Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are definitely a favorite in my house! They are a quick and easy snack or addition to lunch. Problem is, you have to make a lot of these, because nobody can eat just one! 
Here’s what you do.
In a large steamer pot, bring a couple inches of water to a boil. Once boiling, place the eggs (this recipe is based on 10-12 eggs, depending on the size)  in the basket, and steam with the lid on for twelve minutes. 
After 12 minutes is up, remove eggs from basket and place in a bowl of ice water. 
Once eggs are cool enough to handle, peel the eggs. 
Cut the eggs in half, and remove the yolks. 
Notice how the yolks are not green or black on the outside? That is because they aren’t over cooked! 
In a blender, or in a bowl add about a quarter cup of mayonnaise, a couple teaspoons of mustard (deli is my favorite) a splash of hot sauce, and a pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Blend or beat till smooth. 
Once desired smoothness has been achieved, spoon mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with smoked paprika when you’re all done. 
This recipe really isn’t a recipe, you just sorta throw whatever you feel like into the yolk mixture. 
I hope you have fun making these deviled eggs! I sure enjoy making them! They are so much fun to experiment with, and change up the flavor! 
I would love to hear what you think of the recipe/video 
Questions and Comments are appreciated! 

Amber Wells 
Papua New Guinea 🇵🇬 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Secure or Standardized?

"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." 2 Timothy 1:12-14

Image result for Christian flagAs an independent Baptist kid, I grew up with all the stereotypical rules and standards. King James version, skirts and culottes (those were not in style then!), ultra conservative music and so forth. Growing up, I was taught this was important in following Christ; that the Bible actually taught these things. I tried to be the good kid, and many times I did believe everything I was taught, unquestionably.

Yet, at the same time, I was very confused. I was abused throughout my childhood by a preacher. I simply could not make sense of the fact that being a good Baptist kid and following all the rules had not protected me. Was the abuse also something that came with being Baptist? Following Christ?

No, No, No! God has taught me since that time, and brought me through a wonderful journey of discovering Christ. 

Then, recently, a girl whom I was discipling asked me a similar question. "If works don't save you, how come Baptist churches require [XYZ]?" It suddenly struck me: we've lost sight of the point of being Baptist. As a counselor, I've heard many talk about how they thought doing these standards was what being Baptist was all about, that they were saved by doing.  Now, I know most would readily deny that a certain standard is "required" in the church, yet, that is how we behave. 

A girl must conform to the modesty standard of .... or she is considered worldly and to be avoided. Music is a hot spot. You're either in the group that decides what music is "in" for your church, in the group that goes along with it, or in the "other" group looked down on by the rest. I hate to even mention the Bible version issue, knowing how strongly some feel on the issue.

Standards are not bad; but, my fellow Believers, we need to remember the point.

Are we eternally secure?

What a tragedy that people can know a group of Believers, and either feel rejected or burdened with unnecessary spiritual fetters simply because we've lost sight of what is truly important. Standards are merely a sign. In fact, the word "standard" is used in the Bible as a flag or banner. It is set up to show who and whose the people were. THIS is the point of a standard. It is to set us apart. To show both who we are, and whose we are. 

We are first, and foremost, set apart as Christ's. (Ephesians 1) We belong to Him because we accepted His gift of free salvation. None of us are perfect or deserving, yet Christ died for each of us and loves us unconditionally. Having taken the step of belief in Christ for eternity, we strive to live according to His Word, the Bible, for our life on earth. 

Standards could be said to be like a wedding ring. Wedding rings/tokens are different in every culture, but they are always a sign that the wearer is spoken for, married. Now, I can take my wedding ring off, and I am still married; it doesn't change my status. However, without that ring, others are not aware of my status. In this culture (Georgia, Europe), a plain gold band is worn on the ring finger of the right hand to signify marriage. So, I had to exchange my lovely diamond studded ring on my left hand for a plain one on my right. I wanted to show the Georgians that I was married in the way that they do it in their culture.

So are standards; they may change depending on the culture, but they are there to signify our heavenly status. Standards CANNOT change a person; that's what Christ does through salvation and sanctification. Most importantly, standards do not save; that is the work of Christ in the heart of a Believer. Standards may be based on Scripture, but many times the Bible doesn't explicitly say details; this is left to the individual priesthood of the Believer and is not cause for judgement by other Believers. (2 Corinthians 10:12)

Please, do not throw out your standards! Standards are good! That is how we are to show the world that we have something different- Christ. We simply need to be reminded that standards are not eternal security. 

Are you secure in Christ, or merely relying on standards? Make sure today.

"Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken." Isaiah 62:10-12

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Missionary Quote - Judson

Her Story Silhouettes {Emma Moody / Company's Coming!}

Go to www.sharihouse.com to read more "Her Story Silhouettes"

Hey there, I'm Shari. One of my favorite things to do is read about or study the lives of ordinary women who have done extraordinary things for the Lord.

Their stories challenge me, encourage me, and teach me. My hope is that these "silhouettes" or glimpses of their lives will do the same for you.  

Each silhouette contains a small synopsis of a lady’s service to the Lord, a particular story from her everyday life that resonated with my own, and a short Bible study about a truth that I learned from it. I hope that as you read these posts you might be challenged to find out more about these great ladies, that you might find something that speaks to your heart or helps you in your own ministry, and that ultimately you will be encouraged to remain faithful to your calling.

So grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy, and let me tell you about her story.


Emma Revell was born in London, England on July 5, 1843*. In 1849 at the age of six* her family emigrated to America and settled in Chicago. She was raised in the Baptist church and began teaching Sunday school at the age of 15. She was quite well-educated and of a serious nature, but she had a heart that loved people, and at the age of 17 she became a teacher in the public school. Emma first met her future husband, Dwight L. Moody, when at the age of 15 she decided to take a class at a mission school where he was working. She was drawn to this magnetic individual, and although a young man himself, Dwight was already an outstanding businessman who was well-known in the community. She began volunteering in his Congregational evangelical organization, and they eventually started dating. They shared a deep passion for showing God’s love and kindness to others. When she was 17, she agreed to Dwight’s proposal of marriage although he had made the life-altering decision to leave the business world behind and focus on lost souls and the cause for Christ. Emma’s strong faith aided her decision to submit to a life of unsalaried missionary work as her future husband had determined to refuse all offers of salary, and instead they chose to live by faith.

They were married in 1862 when Emma was 19 years old and Dwight was 25 years old. After they were married, they set up house in Chicago where their ministry had great success. Their daughter, Emma, was born in 1864 and their first son, William, was born in 1869. By the early 1870’s Dwight had become a popular evangelist and was in quite high demand. Emma accompanied him for the most part and his speaking engagements took them throughout the country and overseas. She was a tremendous help to her husband and was willing to not have a permanent home for many years. They happened to be at their house the night of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. They lost everything as they watched their house, their church, and their city burn to the ground. Emma was separated from her two children who had been whisked away in a neighbor’s carriage in hopes of fleeing the fire. The events of the night and the harrowing experience of not knowing for 24 hours if her children had made it out safely caused her hair to turn white never to regain its color.

Although her husband kept a watchful eye on the rebuilding of the ministry in Chicago, their family never lived there again. Instead they returned to Northfield, Massachusetts which was Dwight’s birthplace. They began a ministry there and it grew quickly. Emma loved teaching in the schools they established - the first one called Northfield School* for girls and the second one called Mount Hermon School for boys. Their third child, Paul, was born in 1879. During the next 20 years, they established the Northfield Summer Conferences, a publishing house, and the Colportage Library. In Chicago, they established the Chicago Evangelization Society, Moody Church, Moody Press, and Moody Bible Institute.

It has been estimated that Dwight L. Moody traveled more than one million miles in his evangelistic endeavors, and he addressed more than 100 million people during his lifetime. In all that he accomplished, his wife faithfully assisted him, mostly behind the scenes. Her poise and reserved nature complemented his flamboyant, and at times in his early ministry, brash manner making them a powerful force that the Lord used greatly. She was his solid rock and Dwight relied heavily on Emma’s good judgment, knowledge of the Scriptures, and deep devotion to the Lord for strength and guidance for this great cause to which God had called them.   

Dwight received letters daily from around the world that revealed tragedies, had confessions of guilt, or dealt with other various problems that called for spiritual counsel, compassion, and sometimes admonition. Dwight entrusted Emma with the great task of answering most all of his correspondence. She also handled all of the family finances, the running of the household, and the hosting of the hundreds of guests that made their way through the seemingly revolving door at the Moody household,  

Throughout their entire ministry Dwight and Emma were both devoted to their children and worked hard at keeping their children’s hearts. All three answered God’s call to the ministry. They were devoted to each other as well, and it is said of them that there was never such a happy couple. Emma died on October 10, 1903, at the age of 61, four short years after her husband’s death. Dwight often acknowledged that he could not have accomplished his ministry without the quiet strength of his beloved wife. A family member testified, “No man ever paid greater homage to his wife than Mr. Moody. In every way he deferred to her.” Mr. Ira Sankey said of Emma, “One of the greatest influences of his [D.L. Moody] life came from his wife. She has been the break upon an impetuous nature, and she more than any other living person is responsible for his success.” She was truly a woman of whom it could be said, “She hath done what she could”!

Her Story/My Story:  

During their 37 years of marriage and ministry, their home was open to anyone. The great Northfield Conferences that represented thousands of people from every nation on earth and sixty-two summers of meetings began in Emma’s front parlor. She received all who came to her doorstep. A prisoner just released from jail was as welcome and an earnest Christian friend. Emma entertained neighbors, travelers from afar, college students, poor street urchins, soldiers, earls, dukes, and Governor Generals alike. She took care of meals for whoever was there whether it be one guest or a couple dozen and whether they were staying for just an hour or for several nights. She welcomed all with open arms and used the opportunity the Lord gave her to make a difference in each person’s life.

In the months before her death she had been gravely ill and unable to host as in times past. She was determined to resume her monthly Sunday school class in the fall of 1903. The girls met for their September class in her home to make it easier for her. It thrilled her to have them in her home and have the opportunity to influence their lives. She died before their next class in October, but she left behind her outline of notes that she had prepared to teach on. Her last point was “He has sanctified childhood, motherhood, and the home.” Emma used her home to serve her Lord.

As a missionary between deputation and furlough, you can imagine I have many stories I could tell about being the guest in someone’s home. I remember once being given an entire wing of a house to myself that included my own private bathroom, pool, exercise room, and TV lounge area that was stocked with goodies. I didn’t sleep much that night because I just wanted to take full advantage of everything. I also remember another night I didn’t get much sleep. It was at a home I stayed in where I was asked to sleep in a makeshift bed that was set up in the narrow hallway where the family, including the husband, had to crawl across the bed to get to the kitchen and living room.  Needless to say, I slept with one eye opened that night, and my pajamas stayed in the suitcase. 

The Lord has always graciously provided me lovely homes that are conducive to entertaining. I always make sure to have at least one room set up for guests at all times. I have had the privilege of hosting friends, family, and strangers. I remember one night my ministry partner, Amber, and I were travelling back from a church service in Bangkok. We had traveled the three hours home and it was quite dark by the time we reached our town. We happened to pass by a woman walking with her small child on a dark road. She was crying and seemed in distress. We stopped the car to see if we could give her a ride since it wasn’t safe for her to be walking at that time of night on that road by herself. The story came out of her sick child, her alcoholic, abusive husband, and how he had kicked her out without any money. We decided we couldn’t leave her there, and so we brought her and the child to my house. They slept on a comfy mattress with clean sheets, and I gave them some food, something to drink, and some medicine. In the morning one of my Thai friends gave her the plan of salvation, and she accepted Jesus as her Savior. She then asked me to take her to where she worked as a migrant worker at a construction site not too far from my home. Shortly after that her work gang moved on to another city, and I’ve never seen her again. I praise the Lord for the opportunity He gave me to meet her and to help meet not only her immediate need at that moment, but also her eternal need.

Bible Study:  Company's Coming!
Do the words “company’s coming!” fill you with delight or fright? Are you the first to volunteer when visitors need a place to eat or stay or do you run away?

The Bible teaches us in . . .
  • Hebrews 13:1-2 Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
  • I Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.”
  • Titus 1 lists “lover of hospitality” as one of the attributes of a bishop
  • Romans 12:13 says every Christian should be “. . .given to hospitality.”

There are many examples in the Bible of people showing hospitality to others:
  • Martha, Mary, and Lazarus welcomed Jesus and His disciples into their home to rest and rejuvenate
  • The jailer took Paul and Silas to his home to dress their wounds.
  • Lydia gave Paul, Silas, and Luke a place to stay for a time while they were doing missionary work in her town.
  • Abraham and Sarah who entertained three strangers.
  • Gaius opened his home up to the “whole church” in perilous times.
  • The Shunamite woman used her home to minister to Elisha’s needs.

We can learn 6 things about being hospitable from 2 Kings 4 and the Shunamite woman, who the Lord calls a “great woman.”

(vs. 8) - And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.

1. She was persuasive – the Bible uses the word “constrained.” She invited Elisha into her home for the purpose of meeting his needs that day which was giving him something to eat. It doesn’t say she killed the fatted calf or prepared for him a feast. She served him a simple meal.

2. She was welcoming - Every time Elisha passed by their house, he was welcome to come and take a meal.

(vs. 9) - And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.

3. She was perceptive – She perceived that Elisha was a holy man. She was kind to Elisha before she knew he was a person of importance.

(vs. 10) - Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.

4. She was discerning – She took note of Elisha’s situation and considered what she could do to be a help to him.

5. She was thoughtful – She prepared a room with the things she thought he needed – a bed, table, stool, and candlestick.

(vs. 13) - And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.

6. She was unexpecting – She did not do all of this for her guest in order to receive something in return.

Consider using your home today to serve the Lord. Here are some possibilities:

  • Invite some friends over for a time of prayer and fellowship.
  • Invite a visitor or new church family to your house for a meal after a service.
  • Invite a travelling missionary or speaker to stay in your guest room when they are travelling through town. 
  • Offer to babysit your pastor’s children so they can have a date night.
  • Offer to host a youth activity.

Your home doesn’t have to be a palace to be used by the Lord, it just has to have a hostess whose heart is open to accepting people into it for the purpose of showing them God’s love.

3 Practical tips for unexpected guests

1. Try to keep the main bathroom and living/entertaining area of your home tidy at all times, but if a guest should find your house a little otherwise, don’t apologize profusely for it. Making a big deal of it will only make your unexpected guest feel like they are bothering you and they should leave.

2. If your guests end up staying for a meal, don’t worry if you don’t have the food on hand to make a lavish meal. A simple meal served with love has a much more lasting effect than a 4-course meal designed to impress.

3. Keep something on hand in the cupboard you can mix up quickly for a sweet treat like a box of brownies or a frozen roll of cookie dough. Another idea would be to make a variety of muffins up ahead of time and freeze them. When someone comes unexpectedly, just pull a few out and pop them in the microwave.

10 Elements of a great guest room - If at all possible give your guest their own room.

1. Clean and tidy room
2. Clean towels, sheets, and blankets
3. At least 2 pillows so the extra one can be used for reading in bed. (I have a set of thick pillows and thin pillows I use to accommodate those who have different preferences)
4. A small or dim light near the bed
5. A mirror (full length if possible)
6. A box of tissues
7. A trash can
8. An electrical outlet near the bed for charging electronic devices and one near the mirror for getting ready. (If an outlet isn’t available in either of these places, provide an extension cord.)
9. A clock
10. Space in the closet/place to hang clothes and extra hangers

10 Extra things to really make a guest feel comfortable

1. A chair that can be used for reading, studying, getting dressed, etc.
2. A small gift bag of goodies and snacks to tide them over between meals
3. A small vase of flowers
4. A private bathroom stocked with toiletries
5. An information card with Wi-Fi code, alarm code, instructions for using the washer/dryer, local emergency numbers, etc.
6. Some good reading books or magazines
7. A place to hang towels
8. A basket for dirty laundry
9. Travel & info tips about local attractions
10. Candle with lighter/matches or flashlight in case of power outage

* Some accounts list her birth year as 1842.
* Some accounts list her age as 7 instead of 6 for when the family emigrated depending on which birth year they use.

* Northfield School for Girls and Mount Hermon school for Boys is now one school called Northfield Mount Hermon or NMH. 

Resources/Book List:

A Heavenly Destiny: The Life Story of Mrs. D.L. Moody, Emma Moody Powell, Moody Press, 1943


I have chosen to highlight the life of these ladies because of what they have accomplished for the Lord not because I agree with their doctrinal beliefs.  As with all study of man, our focus should be on the character traits they bestowed in their lives that allowed the Lord to use them, how the Lord used them, the methods of ministry they incorporated that allowed them to be effective, etc.  We do not study man to get our doctrine.  Our doctrinal beliefs should only come from the Bible.  To that end you may find you don’t agree with the doctrine of a particular person that I write about, but I believe there is still much wisdom we can gain from studying their lives.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Setting Precedents

Probably forty years ago now, our coworkers invited some of the young men from church for Sunday dinner. The guys gladly accepted—for that week and every week afterwards. The teens were their son's friends, so it was okay, but it was a wake-up call about setting precedents. Sometimes, what you do once becomes community custom, especially in ministry.

Let me list a few examples. I'm sure you'll think of more.
  • Sending flowers—for hospitals, funerals, etc.
  • Inviting for meals
  • Saying, "Stop by whenever you like."
  • Planning parties for birthdays
  • Establishing a custom in the church (socials, meals, showers, etc.)
  • Giving gifts on special days (Mother's and Father's Days, Easter, etc.)
  • Honoring children or adults for accomplishments (certificates, prizes, etc.)
  • Beginning a new ministry (VBS, children's clubs, women's meetings, etc.)

It's best to think and pray before you begin something. (Always!!! If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5) Think:
  • Is this a good thing for everyone concerned?
  • Is this something that we'll explain is just for now?
  • Is this a custom we always want to continue—and that people will come to expect?
  • If I have money to do this one year, will I maybe not be able to do again it the next year? (And, if I can't the next year, will people be disappointed or offended?)
  • Do I want to establish this (whatever it is) as a precedent?
  • And, perhaps most important: is this something that furthers God's plan? Is it God's will? Will it open doors? Will it encourage people?

Ministries ebb and flow. In our own church, we've tried all different things at different times, for example:
  • For a while, we had breakfast in the morning before the service. (It kept two of our people from verbal battles, since they enjoyed eating more than fighting. Hey, if it works!) After a while, we didn't have the problem any more and our congregation had changed, so we discontinued the breakfasts.
  • For many years, the church held a supper once a month after the evening service. The women contributed some of the food, and we enjoyed a time of fellowship. But, after years went by and our congregation changed, we didn't have any women besides me to make the food (which I did), and even some of the men didn't stay to eat afterwards. It was no longer a popular thing, so we quit. (Would you believe only one person ever asked why?)
  • We used to try to hold special services at Christmas and Easter. We still have a Christmas emphasis near Christmas and Easter messages, but that's when most Spanish people are on vacation from work and can travel. In our church, they're the least attended times of the year besides summer. We have a small congregation, so there aren't enough left to participate in plays or special music, which we used to do.
  • We never started—thankfully—throwing birthday parties for every attender. Why? Because, one must not miss anyone, ever—and we don't have many constant, faithful people. So, if we threw the party and the birthday person weren't even attending…. You can see our dilemma. Plus, I am the only woman in the church who knows how to make a cake. (At this time, there's only one other woman, and she's from a different culture entirely.) Sometimes, when the pastor has a birthday, we take a cake to share with those who are there. They enjoy celebrating with him.
  • I sometimes take a simple floral bouquet to someone in the hospital, especially if they're in there for a while. It is a gift from me personally. (In a socialized medical system, people are in and out of hospitals often.) I don't take flowers to our men—not a custom, here—although I might visit along with my husband.
  • Our church has in the past sent floral tributes in honor of friends of the church who've passed away, but we've ceased doing it because of financial hindrances. Instead, we make an effort to attend funeral services or viewings.

Each field is different, but you need to keep precedent in mind before you put something into place in your ministry. You might want to announce (or let the pastor announce) that this is something you want to try this year. In fields where one time means always—watch closely what you do one time. In fields where gifts must be paid back (perhaps with a bigger gift), be cautious what you give. In places where inviting a person of the opposite sex to dinner might be misconstrued, be careful.

Speaking of invitations, this is a true story from many years ago. Missionary friends, who happened to have a young teenage daughter, invited a young man in their church over to eat at their house on Sunday. They had several children, so they didn't think anything about it. They had merely invited a teen to dinner at their home. Lo and behold, the young man's family got extremely excited. In Spanish culture at that time, this was tantamount to announcing betrothal. It took a while to get the whole thing ironed out. The daughter wasn't even dating age yet, but the teen guy's family thought there was an "understanding" without their knowledge. Oh my!

Know your culture. Ask questions and use Google. Know the dos and don'ts, and ask the Lord to guide you in the precedents you establish at home and for your church.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, 
always abounding in the work of the Lord, 
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
 (1 Corinthians 15:58)

by Lou Ann Keiser, in Basque Spain 34 years

Monday, October 1, 2018

A Missionary Kid's Recount of a Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

     The following is a true account of a day that happened when my youngest daughter was eleven years old. She is now fifteen years old, and she wrote this piece for a school assignment that was supposed to be a narrative about her longest/worst day ever. I hope you enjoy reading her work.

The Longest Day of My Life
to be read in a cheesy fair-tale like voice

     Back a few years ago, one fateful day in Sacramento, California, I lived my longest day, and lived to tell the tale that you are about to hear. The morning dawned beautiful and full of hope, because we were going to Alaska to see my sister for she was getting married. I woke early in the morning to get ready for a long day. So I picked out an outfit that I was going to wear that day. After having my mother's phone in the bathroom, I preceded to drop my mother's phone on the tile floor and shatter the screen. I apologized profusely for what I had just done. She said that it was okay, it was an accident, that what was done was done. 
     After she went out of the bathroom and I started to get ready for a quick shower, I heard my father come into the hotel room, and ask my mother if she had seen the car that day? With a puzzled voice, she said, no, she had not. He then told her that our car had been broken into and that she needed to come down to the parking lot right away to see if anything had been stolen. In a flash, I was redressed and on my way downstairs with my mother, to see what the damage was and see if anything had been stolen. When we arrived outside, we saw the shattered window. I then looked in the car, and saw that my pink suitcase was gone (such a pity because it had all my precious books inside). After being distraught for a little while, my mother took me aside and quoted to me the following verse: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moths and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:" I was then in awe about how much the Bible can relate to your life in the moment.
     After we cleaned up the glass, we went back into the hotel, and packed up to leave. We then packed up our car, and went on our not-so-merry little way. We decided to stop and get some food before we did a few errands. I decided to get a VERY large cup of iced tea since I was very thirsty. After we got our food, my mother and I decided to stop in at a store, to see if they had any suitable boots for me. (You see, I was in great need of warm footwear, because all I had was flip-flops and sandals and those, of course, would not do because the wedding was in Alaska.) So I put my too large drink in the too small cup holder in the door, (because that was the only place I had to put it), then hopped out of the car, and slammed the door. When I slammed the door, I got a very sick feeling in my stomach, telling me my very large drink had just spilled in the car floor. I ignored it, as I ran into the store to see if they had any boots I liked; they did not.
     When I got back in the car, I saw that my feeling had been correct in that my large drink had just spilled all over the car floor (ALL 40 OUNCES!!). My oh-so-large drink was now sloshing around under my feet. Part of the problem was that, under my feet, we had weather proof mats, which were essentially these rubber-like mats with sides, kind of like a plastic tray, that wouldn't allow liquids to soak onto the floor boards. Frantically, I started slapping my poor mother on the shoulder to get her attention, and avoid alerting my father to the 40 ounces of iced tea laying in the back floor board. She finally turned around and asked what was so important that I was smacking her so hard on the shoulder. By some miracle, I was able to convey to her with frantic thrashings of my hands that I had managed to spill my drink(apparently she didn't realize that I had spilled ALL of my drink), because she handed me one measly napkin which I hurriedly threw into the "lake" of tea. And let me tell you, it made no difference in managing to mop up the tea. After I told my mother that it made no difference, she told me to just wait until we could get some paper towels when we ran into the other store, where we had put some boots on hold for me the previous day. 
     A few minutes later, she and I ran into the store to get the boots we had put on hold for me. We first headed to the desk that helped with putting things on hold and asked them about my boots. The woman at the desk went back to look for them. She came back to the desk and told us that there were no boots on hold for me. We thanked the woman anyway, and then ran to the shoe section to see if they had maybe been put back. No such luck. I then started to bawl my eyes out in the middle of the store. My mother quickly grabbed me by the arm, looked me in the face, and told me I had better cut it out before somebody thought she was kidnapping me. We ran in the bathroom and grabbed a massive wad of paper towels—my mother shoving them up her jacket and in all her pockets—to mop up the tea in the back of the car. We got back into the car, and I took the paper towels and threw them in the massive puddle of tea. It was still not enough. We then saw no way around telling my dad, and asked him for the towel that he was sitting on. We eventually made it to the airport, got on our flights, and FINALLY made it to Alaska safely.
     Morals of the story...1. Be very careful when having a phone in a room with a tile floor. 2. Never leave your suitcase in plain sight overnight at a strange hotel unless you want it to get stolen. 3. Always make sure your cup holder is big enough for your drink. 4. ALWAYS make sure you have proper footwear in Alaska, unlike me that day, who arrived in flip-flops.

By Liarra Lester
This story only covered part of the day and didn't even talk about, among other things, the lady who was sitting across the aisle from us on the airplane, who was quite loud and was continually trying to take Liarra's picture, and then proceeded to get herself  kicked off the plane.