Saturday, July 30, 2011

And then... there's radio silence.

Today, as I was catching up on other people's blogs, I realized that mine has been... well... quiet this month.  This post will make the 4th of the month, and that's not like me.  Especially in a time when God is rockin' my world as constantly as He is these days.

So why the radio silence?

I've fallen in to the trap that is unfortunate, but probably fairly common.  I've fallen into the "I'm concerned what you will think" trap.

Worry dolls... just for fun.

Let me clarify, though... I'm not worried what you will think about me.  Clearly, the things that I don't want people to know about me, I choose not to blog about.  While this often functions as a "life journal", it's not my real journal.  You don't get to know all the deep, dark things that are non-blog-appropriate in my life.  (And yes, friends, even Inappropriate Becky knows the difference.)  This blog, NOR my Facebook page are not the places to post said-deep-dark-things.  (I can't tell you how it kills me to read things on Facebook that should not be said there... well... anywhere for that matter.)

I'm not even concerned that this blog will make you not like me.  I feel certain there are some of you who come here just to receive a little burst of happiness from reading what a train wreck I really can be.  I used to think that I was friends with the world and that no one disliked me... then along came a girl in high school who proved me wrong in that area- she couldn't stand me- and I had to face that harsh reality.  I've had those people (you know, the 2 or 3) who don't like me follow me throughout life- shoot, I could even name a couple in my life now... and I'm okay with it.  Truly.  I don't love being un-liked, but I'm okay with it.

I have realized, though, that I am enmeshed with you people... and sometimes this here blog gets misread.  In fact, in the last few weeks, I've had people quote it back to us in ways it was not intended.  I've had my own words... my own thoughts spewed back to us as almost ammunition in ways with which I am not comfortable.  Now hear me out: this is not going to become a passive aggressive venue, either.  I'm not using a public forum to call people to the carpet on their inappropriateness.  But what I am doing is letting you know how my head has handled all of this... it's shut down a bit.

So, dear reader, here's your chance.  I'm giving you an out.  I'm offering you a chance to walk away from the train wreck without watching anymore of the drama.  Unfriend me on Facebook if it helps... Hide my blog... whatever you need to do to work through your issues with me. 

As for me, I'm back in the saddle.  I'm choosing to stand firm in the person that I am becoming.  I'm choosing to ride the roller coaster with those who love me.  I'm choosing to tell you ridiculous stories about my life- like how I've been to a tattoo parlor 3 times in the last six months (yep... and no ink.)  I'm choosing to share with you how every time we attend a MAPP (Foster training) class I get more and more excited about what craziness is getting ready to descend upon our house.  I'm choosing to let you see pictures of my mess- and choosing not to care what you think of it.

Here I am- again- warts and all.

In the last 48 hours, I've been to a Children's Museum, Krispy Kreme, a shopping spree, a MAPP class, "The Smurfs" movie, a science museum, the pediatrician, and back to the movies to see "Friends with Benefits"... and did I mention a tattoo parlor (and no, Mom, I don't have a tattoo.)  There's fun stuff going on in my life, people, and I'd love to tell you about it.  There's also some hard stuff... and we're working through all of that.  I'm thankful to have people on this journey with me. 

I'll be back soon, and I hope you will, too. 

(Coming soon, adorable pictures of E from the last week.  Now, who won't want to see that post?!?!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


In 1996, my friend Allison took me on a "Retreat of Silence".  Those of you who knew me in 1996 Anyone who knows me can understand that the "silence" part was a bit of a struggle for me.  My first experience with this was on a Saturday morning when Allison drove us to Chapel Hill Bible Church where we spent 2(ish) hours in a room together (NOT TALKING!) being silent.  Praying, reading, meditating... and, did I mention NOT TALKING?!?!

I'll admit, I wasn't "good" at it.

I'll also admit it was a practice that I needed, and have added to my disciplines on an ongoing basis.

Our College Ministry has also adopted this practice, and this past Saturday we took our Second Annual trip to Pilot Mountain for such a retreat.  Last year, we arrived to beautiful clear skies and gorgeous weather.

This was where Michelle was sitting before she got attacked by vultures.  True(ish) story.

When we arrived Saturday morning, a mist of rain had followed us the whole way there.  This was my view as I started my alone time.  (Note: our only "rule" is that you leave cell phone, iPods, and other distractions behind.  You can bring with you journals, books, Bibles, whatever.)

Not quite the sunny skies of last year, but still, gorgeous.  And, oh?  What's that?  Look at those pretty little puffs of clouds off to my right...

Pretty soon I remembered my basic science that clouds like that could mean... rain.

Just before I ran for cover, I snapped this self-pic:

I made my way to a shelter fairly quickly and there I found two of my favorite people.

My "silence" wasn't that anymore... Miss E kept stage-whispering wanting more paper, wanting to know how to spell "Michael", wanting to ask if I was done praying yet.  Suddenly my "retreat" felt a lot like normal life.  This is what I deal with if she is ever awake when I am having a Quiet Time.  I'm not going to lie- my first response was that I was exasperated.  Seriously, I'd craved this time for so long... and now it's like any ol' morning.  Zeesh.  Then I remembered that one of my favorite things of leading College Ministry is that my daughter gets to live life with these students... and even in my own frustration, I needed to model for her what this morning could look like.

The rain let up and I left E with Dan (their MO on these mornings is to hike... I wasn't shirking my responsibilities, promise) and went off in search of more "quiet" areas.  I stumbled upon some lovely moments.

This bird and I hung out for quite a while.  Since we've entered this Foster process, I've been drawn to trees and birds.  There is something about both of them that captures what's going on in my heart about loving those kids we don't yet know.  So I sat and watched and listened to this little guy... praying for those children who are in the process of hurting right now.

Saturday was a perfect example to me of how God wants us to function in our current situation in life.  It's not what I'd planned (sunny days!), it's not what I thought I needed (extended time alone!), but it's what I got from the whole thing that blessed my day. 

And, bonus?  I got to experience it with some people I love a lot... even if one of them is wearing a silly ol' Dook shirt.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Don't say I never gave you anything...

I'm here to bestow on you a very, very important lesson.

Don't leave a wine bottle in the freezer.

We had some friends over for dinner last night and ran out of white wine that was chilled.  I put a very classy bottle of Two Buck Chuck in the freezer for a jump start in cooling, then was going to switch it to the fridge.


I forgot.

So, just now as I went to get out something for lunch, I found this bottle:

Here's the crazy part- it uncorked itself.  Yep.  Apparently Mr. Shaw did not appreciate the pressure change in my freezer.

There's your helpful hint on this Thursday afternoon.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sale! Sale! Sale! (kinda)

So, one thing I learned on my African Adventure was that things are done a little different there than here.   Timelines aren't exactly the same.  Deadlines aren't exactly the same.  Shoot, time in general isn't exactly the same...

Yep, that says 9:60.  It went up to 9:75 then rolled over.  I was a wee bit confused.

In that same fashion, my communication with my friends in Kigali has looked different than what we would normally have here in the US.  Here, we would have contracts, business models, spread sheets.  There, they have handshakes and transfers of goods on faith.

So when I got an email from my contact there on Friday saying "We need you to contact ___ in one hour.  He needs to send all the money from the sales of pens with a friend who is coming to Kigali," I wasn't surprised... yet I was a wee bit stressed.  I've been  trying to set up my website to "properly" sell these pens, brainstorming the best way to make a legit move into the world of crafts and human aid, and, well, haven't sold them all.

I only had about 1/3 of the goods sold to send to the man whose friend was going to Kigali.


I'm not "bothered" by this, because I know if I a.had the website functional or b.had an open house of sorts, the pens will/would go in a heartbeat.  What does bother me is that now there is a man in Colorado who is waiting for a check from Kwishima that does not exist.

So... here is where I use the power of the interwebs.

1. If you've been thinking about making a donation to these women, now is the time to do it.

2. If you've been thinking about purchasing some pens, now is the time to do it.

3. If you'd like to "pre-order" merchandise from the next shipment (which should be here in 2 weeks!), that'd be awesome.  (I'm apparently getting more pens, some necklaces, and a few more items... which will be featured on my then-fully-functioning-website.)

4. If you'd like to donate a couple hours to sit with me and help me fix my website issues, that'd be awesome, too.

Those of you who are local, I will be having an Open House when this next shipment gets in, but we're not sure when it will arrive.  This is one of those "trust the unknown" things which causes similar chest pain to the kind I had in Africa... but I am fairly sure that came from having to eat ridiculous quantities of Slim Jims.

So, friends of Kwishima... can you help?  ALL of your money goes directly to these women.  It provides food, clothing, medicine, and care for their families.  I'd be grateful if you did... and they'd be ecstatic.

I've even added a widget so you can see how much we're raising... I'd love to blow the top off the thermometer... and rejoice.  (How to help: if you are in town, message me and I'll deliver pens to your house/pick up your donation.  If you are out of town, message me with your order- ## of pens, and I'll ship them to you.  If you'd like to make a donation, you can do that through my Paypal account using my email address.  If you don't have that, please message me and I'll get it to you!)

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