Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Traveling with Twenty Babies Part 1

I just got back from Young Lives camp in Arizona. We took five leaders, fifteen teen girls and twenty babies. As you might assume, it was pretty crazy. We flew from Houston to Phoenix. It was the first time on a plane for many of the girls. You should have seen the looks on people's faces as they discovered that they were flying on a plane accompanied by twenty plus babies. They were not excited. They asked dumb questions like if we were a baby convention or one lady thought we were a family. A family with fifteen teen girls and twenty babies? Yeah, right!

Before we left I had only had random short-term experience with babies. Some of my friends have them now and I babysat a lot as a child. But I had never been with so many babies for such an extended period. I guess most people haven't. When we got to Phoenix we boarded a charter bus and headed to a Pancho's restaurant. The place was not prepared for the large volume of babies. We used every high chair they had.

Then we picked up a group from Colorado Springs and headed to camp. The babies were pretty crazy and the ones who could walk, ran up and down the aisles. We got to camp after a few hours and made our way to the cabins. My cabin had three leaders, eight girls and eight babies. One of our girls was pregnant and one had two babies. I ended up helping the girl with two babies quite a bit. She definitely had her hands full with a 3 month old and a two-year old. I hung out with the two year old, Junior. We became good friends. He is a really funny little guy and he kept running on stage and dancing. He became pretty popular because of these antics.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Moving and leaving

I moved into my new place yesterday. It is awesome, if I do say so myself. Although, neither of my roommates were able to fit their beds up the stairs so they are sleeping on mattresses on the floor like many boys do when they are in college. I am on the first floor so I don't have to worry. I got a lot of help from my parents, Shella- my sister-in-law and even Shella's dad. We got a lot done and everyone was very nice to each other. I was even nice despite getting only two hours of sleep the night before after an extreme caffeine overdose. I couldn't have done it without their help. I am trying to get everything set up so I don't freak out when I get back from camp.

Speaking of camp, I leave tomorrow and I don't feel too prepared. I don't know how to feel prepared to take a group that contains about 15 girls and 20 babies. Luckily I am not the only leader, nor am I the one in charge of it all. It's going to be crazy. After camp in Arizona, we are going to the Grand Canyon. I hope the teen mothers are bringing those little child leashes for the babies. I can't wait to see the fellow passengers' faces when we get on the airplane. It will be simply priceless.

I better go continue to straighten and organize. I get back on July 30 and you guys will have to come visit my new party pad.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Unconventional Reunions

Yesterday I got to hang out with some of my favorite people- Josh and Ashley. For those of you who may not know, last year when I led the team to Bangladesh with Matt Laskey, there was another team that went to Nepal- led by the above mentioned Josh and Ashley. Our teams spent three months together before going to our separate countries. Too many crazy things happened in those three months and the four of us became very close. We call ourselves, "withness," which was a phrase our friend, Maria felt was going to apply to the school. Anyway, I will always have a deep love for my fellow leaders during that time and getting to see them was awesome. The funny thing is that we hung out at the airport for about two hours. They were on the mainland visiting various family members and had a layover in Houston. It was so good to catch up and not weird other than the fact that we were hanging out in the airport. I knew it would be good to see them but I was not expecting the sadness I felt after they left. I felt like crying. I really miss Maui sometimes and the amazing friendships I developed there. I am planning a trip there over Thanksgiving break. I don't know if I could handle not having something in the works.

I have been lucky to see several fun YWAM friends since I have been home. Here is the lowdown:
-I went on a roadtrip with fellow staffer, Rebekah Richoux to visit my now pregnant student, Kelli. I drove ten hours roundtrip to spend a couple of hours at Kelli's house but it was worth it.

-I get to see Dinah most Sundays because we go to the same church.

-Megan, a student from the Nepal team, came into town to meet a friend. We met up for coffee at Fry's the electronics store.

-Britany Chaney and Megan Labay surprised me at work but could only stay a few minutes. It was painfully short but it made my day.

-My student, Katrina, came in town to visit her cousin and we went out to eat at Chuy's.

I hope this trend continues. It is so good to be reunited even if it is random and brief.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Things to ponder

Lately I have been thinking about buying a house. I am really not in the financial position to buy the kind of house I would like. I have been watching too many of those tv shows where they buy old houses and fix them up and sell them for profit. They make it look so easy! I also think I just hear about so many of my friends buying houses that I think it is time for me to buy one too. I keep having to remind myself that most of my friends are about four years ahead of me in the normal support yourself adult world. Since college, I have traveled the world but I have not lived on my own and supported myself. I need to work and support myself before I try to buy a house.

There is a lot of good stuff happening in my life and the lives of people I love but there is also a lot of hard stuff. Here are some of the big prayer requests:

-Holly was attacked and sexually assaulted while she was running in Maui. A good samaritin stopped the guy before he could rape or abduct her. She is obviously pretty shook up.

-Amy's dad got fired without warning and now has to find a new job.

-Sarah has to have surgery to remove a lump in her breast.

-Maria and Dempsey are dealing with some really hard issues in their marriage.

-Kelli is eight months pregnant but starting to have contractions. She just found out that her dad was cheating on her mom and using drugs. Her parents are getting divorced.

-My brother is still in Iraq.

I am sure there are other things I forgot to mention. This just feels like one of those lots of change times- both good and bad. I don't like change to much. I hope to enter one of those peaceful, everything's boring times sometime soon. I hope it happens soon, I don't know if I can take much more bad news.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

New Passion

I have a new passion. Many of you know that I am quite the mullet aficionado. I like to spy people with lovely mullets and take pictures of them. While I still enjoy a well-kept or unusual mullet, mullet hunting lost some of its allure when I lived in Maui. You see, Hawaii is mullet country and it is not at all difficult to spot a mullet. They became too commonplace. My new hunting subject is trucks with painted tail gates. I have not seen many of these outside of Texas but I wouldn't venture to say that they are common here.

The usual painting is done in airbrush. It is usually a depiction of lovely scenery and the best examples show the actual truck in the middle of the scenery. I have decided to start collecting pictures of these trucks. Below is an example and I hope there will be many more to follow.

This example, though without a depiction of the truck itself, really lets us know a lot about the truck's owner. He or she is clearly into cock fights as this is the center of the piece. I am assuming the person's last name is Contrares. These tailgates are found more often that not in the Hispanic community. This particular piece also shows cards and dice, showing the driver's love of gambling. He or she apparently also enjoys music. Keep your eyes open for your own specimins.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I'm not in YWAMland anymore

This week I really felt the contrast between working at the surf shop and working with a full-time ministry. In YWAM, if someone was having a hard time emotionally, it was okay for them to take off work and they were guaranteed to have several people pray for them. I was fairly emotional before I left and it was great to be in such a nurturing environment where it was okay to cry, be vulnerable and let others help you.

One of my co-workers at the surf shop was having a bit of an emotional breakdown this week. I am not going to give any details but she was having a really hard time not bursting into tears at work. As her manager, I tried to talk to her and see what was wrong. She confided in me a part of what was going on in her life. To me, it seemed the answer to all her problems is Jesus. He has brought joy, peace and hope into my life and I know He would do that for everyone if they would just surrender to His will. This is not something a manager can really communicate to an employee during work hours. It was also obvious that she wasn't really interested. I did ask if she wanted me to pray for her. I had hoped I could pray for her out loud but she wasn't comfortable with that so I prayed for her in my head for the rest of the night. At YWAM, I would have prayed for her and I am sure her mood would have improved.

My fellow co-workers, who are nice people, had no sympathy or grace for her. They cited their own difficult lives and basically wanted her to suck it up. Not the same attitude as my YWAM friends to say the least. I miss that loving and nurturing environment so much that it hurts sometimes. And yet I know I am where I am supposed to be.
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