Friday, December 10, 2010

A Piece of My Past

It is the kind of night where I would blog. I am alone, over pondering what life is all about, and searching for meaning. I start off of course on facebook, and I start reminiscing about "the good ol' days", Undergrad and such-- I kick myself off and try to fall asleep but I can't. It is too quiet here. To think I use to stay in a building where over 200 people my own age lived there. I had so much fun... no wonder being alone at night seems so different.

Like I said tonight is the kind of night I would blog, but I don't have anything to say. I have no awe-inspiring words from the Lord, I have no underlying insecurity to explore-- it's just me, not being able to sleep. I try to worship a little bit, do some prayer, back on facebook, and I get to thinking how much I care about the past. Always have, I won't even reference all my posts that have talked about me missing the past.. let's say it's more like the whole blog-- well except for when I knew I was going to Mercy, then I was always looking forward.

Point being, since High-School, I have always been a fan of the past. Junior year I wanted to be a Sophomore, Senior year I wanted to be a Junior again, Freshman year of Undergrad I wanted to be a Senior of High-School again... but now in Graduate school I am not sure I want "to be" any particular time. I cherish it all sure, but most of me really is looking forward to having a full time job in May and starting my own life.

More so than that though, if I could go back- I am not sure where I would go back to. I am over the high-school thing and Undergrad is too much, I flip through old memories and can't settle on just one I would like to relive. So many amazing memories, uncountable inside jokes, ridiculous amount of money wasted on junk food and some heal-your-soul-up moments.

I know before I met God I said the best moment of my life was my entrance to the Junior year play, I was the Wicked Witch and I came screeching out, scared all the kids away, and had the spotlight all to myself... what a great feeling to know you are the source of entertainment, to recreate a character your own way. But to go back to that no way...

Thursday night Tag's as an 18 year old also used to be my jam. I lived for those retro nights. Into college I became a coffeeshop girl, I'd spend hours figuring myself and my friends out over a drink that always consisted of more whip cream than anything, but to have to go through that pain of figuring myself out again... no thanks.

So I went back to facebook and I flipped through my photos and whatever photo made my heart melt I uploaded on here. This is just a flash of where I might travel back to. Lord knows facebook does not have all the answers and was not even around for a lot of good times in my life. But I hope you enjoy a piece of my past!

What would it be if you could relive a moment. I could see a lot of people talking about their child being born, perhaps their first encounter with the Lord, or their wedding day-- but I am thinking less serious than that. A time in your life where bliss was all you knew at least that's how you remember it... think about it then re-blog this if you wish!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Back to the Basics... again.

In one week I will officially be half way done with my MSW, that's crazy. I can honestly say it is has not been that difficult at all. I forget a lot of the time though the time I spend at Successful Pathways (Internship) is also a huge part of my degree. I have had a lot more free time then I ever thought I would. I can honestly remember the one time I truly felt stressed, and that was back in August... wow, praise the Lord!

I was looking over my agenda calender today, something I even wrote about since I do it so often, and I literally was shocked that it was December 1st. I know it's cliche to say where has the time gone, but for real- for real, where did the time go? Everything has moved so fast yet so smoothly lately... God has just provided- majorly.

At the beginning of the semester I was hooked on Old Testament, almost refusing to read the New Testament, I wanted to discover hidden messages, I wanted to relate to the complex characters, I wanted to be able to quote out of Leviticus and impress people, but recently I want to go back to the basics. I started reading Matthew through this past Sunday just to -refresh- myself and I got rocked! How quickly I forget the basics..

Sowing seeds.

Just the basics, the reason why I even love God in the first place or rather the reasons He loves me. I got to get back to the place where I know He loves me for me: Not the me I am going to be or the things I can do, or the me that deserves to be loved-- but me, just simply me. I want to go back to this girl, the girl who took time to be herself and eat her cereal color by color, the girl who knew being loved had nothing to do with her performance. I want to have revelations like this that remind me God is not only my Father but Lover and I can find fullness in Him, anytime.

*smiles, sigh* The basics, what a wonderful place to be. What a blessed and comfortable season the Lord has allowed me to be in. I feel so secure in Him, it is such a wonderful feeling. I can't say it did not come without some testing and trials but I preserved and it feels so good to be victorious in Christ, not in myself but in Him. I relied on Him and He heard my cries, He answered my whispered prayers, and He lavished me with unmerited favor and for that I am eternally grateful.

.. it is so nice to get back to the basics. What a beautiful and loving God we serve. He may give and take away-- but He is trustworthy and righteous and I love Him.

Psalm 5:1-3, 11-12
 "Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Exclusively Confusing

Alright I am going to be honest-- this is one is for Kirsten.
Well no, this is one is inspired by Kirsten but for everyone who can relate to being single after undergrad when they thought for sure ring by spring was a guarantee for life. And for the sake of this post let's say single is defined by pre-engagement. With that, that leaves a lot of singles out there. I'll admit I'm new to the scene but that does not mean I don't know a thing or two. And since my reading audience varies from those who are sold out to Christ and waiting to even kiss at the alter to those who thrive on one-nighters, my list will reflect as much as I can, but I am only human.

For starters here are my thoughts on the lingo. 
  • We're talking: Means there is an interest of hoping things will lead into a relationship, but the parties are trying to play it cool then. At this stage there is way more texting then actually talking by the way.
  • We're going on dates: This is where the parties are testing the waters to see if the other person is worth the $10 movie ticket, but there has been no discussion of exclusiveness or relationship status. This stage is easily confused with the following label,
  • We're dating: This stage is defined by a general understanding that the pair is exclusive but there has not been talk about a relationship yet.
  • We're hanging out: This definition is multi-faceted but can be categorized by either casual hook ups, cat and mouse game, a denial stage where people think they can just have fun and not get their emotions tied into it, or it is an indication an insecure dater won't give up their "fall back person". 
  • We're just having fun: In this slippery slope there is the belief that there are no emotions attached to the relationship.  It could mean the girl is using the boy for free mini golf or the boy is using the girl for late nights. This stage normally ends in silent heartbreak where one of the parties will deny in public but will confess to a few close friends.
  • We hooked up once or twice: Depending on where you fall on the morality scale this could be meeting at a coffeehouse, making out without wandering hands, bad decisions made from shots of Tequila, or a moment of overwhelming insecurity where the facebook chat led to a midnight drive. No matter what the situation, the title means there was fun had but there is no intention of taking things further but the parties will keep each others numbers "just in case".
  • We're praying about it: For the religious type this stages either includes complete silence and some fasting about the future of your relationship or it is a time of obnoxious flirting, days full of testing conversations, and minor, minor prayer. The hopes is to reach a title of "Facebook Official".
  • We are seeing each other: Meaning each party has commited to the label "We are dating" but only does so when it is convenient during free time for both parties. This label does not account for being exclusive. 
  • We are Facebook Official: Oh, boy-- that is real serious right there. Facebook status's are the new Letterman Jackets combined with those cheap-o heart necklaces everyone bought from Kmart during their high school days.
  • I might bring him/her home to meet the parents: An attempt to show how serious the one party's feelings are for the other, but not serious enough where they have to visit Kay's anytime soon.... like ::anytime soon:::
  • It's complicated: Let's not even get into what means.. if this is what you would describe your relationship like just move on, we are too young for this amount of drama. 

Now here are some rules for the Lady readers: 
  • RULE NUMBER ONE always ask if you are exclusive. But even so know this: being exclusive does not mean you are in a relationship. However, if you are in a relationship, you really should be exclusive... let's hope that talk never needs to happen.
  • The second rule pends on both the level of seriousness and in combination that it does not override the previous rule. You don't want to be the first person to ask "Where is this going", I once had a boyfriend whose response to that question was "Out the door!"
  • In between the "We're talking" stage and the achievement of the label of "Facebook Official", for every two texts they send you, you should only send one.
  • You should not have to initiate the good morning texts, it should be expected that they approach you first, like when people use to talk face to face.
  • Keep your sappiness at a minimum until they can prove their trustworthiness. No joking with this one. We only have one heart and it is hard enough to keep it intact without men.
  • I have to admit I am somewhat of a believer of "Once a cheater, always a cheater" unless there is a christain conversion, otherwise keep this as a rule of thumb. 
  • If all your friends say he is crazy, then he IS crazy.
  • There must always, always be at least one time you "forget to call" or make plans that have to be cancelled, our lives must not scream desperate, no matter how long it has been. 
  • Unless you want to get married at and raise your children in a bar, do not try to find a date at a bar. Even with the best bar guy you most likely won't get past the less moral version of "We're hanging out"

For the Gentlemen, my thoughts on today's style of dating:
  • This is not the 10th grade where my boyfriend told me he had no money after we ordered our food and his parents had dropped us off so please know that we want to picked up at our front door. A text that says "Im out front" does not count and please at least offer to pay. Each to their own on whether the girl accepts it or not.. my thoughts are we are prettier than you and that's that-- so pay up. 
  • Try not finding us on facebook before you ask us our own last name, that's creepy.
  • Dear Christian men, please please do not wear your purity ring on ring your fingers of either hand, it confuses us single ladies and we don't have the smoothness to figure out if you're spoken for without point blank staring.
  • Let us know right off the bat how much you love/hate the conversation of marriage/babies-- kthanks. 
And that's it folks. That is today's dating in my mind. Of course my lifestyle of choice does not fit into many of these categories I can attest to wanting free mini golf and how well standing someone up works. As for now, I will let the creator of my soul continue to fill me with love and let the rest of the world figure out this exclusively confusing world of dating.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

As I swept up the pieces

What do you do when something breaks? I just knocked off a precious moment porcelain doll from my dresser. It was a blond, blue eyed girl with a diploma in her hand. She was smiling ear to ear and there was hope in her eyes. My Mother bought it for me and now its smashed to pieces.

My normal reaction to when things break is to cuss. I have to admit I probably cuss the most when I drop things. Not when I am actually mad or upset but more an automatic response to dropping something. Things as simple as a binder lead me to drop a few bombs. What a weird occurrence...

Tonight I didn't swear. I didn't even budge. That precious moment was the only trinket I had out proudly displayed and now its smashed... I felt so powerless. And as I swept up the pieces and thought I can't let the irony go on this one... the smashing of my graduation, the feeling of powerlessness....

I drove a client home tonight. He told me about working the streets and we discussed how much "easier" it seems to work the streets then to follow God and do good. Broke my heart. I know it is only the first of many times that it will break. I want to just do my job and go home. Make a difference while I can, but bring them back to the hood as I travel out to suburbia. But, I am not making a true difference that way. Jesus met the fishermen on the boats and at shore... He did make them eventually leave that occupation, but He met them where they were at, even when it seemed *unsafe*

So many things rush through my mind when I think inner-city. Urban Youth. Street Life. "Why me?", is the biggest thing. I know God is glorified through our weakness and all but wow... it's like take this example you want to tell someone about Jesus but they say they can't focus because they are hungry so you feed them. After they are fed they ask you about Jesus again and you give them a Bible to read. Turns out they can't read because they dropped out of school in fourth grade. Okay, so you wonder why they dropped out of school and they tell you about their negligent parents. Then you ask what their home life is like now and they tell you the shelter they are living at, bringing it back full circle that they can't focus now because there is only so much time left to get back to the shelter to secure their spot for the night. where do you start? Do you feed them, house them, counsel them, tell them about Jesus? At what point are you making a difference. Is it all just Band-aids or true healing.

It's just so much and I don't want to drop the ball and let my dreams smash to the ground leaving me wanting to cuss out the God who brought me here. Don't get me wrong deep down I know there is hope and I know there is a way and I know God will never leave me and I know that God equips us and I know He is our refuge... but man oh man this Urban Ministry is no joke. And if I walk away, how many others did also? How can we ignore what is going on just a few zip codes away? If I am scared to just drop people off- imagine what living there is like...

As usual I refer to my hope secured, Joshua 1:6-9
“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

God- I need you on this one. I told you I'd follow where you led me and I don't want to back down from my word, so send me down some extra loving tonight, I would appreciate it. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dear October

Well Alright October-- I will admit it you got me this time!!!
For those who have been following for awhile will know that October always is a big month for me. God has been more present (or maybe I allow him to be) in October then any other month. It's like my life falls apart and become as white as snow just as much as the season does with the leaves.

...But you really outdid yourself this time. I thought I was going to have to do a post on how this October was different. This October nothing HUGE happened. God was of course still great and awesome but He did not have some life-pending lesson.... but ummm, nope. He just outdid himself.

I am not comfortable sharing with everyone right now what the *big news is, but just know that my head is resting much easier at night knowing my future is secure.

On a *very related but different note I have not written much about my internship lately. Most likely because I am there at the hours I normally would like to blog... like all day ((haha)). But it is only because I LOVE it so so much. So tonight, I was teaching my class on "God Given Talents" to my youth and we spent some good time in prayer and worship. All of the youth received a word from God through the leaders and my "homework" for them was to come up with 2 scriptural references on what we are suppose to do when we receive a word from God. So as a fair leader I wanted to do the same... what is it that God wants me to do with my *big October news... honestly folks- I have no clue. All I know is I need Him. I am desperate for Him. I feel unworthy, but He- He is good and He will  speak. Here is my homework:

 Joshua 1
6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Dear October, I never knew you would be the answer to all my dreams-- please, please don't let me step out of God's will.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Facebook Struggle

Do you ever feel like the nights where your hair looks good are the nights you didn't really go anywhere?

I just saw the movie "The Social Network".
I am not here to discuss whether the movie was true or not.
But the last scene got me...
After all the court cases, after all the money, after all the success- Mark Zuckerberg (at least his fictional character) signs on to his own website (Facebook that is) and friend requests his ex girlfriend. He then obsesses over her acceptance by refreshing the page every .5 seconds to see if she had confirmed. That's it- that is how they ended the movie.
I don't care how much of the movie is real- that my friends IS real.
Ughh... it is disgusting the amount of time our generation, including myself obsess over these internet sites, over being accepted, over heartaches and new fantasies. 
I am sure it has always been this way-- it's just more in your face now. It's just a button press & click away.
Just like with my hair. It's like I want someone to see that I am having a good hair day but why ...why?

I guess this post does not have much substance to it. 
More a rhetorical question that will bounce back to me in cyberspace without an answer. 
But I want to know, why do we care so much?
Why is it that even though I truly believe my heart has found rest in God that I can still care about finding love and keeping it? Or when I send a text that never gets a response? How about the ex  last night who charmed his way past me without acknowledging my existence? ((if only that poor boy knew how many times I have blogged about his rudeness))
I guess I pose such a question, not so much out of a hope for an answer but more so an indication to let others they are not alone. 
We sit here staring at our screens waiting for the slightest amount of hope to pop out at us. 
We want to be noticed.
We want to stand out yet to also fit in.
It is not like it was when we were in high school... but somehow it is.
We all want to be known, to be delighted in, to be taken care of and to have those we can care for.

I got a text after the movie from a friend who longs for love.
I am not sure he has ever really accepted himself for who he truly is but he is one of those guys that believes he will feel complete once he has a girl who does. Actually make that two guys who said the same thing tonight. Funny, how totally different lifestyles can still be calling out for the same things... anyway- the texts went something to the effect that he wanted a girlfriend to spend his birthday with and I stated how having good friends is way more worth the drama and heartache it takes to be in love. He followed with, "But sometimes I need the drama and heartache. Reminds me of how good life can be"

So I wonder.. how many folks are on facebook tonight feeling the same thing.
I mean that's why we have facebook isn't it?
To be noticed?
To share our life?
For what then?
Now, now I can hear the defenses now, sure you got it for different other ((non insecure)) reasons. But let me ask you this... why are you on it so much then? And if not facebook, why texting? why online dating? why Halo 3? why go to the bars?

We are all just lost. We are all in some way lonely. We all want a place to belong.
We all, I mean I... I just wanted to have someone see that I was having a good hair night.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Happy Sigh

Recently a Frisbee game brought us all together
and it was like nothing had changed at all.

But then again, everything has changed...

And it will keep on changing. 
No one and Nothing is ever stagnant.
Things change. People change. Seasons Change.
It doesn't change the good times we've had.
And it doesn't change the way we care for each other.
It's funny-- I never think about high school people anymore...
for as many times I cried over it and the time I spent missing it. 
Now college is over too-- unbelievable.  Just crazy.
*smiles* but we had some crazy good times.
And although these pictures certainly do NOT account for all of those I encountered, appreciated, and miss-- they are a small testament of those I loved and still love. 
It was so nice to breath in that fall air, to let the sunshine hit my face, and to snuggle with my besties. Each one of them I have a different tie to, yet each one of them a tie to each other because of it.*sighh.. but a happy sigh. It was so nice to see everyone. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Building Potential

You may have heard a saying once or twice along the lines of "When God closes a door, He opens a window". I am not sure this is always the case but I do encourage the optimistic viewpoint. What I do believe is going on more so is when one makes the choice to start or continue to follow the plan God has for the life they will notice that opportunities will come to them with little or not effort and things will start to fit perfectly. Following God's plan for your life feels even better and more refreshing than an early morning run, a shower after a long camping trip, a first kiss, or the first day of fall. As many of you, I have closed doors in my life, that allows for me to notice or take on the windows God has set up for me. 

Currently, I am doing my internship at Successful Pathways. A ministry under the organization of Youth for Christ (YFC of Rochester). I am the Mentor Liaison, which builds social and spiritual relationships with inner city youth who are either parenting, pregnant, or at risk for early parenting. I foster the relationship between the mentor/mentees by constant communication and hosting social events for them to enjoy and develop their relationship. Mostly, I have been doing lots of meetings, lots of networking, and a ton of phone calls. Successful Pathways also has a case management side which helps the clients with educational, financial, parenting, and everyday needs. So far I just love it.

The building in which we are located is One Favor Street, which just gets me every time. Come on' One FAVOR street-- hello?? The building use to be a host of different organizations. It was the Boys & Girls club and The Vineyard Church. It is a big building with cement walls and so much potential. There is a hard wood floor gym in which over over 400 young men play basketball every year. (this year is the first year for cheerleaders <3) Today was the first game day of the season and I was there giving tours to future donors. There were just dozens of little people running around, smiling, loving every minute of basketball and awaiting their free hot meal they get each time they come to a practice. I just loved it! I can't explain the joy it brought to my heart. The program director (while selling the program) explained what it was like for these boys to have a solid male figure in their life even if just for a basketball season. Then for this big guys to teach these kids the joy is it to follow Christ?!? AHHH LOOVEE IT!

While giving a tour to these people the words of my friend came back to me when I showed her around. She said the building had so much potential. And it does. It has so many offices, a full kitchen, a basketball court, a beautiful sanctuary, a snack bar, full parking lot, and the love of the Lord. You don't need much else that that! 

Tonight the place will be packed again with inner city youth (a little bit older this time) for the S.W.A.G Rally. (Salvation Works For All Generations). It is a youth led outreach that just tells it like it is. City life is tough, but God is tougher. 

The youth who head up that rally will hopefully be the youth that I will be soon leading in a small group focusing on encouraging them to take a leap of faith in their walk as a Christian. Revolving around the scripture "Let no one look down on you because you are young"-- they will be empowered in knowing God has already equipped them to influence their peers. I believe God brought me to this place to continue to build the potential the youth already had. And I am so excited! It is like I have arrived. Although I know we never stop growing or learning from the Lord, I am at a safe place. I can begin to ACTUALLY pour out all He has fulfilled me with. 

Outside of the internship I am busy with school work. I am hoping to learn as much as possible this year as it is my last year of formal schooling. Crazy, right?? I never feel like I have time. I reallyyyy don't understand how people do this with a job or a family. It is just crazy. I have to keep reminding myself that soon I will be out on the job hunt. My supervisor the other day gave me a business card holder, knowing that I would be meeting a lot of people and networking is key. Ah, networking. Even in the Christian realm it is an important thing. Again, you build your potential in the city with the more people know who you are. So far, I feel a little behind but maybe by the end of the year someone (important) will know who I am.
Well, anyways that is life thus far into the semester. Four weeks down, eleven to go. Then fifteen more altogether. A licensing exam and that's it-- I'll be an LMSW. Whoop Whoop. 

One last thing, don't think I have moved on from either Mercy Minsitries or TWLOHA  (To Write Love On Her Arms). I am still very involved in keeping these non-profits going, while at the saem time starting to dream about my starting my own someday <3 Check out these recent Mercy posts. (The last 4 girls were my girls) (24 girls Baptized!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Because I Want to Say Goodnight

Tonight I find myself wondering if I made the wrong choice...
I miss him, dearly.
I am writing tonight on here so I don't text him and say goodnight.
It's not that I don't want to say it or feel he deserves to hear it but- it is no longer my place.
The whole single thing is not the problem, I enjoy the extra time, emotion and feeling of me-ness, but I miss him.

You probably wonder how long has it been. Well the last time I saw him was yesterday and the last time we talked was about 7 hours ago. Pathetic right? I know, but it's not the same. He's not mine anymore. And for as much as I still want him to be that, I don't. He deserves to be happy, really happy. He deserves someone who will be content with where he is at and where he wants to go-- not someone continually trying to make him and us better. He deserves someone who will just let him be. 

I don't know if it is because he has been such a big part of my life for three years or because besides a few high school friends he has been the longest friendship and especially longest relationship? Or is it because he could instantly make me laugh or call me out on being sad? Do I miss him because his kiss makes my heart stop or because I want to be kissed?

It does not take me long to remember that without him I may have never had enough courage to go to Tennessee and for that I am very grateful. But, he wasn't always perfect and there were times when I was dying to hear something and his silence would literally break my heart. But what about those times we drove around the countryside and just enjoyed each other?

If I allowed myself to continue to say goodnight to him my heart would never learn to live without him. I would never truly move on and I would never give him the opportunity to find someone better suited.

So tonight I will say goodnight in the simplest way I know possible, by prayers. It is my prayer that both of our hearts will be made whole by the God who created them. It is my prayer that both of our individual passions will begin to burn more brightly as we learn to take chances on our own and seek God's face for our individual future. I pray that god would use this relationship, the lessons we learned, and the people we impacted for the good of his kingdom and for the good our lives. And I pray, especially for tonight, that God would wrap his father arms around me and let me know I can do this, and with Him that I am never alone and never forgotten. I pray that God's love would overwhelm the two of us that heartache would cease and that joy would overflow. I pray for peaceful sleep and a pure heart to greatest the comforter known to man, God, my father.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Espresso Thoughts

Apparently every coffee shop in Rochester decided ice coffee is not good enough with just coffee with ice in it but instead decided to ice espresso shots and use that as a replacement... which is great you love a good buzz but I was perfectly content with  coffee being I don't know... coffee?!?!

So after my medium iced "coffee" today my hearts a little racy, my emotions are little off balance and my thought patterns are a little irrational. This is what my heart is feeling currently:

I am so ashamed that I did not make any contact with the oh-so-obvious homeless man hanging around the coffeeshop today. Who am I to be scared?? But he really could have stolen my things, I use to be so trusting but now working in the inner-city they tell me I have to err on the side of caution and I did... now I feel like a prick.

How is it that he is so comfortable being friends? The fact that he can completly turn off his hurting signifies one of two things; He really did fall out of love with me before we broke or he is a really good faker. I wish I knew which it was. I want him to miss me, yet I want him to go away-- I want him to say he can't live without me, yet I want him to go away. It actually is nice being friends... really nice.

I am learning how much of my life I run by my head instead of my heart. I use to be so careless, so free and reckless. I mean the results this is yielding are amazing and wisdom truly is knowing the right thing to do then actually doing it-- but I am honestly surprising myself in how often I follow through on these "right things"-- must be another miracle God is shining through me. I mean you really do have to be your heart's best friend. Hence the reason I am not in relationship anymore & the reason I can so easily write people off once they treat me wrong... I mean within reason.

In class I volunteered to do a "family statue" it is really cool therapy tactic. You position your family members at a position that signifies how you see their behaviors and actions towards each other. I am very self-aware and am comfortable with my families flaws and valuable qualities, so I volunteered--- however my professor being such a great clinician he called me out on.. well what I try to ignore but most of the time I don't really realize. I don't really connect, I don't... understand family-- I am so future focused, so "lets move on and get this done" that I think I leave them in the dust... I can see why my mother is hurt by my actions so often I mean... I really just want to move on. I take and take and yes I do give back but in most ways I am disconnected, I am on my own by my own choice... I don't know if this is healthy or not yet.. I just know its there and if you have been following for awhile you will see a pattern of my adolescent side hiding and fighting her way through life-- something God is still working on.

A positive thought though is how great my internship is... like really great. God has significantly answered ALL my prayers and stayed COMPLETELY faithful to his prophesies and had DOUBLY blessed me in my work. Which is such His character, how could He do anything different but love on me, spoil me, bless me when its the last thing I deserve. Thank you Lord, Thank you for just being YOU. 

Tomorrow is the big wedding... the big sha-bang, after this I plan on taking a serious break from the 'ex'. Need to form new habits, need to release him from my grasp of a social support, whether he cares about it or not. ... I'll leave you all with these lyrics from my new favorite band: NeedtoBreathe--

"I won’t be the circus that you’re the star in
I won’t leave you roses to watch them die
You won’t be the heartache that keeps me sleepless
You won’t be the songs that I can never write
I won’t be the fortress for you to hide in
I won’t be the first one you think to call
You won’t be the regrets that I can’t live with
He won’t be the last one to never have to lose it all
Cause I don’t want to stay, I don’t want to fall
I don’t want to have to see you leave me
I don’t want to take, I don’t want to lose it all
Maybe I’m a fake, maybe you’re a lie
Maybe our last chance died with last night
Cause I don’t want to stay I don’t want to fall in love
With you again
With you again"

See why I can't have espresso? haha. Most days I let the sun shine on my face and feel like one of the most blessed people in the world. I look forward to a future full of ministry and late nights with friends. I still spend two to three hours on the phone each day with great friends, like GREAT friends. I go to classes and learn things that I have been waiting years to really LEARN about. I am looked upon as an adult who is allowed to swipe her credit card for any plane ticket her heart desires, since now she can travel without permission (holler-- long story but basically the whole permission part of being a child is no longer necessary) Most days I find more reasons to love myself and the God who created me. And even more so I find new ways to heal the other ones He has made-- which ultimately blesses me more than them-- especially on days I have had espresso.

Much Love & Best wishes readers!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Being Allured

Alright folks, this blog is going to begin with a little bit of reading and then get real personal, real fast. Tonight I write from a deep longing, a sadness, something I have been writing about and feeling for years; The desire to be desired.

For those unfamiliar with the Bible-- The book of Hosea [[at least chapter 2]] is about God's feelings towards a very unfaithful Israel. Refers to 'her' as an adulteress one who is searching [[and finding]] her pleasures elsewhere, ignoring the one who actually gave her the blessings and using them to allure other lovers. So God gets all jealous and stuff and decided to cut her off from everything that tempted heart and left her craving more. Without these "void fillers" He hopes her eyes turn to Him where He will speak wonderful promises to her. This is how it plays out in scripture [[in parts]]:

“…She is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts. Otherwise I will strip her naked and make her as bare as on the day she was born; I will make her like a desert, turn her into a parched land, and slay her with thirst… She said, 'I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.' Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.' She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold— which they used for Baal… [[[then he takes away everything from her that brought her false love, happiness, and celebration]]] …"Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope… "In that day," declares the LORD, you will call me 'my husband'; you will no longer call me 'my master.’…. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD…. I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one. I will say to those called 'Not my people,' 'You are my people'; and they will say, 'You are my God.' "

Okay, so what's up Kerri?
What has you blogging at 9pm on a Saturday night?
Shouldn't you be out, doing something, anything? Well readers- funny you should ask.

[[[Tonight was awful]]]
Tonight was one of those nights you wish you would never left the house. Nothing terrible happened, nothing catabolic, just unfortunate circumstances that reminded me where exactly I have been getting my love from.

I won't go into a serious of events [[they really would not make sense anyway]] Just know that at the end of the night I was screaming at God, "REALLY?? Is this what you call alluring?? This just sucks and I just hurt!!!!" For years I have read Hosea and thought what a beautiful love story and a story of redemption and yes I knew there was a lesson to be learned but it apparently never hit me I had to learn THAT lesson.

He is stripping me. Every plan 'b' my heart can think of He is ruining. He has placed me in the desert and I am too mad to look up. I honestly just want to hear the words "you are so beautiful Kerri" and the worse part, I know it. I even KNOW my own insecurities. I know what it is I want, why I want it, and how I am searching for it in the wrong places. Yet.. I still search. I still crave... I still desire to be desired. 

If ironically ever fit in a story it was on my ride home tonight, when my CD continued my audiobook of 'Captivating'-- here it is the very thing I study, the very thing I have dedicated myself to teaching young girls for a career and I am still there. I am still asking "Do you find me captivating?" [[Girls PLEASE check out this book, not only will my blogs make more sense but the mysteries of your heart will be unveiled, I promise]]

I looked great tonight [[haha]] I really did and I went to the one place [[well one of the two, Heather will get this]] that I flourish in. I am not a girl who can pick someone up at a bar [[nor do I want to- but anyways]]. My personality works at coffeeshops. I can talk for hours over steamed drinks, with girls or guys-- but that is not the point, I did not want someone- I just wanted to hear something, "Wow Kerri- you are so pretty". THAT'S IT, that is a girl's heart- I promise 99.8% of the time that is all we want to hear.

God knows what I want to hear; He knows my heart, He sees my foolish attempts and He doesn't laugh at me but I believe He giggles a bit knowing I made the wrong choice. He knows when I get into my car I am going back to the desert-- where all my desires have been stripped. And like 65% of me is SO HAPPY that they are, I mean all I have to do is look up to God and ask Him to answer my question... but the other 35% hates it. I hate having to rely on a Man in the sky, I want hope even if it is false. Now this hate won't last and by the morning sun I will shake it off and thank God for His protection over my life--- but tonight I am aching. I am craving.

Even worse part? There are thousands of girls just like me. They will go home with [[or without]] someone. They will be leaving coffeeshops, bars, movies, parties, youth groups whatever and they will sad. They will be empty. They will be in that desert not knowing God is trying to allure them to drink the living water, not the salt water that leaves them even more parched. Thousands of us coming home wiping of our makeup, shaking our heads at our sad excuses of outfits [[either skimpy or not]] and calling it a night, refusing to let the real lover of our soul in. Tonight, we'd rather cry about the world than take a chance on faith.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Faith not Facts

"Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart."  --Psalm 51:6

About six weeks ago I was having lunch with someone I don't really know too well, kind of a new friend, someone who was feeling me out and trying to see what I was all about. Our conversations turned from the local news, to pop culture, christian lifestyles, past relationships etc. 

Throughout the conversation I said different things about stuff I had opinions on, ya know- nothing major but would drop a hint here or there and then quickly move onto the next subject. At the end of the conversation he asked me why I never explained or backed up my points of view. For example, my disinterest and disappointment about Oprah and her influence on this country. His question left me speechless.

I have thought about it ever since and I realize I do it with everything I am passionate about. Quoting things like "Don't get me started" or "well lets not go there"... but why? Why do I push off these topics?

I have been told I am almost too passionate about the Lord before and that I can't keep my desire for Him out of my conversations, but what about my thoughts towards politics, family structures and insecure girls. A lot of my close friends know how I feel but why is it I can't stand ground when it comes to those older than me or my family members?

I feel like it has a lot to do with faith. Most of what I believe is rooted deep within me in places I really just don't understand. Most of the things I feel so strongly about I derived my opinions and judgments out of relationships and stories from those I love. I observe what our society does towards people and the reactions they inversely giveback and... I just know. I know when things are wrong. I know when there is an injustice. I just can't verbalize it. I can't articulate the emotions behind oppression. I can't discuss what it is like knowing there are children crying out for their parents without an answer because they sold them into into sex rings. A little less on the serious side, I know what it is to feel a broken heart after being so vulnerable with those you love.

People want to argue facts. They want to talk policies and figures. They want to map out what is best and who benefits the most and who gets the cheese as one would say. But I can't; I feel what I feel. It comes out of those intimate times I spend with my Savior. Those little drops of wisdom He blesses me with when I really don't deserve it. I can't describe what it is like when God pours a little raindrop of revelation into me. I just know things. I feel things.

A lot of people think I am stubborn and becoming close minded... but I am just in love with Lord and the creator of the universe. I can't talk politics and health care when the weight of the world is on my heart. I literally FEEL when someone's heart breaks. That's not a statistic I can give you. I squirm at the THOUGHT of a box cutter, knowing someone has held that to their wrist.

Don't talk to me about the impracticality of a teenager having a child when you can't see the strength within that young woman!!! She is a child of God and He can get her through anything. I don't understand why people think those who have children young are so low class, so *see now I can't think of a proper word* they think she is so beneath them when all I can do is thank the Lord she is caring the child full term. A child is another chance to make this world right--- don't you DARE talk to me about welfare and the drain on society as you indulge on your third vacation of the year, surrounded by your loving family. Just don't.

And that is why... that's why I can't go deeper. Sure, some of my thoughts and judgments are my own and they are not from the Lord and I really am messed up and opinionated, but some-- some is wisdom. Wisdom that I am proud of. Wisdom that I will keep away from the dinner table but will someday speak to multitude that will listen and believe because they have faith, not facts.

I believe it more so now than ever. It has been confirmed four times today by four different women in my life. I am wise. This is something I have been trying to lie to myself about. Yes, I may be an A student but I will never understand the ways of this world... I mean not only am I a woman in a man's world, I am young, I am blond, I don't read Newsweek and I can't even tell you what channel Cspan or Fox news are. But I do have some wisdom in me! And I am proud to announce that that wisdom only comes out of the vulnerability I have to say that I am nothing without my God, my Abba, the romancer of my soul. The more I surrender to Him, the more I will learn about his world and the way He created it to be. At that point he will give me the words needed and the strength necessary to share my wisdom of faith not facts.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Loudest Laugh-er

I have written a lot lately. Most likely because I have so much I have been thinking about and this is now the only place where my sporadic thoughts come together and make sense...

I saw the movie Eat Pray Love tonight. I was not too thrilled about going to see this film but I knew it would make *her happy so I decided to go. Well there goes my close mindedness again. It's like I know that there are some things that really are not good for you that you should stay away from but unless some thing is directly bringing glory to God I have been shying away completely forgetting that He is everywhere and He is bigger than any idea hollywood has and He can shine through their movies.

Anyway-- it is one of those thinking movies, gets you wondering. Am I truly living and how is it I ended up where I am now. As *her and I talked we spoke about the part where the main character says that she was actively present in the decisions she made in her life... but once she found herself settled in them-- she was not happy. She was unfulfilled. We discussed further how we fill our bodies with food, we cover ourselves with the latest style, and hide our blemishes with the best makeup on the market--- yet still unfulfilled.

I could have married him. I could have actively planned each part of our life together. I could have gone somewhere different and far away for school. I could have studied abroad somewhere and experienced a new culture. I could have surrendered my innocence again. I could have ignored God's call to my life. So many choices I have made--- and I can honestly say I am happy with where I have arrived. Although my lifestyle is to never stay put and I constantly want to be working on myself and others, I am proud of where I am, who I am and the God I serve. 

Sure, I have a lot to learn. And by the end of the week my heart will be broken, guaranteed, but something is coming alive inside of me again. I am smelling that fresh air, I have rejuvenating my hope-- I am living, fully. And all I can think about are the unique qualities that make me- me and how much I enjoy that about myself.

I am the loudest laugh-er at the movies.
And yes, I will step on your toes if we are dancing together.
I will always choose a Reese cup over well, anything.
One tree Hill is and has always been my guilty pleasure.
Secretly, I think I have side bangs to just have a guy tuck them behind my ears.
Wearing bows in my hair may be a style I never rid myself of and drinking ice coffee at midnight is a bad habit I honestly don't want to kick.

I am me. And someday someone will love that enough not to leave-- because they too will have been formed by God for me to love, to cherish, and it will be right. It won't be work, somehow it will just fit. But, that love is not for now. That does not mean it is not him, for sure- it's just not for now. Now, I am to be me, for me and for the God who created me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I woke up to a day...

I woke up to a day where the sleep I just got is never enough.
I woke up to a day where it is possible to love someone one day and then not the next.
I woke up to a day where a B is the new A and every error is highlighted in your paper.
I woke up to a day where family drama turns serious and suicidal.
I woke up to a day where the sun is shining and the kids were all out to play.
I woke up to a day where my dreams are beginning to subside and look too big to claim.
I woke up to a day where I am not sure who I am anymore...
but in this day I am sure that God is good and He has a plan
No matter what else this day I woke up to brings-
He is there and He is good.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Emotionless Faith

For years I have struggled with the scripture, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for", What?? I don't get it- isn't the substance the actual thing you hoped for? I have had some friends explain it to me and is does make sense in a different light now. But that is so right on with faith. I mean does it ever make sense?

It brings peace. It brings hope. It stands in the gap of disappointment and bitterness. But does it make sense-- no. Is it easy to wake up each day renewing this faith... sometimes, and sometimes not. The common question though: Is it worth it? Of, course!

For those who know me personally I am in a weird season, different, challenging, emotionless.... that's it. The absence of emotions. It's like I am here and I am truly happy/content but my heart is gone. My soul is satisfied but... stale.

It is almost testing, even though I don't think God tests or probes us to prove ourselves-- but more so do I truly believe even without the emotion behind this "religion"? How about without the constant reminders of love in this "relationship"? When I said I Love You and I am Committed to You--- did I mean it, or were my emotions fleeting?

I am doing everything humanly possible to scream, YES I STILL MEAN IT. I don't care if I can feel you, hear you, sense you. I know YOU are real and I KNOW you love me.

We change our thoughts on life daily. Every moment we have the possibility of responding differently to every situation-- our emotions are so uncontrolled. reckless, and untrustworthy. But He is not-- He is unchanging, unshakable and He is my God, my refuge and with Him at least-- I know where I stand.

-So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2: 5   
-Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. James 1: 3
He is who He is no matter who I am that day. 
I can be the Kerri who is on fire talkin' about freeing the captives and such or I can be the Kerri who defeated daily by torturing thoughts of worthlessness. I can think about the future and plan great dreams based on the word of God or I can use my own past to convince myself it will never happen. 

It's not about the emotion, it's about the truth. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Romans 9

This set of scripture messes with my mind..
Every time I read it I have a different opinion.
Some times when I read it I f
eel like the Jews.
Others I feel like the Gentile.
Some times I think it is completely bogus.
Others I understand more so that He is God.  
Today--  I wanted to be enraged.
Why are some not called?
Or are they called but He knows they will refuse Him?
Either way-- I fall on my face and say thank you, thank you... thank you for choosing me. I  don't really know what else to say. That and thanks again for the wake up call. 

10Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
 14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

 19One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

An Extra Hot Cocoa

I swear it that I would be a great waitress.
I use to be such a good barista at Starbucks.
Always giving that extra smile, whip cream and listening ear.
That is not to brag... but that is just who I am.

A lot of the times that I go out I do not get nice waiters.
That always bums me out-- I mean to a point.
I am always trying to talk to them & joke and they just want to know how I want my eggs-- no for real-- that is all they are thinking about.
But last night Ryan & I went out to Friendly's and we had a waitress who gave me an extra hot cocoa.

This is not about the hot cocoa.
It is about going above and beyond.
It was about her kindness.
It was about her crossing the "cultural norms" and still doing something nice for me.

Upon leaving I asked Ryan "Ya know we have had her a couple of times- do you think she knows who we are?" Ryan answered, "Yeah I bet she knows we are the couple who comes in everyone once in awhile, prays before meals, and leaves a good tip"

All three were true. I bet she does remember us and the tip we leave. And now that has me thinking... I wonder what *impression* we leave on her and everyone we meet.

I bet people think we are pretty happy.
We sure laugh a lot.
We talk the whole time and like to engage those around us in the conversation.
We obviously like the combination of ice cream and hot fudge, but I bet she doesn't know...

She doesn't know how sad I really was drinking that extra hot cocoa.
She doesn't know that he cut me off mid-way through my prayer so he could eat his sandwhich.
I bet she doesn't know how much that free hot cocoa meant to me.

Not only does she not know-- but most likely she does not care.
I mean whose heart really breaks over each person they meet wondering what turmoil they are going through that day?
Who takes that much time to consider what others are really going through.
We physically can't. There is not enough time to sit down and really help everyone and hear them out.

So can we at least agree to give that extra cup of cocoa?
I know I am. Because, wow- did I need that.
It may have been warm outside but my heart was quite cold.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Curfew of our Hearts

Luke 11:27-30
As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!" But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" When the crowds were increasing, he began to say,"This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation."

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it... 
Blessed. Are those. Who. Hear. The word of -God- AND keep it... 
Keep it. The word of God. 
Blessed are you.
He has called me to holiness.
He has called me to literally lived a -set apart- life. 

The bible calls for us to do a lot. Love. Love rightly. Withhold judgment. Keep our cool and not murder people. We are reminded of these things daily...

But He also calls us to Holiness.

...He calls us. He calls me. Why are we not answering?  "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?"  -- Luke 6:46

He was he sign of Jonah for OUR generation. If you do not know the significance of that, look it up. See what message God sent with Jonah.
He calls us to holiness because He knows what happens to us when we do not live a holy life. 

That is what we like to call, the Father heart of God. 
He wants us to succeed. 
Always has.
Same reason earthly fathers give curfews... they know the destruction the darkness brings. So does God- the Father.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Winter Clothes

I am in this shedding season I feel like. 
I have collectively over the years borrowed, taken or collected things from others and currently they are in a pile in my new place and I just want rid of them. 
I wanted a new bedset for here. To kind of start over. Look fresh. 
Shake off the old and start with the new. 

I know I just made a big transition in my life and with anything in my life I feel like its a go big or go home kind of move. I want rid of it... all. I'm over it, moving on... NEXT.

What does that even mean? You know that first feeling of taking off the bulky sweater and throwing on a tank top? Like those winter clothes had been carrying you down all year and now its time to throw them off, bag them up and move on. It's summer baby! *takes fresh breath of air*

That's how I feel.

However it is not all sunshine and rainbows taking that first step into summer. Summer exposes a lot. your less covered up and surrounded by people a whole lot more. Your favorite sweater is found in the trash bag of clothes. The comfort that kept you going all winter. Cold nights, it kept you warm. Feeling chubby days, it hide it from the world. Bonfire nights, perfect. Going for a walk, perfect. Out to dinner, of course. 

Now... I have outgrown it.
I am shedding what and when I least expected it. 
My roaming heart is still roaming.
I am not home yet.
I moved in and all my boxes are unpacked but my heart is still searching, still restless. 
It is looking love. 
Its looking for a place to unpack, a place to rest and pour it's treasures out to.
I know that seems corny-- but really, it is. 
And once you have felt that feeling you'll understand.

Sometimes I want my sweater, hide from the world behind what I have always known.
Other times, I want to strip down-- bear it to the world in a jean skirt & flip flops. 
Take chances, feel the sunshine and run like crazy.

 Lord, you know all. You made all. Show me what it is I am suppose to do. I can't do this without you. Dream big, or stay realistic. Shed it all or keep some of the old. Move on or stick it out. I trust you. I believe in you. Talk to me. I miss you.