Friday, November 27, 2015

Thank you.

It's that time of year. I know all of you have been waiting patiently for the list of 100 things I am thankful for. I don't want to disappoint you (don't worry I'm in therapy to get over that burden) so here is the list in all of it's thankful glory.


  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. Community
  4. Teaching
  5. Outdoors
  6. Practice dates
  7. Travel
  8. Life's journey
  9. My car, the Lone Ranger
  10. Teaching Credentials
  11. Thanksgiving
  12. Restoration
  13. Hope
  14. Grace
  15. Beans
  16. Veggies
  17. Fruit
  18. Baking
  19. Routine
  20. Adventures
  21. Good convos
  22. Warm fires
  23. Mountains
  24. Snow
  25. Running
  26. Books
  27. Photography
  28. Creativity with friends
  29. Animals
  30. Cuddling
  31. Touch
  32. Music
  33. My students
  34. *Sparks*
  35. Sunshine
  36. Beaches
  37. Car Rides
  38. Road Trips
  39. Colours
  40. Big salads
  41. IKEA
  42. Flowers
  43. Cafe talks
  44. Scarves
  45. Starry Night by Van Gogh
  46. Art
  47. Outer space
  48. Quiet moments
  49. My bed
  50. Warm feather duvets
  51. Photo albums
  52. History
  53. Potential
  54. Church family
  55. Getaways
  56. Guzman's
  57. Weig's 
  58. Cats that are friendly
  59. Creativity
  60. Warm drinks
  61. Skype
  62. SMS
  63. Reunions
  64. Peace
  65. Understanding
  66. Forgiving
  67. Closure
  68. Distractions
  69. Passion 
  70. Beauty
  71. Trees
  72. Sleeping outside
  73. Hobo stew
  74. Dreams
  75. Unknown
  76. God
  77. Pizza
  78. Love
  79. Marriage mentors
  80. Mentors
  81. Deep soul conversations
  82. Flirting
  83. Pacific Union College
  84. Presenting
  85. For my time in Australia
  86. Connections
  87. Long boarding
  88. Movie Marathons
  89. Ginger
  90. Garlic
  91. Herbs
  92. Physical therapists
  93. Kinesio tape 
  94. Stretchy pants
  95. contacts/glasses
  96. Lotion
  97. Heaters
  98. Teaching students about the world
  99. Teaching students about God
  100. Having a relationship with God


This list is in no particular order. It's only a snapshot of my thank yous. Next time we are together let's not leave until we have a list, it's a good end to a conversation. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

The light at the end of this tunnel

I am so close to the finish line of my current "teacher summer camp". It is almost painful how close I am. Yet. . . I am still so far away. I need to study my heart out tonight so I can pas my test in the morning. Please, Jesus, let me pass!

I have two more Bible tests and one Math test.

I feel that once I am done with all these horrid little tests I will be a million times lighter and a million times free-er.

I studied all yesterday. I took two tests and have started studying for the next Bible one. Tomorrow is the Math one . . . oy. Math. Not my favorite but tomorrow, tomorrow he's mine! I will conquer him once and for all!

When I am finished you bet your bottom dollar I'll let you know. There will be a party of Biblical proportions. Amen.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Noises

The noise is crashing in the room. It oozes from the cracks in the door.
I can hear the yells, cries and shouts from outside.
Praise God I am inside where I am safe.
Safe until 12:30 when the constant noise comesNo back in.

These days are going fast, thank God.
They are just not as much of what they used to be.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Huntington Beach, Vans Surfing US Open






I went to the beach yesterday. I had been wanting to go for a long time. A LOONG time. It was great because I looked up surfing competitions going on this summer and found out that the Vans Surfing US Open was starting this last weekend. So obviously I went! To make things even more exciting we got up really early to get a head start and score a sweet parking spot. It all paid off. We were able to get to Huntington Beach in an hour and found a great spot by the beach entrance. Winner!


While my friend went biking I headed over to the grandstand and pier to watch the competition. I don't know much about surfing or competing but I love it none the less. It only fueled my passion to surf and soak up the salt water.

It was only the beginning of the men's trials that I saw but it was gnarly all the same. I was a nerd and even bought a sweater from the Vans store. Ha! I developed several more freckles during the day and my hair, sigh, was magical. Seriously, I love what the ocean does to my skin and hair. For those reasons alone I would live on the ocean. The curls, the texture, the taste. Amazing.

Here are a few things that I took pictures of from the day:



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The details.

I get lost in tiny details. Please don't ask for a tiny detailed play by play. It's too much for my brain to plan things out so finite. This is the burden I find in planning out lesson plans. In my classroom I have my own way of lesson plans that I can read. I don't need to put a script in them or a play by play of what will happen next. I'm good enough to figure things out as I go. Because of my background in improv and a natural ability to read the audience I can see if things are going well and change it in a moment. Also my own personal struggle is that I am also a principal and so I don't always take time to fully write out my lesson plans but I know what I am doing for the most part. Blech.
Anyway, all of this is coming about because I am in a class that is requiring me to write out full lesson plans. No thanks. It's one of the reasons I avoided the Education Department all together.


Over all I'm not sure I can make it much longer this summer. I am filled to the brim with what will soon become useless knowledge unless I can get home and put it to use. I'm even to the point where I don't want to even be a teacher any more because all I can see is loads of work that I'll never get done. If this were the end of the year I wouldn't sign up for another. I am so over it. I need a break.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Teacher Summer Camp

I'm at La Sierra these days. I hate not knowing where anything is. I find it frustrating trying to understand the way things are run at a new school. I just got used to things at PUC. I think the last two days I've just wandered around looking for classrooms, offices, study locations, friends, important people and parking places. Mainly I feel like I just wander. In case you have been on campus the last three days don't be alarmed by the lady who looks perpetually lost. I'll finally figure out where everything is by next Thursday. Until then just point me in the direction of the Communication office cause that's where my all time favorite teacher from Southern now works! Lynn Caldwell was THE best teacher EVER. EVER. EVER. She'll be around next week and I can't wait to visit.


From here

Monday, July 13, 2015

Safe People

A while back I asked a friend for some good book titles. One of the ones was Safe People by Henry Cloud. I devoured the book and took lots of notes and underlined lots of quotes. I thought I'd immortalize them in the interwebs for the rest of my life. 

Here are a few of them. (I do recommend the book!)


"Safe people, for example, admit their weaknesses. They are humble. And they prove their trustworthiness  over time." Pg28

We grow in part by confessing our faults and weaknesses to each other (James 516; Ecclesiastes 410)

All close relationships hurt, because no perfect people live on the earth. 31

Love, however, depends in part on our ability to own and share our faults. The one who is forgiven much, loves much (Luke 7:47) 36

In a relationship, honesty is bedrock foundation of a safe relationship. 37

We were created for intimacy, to connect with someone with heart, soul, mind. Intimacy occurs and we are open, vulnerable, and honest, for these qualities help us to be close to each other. 41

Both bring their lives, loves, joy, and sorrows to the connection. Each brings her needs- yet has a deep interest in the life of the other person. 44

Empathy is not easy. It involves letting go of your opinion and what you're needing in the relationship so that you can enter the world of the other person, it's only for brief time. 44

It's a connection involves two people trusting, opening up, and being honest with each other. 46

Safe relationships are not just about trust, support, and sharing. They are also about truth, righteousness, and honesty. 49

Forgiveness is the glue of love, making it possible for love to do what it does best to bare all things believe all things hopes all things insure all things 50

Safe people. They guard your trust as if it were money in the bank. They are stable and reliable in their emotional commitment. 55

Love is abiding, timeless, and then changing, just like its author. Find people who love you, and love you well over time, like he does: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever Hebrews 13:8 56

#8 Harry!!!!! I recognize that one!!!! 56

Safety breeds safety. And safe people make us better people for being around them. 57

Deciding whether a relationship is good for you will take time and some long, hard, coldly objective analysis. 58

How does our self-sufficiency ruin safety? Primarily by preventing us from experiencing our impoverishment. People who "have it together "I'm not hungry, thirsty, for others. They do not feel a lack within when they're alone or in distress. They do not connect with other people, because they do not experience any need for it. 67

Make friends with your needs. Welcome them. They are a gift from God, designed to draw you into relationship with him and with his safe people. Your needs are the cure to the sense of self sufficiency. 67

In a sense matters of the heart are mostly subjective and unconscious, and that's not bad. Soul connections should not always be made on a rational basis. What a boring life that would be! The unconscious part of ourselves has a wisdom of it's own, and in some ways our heart knows what it wants and needs. That is valid. 95

Safe relationship:
1 draws us closer to God
2 draws us closer to others
3 helps us become the real person God created us to be.
143

We need people in our life who will be honest with us, telling us where we are wrong and where we need to change. We need friends that walk according to the truth and live at the principles of God with us. This does not mean that they are not accepting, but it means that they in their expectancy of us they are honest about our faults without condemning us. 146

What many Christians do not understand is that relating to each other is a spiritual activity. 148

And yet God created you to long for attachment, to desire to matter to someone and to "hunger and thirst" for relationship. He made you that way, so that you could know when to seek comfort and connect. 174



Sunday, July 12, 2015

To do:

Sometimes in life I need to distract my mind from things. So to do that I recently decided to make a list of things to do the next time I visit Collegedale/Chattanooga.

  1. Spend unreasonable amounts of time and money at the Samaritan Center
  2. Buy cookies from Piece of Cake Bakery
  3. Eat large quantities of Chinese food from China Kitchen
  4. Buy a vegan pizza from that great place on the corner of Four Corners
  5. Wander around the Biology Trail
  6. Pay my respects to Dr Beitz
  7. Have an Earth Day/Birthday picnic (even if it’s not April 22)
  8. Gossip and snub all the changes to campus
  9. Visit Maria & Dean Sager (I tried calling him John a couple times but it was too weird) and ask him to cook something amazing while Maria gives me wisdom
  10. Visit the Livanos family
  11. Capture the Little Debbie factory smell in a bottle (but not on a burned day)



What else should I do? Any ideas?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Vegemite

When I was in OZ a couple months ago I bought some Vegemite and Marmite to bring home. I was told by my friend that I should eat a little bit on my toast everyday for a week and then I'd like it. So. . .. I've decided the first week after school I'm going to try it. I'll eat Vegemite every single day on toast for breaky for one week. We'll see if I like it. I'm encouraged by these two clips. Partly because apparently it's a fad now in America, partly because if I do it right I should love the stuff, right?



Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday all day.

This, this was my day today.




Please Jesus, make tomorrow better. Or if you could just make it so I can skip ahead to June 5 that would be great.

Here are the lyrics :)

Brand New Day
Some kind of magic
Happens late at night
When the moon smiles down at me
And bathes me in its light

I fell asleep beneath you
In the tall blades of grass
When I woke the world was new
I never had to ask

It's a brand new day
The sun is shining
It's a brand new day
For the first time in such a long long time
I know, I'll be ok

Most kind of stories
Save the best part for last
And most stories have a hero who finds
You make your past your past
Yeah you make your past your past

It's a brand new day
The sun is shining
It's a brand new day
For the first time in such a long long time
I know, I'll be ok

This cycle never ends
You gotta fall in order to mend

It's a brand new day
It's a brand new day
For the first time in such a long long time
I know, I'll be ok

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Turns in Life

These last few weeks have been some serious prayer time. I haven't spent time like this with God in a long while. I didn't plan on needing this time alone with Him but I'm glad now that I did. Life doesn't always go as we plan. It has turns that are scary, sad and waaaaay crazy fun. I haven't been broken by this last turn, more along the lines of curious as to what the next turn in life will bring. The last turn did however bring me back to God to talk and ask hard questions.

Last week I left work early and would go for a run and sit in the sun and have my conversations with God. What did I come away with? I'm not sure myself except that I am at peace (most of the time, I'm human after all). I was reminded that I need to refocus on my mission, making disciples for Christ. If in all the twists and turns that life brings I can focus on what He has asked me to do, make disciples, then nothing will shake me. When people come and go in my life, which they will, if I am always looking to Him and working on what he has called me to do then I will always be okay.

I wonder that if before this last turn in life I had been focused on the small, in comparison to the mission, insignificant things. Not that the people or the conversations were bad or wrong, they were just becoming too big in my head. This turn in life was so I could refocus and maybe learn all of this?

Sometimes with this journey of life I confuse myself. I'm good at talking circles. I'm good at making hope grow when I wasn't really given any. That's where remembering my job that I was called to helps. When there is so much I don't know or so much that I want, I have found it best to focus on what I do know. That I am loved by God, made by God and the last thing He asked for me to do before He left this earth was to go and make disciples of all people. So, working with what I do know I'm staying busy. I'm connecting with God in my serious prayer time.

I'm also praying that my next turn in life will be another of the waaaaay crazy fun ones.

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."
Matthew 7:7,8

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Positive Distraction

I'm needing some distraction in my life. So I'm writing a list of things I am thankful for. Here it is in all it's glory:

1.       Work
2.       Friends
3.       Good adventures
4.       God
5.       Forgiveness
6.       Spring
7.       Teacher Summer Camp
8.       Changing my room around
9.       Sunlight through the window
10.   Reading time at school
11.   Warm sunny recess
12.   Sleeping in
13.   My IKEA feather duvet
14.   Bright colors
15.   Puppies
16.   New markers
17.   Coloring pages
18.   Art class
19.   A good school day
20.   A big salad
21.   Travel
22.   Airplane rides
23.   Kips
24.   Other languages
25.   Mentor friends
26.   Distraction
27.   Mangos fresh
28.   Guavas fresh
29.   Baking
30.   Cookies
31.   Mail
32.   Packages
33.   Getting packages
34.   Cakes
35.   Seeing God work
36.   A good book
37.   Kendra, my roommate
38.   Fro-Yo friend, Andrea
39.   Rachel
40.   Married couples who are my good friends
41.   Love
42.   Mountains
43.   Seas
44.   Oceans
45.   Salt water
46.   Ocean air mixed with my hair
47.   Freckles
48.   Cats
49.   Personal contact
50.   Snow
51.   Beaches
52.   Surfing
53.   Funny jokes
54.   Improv friends
55.   Someone who challenges me
56.   Running
57.   An open road to run on
58.   The early morning
59.   Sunrise
60.   Fog
61.   Sunsets
62.   Road trips
63.   Marathons
64.   Wombats
65.   Waterfalls
66.   New people
67.   Old friends
68.   Strechy pants
69.   Dates
70.   Nice dresses
71.   Surprises (good kind)
72.   Parties
73.   Apple products
74.   Talking all night
75.   Good solid conversations
76.   Lists of thankful things
77.   Hope
78.   Chi
79.   Decafe coffee in the morning
80.   Fresh roasted coffee mixed with fresh milk from the cow
81.   Dogs
82.   Memories
83.   The journey of life
84.   Plants
85.   New growth
86.   Conversations with God
87.   Sunshine on my face
88.   Tan lines
89.   Field trips
90.   Day trips of adventure
91.   Sleeping outside
92.   Waking up and seeing stars
93.   Cool night air on my face
94.   Photography
95.   Pictures
96.   My parents
97.   Calling my parents at all hours and having them answer
98.   Light bulbs going off in kids
99.   Singing
100.   Water
101.   Being crazy
102.   Learning how to live
103.   Learning how to grow up
104.   Friends who live close
105.   Chelche
106.   Francis Chan books
107.   New toys
108.   A Thousand Wishes perfume and lotion
109.   New luggage
110.   Swimsuits
111.   Birthdays
112.   Friday
113.   Sabbath
114.   Sabbath
115.   Sabbath
116.   Sabbath
117.   Missions
118.   Student Missionaries
119.   Swimming
120.   Boundaries
121.   Myers-Briggs
122.   Me
123.   Curly hair
124.   Warm summer nights
125.   Cold mornings
126.   Fires
127.   Rugging up
128.   Letting go
129.   Moving on
130.   Thriving
131.   Thrift store finds
132.   Long drives
133.   Cheap gas
134.   Holding hands
135.   Giggles
136.   Bigger pictures

137.   My calling

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Two and thirty.


So far I am really liking this year of life. Last night I ate supper with the group of people who love me the most in all of Oakhurst. If I needed to describe the evening I would describe it as a love bomb. For those of you who don't know what a love bomb is (I'm guessing that's most of you) it is a situation where you are surrounded by people who are doing nothing but loving you. There is no agenda other than loving on people. So I'd say it was the best love bomb I've had in a long, long while. 

In the last 6 months of my life I have come to realize that I am incredibly blessed by the people here in Oakhurst who are actively in my life. This is a rare thing, to find so many people I can be me with and still be loved. I have found that when exciting things happen in my life these people rally around me and let me talk and talk and talk and talk and talk about it. They ask me questions and check in with me to hear more exciting things. When I am uncertain about a next step or situation it's these very people I go to to talk it out with and hear their thoughts. They give me their thoughts and let me use them as I see fit, because they trust me and know me and love me. And when the bumps in the road come, because they always do, they search for me and sit with me. They let me cry or babble, allowing me to be fully present in whatever emotion is there.

For these people I am thankful. Because of these people I am full of love and joy, last night they filled my love cup full. Thank you.


                                    These are the people (minus a few who were still working)                                      

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Adventures Down Under

For spring break last month I had a grad adventure. After almost three years of snoozing on the shelf I dusted off my poor, lonely passport and put it to good use. I flew down to Australia, the country and the continent.

I just spent my holiday in Australia. Wowzers. I never thought I'd say that! In fact Australia wasn't even on my list of place I wanted to visit, simply because I never really had any good friends to visit and it is sooooooo far from any other country. In fact it wasn't even on my list of places I didn't want to visit. It was just so far away from my mind! Ha, it's funny how life goes sometimes.

Here's how it happened:
Over Christmas a friend from my Camp Wawona days asked me to help one of her Australian friends out and show him around Yosemite for a day, to which I did my best at with the time we had. It turned out to be a quick trip from the train station in FresNO to Mariposa, the big trees (which are my absolute favorite and I love to share) to my house and back to the train station the next morning. Since I showed him around Yosemite and connected him with heaps of people in all the other places he was going he in turn offered me the same kindness if I ever came to Australia. So what other option did I have than to visit Australia? I think in the long run I might have gotten the better end of the deal as I only could show him around California for 9 hours and he showed me around Australia for 9 days. . .

It was 9 days of adventures as only we could have. Full of the open road, kangaroos, wombats, beaches and mountains. It was good. Here are a smorgasborg of pictures to tantalize your eyes with.
The Sydney Opera House
Aboriginal hand prints on a cave wall. A great find because even the Australian had never been there! 

The Yellow Deli in Katoomba, NSW. Be careful because they like to love bomb and you'll never be the same again!

Katoomba Falls, Blue Mountains. This place is beautiful and one of my favorite places. I could go back here.

Apparently I am quite the photographer because I was able to capture Martin's elusive smile that hasn't been seen in many a years. 

The Three Sisters, Katoomba. Seriously, I loved it here.
Driving on the other side of the road, it takes some getting used to!

Best Saturday night in a long time! We saw As You Like It at the Sydney Opera House!

I can drive on the other side of the road, chew gum, and take a selfie all while Martin slept. Skilz. 

Look! A wild kangaroo!

The ocean and my hair are goood friends.

IT'S A WOMBAT!! HE LOVES ME!!!

I swapped secrets with a wallaby. 

Camels. I rode a camel. Dreams came true.

CAN I KEEP HIM???!! PLEASE!!!

Sunset in Katoomba.
A sunset in Australia always means a sunrise for today. Time travel is funny like that.

If you ever go to Australia let me know I'll tell you all the good places to go!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New Pet

I think I'm going to get a camel.
I'll buy it and love it and take good care of it.
I'll visit it frequently and bring it treats.
Perhaps I'll get the friendly pair.

Everyone needs a camel.

I am now taking name suggestions.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Commitment

I found this video last night. It is from Christmas 1993. A real gem of a find. I was 10 years old and it was the year all my grandparents were in one place for the holidays. I love listening to my Papa John and Damama's genteel Southerner drawl. It's so smooth and warm. Especially my Papa John's voice. What I wouldn't give to hear that voice again. To tell him the stories of my adventures and my dreams. I hope they would be proud of me.

Not only did I watch footage of my beautiful grandparents, parents and (squeaky big) brother but I also was able to watch little 10 year old Sonya make what might be my first real public commitment to God, my baptism. Knowing what I know now about myself I find it a little bit, scratch that, I find it really funny how terrified I am. My stage presence maybe was a gift from God that came from baptism? It must be because I look like I am about to vomit everywhere. It might not help that I am wearing what appears to be the tapestries or a couch.

The important part is I remember giving my life that day to God. I remember the seriousness of the choice (hence the serious vomit expression). I remember being proud that all of my family was there and that Jesus and I shared a fake birthday together (December 25). I remember being excited that this was it, I was going to live the life of following my new best friend.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

c. 1850 Christmas Eve. London, England

Dearest Mother,

I have just recently returned from London. I was there in the month of December on the night of Christmas Eve. It was quite a splendid evening. Shall I begin to tell you about my adventure of arriving in London?

I was to meet my two dear friends from the countryside at the eve of sunset. We had plans to meet and share in the tickets to enter into London together, I had to meet them because they had in their possession my ticket. With me dressed in my finest, I took the coach through town to arrive promptly at our prearranged time. However due to the congestion of carriages and other pedestrians my dearest friends were late. When I arrived at the meeting location and they were not there I decided to take matters into my own hands. You, Mother, know me well enough to know that I was bound to find an adventure no matter the circumstances. So when I saw a back door open into London, well Mother, I took it. I simply decided to act as if I knew what I was doing and walk in. This was the best idea I have had yet. I was thrown into a behind the scenes look at London, England. I found myself standing with a street performer behind the walls of the stages as he was between acts. He did not seem to think anything was amiss by my presence so he struck up a conversation with me. As I take pride in being able to blend in, I carried the conversation as far as I could before he had to return to the stage. Before he left I asked for directions to the other side of the wallso that I might return to the city (or arrive for the first time). Equipped with the proper directions in my head I turned and made haste to the city that awaited me!

Passing through the side door into London was perhaps the best way to enter in. I silently passed through the doors and became a Londoner in a matter of moments. With at least a half of an hour to myself before my friends arrived I had plenty of time to walk the stores and see the sights. I allowed myself to roam and think about many things, mainly about how beautiful everything was and how lovely my new dressed looked a midst all the splendor of the evening.

Once my friends arrived we took to the streets in search of the finest fare money could buy. I had a lovely mushroom and bread and something else that I do not seem to remember, I do however recall that it tasted scrumptious.

As the evening wore on we came upon Mr. Dickens and his butler outside of his house. It was quite interesting meeting the butler as he was behaving quite silly with his master being so near. Mr. Dickens seemed to be a kind man but he did not give much room to interpret his actions as he visited with his other friends who passed by the way.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the evening mother was when I met Mr. Sherlock Holmes. I was standing near the docks (yes, I know that is not a place a respectable lady should be) when he and Mr. Watson walked right past. Do you know what I said? I said, "Sherlock?" to which he stopped, turned to me and said, "Yes?" and much to my horror I replied, "Thank you". Oh dear, why on earth would I say that? It is as if I was not even thinking. It would have been a proper response had he solved a crime for me or even if he had picked up my tissue but he has done nither of those things. He behaved himself quite like a gentleman would and he tried to put me at ease, which is never an easy task. I did indeed run into him again later on and he was kind enough to remind me that I had thanked him already and need not do it again.

Before the evening was over I was able to pose for a few deguiero types. I think they turned out quite unreal, if I do say so myself.

All in all it was a lovely evening. I shall hope to return in the following years to enjoy another stroll around London on Christmas Eve. Perhaps you might be able to join me? I shall wait for your reply.

Much love,
Your daughter,
Sonya