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'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, Israel, Africa, job-->all better because I followed through with what I was being called to do.'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'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 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 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