unexpected tragedy, unexpectedly ok.

So. My parents house burned down. The house I grew up in, spent my "formative" years in. It is gone. The few things we could salvage fit in a plastic tub. I am with my parents now, helping them clean up and move to their new temporary home.

This kind of thing really takes you by surprise. I saw the house for the first time yesterday, and from the outside everything really looks fine for the most part. But then you walk in and everything you remember is either black, broken or gone all together.

As completely unexpected as it was though, what is even more strange is the fact that I am not falling to pieces. And neither are my parents. It is just stuff really. The hardest part is losing Rudy and Miss Kitty.

Rudy Toot
Miss Kitty (Should have gone by Princess Kitty)

We are going to be ok. We have insurance. We are going to rebuild. It will look different, but it will be home again. And hey, if the insurance comes through like it should, we may even be able to pay off the mortage and be debt free. That would truly be a blessing to my parents.

Thank you so much to all of you who have been praying. We needed a miracle, and I think one is coming.

Love you all so much,


I wish I was good at sports.

Many of you can probably relate (then again a lot of you won't) but it makes me so jealous to see those cute little girls with their cute little stretchy shirts and shorts, goin out for a nice little jog, bein all outdoorsy and such. I wish I was more like that sometimes.

I'll even put on some little shorts and a little shirt and have my go around the block. I mean it looks so fun when those other girls are doing it. And then I start wheezing about four steps into it and wonder how in the world I thought this would be fun.

I've decided this kind of endurance surely starts at a young age. I remember when I was 10 or 11 I could run around all afternoon and it felt great. But then towards 8th grade year things begin to change. I actually remember when it happened for me.

It was 7th grade, I was playing soccer at school during P.E. And I was a total beast. I mean I even had the great Alisha Hamrick scared of me. I so wanted to try out for soccer; I thought I could actually be good at this sport (I had failed miserably at most others). So I asked my friends which if them were trying out. None of them were. Not one. So neither did I.

I stayed in concert band. For the next 6 years. I loved it, but I still regret not trying out for soccer.

FYI Alisha Hamrick was voted MVP for women's soccer when we were in High School. I kept playing my clarinet. I'm pretty sure she got a scholarship of some sort. I haven't touched my clarinet in 7 years.

Let that be a lesson to us all. If you want to try something out, DO IT, or else you may regret it for the rest of your life.


I am ashamed of many things.

I am ashamed of the way I talked to a homeless man outside of my solid, warm doorway
and cut short not only his words, but his dignity.

I am ashamed of my apparent inability to love outside the lines of my head,
the place that "knows" those who deserve a love given to me for free.

I am ashamed of my brothers who take my baby sisters
and turn them into prostitutes, control freaks and liars.

I am ashamed of my fathers who feel the right to persecute and even hate
the red, yellow, black and brown side of my big beautiful family.

I am ashamed of my co-workers who claim to shout to God,
but rather whisper secrets of so-called truths in the ears of strangers.

I am ashamed of so many things.

But I am not ashamed of You.

I am not ashamed of You who said "Get up! Pick up your mat and WALK!"

So now how do I reconcile this discrepancy between my sorrowful shame and my unabashed love for You?

I will tell you what I will do.

I will give you my shame.

I will give you my brothers' shame and my sisters' shame and my fathers', co-workers', husbands' and daughters' shame.

I will give it all to you. Because you are not like me.

Because with you all things are possible.

With You, the broken are healed, the chained set free, and the dead are resurrected.

And with my shame you will purify, sanctify, rectify and nullify.

So that this thing called shame I once gave to you - well, I can take it back now under a new name.

It shall be called grace.

I tell you the truth -
From this day, I walk not in shame. From this day, I walk in GRACE.

Bedouins T-shirt Drive

Hello friends. I thought you would like to know that Bedouins International is having t-shirt drive - meaning, for every 5 shirts you send them, they will send you one back screened with the Bedouins logo. Super cool idea, I know.

The other 4 shirts will be sold to raise money for upcoming projects in Kenya, Honduras, Bolivia, and Gauatemala.

You can get the shirts from the thrift store or wherever you want, just make sure thy are in your size.

Send them to 1710 2nd Ave N #501 Birmingham, AL 35203

For more info e-mail me at jessi@bedouinsinternational.org and be sure to keep up with the Bedouins Blog for fun pics and stories!