1. Last Friday I was in one of my favorite neighborhoods on the Apache reservation in Arizona. It was a perfect end to a fabulous week. I am still hoarse from all the laughing ( "Hey Moylen, where're you sittin?" "His name sounds like cheeeessssseeeeee" ). I can say without a doubt that this was one of my favorite trips of all time. I was so blessed to be out there with some of my closest friends, and so greatly blessed to make new friends with some amazing people I didn't know well before. Share a bathroom with someone for a week, and you really do know them. Perhaps more than a person should be known. I can think of hard moments and a few times of tongue biting - two things that come with the territory of living with twenty people for eight days. I got my heart broken and shredded again in both familiar and new ways, but I honestly can't think of a bad thing to say about the trip. Oh wait:
Shovels full of rat poop.
But I wouldn't even trade that for the experience. To each of you who generously gave to the trip, your gift was well used, beyond appreciated and truly did make an impact for the Kingdom, both in the hearts and lives of the team members (and I have grown to learn that mission trips are so much more about the work God does in me than the work I do out there), and also in the lives of children, families and staff that were ministered to. Ya'll are wonderful. I thank you.
2. Yesterday, I MADE FISH INTO FOOD!!! I'm pretty excited about it. We were given some catfish, caught not too far from our own dock that weren't quite skillet ready. Now, do not imagine that I took live fish and turned them into dinner. These fish were not that fresh off the pole. They were beheaded and gutted (praise the Lord), but they still retained scales and tails and all the fins in between. I realize I sound like a princess when I say that this level of raw is out of my realm of experience. However, I loves me the fresh fried catfish, and I keep saying I am tough. I did what all hungry pioneers do: I googled "How to fillet a cat fish." I perused a few (bloody) picture tutorials. I watched a video. I endured taunting about using a sharp knife (Cheri!). And then I filleted those bad boys like a professional chef, fried 'em up crispy and tender and served up my family a hard core mess of cat fish! It was good. Really good. I need someone to give me a fishing rod now!
3. Earlier this week I posted about the Non-Consumer Experiment. I'm pretty excited to get started. I'm at the part of a plan where I am filled with inspiration, plans, ideas, hopes... I think it's going to be cool to see how differently we can use our money and teach me a lot about my own selfishness and blindness. I do want to be very honest about two things. #1: I totally plan to buy a second bathing suit before the start of the experiment. #2: I secretly hope that all of you will send me Amazon gift cards every week during the project. That's not subliminal messaging right there, it's flat out begging. I'm a little afraid to step away from the "Buy now with one click" button. Oh Kindle, your siren song beckons.... I'm ecstatic that Matt Chandler and Stephen King's new books both come out before May 1. And, in case you missed it, it's twenty - eight days until my birthday.
**True confession #3 - I literally just went over to Amazon and disconnected that feature after making my shameless, though slightly tongue in cheek, plea**
4. I have a lot to learn. That seems to be God's overarching theme for my entire existence this week. I HAVE A LOT TO LEARN. I'm fairly certain we just started the new semester...
5. I found my words again! After a very quiet first of the year as far as blogging goes, I suddenly seem to have words, words, words and more words. It's Thursday night while I am typing this, which will post Friday. I have two blogs complete and saved in drafts and another half written. I can't remember the last time I was so exploding with things to flesh out. Waiting and listening were for a time was fine, but that is not a natural state for me. Next week we are going to the Exponential conference in Orlando, and I may simply implode with possibility (can you say Brandon Hatmaker is a speaker, and Dana is a stalker, anyone?). Sometimes I scare me. I'm OK with that.
I took this today while the girls had science class. I love spring.
7. Sometimes I get random ear worms, snippets of songs that roll through my head for hours or even days at a time. These can be funny, annoying, exhausting if it happens at 3am, and I can't seem to make it go away! I have a different kind of ear worm this week. It dropped in on Tuesday, and it just hasn't stopped rolling through yet. It's not even a song. It's a poem. A poem from my childhood:
Listen to the Musn'ts, child.
Listen to the don'ts.
Listen to the shouldn'ts
the impossibles, the won'ts
Listen to the never-haves
Then listen close to me
Anything can happen, child.
Anything can be.