Friday, November 25, 2011

Cal & Kenzie/Redwood Camp Dinner

We celebrated Calvin and Kenzie once again for their SoCal Wedding Reception. What a blessing to be apart of further celebration of our wonderful friends. We loved watching them on the dance floor, enjoying their junior high/high school students. Another special moment was watching the Father/Daughter, Mother/Son dance, where they invited all the Fathers and their daughters, as well as all the Mothers and their sons, to dance with them. Click on the clip to see! It was amazing to see their church surround them in support and celebration.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We're celebrating. Does it look like a celebration to you? It should because we have things like a blanket, pizza, candles, rootbeer and smiles. We're having such a dandy time. Celebration is a wonderful thing. There is a very important reason we celebrated this night, though. Can you guess why...
I lost my job at Starbucks. I was late 3 times over 6 months, and I guess they had enough. It was humbling and sobering. 9 months ago, when Keri and I felt like God wanted us to get simple jobs--I never expected that I'd lose mine. It was hard to "fail" at something so "easy." Keri was wonderful, and extremely supportive. She reminded me that my value is in Jesus by the way she treated and trusted me. And she reminded me that God's hand is in everything that happens even our own mistakes. So that night, I treated her to a candle lit dinner, under a starry sky, to let her know how special she is to me. What a great thing to celebrate; a wonderful wife, a lost job and a faithful God.
Pray for us as I am 3 weeks into looking for a new job. God's timing is good, and He knows what He's doing, so we're learning to wait patiently in Him.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Keri's Average Day at The Little Gym

Here is a taste of a typical day at the Little Gym. This is a video that one of the moms in my Parent Child classes captured. Definitely would qualify for America's funniest home videos. No children have been injured in the filming of this video. Oh and Bode, the little boy I am helping on the balance beam, happens to be my favorite and the most precious!!! Watch at least the first 5 seconds!! :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Republica Dominicana

Thanksgiving is going to be a bit different for this couple. We're leaving today at 3AM to fly 5 hours to Miami, and 2 hours to the Dominican Republic. We are both excited and nervous about the trip. Our family (Debra, Mike and Jono) have gone a couple of times, and now we're going together. We're staying in a team house. We'll be helping with projects around the orphanage and school. Thanksgiving day we are giving the Dominican teachers the day off (the only day they get off all year, outside of weekends). In the evening we will cook a huge Thanksgiving feast for them and their families. Friday we get to celebrate Thanksgiving with all the Kids Alive missionaries from around the country. If you would like the ministry we are working with click here. We'll post some pictures when we return!
Someone once compared newlyweds to infancy. As we anticipate yet another new dynamic together on a team in a foreign country, we do feel like babies! There are a lot of new emotions that go into marriage, and remaining a unit while being around others is a learned thing. Pray for us as we venture off!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Found Passport! Off to the Dominican

We've been in panic mode the last few hours. Surprisingly, things don't always stay where you place them...or so it seems. Keri and I have torn apart our home looking desperately for my passport. Ironically we've spent the last two months working hard on getting her passport renewed, renamed and back in time for our travels this thanksgiving. Assuming, all the while, that my passport was safely tucked away in "its place." Well, that place didn't exist. We ripped apart our laundry, pulled boxes out from storage, looked through our books, emptied our drawers, undid our bedding, and basically, well, we should be long gone trotting down the yellow brick road by now.
As all the ruckus took place, God brought to mind the parable of the women who had 10 coins and lost one. She looked frantically for the one missing coin--and it blew our minds, as we were looking for my passport, that God describes Himself looking for us in the same way. He has the same desire to to seek us out (and infinitely more), as we do for our lost things.
Keri and I were both encouraged that as we searched, we really searched together. We looked, lifted, asked and helped in the effort to find the passport. And more so, stress didn't get the best of us! We held our own until we heard that a 24 hour replacement is above $300! (Which we don't have as you will see, refer to upcoming entry). As the stress of the government appointment mounted, we made one last desperate attempt to search our camping gear. Both our parents we're praying at the moment we found it. It was in the passport holder. Apparently it was hiding behind the other passport holder we had already looked through. So things do stay where you place them...hmmm.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Phantom of the Opera

We recently watched Phantom of the Opera. This was the first time I watched the whole movie. It was a beautiful story of a man who needed to be loved beyond his appearance. It was very moving for both Dave and I to watch, since we both feel like the Phantom. Marriage, thus far, has been a beautiful process of God giving us the gift of love and safety, found in each other, to love each other through the brokenness/sin inside that is coming to the surface. What an amazing gift God would give us.

Our devotional today reminded me of this similar idea. I think the poem is highlights from Charles Finn's poem.

"Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away (2 Corinthians 3:16)."


"For some people, pretending is a way of life. Consider these comments on the issue of hiding behind a veil:

Don't be fooled by me. Don't be fooled by the face I wear. I wear a mask. I wear a thousand masks---masks that I am afraid to take off; and none of them are me.
Pretending is an art that is second nature to me, but don't be fooled. For my sake, don't be fooled. I give the impression that I am secure, that all is sunny and unruffled within me as well as without; that confidence is my name and coolness my game, that the water is calm and I am in command; and that I need no one. But don't believe me, please. My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask, my ever-varying and ever-concealing mask.
Beneath lies no smugness, no complacence. Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear, in aloneness. But I hide that...I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed. That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind---a nonchalant, sophisticated facade---to help me pretend, to shield me from the glance that knows. But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only salvation, and I know it. That is, if it's followed by acceptance; if it's followed by love.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Short Entry

Hello friends,
Keri and I are off on another busy weekend. She is going on a mom retreat to Rancho Cucamunga (I don't think I spelled that right). They're shopping, seeing movies, walking around, going to dinner and loving mom-daughter time :)

I'm going to Grace Ev Free's Men's Retreat at the Church in La Mirada (near Biola). I'm spending time with Gil (Father-in-law), and reflecting on manhood. There is a lot to learn. Really looking forward to getting to know Gil better and learning from other older men :)

That's our lives for now. Keri and I will reunite on saturday to rest and reflect :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Song Writing

I just wrote a song about the Spirit working in our hearts through Jesus. Check it out, it's really rough, but I thought you might like it.


video

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wedding #7 (Click HERE for Groomsman dance!!)


Wedding #7, October 7: Calvin & Kenzie


Calvin & Kenzie got married!!!! We were thrilled for them as they came together on this day! As they said their vows and washed each other's feet, it was a beautiful picture of Jesus' love. They both seemed very much present and in the moment! My favorite part was singing a hymn all together at the beginning of the ceremony. I couldn't really sing much of the song because it was so touching to watch & experience the holiness of the moment. God was so present & what a blessing to worship the Lord together for this union. It was obvious how much they love each other. Their reception was a blast. Not only was there a flock of wonderful, godly people (compliments to Cal and Kenzie's character and interests), but those godly people knew how to dance. P.S. check out the link to our groomsmen dance, it was a really fun gift for Kenzie from all of us!







Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weddings!

We have been blessed to have been apart of sooo many of our friends getting married this year! It was been special to attend weddings now that we are married. Who would have thought we would be able to reflect back on our wedding (and vows!) so many times, while rejoicing with our friends who are entering in to the same adventure. From northern california, to wheaton, to central california.....we have been all over the place since we have been married. 7 weddings so far.....1 more to go Dec. 30 when Brendan & Rachel wed. Here they are:


Wedding #1, April 3: Kelly & Tyler Orender


Dave and I got to help out with all the details. I put together the slideshow and it was so much fun to help and be apart of. We loved watching their honest and free love for one another. One of my favorite parts in the wedding was when Kelly walked in with her dad. When she walked in and saw the crowd of people stand for her she started laughing in unbelief and surprise at the reality of what was before it. It was so sweet! Also, I loved that the climbed a tree to jump off the leap of faith together! We love Kelly and Tyler and hope for more times with them in the future! She is a special friend and was my roommate at Mount Hermon! Good times :)


Monday, September 26, 2011

Camping

We love camping, and hope to go on more camping trips!! Here are some highlights of our 3 camping trips thus far (actually I don't think I took pictures of Dave and I's first camping trip in Mount Baldy, so I included going to "camp" at Mount Hermon instead):


1. Camping in San Diego with Graden, Elle, Bri, & us:


Elle & Graden, too cute :)


Monday, August 29, 2011

Visitors!

Oh how we love to see our friends! We have been so lucky to have people come visit us!! However, we got a Guestbook a little late, so we need you all to come back and sign it!! Here are some of the pictures we have of our visitors that have come :) If you haven't visited us yet, we would love for you to come!

C & B and Dave building our planter and cabinet



Our Cousins came for a visit to Universal Studios

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Since April...

Wow, so much has happened these past few months! Here is a quick update since our first post. We hope to be way more consistent now that we have our blog up and running.

APRIL:

-We had all of the Mellis' extended family in town!! It was so fun to have everyone in town as we celebrated so many different occasions. One of those occasions was our SoCal Wedding Reception. We felt so special getting to share in another time of celebration with those of you who live in SoCal.




Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today, the blog begins

Well, after a wonderful and long week of many friends, interviews, home organization and shelf building, lots of cleaning---God is still God, He hasn't changed. My mind feels like mush, but my heart is really happy. Keri and I are looking forward to a short sabbath tonight (or "fika" as they say in Sweden) and the Easter celebration tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who came over, you each are such a reminder of God's creativity and thoughtfulness.

I cannot comprehend Easter. Since childhood it has been tied to egg hunts, pastel colors, chocolate in various forms, a rabbit/flowers, and some churchy symbols trying to compact an immeasurable message into a party favor. It still seems soaked with meaninglessness when I look at these things, and my taste for it's empty calories has died away. If I haven't emotionally connected to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus on a daily basis throughout the year--why am I trying to force it into one day (or even a few). (and are chocolates going to help that?) If Christianity, or any spirituality, is about a moment, if it is about a singular experience, some epic transcendent exchange,--it is not about the one we make with God sometime in our life--it is about the quiet moment when Jesus committed His life to God through death, holding you in Him. I cannot try to desire anything in Jesus without presuming His experience on Him, and through Him on me. I need to stop looking for my own, and let His be mine. What am I waiting for now? Jesus, I rest in You--You accomplish all that You've asked of me. This is so disconnected from tomorrow for me--I do not know how to celebrate it. It was Your moment, and You decided to include me. The ignorance of celebrating this with bunnies is contrasted to how impossible it is to give you my life. There, my friends, is a dichotomy God brings to the human condition--we are saved from a world that doesn't realized the lavish graced God's given--and instead of shouting miracle, we give chocolate candy. When God celebrates our obedience, we only celebrate our pleasures. Oh, God, You've worked the resurrection in me, work the same lavish grace around me--all Your experience is ours. And Easter, make it immediate in our heart.

Here's a list of all the wonderful people who stopped by this week: Brent, Ruth, Te, Nick, Liam, Lauren Brendan, Rachel, Connor, Sherianne, Riley...there may have been more, but those are immediately on my mind.