Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Refreshing Relationships

Last night was an incredible reminder of the value and necessity of having Godly female relationships.

Sher Vogel & Katie Pepiot came over to visit Steph & I and have dinner with us. We all met at VT, and at various times we have been together in classes and homegroup and mission trips. Our paths have happened to recross here in VA Beach for a short time, so dinner was required.

Katie returned in August from 2 years serving in the Peace Corps in South Africa, and Monday October 5th Sher leaves for the Peace Corps in Ethiopia.

The night was really relaxed. I enjoyed cooking for everyone because I rarely have anyone to cook for but me. We talked about life now and future plans and memories from back at VT. All four of us have been in South Africa in the last year, so it was great to talk about each of our experiences. It was really good to see how God has been training all four of us in different ways since we left Blacksburg.

Steph, Katie & I wanted to pray over Sher before she leaves next week but she would not allow us to do so until we premitted her to pray over us in turn. That's just the kind of woman Sher is =)

I was so refreshed by the night. There are times I feel like Elijah that I want to complain about being "the only one left". That "no one understands what I'm going through." And just when I start to fall into those states, God reminds me of all those around me who are serving the Lord with passionate and pure hearts.

It is nights like these that remind me how important it is to have a consistent Sabbath and to leave margin in my life. It is only in these times that I allow space for God to change my perspective.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Honestly... I really do like Blogging

I know you wouldn't believe it based on the extended time in between posts, but my excuse this time is guilt. I haven't made time to finish writing about Africa so I didn't want to write about other stuff until I finished. I have now given up on my idealism. I'll post Africa #3 as soon as I can.

The most important part of Africa that I didn't write about is...

I'M ENGAGED! Ok, so all of you who are reading this already know this. I just kept this off the blog for a while to make sure everybody knew.

This is a staged picture, but the emotion is still real; it was only a couple minutes after he proposed. (It was taken by this poor cleaning man whom I think we scared the heck out of.)

We are thrilled to be engaged, it still feel surreal some days. The two Tswana words I learned in the village we went to in South Africa were "mohonyana" and "makoti" those are the words for "bridegroom" and "bride," respectively. That's the closest they could teach us to fiance. I was also told that the $4 ring Greg bought me as a temporary engagement ring, must be worn on my right hand. The Tswana tradition moves the ring hand from the right ring finger to the left ring finger at the wedding.

I absolutely love the ring Greg designed & had made. It is a simple solitaire with a textured band. We got to go pick it up about 10 days after we got engaged. It fits beautifully.

We think we've set a date (barring any crazy circumstances) September 25, 2010. This date honestly came about based on Hokie football. Getting married in Blacksburg in the fall means we had to choose a weekend when there wasn't a game because otherwise there wouldn't be any hotel rooms and traffic would be impossible. 367 days =)

After all the planning and things to prepare for the trip to Africa, I thought that the load would lighten post-trip, but alas, I have an incredible ability to fill any vacuum of free time in my life. Still, it's good fun things. Fuse is relaunching with a big series on October 18th, so that will be a cool day. (Also indecently, the three year mark for Greg & I dating & the Newcomb's 1-year anniversary). And of course wedding planning is now officially in full swing.

Speaking of, I had really hoped wedding dress shopping would be more fun than it is. So many people told me "Oh! I bought the first wedding dress I tried on!" Alright... Saturday was dress shop #4 for me and after at least a dozen dresses at each store I have exactly 2 possible options. And neither of them made me really say "wow!" Aren't I supposed to feel something when I put my wedding dress on?

Anyway, it's not as much of a fun process as I had hoped. Probably a lot of the stress comes from I'm pretty sure I know what I want, I just can't find it. I want to design my own, but that's quite expensive and time consuming. Years ago my mother banned me from making my own dress. She is right about this mind you... too many dances in high school she was helping me hem the dress 10 minutes before my date was too arrive. So I guess I'll just keep hunting.

That's all the fun stuff for now. Sorry for the delay in posting, I'll try to be more consistent. More Africa and a new talk up soon!