Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back to the Blogosphere!

It's good to be back at the keyboard of a computer after a great week in the outdoors, freed from the trappings of technology. Mandy and I spent the last 9 days in Montana, where I was speaking at high school camp at Templed Hills Baptist Camp. I had such a fantastic week, as I was able to be back at the camp I grew up attending. The last time I was there was the first time Mandy and I ever met, so this was also a great time of memories for us.

We were also able to see our great friends Shad and Patti Durgan, and their 3 boys, my friend Chris Dooley, and our friends Kaia and Keri. It was so refreshing to see familiar faces again after a few weeks of loneliness, and now we are ready to jump into regular routines here in our new home of Seattle.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Great Night with an Old Friend

Last night I began the process of ending my loneliness. I am pretty extroverted, so for me to move from a place where I hung out with people all day, every day, to a place where I know no one, has been pretty tough on me. It has been great to spend time with Mandy, but I have really been craving some time with the guys too.

Last night we had dinner with a friend of mine from high school named Ryan who lives in the area. There were very few people that I was close to in my high school career, but Ryan was one of the them. It was so great to see him and reconnect again as adults, since the last time we saw each other he was still in high school and I was a sophomore in college. What a blessing when I was starting to get a little down.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Shouldn't Have Said It

They always say in church talk that you shouldn't say something that you won't do because God has a funny way of bringing those things back around. I guess I shouldn't have said that "I'll probably never do youth ministry again."

Mandy and I recently chose the church that we are going to make our home during our time here in Seattle. The church is called Quest, has a sweet vision for social justice in the city, and we really feel we can get on board with what they are doing for the Kingdom. We were researching the church more on their website last night when we noticed that they are hiring a youth director to serve 10-20 hours per week. And thus...another kink in the decision-making process about where I should work.

This really would be a perfect scenario for balancing my school schedule with my work schedule, but we just aren't sure if we want to jump right back into church work yet. I submitted my resume but I'll have to see if I accept the job if it is offered to me. I also have another interview with Stone Gardens Rock Climbing Gym tomorrow morning, so that still may be an option for employment. I'll let you know what happens.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Job Hunting Updates

Mandy...SUCCESSFUL! Jason...Not So Much.

Mandy had applied and interviewed (3 times) for a job at the Cornish College of the Arts here in Seattle where she would serve as the music department coordinator. After a few days of stressful waiting, she found out yesterday morning that she got the job and will already be starting to do some work this coming week. We are definitely celebrating this great news in the Bowker household. for me. I had hoped to work part-time at Stone Gardens Rock Climbing Gym, and still may be able to, but I may have to wait another month to start. Thus, I've started looking elsewhere, but to little avail. REI, a huge outdoor sporting good store, isn't really hiring too many people until October, so my chances of getting work there soon are probably slim.

I am also applying at an outdoor store called Feather Friends. There are two problems with this place. Firstly, they are looking more for nights and weekends, which I would like to avoid if possible. Secondly, how would I be able to look myself in the mirror every morning if I knew I had to go to work at "Feathered Friends". I don't think my friends would let me live that down.

I had considered driving a city bus because it pays really well, but I don't think I would really enjoy it and I want to make sure I enjoy my work so I don't want to kill myself in a few months. My temporary solution (hopefully it is still available on Monday) is probably going to be doing janitor work at Stone Gardens for a few months while I wait for other work to open up there at the front desk or teaching classes. I would mainly be vacuuming the gym floor each morning before the gym opens. Needless to say...keep praying for me as my search continues.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Foo Fighters

Growing up in rural Montana, I didn't attend my first concert until in was in college and really have lived a sheltered existence when it comes to the concert scene ever since. That being said...I think I'm really going to enjoy the big city.

Tonight I trekked down the big, steep Queen Anne Hill to Key Arena to watch the Foo Fighters in concert. Over the past year they have quickly become one of my favorite bands and it was amazing to see them live. They started out the show with "Let It Die", rocked amazing songs like "Pretender" and "Learn to Fly" in the middle, and ended the night with "Best of You". All in all, one of my favorite shows ever in my limited concert career.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My First Seattle Climbing

Those who know me know that I have been pretty obsessed with rock climbing throughout the last year. It really has become quite an addiction and I look forward to the rock climbing that I will be able to do while living here in Washington.

Today I made my way over to a man made practice structure that is outside of Husky Stadium at the University of Washington. The walls are really only intended for students and faculty, but the perk of looking like I'm 18 years old is that no one will probably question whether I'm a student or not.

The first picture is of the interesting wall at UW. Most of this is designed for a type of climbing called bouldering where you climb close to the ground and don't use ropes or any other safety equipment. The second picture is another wall at Marymoor Park in one of the suburbs. I haven't been there yet, but look forward to visiting this site in the future.

Monday, July 7, 2008

When Is It Home?

As Mandy and I are adjusting to a new city and apartment and way of life, one thing that has felt awkward is that we don't really feel like we have a home yet. Our home is no longer Sioux Falls, but doesn't really feel like Seattle either yet. We are caught between two worlds and are forced to live in the tension until Seattle starts to feel natural.

So what is "home"? Is is where your 'stuff' is? Is it where you are? Is it where your friends and family are? I think for me it is a little of all of those, but Mandy has expressed that it is slightly different for her. For her, home is where there is familiarity. Sioux Falls would not be familiar because our stuff isn't there and we have no home or jobs there. But Seattle is familiar yet either. We are still getting our footing here physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We are still trying to find our place in this city and it will probably take a little while for that to happen. Pray for us that we will find a home here in Seattle soon...friends, fellowship, and familiarity.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

We're Here!!

This has been the weirdest week! It seems like a million things have happened in the past week since we were worshiping one last time with our Asbury family. We spent last Sunday morning with our church family, had a quick lunch with our closest friends, and took off in the moving truck en route to Billings, MT.

On Monday morning we spent an hour or so with my grandparents in Billings before heading down the road to Livingston, MT for a great lunch with our friends Shad and Patti and their 3 boys. It was great to see our friends who moved from Sioux Falls a few months ago. That night we stayed in Coeur d'Alene, ID with my grandma before heading on to Seattle with my parents on Tuesday morning.

We got to Seattle at around 4pm on Tuesday, quickly unloaded the truck with the help of my parents and our friends Scott & Heather. That night we had supper at a pizza place just down the street before turning in after a long day.

Wednesday we worked on getting our apartment into livable condition, returned the moving truck, and Mandy applied for a job she really wants. We also celebrated my dad's birthday by visiting Pike Place Market and eating fresh fish outside right on Puget Sound. We celebrated the 4th of July in Coeur d'Alene again with my dad's side of the family and returned to Seattle this morning to get settled into our new home.

It still doesn't quite seem real yet that we actually live halfway across the country from where we did one week ago, but this quaint little apartment is starting to feel more like home with each passing day. We miss all of you in Sioux Falls and think about you often. I look forward to seeing how our relationships continue on with the help of our technological advances. Good night for now. Grace and peace.