An incredibly long and dangerously boring post about absolutely nothing except for that one part at the end that talks about God.


It’s been awhile. Sorry, but I was busy.

Remember when my sister had a baby? Well, when that happened, I was super excited and super bummed all at once, and

*sidenote* I just have to interrupt to tell you that I’m writing this from the little international airport in lovely Reno, Nevada, and in the last 6 minutes, I have tripped over my own foot, spilled my Diet Dr. Pepper into my purse, accidentally yanked that ATM card slider thingy off the counter at McDonalds (because Peet’s slammed their roll down gate in my face) and then I dropped a load of fries all over myself and the floor. So now everyone around me is praying to God that I will not be on their plane. (Reno is totally superstitious.) I think, from a missionary standpoint, I’m winning, because getting people to pray is, like, my job. But from a popularity standpoint? Um, I may as well be exhaling chlamydia right now, people are looking at me with that kind of fear in their eyes.


…so, one of our supporters gave us an enormous gift with the specific intention that I would make a trip to the states to meet my new little niece, Charlotte.

That’s kind of awesome, huh.

Also, that’s why I’m here…in the Reno airport….terrifying all the compulsive gamblers into thinking I’m bad luck when, in fact, I’m just clumsy…and awkward…and clumsy.

I’m actually on my way home, already. I’ve been here for a full week, and I cannot even tell you how many times on this trip I have said to myself “I have to blog about that.” But all of my free time was consumed, mostly by eating ice cream, so I haven’t written a thing. And I feel kinda bad about that cause it’s been a really great trip and there have been so many amazing moments I wanted to share with you.

Like, I was gonna tell you about how my gift for procrasturbation nearly caused me to miss my flight out of Costa Rica, because when I should have been walking out the door, I was, instead, ransacking my entire house in an effort to find my MISSING PASSPORT(!) and how, the whole time my passport was missing and while I was crying and hyperventilating, El Chupacabra was a freaking sea of calm (yeah, I said “sea of calm”), and I was gonna say how he was the clear picture of sanity and authority in the midst of chaos, and how we finally did find my passport and we raced to the airport with not one second to spare, and then I flew away on a plane while he cleaned up my mess. And I wanted to mention how grateful I was that in those moments, he was Jesus to me. He was kindness and forgiveness, and he was comfort and reassurance, and he was the epitome of a servant. And I loved that.

And then I was gonna write about the air going from Costa Rica to California to Nevada, and how it gets drier and drier and drier and it just sucks the moisture out of your skin until your face is all shriveled up. My face currently looks like someone crinkled it up on a piece of paper and smoothed it back out with their forearm. In other words, I look like I’m a thousand years old. But it’s ok, because every time my tiny baby girl’s buttery, soft cheeks made contact with my sand paper smile, I felt renewed. So even though I look like an old bag, it’s was so worth it because my soul has been refreshed.

Oh, then I wanted to tell you that if you’re still tossing your house like an armed robber to find your passport when you should already be at the airport, there is a high likelihood that you will leave a few important things behind. Things like your thyroid medication…and your toothbrush… and your unnecessary birth control pills… and one shoe….

*another sidenote* Ok. I just took a break from writing this blog to fly from Reno to San Francisco, and I totally bonded with the stripper next me when we both reached up to mess with the overhead light and it came off completely in her perfectly moisturized hand with perfectly manicured stripper nails, and then we both started laughing way too hard even though it really wasn’t that funny, and after that we both reached into our bags and pulled out the exact same issue of US Weekly magazine, and so we were like twinsies, except she’s a stripper and I’m a missionary, but whatever, right? We hugged when we parted ways. I’m pretty sure that makes us BFF’s.


I also thought it would be cool to write about how I went to church. And the contrasts between my big church in Folsom, which currently boasts 8 plasma TV’s across its grand stage, and my little church in Costa Rica, which has zero TV’s, of any kind, anywhere. And how, while they couldn’t be any more different, they both make me feel like I’m part of a community that loves God like crazy and that lives that love out in ways that both encourage and amaze me on a regular basis.

And I was working on a nifty little metaphor about staying with other people when you travel; sleeping in not-your-bed, showering in not-your-shower, and

*ahem, sidenote* The international terminal is always full of snobs, weirdos, and people who fart loudly in public. It’s like this every time. And I can never decide if I’m highly amused or incredibly irritated. It’s a real dichotomy.


driving in not-your-car, and eating ice cream directly out of not-your-carton, all as kind of a picture of our own alienness in this world and the nagging feeling that we belong somewhere….else. And how it’s great to visit, and I love it here, but no matter how comfy the bed is, or hot and long-lasting the shower is, no matter how much nicer the car is than yours, or how creamy, delicious, and extensive the variety of ice cream is, there is always a part of you that’s longing for something else. Something

*sidenote* Just got in to Houston. I haven’t slept all night.

that reminds us that while we’re here, we can get comfortable, and we can love and enjoy our time here, and even indulge a little along the way, but we shouldn’t push aside the longing that we feel for home.

And, just now, I heard two of the workers here, in the international terminal speaking Spanish to each other, and then the guy next to me muttered to his wife “This is america, speak English!”. And I thought “Really? Does it really seem strange to have multi-lingual employees in an international terminal? Is it a reasonable expectation that everyone walking through the door should speak our language?” And that, of course, led me to think of the church and how sometimes, in some churches, that’s the attitude that people get the second they walk through the door. You know? Like, you’re here, so you better fit the part, and if they don’t fit, they’re treated like foreigners who don’t belong. I dunno, I haven’t really thought it through, but I did think “I should blog about that.”

Oh, and then I met a stripper (remember?) and I had this totally good idea for a post titled “Missionaries probably shouldn’t be jealous of strippers. But sometimes they are.”

*yeah. sidenote* I seriously cannot believe you’re still reading this!? You need to get a hobby or something…


So, I was going to blog about all that stuff, too bad I was too busy. Sorry.

But the best post I’ll never write has to be the one about how sometimes I feel like I see the hand of God weaving all these parts of my life together, from baby cheeks to stripper nails, and from the bottom of the ice cream carton to the steamy latte, made by a bilingual airport worker, and while I watch the sun set over Nevada and rise over Texas, and in the span of a week that began with my husband making it possible for me to fly away and then receiving me again with open arms, I see Him there, everywhere. And maybe that seems weird to you, but I don’t really care.



  1. tracey on May 9, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I'm exhausted & I think I got chapped lips just reading that post – I loved it. Thanks. And Happy Mother's Day.

  2. Aydan on May 9, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Yes, God is everywhere, though we try to put Him in little boxes.

    I'm glad your trip went well! Thanks for the insights, and Happy Mother's Day.

  3. stephanie on May 9, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I am leaving in 15 minutes to get on a plane to Europe (but I'll probably just plummet to my death, of course!) and I really needed to read this. You reminded me, I have to go find my passport!

    Thanks so much, Jamie, for being the Very Worst Missionary. 😉

  4. Katy on May 9, 2010 at 11:22 am

    oh man, loveddd that last paragraph. sounds like the end of a really good story. oh right, it is!

    so question, i'm going from full time ministry to part time. if i create a blog about that, can i call it the very half ass missionary?

  5. Emily. :) on May 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Jamie! I love this!! I love love LOVE this! Even if it's choppy and doesn't make sense or has no flow or whatever. It's awesome. And inspiring. And I kind of think you should trek down to Honduras while I'm there so I can meet you and feel like a "real" missionary meeting another real missionary. Just sayin'.

  6. Brook (two10eleven) on May 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    So, what's wrong with exhaling chlamydia? Should I see a doctor?

  7. O Mom on May 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    don't know what else to say except, loved this.

  8. tahni candelaria on May 9, 2010 at 7:04 pm


  9. Pam on May 9, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    It all made perfect sense to me! In fact, that could have totally been me with my multi-tasking, too many apps running, pop-up ads, battery-draining, life-sucking distractions. Praise God that He is indeed everywhere, even in the midst of our to-do lists. God help us to always slow down for a moment to remember that (and thank Him for it).

    Loved this one, Jamie…

  10. Buddy B on May 10, 2010 at 4:43 am

    *yeah. sidenote* I seriously cannot believe you’re still reading this!? You need to get a hobby or something…

    I thought reading your blog was my hobby… And people think I have no life… Jamie thanks for your insights… thanks because you always keep it real.

  11. Carrie on May 10, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I'm in the US now and have many of the same thoughts/feelings. I even have a cool donut story. Which, I will tell you if you beg 🙂

    So glad you got to see your niece!

  12. crackers and cheese on May 10, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Welcome home 🙂 This entire post is great, even with all of its randomness, and lack of smooth transitions, but isn't that more what life is like? Things don't usually happen in a nice, linear pattern (which would make psychological research much easier), so I'm glad that this post reflects that.

    I posted a link to your blog on my facebook page several weeks ago, and I'm amazed how many of my friends are now reading your blog on a regular basis! I think this is exciting, I know that they're entertained by your misadventures and writing styles but I'm also seeing that some are truly personally connecting with your struggles and triumphs and I hope that all of your readers can connect with the glorious God who can be seen in stripper nails and Texas sunrises.

    Somehow, I feel like you and that stripper would make great characters on a cheesy tv show 😛

  13. Zac on May 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Wow it feels like I just watched an entire season of my favorite TV show (The Office) in one sitting watching episode after episode. However, the DVD skipped certain scenes and I had to fast forward through some parts. So if you want to release any of these "episodes" with the deleted scenes included (especially the one with the stripper), then I am sure I am not the only one who would be jumping for joy!

  14. Elisa on May 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I followed you over here (doo doo doodooo) from the Bloggess' blog and you made me lol so hard I spit on the monitor. (NOT COOL!)

    I think you've got me beat on airplane friends. My biggest deal was Ardal O'Hanlon's anesthesiologist. If you're not a fan of Father Ted it won't matter, but for me? Totally cool.

    I've never met a stripper. But I do currently have stripper nails.

    I have to go moisturize. I have a ten month old. I now consider it a personal duty to her to moisturize before I scrape her delicate porcelain skin off with my alligatory face. Thank you.

  15. Susan Roland on May 21, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    OK, so maybe I do need to get a life! I read it through to the end, and the only thing I feel bad about is that I TOTALLY FORGOT TO ASK YOU ABOUT YOUR TRIP AND YOUR NEW NIECE! Just wait until you are 55 and forget the most important things about your friends' lives. It's not intentional! I can't even remember what I did today or what I'm supposed to do tomorrow. Anyway, I'm so very happy you got to go back and that your blog filled me in on what I forgot to ask you about! Su

  16. neona on May 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    I'm another person that wandered over here from The Bloggess' website. I am beyond thrilled! =)

    Love, love LOVE your writing.

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