away i go...

So, the time has finally come: my first trip to the great continent of Africa! I am looking forward to an amazing adventure with this guy and with an amazing group of people who started the Kiini Sustainable Initiative. I'm going with Bedouins International to help capture and share their amazing story. (More project details are in last month's newsletter.) (Sorry for all the links, but I think it's better for you to go and read what they have to say rather than me try and cram it all together in one little blog post.)

I am so excited about this oppotunity. It's really gonna help them, you know? Media and marketing are so expensive to those who have a good story to tell, yet for some reason it comes totally free if disaster happens or some crazy monster kills thousands of people. I hate that. It's not right. Anyway, we're trying to change that. We want you to know about some good stuff too. Follow the Bedouins blog to keep up with our story in Kenya, and I'll be back May 7th to share some of my own experiences with you!

Keep growing,



To all who are weary...

It might mean you have an iron deficiency. Yep. Too little hemoglobin. And did you know that you can't donate your blood if your hemoglobin is too low? Yep. You can't. I was bummed because I really wanted to save someone's life today.  I mean sure, I was a little terrified with the whole "let me suck your blood out" thing. A bit vampiric, yes. But it could save someone's life. How cool is that?

Then the nurse handed me a sheet of paper talking about why my hemoglobin might be so low (it basically told me I needed to eat better - Ramen Noodles do not give me the Iron I need) so that I could be prepared for next time. Now I know that I need to eat green leafy veggies, eggs and more meat. I am prepared for next time.

I wish life was that easy. I wish I could just eat some Popeye spinach and feel strong enough to face the world and fight off the bad guys. But I get tired. Sometimes everything hurts and I just want to stay in bed all. day. long. And it isn't an easy choice to get out of bed in the mornings. It's never easy to do something you don't want to do - even if it might save someone's life.

Paul actually wrote a letter to the Galatians back in the day about this exact matter. He said: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

I think they must have been getting tired too. And probably not because of an iron deficiency (though that may have been a component...) but because it wears you out to be good all the time. Because being good isn't just about giving a little blood - it is about giving everything you have. And it is tiring and painful and sometimes it breaks your heart. But it is worth it. Or at least, it will be.

That's what we're told anyway. And sweet Jesus I am trusting you to be faithful to that. Because I cannot do this whole "life" thing by myself. But what I can do is prepare myself for what is to come. I will eat my vegetables and poultry and hope that one day I am ready to save someone's life. If only I do not give up.

Photo Credit: Stephen DeVries





So I was talking to my very wise mommy yesterday, and of course I was rambling about how I couldn't wait until this! and was so looking forward to this! oh my gosh and this! too.

And then she was like, "Chill. Out." Ok, she didn't really say it like that, but I'm translating for you.

I have got to stop looking forward to things that may or may not happen! I am blessed where I am right here and now. I mean it is wonderful to dream - so , so wonderful - but if I'm always looking forward, won't I miss everything that is happening right now?

And what a tragedy that would be.

Remember that "Happy List" I was making? Oh, did you forget about it too? Ha, no worries. Well, I started on it and only listed 2 things - 1) Beautiful house in the country (with a paragraph about where it would be and how it would look) 2) Adoring husband, blah blah blah. AND THAT'S AS FAR AS I GOT. Like those 2 things were going to make me the happiest person alive. Sweet Jesus.

But then I got a comment from a lovely lady (Hi Lori!) who suggested that rather than making a list of my dreams and then feeling bad about dreaming them, I could instead think about what I have now and appreciate them. Yes! One.day.at.a.time.

Ok. Here goes.

1) Perfect little apartment, very reasonalbly priced, in New York City.
2) Adoring boyfriend who loves me even in the grumpy morning time!! (and grumpy sleepy time, and grumpy hungry time...)
3) My dream job(s). I get to help people with their wedding, and help awesome humanitarians and missionaries tell their stories! Awesome!
4) Beautiful, sweet friends who encourage me and love me and tell me I am neat.
5) Wonderfully wise and supportive parents. They even throw a little cash my way when they find out I eat nothing but Ramen :)
6) Dreams. Yes, I will count them as a blessing. How wonderful to be able to dream, how wonderful that the Lord gives us dreams and wants and desires.

Let's just be sure to remember when those dreams come true, and not just ask for "More, please."

(p.s., I am counting this as my "accomplishment" for the week. :) )



i hate fire.

It is literally my worst fear. I know, I know. We aren't supposed to fear...perfect loves casts it out and such. But really. I hate fire. It destroys and hurts and, well, it hurts. My parents had to go through it last year.

So anyway, here is my "experience" for the week:

I was at work yesterday when we heard this crazy explosion outside. I looked out my window to see smoke coming out of a grate and then this blue-green fire. Apparently, some guys were doing electrical work and a transformer ended up blowing. We heard an announcement to turn off all computers, and then eventually the electricity went out. We watched as firetrucks started pulling up and guys in big heavy suits started trying to put out the fire. About 20 minutes later we were evacuated from the building and told that due to the dangerous levels of carbon monoxide we couldn't come back until Thursday.

(photo by KFox)

See the Times Square Church sign? My office is the corner office 2 windows above the sign. Check out a news report and video of the fire here.

Anyway, I'm glad no one was seriously injured (and that I'm off of work today!) Hope you all had a wonderful Tuesday, and I look forward to hearing from you!



happiness. a rip off.

So I'm totally ripping this post off of a friend of mine who wrote on happiness and what it means. (Like, if I get everything I've ever wanted I'll be happy. FALSE!)

Anyway, I was reading her post (which actually happened to be a rip off of Anthony de Mello's "The Way of Love" - but at least we gave credit where credit was due!) and it really moved something in me. I am always looking towards the future and how much happier I will be when I get married and when I have my own house and when I have a puppy. Happy happy happy!

But you know what? I also thought I would be happier if I got out of Birmingham, or got back together with my ex-boyfriend, or let my hair grow out. Silly, silly girl. I have all of that now, and what am I doing? Still looking for happiness. Because your circumstances and situations do not make you happy. Knowing who you were created to be, knowing that you have purpose in this world, knowing that you are loved by the creator of the universe (which, p.s., is kind of a big deal) - that is what can make you happy, if you let it.

So as Mr. de Mello suggests, I plan to do the following: "Make a list of all your attachments and desires and to each of them say these words: 'Deep down in my heart I know that even after I have got you I will not get happiness.' And ponder on the truth of those words."

He also said this awesome quotable: "The fulfillment of desire can, at the most, bring flashes of pleasure and excitement. Don’t mistake that for happiness."

Ok friends, I am off to list the meaningless attachments and desires I have so that I can then rebuke them. I dare you to join me.


p.s. check out the rest of Jena's post here


some simple pleasures.

Hello my loves! Ok, now I must tell you about some things that have made me happy over the last couple of days.

1) Your comments! My goodness, how good it is to have friends. Even more so for friends that I have not met. Thank you so much for sharing your stories with me. I was so incredibly thrilled that so many of you decided to take part in sharing your experiences with me. Totally the highlight of my week. Here's hoping I can now keep up with my commitment to share my own experiences, pleasures and accomplishments with you!

2) A young Latino. Ok this is going to sound so racist. But let's be honest. I'm not racist. At all. (In fact, I'm still praying for a miraculous miracle that would allow me to have biracial babies if I marry a white guy.) So anyway. I was on the train the other day, and this old white lady sneezed, and then this young thug-tacular latino next to her looked at her with the kindest eyes and said "God bless you." That's it. I know it's crazy. But there was just something so beautiful about this big dude with his black yankees cap and mechanic's jumpsuit saying God bless you to this old lady in her khaki trenchcoat - I just melted.

3) I have tomorrow off. Praise the Lord. And I mean that, because He is the reason I get the day off :)

So those are a few of my "pleasures" for the week...and yours??? Experiences and accomplishments to come (I hope).