

I pray that as this new year, 2013, unfolds that you all may be encouraged by knowing that even if everyday our lives will probably be hectic or seem to busy or even that tomorrow may look too uncertain - that means that each of us is connected to so many people & places, that our lives are filled with that much more opportunity to love them. May you seek joy in the connections you already have, and look forward to whatever new connections this year is guaranteed to bring for all of us.


P.S. As of today it is 201 days until Adam & I get married (AWESOME!)

December through today on picture fast-forward:

Early December - one of my best friends and Maid of Honor - Valerie came to town for a fun girls weekend! 
Got in lots of sight-seeing/STL exploring AND picked out bridesmaid dresses for my wedding!

Some of our exploring included a trip to Candy Cane Lane & Frozen Custard from Ted Drewes
Valerie, Jordan, and I checked out the Soulard Farmers Market on Saturday morning of her visit - we even got filmed for a Discovery Channel TV Show while we were there! (the upper right picture is of the set!)

Pictures from enjoying an evening out at a Dueling Piano Bar - very cool!
Maid of Honor, Bride, and Best Man - winning!

Did a mini-brew tour before Valerie left. Toured Schlafly's Bottleworks & Anheuser Busch!

Holidays & Start of a New Year = lots of me traveling.

Enjoyed a very White Christmas with my family in Maryland, including Adam who flew in late Christmas night!
Part of a photo project I made for my parents as a Christmas present this year - worked on this since the beginning of November so it was SO exciting for Christmas to finally be here!
Since we are together sporadically throughout the year, we fit in another registry adventure after Christmas. This time my Mom came with us and helped us conquer Bed, Bath, and Beyond!

Post-Christmas, it was time to celebrate friends Kate & Jon getting married! This is from the night of their Rehearsal & dinner

Kate's wedding day! Getting ready!! (My hair and bridesmaid bouquet are the two pictures on the right)
Kate & Jon's Reception :) Held at Top of the Town - a penthouse that overlooked all of Washington DC. AWESOME view!

I caught the bouquet! YESSSS.

Adam & I with the new Mr. and Mrs. Reimer!! So excited for them :)
After Christmas and Kate's wedding - Adam & I headed to Indiana to ring in the New Year with his family (including Allison and John in from Japan!!) and Kevin & Jordan! Happy 2013!!!
Being together. Couldn't ask for more!

Yup, not one but TWO registries started during this break. For our Target adventure, Andrew, Allison, and John were brave enough to accompany us :)
Back in STL for a couple of days after the New Year - Kevin's sister Stephanie was in town for a visit, so I got to spend time at City Museum playing! (Most random part of our trip was getting to roast marshmallows outside at the museum's campfire they had going!)
More flying adventures - this time to Irvine, California for the NADCE 2013 Conference. Flew over the Grand Canyon on the way out - very awesome!!!
Got to see most of my fellow DCE Interns! Our last night in CA, we throughly were tourists and sat outside for the sake of enjoying eating at a table that literally had a fire in the middle of it. AWESOME.

Taking a successful picture with the fire was slightly challenging - as these pictures prove :)
Fun night & great week all being reunited :)
Seeing Adam, my fiancé and Ryan, one of our best friends - priceless.

John 15:15-17. NADCE 2013 Conference. Worship led by Kip Fox.