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


Crappy Thanksgiving!

So, I knew these last couple of weeks before I went to Ghana were going to be tough, but I don't know how much more I can take. First my laptop had to be sent back to Dell for repairs, who knows if I will get it back before leaving. Then, on Thanksgiving night my mom & I hit a deer in MY car on the way home from my aunt's house. No one was hurt thankfully, but my car is pretty bad. And now, my cat, that I've had for like 8 years has disappeared from my mom's house. No one has seen her for at least 24 hours. We've looked all over the house/yard/neighborhood. I don't have a good feeling about it. So if you see me this week, and ask me how I'm doing, I'll try to be in a good mood, but in all honesty, I've had a terrible few days here. Satan is trying his hardest to get me down, and I'm trying my hardest to stay up, but I feel like I'm starting to go under.

Treading water

on a good note, I got to see my whole family over thanksgiving break. There were no major arguments and I got to give Christmas presents to my bro & his family early since I won't see them. And, my family all went in together to get me a sweet new digital camera.


Stupid Devil

So, this week, the devil is trying to get me down. I'm not going to let him though. Thanksgiving was......interesting. The night before we all went out and ate dinner. By "we all" I mean my whole family. Both brothers and their wives, and my nephews and niece, and my dad and mom and my mom's friend and one a friend of one of my brothers. Can I just say that adults acting out like pre-adolescent children really pisses me off. Yeah enough about that. Thanksgiving day was pretty normal. Went to my aunt's house and ate like usual. On the way home, mom was driving my car and my nephew and I were riding with her and we hit a deer! Yep, huge buck right on the side of the road and he rad right into the front 1/4 panel on MY car yay! So, my to-do list just got a little longer, but the devil's not getting me

11 days

My cat is one has seen her for hours, and I have a very bad feeling about it


Two Weeks

In fourteen days, I will be getting ready for the biggest trip of my life. I will probably be freaking out a little, I already am, a little.


It's Official

I have a ticket for December the 9th. I'll be flying out of RDU through JFK and arriving in Ghana on Dec 10th. Am I excited..YES! and I a little scared, YES! but mostly excited!



So, I admit, I have been eating too much junk food lately. Mostly because I know I won't be able to have Taco Bell, or random snack foods that I like while I'm in Ghana. So that leads into this perplexing situation. I was at the grocery store tonight, getting some coffee creamer and a snacky thing. Well think it is absolutely RIDICULOUS that you can buy 2 boxes of name brand snack cakes for less than you can buy a half a dozen apples!! I mean, no wonder people don't eat healthy enough. You can get enough snacks for your kids for two weeks for what it would cost to buy fresh fruit for just a few days. It's stupid that pre-packaged, nutrutionally void (practially) "food" costs half as much as REAL FOOD. I can't belive people don't realize the reason this junk is so cheap is because it has very little nutritional value.
ok, I'm done ranting



let me start by saying, that I know that my friends love me. In my last post it may have sounded like I was doubting that. If any of them comes across this blog I don't want them to think that I don't appreciate them or love them. But, none of my friends can really understand how I feel. I have only known a few people in my life that are/were as overweight as I am. One or two of them have lost a lot of weight, but the majority of all the people I know have no idea what it feels like to be significantly overweight. People who are not fat don't understand how you can get so large. In my case, I've been overweight since I was 7-8 years old. By the time I was old enough to do something about my weight myself I was REALLY overweight. Some people actually do have a real metabolic problem. So while I know that my friends were not talking about me, when we were watching that show, it still hurts to hear those things. It hurts not because my friends were saying it, but because I know that the rest of the world feels that way about me. So, that's it for the clarification. I'm over it now. well, I'm over feeling like my friends think those things about me. I'm not sure I'll ever get over some of the things people say about those of us that are overweight. It makes me angry that it's one of the last things left that it is socially ok to make fun of someone for, or ridicule someone about. I hope that changes, but I'm not sure it ever will. I guess it makes me realize that I need to think twice about everything I say, if it's not up-lifting, I'm going to try my best to stop it before it leaves my mouth.

5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3: 5-17

Peace & Love



It is difficult for me to watch some things with my friends. There are certain things, that they just don't see the same way I do. I had to leave someone's house today, because of my differing perspective, and I don't even think they know it. Ok, I'm just gonna come out with it. I was watching "Half ton Dad" on TLC with some friends. Their comments were all negative. Comments about how disgusting HE is and how it grosses them out to see him. One of the people on the show said something about how he'd like to date someday and one of my friends said something like "uh, who'd want to date him?!" They kept saying things about how that much weight doesn't just sneek up on you. I have to admit that some of those comments hurt me. I got up and said something about how I had to work in the morning, hugged everyone left. I don't even think they realized that I was reallyleaving for other reasons. None of them have ever had any real struggle (as far as I know) with their weight. At one point they were basically just making fun of the guy. I feel terribly sorry for him. People always talk about not judging people based on the way they look, but how many people really practice that (even me.) Don't my friends realize that I am fat? I know they do, it's totally obvious. I'm not just fat, I'm obese. Do they not understand that the comments they make about the half ton man, also apply to me. To a normal sized person, an obese person is still disgusting. Put two & two together here, of course, it makes me feel like I am disgusting and offensive and gross to my friends. That's not what they said sure, but how can you say that about one person, and not belive it about another person too. I've been getting made fun of because of my weight for almost as long as I can remember, and hearing my friends make fun of or be dusgusted by someone because of their weight just really, really hurts. Do they think I'm just lazy, and that's why I'm fat. Do they think that people who are fat enjoy being fat? I don't know. There's so much going through my head right now, about this and about a lot of other things. It just makes me really really sad.


this world

so, I've only lived in 3 places my whole life. -the house I grew up in - The house I lived in when I was in college -and the apartment I live in now. I haven't had a lot of opportunities to pack up and move and just look at all the stuff I have. I've been working this week to get my apartment packed up. I have to be out by the end of Nov. Just looking at the small amount of stuff I moved today, I can't believe how much STUFF I have. I have boxes and boxes of stuff that I moved to my mom's today, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. When I went to Haiti, I came back with a new sense of how much we (Americans) have. But going to Africa was a whole different story. I mean, I live in a 700 sq foot apartment by myself. I have a car that I own. I have cable TV. I have wireless high speed internet 24 hours a day. I have heat and AC. I have running water. I have electricity. Those are things that every person I know here considers necessary. But the truth is, for the most part, they are NOT necessary. When I go to Ghana, I will more than likely be sharing a bedroom with 3-4 other people. The shower will not be hot. The electricity will go out. It will be almost unbearably hot. I will probably get sick. You might be thinking "wait, you want to go there?" Yes, I want to go. This post kind of went off track...I'm not even sure what I was trying to get at when I started typing....hmm. I guess basically I'm just realizing how incredibly lucky I am. and spoiled. It makes me sad when people don't care about the rest of the world. I feel like I don't care enough, so when I see people that care even less than me, that could be doing SO much to improve someone's life.....I just don't get it. I guess that's part of living in this world.

This world has nothing for me, and this world has everything, all that I could want and nothing that I need.



It is amazing how obvious it is that I really am wealthy (compared to the rest of the world) when I am packing my whole life into cardboard boxes. I suppose most of the world would only need one box.....I already have 5 boxes of JUST BOOKS! man, I am so spoiled.


Missionary; Mis"sion*ary\, n.; pl. Missionaries. [Cf. F. missionnaire. See Mission, n.] One who is sent on a mission; especially, one sent to propagate religion. --Swift. (from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary)

So, I guess technically when I get to Africa I will "be" a missionary. It scares me to look at it that way. I feel like I am not worthy of being a missionary for my God. I know so little about the Bible. When I was deciding what I wanted to do when I went to college, I immediately strayed away from the medical field, simply because I do not want another person's life in my hands. But being a missionary is almost like being in the spiritual medical field. A person's spiritual health is so much more important than their physical health. I do feel like God has called me to go to Ghana, but at the same time I think "how in the world could God (who KNOWS my innermost thoughts) trust me to influence people spiritually." People always say things like "well, God doesn't need perfect people" and that's completely true, but when I look at my friends, I just feel so much further from perfect than all of them. I rarely have spiritual conversations, but it seems like their conversations are always spiritual. It also scares me to think about the ways I know I will change when I'm gone. I know my knowledge of scripture will increase for one thing. I know that they are big on physical fitness over there so, I guess there's a strong possibility that I will change physically too. I'm all for changing my life for the better, but it's still a little scary. I worry that I will leave as one person, and return as a totally different person. It scares me to think that I could possibly decide to go back again, or stay for much longer than I currently plan to. I feel like I'm on the edge of what could be the most exciting and transforming time of my life. Yeah, that's kind of scary to think about. I wonder how scared the giants of the Bible were before the embarked on some of their life changing journeys. I know that quite often the very first thing an angel said to a person was "don't be afraid" so people must have been afraid a lot. I know that Christ said "fear not for I am with you" which comforts me. But I'm still a little scared, I thin it's only human. I've never traveled by myself, I've never lived far away from my family or close friends, I've never taught in a school. I don't think I've ever been to my breaking point, physically, spiritually, or emotionally. I'm thinking that I might find all three of those in Africa.



I've been having trouble sleeping lately. Maybe it's from stress, or worrying over stuff, or drinking too much coffee too close to bedtime. I dunno. I'm either just not tired at night, or I can't get my mind to slow down enough to just drift off to sleep. I'm not getting enough sleep, I get this sort of nervous twitch in my right eye when I don't get enough sleep. Or maybe it's just not a truly restful sleep. I'm a terrible worry-er. I know I shouldn't be, don't worry about tomorrow for each day has enough worries of it's own right? What do you do, to stop worrying? I always try to convince myself that I don't really worry that much. Lately though, I guess I'm seeing the truth more. People at work joke with me that I need to just chill out and not worry about stuff at work so much. I just can't let things be done the wrong way when I know that I played a part in preparing that meal. That's a silly little thing though, I worry about other things. The top of my worry list right now is; Finances for Ghana, my mom being OK with me going to Ghana, Getting everything straight to move out of my apartment at the end of the month....there are more but anyway. I'm terrible at "letting go" of things that I worry about. I try to not worry about them, but then I sort of obsess over them and end up worrying about them more I think.
I'm trying to not be impatient with my funds for Ghana coming in. It's not happening as quickly as I want it to. At the same time though, every time I get a check, I get a little more nervous about going. Not because I think I've made the wrong decision, just because this is the biggest decision I've ever made in my life and frankly it scares me a little bit. All these things that could go wrong start running through my head. I guess we'll see what happens


so, I'm moving out of my place at the end of November. I figure if I'm still in the states by the end of the month, then there's no need to owe another month's rent for Oct of I leave for Ghana before then. My friend Heidi said I can stay with her until I leave so basically all I have to do is get all my stuff to my mom's house over the course of the month. Am I excited? you bet. Am I completely freaking out? Definitely. I saw a suitcase at TJ Maxx that I like so I might go back & buy it this week. I think I go through the whole gamut of emotions about leaving for Ghana every single day. I get excited, I freak out a little, I get a little sad that I have to leave my family/friends, I get worried that I'll forget something, I get worried that I'll disappoint the Hostetters when I get over there. This is basically the biggest thing I've ever done in my life. I still kind of can't believe God's letting me do it. I feel like this is a really important time in my life and I'm so scared that I'm going to do something to mess it up. Pray for my family (mom in particular) that they will have peace about me going and that they will not worry too much about me while I'm gone. Pray that I'm a good child and I keep in touch like I'm know I should.


let's lighten the mood a little

so, a couple of serious posts and now for something a little different. I'm here by myself at my apartment cleaning up cooking lunch etc. I have the Food Network on just for something in the back ground. So, Ina Garten (ie the Barefoot Contessa) has a "new" show on FN. Now don't get me wrong, I like her recipes as much as anybody else. I've cooked quite a few of them and they always give great results. But, she had a show at one time, Barefoot Contessa, and best I can figure this "new" show is basically the same recipes as the old show. FN is not even trying to cover up the fact that they're taping new versions of the same recipes. The tag-line for the show is something like "all my classics with the volume turned up" I mean seriously? People really like her so much that they'll be ok with watching her cook the same recipes she cooked on the other show with one or two tweaks in them? I don't get it. FN is disappointing to watch a lot of times now. It used to be chefs (real chefs) with cooking shows. Now it's more like a home cook that shows all their little tricks for how to get the fastest, cheapest result. I guess it's just not for me. I don't like trying to turn everything into 30 minute meal. I LIKE slow food. Braised short ribs for example take a long time, but they are worth it. I still watch the Food Network, but I'm picky about the shows I watch. Give me Top Chef over FN Start anyday!


I'm so glad that James 5:16 is in the Bible. Last night I was totally wrecked. When mom called me to ask me to pray for Jamie I felt totally helpless and all I could do was just beg God for her to please be ok. I sent messages to a couple of my friends asking them to pray, I put a message up on my brothers blog asking all his online friends to pray. Mom called back around 1:45 this morning. Jamie should be fine. Apparently she has a severe ear infection. The Dr gave her some meds and said she should be fine. I know for a fact that my mom & I were not the only ones praying for her and my brother's family. Skeptics could say that it's all coincidental. Whatever, all I know, is that last night we were totally helpless and completely at the mercy of God begging him to make her well. And she's well now. I'm not saying any kind of miracle happened or anything, I'm just saying that I'm soooooo glad that in times where we are helpless, God will help us if we just ask with a sincere heart. If any of you read this and were praying, last night, thank you so much. I know the prayers were felt by our family.