A Day Off: Nature Spa and Beach

One of the best perks of having a real weekly schedule is the ability to plan for and actually take a day off each week.  It has been over a year since Ryan and I have had a rhythm to our week that actually allows for the space to rest on a consistent basis.  Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had lots of amazing adventures and travels over the past year and there has been some rest within that but there is something really special and life-giving about having a weekly day of rest.  You might be saying, what about Sunday!?  Well, Sundays are lovely and we are getting a bit of a break being in a wonderful church community but Sundays are simply not rest days in our line of work.  So for the foreseeable future we have dedicated Fridays as our day of rest and fun exploration.  And this week we kicked off the adventure with a drive south along the coast to an area known as the Nature Spa.Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 12.12.49 PM.pngOh that’s right, I said drive because this week we bought a car.  Just like the provision of so many things along the way for us, this is another amazing testament to God’s ability to provide for us in ways above and beyond.  But that story is for another time because just look at that spectacular coastline.  This is a seriously beautiful place to live.screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-12-12-15-pmThe wind was picking up by early afternoon when we arrived but we decided to first go up on the rocks for a look around.  We spent a good amount of time all afternoon talking about all the people we know who would love this place.  If you come and visit, we can bring you here:-)  Rocks to climb up, places to explore, white sandy beaches, beautiful crashing waves and the Nature Spa.screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-12-44-59-pmThe Nature Spa is a natural area in between these rock walls where salt water pools and collects.  Despite the wind of the day, this area was very protected.  The ocean seeps through the opening you can see here but also splashes through other little ravines at the side.  If you look on the left side of the pool, the white water is caused by a mini waterfall that happens because of the waves.  The water in the pool gets warm because it’s shallow and calm but the water splashing over is cold, right from the ocean. screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-12-55-34-pmWe staked claim to a large flat rock in the sun and enjoyed the warmth of the day hearing the ocean waves and watching people come and go enjoying this beautiful place.  We were never alone and I’m sure the Nature Spa can get pretty crowded on weekends and holidays but we would definitely come back again.Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 2.01.23 PM.pngAfter we finished hanging out at the Nature Spa, we climbed back up the rocks.  It would be easy to twist an ankle here but we made it out injury free.  Before we left for our drive home, we wanted to check out the beach along the other side.  And I’m so glad we did!
screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-12-10-49-pmThis beach has beautifully deep soft sand and we had it all to ourselves for a little while.  The waves were powerful and bubbling and perfect for just standing in and enjoying.  I’m sure the current coupled with the waves along here would make it dangerous to swim but it was perfect for an afternoon frolic.  These pictures don’t do this amazing coastline justice.screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-12-13-56-pmOur day ended with an uneventful drive home and a lovely sunset.  We’re looking forward to more days off when we can go on adventures, get to know Perth and other parts of Western Australia!

Getting to Know Perth

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-5-12-58-pmGetting to know Perth is a priority for us.  We want to experience and enjoy this city while we’re living here.  During the Summer, there are a lot of activities to seek out and enjoy but we’ve been warned that there isn’t as much to do in the winter.  I’m not fully convinced yet because there still is a long list of places I want to explore.  Being out and about in the city also allows us to meet the people who live in, work in and make up the human part of city life.  The people are definitely a reflection of the city.  We’ve been finding activities on Instagram, through friends and also doing internet searches which turn up websites like: Guide to Perth and Experience Perth.  It’s fun to look up lists of things to do in Perth and see that we’ve already checked off a few of the big activities that everyone recommends.  What will our next adventure be?screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-5-12-03-pm

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.

Between Oceans- January in Perth

The week before we left the US, I read a book called The Light Between Oceans.  In the book there is a lighthouse keeper living on the fictitious island of Janus, located near the south west tip of western Australia.  At some point the lighthouse keeper describes why the island is called Janus, and I can’t find the exact quote, but he simply explains that Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, passages and endings.  Janus is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks simultaneously to the future and to the past.  And this island sitting between two oceans, is aptly named Janus.  If you’re looking for a beautifully written book, this is a worthwhile read.  Be ready to feel all your emotions and keep a tissue box nearby.

Since this book is set in Western Australia, I have thought of it a few times as we’ve begun to settle in here.  And I remembered the quote about Janus as we rung in the new year.  Janus is where our word January comes from.  January 2017 is a time when we can look back and reflect on 2016, but also look forward to the new year, a new unknown future.  It’s fitting that Ryan and I would arrive in Perth just in time to begin the new year, settling in during this in-between time of looking back as well as looking forward.Screen Shot 2017-01-02 at 3.36.58 PM.pngSince I’m in reflection mode, I couldn’t resist looking at my top liked Instagram posts of 2016.  If you don’t already, you can follow me @joycandee.  I do my best to post different things to Instagram, this blog and Facebook so you can hear/see a different angle of the story from each social media outlet.  Anyway, it’s not surprising that my top liked pictures all point to Australia in some way.  The top three and the middle were taken the last week of 2016 as we made our way to Australia.  My birthday is represented, turning 32 and wearing my “totally koalafied” shirt.  And of course, travels to Europe and our road trip/travels through the US this past year.  2016 was a good, hard, wonderful and challenging year.

Today, January 3rd 2017, I am in the doorway.  Like Janus, looking back and looking forward.  I am in the passage between the preparation, what it took to get us here and anticipation, looking ahead to what is to come.  Welcome to 2017!

Heading Over the Rainbow

Tomorrow Ryan and I fly from San Fransisco to Dubai and then from Dubai to Perth.  If everything goes as planned we will arrive in Perth on the 30th.  Ryan and I will ring in the New Year down under!  We’re starting 2017 off in a new country, in a new apartment, new friends, a new team and all sorts of other new things that we haven’t even realized yet.  I’m sure the year won’t be without challenges but we’re looking forward to what is ahead for us in Perth, Western Australia.  Please pray for our transition.screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-10-54-09-amPlease forgive the blog silence into the New Year because we aren’t sure about internet, jet lag and scheduling once we arrive.  However, we will try to be posting to Instagram so you can follow us along the way.  If you haven’t already, you can find us on Instagram @joycandee and @lpturntable.  Next time I post will be from somewhere over the rainbow!

Remembering Our Trip to Australia

Two years ago we were in Australia.  It was confusing, eye-opening and exciting but ultimately, because of the amazing places and people, this corner of Australia grabbed our hearts.  If you’re interested in looking back, here are the posts I shared as we explored and prayed through Perth, Brookton and beyond.

First we shared a Peek into Perth, then we spent some time Finding Ourselves in Freo and finally it was off to Brookton and Beyond.

Now, two years later, the door has been opened up for grad school in Perth and we are preparing to go back and spend more time in this place that we love.  It’s wonderful when memories turn into a blueprint for future adventures.

Prayer Goals

You say grace before meals.
All right.
But I say grace before the concert and the opera,
And grace before the play and pantomime,
And grace before I open a book,
And grace before sketching, painting,
Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing;
And grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
― G.K. Chestertonscreen-shot-2016-10-13-at-9-03-51-amRyan and I flew out of LAX to Perth 2 years ago today.  We prayed before, during and after our trip and tried not to make too many decisions while visiting.  We just did our best to take it all in.  You can see pictures and read about that trip here: October 2014.  The road may not be always clear but I’m thankful that we can pray our way through it.

As a Christian, I want prayer to come as naturally to me as breathing.  I want prayer so incorporated into my life that I don’t have days when I could possibly “forget” to pray.  I desire for my prayers to be spoken from a foundation of scripture.  And I hope that my daily schedule can one day be informed by when my prayers happen, instead of my prayers happening when my schedule allows.

There are 3 days left in the 30 Days of Prayer.  These past 27 days of prayer have challenged me, comforted me and changed me.  I’ve wondered why prayer is so difficult for “some people” while finding it difficult myself.  I’ve been humbled and honored to be the subject of so many people’s prayers when the world is filled with heart wrenching, life altering things to pray about.  And so I’m going to keep leaning forward, praying and through the grace of God, work towards my own prayer goals.

Today we ask you to PRAY for wisdom.  Because of clarity through prayer, we know that we are not leaving in November and we think we are suppose to leave at the beginning of December instead.  Please pray that God would continue to direct us in His will in unity with one another.