Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Overheard in the youth room

The Middle School boys arrive for youth group at 4pm. Youth group starts at 6:30pm. They entertain themselves, sometimes but really want to be inside. Yesterday was one of those days. They came in to drop stuff off, they came in to get some water, to go to the bathroom, to hang out. Just before I shooed them back outside I overheard this conversation.

MS Boy 1: After menopause women can't get pregnant anymore.
MS Boy 2: No, after menopause women can't have periods anymore.

The rest was lost in a cacophony of voices. I have no idea what got the conversation started and didn't jump in soon enough to speak to the issue but that's a conversation I never expected to hear in the youth room

Monday, April 27, 2009

A song for Monday

When my soul has cried its tears
and my heart begins to faint,
will You draw near
will You meet with me?
When my days are filled with longing
and my spirit groans and waits
will You draw near
will You meet with me?
I'm calling and waiting
Your presence, Lord, is life to me.
Breathe on me now as I bow down
I'm desperate, Lord, for more of You.
Come satisfy until I am
even more in need of You.
When my dreams have been forgotten
and my hope begins to fade
will You draw near
will You meet with me?
When my days are filled with searching
and my strength has give way
will You draw near
will You meet with me?
I'm calling and waiting
Your presence, Lord, is life to me.
Breathe on me now as I bow down
I'm desperate, Lord, for more of You.
Come satisfy until I am
even more in need of You.
Music and lyrics by Kathryn Scott© 2003 Vertical Worship Songs CCLI# 4130215

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A tale of a congressman

I've been home a full 24 hours now after 48 hours of traveling. Actually, if I'm going to do the math correctly it was more like 54 hours of traveling. I'm just going to say it out loud (or in writing), I'm not a fan of Continental right now. Granted the weather problems were legitimate but the complete lack of communication and misinformation that we were given was really very frustrating. My sense of humor was pretty much gone by the time we got home. But I must tell you a tale, my dear blog reading friends, of a Congressman from Texas (every time I write the word Texas I hear William Shatner in the movie Miss Congeniality).

Sunday night Continental paid for our overnight stay in Houston. 2 of us got to leave in the morning but for 4 of us our flights didn't leave until after 5pm Monday. That meant we had the whole day to, well, do something with. After an early morning and a frustrating day in the airport, none of us was moving too quickly and our window of time to explore Houston went away we really wanted to spend a whole lot of money on a taxi and the airport is out in the boondocks, which makes sense because it is Texas.

After spending most of the morning in the hotel lobby, we boarded the shuttle van and headed to the airport where food and bookstores were. We had our boarding passes, which meant we went directly to the security line, where I proceeded to get behind a man with many, many items going through x-ray. I had already put all my stuff in bin when I realized I should have changed lanes. The guy in front of me had an ice chest...yes, I said an ice chest, filled with dry ice and ice cream. He loudly proclaimed "It's solid as a rock! Honest!" When the checkpoint guards called over another guard the guy made the same proclamation and then said these fateful words "I'm heading to Washington DC. I'm a Congressman." Now, I was willing to give this guy a break. I want to see the good in people and usually make excuses for them but when those words were uttered, my cynical side took over and all I could see was a politician.

Mr. Congressman-from-right-here repeated himself several times, "I'm a congressman from right here." Once for the brisket, a couple times for the ice cream and again for the bottle of BBQ sauce in his carry-on, which when questioned about he proclaimed "Its only 3.4oz." and when he was told it was supposed to be less than 3oz he then said "I told her to only fill the bottle half full." At this point alarm bells are screaming in my head, screaming! But I will get to that in a minute. They let the ice cream slide but that bottle of BBQ sauce raised eyebrows. As he continued through the checkpoint, he kept saying to all of the security people (and to me) "I'm a Congressman, I'm a Congressman from right here."

Mr. Congressman-from-right-here finally went through x-ray along with all his stuff. I was pushing my things down the line, just wanting to get through security to the Starbucks that I knew was on the other side and desperately trying not to lose my cool on Mr. Congressman-from-right-here when one of the checkpoint guards caught my eye. Without skipping a beat the checkpoint guard looked at Mr. Congressman-from-right-here, looked back at me and said, "And those are our tax dollars at work." HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! I could not stop laughing. Loudly, without a care that Mr. Congressman-from-right-here was standing on the other side gathering his stuff together. That one comment made my day.

They did pull his bag aside and they were checking through it. The last I saw Mr. Congressman-from-right-here was using his politician charm on the seriously not amused or interested checkpoint guard.

For the record, I think the checkpoint guards should have confiscated that Blue Bell Ice Cream, right then and there. I know it was Blue Bell Ice Cream because Mr. Congressman-from-right-here said it over and over and over again. Just like he told anyone who would listen that it was for his daughter. I didn't care but he kept telling me. No way, no how should that have gotten through. They should have kept it for themselves. But seriously, this Congressman was clearly not above using his status to get through the system. A system set in place to "protect us" (we've been on Orange alert for years now), to protect the city that he was flying into (Hello, 9-11, planes crashing into the Pentagon, one intended for the White House, ringing any bells?) and a system that should be equal for all people, no matter who they are or what they do.

I met a Texas Congressman in the Houston airport...and I wasn't impressed.

Monday, April 20, 2009


The power of words has always blown me away. Sometimes they are words that I have read before that, when read through with a different perspective, changes my view profoundly. Sometimes words that I've never read before are arranged in such a way that they cause my heart to pound a little harder, my soul to ache, my eyes to well with tears and my head to say "yes! I relate, I get it, I know that feeling!" Sometimes they are words spoken. Sometimes they are words sung. We are bathed in words every day.

We use words carelessly at times. Tossing them together, not really paying attention to the power they hold to change a mood, hurt feelings, bring joy, bring hope, bring levity, bring sorrow. They come and go from our tongues so quickly that we don't know the depth of the words until we see the reaction on another's face or hear the catch in another's voice or receive words from another person in return. The power of words is unknown to us, at times.

There are times, though, when we know the power of the words we use. We are fully aware that our words can bring a person up or tear a person down. They can cause hope or bring fear, inspire enthusiasm or fester hatred. We use our words to inspire those feelings in others, deliberately provoking a reaction, for good or for bad. I think of that each time I read the Bible, the writers understood the power of their words and they chose them carefully...have we been just as careful about interpreting those words written in a different language for a different audience?

Looking back over a week of work, a week of living with others, a week of interacting with community members, with strangers, with people who had something that I needed, I see that some of the words that I used were potentially harmful, some deliberately provoking, many said with love and teasing that I wonder, were they taken that way?

Today I'm pondering words and the power behind them. What are you thinking about today?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

California Dreaming

It was too tame of a trip. We didn't have rental car problems (except for the windshield wiper issue and, well, that one is kind of embarrassing for Yo Momma so we won't talk about that), there were minor injuries aka no hospital visits, and we had pretty steady work all week long. And then we got to the airport this morning. We are being held hostage in Houston. Only one person is being released at a time. Don't worry, it's pretty nice here. We have Starbuck$, BBQ Beef, Borders and more! Plus Yo Momma has oranges and apples.

I'm having too much fun for some of the passengers frustrated with the delays. I keep laughing and people keep giving me dirty looks but seriously, people, I've worked hard all week, been up since 5am and am a little loopy. If I don't laugh, I'm either gonna fall asleep or cry. Laughing is the better option, trust me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


39 years ago today, two people stood before their family and friends and vowed to love each other until death parts them. Tonight, after a long day working in Pearlington, I watched these two people laugh and talk together, enjoying each other's company like they have for all 39 years. Oh don't get me wrong, there are plenty of times they are annoyed with each other, and there was one time that they were a little stern with each other causing their children to ask "are you getting a divorce?" but there's never been any doubt that they love each other, heart and soul.

Rumor has it that there is a picture floating around of the two of them hugging and laughing from when I find it, I will post it...but until then, Happy Anniversary Yo Momma and Papa Bear. Here's to 39 more!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Things that made me happy today--Day 5 MS 7

Today's happiness:
  1. Strips of paint coming off in big sections.
  2. Braving the tippy top of the ladder to get to the tippy top of the siding.
  3. Driving down White's Road--it's dirty!
  4. Listening to the birds and figuring out what they are far we have heard "kitty, kitty, kitty", "figaro, figaro, figaro" and "neiner, neiner, neiner" plus one that reminded me of the part in Down Periscope where one of the guys is imitating a whale. Awesome.
  5. Hanging out with people I like and laughing.
  6. Ibuprofen. Enough said.

It's been a good trip.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Things that made me happy today--Day 4 MS 7

I'm changing it up today! Things that made me happy today:

  • California's no smoking in restaurants rule...if only the rest of the country would catch up.
  • Steven's rendition of a bird dancing. Awesome.
  • Text messaging back and forth with Lil Bro while on a ladder scraping paint.
  • Taking a picture with my phone on the ladder to send Lil Bro.
  • Looking out over the swamp from Captain John's porch.
Huh, semi-good hair day too! :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thankful--Day 3--MS 7

Today I'm thankful for:

  • A friend who'll laugh and laugh and laugh with you over silly things that happen on the drive to Tire Town and the experience at Tire Town. Love you Meggie!

  • Port-a-Potties that are cleaned regularly

  • Sun that's not too hot and wind that's not too cold.

  • Steven's sense of humor.

  • This ladder which makes getting to the tippy top of the house oh so much more comfortable and steady!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thankful--Day 2 MS 7

Today I'm thankful for...
  • Diet Pepsi

  • Friends who "get you"

  • Couches with foot rests

  • Bubbling paint

  • Laughter

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thankful...MS 7: Day 1

Today I'm thankful for:
  • Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Spray

  • Air Conditioning & bandanna's

  • The breeze coming off the Gulf of Mexico

  • Insulation & paint scrapers

  • Thunderclaps and a new memory

  • Lightening

  • Friends & family who have joined me on this journey

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A trio of songs for Easter Day--edited for the correct video!

I love music. Music speaks to my soul, reminds me of days gone by and makes me happy, happy, happy. One of my favorite things about my job is being a worship leader. I love to hear the sound of people's voices join together in harmony and soar in praise of God. Friday night the worship team from my church went to Opinionated Friend's church and lead worship for the Good Friday service. At the close of the service we sang this song:

The smile wouldn't leave my face, the tears were threatening and the harmony was awesome! I'm blessed by our worship team.

This morning we will sing many of my favorite songs:
Lord I lift Your Name on High
Resurrection Day
We Will Glorify
That's Why We Praise Him
plus the standard Easter morning song, Christ the Lord is Risen Today.

The music will be uplifting and joyous, just as the day should be.

But perhaps the song that best describes this Easter Day for me is this one:
I couldn't resist the Alvin & the Chipmunks cover version. My apologies to Highwaymen purists :)

After worship I'm heading to Pearlington again...for the 7th time! Yes! 5 others are traveling with me and we'll be meeting up with Yo Momma and Papa Bear who went a few days ahead to travel and explore. Updates will be mostly on the Pearlington Blog so click here to read our adventures on the road!

Happy Easter! Christ is Risen!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The end is near!

Woke up today to the news that phone lines had been sabotaged in the general area resulting in a loss of cell phone service as well as land lines or Internet for some. Went about my day as life will not come to an end if my cell phone doesn't work.

But there are some in the area who know, know that this was an act of terrorism, that there is someone out there trying to obliterate us and we need to be prepared for the worst. Buy food and water, get a transistor radio and hunker down! Because we are under attack!

I say, if the phone lines being down meant that the guy at the table next to me at lunch couldn't talk on his cell phone while dining, then I'm very much okay with the loss of cell phone service today. I kind of liked not having to answer my cell phone...though I still carried it with me because it's also my clock!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Morning Bloopers

The pastor is on vacation this week, which meant that a lot more got added to my plate...including the sermon. The sermon was pretty fun but I hate, hate, hate doing the welcome and announcements. This morning is a good example why.

I had made all the announcements that I had at the 1st service and was having people greet each other when someone said "Hey can you make an announcement about the Crop and Craft day on Saturday." Sure, no problem. That is until I actually spoke. It came out like this:

"Saturday is Crap and..." that's as far as I got before my brain caught up with my mouth and the congregation caught on to what had been said. 98% of the people were in hysterics, as was the gentleman who asked me to make the announcement. 2% were not amused. Sigh.

Hello, my name is Brittany and I'm human.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Paying attention

In our weekly staff meetings we've been discussing a book by Ruth Haley Barton titled "Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership". This morning I remembered at 8:45am that I had yet to read the chapter for this week for our 9:30am meeting...and I still had to dry my hair, get dressed and drive to work...and stop for coffee because it's that kind of a day.

I made it to work by 9:23 and had 7 minutes to read as much as possible of the chapter. That's when I read these words,

"Many of us are choosing to live lives that do not set us up to pay attention, to notice the those places where God is at work and to ask ourselves what these things mean. We long for a word from the Lord, but somehow have been suckered into believing that the pace we keep is what leadership requires. We slide inexorably into a way of life that offers little or no opportunity for paying attention and then wonder why we are not hearing from God when we need God most." (p. 62)

Okay, I get it.