Friday, March 25, 2011

swamp boat

mom and dad were in town a few weeks ago.  during that time we decided to do a "swamp boat" tour on the everglades.  it was exciting for all of us, including me, since i don't often do the "touristy" things around here.

just on the boat - momma & her sister, my aunt marilyn

daddy & i after we took off.  the boats were loud - requiring our awesome headgear!

another boat with an unexpected ride-along!

(a funny bird is a pelican...his mouth can hold more than his belly-can!)

beautiful waterways we zoomed through!

our whole group - my parents, aunt, me, and two strangers!

and at the end of the trip we got our own visitor on our boat.  his feet were literally about 2 feet from mine - if that!

he made me a wee-bit nervous.

another part of me just wanted to pull on his stretchy neck - but i didn't think that would end so well!

Friday, March 4, 2011

baby shower

i threw a baby shower for my co-worker brittney a few weeks ago.  we had it just in time, their little girl, Ezra, was born 4 days later!

it was so much fun to host at my new place, crowded, but fun.  we had 15 people RSVP and almost 30 came!   good thing i tend to over prepare!

mommy-to-be getting food

 paper heart garlands!

 we painted onsies for baby lohman - who NMSI folks nicknamed "Bohman" because we didn't know the baby's name or gender!

"TWEE"  how cute is that?!  and yours truly made the blocks onsie. 

helen drew a treasure chest on the bottom of hers and labeled it, "precious booty inside!" and wrote "Treasured" on the front side.  

even the mommy made one!  (while looking amazing at 9 months pregnant!)

and finally, sweet Ezra Nichole after she made her appearance - in her "Love" onsie made by Beth!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


i can remember as a little girl taking in a quarter for nursery school offering at Faith Church.  very happily digging it out of daddy's coin basket on his desk, carrying it in my little longaberger basket purse, and placing it in miss peggy's little, white, church-shaped piggy bank.

years later, as a babysitter and waitress, i wrestled with and then turned to proudly giving my tithe.

i'd always been a saver, so not having money was not so much a problem for me.  but i've had to learn lessons about what to do with my other 90%, post-tithe.

i didn't have a job during my first two years of college, i worked in the summers and i knew my parents had my back.  my junior year i happened upon 2 jobs.  a resident assistant job in the dorms (that i didn't really desire, but applied for because i thought it would be fun and we'd have a bigger room) and a teaching assistant job with the new mission's professor, who my roommate was working for.

something changed in me.  somewhere after earning money i started feeling like a "poor college student."  i took the position of my friends.  "i can't do that, i'm a poor college student."

i remember vividly my dad sitting me down over a break and telling me it made him sad to hear me say that.  he told me i was not a poor college student because i had him and my mom.  that instead, i should go out to eat or whatever, from time to time and if my friends couldn't afford it, then i should treat them. if i couldn't afford it, then i should charge it to them.  the lesson was learned.  rarely did i have to fall back on my parents, but i knew i could.  instead a great lesson was learned.


always find ways to be generous.  God will always provide.

i think back now and wonder how destructive it would have been, had i enter mission work without this mindset.  how many times would i have said, "oh, i'm just a poor missionary."

sometimes i need the reminder.  but i am so thankful for the lesson to be generous and the joy that God allows me to have every time i give something away.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

dying breed

when i first came to NMSI the singles complained that the "era of the singles" was dying out.  so many had married and the heyday of it being an organization of singles taking over the world was fading.

yet i looked around and we still had two full girls' houses and a full guys' house.  we just had a lot of young couples and families too!

recently i found out that with more people leaving, i will be the only single, non-dating, full-time staff person at the cgo.  we have 1 person each in a girls' house and a guys' house.

now.  now the heyday is over.  it's an interesting thing to be the only person in your bracket.   i don't know of any other single, late 20s men or women around here.

don't get me wrong.  i am BLESSED beyond belief at the people who God has put in my life.  wonderful roommates, co-workers, amazing church family.  and the reality is that, until God provides, no one truly can understand my life position but God.  so here i stand and i depend.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

God timer

for the next two months i'm taking part in an experiment of sorts.  it's been done before and it is described in the book Soul Revolution.  as of yesterday, my small group is doing a 60/60 experiment.

one of those 60's stands for days, the other minutes.  every 60 minutes i have a little kitchen timer go off telling me to stop what i'm doing and connect with God.  we are doing this for the next 60 days.  some people are using stopwatches, some are getting text messages, i'm using a small kitchen timer in my pocket, purse, or on my desk or counter.

no big deal, right?  already i'm amazed.  yesterday was emotionally rough.  i'm not sure how i would have made it though without the constant reminder of God's presence.  many times when that timer beeped i just prayed, "God, You're really there, right?"  and then peace would wash over me.

one of my roommates said she got so annoyed yesterday, each time her phone went off.  she was always in the midst of changing a poopy diaper or some other mess.  i wholeheartedly agreed that - yes, it feels inconvenient to connect with God.  i've already thought ahead to certain meetings and events and wondered how do i do this.  and yet, at the same time, it's connecting with God - just once an hour!  that feels like a definite less-than-minimum.

and yet i'm excited.  yes, sometimes i know that timer will drive me nuts.  but i can't help but think and hope that this little experiment has the makings of being transformational for us.  because we are connecting to the Vine.  and i am praying for fruit.