Saturday, January 31, 2009

Return to Louisville

David had an incredible trip. In one of his emails he wrote that the trip was not at all what he expected when he first committed to be on the team - but that it had far exceeded his expectations. They were able to learn a lot about the ancient world - including some of the roots of our faith and they met many new faces.

If I thought there were a chance that he might actually post - I'd wait to let him describe it. BUt, he's currently immersed in the pile of books that the beginning of a semester brings. So - here are a few pics from the trip.

One of the largest churches, the Hagia Sophia was built by Constantine in the 4th Century A.D. it was changed to a Mosque in the 15th Century A.D.

I love these lamps! A red one now hangs in our house:) ...and he says he's not good at picking out presents?!?

Houses in Istanbul.

For all were concerned he might wither away....not on this trip anyways.

The Basilica Cistern - underground water storage built by the Byzantines.

Day trip to Ephesus.

Reconstruction of the library in Ephesus - which once held 12,000 scrolls.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It did.

My week did indeed get weirder.

Bonnie and I both shop Aldi-style. Since her power's off we brought all her groceries over and crammed them in the freezer. Basically, we have enough to live on for three months.

This afternoon I decided to dig my car out of the ice mound. I did so with great success and must confess I actually enjoyed it. Once it was uncovered I attempted to actually get it out of our gravel lot/dirt road entrance where it is parked in the back of the house. This attempt was not so successful. I got it stuck, of course. Bonnie and I then enlisted the help of my neighbor. We pushed it back into it's spot...where it remains...stuck.

When David comes home tomorrow, I'm going to have to pull his suitcase down Grinstead Drive. Bonnie and I checked out the TARC schedule today....and I may just try the Louisville bus system for fun tomorrow.

The new friends/house guests from last night decided to go to another abode this could have been the Boxelder bugs that swayed this...I'm not sure.

Alas, the most random of all my day occurred this evening. To condense it - at 11:30pm a sweet international student was on my doorstep. She has now been added to our happy house for the night.

In retrospect, this entire day is very amusing to me. As the week seems to be progressing in extremity, I'm a bit nervous about tomorrow. That can't last too long in my mind though because the only important thing about tomorrow for me is that DAVID COMES HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's in route as I type. I am so glad.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What a weird week.

I had a lot of plans. Most of them haven't come to fruition. That's ok.

Tuesday morning I woke up to snow. By 7am I was carrying my sled down Frankfurt to the Jr. High school - my favorite sledding spot. I decided that the absence of my husband should not mean the waste of a perfectly good snow. I went again this myself. This was kind of awkward when I got to my hill and found others there...but nonetheless....very fun. I went so fast I ended up in the street.

I'm discovering in David's absence that I'm still just as much a loner as I ever was - I just enjoy his company so much that I never want to be alone when the option for company is David. When he's gone - well - solitude still holds its charm.

Today I was able to Skype with David. He's having an incredible time and they've really seen God open doors for them. Pray that as the week ends they would make the most of each opportunity. Pray that God would continue to work in their hearts as they consider the nation and to raise up men of peace in that city.

Tonight, my friend Bonnie is here. Her husband is with David on the trip and she lost power due to this winter wonder. Also in my little abode is another couple from the Seminary - whom I'd never met until they were at my door (they just so happened to arrive as I was taking off all my sledding apparel...i make a great first impression). We had a fun night - and it's been a good reminder to me of the way we are bound together in Christ as brothers and sisters.

I told you it's been a weird week. I can hardly wait to wake up tomorrow. Let's hope that weirdness doesn't include the loss of my power....

A pic from my early morning sled adventure. One of the best sledding spots in Crescent may not look big, but you can get some sPeEd...
This was pre-tree fall. This afternoon I had to dodge branches.

Snow Days

So much for the taming of the random. My life is pretty random right now...two days of snow in Louisville and my street looks like this:

yikes. yep. That's a tree in the middle of the road.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Taming of the Random

Generally speaking, this is a terribly random blog. It's basically an expressive outlet controlled by Laura's whims. This week I am going to try to be a bit more focused. Because of the region, I'm won't be posting many specifics about David's trip this on the world wide web. But I do want to keep you updated so that you will know specifics to pray for him. I'll also be writing about some of our past mission trips...and some of the thoughts we're having now as we prepare to go to the mission field, Lord willing, after graduation in 2.5 years or so. My intention in all this is that you would get to know our hearts a bit more so that as we journey toward a long term ministry of the gospel on foreign soil one day in the future your will be better fitted to pray for us. I am an odd mix of naturally private and ultra transparent. Sometimes I shy away from things on the good ole blog - because it's just that - a blog. I'd like to give a bit more this week though because I know that many of you who read this know us pretty well - but may not have necessarily heard from our hearts on these things in many moons. Let me assure you that that's not because we don't think about them - but simply because we are in a different season than we've ever walked through. Sometimes you see trees grow more in the visible ways - longer branches, taller trunks, greener leaves. It's hard to see the root growth though - and we are in one such season. God is growing our roots. We hope to be planted deeper in His word. It's quiet work. It's essential work.

David asked that we pray for his heart and mind to be focused this week. That his prayers would be effective in that place.

Friday, January 23, 2009

On the Far Side of the Sea

Yesterday David left on a trip to Central Asia with the Seminary. 8 days = our longest separation since October 6, 2007. I received word this morning that they arrived safely. I am grateful. Just wanted to let you know so you can pray for a fruitful week. Abandoned hearts. Humble service. Joyful adventures.

As a general rule, I would rather be the one on the plane than the one watching other people get on board. For the past year or so though, my feet have been pretty firmly planted in Louisville - an adjustment from vagabond life. Oddly enough, I feel a well of contentment. It is a sweet season and I am drinking in the lessons. It was joyful to watch him go and know that God has plans for him. It is exciting to have my hands in missions at work and watch others go. I hope this season doesn't last forever - because down deep I feel the irrepressible itch to go. In the meantime, prayer is becoming a sweeter refuge and a place of movement for me.

Contentment is such a gift. I am grateful to the Giver.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Car Craft

I've been perusing craft books lately at the library. I do crafts the same way I cook - I'm a little loose with the specific directives. So basically, I flip through the pages of craft books for inspiration...then I try to recreate. Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes not. I had some felt in my craft bag. In the car (since we did have 20 hours) I decided to make a pin cushion for my sis. I decorated it with old buttons my mamaw donated to me and unstuffed a pillow to fill it. It turned out slightly larger than your normal pin cushion would be.. I never noticed the dimensions in the book where I discovered the idea. Next time I'll take it down a few notches. Still - for a first shot, I was pretty excited about it. Linz loved it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One of the great things about marrying someone who's been a friend for over 12 years is that you have a lot of mutual makes road trips to see "old friends" way more fun because they're mostly in the same places. We had a GREAT time down south and left wishing Southern Seminary was located on brick street in Clinton.

Saturday night we had a delicious spaghetti dinner. I also tried Newk's salad for the first time...and was an instant fan! David, Stacey, Sara and David D. formed a Narnia club long before the movie came out and Narnia was the rage of Lifeway. The logistics of it all are too complicated to write on a blog...but I will say I was glad to marry into the club! Jacob (middle) married in also...Darcy (the short one) is a member by birth.

For all you Mississippi College alum....I stopped by the Kugel to give it a whirl only to find the water was off. I vaguely remember one of our friends riding on top of it once...Erica B. perhaps?

We discovered on our journey to Clinton that the likeness of Southern Seminary to the campus of Mississippi College has confused us in our old age. We continually referred to MC's Nelson Hall as Norton Hall. For a proper comparison...I should have posted a pic of SBTS's Norton Hall. Trust me - they look alike.

All who know this guy know that he has an obsession with rocking chairs. Could there have been any goodbye more fitting than to look up and see this fellow waving us away? You know what I love? When we visit Clinton in 50 years, it's likely that he'll still be there....rocking.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Around the South and Back Again

We returned late last night from our trip around the South. We had a GREAT time and were so glad to see many familiar faces. Time is short today so I'll just give you a foretaste of the trip by sharing a few pics from our day at Mamaw's. We love farm life:) Hopefully I'll have time to post more tomorrow about the actual trip!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mamaw's Birthday

This afternoon we are heading to my grandmother's farm in Tennessee for a visit. Her birthday is this month and we wanted to take a little trip to celebrate with her. She is notoriously hard to find gifts for. I fell back on the safest possible solution - a plant. Walking through her yard is like taking a visit to the Botanical Society. She definitely has a green thumb. To make it a bit more personal I painted a clay pot and added a little quote by Helen Keller. I found the idea in a craft book from the good ole Crescent Hill library. This was my first pot painting attempt and it was pretty fun. Albeit, a bit more difficult than I anticipated. I then attempted to re-pot the plant from Home Depot. I don't have a green thumb and this didn't go so well...hence the crooked plant.

I couldn't really get a clear pic of the words...sorry. The quote says
"Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same." Helen Keller
I know this is cheesy. But it's for my Mamaw, ok?

After two nights with her, we are heading down to Clinton, MS to spend some time with college friends over the weekend. In total - we'll drive about 20 hours this weekend! Whew. The people are worth it though.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Crunchy Onions

Last night we had round two of the Winter Progressive Dinners...since the Myers couldn't make the first one. I attempted to make my mom's Chili. I substituted a few ingredients to avoid running to the grocery. I didn't saute the onions because I was tired. I added in a few extra ingredients. I cooked it in the crock pot instead of on the stove for my convenience. And alas, I was disappointed when it didn't taste like my mom's!!! This would be obvious to anyone else - but somehow I always expect the same results when I completely tamper with a recipe. About 30 minutes before the night was scheduled to begin I arrive home - only to discover that some of the onions were still crunchy. I HATE crunchy onions. Sweet David "didn't even notice." At any rate, onions was a fun night and we enjoyed the fellowship. Here are a few pics:

Kim's DELICIOUS Salad. The avocado was my favorite topping!

Bonnie and Justin enjoying their home-made cheesecake. Bonnie's first attempt was a total success!

David coached Justin in the right way to prep a potato before eating. Each time I fix baked potatoes David takes the end of his knife and begins beating it. Apparently he learned this from a family a while back and thought it a grand idea. He's convinced it enhances the eating experience. He had the whole table pounding their spuds.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I've Got Rythm

A few weeks ago, a sweet friend of mine from work mentioned that they wanted to go to a Dance Studio they'd heard about that offers special student rates. So Friday night after dinner, we made our way to I've Got Rhythm Dance Studio with the Lyons. As the teenager who skipped prom, the college student who rarely attended "Functions" and the adult who is - well - Baptist - to be honest, I've just never enjoyed dancing too much. I don't have rhythm and never particularly enjoy a reminder. My sister can catch any beat. I missed the gene. Once I did a dance work out video with her. This was a catastrophe of un-coordination. Friday night as we made our way to the ballroom dancing class, all these thoughts ran through my mind. Thankfully, at 28 I am a lot less insecure than in days gone by...and with such a wonderful dance partner, it couldn't be all bad? Besides - we were having a great time just hanging out with the Lyons. I could dance two songs and sit down - just like I always do. Let the blog record show - I LOVED it. David and I seriously considered going back on Saturday night. We had so much fun. This shocked me. I've been pondering what brought the change. I think it boils down to this: David Dawkins. After all my years of awkwardness with the opposite sex, I am at last completely at ease with one man - my amazing husband. In ballroom dancing, the man leads. Not only is this husband of mine great at leading me at home - his hand on my back guiding me across the dance floor was enough to completely change my mind about dancing.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Some friends of ours know a place here in Louisville where you can go for a 30 minute dance lesson. Then they let you use the ballroom to practice for the rest of the night. We decided to go this evening. They teach various dances. Tonight it is the Waltz. David is coordinated. I am not. Our friends claim they are not - but I'm not sure I believe them. It is possible that they don't understand the depth of my uncoordination. At any rate, it will give me plenty of blog fodder for Monday, right?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This is my Sister.

My little sister was too young to join in when I was off traveling the world - planning crazy trips. Lately, it seems like every time I turn around, she's off on some wild adventure. A few months ago she called after a sky diving episode. She's taken up an interest in surfing. When we went to the Grand Canyon last year, she blitzed me on the trail. It warms a big sister's heart. Her latest adventure? She and my own dear college roomie - Rebekah - went to a resort in Cancun for the weekend. I haven't talked to her since they got in last night but the pic she posted on Facebook this morn says it all.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Boxelder Battle

We live in an old house. This means that sometimes we get splinters from the hard wood floors. We have spots in our sink where the porcelain is deteriorating. The basement where our washer is stored looks like the set of a horror film. AND - we have cool old door knobs, a claw foot tub, huge closets, high ceilings and tons of other quirky details that I love.

We also currently have Boxelder Bugs. This ongoing saga first started in the fall, when they were outside our house. We told our landlord and carried on with our lives...not giving it too much thought. Now. I'm giving it a lot of thought and announce the number of bugs smashed each time I enter the den. David called the exterminator who told us there's not much they can do. He is also wondering how I will handle it when we live in a third-world hut one day on the mission field.

A few encouraging words I read on the web today about the Boxelders:

"These pests can accumulate in great numbers in your home if left unchecked."

"Once boxelder bugs have become established in the home, there aren't a lot of treatment options."

"PREVENTION , is the best of all choices. This is done during the Fall time." (Especially helpful for me to research this in January, huh?)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Like the Ant

For a few months now I've been pondering a piece of advice given during my Seminary Wives' class last term. It was one of the simplest and richest exhortations to reach my ears in many moons. As the new year begins, it's been on my mind afresh. It was the kind of word that you know for years to come will work on you, press you, and help you. The class spent six weeks delving into the lives of women of faith who lived...and suffered...well. And a few who did not. From my comfortable, happy view it made me consider again the Scripture's teaching that we will suffer as believers. Near the end of the term, we began to pull some helpful lessons from their lives. Our teacher gave us a bit of advice that had been shared with her years earlier. She encouraged us that the best way to prepare for both the joys and suffering that life will bring is to be like the ant. Proverbs tells us that the ant "prepares her bread in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest." She stores up for the days to come. The best food to sustain during suffering is the Word of God. The story that immediately came to my mind was from Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place. She tells of her time in the German concentration camps - and the way that remembering the Word sustained her in days of solitary confinement. It is certainly doubtful that I will ever be in such an extreme situation - as I am sure many who suffered would have thought at age 28 - but certainly all of us experience suffering to some degree. That small word spoken to us has encouraged me to make one of my goals this year to "be like the ant" and store up more of the Word of God for days to come.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Saturday I visited the Conrad-Caldwell House on St. James Court in old Louisville - one of our favorite spots in the city. We first discovered this beautiful area not long after our arrival. It's definitely worth exploring! Here are a few pictures from the home tour - which was given by the great granddaughter of the Caldwells.

If only Elizabeth Bennett were sitting at the piano:)

Old quilts are artwork. She showed us the sewing room and explained that wealthy families often took in a "Traveling Seamstress" to stay with them for a month out of the year and make their new clothes.

One of the first vacuum cleaners! The "Baby Daisy" was operated by two people.

Though I'm not much for Victorian decor as the inside boasts - I am simply amazed by the stonework on this house. They brought in craftsmen from France and Germany...I think?

An original Tiffany.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fare Thee Well

One of my favorite parts of life in Louisville for the past year has been the nearness of David's sister, Lisa. Her apartment - a three minute walk from our own little home - was a place I knew I would always receive a warm welcome and enjoy a familiar face. She was our favorite dinner guest. The great thing about family is that you can call them to come over and share dinner with you - even if you happen to be serving corndogs. If a casserole doesn't turn out just right, I hardly even feel embarassed. We've spent quite a few afternoons exploring the city on bike with Lisa. She accompanies us on outings we wouldn't dare ask another friend to go on - like the high school play episode.

Over the past few months, we've watched her seek wholeheartedly God's "next step" for her. We've prayed for her, weighed options with her, and deepened in our desire to see her live in the fullness of God's sweet plan for her life. She has been so precious to let us share bits of her journey with her over ice cream at Culver's or dinner around her table. We were both sad and happy when she reached her conclusion.

Yesterday, she packed up her U-Haul. This morning she headed toward Memphis. She will continue to work on her degree - but from Memphis. We are happy for her. We wouldn't have it any other way. But we will miss her presence deeply.

Reflecting back over our year in Louisville together has been sweet. How gracious of God to allow that for me at the beginning of my time as a Dawkins. Lisa invested in me long before I bore the name Dawkins - when I was a wee freshman at MC. I have looked up to her as a role model for years. Upon my admission into the Dawkins clan, her friendship was extended in a deeper way though - and as a new member of the family, it meant all the more to me. What a treasure she is to us. I couldn't help writing a fare thee well - at least until we see her again in two weeks:)