Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Longhorns beat Aggies and life gets better

Today was a melancholy day. Amy left for good yesterday and there is still a lot of uncertainty about my brother. People kept making sad faces at me and asking me how I was doing. It's a lot easier to just say that I am fine instead of trying to explain how weird and scattered I feel. It's not that I want to lie but if I voice that I am not doing so good, I usually cry. That is disconcerting to people. It doesn't help that I am super-busy at work right now. That should pass, though when the Fall team goes home this weekend.

It was a long day with testimony night in addition to our normal workday. This is when the teams who just got back from outreach tell about their awesome adventures. Hearing what the Lord is doing couldn't help but boost my spirits. Then when I got home, I discovered that the University of Texas Longhorns had beat the Texas A&M Aggies at basketball. Unfortunately I missed the actual game but I read the recap on the internet and saw the highlights. It was quite the game! I still have a hard time believing that the Aggies are ranked in the top ten but I have seen them and they are good. It's still weird. I won't be home this year for March madness but at least I live in a house with TIVO. No commercials for me! PS- Did I mention that the Longhorns beat the Aggies? Just checking!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Good bye my friend!

Life seems chaotic these days. My YWAM best friend, Amy left today to return to Toronto. It's weird to think I won't be seeing her everyday anymore. She is my default friend here. Thankfully I have several other really close friends here but Amy is the one I spent 90% of my free time with. We had lots of crazy adventures and I will miss her a lot. I have already decided I will go visit her in Toronto in July. Her family has a cottage on the lake. I don't know much about cottages being from Texas. But Canadians all seem to have access to these things. Apparently they are places to relax and be lazy and play on a lake. This sounds splendid. It is also important for my own sanity that I have a tentative date I will see her again. It makes leaving easier. Today I dropped her off at the airport but then her flight got canceled. So, a few hours later I picked her up and we went to Jamba Juice. I guess that means our first goodbye was a practice one.

Amy leaving makes it more real that I too, will be leaving. So strange. I can't deal with this fact yet. Also the Andrew situation is still a bit stressful. It looks like he should be heading back to the U.S. by the end of the week. News changes a lot so I am not sure if it will actually happen. He should be going to D.C. and then San Antonio. It sounds like he will be sent back to Iraq once he recovers. I really hope he will be in Texas at least until I get back home at the end of March. If he goes back to Iraq before I am scheduled to come back to Texas, I will probably have to fly back home early. I don't want to do that but I will if it's the only chance for me to see him. I know I'd regret it if I didn't. I like to be in control but this is a situation I have no control over. I need to stop worrying about things that may or may not happen.

During this stressful time, I have tried to find constructive ways to deal with my angst at the many uncertain situations. I keep trying to give my burdens to the Lord and spend more time with Him. In addition to this, I have been watching an abnormal amount of the tv show, The Office. I am not sure why. Andrew and I watched an excessive amount of tv growing up and I think this has resulted in the function of television as a relaxation/stress reducing tool. There is something so nice about forgetting some of the craziness as I watch people's fake lives. And the show is stinkin' hilarious. I am fully addicted. TV on DVD has revolutionized my life.

I have been impressed about how many people have expressed their prayers and support of Andrew. It means so much to me and my family. It is hard to be away from them right now and knowing that so many people are praying, gives me peace. Thanks a lot.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


This has been a rough weekend. The Fall DTS teams are back in town so there are tons of logistical things for me to do. The old students are living in Paia and the current students live at our base in Haiku. This means that the Fall students have to be driven to Haiku for worship and meals. We have to fully utilize our four vans. Last week one of our vans had a bit of an accident. Rebekah was driving when the hood flew up and broke the windshield. Apparently bungee cords are not a long-term solution to a loose hood problem. Rebekah thought quickly and pulled over without incident. I am glad I wasn't driving. I don't know if I would have handled it so well. Luckily, the van got fixed before the students arrived.

On Saturday morning, I found out Andrew, my younger brother, got injured in Iraq. He and several of his men were hit by shrapnel as an explosive device went off behind a wall. My brother was hit in his left thigh and leg and in his right foot. He already had surgery in Kuwait. He has been moved to Germany and is in the hospital there. One of his good friends is in Germany with his wife and they were able to go visit Andrew. This is such a blessing since I was so sad at the thought of him being all alone and hurt. He is likely being transferred back to the United States for his recovery, which could take a few months. He will probably go to a hospital in Washington D.C and we hope he could get transfered to one in San Antonio. It's hard to know what exactly is happening with the army.

At first I was kind of numb when I found out. Then the big sister in me kicked in. I have made it my job to take care of my brother since the day he was born. Even though he is a married 24 year-old Army Lieutenant, I still want to protect him. My friend, Holly, works at the nicest hotel on the island. She and some other friends stayed there this weekend and invited me and Amy to join them. I had fun going down the crazy water slides and riding on the water elevator. Who knew there was such a thing? The Grand Wailea has the coolest pool I had ever seen. After experiencing the pools, I sat down and talked with my friend, Maria. I was telling her about Andrew and I just started bawling. It seems like so many bad things are happening at one time. I feel a lot better today after getting an update from his wife, Shella on how he is doing.

I am realizing that I need to be better at giving my burdens up to the Lord. I need to learn how to pray for things but not let the weight of them overwhelm me. The Lord tells us He will carry our burdens and I need to take Him up on His offer.

Please keep praying for Andrew and our family.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Kona Part 2: Love was in the air

Our students aren't allowed to date. When they first arrive, we tell them to "put their periscopes up" and check out all the hotties in their class. Then we tell them to put their periscopes away and that they will stay hidden until graduation. Staff are allowed to date. As staff, we all joked that we'd all have our periscopes up when we went to Kona. It's hard not to check people out at these big events full of single, passionate Christians. I definitely noticed the good-looking men but nothing happened. I was sick at the beginning of the week and sounded very much like a young guy going through puberty. This is not really the right condition to meet the love of your life. I'm not really on the prowl anyway. It's just fun to joke about.

Love was in the air for some people. My friends, Bethany and Matt officially became a couple while we were in Maui. Matt is one of my closest guy friends and like a brother to me. It is a little weird but very fun to see him so excited about a girl. Bethany is my friend as well so it is all good. Some people long to make a serious commitment and plunge head into a serious relationship from Day one. Others take things very slow and ease into commitment talk. Bethany and Matt definitely fall into the first category and are already talking kids' names. As much as I am wary about people moving too fast, I think I long for a quick deep relationship rather than a long meandering one. I also think if you are over 25, you are more likely to know what you want anyway.

I had a very unromantic but fun Valentine's Day. I have never been one to get sad on Valentine's Day like some girls. I have only had a boyfriend on one Valentine's Day and we had a contest to see who could give the cheesiest gift. It wasn't the most romantic thing ever but fun times. I like free candy and Valentine's Day provides this. How can I not enjoy it? I spent my Valentine's with some friends. We had dessert at the Hard Rock Cafe. Good times! There are pics on my website.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Kona Part 1

My time in Kona was good but I am glad to be back in Maui. It was pretty crazy trying to organize a trip for 38 people. We got to the airport with plenty of time but the power was out. This meant an incredibly long line. It turned on again while we were waiting but that didn’t make the 100 people in line in front of us disappear. Because we made up such a large percentage of the plane, they made the plane wait for us. They tried to let us skip the security line but then the TSA people started throwing a fit. It was pretty funny.

On the way back, we had some travel troubles as well. The Kona base only had two vans to take us to the airport. We had too many people for two vans so we had to make two trips. I was with the second group and we didn’t get to the airport until 30 minutes before our flight was supposed to leave. I freaked out when I saw the very long security line. I was so nervous about making our flight but when I finally got through security, I saw that our plane hadn’t even started boarding yet. My prayers were answered. Unfortunately three of our guys had to stay and go on a later flight because their seats had already been given away. One of our students almost missed the flight because he wasn’t wearing shoes. Luckily someone had an extra pair in their carry-on. I didn’t know that you have to wear shoes to get on a plane. I have never desired to walk barefoot onto a plane but I guess now I know I won’t work.

I liked some of the lectures in Kona but some things they had us do were weird or juvenile. There was an altar-call type thing at every lecture. They would say something like- “Who wants to experience more of the Lord?” or “Who wants God’s heart for the nations?” Then they would tell everyone who wanted what they were saying to come up to the front. It seemed pretty pointless because everyone went up to the front. I stubbornly refused to give in to the peer pressure. The funniest thing they did was some activity where we hit beach balls and were supposed to say an attribute of God when we hit it. I really didn’t understand the correlation. I just laughed and tried to peg my friends. One time I hit the cross in the center of the room. What is that supposed to symbolize?

Overall I enjoyed praying for the nations of the world and finding out what God’s doing in other countries. Our group was very international and probably represented more than 50 countries. It made me wish I was from somewhere more remote like Myanmar or Azerbaijan. I did display my Texas pride with a lovely “Don’t Mess With Texas” t-shirt.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

MySpace Indications

It has been too long since I blogged. I am getting lazy now that I am 26. I guess that is just a consequence of old age. I got to go to Oahu this weekend. It was fun times. Amy and I saw Mormons, prostitutes, Polynesian dancers, more Japanese people than I could count, old men in Speedos and big wave surfers. I got to go to a big mall and P.F. Chang's. Mmmm... Mongolian beef! I want to give a special shout-out to Amy's mom and my parents, who made the trip more fun with their monetary contributions. Also the rental car guy who upgraded our little economy car to a Ford Escape with leather seats and sun roof. And next week, I get to go to Kona for the week. Life is pretty sweet, I must say.

I would like to make an observation on my generation's culture. There is an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry can gauge the status of his dating relationship by seeing where his name is located on his girlfriend's speed dial. She moves his name up and down based on how they are doing. Most people I know rely on cell phones and with numbers already stored in our phones, we don't use speed dial buttons very often. The modern-day equivilent of the speed dial rating system is the MySpace top friends list. Some people don't think too much about their top friends list and may list their boyfriend or girlfriend somewhere in the middle of the list. Others take the ranking more seriously and are sure to put their main squeeze in the number one spot.

I have a guy friend that I am pretty close to. I have been his top friend for awhile as he had no romatic interests. Now, he is beginning to pursue a mutual friend of ours. I am super excited for them as he is like a brother to me and she is awesome. Today I noticed that I have been bumped from number 1 friend to number 2. I understand this change of ranking but it is pretty amusing, nevertheless. I am okay with being number 2. And I am rooting him and number 1 along!

I get really sad about leaving here if I think about it too much. It is just such an amazing place. I am not even really talking about the beautiful Maui part but the amazing friends and co-workers I have here. We get to have prayer and worship together several times a week. We have laughed and cried with each other. I don't know if I could ever be as close to a group of people again in my life. I am trying to make the most of my time here but it seems to be slipping away. I am excited about going back to Houston and reconnecting with all my great Texas friends, but I will certainly mourn the end of my time as a missionary in Maui. I know God has a lot in store for me in Houston and I have a feeling He has better stuff in store for me than I can even imagine now.
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