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Destination Beautiful

The Purpose Driven Brittny

I’ve been working my way through The Purpose Driven Life with my friends Sarah and Theresa (by the way, I would link you to their blogs but you and I both know that I’m too lazy to do that on a Sunday afternoon). I started the book sort of skeptical, thinking I wouldn’t get a lot out of it because, well, I know my purpose. It’s to know God and to share God with others.

Boy was my skepticism out of line! Leave it to me though, right?

I guess that’s how the Lord works sometimes. “You don’t think you’re going to learn anything, Mrs. Holy? Ha! I’ll show you!!” says God (ha ha, although I highly doubt it sounds that way coming from Him). I’ve truly enjoyed my journey through the book, and have refreshed my memory on so many basic fundamentals that are easy to lose sight of.

Yes, my ultimate purpose in life is to have a relationship with God and tell others about it, but there are so many details that make up that general statement. My whole life I’ve heard, “Everything happens for a reason,” but it’s so easy to forget the strength and peace from that statement. Everything really does happen for a reason. It is all apart of the Plan God has created for my life, and it is all ultimately for His glory. I’m placed where I am this very second by only His intervention, and everything I do affects my ministry and “Kingdom Work” for the Lord.

So many people ask Will and I what the heck we’re doing here. What’s the reason, the purpose? We get it so much that sometimes, quite honestly, it’s frustrating.

Okay, I’m lying. Frustrating is one of those words you use when you’re trying to be polite.

It’s freaking annoying.

There. I said it.

Will and I came here for our own reasons. We had many deep hurts from the church Will served at before (who would have thought working for a church would cause more pain than a regular secular company!? Sadly, that’s the case a lot of times) and decided we had to get out of that situation. We had to get away and do something else and really see if God had called us to full-time ministry. Ha ha, I don’t think we realized that “getting away” would entail moving across the globe, and not only that, but to a Muslim country. Those were our reasons. Even though we had our own genius ideas for coming over, we always had a peace from God. We knew that he wanted us here for a reason.

I’ve learned God’s reasons for us being here are far different from ours (thank goodness!!). His purpose is far bigger than “getting away,” or taking a break. There are no breaks in serving God. I might have though so, since Will wasn’t getting paid to be a youth minister anymore, but serving God is a 24-7 operation- whether we were getting paid to do it or not! I’ve known that the whole time we’ve been here, but reading this book has continued to magnify it.

So, I’m here, in this miserably hot country. Living my life as light for His Purpose, even when it seems fuzzy sometimes. Reading this book has been a blessing, especially doing it with friends. I encourage you guys to do the same.

Hope you had a good weekend. To the girls I love that are mothers now- HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Your babies are blessed to have you as their mommies.

Stay tuned, embarrassing moment story to come this week (what a shock).
<3

posted in Destination Beautiful bullet permalink bullet 5.13.2007

some thoughts on my life here

Buckle up nesties, we’re plowing full speed ahead in the shoulder while everyone is sitting in traffic- and I have no idea where I’m going.

(Basically that means I’m just jumping in and am going to get down to business, wherever that takes me.)

I got a comment on Monday regarding my life in Kuwait and my relationship with God. I read it, read it again, and have read it about 3 times since. I think I read it so many times because I wonder if others think this too as they read my blog. It wasn’t a hurtful comment and wasn’t rude in the least (in fact, I appreciate you very much!), but it really got me thinking about how what I say is taken.

Okay, wait a minute- I’m not writing this because I want to please the masses and I’m worried if someone doesn’t see me the way I wish them to. I’m writing because I really truly count you guys as friends and friends should know the answers to their questions if they have them, so- let’s get this freaking thing answered, shall we?

I’ve had about a day and a half to think over this post and I still don’t know where to begin. Did I just say I was PLOWING full speed ahead? Uh, well I might have been wrong. I’d like to have this long drawn out post explaining everything, but I’m tired. you’re tired. We’re all freaking TIRED!! Who wants to read stuff like that when they’re tired? NO ONE.

I feel foolish because I somehow built this whole thing up and now I’m letting you all down because I just am out of breath right now. I think it’s because I’m truly just exhausted and ready to get away and go home for a while. I feel like I’m in this huge race and I’m wheezing and my muscles are aching and I am just out of energy and doing everything I can to simply make it to the finish line. I can see it up ahead and that renews my hope, but sorry guys, I’ve just sort of become numb lately.

So, behold the list. Below are the list of questions that were posed to me (copied and pasted to be fair and accuate). I feel it only fair to answer you all. I’m among friends, right? I sure hope so. Let’s FINALLY get started.

1. do you wonder what you will do when you go home.  will you visit all your old friends, go to your old church?
YES, I do wonder. I don’t really know if this question meant go home for good or go home for vacation. There’s a huge difference. If it’s what we’ll do when we go home in October I know exactly what we’ll be doing, and you all will be reading about it through my blogs. So, that’s an easy question. We will be visiting with old friends while we’re home and we will be attending the church Will grew up in, it’s the same church his parents go to. It’s an amazing church and the thought of actually going to a real church service thrills me.

Now, if it means wondering what I’ll do when I go home for good, well I have absolutely no clue. Will has no clue. We’re both pretty clueless! I truly have no idea what we will do when we go home. I know the career path I would like to take, but there are still so many holes because I don’t know what Will will be doing and where we’ll live and everything in between. I try not to think too far ahead right now. I take each day at a time and work towards the long term goals we have set here. I really have to focus on my life here right now because if we “stick to the plan,” we’ll still be here a while.

2.do you feel bad for being in kuwait and not being able to attend church.  it would make me feel like i was out of the will of the Father not being able to worship Him.  giving Him whats His.
To be honest, this question somewhat offended me, but because I have to assume maybe others wonder the same thing I will go ahead and answer it and be fully honest. I don’t exactly feel bad for not being able to attend church. I mean, this is Kuwait. Where would we go? There is one Christian church that offers an English speaking service, but there are some pretty fundamental difference between what we believe and what they believe, so as a family, Will and I have felt led not to attend.

My heart misses church. I miss the support of fellow Christians. I miss singing praises with hundreds of people singing along with me to God. Most of all, I miss having a real Christian friend. I haven’t had one of those in years and I earnestly pray God brings a best friend into my life. I miss church, but feeling “bad” is not exactly the emotion that is brought to mind because of where we live.

I know many would say they would feel they were out of the will of the father by not being able to attend church and worship him. I think that’s a fair thing most people might say, but I don’t fully agree with it. I know I say how much I miss being home, and I fully do, but guys, I have never in my life felt I was more in the will of God than I do right now. I know 100% that God has ordained Will and I to be in Kuwait on August 25, 2006. He has given both me and Will as well as our family a peace about this. We will continue to live in Kuwait and be in his will until he calls us away.

It’s so funny how we sort of came over here with our visions of grandeur to prepare for our future, etc. We prayed about coming over here and knew God paved the way for us to come, but it’s funny to look back then and see now how God has manifested himself. Here we thought we were coming over for one reason, but God had such bigger plans than the small ones we created on our own. Will interacts with hundreds of soldiers each week that are preparing to go to Iraq. What better place to show Christ than to a soldier looking for hope? There are daily countless opportunities for us to show Christ. To say we’re out of the will of the Father is wrong, because we fully know we are. To say we’re not able to give to Him what is fully His is also wrong because I daily have to surrender my life to him more now than I have ever in my whole life. I freaking live in Kuwait!! An entie country devoted to Islam! We’re on a daily mission trip. Back home I relied on God, but here I need Him. Is it hard to be a Christian here? It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But, when I read that question it sort of made me feel like I had forsaken the Father by coming over here and that is so opposite from the truth. I know that may be hard to understand, but I think you guys get it.

3. do you ever wonder if you would be happy back in the states paying taxes, rent, utilities, tithes, etc.
I don’t wonder if I’ll be happy back in the states paying taxes, rent, utilities, tithes, etc. I know I will be happy. I am eager for the day when God calls us back to America. I have no idea what we’ll do and where we’ll live, but I am excited to go home. I’m a little scared, but mostly eager. We do pay tithes despite living over here. You can’t assume just because we live over here we forgot about God and don’t pay tithes. Oh, and we ride to work on camels too. ha ha, I’m just kidding, but I think there may be some misconceptions about me and my life here.

I know it seems as If I’m constantly talking about missing home, and I do, but I think sometimes I show just a slice of my life instead of the whole picture, you know? I think when I get on the nest and read about you all and your lives in America and the fact that if you wanted to meet you could just hop in the car and have a real nestie reunion, I miss having that freedom. I miss having girl friends and being able to go out on my own. There are some big things I miss in the States and I know I convey that to you guys a lot and I sometimes forget to mention, “Oh yeah, I’m content here too though.”

My blog is my outlet. I share my “I miss home” frustrations on here so much because this is my journal.
Here’s what it comes down to. I answer to God. Maybe people think I’m some heathen for not doing what they conventionally think is the “right thing” to do, but I don’t answer to those people. I answer to God. Will and I are happy. Do we miss home terribly? Oh my gosh yes. Do we get excited more and more as each day to vacation approaches? Ha, have you seen my counter!?

So, that’s my piss-poor post. I intended to talk about a lot of other things, but this is already long! I sort of feel that Glaze Stephanie B was talking about. I almost feel like a zombie right now, just sort of making it from one day to the next. I hate that because that’s not like me. I think it’s just that I need a break for a while, and October reminds me that it’s fastly approaching.

No more talk of this! Hopefully I cleared up any lingering confusion that has kept you all awake at night. ha ha.

I feel like I have so much to tell you guys. I sprained my ankle this week and haven’t even freaking posted about it! Where have I been!? Seriously!

I think I’ve said enough today. A normal Brittny post to follow… smile (as well as feedback. Even Zombies can read their favorite blogs, darn it!)

Have a good weekend!

getting lost in the desert

This is post is so beyond anything I’ve ever written here before. It is so not a “typical” post. So, you’ve been warned. Now, before I continue please be aware that although I am writing my heart out on a public blog, that doesn’t mean I’m ready for a million people to tell me what they think. I love you guys, but this post is solely for me today and I may decide that in the morning, once my mind has rested and I’m feeling less emotional, that this best would best be served as an inactive post that no one can read but me. Not to mention that these feeling are also heightened due to PMS. This has the potential to be a dangerous post! To top is all off, this is a post about God, which almost always leads to people arguing. So, please just either lurk and read this post or ignore it. I’m feeling all out of sorts I will just let you all in on my heart today. You can consider yourselves the lucky ones- ha ha, or the unlucky ones. If you respond to this post please respect me and my thoughts.

I am sitting in the pitch dark of my apartment, tears still filling my eyes. I’m trying my very best to type every so quietly so that I don’t wake Will. He has to work tomorrow. I have off because our company observes the 4th on the 1st.

I’m not sure where this post will take me. I’m not even sure what I’m thinking. I just know my heart hurts and I had to go somewhere. Will and I came off a great weekend and as the night came to an end I found myself tearing up and feeling down. We had watched Sooner Magic, a documentary over- you guessed it- the OU football team.

After watching it I was feeling understandably homesick and just felt sad for the weekend to be over. We went to bed, but I lay there wide awake, thinking of so many things. A few tears trickled down my eyes as I thought about “life.” I lay there in the quiet of the night trying my best to go to sleep. All of a sudden I heard the thundering “boom” of something unnatural. I continued to hear it and finally got out of bed and looked out the window to see what it was.

Fireworks.

It was fireworks.

I thought I might have a breakdown right there, but I knew I needed to let will sleep, so I sneaked out of the room and stood by the living room window. I peered through the curtains, watching the show. It was as if God had given me my very own fireworks show. They flew above all the tall buildings that normally block my view. I could see everything. It was so majestic and freeing and beautiful. It took me away from Kuwait.

I just stood by the window, hiding behind the curtain. I held my heart and just cried as I watched each carefree burst of life come careening into the sky, just for me. I know all this sounds so silly, but for so many reasons those fireworks were so much more than some election party gone crazy. It made me miss home and at the same time, it made me feel at home. I had not 1 hour before told Will how much I missed home and how I was starting to be homesick just as I was last year before we went home, and God just seemed to scoop me up and bless me with this intimate little fireworks show. Everything melted away and it was just me and the sky.

I wish I cold convey to you the vastness and meaning of this short moment, but I really have no words right now. I have more emotions than anything. Emotion and no words. For some reason those 5 minutes just grabbed my heart and made me feel so very many things. Things that I can’t really begin to express. I only wish the moment would have lasted longer. I don’t mean to sound greedy, but it was so powerful and special. It was like it was just me, all alone at that window with God showing me how much he loves His daughter, which is ironic because as I was lying in bed all I could think of was, “Are you there God? It’s me, Brittny.”

I know it’s some dumb title to an old Judy Blume book, but it’s all I could think as I was there thinking about the million things running through my mind. Of course I know that God is there, he’s always with me. I’m a Christian and have grown up in church my whole life. I married an ordained minister and know all the “right answers,” but lately I can’t help but as that question more and more- “Are you there God?”

After the fireworks came to an end I found myself terribly lonely. I hate that feeling. “Are you there God? It’s me, Brittny” I wanted to say. I remember hearing a preacher once say that there are times in our lives when we will ask that, “Where are you God?” and he said that in his life’s experience that when he has asked that question it was the time when he was closet to God, only he didn’t know it at the time because he was so consumed with “the problem” at hand. I’m not really sure if I agree with that statement, but it’s given me something to think on.

Lately I’ve been thinking heart wrenching thoughts. Thoughts I could only wish into a post that would never be. I have no words for it all. It comes down to how big my life has seemed to become since I’ve moved here.

“Do you miss the way we once were, God?” I want to ask. I think I’m afraid to. I know I miss the way we once were. I think about my life back home and the way things once were and I wonder if I’ve saddened God. Granted, I know he has taken us here, but I still wonder if he misses the way things were like I do.

Does he miss the people we once were? Life was so tiny back then. I miss the days of my church family. I miss the days of being a youth minister’s wife. I miss the lazy days out by the pool and sleepovers on the pull out couch with my sister. I miss my dad coming into my room at night, laying his hand on my head and praying with me. I miss the days of Falls Creek. I miss so many things. I miss how I could feel the presence of God in my life. Granted, I know God is bigger than a feeling. Feelings change and God remains the same, but I can’t help but miss that “feeling” of Him. I know that’s confusing, but I promise this all makes sense to be at midnight!

I miss that all so much. I wonder if God misses how I used to be too? I am growing and changing so much here that there are times when I don’t even know who I am! Life was so different back then, so defining. I had no idea how greatly my life would change. I thought my home would forever be that red brick house in the cull de sac. I knew for sure my parents would live in Oklahoma forever and they would be the same people I’ve always known them to be. That’s how life was supposed to be. Living in Kuwait was the biggest curve ball of my life! I was supposed to be ayouth minister’s wife and live a simple and quiet life. What happened? I’m not really sure. I know God has us here for a reason, but I’m not really sure why. It seems I have been stretched and squeezed so much during my stay here, stretched to the point that I am constantly asking God where he is. Perhaps the reason He has me here is to grow me and teach me how to truly know Him. I really don’t know.

I just miss the days when I knew life. When I knew who my parents where and when P was my baby sister. Yes, I know life changes. I know all that, but I guess as I contemplate just what in the hell I’m doing here, I can’t help but wonder about everything. I can’t help but feel that somewhere along the way, my family has gotten lost in the desert. Sometimes, as we pray over our dinner I just want to say, “Why are we even praying?” God doesn’t want us to pray because “that’s what you do when you’re about to eat.” He would rather us just not even say anything at all than just go through the motions. I know that sounds so terrible, but it’s just like I feel like they’ve forgotten God. I know it is not my place to judge, my family is so great, and they are wonderful people, but I always feel things have become so ritualistic and insincere. I even feel that about Will sometimes. I told Will I feel that way and he got upset with me. I guess my thoughts are one of those things one should never really verbalize, but I couldn’t help it. I just think about the powerful things God did through Will in the past and it makes me sad.

I know all of these things must are probably making your heads spin. I’m just reeling and crying and need a place to lay everything out. Things that have been tucked inside my heart for a while now.  I wish I had a phone line to God 24 hours a day. Now, if you’re a Christian and reading this you all know the church answer, “The Holy Spirit is your phone line to God.” Yeah yeah, I know all that. I mean, I really wish I had a real, physical phone I could dial up 555-5555- do you guys know the area code to Heaven? Hmmm…

Anyway, I wish I could dial up Heaven and have good old Michael answer the phone and put me right into God and I could know what I’m doing and why things are the way they are and why we’re supposed to be here, and why- even thought we’re supposed to be here- all I can think about is how I can get away from here. I know all the Sunday school answers to these questions, and I could give you 10 stories from the Bible to answer these questions, but I can’t help but want to really hear the voice of God say, “Well Little Sister, let me tell you why things are the way they are…” and then go into just why everything has turned out this way. I know God wants me to trust in Him, I know all that, but I can’t help but wonder what he thinks of this whole “mess;” I know it’s no mess to him, it’s all apart of his master plan, but considering I can’t see into the future as He can, things just seem so confusing.

I just miss the way I used to know people. I feel like we’ve become the Israelites, wandering the desert. Being a Christian over here is so hard, which adds to all this madness.

Tonight’s firework show was for me. If you all are people who don’t believe God can do that, you just think I’m crazy- though you probably thought I was crazy long before you got to this sentence. However, for those of you who do believe God takes care of his children, you know I’m not crazy. Although my mind is all busy and jumbled, my heart has a peace. A peace that brings me to tears, though I’m not really sure why. I don’t even know what this “peace” is. Is that what the bible meant about “peace that surpasses all understanding?” maybe. I have this peace and I know that God is going to take care of us, and I know He has a plan. I know he comes to give us a hope and a future, but it is so easy to lose sight of that sometimes and focus on the “why” of how things are unfolding. I do that all the time. I only wish I could stop this moment and hold on to this peace. I know tomorrow will be full of it’s many worries and wonderings, but I hope I will be able to pray for that peace and be reminded that everything is going to be okay because God is going to take care of us.

There is so very much more I want to say, but I’ve already said too much. Most of all this is pms supra emotional type talk, but some of it is my deep heart. I do miss who we once were, but I trust that God will continue to mold my life and this whole life experience into the people He wants us to be, which is what I really want.

I’ll simply close saying I feel a little bare and embarrassed for writing all this for you to read. I know when I wake in the morning I will be mortified that I shared all this and will hide it right away. So, please be kind and respect my beliefs and opinions and I try to do each time I read someone’s post. This is my blog and I’m free to say whatever I want. If you think I’m insane, well, just quietly exit my blog and know I’m allowed to express myself just as you are on your blog.

I have grown up so much this year and I’m thankful for that. I love Will so much more this year and I’m thankful for that. Tomorrow is a new day, and I will be most thankful for that. Especially for the day when God calls us home. So, “thank you God for showing yourself. You are uninhibited. I know I sound like a crazy person (that’s largely due to AF), but I do trust you. The fireworks were great.”

Have a wonderful weekend. I hope you all make it to your town’s fireworks show on the 4th. When you see the pink ones, think of me.

<>< <3

home sweet home

Alone I sit at the computer.

I just scarfed down my second bowl of Kashi (note to self- it’s not considered South Beach Friendly if you eat enough to feed a boy’s choir) and am listening to the night’s prayer call.

I prefer not to eat alone, and I prefer not to eat in front of this box, but I thought you would be more company than listening to the TV blare, so here I am.

Current listen?

Sia: Breathe Me.

I’m currently downloading a wealth of new songs. My sister keeps me cool. She emails me all the songs I HAVE to have, so I download them and she is usually right- it’s mostly good stuff.

So anyway, now that we agree you have to know all these stupid and pointless facts, I’ll move on.

This weekend was definitely an “I want to go home” one. I don’t particularly know why. Okay, maybe I do. Do you have time to listen? I don’t.

Anyway, since we established the fact that I’m feeling a little homesick I’ll fast forward to today. I got a little hangy air freshener to put in the company car. It is a yankee one. I love those things. It is called Home Sweet Home, and honestly, if it hadn’t been named that, that’s what I would have said it reminded me of.

Was I torturing myself with this air freshener or what!?

In fact, I’m such a loser that I brought the wrapper upstairs with me so that I could remember the smell.

We learned in interpersonal communication (and an old spice commercial!) that scent is the strongest link to our memory. I believe it. I opened the air freshner about 5 minutes from my apartment and I was distracted by a flood of memories. So many memories all at the same time that I couldn’t even sort them through.

I thought about my parent’s house back home. It smelled like that. My mom loved spicy and cinnamony candles and would light them all the time. It reminded me of that house, and my heart hurt because after moving around my whole entire life, that was the house that anchored me and now someone else lives there. That is a post in itself but I think that might be one I never post publicly because it would drag on forever and make me cry.

It also reminded me of Christmas. If it hadn’t been called Home Sweet Home it should have been called Christmas. It reminded me of all the candles my mom would burn and all the cooking she would do and those scented big pine cones and a million other christmasy things. Gosh I want to go on but I vowed not to stay on here all night- and what am I doing!?

It reminded me of Sarah C’s house too. I had a lot of fun growing up there. I wonder how she is doing. I hope well. The last time I saw her was, gosh… I am thinking.. it had to have been Christmas break before we moved over here. We met at Atlanta Bread for lunch. That was the last time we talked. I know she is doing great. I know it.

It also reminded me of apple cider and freezing our butts off at high school games and OU games.

I was just shocked at all the things that were overtaking me. I just wanted to be home so bad.

I waver a lot about what we should do but I’ve just been homesick the last few days. I’m just tired of fighting for what is right and seeing everything bad win. I know that happens back home too, but I have to believe it is not near the magnitude that it is here. Someone said something that is sadly true about our company, “All the good people leave because they get tired of trying to fight the system.” It’s so true.

Will and I just want to work and go home but I’m afraid the first part may not be a viable option for us for much longer. I don’t know that for sure. I mean ask me tomorrow when I’m having a , “I can make it here” day and it might be totally different.

Anyway, so here I sit by myself.

I hate that.

Especially on I miss home days.

On top of that I’m tired and I just want to go to sleep.

Will is in charge of an april fool’s day run they’re having tonight so he won’t be home until late. I guess him being gone gives me time to get some stuff done, but I doubt I will. I figure I will take a shower, get ready for bed. iron tomorrow’s stuff (If I’m lucky!) and go to bed. Or at least make an attempt to. Days like today make me wish he were here to go to bed with me. Sigh.

I think a lot of it is that my emotions are heightened thanks to nature… do I need to say any more or give you a definition of nature!? I sure hope not. Thanks Brittny! We will all set our clocks to you. You’re a sunday start you say? OKAY!

Anyway, I’m just tender an tired and miss home today.

Yesterday.

Tomorrow.

Probably the day after too.

I wish I knew the right thing. There are days when I think, “I don’t even know if I’m going to make it to tomorrow let alone August!” and then there are other days I think, “If we take a nice long vacation this fall I think I can make it until next May, but I’m not sure how much more after that.”

I am like a big rickety teeter totter.  If I’m honest haven’t prayed enough about it. I’ve prayed so quickly the last couple of weeks that I know I’ve missed out on some wonderful time with God. I need to listen more this week.

So anyway, I’m writing now, debating whether I will make this public or private.

Public or private?

My heart says, “Brittny! Make it private!”

I know I should.

I think I’ll make it public because I feel like being a jerk. ha ha. Totally kidding. I’m sorry for the downer post. You know I’m not like this a lot. I am just tired of things and am missing home and am bombarded with a lot of warm memories from home.

See- I’m kiling myself over here! I’m smelling the stupid wrapper this very second. What a dork. Yeah, THAT’S good therapy! smile

Okay, private.

Public.

Private

Public…

Should I toss a coin?

I hate writing down posts like this and then posting it for you guys who have your own problems, to read… but then again if you really want to know me I guess you should know all of me and know I am feeling homesick. Like the homsick where you heart feels like its constantly inhaling and can’t exhale. Like you can’t breathe for fear that if you do, that if you breathe out you will show yourself and all the tears and worries and everything else and they won’t be able to stop and you will just be left there the way you were before but in worse shape because you will be snoting on yourself and your eyes will be all puffy.  That sort of homesick. I would just prefer to inhale. I don’t know if I’m ready for the exhale part quite yet.

So, I guess I will apologize for being such a jerk for posting this on your guys’ weekend when all is perfect and “yes (E.E. Cummings).”

Thanks for reading if you did! Sorry to be a downer. I think I need to sleep, get through this week and get an answer from God! It sounds so easy when I say it like that.

Until then I’ll just shut the computer down for now and take my goofy little wrapper and reminisce of home

springing into the future

Dozens of soldiers, clad in flip-flops and shorts stroll the camp, fully enjoying the beauty that is today.

As I walked by the pool, every chair was filled with a bronzed body.

The breeze brought the smell of coconut tanning oil, filling my nose with fun memories of my puppy dog days, when life was much simpler.

Beach balls are being tossed about the water and a rowdy game of flag football is underway on the big field.

Spring is here in Kuwait, and things are alive.

And yes, I know it is not technically spring yet… but work with me.

The spring is notorious for bringing change- just look at how many pregnant women are typing on the nest right now! smile - and I feel that this spring, just like every other, will bring the waves of change to my life as well.

My heart aches for these changes because I’m not sure I’m ready. I thought my growing pains were over, but I fear in many ways they are just beginning.

Gasp, that’s right, yet ANOTHER downer post from me. I’M SORRY! I’ll get it right soon, I promise! Besides, I think this will be my last “life” post for a while. I’ll go back to normal after this one. I just wanted to give ya’ll an update.

Friday night Will and I agreed that he would go ahead and re-sign his contract, committing him to another year here. We then decided that come August, when my contract is up, if we are still unhappy, I won’t renew mine and Will will give a 30 days notice and we’ll come home. That gives us 5 months to really think about what we want to do. We thought that was the right decision to make right now. That way it gives us more time to think about things, though I think we both know in our heart of hearts what we are going to do…

As I sought God this morning, really asking Him just to reveal Himself to me regarding this matter, I was reading Proverbs 30 and saw something that really humbled me and has resonated in my mind all day. I wish I had my Bible with me here at work so I could share it with you (just read Proverbs 30- it’s a short chapter!), but it was this man, Agar I think ( I could be TOTALLY wrong, sorry!) and he was asking God not to make him too poor, so that he wouldn’t resort to stealing, but not to make him too rich so that he would forsake the Lord. He simply asked God for just enough. He knew that having all he needed was, well, all he needed.

I could give you a long drawn out analysis of what is going through my mind, but I think you know that this verse gives me a lot to think about. I know it’s not wrong to have nice things and have a good life, but what is enough? Have I lost sight of what I truly need here in this life? I don’t think there is anything wrong with the financial goal Will and I have set before us while we’re here, but the truth is, “God? Are you trying to tell me this labor is all in vain and we simply need to come home and live a ‘normal’ life with ‘normal’ jobs and that we should be content with having what we need?” I“m not sure.

It’s so ironic because one of my sweet friends emailed me something similar this past week and it really got me thinking, so this was just more for me to process.

So many things to think about in the coming weeks… are we going? are we staying?

Lots to ponder.

We work in a place where a lot of questionable things (not illegal, but things that make you think, “If this was a company in the states that so would have never happened this way.”) occur and everyone is miserable but, “Hey! At least we’re getting paid!” That’s no way to live, y’know? It’s like the joke at this company.

My thoughtful dad called and asked me out to lunch today. I felt like he had grabbed my heart and slammed it repeatedly on my desk and then gave it back to me. It was nothing he had done, but simply the thought that, “gosh. Can I really live without my parents nearby?” I don’t know. I could talk about that for a long time, but I won’t because I’m sure you can relate in some way or another.

So I will go ahead and close for today. I look forward to not having to post these melancholy updates for a while. So as spring approaches, I look towards the changes. I can’t say I’m ready, but I’m willing to go with God.

Bring on August.

Thanks for listening. A normal post tomorrow- guaranteed. smile Besides, dealing with this stuff is getting on MY nerves so I can imagine what having to read these posts are like! smile

Hope you had a great weekend. I love you girls.  I’m working on my feedback, slowly but surely! I might have the internet back next week!

Thanks for your friendship and support.

Welcome back.

sorting my Katrina thoughts

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
My mind and heart have been far from Kuwait the last few days.

This may become a strange, blabbering, and confusing post today, but I just need to get it out- so just know I am making sense to myself and I apologize if I make sense to no one else… though it wouldn’t be the first time.

Katrina has made me miss home so much more. I know that may sound totally off the wall, but for some reason, homesickness was one of the emotions I’ve been feeling all the more since the hurricane hit.

I feel so detached from life back in the States. I just feel so far away and not up to date on the things that go on. We have a few news channels here, mostly middle eastern and international, and we have one 24 hour American news network (which isn’t the greatest because it takes show from several different American news channels and a lot of the time they are talk shows like Hardball), but it isn’t the same. For example, the big news over here has been the Iraqi bridge tramplings, with the hurricane also being covered but not extensively like back home.

I guess I’m talking generally in the paragraph above, that is an everyday detachment I feel, but with the news and details of the many things that are ensuing after the hurricane, I feel so lost. Okay, so you may say, “It’s bad. It doesn’t take a genius to know that, and you could be on the most desolate of islands and know this information,“ or “Why would you even want to have your eyes glued to the tv watching more footage of the same tragic things?“ You are right. I just wish I could do more with the knowledge I have. For Will and I all we can do is send money- which is definitely something that is needed, but I wish I could just go and volunteer and do so much more than send a check. I’m sure lots of other people even living back home but in states far away from the mess feel the same way, but I guess I just feel like things are a little more impossible over here.

My heart feels so sad about everything that has taken place this week. I have yet to read a good story of hope, though I have to believe there are some that deal with rescues. I have felt so discouraged with the selfishness of our people, but then i have to stop and wonder if I was poor and had nothing to begin with, and had the few things I had were ripped away from me in a storm, would I be the same way? Would I be the same Brittny if my life was like some of those affected? I don’t really know. Okay, maybe I should clarify. I’m not talking about the terrible things going on like rapes and shooting at helicopters or stealing TVs, but I mean just the basic instinct of chaotic survival that has seemed to consume the thousands of people affected. I just have to thank God that he spared me from this tragedy so I didn’t have to find out.

We were without power a few hours this week, which was a minor inconvenience, but you would have thought hurricane Katrina ripped through our complex with the way some people were complaining. I was so angry with the selfishness of some people. I wanted to bring a New Orleans citizen over here to testify that there are bigger things to worry about than not having power for a night.

As we ate our pizza over candlelight that night we thanked God that we had our family in one piece, knowing our minor electric problem would go away quickly. So many thousands of people are not as fortunate, and I wish I could have had them all over and fed them and given them a place to stay for the night. Visions of grandeur I guess.

I think back to the saying “it takes a villiage to raise a child,” and I firstly wish that were always true, but I also wish it could be applicable to the situation at hand. I wish- and I guess this is me wishing we lived in a perfect world- people would have come together in strength and numbers to be a huge team through all of this. Sadly it seems any bond has fallen apart, as I read in one article that as a woman asked a police officer for some sort of aid he curtly replied, “Go to hell. It’s every man for himself.” That seems to clearly sum up the way many people are responding to what has happened. Is that how it really is there? Is that how things really are with most people? I hope not, but it guess I am left to wonder after the way people are responding.

I am rambling on and on, and rambling has never done much good. It has never made a huge difference.(I believe there is power in words- but not so much in my scatterbrained ramblings). Words can only go so far, and truthfully they don’t go very far when something like this happens. It is actions, not words, that make change. I wish I was able to take more action, but I will do as much as I can over here. I pray others will cease with the verbage and the “I hopes“ and take action too.

Anyway, my prayers, as well as the things I can do are with those affected by the storm. It is hard to see that God has a plan with something like this happens, but He is a perfect God and I know He does.

Thanks for letting me sort that out today, whether it made sense or not, I feel a little better getting it out.

Have a wonderful Friday

it happened

Y’know the feeling in your stomach you get before you do something you are terrified of? For some its speaking in front of people, others it’s flying. For me its singing. The thought of singing in front of anyone other than myself can conjure up the acid in my stomach and make me feel like I’m going to throw up all over myself. That is probably the best way to explain my feelings last night.

“It” happened. It, as in St. Helen exploding in all its wrath, happened. I won’t give you the 15 minute letter I gave to a friend, I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version.

Last night Will had to work so I was left alone with my family. I knew the subject was going to come up- it was only a matter of time. I tried to enjoy my dinner and tried to talk the whole time so they had no opportunity to bother me with their questions- dumb I know. So, I said a lot of, “This is really good mom!” and other stupid fillers.  I also ate about 2 helpings of everything. Just when I thought I had gotten through dinner unscathed, it came up.

They sat there for about half an hour trying to get it out of me and I wouldn’t budge. finally I just let it all out- which had my family in shock! I ended up calling Will and telling him “it happened” and he did the sweetest thing: he asked his boss for permission to come home. So, that is what he did. I needed him there with me. I felt so loved that he did that for me.

He came home and we all sat there just kind of talking and seeing what needed to happen next. It was awkward, to say the least. We all probably went to bed feeling lousy and didn’t get much sleep, but in all honesty it was probably good for it all to come out (even though we had hoped to be moved out!).

So, today I woke up with that terrible nervous feeling in my stomach- like I was about to thrust in my pajamas TMJ splint in my mouth and all, to be on American Idol and sing to the world or something. Just call me William Haung.

I devoted a lot of my Bible study time today to prayer and just seeing what God wanted me to do now that “it happened.” I think that in time (and when we move out) things will be better than before because it wasn’t good to hold those feelings in. It feels sort of awkward now because of out living situation- but maybe it is true when they say it has to get worse before it can get better. I hope that’s true anyway!

So I have been praying a lot today for our relationship, and I know ultimately things are going to be fine- but this whole last night ordeal and still living here kind of makes things not too great.

So- I just had to get all that out as my little vent session today. Hopefully this has helped the situation. I know that sounds crazy- and I know immediatley it might have made things worse, but I think that through this it will get better.

So now the clean up crew must come out and figure what we’re going to do with this ashy mess…

Have a good Saturday.

if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the apartment!

Have there ever been times in you life when you thought it would be fun to live in a different time period? I love history and am always thinking what it might have been like to live in the “old“ days. I used to think it would be so fun to live in England a few hundred years ago, all of the romanticism and excitement…

Well today I think I changed my mind.

I did a little time travel of my own today, and I will be just fine in 2005.

I am officially convinced I never would have cut it 300 years ago. This morning we went to bible study. The lesson was almost a foretelling of the events to follow. It was about rejoicing in all circumstances. Had I known how much “rejoicing” I would have been doing a couple of hours later I would have taken better notes!

We stopped by Johnny Carinos for lunch and headed home a little after noon. It was about 110 outside. We try to use our electronic key at the gate and it won’t work. Hmm. That’s odd. So we try again to no avail. The guard comes and opens the door for us. We approach the door and see no lights on downstairs. Hmm. That’s strange. We go in and do not feel the oh so welcoming usual cool breeze that blows directly on your sweat as it evaporates (lovely visual, huh?)...instead we feel what we feel outside- hot.

Apparently the power had gone off an hour earlier and since Friday is their holy day, there weren’t sure how long it would be before it would be fixed. A man that has lived there for about a year said this was the third time this has happened. The first time they were without power for 6 hours in the dead of summer. REJOICE!

We had a few cold things we had gotten on the way home, so Will and my dad treked upstairs to drop it off. Poor guys. My mom, sister, and I parked it on the downstairs couch and practiced our most statuesque pose. I guess its a mind thing that if you do not move you will be cooler- this does not work after about 105 degrees. I took my shoes off and felt the tile, ahhhh. I was so close to just lying on the ground because of how good the floor felt when my dad was like, “We are going someplace with AC.“ REJOICE.

I am miserable by this point. I have the underarm sweat going on, which I loathe and am just hating my situation. “At least we can REJOICE that we have air in the car,“ Will says cheerfully. I wanted to scream at that point, but I refrained.

So we ended up going to the grocery store going up and down the aisles buying things we didn’t have room for in our tiny kitchen. And again, I was tempted to just lie down right in the middle of the frozen food section. This weather is out of control. I can’t even imagine it getting hotter.

So, on the way home I got to thinking. I could never have lived here a hundred years ago. I can’t even imagine how miserable life would have been without AC. I guess we are pretty spoiled. We got to the apartment and the powee had returned. I think we all let out a heartfelt REJOICE when we saw lights. We got to our place, and since our AC froze yesterday it is still a little weak. Because of this minor problem I felt it was only fitting and finally appropriate for me to lie on the tile. It felt amazing.

It was my first real taste of what life would have been like in Kuwait in 1750. I sure am rejoicing for 2005.

<3

maybe we’ll lead a normal life in Kuwait afterall

Our first “real” weekend in Kuwait made a realize that we will truly live a very “normal” life while we were here. It felt a lot like the states… but sweltering.

Where to start? I am going to look forward to Wednesdays. The work week in Kuwait is 48 hours, so everyone works 4 10 hour days and one 8 hour days. Will got home at 3:30 on Wednesday, so it was like we had the whole afternoon to hang out and get an early start on the weekend. (it still seems like it should be call Friday everytime Wednesday hits… TGIW just doesn’t have the same ring). Everyone got home and we hung out a while and then my dad made reservations for us to eat at the Crown Plaza hotel for my graduation!

Since I have been kept inside all week, it felt so good to get out. This counrty is nocturnal to the extreme, so everything is so busy at night- we were out what they would say is “early” at 7:00. There are several restaurants in the hotel, but we chose to eat at this western steakhouse. It was really good. It was kind of humourous to see their take on “the old west.” I wonder if they still think there are outlaws and cowboys and horses there just like everyone thinks there are nothing but camels and people that don’t wear “normal” clothes over here. smile

Dinner was good, but we had to stop off at baskin robbins for desert- not the healthiest thing! smile Guys- I’m not joking. Evertime I get into a car here I am terrified. I have never experienced panic before, but I seem to each time I am in a car. They way the Kuwaitis drive is out of this world. First of all, very few streets are marked, so you have literally no idea where you are going. My dad has lived here for a year now and had to call a dentist’s office for directions on how to get there, and will tell you by things it is near because the buildings have no numbers. I wonder how they get their mail. Then people will get impatient and drive up on the median and curbs to pass those on the road and then cut in somehow! You can be in a turning lane and someone 3 lanes over will decide to turn and cut everyone off and almost hit you to turn too. Its craziness. I do not look forward to driving here. Today my dad wasn’t going fast enough (he was going the speed limit) so this car got right on out tail and started honking and flashing its lights and then it pulled right beside us and was halfway in out land and almost sideswiped us and was yelling and everything. I seriously almost hypervenhilated. It was terrifying because even though it wouldn’t have been our fault, the police almost always believe Kuwaitis over anyone else because of “wasta,“ which means power and is what this country seems to run by, It’s kind of an unspoken good ole boy system.

Anyway, since everyone comes out at night the traffic can get pretty bad. We sat in it for a while. We just counted all the porches and BMW 700s and landrovers we saw like it was a game.

Yesterday was nice. I felt like I was in America again. We got up around 8 and got ready. We went to this place that is similar to a best buy and my parents needed to buy a printer and a freezer because of the lack of space they have in the apartment. Then we went to the Sultan Center, which can be equivilated with Walmart to go shopping. We came back and unloaded everything and then we went to Marina Mall. It was soooo awesome. It is on Gulf Road, which is like the main road in the city where everything is located. We parked and then I was able to get an Aston Martin… or at least we got a picture by one. smile Will wanted me to take a picture of this gorgeous lamborgini but I didn’t want to look too suspicious. smile The mall was beautiful, like a really nice normal mall you would have in the states. Will was dying to see Star Wars on opening day, so we went ahead and did that. Their theatres are really nice with fancy seats. The movie was great- except they cut out the kissing scenes which I thought was weird. My mom slept through the whole thing. Pretty expensive nap. smile

After the movie we went to ChiChis, this mexican restaurant. It was like 6:30. Anytime Will and I would be home and go to dinner at that time we would have to wait for 30 minutes. Like I have said a thousand times, people don’t get out until late and don’t eat until after 8:30 or so. We were the only people in the entire restaurant! It was the first time I have ever had a restaurant to myself at 6:30 on the weekend.

After that, Will and I had a decision to make. I will try and quickly explain this as best as I can… Because I am not employed with my family’s company yet, I am unable to live with Will in our own apartment unless he pays $1,000 a month (which we can’t do). So, that has made things kind of hairy. We decided to move the few things we had in our apartment out until I got a job. Will is hoping that in the next few days we will be able to get him a room in my parent’s complex, so at least he will be closer and we will be able to see eachother. So we moved out of our cute little place and into my family’s for a while… this situation deserves a post of its own- 5 people in an apartment.

On our way out the “movie guys“ were there. They sell copies of new movies for like $3. We got Sahara, which is still in theatres, Ray, hotel Rwanda, and something else, I don’t remember.

I know this blog is getting long, and I am even leaving out things, but I am just glad about this weekend. Being by myself last week really made me wonder if being here was going to be okay, and this weekend was kind of a little reassurance that everything is going to be okay. Life is not that different from home- minus my friends and a few other things like Walmarts, wearing sleeveless shirts, and tap water. smile

Today was nice. My family usually goes to a Bible study led by some friends, but he and his wife were out of town this weekend, so we didn’t have it. We just kind of took it easy. We rested, went the nicer Sultan Center more downtown and got some things we had forgotten, and just drove around. We drove past some ferarri dealerships, and looked at some more car places. Will was drooling. Sorry Will, in your dreams. smile It still blows my mind how rich this country is. It’s crazy.

We also stopped by the beach real quick on our way to the dealerships. It was beautiful. We stopped along Gulf Road and took pictures. We only stayed a few minutes because I had no sunscreen, but it was really pretty.

Tonight we watched Hotel Rwanda. The main guy used to be on Saturday Night Live. He did a great job. It was funny to think of the sketches he was in, and then see him so serious now.

Thanks for reading this looong blog. I wish I could write more, about Geezys and our new living situation… but I will save those for another day! Hope you all have as good a weekend as I was able to! Off to bed now! Good Afternoon America! Goodnight Kuwait!

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About

brittny I'm B-Love. Lover of God, my husband Will, my doggies, OU football, weight training, plyometrics healthy eating (mostly!), peanut butter, and all things health related. Buckle up and get ready for my constant embarrassing moments, health and fitness tips,and my effort to rely on Christ while living life in the real world. Follow me on Feedly! Sign up for monthly emails at blove@theblovelife.com!


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