Tuesday, August 24, 2010

.#19 - international adventure.

one of my 30 before 30 was to have my next international adventure booked. well, i've booked not 1, not 2, but THREE international adventures in the last few months. looks like i undershot that one :) brace yourself for the itinerary de Bree for the next 8 months of my life. drumroll please...

late october (a.k.a. my birthday) - about 30 of us are going on a 3 night CRUISE TO MEXICO. i realize it's not all that international but i do believe it qualifies because you need a passport, right? i will blog more about this later because it serves a dual purpose in also being my epic 30th birthday celebration.

early november (a.k.a. the week after the cruise) - my awesome job is sending me to ALBANIA and ROMANIA. really? who am i? sometimes i wonder :) mostly i wonder because if i'm honest, i likely couldn't pick out those places on a map - so for your benefit and mine, a little geography refresher...

i get to go connect with some pastors in albania about sending a team this summer and i get to go meet with 2 new ministries in romania to talk about partnering with them this summer (one that rocks babies who've not had any physical touch and another that works with romanian street teenagers - amazing stuff). this trip is such an unknown for me, but i can't tell you how excited i am about it, it gets me pumped just typing this right now. i can't wait to tell the tales of HIS work there. and as an added bonus, i get to go to HOLLAND to visit my family on the way home - pure bliss!!!

early april (a.k.a. too far away) - 4 other friends and i found an offer we couldn't turn down - cheap flights to NEW ZEALAND with a 2 day teaser stop over in AUSTRALIA!!!!! this is kind of a dream for me and has been for a while, so we're pretty dog gone excited about this one. it'll be a 2 week trip over all and from what we've decided should involve alot of surfing (for the guys) and beach hangin' (for the girls), hiking, boating, sight seeing and making connections with some friends of friends over there. i am BEYOND EXCITED about this adventure.

one more thing (in 3 parts) off the list :) i'm bummed to tell you that i don't think yosemite, oregon/idaho or surfing are gonna happen, but i'm still determined to try my best. stay tuned...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

.on loss.

this week we lost a dear friend. a friend who was both sweet and sassy. a friend who fought a more than 10-year classy fight with a brain tumor. Claire Carey is with Jesus and while there's clearly a part of me that's saddened over the loss of a friend, there's part of me that's envious of where she is right now - the songs she's singing that have been sung for thousands of years, the dancing she's doing without needing any help, the talking she's doing without delay and without the struggle it's been to tell her brain to tell her mouth what to speak, but mostly the sweet interaction she's having with our gracious God who gave her to us, but now has called her home to Himself.

there is a sense of loss for those of us left behind. those of us who knew her only peripherally, those of us who got to spend time with her weekly at home group and those of us who were in her daily, even hourly life. it's for those that my heart hurts most. for her husband, her best friends, her family, her caretakers the last few years. there's no worse pain.

but there's something that happens when we lose someone.

we give ourselves permission to grieve - to cry, to pray, to talk about things we wouldn't normally, to drop everything else to be community for each other.
and there's something about this that i think is so healthy, so right.

after our home group spending time together last night doing just those things, i went home feeling somewhat relieved, feeling more peaceful, feeling more raw but simultaneously more put together than i did when i got there. why? because we need that. and we need that more often than just when there is loss. we need that regularly. we were meant to be known. so why do we only use tragedy as an excuse to cry, be honest, drop all other things to be family? my resolve is to do this more often... to be family for those He's put in my life and to be real and give others permission to do the same whether times are good or bad.

Claire Carey, thanks for trusting that God is good despite your inability to understand your circumstances and thanks for using your life as a testimony of that. and thanks for making us family this week. we will miss you here, but will see you there when He calls us home.