Monday, April 30, 2012

Calendars

In the classroom today I was changing the calendar on the bulletin board. It's a new month tomorrow you know? Just a month left of school, and off we go! One of the girls in the classroom was telling me about how she can't sleep at night because she's so excited for camp. She's coming the first week in July and she's going to be in my cabin, she informs me everyday. Two months away, and I can hardly stand the wait as well!
As I hung the numbers of the month up on the wall I recalled the last day of school when I was in 3rd and 4th grade. I feel that crying on the last day of school was just sort of a tradition growing up. The teachers would cry, the students would cry, it was just one big cry fest as the teachers made the final announcement of the day, "...the year has gone by faster than I'd expected, and it's been so much fun having each of you in my class this year! I'm really going to miss you all!" And I wondered what the last day of class would look like in this classroom. Would anyone cry? I can't imagine they would, but I did when I was young. I never wanted to grow up. Moving a grade higher meant I was growing older, losing time in life.
Time has always been my biggest struggle. I want to look back and say that I used my time wisely... Well, maybe wisely isn't the word I want. More that I took advantage of the time I'd been given and lived FULLY, stocking up on memories and living out every opportunity offered.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Freshman

I'm so busy, in all honesty, most of the time I can't even stand living.
I NEVER get a day to just chill and rejuvenate. On Sabbath I either have to sing in ICantori for church, or teach Sabbath school at the city church, or like this next weekend, go on an SM retreat, which I'm excited for, but it's just another things I HAVE to do, and I never get a break to do my own thing. There's never a full day that I don't have to be somewhere or do something, and if I'm given a few minutes of free time, my friends think I'm mad at them when I don't want to hang out in my hour of free time each week. I'm just so exhausted. I can't do it anymore.
And the stress is building. Today I was suppose to decide where to go SM for next year. I'll be going to talk with Jeanne about it any minute now, and I'm even more torn than I was this morning.
Indonesia was completely out of the picture yesterday, but this morning I found out they want me to come... so does Thailand, and Costa Rica. What do I do?
I was thinking about how all I want right now is to go back to being a freshman at Lake City Jr. Academy. How RELAXING and FUN my life was, and I didn't even realize it! I never even thought about life in the same way as I do now. Life was so EASY.
Go to school.
Laugh and play and hang out.
Come home, no homework or some homework depending on the day.
Go on a run, or play basketball, or "myspace", read a book, jump on the tramp, ride bikes, hike, bake, take any choice of these fun activities.
Eat an already prepared meal for dinner.
Watch some Lifetime or Hallmark channel show or movie.
Go to bed at 8 if I was tired, or at 10 if I wasn't.
Wake up and repeat.
SO STINKIN' EASY.
All I want now is to STOP THE CLOCK. Just STOP living for a little bit. Get re-energized, less stressed, and then press play... maybe even fast forward a bit so I don't have to make this life changing decision. I just need to get out of here. It's too fast. Just get me out.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Down in the Valley

It's like a mountain and a valley. Everyone wants to be on the mountain, it's bright and beautiful with the sun shining in all it's glory, and the view from on top is phenomenal. The journey consists of each step it takes to get to the top. But sometimes, we fall, we give up, or we turn around and find ourselves back in the valley. The valley is dark, and there's not much beauty to thrive on. It's lonely and desolate. Empty and barren. BUT, it's in the VALLEY that you discover the River, overflowing with the Water of Life. Only there can you REALLY find the water that will carry you through to the top. Only then can you drink and never go thirsty again. Only THEN can you begin truly living.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Move Us

Last week at church was the first week in about 5 months that I didn't have to teach Sabbath school, sing for church, or go on a trip. I sat in the audience during the postlude, and watched one of my friends conduct the band from my old high school. He was smiling and bouncing on his toes to the beat. He brought me so much joy. Just watching him do his thing, and enjoy what he loves. A quote popped into my head just then:
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”He inspired me to go out and do the things I love! But I lack the time and energy now days. I've lost the passion and zest I once acquired at the beginning of the year, and I feel myself growing to be boring, not by choice --just by life. But that day, I was inspired. I got out and did something I love. I went with an incredible group of people and canoed across a lake, ate a picnic, layed out in the sun, canoed around for fun, came back and ran 5 miles, and slept out under the sparkling stars. It's amazing how inspiration can move you.
We get the word inspired from the word spirit.One of the questions on my Bible test last week was: What is the earth mostly made of? Answer: Spirit.
Now where does this spirit come from? Where is it? Is it really everywhere?Two weeks ago, one of my best friends, who has observed a lot of interesting facts about my personality lately, told me I have a lot of "spirit" whatever that's suppose to mean. Good! I don't want to be boring.
I wonder where this spirit comes from? Is it inside everyone? Maybe only a fortunate few? Is it more than just a spunky personality? Is it maybe, literally a "spirit"? Maybe the Holy Spirit lives in everything? Is everything that's "good" the Holy Spirit? What about the evils in the world? The people that corrupt our world? Is there good in everyone? EVERYONE?
I don't know... I'm just on a mission to figure this out.
Maybe just like inspiration gives boosts of energy to make you move, the spirit also gives energy to move hearts. Maybe, just maybe, they're one in the same. --both leaving us with deep joy, a persistant desire, a burning passion, and a lifetime of satisfaction.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Extremist

Today I was called an "extremist" by a close friend. I told her my story of how I cheated four days in a row this week on my vegan diet goal for this month and yesterday I decided to give up and start again in May. So, in honor of giving up, I ate a pint of ice cream at about midnight last night, which was a bad decision because I felt like puking immediatly after. This morning I still felt sick, so I decided to go on a juice diet today, and by 5:00 this evening I had the WORST headache. "Man Karalee, no sugar for 3 month, vegan for a month, a whole PINT of ice cream to end it, and now a juice diet to justify the ice cream. You're the most extreme person I know! Always going ALL THE WAY!" When I think about it, it sort of makes sense.
This girl came and talked for our Psychology class today, and she used the analogy of a faucet. There's a hot handle, and a cold handle, but no inbetween. That's how she is, and in a lot of ways, that's how I seem to be too.
Exercise
Healthful eating
Friends
God
Fun
Homework
Church
School
Work
Clothes
You can take anything really, and in MY life, it's always one extreme or the other, but it just can't be in the middle. No border line. It's strictly YES or NO. HOT or COLD. All for it, or all against it. And trust me, it fluctuates often, in all of these things.
I remember talking to a best friend on the phone a few months ago and telling him about something I just wasn't sure about but I had to make a huge decision on. "I don't know, I'm just right in the middle, hangin' out right on the borderline."
His response to THAT is still with me, and rings in my head clear as crystal every so often. He said, "Oh no Karalee. You've choosen. You've definitely choosen. You've picked your side. Just listen to yourself talk."
Always one extreme or another. Never borderline. Sometimes it may SEEM like it's borderline, and not so obvious, but it totally is. I've always picked a side, even without realizing it. I'm either on fire for it, or completely burnt out and dead with it. One extreme or another. I am an "extremist" even though I struggle with consciously making decisions. Can't figure that one out yet.

College Nights

I feel like today is a prime example of what college is suppose to look like. Jogging in the morning at 7, a smoothie afterwards and class till 2. Work from 2-4, and then a surprise visit from a good friend who came and made me a frappacino at my house while I was doing dishes that have been sitting in the sink for almost a week. Rushing off to play soccer on my intramurals team. SO fun! Racing off to class at 6 to go till 8. Bowling right after until 10:30. Haagen dazs coffee ice cream. Consume the whole pint by myself (only the second time I've ever ate a pint of ice cream in one sitting in my entire life... awesome!). Back to my house at midnight feeling really energized, but really just wanting to puke. Bed time calls my name now, and we'll start the cycle again tomorrow, except next time with a bit more homework in the picture.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Parents

Today, a pastor put it like this:
I have a child who is pretty private. They don't like to talk about their day at school or if it was good or bad, they keep to themselves, and they're pretty reserved. They think they don't need parents anymore, and it's true, they don't really. As a parent I've provided my kids with a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, and an education, but beyond that, they don't need me. I was there all along to get them grounded and growing, but there comes a point when they realize they don't need me in order to survive. They could leave and "be fine". As a parent I only want what's best for my child, and I want to know how their day went, or the frustrations they have, not to be controlling, but because I LOVE them. I want to know them. I want to establish a relationship with them. I've never left my kids. I've been with them all along, providing for them. And if they don't want my help, that saddens me, but I want them to be happy, and if they think getting away is the answer, then they can give it a try. But I will always still be here loving them. That will never change. And they are always welcome to walk back in my house and make a cup of tea. It's like in Acts 14:17, "But He never left them without evidence of Himself and his goodness. For instance, He sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts." The joy that you feel on blissful days, is evidence of God. He provides you with all goodness. See, God has never left, he has been and is providing you with things everyday. And his doors are wide open to welcome you back home.

"Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." -James 1:17

Friday, April 13, 2012

Costa Rica!!!!!!!!

Live with a spanish family, struggling financially.
Work in a school, struggling financially.
100 American dollars a month.
Spanish speaking.
English teacher.
Grades k-6.
15 students.
3-7 mile walk to school (trails in the jungle).
Safe- small community.
Remote.
On a mountain (high elevation).
Rains a LOT.
Not hot, just warm.
Tourists in the city (a ways away).
Butterflies.
Exquisite birds.
Zip lines!!!
Waterfalls!
SOUNDS BEAUTIFUL! I'm so excited I could jump up and down and run around for hours! I haven't made a final and complete decision, but right now, it looks like this is what's happening. The school will except an independent volunteer which is GREAT news!!!! I'm so excited! I just want to sing! I'm still hoping and wishing Indonesia would get back with Jeanne, but WWU has never sent a missionary there before, and it's hard to contact anyone at that school. Either way, I can't wait to see what happens!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Untouched Thoughts

Over Spring break, I went with my mom to her regular Sabbath School group, since we're recently lacking a collegiate group at our church. The topic for the week was "giving."
Two things struck me as we were talking:
1.) What is true generosity? And
2.) What does the Bible really say about giving to those in need?

I find myself always "giving back." I'm constantly pushing myself to give, but not for the right reasons. Even the slightest things trigger an impulse, "give back" my mind tells my body, and immediately that person and their gift are ingrained in my head, until I can repay them with my own gift. But then is that really a gift? More like one more thing I need to check off my to-do list.
Gift:
1.)something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.
2.)something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned:
I have this friend who just LOVES giving, and she inspires me everyday. She keeps giving and giving of herself. Time, objects, money, I can hardly keep up! I always feel the need to repay her. Sometimes, I even try to beat her to the punch line and give her something before she can give ME something, because I know she will. It's almost become a game, and I feel that generosity has nothing to do with it. Is this guilt driven action even considered giving? Or is it more a chore? Can it even be considered generosity? It's not from the goodness of my heart, so maybe it doesn't mean anything at all? But I really do love my friend, and I value our friendship more than any gift could say. That is the gift, our raw friendship. But maybe "giving" is the wrong way of showing this.

One of the ladies in the group made the comment that the Bible says, "if you can't work, you can't eat." This really threw me for a loop. What?! The Bible actually SAYS that?! But what about the verse that talks about serving others? What happened to "anything you've done unto the least of these, you've done also to me" and our responsibility to take care of those in need? Why would the Bible say (in other words) "get off your lazy bums and earn your share!" This made me curious. So I looked it up. Sure enough, in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 it says, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." But reading this verse with a bit more context, verses 10-13:
"Don't you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? 'If you don't work, you don't eat.' And now we're getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep. Friends, don't slack off in doing your duty."
I don't think the Bible is literally saying if you don't work you can't eat. What about those stay at home mom's? What about those beggars on the side of the road in the towns Jesus walked through? He showed compassion for them, and we are to also. I DO think the Bible is encouraging people to be diligent, consistent, energetic, hard workers.
"Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth." -Proverbs 10:4
"How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest -- and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man." -Proverbs 6:9-11

A man came and talked at our school for Chapel last week about his experience as a homeless man. He took a year out of college and choose to live on the streets and go hungry for the experience. I actually really want to do this, but being a girl, I feel it would be impossible to be safe. He told about how one day he went into this sandwich shop, smelly, dirty, and hungry, and sat in the corner. 3 different Bible study groups walked in the door not long after he'd been there, one after another. These people bought sandwiches and opened their Bibles for discussions. Each group eventually saw the others and their Bibles wide open, and decided to make a joint study group. Not once did these groups of christians even acknowledge the presence of this hungry man. His story broke my heart. How often I find myself doing the same thing. Avoiding eye contact and walking swiftly past the beggars on the street to avoid confrontation. This speaker told us that after his experience of being homeless, every week he would go out on the streets and find homeless people, give them a hug and talk with them. One homeless guy told the speaker that their conversation had been the first he'd had in a week. He was the first guy that gave him the time of day. Sad. Wrong. Selfish. And yet, I am to blame. How do I fix this problem? How do I love those I've grown to deem as "unlovable"??? Where do I start? What can I do NOW? What can I give to make the difference? And how do I give as a gift?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter, Eggs, and Energy!

Last night was one of my favorites this whole year! Justin and Jon went and got stuff for all of us to make sugar cookies and decorate them and easter eggs. Then we tried to cram on two mats in a tent outside in the
backyard and watch a movie, and tell stories, and secrets. I'm not sure any of us really slept a wink. Shannon and I woke up this morning and hid the colorful eggs in the yard for the boys to find. Then we sang and danced on our way to
Starbucks. Driving on our way back I just KNEW today was going to be a good day. It's just this feeling running deep in my bones, and it feels SO GREAT! I went to my grams for a beautiful brunch with lavendar scones and colorful fruits, and fresh squeezed orange juice. The sun is shining and I'm ready to conquer this homework, tackle my house cleaning, go swim hard, and accomplish great things!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Stronger

It's really exactly like what Kelly Clarkson say's, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
Lunges and squats, running, races, soccer, volleyball, swimming, jump rope, dodgeball, basketball, ultimate frisbee, and around and around it goes. After the first week of the quarter I was dead. I just didn't think I could do it anymore. I was incredibly sore from these activities. It hurt to sit, it hurt to stand, it hurt to walk, it definitely hurt to run, and if my jogging instructor told me to do one more lunge, I was going to throw a fit! "Fire up those glutes!" She always says in her best workout barbie doll voice. It burns! But it was sort of a good burn. I was the most sore I've been in probably a good 3 or 4 years. And this last week, I wasn't as sore as the first, but I was even MORE active, and I feel myself slowly getting use to this feeling. It feels good, I almost crave it. I like knowing that when I'm sore, I'm getting stronger. Everyday I'm tearing down the muscles in my body and rebuilding them, more endurable, to really last and make me strong.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

We're ALL Awesome!

"Karalee come play soccer with us!"
"Karalee will you jump rope with me?!!!"
"Karalee let's play bump!"
"I call Karalee on my team for dodgeball!"
"Don't go for Karalee! She'll just catch the ball and get you out! ... Told ya!"
"Karalee is better than ME! She's good at EVERYTHING!"


Let me tell you, if you need some encouragement, or a self-esteem builder, come hang out with my third and fourth grade kids. They're awesome! And pretty much, they think you're awesome too, no matter what you do!
I absolutely LOVE them!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Our Greatest Fear

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
People won't feel insecure around you.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear
Our presence automatically liberates others.
-Marianne Williamson

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Nourishing the Soul


Man, I want to make this much of a difference! What a mission!