Friday, February 29, 2008


How does airfare jump 60 bucks in 24 hours?!!

It's just money, it's just money, it's just money.....

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Am I crazy?

This is the street map to Pearlington, MS. This little town has gotten under my skin. My first trip to Pearlington was in April of 2006. I was traveling with a team of people from church who had felt called by God to help with the recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast. We were assigned to a camp in Pearlington. We arrived in the middle of the night. I remember passing signs that said "Caution Turtle Crossing" as we drove into town that made me laugh. We were not in California anymore.

We wouldn't see the effects of Hurricane Katrina until the following morning. That's when we realized just how small the town was and just how devastated they had been. We spent the week Mucking and Gutting, doing whatever we could to help the residents get back into their homes. Our last night in Pearlington, we sat around the camp exhausted but not really wanting to go back home. I spent a lot of time that night asking God if I was supposed to come back to Pearlington for a long-term mission or keep coming back for short term missions. I got my answer as the group talked over the next few weeks. We were going to Pearlington again...soon!

I've organized and taken three trips since then: December of 2006, June of 2007 and this past December bringing as many as 28 people to work for a week. We went into this last trip in December knowing that this would possibly be the last large group trip for a year. The church and our sponsors have been very generous, but the coffers are getting a little thin. Plus scheduling wise next winter is the earliest the Youth can make another trip.

But I left Pearlington knowing that I, personally, couldn't wait a year to go back. And so for the last couple of months I've been praying, asking God to open or close doors to a return trip this Easter. I've talked with a couple of friends, figured out some of the financing and heard God say "Yes". I'm going with a few people who have gone on the previous trips with me, but I'm not going in my capacity as Youth Director. I've taken vacation time and I'm going as Brittany, someone passionate about helping the residents of Pearlington return to their homes. It was a hard decision to make, whether or not to take a big group of people with me, but I think God is urging me to slow down and just enjoy the experience. I need the opportunity to work without the pressure of being responsible for 27 other people and I'm really looking forward to spending this time with a few friends.

Yep, I'm feeling a little crazy, but so excited!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jose and Juanita

In my office I have a bulletin board where I put up pictures and notes given to me by the youth. One item is a coloring book picture of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. One of my teens had some downtime years back at VBS and she colored in the picture to represent her culture. She renamed Adam and Eve, Jose and Juanita and posted the picture on my bulletin board. Last week this student came into my office, saw the picture and said "You still have that???!!" Of course! It reminds me that we all have different views of people and helps me get out of my own limited (white girl) view of life.

My Friday Bible Study group started a new study book this week that focuses on women in the Bible and the first person up for discussion was Eve. I've always struggled with the story of Adam and Eve. I don't like it when the young men in my youth group read the story and then look at the young women and say "see, it's your fault." To me that just seems like a huge cop-out and a pretty simplistic view of what the story is all about. I was prepared to really struggle with this study...and then while in Bible Study reading the passage again something new caught my eye.

"The Lord God placed the man in the garden of Eden to tend and care for it. But the Lord God gave him this warning: 'You may freely eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from teh tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of it's fruit, you will surely die.' " Genesis 2:15-17 (NLT).

Alright, standard stuff, heard it a millions times, no biggie. That's not what stopped me. It was this part.

"And the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companinon who will help him.' " Genesis 2:18 (NLT).

Okay, hold up, God hasn't made Eve yet? How many times have I read, heard or told this story and I'm just now noticing that God gave Adam the explicit instructions on the Garden of Eden before Eve was even in the picture?? She hadn't been created yet she's given all the responsiblity for disobeying a rule that, according to this Scripture, she never heard from God's mouth herself? I'm thinking there is cause for a mistrial here.

That one bit of information has floored me a bit...and will come in handy next week when we get to the little pink box in our study that compares what God said with what Eve said to the serpent because, seriously, if the woman didn't hear it straight from God's lips then she can't be held completely responsible for her interpretation of what was said. She got 2nd hand info! Folks, we have our first Telephone Game right in the Garden of Eden with Jose and Juanita as our first players!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dear Spammers

Dear Spammers,

I don't need what you are selling. Really, I don't. Thanks for the many invitations for debt relief counseling, magic pills that help with things that I don't have and the like. I don't need your services, nor would I ever open one of the millions of emails you have sent me over the last few months should I ever need those services...which is highly unlikely. Thank you for your concern. Now please, TAKE ME OFF YOUR LISTS!


Tuesday, February 19, 2008


It started on Sunday. Sore throat, sensitivity to smells. Then came Monday. Really raw throat, plugged ears, cold yet hot, slightly stuffy nose, achy. Yep, officially sick. I've spent the last two days on the couch, with the exception of the three hours last night for worship practice. It wasn't pretty but that's alright.

I hate canceling youth group (which is evident in the fact that I've got 30 days of sick leave stacked up from over the years) but when I sat down at work today and immediately started coughing which then triggered the worlds worst headache I decided that youth group was not happening. So I came home and immediately slept for an hour. Yep, officially sick.

I'm going back to sleep.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Different kind of valentine

Today was Come Away Day. Once a month I gather with a group of people and we spend 4 hours in silence and prayer. We have our own separate spaces and then gather at the end of the time to check back in, sharing how the day went. My day was spent realizing that I've been putting up walls with God, not really wanting to hear what God might say, at the same time feeling like God has been silent. Nice to know I'm sabatoging myself.

That realization has brought peace to my soul. I've begun to disassemble pieces of that wall. There's a sense of calm in my soul that hasn't been there in a while. I feel, well, loved. Which is highly appropriate to feel on Valentine's Day. It's not how I'm used to feeling on Valentine's Day. It can be pretty stinkin' lonely being single on Valentine's Day. In fact, it can be downright depressing. But not this year. This year, I'm going to enjoy being loved by God...and The Train Guy who, according to the Valentine I received today, likes "watching me cook and riding in the race car!" For those who are giggling about me cooking (Yo Momma) The Train Guy and Adventure Boy (formerly known as Little Boy) were over on Tuesday night and I "made" spaghetti. Therefore, I cook. When Train Guy gets older than 3, the truth will come out.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Random things on a Monday

  • Why is it that I can wake up in the middle of the night with a list of things that need to be done at work the next day, yet when I'm at work and have the time to do said things I can't remember what they were?
  • This warm weather is nice. My newly pampered toes are enjoying the air (and I'm enjoying admiring them) but it's really good that my heater works well in my car. Seriously cold toes in flip-flops!
  • I went to the High School today with Jon-Boy and Trin, it's our regular Monday see-and-be-seen time. After I had parked and was walking up to the office a student stopped me and said "I really like you're Mustang." It's nice to have a cool car!
  • And yes, Songfriend, I put the convertible top down today!
  • Wednesday I'm meeting with the students that are reading through the Bible with me. We have those One-Year Bibles with the passages all picked out for you on specific days, which is great...if I had read any of it. I'm still in mid-January. It's almost mid-February. I should be reading. My old friend procrastination is visiting.
  • I realized today that I will out every night for the next 10 days. I'm not sure I'm gonna make it!
  • Why are White Mocha's so good? Why can't I resist them?
  • Is anyone else having trouble with spell check on blogger? It hasn't worked in don't hold spelling errors against me!
  • That's it. I'm tired. Good Night!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I've always been told that I'm a "good listener". Being shy by nature, I tend not to say anything unless I actually have something to say. Which means that I spend a lot of time listening. Which means I hear a lot of things. A LOT of things.

Over the years I've gotten better at tuning things out. Take Wednesdays, for example, I have learned to tune out the delighted screams of the kids who come for S.N.A.C.K. Time on Wednesday afternoons. Though every so often one kids piercing screams will sneak through. And when I'm trying to sleep I always hear that barking dog or the sound of the neighbor kid having a party because his parents are out of town. Of course.

It seems, though, that when I'm really desperately listening for God's voice, I never hear it. No joke, the harder I listen, the softer that voice gets. I'm at that place right now. I've been asking a question and getting nothing, nada, zip. Just more confliction and static. Ugh. I'll keep asking, hoping that the answer will be clear and that when it comes I will hear it loud and clear.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Dear Abby--Monday 2/4

"DEAR ABBY: I have a big problem. I am 16 years old, have a good job and do well in school. I go to a Christian non-denominational church every Sunday and enjoy that, too.
The problem is my pastor. "Reverend Ron" is 48, married, and has children and grandchildren. We have become attracted to each other and have secretly become a couple since last fall.
Every Monday night, after I get off work, I go over to my church and meet Reverend Ron in his office where we have sex. We agreed to tell no one, so as not to shame ourselves or our families.
Six weeks ago, I found out I was pregnant. I haven't told him yet, and we continue with our Monday night meetings. Abortion is not an option, but neither is shaming my family, much less the whole church. Abby, what do I do? -- IN TRUE LOVE IN WASHINGTON"

"DEAR IN TRUE LOVE: The first thing you must do is tell your mother what you have told me. If there is any "shaming," it should not be directed at you, your family or your church. You are 16, idealistic and inexperienced. "Reverend Ron," however, is an adult who has literally abused his "sacred" trust to you, his congregation and his God. He had so little concern for your welfare that he didn't even use birth control. This is not how grown men show "true love."
You cannot hide this secret forever. At some point the truth will be revealed. Tell your mother now, so responsible adults who love you can give you the support you so desperately need. If you're afraid to speak to your mother alone, then have a friend with you when you do it. The only thing you CANNOT do is remain silent."

The hardest thing in my job is to sit and cry with and for students who have had people harm them emotionally and physically. It is even harder still when the person harming them is supposed to be someone they trust. "True Love" is not my student but how my heart hurts for this student, their family, youth worker, youth group and church. I know how devastating sexual misconduct can be to a church but this is so much more than that.

Praying, right now, for "True Love in Washington". Praying that God will bring people into her life that will speak words of truth, love and compassion. Just praying.