Tag Archives: Seattle

What About Seattle?

I hear this question sometimes.  People remind me at the most inconvenient times, like when I’m about to interview for my dream job locally, and a tiny thought begins to gnaw at me:  Is it really my dream job if it’s not in Seattle?  Maybe on this one thing (relocating to Seattle), God and I are on the same page.

I haven’t forgotten about Seattle.  I really and truly believe God will bring me there at some point in my life.  (Full disclosure: I’ve been wrong before).

But I am here right now, and I don’t know when God plans on me going to Seattle.  Circumstances of late with closing DFW doors make me hope it’s soon, and of course, it’s my prayer to be there by the end of the year, but we all know God’s timing is not mine.

Another thing has come up over the past couple of weeks (not a job), and it’s something that would be good for me to do.   It’s something I enjoy, something I’m good at, something that just makes sense.  Only, it doesn’t make sense if I’m going to be relocated to Seattle in the next few months.

I can’t say with any certainty that I am, by the way.  God hasn’t given me any dates along with this vision to be in Seattle, just a sense that’s where I’m headed at this point.  I don’t want to be side-tracked from all He has for me, but I also don’t want to miss out on what He wants now because I’m so future-focused.  (And future-focused on something I’m not 100% positive is going to happen).

As I’m writing this, though, the more I feel like I am doing exactly what God wants me to be doing right now.  Like, I need to take things day by day, and not settle into any long term commitments here.  And that stinks, because if there’s anything I’m beyond ready for, it’s long term commitment.

Sigh.

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Seattle Bucket List

I’m a homebody.  I’m not particularly adventurous, although I’ve become more adventurous in the past couple of years.  However, if I’m going to move to Seattle, where there is TONS of stuff to do, I can’t just sit around in my (way too expensive) apartment.  I have to go out and DO things. Also, I feel like if people come visit me, I should know what’s worthy of doing.   In order to facilitate this doing of stuff, I’ve compiled a Seattle bucket list.  So here it is, in no particular order.  Enjoy!  🙂

[ ] Go on a hike at Mt. Rainier National Park.

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(Grove of the Patriarchs at Mt. Rainier National Park, Photo Credit: David Huting)

[ ]  Walk through Olympic Sculpture Park.

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(Olympic Sculpture Park, Photo Credit: Seattle Art Museum)

[ ]  Visit the Seattle Art Museum

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(Seattle Art Museum, Photo Credit: ArtsyForager.com)

[ ] Visit the Ballard Locks

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(Wave Sculpture at Ballard Locks, Photo Credit: Pinterest)

[ ]  Visit Alki Beach.  (Apparently the best place to catch a sunset in Seattle, when a sunset is to be caught at all).

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(Stormy Sunset, Alki Beach, Seattle, Photo Credit: LivingWilderness.com)

[ ] Visit Kerry Park.  (Look at that Seattle skyline!!!)

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(Kerry Park, Photo Credit: Pinterest)

[ ] Visit Pioneer Square (Seattle’s Historical District)

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(Pioneer Square, Photo Credit: FineArtAmerica.com)

[ ] Visit the Seattle Public Library

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(Seattle Public Library, Photo Credit: Google)

[ ]  Go to the Seattle Pike Place Market. (Also the home of the ORIGINAL Starbucks).

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(Pike Place Market, Photo Credit: Pinterest)

[ ] Visit Bergen Place

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(Art at Bergen Place, Photo Credit: Pinterest)

[ ]  Take a picture with the Troll Under the Bridge in Fremont. (I seriously think this is just about the coolest thing ever).

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(Fremont’s Troll Under the Bridge, Photo Credit: Henry Roxas)

[ ] Find a favorite Coffee Shop.  (So many to choose from!)

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(Photo Credit: Perfect Bucket List)

[ ] See this sign in Fremont.

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(Cool Fremont sign, Photo Credit: WheresMyBackpack.com)

[ ] I feel like I HAVE to have this one, although I’m not AS interested in it … Visit the Seattle Space Needle.

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(Seattle Space Needle, Photo Credit: Double Barreled Travel)

[ ] Go to the Ballard Sunday Market.

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(Ballard Sunday Market, Photo Credit: Pinterest)

[ ] Visit Gas Works Park in Fremont.

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(Gas Works Park, Photo Credit: Flickr)

[ ] Find a favorite bookstore. (Again, so many to choose from!)

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So much to do in Seattle, I think this is a good starting point!!!

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Numbers I’m Placing Before God

38,000.  My cost of living in Seattle, so what I’ll need to be making in any job I accept there.

3,300.  My cost of moving to Seattle – includes moving vehicle, hotel rooms, meals, and of course, gas.

969.  My cost of visiting Seattle for five days in order to get a feel for the city, conduct interviews.  This is completely tentative right now, as I need to get interviews and the money together FIRST, then plan a trip.  (Or more accurately, God is going to have to get me interviews and the money).  In my mind, the best time for such a trip to take place would be March 7-12 as it coincides with spring break at my job and my presence won’t be missed (much).  Of course, God’s plans are not my plans, so I’m just going to wait and see what happens with that.

These are big numbers for me, even the smallest one, but it is indeed my goal to trust God for the supernatural and know all things are possible for Him! I have been in the process of calculating these numbers, so I can pray specifically.  (Also, there is no way my dad will let me take “his” car to Seattle if I haven’t demonstrated I have thought through these things carefully). It will be exciting to see what GOD does, how He provides and moves things.

Pray with me!

 

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Why Seattle?

This post was inevitable.  Any time I talk about Seattle, the question comes up:  why Seattle?  I’ll share the highlights today.

Three years ago, during the Christmas break before the spring 2011 semester, I was given a book called The Fuel and the Flame by my college church leaders.  I believe the purpose of the book (and the purpose of my reading it) was to prayerfully consider college ministry after graduation, as it highlighted the importance of reaching college students for Christ.  What hit me about the book wasn’t necessarily college ministry, but how the author stressed the importance of having purpose and goals in our lives.

As a result of reading the book, I was forced to reckon with the question: what am I going to do after graduation?  I had already realized the next big thing was not a committed relationship or the road to marriage, and I decided I wanted to use whatever time and energy that normally would have gone into a relationship on ministry endeavors, rather than pining away.

I prayed about four potential avenues for ministry during that break:  college ministry, Africa, youth, and inner city ministry.  Inner city ministry and youth were the ones I was most burdened about, Africa was a not yet, and college ministry seemed to be a no.  (I say seemed to be, because I went back and prayed more about that later, and it was a definite no the second time).

I kind of just assumed I would work with underprivileged youth wherever God put me after that.  When I started my job hunt in January 2011 (yes, it’s been that long),  I didn’t really have any direction, I was looking for anything, anywhere that would pay a living wage.  Later in the semester, a mentor who was counseling me advised that I pray about where God wanted me (city-wise), to look for a church to minister with in that place, and to trust God to establish me there.  (I’m paraphrasing here, but that was the gist of it).  After living, working, and ministering in Denton for a few years and enjoying having all three be in one place, this was a readily-accepted idea.  (And I still thing it’s one of the best bits of advice I’ve ever been given).

Not long after, another mentor recommended I read Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz (oh my gosh, guys, this isn’t a book review post, but go read it if you haven’t).  The book takes place primarily at Reed in Portland, Oregon, but the Pacific Northwest began to intrigue me, but as I researched the cities in that region, I was drawn more to Seattle, Washington.  It seemed like a very artsy and entrepreneurial city (Portland was maybe a bit TOO artsy for me, haha), and it seemed like it would fit me, and I it. (Okay, I’m done now).

For those of you who don’t know, Seattle is a pretty big city, and it’s divided up into neighborhoods.  It was kind of confusing and intimidating, especially since I’ve never been.  I didn’t know where to begin looking for Seattle churches, so I did a google search, and nothing really stood out, even though there are dozens of churches there.  I did apply for jobs here, but…

A few weeks before graduation, in what I thought was a miracle move, I landed a job in Grand Prairie, Texas, found a church I thought fit what I wanted to do in McKinney (had to visit first, of course), and was going to move back in with my parents in Anna. It wasn’t what I desired or prayed for, but God didn’t seem to be moving in that whole Seattle situation, so what could I do?

I had a miserable year.  I mean, really miserable.  Finally, a year later, I began considering the whole Seattle thing again, and started looking for jobs there.  While doing that, I ran across a great-looking Creative Writing MFA program at Seattle Pacific University.  And I thought about how very little fiction writing I had done over the past several years. (Yeah, years).  I churned out version two of “The Field” with the intention of eventually applying to grad school there, but…

Life got crazy.  Suddenly, I was working two jobs across the DFW map, and once again, my writing took a backseat.  I was able to quit the Grand Prairie job almost a year ago, and I’ve been seeking full-time employment since that time.  I had been focusing on the DFW area again, and it’s been a discouraging search (as in I’m getting nowhere).  One area I feel God has blessed is that He has used me in this area to minister to underprivileged kids, since He laid it on my heart many years ago.  Anyhow, when August came, thoughts of writing, grad school, and of course, Seattle came too.

So I started looking at Seattle again.  For starters, I saw Mount Rainier for the first time.  That’s significant, but you wouldn’t believe me if I told you why.  Secondly, I started looking at neighborhoods again, and it became clear what would be the best fit for me.  Then I looked for churches in those neighborhoods, and I’ve narrowed it down.  (I won’t say how narrow).  Literally the only thing missing is a full-time job and a living wage.

I’ve had a lot of distractions in the past several months – a lot of things pulling my focus away from what I need to be doing in order to get where I’m going.  I’m a little more withdrawn from ministry and social activities at the moment, because I have such a sense of purpose:  I need to focus on my writing in order to get where God wants to take me.

That may be Seattle (and trust me, I tend to think it is), it may be DFW (I tend to think it’s not), it may be somewhere else entirely that I haven’t even thought of (could be).  The point is that in pursuing God in my writing (particularly my fiction writing), I will be wherever He wants me.  Right now, that’s working two part-time jobs, not being super-involved in church and ministry, not doing a lot of hanging out with people, and doing A TON of writing.   I actually enjoy where He has me right now, and if it never changed, it would still be a good life.

I continue to pursue a Seattle relocation for several reasons.  For one thing, I genuinely believe it is God’s will for me (but I’ve been dead wrong before).  I also strongly desire to live in Seattle and I think I will enjoy life there (but I enjoy it here too).  I believe I will have great ministry opportunities there (but I have them here as well).  Given a vision I believe God has given me and given my strong desire, I will continue to pray for and pursue opportunities in Seattle until God opens doors elsewhere.

There are obstacles, I am aware, but I was reading about Jonathan this morning, and he said: “Nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few” (1 Samuel 14:6b).  If Seattle is where God wants me (for whatever reason), it doesn’t matter if there’s one obstacle or a thousand, He will move me there.

You’re invited to watch and see what He does in my life this year!  It’s going to be a fun and exciting ride!

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My Song for 2014

Oceans

by Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown, where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep, my faith will stand

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed, and You won’t start now

 I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours, and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Depending on God for the supernatural this year – things so far out of my reach and control.
I’ve gotten out of the habit of believing or trusting Him for anything HUGE anymore.  I’ve become entirely too accepting and satisfied with my life.  My life has been too easy, too unchallenged for too long.  I’ve grown complacent, desensitized.
It’s time to be planted.  (How my heart cries to be planted).  It’s time to grow and bear a lot of fruit.  It’s time to snap out of this funk, get out of the boat and walk towards Jesus.
You guys, I really believe God is preparing me to relocate to Seattle.  I really believe He has opened doors for such a move, and will continue to do so.
What I covet your prayers for:
  • Renewed and passionate focus on my writing.  There are a lot of things I say with a level of hesitation, but this is not one of them: God has made it inescapably clear that writing is my path.
  • A church in Seattle.  This is actually something I’ve “researched” extensively, and I believe I know where God is leading me in this area, but confirmation is always good.
  • A full-time job that pays $37,000/year.  This is my cost of living in Seattle.  (Yes, Texas folks, I’m aware that is WAY more than it would be in Dallas, BUT this is about God and where HE directs).
  • A good living situation.  Studio apartment, a house with other women, whatever God wants – just that it will be good.

Verses to consider while praying for me:

  • “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men” (Proverbs 18:16).
  • “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2)
  • “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
  • Mark 14:22-34

It is truly my heart’s desire to be who God wants me to be, do what He asks me where He asks me to do it.  Pray with me?

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I’d Already Be in Seattle If…

I’d already be in Seattle if

  • I had a dollar for every time I’ve been admonished to “watch out for vampires.” (Thanks for that, Stephanie Meyer).
  • I had a dollar for every time someone has referenced Grey’s Anatomy.
  • I had a dollar for every time I’ve been informed it rains there … a lot. (I’m not the wicked witch of the west, I won’t melt).
  • I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked, “Why Seattle?” (My counter question: Why NOT Seattle?)

Maybe I’m exaggerating a little.

I’d at least have money to fill my gas tank.

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Love Note of Sorts

Mornings like this I miss you.

I wish we could be together today, doing our thing, instead of me doing mine, and you doing yours, separately.

I know it’s worth the wait, and I know it won’t be long, but…

Mornings like this I miss you.

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A Life-Changing Conversation

From my journal.

May 11, 2012

Whit has an adventurous spirit, a tireless spirit, a go-and-be spirit. I told her as we sat on the Chickory front porch that I knew I was where God wanted me and doing what He wanted me to be doing – which meant staying, although not being stagnant. Her response was: “I suppose I still live in la-la land because I think God has something big He wants me to do.” Normally, I might have been offended by this, but I was really struck by her faith and told her so. Not that what I’m doing here isn’t big – it’s HUGE! But it got me thinking because a year ago, I felt ready to go to Seattle. I was (and still am) certain my ministry will someday be there. Staying was a bigger faith leap for me. I am beginning to realize: I am in training.

While we were doing dishes, Whit challenged me to pray specific prayers. She said every detail of the Chickory was prayed over. I don’t know how or why, but since N and S, I’ve gotten into this habit of praying generally. I don’t know, I guess I felt like that would be more in line with God’s will. And I shared with Whit that it wasn’t that I didn’t believe God could answer specific prayers, I just wasn’t sure He would. In response, Whit says, full of faith, “He will!” No doubt in that girl’s mind.

On our way to Chinese Fast Food, we talked about finances. Apparently, we are both bad at managing our finances, but Whit says she has realized money is always going to be a problem. I personally find that depressing, but Whit has accepted it and now it doesn’t bother her.

The big break-throughs came in a space of about fifteen minutes. Whit asked what I had been doing for fun these days. And I realized. I don’t have fun. FortyOne20 Ministries is intended to be a source of joy, but since its launch it hasn’t necessarily been that way. I’m too tired, too overwhelmed for fun. I think I reasonably put a lot of that on my job.

Whit asked if I like to be in control. Haha, yes, I think that is safe to say. As I told her, my problem is that I cannot control who gives me a job, but I certainly try anyhow. I try to bargain with/threaten God, which naturally causes major issues in my relationship with Him. I am fed up.

And so Whit (dear, sweet, lovely Whit!) says, “I feel like you’re about to give up unless something gives” (True statement) “but I feel like something is about to change. It’s coming.” Then she proceeds to pray for God to shake up my life (uh?) and grow me (again, uh?). I am grateful for her doing that, because I don’t have the courage to pray these things for myself.

Today, the phrase, “See, I am doing a new thing” came to my heart. Whether it’s something Meredith or Whitney said yesterday or something I remembered from reading years ago and the Holy Spirit called it to mind, I don’t know. But I Googled it and…

“Forget the former things and do not dwell on things of old. See, I will do a new thing, even now it springs forth. Can’t you see it? I will make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19).

As most of you know, even then on that spiritually, emotionally dark day in May 2012, God was working. He did shake my world up and grow me. Some of that was painful, some of it has been pretty pleasant.

I love how HE works!

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More Glorious and Majestic

“You are more glorious and majestic than the everlasting mountains” (Psalm 76:4).

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I look at the mountain above (Mount Rainer, Washington) and I am blown away by its beauty. Every time I see it, I fall a little more in love with it, but it has nothing, NOTHING on God! He is more glorious, more majestic than this mountain. Than anything I dream of or desire.

Someday soon I hope to live near this mountain. I hope to experience it’s beauty in person. But if I never do, I have God, and He is infinitely more beautiful, more glorious, more majestic than this mountain. I have to remember that: I already have the Greatest, the Best.

Everything else fades as I fix my eyes on Him!

“All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

“You are my supply
My breath of life
And still more awesome than I know
You are my reward
worth living for
And still more awesome than I know.”

~Chris Tomlin, Enough

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