Wednesday, January 31, 2007

i'm ok, you're ok

-When I couldn't decide whether to get a hazelnut latte or a cappuccino this afternoon (I know, I'm addicted to coffee) the barista suggested combining the two. A hazelnut cappuccino is delicious!

-A young person in the Bible study tonight saying that she sees God when someone asks how another person is doing, and doesn't just accept "Okay," but really wants to know. I made that our challenge for the week: to ask someone different how they're doing every day, and to care enough to get an honest answer.

-The wintery full moon tonight with an eerie ring around it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"an aura of hitherto unknown happiness"

-The morning sun illuminated trees outside my window.

-A smile from a stranger.
-Discovering a wonderful new book, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. The great line I discovered today was on page 14: "But as he ran through the previous few hours in his mind, he began to sense an aura of hitherto unknown happiness emanating from them." Lovely.

Monday, January 29, 2007

LOTR (Lord of the Records)

-When frustrated that my record player wasn't working, I decided to pull out the manual. It turns out that being near a t.v. messes up a music box. After moving it away, it worked perfectly.

-Making a new friend, Cuba, the international student from the Czech Republic. We bonded over our mutual adoration of the Lord of the Rings (which proves to be an international nerdy bond with many people and me).

-The way the sun kept my hand warm as I drove.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

wholly (holy) present

-When saying the Brief Statement of Faith aloud (we said the first and third paragraphs) as our Affirmation of Faith this morning, I really meant it. Some days you don't, but today I wholly did.

-Laughing with my sister at the same time today and feeling like I was hearing an echo, or surround sound.

-The golden light before sunset that set the trees ablaze as I drove tonight.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

warm and weathered

-Spending an hour drinking coffee and chatting with my sister this morning.

-A surprisingly warm afternoon.

-Discovering an old painted wall right in the middle of the modern tall buildings of midtown Atlanta. It was so neat to see the old and the new side by side.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

a cuppa, a laugh and a tidy place

-A much-needed cup of tea this morning.

-Running into a couple of friends on the walk back to my room and laughing out loud for the first time in a while.
-Reveling in my clean apartment--the sort of clean that only happens when company's coming. The company's my sister, and I'm really looking foward to hanging out together all weekend.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

dinner and Starbucks and chapstick, o my!

-Leslie making me dinner to help me feel better. The delicious food, great company and comfy couch did a lot to help me recuperate.

-The way our Jamaica group just lingered around chatting and laughing after our meeting today. After 2 1/2 weeks together, it still seems we like being around each other.

-Receiving not one, but TWO care packages today, one from my Mom and another from the youth group back home. They included two Starbucks gift cards, homemade cookies, great chapstick, a fabulous hat and many more goodies. What a treat!

Monday, January 22, 2007

funny & flowery

-Waking up genuinely grateful for a new day.

-Laughing with the woman next to me at the coffee shop at the mother who was making turkey noises to her daughter (neither of us had any idea why she was).

-Treating myself to some resale shop hopping and finding a lovely long, warm cardigan with floral embroidery that goes down to my calves. It's a perfect way to adjust back to cold weather again.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Rastas and raindrops

-The sound of rain pelting my umbrella as I rushed inside.

-Seeing a Rastafarian Jamaican next to me in the market buying coconut milk. I had to fight off the urge to give him a Rasta "heart shake" that I learned in the Boboshanti Rastafarian community we visited in Jamaica, where you place your left hand over your heart. It's funny how interconnected life can be sometimes.

-Dreaming of homemade butternut squash soup for dinner to warm me up.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

kind eyes and warm toes

-Kindness in the eyes of a doctor.

-Coming home from Jamaica and slipping into the warm, cozy, furry moccasins my Aunt gave me for Christmas. My chaco-sandal-clad toes were cold once they left warm Jamaica for chilly mid-January Atlanta.

-Whipping up bacon, egg and cheese taquitos for breakfast. It was a welcome change from saltfish every morning.

Monday, January 15, 2007

free falling

-The first glimpse of the bright turquoise Caribbean ocean sparkling in the sun.

-Being awestruck and terrified at the Dunns River Falls, but climbing them anyway. It was such a thrill to climb upward by just placing your feet in the middle of rushing currents, hoping for a foot hold. We were elated after looking back at how high we had climbed together.

-The colors of a bright parrot in the nature area of Dolphin Cove. It even perched on my shoulder for a moment.

-Delicious fish and coconut-flavored rice at Dolphin Cove, eaten in the perfect ambiance of the ocean ten feet away and a Reggae band playing.

-Basil leaves as big as my hand that were the perfect addition to my spaghetti sauce.

-After cooking dinner for the group, the feeling of utter contentment as I sat with the fan cooling my face, drinking a cup of coffee and thinking that there was no place I'd rather be.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

embraced by the moment

-How any song you listen to on a journey (by car, bus or plane) seems to be the perfect soundtrack for that moment. I enjoyed "Breathe" as the homes, fruit stands, dogs and trees whizzed by with the deep mountains in the distance.

-The beautiful little girl who followed me around as we toured around an inner-city school.

-The way I was instantly embraced by a special-needs child when I entered a Missionaries for the Poor site in inner-city Kingston. We were told on the way to see Christ in the people we encountered, and I saw Christ in a special-needs elderly woman who cried on my shoulder, in the eyes of the nine-year-old I fed lunch to, in an AIDS stricken woman and in the committment of a stranger.

Monday, January 08, 2007

wanderlust indulging

-Sitting in front of a mountain full of shadows and lights and listening to (and playing) guitar under the stars.

-The way Jamaicans carry themselves with quiet dignity and strength.

-A tree with foot-long seed pods that look like giant green beans.

-Delicious Blue Mountain coffee and fish with coconut milk for breakfast.

-Music surrounding me constantly. The birds, ocean, cars, wind, trees and people are all musical. A little boy walking by was even making music with a dried seed pod in his hand.

-The different feel of the air that reminds me I in a far away place.

-The breeze in my face on a bus ride into the mountains, and looking up to see a canopy of flowering trees whiz by above me.

-Sitting in the hallway (our "common area") with friends and laughing and talking.

-Sitting in the grass on a hillside gazing out at the Blue Mountains, and realizing that moments like these are why I love traveling.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

from Belfast to Kingston

-Having 3 out of 6 Belfast volunteers all together again for New Year's. We called the others at midnight and told them "Happy New Year" by singing "she is handsome, she is pretty, she's the belle of Belfast city" (a song we learned there) at the top of our lungs. We certainly entertained ourselves, and even danced a wee jig as we sang (not that they could see it over the phone).

-Watching a little boy give the punked-out waiter at the pizza place a high five. They both smiled and seemed happy from their encounter.

-Being handed a plane ticket to Jamaica today. We leave tomorrow morning to go for 2 1/2 weeks and study Jamaican culture, politics, art, economics, sociology etc. and see how the Church ministers there. My wanderlust is alive and well.

(Because of the latter "glimpse," I'm afraid my posting will be quite erratic over the next few weeks, but I will try to get to a computer as often as I can.)