Mudholes and squishy toes

While working on a story about a missions project I came across a group that was helping a church with some repairs — painting, tiling, etc. However there was one situation that I found just a little bit different, and it led me to this question.

What do you get when you put a bunch of Baptist girls in a pit with dirt, water, and straw?

The answer is adobe bricks.

Our mission was to make bricks for an oven that the church would use to make bread.

After taking several photos for the newspaper, I decided to jump in and have some fun! At one point there were over ten of us in the tiny mudhole stomping to our heart’s content. I had forgotten how much fun I could have just playing in the dirt.

Once we got the mud to the perfect peanut-butter consistency, our job was finished.

That’s when I looked down at my feet and noticed aloud that I could not distinguish them from the mushy earth.

One of the ladies mentioned that there was a message in that statement, and I must say I agree.

I know I easily think that I am important or gifted or somehow “special” but really I am only here on this earth for a short time and at the end I will simply return to dust. Yes, the Creator made each of us to fulfill a part of that plan. In that aspect I find my value — that I am to serve him. However, when it comes to worldly pursuits I think I need to remember more often that in the end I will just be dusty dirt.

Who knows, maybe someday I will be part of that mud people romp around in to make a brick oven. I certainly do love bread!

While some may find Ecclesiastes a bit depressing, I find it encouraging that a lot of what I do here is meaningless. When I do find myself focusing on things and pursuits that are ultimately empty I remember that my worth is in Christ and nothing else.

So if the world is getting you down I encourage you to examine where you are finding your worth.

Who knew that a little bit of mud could teach you so much?

Til then!

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Tinkertown

I’ve been thinking. I remember the days when I was in elementary school and would bust out mom’s beautiful array of craft supplies. I would make anything. I loved to create.

Now I find myself wishing I could create but never doing it. But, I do find plenty of time to waste watching old episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” and “Arrested Development.” While the humor from these two shows are greatly appreciated, I miss the joy of making things — especially since all my crocheting tid-bits were left in Tennessee.

Yesterday I had the great experience of going to the Tinkertown Museum with a new friend. I braved the high altitude (it was even higher than Albuquerque, about halfway up the Sandias) and wandered around this handmade museum with concrete and glass bottle walls.

As I dawdled, I was struck by a statement — there were many of those — painted by the maker of the museum. It read something like, “I did all of this while you were watching tv.”

He carved little people and buildings to make a tiny town complete with buttons to push that made the place come alive. All right, so a few of them just moved a little and a light or two came on. I was pleasantly reminded of home as twangy music played in the little town section of the museum. He even had an Elvis!

After my time at the eclectic museum I thought about how much I could really accomplish if I actually did things instead of simply thinking about them.

So here’s to the hope that I let up on the stewing of my ideas and get to completing some of them. Thanks Tinkertown for stirring up the creative ten-year-old in me.

Till then!

Lumpy's

The menu is on the paper bag, and you better get the burger. Mark it up with a crayon. Pick your own potato (either Idaho or sweet) from a basket and in ten minutes they’ll call your name on the intercom with your customized burger and fries.

This is the Lumpy’s experience. A new friend claims it’s the home of the best burger. I don’t know if I agree (I may be a little partial to the tourist favorite in Sante Fe, Bobcat Bite), but the food is pretty good. Especially if you like green chile.

However, my Tennessee tummy is a little used to plainer tastes and New Mexico does not know the meaning of mild. Still the burger was pretty great with its super-thick cheddar cheese slice, and even though they got each of our orders a little messed up it was definitely worth it.

With witty names for your single, double, and triple, keyser roll buns, and tasty sweet potato fries, I can happily give you a thumbs up Lumpy’s.

Till then!

Off to the four winds

First day of working at the Baptist New Mexican down. Everyone was so nice and they even gave me my own desk! (Which I needed. I managed to write a story and a half today.) Here’s a sneak peak at my very first office phone and a bottle of water since living in New Mexico requires loads of hydration.

I do miss my lovely friends who were here for my first 10 days of exploration in New Mexico. Now we have all gone in different different directions. The wind has carried us off as it wills!

While my buddies were here, we tromped around an Arizona canyon — which was not the Grand — on one of our last days together. While doing so we had a blast being American tourists and listening to Sinatra while we zoomed around in our rented suburban, a.k.a. the Batmobile. Our professor even jammed a little to a song about supermodels working the runway. Sacher, chanter!

The next set of photos is from a trip a little earlier in our adventure. We went to El Morro! People used to carve their names in the rock as they passed through. Pretty neat, but after the third post we quickly became tired of reading the supplemental book of information describing who carved each spot. But we did brave high altitude and air that is much thinner than that in Tennessee to get to the top!

I had such an amazing time my first 10 days in this strange desert of a state, and I cannot wait to see what the next five weeks will bring!

Till then!