6.29.2008

TGIW.

thank goodness it's the WEEKEND.
i never realized how valuable the weekend was until i journeyed into the land of the 9-5 workweek. now my weekends have become a chance to feel productive and efficient in the things i need to get done...to find time to rest and refuel...and also to spend time outside (SUMMER!) and with people...

my weekend to-do list:
- sleep in past 10...done.
- clean condo (including much-needed kitchen & bathroom floors - ewww)...done.
- do 5 loads of laundry...done.
- drink coffee from a MUG (vs. my on-the-go coffee during the week) and eat a healthy breakfast...done.
- spend time reading, journaling, processing...done.
- get some vitamin D at the local pool...done.
- go see a movie with friends...done.
- sit out on a patio enjoying a summer evening...done (twice!)
- hours of quality conversation with the people i care about...done.
- a long walk with a friend through our neighborhood...done.
- worship, teaching, & community at midtown...done.

a fun bonus --> my AFRICA TEAM (pictured below) had a lunch fundraiser after the service and raised almost $3000!

6.28.2008

tested.



i've recently re-taken the MYERS-BRIGGS test (i took it in college, but it didn't have a profound impact on me -- i can't even remember the results..)
i haven't been a fan of personality tests over the years because i feel like they never describe ME. just because i like people and am social doesn't mean i can't be thorough and detail-oriented. just because i prefer structure and organization doesn't mean i can't love public speaking, too. just because i'm a talker doesn't mean i can't be good a listener. (ok, i feel like i'm back on my "just because" blog post!)
but when i got my results for my myers-briggs, i was stunned at how well it really DID describe ME! because it takes into account so many different factors, it's able to really find the type that is right for you.

who i am: an ESFJ!

some points from my summary that were dead-on:
- eager to SERVE others
- high value on HARMONY
- ever conscious of appearances, take seriously opinions of others
- need to be needed!!!
- keep lives full of activities & people
- learn best in STRUCTURED situations where know what they can expect
- do what they can to make sure personal relationships are running smoothly
- model of ORGANIZATION w/ a place for everything and everything in its place
- prefer that expectations be made clear to them
- excellent chairpersons in charge of events, great hosts
- when a situation requires someone to take charge and no one does, will VOLUNTEER
- yearn for BELONGING

check out wikipedia for information on the 16 personality types and history on the test...

6.25.2008

just because.


JUST BECAUSE I'M LOSING DOESN'T MEAN I'M LOST.

that's a lyric from my favorite song on the new coldplay album.

i've been thinking a lot about that phrase (probably because it's ALWAYS stuck in my head due to my constant playing of this album at work/in my car/in my room...)
in a weird way it gives me hope. just because i'm not happy today doesn't mean i don't have joy...just because i feel tired doesn't mean i can't go on...just because today is hard doesn't mean life is too much to bare...just because i'm losing doesn't mean i'm lost. we will certainly have days where it feels like we're "losing" the battle...but, praise God, the war is already won.

6.18.2008

Africa Countdown: 1 MONTH!


so in exactly one month i will be leaving with a group of 10 others from my church, Midtown Fellowship, to AFRICA!! we are actually going through african leadership and visiting mocha club projects, so i'm super excited!! the majority of our time will be spent in gulu, uganda, but we will also spend a few days in kenya and ethiopia visiting some other projects. you can read about Gulu on the mocha club site
i'm actually in the process of raising support...we each need $4000 (a portion of this will be used to purchase supplies & equipment to bring over with us to give to the Village of Hope)


if this is something you want to help me out with, please make checks payable to Midtown Fellowship, with my name and “Africa Team” in the memo. (they're tax deductible-you'll get a receipt)
and mail to:

MARISA VAN HOUTEN
1015 FATHERLAND ST. #207
NASHVILLE, TN 37206

even if you can't give financially -- please PRAY for me and our team as we seek to serve, love, and learn from our friends in Africa!!



i'll be updating about our trip in the months to come...

6.08.2008

fan clubs and mocha club.

you've heard me mention my friends LADY ANTEBELLUM before - the hottest new country trio! :)
last night at their fan club party here in nashville, we launched their partnership with MOCHA CLUB. it was awesome to hear their hearts and their passion to get involved with the work we're doing in Africa.
here's a little clip from them talking about it! (oh yah, there is a myspace shout-out!)

6.04.2008

dream big. take action.


The largest slum in East Africa is called Kibera, where 800,000 people live in an area just over one square mile. Not surprisingly one of the major problems there is lack of formal education. The public school system requires that children have a uniform and their own schoolbooks in order to go to school. Unfortunately, since most families in Kibera, Kenya, live on less than $1 a day, most parents can’t afford to buy these basic necessities. That's where ELLIE'S RUN FOR AFRICA comes in. $25 puts a child in school, by buying them the eight schoolbooks, two uniforms, and pair of shoes they need.
Then 11-year-old Ellie Ambrose heard about this, and decided to DREAM BIG and TAKE ACTION. Now it it's 4th year, Ellie's Run will take place on JULY 14 here in Nashville, and American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle will emcee with Ellie!!
...if you want to run, donate, or volunteer -- sign up on the website.

click on this video for a little inspiration from 2 super cutie kids at my church.

Ellie's Run partners with African Leadership, the organization I work for. Here's a word from my boss, Barrett: