Monday, August 29, 2011

Thankful

Mondays are our days off and we have declared them our Sabbath since both of us have to work on Sunday. We spent the day discovering parts of the area that we live in and trying to find a place for breakfast since most of Annapolis is still without power. The only coffee shop near our house that is open looked like a tornado went through it. I guess in the midst of natural disaster coffee is still a priority in most people's books. Well let's be honest it is a priority in mine. While we were driving around we saw this sign in a restaurant window:



In the afternoon we went for a 6 mile run/walk on this new favorite route near our house. As we were walking I was brought to tears out of thankfulness for how God has provided for us. We live in such a beautiful location and it is truly by God's grace and provision that we have this spot. We prayed for a place to live in Annapolis while we support raise and the Lord provided. Here are a few snap shots of the views that we get while we exercise in the neighborhood down the street from ours.





The view is spectacular and we found ourselves thanking the Lord for the beauty that surrounds us. The houses in the neighborhood are also beautiful and we always enjoy dreaming about what it would be like to live in one and own a sailboat! It makes for fun conversation while we run or walk.

Here is one of my favorite spots along the road,

I was really excited to drink from this today! :) Thank you kind neighbors!
-Lindsey

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Move!


So we made it! On the 14th of this month we packed off and/or packed up all our worldly belongs, hopped into a somewhat questionable Budget truck, and made the long drive East. It wasn't exactly a breeze, but the car didn't fall off the trailer, we avoided all collisions despite the malfunctioning tail lights and dash lights, the cat peed ONLY in the litter box during the drive, and we managed not to hydroplane off the Blue Ridge Mountains as we weathered a monsoon in the dark night of WV! Seriously, the trip was pretty rough, and we will certainly be thinking twice before we use Budget or accept "sure, we just checked 'em and all the lights are working fine" from any rental agent. But with a little help from a number of good friends, we were able to unpack the van, stash all our stuff in various basements, and begin the process of transitioning to a new address, a new context, and a new season of life.








(We even managed to make it through the exuberance of my dad upon our arrival back in MD. Yeah...he's weird, but we love him anyway)







And so we are here. Linds is getting into the groove at the church she is working at, I am getting the swing of things at my new Trader Joe's location, and life is slowly falling into place. It's fun to explore all the old haunts of Annapolis and see many old friends (they were all young friends when I left), and get to relearn the nautical culture that is so deeply seated into the veins of the city. We like it here, and we are beginning to get rather excited about the opportunity to make this our home base to being our efforts at building a team of supporters to help initiate our work with the Global Youth and Family Ministry.

We have spent the first week crashed at my parents' house up near the headwaters of the Severn River, and I don't think we'll ever get tired of the view. Each picture we took was only the best until another two minutes of sunset added more color - truly glorious!


And so it begins! We've got a lot to accomplish while we are here and we are now beginning to start strategizing ways that we can engage the challenge of support raising well, but as we are committed to keeping our readers in the loop, we need your prayers to make it all possible. The biggest "next step" for us at the moment is a trip we have scheduled this October to help host the adolescent side of things for MTW's Asia/Pacific Area Retreat in Malaysia. It's a pretty large project and we need a lot of help to get it going, but we have been fully satisfied in God's provision for us every step of the way so far and excited to follow through to see the next steps he has for this trip as well. We'll be filling in more details about this trip in the near future, and we are excited to explore ways that you all can partner with us to bring it all together!

Thanks for keeping up with us in all this, we are thrilled to have you be a part of our lives as we walk together the paths that God has laid out before us!

Much love from Annapolis!


- Drew

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Team!

So last night, for the first time, we had a Global Youth and Family Ministry team meeting! Linds and I have been volunteering and then officially working with GYFM since the spring of 2009, and since then the ranks have been doing nothing but growing. It was so exciting to be able to look down the table and see so many people that we are so excited to be working with. The term "dream team" comes to mind very often as we continue getting to know one another and spending time learning each other's personalities. Linds and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to be part of such a skilled and invested team, God has blessed us very richly! I think the word "Stoked" is probably the best way to describe our feelings.


In this picture we have:
- Global Youth & Family Ministry Team leaders Eric & Rebecca Larsen and family
- Global Youth & Family Institute Guru John & Saras Chung and family
- Ministry Assistant and TCK Ninja Ruthanne Burch
- New Team Members Jonathan and Katherine Taylor and family
- Future Asia/Pacific representatives (in Nagoya, Japan) Brooks & Riva Cain
- Future Latin America representatives (in Bogota, Columbia) Andrew & Laura Kate Lupton and family
- Future College & University representatives (in Chattanooga, TN) Drew & Lindsey Wilkins - That's US!

This is a lot of team mates, and there are even more being added to the list! We're making headway with this GYFM thing, and if you couldn't tell, we are SOOOOO excited about it! Thanks so much to all of you who are partnering with us through your friendship, encouragement, financial support, and prayers as we keep pressing forward. We love you!

- Drew

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

An Escape from Routine

Well let's be honest this summer has been anything but routine, but that's what summers are for, right? Drew and I escaped a few weeks ago to spend some time together, reflect on the last four years of seminary, six of marriage, and what the future might have for us. It was wonderful to get away. We turned off our phones and left the computer at home. We even unplugged the clock in the room we stayed in. It was awesome! We stayed at a really cute and relaxing B&B in Augusta, MO called the Apple Gate Inn. Augusta, MO is a little town right off the Katy trail and it is surrounded by vineyards in the middle of Missouri wine country.

Grapes ready to be picked!
Our B&B that was built in the late 1800's
Augusta is such a cute and quaint little town.


Some of the highlights of the trip were playing an entire game of monopoly - which I am not sure if anyone has ever done that before ever. I (Lindsey) beat Drew and definitely landed on Park Place three times. We also visited a few wineries and had a great time sitting on our deck enjoying the peace and quiet and reflecting together. We were celebrating our 6th anniversary a little early, and continue to fall more and more in love with each passing year! Here are a few more pictures from our time.

Drew of course could not let any of the brie go to waste and we only had one more piece of bread.
Wine on the back deck at a winery overlooking beautiful green hills and fields
Drew insisted on stopping at the Daniel Boone Memorial/grave site
On our way to the wine! :)
Yummy quiche
Those cinnamon towers were AMAZING!
A little ice tea on the deck
An unattended fruit/veggie stand outside a store. Take your veggies and leave your money in the jar.

We highly recommend an escape from your normal routine!

-Lindsey


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Familiar Passage

This morning Drew and I were reading Psalm 23 over Drew's famous apple cinnamon oatmeal and coffee (our favorite breakfast) and after reading it we both had similar thoughts as we started to discuss it. We both agreed that in our own hearts it is easy to dismiss this psalm because it is so familiar. So in light of that we stopped and looked a little deeper into it, and both found some comfort and encouragement from it. The original audience would have understood this psalm so well due to the culture that they lived in and the roll that shepherds played. I on the other hand have not been around too many shepherds or sheep, but the imagery is still beautiful. The commentary in my ESV Study Bible says, "This hymn is usually classified as a psalm of confidence in the Lord's care." This is where I found my encouragement. The imagery of green pastures and calm water welcomes rest. He blesses his sheep with restoration of their souls. A friend recently reminded me that sanctification doesn't always mean struggle or hardship, but it can mean receiving gentleness, patience, kindness, and blessing from the Lord. This psalm is a wonderful reminder of that.

This psalm reminded me today that the Lord cares for me and I can find complete confidence in this care. I also learned that there is always more and more to glean from scripture, even from those all too familiar passages! :)

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

Picture found Here

-Lindsey