Monday, December 17, 2012

14 days

Yall, in 14 days I will be on a plane to Haiti. 14 days of sleeping, packing, friends, family, Christmas, stressin, crying, laughing, and anticipation. The past month or so, I have been thinking through everything that has led me to this place in my life. The people, places and events that have led me here. So, yes, most of my previous posts have been reminiscent and reflective. This one is no different. Last week I finished finals, packed up my room in the Boro, and headed home, exhausted. Expecting a nap or at least time to breathe, I was quickly greeted by my even more exhausted mom. She and the rest of the fam had been really sick all week, my aunt was in town from Arizona, and Betty was around a lot. So, I dropped my expectations, took Betsy & Betty out to eat & had a great time. This past weekend was a lot of (what felt like) my family resting and me being responsible. Now, before you think I'm sitting here complaining, let me tell you, I did have a lot of fun with them, cracking up with Aunt Betsy when Betty lost her room key, thought I was Emily, and asked me & our waiter 13 times in 3 minutes if her waffle came with syrup. But I was so tired, and all I could think about was, "How does my mom do this every week? How does she get off work and deal with a mother-in-law with dementia all the time?"  No, Betty doesn't live with us, but every day is certainly a new adventure as we interact with her. Countless women in our church have stepped up to help us care for her, & I know she couldn't do it without Emily too, but the day in & day out of phone calls, reassurance, encouraging words, and knowing when to put your foot down- that's Mama C. When she's super b.a., I call her C Money. And she still finds time to be a mom. She listens to me ramble on about my life & calms me down when I've lost it. If you knew me when I was little, first of all, I apologize, and secondly, I know you know what hell my mom went through. My aunt says, "I knew if they could survive raising you, you were going to grow up to be strong and confident. But first you all had to survive your childhood." And what a great one it was. So Mama, here's to you. For her 50th birthday a few years ago, we gave her a scrapbook. I wrote this for her. I hope your moms are as great as mine is:

You taught me how to water ski & how to tie my shoes, 
You laughed at every corny joke, & kissed my every bruise.
You read me every story, & tucked me into bed so tight,
And then you rubbed my back until I fell asleep at night.
You carefully sewed back every torn & tattered dress-
Because you knew that I had fun, you would allow no less.
You became the best launderer around-
Let’s be honest, that Alabama mud knew no bound.
I watched you as you cooked & cleaned-always such great hostess,
And I always knew you loved Daddy the mostest-
Because you took care of him through every migraine-
Even when he wouldn’t admit the pain.
You helped me learn my Bible verses, so I could go to camp
And you listened to every story as you washed my clothes so damp. 
And then when I was thirteen, and there were no tears left to flow,
You held onto me tight, and I knew you’d never let me go.
And through all that heartache, I watched you trust the One,
The One our lives revolve around- God’s one and only Son.
When Emily got sick, I watched you trust Him more-
You didn’t know the future, but your praying knees sure hit the floor.
Every day I left for school, you reminded me
To just Whom I belonged, and of His plan I couldn’t see.
I heard your voice at every race
Reminding me to keep my pace.
Showing up to watch me play basketball in your scrubs,
You always looked so cute in them, btdubs.
Every ballet recital, musical, homecoming & prom
You helped me bring out my girly side- for that, you are the bomb.
Amid every fear and uncertainty,
You bravely went to Haiti with me.
The love of Christ you never cease to show
No matter where you go.
Your beauty is inside & out
Because of you, I have no doubt
That with a hug & lots of prayer
Wherever He leads me, I’ll make it there.
Now that I’m in college, I call you as a friend
But you will always be my Mama, til the very end.


"her children arise and call her blessed" Proverbs 31:28

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm not crying, it's just raining on my face...

This is a shout out to Statesboro. Statesboro, I love you. I love Saturdays at Paulson, cheering on the Eagles. I love lunch at the Daily Grind, and rummaging through the ReStore & quality items at Goodwill. I LOVE going to the fair and watching all the camo walk around. I love getting fish tacos every Friday at Barbs, and almost cried when I found out that special wasn't everywhere else. I love my little corner in the 3rd floor of Hendy right beside the arc where I spent my sophomore year, studying and simultaneously losing my scholarship. I love palfys from the IT Building, where I spent my junior year earning that scholarship back. I love that RJ's serves Snooky's breakfast, and that Statesboro natives say they're "goin into town" whenever they go anywhere. I love driving past sunflower fields in the summer & freaking out about the cotton fields in the fall. I love that plaid and boots have been & always will be the norm around here. And if you've never seen a Statesboro sunset, you haven't lived.
But what I'm going to miss the most next semester isn't Statesboro itself, but the people that have been there for me the past 3 & 1/2 years. I've had my best moments and my worst moments here. And I'm different now than I was 3 & 1/2 years ago. Things happen, you grow up. But to have people that are there with you every step of the way, that's a blessing I can't even begin to describe. God has brought certain people into my life to love me, to challenge me, to teach me, and to be there for me, from friends, to roommates, to classmates. A huge part of my college life has been with the 105. You don't really know your friends until you throw 7 girls in a run-down house. 2 years later, I'm proud to announce that we're still alive. So, to the ladies of the 105, I'd like to say thanks. For putting up with me, listening, yelling back, & for all the laughs. God knew what we needed, & I'm glad he brought us together. To my G-baby, my A-mish, & my J-Tips, thanks for keeping me sane & loving me so well. I love all of yall, & am so excited to see what is in store for each of us in the next year. There are so many more people that I could say, "thanks for being there" to, but then this would turn into Facebook and no one wants that...I can't wait to hear about the what's new in RUF & at Southern. And with that, peace & blessings & yeah mawma. You stay classy, Statesboro.

The Smokin Seven:

The Sassy Six: 

A-mish:  we survived both Anatomys!

J-Tips:   my favorite Halloween- Blanche & J Biebs!

G-Baby came to help us pack up Betty's house in Nashville:

"a faithful friend is a sure shelter, whoever has found one has found a rare treasure."

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

be all there.

I'm sitting in the first floor of the library. It feels like Antarctica and I have a huge essay midterm tomorrow. I'm huddled in my corner, trying to study, and all I want to do is be in Haiti. I want to see my sweet godson, Pootchy. I want to swing with him in a hammock and make sure he knows how much God loves him. I want to walk through the village and visit my sweet friend, Cherlie, whos baby I pray is still alive. I want to be in La Source, soaking in the contrast of such a beautiful place trashed (literally) by the garbage washing up from the ocean. I want to be in Port-au-Prince, starting my internship at the orphanage. I want to get to know those kids, to be immersed in a culture much different from my own. I want to be overwhelmed by it all. I want to learn how I can be most helpful there. I want to be there, because I feel like it's more important. I feel like telling people about the Hope we have is way more important than staring at a computer screen & passing a Marriage & Family Therapy test. And then I remember a quote from a man that I greatly respect, the missionary Jim Elliot, who said:

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

And that brings me back to reality. Right now I am in school. That is where I am supposed to be. I don't want to go through the motions of the next few months and miss out on opportunities I have. Because that's living for the next thing. I'm reminded to glorify God where I am, right now. And right now, I'm in the library. And later this week, I'll go to class, play a flag football game, and then go to a Halloween party. So I'll do those things with joy, because this is God's will for the right now. Investing in people here, in the right now. Making memories in the right now. Loving my roommates well right now. And that's all I need to know. Believe me, I am still looking forward to being in Haiti. But right now, I'm going to live in the right now, and be all there. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

the first post.

I'm not much for blogs. I'd rather be running or singing or laughing or napping or anything else. I'm not a wanna-be-gourmet-chef, and my arts & crafts projects are not what I'd call "blog worthy."  But soon I'll be embarking on an adventure, and I want you to come with me. 

In January, I will be taking a team from my campus ministry, Reformed University Fellowship to the village of La Source, Haiti. If you know me, you know how much I love this village. My senior year at Augusta Christian, I was blessed with the opportunity to take a trip with Bill & Lisa Adams to La Source. We spent a week doing Vacation Bible School, playing soccer, and just living out the gospel with these kids. That week changed my life. I had fallen in love with the country of Haiti. And I had fallen in love with a 4 year old boy named Poutchy. I promised that I would come back again to see him. Little did I know what that promise would mean. For the past 3 years, I have gone back to La Source, missing a week of classes at Georgia Southern in order to minister in the village. We have done medical clinics, Vacation Bible Schools, food distribution, school sponsorships, and so much more. And when I say "we" I really mean God. He has truly blessed our ministry in this village. He is at work in the lives of these Haitians, and I am truly amazed at the opportunities He continues to provide for us to do His work. 

So, this time instead of going with a high school group, I get to take my whole family and some RUF friends to experience La Source. We will be there the 1st week in January. I am so excited to go back, and can't wait to see what's in store for us. It's bound to be an adventure. I can't wait for the Creole food, the boat ride, the games, the prayer times, the roosters at 3 am, the late night chats & early morning sunrises, the home visits, the laughter, the tears, and the beauty of watching the Lord work. 

When the team comes back after that week, I'll be staying in Port-au-Prince to intern at the Maison des Enfants de Dieu, a children's home partnering with For His Glory Outreach. I'll fill you in on details of what I'll actually be doing soon, probably about the same time I actually find out! I do know that I'll be working with the children on a daily basis and with adoptive parents as they come to see the kids. I'm unbelievably excited for this opportunity, & I can't wait to see all that it entails. Until then, peace & blessings.