Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Sunday, April 29, 2007

No More Church Shopping

I have been church shopping though not very fervently. (I had only visited one church before today.) The first church I went to seemed okay but the people seemed too dorky. That's probably not a good or politically correct way to judge a church. Anyway, today I visited my second church- City of Refuge. I went with a fellow Ywam alum named Dinah. It's a really cool church.

Most churches seem to be very segregated. White people go to church with other white people, Black people with other black people, Koreans with other Koreans, etc, etc. I definitely don't think this is how God intended things to be. I was thinking about how when I get married, I will invite friends from all different times in my life- childhood, college, camp, work, YWAM, etc. I would prefer to see my friends from different areas all mingling and getting to know each other at my wedding instead of separated into their various groups. I think God may feel like that. He wants to see all the people who know Him mingling together and not segregating themselves.

This church is mostly black or white but there are also plenty of Asians and Hispanics. It seems more like what Heaven will be like- All of us worshiping together. The preaching was good. I have served as a full-time missionary and been to a lot of churches. I am a bit of a snob about church services. Some preachers pick one little verse from the Bible and then spend all their time trying to stretch the short verse into a 20 minute ten-point sermon. I prefer a sermon that focuses more on the Bible verses so that I come away with a greater understanding of the meaning of the passage. This guy also had a sense of humor and an obviously big heart. He mentioned a couple of people in the church who were struggling with hard stuff in their lives and we prayed for them right there. It made it feel like a family.

So, it looks like my church shopping is over, thankfully not long after it started. Unfortunately I will be out of town for a couple of weeks but I am excited to go back when I get a chance.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Back to Soundwaves

Today was a busy day especially compared to the last two days, which I had off. I started working at Soundwaves again today and then I had YoungLife at night. I wasn't sure what it would be like to go back to Soundwaves after a year and a half, but it was good. A lot of people I know still work there. It seems there is always basically the same core group of responsible people and then there is the revolving door of irresponsible, my first job, just here for the discount, lazy surfer types.

Despite their initial reluctance to take me back, they have made me a manager again. This is good because it means I tell people to do the crappy parts of the job instead of having to do them myself. I am going to have to be careful not to spend all my money on stuff at the store. There is a lot I want and I get a 35% discount. I am limiting myself to one thing a week. There was once talk of me having a lifetime discount so I will be able to get the discount when I am a teacher. That'd be cool.

Apparently one of the other managers, Jenny, has a stalker. This guy took a liking to her when she served him coffee. Apparently he later got on one knee and proposed. We've discovered that he is a paranoid schizaphrenic. He writes Jenny notes but calls her by different names. The letters tell of how he will support them once they're married. We called the cops and we are supposed to call 911 if he comes in the store. Pretty weird. Hopefully I am not there when he makes an appearance. Or maybe I want to be there. I do like drama.

YoungLife today was not the usual. We had a scavenger hunt where we had to take pics in various locations posing with an inflatable shark. It was fun and the kids got really into it. My team won, naturally. I got pretty into and I was driving a bit eratically in order to win. It was like I was on the Amazing Race but instead of winning a million dollars, I got a brownie. It was good to try to remember more of the kids' names. It is hard to come in at the end of the year because all the kids and leaders already know each other. Going to camp will definitely help me to get to know them better.

One funny note from YoungLife today: One of our leaders is this big muscular black guy named Bronson. He is an awesome guy. He's great with the kids and I am so thankful that we have him on our team. Anyway, he has the funniest phone ring. His ring is the Michelle Branch song, Everywhere. It is just hilarious to hear this incredibly girly ring go off on this large black man's phone. I die laughing everytime I hear it. Today it went off during club and all the kids laughed at him and rightfully so.

Tomorrow I am taking yet another road trip. I am certainly making the most of my new car. I am going to visit my brother in San Antonio. He should be heading back to Colorado soon and then Iraq May 20, so I need to get as much Andrew time as possible. It's definitely worth the six hour round trip.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Wedding Number 7

I was in my seventh wedding this weekend. Abbey and Wil are two of my friends from Maui and they got married in Toronto. I got to hang out with some of my favorite YWAM friends, including my YWAM best pal, Amy. It was awesome!

Wil and Abbey were only engaged seven weeks before the wedding so there was definitely a bit of last minute scrambling to get everything done. Amy, Kristy and I ran around the mall with Abbey's mom and niece to find a mother of the bride dress the day before the wedding. It looked bleak at first but we found something she really liked and she looked great.

We made little bouquets and butonaires (who actually knows how to spell that?) for the bride and groom's parents about five minutes before we left for the ceremony. It all came together just fine.

The ceremony was nice but it made me aware of my shrinking attention span. I found myself poking the flower girl in the head with my bouquet to annoy her. Then she started dropping flowers on my shoes. At this point I realized I should probably stop egging the eight year-old on during this very important event. The flower girl was Abbey's niece and one of the coolest eight year-olds I have ever met. And I have met a lot of eight year-olds. She was simply hilarious.

From my vantage point neither Abbey nor Wil cried, but they both seemed pretty nervous. They were both swaying during the ceremony and it looked a bit like dancing. Wil's face turned red several times and Abbey was clearly giggling. It was cute. One of the groomsmen got in a minor car accident on the way to the ceremony. His wife had back surgery in the past so they had to take her to the hospital to get checked out. It was a shame because he missed the whole thing. Amy and Bethany walked together with the last groomsmen on the way out.

With all the last-minute scrambling, we were more than a little shocked to show up to the super-fancy reception. It was held in a hotel on the 38th floor and the view of Toronto was awesome. There were at least 5 courses and I couldn't identify any of the foods on the first plate I was served. Now that's fancy!

And now Wil and Abbey are living happily ever after. And not to be graphic but after 30 long years of waiting, Wil gets to have sex. As Christians, I feel we need to be more open about celebrating people's celibacy. It's not easy to save yourself for marriage in this day and age so Way to go will! It also makes for better jokes at the wedding and reception. I look forward to that part of my wedding as well.

Check out the pics from the wedding:

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I miss Maui but I LOVE Texas!

This weekend I did a crazy amount of traveling. I drove for 17 hours in three days. It had been a long time since I took a road trip so it was quite enjoyable.

On Friday I woke up early and drove to Louisiana. I met up with one of my YWAM Maui friends, Rebekah. She lives in Thibadeux and gave me a little Rebekah reality tour of the area where she grew up. North Louisiana feels like a less-cool version of Texas. South Louisiana, on the other hand, definitely has its own feel and culture. They have lots of Bayous and good local food. I got to partake in some of Rebekah's mom's gumbo. Yummy.

We drove about an hour down the bayou to visit one of the girls from my Bangladesh team. It was strangely normal to hang out with her. It was good to see her, though she has had a very hard time being home after being in YWAM. We got to pray for her. Hopefully she can come visit me in Houston some day.

The next morning Rebekah and I drove to Houston. We picked up some sweet free Texas loot at the border. Rebekah's sister lives in Houston so I dropped her off and then drove on to Austin, where my brother and Shella were hanging out.

The drive to Austin was simply gorgeous. The rains ended and the sky was abnormally bright blue with big fluffy. I have driven from Houston to Austin countless times during my college career so I have a regular stopping point at a gas station/store called Hruskas. In recent years they have expanded to include all kinds of crafts, knicknacks and scrap booking supplies. They even have marble in the bathroom. How many of you have seen a gas station bathroom that fancy? I grabbed some snacks and continued on my way. While in the car, I was listening to some Lyle Lovett song called "I Guess You're Not From Texas," eating kolaches, drinking a Dublin Dr. Pepper and admiring the beautiful bluebonnets. For those of you not from Texas, allow me to translate. Kolaches are kind of like dinner rolls with sausage on the inseide or fruit. They are primarily a breakfast food. A Dublin Dr.Pepper is a special version that uses pure cane sugar. It is sweeter and better than regular DR. Pepper. Bluebonnets are the state flower and cover the Texas Hill Country in the Spring. They are really beautiful.

So, I still miss Maui but I am remembering how much I love my birthplace. I guess it's good to be glad to be where you're at.

Check out pics from my visit at my online photo album: http://picasaweb.google.com/cloudhair

Monday, April 09, 2007

Texas Time

I have now been in Texas almost two weeks. Weird. It feels odd but normal. Things seem to be falling into place decently. I have a car. I am going back to work at my old job, Soundwaves until my teaching job will start. They made it sound like they weren't sure if they had room for me but then they tried to get me to work right away. I haven't worked there yet but I am looking forward to going back, esp since I know it won't be for that long. I am excited to see all the old people again.

I already had an interview for a teaching job. I have a lot of connections to the school and I think the interview went well. I am not getting my hopes up too high since they may not have the right opening or they might get more qualified applicants. It seems like a great school to work at so I hope it works out. As long as I am flexible, I am sure I will find something.

I am still having withdrawls after living in community. I used to have to choose to be alone and now I choose to hang out with people. I prefer it the other way. There is a lot less effort involved. My family is way over in cell phone minutes so I can't answer my phone before 9pm. It's annoying but it would be a lot worse if I was still in Maui. THen I couldn't talk to people until 2am Houston time.

I am doing a lot of traveling this weekend. I enjoy road trips so it should be fun times. I miss being able to drive far and fast since neither were possible in Maui.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Jet Lag does exist

I tried to pretend that I was now immune to jet lag after all my time zone switching. This is not true. I tried to wake up at 8am on Sunday to try out a local church. I went to sleep with good intentions and woke up at 11:45am. Oops. There's always next Sunday.

This weekend I got to see lots of quality people. On Saturday night, I got to hang out with Jocelyn, Emily and Thama. We hung out at the Harnly house and it was like old times. Too bad Jocelyn sold the trampoline. The Harnly house actually feels more like home than my own house. My parents lived across the street from Jocelyn's family from when I was in third grade through my graduation from college. Their new house doesn't feel quite like home yet.

On Sunday, we had a bunch of people over to our house to welcome me and Andrew home. It was fun. I got to see lots of people I really enjoy all at once. It was almost overwhelming. The funniest part of the party was when I was trying to look out the window and see Lindsay Ray's new yellow Ford Focus. The chair I was perched on started rocking and I quickly repositioned myself in order not to fall. I didn't fall and thought all was good. Then my sister-in-law starts to exclaim. Apparently unbeknowst to me, I had split the back of my skirt. I basically flashed two of my friends' husbands. Now that's a party! I had Thama cover me from behind and I ran down to my room to change.

I have realized that being in YWAM changed the way I think about things. YWAM has a fairly strict dress code and I get a weird feeling when my friends here are violating the dress code. It took all I had not to tell one of my friends to change her too-short shorts. I knew it was best to say nothing. I can't implement a Liz dress code that people must follow around me. That would be weird. I am also not used to getting honked at. I was walking down the street today and got quite a few honks from Mexican men in pick-up trucks. Apparently they had seen my photos from ourr Mexican ohana dinner. I do make a lovely Latina. I also overestimated how much food we would need for the party. I forgot that non-YWAMers don't gorge themselves on free food. Despite the weekly supply of baked goods at YWAM, I did everything but stuff food in my pants when free food was presented. I am sure I will see other differences in my thinking as time goes on.
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