Friday, December 21, 2007

What Is On My iPod!

There are two possessions of mine that I absolutely adore- My Stairmaster 4100 PT stairstepper, and my iPod! The following is a newly compiled list of what is on my iPod, though I couldn't list everything of course!

100% Funk, 90210 Soundtrack, A Night at the Roxbury Soundtrack, Abba, Acappella, Aerosmith, Alan Jackson, Allison Krause, Amazing Grace 1, 2, & 3, Amy Grant, Andrew Wommack, Amy Winehouse, Anna Nalick, Avalon, Ayeisha Woods, Barlow Girl, Beastie Boys, Beatles, Bebo Norman, Bee Gees, Benjamin Gate, Bethany Dillion, Black Crowes, Black Eyed Peas, Bonnie Tyler, Brad Paisley, Britney Spears, Brooks & Dunn, Caedmon's Call, Carrie Underwood, Casting Crowns, Celine Dion, Chris Daughtry, Chris Tomlin, Christina Aguilera, Cindy Morgan, Coldplay, Crystal Lewis, Culture Club, The Cure, Cyndi Lauper, Cyndi Thomas, Darlene Zschech, Darryl Worley, DC Talk, Debbie Gibson (all of her albums!), Dietrik Haddon, Depeche Mode, Destiny's Child, Dierks Bentley, Eagles, Elvis, Erasure, Eve 6, Expose, Faith Hill (again, all of her albums!), Fatboy Slim, Fergie, Flashdance Soundtrack, Eighties Music, Gary Allan, George Michael, George Strait, Grey's Anatomy, Gwen Stefani, Hinder, Jaci Velasquez, James Blunt, Jeremy Camp, Jewel, Jon Gibson, Josh Turner, Kanye West, Kathy Troccoli, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, The Killers, KJ-52, Lee Ann Womack, Lone Star, Luther Vandross, Madonna, Mandisa, Mariah Carey, Mark Schultz, Martina McBride, Mat Kearney, Matchbox 20, Melissa Etheridge, Mercy Me, Michael Bolton (umm, yeah... what can I say?! I celebrate his entire collection-Office Space quote!), Michael Jackson, Michael English, Michael W. Smith, Milli Vanilli, Miranda Lambert, MTV Party to Go 3,7, and 8, Nelly, New Kids on the Block, Newsboys!!!, Nickelback, Nicole Nordeman, Nicole C. Mullen, Nine Inch Nails, Now! 22 & 23, N'Sync, Oasis, Office Space Soundtrack, Our Hymns, Pam Tillis, Patsy Cline, Petra, Plumb, Point of Grace, Prince, Pulp Fiction Soundtrack, Pussycat Dolls, R. Kelly, R.E.M., Rachael Lampa, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Rebecca St. James, Romy & Michelle Soundtracks, Sandi Patti, Sara Groves, Sarah McLachlan, Say What, Sierra, Songs 4 Life Collection, Spice Girls, Stacie Orrico, Staind, Still Blessed, Superchi[k],Taylor Swift, Teen Riot, Third Day, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, TobyMac, Tori Amos, Vanilla Ice, Wedding Singer Soundtracks, Whitney Houston, Worship Jamz 1 & 2, WOW cds, Yolanda Adams, ZOEgirl...

I like a little bit of everything!

Friday, December 14, 2007

One Year Down, One More Year to Go!

I have completed my first year towards my Master of Science in Special Education/Emphasis on Dual Disabilities/Deafblind. The first year our courses were through Texas Tech University. Our second year our courses will be taken though University of Southern Mississippi. I earned straight A's for the six classes I took this year, I am very proud of myself! I copied and pasted my grades from the TTU website... And when I have completed this degree, I am going to give myself a couple of years off, and then I plan to go to Mississippi State University and earn my Specialist degree in Community Counseling. I am so excited about that!

Jennifer Jarrell

Unofficial Graduate School Academic Record

-----------------------2007 Spring-------------------------

Admitted Program:
Graduate School
Major: Continuing Professional Education

A 3.00 12.00
A 3.00 12.00

Current 6.00 6.00 6.00 24.00 4.000
Cumulative 6.00 6.00 6.00 24.00 4.000

--------------------2007 First Summer----------------------
A 3.00 12.00

Current 3.00 3.00 3.00 12.00 4.000
Cumulative 9.00 9.00 9.00 36.00 4.000

-------------------2007 Second Summer----------------------
EDSP5390270 SEMINAR IN SPEC ED A 3.00 12.00

Current 3.00 3.00 3.00 12.00 4.000
Cumulative 12.00 12.00 12.00 48.00 4.000

------------------------2007 Fall--------------------------
A 3.00 12.00
EDSP5390271 SEMINAR IN SPEC ED A 3.00 12.00
End of Matriculation

Current 6.00 6.00 6.00 24.00 4.000
Cumulative 18.00 18.00 18.00 72.00 4.000
---------End of Graduate School Academic Record-------------

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Last Day in Guam!

Today was my last day in Guam, and we went to visit "Two Lovers' Point". The "Legend of Two Lovers' Point" by Puntan Dos Amantes follows:

"In ancient times, a beautiful maiden, the eldest daughter of the most powerful Chamorro chief was ordered by her father to wed a Spanish Army Captain. The maiden was so young, shy, yet strong-willed, she had no intention of allowing her heart to be just given away. She had chosen her love: He was a strong handsome Chamorro warrior. Alas, her parents forbade their daughter from seeing her chosen one. Despair filled her heart because without the blessing of her family, they could never marry.

The lovers met in secret at the waters edge planning to flee the island by canoe. The moon's silver veil of shimmering light danced across Tumon Bay, annointing its surface with magic. Suddenly, Spanish soldiers appeared ending the lovers' dream of life together. With their freedom gone, the two lovers fled. High up on the summit of the cliff, the lovers united for the last time, sharing their love to its full ecstasy, fulfilling their hearts and souls. Moonlight touched their beautiful faces. They were so young, so perfect, their beauty unblemished. As one, they tied their long shining black hair in a single knot. Now they were united, inseparable. Holding hands, they fearlessly walked to the edge of the cliff and gazed down to their destiny. The soldiers appeared breathless. But too late. Soft moonlight caressed the lovers' journey to eternity as they leapt to their fate. Now they would be together forever.

To this day, there are those who claim to hear the whispers of the two lovers upon the waves, proclaiming their undying love."

It was a beautiful site, I will post pictures soon! Afterwards, we went to the Navy base and swam at "Gab Gab" beach. Shannon and I went snorkeling together, and it was so cool to be underwater looking at all of the fish! Fish were literally swimming by our faces... I loved the fish that appeared to "glow in the dark" underwater! I saw many sea cucumbers, and sea urchins too.

While we were at the Navy base, I happened to see an old man who had been at the same showing of "The Mist" as Shannon and I earlier this week. I went up to him and asked him how he had liked the movie, and he said while the movie was scary, he knew most of the movie had been computer-generated so that did not bother him very much. He then said that the last five minutes of the movie did bother him very much, that he found the ending to be very tragic, and he cried afterwards. I had to agree with him!

We ended the day at "Jamaican Grill" and I had the "Serious Seafood" platter of tuna steak and shrimp again. It is so good! Now Jerry and Shannon are making their characters on "World of Warcraft" dance (Jerry's character does a dope dance to "Lean like a Chollo", ha ha...), and I am ready to go to bed. I have 20+ hours of flying to look forward to in the morning, ha ha...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Stephen King's "The Mist"- The Movie

Wow!!! What a movie! This movie was awesome, I am sure it was much better viewed in Guam than if I had seen it in Mississippi... The suspense literally had me jumping during the movie, especially when my soda was "sweating" onto my hand and I was like "What is on my hand?!" All I could imagine as I felt drops on my hand was "It is blood! I know it is blood on me!" Shannon kept laughing at me when I would jump... but she wasn't laughing when the movie ended!

The movie was so intense right up to the very end, I won't give away the ending, but it was heartbreaking! The last five minutes of the film are the most intense minutes of the entire movie. If anyone read Stephen King when he wrote under the name "Richard Bachman", you will love this ending! "The Long Walk" was a favorite story of mine by King when he wrote under Richard Bachman, and this tale of his is now right up there! This movie was more than a horror movie, it had several messages about humanity, a few of the points the movie made were very reminiscent of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson.

I found this review and quote at

"In what could be the best Stephen King quote ever, I heard word Tuesday morning that he said the following at a press conference on Monday about "The Mist," which is based on his novella:
(Director) Frank (Darabont) ("The Green Mile," "The Shawshank Redemption") wrote a new ending [I love]. It is the most shocking ending ever.

There should be a law passed stating that anybody who reveals the last five minutes of this film should be hung from their neck until dead.

The statement is designed to both be a blessing of the film adaptation as well as a chilling message to anyone who dares to give away the film's ending."

And for the record, here is one of my parental-double standards, MY children will not be watching horror movies while they live with me... seriously.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day in Guam!

We just finished Thanksgiving dinner, and it was delicious, if I do say so myself... I made enchiladas for dinner, that is what my sister and her family wanted! She said they aren't really into turkey, and she also said she loves my enchiladas. Tonight Shannon and I are going to see "The Mist" by Stephen King at the mall. I love when I am able to watch scary movies with my sister! We grew up watching scary movies together... I still remember the first one I watched when I was 10 and she was 8 called "The Funhouse"- Pay to get in, pray to get out... I love the suspense of not knowing what is going to happen horror movies, but I don't like the blood and gore... Tomorrow we are going to the water park along the beach, Cameron is dying to go!

Yesterday Shannon, Cameron, and I went to the beach on base. It was so pretty! The beach has white sand, and black reef in the water. On the reef were several crabs that were sunbathing. I tried to take pictures of all of the crabs, but they would get really shy and hide in the crevices of the reef. My sister told me that the reef was actually very dangerous, that people often get cut on the reef, and many had drowned after being sucked into the reefs by the strong underwater currents! I stayed close to the edge after hearing that!

In the evening Jerry, Shannon, Cameron and I went to the aquarium called "Underwater World". It is a gorgeous aquarium! The seahorse display was adorable, some of the seahorses even had horns. There were Spider Crabs that were huge, if I saw one of those without glass surrounding it I would run! I even saw a case that had Clown Fish in it, just like the little fish from "Finding Nemo". I took several pictures of those, to show the boys when I get home. After we visited the aquarium we went to eat at "Planet Hollywood" which was a lot of fun! They played two songs which nearly everyone in the restaurant got up to dance to... I laughed so hard and took pictures of all of the people dancing! We were the only Americans in the restaurant, apparently Guam is a very big tourist attraction for the Japanese. Everyone here is so friendly, the locals and the tourists. After dinner and the aquarium we visited stores like Channel, Louis Vuitton, Coach, Tiffany and Co., Tag Heuer, Pucci, Gucci, etc... It was fun to look at those stores, but I can't imagine paying those prices! In one store there was a cute denim dress by DKNY, and I looked at the price tag and it was $495.00!!! For a denim summer dress?! I looked inside at the seams and other details, and it didn't look as if the quality would be that much better than something at the mall in Tupelo to make it worth that price! I did fall in love with these purses that are sold in a store called "Le Sport Sac", the brand of purses that caught my eye are called "Tokidoki". They are a cartoonish-type print of purses, with a little grim reaper named "Adios" and his girlfriend named "Ciao-Ciao". The prints are very cute, very emo... but way too expensive! A wallet-sized purse was $97.00, and the prices went up from there. In the states I love a brand called "Bobby-Jack" which has a cute little monkey, and here the island sells a popular brand called "Julius" with a little monkey and his friends.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My First Days in Guam...

I left Saturday morning for Guam, and what a trip that was! I worked Friday, and when I left work I went home and took a three hour nap so I would not fall asleep on the drive to Birmingham. I left Wal-Mart at 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning, and drove to Birmingham airport. It is four-lane now the entire way, and it only took two hours to get to the airport from Amory! I boarded for Houston at 6:00 that morning, and arrived in Houston a little after 8:00 a.m.. I bought a burrito and a Mt. Dew in the airport at Houston, and paid nearly $12.00! Then I boarded for Honolulu before the 9:35 departure time, and flew for nearly nine hours to Hawaii! My legs were so sore from just sitting... I did manage to watch "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" though, and it was good (And "Transformers", "License to Wed", and played plenty of "Hang-Man")! I departed from Honolulu to Guam at 3:20 p.m., and that flight was another eight hours again! The total duration of the flights, including connections was 21 hours and five minutes. At one point I decided to brush my teeth, and when I came out of the bathroom a man was clapping for me, and saying "We thought we were going to have to go in there and get you! We didn't know how much longer it was going to take..." Pretty embarrassing!

When I arrived in Guam it was beautiful! There are palm trees and ocean everywhere, and the weather was 85 degrees. My sister, her husband Jerry, and their little boy Cameron picked me up. We went to Taco Bell and then to her house on base. We spent Monday getting a base pass for me (while everyone in my little Mississippi town was sleeping on Sunday!) and then to the mall. It was so different being in the mall and seeing shops like "Benneton, Esprit, Diesel, Juicy" etc... A definite culture shock after shopping at "Dollar General" and "Wal-Mart" the last 9 years, ha ha...My sister bought me the prettiest Fossil watch, it has a pink face with a diamond cut, and there are rhinestones all around the face of the watch! We looked in one store at the Precious Moments collectibles, and they even have a Hawaiian one where the little girl is dancing with a lei on it. I may go back and choose that for my souvenier!

My little nephew Cameron is hilarious! He was taking a shower by himself, and entertaining himself by singing "My humps, my humps..." then he starts talking to himself and says "I don't even know what that means?!" Very cute! He had to go to school Monday, and was devastated! He is obsessed with sharks, pirates, and dinosaurs. I bought him two dinosaurs at Kay-Bee Toy Stores in the mall, and I told him one was named "Gibson Shreds" and the other was "Graden Roars" and he was impressed, wanting to know how I knew that! I bought my three boys surprises, too.

We went to the gym on base last night, and I loved it. One thing I remember about the Air Force is how nice the gyms always were. This one was no exception, they have spining rooms, raquetball rooms, a rock climbing wall, etc... Shannon and I worked out together on the Eliptical machines, and the base has "Cardio Theater" attached to each cardio machine. You can watch almost any channel while you work out, on a flat screen monitor attached to every individual machine! When we drove back to my sister's house, the roads were covered with frogs that were out enjoying the rain! It was funny to see so many frogs, and my sister told me at night coconut crabs come out, too! She said her husband let one play "tug-of-war" on his foot!

It is 6:38 early Tuesday morning here in Guam, and only 2:38 Monday afternoon back home... I miss my boys at home!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guess What My Husband Bought Me Today?!

My very own PINK Nintendo DS! It came today in the mail, he ordered it so I could play with it on the trip to and from Guam! My DS came with a Princess Peach pink carrying case, and extra pink stylus'. It has a wireless interlink card, and when I am in the airports that have free wireless, I can check my hotmail and my MySpace, and Perez Hilton and Dlisted all from my DS!!! How cool is that?!!? Maybe I won't have the shakes from internet withdrawal at the airports... ;)

My five-year-old son is going nuts right now because we can connect to each other through the free wireless our city offers, and we can play against each other on our own Nintendo DS's! He has Mario Cart, which can connect with up to 8 players. We had so much fun tonight playing our video games together! I only own the wireless interlink and Brain Games 2. Graden has all the cool games, maybe he will let me borrow them?!? Yeah... right! ;) And maybe Bobby will buy me the hot pink rhinestone skins to put on my DS... Hey, a girl can dream!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

My Favorite Disney Tale: "Beauty & the Beast"!

Beauty & The Beast: "Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle. Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. But then, one winter's night, an old beggar woman came to the castle and offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold. Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the prince sneered at the gift and turned the old woman away. But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within. And when he dismissed her again, the old woman's ugliness melted away to reveal a beautiful enchantress. The prince tried to apologize, but it was too late, for she had seen that there was no love in his heart. And as punishment, she transformed him into a hideous beast and placed a powerful spell on the castle and all who lived there. Ashamed of his monstrous form, the beast concealed himself inside his castle, with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world. The rose she had offered was truly an enchanted rose, which would bloom until his 21st year. If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time. As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever learn to love a beast?"

Monday, August 27, 2007

My pastor’s missionary trip...

Tonight at church our pastor spoke about a missionary trip he went on this summer. He was in the Pacific Rim area, and he told us the country he was working in. He is not allowed to say it very much, because the country he was in is 98% Muslim, and the missionaries and believers there would be persecuted for being Christians.

He showed us pictures of a worship ceremony he attended, and pictures of two men who had both lost family members because they were Christians. A man's father and another man's wife were both beheaded for being Christians. This country has mosques everywhere, and speakers to announce when it is one of the five times for Muslims to pray. He said there were more mosques in this country than the United States has gas stations, to give us an idea of how many there are... The men that my pastor was worshipping with met in secrecy, and they worshipped all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They only stopped to sleep, and would begin again at 5:30 in the morning. A 79 year old man drove on a motorcycle 8 hours each way to attend this gathering.

Our pastor showed us pictures of the men studying intently, craving teachings from the bible. It made me feel awful to think how I am guilty of wondering "When is this going to end, I need to get home to ..." after an hour and a half, while these men were risking their lives to study all day. One man cried because he thought he was the only believer from where he lived, and he had never heard a prayer spoken to God in his own language. When that weekend was over, the men would return to where they lived, and would not contact or see each other again indefinitely. We saw pictures of children standing outside a public school where children still had to pay to attend. Only families that could afford school were able to send their children.

Our pastor was impressed when he arrived that the maid service would iron all of the laundry, including underwear. He later was told the reason the maids iron everything is to kill the bugs that live in the water the clothes are washed in!

I cried tonight, I felt so ashamed to think of how much I take for granted because I live in the United States. I don't face death or persecution because I am a Christian, and neither do my loved ones. I can worship freely, I can go to church and worship with others, and enjoy the fellowship of other believers. Other believers are not so lucky. I own multiple bibles in various translations, while these people can not afford clean drinking water. If it wasn't for the grace of God, I would be living in that country...

Funny Story from Church!

Our church has a ministry called "Secret Sisters" where we are matched with another woman, and for a year we pray for that woman, and send little gifts to let the woman know she is being thought of... We reveal ourselves at the end of the year...

I made a gift bag of several books for my Secret Sister this morning, and left it on the table in the foyer so she would see it. I happened to see her later that afternoon walking out of church looking through her gift bag, and she pulled out one of Gibson's "Transformers" toys! Evidently, he had stuck the toy in the bag while it was in the van! It was all I could do not to grab it back from her, and she was looking at it like "Why on earth would I want this toy?!" I am sure we will have a good laugh over this at the end of the year... :)

Monday, July 30, 2007

I love this song!!!

"My Jesus"-by Todd Agnew

Which Jesus do you follow?
Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians says to imitate Christ
Then why do you look so much like the world?

Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
So which one do you want to be?

Blessed are the poor in spirit
Or do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
Or do we ache for another taste of this world
of shifting sand

Cause my Jesus bled and died for my sins
He spent His time with thieves and sluts and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the rich
So which one do you want to be?

Who is this that you follow
This picture of the American dream
If Jesus was here would you walk right by on
the other side or fall down and worship at His holy feet

Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a
clear complexion
Is how you see Him as He dies for your sins
But the Word says He was battered and scarred
Or did you miss that part
Sometimes I doubt that we'd recognize Him

Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and the least of these
He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable
So which one do you want to be?

Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet
But he reaches for the hurting and despises the proud
I think He'd prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd
And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud

I want to be like my Jesus

Not a posterchild for American prosperity,
but like my Jesus
You see I'm tired of living for success and popularity
I want to be like my Jesus but I'm not sure what that
means to be like you Jesus
Cause You said to live like You, love like You
but then You died for me
Can I be like you Jesus?
I want to be like my Jesus

Reflection of Something
By Todd Agnew
Release date: 16 August, 2005

Saturday, July 7, 2007

I am "Right-Brained"!

I took this quiz to see if I was "right" or "left" brained:

According to the test, I am "right-brained".

You are more right-brained than left-brained. The right side of your brain controls the left side of your body. In addition to being known as right-brained, you are also known as a creative thinker who uses feeling and intuition to gather information. You retain this information through the use of images and patterns. You are able to visualize the "whole" picture first, and then work backwards to put the pieces together to create the "whole" picture. Your thought process can appear quite illogical and meandering. The problem-solving techniques that you use involve free association, which is often very innovative and creative. The routes taken to arrive at your conclusions are completely opposite to what a left-brained person would be accustomed. You probably find it easy to express yourself using art, dance, or music. Some occupations usually held by a right-brained person are forest ranger, athlete, beautician, actor/actress, craftsman, and artist.

Are You Left-Brained or Right-Brained?
The brain is composed of two hemispheres, known as the left and right hemisphere. While each hemisphere has unique functions, which one side performs and the other does not, both hemispheres possess the ability to analyze sensory data, perform memory functions, learn new information, form thoughts, and make decisions.

The way you use these abilities determines a large part of your personality and behavior. By the time we, as humans, are two years old, one hemisphere begins to dominate your decision-making process. Communication between the two halves is possible due to the corpus callosum and this process continues to improve until the age of 15.

The left hemisphere specializes in analytical thought. It is responsible for dealing with "hard" facts such as abstractions, structure, discipline, rules, time sequences, mathematics, categorizing, logic, rationality, and deductive reasoning. It is also responsible for details, knowledge, definitions, planning, goals, words, productivity, efficiency, science, technology, stability, extraversion, physical activity, and the right side of the body. Left hemisphere ability is the predominant focus in school and society.

The right hemisphere specializes in "softer" aspects than the left hemisphere. The right hemisphere is responsible for intuition, feelings, sensitivity, emotions, daydreaming, visualizing, creativity, color, spatial awareness, and first impressions. It is also responsible for rhythm, spontaneity, impulsiveness, the physical senses, risk-taking, flexibility and variety, learning by experience, relationships, mysticism, play and sports, introversion, humor, motor skills, and the left side of the body (the old belief that left-handed people are more creative does hold some scientific credence). The right hemisphere also has a holistic method of perception that is able to recognize patterns and similarities and combines those elements into new forms.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Beth Moore-The Hairbrush Experience

For those of you who do not know Beth Moore, she is an outstanding Bible teacher, writer of Bible studies, and is a married mother of two daughters.

This is one of her experiences:

April 20, 2005, at the Airport in Knoxville, waiting to board the plane, I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I'd had a marvelous morning with the Lord. I say this because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you. You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise. Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons not the least of which is your ego.

I tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight. Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier. His knees protruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt. His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones. The strangest part of him was his hair and nails. Stringy, gray hair hung well over his shoulders and down part of his back. His fingernails were long, clean but strangely out of place on an old man.

I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my face. As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I'd just had a Howard Hughes sighting. Then, I remembered that he was dead. So this man in the impersonator maybe? Was a camera on us somewhere? There I sat; trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity served on a wheelchair only a few seats from me.

All the while, my heart was growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him. Let's admit it. Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than true concern, and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man. I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall. I've learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen. And it may be embarrassing. I immediately began to resist because I could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind. "Oh, no, God, please, no." I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare straight through it into heaven and said, "Don't make me witness to this man. Not right here and now. Please. I'll do anything. Put me on the same plane, but don't make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking audience. Please, Lord!"

There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, "Please don't make me witness to this man. Not now. I'll do it on the plane."

Then I heard it... "I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to brush his hair." The words were so clear, my heart leapt into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top. Do I witness to the man or brush his hair? No-brainer. I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, "God, as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this man. I'm on this Lord. I'm your girl! You've never seen a woman witness to a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if he is not redeemed? I am going to witness to this man."

Again as clearly as I've ever heard an audible word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of my mind. "That is not what I said, Beth. I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair."

I looked up at God and quipped, "I don't have a hairbrush. It's in my suitcase on the plane. How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hairbrush?" God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God's word: "I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:17)

I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story, my pulse quickens and I feel those same butterflies. I knelt down in front of the man and asked as demurely as possible, "Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?"

He looked back at me and said, "What did you say?" "May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?"

To which he responded in volume ten, "Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you're going to have to talk louder than that."

At this point, I took a deep breath and blurted out, "SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?"

At which point every eye in the place darted right at me. I was the only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Longlocks.

Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his face, and say, "If you really want to." Are you kidding? Of course I didn't want to. But God didn't seem interested in my personal preference right about then. He pressed on my heart until I could utter the words, "Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little problem. I don't have a hairbrush."

"I have one in my bag," he responded.

I went around to the back of that wheelchair, and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger's old carry-on, hardly believing what I was doing. I stood up and started brushing the old man's hair. It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted. I don't do many things well, but must admit I've had notable experience untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls. Like I'd done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull.

A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man's hair. Everybody else in the room disappeared. There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me. I brushed and I brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair. I know this sounds so strange, but I've never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart, I - for that few minutes - felt a portion of the very love of God. That He had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while. The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God's. His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant's.

I slipped the brush back in the bag and went around the chair to face him. I got back down on my knees, put my hands on his knees and said, "Sir, do you know my Jesus?"

He said, "Yes, I do." Well, that figures, I thought.

He explained, "I've known Him since I married my bride. She wouldn't marry me until I got to know the Savior." He said, "You see, the problem is, I haven't seen my bride in months. I've had open-heart surgery, and she's been too ill to come see me. I was sitting here thinking to myself, what a mess I must be for my bride."

Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we're completely unaware of the significance. This, on the other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in details only He could have known. It was a God moment, and I'll never forget it. Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I'd acted earlier and would have been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft.

I still had a few minutes, and as I gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, "That old man's sitting on the plane, sobbing. Why did you do that? What made you do that?"

I said, "Do you know Jesus? He can be the bossiest thing!"

And we got to share.

I learned something about God that day. He knows if you're exhausted, you're hungry, you're serving in the wrong place or it is time to move on but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you're hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if you're sick or drowning under a wave of temptation. Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed. He sees you as an individual. Tell Him your need!

I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one had I missed along the way, all because I didn't want people to think I was strange. God didn't send me to that old man. He sent that old man to me.

John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dissecting a Cow's Eyeball!

Last month I drove to Hattiesburg, MS to attend a weekend class for the deafblind degree I am working on. We were required to dissect a cow's eye as part of our midterm exam. My cow's eyeball was huge, the size of the palm of my hand, and then attached to the eye was muscle and fat also! Disturbingly, there were also two eyelashes still attached that I could not pull off with tweezers.

We were instructed to cut the eye open, and find the lens inside the eye. When I cut the eye open, black gushed out. I asked the teacher "What is the black stuff?" and she looked at me as if I were kidding and said "Blood..." (as if she were saying duh...). That stumped me, and I actually said "Oh, humans have red blood, and cows have black blood?!" Bobby still can't believe I asked that, but really, how am I suppose to know about a cow's blood?! The teacher told me no, that we all have blue blood until it hits the air, then it turns red, I knew that... but what I didn't know and learned from her explanation was that blood turns black after someone dies! She asked me "Don't you watch C.S.I.?". Umm, no. I watch "Grey's Anatomy", and the blood is still red on that show... So I was humiliated and acted engrossed in my eyeball so attention would be diverted elsewhere. The girl next to me leaned over then and whispered "I am glad you are here, you ask the questions I am too afraid to ask!" That is because I lack the "inhibition gene" which most people do have, the one that prevents every thought that passes through my mind from being spoken! ;)

When I did find the lens, it was actually very cool. It was similar in shape and texture to a "smashed marble", it was even as hard as a marble. When I placed it over text, the lens actually enlarged the text as a magnifier would! This degree is definitely challenging, but fascinating...

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Taco Bell Opens in my Itty-Bitty-City!!!

Today was the grand opening of "Taco Bell" in my itty-bitty-city! Those of you who know me know how much I love Taco Bell! So I left work today and drove to the Taco Bell, ready to enjoy a meal of fine Mexican cuisine... When I neared the Taco Bell, traffic was literally backed up, because the drive-thru line was backed up into the street! A manager was directing traffic in the parking lot, and he had to escort me to a parking spot when I told him I did not want to go through the drive-thru. I ordered my meal, and only 30 minutes later I was served! As I ate my meal I noticed there were three managers directing traffic, and one policeman writing up an accident report in the parking lot as well. Apparently everyone who lives in my itty-bitty-city all wanted to indulge in the fine Mexican cuisine of "Taco Bell"!!! ;)

I wasn't planning on going on opening day, I really thought it had opened yesterday. This makes two grand openings of Taco Bell I have attended, the first one being in England. I took Zach in his stroller, and we waited 45 minutes in line to order, and 45 minutes for our food that day. Zach had his first taste of "adult food", I let him have a nacho supreme chip, fully loaded! Now Zach loves Taco Bell also, his favorite meal is the "number 7" which is the chicken quesadilla with a taco and drink.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Sentimental Pineapple Charm!

Today I bought a silver pineapple charm for my charm bracelet, and I am so excited! When Graden was first learning to talk, Bobby would show him pictures and ask "What's this?!" and wait for Graden to answer. One day Bobby showed Graden a picture of a pineapple, and asked Graden to tell him what the picture was. Graden answered "House!!". At first Bobby didn't know why he had said house, but then he realized that Graden had watched so many episodes of "SpongeBob Squarepants" he thought pineapples were houses!

It was such an adorable moment with Graden, I had to have the charm when I saw it... :)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Books I Am Reading For This Semester!
Current mood: energetic

This weekend was the Orientation Weekend for my second master's degree I am earning from University of Southern Mississippi. The degree I am earning will train me to teach children and young adults that are deafblind, meaning they are deaf and blind, not an either or...

At the orientation, they told us we will be dissecting a cow's eyeball next month! Ugh... :) They also told us that next year they are paying all expenses to send the students to Long Island, New York to do a field observation at the Helen Keller Center!!! I am so excited about that!

Then they gave us the books we are required to read THIS SEMESTER, meaning we will have even more books next semester! Here is the list:

1. Hand in Hand: Essentials of Communcication and Orientation and Mobility for Your Students Who Are Deaf-Blind. Volumes 1 and 2 (over 800 pages)

2. Learning Media Assessment of Students with Visual Impairment (over 200 pages)

3. Remarkable Conversations: A Guide to developing meaningful communication with children and young adults who are deafblind. (over 300 pages)

4. Foundations of Low Vision: Clinical and Functional Perspectives (nearly 500 pages!)

5. Program in Low Vision Therapy (nearly 200 pages)

6. Dictionary of Eye Terminology (288 pages)

7. Vaughan & Asbury's General Opthalmology (466 pages)

8. A Guide to Planning and Support for Individuals Who Are Deafblind (over 500 pages)

9. Children with Disabilities (nearly 900 pages)

I am sure we won't read every page of every book, but I do know I am going to have a lot of required readings this semester! So much for my leisurely reading of "War and Peace"! ;) I am so excited to have been accepted! Dr. McDowell told us they had 526 total applicants and accepted a total of 46 over the past four years. I will be in the last cohort group, and will be graduating in 2009. This degree is entirely paid for, our tuition and books, and even traveling expenses. I am very blessed!