Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The house smells fantastic. Home made marinara sauce made with all fresh ingredients (most picked this morning from the garden) is simmering on the stove. We’ll have spaghetti tonight. I have really enjoyed cooking the past few days. Was thinking I’d make spiced orange scones for the early risers tomorrow.
My whole family is going on a medical missions trip to Mexico in two weeks. We are so stoked. Can hardly contain it! DeVon, my oldest son, leaned over to me during Sunday evening worship and whispered "I can’t believe I’m going to be a missionary at age 12! That’s gotta be a record!" I smiled and squeezed him a bit. He thought for a second... "Wait! Chante’s 10... THAT’S the record!" I leaned over and reminded him that his little brother was going too. "Whoah! Zion’s 6! Cool! New Record!". His eyes were wide and excited. I couldn’t resist... "Trinity may go too. She’ll be five." "Holy Cow!" he responded. He was just so excited to know that kids can do missions too! He wanted our family to hold the record for this trip. And, we may. But, I may break it to him that several of his cousins shattered those records by being born while overseas on missions. Don’t want to burst his bubble just yet.
I’m not sure if I will do the bible studies, or entertain the small children during the studies. I have determined to learn some songs in spanish and bring bubbles and face paint and make home made playdough for the kids. I will start my spanish lessons today. Ya know, learn something other than what is on the Taco Bell Menu...
My gorgeous niece, Savannah will be heading off to Cambodia for a medical missions trip. She will be on a medical boat going up and down rivers offering free medical care and bible studies. She’ll be gone for a year. She has waited an entire year to find a mission that suited her. And, since she will be going into pharmacology when she goes to Harding, she thought this might be the thing.
My family has done mission work with Native Americans in Canada and the U.S. , they’ve smuggled bibles behind the Iron Curtain, been back since, started churches in the Ukraine, Papua New Guinea, done medical missions in Jamaica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, studied in Greece, Italy, and prolly a whole lot more places that I’ve forgotten.
Derek and I on the other hand, had only been comfortable doing work here in the states. We dedicated six years to the work with the Navajos (loved it and miss it!), one year to a children’s home, and six years to the churches in Northern California. Which, by the way...was very much a mission... just didn’t have the core hardships of overseas work in underdeveloped countries. Rather, we dealt with the core hardships of a rich, spoiled culture.
More tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

It's been two months since Derek was let go from our church. Twenty days or so since I last wrote in my blog. I'd hand out a list of excuses, but none of them are as interesting as I'd like to think they are.

I used to wake up mid-morning and immediately wake up the kids. We'd do all of our morning routine quietly and then settle in for breakfast. After breakfast, we'd homeschool at the kitchen table while I tended to e-mail, lunch plans and dinner plans. Usually preparation for ministry events would be in the mix. My life was planned, orderly, quiet, effective, purposed and predictable. Very much predictable. I loved it...

Now I am in my sister's home. So grateful. They are a lively bunch... active, running in a hundred different directions, persistent visitors, weird meal times, a lot of ministry being done... a lot! I wake up at the oddest hours... usually determined by the hour that I went to bed. I have caught up on all the movies I have been wanting to see for a while. Saw "Signs" last night. Tee Hee... it was great to see it again.

I miss my old friends badly. Miss predictability. This coming from the girl who would fly by the seat of her pants! I miss the trail near my old home. I miss the clubhouse. I miss the phone calls, the online chats, the drop-ins. I miss my kids' friends. Hehe... would have thought?

My life is good though, make no mistake. I have a renewed and sharper sense of mission. Purpose. I am having more spiritual discussions than I had with the preacher at home. I'm needed here. Sucker for appreciation. But, I won't let it go to my head. I've learned a harsh lesson in humility recently.

I'll tell you about George the useless door defender. David, my Canadian cousin. Eddie the blue-eyed Puerto Rican from Long Island. Trevis the young investor from Barbados. Blake the laugher. Cici's flushing pizza. Taco Bueno... which isn't More Good, by the way. I'll tell you about Lyndal the comedienne... Savannah the 19 year old boat faring missionary. Trinity the straight shooting four year old with a love for the Phantom of the Opera. She's singing it now.

I have so much in my life. My cup overflows. And, I know it. I can't wallow in self-pity a minute longer... I have much to do.

My husband is searching for a ministry job. I write. He sends.

We're heading out on a medical missions trip to Mexico. So much to prepare for.

Girls and boys here are already turning to Derek and me as though they know we'll be their next leader. I'm not completely prepared for that.

I feel completely spazzed out at times. Unable to concentrate. Uncertain. Insecure. Craving home. But I'll pray through that.

This blog is all over the place. I'm being bombarded with questions. Gotta run.


Friday, June 09, 2006

The Arkansas Experience.
I defiantly straightened my hair today. So far, so good. A little poofy, but it still resembles it's original glory. That's cool.
It's oppressively hot and humid here.
Yesterday I went to an auction with my sister. We rolled up on a gravel parking lot... a lot of people were leaving and that was our clue that there really wasn't much to bid on. But, we decided to park and stay. An Arkansas Auction. I wondered how a southerner could keep an auctioneer's pace...ya know... with the drawl and everything. I was amused when the auctioneer called a toilet seat a "mother-in-law picture frame".
Based on what I saw at the auction... furniture stores sell off their broken items and other folks dump unsellable garage sale items in one massive, rocky parking lot. If you plan on bidding, you go up to the front and ask for a number. My sister's was #168.
There were a lot of "good ol' boys" hanging around. Many of them pulled up their horse trailers in the hopes of landing a good deal on the linoleum or bathroom cabinets or roof tar. Carolyn was right in there with them. Nodding and waiting and nodding some more. I was very careful not to raise my hand to pull back my hair when the auctioneer was doing his thing. "Come on, folks, we got uh pallet of ruf tar rat here! Whool give me two-fav... fav...fav-six... we got six... whool give me sevun... six... sevun..." I started to space out. We were only on the first row of junk and the stuff I was remotely interested was going to be auctioned last. I started to look around at the folks. I was dressed in my work-out capris, white t-shirt, oversized shades, curled hair and a white hairband. Apparently white ISN'T what you wear to an auction. On the other hand, if I'd been dressed in a pair of overalls and a John-Deere cap, I'd have fit right in. Prolly needed some Skoal in my back pocket too... ya know ... as an accessory.
I got sunburned and lost interest pretty quickly. Though, when I started to look at the junk as potential art it got interesting.
Eventually I made my way to the car, turned on the air and pulled a cold one out of the cooler. I was so refreshed. Carolyn joined me after a few minutes. She had purchased a bathroom cabinet, three boxes of contractor trashbags, a huge box of grill cleaner and three sets of japanese lanterns. I bought myself a sunburn. Actually... it was free. Nearly got run-over by a horse trailer. That was free too. Guess they don't take well to spaced out California girls on the parking lot.
After the auction, I got home in time to make dinner... the first crew of 12 was fed and the other crew of 10-15 (not exactly sure how many folks make their way through here...) nibbled on dinner later. Steak, potatoes, steamed squash from the garden, southern-style green beans (yes, Canadians know how to make those too!), salad and fruit for dessert. All I was missing was bread... but I was too tired to make any. The crews of folks enjoyed their dinner and then went to play basketball until nearly midnight.
The Wal-Marts here have everything in them. I bought icecream, milk AND shampoo in the same store. Okay... so that's not that impressive... but I'm easily impressed. Now, if only Target would do that! What? They do?!
On the way home from Wal-Mart, my neice and I had a hankerin' (Arkansan for "craving") for the ice-cream so we stopped by the Wendy's and ordered a drink and two spoons. They were puzzled. We broke out the low-carb and the family sized icecream and ate right out of the carton. Yes we did! Nothing better than forbidden icecream, tell you what! What nearly killed me though, was watching my sweet little sixteen year old neice slurp ice-cream soup out of a gallon pail... If only I'd had a camera! Just struck me funny, I guess.
So, my kids are at the water park. Derek's outside trimming bushes so the kids can play basketball. I'm blogging and taking a loooong look at the watermelon I just brought home. I hope tonight's a quiet one. Just a couple of friends, some ice cream, popcorn and a good movie or two... ya know?
So, other than the heat and humidity combo... life in Arkansas has been good to me. I'll keep watch on the horse trailers and see if I can get my hands on a John Deere cap. Maybe THEN I'll fit in!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I have curly hair. Not normal curly hair... not the "Oh, that's so cute, you're so lucky!" curly hair. No. I have a fro all over my head weighed down with frizzy wanna-be curls that can't decide which direction to curl. It's sad, really. Every once in a while I'll do something ingenious with my hair, but generally I just try to keep it this side of a mass of tangled frizzballs.
Have a few new friends here in AR. Been interesting. These young men are from Brooklyn, NY. One fella is 26 and originally from Barbados. Soft spoken, but a killer basketball player. He loves the Lord and is in this for the long haul. I wished he'd marry one of my neices... but sadly, these things aren't up to me. Sigh.
The other fella is 33 and only a few days younger than me. I couldn't place his accent at first, and I still have a hard time understanding him. But, I might get the hang of it sooner than later. He too loves the Lord. Both the fellas are passionate about what they do... which is convert people. I really would love a study with one of 'em just to see what it is a new convert goes through in the We Care Campaign... mostly morbid curiousity, mixed with a little genuine thirst for a good bible study.
We nearly drove through fog to get to a ball game tonight and all I could think was "There goes the hair!". Fortunately no one was there to check me out. Good thing too... I spilled chili nacho sauce on my new shirt. And, when I borrowed my sisters pull-over, I spilled diet coke on it. Felt like a real lady, I'll tell ya!
So... why am I obsessed with my hair? Is it a dominance thing? Control? Vanity? Acheiving the impossible? Probably a little bit of each. One thing for sure... I'm in denial. No one would know I had naturally curly hair cuz I curl it or straighten it every day. Unless of course they catch me at a baseball park in early June in Little Rock, AR. Then they'd see the real me. Messy. Unkempt. Vain. Sigh.
This blog is all over the place. (Kinda like my hair.) I'd best let you go... In the meantime I'll be working on just the solution to my humid-reactant hair. A formula.
Hittin' the sack.