Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Due to special request, I've updated my PhotoBlog, which can be found here, or on my links. I'm going to try to update at least weekly. I really am. :)

Michaela @8:54 PM :: Comment

Sunday, June 27, 2004

I only had ONE beer.

About 4 minutes ago, I had an unnerving desire to buy the new Blink 182 album. During the 30-second commericial on TV for it, I got several flashbacks to high school weekend gigs, going to see my friends play in bands that I didn't really like, but loved to see my friends at, listening to Blink with my friend Andrea in her car, hearing them on the radio out by my pool.

I will blame this irrational desire on simple nostalgia.

Please, Lord, let it just be nostalgia. I cannot justify spending GBP 9.75 on a Blink 182 album.

This too, shall pass.

Michaela @11:29 PM :: Comment

To Bless...

I have recently come to the realization that I want to be a woman that blesses others. I suppose I knew that before, but much of my recent revelation has centred around my own selfishness, and how much I've changed in the past 4 years, and how much I've not changed. I want to bless others because I have been blessed much.

Today I got to move back to my flat. The past three weeks I've been staying with a family in Penicuik. I have nothing but great things to say about them. They fed me well, and I got to sleep in the softest and most comfortable bed in which I have ever slept. They had broadband. I never felt like I was in the way been fairly sick this past week, and Sally was good enough to keep me in honey and lemon, tissues and Sudafed. I have stayed with at least three families at different times since coming to Scotland, and this one has been the most enjoyable and comfortable. Anyway, today. I went to work in the afternoon in Edinburgh. Sally had offered to pick me up at work, with my things (which have magically doubled since the 24-Hour Famine and the Doulos visit) in her car. So she comes, and we drive to my flat, get the things out of the car and walk up the two flights of stairs. They've redone all the doors so that they automatically shut (fire safety apparently...so flipping annoying...) so they were all shut. "Which way to the kitchen?" she asks. Only then do I look to the bags in her hands, to see they are full of food. For me.

"Sally! Please don't tell me you went shopping for me!"

"Well you have no food here, and it would be dreadful for you to have to go out in this rain. It's not much, but it'll do for a bit."

"Sally! Bless your heart! Thank you!"

(Yes, I do actually say "Bless your heart". You didn't think I was the type, did you?)

She got me rolls, a loaf of bread, butter, bacon, coffee, lemons, honey, cheese, grapes, apples, tomatoes, a can of baked beans, and sugar. And 5 mini Mars and Snickers bars. Bless!

Last Tuesday, before the ship left, Marian and I sat with a woman named Becky in the dining room. (One of the weird things about the ship visit was that once in a while we'd be totally surrounded with people we knew from over two years ago: "Look! It's like a flashback! This could BE two years ago!" This was one of those moments.) Becky is an awesome woman of God. She and her husband Denny have raised great GREAT kids. Saskia (the girl directly to my right in the candy picture below) is nearly 16, mature beyond her years, to the point of which I would certainly call her a friend. Her older sister Gemma and younger sister Sam are awesome. Her little brother Ted (now 8, I think) was one of my favorite kids when I was on board. I used to pick him up and turn him upside down til he'd sqirm. He loved it though. ( I was really glad he was so excited to see me back again this time - you always wonder how easily you're forgotten by kids.)

But Becky is not only a mom to her kids, but also has been a substitute mom to a lot of of the ships company. Many folks (I was included) join the ship just out of high school. She's a great listener, she'll give advice when asked. Her door is always open. A snapshot of her family: one day last week I was in their tiny kitchenette making a cup of coffee, while Becky was cleaning the main room with some music on. Her 12-year-old daughter Sam came in the room, and the two of them started a humorous over-exaggerated slow dance. I hadn't been seen by Sam - I just stood there and smiled, and felt blessed to see this small moment between a mom and her daughter. At the end of the dance, both burst into giggles, and Sam turned around to see me, and got maybe a little embarrassed: "Oh! I didn't see you there! You saw our little dance!" I loved it.

So Marian, Becky and me were talking and we were asked if we'd ever join the ship again (Marian and I). I said if I ever did rejoin, I'd want to rejoin as a mom. One of clearer things I realized about myself on the ship was that I am better at relational ministry. As much as the ship ministry is needed, it is a very "hit and run" ministry, going from place to place. The mom's (or mums...depends on where they are from of course ;) ) don't usually have full-time jobs on board, because being a mom is a full-time job anyway. But it also frees them to minister to the ship's company. The lead Bible studies and have singles to their cabins for dinner and coffee and movies. They listen and give advice and provide a family atmosphere when so many of us are missing home so much. This is what I would want to do, if ever I were called back to OM's ships ministry.

A woman named Anke was another blessing to me, especially as the relationship that I was in at the time was falling apart. Her husband was the personnel director (and our K-Group leader) so they were a good couple to know, if you were going to be asking for Social Permission. Anke gave up her free time - rare, since she had two small children, one of which was autistic - to bless me with evening talks over ice cream up on the sun deck. After talking to her, I knew things would be okay.

I loved both Becky and Anke, but nearer the end of my time - when things got pretty messy - I was closer to Alice. Alice and her family are no longer on the ship anymore, and I miss them enormously. I spent many long hours in Alice's cabin in tears, many hours talking over things, sitting on the lifejacket boxes on prom deck and conference deck, sitting on the edge of the laundry door, talking to her while she did her folding. When I made the decision to go home early, she was the first person I told. I knocked on her door, and she wasn't there, so I left a note for her to call me. She called, and I walked down to her cabin. I'd not cried about it in a few hours, but started to get teary again when I saw her and her four-year-old daughter Kathleen. I told Alice, and she started to cry - which, of course, made me crack completely - and she hugged me for a really long time, while Kathleen was wondering what was wrong. When we told them later, the tears came again, especially when Kathleen crawled up in my lap, and gave me one of those hugs that is more of a hold - the ones where she just leans in and lays across you. As hard as it was to leave the ship, I think leaving Alice and the kids was a good chunk of that. To this day, Alice has blessed me and influenced my life more than any other woman besides my own mother.

I pray that I will one day be the caliber of mother and wife that Alice and Becky and Anke are. I have no delusions - they are not perfect, and I know that from their own stories. But they are blessings, not only to their own family, but to countless others. And I'm realizing that I don't need a family (in the husband and kids sense of the word) to be able to bless the others. I don't do a great job of that.

Something else to work on. It's a good thing I'm not finished yet.

Michaela @12:27 AM :: Comment

Thursday, June 24, 2004

"Where the Lord has guided..."

On a message board that I frequent, (caedmonscall.net) we were having a discussion on "The Will of God". One of the guys, Hansel (no, that's not his real name, Tim) said:

"God's will is sooooooooo simple, but the church has made it hard. God's will = to love God with all your heart, to love your neighbors, and to spread the Gospel. How is going to Ireland to pursue mission work against that??????? Dont let people complicate the matter. Just walk through the doors he has opened for you."

To which my good friend The Sage (Mark) replied:

"Hansel might be guilty of over-simplification, but only slightly. Do a Bible study on what the Word says about "God's will"...you won't find anything about what mission trip to go on or who you should take to the prom."

Then, me, being the funny girl that I am, posted:

"Well CRAP.

Now I have NO idea who to take to prom. *sigh* "

Then, of course, Sage, in his infinite wisdom says:

"1 Corinthians 4:17 wrote:
For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord"

I nearly died laughing.

Well done, Mark. Well done.

Michaela @12:40 PM :: Comment

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Good Times.

Michaela @11:34 PM :: Comment

From the "Wha??!!" Department

I have a lot of belly-laughter memories from the ship. Many of which I'd not thought of in so long, til Marian and I (and others) have started reminicing about our time on board.

But one of my all time favorites is when, during our wild and crazy New Years dance 2002, Marian (though few of us knew it was Marian) came out into the party wearing a large squirrel/beaver costume. For really no reason at all.

Any excuse.

In other news...

I really do with I could properly catch you guys up on things, I've just been super busy. Its 1:30am and this is the first I've actually been back to the house in about 36 hours. I spent much of the last two days on the Doulos, getting as much of it as I can (and time with friends) before it sails tommorrow afternoon. It'll be sad to see it go, but nothing could ever be as sad as the first time I left, so it will pale in comparison. Plus, I think its been good for me to be able to see the ship and not REALLY WANT to join again. I miss things about it, but there are many things I do not miss (curfew, SP, stress, early mornings, etc). I miss people the most, and they will never all be back there with me, in those places with the ship. But above all, I know that I was there for that particular time, in that particular place in my life, and I am thankful. I am also thankful for where God has me at this particular time. While I can't say I have many regrets, I think I missed some opportunities on board, to get involved in things. This was partially to preserve my own sanity (I don't do well without some recharge time, and its hard to get proper recharge time on the Doulos), but partially due to fear and laziness and selfishness. I don't want to look back on my time in Scotland with such thoughts. So far though, I've been pluggin along. I think I'm doing okay, but I realize I can -and want to- do better. This is where God has me now, and that is an awesome thought in and of itself.

Everyone asks - mostly joking - when I'm rejoining. I tell them at this time, I don't feel called back to it. That's not to say it couldn't happen in the future I suppose. Maybe the new ship, the Logos Hope. That's going to almost be a Who's Who of OM Ships personnel for the first few years. But it would have to be under very particular circumstances, and I'd have to know - as surely as I knew I was supposed to join the first time, as surely as I knew I was supposed to come to Scotland - that I was supposed to rejoin.

Could be fun though.

The 24-Hour-Famine went REALLY well! I had a great time, and I really hope the kids did. (They seemed to.) I don't often organize those longer projects (though this one wasn't too complicated) so I was excited that it went off without a hitch and proved to be popular. Plus, during the scavenger hunt, the kids came back not only with a large frozen turkey, but also with a live fish! I was so proud of them.

Doulos pictures are coming very soon. I find myself constantly cursing my small memory card for my camera.

Curses! Curse you, small memory card!

Michaela @12:23 AM :: Comment

Friday, June 18, 2004

Wish Me Luck, Kiddies

Well, fairly soonish, til 3pm GMT on Saturday, I will be entrusted wtih 12 teenagers for 24 hours. Yes, I will probably go mental. Luckily, this is my job, and I tend to like them. Plus, I'm taking them to the Doulos tonight. That should be good times. I'm crossing my fingers (and by that I mean, "talking to the programme organizers") to see if they can show the History Maker video....which if course has a clip of yours truly. I will be the coolest and most popular youth leader EVER. Since this is my goal, of course.

I'm actually pretty excited about tonight. Loads of fun stuff planned. :) And besides speaking at church in the morning, I have the rest of Sunday left to hang around Douloids. Good times.

Michaela @9:26 AM :: Comment

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Masculinity At Its Finest

Tim: "...Oh, and I also have to chop some wood for the..."

Me: "Chop some wood."

Tim: "Yeah."

Me: "Wow. My boyfriend chops wood. How manly."

Tim: "Not only that....But your boyfriend shovels dirt, too."

Me: "I'm speechless."

Tim: "Yeah, I'm pretty good with a chain saw."

Michaela @11:46 AM :: Comment

Monday, June 14, 2004

I have two essays to turn in tommorrow.

At this very moment, I am stalling.

Michaela @10:54 AM :: Comment

Saturday, June 12, 2004

An Episode

In November of 2000, I took my first A-Team trip from the Doulos. A-Teams are short for "Action Teams". They are more or less mini-missions trips, in the middle of the big one that you're on. You get one each year, and it's more or less a surprise where you'll end up and with whom. This time, we were in Malaysia.

If I remember correctly, it was Bintulu. No...Kuching. It was the port of Kuching. Of course, we didn't stay in Kuching that time. Kuching was to hold more memories at a later date, the next year. This time, we piled in a van we couldn't fit in and drove for hours. Judi, Adrian, James, Dominic, Jonathan, Philip, Tanja, and me. America, South Africa, the Phillippines, India, England, the Faroe Islands, Switzerland and America.

We packed for two weeks, and took along with us a good number of extras: puppets and face paints and program materials - you're never entirely sure what you're gonna be asked to do on these things. It filled the van, without us in it. So we sat on top of everything, windows all open, and started off to...well, we had no idea. We knew we were in Malaysia, not far from the border to Indonesia, but that was about it. And it was HOT. But hey, this is what missionaries do, right? We were taking Jesus through the jungles to villages far away. Three of us were under 20-I'd just turned 19. Only two of the team were over 30.

We drove for around four hours, I think. All you could see for miles was road and jungle. We got out once when we had to take a "ferry" over a river which I'm sure was filled with crocodiles. (It had that "look". You know what I mean.) We all took a bunch of "before" pictures of our team - still happy and reletively fresh, on that ferry. I'm still not entirely sure why. But we were glad to stetch our legs.

Eventually, we arrived at our destination. Our home church was a tiny Assemblies of God church that met in the upstairs of some government building we grew to know well. The only things I remember about the town were the government/church building, a rather snazzy internet cafe (hurrah!), a shop that carried A&W Root Beer (which I hadn't seen since I left the States), an open air veg/fruit market, and an open air fish market. And a few more buildings that we never went into.

I have great, great memories of that trip. We stayed at the mission house, which was actually the pastor's family house. The kitchen was a small stove and sink on the patio. The guys slept in the large empty main room, and a smaller empty room, on mats and sleeping bags, while the three of us girls got the bedroom, with Judi and I sharing the bed.

I'm a "big picture" person when it comes to planning, but like most people, my memories are made of moments, including that trip. I remember getting terribly homesick on that trip. Judi and I were about to spend our first Thanksgiving holiday away from home. On the ship, the Americans would get together for Thanksgiving Dinner - but of course, they don't celebrate it in the jungles of Malaysia. Judi cries about everything, and this time was no exception.

I remember how we lived off of Milo, jelly and bread in the mornings. And often for lunch.

I remember Jon and me skiving away to the internet cafe, feeling, for just a few hours, like we were again part of the normal world, after having left it 3 months before. I remember listening to the music - wonderful, western music! - they had downloaded onto their playlists, hearing Tonic's "You Wanted More" and "Sugar" over and over again...

I remember the puppet show, and my arm getting so tired, and the kids loving getting their faces painted.

I remember lots of kids. I remember doing open-air stuff, playing with kids in the brown and dirt areas surrounded by shanty houses...soccer, and tag. I remember them climbing the trees exactly like monkeys to bring us down the coconuts...and the way they would use their fathers machete-like knives, in three quick slices, to make a small opening for us to drink the coconut milk. They were 6, maybe 7 years old, but they'd been doing this their whole lives.

I remember Judi hating how spicy the food was, and making the rest of us eat it so that she wouldn't look rude.

I remember "Fanball". Long nights with nothing to do invented this game for us. We'd all lay on our backs on the matresses in the guys room and chuck plastic juggling balls (like the colored ones at ballpits) at the fan, hurling them speedily towards one of your team members faces. Luckily, that fan was pretty much indestructable. We started arming ourselves with pillows, and got really stinkin good at being able to aim properly.

I remember getting two TV channels, one of which was all-Muslim, all the time. The other was more western...we watched the English Premiership football matches, "The PJ's" (that claymation Eddie Murphy show...remember that?) and "King of the Hill". And we felt normal again for a few hours.

I remember getting invited to random birthday parties for little girls, where no one spoke english but ourselves and our translators - limiting conversation. We played an awful lot of games of Hearts. Praise heaven for cards.

I remember James hardly ever talking, but always playing his guitar.

"Philip, put some clothes on, man, we don't want to see that."

The shower was the best. Everyday I took that shower thinking of how fondly I would remember it. The shower was a hose, a bucket, a bowl, and 18 million ants all along the walls and window. It probably took half of the shower time just to rinse all those babies down the drain. Pert Plus shampoo - the worst shampoo in the world. And I remember being constantly freaked that the neighbours could see in the window.

I remember passing out flyers from door to door. One afternoon, I was doing this with Jonathan, and a lady who could have been no younger than 75 opened her front door completely topless. He turned a shade of red that had never been invented before.

I remember not being able to sleep, staying up and reading the book of Ruth until Judi went completely mental, screaming at me about how I never slept.

Tonja was really difficult, and weird. But she let me use her vitamins, once I started to get sick. I felt guilty for thinking she was so weird.

I remember the day we were going to leave, and knowing I hadn't taken as many pictures as I should have. Jon and I went off into the closest village to take pictures. I shot film of old ladies carrying huge fruitbaskets on their heads, and kids giggling as they ran away from us, only to come back to see my fancy camera. Curiosity always got the better of them.

I rememeber Domimic - the team leader - never really knowing what on earth was going on.

I remember geckos. Lots of them. "Are those two....AAACK! THEY ARE! THEY'RE DOIN IT! GECKO STYLE!"

I remember lots and lots of Orange Chicken. They figured out we liked this real quick.

I remember finding the most perfect beach in the world. I'm not kidding. It was the most perfect beach I'd ever seen, and have seen since, despite a trip to the Maldives in 2002. Perfect sand, perfect waves, perfect air, perfect sky, perfect trees. It was perfect.

I remember singing praise songs in English along with their songs in Malay. I felt so blessed to be singing the same song, in two languages.

I remember them asking us to give prayers of healing for the congregation - this being an AOG church and all. Luckily, we had Charismatic Judi on hand, ready and willing with her speaking in tounges and such. That's never been my style, so have at it, Judes.

I remember getting invited into a home. An old man stood outside, carving a canoe out of a single tree. We were ushered in by a younger woman and her two children, to see an old woman, motionless on the lenoleium floor. It was hot, so there were no blankets on her, and we could see her feet, which hadn't been used for years. Her eyes I'll not soon forget. Her eyes were so sad and empty. I remember wondering how much and what they had seen in her years. Her daughter (granddaugher?) told us that the woman had been paralysed for three years, and asked us to pray for her.

I remember feeling so ashamed because of my lack of faith. I didn't think she could be healed, after three years. We prayed, but we prayed for God's will to be done, because that seems safer - there's no getting that wrong, is there? I went away feeling as though my unbelief was keeping that woman on the lenoluim.

I remember late night talks with Judi and Jonthan, who would become two of my best friends on that ship. Jonathan and I would end up dating for a while the next year. But at that point, we were simply friends. We talked about our lives back home, and were we thought we would be in 5, 10 years. We drank a lot of Milo, with condensed milk, and enjoyed the evenings in which the heat was a little more bareable.

I remember the cat. It was adorable, but loud and annoying. Jon clamed to hate it, but secretly loved it. Tonja would try and feed it things that no sane cat - including this one, which was practucally starving - would eat.

I remember eating the starfruit from the trees in the front garden.

I remember listening to a western radio station that actually played music I liked. I nearly wet my pants at the sheer irony of hearing Adam Duritz of Counting Crows sing "Mr. Jones" to me, while laying in a pool of my own sweat, fans blazing, in the jungles of Malaysia.

I remember the smells.

I remember being so homesick - and shipsick - as the second week would drag along, and we got more and more tired and weary. I remember thinking how awesome this was, and despising myself for not being able to love every minute of it.

I remember thinking that one day I would look back on those two weeks and remember mostly the good things, and not the bad.

Michaela @11:50 PM :: Comment

I think I've decided that if heaven doesn't smell like oven-fresh banana nut bread, I'm not going.

Michaela @2:04 PM :: Comment

Friday, June 11, 2004

The Magic Number

For whomever surfed to my site at 3:14:32pm Eastern Standard Time, from ISP 65.145.210, from domain qwest.net, using Windows XP and no referring URL...

CONGRATULATIONS! You were my 35,000 customer!! As your reward, you will recieve free access to This Beautiful Mess for the rest of your life, a free meal at Denny's, and a box of orange and lime Tic-Tacs.

You have to come to Scotland to collect, however.

In non-related news, it is midnight on a Friday and I really want to go to sleep.

I think this means I'm getting old.

Good Night.


Michaela @10:52 PM :: Comment

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Let that be the answer to your question...

In the summer of 2002, a few months after I'd left the Doulos, I was living with my aunt and uncle just outside Lee's Summit, Missouri. I spent a lot of that summer in "recovery mode" after the ship, and a lot of time at the recently-opened Borders bookstore, where I could sit for hours with books and coffee.

One of these afternoons, I ran across a Frederick Buechner book of essays titled, "A Room Called Remember". It's rare that I read something that is quite so pertinent at that particular moment. I was still trying to get over a lot of things...trying to get over a break-up in which I'd lost my best friend...trying to get over life on the ship...trying to get over my parents break up. Not that you actually ever really get over these things, in their totality, I suppose. But I was working on it at the time. At least, working on getting the edge of the sting off. You know the edge...where you hear a song or smell a smell that just sets you off for the rest of the day. (That summer, the radio was still playing a lot of songs that reminded me of the previous year.)

So I opened the book, and scanned it, and found this part, of the first essay. I got teary as I wrote it in my journal then, but I knew that it would still smart in the years to come, even as the memories faded. I was reminded of this essay after my recent trips to the Doulos. Memories come rushing back in a way that I can't explain, in a freshness that I wasn't expecting. But Buechner tells it much better than I do, so I'll let him do the talking....

One way or another, we are always remembering, of course. There is no escaping it, even if we want to, or at least no escaping it for long, though God knows there are times when we try to, don't want to remember. In one sense, the past is dead and gone, never to be repeated, over and done with. But in another sense, it is, of course, not done with us. Every person we have known, every place we have ever seen, everything that has ever happened to us - it all lives and breathes deep in us somewhere whether we like it or not, and sometimes it doesn't take much to bring it back to the surface in bits and pieces. A scrap of some song that was popular long ago. A book we read as a child. A stretch of road we used to travel. An old photograph, an old letter. There is no telling what trivial thing may do it, and then there it all is - something that happened to us once - and it is not just as a picture on a wall to stand back from, and gaze at, but as a reality we are so much a part of still, and that is still so much a part of us that we feel something close to its original intensity and freshness. We remember what it felt like to, say, fall in love at the ages of 16, or to smell the smells and hear the sounds of a house that has long since disappeared, or to laugh til the tears ran down our cheeks with somebody who died more years ago that we can easily count, or for whom, in every way that matters, we might as well have died years ago ourselves. Old failures. Old hurts. Times too beautiful to tell, or too terrible. Memories come at us helter-skelter and unbidden. Sometimes so thick and fast that they are more than we can handle in their poignance - sometimes so sparsely that we all but cry out to remember more....

Michaela @7:59 PM :: Comment

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Mick-Ay-Ayla For-Bez, Dial Nine, Please

So the Doulos is in town.

I watched the ship come into port on Thursday morning, and have visited the ship three times so far, once that morning, once that evening, and once on Saturday night. It's one of the most bizarre experiences of my life, really. All the sights and sounds and smells that made up my life for 18 months in Asia and Africa....they are all here, in port at Ocean Terminal. I can go visit them at any time until the 22nd of June. Memories that had been forgotten come rushing back at me from every angle. I don't think I was really ready for it, or that I knew what to expect.

Part of the oddness is that I know the entire ship....most of the ship does not know me.

As the ship sailed into port, it was exciting to have maybe ten old friends who are still around shouting my name and waving wildly. Some of them didn't know I would be here, which was a bonus. I know maybe 20 people who are left on board, of approximately 320. I know probably an additional 5 or 6 that, with me, are just visiting the ship, and were on at the same time that I was. Other than that, I'm not really known. Its a form of alienation that Adam would be proud of. It's not really as sad as that sounds...it's just bizarre.

The good news is that I'm realizing I do not wish to return. I say that in the full knowledge that God could well call me back at some stage, or call me to one of the other OM Ships. But not for right now. A large part of that is knowing that the time I was on board was special - a one-time-only shot. Only at that time will the ship have been inhabited by those people, at those ages, in those places. Never again will I - or anyone else - experience those experiences. I suppose to rejoin (not that that is an option at the moment anyway) would be disappointing to say the least.

But above all, I quite enjoy the freedoms I have now. I like being able to go out by myself a lot. I think that is something that I desired more and more as the time on the ship passed, and it was rare to get any time alone. I like being able to go out with a guy friend, or stay up late doing silly things without watching for the Dreaded Yellow Slip in your box the next morning. I like the lack of guilt trips. I like setting my own schedule. It is a life I'm used to now. Going back to Prayer Night, hearing the leadership remind the ship's company YET AGAIN what the curfew rules are...well, for once it was nice to know it wasn't me that they were talking to.

I do miss it though. I think I will always miss it, as anyone misses any great phase of their life, even the hard ones. I knew I would miss it before I left. I remember realizing often how short my time on board would be, and how I should take advantage of every moment. I don't think I did that terribly well, but I'm not sure I would do many things differently at that age. I would approach ministry differently I think, and training, if I were to go back. I certainly didn't take advantage of that nearly enough - and I knew that I was not taking advantage of it enough, even then. It's difficult, in any form of ministry (as a "profession") to keep at the front of your mind that you are working for the Lord and not for men. Often, you find yourself working for men, and just getting through til the end of the day. I still do sometimes, but as I get older I think it becomes easier to focus.

August 2000...to March 2002. Definitely some of the best years of my life. I have a million stories from my time on board, most of which I've not shared with you, most of which I never will. It was a time that I changed a lot. It also included the most difficult time period of my life. But I would not change a single thing. Not one. Keep it all, I say. It's made me who I am.

Michaela @11:19 PM :: Comment

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Capital Punishment for the Pretty Bugs

I told you I was going to be really busy. Seriously folks, this week and next week are basically the two busiest weeks I've had all year. I'm going a little crazy, just running from one place or work to another, and squeezing in reading for assessments on bus rides. But thanks for your prayers (those that are praying!). Life has been busy, but it's been good. God has been blessing me a lot, and teaching me things.

In other news (but, while on the topic of buses, I suppose), I spotted my first ladybug of the year, on the window on the bus today. In fact, I don't even think I was sure Scotland had ladybugs til today. Aw. Cute. (Or, in the words of Shua: "Tender.")

The thing is, I really wanted to kill it. It kept flying around in front of my face. I considered the death penalty, until I realized that I would be hated and possible physically abused for killing a ladybug. People don't kill ladybugs, they pick them up, and let them wander around on their hands, like little pets or something. You know what I think? It's still a BUG. It still flies around in front of my face, and boards buses when it really should not be taking the bus. I bet he didn't even pay. Who does he think this is? If it were a fly, no one would have thought twice for my implementation of capital punishment. It's no less than DISCRIMINATION! We don't kill bugs if they are PRETTY. Well I don't discriminate. The ladybug needed to die.

But I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I felt like the entire city of Edinburgh was looking at me, ready to throw stones, rotten fruit, and copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix my way, if I killed that lady bug. So I didn't. I caved. I gave in. I blindly succumed to "The Man". And then, of course, I felt discriminated against, as someone who wanted to kill pretty bugs.

I bet that little freeloader is still riding around the number 16 bus, casually taking in the scenery.

He needs to die.

Michaela @10:11 PM :: Comment

"In the city you will find that the poor and the broken are often much, much more open to the idea of Gospel grace and much more dedicated to its practical outworkings than you are." (Tim Keller)

"Always On Your Side" by Sheryl Crow