Wednesday, September 22, 2010


While it was borderline painful to get out of bed this morning at 6:15 (ok, more like 6:30), we are so glad we did.  Paul went to support some middle schoolers with their See You at The Pole, while I went to support my small group girls at the high school.  We were so proud of what we witnessed!

Paul met with about 35 kids at the middle school, which is a lot considering their age and none of them drive.

I was so pleased to see 80 kids at the high school at 7am, and one of our students had already began organizing and sharing his vision for the morning.  By the time the group dispersed for classes, I counted 175 students.  I was so moved by the stand they made this morning - in front of their peers and administrators.

Monday, September 20, 2010

One Year: 9-19-10

xoxo Happy One Year Anniversary to Us! xoxo

Thursday night, we had dinner at The Mansion in Longview, using a gift certificate that Paul acquired from Pastor Appreciation month from 2004.  Our gracious server honored the certificate, and we were one of two couples dining that evening.  We topped the evening off with the movie "Date Night."

Friday, we skipped town and went to Washington Square Mall where we got to treat each other to a little something special, even if it was just the "necessities". :)  Then, we drove to Cannon Beach, ignored the drizzle, got soaked on our walk to Haystack Rock, flew a kite, took lots of fun pictures, and dried out at Bella Espresso sipping delicious white mochas.  We christened our new journal that was purchased and hand painted in Thailand by journaling about our favorite memories from our first year of marriage, and making goals for our future.  We topped the trip off with clam chowder bread bowls at Mo's.

(Paul liked my new perfume... that I got for free!)

Saturday, we made breakfast for some friends who helped us wire our heat pump, and then we lazed around the rest of the day.

Sunday, our actual Anniversary, we spent at church, then at a surprise 80th birthday party for one of Paul's mentors, who also happens to be his uncle.  Then, we took Morgan to Willow Grove and enjoyed the beach by the Columbia River.  For dinner, we recreated our wedding meal (with the gracious help of Sandy, Paul's secretary) which I enjoyed for the first time a year after the fact.  I was too sick to eat any of it on our wedding day.  :(  We even ate our cake which had been stashed in the freezer for such a time as this!

I gave Paul a special scrapbook I'd been working on for us.  It's a compilation of emails, cards, memorabilia and pictures from when we first met through our first year of marriage.  I don't think I'll do this every year, but I was surprised at how much I'd saved since we started getting to know each other.

I cannot, for the life of me, get this picture to rotate!  Anyway, this is the first email  Paul ever sent me.

My journal entry right before we started dating...

Cards Paul gave me on my mission trip to Chile, to open periodically throughout my 2 weeks.

Thailand vacation; our garden

I also added our Anniversary cards to each other for the last page of the scrapbook:
Paul's card to me

My card to Paul

I can't wait to show this to our children and grandchildren someday!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Discipline - or lack thereof

Enough procrastinating.  Slowly and surely, I am going to catch up on my blog.

I can blame my blog-less-ness on several things; an intense summer, being out of the country, blah, blah, blah. I'm running out of excuses, and my friends are starting to get on my case which is exactly what I need!  (You know who you are.)

What it really boils down to, though, is my lack of discipine.  Discipline is something I admire about a lot of people in my life: working full time while pursuing a degree, (and let's be honest: just plain working), raising a family, keeping the house clean, etc.  Admittedly, the longer I've been unemployed, the more I find myself sitting at home with the clock ticking by, and lacking the desire to do anything productive.  I'm frustrated with myself (gah!  a mellow, piano song just came on in this coffee shop, and emotions are getting the best of me... fighting back tears) and this lack of drive, which (I hope) is uncharacteristic.

I've only been back in the country for 2 weeks, and 4 of those days were spent in Grants Pass with my family.  Paul is back at work, and I'm at home by myself.  We had such a crazy summer and I was so involved.  And, along with the returning of normalcy to the Bricknell household, discouragement has come right along with it.

Returning from Thailand consisted of 4 loads of laundry, back to cooking and cleaning, unloading and loading the dishwasher, cleaning the bathroom, taking care of the garden, etc.  These things occupy my time, yet occupy no place in my heart (although the garden has been a surprisingly enjoyable).  The other night, I put dinner on the table abruptly and my conversation was limited.  Poor Paul.  Of course, he asked what was wrong and I replied "I've been Suzy-homemaker all day and it's just really hard sometimes."  

I'm getting incredibly antsy to do something I love.  
To do something that brings me great purpose and joy.
To pass my time with something other than household 'musts.'

The funny thing is that I just got back from leading a mission trip to Thailand, which is right up my alley.  Maybe it sparked something in me that has got me missing a specified role.

And then a friend posted this link on Facebook, recognizing a career in Higher Education as one of the best careers of 2009... and then I came across this year's pictures of Walkabout and Res. Life staff bonding.

And then there was my recent trip to GFU to visit one of our youth group girls who is a Freshman this year.

I LONG for a job in higher education, and I can't have it here in Longview, which is where the Lord has us for now.  (It's not that I don't love volunteering with the youth ministry, and I do see fruit from those relationships.  It's just... different.)

I have never once regretted leaving NCU as the Area Residence Coordinator/Campus Pastor Assistant because it meant beginning a life with my partner and co-laborer in Christ: Paul.  I will never, ever regret that decision.

And so I continue to wrestle with my current reality and attitude.

Lord, help me.