Friday, April 26, 2013

Not Brad!!!!!

Living with Cheryl has heightened my awareness of grammatical and spelling errors.
For one, I know that if I were to make a mistake it would be highlighted, enlarged, and posted in her classroom for all to see, perhaps even under a sign that says, "Judge her!" If you know Cheryl, then this is funny!!!

The other day I deleted a facebook post because I had misspelled peek for peak and those have different meanings.

I digress.
Living in a country where English is not the native language invites the possibility that when English words are used they may be misspelled or grammatical errors may occur.

The other day I was in Riba Smith (a large grocery store here with MANY imported items from the states) and saw an example. Of course I took a picture because that's how I roll.

The poor Brads. Cooked and all.
Although even if it were spelled correctly, it could have a similar connotation - cooked brats.
Oh English! Sometimes the multiple meanings of your words causes such great confusion and humor!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

PSA on Light Sensors

This is a PSA (Public service anuncio) for those of you who work or live in an environment where there are light sensors in the bathrooms.

So the school/church recently installed a motion sensor in the staff bathroom (it's a one-holer), in an attempt to be more energy efficient. Instead, it is leaving many in the dark.
One of the school secretaries had posted on the wild motion needed to get the light to come back on when it shuts off while you are um...doing your business.

Low and behold, it was my turn today. Y'all I was convinced it wouldn't happen. Sure enough, it seemed like no more than ten seconds from last movement that the light went off. I sat there in the dark with two thoughts running through my mind:

1. Do I flail violently like my friend in an attempt to get the light back on?

2. Whew, am I thankful for all of those times my sister and I pretended to be blind. I am well trained for this task.

(Side note: hannah and I used to embarrass our mom in public with one of us pretending to be blind and lead the other around. It has proven very useful in my life. I've taken it to another level of counting stairs, practicing walking in the dark, knowing exactly how to proceed when we lose electricity, running with confidence blind folded for team building games, etc).

Before commencing with flailing, I lifted my arm up and down in one motion and the light came back on.

I will admit, I went back in later for two reasons:

1. To take a picture of said tech sensor

2. To time how long before it would go off. So I stood perfectly stood and counted. Then I wondered if my estimate would be wrong because I was moving my fingers. It seemed a LOT longer than when it shut off before.

Some of us think that it does go off at different time intervals depending on what? We don't know!

Remember, raise arm and lower. Light should re-illuminate.

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's Just Stuff

Life is changing. It always is, yet sometimes we are more aware of it than others. 

A while back, I blogged about being Present and how I sensed the Lord teaching me things with the alliteration of the letter P. The one I am in right now is Process. 

So many things are in process. I'm processing life and change and closure and endings and beginnings. 
The season of life in Panama is coming to a close. It's been a vast mixture of emotions and wonderings and crying and questioning and trusting and hoping. 

The bottom line of all of the processing has been choosing to listen to the Holy Spirit and say Yes to Him. It is hard! 

For seven years, my life has been invested in this place, in these people, in these ministries, in being present here. It has not always been easy (I didn't think I would survive the first week or even six months!). At the beginning, I had no idea that when I left, it would be this hard. But Panama has become my home. It's become a place to grow, to heal, to walk, to live, to explore, to dream, to stretch, to laugh, to hurt, to be. 

So why leave? 
It's time. 

That's been the whispering and shouting of the Holy Spirit. A lot of it has been, "Abby, do you trust me? Do you trust me to take you out and lead you into the unknown?" 
The big thing that kept coming to my mind as I processed with the Lord was the line from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe where people would ask about Aslan and the response would be, "He isn't safe, but He is good." It has been a sensing that He is calling me out of my safety into the unknown, into what feels scary. Yes, I'm returning to my passport and "home" country, but it's different, I'm different. 
Many years ago I read a book called, Your God is Too Safe and it reminds me of how I want God packaged all nice and neat. I want Him to be predictable and do what I expect. But that isn't how God works. Last week in chapel, I did a quick lesson on "When God Does the Unexpected". It was such a vivid reminder to me that I cannot impose my human expectations on Sovereign God of the Universe. 

Right now, there are plastic totes sitting in my living room with items filled to sell. 

It's just stuff, but they are things have made my house a home. I would trade it all to take the relationships with me. Those will last far longer. 
It is strange. Sorting through things that are part of life here. Soon what fits will be shoved into 2 fifty pound suitcases and life will start over. 

For now, the processing continues. 
But in the not so distant future as I have to pare down the things again, I will have to remind myself once more...

It's just stuff. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Throw Back - Wheeled Sneakers

Do y'all remember these?????

It's so true what Ecclesiastes says, "There is nothing new under the sun."

So how do these "vintage" products keep coming back as a trend?

Because new generations keep growing up and the trend can sell to a new generation.

I laughed when I saw these on one of my tutoring students and then I have to admit, I laughed further when he showed me how they work and proceeded to fall on the floor.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I don't know that I will have words to put with this post. The past five months have been intense in so many ways - lots of joy, lots of tears, lots of changes, lots of God's grace, lots of prayer. Some of it I will share and some of it is not my story to share, I've just been a sojourner with others.

This night, a few weeks back, was special. It was filled with laughter and food and stories. But mostly it was about friendship.

Baby Caleb joined us! 
Rachel, Jess, and Cheryl 

Jen, Amber, and i

Rachel asked if she could have this sign - you can't see it because of the horrible lighting.
The waiter said no. We all laughed because we were sure he had never been asked that before. 
The hole in the booth that we thought for sure would eat our purses. We were careful. No purses were eaten.

Here are friends. Some were missing. We were celebrating. We were remembering. We were laughing. And we were ending. Not the friendships, but seasons. 

Insert tears. 
When one is blessed with unbelievable friendships, women who are sisters, there is a deepness that cannot be explained. 
There is an ache that comes when one or more moves on to the next. 
But there is a constant reminder, that the goodbyes will one day end for good. 
And so will begin a new season...
One of "hello again". 

Love you, ladies! (And I love those of you who are not pictured - you know who you are)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Life Interrupted

Nearly a month ago was the annual Crossfire (youth group) retreat.

One of my small group girls had really pursued a friend from school to come and she did!!! It was amazing to have this girl there and hear about what is going on in her life.

Sweet ladies!!!!!! (Roommate and I preparing for little sleep for the weekend)


 Pass a ball of plastic wrap with candy taped up inside of it! 

 Small group - part of them 

 The weekend is filled with sweet times of worship through song
 The students drink unknown amounts of bottled soda. 
Coke in a bottle - delightful! 
 Saturday night bonfire 

 Encouragement time

 Adopted small group member - Ana
Sweet weekend of fellowship, time with the Lord, investing in relationships, laughter, tears, and prayer!

Thanks, Lord!

Highlight - Saturday night, TJ encouraged students to find a leader to pray for them. The music was playing, so they weren't to share requests or how to be prayed for, but just for the leaders to pray over them. Definitely the best part of the weekend. It was an opportunity to actually pray over my girls the things I've been praying for them privately. Pure sweetness.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Anyone else?????

So when flying, do you ever pull out the Sky Mall Magazine?

Y'all that is some entertainment right there! I find it hilarious to look through it and see what kind of interesting inventions people have created and what the function is! Ok, I don't look at it every flight, because then there may not be anything new and exciting!

I have a favorite from my most recent trip. Many of you may have heard or noticed that bacon seems to be a fad recently. It's interesting to me. Maybe it's a bigger deal in places where it is not so expensive.
Seriously, bacon is VERY expensive here.  Name brand bacon for a pound can be $9.95. Yikes!
Needless to say, bacon is not often bought in our home. Turkey bacon is much more affordable!

Back to Sky Mall Magazine, so I'm flipping through and see this interesting ad. I took a triple take because I could not believe what I was seeing. It begs reading the description.

I don't think I could sleep with the thought of raw looking meat on my bed. Ew! I hate touching raw meat.

So there you go, bacon fans, you can keep warm with raw blanket paraphernalia and don't forget the pillow!

Now the next time you fly, you might want to pick up the copy in your seat back pocket and see what wonders await!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Type A and C

So on my journey about getting my new visa, Adventure Here, it also required getting my license renewed.
Y'all know how exciting a trip to the DMV or ATTT (in Panama) is! It actually can be quite harmless here, if you time it right!

First, you give a copy of all of your updated paperwork to the people at the desk. Then you wait until your name is called (some people get numbers and that always make me panic thinking, "What if I have a number and don't realize it and miss my turn!")
You then go and verify all of your information.
Then sit and wait until called again.

Go take the eye exam. Ok, this is always fun, because I have to remember what things are in Spanish. Cruising along, I get to the letter Z and can't remember if it is pronounced zed or zeta or z. So I go with option 1, which was wrong, but it's ok.

Part of the eye exam is identifying a street sign and explaining what happens when you see it. This time I got the u-turn sign.
This is what I said, "Cuando puede girar en el otro direccion." Yep, makes me laugh too!
Oh well, I passed!

Then you wait for the hearing test where you put on headphones and listen for tones to enter each ear. You then click on izquierda or derecha for the correct ear.

Then you pay. $40 - no matter how long your license in for. In this case, my visa is for 5 months, so is my license.

Then you sit and wait for your final license to be picked up.

This is the sign on the wall in front of you during this wait.

Now look at my license.

In the top right corner is my "main" class for license.

Down on the left by the big picture is the second class I have.

If you don't get it, look at the big list in the first picture.

See it???

Yep, I am licensed to drive a bicycle. Whew.

So fun!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Vowels Matter

The Lord has allowed me to tutor four days a week and it is always entertaining. 

Here is a recent example. I was working with the two kindergarteners and we were reading a Starfall reader. (There stuff is fabulous! AND so much of it is available for free online!

Anyhow. One of the kiddos was decoding the words and on this page, changed one of the vowels. 

The last word on this line has a short a sound. Student changed it to short u. While true, it changes the entire meaning of the sentence. 

Vowels matter. 

* For those of you unsure of what it said, it would read, "The tin man has a butt." 

Yes, I laughed.