Monday, July 25, 2011


I always enjoy reading epilogues at the end of my stories.  This is probably due to the fact I just hate to see a good story end.  I hang on to my characters for as long as I can.  Probably also why I enjoy very long series.....

So I have now been back in the United States for over a month.  My room is finally put back together (i.e. my clothes are finally in my closet and not still in my suitcases in the garage).  

Does it feel strange to be back in the U.S.?  
Yeah, sometimes.  

Do I miss Belize?
 Of course.  

Am I here to stay?

Those are only a few of the questions I get asked on a regular biases. Sadly there are no easy answers. It's hard for anyone to understand unless you have lived away from home like I have these past 10 months.  Your second home, regardless of where you were, will always be a part of you.  There are memories that only you hold, jokes only you understand.  Do you miss it? Of course.  Does that mean you are meant to go back? Maybe.  Then again maybe not. 

Sometimes the plan that God has for us is not always put before us on the table all at once.  We are given sneak peaks.  Like a puzzle we study the table for clues of where to go next, which piece goes were and with what.  

So please don't look at me strangely when you expect me to say "I'm happy I'm home" when somedays I'm not.  It's not a rejection of you but a side affects of the God given burden.  When God has called you to leave staying in your current location, regardless of the affections you have there, is not an option.  So while I may not know which path I'll go down next there WILL be a path.   

Is Hawaii considered the mission field? 

All four bags leaving Belize. ;-)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The End

How lucky I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to.

Every adventure must have an end and it is now time for me to say goodbye to Belize.  There were days when I first started this journey over 10 months ago that I thought this day would never arrive.  Days like this remind me that time is so brief.  Belize has been home for almost a year and the thought of returning to "the real world" scares me sometimes.  But I know that there is a new adventure out there somewhere just waiting for me to start down it's path.  Never in a million years would I have thought I would one day live outside of the U.S. or would ever be a missionary of any kind. Yet here I am, with memories that I will hold close to me forever.  While I pack my bags and head for the U.S.  a part of my heart will remain here in Belize.  There is still so much work to be done. A never ending need. 

Thank you so much to all here who opened your hearts and homes and made me feel a part of your world.  And yes for all those wondering, I'll be back.  ;)


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Life is Random...

Life on the mission field is just like any other place on the earth - it's just every day life.  You wake up, eat, cook, clean, shop, run errands, go to church, sleep and then do it all over again.   Here are random pictures from my general every day life. :)

Darlina was deep in prayer one Tuesday night.   I think she school wore her out that day.

Lupita wanted to match with me one day.  And no, I did not know that I had horns growing from my head when I took the picture.  ;)~

I see this sign when I go eat at a local restaurant and laugh every time. 

We celebrated Mother's Day here (it's on a Tuesday here).  Mom Joiner got a beautiful plant from the ladies. 

 Honoring the mother's here at the local church.

"A family that prays together, stays together." 

Okay so this doesn't have anything to do with my life here in Belize.  This is just how I feel sometimes. I'm the dog on the bottom if you are wondering. :)~

Who Me? The Gecko?

   Contrary to popular belief,  a gecko does not have a British accent, smile and save you money on car insurance. (Sorry Mom!)  Geckos come in various colors and patterns (i.e. green, blue, purple, black, and pink).  All of them have translucent like skin and eyes that can appear almost see through like.   Here in Belize, most geckos are albino colored,  with see through skin and clear eyes.   They communicate with a series of chips, almost a clicking like sound.

    Over my time here I have gotten so use to them in my room, chipping away at night, that I don't know what to do with a quiet room. I know that when I leave here, I'm going to sorely miss these little buggers on my wall at night.

One of little guys hanging out around the door. 

Madagascar Day Gecko 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Home is Where the Heart Is.....

There is an old saying, "home is where the heart is."  If this is the case then I'm in trouble since my "heart" is now in two places: Belize & Rialto, CA.  It really does seem like yesterday that I was sitting at my desk at work and saw the tweet from Rev. Tim Joiner looking for help in their christian school.  Now almost a year later I don't know what my life would be like if I hadn't made this incredible trip to Central America. After almost 7 months I have gotten the privilege of visiting most of Belize, as well as parts of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.  I am truly grateful to have been a part of a team helping to reach out to this poor community.  Yes, most days are tiring but no more then some days in the States.  Yes, there have been times when  I craved something from the U.S. or wished away the bugs, dirt and heat.  But on a normal day you couldn't ask me to leave any earlier then my scheduled date.  

For those of you wondering my final day here will be June 10th.  I have less then 6 weeks left.....
Please don't ask me what I'm planning on doing next - I have no clue. LOL
 After this crazy adventure the sky is the limit. 


New York. 



Who knows...... *smile* 

Island Vacation - Caye Caulker

Anytime I tell someone I live in Belize they always respond, "Oh wow! Lucky you!"  I have never understood this since I live on the mainland and am surrounded by dirt and bugs.  The most anyone knows of Belize, if they even know of Belize at all, are what they see in the tourist pictures.  These photos are used to lure in tourist with the images of soft, sandy beaches, blue-green oceans and the mirage of paradise.   Well NOW I know what that beauty is like.  After my trip to Tulsa I got to spend 5 days and 4 nights on the beautiful island of Cay Caulker.  This is the smaller, quieter of the two most popular islands here off the coast of Belize.  It is about 5 miles long and not even a mile wide.  Located about 20 miles off the coast of Belize arrival to the island is normally by plane (an 11 min. plane ride)  or by boat (45 min. ride).   I was hoping to visit the Blue Hole or at least do a snorkeling trip to the Belize Barrier Reef that was located about a mile away from my hotel. This reef is the 2nd largest in the world and is filled with a variety of fish, corral and other undersea wonders.  Sadly I was unable to visit them....maybe on my next trip. 

Yes, this is the plane I took to the islands. It fits about 6 people, including the pilot. I sat in the last seat in the back, literally in the tail of the plane.  While I am not scared of flying, I haven't been in a plane this small for a while and I will admit that I was slightly nervous for most of the ride.  I was very glad my mother wasn't with me as she would have been freaking out, probably making us crash. 

View the first night, shortly after I arrived to my hotel.  THIS is when I started to see why everyone thought I was lucky to live in Belize. :)

This house had a "For Sale" sign on it.  I'm thinking investment property.....

Aww...the warm sun on my face, the sand between my toes. This was JUST what the doctor ordered.  Trust me, two week spring breaks are a MUST when you are a teacher. 'Cause everyone knows a week just isn't enough.  :)

Anyone that knows me, knows I LOVE my food.  The island really had a great selection of food and some of the best I've eaten here in Belize.  Because they are located near the water there is always a supply of fresh seafood.  Before, this would have presented a problem as I never liked seafood, but thankfully my pallet is wide enough to now enjoy this selection of the food chain.  This was my first meal, a fish sandwich with fries. Since I had never eaten anywhere in Belize without the Joiners I was at first a little worried.  But I prayed & decided if it was my time to die I would at least go out enjoying a good meal.  Then I just walked down the beach until I saw a place I liked. :)
 I wasn't disappointed.   

Saw this and thought of all my Little Rock, AR friends.  "Welcome to my island guys!" 

Another GREAT meal.  
Belize style rice & beans with garlic break and veggies w/chicken on a Kabob.  

This was the closet in my hotel, thought it was the cutest thing ever. 

My very lovely hotel room.  

Yes, the pool behind me overlooked the beach.  Kind of like a double luxury. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

He Wants It All...

And He says.....
love me, love me with your whole heart.
He wants it all today.
Serve me, serve me with your life now
He wants it all today. 
Bow down, let go of your idols.
He wants it all today. 

~Lyrics: He Wants It All by Forever Jones


Somewhere this week a church will sing the familiar lyrics to the chorus, "If You Can Use Anything."  But how many of us really mean those words?  Sadly we put a list of limitations on that availability list. 

"Use me God but not to sing with that group, they don't sound good." 
"Use me God but not in that classroom, that's too much work to prepare for."
  "Use me God but not this service, I just don't know how to play that song yet."
 " Use me God, but don't send me to that country. "
"Use me God, but not with that group, I don't work well with that person."

 We don't get to pick when or where God wants to use us.  That's not our job.  We just have to be ready at a moments notice.  We want to be used, but only on our terms.  We pass up opportunities to be use and then wonder why we aren't aren't asked to do something when it's something WE want to do.   So the next time the music director calls you, asking you to fill in let your answer be "yes."  The next time the Pastor calls, asking you to help, let your answer be "yes." The next time the call goes out requesting help, let your answer be "yes." Regardless of the need, our answer should be "YES!"  God has given us so much........the least we can do is give Him our ALL.  


There's a voice that cries out in the silence,
searching for hearts that will love Him.
Longing for a child that will give Him there all.
Give it all, He wants it all.