All journeys have secret destinations, of which the traveler is unaware.

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance I am. Philippians 4:11b



I have to admit, it's pretty cool how God uses people that you haven't talked to in a long time (years from some) to just encourage me about going to Ghana. I haven't gotten any money yet, but I'm excited already. yeah God's pretty much the most amazing thing since...well, ever.



So, it makes me sad when people that are close to me, like family, start talking about other races in a negative makes me sad to hear blanket statements applied to whole racial groups and to hear the "n word" coming out of certain people's mouths....makes me sad that some (a lot probably) Americans think that all middle easterners are terrorist...and they also think for some reason that those terrorists are also in Africa...(guess they don't know geography)..makes me sad that I have family members that really don't want me to go to the point that they "jokingly" talk about trying to mess up my plan to go....yeah, not gonna stop me fact, it kind of makes me want to go even more, so that I can come back totally fired up and show them WHY people need to go.


I'm in the process of getting together addresses for my support letters to go back to Ghana. I'm trying to decide if I should send letters to churches or people that didn't support me last time. I kind of figure that I should send them, I mean, who knows the reason for not supporting me the first time. Maybe there were financial reasons at the time, maybe they didn't feel passionate about the cause I don't know. Basically, I think that I should send out as many letters as possible. I've printed 50 up for now, I'm sure I will print more. I keep thinking, "oh, if I send out 100 letters and everyone donates $70 then I'm there!" but I know that isn't reasonable. It just doesn't work that way. I'm getting kind of excited/scared about the money. I'm scared that it will take a really long time to raise $7K, but I'm excited to see how fast God could send it in. I guess either way, the money will come in however God wants it to come in.


strange findings

So, for the last few days I've been using this online program to sort of track what I eat. It's like an online food journal, but it calculates the nutritional info for you. Well, I put all my meals, snacks, water etc in, and for the last 3 days I've apparently eaten less than 800 calories a day. I have to fix that, I'm going to totally screw up my metabolism, if I haven't already.

I have to be AT work in 7 1/2 hours...yeah and I'm not really tired right now. that stinks.

I've been memorizing Philippians. I've got the first 11 verses down. It's not much, but it's a start. All the people I met in Africa put us to shame when it comes to scripture memory work. The little kids have chapters (yes CHAPTERS) of scripture committed to memory. It's important and I've been ignoring it all these years, other than at VBS when you get a prize for it. While I was in Ghana I just started thinking about it though, if I can memorize all these lines from movies (like LOTR) and all these songs, why not the Bible? So, yeah, I'm working on it now.

My head has started hurting at work the last 2 days in a row, I don't know if it's from lack of sleep or not eating enough, or stress....I guess I'll have to start taking better care of myself to find out.
I've been having trouble sleeping for the last week or two...I just can't seem to slow my brain down at night. I lay there in my bed and I can't just zone out, for lack of a better way to put it. I think I'm letting some of the stresses of daily life combined with trying to get organized so I can go to Africa get me all worked up. I dunno.
I'm going to try to go to sleep now.


don't look back

I gave out some of my support letters at church this morning. I guess it's real now, no looking back. I did realize after getting home from church that I didn't put any info in the letter about getting money to me, should anyone decide to donate. I suppose the people I go to church with can probably just give it to me when they see me. But now I need to make a little thing to put in the envelope with my address etc on it. I have so many emotions about going to Africa. I can't figure out if I'm happy, excited, scared, apprehensive, crazy. Probably at least a little bit of all of them. This morning we talked about "persecution and suffering among Christians." It made me a little bit sad, because we as American Christians think we're being persecuted when the media paints a picture of Christians as being naive and having blind faith. Or maybe we think that OUR suffering is more of a psychological thing, like, we are really suffering when someone thinks negatively about us or talks badly about us. So then we had a discussion of how mental/psychological persecution might be harder to recover from than physical persecution. While I agree that there are lots of ways to be persecuted psychologically and mentally, I really don't think most Americans have ANY idea of what real suffering is. Over in India right now, thousands of people, quite a few of whom are Christians, are having to HIDE IN THE JUNGLE!!, because Hindu extremists have been burning homes and churches to the ground trying to kill them. How's that for physical AND mental persecution. We as Americans don't have to worry that when we go to sleep at night some anti-Christian group is going to torch our house with us in it. It just makes me sad that we take our puny little "persecutions" and try to make them as bad as what the rest of the world is going through. This economic "crisis" we're going through right now, to me it's like, yeah welcome to how the rest of the world lives. Only even when we're in an economic downturn, we still are better off than almost the whole rest of the world. I guess that's enough ranting for now.


Confessions of a tortured youth

I'm about to tell you something, that I've never told anyone, other than family. I HATE my weight. Hate is a strong word you might say....that's very true, but if you had been made fun of everyday for years and years or if you had ever been so embarrassed that it totally ruined your entire week. Maybe then you'd hate it too. If you knew what it was like to wake up every day and wish that you could just go away....all because some kids you go to school with think it's SO fun to humiliate you, then maybe you'd hate your body too. I have been so embarrassed by my weight over the years, from such a young age, I don't know if I can ever be "normal" it may not be an option for me any more. For some reason, tonight it's getting to me. I cannot TAKE THIS anymore. I've been trying to lose weight for as long as I can remember. When I was little, mom would try to convince me how "fun" Sweating to the Oldies was, but she never made me do it for more than a few minutes. No one ever made me eat right or exercise. It sounds like I'm blaming my parents for this...and I guess that I sometimes do blame them. Someone should have stepped up and shown me the right way to eat and exercise, but it's not like my family members are all healthy weights either. So here it is. I'm an adult, and if I truly want to get healthy, I have to do it myself. And no you don't "know how I feel", you probably never will. I don't know anyone, personally, that has been fat for nearly their entire life. For that matter, I know very very few people that have ever even been significantly overweight. I don't want your sympathy, I don't want you to feel bad for me. I just want to get this off my chest. I'm starting it up right now. I guess that's enough ranting for now.



Today's sermon was about courage...and in Sunday school we talked about fear and courage and what/who we as Christians should fear....I needed to hear it all. I try to be strong and never need anyone's help, but I'm really like the lion in the Wizard of Oz. When I think about what is in store for me in the future, it scares me to realize that ultimately I am not in control of what happens. I want to go to Africa, right now, I think about it pretty much all the time. But it scares me to think that when I go, I might decide to stay.......longer at least. I've said it on here a lot lately, but it's really been on my mind a lot lately. The same phrases keeps running through my head, "you're no missionary" "you don't know enough." I have to keep telling myself that I don't have to know everything, and that it's Satan trying to discourage me because he wants to get me to run away from what God wants me to do. There are so many distractions and things to discourage you in this life (especially here in the US.) When I'm not thinking about how ill-equipped I am to work in missions, I'm thinking about how impossible it seems to raise $7000. Or I'm thinking about how I've never gone anywhere further than a few hours away by myself. What if I'm in the airport and I get lost, or what if my ticket/luggage gets messed up, what if I say the wrong thing when I'm going through customs. There's all this doubt in my head for the devil to just play with. Then I start to wonder if any of the major players in the Bible had doubts like me. Did Paul ever wonder if he was going the right way......I mean, Jonah had to be swallowed by a fish before he figured out that he wasn't going the right way! I am not scared to the point that I don't want to go to Africa, I want to go. I just have to make sure that I don't let "stuff" get in the way of me going. When the opportunity arises, I have to be ready. When David saw Goliath, he didn't wait around for him to attack...he ran into battle with the Lord right behind him. That's what I want to do. I want to be willing to run right into the battle, ready to take on whatever God has for me.


so, it makes me kind of mad/jealous when I know people who really don't have any more money than me, but they blow it on things that they don't really need. Mostly because I have to struggle to make ends meet. I rarely buy something like movies or CDs because I don't have the extra money laying around. I just makes me wonder why when I try so hard I can't seem to manage and other people are wasteful and irresponsible with their money and yet, they always seem to manage. Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair. and I know, life isn't fair and I know from personal experience, that there are people far worse off than I am. the whole money issue makes me want to get to Africa. I just need to raise the money. Life is frustrating right now.


thoughts from today

Ya know, sometimes you just don't know what to do....or what to think about something. Today was a REALLY difficult day at work. It felt like all the hard work fell on me & one other person. But it was the most enjoyable day at work I've had in at least 2 weeks. Maybe it's partly because I know I've already got more hours this week than I had by this time last week. Maybe I was just in a rutt, a bad headspace.

Hopefully I'll get to sit down & talk with Mr & Mrs H next week and I can really get the ball rolling on going back to Ghana. I really do think about it every single day, and i really feel like God wants me there soon.

My dad called me out of the blue ask me if I'd paid my car insurance membership renewal fee yet....I haven't, and he said he'd pay it. Surprising....I can't figure out if he's actually starting to care, or if he's just playing at it.

The cats are still acting crazy, I think I need to have Vader "fixed" but I can't afford it right brother & his wife suggested this herbal stuff that will help calm him down until I can afford, alteration.

It kind of makes me a little sad that I only see my friends about once a week anymore. I hardly talk to any of them other than at church or small group. I feel like it's weird to just call someone for no reason....does that make me a bad friend?

I really really need to clean don't want to know how gross it is under my bed since the cat has been hiding there, I just discovered it for myself last night.....ugh, no wonder my allergies have been crappy the last two weeks or so.

Missionaries amaze me sometimes.....all the persecution that's going on in Got an update from CICM and it didn't say anything about stopping the persecution, it just said that they know God is going to use the persecution of Christians for His glory and that lots of new people will come to Christ for the first time, or find him again. That kind of faith, is totally awesome to me...Sometimes I wish I had faith like that, but it scares me to ask for know when you ask God for something like Faith of Patience, he usually uses a difficult situation to increase your faith or patience.

I guess that's sort of the same "fear" that I have with going back to Africa. It's a little scary to think that the life I've known for the last 26 years could totally change when I go back to Africa. Before I went over the summer I kept asking myself "what if you want to go back?" I kind of just ignored it, but then when we got there, I knew that I wanted to go back..and I started asking myself "what if God wants you here....long-term?" It really freaks me out to think about it. I don't feel like I know enough to teach anyone anything about God or The Bible....I can't even find some of the books of the Bible without looking in the table of contents. The people I know that have gone over there, I feel like, were much stronger in their faith and knowledge than I am right now. It won't stop me from going, don't worry about that. It's just one of those trains of thought that keeps me up at night sometimes. I mean, do I really have what it takes to leave everything I know, my family, my close friends, the luxuries that I'm used to having....can I let all of that go? I like to think I do, I feel like I can leave all this and go to Africa and thrive. But then I think about it sometimes, and a little bit of doubt creeps in (doubt is the devil's favorite toy) and I just start to wonder.

Wow, that was a loooooong post. sorry


let's play a game...

So, you know that game people play where they ask you "if you could do anything, and money was no object and failure was not a possibility, what would you do?" well, I've always had a really hard time with that game. They're giving you and impossible situation. There will NEVER (not in THIS life at least) be a time when money and failure will not be factors in a major life decision. But I think I've finally thought of a few things that I would do, tomorrow even, if money and/or failure was not an issue. If I woke up tomorrow and suddenly had lots of money, I'm pretty sure I'd buy a ticket for the next flight to Ghana. And when I came back, whenever that happened to be, I'd enroll in culinary school at the Culinary Institute of America.
On a different note, work was no better today than it has been for the last couple of days. My boss sent me a text message yesterday and told me not to worry about coming in and that we'd make up the hours this week sometime. Then today, I get off an hour earlier than scheduled. For most people that would be great. Didn't have to work on Sunday and get off an hour early on Monday. Yeah great, but my last paycheck had 69 hours on it and this one tomorrow will probably have around 61...that's 10-20 hours LESS than I used to be getting. But for me, it's a big deal....I mean think about it this way, if someone makes between $8 and $12 an hour and their hours get cut that much then in a month's time, they'll be getting paid anywhere from$100-300 less. To you that might not be much, I mean, my bosses probably spend that much in a week without even thinking about it, but to me, it's a lot. I had to ask my mom for money this weekend, I drove to her house (50minutes away) to get it....yeah, makes me feel like a real grown-up. I just can't figure out what to do about this situation though....I dunno.


blah blah blah

lately I've just been feeling sort of Blah....I don't know exactly how to explain what "blah" feels like, but that's how I've been lately. I need more hours at work in order to pay my bills, but when I get to work I just feel like being somewhere else. I still do my job, and I don't complain, I work hard in fact, but inside I just don't feel like I'm doing anything important. I'm almost feeling like my dissatisfaction with work is part of God's way of telling me to go to Ghana as soon as I can. I don't know what God has in store for me, and frankly, it scares the crap out of me. I do know, or at least I feel, that the current job I have is NOT what God has in store for me for the long haul. I know that what I'm doing now, really makes no difference in the grand scheme of things. Working at the school in Ghana has the potential to change people's lives....including mine. At this rate if I stay here, the only change in my life will be my getting deeper and deeper in debt. How do you explain the desire to go to a third world country to do mission work to someone that has no idea. My boss is clueless.......they spent more for one weekend at a B&B than I pay for my rent. They probably think they'd die of they didn't have air conditioning and cable television. I'm rambling.....but I can't really help it, I'm thinking at about a thousand RPMs right now. I just know that I want to do something worthwhile, something that matters. I've been working at this job for over a year, and I just feel like I go to work, I do my job and that's it....I guess on some level, it matters, when you cater an event for someone and it's a special day or whatever, it matters to them. But I'm tired of catering to the rich, spoiled rotten, self-centered, super consumer. I'd much rather live in a 3rd world country without a lot of the luxuries that I have here, but make a difference in someone's life. So, basically, I'm fed-up with feeling dispensable, and I'm excited about what God is preparing me to do, but I'm also pretty frightened too.


reading articles about the attacks on Christians that continue in the Orissa district of India today. Breaks my heart, sincerely. One article says that some of the attacks are very similar to the attack in 1999 on missionary Graham Staines, where he & his two young sons were burned to death in their car when they were sleeping.
How can people who call themselves "Christian" here in the states NOT SEE the need for foreign missionaries. It's really been bugging me lately to know people who would claim Christ, but then they don't claim any of the burden of being a Christian. We have it so freakin' easy here. We live our nice cushy lives, with air conditioning and cable tv and high-speed internet. On the other side of the world, which I've discovered recently, is NOT that far away in reality, people are dying for Christ! It scares me to think of the people I know that, if faced with a real life or death situation, would denounce what little bit of a relationship with Christ they have. People are dying and being forced to hide in the jungle in India, and you can't even find it on a major news website. The only reason I know about it at all is because of a missionary that our church supports sending an urgent email request for prayer. It makes me so mad. There's so much more that's bothering me right now......but I really don't feel like opening up quite yet.


Urgent prayer request!!

Hey so, the church I go to is one of the many supporters of Central India Christian Mission and right now there's a lot persecution going on in India for Christians. What it boils down to is some political activists and leaders were killed last week, Hindu extremists blamed it on Christians so they started burning churches and homes of Christians, mainly in the Orissa area of India. It has been brought to light that Christians were NOT responsible for the attacks on the political activists, but the persecution continues. Please keep this in your prayers today and for the rest of the week as the attacking parties are calling for strikes all through the area.
for more info go HERE

Thank you

the devil made me do it..

So yeah, all the worrying I was doing in my last post about how maybe getting no response from the guy in Ghana was God's way of telling me that I didn't need to go. Scratch that. Apparently it was God's way of telling me I had the wrong email address! Yeah, I found out last night that the address I have is his OLD one and he doesn't check it anymore, so he probably never even got the email. I'm glad that's the case, but I feel really pathetic for even letting the fact that I hadn't gotten a response bother me. Stupid Devil knowing that I'd start getting paranoid....I'm just so excited about the possibility of going back to Ghana. At the same time I'm kind of scared. No, not scared of going to Africa or scared of what might happen "to" me while I'm there. I'm more scared of God might do "with" me through another trip to Ghana. That might sound kind of crazy, but oh well. But look at most of the great characters of the Bible, you see this recurring theme of God taking someone who doesn't think they're capable and using them for the exact thing that they don't think they can do. Yeah, it's scary. I mean, I probably won't be called to build an ark, or kill a giant or even speak in front of huge crowds of people, but there are things that I probably would be called to do, that I've never done and I feel incapable of doing. But if you look at all those characters again, you see that for the most part, they were just normal people. We put them on pedestals sort of because they are part of the foundational history of our faith. But David was a shepherd boy, some of the apostles were just fishermen, Gideon was the "least" of his family and his tribe. God likes using normal, working class people to accomplish extraordinary things. And yeah, that scares me.