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TERRIBLE… but Really Great

June 25, 2008

My life has been a little too hectic lately to sit down and blog. It is a fact that makes me sad (for more reasons than one). But, being fact and all… it is what it is.

Here is a rough outline of what I have been up to.

June 14-15 –> Switch to days by staying up all night
June 16 –> Get the store ready for me to be gone for 5 days
June 17-18 –> Warehouse inventory; continue prepping store for absence; rush packing 
June 19-23 –> In Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee with Eddie James (long and tiring trip)
June 24-25 –> Manager meeting; catch up from absence from store; prepare for inventory; schedule adjustments
June 26-28 –> Fascinate ’08 Conference that my boss is letting me take off to recover… praise the Lord.
June 29-July 2 –> INVENTORY (long days… one of the two major bookstore events of the year)
July 2-July 9 –> Texas and Alabama with Eddie James

So… when all is said and done, I will have been on days for almost a month. And, if Kristen had not let me take myself off of the conference schedule, I wouldn’t have had a single day off for that entire stretch.

Now, the Eddie James trip itself (the 19th through 23rd) was one of the most absurd and horrendous things I have ever been forced to do. (I have done worse… but always by choice. I didn’t even have the opportunity to say yes to this one.)

I haven’t complained this much since I was in junior high. But that’s all we did for those five days. Prop ourselves up against the wall to remain in a sitting position, groan about how tired we were, and whine about how absurd and impossible the whole trip was.

We were gone for a total of 114 hours. 75.5 of those hours were spent working. For the entire trip, we had 12.5 hours of free time (including our time for meals). We got a total of 22 hours of sleep (which would have needed to be 28 if we were to get 7 hours of sleep each night). And we had about 4 hours in the entire trip to attend to hygiene needs… showers and all of that. And both of our hotels were just short of an hour away from the church or conference, so we spent ridiculous amounts of time in the car.

If you break that down into daily averages, it looked like this:
15 hours/day working
2.5 hours/day free time
1 hour/day of hygiene stuff
5.5 hours/night sleeping

Every day… for 5 days.

Needless to say, it was exhausting.

The worst part of the trip came on day three of the conference. Once the last session began, we took advantage of the free time to go and eat dinner. (Some days, we only had enough time for one meal.) We then packed everything up and left it for Eddie’s guys to put on their bus when the session ended. And then we hit the road.

I had slept in that day in order to switch back to nights. Yes… I had to switch to a night schedule in the middle of a trip for which I had switched to days. I then proceeded to drive for 6.5 hours, through the night, to Tennessee.

When we arrived, we were quite tired. The girls were able to catch short naps in the car, but sleeping in the car is never as restful as sleeping in a bed. And our handy little navigation system (Betsy) was talking to me all night, which can have a tendency to disturb someone from their slumber.

When we got to Tennessee, we had lost an hour due to time zone changes. This meant that we had one hour to sleep before we needed to get up, shower, and get on the road so that we could set up in time for the church service that Eddie’s team would be ministering at that morning and evening.

We were completely spent.

Somehow, though, it was all worthwhile by the time Sunday night had ended. As Eddie shared on Sunday and as we learned some of the guys’ testimonies, we began to understand why we were there. We began to get a glimpse of Eddie’s ministry and see the great value of what he does. We began to fall in love with all of these amazing young men and women who praise the Lord with all that is in them and daily make huge sacrifices to see others come into the same freedom and hope that they have found in God.

Sunday morning was the morning we’d had about an hour of sleep. Which is just enough time to make you realize how badly your entire body hurts and how desperately you need real sleep. But somehow, that morning, I found myself jumping up and down while Eddie led worship. I sang with all of my heart… and a great deal more energy than it seemed possible for me to have at that time.

I cried a lot that morning. I was on the verge of tears (or crying) for most of the trip, though. But I cried a lot that morning because I finally got it. I finally began to understand what I was doing and what the whole thing was all about.

So… my time in Alabama and Tennessee (our hotel was the thing in Mississippi) with Eddie James and his team was awful… but amazing.

I’m going back out with Eddie James Ministries in a week. This time, I’ll be in Texas and Alabama. I guess we’ll be in the Dallas area July 2nd through 4th. Which means that, if we have more free time than on this last trip, I should get to see my dad. And I’m pretty excited about that. And I’m going with Alicia. And Alicia and I have been trying to get together to do lunch for a long time. Now we get to do lunch AND dinner AND coffee with each other for several consecutive days.

So… if I continue to neglect the blog for a while, hopefully you can see why.

I’ve finally reached a point where I am beginning to reevaluate some things in my life. I can’t be THIS busy all the time. So, I’ll keep you posted. But I will hopefully find a way to be more consistent about keeping everyone updated on what I am doing in Kansas City.

Please be praying for me as the summer of chaos continues!

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5 comments

  1. Oh, my! Hearing about your exhausting schedule made me tired! Are you setting up bookstores for the conferences or doing something unbookstore-related?
    Thanks for the update!

    Safe travels – Angels go with you! : )


  2. We set up and run Eddie’s product table on those trips. It’s not a full-fledged store, though he does have a lot of CDs and DVDs and such.


  3. I’m going to make sure I sleep two extra hours each night as a sacrificial prophetic declaration for you. Hope you enjoy it and are suitably refreshed 😉


  4. Brian: I just don’t know what I would do without that two hours that you are sleeping on my behalf right now. Thank you. There just aren’t words… to express… whatever it is that would be apropriate to express right now. ? 🙂


  5. How about if I miss a couple hours of sleep a night so you can use them? Or, would that just cancel out Brian’s extra sleep… I’m confused…



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