• 20Apr

    Yeah you read that right… I’m in China… see China…wdw-china-pic

    china-wdw-dragon

    china-wdw-main-gate

    China Walt Disney World that is….

    And you thought I left without saying good-bye =p

    This past weekend I got to spend some time in Florida.  Mostly to visit my brother in Jacksonville, but we had a road trip to the Tampa Bay Rays game and then down to Orlando.  I got to hang out with my middle school friend in Walt Disney World for the day.  It was a ton of fun.  I miss living so close to Walt Disney World.  (For those who don’t know, I lived in Orlando for 1 year when I was in 8th grade… hence the middle school friend in Florida and missing being in Orlando).

    I’m back on a plane to California on Tuesday.  Florida was great, especially the food.  Yum.  I love Cracker Barrel, Sonic, and Whattaburger.  It’s fun to eat at places we don’t have in San Diego.  It’s sorta weird though, I miss the “feel” of Florida.  It’s not just the humidity or heat… but more the indescribable.  The smells? the air?  I’m not sure how to say it… but it’s different than California for sure.  It was nice getting to spend time with my big bro too =).  We don’t get to see each other too much any more since we’ve been living in separate cities for around 11 years now.  And with me moving to China… I guess that trend is just going to continue.

    I suppose I better get to packing my things up… more posts still to come!

    Lup

  • 17Apr

    On Wednesday I had a meeting with the board of directors for Hope Harvest (the non-profit org that I’ll be going over to China through).  They wanted to take some time to get to know me and my hopes for my China trip.  I’ve realized that I haven’t put much up here about what I’ll be doing in China or even how I got to this point, so maybe I’ll take a few steps back.

     

    So many things come to mind when I think about where it all started that I’m not sure how far back to go…. Summer 2007 seems like as good of time as any.  

     

    When I look back to this time, I had been out of college and working at Bank of America for 2 years, still in San Diego.  I remember getting a feeling of restlessness and a need for something more in my life.  But I didn’t know what that more was.  I was beginning to wonder whether my future was in San Diego, or maybe back in Los Angeles.  I had missed being around my family.  I really wanted to be there for my youngest cousin as she was going through high school… I missed getting to go to family birthday parties… I missed seeing my family every week at church… etc… Around the same time, my other cousin said there was an opening in his department at Pepperdine University.  I remember thinking about how much fun it would be to work with my cousin and to get to work with students.  I thought that this was the answer to all my questions.  I applied, interviewed, and got rejected.  The good ol’ “more experience” thing.  Now I was super baffled.  Do I stay or go… I opted to stay in San Diego, and see what the next opportunity was going to be.  That’s when my roommate started to attend a local church in San Diego (Chinese Bible Church of San Diego).  She was then invited to play football for the church team.  She asked if I wanted to play football too.. but I wasn’t sure about playing on an all GIRLS football team… so I declined.  The next week I decided I would go watch.  It was a rough go… I wanted to play… but at the same time… I didn’t.  A lot of the girls were still learning and I honestly didn’t feel like being patient enough to “deal” with that.  So I just watched.  Some of the girls asked if I wanted to play… and I would casually say that I wasn’t interested… someone else asked if I liked football… to which I replied “it’s alright”.  What I wanted to say… is that GIRLS playing football is alright… but I LOVE REAL football.  Haha!  Needless to say, I didn’t return the next few weeks.  Then I had an itch to exercise… so I asked if I could just come and run around… maybe throw a few balls… just for exercise.  Well… that turned into playing every week… which turned into signing up to play in the tournament… which turned into actually enjoying playing football with girls!  =)  This also turned into meeting some amazing people.  One being Pam.  I found out that Pam was going to go live in China long term… she had a heart for helping orphans… had her own non-profit… and gave me an open invitation to come visit.  In October of 2008, I took that opportunity and went for two weeks.  I had an amazing time.  Fell in love with China, and knew I needed to return.  I came back, started to pray and really work on seeing if it could really happen…. so here I am, and it’s really happening.  

     

    Right now, I’ll be going over to China to get a feel for what it would be like to live there, work there, and also see if I can find a direct need to fill.  I’ll be going over to help whomever with whatever needs to be done.  I really see it as a direct opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  My heart is to be useful.  I hope for this to be a really long term thing, but only God knows how long He wants me there.  I’m a firm believer in trying my hardest to yield to God’s will, for I know His will is so much greater than mine.  

     

    The plan is to go for 2 months and get familiar with the surroundings… sort of get my feet wet.  Then I’ll return to the states for a family camping trip and two weddings (one of which I’m stoked to be in!).  Then I’ll go to a conference (I think) in August.  Then return to China to start intensive language studies and do as much work as I can.  The rumor has it that it takes about 2 years to get really good at Chinese.  So I hope to get to that point and be super useful.  =)  But again, only God knows.

     

    My trip is going to start off by visiting another friend in Beijing.  Lucky for me she used to be a tour guide in Beijing, so I’ll be in for a real treat.  Get to see the Great Wall, some palaces, the olympics stuff… it’ll be an awesome way to ease myself into being in China.  

     

    Plenty more updates to come.

  • 11Apr
    Uncategorized Comments Off on On to the next step…

    Well today (I guess really yesterday the 11th) was the first half of my move from San Diego back to LA, before I move to China… follow all that?  So I loaded the Suburban with the majority of my things and headed up today.  It was really weird to leave my apartment… it felt like any other time I’ve left to go home for the weekend.  It probably didn’t help that I still have things left in San Diego, so it wasn’t like my room was completely empty.

    Now starts the crazy attempt to really prepare for the big move.  Moving all my things definitely put a sense of realness to this whole thing.  It was a tangable, visible step to seeing myself really going towards China.  Before this it was all talk and plans.  Now those plans are starting to turn into actions.

    I’m still stoked and I know that May 4th is going to come before I even know it!

  • 03Apr

    It’s interesting to stop and think about the prospect of not knowing your future.  In reality, no matter how much we plan, how much we think we are in control, there is never going to be a way for us to know what’s ahead.  Life just seems to happen.  However, with the whole idea of giving up my full time job, a steady routine, a nice room in a nice townhouse, etc… I’ve started to fear the future a little bit.  What will it be like to live in a country where you don’t speak their language… where you know less people than the fingers on your hands… where you’re not always sure what you’re eating… where you’re allergic to what most consider a basic necessity (yes, I the half Japanese girl is allergic to rice)… but then I stop and realize that God is in control.  And from that single thought I find a deep and comforting peace.  That is until the next set of whys and what ifs pop into my head… but then I just simply remember God is in control.

    I’ve been listening to a song pretty consistently in my car… You Alone by Echoing Angels.  I love the chorus.  “You alone are God.  I am yours and you’re mine.  And I know the heavens will call out your name if I don’t. ”  How amazing it is to be God’s.  I can only hope to be following where He leads me.

    In other news.  The countdown to days left of work is at 4 days!  This last week at work was crazy so I’m actually feeling a little burnt out on work.  It still hasn’t hit me yet that Wednesday is my LAST day.  It just feels like I’m going on vacation…

    Tomorrow my work is throwing me a going away party.  YAY.  I don’t think we’ve all hung out outside of the bank in a long time.  So it’ll definitely be cool to just relax and have some fun.  =)

    Many Blessings,

    LeighAnn

  • 01Apr

    Here’s an update on my tentative schedule:

    April 8th : Last day of work at Bank of America

    April 11th: Drive up to Los Angeles for the weekend

    April 16th: Fly to Jacksonville to visit my brother

    April 21st: Return to Los Angeles

    April 24th: Return to San Diego for my last weekend there

    April 27th: Return to Los Angeles

    May 4th: Depart for Beijing, China

    May 8th: Depart for Kunming, China!!!

    I can’t believe that it is all happening.  It just seemed like a dream or a thought only yesterday, and now it’s becoming a reality.  Honestly it’s sort of frightening… leaving all the comforts of this current life to jump into the unknown.  I heard last week in the message, God doesn’t want us to be comfortable.  I suppose this is me complying with that thought.  =p

   

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