State Capitol Tour Part 1

It started with a random afternoon free in Sacramento.  Ryan said, “Let’s go see the capitol building.”

And now we’ve toured a few capitols on the west coast and visited a few more on this trip.  We have another couple capitol buildings on the list during this road trip because if we’re in the area, we will at least stop for a capitol selfie.  Can you name these capitols?

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Pacific Northwest Roadtrip Summary

We are now safely back in Sacramento.  Thank you everyone who prayed for our trip, everyone who hosted us, shared meals with us, treated us to meals and more, everyone who gave up their time to visit with us and hear more about our hearts for Australia.  We love and appreciate all of you.IMG_20160228_141131.jpgGod was definitely at work in our relationships and in so much of the trip’s timing.  We celebrated and prayed with people.  We worshipped and hiked.  We enjoyed learning about history and events that happened in places we stopped along the way.  We ate and visited, shared stories and made memories.  IMG_20160304_160945Ryan and I drove over 2000 miles.  We ate countless delicious calories.  We saw our support needs to reach 50% go from $1800 a month down to $450 a month.  We spent less than $100 on car repairs.  We experienced about 5 minutes of snow falling and at least a couple inches of rain although Ryan estimates at one point we were just shy of Noah’s flood.  We saw 2 state capitols and visited 5 museums.IMG_20160303_120724Please keep praying for us as we now reorganize for the next two months of California based travels and support raising.  Please pray for our car and the wisdom to know what to invest in and what to just keep driving through.  And please continue to pray that God provides above and beyond our 50% support goal by the end of March.

Hiking and Visiting

This week we are on our way back to Sacramento but were taking advantage of the good weather.  It’s been fun to visit with friends, get outside, do some hiking and see parts of the country that are somewhat new for me and entirely new to Ryan.IMG_20160302_144301.jpgThis is taken near the top of Badger Mountain in the Tri-Cities area of Washington, which we hiked with a friend of mine who worked with me in Papua New Guinea.  We got to spend some time with her fun family, husband and new baby but we also really enjoyed getting out and hiking.  It’s amazing to think that the area this rock overlooks used to be filled with water before the water carved it’s way through the mountain range and made it’s own little canyon.  Ryan and I drove along the Columbia River through that little gorge on our way out of Washington into Oregon.  It was a beautiful hike and a beautiful drive.IMG_3088Then today we enjoyed Klamath Falls in southern Oregon.  It wasn’t sunny but it was warm enough for a hike and a picnic on Moore Mountain.  We had fun visiting with friends of mine from Santa Barbara and as I type everyone else is still visiting and playing Super Mario.  We had a great day outside and also visited the Klamath Falls museum which boasts an exhibit about the Japanese Balloon Bombs.  It’s worth reading about this interesting and sad part of our history.

Tomorrow we’re headed to our last stop in Grass Valley and then it’s back to Sacramento for us.  We’re super encouraged about the strides we’ve made on this trip, especially the relationships that we’ve built, strengthened and renewed.  Good food and a little hiking seem to go a long way.

Anniversary in Astoria

Yesterday Ryan surprised me with more than just a trip to the Washington State Capitol.  You can see that picture if you follow me on Instagram (joycandee).  He warned me that it was a bit of a drive and I was slightly worried after we spent some time rambling around Aberdeen, driving by Kurt Cobain’s childhood home and the bridge where Kurt Cobain drew a lot of his musical inspiration from.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that but Aberdeen was definitely more of a treat for Ryan.IMG_20160223_073244~2However, once I figured out that he had booked a place in Astoria, I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful drive and even laughed as we got to sing along to a little Cindy Lauper that was serendipitously on the radio.IMG_20160223_084908For those of you not familiar, Astoria is a little town on the Oregon coasts where the Goonies was set and filmed.  It also boasts the location where Clark Gable began his acting career and also a few places where outdoor scenes from Kindergarten Cop were shot.  I’m sure there are a few other noteworthy things but since I really shamelessly love The Goonies, this was just a fun place to be if only for one night.IMG_20160222_170247We drove by some of the places you can see from the movie.  However, the Goonie house is privately owned and tucked away on a hillside that is currently closed to traffic.  But we still got to see the jail and walked by the intersection that is highlighted during the police chase in the opening credits of the film.  Recognize the car?  That’s the one (if not the actual car then the same style) the Fratelli brothers were driving.IMG_20160222_170915~2As much as I enjoy the Goonies, the highlight of the day was time with my husband in the beautiful, romantic hotel.  He chose very well.  We enjoyed the amazing views, the welcome complete with a wine and cheese bar, the relaxing sounds of the Columbia River, a bubble bath including complementary champagne, fluffy white bathrobes and a cozy fire.  We just stayed in, ordered pizza (after all it was Ryan’s anniversary too) and played games all evening.IMG_20160222_173442~2This beautiful view is what we woke up to.  I’m so blessed by my husband who took the time to plan something special even in our busy season of travel, moving towards Australia and support raising.  We’ve known each other 3 years, been married 2 years and I’m excited to see where the future takes us.

Visiting Nexus Portland

Today Ryan and I had the privilege of visiting Nexus Portland, a Calvary Nexus church plant.  It was really nice to be able to visit and worship together with a church that we’ve heard so much about and with people we’ve been praying for.  Ryan was able to reconnect with people he’s known and I was able to meet people who I feel like I already know.  I got caught up in visiting and sharing with everyone so I forgot to take a picture but this screen shot from the Nexus Portland website will have to suffice.Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 4.45.59 PMRyan and I were also able to share about Australia and were prayed for multiple times during the morning.  One of my favorite things about being the body of Christ is being able to worship together and feel connected with very little background or introduction required.  This is our Christian community.  We’re thankful for this church and their heart for Portland.  We look forward to seeing how God continues to work and grow His Kingdom in the neighborhoods Nexus Portland is reaching.

Let’s do the Numbers- Support Update

We are amazingly blessed with many wonderful supporters who have already given, joining our support team.  In just a few short months we have reached our one-time needs and are working towards fulfilling our monthly needs.  We are so committed to this that it is currently our full-time job.australian moneyHowever we’ve come to our first big deadline.  By mid-March Ryan and I need 50% of our monthly support pledged.  This will enable us to buy tickets to the July 2016 training.  If we don’t reach this goal, we will need to wait for the training in January 2017.  Since we are praying and hoping to be in Australia by fall of this year, we obviously would rather not push back this necessary training.

So what do we need to make this happen?  As of this morning we need $1524 a month in pledges to reach our mid-March deadline.  This seems like a big number but we know that a little goes a long way.  Although the numbers break down to about 15 people giving $100 a month, we recognize that $100 is a lot of money for most people looking at their monthly budget.  Maybe for you a more realistic number is $20 a month and about 77 people at $20 a month can enable Ryan and I to attend the July training.  It’s easy to give by contacting MTW (Mission to the World) or using their online giving site: donations.mtw.org.

Please spread the word.  If you’re praying about giving or already giving, this is also a great time to advocate for us.  Talk about Australia and encourage others to find out about our ministry (Why Australia?) and give.

Please pray.  Please pray for God to enable churches and individuals to make room in their budgets for us.  Please pray for us to be bold and have wisdom when asking for support.  Please pray that we would above all else honor God and relationships during this process.  And finally please be praying how you can support us.  Thank you for helping us get to Australia!

Traveling- Married and Single

This morning Ryan and I took a walk in an area I probably wouldn’t have explored on my own.  It was a lovely beginning to our work day.  And a needed reminder how much I truly love and am thankful for this man.IMG_20160217_091216~2.jpgThe 8-ish hour drive yesterday gave us lots of time to be thankful for each other as well as become frustrated even to the point of anger.  Of course, we don’t like being angry with each other but it happens.

When I was single road trips were lonely.  However, I was able to stop when I needed to stop, eat when and where I wanted to eat, listen to whatever I felt like and when I got lost, the only person I had to blame was myself.

But now almost every decision requires discussion and it’s very obvious that Ryan and I think differently, pack differently, plan differently and give directions differently.  But at least we’re doing it together…right.  Some moments I need a bit of coaxing to believe this.

As a single I idealized marriage in many ways but I’m thankful for many friends who continually gave me a reality check that either choice we make comes with positives as well as negatives.  When I’m not angry and being truly honest with myself, I would not give up my marriage with Ryan for anything.  I am in love with this amazing man who loves me, inspires me and has given us a beautiful vision for life and ministry.  I’m thankful for the many reminders that the partnership and life we have together is worth working through the challenges.