Thursday, December 31, 2009

Too much

There is too much to tell you about this trip to Pearlington. Way too much. What I can tell you in the few seconds I have right now, is that God has given me many, many gifts these weeks. Not talent gifts, but gifts that come in small moments of grace, small times of reflection and in the hugs and laughter of friends.

I thought this was the last trip to Pearlington. I'm not so sure it is now. That's all I've got for now, there's just too much running through my head.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A trip to Wal Mart

In the 3 1/2 years that we've been coming to Pearlington, our team has made some significant connections with people. Different team members speak of different people with love and care. Ms. Sandra, Ms. Yvette, Sam, Ms. Pauline, Ben, Tom, Dave, the Dawseys, Ms. Ana, and the yellow house...oh wait the yellow house isn't a person, sorry. ;)

When we made the move to staying in the Motel 6 and then to rental homes we wound up going to Wal Mart a lot...A LOT! Like every night. Not being a Wal Mart fan, I would appreciate shopping somewhere else, but alas somewhere else is not to be had in Waveland, Mississippi. It's Wal Mart or nothing.

Wal Mart has the power to suck every bit of energy out of my body. It's just too overwhelming. I can got to Target, Costco or any number of places and be fine, but after a long day of working, no matter how awake I feel, the minute I walk in those doors my energy just runs dry.

It was on the trip in April that I began to look around the store and wonder if I was going to run into someone that we knew. My mind remembers faces pretty well. I can't always remember their names, but I tend not to forget faces too easily. On Saturday night, as we were checking out, an employee walked past me and I instantly knew it was Britney, Ms. Yvette's daughter. And then as we headed out the exit I looked at a little girl with her family and realized it was the Dawsey's. Since they didn't really know me, I didn't say anything but just tucked the encounter away.

This is trip we've tried to eliminate nightly Wal Mart runs to varying degrees of success. We stayed away on Sunday and wound up there on Monday night again. This time a little earlier in the evening. As Jolynn and I wandered through the store, getting the things on our list, a couple walked past me. I saw the man's face and knew instantly who it was. We made eye contact and he kept walking. Why would he know who I was, I'm supposed to be in California. As Jolynn and I made our way to the water aisle, he showed up again. This time I jumped on the opportunity. I walked up to him and said, "Are you in your house yet?" He looked at me with that polite smile one gets on their face when they are looking at someone they don't recognize and said, "Yes".

"Good," I said, "it's about time." He looked at me for a second and I could see the light bulb go off. His smile got wide and he started to laugh "Shoot! I didn't even recognize you!". He enveloped me into a hug that felt so good. A hug of a friend. We stood and talked for what felt like a long time and probably was only about 10 minutes. He called to his wife and had her come back to see me...she hadn't spent as much time with our group so that look of recognition didn't come until she saw my vest that said California on it. Ahhhh...the California group. We parted ways in Wal Mart with one last hug...a hug of a friend, of a brother who had shared a week with us, helping his neighbors and forging friendships that led to a reunion in Wal Mart.

As I walked away, I was overwhelmed with the blessings of the work we are doing and have done in Mississippi. We have made friends that aren't afraid to welcome us with hugs when we are reunited, with whom we can share in the joy of finally being in their homes and through whom God speaks and says "Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done."

BTW, the friends I met in Wal Mart were Dave and Tami Wake...they had moved into their home only 4 days before...4 years and 3 months after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their home. That's why we keep doing this.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh goodness

I had a whole blog ready to just cut and paste and it's not happening. So, go to the team blog for pics and updates. Updates will come here in the next couple of days.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All my backs are packed...

Okay, not quite. There are clothes in the dryer, batteries in the charger and I have two bills to pay. Today kind of got away from me, but I wouldn't change much...maybe would have gotten up about an hour earlier. Why is it that I felt compelled to change my sheets and clean-up a little this morning? I don't get it. I enjoyed lunch with a friend today, a pre-trip massage and adjustment and dinner with Train Guy and Adventure Boy. Train Guy was extra lovey tonight which just about melted my heart. Seriously. My Christmas gift to K & N was a weekend of kid-sitting...which Train Guy heard as a week and got really excited to spend a WEEK with me. I told him we would try a weekend first and then upgrade to a week if I survived. :)

Anyway, updates on the trip will be here sometime in the next few days. We don't have internet access at our rental houses so it may take a little while to update but never fear, I can't stay away too long!

Keep the prayers coming!


Office floor is clean! Yea!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

To Do

My to do list at work is 12 items long...that's just the things I can remember that I want to accomplish at work...doesn't include packing. 38 hours until departure time...agh!

In other news, I just knocked over the trash can in my office, throwing little hole-punched circles of paper on to the floor. I could pick them up, but I'm going to leave them as an experiment. Will they be gone by tomorrow? Or by the time I return to my office in January? Or will I return to little circles of paper on the floor? Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My day

Today I wrote the following list for R-Girl...

My Day:
7:45-11:45 church (with Mississippi meeting in the middle)
12:30-2pm Young Adult Group
2:15-4pm Finish decorating Train Guy's birthday cake (a garbage truck)
4:15-6:30pm Church Christmas Celebration
6:30pm-8pm Train Guy's birthday pizza dinner

Here's what I remember about today:
  • Opening the door to the church for the custodian who forgot his keys to the church at home, who only had 15 minutes to spend cleaning.
  • Walking into the church only to see that those who had rehearsed the day before for the Christmas Celebration had not bothered to return the Sanctuary to it's natural state for the worship service. Lovely.
  • Keyboardist showing up 15 minutes before church started 'cuz the roads between her house and church were closed...glad she kept trying!
  • Having everyone in the worship service take a deep breath in and exhale out all the rush of the just felt right.
  • The prayer of Church Member A as he prayed for the Mississippi Team. I got teary. And Church Doc's prayer for the team to stay healthy. :)
  • Laughing around a table with Young Adults, sharing a meal and stories.
  • My aching feet and back.
  • Singing O Holy Night with a room full of people who were not hesitant to sing. I would have closed my eyes and reveled in the moment but I couldn't remember the chords to the song! Not so good when you're playing guitar.
  • The moment of pure harmonious bliss at the close of the Worship Team's special song...sweet.
  • The smile on Train Guy's face when he really saw his garbage truck cake (picture to come sometime). Worth all the worry.
  • Lil Bitty...enuf said. (Her mom will understand.)
But I have to say, the moment that I cherish the most today came in the form of an email that said "Are we ready? RCA". Yes, Ben, I'm ready...only 4 more days.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The basement

My office at church is located in what has been termed by some "the basement". The bottom half of the church is tucked up against a hill, so one whole side has no windows at all. Someone once said that adults don't like using the downstairs because it's "the basement"...a place best suited for youth and children. Which made me laugh. Before the big church remodel the basement was where our fellowship hall was...and the really good kitchen that was big and lovely and had plenty of room for cooking and plenty of cabinets...oh, sorry, sidetracked by history.

Anyway, in "the basement" is where my office resides. It's lovely because it's out of the way of the regular flow of traffic, usually quiet and allows me to blast my music as loud as I want without bothering a whole bunch of people. I like my basement office.

The summer is a wonderful time to be in my office as opposed to the rest of the church. It usually doesn't get warmer than mid-70's (it's a basement!) while the upstairs of the church gets into the high 90's. Yuck. But the winter time...the winter time is when my poor little hands freeze! Especially on Wednesdays when the kid's program is running and the downstairs door is open, which causes a draft into my office, which I never notice right away until I realize that I'm freeeeeeezzzzzzziiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggg. Can you feel the chattering of my teeth and shaking of my hands?! If I could just remember to shut my door, my little space heater would get this office nice and toasty, more ovenish than freezerish. But alas, time and time again, I forget.

Despite the cold, I wouldn't trade this office for nothing...well, unless the powers that be saw fit to get A/C and turn the attic into an THAT could be fun! Hmmm.... :)

Monday, December 7, 2009


In my possession are the "keys" to Rental House A in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
On my computer are words to prayers, meant to guide us as we work.
In a folder is my airline ticket information.
In the youth checking account is money to help cover the costs of our team.
11 days.
Anticipation is burning in my soul.
I'm almost ready.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas tree!

Yo Momma, Train Guy, Adventure Boy and I headed out to the Christmas Tree farm yesterday. We tromped all over the place searching for just the right tree, encountering many other people and their dogs, lots of prickly Christmas Trees (a strict no-no in our house!), some that were too small, many that were way to big and lots of potentially wonderful trees. It took awhile but we found just the right one...Train Guy was the first to spot it. We all took turns cutting it down, which was hard work but worth it! I guess I should have taken a picture of the decorated tree, but honestly,by the time the was hot cocoa made, crooked part of the trunk was cut off, lights and ornaments were on, I was too tired to even lift the camera...but we had fun!

Adventure Boy and I took a self-portrait. I forgot the camera was zoomed in but the more I look at the picture, the more I like it. Sweet memories.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My desk is overflowing with papers.
My brain is overflowing with things to be done.
My mouth has overflowed with things on my mind...
causing heated conversation...
for which there were apologies and finally understanding.
Chaos seems to be threatening to pull me under,
just when I feel like I've found a small amount of peace.

In the midst of chaos comes small moments.
The smile and compliment from church member M,
saying "Job well done on Sunday's message".
A recognition of the work that God is doing in my heart...
in his heart too.
The hug from church member B,
and the words "I pray for you."
A quick text with M relating moments of the day.
Laughing with A.
Grande Nonfat White Mocha with Whip...
paid for with a gift card...praise Jesus!

Small moments are good,
reminding that the chaos will soon ease...
into another type of chaos? Who knows.
I find myself longing for a day,
a day on a plane, heading toward a place
that has captured my heart,
to people that have captured my heart as well.
I find myself longing for a day,
a day to reflect and celebrate,
to push aside the chaos and rejoice.

"The angel said, 'Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master."--Luke 2:11 The Message

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Out of the mouths of 6th graders

Tonight was our annual Christmas Card Extravaganza. Every year we sign a bunch of Christmas cards to send to the church members and friends, as a Thank you and just a goodwill gesture. Middle School was up first...they signed 80 cards...pretty impressive. In the middle of pack one of the boy's yells "give me that card back, I signed my name wrong...I forgot the 'e'...that would mean my name was 'wad'." Oh, the innocence of 6th grade boys.

I think I will be checking the spelling of the names before they are mailed. Just sayin'.