Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sustain.

Discouragement.
Contimplation.
Determination.
Contentment.
Conversation.
Commitment.
Friendships.
Acceptance.
Complicate.
Lonliness.
Devotions.
Confusion.
Solitude.
Survival.
Conclude.
Awkward.
Resolve.
Fearful.
Connect.
Defined.
Satisfy.
Conceal.
Support.
Broken.
Empty.
Fight.
Lost.
Shy.
God.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lukewarm would be nice.

I don't know what changed, how it changed, or when it changed, but it did. I thought Christmas break would fix the problem, maybe we were just getting tired of each other. Nada. That would be a negative. Everything she says these days is awful toward me. Some sort of put down. I don't get it. And when things get hard in my life, when bad days do come, she's there like she really does care and wants to help... in a way. It's hard to explain, but it kind of hurts. I ache for her. I wish I knew what was going on. I wish we could find a compromise, somewhere inbetween this hot and cold.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Problem Solving...


The last couple days have reminded me a lot of 5th grade math class. Word Problems. I'm horrible at those long wordy questions, I would much rather just be given a straight up, no messin' around equation to figure out. And the worst part about these math questions thrown at me lately, is that I'm not in a math class this year, so I'm pretty rusty.

The recent problem over the last 3 days has sort of gone like this:

Problem: Kari has $15.50 to spend at the carnival, her cousin Carrissa has $20. They search for 10 hours trying to find something worth their money to buy. How much money does Kari's friend Ron have?

What would be your guess? Exactly. This makes no sense. Now read it again. Analyze it. Go over it a million more times in your head and you'll be 1/4 way close to feeling the same way I was yesterday. Totally, and utterly lost in confusion. And once you think you might have it figured out, you'll probably decide there's no way your answer could be correct. Because trust me, it isn't.




Answer: 5 tickets

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Defeated Victory

The worries and troubles of the day were just starting to melt away as the half-time buzzer rang. The score board was tied, 20-20. We could do this. It was the first game I had actually wanted. The starters headed out and got into position. Swish, swish, swish, the battle on the score board continued. We stacked in a line as we passed the ball in. One person swung out to the right, the other to the left, I ran straight ahead and then quickly backwards. Sweat was rolling down my bright red face, as I put my hand over my heart unsure of how much longer it could take. I began to feel faintish, sure to hurl at any minute. 6 minutes left in the game, I could hold out. I immediately began to have flashbacks to the longest run I've ever ran. I thought of how much of a struggle it was, but how accomplished I felt afterwards, and I decided it was worth the fight, so I kept running. They were up by 2 now, the ball was passed in and we headed down the court. Swish, 3 points, we were up by one. Swish, they were up by one. And so it continued. We found ourselves down by 1 in the last 45 seconds of the game, but not for long. Swish, we were up by 2, there was 7 seconds left, we were all convinced we had it. None of us were ready for the screen that came next and the shooter that popped out. BEEP! The buzzer screetched as the ball left the hands of the player and flew through the air. SWISH! 3 points. I looked unbelieveable at the score board.

Home: 49 Guest: 48

All of that for nothing. We had lost. We could no longer call ourselves "undefeated." We were done for. I felt dizzy and lightheaded. My heart was pounding in my chest. The stench from the concession stands, mixed with all the water I had drank and ran on, were making me feel nauseous. I was dissapointed.
I began to wonder if it had been worth the effort. But then I thought about how close we had come. What a great defeat it would have been. How the last shot was straight from the movies and nothing but pure luck. I knew we had done our best, and that's all you can give. For the first time we had all been in it to win it, as a team. We had played well.

People always make the cheesy, cliche, comment of, "Everyones a winner in my heart!" Or something to that extent. But when I look at how far we've come, how close we were, how good it actually was, I feel accomplished. In fact, I really do feel like the winner.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dehydrated

As a deer gets thirsty
for streams of water,
I truly am thirsty
for you, my God.
In my heart, I am thirsty
for you, the living God.
When will I see your face?
Day and night my tears
are my only food,
as everyone keeps asking,
"Where is your God?"
-Psalm 42: 1-3

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Change In The Making


There’s a better version of me
That I can’t quite see
But things are gonna change
Right now I’m a total mess and
Right now I’m completely incomplete
But things are gonna change
‘Cause you’re not through with me yet

This is redemption’s story
With every step that I am taking
Every day, you’re chipping away
What I don’t need
This is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be
I am a change in the making

Wish I could live more patiently
Wish I could give a little more of me
Without stopping to think twice
Wish I had faith like a little child
Wish I could walk a single mile
Without tripping on my own feet
But you’re not through with me yet

This is redemption’s story
With every step that I am taking
Every day, you’re chipping away
What I don’t need
This is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be

From the dawn of history
You make new and you redeem
From a broken world to a broken heart
You finish what you start in everything

Like a river rolls into the sea
We’re not who we’re going to be
But things are going to change

I am living redemption’s story
With every step that I am taking
Every day, you’re chipping away
What I don’t need
This is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be
I am a change in the making

I am a change in the making
I am not who I am gonna be
Moving closer to your glory
-Addison Road

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Closet

I don't know what it is that draws people to me but I feel like a huge closet getting filled to the brim with junk, certain to spill at any minute. It's been growing, at the beginning of the school year slowly at first and now it feels like I'm being hit again and again. More junk thrown into my stuffed space. It's getting to the point where it's hard to keep the doors shut. I think I'm coming close to spilling it all out on the floor.
I never knew I was capable of holding so much stuff, and it's not even MY stuff. It's the broken hearted girls stuff living above me, the atheist on my hall, the empty girl from under the stars, the ex-virgen up the stairs, the girl who comes from a harsh family who gets yelled at every time she trys to talk to her parents about her real dad she just found, the girl who has no idea where her brother is getting all of his drugs or where he's living anymore, the guy who's contimplating if dating his girlfriend while he goes into the military is worth it, the demon possessed kid living a couple hundred feet down the sidewalk, the kids questioning their faith and turning for me to help, the old best friend turning to drugs, alchohol and partying for answers, the lost, lonely, crushed and confused. And in the corner of all this stuff is a small yet heaping pile of my own stuff. Half of it I wish I could throw away so I had more space for other peoples stuff, but I can't seem to get rid of it.
I just pray my closet somehow gets bigger by the end of the week, because the way it looks right now, I won't be able to hold it all in for much longer.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Tall Caramel Macchiato Please


There's something about coffee shops that I can't put my finger on.
Is it the appealing music?
The furniture?
Maybe the way it's arranged?
The smell?
The employees friendly greetings?
The taste?
Or the friend sitting across the table?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

connecting and re-connecting


Just get through today, and you'll be ok. The words I said as advice to a struggling girl this morning ring through my head every second of the day. She was utterly exhausted, in everyway. Just by observing her profile you could see she was weary. She hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. She came down to my room this morning, as I was intently trying to study for my A&P test, and told me about her situation. He had cheated on her. She slowly fit all the pieces together and now she was crushed. No one expected this, not from them, they seemed too perfect. It broke my heart to see her cry. Her lip quivered as she looked off, lost in a dreamland.
"It's gotta be better this way." I said, trying to find some comforting words to support her. "God knows what He's doing. Who are we to judge His plans?"
She said she had no doubt in her mind she was doing the right thing, and that was comforting. She reassured me she was trusting God with this relationship. By looking at her face as she said it, you could tell it was true, and my heart swelled at the thought. Such faith! She promised to tell me more in detail the story another time, and we've made plans to go out for a milkshake during a free period of school today.
I saw her again just before lunch. She almost looked sick, and it made my stomach lurch looking at her and thinking of her situation. For such a positive, joyful girl, you could tell her day was hell. Sitting across the table from her at lunch I recognized the distant look. She wasn't with us. I could see her mind wandering to the conversation she'd had a day before, and to all the times they'd fought, finding all the pieces and connecting them over and over. Hoping and wishing she was wrong!
And yet, her faith is still strong. She is dependent on God. She doesn't know His plan, but she knows He can be trusted. He promised never to leave her, and she believes it with her whole heart. After getting her heart trambled on again and again, she finds the guts to risk once more, this time with an understanding of a God of Love.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tie-Dye, Spaghetti, and African Drums


Tie-dyed for 3 hours today with the Africa Mission Crew making shirts for the whole Bushman village we'll be visiting in Namibia. After we'd finished, we headed off to the Carters house for some good conversation and a delicious spagetti dinner. When we'd finished we sat around the slide show of our destination. We were pumped! When the pictures were through, Mr. Carter shared a few of the miracles that had already happened concerning the trip. It really is a God written trip. Mr. Carter told us to embrace every moment we're given over there. If we find ourselves with a few minutes of break time, we should go get to know the little rascals running around. Not only are we going over there to build a cafeteria, we're going to share God's love. So many times, people come out to help them, and when they leave, the Bushman people say goodbye like it's the last time they'll ever see them because they never know if they'll survive another day. It's that bad. The small villages are going extinct and not many more people will get to visit these places. It's up to us to make the biggest change in their lives, and maybe next time we'll see them in heaven.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

i let go. when will it let go of me?

A year ago today, changed my life forever. It was the last night of Student Week of Prayer Retreat, the night were we all come clean about everything. Every single person has a story to tell, and it either brings tears to the family of us listening or it's so incredibly hard for the person to get through their story without bursting into tears. For me, I was the last one to go. I was scared out of my mind. Apparently I started shaking about half way through the night. I remember Pastor Matt coming next to me as we knelt in a circle around the person who had just finished telling their testimony. We prayed for them and then he asked me if I was ok. He told me I was shaking. A tear trickled down my cheek and I couldn't speak. "Wrong question at the wrong time?" He said. I nodded.
We sat there as the next person went up and took the hot seat. When they finished, and we'd prayed for them we got back up in our seats. Pastor Matt turned to me again, "What's going on?" He asked sincerely.
"I just don't know what to do! At first I was just going to smooth over the subject and briefly explain my spiritual journey, but everyone else is going into full depth, their whole story! Half of me says I owe it to them to do the same, and the other half says I need to just be shallow. I keep going back and forth in my mind, something is telling me to go for it, and something is telling me to hold back. I don't know what to do! Which one do I listen to? I'm scared!" I managed to get out inbetween sobs.
"Just because everyone else is doing something doesn't mean you have to." He said.
"I know, but like you said last night when I asked you why we share prayer requests, 'life is all about building relationships' right?"
"Yeah, but don't feel like you have to share something you're not comfortable sharing."
...
Finally my turn came. I made everyone do jumping jacks to get some endorphins. It was two in the morning and everyone had been crying the whole night. I needed some endorphins to make it. I started with an explanation of how my original intention was to be shallow, but I decided I owed it to them to go deeper. So I went in... it just gushed out. I remember looking into the faces I was telling all of this to, deep concern on their faces.
Hugs came afterwards. Comments of unbelief. Someone with a similiar story stuck by my side and we shared more stories of our past.
The next morning we woke up early to get a head start. I was so insecure. I thought they all looked at me differently now. It was hard. But I'm sure that's how everyone felt.



I sit back and reflect on this tonight and I can't help wondering, what happened? I look at the person I was a year ago and the person I see today and I can't grasp the concept of how quickly change has taken place. About equal change, good and bad. There's only two other SWOP speakers from last year left at this school, but last night we had another come back from college to visit. It was almost a mini reunion. We all agreed it felt very weird to think a year ago we were at Mivoden experiencing what new people are experiencing tonight. We all want to go back SO baddly!

I got a text from one of my best friends on the trip right now. He had drawn out his spiritual journey, and they were getting ready to explain them, they probably just started. He sent me a picture of it, and I found my initials on the page. It brought a few tears to my eyes. I can't wait to hear about their experience when they get back, but I wish I was there!

I don't want to be here right now. All my friends are gone for the evening. My girl friends went out to town. All the boys are partying at a house. And then the rest are gone at SWOP. I had to work front desk this evening, and afterwards I went to dinner right as they were closing, brought my food up to my newly rearrange room and ate it on my bed alone with the Rob Bell background video music playing softly as my form of entertainment, I guess. I wanted to be sympathetic to my situation. I began thinking Woe is me! I'm all alone for the night... the poor girl who misses SWOP retreat. The poor girl whose grandfather died this week. The poor girl whose parents won't let her go out with friends. Oh woe is me. But then I realized sulking isn't going to get me anywhere. No one is here to feel sorry for me, why should I feel sorry for myself. And then I kind of began to enjoy it. I always have people in my room, or I'm visiting in other peoples room. I never have me time. It's kind of nice every once in a while I guess.

Something is welling up inside of me and I thought by putting these lovely words together on a page, and sending it out to the world to see, it would help get it out. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be true. So now I'm back to the beginning. What do I do?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Semester's Up

As you walk out of the Ad building on a Friday afternoon after you've finished with you're last class for the day, you're suppose to feel relief. "It's the weekend!" kids chant down the halls. "Any big plans?" "What are you doing?" "Are you going home?" "Hey it's bro's night out, my house Saturaday night!" etc.
But today, as I walked out of the Ad building I'm more stressed than I've been all week. Oh no! It's the weekend. Crack down time. The end of the semester is a week away. Projects, tests, and more projects and tests to look forward too. So much studying to do! And then I have followers walking beside me talking about their exciting plans for the weekend! "Let's go to Fro-Yo's!... No, Starbucks!" "Should we go to the party tomorrow night?" "Hey, Karalee... what's wrong? No, really, what's wrong?" Blah, blah, blah...
And then I think of SWOP retreat going on right now. I miss last year. I had no idea what to expect, it was incredible. I wish for it. I wish I was there and not here. I need it. Bad! I can't believe it's already been a year...
My head hurts, and I really just need a nap, but there's way too much to do, and not enough time to do it in. It doesn't help that I'm working this weekend.
I really should get started.
I don't know what to do... about anything.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Guilty.

I was probably just finishing my last check on the hall, laughing and talking with the girls about their Christmas. I remember grabbing Apples to Apples out of my room and heading down to the lobby to meet the rest of the R.A.'s. It was a great night. The first night back from break is always fun! We chatted about the exciting things we did over the last two weeks, and laughed and made jokes like normal. We played Apples to Apples with a Truth or Dare twist. And after that, at about 2 in the morning, we sat around asking serious deep questions about relationship problems and what we would do if we ever found ourselves facing them.
I woke up the next morning and found myself back in the daily ritual of getting ready for school. I suddenly got a text from my mom about grandpa.
I got a little sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, and that's when the guilt hit.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Give and Take

Are we all dying? A little more each day? With every breath we take and every pump of blood our heart provides, our bodies just get a little more tired, until they give out completely.
But, we can't all be dying.
Babies are born everyday. They grow a little more everyday. A toddler, into a small innocent child, into a teen, then a kid that assumes because they're in their 20's they're "adults", then those late twenties/early thirties adults that start their own family, and then those on the verge of being old guys and going "over the hill", and then of course we have our grandparents, and then it stops.
But we're growing. Older, yes. Wiser, yes. Spiritually, maybe. Physically, to a point, until your bones start to shrink. Is that the correct time to classify yourself as dying. When you turn old and you begin to get shorter? You're no longer "growing"? You are no longer growing physically. You might get diseases that cause you to forget things, you can no longer retain information, so you're not growing wiser. Depending on who you are, you may still be growing spiritually, or you may not. But yet you are still growing older...
So maybe we are dying everyday. Maybe dying and growing goes hand in hand. In fact, I think we have to die a little in order to grow.
Until the day comes where growing is taken from you and no longer a possibility.
So it comes down to this:
Give and Take.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Recipe For A Happy New Year

Take twelve whole months
Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness,
hate, and jealousy.
Make them just as freash and clean as possible.
Now cut each month into twenty-eight, thirty, or
thirty-one different parts,
but don't make up the whole batch at once.
Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients.
Mix well into each day one part of faith,
one part of patience, one part of courage,
and one part of work.
Add to each day one part of hope,
faithfulness, generosity, and kindness.
Blend with one part prayer, one part meditation,
and one good deed.
Season the whole with a dash of good spirits,
a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play,
and a cupful of good humor.
Pour all of this into a vessel of love.
Cook thoroughly over radiant joy,
garnish with a smile,
and serve with quietness, unselfishness,
and cheerfulness.
You're bound to have a happy new year.
-Unknown