flesh wound.

Three days off is usually all I can take before I'm ready to go back to work. I mean, if I'm hanging around the house. (I would not hate a week in Kansas City.) But this long weekend came at just the right time; I appreciated time to rest. June is looking very busy. I have something going on almost every evening this month.

Miles woke me up early again today. My mom sent me a link to a site on how to deal with your cat when he wakes you up early. And so I am going to start laying down the law (apparently my getting up at 4 a.m. to put food in his dish was only reinforcing such behavior). The site recommended shutting the door and ignoring him until he stops. This will definitely require earplugs.

So I'm wrapping up my evening. All showered, and sitting in bed reading a book (I know, it's not even 8:30 but that's kind of how I roll). Miles is curious because Kevin is outside finishing up mowing my yard and trimming around the house, so he is trying to get through my blinds. Somehow during this process, he gets his foot caught. And he panics and starts trying to run away, and before I know it he is hanging by his foot from the blinds between my bed and desk.

I leap into action, grabbing him so his weight doesn't sever his foot. I'm trying to hold him with my right arm and use my left hand to free his foot, which must be caught in the strings of the blinds because it is not coming out easily. Miles is apparently thinking these blinds are trying to eat his foot, and he is making the most awful sounds in the world and completely shredding my arms.

It probably took me three seconds to untangle his foot but it felt like thirty minutes. He jumps and runs and puffs himself up double his size and stares at me like I just about killed him. So I'm crouching down and offering my hand to show that I'm no threat to him, please be my friend, and he--still quite traumatized--finally decides I'm okay.

Nothing like a little adrenaline rush before bed, and a trip to the bathroom to nurse the dozen puncture wounds on my arms that are now stinging like nobody's business and to bandage the gaping cut on my right arm. Sheesh.

That's gonna leave a mark,


class of 2010.

Class of 2010
Shout out to my brother who graduated from Cornell today. Cornell is an Ivy League school in Ithaca, NY. My brother played on the men's basketball team (#15), which competed in the NCAA tournament the past three years and made a great run to the Sweet 16 this year before falling to Kentucky.

He's not just athletic, he's smart too. Geoff graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural sciences with a concentration in crop production and management and sustainable agriculture.

Senior basketball boys (They shared a house)

Commencement ceremony at Schoellkopf Stadium

My brother got a job in New York (Ithaca/Rochester) so he'll be staying there. For being triplets, we are pretty spread out: (bro) Ithaca, NY; (me) Nashville, TN; and (sis) Columbia, MO. Needless to say, the three of us are in the same place only one or two days a year.

Bet you can guess what the weather is like in Nashville today. Yep. It's raining, as though we haven't had enough. I really enjoy thunderstorms in the summer though. Makes for a nice, relaxing weekend. This long weekend came at just the right now. I could use an extra day of sleep. Miles is napping right now but I'm about to go wake him up so he won't get me up at 5:15 a.m. again tomorrow.

Congrats, Geoff!


miles in style.


C: Centennial Park

This morning I drove downtown to pick up a few books at the LifeWay store. Afterward, I drove down West End to Centennial Park.

2565 Park Plaza, Nashville, TN
If you hate being outdoors, feeling warm sunshine on your skin, watching ducks, geese, fish, turtles, and squirrels chill in their natural habitats, and enjoying free parking at a serene 132-acre landscape tucked away in the metro, stay away from Centennial Park.

Centennial Park is probably one of my favorite places in Nashville. There is a one-mile loop through the park for walkers and runners. Centennial Park is also home to the Parthenon, an exact replica of the one in Athens. In the summer, you can go to CP to experience Movies in the Park. It's free! Movies start a sundown on Wednesdays in June. The line-up this summer: June 2 - Where the Wild Things Are, June 9 - The Sandlot, June 16 - Legally Blonde - June 23 - The Blind Side, June 30 - The Wizard of Oz.

Some geese teens drink from a puddle.

The Parthenon
Check it out: Park Map (PDF)

Click panorama for larger view of Lake Watatuga, a small man-made lake in CP.

Soak up the sun,



Today is National Hamburger Day. No one is really sure where it started, but it's a nice way to kick off Memorial Day weekend, and who would pass up an excuse for a quality burger? I can't really remember the last time I had a hamburger ... I'm not a vegetarian. I have a deep appreciation for a quality steak, but my grocery budget only supports the occasional pork chop or boneless chicken breast. But if you're more inclined to cake than hamburgers, you can celebrate today with a hamburger cake. It's true.

I don't like cake, but I did consider going and splurging on a burger for dinner. But my eggs are expiring today so I stayed home and made a egg/cheese burrito. It's probably good that I didn't go out; I'm pretty sure everyone gets in their cars and decides to park on Nolensville Rd. between 4-6 p.m. And even though Nashville is the friendliest city in America, that has nothing to do with ability to drive.

I've mentioned before that I often find myself talking to other drivers while I'm in my car. And besides drivers talking on their cell phones, not using their turn signals, driving on shoulders, or cruising down an exit-only lane only to stop at the end to wait for someone to let them back in, there is something else I will never understand. It's what I like to call The White Line Attachment Syndrome. And it looks like this:

Well, this is a rough rendition, but you get the idea. And in my situation, it's opposite--the right lane ends and you're supposed to merge right before meeting up with the interstate. So I'm driving in the left lane around the curve at 45 and speeding up because I know I will be joining cars moving at 55 mph. Then there is this car hanging out in the right lane. It is slightly ahead of me but it is not speeding up. And it is making no attempt whatsoever to merge. In fact, it is hugging that outside white line as long as it can, unwilling to let it go.

How can you just ignore the LANE ENDS MERGE LEFT signs? Or those gigantic white arrows painted down the middle of the lane? If your smoke detectors are beeping like crazy in your house, are you going to sit in your recliner until the last possible second? No! You're going to start moving and get out of there as fast as you can. Because when you don't I've got to go in there and save you (or hit my brakes so you can get over). If you are reading this and you think you or someone you love might be suffering from White Line Attachment Syndrome, take my advice:
Accelerate. Accelerate. Accelerate. And get the heck out of there!

You can be a good driver if you try,

ps. Okay, now I feel totally convicted about this. I'm reading Crazy Love, and the first thing I read tonight is Francis Chan writing about Matthew 25 and treating other people as we would treat Christ. Then he says: "How would my life change if I actually thought of each person I came into contact with as Christ--the person driving painfully slow in front of me, the checker at the grocery store who seems more interested in chatting than ringing up my items ... "

Ouch. I will now tape "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF" to my dashboard and work on my grace and peace.



I didn't buy any ice cream today for my anniversary, but I did get myself a chai latte.

Today Jennifer and I met up with Kennan, who is here visiting from Texas. She was also an intern last summer, so it was kind of a mini intern reunion. We tried to go to Las Paletas after work but they moved to a different building and there was nowhere to park, and Kennan was driving her grandparents' Hummer which is not easy to park, so we ended up just coming home. We'll have to go back when it's less busy.

This afternoon a lady from my insurance company called. She started to ask me if I had considered buying life insurance through their company. She is telling me I can't just depend on life insurance from my employer in case I lose my job. I had about five of these conversations last summer with another insurance company. So I'm all like: "Look, I'm not married. I don't have any kids. If I die, no one is going to suffer financially. Call me back in 5 to 10 years."

At work Teresa brought me a big package from the mail. I love getting mail. And I was really excited to see that some of our media contacts hooked me up with Audrey Assad's album, The House You're Building, which releases July 13. Audrey Assad has a song on Chris Tomlin's Christmas CD. I listened to her music all day and it's really good. So you should check her out: http://www.audreyassad.com.

Tomorrow is Friday! Hurray. If Friday and Monday were in a popularity contest, Friday would win hands down. I'm very much looking forward to a long weekend.

buenos noches,

one year in nashville.

A year ago today I arrived in Nashville. Hungry and homeless. Things worked out pretty well.

This was undoubtedly the year that everything changed in a very short amount of time. I felt like I aged 3-4 years in a matter of months. I think this anniversary might warrant an ice cream cake.
And here I am. Waking up at 5 a.m. every day, going to work and doing what I love. Praise God.




I can recognize who is walking past my office by the sounds of their footsteps. When I hear someone coming, I make a quick guess and look up from my desk. If I'm right, I win. I'm usually right.

This morning at chapel, Dr. Henry Blackaby came and spoke in celebration of 20 years of his book Experiencing God. I haven't read the book myself, but he talked about the impact it has had on people. It's been translated to other languages, reformatted for distribution in the military, adapted to become a daily devotional, and more. It was really cool to hear his story and how God has been touching so many lives through this resource. It now has a place on my reading list.

My writing project is starting to feel a little overwhelming. I'm currently at 367 pages and I'm still a long way out. I think my publishing maximum is 800 pages, so I could really do 1,600 because I'm printing front and back. And I've decided to go with hardcover so it will last longer. I think it will be close on my page count. I can always shrink my font size or margins or opt for a bigger page size. I'm planning on US Trade, which is 6"x9". I like that size because it's easy to hold and carry.

I will most likely end this project with carpal tunnel and/or arthritis. I wish I could distribute the work and have a team of people typing this stuff up (95% of the content already exists, just not digitally). But 1) I don't have money to hire people; 2) I would worry too much about accuracy/typos; 3) These words are not for just anybody.

I'm leaving for Kansas in nine days! I'm real excited. I like to travel, but airports just make me nervous. Everyone is in such a hurry! I'm flying Southwest, which is my favorite airline because they are so affordable and bags fly FREE. What's not to love about that? I'm trying to figure out if I'll go back to Kansas over July 4 weekend. Except I'm thinking it would just be better if my family came here because I lived in Kansas 21.5 years. Nashville is new and exciting, and I hear they have a great fireworks show.

Keep it real,



What's your secret? What's the one thing no one knows about you?
Jennifer and I went to Kairos tonight. Mike has been doing a series called Six Weeks of Sin and tonight he talked about secrets. My notes are incomplete. Get the whole message here.

Everyone has one, but they don't stay secrets for long. It doesn't matter if you're the president of the United States. You will be found out. Not even King David could keep his sin secret. The prophet Nathan rebuked him and David and his kingdom were torn apart because of it. (2 Samuel 12:11-14)

Maybe you justify it. "This sin isn't hurting anyone but me. Big deal." But truth is like an acid and it eats away at anything. The secret gets hard to carry and you start to think about it all the time, being careful never to hint at it and thus expose yourself. But what you think about moves to your heart and it becomes who you are. And then it becomes what you do. If someone might know your secret, you'll deny it.

When I was little, my dad used to come home from work and empty his pocket change onto the end table in the living room. Being the curious little 7-year-old that I was, I could not resist the shiny gleams of those quarters and nickels and pennies. So one day, I took them. My mom noticed the money was missing and she asked us kids who took it. I was not about to confess in front of my siblings and endure their inevitable teasing. Eventually I broke down into tears and told my mom I had taken the money.

It's interesting why we keep secrets. There are little pieces of ourselves we don't want anyone to know about. Maybe we are afraid they won't want to be our friends anymore if they found out. Or worse, they'll stop loving us. Satan is quick to take advantage of our secrets and convince us that if anyone finds out, our lives will be over. Done for. Finished.

Not really. I mean, it might sting but it won't kill you. 1 John says that if you are faithful to confess your sin, God is eager to forgive. Forgiveness is releasing someone from the expectation that he or she can fix what happened. I wasn't capable of turning back time and un-taking the money, but forgiveness frees me from that and says, "It's OK. You don't have to." Maybe your secret is something awful you did when you were 13. Or what you do when no one is watching. Maybe your secret is something that happened to you.

So what's confession all about? If something was done to me, why should I confess it? Confession isn't placing blame. It's being honest and telling it like it is. It's saying, "This is where I should have been strong, and I wasn't. This is where I should have been brave, but I wasn't." Maybe you can have reconciliation. Maybe you can't. But there is still forgiveness. You're free. This doesn't have to tie you down anymore.

Secrets can be scary. When I stole my dad's coins, I didn't want him or my mom to find out what I had done. I suppose I feared punishment and ridicule. Maybe there's something you don't want Jesus to find out. Something horrible that might make Him change His mind about you. But Jesus already knows. And He loves you. He is eager to forgive. Let it go.

Oh, how He loves.

the silent observer.

I am shamefully confessing to you today that I reinstated my Facebook account. I had requested a delete, but Facebook doesn't actually do it until 14 days later. (I think they know most people will change their minds by then.) So when I signed in this morning, everything was there and back to normal.

I'm not a Facebook junkie. I don't add apps and I don't join (or "Like") dozens or hundreds of groups. I'm just the silent observer. I can see pictures from friends' engagements, babies' first days in the world, and yep, I appreciate Facebook reminding me when my friends' birthdays are because unless you've been my friend since elementary school, I might know the month of your birthday, but I can't keep track of the day.

One of my reasons for deleting (err … almost deleting) my account was because I don't use Facebook to communicate with people very often. I thought because of that I'd be fine without it. But you don't see me tossing my cell phone because it only rings a handful of times a week. And think about it: When you're hanging out with your friends, the majority of communication doesn't happen through words. You can learn a lot about people by just watching them. I am the silent observer.

OK, so I actually do feel a little guilty about returning to Facebook, but that's totally a pride thing. I said I was done with it. I like keeping my word. If I say I'm going to do something, I try hard to do it. But that's life.

I changed my mind.



The day flew by at work today. It helped that I kept busy. I'm pretty much in love with Google Apps. The mail, calendar, sites, docs, and chat makes my job so much easier. Hopefully we will be able to optimize our Google resources to better communicate with our writers and to make our lives easier. What's not to love about that?

This afternoon I bought a 2-year membership to the Nashville Zoo. The cost of admission for an adult is $14! This is why I've never been before. But with my membership, I can go and bring a friend for free! Unlimited visits in two years. If a friend and I go just four times in two years, then the membership is a bargain. I live about a mile from the zoo so it will be fun to be able to go over there to walk after work and on weekends. And when people can visit they can go with me for free.

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless GodThis morning I got some information about a women's small group that meets on Thursdays. I'm going to go check it out this week. Right now the group is working through Francis Chan's Crazy Love. Jennifer has the book so I'm trying to get a start on it. I've read Chan's Forgotten God and I've heard great things about this book as well.

Tonight the Hands On Nashville organization and the Nashville volunteers are being featured tonight (right now) on NBC's Nightly News: Making a Difference segment with Brian Williams.

Thursday will mark my two weeks without Facebook ... the no-turning-back point. I could log in right now and get everything back but after 14 days the site shuts my account for good. I'm not going to lie, it's a little difficult to resist checking it. But I never really used it to communicate. My close friends know my e-mail and phone number. I still blog and Tweet. I feel like I've achieved some level of freedom by closing my account ... right? I'm an adult now. Facebook was designed for college kids. Sure, some of my high school classmates will have babies and my distant friends will get engaged and I will be oblivious, but I think I will live.

I'm leaving for Kansas City in 11 days! I can't wait. I need to book some more flights; I have a Southwest Rapid Rewards account -- if I fly eight round trips in 24 months, I get a free flight. I'm coming up on one year and have flown four times (3x to KC and once to Philly). Nashville to KC is one of the cheapest flights ever. I have a friend in LA I want to go visit with my free flight ... though I would love love love to see Seattle but I don't know anyone there and having a free place to stay/someone to drive you around helps so much.

Pack your suitcase,



Notice the teeth marks in that plastic.
Sure, he looks cute, but he bites.
Fortunately he doesn't bite me. 
And fortunately I bought the cheapest blinds I could find:

de. struc. tion.

Watch your fingers,


Don't underestimate the power of snail mail. A quick "hello" note or "thinking of you" can go a long way. One of my hobbies is making greeting card. It's my little opportunity to be creative. I think there's a design gene in me somewhere, but it's a little weak and usually I'm better at looking at a design and deciding I like how it looks (or don't like it) than I am at actually doing the designing myself.

Today I decided to make a card for my friend Jenn. I hadn't talked to her in awhile, but she's getting married is less than two weeks so I figured I wouldn't make life any crazier for her by trying to call her. So I made a card.

I spent 2-3 hours on this card/envelope set, but I must say, I'm very proud of it.

bind-in pages

The inside of the card has multiple pages (I like to write a lot) and so I stitched the pages in with a needle and thread. This was the first time I've stitched paper, but it was easy and looked really nice.

I added my "alyssa in nashville" logo to the back.

inside before adding pages

As I was starting work on this project, Jenn called me! It was really great to talk to her. In addition to wedding planning, she's also finishing up the school year (she teaches third grade). I'm pretty impressed she found time to catch up and I'm very thankful she did!

get creative,



Katy and Jane
This photo is from yesterday. Katy and Jane came to work wearing matching shirts. When you start hanging around the same people long enough, things like this just happen.

This morning Miles woke me up real early, but I locked him out of my room and went back to bed. When I finally got up, he kept attacking my legs. If Miles' love language is making me bleed, he must really love me. Oh, and he barfed on the doormat in the kitchen, so I had to drizzle some detergent on it and I clipped it to the fence and hosed it down. Gross. But he made up for it this afternoon by taking a long nap and looking extra cute.

My water bill came today. It was for the exact same amount I owed in March and April! Three months in a row ... this whole being-an-adult thing is still pretty new to me, and it's the little things that are amusing. But now that there are two people living here, I'm sure we are using a lot more water.

I meant to meet up with Andrea today but due to some failure in communication it didn't work out. I'm going to be in Kansas City in two weeks for Evan and Jenn's wedding! It's coming up quickly then I can't wait because after I come back from that, Anne and Sam will be moving here.

Party in Nashville!


dead end drama.

I live on a dead end. There are many perks to this ... namely, no through traffic. The majority of the people living on my street are middle- to old-aged people who have lived here since their houses were built some 40 years ago. They look out for each other. My neighbor to the north mows my yard and my neighbor across the street brings me flowers and watches my house for any suspicious activity. So you can imagine I was a bit surprised to wake up at 2 a.m. last night to a loud disturbance right outside.

First, I woke up to dogs barking. It sounded like lots of dogs. Lots of dogs in pain or seriously scared. Loud dogs which reminded me of the coyotes that used to run through our backyard in Kansas. The sound is just horrible. My first thought was, Oh my goodness, I hope there's not someone out there trying to break into a house. Then came the yelling.

I was a little relieved at the yelling because I imagine someone trying to break into a house would not be yelling and drawing attention to himself. More yelling, and I started to get scared and wondered if someone was about to get shot, or if a break-in was botched and someone was hurt and the bad guys were panicking. Pretty scary, so I start praying. I mean, it's pretty stinkin' relieving when you know the God of the universe is looking out for you. And I don't feel so scared anymore, and I hear a car go screeching off down the street, so it's still odd. Then within 10 minutes, two cop cars show up and the police are out there talking to some people who live in the rental duplex to the south of me.

I'm kind of disappointed that these renters are kind of ruining the rep. of our little street with whatever drama they have going on at 2 a.m. But the police finish talking to people and I assume it was a domestic dispute because nothing seems to be happening but the police continue to sit there at the end of the street for nearly an hour, which makes me feel safe enough to go back to sleep.

This morning Jennifer said she didn't even hear it; I think it might be a homeowner's thing. I sleep so lightly now and I wake up at the slightest noise. I guess it's this new instinct to protect my dwelling, though I wouldn't risk my life for it. And seriously, I'm 22 and have nothing of great material value, so if you're considering burglarizing my house, don't waste your time.

M: Mellow Mushroom


Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers
212 21st Ave. S.
Nashville, TN
(615) 342-0044
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-9pm

As good as the turkey and American cheese sandwich I had packed for lunch sounded, pizza sounded better. I don't eat pizza too often, but hey, it's Friday. Andy, Jennifer H., Jennifer B., and I went over to Mellow Mushroom near Vanderbilt.

Mellow Mushroom was started by three college students near Georgia Tech to cater to the college crowd: pizza and beer. Today there are more than 100 restaurants in 15 states. (Brief History)

Mellow Mushroom has lunch specials, mostly two slices (very large slices) of pizza and a soft drink and/or a salad. I opted for a cheese calzone. The Jennifers both got two slices each and Andy ordered a small (10") pizza. Each of us ate about half of our meals and took the rest with us for another meal. The food is pretty good; nice and greasy/cheesy if you like it that way. This is probably not a good low-calorie choice but if it's a Friday and you're craving pizza, this is the place.

The only downside was that after we were done eating, we waited for a long time before our waiter gave us our checks, then awhile longer while he took our cards to pay. Plan to spend $10-$15. Overall, a pretty good experience. I probably would only eat here once or twice a year, but I'm not a big pizza eater.

I've got a date with my treadmill tonight,


Nashville: A to Z

June 1 marks the end of my first year in Nashville, Tennessee. I've decided to start a summer project for my blog. Jennifer was telling me about a couple who wanted to eat at restaurants throughout Nashville from A to Z. Because I rarely eat out and don't really have the money to, I thought it would be fun to spend the summer discovering everything Music City has to offer—A to Z—for relatively low or no cost.

I'll be posting my progress here, but you can keep track of my overall progress on my Nashville: A to Z page. I'll be taking pictures and writing reviews. I love love love Music City in the summertime. I'm beginning to compile ideas, so if you know of anything fun, let me know and I will check it out!

This is going to be great!



I don't know where my head is today. I finished up my "secret project" in the morning. I've determined my most productive hours are between 7 a.m. - 10 a.m. Not that I'm not productive the rest of the time, but these three hours tend to be distraction free. After 10, I start getting hungry and people start coming by and talking to me and I start wanting to switch tasks because I've been staring at the same piece all morning.

Today I was crazy-focused. I was excitedly finishing up my project and for nearly an hour I was "in the zone." Seriously, I looked up from my desk and realized I'm at work! Have you ever been dreaming about something so vividly that when you wake up you can hardly believe you're not doing whatever you were dreaming about? Well, this was like that except when I became aware of my surroundings, I was. Weird, right? I felt like I had been dreaming that I was working on this project or something ... which reminds me a lot of my freshman-level philosophy class in which we talked for days about reality and whether or not we were just living in The Matrix world.

My brain must have been cramping from all of that focusing because when I met up with Andrea after work, I was not there. I handed her the rest of the paper plate awards and started to get back in my car without having much of a conversation. Then I went to Kroger because I got more coupons from my mom and I was excited to get yogurt for next to nothing. I went through the self-checkout line and forgot to use my coupons. Then I got home and realized I forgot to dump the plastic I had put in my car to recycle at Kroger. Sheesh.

I'm giving this another try tomorrow,



I got up and made lemon poppyseed muffins this morning. They're pretty much my favorite. Then Cheryl brought some scones from Panera to work, so ... second breakfast. :)

I spent part of today working on a secret project that will hopefully make my life as an editor much easier. I'm pretty excited about it; I think I will be able to finish it tomorrow.

After work I drove down to Andrea's school and helped her make some "paper plate awards." This is the last week of school for her first graders. It's been awhile since I've taken on an art project. Andrea printed out labels with individual award titles and I provided the art. Let's just say it's a good thing these are going to first graders. So all I really have to do is achieve second-grade quality work to impress them. I sure am glad Andrea isn't teaching third grade.

I'm starting on another secret project ... a writing project. Since I gladly have a day job, I imagine it will take months or more to finish it. But I think the final result will be cool, or at least interesting. So my first secret project at work will probably be revealed Monday, but this one might not publish until 2011 sometime. Now you all have something to look forward to.

Making it happen,



Geoff cheezin' it up with the bees
You'd think we'd be pretty similar being triplets and all, but this is definitely something I would never do!

As soon as I got home from work, I mowed the yard. Kevin hadn't done the backyard and it was getting tall so I got my reel mower out and knocked it out in about an hour. I'm not going to lie; using a reel mower is tough. It's "fun" for about the first 20 minutes and then you just can't wait to be done. And it's a workout. But I think it builds character.

Ten minutes after I came inside, it started pouring rain. This has officially been the wettest month in Nashville history and we are only halfway through it. More rain is predicted over the next week. For dinner I made lasagna, but instead of lasagna noodles, I used mini bow ties. It tasted great! I'm calling it "Tuxedo Lasagna." It filled a 9x11 pan, so I'll be eating lasagna the rest of the week.

Table for one,



Nothing says "Welcome to Nashville" like a nearby shooting. Yesterday evening Jennifer and I went to Kroger and I showed her some of the other stores in the area. A few hours after we left, there was a shooting in that shopping area. I wouldn't consider south Nashville to be too dangerous; most shootings I hear about are on 12th Ave N.

Jennifer and Miles
It's been rainy most of the day today. After church I took a two-hour nap and it was pretty great. I think Miles might have a new favorite person. Ahem ... I understand being intrigued by a new person in the house, but hey kid, do not forget who rescued you from the animal shelter and who feeds you and who brushes you and puts up with your adolescent behavior at all hours of the morning!

Today I got my sponsorship packet from Compassion International. I'm sponsoring a 15-year-old boy in Awassa, Ethiopia who shares my birthday (Feb. 12). Most adults in Awassa work as day laborers and earn the equivalent of $12/month. (That's $0.40 a day.) Sponsorship will allow the staff at the local church student center to provide this boy with Bible teaching, tutoring and scholastic materials, medical checkups and treatment, clothing, and recreational activities. If you want to learn more about sponsoring a child through Compassion International, click here.

 It's all about love,
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