Friday, August 16, 2013

Hello Weekend, Goodbye iPhone

I've decided to give up something this weekend (and no, it's not singing, if that's what you were hoping).Although I should definitely give up yesterday. But what's done is done.

Moving on.

I've decided to turn off my cell phone this weekend.

So if you wanna call me, call me, call me.....think again.

(or call Brian and I'll use his phone to talk).

Do you remember the Online Bible Study I mentioned last month: When Women Say Yes to God?
Well, yeah - I haven't exactly been doing it consistently. I did, however, read one chapter this week, which described how the author felt compelled to give up television for two years. I haven't felt connected to this book and this chapter was no different. I don't watch TV, so I felt like it was irrelevant to my life.

Here's an excerpt from the book:

Radical Obedience. Is there something God is asking you to give up? What specific steps do you need to take to fulfill this obedience?

He're my response:

So I closed the book and went on with my life.
The next day I read this article about breaking up with your phone.
I felt like it applied to my life.

True story: I left my iPhone at work one night last week and I totally panicked when I got home.

Brian was about 5 minutes later than normal getting home from work that evening, so I sent him this email:

I don't have my phone. Left it at work. You're probably trying to call me.

He didn't respond to my email, so I got a little more worried.

When he walked in the door a few minutes later, the first thing he said was "I wasn't trying to call you."

In fact, when I got my phone back the next morning, I realized that NOBODY had been trying to call me. I didn't have any missed calls or texts. Not one single voice mail.

I learned two lessons that day. 1) I'm not popular and 2) We should get a land line at our house in case of emergencies.

I've decided to turn off my phone this weekend beginning Friday after work until Monday morning.

I think it will be good to disconnect for a couple days.

Maybe instead of perusing through Facebook on my phone when I'm bored at Sharky's bar, I'll be forced to talk to my friends. Doesn't that sound terrible? Ugh, pray for me people.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Honduras Story (written for HFHC)

It was a Thursday afternoon, November 2006, and I was walking across the intramural field at Elon University on the way to my apartment. I had one more class that afternoon, Periclean Scholars, but I had decided earlier that I would skip. I had no good reason for wanting to skip class other than I just didn’t want to go, and that, for me, was reason enough.  As I got half way across the field, a voice inside my head said “turn around.” It wasn’t an audible voice, but the feeling was loud and clear, so I stopped dead in my tracks and I turned around.

Karen Godt, founder of Hope for Honduran Children (HFHC), was a guest speaker in our class that day. She talked about her work in Honduras and about the teenage boys who lived at Flor Azul because they had nowhere else to go. I could tell that Karen’s organization wasn’t just about giving handouts or preaching the Gospel; instead, they were focused on creating sustainable programs that would teach valuable skills and provide a supportive community for children who were abandoned, abused, and alone. As she flipped through the slideshow of pictures – barefoot children, mud houses, smiling faces – I felt saddened by what I considered important in life (nice stuff, being liked, looking pretty).

As Karen ended her presentation, she mentioned that a team from Elon would be working with HFHC in Honduras during Winter Term that year. I knew right away that I wanted to go, but I soon discovered the trip was intended for the senior class of Periclean Scholars. I was in the sophomore class. Plus, the trip was only two months away and it was too late to reserve a spot.

 I had already committed to study abroad in Australia during Winter Term that year. My parents had already paid the non-refundable $5,000. My best friend and I were going together and we had been talking about our excitement for months. Now we were only a few weeks away. Despite all this, I couldn't stop thinking about Honduras.

I decided I would stop by the office of the professor who was leading the Honduras trip and ask him if there was any way I could tag along with his group of seniors. To my surprise, he said he had room for one more. The next morning, I went to the study abroad office to see if I could get a refund for the Australia trip. They informed me that there was one person on the wait list for Australia, so it wouldn’t be a problem for me to back out. A God wink – that’s how Karen described it to me later.

A God wink.

Everything seemed to fall into place after that. I went to Honduras that winter with a group of seniors I had never met. It was the trip of a lifetime. I developed ties to Honduras that would keep me returning to the country year after year – five trips in total. I worked with HFHC, Elon Volunteers, and Tara Moore to develop a week long service trip opportunity for Elon students.  Tara and I led our first group of students to Honduras in 2008. I spent another Winter Term there in 2009.

In Honduras, the emotions are raw. When you’re stripped of everything superficial, there’s no room for pride. The relationships are deep. I developed friendships with people who didn’t even speak the same language. I touched lives and lives touched me.

And that uneasy feeling when you return to America, to your life of excess? I know that feeling well.

Honduras changed me.

On that very first trip, another Elon student, Liz, told me about a summer job she once had at a golf course near Elon. When I was back in the States a few weeks later, I drove to the same golf course and applied for a job. I was hired on the spot. That job ended up defining the next chapter of my life. I actually met my future husband on my first day of work.

It’s interesting to look back on your life and see how every decision has led you to where you are right now. For me, when I think about my life today, my mind always goes back to Honduras. I think of crossing that intramural field and where I would be had I not turned around.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Powerball Poem

I bought a few tickets. I've said a quick prayer.
And here's how I'll spend it, for those who might care:

A garage for our cars, a few trees cut down.
A house at the beach, a night on the town.

I'm not wanting much  'cause I'm not very needy,
But with $400 mill, I can be a bit greedy.

A pontoon boat and a jet ski that's pink.
A life vest for Otis, so that he won't sink.

I'll keep my job, since I enjoy work,
But a few more vacations? That's not a bad perk.

I'm fiscally smart, of that you can tell,
But a little more stuff would serve me quite well.

New clothes for sure. A boob job? Why not!
If I'm gonna be rich, then I need to look hot.

My parents can have some. I owe them a few.
Maybe I'll give them a hundred or two.

I'll get a new Civic. I need a new car.
I'll pick up all our friends' tabs at the bar.

With $400 million, there's still lots to spend.
I could give to the church or loan to a friend.

Oh, wait....

Just Announced: 3 winners in 2 states hit $448M Powerball jackpot
Three tickets matched all six numbers in Wednesday's Powerball lottery drawing and will split a $448 million jackpot, authorities said on Thursday. The Multi-State Lottery Association said two of the winning tickets were sold in New Jersey, while the third was in Minnesota. The numbers drawn on Wednesday night were 5, 25, 30, 58, 59 anPowerball 32.

Well, I didn't win big. So much for that hunch.
Mom and Dad, wanna take me to lunch?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Mona Otis

FYI - I'm on Instagram.

I post pictures on Instagram about once a week. Or sometimes I post pictures on Instagram for about 0.01 seconds, since I don't necessarily want to share the photo, but I want to achieve the "Instagram effect." I've learned that if you post it and immediately delete it, the photo will still save to your camera roll on your iPhone.

My parents are confused right now.

Let's continue, shall we?

I posted this photo of Otis on Instagram a while back:

I often steal the spotlight with my incredible poetic abilities; however, Brian is the true artist among us.

Here's his recent oil painting:

When Otis first saw the painting, he was immediately humbled. 

Thank you, Brian.
Thank you for capturing my beauty, my essence.
(Otis' words, not mine).

Now we just have to figure out where this beautiful portrait will be on display.

Friday, August 2, 2013

August Goals

I always feel like summer is officially winding down once it hits August. I don't have much on my agenda this month, but I am starting it off with a beach trip this weekend! I'm crossing my fingers for good weather and a fun trip to Topsail with my pal Ame (who now has a clean bedroom, by the way).

Here are my goals for this month:

1. Devote time during the week to do the "Yes to God" Bible study.
2. Plan a cookout with friends at our house.
3. Meet a handsome guy at a bar for drinks after work. (Brian, you game?)
4. Visit The Meat House in Raleigh and select something delicious for dinner one night.

Alright, all for now. Let the beach countdown begin!