Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goobye 2009, Hello 2010.

10:51 AM
Since I am blogging this year, I thought it would be a good place to be reflective. 2009 was an interesting year to say the least! I think it was the first full year that I lived on my own, which is exciting. I had the same job for the whole year, which is unique as well. I started out living with dear friends who moved away early in 2009, which left me without a home and sad. But my new place worked out well and my new roommate was great. As the pop culture aficionado that I claim to be, I read a whole lot of new books [Harry Potter...finally!], watched a crazy amount of TV [still reeling from seasons of Mad Men and Dexter], and even more crazy amount of movies. I decided to count all the movies I watched in 2009, and the grand total was....98! [My top 3 films in case you care: Up, 500 Days of Summer, and Sherlock Holmes.] I got much more involved in my church and have really started to find some deep & meaningful relationships there. Biggest purchase of 2009 would be a tie between the iPod touch and my Kindle. Best concert of the year would hands down be Ray Lamontagne. I have loved him for years now, and to finally see him exciting! Another unique 2009 experience was the film festivals I was part of. I volunteered with the Gasparilla FilmFestival, which is one of Tampa's larger film festivals. And then I was on the board for Motion Film Festival, which was a brand new festival featuring short films from around the country. I really enjoyed that experience. I even got to create some art and display it at a local art show! I was able to witness weddings & births, and love, both new and old. Probably the most exciting part of 2009 was Cambodia. I remember at Christmas 2008, I was talking with a good friend about our lives and the direction they were headed. He reminded me about my dreams of Cambodia and what I wanted to do there. So it was then that I researching the trip. Wasn't long before I found it, and even sooner that I was there. I knew it would change my life, and it did. It has altered 2010 and the rest of my life. The majority of 2010 will be spent saving money, fundraising more money, living with my parents, and saying goodbye to friends. I will begin training in 2010 and once again, travel overseas. So as I say goodbye to 2009, I am grateful for the experiences, but am really excited for 2010. A few read 50 books this year, to pay off my credit card, to pay off my car, to finally get in shape, and to continue to grow in my relationship with God. I can't wait to see what happens!!



Friday, December 25, 2009

Salvation is Created

3:00 AM
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them: Luke 2


Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the Night Before

3:00 AM
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Letters, Love & Prayers Vol. 1

2:06 PM
Dear Family & Friends:

Happy holiday! I hope that you are sharing this time with the ones you love most. As one year ends, and a new is about to begin, I wanted to share with you what 2010 holds for me. In the summer of 2009, I traveled to Siem Reap, Cambodia in Southeast Asia to work with girls leaving the sex trade. Needless to say, it was a life-changing experience. While there, God really captured my heart and has opened doors for me to return there for full-time position in the coming months. I will be working with as a YWAM [Youth With a Mission] Prostitute Recovery Staff at the White Doves base in Siem Reap. At the home, the girls receive counseling, healing, education, and discipleship. Before I go, I will be completing a 6 month training period with YWAM. This Compassion & Justice focused school & training will focus on the unique experiences and challenges future missionaries will encounter while serving in this capacity of ministry. The first 3 months will be in their Orlando base and the final 3 months will be overseas. The location is still being determined. I will begin this training in September 2010 and finish in February 2011. After this training is complete, I will be returning back to Cambodia as YWAM staff. I am so excited for this opportunity! The issue of human trafficking and modern-day slavery has been an issue pressed upon my heart for years now, and I am humbled to be working towards putting an end to this injustice.

For this Christmas, I ask for your prayers as I prepare for this coming journey. I know the enemy does not want me to go and do God's work, and so I'm praying against spiritual attacks of any kind. I'm also asking for your financial support. This entire position is support-based. I'm finding myself in a place of complete reliance of God. The training school amount I would need to raise is between $5900 - $6800. The final cost depends on the location of the outreach. This amount would be needed in full by November 2010. I know God has prepared this opportunity in advance for me, and I hope and pray that you can be part of this journey with me. Thank you in advance for your support.

Ruined for the ordinary,

Joy Engdahl

Make checks payable to Youth With A Mission.
Mail to: Joy Engdahl, 3961 Appletree Drive, Valrico, FL 33594
Give online through PayPal at my blog:


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

10:58 AM

So my first batch of fundraising support letters are going out this week, with the merriment of Christmas cards! And for some reason I’m nervous about sending them out. Maybe because it’s making everything real. I’ve been talking about going back to Cambodia since September, and now I’m taking the first real and tangible steps to get back there. It’s no longer just something I talk about, but now it’s something I’m doing. And I always get nervous asking people for money. And I know that raising support is about more than just money, it’s about building a support and prayer team, which are just as important. I just wish the money could be provided without me having to ask for it! Haha, that is wishful thinking. So, I’ve written my letters, signed my cards, addressed the envelopes and soon they will be delivered to many, many homes across the country. Because stamps are rather pricy, I won’t be doing mailings every time I have updates. Most of the time it will be done right here through my blog or on Facebook [JOY in Cambodia]. So stayed tuned, as in the coming months you will be seeing more and more updates on the support process, fundraising events, and just my general news. If you prefer snail mail for updates, email me your address and I’ll be sure to add you to my list! If you are content being green, be sure to follow my blog to keep up with all my latest posts!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Festive Films!

2:44 AM
I am admittedly a movie snob. I think there are a lot of great films out there which allow me not to have to sit through a bad movie. And I feel the exact same way about Christmas movies! I feel compelled to share with you The Top 4 Christmas Movies According to Joy [and why]. So enjoy!

1. White Christmas
This movie is a classic. Singing! Dancing! Bing Crosby! Snow! My mom and I watch it every year, and the past few years, we've been going down the Tampa Theatre to catch their showing of it. It's even better on the big screen. In case you've lived under a hole for 50 years, and somehow missed this gem, here's a recap. It stars army buddies/entertaining duo Wallace & Davis [Bing Crosby & Danny Kaye] who are taking their act on the road. It's on the road they meet the ever-so-lovely showstopping Haynes sisters [Vera Ellen & Rosemary Clooney]. Smitten, Davis convinces Wallace to follow the girls to Vermont for some fun in the snow. To their dismay, Vermont is a bit greener than they had hoped, but determined to make the best of a bad situation, they check into the gorgeous mountain inn the Haynes sisters were booked to perform. It happens to be ran by none other than Wallace & Davis' former Army General, a man they had great respect for. Seeing him in a state of retirement, the guys decide to give him one heck of a retirement party! Cue the singing and dancing! There's love and romance, and toe-tapping fun!

2. Elf
I know, it's Will Ferrell. I'm even shocked I love this one! But Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf makes for one great holiday movie experience! Buddy, a human, was raised by elves, and soon(ish) realizes he's not like the other elves. Like a man on a mission, Buddy sets off for the magical land of New York City to find his long lost dad. But things in the Big Apple aren't quite like the North Pole, and Buddy finds himself in some laugh out loud situations. His cheery disposition doesn't sit well with everyone, but he does finally find his family and a girl of his own. It's funny, it's touching, it' of the greatest things I've ever seen

3. Love Actually
This British holiday love story weaves the lives of 16 different characters in the weeks leading up until Christmas. Some are finding love, some are losing love. Some don't want love, some are trying desperately to find it. As fading rocker Billy Mack tries so hard to have the number 1 Christmas single, this beautiful story unfolds and we discover that love actually is all around.

4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Dysfunctional families? Check. Dead pets? Check. Unwanted Rodents? Check. Kidnapping? Check. The most memorable Christmas movie ever? Check. In yet another tale of Clark Griswold's hopes to create the perfect family memories, things go disastrously wrong. Uninvited relatives, a scrooge of a boss, and Christmas lights galore come together to make a memorable and quotable movie experience.

So there ya have it! The Top 4 Christmas Movies According to Joy. Some honorable mentions: It's A Wonderful Life, Home Alone, and Serendipity (in my head it's a Christmas movie!).

What are your favorites?


Monday, December 7, 2009

Postcards 4 Sale

12:14 PM
Hey all! Here's the postcards I recently designed and sold at the Canvas 5 art show. I have plenty left and would love to continue selling them to raise funds for my upcoming missions work! Each postcard is 4x6 and printed on a white cardstock and is $1! Use the PayPal link on the left for the easiest way to purchase. If you don't have PayPal, just email me and we'll figure it out! Enjoy the postcards (which make excellent stocking stuffers....wink wink)


Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Spa-Riffic Night!

4:40 PM
I love to experience new things. Whether it's a new restaurant, a new band, a new city or a new country, I just love it. There's just a rush about trying something for the first time. Well, I had a new experience this week as well. I was invited by my friend Becca out to Sharmaine Salon & Day Spa on Clearwater Beach for a night of manicures, pedicures, and the brand new PitiCure, a beauty treatment for your armpits. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it's not! Dove beauty products along with Dr. Debra Luftman have put together this new procedure specifically for underarms that you could get done at a spa or right at home. Take a look at this video to see how it's done.

I was sold after the video, and my experience was even better. Relaxing and soothing, the PitiCure was a dream. Then we topped the night off with the manicures and pedicures, which is never a bad night in my book! And can't forget the swag bag! We left with coupons for the spa, a Dove spa wrap, a manicure kit, Dr. Debra Luftman;s book, and a stash of Dove deodorant. The staff at Sharmaine's was fantastic, and I can't wait to go back and enjoy sometime on the beach and in the spa. If you're out that way, be sure to check them, and book your own Dove PitiCure!