Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I'm sitting here watching an old episode of 'Friends' on TBS. I forgot how much I loved that show and how much it did (and does) make me laugh. In this episode Ross decides to try the Mystic Tan. For those of you who haven't done the Mystic Tan before, let me paint the picture for you... you walk into a private room, undress, put on a shower cap and put this lotion on yourself that is supposed to help keep the tan even. Then you step into the tanning machine and close the door. You face forward and you wait. Within a few moments, the tanning spray comes shooting out of three nozzles and the nozzles pivot up and down to make sure you are getting adequate coverage. It stops and you have a few seconds to turn around so your back is facing the nozzles. Mind you, the compartment is now filled with an almost smokey haze of tanning mist and you dare not open your mouth, much less make an attempt to breathe. The spraying begins again, this time covering your backside. When all is said and done, the Mystic Tanning machine is so filled with tanning mist that you feel like you are in a dense fog and you have to grope around for the door handle, all the while trying to hold your breath. Once you step out, you have to pretty much scrub yourself down with towels to get the excess off and then you have the pleasure of smelling like a bottle of Banana Boat for about 12 hours. In this episode of Friends, Ross goes to the Mystic Tanning place and he doesn't turn himself around quickly enough and gets a double dose of the tanning spray on his front side, so he has a tan front and white back. It's no where near as hilarious to read about it as it was to see it, but I had to mention it because I'm continuing to laugh about it as I write this post.

What does this have to do with 'Sacrifical Giving' or Thailand for that matter? Absolutely nothing. Okay, so onto the topic for which this blog was created- Thailand. I have been experiencing A LOT of anxiety and fear, especially this past weekend. It all started when I heard that there were going to be changes made to the trip. Not that those changes were life shattering or even that disruptive, but it through me into a tizzy. Mind you, at this point, I only had a fragmented, unclear message that was left on my cell phone indicating that there were some changes in dates and what we'd be doing. I immediately started making assumptions. My mind started going 100 mph and I started assuming that because of these changes, now we probably weren't going to be spending much time in Pattaya working with the Tamar House or the Mercy House. It's at the Tamar House and Mercy House (orphanage) that we'll be training/teaching the girls and children different skills that they can use to get out of prostitution or to prevent them from getting into it in the first place. One of those skills is baking and for those of you who know me at all, you know how much I LOVE to bake and, to possibly be able to use that for God's glory would be such an amazing blessing and experience! And it was when I heard about the Tamar House and Mercy House opportunities that I really felt God was shining some light on why He may want me on this trip. To think that those opportunities might now be taken away, I was freaking out pretty much. So, then everything snowballs in my mind and I began having serious doubts if I should even be going to Thailand on this particular trip and then I'm even going so far (in my mind) to start thinking about how I'm going to explain this to everyone and what will everyone think??? Now... hindsight is 20/20 and I can see, looking back at all of this, that I was definitely overreacting and letting my emotions get the better of me; and, even at the time, I realized that I needed to calm down and start praying for God's strength and peace, but my thoughts at this point were so jumbled that I couldn't even get out a coherent prayer. I think that all I managed to get out was, 'help'.

By the time I got home my eyes were red from crying and I was dreading calling the trip leader to see what was going on. I was on the defensive and ready to question why we were changing everything ... especially since I was just starting to feel comfortable with everything (do you like how it's all about me?). To sum the call up, turns out that there are changes, but we are still spending the majority of the time in Pattaya at the Tamar and Mercy Houses and, should I feel led to do so, I could possibly have the option of staying there with the women who run those organizations for an even longer amount of time. See??? I don't know why I do that to myself. I know that God is faithful... He's proven that to me over and over and over again. Unfortunately, I left a small window of doubt open and Satan grabbed onto it and wasn't letting go. But, God is faithful and He pulled me through this weekend and, despite my meltdown, I am still going. I have to admit, though, that I do feel really badly. I feel like God is giving me these opportunities and I can either choose to trust Him or not and I feel like I keep failing Him over and over again. I know that God is full of grace and His mercies are new every morning, but He deserves better than what I've given Him so far and I hate feeling like I'm constantly letting Him down or hurting Him by my attitude or lack of trust.