There came a point where I thought I had it together. I had figured it out. I could move on with life. I had conquered the hurt. I wouldn't need to choose to be happy every day. I just would be. I could focus on others and their hurt. I was over my own problems.

And yes. I have to move on. I have to focus on others. I have to keep it together.

But no. I haven't conquered the hurt. I haven't figured it out. I have to choose to be happy every day.

Because it still hurts. I still get certain sensations in my gut that make me want to puke. They won't leave if I ask them, or if I focus on good things all day, or if I read my Bible, or if I pray, or if I make myself useful, or if I give my compassion to others. They're always there. And they'll be there for a long time.

But at the end of the day, if I can remember that the hurt is not the biggest thing out there, then I will have conquered it. It'll still be there, but a big hurt looks less intimidating when you bring in a bigger God and bigger love.


"The deepest truth about you is not that you are a fallen human being. That's true, but it's not the deepest truth. The deepest truth about you is that you are made in the image of God and that image has not been exploded and blown up, or vaporized. The image is still there, but it is fractured and fragmented." -Rob Whittaker


The other day I was sitting there thinking and sort of absently i realized that it'd been quite the year. I could barely remember last Christmas.

Lots of brain squishing and I remembered that I was still working at that small town coffee shop with Bailey and Steph. I still thought about nothing but China. I was pointlessly taking a couple classes. My family still lived on Starry Road. The church plant was a new thing. And...my world was pretty small.

I think 2010 started more in December for me. December 17 actually. The day Jesus took Mei Mei to heaven.

From there things went...uuuh...not downhill so much. Maybe you could say from there I started growing up. Or my world started broadening. Or I started learning things. Figuring out who I was. Falling in love with Jesus. One of those options, but I definitely wouldn't choose 'downhill.'

It looks like downhill though. Apart from the England bit.

I managed a cafe for a couple months. Never doing that again, it sucked.

Took a train in England. Lifelong dream of mine fulfilled right there.

Made friends I'll always love and may never see again.

I learned that contentment isn't so much being happy with whatcha got, but making happiness out of whatcha got.

Ania. (Ania learned to spell her name and just asked me to type it.)

I got addicted to Lost, the Office, 24, and Psych. Not all at the same time.

Figured out that where I am is where God wants me and there's only so much I can do to grow myself by myself. And the same goes for other people. Where God has them is where He wants them and I'm just supposed be the loyal friend and love them.

I moved out. And yes all the books came with me. I have a feeling that until I have a house house that's like...permanent...with a husband to go with it and everything...that the books might have to migrate back to the Family's place.

Shopping and cooking are so not my thing. I'd like to change that.

I got lost in Amsterdam at midnight with two friends. It was quite the experience. I probably would have liked it if I hadn't been tired and crabby.

Pretended I was a MK in france for 10 days. I'd like to go back and pretend it again someday. I miss that family.

Held my 30 rose bouquet and the bride's even bigger bouquet during an hour long ceremony. I was sore afterwards. Next time I'm maid of honor I'm lifting weights beforehand. It was worth it though. 

The father moved out. And I learned that I can say honestly hard crap to someone in a nice way if I need too. Didn't know I even had that ability.

Enter best friend Amanda. My life would be a mess without her.

The redbox has seen the face of Nicole, Dustin, and I far too much. Mostly because we aren't good at decisions.

Got fired. (unjustly in my opinion...and pretty much everyone else's), unemployment, job searching...and now...nannying and cafeing.

Maui. Oh joy. It looked like the post cards.

There's more but at the moment I can't think of it. And reading any more would get boring for all you folks inside the computer.

In the end...it was the worst year of my life. But considering that I'm still alive and a totally different person (in good ways i think) because of it, I really wouldn't trade it for anything. Picturing who I would be if life had simply continued in a straight forward boring way is not exactly pretty.


 Avery has a family now...

 So now Shane (Zhang Chunhai) holds the title of "my China baby" 

he lives in Samaratin's House, will turn two on February 17, and has complex heart problems including pulmonary arterial hypertension and ventricular vectal defect