Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Last night Hurricane Katrina came rolling through. After coming back to my apartment around 2:30 yesterday, that was where I stayed until about 11:30 last night. At 11:30, I was able to check on some friends for a few moments, before returning to my apartment. The winds howled, and I could hear trees cracking and falling all around my apartment. I could see flashes in the sky with a green glow attending them. I'm still not sure if it was lighting or transformers going out. Some of the time I stood outside just watching, and the song, "Master the Tempest is Raging" kept popping into my head, as well as the verse where Christ calms the stormy sea, saying, "Peace be still." It was such a blessing and comfort knowing that even though this storm was raging around me, God was with me and watching over me. I didn't realize just how much until late last night and this morning. The trees I heard falling were right next to the apartment complex next to mine. One or two even fell on the apartments, causing some major damage. I was very blessed not to have any damage myself, or even lose power.

"I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me." Psalm 3:5

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof." Psalm 46:1-3

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

National Conference

I thought I would post a few pictures from my trip to Mortar Board's National Conference. (These are pre-haircut pictures.) :-) Mortar Board is a national collegiate honor society dedicated to scholarship, leadership, and service. I believe all of these pictures were taken the night of the candlelight banquet. I was with my section, section 6. Section 6 is comprised of Mortar Board chapters in Alabama and Georgia. I met some really great people and had a blast.

During the dinner, the napkin underneath our rolls caught on fire. (There were candles on the tables.) Just as one of the other girls was about to throw her water on them, a waiter casually came and took them. He just said, "I'll take those." From then on, Section 6's motto was "we're so hot, we're on fire!" Cheesy, I know, but funny.

After the dinner, speakers, new officer installations, and awards, we lit our candles as our name was called out. Then, a poem which symbolizes the spirit of Mortar Board was read. I thought I would share it with you.

The Torch

The God of Great Endeavor gave me a torch to bear.
I lifted it high above me in the dark and murky air,
And straightway, with loud hosannas, the crowd proclaimed its light
And followed me as I carried my torch through the starless night.
Till drunk with the people's praises, and mad with vanity,
I forgot 'twas the torch that they followed,
And fancied they followed me.

Then slowly my arm grew weary upholding the shining load,
And my tired feet went stumbling over the dusty road,
And I fell - with the torch beneath me. In a moment the light was out,
When lo from the throng a stripling sprang forth with a mighty shout,
Caught up the torch as it smoldered, and lifted it high again,
Till, fanned by the winds of heaven, it fired the souls of men.

As I lay in the darkness, the feet of the trampling crowd
Passed over and far beyond me, its paeans proclaiming aloud,
And I learned in the deepening twilight, the glorious verity,
'Tis the torch that the people follow,
Whoever the bearer may be.


Short stuff

I had my hair cut on Friday. Not just a trim...I had some major cutting going on. Years ago I would have had to be very strong not to cry at the sight of all that hair falling. But, I was ready for a change.

It is very short...and hard to describe, but I shall make an attempt, and those of you who have seen it can tell me whether my description is accurate. The back bottom layer falls at the base of my neck and curls up. The front and sides and back top layer are in, well, layers. They curl under for the most part. I can barely put it behind my ears. I like it best with sunglasses on the top of my head.

I've had a few people do a double-take, not quite recognizing me the first glance. I'm still getting used to it myself.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Ordination Service

I was blessed this weekend to be able to attend the ordination service of Elder Obey Ndalima (sounds like "dilema") from Tanzania, Africa. The service was held at Vestavia Primitive Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL. Elder Obey was blessed to preach from Romans 10:1-3 Saturday morning before the service. He related Paul's desire for his Israelite brethren to his own desire for his Tanzanian brethren. He desires that they be saved from their ignorance. After 5 years in America, and seven years away from his family, he will be returning next week to preach the gospel to his people. Many homes there do not have electricity, running water, or food. He has tremendous zeal, though, and he is so excited to be returning to preach the gospel.

I will never forget the times I have spent with Elder Obey. He changes your way of thinking. I heard him sing three different hymns in his native tongue, Swahili. He encouraged us to think of all the different tongues that will be present in heaven. I just got chills listening to him, and especially when he sang in Swahili and we sang in English. He reminded us of the differences in America and Tanzania, and encouraged us to always be thankful and remember how blessed we are in America. I don't think I've eaten a meal here lately that I haven't thought about what he said...about how wasteful America is. I have been trying to eat every bite of my food.

Please pray for Elder Obey as he returns to Tanzania.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Long time, no see

Hello once again. I have been away from my computer for almost a month now. I will try to catch you up to speed...

On July 22nd-24th I attended Mortar Board's national conference in Columbus, Ohio. It was my first time to fly by myself...without any family members, namely mom or dad. I had a wonderful trip, although the conference was very fast paced. We were in meetings all day. I met people my age from all over the U.S. We shared ideas, and had fun getting to know one another in the short time period that we had. I also saw The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that weekend. I laughed the entire time.

On Monday, July 25th, my grandfather Kitchens took a turn for the worse, and on Tuesday, July 26th, he passed away. He had been suffering for a long time (he had been in the hospital since early June, and before then he was in the hospital for long periods at a time), and in his last days he just wanted to go home...home to Jesus. It was sad to lose him, for he brought much laughter to everyone he met, but we also rejoiced in knowing that he was completely healed and praising Jesus. I could never thank everyone enough for all their prayers and visits...I love each of you.

The next week my family went on vacation, taking my grandmother Kitchens with us. We just loaded up, and hoped for a vacancy in Destin, Florida. We were blessed to have no trouble getting a room, and we even received a bottom level room. After all the hurricanes, the railings on the bottom floors don't exist any more, and the dunes have disappeared, so our condo opened right out to the beach. Since we saw very little sun the whole week, it was nice to be able to sit on the porch and be within inches of the beach. Our vacation was comprised of sleeping, sitting and resting, reading, and eating. We did very little more than that. It was wonderfully relaxing. I got a great start on The Lord of the Rings, and I bought The Screwtape Letters and The Complete Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, six stories in one. I'm expecting it to be very funny. When I return home for the weekend, I'll try to remember to quote the bit about "towels" for you. :-)

I have now returned to Tuscaloosa, and school starts next week. Whew. How did I cram so much into one summer?