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!