Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's 26* outside

So according to my sister's Facebook, I missed out on a WARM, sunny, southern winter day today. :( BUT...that's because...

I am now in Fort Wayne. :) I left at 6am yesterday morning, and God cleared the roads so I was able to make it here in only 10 hours(with a few stops on the way, of course). :) I met with my new boss as soon as I got here, and found that she put me on the schedule for several days, and with pretty much the hours I was hoping for, which is great!
I'm getting settled in nicely, and of course I'm having a great time. I was so excited to see Lian and the boys, and then this morning all the people in the ESL class I help with.
I'm so ready to get right back into helping out at I-House, and I'm so excited to be here with Connie, and Pam! :) We've had way too much fun together, and today Connie and I went with Kelsey (such a fun girl!) to a special New Year celebration for a Burmese people group. It was big, loud, and lots of fun! Trying new foods, seeing traditional Karen-Burmese dancing and singing, some non-traditional Karen-Burmese screamo music, and meeting new friends is what this afternoon included for us! Lots of fun, and I wish I'd grabbed my camera but I forgot.
We went grocery shopping last night after dinner, and when we got home we had tea time. We made a pot of Midsummer Night's Dream tea, and then Lian and the boys got home. ;)  Connie has the flower teas, the ones that open up and "bloom" when you brew them, and we had really wanted to show them that, so we made a second pot of tea using one of her flowers! :D So fascinating...even fussy little Moy San quieted down when he saw this little ball open up into a delicate, beautiful Fairy Lady flower. :) Mrs. Chandler sent some delicious Strawberry bread with me for us, and we shared that with them. Lian and Jo lien seemed to really like it! :) And MY Mom sent some chocolate chip pancakes and waffles with me, so I want to have them try those, too. We both have the awesomest Moms ever. ;)
This has to be the most scatterbrained and unorganized posts I've ever written, but I've been talking to my Sarah on FB throughout this whole post. I'll leave you with the only picture I took on my road trip (I know...I was such a good girl and left the camera in my purse!). At a gas station in some little town in West Virginia...this was right next door:



HORSES!!! :D


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Memories


A sunset view from my window.
Photographer friends-I used manual! Proud of me? ;)
 This past weekend I had a great time getting away to the little military town that I grew up in. It'd been...probably about 4 years since I'd been back, and longer than that since I'd seen many of the people my parents have known for longer than they've been married! My life began in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and so many of my earliest and best memories are wrapped up in that special town.

I spent all day with our good friends Mrs. Judy, Mr. Norman, and Cathy(my big sis...by adoption). Being back at their house-where my siblings and I would spend hours when Mrs. Judy babysat us so our Mom could shop, go to appointments, and run other errands by herself-was AMAZING but hard.

Amazing just remembering all the little things that make their family and their home special to me (a ready supply of soda that we were never allowed at home, all the toys we would play with, sitting at the big table and playing games with them, the really cool mailbox that opens into the house we kids used to run to when the mailman arrived, the awesome china cabinet that had the big conch shells which we would use to "listen to the ocean", the bar stools where we'd sit at the kitchen island and help Mrs. Judy make lunch, the list goes on!!!). Amazing being with them and getting caught up on all the Goldsboro people/news, and updating them on my life and family. Amazing to know that I have some really awesome people who love me and who have impacted my life in a big way.

But hard knowing that those times, those memories, are gone. Cathy and I spent awhile going through some of her things, and just remembering different moments in that house. It's changed so much-we've moved, Cathy and her siblings have left home. We were sitting on the floor in the front den at one point, just reflecting on that, and I think we were both almost in tears! I've been so blessed to have the Hunt family in my life, and their influence has made me who I am today. I don't wish to think of what I'd be if I hadn't had their counsel, encouragement and support! And I don't like that things have changed so we don't see each other as much!

Today I was thinking about all the amazing things He has given me so far, and realizing how futile it is to wish all of that back. The same God who sent me to the care of not just some amazing parents but the Hunt family, too, is the same God who is sending me to Fort Wayne and Uganda and who knows where else afterwards! He was with me then, and He is with me now. I don't know about you, but I'm excited to see what His plans for our future include!! :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

He's a person, She's a person

Copying something from a friend of Moriah's and mine off of Facebook. Hope she doesn't mind, but I thought it rings so very true, and wanted to share it as it's something heavy on my heart right now!!!!
Americans ('specially Christian Americans...Jesus was Middle Eastern, for pete's sake!) need to remember this!!!

"It doesn't matter what country someone's from, or what they look like, or the colour of their skin. It doesn't matter what they smell like, or that they spell words slightly differently-some would say, more correctly. I'm a person. [The bum on the corner]* is a person. You're a person. That person over there is a person. And each person deserves to be treated like a person."


31 "The Son of Man will come again in his great glory, with all his angels. He will be King and sit on his great throne. 32 All the nations of the world will be gathered before him, and he will separate them into two groups as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 The Son of Man will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
    34 "Then the King will say to the people on his right, 'Come, my Father has given you his blessing. Receive the kingdom God has prepared for you since the world was made. 35 I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your house. 36 I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'
    37 "Then the good people will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you alone and away from home and invite you into our house? When did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?'
    40 "Then the King will answer, 'I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me.'
    41 "Then the King will say to those on his left, 'Go away from me. You will be punished. Go into the fire that burns forever that was prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was alone and away from home, and you did not invite me into your house. I was without clothes, and you gave me nothing to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
    44 "Then those people will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or alone and away from home or without clothes or sick or in prison? When did we see these things and not help you?'
    45 "Then the King will answer, 'I tell you the truth, anything you refused to do for even the least of my people here, you refused to do for me.'
   ~Matthew 25:31-45, NCV

*Edited to make it more general for my intended use.

Monday, January 10, 2011

In which I am discovered clueless...

I am glad for days like this....most of the time. I believe it's good to be reminded of just how incapable I am of doing anything without His help. I don't want to think who or where I would be without Him!
So the first part of "today" is great-work is busy and flies by quickly, even though I expected it to be slow due to the "snowstorm" predicted in the forecast.

Then.
I realized my cell phone was on the verge of dying...and in fact, it did die. Right after I texted my bestie Sam to let her know I was still planning on getting my ears pierced this afternoon. So I changed plans and headed home.
Whereupon I check my email and find that my application for Amani? I SENT IT TO THE WRONG EMAIL!!!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?! And I didn't realize that until over a week later?! Crunched for time, I close my laptop, change into comfy stuff, and drag Karah out the door with me.
We stop at a stop sign. The guy behind me honks.
"WHY are you honking at me?!" I say to Karah and the guy-who-can't-hear-me. Then I realize it's a co-worker behind me, who is waving and laughing at me. Veeeeeeery funny, dude. ;)
After a stop somewhere (scroll down if you care to know where and can't wait until the end), we get shakes (I know...crazy...the snow falling fast around us and all we can think to eat is ice cream) and head to the Xpress Lube to get my car "fixed."
I park, and one of the workers walks out, around the back of my car and to the driver's side. As I open the door and start to get out, he goes, "Please don't pull out the knitting needles!" To which I have to laugh. ;)
But boy, oh boy, am I blushing when I find out the reason the "Maintenance Required" light was on...but nobody thought to tell this naive and ignorant 19 year old gal that when the oil gets changed you're supposed to reset the maintenance light! The man must've had fun telling THAT story to his friends. *sigh*
I come home, where I find in the mail something reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally special!


Yep! I find in a tiny little book my "ticket" to getting into Uganda! And since I stopped earlier to pick up my glasses, I can actually read said book without getting a headache. AND, since I have the wonderful passport, I can RE-send my Amani application COMPLETED this time. God is so good! :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sign here, please.

Filling out applications has become a sort of hobby for me of late, it seems.
Passport? Check.
Amani Volunteer App? Check.
I-House Volunteer App? Also a big CHECK.
And who knows what other paperwork I'll have to fill out this year.
Oh, yeah. Taxes. Forgot about that. See? More paperwork!
The thought came to me while signing my name this afternoon at work. Every day that I "play" cashier, I have to fill out a form before I leave, and sign my name on that form.
 The analogy is a little backwards, but I think it can still be applied to being a Christian. Following Jesus is an every day choice-every morning when you wake up you can either choose to live the day for Him or for you. It's that simple(in a way. The execution of that agreement is not always quite that easy). It's like signing your name every day on God's list of workers.
I signed my name on that list this morning-did you?

Written Friday, January 7th.