Thursday, January 22, 2009

New blog address

Hey guys. I don't really have a better explanation for why, but I've decided to change my blog address. New year. Clean slate. Please go to my new blog address for any updates! Thanks!

Click here for my new blog

Monday, September 1, 2008

Israel anyone?

Hello friends and family!

This is definitely the most exciting post I’ve written since the one that announced I was moving to Salt Lake City! I'm so excited to inform you of my plans for 2009!

For four years I've wanted to go to the Middle East and now that dream is finally coming true! In just over four months I'll be going to Jerusalem! I will be there for two months helping a young American couple with their three children (two boys and a girl who is due in December). I am so stinking excited!!

It was the summer of 2004 that I felt the first twinges of desire to go to the Middle East. Four months later I was talking to someone about my desire to go, and they said, "Cat, if you want to go to the Middle East, God will send you." It was said with so much conviction that I was almost scared for when that call might come. Later that same month I felt - in a truly inexplicable way - God promising me that he would, indeed, send me to the Middle East.

Four years later, God is keeping his promise, has called me, and I am definitely scared! But scared in a really exciting and awesome way!

So how did this happen? My friend, Bonnie, lived in Jerusalem for a while and knew Mike and Julie (the couple) from back in Utah (where Julie is originally from). They asked her if she knew anyone who would be interested in coming to Israel for a couple months. Bonnie and I had immediately started talking about our mutual passion for the region when we first met so when she received their email she forwarded it to me right away. Of course, I was ecstatic and extremely interested!
So they have extended an invitation for me to live with them in Jerusalem and help them in the mornings with their kids. This leaves me free with the rest of the day to do with what I please. They told me I could travel, take classes, or get involved with a local ministry. I've done some researching and there are already a million things I want to see and do! I can't wait!

Needless to say, my list is full of things that I need to have accomplished before I go! Tons of work to save money, buying my ticket, getting my passport, preparing myself for the GRE, finding someone to sublet my place while I'm gone, and getting ready to get those grad school apps out! Much prayer would be appreciated!

I can't wait to keep updating as my travel plans move forward and I get ready to go! Thanks for your support and love!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just a thought...

I really love that I live in an LDS dominated culture, work at a church among Christians, work at a restaurant with some of the most anti-"anything having to do with God or religion" bunch I've ever met, and work for a non-profit with a Christian Indian man born a Hindu in a Hindu and Muslim nation.

There is not a lot of diversity in Salt Lake City, but I feel like I get to taste a little bit of it in all my different arenas of work and play. And as for Amitabh, my boss at Calcutta Mercy Ministries, I got to spend some quality time with him this morning, and that forced me to think about a lot of this.

Today, I watched a video that Amitabh was editing for the website in which he told of his story of coming to know Christ as his Savior and of his wedding to wife, Susan. Amitabh mentioned in the video that when he became a Christian a friend said, "What will your Christian name be? Maybe it should be Phillip." And Amitabh replied, "But I like my name. My parents gave it to me and I like it." I thought... stupid westerners. We think Christianity means being western, but the absolute glory of Christianity is that it is relevant to everyone, everywhere. No particular nation can claim that Christ is most relevant to them. Except maybe Israel (but aren't we all heirs now?) - but definitely not America. I'm glad Amitabh was smart enough to realize that he was a Christian, his name was just as "Christian" as Phillip and that he could love Jesus and still hold on to his roots as an Indian. Stupid westerners...

Also, the description and pictures from his wedding were beautiful because they embraced both the Hindu culture in which Amitabh was raised as well as the Christian background that Susan came from. The fusion was pretty awesome!

Pray for: my sister in Guatemala, my upcoming trip to Michigan, the prospect of me living abroad for a few months, and please visit Stop the Traffik to see what you can do to stop human trafficking!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008


So I had decided to move back to California in August, but after a lot of rethinking, prayer, and listening to those who know me best, I have decided to stay in Utah indefinitely. Everyone keeps asking me what "indefinite" means. Indefinite means "lasting for an unknown or unstated length of time." So I am in Utah for an unknown length of time! And I'm SO excited!

I'm still going to pursue graduate school in the fall of 2009. I am hoping for either Portland State or the University of Utah. I am nervous right now about PSU's program though. I'm not sure it's specialized for what I want to do. There are a couple things up in the air regarding the coming winter/spring. Depending on those things I may look for a job at the U or Westminster College to get my foot in the door and get some experience working at a university.

With all of these question marks hanging over my head, I feel like I'm on the verge of an all out anxiety attack. But God has been (as always) extremely faithful. And for the past couple of weeks he has been speaking to me through his word.

1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety up on him because he cares for you."

Philippians 4:4-7 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice. Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Matthew 6:25-34 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Psalm 37:7a "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him."

So I feel like I've been asked to let go of a lot of my anxiety, my stress, my worries and embrace patience knowing that God knows what I need, what I want and he will answer. Jill has encouraged me to wake up everyday and ask God: "What would you have me learn today? Who would you have speak into my life? Whose life would you have me speak into?" I'm trying to do that, and I'm learning that God answers. We just have to listen.

Sooooo.... California was so much fun, but I still know I can't live there for a long period of time. In two weeks I go to Michigan for a week, and then I'm taking the month of August off of PF Chang's to refocus, regroup and get my head right while enjoying time in Oregon, weddings, hanging out with my students, and lots of other stuff!


Mari and Max's (cousins) new baby Tonindeye. He is just 3 weeks old!

Jordan playing in his little pool. He's a year old now and still as adorable as ever!! Love him!

Me and Robyn outside of the Pantages when my mom took us to see Wicked. SOOO good!

Me and a few of the AC girls when I was in Pasadena. Love them!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Something to update you about...

Today was like living a day in Michigan. Only we have mountains in Utah. The weather was cloudy, but it hot warm and humid and breezy. It was amazing.

Lately my days have been great and let me fill you in on what’s going on:

I got a new job. So I still work at the church. I still work at P.F. Chang’s. And now I work for an organization called Calcutta Mercy Ministries that runs schools, orphanages and hospitals in Calcutta, India. They provide free medical care for children undergoing leukemia treatment and thalassemia. They also send out short-term volunteers from all over the world. These are a few of the many things they do. Check it out here. I do administrative work about 8-10 hours a week. It’s honestly an answer to prayer because I was getting pretty burnt out working at Chang’s because even though I think it’s a great place and I can do ministry there, I feel like I’m only being monetarily fruitful when my heart wants to be useful for the kingdom. I was asking God to help open doors if he wanted me to work somewhere else and a few days later Robyn asked me if I’d be interested in taking another job. This is perfect because I can keep my job at Chang’s (the breadwinner of the three occupations), but still do something that is making an impact.

Last night I had an amazing time with my students at K2. We did an exercise last week that placed the students in different classes (upper, middle, lower class) and wanted to show them the injustice of how people all over the world live. They walked away with tangible ways they could make an impact. Last night when they returned they had all sorts of stories of what they did in the past week that helped make a difference. I was incredibly proud and felt like it was something that really stuck with them.

This past weekend was the Dreamcenter Gala and it was a complete success! The Gala raised probably around $60,000 that will go directly to the Dreamcenter. The Dreamcenter offers after school tutoring and activities, meals and groceries, compassion and care, and so much more to the refugee communities in Salt Lake City who would go mostly unnoticed without them. (Another highlight: after I left set up crew in the morning we passed the entire Houston Rockets team as they were walking into Salt Lake’s only 5 star hotel. It was incredible! I touched Yao Ming.)

Travel plans:
- California July 2 – 5. This is going to be a short trip and really compacted so I’m not sure if I’ll get to spend time with any/all of you. Please don’t hate me. I’ll make a longer trip sometime in the end of the summer.
- Michigan July 20 – 27. (Woohoo!)
- Oregon. August (sometime). I’ll be hangin with the sis, hopefully visiting Jo and Todd, and checking out Portland State for a potential grad school.

Thanks for all your prayers and love. It’s so incredibly appreciated as I try to figure out what is next in this season of life. Miss and care about you all!


Monday, April 21, 2008

Save your mind, read a book

Just finished Escape by Carolyn Jessop. Great read. I think everyone should read about it, especially in light of the recent raid of the Yearning For Zion camp in Texas. That's all for now...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

So glad I live in a fishbowl!

I am sick yet again. I really, really hate being sick. But despite the pounding headache, the relentless cough, the ears being plugged and throbbing, and the constant snot (so gross I know), today was actually a good day.

Today I indulged in some "sick traditions." I watched Empire Records (a movie I discovered when I was home sick one day from school making it what it is today: my token sick movie). I read The Giver (a comforting quick read). The only thing I lacked of my traditions was my Red Wings sweatshirt. It's at home in my sister's closet.

So I was reading The Giver, a book I've read dozens upon dozens of times, and something stood out to me that never had before. Here is an excerpt:

"Jonas nodded. "I liked the feeling of love," he confessed... "I wish we still had that. Of course I do understand that it wouldn't work very well. And that it's much better to be organized the way we are now. I can see that it was a dangerous way to live."

"What do you mean?"

Jonas hesitated. He wasn't certain, really, what he had meant. He could feel that there was risk involved, though he wasn't sure how."

I think you need to read the entire book in order to better understand how this passage hit me, but I love it because there is risk in love. And yes, making the community in the story completely safe was a way to make sure no one was hurt. But in keeping people from pain, they sacrificed love.

It makes that old cliche so true: Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Love is a risk, but it's well worth it, don't you think?