Happy Anniversary!

4 years ago yesterday Ryan and I met for the first time after finding each other on OkCupid.  After that first (5 hour!) date, we both knew there was the potential of something more but had no idea where this relationship would take us.  Now we’re celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary in our new home in Perth, Australia after traveling around the US and around the world too.

3 years ago today, Ryan and I got married in Santa Barbara, California at beautiful Franceschi Park.  If you missed the wedding because we’re new friends or you want to re-watch our wonderful ceremony, you can check it out on our webpage: Ryan and Joy’s Wedding or directly on Youtube: Ryan and Joy’s Wedding.

Happy Anniversary to my favorite husband!  You drive me crazy but I wouldn’t change this life with you.  I’m looking forward to many more years and many more memories together.

Redeeming December 7th

December 7th will always be a day that will live in infamy.  But this doesn’t mean that it can’t be redeemed on a more personal level.  Today is also the day Ryan proposed to me 3 years ago.  And now 3 years later we have our tickets and are headed to Perth together.  If you want to look back and see, Perth was always the intended plan (Here’s the Plan) even if we were holding it rather loosely and praying, a lot.screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-8-15-01-amI’m so thankful for this man, our families and all our other friends and supporters who have been with us along the way.  Life is a crazy journey.  I’m also abundantly thankful for the faithfulness of Jesus who gives us much needed grace and mercy to keep moving forward.  Ryan and I will celebrate 3 years of marriage this February in Perth.  And to think it all started with an online date, a kangaroo and a ring.screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-8-15-23-am

 

Reasons #75-#77 Why I Love My Husband

This list is getting longer and I hope to never run out of reasons Why I Love My Husband.  These three reasons are all things I do love but at certain times they also can drive me crazy.  It really is my attitude, heart and outlook that often impact how I view and treat my husband.  I’m so thankful that he really is super lovable:-)  My last Why I Love My Husband update was during our month of prayer so we invited you to pray for our marriage.  If you are a person who prays, please continue to pray for our marriage.  screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-22-37-am#75- His positive attitude.

Although this really has the ability to drive me crazy (when I’m grumpy, I want everyone around me to be grumpy too), I shouldn’t complain about my husband’s wonderfully positive attitude.  He definitely has a sunny disposition and can often find the good in even the most bleak situation.  His positivity keeps both of us going.

#76- Cold hands, warm heart.

I love my husband’s hands but they are often extremely cold.  Maybe because it is more difficult to get the blood to his fingertips on his 7 foot+ wingspan.  However, even when he shocks my system with a cold touch, I know that he’s reaching out with his warm heart.  Cold hands, warm heart may not be true for everyone but it’s wonderfully true for this great guy.

#77- His ability to live in the moment.

I’m in awe of my husband’s gift of just enjoying the present, living in the moment and being fully in that specific time and place.  I often wish I could turn off my mind, tune out the distractions around me and just enjoy the moment at hand.  However, that ability is pretty much beyond my pay grade.  But not for Ryan, he enjoys where he is, what he is doing and tries to make the most of every situation.  I’m thankful for his ability to be fully present with me when we’re together and his ability to be fully present with our friends and family too.  It’s a great gift.

Visas in Hand

Ryan and I will be leaving for Australia sooner rather than later because we have our visas!  After an extra stressful week, we finally were able to provide immigration with what they needed and we were approved about 24 hours later.  For anyone looking to move to Australia, know the process is fair and challenging.  Ryan and I will be in Australia while I get my Masters in Social Work at the University of Western Australia.  We are looking forward to getting to know this beautiful country better, especially Perth and the areas around Perth.screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-8-35-04-amMy program begins at the beginning of February so we are looking to move in December in order to allow time for transition and settling in.  This has been the plan for awhile but now with visas in hand, we can start working through the final departure checklist.  For anyone who has moved overseas before, you know this list can be long and daunting.  But Ryan and I will keep taking things one day at a time.  We are excited to be on this crazy journey together.  We are excited to be able to live in an amazing country like Australia.  And we’re excited to see what the future holds for us.

Australian Beginnings

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-7-47-13-pmBack in 2012, I was hanging out in Perth.  I ate Kangaroo meat, met a Quokka and made a decision that would change my life.  I said yes to joining the Perth team in Australia.  Although Ryan and I hadn’t met yet, that decision to join the Perth team, paved the way for our relationship.  screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-5-26-46-pmIn the fall of 2012, God was also working in Ryan’s heart.  Ryan had been praying about where in the world God was sending him.  He had known for awhile that he was called into overseas missions but the world is a pretty big place.  However, around the same time I was saying yes to the Perth team, God was putting South Africa and Australia on Ryan’s heart.screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-5-25-33-pmLittle did we know that 3 months later when we met, we would be contemplating life in Australia together.  And now we’re about a month away, Lord willing, from moving to Australia and beginning this new face of our life.  God’s faithfulness continues to be sweet as we continue on this adventure together.

The Workshop

Ryan and I are leaving Sacramento for what may be the last time before we head to Australia.  Sacramento has been one of the few places where we were able to leave some of our things in the closet and “move in” a bit for the time we were here.  Thanks Mom and Dad:-)  However, now when we leave, the only things that will be stored here are childhood mementoes, some files we don’t need with us and our many memories.Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 12.17.30 PM.pngWhile looking through the beside drawer, making sure we had everything, I came across this little sign that had been by my Grandparent’s bed.  I remember seeing it in their San Fransisco home, but now the room we stay in at my parent’s house has the furniture that used to be in their master bedroom.  The furniture looks a bit different now, the old paint is gone from the pieces and the mattress is larger and new but I love memories that are held in these pieces.  The vanity where my Grandmother sat on her wedding day which was the same vanity that was in my room growing up.

And their bed “The Workshop”, most of us don’t think to hard about this one but it is a sweet reminder of the work that goes into a marriage.  This is especially relevant for Ryan and I right now in the middle of packing, moving, making lots of choices, saying goodbyes and being faced daily with hard decisions.  Marriage isn’t always easy and there is work involved to keep us united and on the same page through this process.  Since that’s not going to end any time soon, we are thankful for the prayers and support we have behind us that get us through the more challenging times.  Ryan and I have each other and Lord willing, we will set up our own “workshop” in Australia soon.

Please Keep Praying!

Today is day 30 in our 30 Days of Prayer.  We are so thankful for those of you who have prayed alongside us during this time.  We’re thinking about making the 30 Days of Prayer something regular in our year to help us remember and refocus.  Looking forward we will be sending out a newsletter next week with some stories of answered prayer and what it will take to get us to Australia.  But for now we want to look back and see how God has been present and answered prayer over the last 30 days.screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-10-00-37-amWe stated 5 specific goals in our September Newsletter and here’s how God has showed up:

1. Apply for and obtain our visas.

We have applied for our visas, are in correspondence with Noel, a man at the department of immigration and are waiting to see when our visas are approved.  Please keep praying!

2. Gain the last of the support we need.

When we sent out the September Newsletter we were hovering just over 60% and now we’re at 77.7% of our monthly support.  We also have a great matching opportunity happening in November so look for details in the October Newsletter (coming out soon).  Please keep praying!

3. Have people praying specifically for us and our marriage.

We felt your prayers this month.  It has been stressful, especially because of the University start date deadline, and will continue to be stressful as we get closer to our departure date as goodbyes begin to occupy our already full schedules.  But we are in this together and will continue to fight well and work side by side with each other.  Please keep praying!

4. Be praying for Australia, specifically the people and places we have fallen in love with.

Prayer remains our main ministry.  Today, the final day of specific prayer, we are asking you to PRAY for Western Australia.  Pray specifically for the Wheatbelt and the people living in the Wheatbelt.  Please keep praying!

5. Do we leave for Australia in November or do we wait until January?

Neither.  Well, at least at this point we are thinking that everything points to early December.  Please keep praying!screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-10-01-01-amI could look at this list and be disappointed that we don’t have many more definitive answers to prayers.  However, prayer is ongoing.  Prayer is a process.  And prayer should be a constant in the Christian life.  I hope we never come to a point where we are done praying, have what we need from God and can move forward on our own.  That’s not how this works.  Please keep praying isn’t a failure to see answered prayers.  Please keep praying is a commitment to the necessity of ongoing prayer.

Thank you for praying!