Tag Archives: roommate

5 Things

5things - railroad crossing

1. I took this photo last night when my roommate, B, and I were stopped for the slowest. train. ever. on the way home from dinner last night. I kinda love it.

2. If we’re friends on Facebook, you may have noticed that I posted a status about dreams not too long ago. Basically, I’m considering writing a post or two about dreams/hopes/plans for the future. I’ve never considered myself much of a dreamer, but lately, I find myself dreaming about and considering “big” things for the future a lot. And it’s a little uncomfortable.

I suppose I’m hesitant to become what I consider a dreamer because I don’t want to leave the Lord out of my dreams for the future or not give Him room to move and re-direct in their midst.

Something about naming a dream and putting a hope for the future into words makes it seem like a real thing, too. As in, if it’s truly a dream or desire I have, it might require action on my part, and it may not be easy. But maybe the Lord gives dreams … or at least works through them? Maybe there’s something to delighting yourself in Him and being given the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4)? Maybe the closer we move towards Him, the more our hearts align with His, and the dreams of our hearts reflect His heart?

I don’t know. I don’t have a schedule for this yet. And I’m sure I won’t get it right. But I’m interested in talking about it and exploring it if you’re willing to come along for the ride.

3. Remember that baby dedication I mentioned in last month’s “5 Things” post? Well, my friend (and favorite photographer. no lie. except for these boys. they still top my list.) let me use her good camera (uh, I was a little nervous, but it was super fun!) to take a few shots of the event, and ended up using a few in this post of my favorite 9 month old (I promise she’s incredibly cute!!). Check it out. And take a few minutes to look at some other photos while you’re over at her blog. Beautiful, right?!

4. This verse has been swirling around in my heart and mind ever since I read it a couple of weeks ago…

“They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.”
Nehemiah 9:17 (ESV)

5. According to the official WordPress count (which means feed readers aren’t included…), I’m ONE blog subscriber away from 100. I know. Numbers don’t mean that much and that particular number is not really anything to write home about. But if you read my blog with some degree of regularity, would you consider subscribing to receive updates via email? (note: I blog twice a week.)

If so, see the sidebar to the right, type in your email address, and click the ‘Yes, please!’ button. If I make it over 100, I could even be convinced to have another giveaway to honor the occasion.

And just for the record, I so appreciate each and every one of you! Whether you subscribe or not. Whether you comment or not. I’m just grateful you read here and pray you walk away encouraged and filled with truth. So there.

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The Beach

Because sometimes you just need to get away for a weekend of nothingness, and the beach is one of my favorite places to go for that, last weekend my roommate, B, and I headed to Ocean Isle Beach for a relaxing and low-key couple of days full of beach time, no schedules, afternoon naps, reading, comfy clothes, chinese take-out, sunshine, resting, enjoying the little things, and chasing beauty. I left my big camera at home this time, but here are a few instagram shots from the trip…

thebeach

Photo of the Week: Fifty

photo of the week 50

I missed my own deadline and I didn’t follow my own rules (I know, I’m such a rebel…), but this photo of festive sugar cookie bars ( that my roommate, B, made – using this recipe, I think – for our super fun New Year’s Eve shindig that we hosted this year) “officially” ends my photo of the week project for 2012.

While this photo of the week project has been mostly fun and sometimes useful towards the original purpose of stretching my technical ability in photography, I’m not planning to keep it up this year. I haven’t figured out exactly what I’ll be doing to ensure semi-consistent content in its place, but I’m working on it.

Until then, Happy New Year, friends!

Photo of the Week: Forty Eight & Forty Nine

photo of the week 48 & 49

It may not be theĀ greatest photo, but it was such a fun night seeing “The Nutcracker” with my roommate and one of her brothers last week and uptown Charlotte was so festive that it’s joining the ranks of photo of the week anyway.

Merry Christmas!

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“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (ESV)

God is Good: The Haiti Report

After the dust had settled from their mission trip to Haiti, I asked Bethany and Esther (the two lovelies from this photo of the week!) this question:

“If you could tell someone only ONE thing from the trip, what would it be?”

They both (separately and unaware of their counterpart’s answer) said the exact same thing:

“God is Good.”

After initially (and might I add immediately) stating that God is good, Bethany said it this way:

“I mean, I could go over day by day all that we did and saw, and God was in all of it, but really, it’s a miracle in and of itself that we even got there.”

And then she shared their travel story – the aforementioned miracle – that is absolutely worth re-telling here, so in her own words…

“It could have been ugly, especially considering there weren’t any available flights until the first team was supposed to go home. But let me start at the beginning.

So we got to the airport, loaded all our stuff, and got on a puddle jumper plane bound for Miami. And then we flew and flew and flew (in circles) and it was the worst. flight. ever.

There was terrible turbulence. At one point we even dropped the length of 3 drop zones {those who have been to Carowinds may be familiar with this reference…} and the lady across the aisle in front of me wasn’t paying attention, so she came flying up out of her chair and practically did the wave. I’m pretty sure her whole body left the seat! It was so funny! Especially because I was laughing so hard while everyone else was scared for their life!

But since we had been flying around in circles for over an hour, we didn’t have enough fuel to make it to Miami, so we landed in West Palm Beach where we proceeded to sit and sit and sit in the airplane on the middle of the tarmac. They gave us more drinks, but then somebody flushed paper towels down the toilet so we couldn’t even potty anymore. True story.

So then they said they were gonna give us some fuel, so the fuel man pulled up to the airplane, but then he said “nope, can’t give you any gas.” At this point (three and half hours later), they finally pulled up to a gate so we could hurry off the plane for ten minutes and use the working potty while they fueled the plane. It was all so bad that the pilot kept saying over and over that if we didn’t want to fly with them anymore, we didn’t have to.

But after we got our fuel (four hours later, now), we were finally up in the air again. Headed to Miami. However, our flight from Miami to Port-au-Prince had already left 45 minutes earlier and it was, of course, the last flight of the day.

So we get over to the Red Roof Inn to stay at the “distressed passenger” rate, head up to our room where we think we’ll have two queen beds and a couch for all 5 of us girls who were traveling together, open the door, and find one, very small, king size bed. Ha! Yeah, we laughed. And then headed back downstairs to get a second room, which happened to be the last room available in the whole hotel.

The next morning, we got up at 4am, called the cab company and told them we needed a mini-van, and then proceeded to wait in the lobby for an hour waiting for the mini-van cab that never showed. At 5am, we just took the hotel shuttle back to the airport in hopes of maybe making it on the first flight out at 6:50am.

When we got there, we found out we were numbers 7-11 on the standby list, and the first flight was already overbooked. So, we waited around until the first flight, but as expected, no one got on. We got some breakfast, came back to the gate, waited a little, paid $8 to use the internet (yep, we did), then decided to talk to the gate attendant about empty seats.

She said, “Well, there’s nothing today, uh, nothing Tuesday…let me check Wednesday…no, nothing…the next available flight is July 29th.” No available flights for SEVEN days?!? We didn’t know what else to do, so we literally laughed out loud!

Feeling a little dismayed, we went and sat back down to wait and just planned on being there for several days. But then, they started calling standby names for the 10:50am flight – we figured we wouldn’t get on, but we thought maybe enough people would that we could get on the next one. Hope! And then they called the first person from our group, the second person, the third person…all the way to the fifth person. We might have gone just a little crazy in the airport! We’re talking hopping and jumping and singing!

But after all that, we finally arrived in Haiti, just one day behind schedule, ready to hit the ground running, and more excited than ever to just be there!”

And Esther summarized her experience this way

“God is good.

Even in the midst of extreme poverty and brokenness, God is SO good.

Throughout the entire trip, God constantly reminded and showed me how great He is. This trip was entirely about serving HIM. It was not about me.

I saw God as we interacted with the Haitian people, as we played with the local children who came to visit, as we worked with the Haitian staff, as we sat around the kitchen and chatted with Mr. Bobby and Mrs. Wanda, as we packed pills, and as we reflected on the day’s work. I found myself constantly saying, “God is good. God is good.” And I still say it.

It’s the best way I can really describe my experience in Haiti.

God is good.”

And those flip-flops from the pile in the middle of our living room floor?

They found their way to some precious little Haitian feet.

Yes, I couldn’t agree more …

God is good.

Amen?

**all photos courtesy of Bethany**

They’re Haiti Bound {Again!}

Many of you who have read my blog for a while may remember that my roommate, Bethany (usually referred to as “B” on the blog), went on a missions trip to Haiti last year (after also going the previous year shortly after the earthquake) to serve as a nurse on a medical team with the North Carolina Baptist Men / Baptists on Mission.

This week, she’s preparing to go back to serve again, and this time, I got to hear the inside scoop about the trip from both her AND the trip leader, Rachel, who is in PA school. I hope you enjoy hearing what’s on their hearts as much as I did as they both anticipate returning to a place that they love so dearly.

{Bethany on the left & Rachel on the right … looking all official w/their scrubs & medical supplies}

When are you leaving and how long will you be there?

B: We leave this Sunday {insert huge grin here}, July 22. Rachel and I will be there two weeks, and there will be five other people joining us each week we’re there.

Where will you be in Haiti and what type of work will you be doing?

B: We’ll be staying in the same area as last year in a small village about 20 miles north of the Port Au Prince airport and we’ll be working in medical clinics with a very similar set-up to last year. {see this post from last year for a glimpse into a typical day at the clinics.}

What are you most looking forward to about this trip?

B: You know I have to be honest … I was thinking about it and because we’re staying two weeks, I’ll get to go back to church this time, and I’m excited about that! The first year I went, we got to go to church with the people at the orphanage we stayed at, and it was so neat to see how they worship. Even though we all live in different places, and speak different languages, and do different things, at the end of the day, we all worship the same God!

R: I think I’m most excited to see my dear friends in Haiti, to see my little girl Venia and her family, and to see baby Rachel and her mom. Baby Rachel turned 1 on July 12th – the same day I finished my last exam of my first year of PA school! {y’all, just for the record, Rachel helped deliver baby Rachel last year while she was in Haiti, and she is just precious!}

How are you expecting the Lord to work?

R: I’m praying that the Lord will use our teams to foremost share the Gospel and invite others to accept Christ’s free gift of eternal life. Then, I’m praying our team can meet the medical needs of the people. We have a young team of medically trained members and other non-medical members, but I’m praying God will use each of us and our gifts to assist our Haitian medical teams to see/treat all the patients.

What’s with all the flip-flops?

B: When I went to Haiti last time … well, there are obvious needs for medicines and stuff, but my Aunt and cousin really wanted to do something for the children. So when I got back we were talking about how they didn’t really have a lot of clothes and how they’d just be running around in whatever pieces of clothes they could find, and so my Aunt decided to make dresses for the little girls. My cousin got a few pairs of flip-flops, and my mom and I just decided to get even more because a lot of the kids don’t really have shoes either. It’s just a way to bless them!

Has the Lord laid any particular Scripture on your heart for this trip?

R: God brought back to mind 2 Corinthians 12:8-10. This was the lesson that God taught me on my last trip {to Haiti} in December. And this was the devotional I presented to my team challenging them that in our weaknesses, God can work through us and give us strength. And He gives the Haitian people grace in their brokenness and sickness.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (v. 9)

Little did I know that this verse would become so powerful to me personally as I became very ill mid-week. I had to FULLY trust God to be with me in my weakness and trust His grace and healing power for me. When we are helpless, God’s strength and power is even more evident…when I was weak, on my knees and in pain, all I could do was look up to the only One who saved me and could be my stronghold.

How can we specifically be praying for you and the team?

B: For smooth travel. For safety and health during the trip … and for “cool” … especially since it’s gonna be so hot! That the stuff/supplies all make it there. And mostly that people’s hearts would be open, because yeah, we’re there to meet a physical need, but we’re really there to meet a spiritual need.

R: For preparations this week. For safety and health. For travel/flights. For cool breezes and quick acclimation to the heat (without AC…). For strength and excitement in sharing God’s love. That God will work in each team member’s heart to break and mold us into His likeness, so that we become bold and courageous…and that God would teach us, give us confidence and recall in what we’re trained to do, and that He would use us in a MIGHTY way! For sleep/rest prior to and during the trip. For the Haitian staff and our host couple. To see God’s glory and His hand at work in all that we do.

Anything else we should know or you would like to share?

R: I just get soooo excited and feel so at home serving in Haiti! I am so thankful for God walking and guiding me through this tough school year and now allowing me to return to Haiti. I’m also excited for my sister and brother to experience God’s work in Haiti with me and seeing my passion and calling being fulfilled.

I am so looking forward to hearing how God works in and through both of these women and their teams in Haiti over the next two weeks!

Would you join me in praying for Bethany and Rachel and their teams as they serve?

{all photos, except the flip-flops, are courtesy of B from her prior trips to Haiti}