Wednesday, July 15, 2009
This verse, one I’ve read a hundred times, popped out at me a couple of nights ago as I was flipping through my Bible. At first, I was sad when I read it; I haven’t felt strong or courageous in a while.
I’m leaving in two days to serve the people of the Dominican Republic with twenty-five college students. I’ve seen everyone’s excitement for the trip swell as our departure date has slowly creeped up on us, wishing I felt the same way. Instead, I’ve felt so inadequate as a leader, unsure of myself as a communicator, uneasy being an example, and hoping for more time to feel “ready” to go, even though we’ve been training for this trip, praying for this trip, and hoping and dreaming for this trip for the last six months.
But God has been reminding me this week that I have a role to play. I might never even realize what that role is. He also reminded me to just be Lisa. As a “leader,” I think that I need to be a certain way, communicate like this person, or lead like that person, when God wants to use me, exactly where I am and who I am—strengths, weaknesses, and all.
This week as I’ve been receiving God’s truth, prayer, and encouragement, the excitement has finally started to sink in. I’m going to the Dominican Republic! How awesome! And God’s going to use me…to communicate clearly, to lead well, to be a friend, to reflect Jesus, to be. What a privilege...and definitely something to be excited about!
I’m ready for this adventure, Lord. Help me to be strong and courageous.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Gray jeans. Gray is so comfortable, cool, and an easy color to wear. I love gray jeans. Love. Them.
Reading a book, falling asleep, waking up, reading a book, falling asleep, waking up…
My Michael Jackson Pandora station. Just type his name in and you’ll get the best mix of songs. Ever.
Iced tuxedo mochas from Starbucks. Could I drink one every day for the rest of my life? Only one way to find out…
Navy—my new favorite neutral. It’s softer than black and flatters every skin tone/eye color/hair color. Navy…it’s the new black, people.
Being pale. The beautiful sun-kissed 20-somethings that make up the office I work in remind me daily of how German-Irish I am. But I’m embracing the white skin look this summer, and hoping that aristocratic pallor will be making a comeback.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
So, after returning from the wilds of Alaska (there were NO Starbucks to be found!), we did what had to be done first—manicures, lunch at Nordstrom (the world’s first, by the way—and dang, it’s huge), and then some lovely lattes. Here’s some other stuff we did in Seattle; "the essentials," if you will:
Hop on the monorail and take an obligatory visit to the Space Needle. It’s not a tourist trap…you must go here if you visit Seattle. I sincerely love the Space Needle. Its distinct shape—it looks like a UFO—and super-fast golden elevators (Willy Wonka would approve) are so fun. The view of the city and the Cascades from the top (on a clear day…which can be tricky in Seattle, but which we got!!) is gorgeous.
Bookstores. You already read about them though. Did you know that Seattle is the most-literate city in America? You can see kids reading books at bus stops in the summer (mass paperback + summertime = reading not required for school). I love it.
SAM—The Seattle Art Museum. After trying to regain some dignity after I was gently yelled at for taking a couple of harmless flash-free pictures, (I’m telling you…the more minor the museum, the weirder the security, regulations, and rules. You can freaking lick paintings in Europe and no one bats an eyelash, but one little photo in Seattle, and they think your next move is throwing acid on the walls), I let myself enjoy the day here. I was surprised by how many different categories of art were well-represented, including ancient Greek and Roman antiquities. I was most impressed with the contemporary and modern art though. Sea Change by Jackson Pollock is one of my favorite Pollocks, and there are also some incredible Warhols. Overall, it’s worth the $15 “suggested fee” for admission. Here are the heretical snaps...
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” --Tim Cahill
Here’s my biggest concern about cruises: They kind of take the element of adventure out of a trip; everything's taken care of for you...which is exactly what some people (people who don’t know how to travel) are looking for. It’s also a good thing if you want to relax and kind of mentally check-out, which is what Hayley and I needed. Our trips have traditionally followed a more vigorous schedule...“get up at 6:30, walk ten miles a day sight-seeing and going to museums, go to bed at 1, repeat for 9 days..."
Here’s what we loved about our cruise:
Whispering the name of our ship at awkward times of the day, or in an otherwise-normal conversation. Try it...“Rhapsody...”
We also enjoyed singing excerpts from “I’m On A Boat,” talking about our captain, Rick Sullivan, like we knew him; and, while at the bow of the ship, quoting Titanic. (You just read that and thought you’re above that sort of behavior...but you’re not.)
Eating. Every calorie consumed on cruises is included in the price of the trip; food is pretty much why people go on cruises. We had a lovely three-course meal every night, with a lot of dessert! Our waiter, Daniel (below), made us laugh every day. (It’s that Romanian charm.) I’m not an adventurous eater, but I had fun trying new things like venison and escargot (above) and eating a couple desserts every night. I mean, yeah, I probably gained a few pounds by the end of the trip and felt akin to the whales I saw earlier in the day as I got into bed each night. But...two words: worth it.
Doing nothing! What a novelty it was to sleep in until 11am. One morning we even had breakfast delivered to our room and watched Gossip Girl for two and a half hours. We’d take two-hour naps, sit in the sun on the top deck sipping cherry Cokes, read for hours at a time. What a luxury to be able to do completely nothing!
More posts to come on what we did in Alaska and Seattle...
Saturday, July 4, 2009
First, there's BLMF Books (figure it out), or as they call it up there, a "literary saloon." The owner is always there and always reading! I'm pretty sure he's read every book in the store, which has shelves and shelves of used books, and even some haphazard stacks that look like they're ready to topple over. I usually am able to find classics in good paperback editions here.
Then I head down to Pioneer Square, usually with a bag of fresh-roasted cinnamon almonds from the market, to Elliott Bay Books. I love this store and it always surprises me with a book or two I never knew I wanted. They sell new and used books, always have authors scheduled to visit, and even have an underground (literally) cafe.
When I was there a couple of weeks ago paying for my books, I noticed these "Thumb Things" on the counter. "How totally useless and stupid and unnecessary," I immediately thought. I mean, I have never in my life thought, "Dang, this book is so tough to hold...I wish there was another way!" But then I tried one on...stupid inventions are usually intriguing, after all. And it actually does make holding a book easier. So...although I am sure I could have gotten along for the rest of my life without a Thumb Thing, I did purchase one. I think they're lamely cool. Check out their (rather pitiful) website here.
Alright...time to go read...