Saturday, May 31, 2008

Intermission: Uganda

This concludes the normal, witty, thought provoking and delightfully clever blog entries that you might be used to. =) There will be a brief intermission, where I will speak in Christian-ese (my apologies), and broken English.

For the next 2 months, I will do my very best to update my blog with pictures, stories, prayer requests, and any little snippet that I can squeeze in. However, for most of our time in Uganda, we will only have 3 hours a night of electricity on a generator, and internet access 10 miles away!

I would really, really appreciate your prayers while we are there, specifically for:
  • Safety
  • Intimacy with the Lord and trust in His love
  • Protection from Spiritual Warfare & strength against the Enemy
  • Connection & intimacy in our marriage-- time alone together, mutual encouragement
  • Team dynamics
  • God's love being made real to our non-Christian students
  • Healing for the child soldiers & child victims of war
  • Health-- especially protection from migraines, & stomach problems!
  • Finances
  • Peace in Uganda, and the defeat of the Lord's Resistance Army
Right now, I am in Rhode Island, getting together last minute details with the other directors. Students arrive Monday, and we fly out June 4th. The first week, we will be in Kampala (the capital) and then will head up to the North, where we will live in a refugee camp for 4 weeks, serving Child Voice International & helping to rehabilitate former child soldiers. The picture to the left is of our homes in Lukodi, the refugee camp. =)

Thank you for your prayers-- they really do make a difference!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I spent the entire day on Sunday lying in bed, reading an old, old copy of Anne of Green Gables. Now, granted, I caught a cold, and was very motivated to be healed before we left for Uganda... but there definitely was a part of me that was much happier living in Avonlea with my favorite red-headed childhood friend than to be living in reality.

That's not to say that reality is all that bad-- there are no catastrophe
s happening in our lives, and our daily pace has definitely slowed down quite a bit (comparatively) over the past week. But there is the looming Reality that in 2 days, we will be flying out to Boston, and this whole adventure called Uganda will begin.

Let the records state that I still want to go to Uganda, that I still believe in this whole journey, and that I continue to trust that it will be a worthwhile, beautiful & life changing experience... I just wish it would wait a little while longer.

To tell you the truth, I'm worn out.
Yes, I've caught up on my sleep, and the heavy, anxious feeling that had been weighing down on me for weeks has mostly subsided, but the true rest-- that restoration that I really needed-- hasn't quite come yet. I t
hink the hardest part right now is knowing that the vision I had of getting to connect with Chris and finally be married again (not just being business partners & roommates) is being buried under a stack of To-Do's. I know that once the traveling begins and we become Project Directors (and not just Chris & Christine), it will be harder and harder to find that connection. And that makes me sad.

However, in all of the To-Do's, there have been two really refreshing moments this last week:

The first was going to see the new Chronicles of Narnia movie with my family. I don't know what it is, but no matter how brittle or closed I am, there is something about the story of Aslan that just melts my heart. After leaving the theater, I spent the next day and a half walking on clouds, feeling so connected to God and so full of life that I couldn't help but smile. The image that came to mind was of those videos I used to watch in school, where flowers bud and open in high-speed on film. I felt as though something was opening & coming to life inside, just like spring. It didn't last as long as I would have liked, but it was beautiful while it lasted.

The other moment came when I pulled up to an old friend's apartment, and I could feel laughter kind of bubbling up inside. The foul mood I was in dissolved & all the To Do's seemed to shrink a little bit, and I was able to just sit and talk and listen in the comfort of an old friendship. It felt like Home somehow, and fed a part of me that has been quietly hungry for a while now. It was lovely =)

And now, no matter how much I avoid, no matter how many chapters of Anne of Green Gables I read, no matter how much I hide under the covers, I know that it's time to just take a deep breath & get the things done that need to be done.
And really, in the end, I know it will be alright.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Week-long Weekend

I found a worm hole in the space-time continuum.

Cleverly disguised as a weekend, an entire 7-day-week slipped into my life over the last few days that aged me at least 20 years-- and all that without a De Lorean, 1.21 jigawatts, or a flux capacitor.

It's unfortunate that I don't get paid overtime, because, depending on how you slice it, Chris & I worked 49 1/2 hours between Friday and Sunday. Yikes.

Rather than a blow-by-blow replay (which would take far, far too long), I'll give you little snippets, some highlights & lowlights:

  • Uganda Fund Raiser: We woke up at 5am, met some students at Krispy Kreme, where we purchased 50 dozen donuts (yes, you read that correctly!) at a deeply discounted price, and set up shop downtown, selling them to business men & women as they rushed off to work.
  • End of the Year Party: We put on a big celebration for all our students at a nearby coffee house. Good times were had by all-- it was a smashing success =)
  • Lowlight: One of our students got her purse stolen during the fund raiser. She had an ipod, a digital camera, a brand new cell phone and $100 cash in there. Somehow, the $500 we made from the donuts didn't quite seem to make up for her losses =(
  • Interns: Our team of interns for next year spent the day with us, and we toured them around town, talked about our ministry, and planned for the future. It was a great day (extremely tiring, but really great), and we couldn't be more excited about our team
  • Highlight: Seeing the three of them connect as if they had been friends their whole life

  • Tour De Cure: Woke up at 4am and drove up to Napa for a fund raiser bike ride with one of our major donors on our Bay Area Development Council. Since Chris & I are going to be the new directors, this was a great chance to get to know June, one of the head haunchos who makes our ministry possible (and wanted support for the 100 mile bike ride). I was the support vehicle, meeting them along the way to cheer them on & take unwanted gear, while Chris was the champ who rode with her and helped her along.
  • Development Council Meeting: After rushing home from the race, we made it 1 1/2 hours late to the Development Counsel Meeting (which was at June's house, so we were forgiven), and shmoosed with the big wigs over dinner.
  • Lowlight: Our new new neighbors upstairs had a party Saturday night that lasted until 3am. I think they were clogging or doing the River Dance by the way they were stomping on the hardwood floors (i.e. our bedroom ceiling). Waking up at 4am was extremely painful.
  • Lowlight: I think my body is starting to rebel against the schedule/stress I've been putting it through lately. Sunday afternoon, all the muscles in my neck & shoulders cramped up into a massive headache, and I suddenly got heartburn that almost brought tears to my eyes. Luckily, that only lasted about an hour, and I was functional the rest of the day.
  • Highlight: Discovering Napa was one of the biggest highlights of my weekend. Following the bike course, I drove through some of the most beautiful landscapes: vineyards resting in sleepy fog, a canopy of green, green tress overhanging the road, rolling hills, quaint towns... I'm in love. I've decided to take up cycling, too (and to ride that same course, eventually!).
  • The Ultimate Highlight: When we arrived at the Development Council Meeting, a platter of incredible cheese, fruit and unbelievable wine welcomed me with open arms. Then, a prime rib dinner (and more unbelievable wine) soothed me, stroking my hair and whispering, "There, there. Everything is going to be alright." A giant slice of chocolate cake smiled and told me "You made it!", and lulled me to sleep. There's nothing like a big prime rib band aid to patch up the cuts & bruises of a painful weekend.
Now, as Monday morning rears it's ugly head, and a staff meeting looms (not to mention a G3 at SF State, and a celebration with our students tonight), I have the promise of Tuesday and a day off to keep me going.

Yes, I looked like a Mac truck hit me this morning (I literally laughed out loud when I looked in the mirror), but I know that the worst is over, and that tomorrow will be glorious & gluttonous.

Might I add that I'm really proud of my hubby for riding that 100 miles on about 3 hours of sleep, while winning over one of our fabulous (and very sweet) donors.

ps. Great pics on Chris' blog from the weekend

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Highlight of My Day

I think I've mentioned before that shiny new things make me happy. Well, at the moment, I am very happy because I just got 20 pretty, shiny new pieces of makeup for $20.

Apparently, there is a makeup company called E.L.F. (Eyes, Lips, Face) that's sold in department stores and are soon to be bought out by Nordstrom. Because they are changing their name to the Nordstrom brand, they are selling everything with the E.L.F. name on it for ONE DOLLAR. That's right, you heard me, one dollar.

So, I thought I would make your day, and pass off this little bit of news so you too can purchase 20 pieces of makeup for $20... or 40 for $40...
Click Here for the website, and for an extra special bonus, enter CAROLINA under the coupon code and get $7.50 off any order over $15 (basically covers shipping).
It doesn't get much better than that =)