Saturday, January 22, 2011


I've been into words lately. By that I mean words that people/I use regularly but don't really stop to think about what they mean. I have probably noticed them more recently because I've been around the kiddos and whenever I say a word they don't know, I have to then give a definition of it. It's hard to define a word without using the actual word. Maybe that's just me. So my word of today is enough. You generally know when you have had enough of something. Your stomach tells you if you have had enough food, your eyes tell you if you've had enough sleep, and your feet tell you if you've had enough walking/running/being on them. I would say that people generally come to God when they have had enough. Enough of trying on their own, enough of the burden of works for reward and earning. That's finally how I gave up control of life and realized how desperately broken I was/am and saw there was a better way to do it (it being life). It changes everything, it fills the deepest holes, heals the most broken, and it's free. It's like getting a free dessert on your birthday (except obviously way better). I digress...if you have 3 hours I can talk faith. So on to the point of this blog post, being enough.

I'll start with the fact that I had such an incredible day. I signed up for a prayer retreat at church for this morning that started at 9am. It was one of those mornings that 8am came really early, and would have been so easy to just sleep in which is what I wanted to do. But I knew how great it would be and that I needed alone time with Jesus. And alone time is just what I got! I committed a new verse of Scripture to the brain today and have decided it is my 'life verse' for now.

"I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." Ephesians 4:1

That Paul knows how to write a letter, and in prison at that...good stuff! Anyways, my desire to live a 'worthy' life is what brought up the talk of being enough. I want to be enough. I want to fully meet the demands and needs expected of me (definition of enough). What I don't do well is give myself a little grace when I fall short of being enough. It's such a crazy/interesting (insert other such word) thing that I alone was enough for Jesus to die on a cross for me, yet I never have to be enough for him because he is enough for me. Getting all that? Isn't that mind-boggling? Yes, I think so too. It's something that doesn't just click in my brain, it takes some "hmm, really?" time. But then when you think it can't possibly be true, He shows up and pursues me like I've never been pursued, and loves me deeper than even my own mother can (and she loves me A LOT), never leaves, never turns away, and always shows up. It's unlike any other and is done better than anyone ( YEAH YEAH YEAH ) You're welcome ELW! So all that to really say that the prayer retreat was just that...a retreat. A wonderful silence of 2 hours in which I could have a conversation with JC and actually listen. It was like a breath of fresh air. At the end of it we took communion (awesome) and then we were asked to write now where you experience God's extravagant love. It took me a minute, but then I realized it immediately. I experience it through the people that love Him and love me deeply through Him. Who love me as well as any human can, in an unconditional, non-manipulative, non-coercive way that just says, I see you. And in my spirit of thanksgiving, I told a few of those people thanks for being those people. It was incredible to hear the women say where they experience His love and it was just a heart happy few hours. Just a really powerful way to spent a Saturday morning in the presence.

Ash and I went to lunch afterwards and chatted it up...followed by getting home and receiving in the mail my 2nd and 3rd favorite things to get in the mail. 2nd being the bright orange shutterfly box, which holds pictures, but in this case my picture book I made for our safari trip in TZ. I had already made a book of the babies, and I knew I was going to make one just of the safari, but honestly I was waiting until they gave me a free photo book. Yes, I am that cheap. It was PERFECT!! I looked through it 3 times already and I LOVE it!!! So, the 3rd thing that makes me happy is to get clothes in the mail, yet not just any clothes. I got my Ordinary Hero "change the world for one" tshirt. First of all, you can see the blog and the tshirt here. A little back story on this. I was sent a youtube video from B of a "gotcha video" of this woman in TN who was traveling to Ethiopia to bring home her adopted little girl. So obviously because I love Africa, adoption, and blogs I started following her story which led to following other blogs as well. Turns out that her sister also adopted from Ethiopia and has this organization called Ordinary Hero and also lives in TN. I saw the shirts on her blog and they were sold out for the longest time, but she emailed me last week and told me they had more and so I quickly ordered mine. So that is the 3rd thing that was so great! Phew!! Quite the eventful day for me...and I got to go to dinner with the birthday people tonight, big day that they turned 3-0!!! Crazy!! Oh yes, I also got a "new bed" today. A & C bought a bed to go in their guest room (my room) and so I have a mahogany sleigh bed now...I am officially an adult! HA! Needless to say, I am beat!
Can't wait for church in the am. :)

"Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know- far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams." Ephesians 3

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

...let it continue

So there it was...small in nature but packs a big punch. I'll give a small side note: I love notes, and because of this I love sending them, they make me happy to receive them, but also SO very much so to give them. It doesn't have to be much, just a small thank you to the people in your life that you are thankful for. It is a rarely used thing, and I'm on a mission to make that not so. Why shouldn't we tell the people that we care about how much we care about them. It's great to show them and all but sometimes you just can't show what you can say in words! Bring forth the note of was in my mailbox just waiting for me, and I knew by the size that it had to be a note but I didn't want to get my hopes up. But there it was...a note from a friend. It didn't even need to say anything, it could have been blank and I still would have loved it, but it said a lot and I appreciated it sooo much!!! I appreciate the person who sent it, her life and journey and faith, I appreciate the time she took to do it (albeit maybe 5 minutes), and the underused snail mail!! In a world where all I get is books and bills in the mail, a "note day" is worthy of note!!! So a shout out to the person who sent the note, I LOVED it!

You are the salt of the earth

The power of a happy heart

So let's begin with the fact that school has in fact begun...that being said, I have only been to 3 of my 6 classes, so there is more to come. I'll be honest and say that yesterdays class was lackluster and I am not entirely looking forwards to it as a whole. Part of it being that it is Applied lab. That essentially is just an extension of my most stressed about class last semester in terms of public anxiety. I truly can understand the enormous benefit of having to do role plays in front of the class but that doesn't mean that I have to enjoy them or even like them. I think they made me grow as a person, but I will leave it at that. All that being said, I'm just not as excited about that class as I am about the others that I am in. Personal preference stated. DONE. So, fast forward to today...I really hadn't done much more than printing out the syllabi for the 2 classes today and wasn't really sure what they would entail, but oh boy! was I in for it or what? I'll just say that yes of course there is a ton of reading and things that are due, is such interesting material and oh so very relevant to my professional life and of course my everyday life. The first being Counseling systems and interventions, and the second being family systems theory. So, yes there is going to be a moderate to high level of stress associated with these classes....actually scratch that! I am taking on the theory of this lovely lady and banishing stress from my life because it is really just not useful and I DO NOT like it. In the grand scheme of things, I am not even a big stress person from what I hear but that really just means that any small amount it too much for me. Anyways...all this to really say that I'm excited for class, nervous about all the work that needs to be done, yet know of my capabilities and my shortcomings, which is where someone much greater and better comes in!

SO...let's get to the absolute best part of the whole day!!!! So Emily, Bethany, and I all have both classes together today and we were going to eat lunch up in our classroom but I needed to microwave mine in the kitchen so we all trudged down into the basement (not really basement-y though-its the headquarters if you will of student life) and what do we see??? A CRAP TON OF PEOPLE! It was a PARTY!!! Oh my, there were like 50 students at least down there, and pretty much everyone that I have ever met at the school was there. Do you know what that equals?! Not only were ALL of my school friends there, but there was free pizza and drinks for lunch. Score again. Literally I looked at Emily and was like my heart is so happy right now, like busting over sort of happy, the sort of happy that makes any stress go away and is not from any material source, but from within and of being in community and relationship with people that make me smile. It was a seriously great feeling and one that I can thank someone better for, who always shows me what's up. Just when I think that I am _____, other things come along and remind me of how fickle my emotions and I can be at times. Following said great lunch, we made our way to our next class in which we discussed family systems...gotta love endlessly talking about our family of origin! I also realized that we are having to do a genogram (sort of like a family tree with different symbols) of our entire family with 3 generations! I did a little prelim jot down of how many people that is, and I'm already above 50...SUPER! That includes aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, step siblings, ALL of them!!! Good thing I have a stepmom who loves to do family trees! So that is it...that is my day, and all of its glory! HA

So going back to the teacher in my first class said that we are going to begin each class by praying (love it!) and this was the prayer that we read today and I thought it was really good and totally just started my day off right! Also something that we did in the class that was so hard and I would not have thought it would be was to number a paper from 1-20 and write answers to the question I am ____? Who would have thought it would be that difficult to think of 20 things about yourself? Well it was!

So that concludes the week back at school...2 whole days of fun! Let's begin the reading and studying and writing...but for now I am on a HAPPY HIGH and loving every minute!!

The prayer:: Pour into my heart the spirit of wisdom and understanding; the spirit of counsel and spiritual strength, the spirit of knowledge and true godliness. Grant that I might ever seek thy face with all my heart and soul and strength, until, in thy mercy, I am brought into thy holy presence.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


1. the act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.
2. immediate or intuitive recognition or appreciation, as of moral, psychological, or aesthetic qualities; insight; intuition; discernment: an artist of rare perception.

In philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science, perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory information. The word "perception" comes from the Latin words perceptio, percipio, and means "receiving, collecting, action of taking possession, apprehension with the mind or senses."

So this past week has been a blur of nothing and everything. I had the entire week off from school, and everyday but Friday off from work. So what did I do with my time you ask? Well I slept in everyday (though never later than 10am), I laid around, I watched tv, caught up on every blog that I like to read (heavenly), read, watched movies. All that sounds uneventful, and it was, and I LOVED every minute of it. On the other hand though, I did get a lot of things done as well. I cleaned my entire room, and bathroom spotless! I did laundry, cleaned out my closet and drawers, prepared my bookcase, bookbag, and such for school. So it was a lovely mix of productivity and nothingness. My sister and I have this saying that (we didn't make it up or anything but we like it) that only boring people get bored. I kept seeing all these people on facebook saying how stir crazy/bored they were and I just have to think that those same people just might be saying how busy and stressed they are at any given point in the next few months and was it REALLY all that bad to be forced to slow down and spend some time at home? I think not personally.

That leads me into what I have been having thoughts about this week. The idea of perception and our use/misuse of it. I thought about it in general terms first, because after sunday night into Monday, you looked outside and all you saw was white and it was beautiful. It looked like a winter wonderland...perfection! It wasn't until you went out in it and tried to walk somewhere that you realized that your perception was not accurate and the reality was that it was slippery and icy and it crunched in a weird way when you walked. In this case snow≠soft! So that is just a small example but a tangible one at that.

Another thing I was thinking about was the perceptions that people love to put out about themselves. Obviously not generally speaking, but individuals love to have people think the best of them. There is not anything inherently wrong with wanting other people to focus on the positive and by playing that up, but its when people get lost in their own perceptions of themselves. It's like you become what you are putting out about yourself. Fake it till you make it if you will. Except that I don't think that a lot of people make it. I tend to think that they get disillusioned with what they are perceiving themselves to be, and not what they actually are. Let me be honest here as well...I do it too. It would be a lie to say that I don't. I think that the possible difference is awareness and a deep seeded realization of who I am/am not, what I will/and will not ever be. I am broken, but whole, loved deeply, bought at a price, adopted, and free. I just wish everyone else knew those truths, and could rest in them. It changes everything. It would make such a difference in our perceptions of the world and our part in it. I think that is why I love counseling so much. You are able to sit and be present with another person, usually in their deepest pain (if you're any good lol). It's a powerful thing, that not too many get to experience. I'll take real talk with real people over perceptions and falsities any day!

Here's to the first week back in 5 weeks...I'm oddly happy about it. I am ready to get back to what I love, even with all it's rough parts. I'm ready to continue fulfilling my purpose and doing it with a grateful and overflowing heart.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

Sunday, January 9, 2011

'snowpocalypse 2011'

I obviously use that term very loosely, and mostly to the point of a great joke that I heard earlier today. Not to their credit at all, but the weather people guessed correctly this time.

So...SNOW! Just the word makes me happy, I can't help but feel like a kid when it snows. Likely because I'm from a place that does not do it, but I still think it's just great. I'm glad that I don't live where it's snowy every year because I think it would just become ordinary. Who knows though. I was outside and just listening to it snow and it was so quiet, and before anything was tainted by footprints or melting. It was just fluffy and perfect...white as snow. I could go the obvious route and use the metaphors for snow, and everything being white and clean, but I won't (though I totally agree with them lol). Maybe I will just put one lil snippet of a metaphor in here. The thought has been on my mind lately of what a hard time people have believing that they can be forgiven of things that they have done (myself included). Insert snow here. One minute, everything is a ugly mess (and that is especially true of our backyard before the snow!!) The next minute it is completely covered, blanketed in white, with little to no resemblance to its prior state. Coupled with the night snow and the eerie quiet of it falling. Just saying, it seems pretty obvious to me! I would say funny that I had been thinking about that and then it snows, but I'm too smart for that!

This is going another direction but I have been having dreams again recently. They mean something but I'm not sure what yet. The characters are all in place and but it doesn't seem like answer time. I'm working on being patient about that too. Maybe with everything being anew outside, I will get some answers :)

I don't have school tomorrow, it was cancelled on the first day back in 4 weeks. Not that I'm sad about it or anything, but it's essentially prolonging the inevitable. But alas, I will ENJOY the snow and every little bit of the time that I have off tomorrow! Bring on the boots, hats, gloves, snow angels, sledding, snowmen, snow balls, and runny noses! Here are some pics from tonight!

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's easy to forget the way we met

So, on a followup to yesterdays post on patience, my lack of it, and my need for it. I was provided with a golden opportunity to show it yesterday. The details of the story aren't that relevant except that it has to do with children, so patience and kids usually go hand in hand. I took some action to handle a situation that I thought was unacceptable, that's it! just figures that besides the babysitting, yesterday was a WONDERFUL day! I got to sleep in, which is a gift in itself, but then I went to lunch with K from small group. She had never been down to highland bakery (love love love) so it was a must. We sat there and talked for quite some time about current life, past life, the 8th graders, boys, school, missions...just a lot of things. It was really nice to be able to get one on one time because sometimes small group is just a wanting to see everyone and talk about everything sort of night so it is harder to talk about things that are really going on. As soon as I got home, I was met by the Fedex man who gave me my passport with my pretty Indian visa in there! They said it would take 3 weeks, and it took 7 days! That was really the only thing that could stand in the way of me going! So it is pretty official now, and I am beside myself about it. I'm so ready!! So fast forward through the babysitting/patience exercise and off to Vespers I go. Besides the fact that I love it anyway, it was exactly what I needed to be able to just sit in a quiet space and sing (songs that I love) and obviously I relish any chance to take communion. All such good things. So I got home and was having trouble going to sleep and I was listening to my pandora and I was just talking to God and something wasn't settling. Just a sidenote of background, I used to always have dreams when I was looking for answers to things, or needed guidance about stuff and it usually got to the point that I was having such active dreams that when I woke up I was tense and felt like I hadn't really gotten sleep. Well...last night was one of those nights, I don't think the dreams actually had that much meaning, but the presence of them did. I woke up very tense and kind of jumpy...who knows why? I don't even need to worry about the answers though because I know it will be revealed in due time. Always is. It is not time for action yet, that will likely come on Monday!

2 more days until school starts back...I've had 4 weeks off and it has been lovely! I am excited though about getting back for 2 reasons. One being that I miss seeing some faces (ELW)! Second is that I do enjoy learning. Having 9 months off between undergrad and grad school was enough time for me to see that I need to be challenged and especially by a subject that I LOVE so much. Of course, someone can remind me of that in about a month and a half when I am stressed beyond belief of things that I have to do/get done. Such is is time to prove myself again. I have Africa to thank for teaching me that I can do much more than I ever imagined, and 1st semester of grad school to test that theory. Here's to getting another semester under my belt!'s to an image forever engrained that makes my heart happy

Thursday, January 6, 2011

worship, waiting, & work

So I was talking to Ashley yesterday (from COL). On a side note about that, we bbm during the day, which is so much better and easier to talk to her than having to write facebook messages back and forth. But she has been such a blessing to me, probably without even knowing it. I've never met her in person before, only ever talked to her over the internet, but the connection of COL is a strong one. We've talked a lot about Africa and about our lives in our perspective homes (hers being Washington state) and our strong desire to be back in Africa. Anyway...I digress, she told me a quote that she read and I really liked it, so I figured I would share. "Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them..." It made me think that I used to be so much more patient, and I miss that. It's like I think I am so important and need answers to things that are SO pressing in my life. With many things on the horizon and not too much of an idea where these things will go, I must work on my patience! It's really imperative, cause otherwise I could just get all wrapped up in worrying about things...and that I know is a waste of time. That's really all I had to say about that, since I think writing a ton about it would also be a waste of time :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

something tells me you're too scared

I know what made me think about this but that's another story in itself that I don't want to go into, but I was thinking the other day about an exercise we did in Dr. D's class about what we look for in relationships and what we actually get. The striking thing about the exercise was that the things that we don't like/look for ARE actually things that we look for in one way or another. Whether subconsciously or not, it's there. It's true...even though I don't like it, it is true. As if there was any other way in which things happen, I know that they happen at just the right time. I think that God probably just laughs while people (myself included) just go about "making things happen" and he is probably chuckling because he knew that was going to happen from the very beginning. This isn't supposed to get off on a free will tangent, but I'll go ahead and say that I obviously believe in the free will that is given to us. But, I also know that God knows everything so he knows what we are going to decide to do. That's all I mean by the previous statements. But anyways...back to what I was talking about. I have been on a see-saw of feelings lately. What I mean by that is that I have contradicting emotions about the same thing. It's like things that make me very happy can also make me sad/angry/mad at the same time and I'm like how is that even possible. I literally think it is an adult issue that I'm having. I never used to have varying feelings about the same thing. It was always generally one category of emotions and now it's like I can like something and also be irritated, annoyed, angry at it. So many things have been floating through my head as of late. Call it the month off, the therapy, the books I'm reading, people I'm around/talk to, or just life. I miss Africa everyday...that feels like an obvious statement, and yet I feel disconnected from COL because 'my' baby isn't there anymore. I love the convenience of America and am sickened by my love of it. See where I am going with this? I like Atlanta, and yet am so happy to be getting to go somewhere overseas so quickly after Africa. Especially where I am going! I am all set to go to India in about 50 days. My heart literally hurts I am so ready/excited about it. Who am I kidding though, my heart has been hurting for things a lot lately. Another example of contrary, I used to never like it when my heart hurt, and while I don't quite enjoy the feeling, I treasure it. I love knowing that I feel so strongly about makes me feel alive. It's like having the feeling of knowing I was always meant to feel like this and just never did. I don't know if that makes sense...but I guess the important thing is that is does in my head. There is the possibility of new things coming, but I won't speak of them until they are true or close to being true. So until then...another promise

But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. Psalm 3:3