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Jewel in Cambodia Scarves for Cambodia Journals for the Journey

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wedding Wednesdays: Cakes

It's offical. I am now dedicating Wednesday as "Wedding Day." If I do not dedicate one day to weddings, then everyday will become "wedding Day" and I will quickly fall behind in classes, work, sleep, and relationships as I spend hours and hours on Google and flipping through magazines. Now before you starting leaving rude comments like, "Girl, don't you know it's Thursday?!" Yes, I realize that today is Thursday and not Wednesday, but I didn't quite finish my blog yesterday because.. well.. I was busy looking at cakes. :)))

Planning the wedding has been a lot of fun, but it's been overwhelming. I'm assuming that's a normal feeling, RIGHT?!

I am planning an American wedding with an Asian feel, but I'm having difficulty sorting through all the Chinese ideas to find anything remotely Cambodian in America. I cannot [and would not] tell you which cake I have chosen because I have not chosen [and I do not know how I ever will,] but these are a few that I have saved for consideration:

My idea for the 1st cake is to replace the dragon on the bottom layer with lotus flowers. [I do not know the meaning, but Christians in Cambodia disapprove of the dragon.] On the second layer, to replace the chinese characters with Khmer characters spelling "Romdenh" [new-last-name-to-be] or something else. On the top layer, to paint Angkor Wat or a typical stilt house, rather than a Buddhist temple [for obvious reasons.]
I think the second cake would be really awesome with Cambodian fruits [instead of peaches and pears,] such as: purple mangosteens, green and red rambutans, and slices of pineapple.

The Chinese cake, the ivory and burgendy cake with gold embellishments, the yellow cake with sunflowers, and the white cake with multicolored flowers are my favorites. So, I suppose I have at least narrowed it down, but I can't say I'm close to making a decision. The PRICE will certainly aid in making my decision because my budget is pretty small; however, I'm still looking for a cake-maker.

Does anyone have an affordable cake-maker recommendation?
Does anyone have an awesome mango cake recipe?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How it all began...

I posted this on my Cambodia blog on Wednesday and decided to share it here today. :)

This story of how Titus and I met and fell in love really deserves much more attention and detail than I have given it, and for the sake of future generations, I will edit and improve it; however, for now, this is sufficient.

Titus and I met in May 2008, the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college. I went on a team with five other girls from Indiana Wesleyan University, and we traveled throughout Cambodia, teaching English and doing children's ministry. At the time, Titus was co-pastoring The Way to Life Wesleyan Church in the province of Kratie, and teaching English at the School of Hope, a small English and computer school that shared the same property as the church. It was there in Kratie that Titus and I met, and Kratie has felt like a "home away from home" ever since.
First, he was my translator, but he quickly became my friend. Meeting Titus, I immediately determined that he was the funniest guy I knew and I am still sure that he is the funniest guy I know. We had an instant connection because Titus and I owned very similar cameras - his was pink, mine was blue; he wanted to trade, but I refused.
I spent only a few days in Kratie, but Titus later joined our team in Siem Reap, where we made many lasting memories. We played Uno. We stayed up all night and watched the sunrise at Angkor Wat (one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world.) We ate noodles and Mentos at 3am. We watched a scary movie (The Messengers.) We shared a banana pancake. We laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
We shared our testimonies and talked about our dreams for the future. It was then that I realized what an incredible man He is. It seems we have the same passion and dreams for ministry, but in the areas where I am weak, he is strong.

Without admitting my feelings to anyone, especially Titus, I left Cambodia, wondering if I would ever return. The opportunity arose for me to return to Cambodia the following summer, and I went. On my second day in Cambodia, my best friend Vandy visited the place where I was staying. He asked me if I wanted to call Titus. Call Titus?? Of course I wanted to call Titus, but I wondered why he thought I would have wanted to call Titus.

A few days later, Titus and Vandy joined my team and we returned to Siem Reap, to Freedom Hotel, to Angkor Wat, to Pastor Banyen's church -- to places where we had made so many lasting memories only 12 months before. I cannot say that I avoided Titus, but I kept my distance. I didn't want to attach myself. I was hesitant afraid - afraid that I would do or say the wrong thing and the Cambodian Church (which is very different than Western culture) would down upon me and my testimony would no longer have validity. By the end of day one of my second trip to Cambodia, I was confident that God was calling me to Cambodia and to Cambodians. The more I watched Titus interact with the people, the more I was attached. I spent hours talking to Pastor Vandy -- who loved seeing us together -- and asking for advice.

After three weeks, my team left and I remained in Cambodia for another month. I saw Titus on a variety of occasions, and we texted almost every evening. One week before I left, we had a DTR (a "Define the Relationship" conversation) and decided to wait for each other until I could return to Cambodia again - that meant no dating anyone else. A few days later, we went on our first date. We had pizza, then went on a romantic tuk tuk ride through the city at night, observing all the lights, taking in all the traffic, and asking each other dozens of questions about everything past, present, and future.

What else can I say? He is incredibly strong. He is beautifully handsome. He is funny - so funny! He is a pastor, a teacher, a leader, a visionary, an example, and above all, a God-fearing man. His love overwhelms me and I cannot believe I found such an amazing guy that loves me. God is everything to me and He fills my heart; however, I also believe that God created humankind with a need for the love of others. Titus fills that need in my life, and I cannot imagine myself happy with anyone else.

We met in May 2008, I took my second trip May and June 2009, and finally returned December 23, 2010. We got engaged December 26, 2010 and we plan on getting married in America on October 22, 2011.

That's our love story - part of it anyways!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"My Auntie is Awesome"

Here's a picture of my precious niece to brighten everyone's day:

Good morning sunshine!
Auntie Jewel loves you, Mallory Jo!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Man does not live on bread alone..."

It's been weeks since I have blogged. So much has happened - not so much that I have been too busy to blog, but I simply haven't made it a priority. So, in the newest news:

I had such such such an incredible time of Bible study and meditation yesterday during my lunch hour. Last week, one of my professors (Dr. Keith Drury) told our class that he almost failed out of college because he spent more time studying the Bible than he did reading his textbooks, in fact, he had to repeat two classes.
I was so inspired by this and I been digging deep into God's Word and covering the margins of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in notes. I believe that God is laying it on my heart to start a women's Bible study group during the lunch and dinner hours. Seriously, God? I am a Senior, almost halfway through my last semester. I'm nervous, but I trust that God is going to show up in incredible ways, even if there are only two or three or four of us!
So far, I have sent invitations to 106 girls and 12 have responded with interest. In fact, one said: "I'm kind of in awe right now. I have been praying to find a Bible Study for a while..." Woo hoo God!!! It's not realistic to expect that everyone will be available in the same hour, so I am looking at two or three meal times each week. This weekend, I am going to try to make dozens of homemade invitations, and ask all those who are interested to invite 2 or 3 or 4 more friends.

Jesus answered, "It is written:
'Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Matthew 4:4