Friday, August 29, 2008

um... hurricane?

I have always loved Arizona's monsoon season, but last night was just down-right terrifying. The news had talked about a possible storm moving in, but in Az it is hit or miss with storms. It seems like whenever they say there is a good chance for a storm, the storm never comes. And when they say there is little chance for a storm, it hits hard. Last night was definitely the latter! Robert got out of school early and made it home by 8pm. He had made a comment about how much lightning there was on his drive home, but I thought nothing of it. Within an hour, it was apparent that the storm was on top of us. The lightning never stopped; a new strike would flash while two or three others were lighting up the sky. It was really bizarre. The strangest part regarding the lightning was the noise... or lack of noise. When lightning hits that close, you normally hear tumultuous noise. Last night, nothing. There was a distant, deep growl but no thunder. The stormed seemed to last forever; we were still seeing bright lightning at 1am.
I haven't left the house today, so I haven't seen the damage firsthand. Robert called on his way to work to tell me that there was a lot of damage at ASU. My mom called later and told me that at about 11pm last night, nearly all hospitals in Phoenix had lost power; no a/c, no oxygen, no lights... CRAZY. Where are we? Florida?!
I hope all of you stayed safe!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

learning humility

I am not quite sure what inspired it, but yesterday I decided to reread the journal that I kept (religiously) while in Africa. I enjoy reflecting on the past every once and a while; to learn gratitude from my past. It had been quite some time since I had read the journal or looked through all 1500 pictures, so I spent some time reliving those memories. I don't have many friends with whom I was really close with both before and right after my experiences in Africa, so not many people got to see the changes that took place in me because of my time there. What I did while in Mozambique completely changed my life; it changed my outlook on so many different facets of life and of what is truly important. Being able to reread through my experiences revived what I had gained from working there. Here are a few excerpts (if you don't mind the read):

...I think that when I originally signed up for this experience, it was more to see Africa and other parts of the world. The Care For Life part just made it a purpose to be here. Since I have been here, it has been something completely different. Being here has given me something and taught me something. Being here gives me gratitude for what I have; for what I take advantage of. Being here has taught me how much better it is to give with your hands instead of your wallet, but how better it is to give with your heart than to give with your hands. You can come and do things for people; build things, hold children... but when you open your heart and let it in, you can give so much. I want this trip to motivate me to change myself. We are trying to motivate the communities, but true change can't come unless it is from within. I want to see that for the people here and for myself.

...Standing on the edge of the Indian Ocean while looking up into the bright, star-filled sky has to be one of my favorite feelings. The ocean stretched out forever; same as the sky and stars. I looked out and realized how much I love where my life is. Heavenly Father has blessed me with so much.

...I feel like I am leaving the people that I love the most. It hurts even worse to think that chances are good that I will never see them again. I want to stay in Mozambique. I want the kids I love to be with me and have all that I have been blessed with. Care For Life is a great program; I have seen it in action. I just don't like having to stop, having to leave. It doesn't feel right that life has to be like this for these people. I know Heavenly Father doesn't give people more than they can handle, but I never knew there were people this strong.

...I was only in Africa for a month, but my heart is still there and always will be. I miss my friends and family that I created. It wasn't that I felt wanted or needed or loved, but when I was there, I wanted to help, I needed to care, I loved to love. Love and hope were the cure to everything. I will never forget what I have seen, felt, experienced, heard, or touched. I know that Africa will always be with me.

I had the opportunity to do so many wonderful things and have so many wonderful experiences. I am grateful now that I wrote in my journal so intensively and took so many pictures (here are some of my absolute favorites. Danielle, you may recognize a couple people). Even if I don't remember every detail of my trip, I will always have an ample collection of "records" to go back to. I really got it right in one of the entries where I said that Heavenly Father has blessed me so much. Although this was a BIG event in my life, I am glad that I can find joy and happiness on a continual basis. I am still so happy with where my life is and am continually blessed by Heavenly Father. He placed me in a family that has loved and supported me in everything that I have done. He has entrusted me with one of his most valiant sons for a husband; he will soon entrust me with another spirit as my son. How can I not be grateful for what I have?

Friday, August 8, 2008

been a while

You would think that since we have internet again, I would post more often... While I can't say that I've been busy, I've been busy. The funny thing is, I have no clue what I have been busy with lately! Life. One of the things that I have been up to is making decorations for the baby's room. I did two paintings and a wood letter craft. Since I am a perfectionist, both have been time consuming (does that sound about right, Amy?!) Robert doesn't understand why I have to be such a perfectionist... I also spruced up Robert's bear, "Beary". He doesn't like the changes I've made to the bear, though...

Oh, and this is my new FAVORITE blog... Mormon girls, you HAVE to check this faux blog out :)
Seriously, So Blessed