Tuesday, December 28, 2010


So with the Christmas season coming to a close, and by close I mean that my sister took down the tree on Sunday so the Christmas spirit left our house early lol. The difference is that for Christians, Christmas spirit is never really gone, because if we really think about it then we should be thinking about, praising, what have you for the birth of a savior at all times of the year. While that doesn't really happen that much for a lot of people, I can say for myself that recently i have become more aware of the presence of a need for a savior and anything about him, whether it is his birth, life, death, or resurrection I need to stay mindful. I have about 2 weeks until I go back to school and I can honestly say that I'm not looking forward to it that much. I've enjoyed having time off so much and I remember the feelings that I was having just a month ago and I don't miss that at all. I hope that now I will at least be able to handle it better since I know what to expect in a lot of ways...it's still nerve racking though. I will just not think about that for a while though and soak up the last few weeks of such a glorious break. I'm excited about the plans for this week and next already. Dinner plans and hanging with friends is exactly what I love and miss when I'm in school.

That's about it for now...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Only One could do it

Merry Christmas Eve (kindly gifted from TZ)
So following the sad blog post of yesterday, I didn't think that I would be feeling up for blogging, yet here I am...blogging. On the eve of His birth. The One I speak of...who could do it that is. The sadness is there, and it has planted itself firmly within. But next to it something else has joined and swallowed it up like a wave. That would be a promise that God holds this child in his hands, as he does me, and that I need not worry (even though I do and am working on it/not working on it and giving up control) Having all these feelings and a quite melancholy day on Tuesday and into Wednesday when I read about his departure on the website, I wasn't sure that this day would prove any better. Someone else had some other plans in mind. I had made plans to eat breakfast with Kaycee in ptc and tentative plans to do something with one of my 8th graders later in the day but still, I wasn't banking on any happiness coming. I can only give thanks to God, and Kaycee who was used by him to just settle things. There was no earth shattering conversation...just honest talk about God, our lives, shortcomings, upcoming excitement, and mostly our presence. She said something that I think a lot and just made me smile. That she thinks of me and knows that we want the same thing, and that we're ok. I like to call anytime around her a happy high for me. I heard someone describing a girl as God exuding from her without even having to say anything, and that is Kaycee for me. That is what I want to be, I want for people to look at me and see God, and his love. Not in a overly religious creepy sorta way, but in a real and wow sorta way. I guess I could have summed up that last part by just saying that I seriously love that girl, but it's just so much more than that. It's also that God cares about my "suffering" (I use that term VERY lightly) and responds with love in the form of another disciple. The day could have stopped right there and been successful, yet it continued.

I had some errands to run (and by that I mean that I had to pick up xmas presents for other people who leave their shopping to the 23rd) but I went by B&B's and got to hang out with them some and wrap some presents for them and such. That was just a minor detour in the day, but always nice and taken for granted that I live so close to the ones that I love the most. But after that one of my 8th graders who I had been wanting to hang out with finally txted me back and we made some plans for the night! Since the rents are out of town and I had the house to myself, I invited her over to watch a movie and hangout. Her mom came and dropped her off at the house around 6 and was just SO appreciative and kept asking if I was sure I wanted to do this lol. So she bolts and it is CAK and I. She snooped around the house for a bit and then we got some mexican for dinner and sat at the table and chatted for a while. It's nice to get them one on one cause then they aren't so crazy :-) We came back to the house and watched Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, and she loved it! The night was just really great! It was the epitome of why I wanted to work with youth. I went and met her mom at 1130 to drop her off and again her mom was like this means so much to us, and I'm thinking how selfish it is for me because I wanted to do this and it wasn't something I felt roped into at all. It was a really nice end to the night though to say the least. I never cease to be overcome with how much God blesses when he doesn't have to and doesn't promise any of it. I know he loves me, but sometimes I wonder if I would be the same without all the blessings, if they weren't there, what would I do? I suppose that is another question for another day. That doesn't really sound like a Christmas eve post!

I guess I will end with a shout out to The One who can change a mood and a day like no other. I can't wait to see my family tomorrow and to celebrate the birth of our Messiah, my fav Jew there ever was!

*And this angel who can bring cheer with the best of them!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sad day

So this will be a relatively short post because I am running short on time and because I don't really have that much to say, other than what I'm going to. So Sele (my baby from COL) was moved to another home today that is close but a few towns away from Usa. I found out yesterday because another volunteer who is there, Kezia, sent me a message saying that he was going to be moved and she just wanted to give me the update. She included 2 pictures of him recently and said that once he was settled, she and another volunteer were going to go and check on him and take some pictures. I read on the website that he left because his uncle could not care for him and wanted for him to be moved to the Happy Watoto Home. I looked it up and they seem to have a nice place and all but I just think he is too young to already be moved to an older kids home. The whole thing is just frustrating and sad to me, because the website also said that he was very sad leaving Cradle and that it was not an easy transition. It's just beyond any control of mine obviously but it's just not a good thing to have children being moved around like that. It doesn't create any sort of stable environment or attachment to people. Or if they were created, then now they are just taken away from him and he has no idea why. You can't explain any of this to a 2 year old. So what can I do about it, really nothing except pray about it. I know that God is taking care of this sweet boy better than I ever could and I just hold onto that promise. We will meet again though, I will make sure of that. It just hurts, plain and simple.
*A picture from our last day together

Thursday, December 16, 2010

one hour to change your life?

So in the mood of full disclosure, let me say that these are my feelings and they reflect no projections onto any other situation or person. I have been loving my therapist as of late. From our relationship, to how at ease I am in the process, to her level of expertise and the way she works at being a calming presence. All of it! So I had some pretty blanket reasons why I was going to therapy and those aren't really necessary (likely most of you know them anyway). But I had been finding myself whenever I talked about certain things just feeling the need to cry. Now I don't mind crying, if I find it necessary, but for the most part I feel that it is unproductive in this setting and shows a type of weakness (not the actual crying, but the lack of control over the crying). We've "explored" that topic endlessly and while I still don't like it, I have come to the compromise (and yes I told her this) that I would 'be present' with my feelings in the room, and if that meant that I felt like I needed to cry for an hour then that is just what I should do. She didn't necessarily suggest that I continue this attitude elsewhere because it could be a "not safe" place to be a water works factory.

All that being said...I am constantly amazed at the level of clarity/introspective/aware/present/freeing variety of feelings that go on in a simple 55minute session. And I feel like I have 2 camps of friends...there are those in school with me who obviously believe in the power of therapy and the process, there are those friends who have also been in therapy and see its wonderful quality, and then there are the friends who maybe don't see the need. The first two of those go into one camp obviously because they are both on board with the process. The latter though is interesting to me because sometimes it would be stated (and by some of my family members) that 'they don't need therapy and don't really have anything going on or feel the need to talk about. My immediate reaction to that is...well first selfish (per my broken usual self) of feeling like oh, and you think that I need therapy. (Which I truly believe that I do) But...once I get over myself (with the help of someone awesome) I find that first of all, I think that everyone could benefit from having someone listen to them for an hour, where it is there only job to listen to this person and to focus on them. That NEVER happens in real relationships!!! There is always a 2 sided conversation going on whether or not both people are talking. I can say this is absolutely true because I'm training to be a therapist and I don't do the kind of listening with friends that I do with 'clients'. (I really try hard to though, it's hard sometimes!) Second, I think that while some might find it hard to have something to talk about, we (as people) really like to talk about ourselves (in general) and don't find it hard in social setting to shut up and listen to someone else talk (color me guilty on that one sometimes!)

What my point of this is really is to say that its really hard work to do self care (I'm exhausted from my hour sessions today) and however you do that, it's so very important! People work out and eat right so that their body is taken care of but people won't take an hour or even 20 minutes to stop and think or be aware of the thoughts that they are having or have had. I find it to be such a waste of life or living to not be striving to be more self aware, because this is it, not a dress rehearsal and not a chance for redo. You're welcome for the cliche ending!

On another completely unrelated note (except for the living well aspect) my friend Shae from COL has decided that she is moving back to TZ in 6 months and proceeding with the adoption of dear sweet Happy. This makes my heart smile so very big! This sweet girl needs a forever home and I am ecstatic that it will be here in the US, which is exactly what she deserves! I know God has such big plans for her life and I am just so excited for both of them! Selfishly it will also be a great thing to be able to have someone that I know being back in Africa who can give love to my sweet Sele.
Our last day with the kiddos

Monday, December 13, 2010

Time on my hands...

So, good news is that I am out of school for a month! While I still have to babysit everyday, I have my mornings and nights free to really do whatever my lil heart desires. (Not entirely the case, because I have lots of 'life maintenance' things that got left behind from this semester). But I do have time on my hands....and that sometimes means that I sit and think about Africa. My cousin sent me this link about this woman going to get her baby girl from Ethiopia and I think I could literally watch it a million times and every time wishing that it was me and that I was going to get "my" baby. I pray about it and think about it constantly and just wonder if what I am doing is the right decision and I ask God that if I am supposed to get this baby, that he would make it clear to me. I don't feel any clear signs though whatsoever. I do trust God infinitely and know that sometimes he is trusting me with his silence (though I don't like it). I do think that I am supposed to be in school right now, but it hurts my heart to think that I won't be able to go back to Africa for 2 years. Of course nothing is written in stone, and I truly don't know whether or not I will be able to make it happen to get back there sooner rather than later. And maybe I won't be able to go for longer than a week or 2, but that would be worth it I think. Until then, I suppose I have all the former and current COL volunteers to talk to and read their blogs...as well as about 4000 pictures of my own to look back on. I also have the promises of someone much smarter than me...

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" Matthew 6:34

Glad to have these to make me happy!

*This is the video that Brittan sent to me...love

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanks in everything?

So it would seem/absolutely be the case that I am sick again. One might suppose that would make me groan and complain (and maybe I actually have haha) but I was re-reading the verses about giving God thanks in EVERY circumstance and I was thinking that I need to put that into practice at this moment. Don't get me wrong, I'm not happy that I am sick but I am aware enough of my body that it is telling me that I haven't been taking care of it and i need to slow down. Now, in the life a One more week left of the semester grad student that isn't an option so I am resigned to the fact that, yes I may be sick for the next week while I focus more on material and content than I do my life or body. I'm certainly hoping that I am not sick for the next week, and if i had my way I would get a killer night of rest tonight and be better by morning...but in the case that that doesn't happen, I am giving thanks to the one that made me, even for my sickness as a means of which it's showing me what's up.

One of my professors was talking the other day about how he got to be where he was and mentioned that he had always prayed to God that he would be wise and strong and able to do things with Christ of course, but that he never prayed for the trials to learn strength or the valleys to gain wisdom. I think that is so true, that we can't get the greater qualities at no cost or molding/pruning of ourselves. So my prayer has changed from asking God simply for the after affects of those instances.

For now though, chicken soup has amazing healing powers!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for this sweet pup!

The day of thanks...

Since this is the day of Thanksgiving, I will proceed with being cheesy and name all the things I am thankful for. There are probably too many to name but isn't that what is great about this day? On a side note: I am super excited about my 'day of thanks' plans which thankfully include no turkey, dressing, stuffing, cranberries, beets, sweet potato anything, or casserole of any sort. Don't get me wrong, I am a southern girl at heart and would dig into anything in a casserole dish, but I don't particularly even like turkey so it is just a wasted meat on me on days like this. Mom is coming up to Atlanta and we are having dinner at our house. Andrew drove home from Indiana last night and he will be spending the day with us as well which is great. So we are having a dinner full of sides tonight (sans turkey), and a yummy dinner at that. The only 3 things I am sure of is brussel sprouts, kale, and cobbler. Even if that is all we have then I will be one happy thankful camper. Anyways, that was a long side note, so on to my list of things that I am thankful for...

-well I'll go obvious on the first one and say for JC and pretty much everything that has come into my life because of that awesome man...I could stop there but I won't.

-my puppy, who makes me so happy and I could just name all sorts of things that she does that I am thankful for, but mostly because she carries her bowl around and is precious.

-the house I live in

-the car I drive

-my hunter rain boots that make rainy days not depressing

-the sunshine

-leaves changing in the fall

-my sister

-my brothers

-my best

-my small group

-friends from school

-being in school

-my therapist

-former and current COL volunteers and their blogs

-my parents; actually my entire family (aunts,uncles,cousins etc.)

-music and it's ever present effect on my life

-how comfy my bed is

-my toms



-hard times

-all my friends...past, present, future

-being born in America

-most of all, for life

Ok so I think that about covers it...if I think of other things then I will include those during the day. I have come to the conclusion that I have lots and lots to be thankful for and that I need to give thanks always.

"Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16

Sunday, November 21, 2010


So I am just going to give a shout out to my therapist here. Ann is really awesome, and I think that God knew what he was doing when he put us together. She is a big proponent of how the mind and body work together and during the session she will stop me when I'm talking about something and ask me how my body feels at the time, and it is always amazing to me that I never before really stopped and noticed how much what I was feeling was affecting my body and my posture. When I talk about certain things I tense up automatically and it is not even something that I necessarily notice that I do. I don't know where we are going all the time in therapy but it is extremely comforting to know that I have someone who is going to those places with me. It is similar to the feeling of knowing that God is walking along with you at all times and he knows where you are going and it is really just about having blind trust (faith) that he knows what he is doing and is working all things for his purpose.

I have been BOMBARDED in the recents months with all signs pointing to my need to give up control to God and to cling to the promises that he made but also not get caught up on my small minded wants and desires of things that he never promised. I think that a lot of times people will read verses about praying for the desires of your heart and how God will fulfill those, yet at the same time the desires of a lot of people's hearts (mine included) are not focused on the right things or the things of God, so it is no wonder that these desires are not fulfilled. I've been trying to focus on not trying. I think that I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself (even though some of it is needed-school wise) to figure things out and to give up control...even though those things seem like they aren't congruent...when really I need to give myself a break and realize that I, alone, am broken and that I am in desperate need of a savior. Our sermon this morning was on 'giving thanks in ALL circumstances'. THAT IS HARD!!! I can honestly say though that even though this is a trying time/season in my life that I AM thankful for the season that I am in, and that God has trusted me with his silence at times, with the ups and downs, with the emotions, as well as with not always feeling his presence. The Christian life is not easy and it gets harder but somehow it still gets better the harder it gets. That kind of statement is only possible with God. I have been beyond amazed with the level of devotions recently with utmost.org and today was no exception. I'll leave you with just a snippet...

"Conviction is given to us as a gift of shame and repentance; it is the great mercy of God. Jesus Christ hates the sin in people, and Calvary is the measure of His hatred."

a little midnight chat session

So it has become a little tradition to skype with my favorite ginger I am not related to. (Seeing as how my sister is my favorite ginger forever) So this has become a favorite time of mine during the week...except that it always seems to happen on nights that I need to go to bed early, like tonight. I have confirmation in the morning and so does she...but oh wells...what are you gonna do. So this is what we do...we video chat and talk about random things.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I've been MIA but not because I haven't had anything going on. In fact, it is because I have things going on that I haven't been able to write. I don't want to just start something and then have to stop it to do something else so I just haven't started period. I feel like I have been put into a blender and the just been a part of a whirlwind type of life recently. I don't want that to sound like I haven't been having fun or that it's a bad thing but it is just how I have been feeling.

I was thinking about Africa a few days ago as I usually do, and I was looking through pictures in my room and on my iphoto and I just can't help but tear up everytime I think about the babies. I looked through the pictures of the morning Rachel and I left and I felt like I was sitting on that couch playing with Sele on photobooth, and I was wishing I had taken more pictures (more than 2000? yes) I think there are 2 categories of former and current COL volunteers. Everyone picks a baby (or I think the baby picks them) and there is always sadness in leaving them, but the different categories are whether the babies have a 'future' or not. Some of my babies I know what is in the cards for their future (yes I realize that only God knows the future but stick with me), other babies, their future is up in the air. They either were taken from their families because it was not a healthy environment, or they have no family to go back to for many different reasons. The latter is the hardest for me because "my baby" has a future that is up in the air and it makes me SO sad to think of this sweet boy spending the rest of his life in a children's home. I don't know if it is in the cards for me to go back there and to adopt him, and I have left that up to God to tell me that if he wants me to do that then to let me know. I don't know what is normal in regards to how I 'should' be feeling having now been back for over 4 months and still thinking about those babies daily and about the life that was created there. I know that when you are not somewhere, there can be a temptation to idealize it. I don't think that is the case for me though, because I can distinctly remember all of the bad things and the frustration and annoyances that life there brings. I don't miss the lack of ice, water pressure, being dirty all the time, not having a comfortable bed, no chickfila, terrible roads...and the list goes on. But really all of that is just comfort or convenience. I don't know what is normal, but I am still trying to figure out normal for me. All of that is not to say that I am unhappy here doing what I'm doing.

I am stressed out and anxious but at the core I can still see clearly that I am saved and that I am a new creation and that there is nothing to really worry about because my life is in another's hands who knows me so much better than I even know myself. That alone is such a comfort. But...it's kinda like I am digging through a type of muck of past events and things that I need to work on, and it's not something that really anyone wants to do. I can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel but I still have to go through all the stuff. I feel like I have been just blabbering on for quite some time so this is enough for today.

"We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" Romans 6:1

Saturday, October 30, 2010


God has put my heart here...

God has put my heart here as well...

But he wants me here right now...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

the day of my birth...

So here it is, another year older! I have made it to the mark that I originally put the term "adulthood" on that sounded REALLY old! In some ways I feel really old in the sense of having lived through some really great things already at such a young age. Then other times I don't feel a day over 19. I always hated being thought of as young by people, which is why I think I have always loved getting older. Being the youngest, it was always like oh that is ___'s little sister and I felt just as old as them but never really was treated that way. I feel like now people definitely think I am a legit adult, and especially since I'm in grad school. It's like those factors go together. Because kids aren't in grad school, kids are in college. Stupid distinction if you ask me cause I can be a kid with the best of them.

I do have to say though that this is a different birthday than any other one. I can't say for sure what the cause of that is because there are many different variables that are different this year than last, so I can really only call it correlation, not causation. I think that for all purposes in this culture, 25 is a landmark age if you will, its a nice round number...quarter of a century :) Even for someone who likes getting older, it's odd, though I do like the opportunities that it affords me (though I won't go into those). I also think that this year feels different because I am surrounded by new people at a new school who don't really know me very well and don't know that I am the type of person who LOVES my birthday and think it's the best day of the year. And while I have come across many people who think that is stupid (a lot in my own family) I scoff at that. Follow me on my tangent/soapbox...I am the youngest of 4, so needless to say there was not an unlimited amount of attention going around, especially for the shy one. I am not loud/outspoken, more of a quiet/reserved type so is it really so much to like the attention for one day of the whole year that celebrates that I was born? No, I didn't think so. Birthdays as a kid were not the production that you see on my super sweet sixteen but they were extremely special to me. My mom always made me cookie cake and we had a party with our family and it was just exactly what I wanted. I give my mom props on the day as well. It was all her work on that day :) Another thing and I will end on this because I could go on and on, but as we get older, there are fewer and fewer chances to get together with friends/family/loved ones in general and so I FOR SURE use this as an excuse to see my favorite people. So YES, I do take pretty much every day of the week of my birthday to live it up and see all the people that I want to see most! So there!

On those notes about how much I love my birthday, I also am compartmentalizing some things right now that really need to be done for school and I am working on simultaneous emotions of stressing but also excitement because I do love it so.

All that being said....the bottom line is, ITS MY BIRTHDAY, AND I LOVE IT! only comes once a year...and I welcome them to keep coming, better than the alternative :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

love love love

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

My sweet boy Sele (volunteer from COL took the pic this past week and posted it)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

rambling for today...

So I don't really know where this is going but I just have so many thoughts in my head that I figured that it's best that I at least get some of them out. I have recently been having conflicting feelings with my closeness to God. On the one hand, I am at this christian school, connecting with people of similar value and belief system, I'm even more active at church (teaching confirmation-scary!) and my prayer life has really not been this active in a long time, yet I feel like I am missing out on the relational part of my relationship right now. To use an analogy, because I like them, it's like if I had a kid and I was going to all the games and attending all the events, yet I wasn't making any sort of connections with child. It's not exactly that I think I am just going through the motions, because it seems like more than that, but it's like I'm learning all about having a relationship with God and not actually delving into having the relationship.

It seems like a weird place to be in, and also not one that I should be too "upset" about, considering the fact that there was a time when I felt really far away from God and that time was not so long ago that I don't remember the intense feelings that went along with that. I am happy to be out of that funk, but I guess it really just goes back to patience and my lack of it in certain situations. I am so pleased with so many aspects of my life right now and before I found out I had gotten into grad school all I was asking God for was an answer to what I was supposed to be doing, and he showed me in plain black and white letters that I had been accepted (acceptance-a whole other issue) and I was getting to do what I had always wanted to, literally. Graduating high school, people asked me what I wanted to do and I said be a therapist and work with kids or adolescents. It took much more than going from point A to point B with many unplanned stops on the way but nonetheless here I am doing what I feel called to do. I take back that it is just about patience, because it's also about trust and the fact that I clearly have a hard time trusting God with my life. I would like to say that I trust him completely to take care of things and do what is best and to lead me along this path, but if that were the case then would I really be thinking all these things about what was next? Probably not.

I had what I would have called a good conversation with my dad the other night about how I felt like I couldn't depend on him as a kid, but that now I would say that I can depend on him, yet that doesn't take away the childhood feelings that I had and still haven't dealt with. Well apparently that equals to him that I am ok now that I know I can depend on him. At the time we were having the conversation I was thinking, "wow! he is really getting what I am trying to say"...well, it seem that is not the case and he has essentially diminished what I said (reinforcing my feelings of being powerless in that relationship) and I am A-ok now. I don't know how else I could get across the feeling that I am not ok, that I still have so many residual 'leftovers' from my childhood insecurities. I may not have an Axis 1 disorder but I am not the most highly functioning individual there is, BY ANY MEANS! Then my step-mother says that I'm the "most normal person she knows". Interesting...because she either needs to meet some more people or I do a good job at covering up things. I think that the latter is correct. It's not necessarily that I cover them up but I just do a really good job being optimistic because like I said before, I don't have a disorder and I have it so much better than some people and I don't feel the need to 'dwell' on things incessently. That doesn't take away the baggage, it just puts it in the closet for another day.

I'm tired of talking about that...time to put the baggage back in the closet.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This is enough to make my entire day...

So I stole (with permission) this picture from another volunteer Ashley who is at COL now and took this just a few days ago...I literally almost cried when I saw it (that could also be because I'm in quite an emotional state from this week at school) In case you didn't know who that sweet face was...it's Selemani

Thursday, September 16, 2010


So I have been thinking a lot about what I am supposed to be doing with my life and while I don't think for a second that I have it together I do realize how often God provides answers in my life about the direction that I should be going in. Whether that is through a random email, facebook msg, phone call, convo, book, devotion, homework assignment, dream, or really anything, I never seem to be amazed by the subtle provisions. I've obviously been having these realizations recently. I had one today while I was working on a project at my favorite coffee shop. I shouldn't be surprised that I would be shown things at one of my favorite places :) The thing is that I ask for answers and then when I don't like the answer I try and forget it or move around it, but the answer doesn't change still. Per usual I want things the way I want them, but also per usual my ways are not beneficial and God always has such a better plan than I do. Let's just take inventory...school, Israel, Africa, job-->all better because I followed through with what I was being called to do. Anyways...it's just been frustrating at some points because while I have patience in some areas I really need to work on it in others and just take things as they come a little more. Moral of the story= I have to give up control of my life, and even when I get answers I don't want to...it's just not about me, and I'm glad. I have a ridiculously amazing quality of life with a huge family, quality friends, an education, a job, food, clothes, any opportunity I could ever ask for and that is more than I can say for some people that I have seen firsthand. People can often turn a blind eye to the injustices in the world but once you see it (and it doesn't take seeing for some people but I'm a visual person) I just can't not think about it and desire to do something about it.

The other night when I went for a run and my music wouldn't work on pandora on my phone so I was left to my own thoughts and that is usually a dangerous thing but I was focused and had the best run I've had in months. I hadn't run that long or far since I've gotten back from Africa. I had the go ahead from the doctor to slowly start running ( not so much a go ahead as a "you gotta do what you gotta do"). I take that as a go ahead though. I was just so pleased with the run and the stream of thoughts that occurred.

On another side note, being around kids for a large chunk of my time and just being in class learning about children with different disorders (that are preventable) I can't help but just be so thankful that I had a relatively normal childhood. I just see so many 'screwed up' kids and at this point in their lives it can only be attributed to their parents or lack there of in some cases and it is just so unfortunate. I never questioned whether my parents loved me and sometimes I think that can make all the difference in the world. I just feel like there is so much greatness to experience in life and I want that for everyone and I want everyone to know that it is possible.

Well...I just went on and on...my bad

"the fear is an anchor, time is a stranger
love isn't borrowed, we aren't promised tomorrow
we'll never be ready if we keep waiting for the perfect time to come
won't be steady, never be ready"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


One of my favorite professors today said this quote and it absolutely resonated with me.

"I, at least, co-create the quality of all of my relationships"

I feel like in a lot of cases when something is wrong in any kind of relationship, it is natural to blame it on the actions/inaction of the other person. It's a whole other thing to turn around and take the introspective look at yourself and determine what you have done/haven't done/pacified/enabled/conspired to do in regards to that relationship. We as people often thrive on drama. I would like to say that that is not me and in most senses I cannot stand it but its interesting where we can get that sense of activity or action from. I think that we are all addicts of something, whether to something that is good for us or something that could take our life is just content. There are obviously those that have addictive personalities, and thankfully I am not one of them but there are areas of my life that I can see an addiction-esque tendency. I really think it all goes back to our desperate inner desire for God that is lived out by filling it with something else. It's that whole thing that God is not tangible for us and we like to use our senses to touch, taste, smell, and see things to fill those needs. And everytime it goes nowhere and just leads to more emptiness.

Well those thoughts were pretty much all over the place but so is my head for the past few days...one thing I know for sure, that there is someone who loved me enough to die for me and the least I could do is to live in the freedom of that.

"Real freedom is not the external freedom to gratify every appetite; it is the internal freedom not to be enslaved by our appetites." J.O.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"Show me what I'm looking for"

So I haven't had much time since school started to write about it but it is going really well. I can safely say that the amount of reading we are supposed to be doing is not even possible but I am trying very hard to keep up. It helps that I actually like what I'm reading generally. I love all my classes, even my least favorite is interesting. I am becoming so much more aware of myself in the classes. I kind of feel like a different person than when I was in undergrad, which is true because I am definitely different just from getting back from Africa. I realized about myself that I can really do anything that I want and shouldn't be nervous or anxious about it because those are pretty useless emotions that don't help me out in the long run.

In my interpersonal class we have to get up in front of the class every time and counsel or at least "attend" to our other classmates. It was actually more nerve racking to sit quietly in front of another student talking about their problem and not say anything than it was to try and respond. I really fashioned myself as a great listener and I do think that in comparison I do have better listening skills than some people, but I still have a lot to learn. I found myself itching to say something to the girl, and that's just not my job as a therapist. It is mostly, if not all, about listening to them and reacting/reflecting back to them. Not about my thoughts or feelings or advice on the matter. Good lessons learned already, and I can say that I would have been a crappy counselor before 2 weeks ago! I have already learned so much, even if it is just to be present with the person and listen to them! Funny that those are the essential skills that lay the groundwork for actual counseling, who would have thought?!?

I just love being there. I don't know that I can say that enough. I don't mean to be all like, "oh my, how great is my life." Because I am also simultaneously freaking out inside about what I'm learning and what is continuously expected of me in this program. If nothing else, I have never before had such conflicting feelings of happiness and terror. I don't use terror lightly because that is actually a feeling that I was feeling last week. Like I literally had these thoughts run through my head at least 8 times last week; "they must have been terribly mistaken to have let me into this program", "I am a fake, and they will realize it soon", "everyone else has their stuff together and I am the only one that feels like I have no clue what is going on." In all liklihood I am not the only person thinking those things but that offers me very little solace because it's all about what things 'seem' rather than what they really are. Those statements are my truth right now, even if in actuality they are not true. All that being said, I'm still happy doing what I'm doing :)

I'm also really happy because a lot of times after college you don't necessarily get many chances to meet new people and I have found myself recently meeting so many people, mostly through school but also we had 3 new girls join small group and I love each one of them already. Right now, that fact is the best and worst part of life. I love that I am meeting new people that I want to be friends with, but at the same time I barely have time to keep up with my 'old' friends and get everything done that I need to. That is quite the problem to have I'm aware but a problem nonetheless. I am realizing though that I don't have to be friends with them all asap. I will be in school with these people for the next two years and as far as I know I will be in small group with these girls for the foreseeable future so there is really no rush in that department.

That is pretty much the recap that I can come up with. I have been going out of town a lot recently and while it is really fun stuff, I am very excited for staying home next weekend! As for this weekend I will be headed to Athens/the lake for some family fun time in the sun :)

Until next time...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Phil 4:6

Friday, August 20, 2010

an education worth paying for

Well so I feel like an excited kindergartner (and I would know what that is like because I have seen off 3 of my charges the past 2 weeks to their kindergarten experiences, and everything is exciting for them, especially bus riding). While I don't think I would get excited about that, I sure am excited about starting school. I can safely say that I was 100% overwhelmed and 100% excited and full of anticipation yesterday. I had my orientation from 10-4 and I thought what could I possibly do for that long to get to know a school but the time passed by so quickly. I was really nervous and I went early to meet with the registrar. Something that is very foreign to me considering the fact that it literally was a "one stop shop." Very unlike the Ga State registrar experience for sure!! Actually, every single bit of the day yesterday was a far cry from anything I experienced at GA State. Don't get me wrong, I loved going to school there and would not have given it up for the world. I know that it is exactly where God wanted me then and I also know that this is where God wants me now.

When we first got in the room (and there are about 45 students starting the program) we had the dean of students come in and she looked like a stepford wife. She had on a white wrap dress and some patent leather red wedges. She was so precious, and the first thing she asked was if she could pray for us. Then she said, " I may not have prayed for you all individually yet, but I prayed for you as a whole and I would love to pray with you individually when you have the time." Now, I had no desire to go to a Christian undergrad school, mostly because of the rumors I've heard of how segregated they can be and I wanted a broad, even liberal education from a large school. But let me just say that this IS what I need/want out of a grad school experience. I knew I needed a smaller, more individualized experience where the people actually cared whether or not I was there and was a part of the program. I met so many people yesterday that I already want to be friends with.

So we just learned all about the school and met a lot of the staff and were just told how much they are here to serve us and wanted to be here for us in this process. I just can't say enough about how encouraging it was. It is going to be a lot of work but it's definitely what I have a passion for and I just love it. This verse seems appropriate given yesterday and everything that happened during and post orientation.

"And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

School days start Monday! :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

let the reading begin...

So we are starting back in our small group for the fall (though can you really say the fall is starting when it's regularly in the 90's? I think not) but nonetheless we are starting back in the summer time. We are reading a book by John Ortberg called "The me I want to be". Sounds totally cheesy and self-helpy but so far it's been pretty good. I really wanted to study a book of the bible but that's another topic for another time.

So I 'figured' 2 things out tonight when I was reading for group. First of all, I had momentarily forgotten how much I LOVE to read at coffee shops. I think I'm weird sometimes how much I just love to go to coffee shops and/or bakeries and have coffee/breakfast/lunch by myself and read. Maybe it's not weird and everyone loves to do that, but I've talked to some folks either before or after I go and they are like who are you with, and when I say just me they think it's kinda weird. I think it all goes back to my days working at Outback Steakhouse...yes I was a hostess for 3 years (best hostess ever, I might add!) I was always intrigued by the women or men that came in and ate by themselves, and I thought to myself that when I got older (I was 16 when I started) that I would be 'the kind of person' that eats at restaurants by themselves. Not because I have no friends to eat with but because I like myself but I also like being around people, especially in those settings. I could just as easily read at home or in another location but I really just like 'my' particular places. When I get tired of reading after a while I can just people watch and make up stories about what they are doing there and what kind of lives they lead elsewhere. I've determined in the past month that my childhood "pretend play" has turned into adulthood "what is their life like". I digress...per usual, but decided to include pics of my fav places :)
highland bakery :)

The 2nd thing I figured out when reading tonight is that I haven't felt a desire/passion in my life since graduating and deciding to go to Africa (those happened very close together). I was telling people that I was going to grad school but I hadn't decided or found out anything so it was just a story I was telling. An easy answer when people asked what I was doing with my life. I always got tired of telling the "I'm in college, my major is psychology" story but then once I graduated it becomes a "what are you doing with your life?" story. That is quite a bit harder to answer, hence the "I'm going back to school" answer. It was easy and succinct and that's the sort of thing that satisfies the question. I thought that while I was in Africa God would just tell me what I was supposed to be doing and that would be that. It shouldn't be shocking in the least to know that it's not the way that went down. I was still up in the air about my life and what I wanted to do, or better yet what I felt that God was calling for my life. When I was almost done at Cradle of Love and found out that my application was not complete (though I sent it in before I left in May) due to references not having been turned in. The fact that I worked my butt off for the next 5 days to make sure I got in touch with the references (from Africa!) and that I didn't miss the final deadline was a telling sign that I was more sure of what I wanted than I had thought. Coming back from Africa was one of the hardest things I've done and I can safely admit now that I was depressed for probably 2 weeks when I got back (though the sad feelings come now and again). I know that I was supposed to come back and having been accepted to grad school and signed up for classes and it being the one thing that has excited me since Africa, I'm not conflicted about it. I'm not positive what I wanted to do with my masters but I am sure that it will get me a step closer to what I am supposed to be doing.

I grew in ways that I wasn't even expecting while I was gone, and it's that growth that I think will be so helpful in doing the masters program. I am sad that I likely won't have the opportunity to go back as soon as I would like (i.e. yesterday lol). Though it's been coming back home that has showed me that I've changed. I didn't notice it as much when I was there because that was 'Africa kimber' (to use Rach's barbie terms) but it's being back here that I have noticed the difference in how I think about things and how I want my life to be different.

Back to the reason I am so excited...school. Yes, I said it! I have missed learning, and being challenged and maybe it's because I'm just tired of watching kids (not that it isn't challenging, because it is!). Even though it will be really hard work, I am looking forward to it, and especially my classes. I'm taking interpersonal skills; ethical, legal, and professional standards; methods of research; clinical assessment of individuals; child and adolescent psychopathology; and spiritual direction, practice and application. I love psychology classes! I'm such a nerd but I do. It is all such great life lessons and applicable to everyday life! I could go on and on but I won't. I'll just end with my favorite verse:: "In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing back to say about us." Titus 2:7-8 I'm not there yet, but I'm a work in progress

Thursday, August 12, 2010

exciting news...

So, it's official: I got into grad school and I start the 23rd of August. I am actually really excited about it. I definitely was unhappy about coming back home because of how fast the time went in Africa and because I felt like I could stay for 2 more months at least. I just loved so much about it. I loved the simple life there and how non materialistic people are and you just see how people live with so little and are so happy as well. It's not their new dress, or new car, or new anything that is making them happy, it is being happy with themselves and the life that they have been given. It also didn't hurt that it was such a peaceful and beautiful country. I digress though...

I know that I was supposed to come home and that I want to go to grad school. It's the next step in coming closer to what I want to do with my life, or more importantly what I think that God wants me doing with my life. The name of the blog came from this Mat Kearney song called "Never be Ready". Needless to say, I love his music but I particularly love the song because it talks about the narrow road being the one that we should follow and how we aren't promised tomorrow. Love it. Ok well that's about it. http://www.ilike.com/artist/Mat+Kearney/songs

until next time...