Wednesday, August 31, 2005

One Year Ago Today, August 31...

...I was flying from Cairo to Amsterdam to Atlanta to Monroe, Louisiana. I was greeted at the airport in Monroe by much of my family and several friends. It was quite a bitter-sweet day. I left the place I began to call home to return to what was supposed to be home. 365 days later, my heart still lies on 2 continents, my love is still for the Egyptian Arab Muslim, and my longing is that one day, I would have the privilege of returning to the Middle East/North Africa for a long period of time.

The first four months that I was home I was a nanny and a substitute teacher. I was nanny to 2 precious little boys - Alyzamon and Keon. They stole my heart. Their dark skin, dark hair, and dark eyes melted my heart! I got a glimpse of what motherhood will one day look like - washing dishes, cooking meals, doing laundry, cleaning the house...all while entertaining the little ones, 3 years and 15 months old!

During those four months, my sister was planning her wedding, so I went to showers almost every other weekend. We had so much fun with all of the wedding planning! Also during those four months, after having been overseas for the previous 2 years, I spent my first Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family again.

In January, Jenny and Brian got married and I started seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I know that I am where I am supposed to be now - in America, a few hours' drive from home. The reunion with my family has been precious. I love getting to spend time in Ruston. Because I am now living in Fort Worth, weekend trips home are the only times I am with my family, and I spend the entire weekend trying to see mom and dad and Jenny and Brian (if they are in town) and aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

I did get to return to Cairo for a month this summer, for which I am so very grateful. The Lord is always so generous in His grace, in His love. My time there with friends was beautiful and I believe He was glorified in the time I spent with friends, some old, some new. I pray He continues to allow me to return there as often as I can...until maybe, just maybe, in His divine plan, He will send me back there, to live, eat, sleep, and breathe among these people with whom I have fallen in love!

Thank you, Jesus, for such a wonderful year! It has been so good to be back among a believing group of people, to resolidify some basics of my beliefs, to be encouraged by the Body of Christ, to be drawn back into a deeper fellowship with my Father and my God, to feel the presence of my Jesus working in my life and blessing me so much with a family who loves and supports my ministry, with people around me who love me for who I am, just a little girl - sometimes selfish, sometimes unloveable, sometimes emotional. Thank you, friends and family, for your love and support in this huge time of adjustment in my life. Thank you for having patience with me!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

first time FRIGHT

This past Sunday, 2 of my good friends and I went to Six Flags. This was definitely the most fun I've EVER had at Six Flags. Why? you ask. Have you ever ridden the Titan with 2 adults who have never ridden on a roller coaster ride in their lives?...and the TITAN at that. Yes, the Titan was Danny and Haya's first roller coaster ride experience. And an experience it was. Since roller coaster rides are something I've experienced since I was a kid, I never considered preparing them for what was about to happen...but I think maybe I should have!!! They screamed the ENTIRE ride and arms were flailing everywhere. I was sitting next to Danny and when throughout the ride I watched his facial expressions change from fear to fun to a face of death!!! Haya sat in front of us and we listened to her scream the whole time! It was bliss!!! :-) After we got off of the ride, they talked about their necks hurting...yes, I'm a SUPER bad friend because I didn't warn them to keep their heads rested on the neck rest as to avoid having their necks jerked around the entire ride! Well, it didn't stop the fun. In the next 5 hours we managed to ride Superman, Batman, Mr. Freeze (Haya's favorite), Mine Train, the old Cliffhanger, Shockwave, the water rapid ride (Danny's favorite), the parachutes. Because it was Sunday, the longest line we waited in was 20 minutes...which added to the greatness of the day!! Thanks, Danny and Haya for such a FUN- and LAUGHTER-filled day.

Back to School

We have started classes again at Southwestern and we are in our 2nd full week of classes. It's been nice to get reaquainted with people I met last semester. A friend of mine celebrated her birthday this weekend and it was nice to spend time with some girls! (HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEILA!!!) However, I'm not sure how much of a social life I will have this semester. I am taking 15 hours and working. It's a lot, but do-able! I have loved my classes thus far and feel like God has a lot to teach me and reveal to me in this coming semester. I believe this semester will truly be a time of spiritual deepening in my understanding of my faith and of my God! 2 weeks down, 14 to go!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

"FeErEee! DagAstta!"

"Look! Listen!" These are 2 Somali words I have learned in the past month and a half of teaching English to a class of 14 Somalis. I'm writing tonight mostly to express how GREAT is our God! He has given me an amazing LOVE for my students. No matter how bad my day has gone, everything changes when I walk in the door of their home. I am always greeted at the door by at least one of the children...most of the time, though, all 4 of the younger ones meet me at the door. They greet me with a kiss on my hand and I, in turn kiss theirs. This is the greeting in Somalia between women and between children and adults.

I find inexpressible joy being with my students. We laugh a lot. Usually there are a few children coming in and out of the lessons - we have our lesson in the family's living room of their apartment. Just today as my friend and I were coming home from the lesson, we thanked the Lord for putting us in the lives of these Somalis. Surely nothing happens by accident. Everything is providential. My prayer is that God will do supernatural things in the lives of my students and that they in turn would recognize that it is Him who is actively involved in their lives. My prayer is that they would know JC as their Redeemer, and not just see Him as another prophet. My prayer is that Father would give them dreams and visions of Himself. As you read this...would you pray these things too? Bless you as you bless others in the name of JC!

Monday, August 15, 2005

it was the year 1979 and....

In 1979 (the year you were born)

Jimmy Carter is president of the US

A major accident occurs at a nuclear reactor on Three Mile Island near Middletown, PA

An American Airlines DC-10 loses its engine and crashes seconds after takeoff, killing 275 people

Hurricane David kills over 1200 in the US and the Dominican Republic

Some 90 people, including 63 Americans, are taken hostage at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran

The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan

ESPN starts broadcasting

Aaliyah, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Norah Jones, Heath Ledger, and Kate Hudson are born

Pittsburgh Pirates win the World Series

Pittsburgh Steelers win Superbowl XIII

Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup

Kramer vs. Kramer is the top grossing film

Sophie's Choice by William Styron is published

"My Sharona" by The Knack spends the most time at the top of the US charts

The Facts of Life premiers

What Happened the Year You Were Born?

More cool things for your blog at

yeT aNotHer FriDay nIghT

Obedience...that was the topic of discussion tonight. Maybe you know the story of God's promise to Abraham to be the father of many nations. Maybe you know the story of Abraham's offering his only son as a sacrifice, to find God providing a ram for the sacrifice at the very last minute. But, have you ever really thought about the act of obedience on Abraham's part, the two stories combined? follow God's leading, taking his son - the son who was conceived so very many years after Abraham was given the promise that He would be the father of many nations - to a mountain top, and offering that only son to God, out of obedience, not knowing that the ram would be provided?

WOW!!! Amazing obedience. Amazing love and trust in the Creator.

In the 3 days, I heard two intense messages about obedience. I know the Lord has a Word for me in this area. Now...I'm just waiting to hear it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


My cousin Laura had a baby girl last December. She's now the center of attention at ALL family events. We love her and she is great - her personality is lots of fun!

oN....On...yE beArcAtS

Heather, Molly, and I have been good friends since high school. Heather and her husband, Chad, are expecting their first baby in early September. Molly and I went to their house this weekend and spent several hours visiting with them - chatting about Ruston, chatting about what is going on in our lives. Father has blessed me with wonderful friends - friends with whom I can laugh, cry, talk their ear off about what I'm going through, encourage, talk about our walk with Chr*st, and so much more. I am so thankful that when He blesses, it seems that the blessings come in abundance!!!


I went home this past weekend, and on my way home, stopped to visit one of my old roommates from college. Betsy and I lived together my last year at LA Tech. The Father used her in my life in amazing ways - pointing me closer to Him. Since then, she's married the guy she had been dating since high school, and in May, they had a baby. Her name is Bella. It was a pleasure to catch up with them and meet little Bella. It's always so interesting to me the life stages of my friends who are my age. Me...single. Others...young married couples. And still others...married with little children! All of us in the age range of 23-27. CRAZY!

This is Betsy, Bella, and me.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

hOw MaJesTic iS He!

This morning as I was reading in the Word, a verse hit me. Many times I feel quite distant from the Father. When I sit to read His Word, I don't always feel His presence. This verse was convicting as well as encouraging. As I read the verse...I prayed, "Oh Father, purify me. Purify Your bride, the ch*rch. That we may desire righteousness and holiness. That we would feel the presence of the Almighty and be confident of Your nearness to us!"

Isaiah 59:1 says, "Behold the L*rd's hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear."

When I lived in Egypt, I had the opportunity to climb Mount Sinai. When I looked over the mountains and thought about the great patriarchs of old who traveled these lands...those whom we read about...the amazing history and blessings of this land, I knew that I stood in His presence! I knew that He was with me!

Monday, August 01, 2005

fRiDaY nIgHtS

We spend Friday nights together, digging into the Word and learning together how to be better followers of Chr*st.