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.

Praying for Brookton and the Wheatbelt

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-9-40-51-amThe Wheatbelt is one of the 9 regions in Western Australia and it makes a partial circle around Perth.  This area is known for, you guessed it, wheat production but there are also a lot of sheep.  Our focus will begin in the area between Northam and Narrogin.  And Brookton is almost exactly at the center of these two larger towns.  It’s about an hour drive south of Northam and an hour drive north of Narrogin.  Please pray for the Wheatbelt.screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-9-37-23-am

Because of Brookton‘s place at the intersection of two major highways, it has been a center and a gathering place for business and cultural events over the years.  Despite being a small town just pushing 1000 people, its location makes it strategic and important.  We love this little town and are looking forward to more time there once we hit the ground in Australia.  Please pray for Brookton.

This isn’t just a place of agriculture.  This area is home to many people.  This region provides food and other resources to the city and yet is often only driven through.  Ryan and I are excited to get to know these small towns, the people that live there, their daily lives and their history.  We are even more excited about taking our love for the region and being a part of seeing positive changes for the future.  Please pray for the people living in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia.Screen Shot 2016-09-17 at 9.49.29 AM.png

Follow Me to Australia

Almost every day I make the rounds on social media.  There are a lot of possibilities out there and many many hours of your time could be easily consumed.  However, social media has its place for us and I really am thankful for some of the new ways to keep in touch with this world.  One of those being all the wonderful Western Australia and Perth Instagram accounts which I am now following to give me another peak into the world Ryan and I will be entering into when we get to Australia.  Grad school starts at the beginning of February so we’re working hard towards getting the financial support we need so that we can arrive sooner rather than later!

But until then I’m just soaking in what I see on social media and here are some of my favorite public accounts to follow.  Shown above are just a few of my favorite pictures from @perth_life which is meant to be a visual love letter to the city of Perth.

Another great one with beautiful pictures is @westernaustralia which has a little quokka (a marsupial that lives on Rottnest Island off of Perth’s coast) as it’s profile picture.  This account is to promote tourism in Western Australia and maybe following it will give you some incentive to come visit us too!

And then of course there are the myriad of food related Instagrams to follow.  I’m looking forward to being able to sample some of these delicious looking items when we’re finally in the city but for now I’ll just enjoy them from afar and be thankful that looking at the pictures doesn’t count towards my calorie intake.  Some fun ones to follow are @perthgrub, @pertheats, @breakfastinperth, @perthfoodies which all have fun pictures and feature great places all over the city.  I’ll even forgive the somewhat regular sushi and fish posts.  But my favorite for many reasons is @perthdesserts_ which is featured above!  Yum!

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So if you’re on Instagram, I’d encourage you to choose an account or two to follow and get to know Perth and Western Australia better.  And if you’re not already following us then you should do that too!  We’re @lpturntable and @joycandee.  Thanks for following us to Australia:-)