Because my last post was about it feeling like Boxing Day when summer in Ontario and camp were over, I’m happy to say that coming back to Redding has felt like the start of a new year, with plenty of figurative ball-dropping, confetti and joy to go with it.
This post is going to be a bit newsy rather than thoughtful to give you a sense of what it’s been like since we returned.
It was wonderful to return to an actual home, with beds and sheets and towels and dishes, rather than staying in a hotel like last year. The first week back in Redding, Andrew and I did errands, re-stocked our fridge, worked on our first reading assignment for school — a book about the life and sermons of John G. Lake — and worked on our respective writing projects.
|Our new and improved back patio|
It’s hot here, but not humid, so we had fun setting up our back porch with discount furniture and a barbeque so we can fully enjoy Cali’s seemingly endless summer. We hosted a barbeque with our friends from Bethel and got caught up on how God blessed and worked through them over the summer.
(Since then a snake-eating black widow spider has invaded our lovely backyard conversation area, and if you haven’t seen the pic on Instagram or Facebook, you don’t want to. It’s nasty. Soon we’ll muster up the courage to kill the thing.)
The first week of school has been challenging already. This year focuses on leadership. It’s all about learning to sustain intimacy with God and passion for Jesus over the long term. It’s about learning to be hungry for more of God and filled with Him at the same time. It’s about recognizing and developing personal core values that translate into personal mission, then become vision that we can cast to others, so we can partner with the Holy Spirit to build projects and communities that transform the world.
In addition to our regular school hours, we get to choose a specialization, or track. The track I’ve chosen is “Leadership Coaching.” By the end of the year, I’ll be a certified life/leadership coach. I’m über excited about that.
We also get to go on ministry trips with the many Bethel leaders who travel all over the world doing conferences and church visits spreading some of the unique teaching and anointing that Bethel has. So far I’ve applied to do a local one-day trip with Bill Johnson, just two hours from Redding.
There are also electives we sign up for in Bible and ministry. I’m hoping to do a course on Galatians and a prophetic art class. So fun.
We’re also in the midst of signing up for city service projects. There are over 70 options we can choose to serve people in this region! I’ve applied to healing rooms, women’s drug rehab, street ministry in San Francisco, and a few others, but we won’t know which option we get for another few weeks.
It seems that second year at BSSM is about realizing the uniqueness of who you are as a leader and learning to pull on the resources you need in order to lead with excellence.
And as a side note, I joined a gym and I’m doing a ton of Zumba and weights classes. Really enjoying shaking my booty and getting jacked.
Cam’s on the Redding Christian High School soccer team, Emma’s on the Bethel Christian School volleyball team and Cassie’s on the BCS worship team. Andrew’s taking motorcycle lessons (more on this in a future post).
The one area that feels uncertain and a bit lacking is community. After leaving tight communities back home with family, Guelph and camp, and coming back here where only a few of our people from last year are still around, it’s daunting to think about forming entirely new community once again. I find myself asking, “Who are the friends we’ll have lifetime relationships with? Are any of them here?” We’ve been so transient the last year, it’s hard to know.
We still don’t know what the future holds after this. But we do know that God has spectacular plans awaiting us and the experiences that this year holds are crucial keys to opening the door to those plans.
Happyyyy New Yearrrr!