• Closing One Chapter & Preparing for the Next

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014 – a day I will always remember and one that marked a HUGE milestone for me…the closing of a chapter in my life. Over the past five years I’ve been walking a journey through cancer. At this point, surgeries and chemo treatments seem like another lifetime and life has moved on in so many ways. I’ve been so thankful for good health and strength. However I have never really been able to totally move on because I’ve still had to go every 3-6 months for checkups at the Cross Cancer. Having to go back and face all the memories again hasn’t been easy, but I’ve always been overjoyed to hear the words “Everything is good & we’ll see you again in 3 or 6 months…”. My checkup on August 20 marked 5 year since I finished my chemo treatments. At this appointment, once again I heard the words “Everything is good!”. But instead of being told…”See you again in 6 months.” I was told you don’t have to come back here again!! I can’t begin to convey in words what it felt like to hear that…joy, relief, a sense of freedom, truly being able to move on to a new chapter. As I walked out the long hallway to the underground parking that I’ve walked so many times…tears of joy filled my eyes. I’m so grateful for God’s faithfulness in my life and all of the amazing people who journeyed with me through this.

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    This picture is a look back to July 30, 2009 and the last of my 6 chemo treatments…with my chemo buddy, Suse who came to 5 of my 6 chemo treatments.

    A few days after my appointment I received an important item for the next chapter of my life…my visa for Mozambique. The timing of it couldn’t have been any better! To me it just signified the closing of one chapter and the opening of another in a tangible way. I had no idea I could be so excited about a Fed Ex package! 🙂 I was SO happy to have my passport back in my hands complete with my visa. Of course the moment had to be documented…here’s the picture.

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    These past couple weeks have been a blur of tying up loose ends…when you’re leaving for a year there are a lot of things to think about. But I feel like I’ve got everything pretty much taken care of…I know for sure I have the two main things in place – plane ticket & visa! Another big thing this week was immunizations…and my left arm is still aching a little as a result of my lovely typhoid shot! It is so nice to continue to be able to check items off the list…
    My days have also been busy (and will be until I leave)with meeting people for coffee, going for supper or just hanging out with friends…I’m enjoying all the moments and trying not to think too much about the fact I’m leaving in 9 days! So many conflicting emotions are swirling around in me all the time….sad to leave, excited to go, thinking “am I forgetting anything”…and the list goes on. I must admit I’ll be very happy to be on the plane really focus on what is ahead for me.

    I guess the main thing left to do is….pull out the suitcases and try to figure out what I’m going to take with me for the next year! Hooray for a new chapter!

  • A Whirlwind Summer & A Fast Approaching Departure Date!

    I don’t know if I could’ve packed much more into the last couple of months…between 3 weddings, a trip to Indianapolis, a couple trips to BC and visiting with friends and family around home the summer has flown by. Cherishing and treasuring time spent with people…

    Pictures of some of the highlights:

    20140813-131242.jpgA day at the World Waterpark at West Edmonton Mall with my niece and nephew

    20140813-131501.jpgGetting to enjoy 4 days of all things racing, including my first NASCAR race, the Brickyard 400 with my uncle!

    20140813-131752.jpgA pretty cool experience

    20140813-133712.jpgFour wonderful days spent on the Redneck Houseboat on Stave Lake

    20140813-133819.jpgNothing better than spending time surrounded by God’s beautiful creation

    It truly has been a wonderful summer and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. The coming year is going to be different than any other to date, so I’m soaking it all in!

    Now the fast approaching departure date – Sept 8th! Hard to believe it is less than a month and I will be on the plane heading to Mozambique! It’s actually happening…That reality has been sinking in more and more each day. Now it’s making sure I’m getting all the things checked off on my “To Do” list! One of the major things is my visa for Mozambique and I sent all my documentation to the Embassy of Mozambique in Washington, DC today! Hooray!

    20140815-131957.jpgNow I will be waiting with baited breathe for a Fed Ex package…

    This is a very exciting time for me filled with many new steps and changes. I’ve been pondering especially the last few weeks “how do you really prepare for a year in the Mozambican bush?” I think the same question is asked about many things in life and for me the answer (aside from all the obvious physical and practical things) is continuing to walk in faith and trust God. I can’t possibly know all the things I will face in the next year…but I know the One who does. He asks me simply to trust Him and walk with Him each day. As I look back over especially the last few years, I’ve faced a lot of days that I wasn’t “prepared” for, but God was with me in every one of those days. He was faithful to be everything I needed and more. Being able to look back and see His faithfulness gives me the courage and faith to move forward…Loving God and Loving People. I know God has good things in store and as I walk with Him I’ll be “prepared” for whatever comes my way…so bring on the Mozambican bush!

    Prayer Requests:

    *That everything goes well with getting my travel visa for Mozambique
    *For wisdom – there are so many little details to take care of in order to wrap things up here and be ready to go.
    *Continued health – I have another check-up at the Cross Cancer next week…Lord-willing my last one ever!
    *Continued provision – I’ve been able to raise a portion of my monthly budget, but still need a larger monthly support base.
    *For God’s grace and strength for me as I say goodbye here and transition to life in Mozambique. There’s so many emotions involved with any kind of change.

    Thank you for journeying with me!