Monday, June 20, 2011

Just the High Points

I have one talent that I am really proud of. I probably have two or three talents total, but I am really only proud of one of them. I am really self-aware.

In an extreme form, this means that I am really self-conscious. If I wasn't self-aware enough to know that I will never look good, I would constantly be worried about how I look. Most of the time it means that I just know who I am... good and bad. I know that I am a loyal friend, I know that I am not athletic. I know that I am funny, I also know that I take jokes too far. I know that I work well under pressure, which is good because I know I procrastinate. One of the things that I am most self-aware of is that I have next to no self-discipline. Paul's statement in Romans 7:14 should be my life verse. I say this not to bemoan my lack of self-control when it comes to eating or working out, but to self-flagellate my lack of writing.

I would like to hire a personal assistant, someone very large and intimidating, to force me to sit down in front of a computer and type. To blog. To actually write down all of the things I think are clever observations. And if while they were at it they could keep me away from double cheeseburgers and Irish Cream-filled cupcakes that would be great too.

You see, I had every intention of writing regularly when I landed back in Dallas. I thought that my free time would allow me to sit at a table with pot after pot of tea and write. Thus far? Utter failure.

However, Katie has already shared the two biggest highlights of our summer thus far. Having Miquette here was great. Often people talk about Katie and I like we are something special, which we are not. But MQ, as I (and only I) like to call her; she is a bona-fide hero.

She made the most out of her educational opportunities in Haiti. Tackled the daunting and scary task of moving to the USA to finish high school. Earned a nursing degree, then went back to Haiti (when she could have stayed in the USA and been on easy street) and started a non-profit that now has 200 kids in school. In the middle of that, which frankly would have been enough, she responded with ice-cold focus during the earthquake and literally saved lives with her medical knowledge. What did you do before you turned 30?

It was great to introduce Miquette to so many of my Dallas friends, people who I hope become passionate about TeacHaiti like I am.

The second highlight of the summer has been working with our good friend Ivy, at FBC Richardson's Vacation Bible School. The total amount is not quite in yet, but this church (mainly the children's ministry) raised some serious cash for TeacHaiti. It should easily blow away what they did last year. True story: Ivy, Katie and I went to a bank to count all of the change the kids had brought and it was so much the machine broke down. It got tired of counting. It was unreal. The fact that we even had that much money if the first place is a testament to how faithful God is.

VBS was five days long; just one week to hopefully raise enough to sponsor over 20 children this coming year. On Tuesday, we had only two hundred dollars raised. Not even enough for one scholarship. K and I were talking about how we could make changes in our budget to divert money so we could make sure that there was not a lapse in scholarships. We prayed hard that night and I know Ivy was praying, too.

Over the next day 3 days the money came pouring in, over four thousand dollars! To make up so much in such a short amount of time reminds me that I need to have a greater trust in God to provide and not to be anxious. He's got this.


Thursday, June 16, 2011


It's Vacation Bible School week at FBC Richardson! The kids bringing change, and the money will go to TeacHaiti sponsorships. Our kids are responding so strongly to the message that they can make a difference in other kids' lives, half a world away.

Yesterday Miquette was our example of a person who is showing God's love to others in the world. This one child may be slightly confused about the exact nature of what Miquette's ministry does...
I love kids :)


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Miquette in Dallas!

Home. Home in Dallas.

In the first week, we did something that I will do for any and all future breaks: not leave the house for two days. Literally. Not one errand, not one lunch date. We are hoping to correct the unwise insane schedule we created for ourselves last summer, and the resulting crazy emotional wrecks we became. So far, so good.

The first week home, we saw a few friends, took it easy, and watched Mavs playoff basketball. I visited a lovely counselor to try to get to work on this anxiety thing. We spoke at Fellowship White Rock, which is the church where we have our a-may-zing small group. Ben asked the pastor, our friend Gabe, for five minutes. He said "take the whole thirty"! So we did. We told stories of the Haitian students we love, the struggles they have faced, the whole crazy story of how we got to Haiti. We still tell the basic earthquake story. When do we stop doing that? Is that the defining moment of our ministry? Our lives?
Miquette celebrating her birthday with a cupcake. Best part: tiger on top.

The second week we are hosting our dear, dear friend Miquette! Miquette is the founder of TeacHaiti, and she is here in Dallas for a week. Her main purpose is to thank First Baptist Richardson, the church where Ben and I have grown up, for doing a change drive last summer that raised enough money to sponsor 22 children in her ministry. Fun fact: the change drive was entirely put on by the preschool, children's, and youth ministries. Thousands and thousands of dollars in change from children- it put 22 Haitian kids in school for a year, wearing their tie-dye uniforms and eating heaping portions of beans and rice with a smile each day! She also wanted to spur the church on to continue this great work, since the Vacation Bible School where most of the money came from last year starts again tomorrow. That's right folks.... bring back the M&M costumes.

In addition to Miquette thanking FBC Richardson in the service today and being at VBS tomorrow, we've gotten to take her to sushi, Tex-Mex, and lunch with some friends who are pastors or marketing/website people and might want to connect with what she's doing. We got to have a couple over for dinner who are sponsoring a child every single month in 2011. Oh yes, that's 12 kids. We also had a barbecue with our small group on Wednesday and a reception at my parents' house on Thursday. Whew. Big week. But this is one week I was willing to be super busy, because I want to give everything I can- money, sure, but also all my connections, all my talented friends, and all my "put people together and see what God will inspire".

Will you join me in praying for this coming week, for Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Richardson? Twenty two kids got to go to school this past year because of VBS 2010. I hope to see even more at the TeacHaiti School of Hope on the first day of the 2011-2012 school year, as a direct result of what happens in the next five days.

Also: Sic 'em Mavs. Champs! That is all.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011


We got home last night for our summer break. Easiest travel day we've ever had. Thank you, Lord.

I am loving:
- my engagement ring, the most beautiful thing I have ever owned
- sleeping in what feels like the quietest, darkest, comfiest bedroom ever to exist
- produce: broccoli, baby carrots, organic spinach, strawberries, blueberries
- Mexican food
- easy everything: easy power, easy water, easy debit card, easy Target
- customer service
- independence: I can drive here, I can speak to anyone in a language I know
- my mother's backyard
- Sam and Libby, my two small furry best pals
- clean: I would eat off the floors in this house, and probably they are cleaner than my countertops in Haiti

You rock, home.


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