Wednesday, January 13, 2010


During our Christmas vacation in California, I brough along an amazing book that I could literally not put down. It's such an incredible story that I decided to dedicate an entire blog to share about it.

I don't want to give away important pieces of the story - so I won't - but this is truly one of the greatest books to tell of authentic faith, the bridge from misunderstanding to understanding, reconciliation, compassion, ministry, true friendship, love, struggle and pain. If you haven't read this book, you're missing out on something so imporant and special! I encourage you to visit your local book store or library to pick this up. Grab a box of tissues, because you'll cry and laugh tears. This story will change your perspective and increase your understanding of racial divisions, help you find your true passions in life and will move you to take action. It gave me a renewed compassion for people and helped to re-fuel my faith in a fresh new way. It also taught me that each one of us walks through life with intense joy as well as pain, regardless of what it looks like on the "surface."

This book is another reinforcer as to why I love the work that I'm doing, and a reminder that I ultimately do that work for God, who can do far greater things than I could ever imagine.

Ok, now go out and get the book! Then leave me a note.

Monday, January 4, 2010

First Meredith Christmas

Not a first for any other Meredith but me! And of course, the real first Meredith Christmas for Aaron and I as a married couple was last year. But this Christmas was a big deal for me because it was the first time I hadn't spent this special holiday with my side of the family. And being that it was also Addie's first Christmas, it was a little extra sad to not be with them. But truth be told, I always feel "at home" just as long as I'm with Aaron. I'm not sure about other women, but I didn't really grasp at the time that I was "leaving" my family as soon as my daddy gave me away. It's such an important thing to prepare yourself for as you commit to marriage. I'm wearing my heart on my sleeve as I write this because I did struggle with it at first. But the reality is that I didn't marry Aaron to make decisions in life that centered around anything or anyone else....but him.
We had a wonderful time in Palm Desert, Cal. We spent 9 full days in the sunshine and loved every second! Each day went nearly something like this: eat, run, pool, eat, pool, hotub, read, eat, games, hotub, sleep. And for the boys, golfing was in there just about once a day. Sounds like a pretty nice vacation, eh?
We spent time enjoying our family; visiting and catching up. We missed having Jesse and Jen with us. Aaron, Jesse and Sam have such a unique relationship. They're brothers, but truly best friends. I love the bond they share. My in-laws were down from Alaska, so you can only imagine how great of a mood the sunshine put them in! Sam's awesome girlfriend, Marylin, also came down and I ALWAYS enjoy her. She's simply adorable. We get to see my mother and father-in-law about once a year now, if we're lucky, so reconnecting with them is special. And it was fun to get to know Aaron's Grandpa and Grandma a lot better. Grandpa Dupar has some great stories! And I've returned home with a few lovely knitting creations thanks to the very talented Grandma Dupar!
We made time to revisit some of my old stomping ground when we took a trip up to the Joshua Tree. I have so many great memories of being there with my old Azusa roomate, Julie. We had many fun adventures together! I wouldn't necessarily call the Joshua Tree "beautiful" because it's the desert, but it's one of the most unique places in the world (I think, anyway.)
So here we are back home in 15 degree weather with a chance of snow at the end of this week. Go figure! Southwest "lost" our bags for a little more than 24 hours, but we finally have our stuff back following a day spent with un-brushed hair. I looked pretty cute. Anyway, here are a few pictures from our sunny Christmas!
The Fam

Aaron and his "rough life."

Marylin and Sam

It's all an illusion...

I miss sunsets like this