Thursday, January 26, 2012

pole pole

Ok so I will start out by saying that I wish I would have written this this afternoon because I think that it would have been better.  I did not do that however so I will just write it now and get over that fact.  Well today was a long one per usual but for how tired I was/am it was just a really encouraging and uplifting day in so many ways.  At Wellspring today we had a birthday celebration/leaving party for a girl who turns 18 tomorrow and while she did not complete the program, she did get a certificate of accomplishment but since she turns 18 she is no longer allowed to be in the program if she does not wish to sign herself back into dfacs custody.  All that is really beside the point but still.

So the girls in an impromptu performance all got up today and sang "How He Loves" and it was just a really sweet moment to see them doing that because honestly a lot of times they are a little crude and brash so it was a nice shift.  Don't worry though, they got right back to being outrageous in group an hour later!

So the thankful part...well there was this woman who volunteers with the girls (I had never seen her before) but the girls knew her and she was coming back from being in Africa and she had climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with Operation Mobilization to raise money and awareness for Wellspring and the issue of trafficking.  Be still my heart!  I. MISS. AFRICA.  ::sigh:: Ok, so along with the girls I listened to her tell all about the week climb and how she had taken pebbles with all the girls initials on them and placed them at the Uhuru peak.  So many aspects of that that I just love.  The climb to the peak that is representative of the "climb" that the girls are on in this program and the fact that there will continue to be challenges and obstacles.  Additionally, they had this phrase that the porters kept saying to the team, "pole pole" which means slowly, so telling the women to take their time and to go slow.  Side note, it was interesting when I heard this the first time because in swahili 'pole' means sorry so when I heard it used in this context I was a bit confused and actually still am but that is not the point of the story.  I love how it is also representative of the girls taking their time as well as God taking his 'time' to work in the girls lives and sometimes that takes a lifetime.  The girls were beside themselves about having their pebbles on the top of a mountain in Africa and the implications that has that this woman who is about 60 climbed up this mountain (which is not an easy task at all) for the purpose of raising awareness about this cause and to keep a promise made to the girls to place their pebbles at the peak.  So very much to love about that.  It makes my heart so happy to see people doing things like this to raise awareness and money for a cause that is so near to my heart.  It makes my heart happy to literally see God working in this program and in each of these girls lives, and how he is fighting for them over and over.  It makes my heart happy when people go to Africa and experience the good, the bad, and the better.  I love when my heart is happy and when it literally aches for things like this and I feel it in my chest.  It makes me feel alive and that is what I am thankful for.  All of the above.

Friday, January 20, 2012

deja vu

Can we just pretend that this is January 19th and that already I have not missed a Thursday post?  Ok great...moving right along then.  I will just say that I might should go ahead and come up with some catchy phrase for Fridays because, well, Thursdays are LONG days for me.  Not only hours long, but emotionally, mentally, physically draining days.  I spend all day at Wellspring (love) and I have started leading groups on Thursdays for 2 hours which is scary and crazy all at the same time.  Me in charge of 8 outrageous teen girls?  phew!  Anyhow, post Wellspring I get to drive an hour up to our school counseling center and see clients there as well.  I also had a new client last night so needless to say I got home well after being gone for 14 hours and a wardrobe change.

Back to what I am thankful for...Let me just say initially that I have a hard time choosing just one thing.  I am thankful specifically for friends who are willing to carry each other's burdens.  I love this idea in theory and actually love being that person for others but when it comes to letting other people do it for me...well not such an easy thing.  I have had some conversations in the last few days that have been really life giving and for lack of better word special.  Specifically I had a friend who really encouraged me about being so busy and frantic at times this semester and relying on the fact that God is constant, stable, and unfazed by anything that is going on in my life.  The process of leaning on that more is definitely a learning process because I like to 'do' things on my own, and yet it is a comfort and freeing at the same time.  It reminds me of something my professor told the class about how parents need to deal with teens.  He said that teens will thrash and fight, but parents have to be constant and stable and a secure base for their kids because having them both thrash around is not going to work out well.  So yes I am saying that I am like a teen and God is my parent.  There.  So today (and everyday) I am thankful for the life giving, burden bearing friends who are just awesome.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

thankful thursday

Here I week into my thankful thursday challenge (with myself) and I have 20minutes left to write this post.  I don't even know what I am thankful for today (in fact, I could name a bajillion things...that is a lot of things in case that wasn't clear).

So today I am thankful for two very specific things and they both relate to counseling.  I have Wellspring on Thursdays as well as our Hope center so it is a day FULL of counseling!  So in being honest, I am thankful for the fact that my clients at Hope rescheduled their appts and that I had the chance to babysit and make money tonight.  Second, I am thankful for this simple sentence spoken by one of the girls today...she said "ms. kimbo, can you be my therapist?" They have decided to call me kimbo, which I don't mind and it is funny because my stepmom calls me that.  But it is a girl who I haven't had all that much interaction with and honestly wasn't even sure if she knew my name for quite some time, but she in fact does.  It was nice to hear a place like that where sometimes (read often) there isn't all that much progress that is visible.  Not that it was specifically "progress" in therapeutic terms, but self doubt can rear its ugly little head at times and this was one of those and it was like God spoke to me through her and it was just nice.

So I am thankful for that...and oh so much more.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

surrender 2012

So I've been writing rough drafts of this mentally since last Wednesday and have just yet to actually write it.  And come to think of it, now that I sit down (actually I'm laying in bed) to write it, I do not even know what I wanted to say.

Welp, here it is...I have a confession: I don't like New Year's resolutions.  I could go on about that but I don't really need to, it's beside the point.  I think they are an attempt at change and usually given up pretty quickly.  Ok I said something, but that will be it.  Moving along, I do like the idea of a theme for the year.  Insert my title.  I should have done a different title and done a drum roll to reveal.  Oh well...I digress.  So my first semester of grad school had the theme of giving up control.  I didn't know I had/needed a theme for it until after but it was CLEARLY there.  Honestly, I think I did a pretty good job at it once I finally did loosen the reins a bit (read God changed my heart).  Yet, little did I realize what a constant 'loosening of the reins' this was going to be.  Hence my theme for this year.  For such a laid back person, I LIKE CONTROL.  That should come as no surprise really because anyone that is reading this also likes control a whole lot.  I had a nice long conversation with my supervisor at Wellspring about control and she was saying that almost every action we as humans take is out of a desire for control.  When I really started to think about that I realized how right she was.  Here I was complaining explaining a particularly annoying conversation with a girl about her refusal to do something that was probably epic in importance and all the while my supervisor is chuckling at the irony of my annoyance at not being able to control her when she was just trying to control the situation.  Counseling sucks is awesome sometimes.  Gosh I have a love/dislike relationship with supervision too.  Moving on...

I was at a worship night last week when I realized (i.e. God showed me) what I needed to do.  And you know what I said to the Almighty one? "I don't wannnnna!" Yes that happened, like a 4 year old.  I did follow it up with "Ok, I me."  So that happened a week ago, and it has been a conscious effort DAILY to do that, to even begin the process of beginning the process.  Cause you know what I do?  I try to surrender...that doesn't even make sense now does it?  I don't need to try!  Have I learned nothing?  That is not true, I have learned an immense amount.  The fact of the matter is...surrendering is hard. period.  And I don't think when 2012 is over I will say, "Oh what a nice theme, glad I got that taken care of this year, moving right along to the next task on making myself better."  What a lovely dialog that would be with myself though.  The point is...I know that I will always have an immediate tendency to manage/control things, people, and situations but God is patient and awesome and loves me like woah.  He's got this.

My other supervisor told me today that it seemed like I was digging my heels in about making a change, completely unrelated to this whole surrender thing (hello raw comment).  It is clearly spilling out all over my life and all these counselor types are just calling me out!  I don't want to dig my heels in...I want to surrender dangit.

Here is what I do know.  There is a lot of change on the horizon and I am not in control.  God has plans and His plans are so much better than anything I could dream of, I trust and know that completely.  So therefore even though this year holds a lot of uncertainty for me after I graduate, it also holds a range of possibilities for how I can be used by God post graduate school.  The thought of that just makes me get all tingly inside (with definite hints of anxious-but I quickly subdue those faulty cognitions).  I could just jump up and down with excitement over that lil thought!

Phew....sigh of relief, got that out.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thankful thursday

Ok, so after Thanksgiving this year I decided that when I started back blogging that I wanted to do a weekly thankful post, and why not just rhyme it with Thursday.  It is quite obvious I would say as to why I want to do it, but I will go ahead and state it.  In a manner of full disclosure I had a tough Christmas break.  That is not to say that there was not good times because they were definitely had.  I was able to pull myself out of wallowing for the big family occasions but internally things were just in the midst of being dealt with and some really unfortunate things happened that were unforeseeable and for lack of better words just sucked.  However, with all that being said I still have SO many things to be thankful for and that is what these posts are an aim to acknowledge even some of those things.

So today I am especially thankful for time with people I'm related to and call my very best friends.  I am definitely aware that for some it is a foreign concept, yet I could not even begin to imagine life without those special peeps.  There is one special person that comes to mind and that is my cousin Brittan.  She is just super awesome and most definitely one of my favorite people.  We don't get to see each other enough and part of that was because she moved to Mexico for a year but she is back in action and we had a lovely late dinner last night that lasted from 1030-130am.  We talked about boys, life, food, therapy, God, marriage...etc etc etc.  It was really great, so that is what I am thankful for today.  Love that girl and look how cute we are.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

This will be short because I think the picture will speak for itself...but I love living in a house with kids (let it be noted that I don't usually feel this way at 6am when they get up for school).  However, it's refreshing that they are so real, and often times much more real than adults can even muster.  They are also really funny and I enjoy a laugh more than anything.  So let it come as no surprise that when I went upstairs to have breakfast today and saw this on the kitchen table, I was highly amused.  That is all.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year

So I woke up today with the feeling that I wanted to write a blog and I wasn't even sure what I wanted to write.  It's been about 6 months since I last wrote and I wouldn't even know where to begin honestly.  At the same time, I felt that if I waited much longer before writing then there would be an inordinate amount of pressure for whenever I posted for it to be just super awesome.  So with that in mind, I decided to go ahead and write.

Here's the thing...there are so many things that have happened in the last 6 months that I want to write about and yet I can't seem to find the words to say or describe them in a way that would convey how life changing they have been or to trivialize what it has meant to me.  I have learned so much about myself, and my capacity to love, listen, manage, and be present.  In the same way, I have learned an enormous amount about what I am not capable of and what I need to give up to God.  This has been the most challenging and stressful time of my life and yet I would not change a bit of the learning I have done about myself.

I will break this down to two quick sections on where my heart is at this time...

So my internship at Wellspring has been the best and most intense thing I have ever dealt with.  Through this experience I have learned how much I have a heart for this line of work and these girls that I deal with on a weekly basis.  There are stories that have changed and shaped me in ways that I'm not even sure I will ever fully know the extent of.  These girls who I work with are not the easiest by any definition of the word, and yet I love them like crazy.  The similarities of how that's just like God and I is not lost on me.  I am not the easiest to love at times and yet he loves me all the same.  It's just too much, but that is quite another post.  In the spirit of full disclosure though, I definitely had a hard time adjusting to the stressors and pressure of being there.  I cried every car ride either to or from the home and I just had no idea how to deal with my emotions with it.  I have learned some powerful things from this experience and it is not even over but I will just list a few.  I have learned that I am good with adolescents and I know how to connect with people, I just need to work on my confidence in believing that.  I have learned that God is in control, like REALLY in control.  He is so present and there all the time and I could not have made it this far without him.  I have learned that my actual loving presence in the room with the girls is better than any amount of "therapeutic skills" that I think I need to do.  I have learned just how deceptive the enemy is and how I need to be on guard against that.  Fear is not my friend...and I don't roll like that.

The second state of my heart goes a little something like this...I had been having some minor freak out's as of late about what on earth I was going to do once I graduated.  It was that whole fear thing again (boo) and I couldn't wrap my head around it and get it together honestly.  At some point during my day today that changed.  Not to say that I am completely without some anxiety of what is to come, but for the first time I can definitely say that I am looking forward to what is to come after graduation.  And you wanna know why?  Well, something that I have known intellectually all along but just hadn't managed to convey to the heart was that God always has me.  God has bigger plans for me than what I might even plan for myself, and while I am "making plans" for after graduation, I am not worried about what will happen because I am really giving up control and being anxious about what that might look like.  It's a waste of time to worry about that sort of thing and I am over doing that.  I was with a friend today getting yofo and had a nice conversation about all these things and just how easy it is to get caught up on what is due or needed right this second and to forget how God provides for his children.  He just does.  All that being said...I am so stoked for this last semester of grad school.  I have been beyond blessed with the most amazing group of friends from this school who know and love me and that was a totally unexpected joy that has come from this 2 year adventure.  They are consistent and loyal (anyone who knows me def knows those are my top two favorite qualities).  On top of that I have been learning so much about who I am and how God sees me.  I mean really what more could someone ask for?  It's really too much at times honestly but geez louise what do I have to complain about.

That all wasn't that short but I think that was a good start for the new year for sure.  So here is to starting this new year off right and learning how to do self care better!