Friday, October 23, 2009


Still no clever title, and no real reason for this post, other than the fact that I have these cute pictures of my best friend and her family and I want to introduce you to them.

I am so grateful to have Heather, Clay, Clayton, and Turner in my life. These kids bring so much
joy to me and many good times. I miss them bunches, but try to get back and visit
often. Crazy how fast they grow.

Clayton is already an avid iPhone and Auburn
fan, before long he will be drinking boutique beer is he hangs out with his Dad long enough.
Thanks Conner
Family for blessing my life!
I am so thankful for each of you!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oktoberfest & Friends

I give up. I wont even try. Im just NOT a clever blog title maker.
How do you people come up with such creative titles? I dont get it. Ill just be plain jane -
its okay.

I had to dedicate this blog to the wonderful Oktoberfest in Nashville a few weekends ago,
and visits from great friends! Sarah and Kortnie came in town for an
Kortnie had, and also for a visit with me! It was sooo good to see them. For those of you who dont remember or did not know, Kortnie is my friend who battled colon cancer this past year - she is now free and clear! Praise the Lord! We went to Virago forSushi and tried to talk Kortnie and Kayla into Karaoke, but it didnt work - maybe next time. Oh, and yes, we
made Kayla wear those glasses allll night.

The day after Sa and Kortnie left, John and Lana came in town to hang out with Katlin and me. It was such a good weekend to have friends in town. We hit up Oktoberfest, Next Big Nashville Music Festival, Peter's (more sushi) and even the Pancake Pantry - fat kids! Of course, somewhere in there I drug Lana to the DMV with me to get my Tennessee license. She decided after that excursion that she wants to work there if she ever moves to Nashville. Hilarious.

Recent Fall Fun

So, I know I have slacked on the blog lately. I have been too busy living life to tell stories about it. Don Miller would be so proud of me right now. I am reading his new book, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" - and it is rocking me. He talks about the whole concept of 'story' and characters in the story and how they chose to live their life. Its simple, but profound. I cant do it justice. Go see for yourself how much it will challenge you. Its perfect for where I am right now.

Though I have been MIA lately, I didnt want to
skip over some of the fun I have had. Several weeks ago, after recouping from Peru on the couch, I was able to go with Kirsten to shop for
her 20th year High School
Reunion at Lake Highland, in Dallas.
She is like me, and HATES to shop.
We had a blast. Oh, and she had a great time at the reunion. Chris Harrison (Bachelor Host) said she looks just like his wife. Hmm.

Two weeks ago, Worship and Arts had our annual Staff Retreat.
This was the first one
I have been on and it was a blast. I am so thankful for the people I work with, and that we are friends - not just co-workers. We fished, canoed, hiked, went spelunking (caving, silly), and ate lots of good food. We laughed so hard and it was great.

Last Sunday was a blast! Sante Fe Soup, Sarah's Soccer Game, Titans Game, Chili, and
homemade cookies with friends. I wrapped up the day with a great night
with my Community Group, meeting John and Molly's new puppy,
Murphy - and then going to see Where the Wild Things Are with great friends. I love days like that, spent with people I love, doing things I love.

I love Nashville in the Fall. It is my favorite. The leaves are really starting to change around
here, and it has been sooo much fun to wake up to all the pretty colors everyday.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Where the Heart Is

Sometimes it is hard for me to go to Birmingham and face the changes of life, but that is life. I don't really adjust to change as well as I would like to think I do. Im kind of sour about it. I am thankful though, that even in the changes, relocations, and all the surprises life brings ... home is still where the heart is.

This weekend home to me, life to me, was:

Watching Clayton run to the door when I arrived with all smiles yelling, "Enin!!!!"

Seeing my brother play college football and welling up with pride for him.

Talking with friends about life through glassy eyes and the next minute laughing until it hurt.

Visiting with my Grandparents about my trip to Peru and telling them how it changed me.

Going to lunch with my Aunt and talking about the future, the joys & pains life brings.

Hugging a friend really tight that I know has been hurting.

Driving familiar roads late at night with my best friend, just like old times.

Holding 10 week old Turner as she slept, in peace.

I am thankful for the good things in the midst of the hard things.
I am thankful for change that never allows me to stay the same.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said,
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” - Heb 13:5

But I am thankful that HE never, ever, ever changes.

Home is there. Home lies in Him.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The End of Peru

I cant believe it has been so long since my last post. To all of my supporters, forgive me. I know I left you hanging. My sickness only worsened the last few days of our trip and it became increasingly more hard for me to blog. I did, however, make it through the week. Gigi McMurray, who was on our team, used to be a nurse, and were it not for her sweet nurturing spirit and all of her knowledge, I would not have made it through the week. The Lord was faithful to not give me more than I could bear. The kids did an amazing job with the worship service on Thursday night, and there were more than 40 people that wanted to know more about Jesus. It was very humbling. I felt like a proud mom as I stood by the stage and watched my drama kids recite their scripture and parts from the week. I was blown away at how well they did after being to challenged with their behavior all week. The Lord showed up and we were encouraged.

Below you will see the art project that the kids did. Gigi had them write on
sheets of paper words in Spanish that they use to describe God. We compiled the papers and put them in this collage to display Thursday night. It was so powerful to see their view of the Lord.

Friday we went to the orphanage. It was unreal to see these kids working for their food, learning music, and sewing and carpentry - even baking! Again, I was faced with wrestling with the reality of me being born in America, and these children being orphans in Peru. I could not reconcile it in my heart or mind.
I am just grateful to the Lord for the blessings He has lavished on me that I don't deserve. I could not help but think how real the verses in the Gospels about the ravens must be
to these children. They must trust that they are more valuable than the birds and that the Lord will certainly take care of them. We sang with the kids for a while and then left to head into Lima to eat at a restaurant in the city and go to the market.

I was pretty sad because we went to this restaurant called Mango's that I have heard about for so long. Everyone that has gone to Peru with Fellowship comes back raving about this place. Turns out I was really sick that day and this was all I could eat for lunch. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.
It was so hard to say goodbye to all my new friends in Peru. I miss them already. Those people taught me so much about community, commitment, service, love, and giving your life away. It remains true that I needed Peru more than Peru needed me. This trip left a mark on me that I will never forget. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go and serve and love on this people, but also to learn from them. Thanks so much to all of you who made that possible. I cannot thank you enough. Below is a picture of me Pastor Juan Carlos, the worship pastor at the church in Comas, and his children JJ, Natalie, and Jonathan.

I am so encouraged by all the Lord is doing in Comas and Lima, and I am so thankful to be a part of His greater story there. I am so grateful for the ways I am different, I am humbled by the things I learned, and changed because of all I saw. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

*sick update: I went to the Doctor last Monday. He gave me medicine and said it seemed I was hit pretty hard with a series of things while away. His main concern was a parasite or amoeba. After blood work and testing, I am glad to report that he called me today to say that I do NOT have a parasite. It seems as though I actually will have to join the Y to lose weight. Bummer. Just Kidding. I am glad to be recovering, I assure you. Thank you so much for your prayers and concern.