Thursday, July 19, 2012

Make 'em Laugh

Last night, I was bored out of my mind. The tricky part about being a teacher is that it's easy to get bored during the summer. I'm sure that once I have a husband and children, I'll long for these days when I could just lounge around doing nothing. But for now, I don't know what to do with myself. I came to the realization that I didn't even have anything to journal about. I've been doing so little that I don't even have any thoughts about anything. Anyway, eventually I did start thinking about things and decided to write them down.

I've long since decided that match.com is ridiculous. I still check it every day, just because it's entertaining. You never know when you're going to see someone whose profile picture is them awkwardly holding an American flag, or a guy whose "about me" section was nothing but Dr. Evil's monologue about his family from the first Austin Powers movie, or a guy who stated that he just finished reading the Hungar Games. Those are all things I've seen with my own eyes. Bless their hearts.

I started noticing a similarity amongst most of the profiles (in addition to the misuse of the phrase "about average" as a body type), almost every guy talks about how he wants a girl with a sense of humor, someone who can make them laugh. As a fairly funny person, this perplexes me. If humor really was the secret ingredient in the milkshake that brings all the boys to the yard, wouldn't I have been snatched up ages ago? I'm concerned that maybe people don't understand the definition of funny.

In all seriousness, my match membership is good through December...I should have plenty more hilarious findings between now and then.

¡Muchas Gracias!

I got back from Honduras this past Saturday and I had an amazing time! I wanted to take a moment and thank all of you who supported me again (hopefully you all received a thank you card shortly after you made a donation). Whether you supported me through a financial donation or through prayer, I wanted to tell you a little bit about what that support helped me do in San Pedro Sula.
 

Our team met up with another team from a church in Richwood, Ohio and we all got along very well. They are an amazing group of people and we plan on going up to visit them when they share pictures and stories of the trip with their church sometime this fall.

The trip involved more physical labor than we originally thought, I’m honestly amazed at what I was capable of doing…but now the jig is up and I suppose mom will want me to help her more in the yard. We painted a number of buildings, spread gravel between the buildings to avoid dirt washing away in the rain (believe it or not, I was one of two girls on the gravel team with the guys), we toured two schools run by Lifeline Christian Missions and distributed candy to the students. We also led a Vacation Bible School for the students at schools in Ocotillo and Gonzales that included a lesson (taught by yours truly en español), games, and a craft). I was also able to help lead several worship songs in Spanish with other teammates. We led separate men & women’s Bible studies at Gonzales as well as distributed baby layettes to new moms in Gonzales. We also spent time with the girls who live at the Omoa girls’ home. At Omoa we were able to paint, hang curtains and sand/repair lockers as well as throw a beach-themed “Christmas in June” party for the girls. We also got to take the girls on their big outing of the year to Wonderland Water Park followed by dinner at Pizza Hut. We all had an amazing time! Several of us (myself included) decided to sponsor children in the Ocotillo school.

I am sponsoring a seven year old girl named Daniela Alejandra. Although she is incredibly shy but I learned that she loves the color purple, penguins, princesses, rice and beans, and reading. I am looking forward to sending her letters and gifts throughout the year…I’ve actually already cleaned Joseph Beth out of what few Spanish children’s books they had.

I did so many great things in Honduras and I was able to step out of my comfort zone quite a bit. I also gained a sense of peace regarding all the current uncertainty in life. I realized that I need to trust God and remember that he has a timeline for my life. Things I worry about like finding a job and a relationship will happen whenever they are supposed to happen.

I started planning my return trip a few days before we left Honduras--haha! While I don’t know whether or not Southland will return to Honduras next year, I plan on staying in contact with the Richwood Church of Christ so that I can return with my teammates in 2013 (provided the Mayans were wrong about that whole calendar thing). My plan is to save a little money each month so that I am prepared to finance the trip myself if necessary.
 
There were a number of basic items they distribute to the people of Honduras that had never crossed my mind to save. I wanted to provide everyone with a list of these items. If you happen to remember it throughout the year, please set some of these items aside and I’ll be happy to take them with me when I return next summer.
  • Toiletry items: Finally, a use for all those tiny bottles of hotel shampoo, conditioner and soap that we all have lying around, taking up space. Toothbrushes and mini tubes of toothpaste were also useful.
  • Toys: If you’re like me, sometimes you order a Happy Meal and find yourself with a toy you don’t need (or maybe you do, I’m not here to judge). We handed out toys like this in little goody bags at VBS and church services. Larger toys are accepted as well, but the Happy Meal toys don’t cost you anything extra.
  • Books: I don’t know why you might have children’s books in Spanish, but if you do…bring it on.
  • Children/Baby Clothes/Shoes: All sizes, boys and girls
  • Baby Layette Items: Cloth diapers, diaper pins, small toiletry items for mom and baby, stuffed animal/toy for baby, onesies, and any bag that could be used as a diaper bag (we even had some reusable Kroger bags).
 
It was truly amazing to see the work that God is doing in Honduras and it was incredibly humbling to be a part of it. It has been one of the most fantastic experiences in my life thus far and I thank you all for helping make it possible!                                                                      
Love,   Erin

Monday, July 16, 2012

Devotion from Honduras: Timing

While I was on my mission trip in Honduras, I had to lead a devotion for our team. To say that I was dreading this would be an understatement. I had no idea what to write about. Then it came to me; I'd write about control. I have an intense need to be in control and that's not really possible on a mission trip. I was set...until someone else did a devotion on the same topic before I did. Back to square one. Then, all of the sudden I thought of multiple ideas and started writing. When all was said and done I had about three potential devotions. Here's the one I ended up sharing, I thought I'd share it here because I think it turned out pretty well.

The responsibility of leading a team devo ranks right up there with covering my tattoos as far as "things I'm excited about doing." I've never considered this to be my thing and I don't like praying aloud. So, adios comfort zone!

The past two months have been hard for me. I lost my job and have yet to find a new one. My motivation for my newfound workout plan disappeared as did my healthy diet thanks to stress eating. The stress has also manifested in some sexy fever blisters, so I've got that going for me. Comparatively, to the problems of the people here in Honduras, I'm just being a whiny brat; but for me, my world has been rapidly spiraling into a hot mess.

My first mission trip was smack dab in the middle of a crappy season of life. Naturally, this trip is exactly what I need. It's provided my typically anxiety-riddled mind with peace. And just as God provided this trip for me, I know He'll provide the other things I need, too. Although the OCD control freak in me hates that I can't see God's timeline, the believer in me trusts that a new job, healthy relationship, and the financial independence to move out of my mother's house are on it in exactly the right places. And if He wants to give me a peek at that timeline, well that's just gravy.