Friday, May 25, 2012


I am super excited to be heading back to a place I fell in love with.  I even got a call from Osvaldo and Rossy confirming the pick up time tomorrow in Managua...

I'm anxious about the last minute trip to Wal-Mart and packing and getting it all together.  I know it will all fall into place and get taken care of...

I'm sad to be leaving my family in the midst of something tragic.  I know the Lord is bigger than me.  I know I am not in control.  I know praying is the best thing I can do right now and I can pray from anywhere...

I depart at 7:00 from Charleston and will land around 11:20 in Managua.  From there, I'll be picked up and taken to Chinandega, where I will stay the week with Pastor Osvaldo and his family.  I cannot wait to see what the Lord does -- BIG expectations!


YOLO = you only live once.

I think this is going to be my new motto.  How am I living?  You?

I've been thinking about life a lot the past 20 hours.  A dear family friend is in the ICU after a car crash.  She's young and vibrant and hanging on for dear life.  Grateful for your prayers.

Psalm 107:1-2,19-20,35
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble...then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.  He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction...he turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Getting ready.

Packing.  I've been putting it off and off and off until it has to happen tonight. Leigh's coming over for our routine "pack and play."  It just makes packing more fun.

Courtney joked with me this morning because I packed 3 to 4 weeks in advance when we went to Haiti last summer.  I guess you could say I'm getting slack more comfortable with these things?!

So many thoughts are running through my head as I attempt to pack here and there and mentally prepare for this trip.  I've read two blog posts this morning that struck a nerve.  One and the other:

Here’s a convo from my facebook feed recently.
Friend of Mine
I just dropped by iPhone! And the glass is completely shattered!! Grrrrrr!!!!!
Top of Form
Her Friend
OMG!! That is my greatest fear!! I’m really sorry you are going through this! I would cry!
Friend of Mine
I am really upset! I’m going to cry!! It’s going to cost sooooo much to get it fixed!
Her Friend
Yea, I would cry too! I totally understand!!

Seriously?? Is that worth out tears? Today I held the hands of a woman who buried her baby in the ground lat weekend. She could hardly walk as the trauma and grief had caused her to ignore her physical pains of recent child birth and infection had spread. Her infant son’s life is in the balance as the ‘disease’ that took his sister threatens to invade his small body if Mama can’t gain strength to feed him.

I sat next to a woman too full of pain (shame?) to lift her eyes. Her bloodshot eyes showed the stress of sickness coming to near. Her daughter sat uncomfortably on her lap, but no amount of adjustment or soothing causes hunger pains to leave. Her loose skin and small stature made their poverty too obvious.
I hugged a friend I’ve gone months without seeing and laughed along with her as she gripped at me for not visiting more. I looked inside her home and we talked about the water that enters when it rains, not too surprising as it is built on top of a swamp. The house is built on the same land she tried to live on a year ago when the police came and beat her and stole all her belongings. She’s sure she’s safe, I express concern.

These aren’t the extreme. Just a few of my friends I passed on my normal route today. Just the ones that came to mind as I thought over my day. Just the few I’ve seen in my small corner of the world. A small corner of a world where disease and poverty and injustice are rampant. A world where lives are taken every minute by things that should not exist.
Yet in another corner of the world, we can be upset by iPhones, traffic, heat, football losses, expensive clothes, etc, etc, etc.
I’m just not sure that’s ok.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

There's just something

about Scott Disick that makes me smile.  He just knows how to rock a cane.  Oh, yeah, there's the fur lined cape, too.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Beach bum

This weekend was nice and relaxing; however, the weather did not lend itself to getting a tan.  The weather today was gorgeous and the beach beckoned my name.  An hour out there was just what I needed.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wise words

I read this on Sarah Sass's blog and had to steal it; thanks, Sass!

In June of 1971, just days before his 26-year-old son, Michael, got married, future-U.S. President Ronald Reagan sent him the following letter of advice. It really is quite stunning.

(Source: Reagan: A Life In Letters; Image: Ronald Reagan, via.)

Michael Reagan
Manhattan Beach, California
June 1971

Dear Mike:

Enclosed is the item I mentioned (with which goes a torn up IOU). I could stop here but I won't.

You've heard all the jokes that have been rousted around by all the "unhappy marrieds" and cynics. Now, in case no one has suggested it, there is another viewpoint. You have entered into the most meaningful relationship there is in all human life. It can be whatever you decide to make it.

Some men feel their masculinity can only be proven if they play out in their own life all the locker-room stories, smugly confident that what a wife doesn't know won't hurt her. The truth is, somehow, way down inside, without her ever finding lipstick on the collar or catching a man in the flimsy excuse of where he was till three A.M., a wife does know, and with that knowing, some of the magic of this relationship disappears. There are more men griping about marriage who kicked the whole thing away themselves than there can ever be wives deserving of blame. There is an old law of physics that you can only get out of a thing as much as you put in it. The man who puts into the marriage only half of what he owns will get that out. Sure, there will be moments when you will see someone or think back to an earlier time and you will be challenged to see if you can still make the grade, but let me tell you how really great is the challenge of proving your masculinity and charm with one woman for the rest of your life. Any man can find a twerp here and there who will go along with cheating, and it doesn't take all that much manhood. It does take quite a man to remain attractive and to be loved by a woman who has heard him snore, seen him unshaven, tended him while he was sick and washed his dirty underwear. Do that and keep her still feeling a warm glow and you will know some very beautiful music. If you truly love a girl, you shouldn't ever want her to feel, when she sees you greet a secretary or a girl you both know, that humiliation of wondering if she was someone who caused you to be late coming home, nor should you want any other woman to be able to meet your wife and know she was smiling behind her eyes as she looked at her, the woman you love, remembering this was the woman you rejected even momentarily for her favors.

Mike, you know better than many what an unhappy home is and what it can do to others. Now you have a chance to make it come out the way it should. There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.



P.S. You'll never get in trouble if you say "I love you" at least once a day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Covenant relationships

Heard this from a wise friend last night, "covenant relationships are the ones that stick.  They're your people.  They're the people you stick with even when they make you really mad."

So grateful for my covenant relationships.

Who are yours?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Yummy polenta

I made my lighter variation of this recipe this weekend and remembered how good it is and how I should make it more often than I do:

Saute the following in some bacon grease (or butter or olive oil) for a minute or so:

  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • fresh rosemary, cut small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper
Add 2 cups milk and 1.5 cups chicken stock.  Bring to a boil.  Then pull off the heat and wisk in 1 cup polenta.

So easy, so flavorful.  Pairs well with pork and chicken.  

2nd annual fishing trip

You may remember last year when Courtney came and caught her fish.  Or when I looked super hot.  We had to wake up super early Saturday morning and were on the water before 7:00 am.  We fished until 3:00, yet only mom caught something.  Kind of a bummer, yet the day was gorgeous.  Regardless, beautiful scenery, too much good, a few cold beers, and good company is always a good time.

Here's hoping our next trip is more productive though!

Friday, May 11, 2012

A crazy afternoon

Yesterday I spent some time chatting with the county's accounting office and treasurer's office in regards to my car sticker.  I received the bill last week, paid it, and also changed my address in order that I might receive a sticker.  Well, due to me moving, I received another bill this week and called to straighten things out.  Turns out, I have to hit up the DMV to get my sticker and prove that I paid.  Oh, South Carolina, these things just shouldn't be that complicated.

I headed to the DMV after work and of course they were closed.  Obviously because it was Confederate Memorial Day.  Oh, you didn't get that holiday off?  You must not work for the state of SC.  Ironically, I do, but came into work so that I might use that holiday for something more fun (B5 lake weekend anybody?!).  

I headed to Mt. P to take my favorite pair of shoes to the cobbler to get the strap fixed.  They were friendly and it will only be $8 to restore my beloved floral platform sandals that I've been rocking since spring break 2002.  After that I made my way to the grocery store to procure food for the weekend and then home.  Upon arriving home I realized that I'd left my house keys at home.  I keep them on a separate ring and that proved not to be a good idea yesterday.

We have two keys to the house -- one for the front door and one for the back.  I grabbed the hidden key, that works on the back door, but could only get it to work in one of both locks on the door.  My roommate was in Florida so what was I to do?  I eventually got her boyfriend's number and left him a hilarious and long message.  Then I went to buy ice and put the food in a cooler (carrying that cooler in my trunk all the time comes in handy!) and treated myself to an icee.  So good!  I played around Target before I headed to my dinner plans.

The boyfriend called back and told me that the hidden key was nearly impossible to use on the bottom and would go unlock the door for me.  So gracious!  So thankful for that!  There were plenty of places I could have slept last night, but my own bed was calling my name.  And, finding clothes to borrow for work today would be harder than finding a place to lay my head.

After a yummy dinner, I headed home and went for a run.  Then watched Grey's.  I won't spoil it for those that haven't seen it, but oh my word!  Didn't see that coming.  Or that.  Or that.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fun afternoon pick-me-up

Thanks, Maggie!

Things I am thankful for right now

The internet.  
Prayers answered.
That God reminds us of his love in personal ways.
Friendship and laughter.
Reading blogs.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Yesterday, I ran 40 minutes!  That's the longest run I've done since the Bridge Run.  I'm starting to feel more and more like an actual runner.  Haha.  While, 25 minutes or so is my normal routine...sometimes longer depending on what I have going on that day, I'm hoping to get more "long for me" runs in there.  Goal would be to eventually work my way up to an hour once every blue moon or so.

It's pretty crazy that I couldn't do this at all a few months ago!

Can I just say something?

If you are almost thirty (who, me?!) I think you should always, without excuses, be "and guested" to a wedding.  It's just one more, almost everyone you invite in this age bracket is a twosome, and it makes the single person feel respected.  I think that should be the case once you are an adult, but understand budgets sometimes cut into that.  But, seriously, twenty five and up, come on!?

Recently, I was invited to a family wedding and wasn't and guested.  I mentioned this to my mom yesterday.  Her response, "well, I'm sure if you can find a boyfriend before the wedding, they'll let you bring him."

Year Team

This past weekend, I was out at Camp St. Christopher for the Year Team closing retreat.  I was sad that it ended, but could  not be more grateful for things that I learned through this process.  I loved the leadership and the lessons taught.  Through it, I learned a lot more about myself and my God.  Over the course of nine months, I kept learning and re-learning (and always will) about my identity in Christ.  And the more we know about who we are and who's we are, the more we are able to live into our callings and be the people we were created to be.

Everyone shared who they were before Year Team and who they are now.  It was really cool to see how the Lord has worked in all of our lives!  Lots of laughter, food, and tears were had this weekend and I couldn't have asked for a better way to close out this season!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Farther Along

I was introduced to Josh Garrels this week and have been enjoying him today at work.  If you go to his website, you can download his newest album for FREE!  How cool is that?  I've been listening to this song on repeat for a bit and am not ashamed to admit that tears have flowed from my eyes.  The lyrics pierce as they describe what I'm sure we've all felt and questioned.  Yet, he also proclaims hope.  All, with a fun, peppy tune. Check it out:

Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man died, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves 'em both
We're all cast-aways in need of rope
Hangin' on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I've seen.

Farther along we'll know all about it,
Farther along we'll understand why;
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine,
We'll understand this, all by and by.
Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates
Leading mice and men down to their fates
But some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin' that line back home.

So much more to life than we've been told
It's full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
Go down into the river and let it run
Wash away all the things you've done
Forgiveness alright.

Still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fightin' for my soul
And I've got no place left go
'Cause I got changed by what I've been shown
More glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin' on.

Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I'm free to love once and for all
And even when I fall I'll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levees and my bluffs
Let the flood wash me.

And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
'Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the Son of God is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we're the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon.

Fancy smancy technology

My mom is pretty famous for her less than stellar typing skills.  Yesterday, I found a bit of a solution!  I realized that she can "write" emails with her finger in her Gmail account on her iPad.  I've been getting hand written emails all morning long, and I must say: this was a brilliant idea on my part!  The last one even included a picture.  


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

No pain; no gain.

This past weekend, I was thrown off a jet ski going about 50 MPH.  It felt like I skidded across concrete and I have a bruise on my bum to prove it.  Seriously, if I could post a picture on here I would -- but one, I think I'd get in trouble and two, you might vomit.  Moving right along...I attempted to go running yesterday for the first time since I'd injured myself.  You might also want to know that my big left toe is cut and therefore I'm not putting too much pressure on it.

Y'all, the toe was one thing, but the bum.  I literally had to hold it at times while running.  I'm sure I looked like quite the runner.  Haha!

But as I was running and thinking about how ridiculous I must look, how my body was hurting, I thought, "no pain; no gain."  And then I thought how that transcends beyond physical pain, and into emotional/psychological pain as well.  We all have baggage.  We all have things we are wrestling with currently.  And we could sweep them under the metaphorical rug and ignore them in order to be more comfortable.  Or, we can deal with the things that are hard.  When we wrestle with the hard things, I think we end up being much better off -- the pain produces the gain of knowing ourselves better, what makes us tick, what easily enslaves us, etc.  And, for those that know Jesus, you get to know Him so much better because He is walking beside you through the pain.

Then I thought of Jesus on the cross.  Sure, that crown of thorns had to hurt.  The whips and the nails driven through his body had to be excruciating.  The people yelling at him must have been awful.  But, of all that, the worst pain he felt was being separated from His Father, God the Father, for three days.  That hurt like hell...literally.

And for what?  He bore all of our sins that we might live, and more than that, live full lives in freedom.  He took on the pain that we might receive all the gain.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hop ons.

I've long since had the goal of getting Courtney to love and appreciate Arrested Development.  I wouldn't say, we are 100% there, but we're making some definite progress!

Her using quoting it in a conversation at work today made me SO proud!