Friday, August 31, 2007

3 years

3 years ago today I flew back from Egypt after having lived there for 2 years. So crazy what the Lord has done in my life in the past 3 years since being back. Honestly, I thought I'd be living there again by now, but the Lord has had other plans. They are plans that I'm grateful for, though my heart still longs to be back in Egypt one day - at least to visit my friends and share what my life was like there with Daniel. Of course, if He called us there, I wouldn't argue! :-)

There's a great Egyptian Restaurant, KING TUT, near downtown Fort Worth. It's my celebration place. So, Daniel and I enjoyed koshary and couscous last night in honor of my time in Egypt and my 3 year anniversary being back in the States.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

wedding bells

Nicole is a girl both Daniel and I knew before we met each other. We both know her from our individual experiences in Turkey. Nicole had lived in Turkey and organized trips for volunteers to come out there. She was the coordinator of volunteers when I was there in the summer of 2000. I thought she hung the moon! I didn't know my path would ever cross hers again, but it has. Daniel knew her from his time living in Turkey and teaching ESL.

Since he and I have been together, our paths have crossed again. There's a circle of former Turkey folk here in Fort Worth. Fort Worth brings people with similar hearts together partly because of the seminary. Nicole also was a student at SWBTS, but before my time. She's friends with girls here in Fort Worth that I've become friends with. This circle of friends are all bonded through Turkey, which is how Daniel knows all of them and reconnected with them once moving here. So, there's a mix of Turkey/SWBTS going on.

Anyhow, we got to be with all of these fun Turkey-lovers the other night at a FIESTA shower for Nicole and her fiance, Jason. Amy Nobles threw the party and it was great - great music, great decor, a great pinata, great food, great friends!!

Oklahoma City

Daniel and I traveled up to Oklahoma City a couple of weekends ago to see some friends and meet our friends' little boy, Graham. He's such a good baby - sleeps well, doesn't really cry unless his pacifier has fallen out of his mouth and he's wanting it! Mommy and Daddy are super proud of him...look at him concked out on Mommy - wouldn't you be proud too? He's so cute!!

Our time there was really sweet - just hanging out really, but hanging out with people who really love the Lord and who really love us. We stayed thru Sunday church and after church we sat with Andy, Ryan, and Adriane before coming back to Fort Worth. They all prayed over us and then when we finished praying Adriane said she wanted to share something with us. She told us that while we were singing this song with the words something like "Lord I know you hold us in your hand. I will trust you even when I don't understand..." that God kept putting Daniel in her mind. As she was praying for Daniel, God gave her this picture of Daniel putting together pieces of a puzzle. And when he finished, the puzzle was beautiful. Then, the Lord came and He took apart the puzzle pieces and began reworking the puzzle. In His finished puzzle, the picture was even more beautiful. Then she encouraged Daniel to trust in the Lord and encouraged both of us to ask for wisdom in the coming weeks.

We have been seeking Him, asking what that vision means. When God directed us away from moving to Turkey, He also assured us that He had great plans in store for us. We've been in a journey of discovering what those plans are! It's so exciting! So restful just to know that we can trust in Him and that as He opens doors, we are to walk through them. When He closes them, we aren't to be disappointed. Rather, we are to accept it as His directing us to another place, something better! God is good! Yes, God is good! He is trustworthy! We can trust in Him...He loves us and has the very best planned out for us. We just have to walk in obedience...

the Rangers and Somali Bantu

The tutoring program at Catholic Charities was able to get free tickets as rewards for our best students from summer tutoring. I chose two of my students and they got to invite their families to come to the game. Daniel and I got to take 11 kiddos with us to a Rangers game a couple of weeks ago! It was of course their first time to a game. There were lots of, "Ms. Kim, what's that?" questions. We took our picture with Nolan Ryan as we entered the stadium, then walked up to the top level - quite an exercise! Several of the kids are under the age of 8. Three of the four older ones were girls, and mostly came with us for the company, not for the sport! But Omar is 16 and he and Daniel hung out in the stands and Daniel explained to him the rules of the game! The man selling cotton candy came up into the stands and this sweet woman sitting behind us bought 5 things of cotton candy for our bunch. I was really blessed by her generosity. Some people would be annoyed by such a large group of kids with few adults asking questions throughout the game, but not this lady. Her heart was generous and she really blessed the kids and me as well!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Dulock Wedding

A little over a year ago, Daniel and I were asked to disciple Caleb Dulock and Michelle Orth. They were pursuing their 2nd-go-around at dating. So, we started meeting at Starbucks every-other-Sunday-morning before church - at 8 a.m.! God has really gifted Daniel with a love and a gift of discipleship. He's passionate about it. Me, on the other hand. Well, I've never really been discipled myself, and Daniel and I are new at this marriage/healthy relationship thing ourselves, so I feel somewhat like I've stumbled through discipling Michelle this past year. I'm not really sure what God used, but one thing I know is that God's grace is sufficient in our weaknesses! Mine and Michelle's time together became more of a time of mutual discipling really. God has done so much in her in this past year and in her fervor for the Lord, in her longing for purity, in her desire for godliness, she's challenged me in our times together as well. We've become sweet friends over this past year and when Caleb proposed to her a few months ago, they asked us to be in their wedding party! Here are a few snapshots of their wedding...

And we stood with them last night as friends and brothers and sisters in Christ, loving them and supporting them as they made vows to each other to love, honor, and cherish each other "as long as they both shall live..." Their ceremony was so sweet and worshipful. My favorite part was that they invited the congregation and wedding party to worship together as the ceremony began. It was a sweet, holy moment! We love you, Mr. and Mrs. Dulock!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

a new dawn.

For those of you who have been following the life of the Audis, you probably know that since we began dating, we have prayed toward moving to Turkey with some friends of ours from our church. In our recent visit to Turkey, the Lord confirmed with great clarity, peace, and unity that moving to Turkey now is not His very best for us. So, with grateful hearts because of His faithfulness to answer our prayers seeking His will for our lives, we now look toward a new dawn. It rises over us now and we wait with great anticipation for what He will reveal to us as being His very best for us now. If you want more of the full story, you can leave a comment with an email address and we'll be happy to share more of the journey! My husband is such a talented writer and has already beautifully and artistically written up a report about how the Lord moved in us as we were in Turkey.

We covet your prayers as we venture into this new chapter He's writing in our lives, as we approach this new dawn that He has begun in us.

Many blessings.

LOTS to post.

Well, we've returned from 2 1/2 weeks of being away from Fort Worth. We've taken LOTS of pictures and have many stories to tell. We left Fort Worth the morning of the 12th around 10:40, bound to Antalya, Turkey. We arrived there about 20 hours later. We were in Turkey until the 20th, then flew to Virginia Beach to spend a week with 21 Audis! The last day and a half we celebrated our 1st anniversary. Now for the posts... :-)

July 29, 2007...

On July 29, 2006, following our very first kiss, Jim pronounced us Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Audi!

One year later, we find ourselves in the midst of continuing to fall in love with each other, learning more and more about unconditional love, learning that being quick to forgive is absolutely essential in marriage, learning that sitting with our Savior is also essential to our marriage - it's in Him that we find love, joy, forgiveness, patience, etc. If we're not connected to Him and being filled by Him, we're trying to live life and live out our marriage on our own strength...and that can get ugly! ;-) However, when we are both seeking Jesus, He fills us to overflowing and out of that overflow are we then able to display the fruit of the spirit to one another...ahhhhh, the great lessons we are learning!

Immediately following our family vacation, we rode up to D.C. with Daniel's parents who dropped us off at our lovely bed and breakfast, the Swann House in Dupont Circle. We spent the eve of our one year anniversary there. Isn't it exquisite? - We thought so!! The house hosts were so friendly and helped give us tips on the area.

We hung out at the Washington zoo that afternoon, then went to a nice Italian place tucked away on "U" Street for our anniversary dinner. The next day, on our actual anniversary, we walked around the many monuments in D.C. Wow...such rich history! (Well, for what brief history we have here in our 231 year old country.) We saw the Washington monument as seen from the Lincoln Memorial, the wall commemorating the Vietnam veterans, the White House, the Jefferson Memorial, a newer memorial in honor of World War II, and this really interesting statue called the Awakening Statue at Hane's Point. Check it out! It's of a man whose body is buried half way in the ground and he's trying to free himself from the ground. Not sure of the thoughts behind it all, but it makes for interesting pictures...and as you can tell by our blog, Daniel and I are all about pictures!

Our anniversary concluded on a plane that took us back to Fort Worth Ahh...nothing like home sweet home and the joy of celebrating one year of marriage to finish off those 17 days! Maybe we could write a book - from Fort Worth to Antalya to Virginia Beach to Washington, D.C. to Fort Worth in 17 days. Think it would be a top seller?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sandbridge Vacation with the Audis

Yep, all 21 of us Audis hung out for an entire week, immed-iately following our time in Turkey, for a family vacation. You would think that 21 people in one house would be a bit chlostrophobic. However, Becky and Laura, Daniel's sisters, found a great big house with plenty of space for all of us and there was no hint of chlostrophobia at all! As a matter of fact, the time was incredibly fun, relaxing, Our 8 bedroom (5 of which you could step out of your bedroom onto a balcony/porch), 6 1/2 bath, sunroom, game room, large family room, small family room, small sitting area, private pool in the backyard, beach across the street house was big enough and spacious enough to accomodate all of us!
We swam in the beach and in the pool,

buried "Uncle Danny" in the sand,

worked puzzles,

played pool,

hung out in on the balcony and looked out onto the Atlantic Ocean,

played sand volleyball,

made a human pyramid on the beach,

went boogie-boarding,

played incredibly competitive games of Settlers' of Catan,

shared meals together,

walked the boardwalk at Virginia Beach,

Daniel was attacked by a crab!

and saw this incredibly strange sign. Does it mean, no profanity?!!??!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Turkey - us.

Turkey - sights.

Tourist area - many trinkets to choose from, many tapestries, many decorative items for the house, and many men saying, "Welcome to my store pretty lady. I have anything you want to buy!"

Backgammon - a favorite game of Turks!

A picture of a neighborhood and its mosque.

This is the view from the balcony of the team's office building.

The old harbor - it's likely that Paul and Barnabas sailed into this harbor.

Many homes are brightly painted - you could mistakenly think you're in Mexico!

Ever seen this at a beach in America? - a covered woman wearing her scarf, a long-sleeve shirt and pants in the water!!

The Mediterranean Sea - breath-taking!

Turkey is very patriotic - Turkish flags and pictures of Attaturk are everywhere!

Reminants of the designs on a church that used to meet in the mountains near Antalya years and years ago. They met near the "eternal flames".

The "eternal flames" - an area in the mountains where natural gas has been burning for over 2000 years.

Turkey - food.

There are fresh fruit/vegetable markets EVERYWHERE in Turkey! They were everywhere in Egypt too! It was definitely something I missed when I moved back to the States after having lived in Egypt. In Antalya, some of the markets are 'traveling' markets. They are in one part of the city one day, another part of the city another day, etc.

This is the pazar (market) in Jim and DeeAnn's village. It comes on Saturday mornings until around noon. Then the folks pack up and travel to another village for the afternoon.

These two pictures are from Izehi and Dania's pazar (market). It comes on Thursday afternoons.

mmm... fresh spinach and parsley! ...and big, beautiful grapes! Don't you agree that we should have something like this in America? It's convenient and most of all, it's fresh!
Tavuk (chicken) spinning on a rod in the open air. Tavuk doners (chicken snadwiches) are a popular food item. There's chicken, cucumber, tomato, and a slice of cheese inside of these sandwiches. I guess you just have to get over the fact that the meat you are eating has been spinning around in the open air just before it's sliced off and put into your sandwich!
And a discovery the Reynolds introduced us to on our first day in Antalya - TWISTERS! These are ice cream bars that have a juicy fruit ice cream bar in the center with swirls of pistaccio and lime flavors wrapped around it. It's like a fresh sherbert on a bar! SOOOO good!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Turkey - friends.

We spent the week at Jim and DeeAnn's, on the 3rd floor of their home in the village. We slept on a matress atop the unused pool table. A girl who lived with them a few months ago named the bed the "princess bed" because of its loftiness from the ground! We had fun spending time with the Reynolds family, Dania, and Izehi. Here we are with our friends in Antalya!

We worked on this puzzle all week! We were so proud to finally finally finish it!!

Reunited in Antalya! Jim has been a good friend of Daniel's for years now. Daniel was really looking forward to getting to see Jim!

Check out the awesome view of the Mediter- ranean and the mountains from Izehi and Dania's apartment in Meltem.

Kiddos, kiddos, kiddos! We really enjoyed being with the Reynolds' little ones.