Monday, July 28, 2008

11 Days and Counting

With only 11 days standing between me and Nicaragua, some of my excitement is starting to turn into fear. Although I've been prepping for this trip for months now, I am not sure how "prepared" I am at this point.

My Spanish is not where I'd like, and most likely, need it to be. I still have odds and ends to tie up in terms of who is watching my precious Wrigley while I'm away. And last but not least, I don't think it's hit me yet that I will have no contact with my selfish, little world for 11 days.

Yesterday our team held it's final fundraising event at Rialde Farms (Thanks Keith) and the end result was amazing! We were able to raise over $800 dollars while swimming, boating, and eating with our friends and family. Aside from the money, we were able to raise AWARENESS of our trip, the teammates, and the people we will help in Nicaragua. Hopefully our event will inspire someone else to partake on a trip of their own down the road. It was an amazing feeling to see well over 75 people come out to support us yesterday and as I laid on my couch last night and looked through a teammate's photo album of her previous trips, I was overwhlemed with tears and emotion. It hit me last night once the crowds had left and the Funday had been cleaned up, just what this trip means to me. Up until now, our meetings have been very business oriented with fundraising, vaccines, packing lists, etc... Yesterday and last night my head switched out of "business mode" and my heart was able to take over in "feeling mode", and if I am being honest with you at all, I'm sad I let the business side of this trip run the show for as long as I did.

With my heart in this trip and my head taking a back seat, I am still a bit afraid and nervous, but I know that the Lord has called me on this trip and I also know that He will lead me through it. Thanks to everyone who has supported me and our team along the way! You have no idea just how much your support has meant to me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Likes and Dislikes...7-21-08

When I was in high school and college and bored in class, journaling, etc...I loved to make two lists; one with my current likes and the other my current dislikes. This might sound odd and equally as boring compared to Biology 101, however the fun part was always flipping back through the lists over time to see just how much my likes had changed. As of July 21st, 2008, I:

Koozies (I never leave home without one)
Fountain cokes
Secondhand Serenade's "Vulnerable"
Black and White cookies from the bakery at Publix (one of these cookies can make my day)
Spending the 4th of July at home with family
Boating to Morris Island with "Your Mom's Team"
Facebook (finally figuring out how to use it)
Tsunami's Sushi
Having my best friends from college visiting all summer
Couch time while laughing and telling old stories
Playlist Concerts
Sundresses and flops

Work luncheons that stress me out
morning traffic
The smell of Starbucks coffee in the office
Kickball in the rain
Losing at kickball
Not being able to go to San Diego/LA
The fact that the Bachelorette is over for another season
Red ants taking over my yard
Slugs ruining my tomato plants in the backyard

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Terrible Tuesday Topper!

Just one more thought as I try to put yesterday behind me (although today isn't looking all that great either with "traffic court" kicking off my morning).

Last night after my beloved dog Wrigley would not allow me to take a nap after work (bless his little annoying heart) I decided I'd go to the grocery store. I love going to the grocery store so I figured this would be a nice treat. Everything was going great and I was feeling better. As the sweet, high school girl was ringing up my groceries she requested my ID for the bottle of wine in my cart. I politely handed it over to he, she examined the date, and enthusiastically stated "Whoa, you're almost as old as my parents!"

Needless to say, I was shocked and instantly depressed. The poor bag boy looked like he wanted to crawl into my bag along with the sushi he had just loaded, and the girl proceeded to just giggle ( bless her little annoying heart). Inside I was screaming "JUST RING UP MY GROCERIES, KEEP MY AGE OUT OF THIS TRANSACTION, AND GO BACK TO YOUR JONAS BROTHER'S CD WHEN YOU GET OFF AT 9, OKAY!" but on the outside I politely said as the Christian woman I am "wow, that's so funny. Have a great night" and went on my way while trying not to cry or vomit.

Gotta love it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Terrible Tuesday

Although I do not plan on using this blogsite as a venting post, today I am going to be self absorbed and vent my little heart out so I’ll apologize in advance.

Today is Tuesday. Monday, the hardest day of the week is behind me and I am one step closer to the weekend. However, I would rather do yesterday over and over again if it means that today, Terrible Tuesday, would cease to exist.

For starters, I took a Tylenol PM last night since I wasn’t feeling well and needed to get some sleep. “Tylenol PM” nights equal “sleep through my alarm” mornings and unfortunately I awoke in a panic, have on minimal make-up and have been hiding in my cubicle due to my mismatched outfit that seemed like a “creative” option this morning.

Upon opening my email once I made it to the office, I find an RSVP to a Steering Committee meeting I am hosting for The Citadel Graduate College in two weeks. I worked really hard on the invitee list, narrowing 800 potential invitees to 49 based on giving history, community involvement, yadda yadda. One would think an invite of this stature would be an honor, however Mr. Negative-Pants (as I will call him) not only replies in the negative, but proceeds to berate me for even selecting him as he states “has never been a leader in his career, college nor community”. The response was three paragraphs long listing every reason he shouldn’t have been invited and ends with a chipper “and whomever selected me to be invited to this meeting should be taken out to The Citadel parade deck and shot”. Well, alrighty then! A simple “no, thank you” would’ve sufficed, Mr. Negative-Pants!

Shortly after that little nugget of sunshine in email form was read, I proceeded to get another email letting me know of a large mistake that I had made at work. I will not vent about this incident as it is better kept to my thoughts to myself, but needless to say, it added to my day of drama. And to put the icing on the cake, I went to the restroom to blow my nose after my string of upsetting emails and proceeded to smack, yes smack, my forehead on the new automatic paper towel dispenser. The smack was loud, it hurt, and it gave me a nice red welt for an hour or two. How did I manage to hit my head on the paper towel dispenser? No clue. I guess it was just in the cards.

In conclusion, Terrible Tuesday stinks. I have one more hour left of my work day and then I am driving home (10 miles under the speed limit just in case), getting in my bed, and not moving until my alarm clock notifies me that it is Wednesday . Wonderful “what’s going to happen to me today” Wednesday.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Here am I. Send Me.

With only one month and 4 days left (not that I'm counting or anything) before I embark on my first medical mission trip, I am starting to feel like a little kid on Christmas eve. Do you remember that feeling? The "how can I sleep when I know the minute I close my eyes Santa is surely going to drop off the Snoopy Snowcone Maker that I've been dreaming about" feeling? The night before Christmas was such a whirlwind of excitement and the fact that I am feeling this way already with a whole month to go is about to drive me crazy!

I think a lot of the hype in my mind is not just about Nicaragua or the fact that I will be in Central America for 11 days, but more so about the fact that something I have been dreaming about for 3 years is about to happen. For three long years I have felt something stir in my heart. This girl who never had any desire to leave the country while growing up was starting to feel drawn towards international mission work. I tried to tuck the urge back inside like I do when I get the urge to go running or to the gym, but this has not been as easy to supress. The more I talked myself out of it or found logical reasons to wait, the more it came back stronger. Finally in February of this year, I gave in and filled out the application.

As I prepare for Nicaragua, I am confident this trip will be a life changing event and you know what, I am praying it is! I want to be changed. I want to get there and be completely thrown out of my comfort zone so that I can feel how many of the people in this world feel every single day. I want to have to rely fully on others to tell me when and what I can eat, where I have to sleep, have them limit my time in the shower with clean water, tell me what I cannot wear, etc... I believe without being thrust from my happy, clean American bubble, I will not be nearly as effective on the future trips I take. I want to put myself in the shoes of the people we're serving so that I can become empathetic to their lives and not just limited to sympathy. I want to be used and I want to serve and love on these people so much over those 11 days that I have nothing left when I get back on the plane to states.

I am sure I will use this blog more and more to chat about my trip, especially as I get closer to the day we leave, but for now I guess my main message is that I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am grateful for the team of 18 new friends that the Lord has handpicked as teammates. I am grateful for my friends and family who are helping me pay for this trip and making this dream a reality. And last but not least, I am grateful that my urge was strong enough to fight logistics and laziness. I cannot wait to serve the Nica people and to be 100% uncomfortable for their sake.

Here am I. Send Me.