Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Just Like Family

I consider myself very blessed in the family department. I have a loving biological family and my younger brother is one of my favorite people in the world. In recent years my family has grown with the addition of my sister-in-law and nephew. Besides my biological family, I've also had the opportunity to have been "adopted" by awesome people who've been like second families to me.

I grew up in Houston in the suburb that NASA built called Clear Lake. We moved there when I was eight and I quickly made friends with our neighbors. Our street was a safe place full of kids where everyone played outside almost nonstop. My brother and I would run around and play with our friends, moving from house to house. I spent just as much time at the Regans', Patels' and Harnlys' as I did at my own house. My parents became good friends with the Harnlys and they soon became like second parents to me with their daughter, Jocelyn becoming the younger sister I never had. Throughout the years, they have loved and supported me as if I were their own child. Their relationship in my life is so precious. Mr. Harnly will even sign cards "Dad 2."

Some of my awesome neighbors from the street I grew up on

Me and Neha Patel with Our Second Parents, The Harnlys

I've lived in Hawaii on and off for a total of about 3 years. Because of the nature of our work: training and discipling missionaries to go overseas, I have spent most of my time getting to know the students who come through but not getting to know many people in the community. I definitely regret this as I prepare to leave Hawaii, possibly forever. During this last DTS I staffed, I had a student named Shannon who is from Maui. She is now my SBFM student and one of my closest friends here. It's been an interesting experience to be friends with someone who is actually from here and not just here for a few months. She corrects my pathetic pronunciation of Hawaiian words and my mislabeling of beach names. She also teaches me Hawaiian words like pau, shoyu and saimin. One of the best perks to being friends with Shannon, besides learning where to get the best shave ice, is her family. I finally have a surrogate family in Maui just as I am leaving. They live in a comfortable house about 20 minutes away from our house. I have been there countless times to relax and get away from the crowded, dilapidated house I currently live in. They have a nice TV, a hot tub and they've given me full refrigerator privileges, something I don't even have here in my YWAM house. I've spent many Saturdays there commandeering their TV all day to watch college football. (Thankfully they are also fans.)

One Saturday, we took Shannon's truck to the beach and her dad ended up driving my car back to his house. When I got my car back, he'd changed my oil and filled my tank with gas. What an unexpected blessing! Uncle Jim has done many other dad-like things that I appreciate so much since my dad is so far away. When he heard about our insect and rodent problem, he bought poison for us to spread around and gave us tools to defend ourselves from angry demonic centipedes. Then later, he spent hours at our house cutting down the tall grass where the centipedes hang out. He ended up killing about a dozen of them.

They've also blessed other YWAMers by having groups of us up to their house for meals. On Thanksgiving, they made an amazing meal for a dozen of us. I've also been invited to various events with their Maui extended family. I've been to several birthday parties and family dinners. They've really made me a part of their family and it makes living here so much better. I know I am going to miss the Walshes - my Maui Family, so much when I leave.

Uncle Jim and Auntie Debbie Walsh

The Thanksgiving Crew

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Adding Another Name to the List

Pastor Dale and his family

Here in Maui, I go to a church called Waipuna Chapel. In my time here, I've gone to several churches but this is the one that feels the most like home.  It reminds me a lot of Clear Lake Presbyterian Church, the church I grew up in with a lot of nice families and loving people. The church loves YWAMers and always supports us in our overseas trips. The pastor there is named Dale Gustafson. I'm not personally close to Dale, but I have a lot of respect for him. I have seen him meeting with some of the guys from YWAM, sitting on our driveway with them and I'm so glad he takes the time to disciple our guys. He also preaches Biblically sound sermons that make me think and often laugh.

This week Pastor Dale announced to the church that he has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. His accompanying message was very powerful as he explained how life with the Lord isn't a formula. It's not that you do good things and only good things happen to you or that if something bad happens, it's because you've done something bad. I think the story of Job pretty much refutes that idea. It was interesting to hear how some people had already reacted to the news. One person told him that if he had enough faith, he would be healed. That's a pretty ignorant thing to say to a pastor. Having a lot of faith doesn't prevent you from hardships. If anything, the Bible implies you will have more hardships. Pastor Dale's transparency was encouraging and I think it will open new doors of intimacy for the church. After his message, the whole church surrounded him and prayed for him. I think that's the way the church should be.

I don't want to add people to the list of people I know with MS. But unfortunately this is the case. So, now in April when I ride in the MS150- the 150 mile bike ride from Houston to Austin, I have another person to ride in honor of. I will be riding in honor of Sara Stanford and Dale Gustafson. I pray I won't have anyone else to add to that list. Please pray for healing and strength for Sara and Dale as they live their lives with this unpredictable, debilitating illness. And pray that we can raise enough money to end MS forever.

Pastor Dale's Blog

My MS150 Fundraising Website

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Young Life

I have to start this by giving a shout-out to my good friend, Joey Brunette who brought my computer back to life.  It still has issues and I am glad I am getting a new one, but I was able to get everything I needed off of it and I am using it right now. Yay!

There are many things I am excited about when I go home to Houston. Two of the main ones being: riding my bike in organized rides and volunteering with Young Life again. My grad school schedule interferes with both of these things unfortunately. I have class on Saturday mornings (common time for group rides) and on Monday and Wednesday nights (Young Life). Luckily my class ends at 7:30 and Young Life begins at 7:37. I will have to be late but I will still be able to volunteer. I love those kids and our ministry with them. Check out this video to get a taste of our ministry:

YoungLife West Houston 2010 - Friday Night Lights from Ben Gillin on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Memorial Service for Kirra Simone Daughtry

Disclaimer: I am in the process of trying to get a new computer. Maui has no selection so I have to order one online and it's taking longer than I would like. Because of this, I probably won't be blogging as much since I have to use other people's computers. Bear with me.

With the events of the past few days, I have realized that even in the midst of heartache, there's always hope and much to be thankful for. Without hope and thankfulness, I don't know if we could make it through the difficulties of life. I'm not saying that the hard things themselves are good, but that good can be found in the midst of adversity.
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Genesis 50:20

On Saturday, we had a memorial service for Kirra Simone Daughtry. She was the unborn daughter of my friends, Maria and Bryan Daughtry. The Saturday before, a bunch of us girls had gone to the beach to celebrate Maria's birthday. We talked about how excited we all were that Maria would finally have her baby girl in February, after all the miscarriages she's had this year. How quickly things change. The next day, Maria was admitted to the hospital and told that her precious baby had died in her womb. Maria would then have to deliver the baby. So terrible! And yet, Maui was the best place this could happen. Maria and Bryan had moved to Oahu about a year ago and most of their close friends still live here in Maui and were able to rally around the family. Also Maria's best friend, Holly was visiting from the mainland and was able to be by her side. Because Maria was so far along this time, the doctors did an autopsy to determine what went wrong. This information will be used to prevent a miscarriage in her next pregnancy. Even in the midst of heartache, God gives hope and comfort.

Bryan and Maria wanted to celebrate Kirra and held a memorial service at the same beach we'd gathered at to celebrate Maria's birthday only a week before. It was a sweet time for all of us that included both laughter and tears. People hung out at the beach for a while and then the service began. There was a time of worship and Maria spoke about their experience with Kirra. I don't think there was a dry eye in the group and I saw even the macho men shedding tears. It was so inspiring to see Maria and Bryan praising the Lord in the midst of their pain.

Next we hit the water for a traditional Hawaiian paddle-out to commemorate Kirra's brief existence. We brought flowers and paddled out to form a circle on our surfboards. Everyone released the flowers into the water in her honor. Kirra's ashes weren't ready yet so Maria and Bryan are going to release them into the ocean later. We all headed back to shore and I even caught a wave on the way in. Unfortunately Holly stepped on a sea urchin on her way back to shore. She was in pain with about 10 needles protruding from her foot. There was talk of peeing on her foot to relieve the pain, but thankfully this idea was dropped. After Holly was stabilized, Maria's pastor, Duane led a time of prayer for the Daughtry family.

We finished the time by hanging out and enjoying the beach together. It was a sweet time of catching up with old friends. Many former YWAMers who live on the island came. We all have so much to be thankful for. Please continue to pray for Maria, Bryan and their five year-old son, Kieva.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Why is Everything Breaking?

I am frustrated. Several important things in my life have broken at once. As a missionary, I have enough support for all my day-to-day expenses but I don't have enough for unexpected expenses and I don't know what I am going to do about all this. So here's the scoop:

My car
This summer my friend borrowed my car and part of the door handle broke off on the driver's side. Thankfully it was still functional. Then last week my passenger side door handle broke off completely while a friend was getting in. Apparently this is a common problem with 2000 Corollas, but this doesn't bring me much solace. Now I have to open the door from the inside to let people into the passenger seat. I looked online and found some door handles for about $25 but I couldn't get them shipped to Hawaii. I shipped them to my parents' house and they will send them on. Luckily we have handy boys here who will be able to help me fix this problem when my handles get here. I feel like I have a handle on this particular problem, at least.

My computer
My computer has always been abnormally hot. But all of a sudden, ast night it would not turn on. I suspect the excessive heat fried something. When I try to turn it on, it just blinks twice. I found out online that this signals that the BIOS is corrupted. I have no idea what this actually means but it sounds difficult to fix. My computer-saavy male friends can't even help me because the computer doesn't turn on. I am going to try to see about getting it fixed. I definitely don't have the money for a new computer right now and I may not have enough to get it fixed either, depending on how much it is. Ugh! I use my computer for everything, including my current job so this is super inconvienent! Luckily everyone here has one and people are nice but I hate continually borrowing stuff from people. I also have to register for grad school on a computer on the 9th. The worst part is that I may have lost my pictures. I backed up my computer this summer but I have taken a lot of pictures since then. Please pray that I can at least retrieve them even if my computer can't be fixed.

My Kindle
So, I was feeling super frustrated about my car and my computer. I had a friend pray for me about my frustrations. Right after the prayer, I went to my room to read my kindle. I was horrified to find that 1/4 of the screen looks like there is black ink spilled inside. My guess is that it somehow got stepped on. I don't remember this happening but regardless, it is no longer readable. This is probably the least of my worries as it is not a neccesity but I real enjoy it and I only got it last Christmas.

In the end, I know that these are all minor things compared to all the things people go through. I mean, my parents' friend, Oran has cancer for the second time. That's a much bigger deal than all my electronics dying. It's still annoying, though. I am trying to pray and learn from this experience but it doesn't mean I like it one bit. Please pray for me and that nothing else will break. I hate it when God smites my toys.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Halloween can be a bit crazy in our town, Paia. In recent years it's become the gathering place for the all the freaky Halloween lovers on the island. I do enjoy a good freak and definitely sought out encounters with them during my college days of spending Halloween on 6th Street in Austin. These people are a bit too freaky for me especially since some of them actually celebrate the demonic side of Halloween. We discouraged our students from being in town at night on Halloween and we had a party to help entice them to stay in. The party called, "Shadanigans" was to celebrate Daniel and Shannon's birthdays, Halloween and Reformation Day (the day Martin Luther nailed his 96 theses to the door, ushering in protestantism as we know it). I recognize the high dork factor associated with this final component of the party.

Before it got dark and ultra crazy, me and some of the students walked around Paia in our Halloween costumes. The local businesses provide candy and encourage children the trick-or-treat at their stores. Most were willing to give us tall children candy though a few gave us the stink eye. We were definitely a random group with a cow, cowgirl, pirate, cat, me as Michelle Duggar and my friend, Maddie dressed as me. I don't think everyone we passed recognized me, but the ones who did got very excited about my costume.


 After we went trick-or-treating, we got ready for Shadanigans. Since the party was my idea, I bought all the food. There were many of my old stand-bys like rice krispie treats and queso. I also served Aloha drinks, chips, no bake cheesecake and a Shadanigans birthday cake, which had the numbers 219 on the top since Shannon was turning 21 and Daniel was turning 19. At the party we played Guitar hero. I have a feeling I was better at it than the real Michelle Duggar, though my babies cramped my style a bit. We also played pictionary telephone and pin the theses on the door. I am sure Martin Luther would have been proud.

 After all the games, we watched the movie, Hook. Overall it was a really fun way to spend Halloween.
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