Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Monday, February 27, 2006

Hobos in my office

Today was a good mail day. I got three letters and a package. Good deal! Thanks to the Fowlers, Thama and Lee. I love mail. Today was Rachelle, a staff girl's birthday and she got like twenty letters and two packages. This made my mail haul pale in comparison. I still get way more mail than the average person here. Thanks guys.

The weather here has been cold and weird lately. It was really rainy and windy the last few days. My room has two windows facing different directions which causes a wind tunnel to occur in my room. It is nice most days but when it gets super-windy you are almost blown to the ground. Yesterday Amy and I wanted to go across the island to suntan with the rich people at the hotel pools but the weather was too gross. We ended up eating junk food and laying around.

Today I had what could best be called a tangerine explosion. I passed below the tangerine tree and all of a sudden rotten tangerine squirted all over my pants and my hand. I smelled like garbage! Eww. Not cool.

I found out today that a homeless guy was found sleeping in my office. And by office I mean that room down the hall with the waterbed and the.... Actually the housing office is located in what we call "the dollhouse." This is this building that looks like a large kids' playhouse. It is in front of our girls' DTS student house. We used to keep it locked and I guess we will have to start doing it again. Sometimes homeless people are found sleeping in our vans and I think some of them stole about ten rolls of toilet paper from the bathroom. I would like to help them out but we can't let them sleep on our offices and vans. We also don't have a big enough budget to allow for toilet paper thievery.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Tornado in the living room

Our Fall DTS students are back. This makes life on base hectic and exciting in a good way. It feels like having a bunch of old friends back. I love it though it is sometimes inconvenient. The students are divided by team and dispersed among our houses. We have the Borneo girls living in our house. They have taken over our living room and it looks like a tornado blew the contents of someone's trailer into our house. There is stuff and people everywhere. Walking from my room to the front door is quite the adventure. I like having these girls here better than the summer girls because I actually know these girls.

Last night, Amy, Kristy, two Fall students and I went to a ladies gathering with ladies from our church. There were about 15 ladies there and that is pretty much most of the ladies in the church. They were so funny. We had some amazing food. I gorged myself to the point where I could not even make room for tiramsu. I did not know that was even possible. We went around in a circle and had to tell a funny story or a joke. It was pretty funny to hear what the ladies chose to tell. There were several stories about nudity, bowel movements and tampons. Crazy! Some were border-line inappropriate. But then again so am I.

I want to watch more but Amy wants to watch Lost so I gotta go.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Is Coffee a date?

I have recently become aware of a phenomenon sweeping the Christian circles. It may also be affecting the non-Christian circles but I am a bit out of touch on what happens in those circles right now. So, a guy asks a girl for coffee and they go out and have coffee as friends. Getting coffee seems harmless, right? But the guy decides based on how the coffee time goes, whether or not it was a date. This puts the girl in the strange postion of not knowing if she is simply having coffee with a friend or having her marriagability judged by a potential significant other. Tricky. I am not saying that all coffee times are dates but I just feel that it has become a cop-out way for a guy to ask a girl on a date with no fear of rejection. He never has to officially ask her on a date. Afterall, it is just coffee. I am not that big a fan of this getting coffee pseudo date thing. I know I have gone to coffee with guys assuming it is not a date but then getting the feeling that they think it might be. Awkward! Guys and girls need to be more straight-forward with their intentions. I know I am not the best at this but it's still true.

It seems weird to think that there will be a day when I don't have boy angst. I have had boy angst on and off for the last five years so it will feel really weird when it is no longer there. I am sure when I am happily married some day I will find something else to have angst about.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Pregancies A' Plenty!

I just realized that I know a lot of pregnant people lately. On base there is Hoku, Jen and Libby. Then on the mainland there is Erin Morrow, Sarah Musselman, Nikki Thompson and Tiffany Muir. I can't wait to see what all these kids look like. I have not come to the point in my life yet where a lot of my friends have had babies. I guess it is just beginining. Yay!

I ordered a Mormon on the internet for one of my housing students. Two girls came. My girl, Brittany, said it was a good talk but other YWAMers kept coming and getting on it. It ended up being seven YWAMers and the two poor Mormon missionaries. I think they got a bit intimidated. They invited Brittany to church and I think I am going to take a group of interested students there after our churches one Sunday. I am very interested in Mormonism and I have read a great deal about it. But I have never gone to one of their churches so I hope it happens.

We had a girl go home because her parents did not like what she was learning. This was hard for all of us to take. It was hard not to take it personally. God totally made up for that experience. The parents of another student came in town and they sat in on lectures and got to know the students. Students and staff need the first half of their outreach fees really soon. They wrote on a dry erase board how much each person needed and had everyone pray about them getting their finances. The student's parents decided to contribute $7500 to cover everyone's first half of outreach. What a blessing! It was also good to have such a positive reaction from a parent to counteract the negative reaction of the other student's parents.

This weekend we went to Kihei and picked up some bookcases donated by a feisty older woman named Gail. We took the maintenance van and that thing is quite ghetto. It is rusted through in some parts and drives weird. The spedometer said I was going 100 mph until halfway through the trip when it mysteriously righted itself. We were driving behind a pickup truck when we noticed that the girls in the back were some of our students. They were going to Kihei too so they motioned to the truck driver to pull over and they got in with us. It was cool to be able to spend more time with them. We got to Gail's apartment and she said she would come out and meet us. She described herself as old with blond hair and shorts. She gave us some nice bookcases. Then we went to the beach but it was cloudy so we did not enhance our bronze looks much.

Amy has had a friend in town for the last two weeks so our working out has not been too regular. We will be going back to working out six days a week starting tomorrow. I am going to buff! Watch out when I get back to Texas! I just need to stop eating so many baked goods. They are just so tempting!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Unexpected Valentine

I know I wrote halfway through Valentine's Day but the second half turned out to be memorable as well. I went to eat crepes with some of my YWAM friends. It ended up being seven girls and one guy. It was very reminiscent of a group date from The Bachelor. We tried to play up the Bachelor angle by behaving like stereotypical contestants. We all tried to buddy up to Todd in order to go home with a rose. I took a proactive approach and tried to woo him with humor and by subtly bad-mouthing the other contestants. Ashley played coy and managed to snag a little one-on-one time before the rest of us became wise. I thought I did pretty well but I did not get a rose. In the most shocking rose ceremony ever, Todd did not give any of us a rose. This was probably because we weren't actually on The Bachelor. Better luck next time.

My favorite part of the night occured as we walked back from our Bacheloresque crepe date. We were passing by the DTS girl students' house when a DTS student, who will remain nameless for the sake of his personal diginity, approached Amy with a card and chocolate bar. He wrote in the card that he wanted to get "coffie with her" sometime. He also tried to super-spiritualize it with a part about how the Lord wanted a romance with Amy. Oh and he used the wrong form of there and spelled it thier. I am unashamedly prejudiced against bad spellers. That must be the English teacher in me. Anyway, the student had not done much research before his ill-fated "coffie" proposal. Amy does not eat chocolate bars and the student manual expressly prohibits any dating by students. We had a great laugh! What a hilarious unexpected valentine!

Then we watched "The Forty Year Old Virgin." It was better the second time I saw it. It reminds me of Office Space and Dumber and Dumber, which both get better the more I watch them. There are definitely some scandalous parts and some foul language but I am not very sensitive to those things. We did have to turn it off once as one of our Swedish mission builders came in. I did not want to corrupt poor little Gustav.

Later the students tried to hold a very unsuccessful dance party. They could not get their hands on any speakers so some people tried to sing. This is never a good call. We went and gawked at them for awhile but soon grew bored of their unexciting hyjinks. Overall it was an excellent day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Bachelor is Back!

It's Valentine's Day. I am not one of those people who hates Valentine's Day just because I don't have a love interest. I enjoy the plethora of free candy and baked goods that arise on this occasion. So, yay it is Valentine's Day!

Yesterday Amy and I worked out for the first time in a very long time. It felt good and I was not as out of shape as I had feared. I still need to eat less of the afore-mentioned baked goods if I want to get in better shape.

Last night my house watched The Bachelor. This is only the second episode I have seen of this season and without cable it looks a bit like snow. Nevertheless we had a group of about ten people that watched it together last night and it was magical. It was so fun and it reminded me of my college reality show parties. Those were the days! Temptation Island, Love Cruise, Boot Camp, The Bachelor, we watched them all and we had no shame. It makes me miss college a lot but it was great to see a reality show in a fun party/sarcastic atmosphere. I will regale more reality show memories at a later date.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A seven foot inflatable birthday turkey

I have had a very lazy weekend. I felt sick at the end of the week so I tried to get some extra rest. I thought I might be getting really sick but I think it may be an allergy build-up. This is good and bad because I have not gotten worse but it also means I have to figure out a way to have less dust in my life. This is difficult since open windows serve as our ghetto air-conditioning here.

So, most of the weekend I spent lounging around my house in betweeen some intense napping. The island life is not what people think. On Saturday I mustered enough energy to surprise my friend, Gena on her 24th birthday. I had previously found an inflatable 7 foot turkey at Wal-Mart on clearance for only $3! I would have been a fool to pass up that sweet deal. I decided to fashion a sign that said, "Happy Birthday Gena" and have this large poultry hold the sign. She came out as the turkey was being inflated but I think I made my point. I am sure it was her first 7-foot inflatable birthday turkey, or at least she made it seem like it was her first. Later she and I went out to dinner and watched a movie at my house.

Today I went to church. I have been getting a bit frustrated by how much our church talks about speaking in tongues. I am so over speaking in tongues. With the constant bombardment, I decided to see what the Bible has to say about the subject. From what I read, I have come to the following conclusions: There are three different types of tongues. One kind is where you are miraculously able to speak another language for ministry purposes like at Pentecost. This kind seems cool and useful. Then there is one that is like a prayer language between you and God. It lets you communicate with God beyond what you can do with words. Then there is the kind used in church, but the Bible says that you should not speak tongues aloud unless you or someone else can interpret what is being said. The Bible also says that tongues is only one type of spiritual gift and that some of the other gifts like prophecy are more important. I think all this stuff is true but I think that many churches put too much emphasis on this stuff and then other churches pretend it doesn't exist. It can be annoying. For now I am content to not speak in tongues and I am still a bit wary of the way I feel that it is being exploited as a test of one's spirituality. No tongues means no faith. I don't think so.

This afternoon Amy and I hitched into town so she could buy a laptop. Now she has become very technologically advanced being the new owner of both a digital camera and a laptop. She is going on a research tour this Fall to the countries that we have committed to. She needs to be able to document her experiences properly. If I was not staffing the summer school then I would seriously consider joining her. It is cool that she will be visiting the country I will be doing outreach in.

Right now she and her friend from home, April, are on an adventure with a bizarre little man from our church. He had been offering Amy for a while to take her to the top of Haleakala, our local volcano, to watch the sunset. Amy finally consented today and included April and I in her affirmative answer. By the time it came time to leave, I was feeling a bit sick again and the prospect of spending an extended amount of time in the little man's company did not sound very appealing. I decided not to go. Amy was not happy about this but I had done her some favors that day so she couldn't be too mad at me. If April was not going and she would have had to go with small bizarre guy alone, I would have sucked it up and gone. Instead I took a bit of a pseudo nap and a shower. I feel confident I made the right decision.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Amy is back! Yay!

Amy made it back to the United States after her scary deportation experience. I am so glad she is back! I had to fax her some documents and then she tried to cross the border again. This time was much more successful. She had been told that this new visa she needed would cost up to $900 but it only cost $6. Then the airline had said she lost the ticket to her missed flight and would have to buy a new one for $1000. It turns out that a kind airline official only made her pay $100 to change her ticket. Then the hotel room that they missed out on when trying to cross the border let them stay the next night for free. So, Amy was emotionally abused, had to arrive a day late and had to pay about $150 more but she has made it back to the U.S! Oh, and her plane from L.A. to Maui broke down and she had to run to another flight to get here. Crazy adventures!

I have been getting a bunch of packages. It has been lovely! I got a hula hoop that came unwrapped with postage directly on the hoop as well as one of those fun frisbees with a hole in the middle sent the same way! Thanks Emily Stone! I also got a package from the illustrious Sarah Lavellechelberger. Keep them coming friends! Amy's mom sent some of this delectable Skor bar treat she made with Amy as well. Good stuff!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Amy got deported and other news

It has been intense at YWAM Maui for the past few days. I already wrote of my intense prophecy and that one of our girls sadly chose to go home. These things coupled with the events of the last few days have made things hectic. I do feel an underlying peace about things but I still feel anxious at times.

My friend, Amy went home for a week to Toronto in Canada. She comes and goes from Maui with such a frequency that her passport has been flagged as a drug runner. This means she always gets hassled at customs. She usually tries to avoid this by crossing the border in New York and flying out of the Buffalo airport. She was supposed to fly out yesterday but got stopped at the border for three hours. The unyielding immigration official gave her a really hard time about being a missionary, which included him asking if God told her to come to Maui. She said yes and he said that God would have to tell him personally for him to let her over the border. He said that she has the wrong kind of visa. The kind she has would cover her if she worked in the kitchen or housinfg or pretty much any other department but since she uses a computer and does administrative stuff, she has to have a different kind of visa. He denied her entry into the U.S., took her picture (mug shot) and fingerprinted her, her mom and her best friend. She was officially deported!

Today I have been trying to help her by faxing and mailing letters from YWAM that might help her situation. Please pray that something works. This is a very busy time in the quarter for Amy's job here on base and since she is my best friend here, I miss her like crazy! Also her friend is flying here tomorrow for a visit. Her plane tickets were non-refundable. She will be here for two weeks and I guess I will be her buddy until Amy gets back. Crazy!

Also I don't want to go into detail, but there is a guy on base here that I believe may be struggling with mental illness. He is my friend and it is really hard to see. His behavior is very erratic and unlike him. Please pray that the base will know how to handle the situation. He is actually scaring me. The leadership team is aware of the situation and they are figuring out how to deal with him.

On a random rather undramatic note, I met a guy from Pasadena, Texas today. I was wearing one of my many Texas shirts. This particular one is a little league shirt that says Pasadena, TX on the front. He stopped me on the street to tell me that he was from there. It turns out that he was a pastor at a church there and has recently moved to the island to pastor a church here. I gave him the base's info and invited him to come to worship. It is always nice to have non-YWAM connections.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

What a Weekend Phase 2!

That last post was getting pretty long so I thought I would break it up into two chunks. So the prophecy thing totally blew me away and even other people on base are talking about it. Crazy! It put me in a good mood. When I went home, some of the girls said Jaws was breaking. If you don't know what Jaws is, look on the internet. It is one of the biggest rideable waves in the world and it is here in Maui. It only breaks a few times a year and I had never seen it before. Ashley, Jess Bedogne, Merry, me and the two Swedes, Gustav and Andreas decided to go see it.

We drove to where we heard it was and parked our cars. You have to have a four wheel drive to get out there so we set off on foot. It is about a 45 minute hike. When we were almost there, some hippie girls in a ghetto Explorer offered us all a ride. So, we all piled in. It turned out that the girls were not alone. There was a big blue and yellow parrot perched on the driver's side headrest. A little strange but hey, this is Maui. They drove crazy and even sideswiped a windsurfing van. Eek. We got down there and watched people looking like ants descend the face of this mountain of water. It was awesome. It was easy to marvel at God's creation as well as the combination of fear and stupidity it took to get those surfers out there.

Then we started walking about. When we were halfway there, the same girls came and picked us up again. They drove crazy again and dropped us off at our cars. What an adventure!

Then we went to a little Super Bowl party that our mission builders, Retha and Jeff hosted. I am not really into the Super Bowl but I like parties and I like football. Unfortunately for our seahawk die hard hosts, the game did not go the way they would have liked. To me, however, I have already had my best footbal game ever- do the words ROSE BOWL mean anything?

One of our students went home today. It is sad. Her name is kelly and she is one of the girls I felt like I knew better. She went to my church too. She was getting pressure from her boyfriend and parents back home to come back. She had told them about some of the more charismatic stuff and this alarmed them. The thing about YWAM is that it exposes you to the full spectrum of Christianity. From the holy spirit to logically defending your faith. They don't force anything on you and everyone is encouraged to test the teaching with the Bible and personal experience. I remember all the holy spirit, speaking in tongues, healing and prophesy stuff seeming weird to me as well during DTS. I am still not fully comfortable with it all and I don't think I need to be. I read the Bible and test things that seem strange using that. I have heard people speak in tongues, for example, but it is not something I want for my life. I think it was hard for her to go to my church too where every service has healings, prophesy and/or speaking in tongues. I know that stuff can be hard for me to handle too. I am sad to see her go and I know she would have done great on outreach. She has two weeks to change her mind but I can't see her coming back. What a shame!

What a weekend!

I had an action-packed weekend. It was so good! This past week I spent most of my freetime hiding in my room and relaxing. I just needed some recoop time. I fear that my new roommate, Ashley thinks I am a hermit. At least when Amy gets back, I will be going to the gym again and not always in the room.

So after lounging around so much, I was up for a trip to Kaanapali when Ashley suggested it. Ashley has a car and is pretty good about inviting people along when she goes places. I went with her and two other staff members- a fun brother/sister pair named Rachel and Josh Cordy. There are six kids in their family and like most kids I have met from big families, they are laid-back and easy to get along with. We went to the touristy part of the island to get out of Paia. Even though we live in Hawaii, it is easy to forget you are in paradise when you remain in our little hippie town too long. On the way, we saw a ton of whales jumping out of the water. I am not much of a whale aficionado but seeing them is cool.

We hung out on the beach but the weather was weird- getting hot and cold, cloudy and windy at random intervals. Also the sand was blowing. We went to the pool at the Sheraton. We swam around, went on the slide and went in the hot tub. Then we were lounging on chairs by the pool when a very polite woman asked us for our room numbers. When we told her we were not guests at the hotel, she asked us to leave. Amy and I never get kicked out of the Hyatt pool. We even managed to score hotel towels but I think the fact that Rachel was loudly talking to her dad on the phone about the fact that she was pool hopping did not help our cause much.

Then we met up with a majority of the surf team and watched them jump off cliffs. Afterwards we got pizza and then I spent the rest of the evening working on my book and lounging around.

Today I went to church. It was weird not having Amy there. A guest pastor was there named Pastor Helena. I had heard of her before and I think she comes to the church about once a month. I had never seen her though. She had an intense in your face kind of style that was not my favorite but she had some good things to say in her sermon. Then she announced that she would spend some time prophesying. In YWAM I have been to a number of events where someone was prophesying. But the person never has any words for me. I am not even 100% sure what I believe about this kind of stuff. It is definitely out of my suburban Presbyterian box. I have come to the point in my faith now that I think prophesy definitely happens and that there are false prophets- Benny Hinn types and real ones. The Bible says that prophesy happens too and that is what I try to measure my experiences by. With that said, back to the prophesy lady:

Before it even started, I leaned to the girl next to me and said that I never get prophesied about. The way it worked was that everyone was seated as we were during her sermon and she just pointed to random people, asked them their name and had them stand up as she shared a word from the Lord with them. As this was going on, I was praying that God would speak to me this time. She talked to random people in the congregation mainly telling them how they resembled important Biblical figures and how God was going to use them with those gifts. They were probably true but slightly vague. She told Eric, one of my DTS students that he was going to the nations to spread the word. She said that God was proud of him and that he would be coming into money soon that he would have to pray about using. She told another DTS girl, Brittaney some stuff about how people are drawn to her positive attitude and other nice things that I can no longer remember but seemed true at the time. For me and Paul, another YWAM staff member, she was less vague, especially with me but I will tell that part of the story last.

Paul was told that he is a gifted teacher. He will have a big ministry but he needs to beware of Delihahs shady women that will take his focus. If he gives into them, his ministry will not be what it can be. There is one good girl for him but he needs to wait and resist the others.

Now to set mine up, I have been thinking and praying about a lot of stuff lately. I have been thinking about what I will do after YWAM and I have also been thinking a lot about if and when I will get married. 25 seems really old sometimes and I wonder when and if I will get married and have kids. Most of my closest non-YWAM friends are married so I think it is a pretty natural thing to think about it. I am in no way obsessed by these thoughts. I have not yet become that girl but I have been thinking about this a lot lately. So, Pastor Helena points at me and my heart starts racing. I stand up and she says, "So, you want to know if you're going to get married? I was shocked. I mumbled yes. She said you are going to get married and you are going to have two children. You are going to have two children but I see a third child. I don't know about this third child. Maybe someone is going to give it to you. You will remember me when this happens. Then she said, you are a teacher. You will be a Sunday school teacher and you will change the lives of your students and they will tell their parents about your teaching and you will draw them in. THen she was like, I don't know if you even like kids but I see you building things with the kids.

That is what she said as far as I can remember. The church gave me a cassette tape of it that I plan to listen to again. This totally squelched my remaining doubts about prophecy. It had to be God who told this woman what I needed to hear. There is no way a perfect stranger could be so alarmingly accurate at addressing my latest struggles. It was so cool. I thank God so much for that. I have a real sense of joy and peace after all this. It was so amazing!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Meeting Myrtle

For some time now I have used the name "Myrtle" as my fall back alias when I am asked my name at a restaurant. I have become quite quick and natural at spelling it. I have a few other aliases such as, CoCo and Bertha but Myrtle is my favorite. Last week I got a note in the office that a hotel had responded to my letter asking for free stuff. The note said Myrtle on it and I thought that was a joke the message taker had written. I soon discovered that I had indeed been contacted by a woman named Myrtle. Yesterday I met up with Myrtle, who gave us a ton of free bedding from the hotel where she runs the housekeeping department. I am now even more proud to call myself Myrtle.

My guests have all left now. It was fun to have them here but a bit stressful since they were on vacation and I was still supposed to be working. I ended up taking Monday and Tuesday off to spend more time with them. On Monday we drove to Hana. I had heard from many people that the drive was intense and exhausting and they were definitely telling the truth. I had to drive the whole way. It is only about 35 miles but it takes about two hours each way because of the crazy curves and slow speeds. It was draining. When we finally got there we went hiking at a place called the Seven Sacred Pools. It was beautiful and fun but I wish I had been wearing hiking boots instead of sandals. I went with Abbey and Misti and it was good to spend time with them.

Yesterday morning, I said goodbye to Misti. It wasn't that bad since I am pretty sure I will see her again. With YWAM friends there is always the possibility. Then Gena, Abbey and I utilized our last hours with the PT cruiser to go to Kaanapali, the tourist part of the island. We did not have much time there but it was still fun. Later we dropped off the car. It was nice to not have to drive so much anymore. After Hana, I am in no hurry to drive anytime soon.

I miss Amy. She is home in Toronto until next Tuesday. Before she left we had been spending about 90% of our free time together. Things are not the same here without her. I can't wait til she gets back. I thank God for her friendship and companionship.
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