Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Freckles, ruby slippers, and oatmeal cookies

Good news - I'm feeling stronger and more energetic, and needing fewer naps! Also enjoying some of my favorite things more... this is when retreats get better. :)

Reading a charming book named Freckles, an old favorite of my Aunt Ruth, who gave it to me this summer. It's set in Indiana in the early 1900s, in the Limberlost - which is around Decatur, not an hour from where I live! Definitely a day-trip exploration this fall (hint, Hannah!)... though I sadly doubt that the fairyland garden that Freckles created is still there... more to come on that.

The other night I went out for ice cream with my dear friend, Leigh Ann, and as we sat on the patio deep in conversation, I let the last couple bites of my ice cream melt into creamy soup in the bottom of my cup, with the cherry stem floating lazily inside. I use my hands a lot when I talk (a habit which I think developed as an ESL teacher, more than anything), and at  one point, knocked my cup over, spilling ice cream soup on my pants and into my ruby slippers. Leigh Ann and I have had just about every adventure imaginable together, so we laughed this one off as I carried my shoes into the restroom and she helped me clean up. With my weird imagination, I couldn't help but think there should be an alternate backstory - a much more entertaining, and perhaps even romatic story - to having ice cream-filled ruby slippers... more to come on that one, too.

And now I must sign off, because the smell of freshly-baked homemade cookies is far too distracting... Mom seems to think it necessary to have homemade baked goods always on hand at The Spoon-Drop Inn, which I don't mind, except that it is making me very spoiled, and well... any weight I lost in the hospital has been generously redeemed. Oh, well. I can't resist, because they are my favorite: oatmeal cookies with dark chocolate chips and craisins!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Special guest post

This was written last night by 14-year-old Jessica, my friend and summer intern at I-House, as a reflection on what she learned during her time there:

In America, especially in these economic times, it's easy to see poor families. This mission trip, however, really put it into perspective that poverty is relative. Not only that, but the magnitude of your faith and happiness isn't contingent on your paycheck or job status.

Living in America, I have grown up with a concrete mindset of wants and needs. For example, if your house doesn't have toilet paper and paper towels, then you're living without the basic "necessities," or needs. But in Fort Wayne, I encountered people who lacked just that. Yet they still tried to bless our church with cash money, a 50 pound bag of rice, and insisting to purchase dinner for the entire group on the trip. This family did all this with a smile on their face, in such an earnest attempt to help us because we were serving God.

This experience has most definitely affected my prayer life, for now I'm able to more accurately discern between my wants and my needs. The people I met over this trip have shown me the truest levels of contentment and faith, and I pray that's something I never lose sight of.