Friday, August 24, 2012


How about a blog?

I am sitting in Korea at the airport for a two hour layover between Washington D.C. and Hong Kong. I’m in for another adventure!

I went to the doctor yesterday to get some medicine I needed and the doc’s office was supposed to electronically send my prescriptions to the pharmacy. I arrive at Rite Aid pharmacy ten minutes before closing to find out that my prescriptions were not sent there at all. My mom takes the liberty to call CVS to see if the doc’s office sent it there by mistake, God bless her! There was no record of anything being sent to any CVS for me at all. It’s closing time. Where is my medicine? I leave for China in twelve hours.

Morning comes. Momma kicks into high gear to track it down. She did that amazing thing mom’s do when their kids have an important event to attend, explaining why her child’s schedule is more critical than whatever they currently have on their plate and orchestrating a montage of individuals at just the necessary speed to accomplish the goal and send the child calmly onto the stage (In this case, it was turbo speed and my stage was a China-bound airplane). Thank you mom!

Problem solved. She got the medicine. Only instead of getting me to the airport by 11:30 am, 12 noon at the latest, she thought I said we needed to leave by 12 at the latest. It was  a rough conversation as I told her that if she wasn’t willing to speed, she needed to simply let me drive.  She moved impressively quick for momma. She said “If you get pulled over for speeding, it will take longer because you don’t have your license on you” to which I swiftly replied “No. It will be quick. I will tell them the truth that I left my license in China eight weeks ago and I just happen to be on my way back to retrieve it and will do so speedily if they will kindly leave me alone” to which we laughed as Ashton sat in the back seat eating a banana that once my mom smelled, commented “Ashton you must be eating a banana, one with black spots on it.” Interesting? Okay not so much. She got me to the airport in time. I arrived just after boarding began.

I didn’t feel the urge to sleep, probably because it was a mid day flight. It was almost 14 hours and I managed to watch six movies. Just as I dozed off for the first time, within forty minutes, we were landing.

On money matters, it was tight. Did I mention that for the first time in any of my traveling adventures, my carry on and personal item were actually weighed. I had to pay $200.00 with a bankcard that was already overdrawn (into my dwindling overdraft protection credit account) just to check an extra bag. I had three checked bags, one personal item and $-200.00. Thank you God for blessing me with a good job, so I can fix that soon!

I will take a taxi from Hong Kong Airport to some Chinese border and then another taxi to my apartment, which I don’t remember the entrance code for. Fortunately, Christina has watered my plants all summer… I hope and she can tell me what it is (If my phone isn’t dead).

That’s all for now.

Here’s to another year of Brittany’s Traveling Adventures!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Just a quick update

I can't believe I haven't written since May! I'm truly sorry for those of you who keep up with my life. The least I can do is blog.

Well, I'll recap the last few months. The WON ministry is moving forward, but with some changes. My dear friends Kristin and Sonda will not be coming back to China this year. Kristin is the one who followed God's call and birthed the ministry, a true sister and accountability partner. Sonda has been like a mom and mentor for me in China. Life is going to be different when I go back. I will still have my best friend, Christina and her husband, Mike (Thank the Lord!), but the rest of my immediate "family" from abroad will be gone. Additionally, I will have a new teaching position. I'll be teaching 5th grade English as a Second Language instead of high school literature and writing as I have the past four years. Hopefully, I will have more time and energy after school for the WON ministry. Also, the alley is right beside my new building so I can join some ladies on daily lunch time prayer walks! I'm very excited about that; although I don't know who I will walk with since Kristin is not going to be there as previously thought. So there are some changes for me when I go back next week, but I believe God has another adventure planned for this next year. Kristin, her husband Ian, Sonda, and her husband Jeff are life friends I will never really feel apart from.

So I leave next week. I'm sure I will have something to share. God's going to do something big!

Love you all!



Saturday, May 19, 2012


Gain in Kilos; Lose in Pounds
May 19, 2012

     Last week, my three friends and two of their husbands, Christina, Christy, Deana, Mike, and Colin, and myself filmed a silly little spoof of Charlie’s Angels. I was horrified when I looked at the clip. I sunk into a depression as my weight moved around before me. I practically cried and prayed myself to sleep in the fetal position and wanted to hide from the world.
     On Sunday, while avoiding human contact as much as possible all day after church, I decided I needed to do something. I decided to do a juice fast. This was not some fad diet attempt; rather, it was my decision to break the cycle of horrible eating habits and reset my mind and body. I prayed about it and for three days: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I drank only juiced or blended vegetables, fruit, nuts, and beans (the nuts and bean blends were… interesting… not tasty, but interesting). I needed to just break the cycle of bad eating and start over, and let’s just say with those blended beans and nuts, I experienced what it really means to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. No risk of overindulgence there!

     Well, Today was day two of eating solid foods again. After my first meal, my tummy ached for a few minutes, but that was it. After that I was fine. I realized that it’s not enough to start with exercise. Exercise deals with what is in my body; eating well deals with what does or does not even make it into my body. I can exercise all I want (figuratively speaking; I don’t really want to), but it doesn’t mean much if my cells are starving for nutrients.

     The first day was relatively easy. The second day was irritating. The third day was hard. I boiled my eggs so if I was still awake at midnight, I could eat them.
On the third day, I determined and signed a contract with myself dedicating myself to not eating processed foods or refined sugar for the next six days (except for yogurt since I can’t read the Chinese label to know which is the healthiest yogurt-- and honey which I rarely use anyway).

     Today is the end of day two of this and my diet is consisting of lean proteins, vegetables, fruit, beans, a little extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a little salt, pepper, and other spices. I am actually enjoying this because I am eating only at home, which means… I’m cooking all my meals. I am experimenting in the kitchen and discovering vegetables I normally wouldn’t take a second look at in the grocery store. I’m learning to cook tasty food with all fresh ingredients since I can’t use any processed ingredients. I’m even using fresh spices when I can find them in the store (fresh garlic, ginger, cilantro).

     I can’t say I will never eat this or that again because that is too overwhelming, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with indulging on special occasions (special occasions being on a birthday, not for a week after the birthday, On Christmas, not the weeks leading up to and after Christmas, on Thanksgiving, not the week after Thanksgiving). I can only say that I commit to this for six days and if I am pleased with the results (Which I am sure I will be. I’ve already lost 6 pounds- or 3 kilos. I prefer to gain in kilos and lose in pounds.), I will consider renewing my contract. Eventually, I might even extend the length of the contract, but for now, I’m just going to think about today’s part of my current six day contract.

     Well this is truly the next step of my spiritual journey with Jesus. I pray to God that I stick to it this time. I really feel like I have to put this part of my flesh to death like He commands us to put all of our sinful fleshly desires to death in order to continue to grow in my relationship with Him—and my relationship with the Father is my life’s goal.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Part 1: Sp1r1tual Logistics

All I can say is wow! The Lrd is GOOD! He IS working in the lives of the people all across Asia. I want to share about a few things I have seen first-hand here in my pocket of southern China as well as in the city of Phenom Phen, Cambodia. I will try to break this up to make it easier on the eyes. Read bits now. Read pieces later. I just hope this encourages you in your walk with our Father, as well as I hope it will build upon your vision of the role global body. 

Part 1: Blessings throughout preparing for Cambodia (The Sp1r1tual Logistics)

This week I went on a short-term trip to the Kingdom of Cambodia with a team from my fellowship in China. It is so amazing how the Father weaves the lives of His children together so that we cross paths exactly when we need it the most, so that we are placed in the exact location we need to be in at the exact time we need to be there, and how He puts the words in our mouths and the law in our hearts just as the Word says He will. 

Important Background Information: His hand was over this trip from the very beginning. Over a month ago, each one of our sixteen team members was assigned a secret buddy to pry for in preparation for the trip. 

Blessing #1: 
Fast-forward to the week of the trip. Most of the team left on Friday morning and the remaining three of us left on Saturday morning. After we booked the flights for these specific days, I found out I had to turn my passport into my school so they could renew my Chinese visa for next year, and I found out that my passport would not be given back to me until Friday afternoon, the day before I was to leave and several hours after my team was to leave. The rejection of my request for leave from work for that Friday so I could fly out with my team was a blessing in disguise.

More important background information:
Rewind to Tuesday of the same week. I got an email saying that I was supposed to have gone to the Kodak photo shop down the street and have a visa photo taken for the Chinese visa process. I hadn’t done this. I was informed that if I didn’t get the photo before 9:00 pm that same day, my passport would be delayed. (Translation: I would completely MISS the flight and not be able to go on the trip.) By the grace of The Father, I did not completely flip out. I went on with my day, planning to go that evening to have the photo taken. Then, I went on with my evening. Finally, it was 11:00 pm and I had an “Oh crap!” moment. I forgot to get the photo taken!

At that point, I had a mild freak out. I knew I needed pryer, but I was afraid to tell my team leaders about the visa. I feared that they would be angry for my irresponsibility. However, He placed it so intensely on my heart that I needed pryer and I specifically NEEDED pryer from the very team leader I was afraid of making mad. Unhappily, and just because He told me to do it, I emailed her and told her what happened and that I needed pryer. 

After a few hours of anxious sleep and many emails begging for extra time, my BFF agreed to print my visa pictures so I could get them to work early in the morning. As I left to meet her to get the photos, I got a text from the lady at work, “You don’t need to print pictures. You must have them taken at the Kodak shop today. They have to insert a special code into the electronic photo.” I was growling inside, but still trying to sing hymns. I then rushed to the Kodak shop to find that it didn’t open for another hour. So I did what any self-respecting American would do; I went to McDonalds for breakfast. (At this time, I will not reveal the blessing, but I will reveal the lesson God taught me once I realized the blessing: God doesn’t always tell us everything. Sometimes, we just have to obey in faith… and you will find blessing number two listed later.)

Blessing #3
Upon entering McDonalds, I ran into a woman who I had met at my small group in the fall. She is someone my group has been prying for, as she is now homeless, likely mentally and emotionally unwell, and making poor choices as a result. She remembered me so I sat down and we talked. At first I was really nervous because I didn’t know what to say, but I quickly realized that all I needed to do was listen to her. She told me about the vision she thought The Father gave her and many of the desires of her heart. Some things seemed very far-fetched, but I just kept quiet and listened. I asked if I could pry with her and I did. I pryed that if The Father was really trying to speak to her that He would do so clearly and she would have no confusion about it. Then it got awkward, though she seemed to be grateful, so I left her at the table and went to Starbucks. I don’t know the eternal impact of this interaction, but I am just sure it was a divine appointment.

Blessing #4
I sat outside Starbucks reading the Word, still waiting for the Kodak shop to open, when I got the urge to go to the alley where our women’s outreach group does sp1r1tual battle each week by pryer walking and singing hymns. I don’t usually get to go with my team because they walk while I am at work across town, but this morning, because of the visa problem, I was on the right side of town. I walked the alley alone three times, singing hymns and prying. The morning is a perfect time because the women are sleeping and the street has light, but “normal” foot traffic, moms walking the kids to school, etc. It’s the “safe” time. Nothing visible happened, but I know the enemy’s soldiers were fighting against each other while I sang just as in 2 Chronicles 20. The sp1r1tual world never sleeps. 

Blessing #5
I got my photo taken and my passport returned in time.

Blessing #6
During the Easter concerts several weeks ago I pryed for a Chinese woman who had many, many things on her plate. I ran into her at fellowship the previous Sunday and she wanted to get together, so I invited her over to my home and we made dumplings. We talked, laughed, talked, pryed, and talked some more. I was so surprised at how much sharper I felt from meeting with her. I thought I would be pouring into  her, but it turned out, we poured into each other. It was nice to make a new friend, one from an entirely new culture, but with the most important things in common: Our faith in Jesus Christ, our singleness, our desire for writing, and our love for dumplings. I really felt like my heart couldn’t hold anymore friends before Wednesday; I thought I operating at full capacity, but when God brought me a new friend, He made my heart bigger. Amanda is a huge blessing.

Blessing #7
On Friday, another friend who I had not spent time with since my last trip to Cambodia in October called me and wanted to meet with me so I could pry with her. She came over that night and we had a blast. We laughed, pryed, talked, laughed, pryed, and sang. She stayed the night and helped get me on my way to Cambodia early the next morning. Again, we were not that close before, but God made my heart bigger!

Blessing #2
Fast-forward to Tuesday night, the END of the Cambodia trip. We sat in a circle and for the first time, revealed our pryer buddies. The person who was prying for me was Tyler, our trip leader, the one I was so afraid to tell about my visa problem, the one God told me I HAD to have pry for me, the one who was specifically and secretly prying for ME for me the WHOLE time.

Isn’t God awesome?

To Be Continued…

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

He is doing great things

Dear Friends,

HE has been doing great things. Though I haven’t been blogging, I have been writing. In fact, in the last week and half, I have written over 20,000 words. HE has spoken to my spirit and made it clear that I must write.

I have asked HIM what he wanted me to do to reach the most people possible for His purposes. At most, I was thinking… die as a martyr for Him or something, but a variety of experiences have led me to know what I always kind of knew… I will write.

So, I began to write, and write, and write. I wrote a series of memoirs, or rather an autobiography of pivotal memories in my existence. I expounded upon Bible verses. I wrote His story as a children’s book or rather, as a fairy tale. I brainstormed book ideas for the future. On my heart was the idea of taking people from the Bible, keeping their story, but changing their names and details and creating Fiction pieces that illustrate that He really is relevant in our lives today.

I started with the book of Ruth. I wrote the beginning of the story as I picture it would be in modern times from the perspective of Naomi. I then began writing from the perspective of Ruth. I followed that with the perspective of Orpah, Ruth’s sister, and plan to end it from the perspective of Boaz. It’s a hot mess, but I’m so glad I got started. I wrote more in this piece than I have ever written in a fiction piece before, so it doesn’t matter if it is ever published. It’s on paper (at least some of it) and that was my goal.

Other than renewing in me the desire and motivation to write, He has been doing other great things. I am going on another trip to Cambodia with my fellowship. I am excited and nervous because there will be a lot of people going. I think we are taking about 16. Five of them are teenagers and then a mixed group of adults…. This feels boring even to write. Moving on.

SHINE, our women’s ministry is opening so many doors for me to serve, doors that I have only dreamed of. A few months ago, I was asked to step up as the Pryr Leader for SHINE events, which led to me leading the Pryr team for many other major fellowship events as well. Through this, He has shown me that my primary responsibility is to pry. I can’t move mountains on my own strength, but He can and will. He commands me to pry without ceasing and it’s not an easy task. It’s exhausting but so rewarding.
I share this to show you what HE is doing. Many individuals gave their lives to Him during those events, and I got to see it happen. A friend of mine asked me to pry for her coworker, who was not in the family, throughout one of the events, and by the end of that same night, she joined the family!

Another amazing thing He has done is to provide a way for me to share what I have learned in my walk with Him and especially from my mentor and from recovery. He placed two of my friends of my heart and I finally told each of them this week that I believed I was supposed to mentor/disciple them. They were both ecstatic.  They are enthusiastically working through the step-study books with me individually.  He even used my refusal to complete my homework the other night to reveal some more of my issues. This reminds me of the painting I have at home that I painted right after college. It’s called “Perfectly Imperfect.” I’m finally okay with that!

Why is that so amazing? Well, it is because this morning I received an email from another SHINE leader, asking me if I would join the mentorship group as they prepare to launch that new ministry. Their first meeting was Monday night, at the EXACT hour I was with my friend formalizing our mentorship relationship. Does HE have amazing timing or what!? 

The Women of the Night (WON), a smaller part of our women’s ministry (specifically to prostitutes) is just getting off the ground. He placed it on another friend’s heart last year and is bringing it fruition. PTL! She has been leading women through the alley on pryr walks during the day and tonight we had an amazing meeting. She shared testimonies of other similar groups being protected by the Lrd and reaping a great harvest. We pryd together and then went on a pryr walk through the alley. This was the first time anyone one of us have gone at night when the women are working. We were looked at. We walked around the block five times, praying as we walked, but mostly singing. I was way out of my comfort zone. I was mostly anxious about what they thought we were thinking. I didn’t want them to think we were judging them or feeling superior. I just had to trust Him and we believe IT starts tonight. Their freedom in Him is on the way. The enemy’s days of reign are numbered.

What else… My kids are still awesome and I’m taking a graduate level course in Linguistics online… ::deep breath:: Yet, with all of this, this week seems to be easy so far. He has placed HIS Angel to encamp around me and given me an anointing of ease. The ease is not constant, but it is certainly more frequent these days.



Thursday, March 22, 2012


Teaching Confusion

I’m toast. This is my second 12 hour work day in a row. Parent-Teacher conferences from the end of school yesterday at 4:20 until 8:00 pm last night. Parent-Teacher conferences from 8:30 am today until 8:00 pm tonight. It’s 4:45 pm, the second day.

I just had a parent teacher conference and couldn’t even remember who the kid was. I know her name. I know she is a good student, but I just couldn’t place her face. Seven months into the school year. I’ve stumbled my way through those types of parent-teacher conferences in the beginning of the school years, but never this far in. To top it off, her parents asked me more pointed questions than any other parents. I look at my grade book to identify the string of As next to her name. They ask, “How is her writing? How is her participation? How is her reading comprehension? How is she socially? How is her speaking ability? How does she do on oral presentations? All things I should be able to answer at this point and for most students, I can. But for some reason, I have lost the ability to form thoughts.

I stumble through my words, referring frequently to the graded essay I have on file for her. “An A student, a few grammatical issues. Makes all necessary corrections with little guidance. Hard worker. Pleasant.” Uhh… “Socially… she seems to get along with her peers. She works well in groups. Well individually. “ mmm… My thoughts finally form: Please leave now. Not that you are not great parents but I’m sucking right now and feeling like I want to sink into my chair or crawl under my desk and nibble on my hair. “Yes, a very hard worker. I like her a lot.”

It ended well. They said they were so glad I was her teacher and they felt so lucky. Their daughter said she loves my class and learns a lot. Upon reflection, everything I said was true. Thank God.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Just a quick update

Hi folks!

I'm so sorry not to write. I started writing a few blog entries and never finished them so I didn't post them. Upon rereading, they are not that interesting. They talk about shopping in an overcrowded Chinese Ikea and wanting to kick, cry, and huddle in a corner. It was ugly. I didn't do any of the above... only in my mind. 

Well, I have been very busy lately-- with work, working out, worship, and friends. The Father has blessed me so much here. Tonight, my friends and I celebrated my birthday (one day early). We went out to a Mexican Restaurant (yummmmmmmy!). I can't even describe it. They are just amazing. Not only are they amazing-- they were not even all there. 

I took a video of me showing and reading what they gave me, but it seems to be too big to post. I'll figure it out.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chapter 13: Angry

If I could see red in anger, today I would have seen it. If I could see red in anger, last night, I would have seen it.

I bought a very nice and very decorative duve/sheet set and a body pillow from a co-worker who is moving last week and left it in my foyer, the pillow in a large Ikea bag and the duvet/sheet set in the original clear sturdy zipped plastic bag. I left many items in the foyer because— quite frankly, I can. I live alone and my foyer is very spacious. It is where things are out of the way and where I leave things when I get home until I’m ready to deal with them.

Apparently, I left my new suitcase, new jacket that had my class ring safely in the zipped pocket to make it easier to get through security at the airport, my large decorative bag I use for shopping, though it is not a shopping bag. It is a nice duffel bag and my new electronic water boiler.

I didn’t notice when any of those items went missing because I assumed my housekeeper had just stored them in normal places when she cleaned up. No big deal. Who wouldn’t want someone else to put their luggage away and store their new linens?

A week passed and I couldn’t find my purple jacket or my class ring, though I did not make a connection between the two at all, nor did I think my housekeeper touched them. I really thought I had left my class ring in the states from Christmas. I was beginning to worry that I left my new purple jacket in a restaurant or something. I searched through all of my laundry piles many times to no avail. I sadly let it go. It wouldn’t be the first time I left something I liked on a bus or in a foreign country never to see it again.

I decided last night that I would put my new linens on my bed, but as I scoured the house, I couldn’t find them. Suddenly, I realized that my body pillow and my new linens were not in my house and I searched every crevice again and again hoping to find them. I realized that the only other person with access was my housekeeper. I can’t even describe it. I was livid. So angry I could hardly breathe. I assumed she thought that I intended the linens and pillow as trash and threw them away—or maybe she thought they were there as gifts for her and took them. Either way, I was so beside myself that I laid on the floor to calm down. It had nothing to do with the money I spent or the objects themselves. I couldn’t care less about the money and I could certainly do without the objects since I had never even used them, but something about the situation left me—fuming.

Finally, I allowed myself to pray about the matter—that I would be able to let go of the anger. I remembered that what she had done was most likely not done in malice and even if it was, her offense against me was nothing compared to how I offend the Father every day of my life. Every time I use His name inappropriately. Every time I gossip. Every time I put someone or something above Him. The notion helped me to calm down and release the indignation for the night.

I dreamt that I woke up and found the items on a shelf that I had missed the night before. When I really woke up and was getting ready for work this morning, I remembered the dream, and again, I began to feel incensed. I prayed and let it go.

At work I spoke to a co-worker about it and he advised me to ask our housing director to call her (She ONLY speaks Chinese and he speaks English and Chinese) and ask about it. He emailed me back and told me that she thought I was going to ask her to throw the items in the garbage so she took them and gave them away. Wow, I thought. But then again, I am probably editing my thoughts.

She sent me a text shortly thereafter, which I had translated by a friend. It simply said she found my items and wanted to know if she was expected to work next week during Chinese New year. It felt to me that she was downplaying the situation. I was briefly incensed again, but quickly let it go.

Then I got home and found not only my two bags of linens/pillow in the living room, but my new suitcase as well. I did not even realize it was missing yet! I opened it and found the new electronic water boiler I just bought last week (something I was looking for, but thought it just got lost in the pile of stuff I brought back from the states which is located the spare room—stuff that I didn’t feel like going through quite yet) and the nice duffel I use on shopping trips. I pulled the body pillow out of its bag to wash the cover and found my new purple jacket rolled up in the bottom of the bag. I found in the zipped front pocket of the jacket, my class ring that I have been missing.

Suddenly I was fuming again. I prayed but new I had to write. Now, I feel better. I’m thinking of letting her go. I have had a few other issues and it just feels too stressful. Anyway, I’m grateful I have the opportunity to have help at home here. It’s definitely a blessing I know, a blessing that I will likely not have in the states.

God is teaching me stuff. Not exactly sure what today, but I’m sure it will be good. No, it will definitely be good.