Why we quit teaching ESL

Mr. Right and I started teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) just a few months after we got married. We thought God was preparing us to go to the mission field and this was a way to get some extra training. To serve together. To do something we were both passionate about.


And as most of my friends know, it became a great love story between us and our ESL students. Five fabulous years of friendships, of meeting students from all around the world. We taught people from Mexico to North Korea, from women who had come from huts in Africa with no schooling, to doctors and lawyers with advanced degrees that were worthless in the United States. I always took the beginners – my favorites – and with each student, my worldview grew a little bigger.


During the Ebola outbreak, we had a student from Liberia, and had to have serious discussions about what it might mean if we were ever to be exposed. We decided it was more important for us to be welcoming and trusting  and LOVING to that student than to fixate on the risk. We wanted to be her safe place.


During the Arab Spring, we had students from so many of the countries on the news. Egypt. Syria. We taught folks from Iran and Iraq. We had a Palestinian student who was thrown out of his home by a Jew. We had students who had experienced harrowing escapes, who had lived in refugee camps, who had been separated from their spouse for a decade, or who were still waiting for their children to gain access to America. We taught Christians and Muslims and Hindus and people of religions I had never heard before. I adored them all.


We saw it all, and we loved them all. We saw students go to college, get jobs, gain the confidence to speak English in front of others. We dined in our students’ homes and hosted them in ours. We had students get baptized – we saw whole families get baptized. It was amazing, y’all. And for five years, it was exactly where God wanted us. We were in love. We were fulfilled.


But ministry – as in life – happens in seasons, and we sensed that God was calling us to a new season. Mr. Right started teaching in our Sunday School class, and we started finding ourselves saying “no” to many things we wanted to say “yes” to, because we didn’t have the bandwidth to do everything. We can’t do everything – and we should never try to do everything. We have learned through experience that we can only be “all in” on one thing at a time.


About a year ago, God brought us an amazing couple to serve, and we began to sense that He was working out a transition for us. That our beloved ministry would be safe with these new people who loved our students just as much as we did, who loved our teachers just as much as we did. Who had fresh ideas and passion. We, on the other hand, were growing tired, and feeling a longing to do something else. To take a break. To love people in a different way. Five years is a long time when you count it as about 40 Wednesday nights a year – 200 classes total. We taught as newlyweds, then through morning sickness, then through job transitions and raising a toddler. It was time for a break.


I read The Best Yes and For The Love this year, and both books talked about how saying “yes” to one thing is saying “no” to something else. And that’s what staying with ESL would do for us – it would keep us from what God has planned for us in this next season, and it would keep the people whom God has raised up to lead from having the opportunity to do so. As Jen Hatmaker so eloquently said this week, “If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s probably a no.” Man… Jen Hatmaker and I are soul sisters.


And so, that’s why we have chosen to take a break from ESL. As I told the pastor at our church who is over that ministry, I wholeheartedly believe I will be back. I just need a break. God has other things for me to do right now, and He has raised up our replacements. It’s the greatest way to leave a ministry – to pass it on to someone else who will love it as much as we do.

{For all of my ESL posts, click here.}

That one time I almost died of embarrassment telling a Bible story

Each week as part of our ESL (English as a Second Language – for adults) program, after an hour of instruction, all the classes come together and we tell a Bible story and then give announcements. We use Chronological Bible Story Telling – basically, if you had someone who had never heard the name of Jesus, how would you give them a complete view of the Bible in just a few short sessions? About 12 to be exact? So we hit the major stories of the Bible and unpack what it means to need and have a savior.

The first time it was my turn to teach on the passover, I royally screwed it up.

You see, I have always taught the beginner’s class. It’s my favorite (it’s also all I know), and many of my students speak so very little English. So when you’re telling a complicated story like how the Angel of Death asked the Israelites to kill a lamb and put the blood over their door posts so they would be passed over and their firstborn would be saved… there’s a lot of big words that can be confusing to a new English speaker.

So I decided to “help” simplify the story.

I was doing really great, and was so proud of myself, until I got to the part where I needed to explain who the Egyptians were, and who the Israelites were. I thought it would be helpful to differentiate between the two by explaining how the Israelites were the GOOD GUYS and the Egyptians were the BAD GUYS. I probably called the Egyptians the BAD GUYS 3-4 times before I looked up…

And saw a row of Egyptian students looking back at me.

You know those moments in life where you want to crawl in a hole and die? This was one of those moments.

Lately: Real Life


1. Wrenn is on day 15 of fever. First it was croup (which Mr. Right and I also caught a milder version of), then we think she was teething, then the doc said the croup fever may linger for awhile, and then over the weekend she had some weird allergic reaction to something on her feet that’s making them blister and itch horribly (it’s not hand foot mouth, because we’ve both had that before and the blisters are different). And yesterday, on day 14, her fever was 101 (today she was fever free for a few hours before it crept back up to 100). Poor child has had a rough go of it and has been on quarantine for half the month. She’s getting a little stir crazy, as are her parents. (But again… praise Jesus for her asthma, which is still being controlled well by her meds.)

rodeo1 rodeo2

2. Last weekend we took ourselves temporarily off quarantine to go to the rodeo with Mr. Right’s family. The rodeo for them is kind of like the Super Bowl – my father-in-law is a team roper and my husband grew up showing livestock for 4-H. So, the family starts planning for the rodeo about five months early. Little Wrenn, of course, had the perfect outfit and considering it was 75 degrees in February, it was a glorious day. Wrenn LOVED it and sat through almost the entire two hours… it was such a joy to watch her experience it, wide-eyed.

3. Our new ESL semester started back last week and it was SO GOOD. We had been praying for new teachers and God provided three new ones, plus some new students. Not to mention that seeing our students after a two month break is SO SWEET. We love our students so much, we’ve had one stay at our house recently, we’ve been to graduation parties and family gatherings and shared many meals with them and been to their homes. They’re some of our dearest friends. So, after a two month break, you can imagine how happy I was to see them again.


4. My dishwasher broke. I joked that I feel like Little House on the Prairie, but I must admit, of all the appliances to bite the dust, I’m glad it was this one, as I’m kind of a hand-washing pro. That’s what happens when your husband is a great cook (you do dishes) and when you’ve got a baby (you do lots and lots and lots of hand washing). It’s actually a little bit therapeutic. Now, if I still don’t have a new dishwasher by next month, I probably won’t speak of it quite as fondly.

5. Our dog ran away. Harley the Wonder Schnoodle, the dog I’ve had since college, snuck out when we were loading the car and we didn’t know it. He was gone almost an hour, and thankfully we discovered through our neighborhood website that a kind neighbor had taken him in. God bless technology. So glad he’s home.


6. With all of this quarantine business, I’ve had plenty of time to catch up on some quilting. Stay tuned for a Work in Progress post on my scrappy quilt. She’s pretty.


7. I’ve been blogging for the Fort Worth Moms Blog since last summer, and I’ve got a post up this week that features a fabric bunting tutorial and also a free Valentine’s print download. I hope you’ll go check it out. (And leave a comment on that post so the editors feel warm fuzzies toward me… cool?)


il_570xN.665559259_8u9tHave you downloaded my quick and easy budget? It’s available at Texas Lovely on Etsy.

Other places you can find Texas Lovely:

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/texaslovelyshop
On Instagram: texas_lovely

Waiting for the next wave


I got to go to the Catalyst Conference in Dallas last week for work, and it was life changing. I texted my boss in the middle of it and told her that I wasn’t sure yet what type of ROI we were going to get on our booth, but the two-day event had blessed my soul beyond my expectations.

There was good worship. Lots of it. And there’s something so wonderful about getting to worship in the middle of a work day. I guess that’s just another perk to this amazing job God sort of dropped in my lap. But in addition to the worship, which was just SO GOOD, we got to hear from some really great speakers. Typically the thought of sitting in a room listening to two days worth of “rah rah” pep talks makes me want to pluck out my eyeballs, but this was different. Each speaker pierced my heart, encouraged me, and got me EXCITED about ministry.

Danielle Strickland spoke about how ministry is like surfing. It’s 80 percent work, and 20 percent payoff. But those not willing to put in the work, to be in the trenches, to swim against the tide week in and week out, will never be in the right place when the wave comes. As someone who has surfed once (man, it was hard… but so fun), I totally get what she was saying.

It perfectly describes our English as a Second Language ministry. Mr. Right and I start our eighth semester of teaching English to refugees and immigrants next week. And let me tell you… it’s work. It’s never convenient to give up one night a week, to leave your crying toddler in the nursery, to eat dinner at 9:00 p.m. after you get home. To prepare a lesson and invest in student after student, wondering if what you’re doing will make a difference.

It’s hard work. But then you catch a wave. And you see lives change. And it’s SO MUCH FUN.

There was the family from Venezuela – a couple who were both doctors back home, but who couldn’t practice in America because their degree was worthless here. We were able to help one of them become a certified Respiratory Therapist so she could help her family, and we helped the other learn enough English that he could go back to community college to work toward a degree here.

There are the many students who have come through, not speaking a word of English, fresh off a plane from places far away. And after years of classes, they stop coming because they learned enough English to find jobs. Jobs that will change the future of their own lives and the lives of their families. Jobs that will change legacies. (Finding a job is the biggest barrier to success for immigrants.)

There have been students who were socially isolated. Not being able to speak English, they’re stuck living lonely lives with very few friends. Can you imagine what it would be like to have ABSOLUTELY NO FRIENDS? To never be able to talk to anybody but your immediate family? I have watched my students, who are so isolated, make friends with other students in the same situation. And their whole demeanor changes. They’re happier, more confident. They know they’re not alone in this big, new place.

I have seen students overcome racial, ethnic, and cultural barriers. One of my favorite memories was a class when a few of my West African students realized that the Egyptians sitting next to them were also from Africa. They had no idea, because they didn’t LOOK like Africans.

Or when I look over and see students from North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Palestine, and Egypt in the same room together. Realizing that these people aren’t enemies. Or the Muslims who have never experienced love from a Christian back in their home country, and then they come to our little class, in our Baptist church, and experience genuine love and respect from Christians for the first time.


And then there are the rare moments when I have gotten to see my students accept Christ and get baptized. Or their families get baptized. It typically takes several years. Which means that it’s easy to get stuck in the weeds, wondering if all of this work is making a difference. Will they ever come to know Jesus, the reason we serve in the first place? Week after week, year after year in the trenches. Swimming against the tide.

But when that wave comes… it’s so worth it. There is nothing in this world like it.

Friends, would you pray for our little ministry as it kicks off another semester next week? Pray that God would bring us more teachers and that he would bless our students. 


photo 1 (31)For prints and other lovelies, visit Texas Lovely on Etsy.

Other places you can find Texas Lovely:

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/texaslovelyshop
On Instagram: texas_lovely


Friday Favorites & a Give-away

If you moseyed on over here from my friend Helene’s blog, welcome! You can read more about me here and visit my shop, Texas Lovely, here.

Okay, now that we’re friends, on to today’s post:

These are a few of my favorite things…

For those of you who are new here, I teach English as a Second Language to refugees and immigrants from all over the world. Last night I taught my beginners about our elections, and the basic structure of government – things like term limits for the president and congress, names of local government leaders (governor, mayor), and about our two party system. The highlight of the class was having one of my favorite students, a large African woman about 70 years old, lean back in her chair and say, “Mmmm… I don’t like Obama. Romney is my man!” Now, regardless of your political leaning, a moment like that goes against just about every political stereotype, and it makes teaching English an absolute hoot.

I asked my students to tell me about the governments in their countries, how their leaders were chosen and whether or not they’ve ever voted. It was eye-opening to go around the room and hear students from Congo, Ivory Coast and Togo each say that it’s too dangerous to vote – that they would never do it because it’s not safe. It’s just another reminder that regardless of how you feel about the candidates running, we are blessed to be able to go to the polls without fear of physical harm.

To the woman who told me today, while I was wearing my big-girl suit no less, “There is NO WAY you could be 32! I could have sworn you were in your mid-20s,” all I have to say is, BLESS YOU. BLESS YOU. BLESS YOU. You’re my new best friend.

It totally makes up for the woman yesterday who asked me if I was pregnant, and when I told her I wasn’t, she said she didn’t believe me. That’s a new one. (And of course I was wearing a new shirt that I just LOVED, but which I love a little less now.)

This sucker is BIG! But I love the craziness of the pattern, combined with the neutral Christmas colors. It doesn’t just scream “Yea! Christmas!” but instead whispers it soothingly as you cuddle by the fire.

Oh wait, I’m now personifying my quilts. Maybe I’m spending too much time in my sewing studio, watching How I Met Your Mother on my laptop. (The first six seasons have seen me through three different quilts.) Anyway, this gal will probably end up in my shop — unless I decide to keep her for myself, which is a strong possibility — so stay tuned for an announcement about her listing. Feel free to call “dibs” on her now by leaving a comment. I haven’t measured her yet but it’s definitely big enough for two people to snuggle under it next to a fire.

My friend over at Helene In Between is giving away a Texas Lovely print on her blog! If you don’t already follow her, go check her out – she’s a Dallas girl (love supporting local bloggers) and her blog is gaining popularity at warp speed. Thanks Helene for so generously partnering with me! Now hurry up and go enter the give-away so I can send you something lovely!

—-I’m linking this post up with the Bargain Blonde’s Friday Favorites link party—

Waiting and in the meantime

My nephew Luke, my middle sister’s miracle baby, is due on Tuesday. I can’t wait to meet him, to hold him, to smell that little baby smell and kiss his sweet head. But alas, he seems to be pretty cozy in his current surroundings, and so we continue to wait for his big debut. In the meantime, you can bet that I’m carrying around my cell phone, ready for the call, anxious to take myself and my yo-yo sewing kit to sit and wait some more in the hospital’s waiting room.

And stalk the floors looking for marketing collateral so I can gather ideas. 
Oh wait, I would never do that.

While we’ve been so busy waiting, we’ve kept ourselves occupied with many other worthwhile endeavors.

Like not eating bread or sweets. That takes up a lot of time and mental energy. But I’m proud to report that I’ve made it six meals without any mishaps, and I haven’t killed anybody yet. Or thrown anything. But I will probably dream about cinnamon rolls tonight when I go to bed. Cinnamon rolls and french toast drizzled in syrup and powdered sugar.

Oh my, there I go again.

Last weekend we went to a graduation party for the son of one of our favorite ESL students from West Africa – Togo to be exact. We’ve known my student’s son for a year now and he’s an absolute delight – he wants to be a doctor and I am confident that if that’s what he chooses to do, he’ll be a darn good one.
The highlight of the party, besides seeing his mama all dolled up, was two of his African cousins, ages 4 and 8, dressed in their biggest party dresses, who went up to me all wide-eyed and cute and said, “We love your hair!” in a way only a 4-year-old can do. My heart melted and I’ve since decided that when we adopt, we may need a little girl from Togo. Heck, I’ll take a little girl from just about anywhere, actually. The more people I meet from far off places, the more I just love people.
We also hit up an engagement party for one of our other friends, spent the day at the pool, took our Nigerian friend to a family dinner at Grease Monkey (best burgers in town, I assure you), took an incredibly long Sunday nap, and hosted another family dinner at our house.
Speaking of days at the pool – I broke down and bought a new swimsuit. At the first store I went to, I tried on exactly one suit, loved it, paid for it, and was gone within 10 minutes. I hate shopping for swimsuits (and jeans) so this “rip off the bandaid” approach was the least painful way to do it. I found one that’s pink and ruffled and covers up a few of my least favorite places.
I hope I don’t have to do that again for another four years, which is how long it’s been since I purchased my last one. Or by that time I’ll find a body double who can shop for me and save me the mental anguish.
In the meantime, we’re all killing time until we can hold that sweet Luke. Say a little prayer for my sister as she lets him cook a little longer. She’s going to make a great mama, and I can’t wait to train him to call me Aunt B.

ESL & Answered Prayers

We wrapped up our second semester of teaching Languages for the Nations, an English as a Second Language (ESL) program hosted by our church, First Baptist Euless. Anyone who reads my blog knows that teaching in this program has become my absolute favorite thing to do.
But before I get started, I wanted you to see my class to get an understanding of our international flair. Pictured below is my beginner’s class, filled with students from Togo (West Africa), Ivory Coast (West Africa), El Salvador, Mexico, and Guinea (West Africa), and my fabulous co-teacher Haley (I bet you can pick her out). Not pictured are my students from Nepal, Egypt, Pakistan, and Venezuela.
These are some of the kindest, big-hearted people you’ll ever meet. And brave – you have to be brave to leave your country, your extended family, and everything you know to make a life in a new country. Many of our students are political or religious refugees who came here because it was the only safe option for their family, and now they must learn English so they can find jobs and make friends and make a new life here.
But we don’t just teach them English so they can find work, although it’s the number one predictor of whether or not they will make it in the U.S. No, we teach them English so we can build relationships with them and share Jesus with folks who literally have no idea who Jesus is.
And guess what. God has done a huge work in our little ministry this year. I just found out yesterday that three of our former students are going to be baptized at our church in a few weeks. Another from this semester has accepted Christ. Two more have started attending our church services regularly, making new friends and becoming part of our church community.
And all because they stumbled across our little English program, made a few friends, learned that they are loved, and saw that our church wanted to invest in them.
And, because Mr. Right and I, along with the other teachers, got on our faces regularly and prayed for these students, asking God to work miracles in their lives. We’ve not only prayed that our students would accept Christ, but we’ve asked God to win the hearts of their families, both here and back home. And guess what – one of our students’ daughters, who never came to a class, accepted Christ on Easter Sunday.
If you’re keeping track, that makes five. Five people who have discovered Jesus, all because they decided to try out a free English class.
To our friends and family who have prayed along with us – THANK YOU. Please don’t stop. Please pray for our students as they’re on their own this summer, and pray that they’ll come back to us in the fall, with hearts wide open to hear the gospel.
And since you’ve walked along with me through this journey, I thought I’d share pictures of our beloved students from our end-of-the-semester party. It turns out that people from every nation and culture love a good party.
 Some of our students friends from Egypt.
From Mexico
From Poland (and Michelle, on the right, one of our intermediate teachers)
From Mexico, El Salvador, Ivory Coast, and Togo
Our pastor, John Meador, sharing the gospel with our students. It was so kind of him to come meet our students and share the story of how he had to learn to communicate after losing his hearing, much like they are learning to communicate now.
The best part… the food.
Our beginner class
My beginner class wanted a picture with my dad, who came to the party to meet everybody. I think he fit right in, don’t you?
Amy (in the black jacket) and her advanced class.
And finally, here’s our teachers, who sacrificed one night a week for the past semester to teach – for free – and who also prayed for and loved on our students, drove them to church when needed, and were just all-around all stars. (Not pictured is our dear friend Andrea who was out of town but definitely a huge part of our team.)

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself between now and September when we start back. Rest is good, I have to remind myself.

And, a special thank you to our church’s Spanish ministry, which has been a fantastic partner with us and has been the place we could send our Spanish-speaking students who wanted to take the next step and try out church. They’re the ones who have taken our students, ripe for Jesus, and given them a community to grow and thrive and learn more about the gospel. It’s no coincidence that all five of our students who have accepted the gospel and are going to be baptized are in that Spanish ministry. God is doing some really cool things over there, and I’m happy that I can be a small part of it, even though I can’t speak a word of Spanish.

God can use anybody, even a girl who almost flunked her foreign language classes in college.

Trading recipes with India

Isn’t technology simply wonderful? I was feeling a little blue that I didn’t hear from Mr. Right yesterday (if you’re keeping track, today is Day 5 of his trip to India). So you can imagine my excitement when I got TWO emails from him, and THEN we got to chat for a few minutes on google chat.

God bless google.

And you know what we did? He told me about his secret recipe for the world’s greatest sugar cookies. I need to make them for a party tomorrow, and was sad I hadn’t remembered to get it from him before he left. But thanks to technology, and my sweet husband (no pun intended), I’m all set. For the record, we talked about more than jut sugar cookies.

God bless google.

Speaking of India, we kicked off our new ESL semester last night, and many of my beloved students were back. I haven’t seen them since late November, so it was so nice to hear how they’d been. One of my sweet beginner students, who speaks very little English but has a big heart, looked at me with big eyes and said…

“Where’s your wife?”

And the crazy thing is, I knew exactly what he meant. My beloved students missed Mr. Right, but they were so happy to hear that he was living a big adventure and that he’d be back to teach them soon. In the meantime, they were stuck with me. 🙂

And finally, this is a scripture that jumped out at me this morning:

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. DO WHAT IT SAYS.” (James 1:23)

Translated: Just do something. Stop talking about how you want to serve Christ, how you want to work in ministry, how you want to love your neighbor or tell people about Jesus someday… and JUST DO SOMETHING. Start serving.

You know why?

“But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom (the gospel), and continues in it – they will be blessed in what they do.” (James 1:25)

So, what are you waiting for? Just DO something… and you will be blessed in what you do. God promises it, which means you can bank on it. For me, my “just do something” last year was teaching ESL. I was scared to death during my first class (okay, confession… I was scared to death for the first month). But I did it anyway, and it turned into one of the biggest blessings I’ve ever received.

Not just a “churchy” blessing. No, we have a total blast doing it. Many times, just doing something can be a ton of fun. Sometimes you just have to take that first step and try something scary. You never know how much fun you might have.

I’m fine… and I mean it this time!

The minute Mr. Right’s airplane took off, my tears dried up. Thank goodness, because I think my eyeballs were starting to swell. I haven’t been emotional since.

I hosted a meeting for church at my house last night, and afterward two of my close friends stuck around to eat brownies out of the pan and catch up on girl talk. It was just what my weary soul needed. After that I climbed into bed and caught up on most of last night’s Bachelorette (snooze fest), before finally drifting off to sleep.

I woke up at 3:45 a.m. to TWO emails from Mr. Right, who was enjoying free wi-fi in the Frankfurt airport while I was in my benedryl-induced coma. Then this afternoon he texted to say they landed safely in India, made it through customs, and are going to try to catch a few hours of sleep before starting their first full day over there. Feel free to pray along with me that God does some big things over these coming days. I was just thinking today how cool it is that the same God I serve over here in Fort Worth, Texas is the same God that people on the other side of our planet are worshipping. It makes me feel so small, and gives me so much comfort that my God is so big.

In the meantime, I have another dinner party with girlfriends tonight. And lunch with my in-laws tomorrow, after a PHOTOSHOOT with my local newspaper. Crazy thing is, this time I’ll be the one in THEIR ad (so random, I promise). Then we kick off our new ESL semester on Thursday night, I’m squeezing in lunch with one of my favorite people, and this weekend I’m throwing a wedding shower for a dear friend. This may go down as one of my most social weeks in a very long time.

More hodge podging

So much to write about, but not sure where to start…

First off – I have lost a little bit of weight! Praise Jesus! I’m down five whole pounds from my peak last fall, and last week I wore a skirt I haven’t been able to fit into for much too long. Of course, I had to wear it a bit higher on my waist that normal, but it zipped, and it didn’t look obscenely tight on my hiney, so I’m calling it a win. This morning I hit a number I haven’t seen since last spring. What a wonderful feeling. It only took eight weeks of half marathon training to finally see a difference. Maybe now that the ball is rolling, the rest will melt off. Right? A girl can dream…

Speaking of half marathon training… we’ve hit that point where we do long runs on the weekends. As in, I have to run eight miles on Saturday. Nine miles next Saturday (but that’s about 900 calories). Gulp. It’s totally doable, I just listen to books on tape and try to distract myself from the monotony. We run five miles, twice a week, on weeknights. That takes me a full episode of the Kardashians AND E-News with Ryan Seacrest. I know way more celebrity gossip than I ever thought possible because it’s the only thing showing at the gym, and it keeps me from losing my mind from boredom on that treadmill. Oh how I wish for the day I can get Hulu on my iPhone and catch up on all my favorite tv shows… maybe then I can do a marathon. Maybe.

Mr. Right and I became ESL certified this weekend. We’ve done our training a bit out of order, accidentally taking an advanced two-day course last summer, leaving us utterly confused. But now we finally know the basics of lesson planning, choosing curriculum, how to structure our class. And I realized that everything I did last semester was completely wrong. My bad. Through God’s grace my students learned English anyway, and loved coming to class, and they still learned about Jesus, so I’m calling that a win (like my too-high skirt that finally fit).

Speaking of ESL, I’ve been praying a lot about our new semester, which launches in a few short weeks. I desperately miss my students, and I’m feeling a huge burden for internationals right now. Like, my heart aches to help them. We had our dear friend Timothy from Nigeria spend the night at our place Saturday night (he lives in the seminary dorm, so we try to have him over occasionally to give him a change of scenery and a home cooked meal). He has turned into a wonderful friend, and I have learned some wonderful things about his home country. Someday I’ll have to share some of the misconceptions he says he had about Americans. It’s fun because we have some of the same misconceptions about Africans. If you’re a praying person, please pray for his country, which is suffering from some major violence toward Christians right now.

Oh, and speaking of internationals… Mr. Right is going on a last minute international mission trip in February. For TWELVE DAYS. I was home alone for just two nights in December while he visited a friend in Oklahoma, and the house was a wreck, the dishes were dirty, and I was wearing his old t-shirts around the house as I moved from craft project to craft project. So please start praying now for both of us as we’re apart for such an extended period of time. I do so love his company. But I’m also wildly excited for this opportunity for him. All of my girlfriends can expect dinner invitations during those two weeks, and it’ll be a great opportunity to finish a few quilts (and start one for my nephew). And read a book or two.

I should start a list…