Monday, June 28, 2010
My heart dropped. Tears immediately welled up in my eyes and my throat just would not allow me to talk. I immediately called a couple of Missy's close friends to tell them of the news. I started to think Surely Jim was wrong. There is no way her mother could be dead. Missy is my age. Her mom is my mom's age. This cannot be real. Maybe he heard it wrong. Maybe she was just in the hospital. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
Deep down I knew those maybes were just that: maybes. But the truth of it is my sweet friend lost her mother today. It was completely unexpected; not that loss changes when you are expecting it or not. I cannot imagine how she is feeling. I cannot tell her I understand. I cannot offer any words of comfort. Reality is she will never get to talk with her mom again. She won't get to laugh with her, tell her stories, or share life with her.
I spent some time with a friend this afternoon as we made calls and just talked in between. It is so hard to process. It could be any one of us right now. Those words are so hard to write but they are so true. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. We are not guaranteed our next breath.
My heart sank even more when I realized I had lost perspective in the last few weeks, months, etc. I began to focus on the tasks and not the people. I walked into my parent's house tonight and everyone was there. The three girls were playing on the kitchen floor. My mom, sister and sister in law were talking while they played. My dad, brother and grandma sat in the living room and watched a baseball game. Luke showed up a few minutes later. They were all there.
I watched my mom and fought back tears. Her love for each one of us and her granddaughters is amazing. She has taught us how to give, how to love, and how to care for others. Emily loves to be her little helper. Allison loves to see her "ma-maw" and gets giddy if you tell her Grandma is coming to see her. Madelyn Kate lights up when she sees her and will not go to anyone else when being held by Grandma.
My mom is my best friend. I call her four or five times a day, if not more. Even during those years of being a crazy teenager, I was the recipient of her unconditional love. She is there for each of us in a way that only a mom can be. Her love for others has taught me so much about life. Her love for us has taught me about the mother I want to be one day. I cannot imagine life without her. I cannot imagine not knowing she is just a phone call away or a short drive over to her house. I cannot imagine not having our crazy laugh fests that tend to happen when you place me, Kathryn and mom in a room together. We can laugh about nothing for hours.
Unfortunately, it often takes difficult situations to teach us the true meaning of love and life. My heart and prayers go out to Missy and her family. As for you and me, I pray that we will call those we love and tell them how much they mean to us. Jesus modeled a life of compassion and care for others. Yes, He understood daily life and to do's but the Gospels are relational, they are about people. He is about people and loving.
Friday, June 25, 2010
I have spent the better part of the last two days working on them while sitting with my Granny or watching Maddie. The official count tonight is 256, leaving a grand total of 1,168. Needless to say, if you do not see me for the next week, you can pretty much guarantee I am working on these super cute water bottle decorations. Lucky for me I have the World Cup (Go USA!), College World Series (Let's go TCU!!!) and movies (do not ever rent 500 Days of Summer) to keep me entertained while crafting!
Once they are complete and assembled on the bottles (luckily I have a team helping me with that part of the job), I know they will be wonderful. My mom always says, "Presentation is key!"
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Emily has always loved oreo blizzards so that was the first thing she was asking for! However, she also found a new favorite: vanilla yogurt with oreos and fruity pebbles. It is hard to believe that she will be in Kindergarten this year!
After a couple of times of Ashleigh joining us for ice cream, the girls automatically think she will be coming with us. The minute I picked them up, they started asking about her. Luckily, she was able to come along for the fun! It was so cute to listen to Alli say her name.
I love being an aunt. I love watching them learn new things. I love how Alli screams a high-pitched squeal in excitement when she sees me at her classroom door. I love that Emily still likes to sit on my lap. I love watching them together and imagining what Kathryn and I must have been like at this age.
Emily loves taking pictures. I love making faces. This is what happens when you combine the two.
Now that we have a yogurt place, I wonder when Cafe Metry will come to town...
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
2. If you cannot find the right team jersey to wear, it is okay to wear a different one as long as they do not like the team you are playing. I figured wearing my Egyptian jersey would be perfect considering all of Egypt should have been rooting for the USA and NOT Algeria.
3. From now on computers are not allowed to be open during any major sporting event. With just a few minutes left in the game (and we had paused so we were behind), my sister and brother-in-law both got on their computers and then had HUGE grins. They have been excommunicated from the family and banned from any future matches.
4. When printing business cards, it is HIGHLY CRUCIAL to have someone proof and reproof just to make sure all numbers are correct. It was brought to my attention today that I had flipped two numbers making the number completely wrong. At least I did not order that many. The sad thing is that I have had them over a year.
5. There is a reason that Scripture speaks over and over again about wisdom. I am so grateful for our Women's Minister, my mentor & boss, Linda Lesniewski. Today I sought wise counsel from her numerous times and am so grateful that I did. She allowed me to see the bigger picture and to talk through situations that I needed help resolving. Without seeking wise counsel from her, I would have made a fool of myself in one situation and not known what to do on another. I pray that you have someone in your life that you are able to go to for wisdom.
6. I am completely fine with dancing around the house and acting like a complete fool if it means I get to listen to Maddie Kate giggle.
7. The beauty of it all... tomorrow is a new day.
Monday, June 21, 2010
We showed up at Emma's apartment around 4 and were pleasantly surprised to see that WE were all going to cook our meal together. There ended up being 8 of us total and we all joined around the table to roll the Chinese dumplings. We had a blast! I love the idea of us all preparing the food together. It broke the ice and made for lots of laughter. Here is the progression of the meal in pictures!
Alex put the cabbage in a rag and squeeze out all of the water. He was obviously working hard (or he is just a good poser).
Emma (0n the right) was our teacher. She started with the "easy" way to roll the dumplings so that we would be able to do it. She definitely laughed a lot as we were learning. I loved her sweet spirit and playfulness as she taught and retaught us how to make them.
And here I am giving it a shot. I did get brave and tried a couple of the harder rolls but for the most part I stuck with the simple way. Alex got pretty good at the whole thing himself.
We forgot to get a group shot so this is as good as it gets!
WOW! We made a TON of dumplings!!!! There were enough for us to eat over 30 each... that did NOT happen.
Alex and Alberto being crAzy!
Once the dumplings are rolled you boil them, add more cold water, boil again, add more water, boil again and I am not sure what else.
Finally, it is time to eat! There were some different sauces to add. Here is Alex trying the first bite. He gave up on the chopsticks. :)
The spread on the table... they just kept coming and coming and coming and coming and coming and coming. They were definitely YUMMY and unlike the typical Chinese food I have ever eaten.
I mastered the chopsticks... I have NEVER been able to use them until now. Of course, I only tried once and then it was back to the plastic spoons.
While I absolutely love the stories that are captured through pictures, there is so much that you cannot see and so much that I cannot share at the time. What I can share is this: God is at work in the hearts and lives of each one that was there. Thanks Alex for allowing me to share in the joy of gathering with new friends!!!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
... they have the cutest "bendy" spoons!!!! I think they would be perfect for a party.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I was living in a flat (apartment) on the fourth floor with NO air conditioning.
I had a cat. I hate cats. with a passion.
I had listened to my Bunny Emmy say "I love you Aunt Rachel" approximately 1,327 times.
Monday, June 14, 2010
It was me.
Hmmm... Saturday I was not feeling so great and could not think straight so I did not write. Sunday during the day I hung out with college students most of the afternoon. Sunday evening I was able to write one devotion. Yes, one out of five.
That means Monday was covered.
Tuesday is tomorrow.
After about an hour with my computer and Bible, Tuesday was written. Now, I just need 3 more. I can do this. I just need to get off blogger.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Meet Michelle, the backbone of the organization. 8 years ago she had a dream. She operated out of her home for four years and then four years ago moved into a building. They have just recently moved into a larger building that will allow for more ministry to take place. Once you meet her, you will leave inspired. Inspired to dream big. Inspired to help. Inspired to make a difference and trust God to provide along the way. "Sisters in Christ" helps women who have fallen victim to domestic abuse, women who have been incarcerated, and so many more. They offer clothing, a food pantry, and will soon have a computer lab. Our team spent the day helping Michelle and her team get organized. We unpacked boxes of donations, set up a room for men's clothing, stocked the food pantry, cleaning, and moving things into the hall for Salvation Army to pick up. However, it is not the work that left a lasting impact on my heart but the stories I heard throughout the day and new memories that will forever be part of my life.
Shortly after I posted the plea on facebook for help, Lindsey said she was ready to help. Many of you know Lindsey and her journey (http://pleasant-drive.blogspot.com/) the past few years with breast cancer... twice. She has impacted more people than we will ever know by her blog that offers encouragement, inspiration, challenge, and transparency. She has shared her journey with us all through the tears, laughter, fear, sickness, and changes in lifestyle. Yet, with all that she has been through and still battles daily, she chose to give an entire day to come help. Lindsey, thank you for showing us that no matter what you face in life, serving others is what we are called to do. I love you dearly and LOVED our time together Friday.
Then there is Melondy, a beautiful woman whose joy in life radiated from within. She immediately connected with our group and became a friend for life!
Whitley, one of the college students at GABC, who loves Jesus and loves to serve. To see such a desire to serve at her age makes my heart happy.
I am already looking forward to next year, but thankful that I do not have to wait until then to serve others and show care.