Thursday, January 31, 2008

If I could turn back time...

Don't worry, I won't bust out into a Cher rendition right now. I'm at the office, and that would be awkward. Plus, it wouldn't reach the ears of you, my faithful readers.

However, I have been thinking about the past the last 2 days, as 2 potential opportunities have presented themselves to do things that I used to love and would love to re-visit! Confused? I'll spell it out.

1) When I was in middle and high school, I used to be a horse person. By this I mean that I spent inordinate amounts of time either at the barn or doing something relating to horses. Some of my happiest memories (during middle school especially) were of going out to the barn on a cold winter day and burying my fingers underneath my horse's mane. He was a Mustang, near as we could tell, and he had the best, thickest mane and tail. His hair would sit two or three inches thick over his neck, allowing an alcove for me to bury my hands in when they were cold. I also remember summer days being spent riding him bareback around my neighborhood (where he would come visit and stay for a week!) or going to shows where we'd compete, and occasionally win.

My favorite event was the costume class. Shadow and I went all out, winning first place awards for our depictions of Elvis and Little Miss Muffet (he was my tuffett!) We also dressed up for parades. Namely, I decked him out in red, jingle bells and a Santa hat for the Christmas parade in Maryville, or covered him in red, white and blue for the annual Steeleville 4th of July parade. Those were the days!!

Fast forward to yesterday. I have been thinking about (and even had a dream) about riding again, and realized how much I miss it. I miss the challenge, the exercise and the familiarity of a warm horse and squeaky leather saddle beneath me. I posted an ad on Craigslist, on a whim, to see if anyone in the WF area had a horse or horses that needed some exercise. I offered to come out and ride, and if they need a bag of grain every now and then, I could help out with that. At the moment, I have 3 prospects, two of which seem quite promising! I could be back in the saddle in no time, and that's a thought that makes me so excited!

2) I loved college. Absolutely loved Union and Zeta (which was such a huge part of my experience) and the four years spent in Jackson. I feel like I changed so much while there (hopefully for the better) and I miss the people who went through a lot of that with me. Though I was ready to get out and do something new and fresh, I have really been missing it this week. I was even looking at flights the other day so I could go see my girls compete in Variety Show, a dance/singing competition we dominated all 4 years I was there.

Flights are out of my price range at the moment. However, there may be an opportunity for me to go for work soon....It's an opportunity I am praying works out. I would love to see some old friends and visit my stomping grounds for a bit! So, if you think about it, ask the Lord to let me go ;)

All that being said, I don't want anyone to think I wish life could return to how it was. I LOVE what the Lord is doing in my life here. I am just feeling nostalgic for good things from the past too, and excited about possibly reliving some of that!

P.S. Just in case you weren't aware, my blog DOES accept comments, even from people without Google accounts. Just like mail, everyone loves comments. Feel free to leave me some!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A good time was had by all

The ski trip to Beech Mtn. went really well this weekend, I thought. Everyone had a good time, no serious injuries (my knees sustained some bruising after a heroic act on my part...A small child fell down and I jumped off the chair-lift to help...Ok, really, I just took a tumble off the chair-lift. No child was injured in the making of that lie.)

Here are some photos! Enjoy :)

Me, Will and Nikki ready to hit the slopes!

Geared up and ready to go

The guys are ready to head out too! Ron, Will, Derek and Patrick

Photo shoot: Posed picture #1

Photo shoot: Posed picture #2

Photo shoot: Posed picture #3

Nikki and I about to head down Oz Run (before the miserable snow-blowers appeared!)

Ron and Nikki taking a break to warm up

The ladies, Catherine, me, Nikki and Alicia, getting warm.

Night skiing...Ahh. That camera is a little close!

Nikki showing off.

I dare you. Do it!

Our fearless leader, Chad, and his son Will.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Activity? Skiing. Mood? Very excited

I think the title says it all. I am going skiing this weekend at Beech Mtn., NC and I am quite excited. It has been a snowy/wet week there apparently, and fairly cold, so the conditions should be good, considering it's NC.

I wanted to move to Denver, and would still love to live there, for numerous reasons. One of them was the ability to be close to good ski resorts and able to make skiing into more of a habit, rather than a one-weekend-a-year thing. Maybe the Lord will call me to live and minister somewhere close to the ski slopes. That'd be awesome.

For now, I am content to go to Beech! Can't wait to hit the snow ;)

By the way, that is not a photo of me. It is only someone with an amazing sense of 80s fashion. Long live neon snow gear!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It has been a weird couple of days.

Yesterday I stayed home sick from work with what appeared to be sinus issues. I don't get sick much anymore, and generally not enough to skip work, but I was feeling crummy. It was a fairly un-eventful day. I watched a lot of TV, slept a lot, hung out with Ben, and ran a few errands. However, last night was pretty sleepless, as I was dealing with Ben's bowel issues. (If you care to, you can read about it here.)

As I woke up this morning I was greeted with the jolly voice of Kenneth, one of my co-workers, calling to make sure I would be in today. Good, he said, I had a lot of work to do.

One of Southeastern's professors passed away last night after battling cancer. I never knew him, only knew of him, but it seems like he was an amazing man. I had the honor of paying final tribute to him by writing a news release on his life and death. Here's a link.

I prayed the other day that I would be able to look at my job as more than a job, but as a ministry. I'm sad that it takes events such as Dr. Bush's death to make me feel passionate about doing my work, but I am thankful that I have the opportunity to join in this ministry here at SEBTS. When there is a story to tell, I am reminded that God has given me a gift and the skills to use it, if only I will dig.

I am hoping that with the upcoming move to a WordPress format for our campus articles, I will be able to delve back into feature articles, which are my favorite type. I do really love getting to know people and their stories and making them worthy of others reading about them. So anyways....Just kind of general weirdness!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Little Lily

If you weren't aware, I name my vehicles. It started with Kenneth the Cougar, for my first "all-mine" car. It had to be a boy, because all my friends had boy car names, and they were going to hang out a lot....Obviously. My next vehicle was Pearl, my dear 97 Isuzu Rodeo. She was a pearly white color, probably b/c it was a bit older. Moving right along....Lily came into my life in October. She has been a great choice: 2004 Nissan XTerra. Unfortunately, less than 4 months after signing my life away on car payments for her, she has developed an antifreeze leak out of the radiator.

Now I am faced with a bit of a dilemma, do I pay the $500 repair cost, or just keep pumping antifreeze into her, hoping the car doesn't overheat, hoping the "service engine soon" light stays off, and hoping it doesn't affect anything, such as the acceleration, which first clued me in there was a problem?

I opted for the pump-her-full-of-antifreeze-and-hope-she-survives-for-a-while route. Hopefully, I will be able to get some info on this extended warranty I am paying for and get that fixed, and not out of my pocket.

If you have been reading this for any length of time, you know that car trouble is not good news, considering that I was prompted to buy Lily b/c of malfunctions with Pearl's engine ($700), which forced me to drive my dad's car for a few weeks, which then resulted in my hitting a deer, thereby causing another $700 in damages....My new car was supposed to fix these issues! Gracious.

Right now I am listening to Shane and Shane..."This is my song of surrender, you are my portion, my reward." I have to remember this vehicle problema is a minor issue, and I need to surrender it, and everything to the Lord....So much easier said than done; rejoicing in the midst of frustrations.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Clueless, but content

We have just begun doing the Experiencing God study at Bayleaf, and I am really enjoying it and getting a lot out of it. Though we're only a week in, I am feeling like I am on the brink of something with the Lord, and that is so exciting for me.

When I was home for Christmas, my father made the comment to me that this point in my life is probably the happiest he has ever seen me. I thought that was sweet of him to say, but it made me wonder what exactly it is about life right now that makes me so happy, and happy enough to portray it, evidently.

The answer I come up with is that I am content. This contentment comes in various forms: Happiness when things seem to be going right and peace even when things seem to be going wrong. However, I find that I am feeling most content about the fact that I have no idea what the future holds, and I am liking that. I don't know whether or not I will actually take classes at SEBTS or just work (right now, I'm just working and enjoying not studying!). I don't know whether or not I'll be going overseas in a few years to serve as a missionary. I don't know which of my relationships with new friends will continue developing, or which of my old relationships will quietly wither away.

However, I do know that the Lord is moving in mighty ways around me, and he wants me to give my all and serve him, in whatever capacity he calls me to. I know that there is a great big world out there, full of "dead men walking," and, praise God, I am not counted among that number. I know that I have been given the incredible gift of salvation and redemption through the work of Christ on the cross, thereby assuring me, through no act of my own, that my name is written in the book of life. I know these things, and I know God will show me, day by day, how I can join him in his plan of redemption, by piercing the darkness that pervades this world around me.

Praise God for salvation. Praise him for allowing me to join him in his work, however that may look in the future. Baby step by baby step, he'll show me how he can work through me to accomplish his plan of salvation. That knowledge leaves me content to rest in his will. However, even more than contentment, I have a renewed sense of joy about my salvation. If we, as believers, could remember and exhibit that joy on a daily basis, how much more effective could we be to the dark world around us?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

All about Benny

My mother suggested I write a book, in the same vein as Marley and Me, about my experiences living with a crazy dog. Though I don't foresee a book anytime in the near future, I thought I'd go ahead and start blogging about my daily life with my little terrorist of a pup, if for no other reason so that I don't forget what it was like when he was young and crazy.

The link is here so feel free to check it out if you're interested!

I get a kick out of him; You might too.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Rewind, then look forward

Life sure moves on in funny ways. Exactly one year ago today I was transitioning to living in Ecuador, doing a study abroad to get some Spanish credits and learn about living alone in a new culture and adapting to a new language.

I remember crying and being more than a little freaked out the day I left Maryville. Arriving in Quito, the capital city, didn't quite work out as planned either. I got into the airport only to find myself escortless and rideless. The person who was supposed to pick me up and take me to my hotel for the night never appeared, so I jumped in a cab, showed them the name of my hotel, and off I went on my adventure.

By Sunday, January 7 (today's date), of last year, I was bored at my "new home" and ready for my classes to start so I could get back into the swing of Spanish, learn my way around the city, and meet some people to hang out with. Read about my first days here. "Last night" (last year though) was Seis de Enero, an odd celebration that at least gave me something to do, but began to indoctrinate me into life in Cuenca. Here's the link for that post. A year ago today, I didn't really have much of an idea of how life would go down there, I was just ready for it all to really start. Things quickly changed when classes began, providing me with activities, friends and memories that make me laugh and make me cringe.

My time spent down there taught me a lot about myself, both good and bad. If I could re-create that experience, I would do so in a heartbeat. There are so many situations that, looking back, I am ashamed of the way I handled things and I wish I could rewind and re-do it. However, I know that we learn from all of our experiences, both good and bad. I definitely learned a lot about my weaknesses, my strengths, and my complete inadequacy for taking the Gospel to the nations on my own. When I rely on my own strength to share my faith in hard situations, I faily miserably, because I have no strength apart from Christ, who gives me fortitude to do His work.

So, looking ahead then from my Ecuadorean adventure I can say that I am asking God for the chance to once again live in another country, with the purpose of reaching people with the good news of salvation through Jesus. Maybe this time, I won't try to do it on my own, because I know that doesn't work. This next time, I can only hope that Christ would be the focus and the driving force of all I do, so that it will be His name that is made great through the experience.