Monday, June 28, 2010

Follow-up to a comment

For those out of the area, here's a link to the original video that was shown on the news when the Jefferson Award honorees were announced. It highlights another honoree as well.

I don't have anything from the National Awards nor the newscasts while I was there...which is actually okay by me! There may be more pictures going up on the National Awards site, but it might take a little while.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

DC recap

There are many thoughts running through my head about my time in DC. Over the last few days, the emotional letdown of these last few months has hit hard. It's been an overwhelming roller coaster! I am so grateful for the experience and though the awards stuff is behind me, I've been left with the question rolling through my head "what are you going to do with this God? What's next?" If this is the end of the line, awesome ride...but my feeling is that it's not. I think there is more to come and I'm excited, EXCITED, to see what God does with this all. So, that said, here's some pics of the week!

1st TV interview of the evening. Outside the Mayflower Hotel in DC.Meg and I in the Mayflower Hotel lobby waiting for the first evening's dinner.Kathleen Kennedy Townsend giving a welcome speech at the Welcome DinnerGiving my one-minute speechMeeting Barbara Boxer
2nd TV interview in the hallway of a Senate Office Building
Meeting Dianne Feinstein
Waiting in the lobby for the buses to the Gala Dinner at the National Building MuseumPapa Bear, Yo Momma and I at the Gala Dinner at the National Building Museum

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gala day

Okay, can I be honest. There's a little part of me that is sad about not getting a top 5 honor...but good grief, the people that did deserve them!

I've learned a lot in the last two days about what volunteering and serving means to other people. I've sat at a table with men and women who mentor youth, have set up free health clinics, have sold hundreds of dollars worth of lemonade for great causes and I have heard the stories of women and men who have given their all for the things that God has led them too. It's very honoring to be a Jefferson Award Honoree and have been given the chance to come to Washington DC to hear the stories from around the country, and around the world.

This morning we heard from the CEO of Goodwill, a NBA star, I met my Senators, had ANOTHER on camera interview and this evening went to a Gala Dinner. I sent a text to K at one point that and said "whose life is this?" because it certainly doesn't feel like mine.

There are pictures to come in a day or so. Right now, bed is calling. Tomorrow is one last photo op wherever we land and then home. Grateful for the experience and wondering how I can pack these awesome flowers in my suitcase! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010


I wasn't going to blog about this until I got home, but it just can't be left for later.

I'm in Washington DC this week. In March I was honored with a Jefferson Award for Community Service for my local community. I was chosen, out of those 6 people, to represent the Central Coast for the National Awards. Tonight was the beginning of the festivities. Each nominee was asked to give a one minute speech about why they were nominated. Mine went something like this:

"Good evening. My name is Brittany and I am here tonight because of Hurricane Katrina. Over the last four years I’ve had the honor of leading 9 teams of people, totaling around 60 people, from my hometown of Felton, California on work trips to Pearlington, Mississippi, a town ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Over the course of those 9 trips we have worked alongside the residents of Pearlington to recover and rebuild their homes and their town. We have torn out and rebuilt, talked and listened, laughed and cried, sweat a lot and even left a little blood behind. Hurricane Katrina left a gaping hole in the lives of many in the Gulf Coast that almost 5 years later is still waiting to be healed. My team and I are committed to helping the residents of Pearlington heal for as long as we are needed or useful, and we do so honored to be used by God to bring hope back to the residents of Pearlington, Mississippi and the Gulf Coast."

I don't think it came out exactly like that, but it was close and it made Papa Bear cry, so it's all good!

After listening to the others give their speeches, we were dismissed for the evening. I headed out to double check on something that is happening tomorrow, when a young woman approached me and said "I just wanted to come say thank you for what you are doing. I lived in Pearlington."

This young woman, Chelsea, and her family are living in Memphis now, but they lived in Pearlington before the storm, right across the street from the post office. After she graduates, her parents are planning on moving back to Pearlington to rebuild. Chelsea is here because her school group is getting a Jefferson Award for Students in Action.

To put this into a little bit more perspective. There are 309,559,474 people living in the United States. There are probably about 500 or so people at the Jefferson Awards (I'm guessing, it could be a smaller number). Pearlington had about 1700 people living in the town before the hurricane. The odds of running into someone from Pearlington at the Jefferson Awards are so low it's ridiculous. But there I stood, talking with Chelsea. I told her my team would love to come help build her house. Tomorrow I plan on getting a picture with her and I'm gonna pass my phone number on to her as well. If the reason that I am here, right now, is to meet Chelsea, than the whole trip was worth it!

AND to top things off, when I checked into the hotel there was a note from the Washington Bureau of KSBW. Yep, on air interview in front of the hotel. CRAZY!

It's midnight here, bed is calling. Tomorrow is going to be a busy but good day. Pictures will have to wait til later but WOW what a night!

Friday, June 18, 2010


If there is a noise curfew that lasts until 6:30am, why would planes be scheduled to fly out at 6:15am?

Is it really necessary to advertise the name of your church on the roof of your building, in letters that are so big they can only be read from people inside planes?

How does fog work? How does it decide to be foggy in one place but not another?

When did we stop having respect for other people when it comes to our language? Why is it necessary to drop the f-bomb in conversations over and over and over again? What happened to the well placed swear word that got the point across but didn't cross the line? (realize that I may have just crossed the line with some people who read this blog...sorry!)

How is the oil spill/disaster in the Gulf a natural disaster?

If companies want repeat business, why do they treat their customers so shabbily?

What would happen in the world if we were all required to genuinely smile at people to give ourselves more energy? Would we be a happier group of people?

Monday, June 14, 2010

For the curious one's

This is the outfit:
The sleeves are sheer and the skirt is prettier in person and hits about ankle length.

These are the shoes
Which I've worn a total of three times (Cousin Lisa's wedding, Lil Bro and New Sis's wedding and when I scuffed them up so I wouldn't fall on my face!)

The best part of the whole thing...the whole outfit cost less than $60 (shoes don't count since I had them already). The jacket that Yo Momma made me buy for the other outfit cost more than that!

Hope it meets with your approval cuz I don't have time to go shopping again! :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Quote of the Day

Two and a half year old Emi, with wild morning hair, talking with Yo Momma (known in Emi's world as Grandma G.).

Grandma G.: "Emi, where did you get all that hair?"

Emi: "Jesus."

Friday, June 11, 2010

Abide with me

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. " John 15:1-7

Last night the Young Adult group gathered at my house. After the ice cream sundaes we had a fantastic discussion (seriously almost 2 hours) and as we were ending, one of the group read John 15. For most of the group, the image of the vine being pruned stood out. What hit me were the words "abide in me".

The last week has been a week of introspection. I've been contemplating relationships, my job, where I put God in life, my successes and failures and so much more. At the beginning of the week, I met with someone who has been acting as a kind of spiritual director in my life and he asked a series of questions that brought me to the edge of tears. I spoke aloud words that I've hidden pretty deeply inside and know that they are just the top layer of stuff that needs to be worked through. It's been that kind of a week. In the midst of it I've felt pretty alone too. Admittedly, part of that is my own doing but not all. And then the words last night "abide with me".

God's been on the back-burner of life lately. I've been going through the motions, been putting a lot of energy into other places and haven't given God much nor have I allowed God to give me much. I don't like myself when that happens. I don't like the me that appears when God gets too little.

Abide with me...I'm pretty sure that in the midst of a group of people, who have become a bright spot in life, God did a little talking last night.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

For Meggie

As promised...The Muppets. For more videos go to The Muppets Studio on YouTube. For now, enjoy The Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody (Original Version).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


It's 11:15pm. I just got home a 1/2 hr ago. I left home at 10:45am. 12 hour day anyone?

Everyday I hear high school and college youth complain about how long they have worked. "Oh man, I had to work 10-5 yesterday", "Man, I put in 8 hours today", "dude, it was such a long workday, I worked 5 hours". Can I just say, I have no compassion. I really don't. 10, 11, 12 hour days are normal in my world. Not to mention, I feel fortunate to even have a job right now...and the way the church is going financially, that might not last for long. Tonight I sat at a table with 4 young adults. 3 of those young adults have graduated from 4-year universities. 1 has multiple degrees and all 3 are having trouble finding jobs. The 3 of them each have temporary/seasonal jobs that pay pretty crummy. They are grateful for employment. The other one has a pretty full-time job that has been steady for years. I know he works hard but sometimes when he complains about working, I just want to bop him upside the head and say "snap out it!" (with the whole accent thing that Cher had in that movie). I'm grateful for my job.

That said, I wrote a bio today for a new blog ring that I'm a part of. As I was talking about my job, I realized that the passion that I have found in Disaster Recovery Work is something that I would be willing to follow if that's what God asked me to do. Helping others find hope, helping groups help others, organizing trips for youth groups to help others, I love that. I really, really love that.

The question that comes to mind, though, is am I willing to follow God no.matter.what. Even if it's not to that type of job. Am I willing to trust God's leading? Even if it takes me far away from the home and people that I love? That's the question on my heart these days.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BP Oil Catastrophe

This email wound up in my inbox at work:

"Just an update to all of our Pearlington fans. As of today there is no oil in the Pearlington area or along the Mississippi shores or wetlands. Hancock Co. and several of our affiliate non-profits have begun developing a volunteer plan and collecting names of groups and individuals who may want to volunteer to come down and help with the clean up should the spill reach MS shores. If anyone is interested in responding (should the need arise) let me know. A command post has been set up at the boat launch on Hwy 90 and the Pearl River. the Corp, Coast Guard and National Guard are monitoring the river and mouth to the Gulf at this time.
Best to all,
Tom D. M2M"

When I was in Mississippi in December we bought fresh caught from the Gulf shrimp for Christmas Eve Dinner from one of the local fishermen. It was such a great dinner, even after the cleaning the shrimp. What happens now? What happens to the beautiful coastline of the Gulf? What happens to the people who make a living or, even more profound, get their sole source of food from the waters of the Gulf? This is so much bigger than an oil company losing money.

Found this website today...the map is what caught my attention. Check it out for yourself.