Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fun times with Friends

These are just a few pics from my most recent friend adventures. I love football season! Although I wasn't able to go to the last game... I stayed dry while having delicious food.

I also love reunions with friends from college.

I realized that I am wearing the same shirt in all of these pictures, although its two different nights... gotta love it when you find a shirt that is perfect for you!

Life is consistently full of new adventures and reunions with the past.

God, Our Father

This morning I was sitting there getting ready to have my time with Jesus as usual and wasn't quite sure where I wanted to start... usually that means I pick up my "Grace for the Moment" book because its quick and makes a point that frames my thinking... this is what I did and here is what it said:

[Recently], my daughter Jenna and I spent several days in the old city of Jerusalem... One afternoon, as we were exiting the Jaffa gate, we found ourselves behind an orthodox Jewish family--a father and his three small girls. One of the daughters, perhaps four or five years of age, fell a few steps behind and couldn't see her father. "Abba!" she called to him. He spotted her and immediately extended his hand...

When the signal changed, he led her and her sisters through the intersection. In the middle of the street, he reached down and swung her up into his arms and continued their journey.

Isn't that what we all need? An abba who will hear when we call? Who will take our hand when we are weak? Who will guide us through the hectic intersections of life? Don't we all need an abba who will swing us up into his arms and carry us home? We all need a father.

After I read this, I was thinking... this is so true... but, I have several friends, including myself, who are facing times of uncertainty, trials, pain, and/or fear of what the next steps in life are going to bring...

I started thinking... in these moments I often get caught in the moment between crying out "abba" and God taking my hand. I panic, I wonder, does he still love me? Can he hear me? what if he is busy caring for my sister who is doing something more important? What if I did something wrong and he is mad at me and won't take my hand ever again? What if he is testing me so that I learn never to do this again? How come I walked slower than the rest of my family? Will I ever see them again?

Then I looked back at the story, it says "immediately"... then he led her and her sisters through the intersection... but then it wasn't until the middle that he scooped her up in his arms... again, my mind goes to... DAD! DON'T YOU SEE THE HUGE BUS COMING RIGHT FOR ME?

As I am writing this I am laughing at myself... all of my effort spent on plan B and worrying that God doesn't have it in control... maybe I can start calling out knowing that God is there and is holding my hand...

Monday, September 29, 2008


Its been raining a lot recently and we have found some new friends. Can you believe how big these things are? The scariest thing is that we left the house around 6 and took these pictures, but when we came back these slimy creatures were gone...

It seems like we find more and more bugs, ants, mosquitos, roaches, everyday. It can get pretty darn frustrating sometimes. At least most of them stay out side.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Swinging from the Monkey bars

If you know me very well, this may come as a surprise because I love being upside down these days and often got thrown to or stood on top of very high places... but, it wasn't always this way.

(Mom please correct my details if I get the ages wrong)... I think I was turning 5... it was nearing my birthday and I was freaking out. I didn't want to be 5. I was crying hysterically and my mom asked me what was the matter, shouldn't I be excited about my birthday? My response... "I don't want to have to hang upside down from the monkey bars." My mom, "What?" Me, "When you turn 5 you have to hang upside down from the monkey bars and I don't want to." My mom, "You don't have to do anything you don't want to. Who told you that?" Me, "no one, told me, but Corey does it and he is 5."... My comparison with my bro started at an early age... I'll tell the shoe laces story later.

Eventually I was able to hang upside down from the monkey bars all by myself. I did with the patience of parents who stood beside me as I let go one hand at a time... later on I was the one scaring them with my tricks.... so my analogy doesn't work perfectly, but its the picture that came to mind when I read this...

God, "Follow me beyond what you can control, beyond where your own strength or competencies will take you and you will experience me, my power, my love."

This happens when we risk the vulnerability of a child and trust in our father. This doesn’t mean that we abandon our gifts and talents, but God wants us to take us on an adventure.

I sure am glad I turned 5 and hung upside down from the monkey bars.

Seeking Advice

One of the things that we are going to do with our new found car selling fortune is to buy a new mattress. This is a special time for us for a couple reasons.

1) In college I refused to have a bed. I slept on a futon for 2 years and inherited bed parts from "friends" along the way. I have always had a hard time spending money on myself or allowing others (aka my parents) to spend money on me either. In my head, there were folks out there that had no bed, so how could I justify having one?... it would have made sense if I spent the $$ I would have spent on a bed on something noble, but I didn't.

2) The mattress that Matt and I are sleeping on currently was his "crazy quilt" mattress that he purchased in college for less that $300.

3) We are planning on buy a new mattress on Sunday afternoon. We were going to go last night, but decided to watch 90210 instead. Anyways, this is a big deal because it means that we will go to the store and buy a mattress in the same day. Typically when we make large purchases it takes us at least 3 trips and lots of comparison shopping.

So, here comes YOUR part! Tell me what kind of mattress you have, if you like it, how much you think is worth spending on a mattress and where to shop.


Monday, September 22, 2008

We did it!

We just sold the Saturn. Craig's List was a success. The guy who bought out car may even play in our Open Mic Night :)

It is a little weird watching someone else drive off in your car... but, I guess its not my car any more.

I wasn't sad about it until I started cleaning out the glove compartment and remembered all of those speeding tickets I got driving back and forth to Roanoke. I got pulled over once with my wedding dress strewn across the back seat...

Now I'm officially a Honda driver.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Chase what matters

This morning I was watching the Today show and it made me think... seriously, we wonder why we have so many issues?

1) There was a story on the financial woes of our country. Credit Crisis, Mortgage Crisis, Wall Street, Main Street, etc. etc. The commentators were describing how this affects people and how difficult it is to get a loan. Apparently, American Express is cutting their credit limits for 100,000 customers. So, people won't have as much access to credit in these tough financial times.

2) They interviewed an "average American woman" to see how this affected her. One of her quotes made me pause, "I am definitely starting to watch what I am spending. I don't spend money that I don't have now." Really, it is taking a financial CRISIS to make you have a budget?!?

3) Then I saw this commercial (In the break after this story)...

I was having a hard time getting the audio to work on it, but the song goes "I want it all, I want it now!" and he is talking about a big screen TV. His wife at the end says, "It was totally worth it." NOTE: He got a text message that let him know how much he had left on his credit limit. NOTE: The last line of the commercial is "Chase what matters!"

I wonder why we have problems?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Some Comic Relief

If you haven't seen this yet, you have to check it out! 

Monday, September 15, 2008


If you profess to follow Jesus, has it changed your life? 

Can you give me an example? 

Friday, September 12, 2008

Its hard to believe

Four years ago tomorrow something happened in my family that rocked our worlds. The press release that follow explains the details that we uncovered bit by bit. I am putting this out there for you to look at, not to garner sympathy, but to help build awareness. I never thought things like this actually happened.

How has this changed me?
  • I can no longer watch any Law & Order or CSI or anything like that because it creeps me out and I think about this.
  • It was the year before Matt and I got married and it messed with my head about being able to trust the people that I loved.
  • I wrestle with forgiveness... as a Christ follower I do believe and advocate that individuals can and do change from the inside out, but in this case he didn't... and there were grave consequences... what is the balance between hope and restoration and invisible criminals?
  • I pray for those family members who were directly affected by this.
  • I am thankful for each day.
Florida Press Release – September 13, 2008

Friends and family of Michelle Lynn Jones, who was brutally killed by her uncle, Charlie Brandt, have started “The Invisible Criminals Website” in association with the Michelle Lynn Jones Foundation, . Michelle at 37 was a vibrant woman, an executive with the Golf Channel in Orlando, Florida, and a lifelong resident of Central Florida. She lived life to the fullest, loved her family and friends and was dearly loved in return.

Charlie Brandt fled the Florida Keys with his wife, Teri (Michelle’s aunt), when Hurricane Ivan threatened in 2004. On the night of September 13th, 2004 he brutally murdered both his wife, Teri, and his niece, Michelle, before taking his own life. He quickly became a suspect in at least two other homicides and investigators think he was likely a serial killer. Since that time, he has been convicted of both murders and there have been inquiries into others.

It was during the investigation that Sheriff Don Eslinger discovered in 1971, when Charlie Brandt was 13 years old, he had killed his pregnant mother, shot his father three times and attempted to kill her, while living in Ft Wayne, Indiana.. Charlie spent only one year in a mental facility before being released to his father, who chose to hide his first crime even within the family. The decision to release him the Ft Wayne Grand Jury recommended Charlie be monitored because they felt he was capable of doing it again. Due to Charlie’s Juvenile status he was never charged with a crime and his records were sealed.

One of the goals of the MLJ-Foundation is to advocate the passage of laws that will enter names of those who commit violent crimes, including juveniles, into one data bases accessible to all law enforcement.

The purpose of the MLJ Foundation is to:

Promote Personal Safety By Raising Public Awareness About Invisible Criminals In Our Communities Through:
- Public Education and Advocacy;
- Enhanced Education for health professionals and law enforcement professionals,
- Initiatives to enable law enforcement to conduct more comprehensive criminal investigations, as needed.

Seminole County Sheriff, Don Eslinger, Chief Investigator Rob Hemmert, and investigator Bob Jaynes have been relentless in their investigation since the night of discovering Michelle and Teri’s murders. In doing so, Hemmert has worked with other agencies and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to shape a database that keeps track of all Violent Criminals, REGARDLESS OF AGE.

After significant efforts, the database is now fully operational through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Tallahassee. The State of Florida is divided into seven regions with an agent assigned to each region (Orlando actually has two agents).

Central Florida is fortunate to have the leadership of these law enforcement professionals who are making a positive contribution to promote the safety in their communities and now the State. It is the MLJ-Foundations hope that the Florida database will be such a valuable tool that other states will implement it as well.

The MLJ-Foundation hopes the community will use that the Invisible Criminal Website as a place to promote dialogue and inform people about further efforts to keep our communities safe from potential invisible criminals.

On September 13th at 8:00 am, there will be a Memorial Mass at The Church of the Annunciation on Montgomery Road. There will also be a letter to our Michelle in the Memorial Section of the Orlando Sentinel.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Help us raise awarenss

Help Bring this Video to Raleigh by going to this website and checking the second box. It only takes 10 seconds.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Car for Sale

I getting ready to sell my car. Its the trusty little Saturn that I have driven for the past 4-5 years. I love my car, but we got a new one and the Honda is more practical for us to keep long term.

The Saturn is a 3 door SL 2001, black. It has about 65,000 miles. I have kept it up to date on oil changes and up keeps and recently got it cleaned and waxed. (cleaning was not my strong point, but its clean now).

The only problem that I have with it is that its hard to turn the key to start the car at times (not for me but for others) and the sun roof doesn't open (but I think that is just because we need a new connecting switch for it).

It gets AWESOME gas milage!

I'm going to post it on Craigs List, but wanted to put it out there for now. I'm asking around $4500 for it, but will negotiate.


Hurricane Hannah came through the coast last weekend and switched up Matt and I's beach trip. So, the fam came to Raleigh and we got to spend a fun night playing Battle of the Sexes and then hang out on Saturday pre NCSU v. William and Mary.

Matt and I and my parents took Shiloah and Hannah to Marbles kids' museum down town. I had never been there before so it was an experience to say the least. I don't think I have ever seen that many young children running around in the same place.

It was pretty amazing though, they had a post office, a farm, dress ups, a stage, a farm house, a splash pool, a pirate ship. I would have loved the dress up station the best when I was growing up I think.

We were there for less than an hour and I was exhausted... lots to learn for sure.
I'm glad I have nieces to love on.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Consider these ways of being

Today, I came across a list of several instructions that scripture gives us in treating each other... check them out here.

Have you seen these happen in any of your communities? Let's Celebrate!
Do you struggle with any of these? Let's encourage each other!

A quote

Blessed are those who acknowledge that there is only one God and have quit applying for his position. 

This made me laugh... how often do I attempt to apply for God's position? I'm thankful that God has given me responsibilities and gifts to use, but that he is the only one in His position. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Our greatest fear?

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us."

Nelson Mandela

Full Circle

I have been part of NC State University for almost 10 years now. First, I was a student, Communication and Spanish, then a grad student, then a PhD student... during that time I got to teach a few courses of my own as well as work with the Service-Learning office as an intern/grad assistant.

So, until today I had been 1) a student 2) a grad student 3) a teacher

But, today I got to go back and be part of college class as the community partner. Jubilee has the opportunity to work with a Communication Class. The student group is going to be helping us with our PR (website, communication efforts, publicity, public awareness campaigns, etc.) I got to go and spend an hour talking with these students about Jubilee is and help make those connections with the university.

This is awesome to me for a couple reasons:

  • I love NCSU and its great to be back on campus
  • I get to be part of incorporating students in the abolitionist movement
  • Have an interconnected life where my worlds combine is important to me
  • I studied this stuff and now am seeing how practically applicable it is to an organization that I care about.