A profound thought of Mr. Jonathan Cook at prophetic night tonight.

Prophetic night was good. Had an interesting word from God, but I don't want to share it on here. It does have to do with a lot of the stuff I've been learning and praying about lately, so that's a very good thing.

We had lots of fun at the beach and hanging out with Laci. We went and saw Must Love Dogs Friday night in Dothan. It was cute, and I liked it. I love John Cusack. We also ate at Mexican Connection, my favorite Mexican restaurant ever, so I was very happy. We hit the beach around 10:30 a.m. Saturday, and it was overcast but not burning hot. We played in the water for a while and looked for shells, threw some seaweed at each other (which was surprisingly fun) and laid out. We got witnessed to by some poor little teenagers that were apparently really nervous. It was kind of funny, because we had on our headphones and didn't hear them at first when they started talking to us; I felt kind of bad for them. We talked to them for a few minutes and then they moved on. After we chilled on the beach for a couple of hours we decided to go get some food. We ended up at this restaurant called Spinnaker, and it was extremely good. We sat outside with a great ocean view and ate seafood. I had grouper, fried oysters and shrimp. After that we went to Alvin's Island and bought a little souvenir for Jess. Rebecca and I got back to T-town around 10:30 last night and went to Bruno's to get snacks for church this morning because we signed up last week to bring them this week. We took Goldfish and our snowcone maker, both of which turned out to be a big hit.

Anyway, I'll leave with another profound quote from Jonathan:

"When you churn butter, you churn and churn until it becomes more like... butter."
I say it's about road trips.

I'm leaving in about an hour to go to the beach with Rebecca. I'm excited. I LOVE the beach, and I haven't been since spring break. I didn't leave the beach on a good note then (I was nasty sick with a fever, chills, body aches, runny nose... I probably had the flu). So I'm rarin' to get back down and enjoy some sun, sand and waves.

And seafood. There's nothing like fresh seafood.

We'll only be gone through tomorrow because we signed up to do refreshments at church Sunday.

Yea for the beach!
So I looked up Andy Osenga on the Web and upon finding his Web site realized that he used to be the lead singer for The Normals and that I met him in Atlanta in '97 or '98 at AtlantaFest. Pretty cool. I sent him an e-mail and downloaded some songs. Yes, I know, random, but I thought I would share.
3:09 PM | Author: Misty
Small group was pretty doggone good last night.

We chilled as usual and talked for a long time. Then Jill had us just sit and write to God about what's been going on with us lately. The quiet and stillness was a really good means of being able to hear Him... and He hit me hard. I realized last night that He has to be No. 1 in all aspects of my life, or He's not No. 1 at all. Right now... He's not No. 1. Life is definitely a daily struggle between what my flesh wants and what my spirit knows is His will. I don't want to settle for less than what He has for me, but sometimes it's just so much easier to not even try. I'm so grateful and glad to know that His plan for me is so much better than what I could ever come up with on my own and that He loves me, and that is why I keep pressing on.

Speaking of His plan for me, I looked at the UA graduate catalog yesterday. I'm seriously considering getting my master's in secondary education and going overseas to either teach missionaries' kids or to teach English as a second language. I really feel deep down that I will at least spend a few years overseas. I love traveling, and I love other cultures. And when I was looking at all the information about the education degree, I was really excited about it. I'm praying that He will show me if this is what He wants for me.

The journey is hard sometimes, but it's never boring.
Quote for the day
9:47 AM | Author: Misty
Everybody has a little bit of soul, they just show it in different ways. Some people paint a picture, some people write a book, some people bake a cake, some people show it in the way they raise their children. They put their heart and soul into something. --Joss Stone
I read this before I left for India and thought it was amazing. I read it again today for the first time since coming back from India, and even more now I can see the truth in it.

"It is so humbling to be here. Seeing this poverty and oppression, which is so incredibly severe, leads me to the thinking, 'I understand why God would love these people, why Jesus would die for them. They are the poor, the sick, the weak. I am a selfish, comparatively rich, white American who owns a house, eats too much, and has issues with doubt and pride.' It is so much easier to believe that Jesus loves them and not me. But God IS so good, and He loves me too. That is what I'm finding the most unbelievable about this whole trip. I pray that I don't forget it."

--Andy Osenga of Caedmon's Call, on India

Attack of the killer rakes!
12:07 PM | Author: Misty
Yesterday afternoon, I got attacked by rakes in Target.

You think I'm kidding? It was a scary event. I was looking for a pushbroom to get all the leaves out of our driveway (whoever our new neighbors hired to do their yardwork simply blew the leaves into our driveway rather than blowing them down to the road). So, first off, I had to walk all the way to the grocery side of the store to find someone who could give me an idea of where the pushbrooms might be. Then when I finally found what was apparently the single pushbroom that Target had, it was stacked in with some haphazardly hanging rakes. So I reach for the pushbroom and to my surprise, about 12 really heavy garden rakes fall on me.

For the briefest of moments, I thought about falling on the floor and screaming.

I did not hit the floor, although I came pretty close. Apparently the rakes falling was pretty loud because about 6 other people came running to ask if I was OK. Were any of those 6 folks employed by Target? Nope. I had to go find a guy to tell him that the rakes fell on me and to get him to straighten them in such a way that they wouldn't fall on anyone else. He didn't even ask me if I was OK, and he looked a little pissed off that I had made him leave whatever task he was working on to help me. (I am OK, just a few bumps and bruises, by the way)

One good thing was that after all the rakes hit the ground, I was able to get my pushbroom with no problems.

So anyway, I was a little flustered when I left Target, so I went straight home and started working on sweeping up the leaves. I guess I worked for about 2 hours before I finally decided that I was too tired and hot to keep going. I got a lot done, though. I think I'm going to work on the back yard today and maybe try to figure out how to get the leaves into a garbage bag. Once we get the leaves cleaned up, I have to call our landlord and find out if he's going to come cut our grass soon, because it's getting really high. Our back yard looks like a jungle.

Last night I was so tired that I went to bed at 10 and didn't get up until about 7:30 this morning. I meant to go help hand out newspapers with my church (it's a weekly thing they do during morning rush hour), but I slept too late.

This afternoon, I'm going to be at work until I get off at 4:45, then I will probably go home and work on our back yard. I have small group at 8 at the Benders'. I'm also waiting to hear if I can take a half-day off Friday so I can go to the beach. I really hope so...!
This morning I overslept. Oops.

I set my alarm for 6:30 and didn't get up until 9:30 because I was up late last night. I got started writing down some quotes in my new quote book (I'm using the camel-leather journal I got in India) and then I started making Scripture notecards and kinda lost track of time. So suddenly it was 1 a.m., and I still wanted to read from this new book I started called Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It's OK so far, nothing too exciting.

I went in to work around 11, and we had a meeting at noon. I spent the afternoon sending e-mails and typing up some interview questions. I'm supposed to interview a German student sometime this week; he's only here for a month to work on his thesis. Then I have to interview our new staff member for a write-up. Again, nothing too exciting.

This afternoon I planned to go work out, but I got sucked into going to Home Depot with Chris, and we were there for well over an hour. It was OK, though, because it was good to hang out with him. He bought some red paint for his kitchen, and some of us are supposed to go help him paint tonight after Bible study. He is moving into a new house, where he'll be staying temporarily until he buys a house in about 6 months. His new house is OK, but the carpet is hideous and the basement is pretty scary.

Well, it's 8:06, and no one has showed up for Bible study yet. Hmm... I guess I'll get off here to wait for folks to come.
Afternoon naps in the heat
4:58 PM | Author: Misty
I had a nap today. It was veeeeeeery nice.

Church at Vineyard was good this morning, but really hot because their air conditioner apparently isn't working. Jon taught on being a Christian leader. Afterwards, Rebecca and I went to lunch with April, Ross, Michael and Chase. I was glad, because I've been wanting to hang out with people from church, but I don't want to be that girl that invites herself along. We had fun at Buffet City.

This afternoon I came home, played my guitar for a little while and then took a nap. It was very nice, because I woke up, lounged for a while, napped some more, etc. I woke when Bobby, a friend of mine who lives in Georgia, called to tell me about how he got hit on by a gay guy at a book store. It was pretty funny, especially if you know Bobby.

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do tonight. I kind of like having the option of not worrying about it and whatever happens happens.

Quotes for the day, compliments of Ross (and his dad):
Ross's dad, in Japanese: "Can I borrow five money?"
Ross, in Spanish: "Bring me the fish of your brother Raul."
12:32 AM | Author: Misty
I love being able to sleep in until 11:30.

I really didn't mean to sleep that late this morning, but like I told Abe last night before I went to bed, "I'm going to go sleep until I wake up." That time just happened to be 11:30. I think my body really enjoyed the extra rest.

So when I finally got up, Rebecca had already started on the housework. I'm afraid I wasn't really very helpful for the most part. We went to Wal-Mart and got the stuff we needed, but we forgot to get the push broom for our yardwork, so we are going to have to do that tomorrow. We also went by Pier One, where we didn't buy anything, and we went to Dollar General (I bought picture frames) and Hobby Lobby (we bought a key-holder and a cute picture thing). We also bought a snowcone maker at Wal-Mart. We probably spent more time in Hobby Lobby than we should have, but we had fun.

We also hung up pictures and decorative stuff in our house today. It looks fantastic! We still have some stuff to get in place, but it looks really good so far, if a little eclectic. For example, in the living room, we have a big cutout of Darth Vader (that one's temporary, because it belongs to Rebecca's boyfriend Josh), a "Welcome" sign that I painted, a tapestry from India, a window-pane mirror, a cute little picture (the one we bought from Hobby Lobby today) of three girls hugging, a cross-stitched picture that says "A friend loveth at all times", and a key-holder (Hobby Lobby) with coffee on it. Rebecca also got the slip covers on the couches today, so our living room is looking really nice. Additionally, we finally changed the light bulbs in the living room ceiling fan, so we don't have to turn on two lamps for the room to be well-lit any more.

Tonight, Rebecca, Abe and I went to get sushi at Bento. It was pretty good, but I accidentally ordered the wrong thing... I meant to order Sunday Morning Rolls, which was one space below the Super Tiger Rolls that I ordered. I also got California Rolls. Rebecca got Yummy Yummy Rolls, and they were amazingly good. They had just about everything you could possibly imagine in them. After we ate, we went and watched Finding Nemo with Dianne (and had ice cream - Blue Bell Vanilla, it was fantastic!).

Well, I'm looking forward to the rest of my weekend. Time for bed now.
Fluff and nothing more, really
4:29 PM | Author: Misty
the Prankster
(43% dark, 39% spontaneous, 33% vulgar)
your humor style:

Your humor has a slightly more intellectual or even conceptual slant to it. You're not pretentious at all, but you aren't into what some would call 'low humor'. This isn't to say you wouldn't laugh at a good dirty joke, but you'd definitely prefer something clever to something moist. You probably like well-thought-out pranks and/or spoofs and it's highly likely you've tried one of these things yourself. In a lot of ways, yours is the most entertaining type of humor.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Conan O'Brian - Ashton Kutcher

I thought this was pretty cool. I agree with this test's assessment of my humor, I think.

My cat is now laying on my face. I love my kitties. They always want to cuddle when I get home in the afternoons. I think they miss me during the day. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of being introduced, their names are Tinker (black, long-hair) and The Cheat (black and white, short-hair), and they are brothers. They are really quite hilarious and are more social than most other cats I know.

Today was another long day in Birmingham, but now the weekend is here, for which I am very glad. I finished reading Passion & Purity last night, so today I continued reading A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. My sister Kristy got it for me last Christmas, and I finally started reading it. I'm on page 70. It's interesting so far. I would try to explain the plot, but I don't think I could. I'll have to finish reading it, then we'll see.

Tonight Rebecca, Dianne and I are hanging out. Dianne said she will cook if we want, but I am kind of in the mood to go out to eat somewhere.
Today was not the best day ever, but it certainly wasn't the worst.

I got up at 7 a.m. and realized that my co-worker and I were supposed to go to Birmingham for the day, but we never resolved who was going to pick up the state car that we would be driving (we work for the University of Alabama). So I went to the office in hopes of finding her and ended up tracking her down by phone. After several other difficulties, we finally were on our way. The day was pretty boring but plenty frustrating. I won't go into details, but trust me on this one. We did have a pretty good lunch at a place called Moe's, which is apparently a chain. I had a chicken queso burrito. Their tortilla chips were multi-colored.

One really good thing about the day was that I didn't have to drive, so I got to read more of Passion & Purity, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite books. It's changing the way I view myself. I find myself reading it and thinking that when I get married, I want it to be like the way Jim and Elisabeth Elliot's... I don't even know what to call it. Courtship? It's making me think about how I want so badly to pursue God with more passion and to be so close to Him that I want His will for me more than anything else. But at the same time, I am realizing that while I'm thinking about these things, I'm thinking about how it will be cool to have them so that I will marry the right person, or so that when a man pursues me, He will see the kind of relationship I have with God. WRONG! This is not the right attitude, and it's the attitude I'm really trying to make it past. I'm praying that God will help me to pursue these things because of Him, not because of these silly dreams I have for myself. I know that God always has my best interests at heart, so I really pray that I can turn my desires over to Him and live for Him only. What's pretty cool is that, in the book, Elisabeth Elliot talks about many of the same things. Here's an excerpt from the book that I really liked:
Jesus knew human loneliness in its most poignant forms. As a boy of twelve, He was misunderstood by His earthly parents. His obedience to His Heavenly Father caused them grief. In His public ministry He was usually with crowds who came after Him to see what they could get out of Him or to criticize, cross-examine, attack. With those twelve whom He chose as His intimates, there were arguments, misunderstandings, and in the hour of His greatest need, abandonment. Only in the flesh could Christ enter into our destiny, understand our temptations, and be fully Redeemer and Savior. Who can save us who does not come down into our sufferings and experience our pangs? There was nothing I was experiencing that He had not been through in some form. The love that is everlasting had entered this world, my world, my very heart, known its struggles, shared its weakness and perplexity. None of those things then would separate me from His love. They would, in fact, give me the opportunity to experience it, to learn to cry, "Abba, Father!"

It really helps to know that Jesus has experienced the same desires that I experience now.

So, another highlight of my day is that I got to talk to Laci, my friend who has been in India for the past two months. It was really great to talk to her and hear about her trip and tell her a little about mine. I think she's going to come visit next weekend. I'm excited.

I'm about to go to a Mary Kay party with Jess, so I'll stop the update now.
6:17 PM | Author: Misty

Altogether, we had more than 500 children that attended VBS in Delhi. Posted by Picasa
6:17 PM | Author: Misty

Children come into the community center where we did VBS while we were in India. Posted by Picasa
6:13 PM | Author: Misty

This is the entire group that went to Delhi. Posted by Picasa
6:13 PM | Author: Misty

Pretty flower in Germany Posted by Picasa
6:13 PM | Author: Misty

One of the coolest things (to me) about the Indian kids was their eagerness to be touched, whether it was a hug or holding hands, whatever. This is my roommate Jessica's hand. Posted by Picasa
6:12 PM | Author: Misty

Wes Watson's skill with the camera amazes me... very cool picture. Posted by Picasa
6:12 PM | Author: Misty

And here's the individual crew at the Taj Mahal! Posted by Picasa
6:11 PM | Author: Misty

Me and the rest of the Tuscaloosa gang at the Taj Mahal. Posted by Picasa
6:11 PM | Author: Misty

The window of one of our tour buses imploded unexpectedly on the way to the Taj Mahal. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. Posted by Picasa
6:10 PM | Author: Misty

The Taj Mahal Posted by Picasa
6:10 PM | Author: Misty

Anjali decided she wanted to teach me how to speak Hindi. Posted by Picasa
6:10 PM | Author: Misty

Me with Suwati, who I think might be the most precious little girl ever. Posted by Picasa
6:09 PM | Author: Misty

Two little Indian boys, praying. Posted by Picasa
6:09 PM | Author: Misty

Me and Jess (my roommate) at the market in Delhi, bargaining with the notebook guy. I got a really cool camel-leather notebook for about $4. Posted by Picasa
6:08 PM | Author: Misty

This is my individual group at the India Gate in New Delhi. There were 16 of us total, and we came from 10 different states. Posted by Picasa
6:07 PM | Author: Misty

This is me at the Taj Mahal during my recent trip to India. Looks like I did this with Photoshop, but it's for real! Posted by Picasa
So this is the third blog I've created.

But my intention is to actually update this one regularly. Maybe it'll work out.

Today was a reasonably good day. My discovery for the day is that newspaper advertising is even more insanely expensive than I previously thought. Seriously, a one-time, full-color, one-page ad in the Birmingham News costs more than my car. I spent most of my workday researching this, along with doing some research on Lean and Kaizen teams. Really, nothing too exciting.

My friend David e-mailed me and asked me to pray for him and his wife as they travel to Arizona for an interview for a youth pastor position. Dave really wants to pastor at a church somewhere, but he's going for this interview because it's sort of the best thing that's come up so far. I think it's an exciting place to be in, not knowing what's going to come next and having to trust God to take you where He wants you. It's hard, too, though. Before I got my PR assistant job (which pays for my tuition, plus gives me a stipend), I really had no idea what I was going to do after I finished my undergraduate degree. I am definitely glad God is teaching me how to focus on Him and not worry about what's going on around me so much. I think that's an important part of the Christian growth process.

One of the biggest things God is teaching me lately, I think, is just how to wait on Him and be satisfied with Him. I started reading Passion & Purity by Elizabeth Elliot over the weekend, and it's giving me a new perspective on dating and relationships. Something I often struggle with is a worry that I will never get married. I'm learning (I think) how to be OK with that idea. I'm also learning that being OK with it doesn't mean being resigned to it; it just means realizing that even if I don't have a husband, Jesus is enough. That makes me think of the song:

And all of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

Anyway, tonight we have small group over at Jill's and Michael's house. It's always a good time. I'm glad I'm starting to get to know some of the folks from Vineyard. Rebecca, Jessica and I went to Lake Day at Lori's on Sunday, and I'm really glad we did, because it was good hang-out time with a bunch of the people from the church.

I guess that's all I have to say for now. I will end with my quote for the day, from an e-mail I received earlier:

"Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you have to blow your nose."