Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Choosing to trust.

It is true, trust is always our battle. Trusting that God is good. Trusting that He cares. Trusting that He can do it better than I can in my own efforts anyways. Trusting that He will lead me- and He will work out the end. Trusting that when I hurt- He can heal me.

It has been one of those days where you have to write out a few verses and remind yourself of them over and over, just to make it. Quite truly, it has been one of those weeks.

This is what I've found to be true: The Lord is able, willing, and longing. And in the end, He will work all things out. Don't put time restraints on when He will act, just trust, that He will.

I've been seeking answers and He won't give me a 'yes' but he also won't give me a 'no.' In fact, as I look at certain situations that appear to be no's- and I am ready to just let them be- I feel like He is saying, "wait- I didn't say no." Sometimes, we want an answer so bad, something solid to settle on, that we'd as quickly take a no to our desires as a yes..... just because it allows us to get out of the discomfort of the unknown and the waiting. I'm living in the discomfort of the unknown... so long I'm considering sending in my papers and requesting resident status at this point. I realized last night, God likes to lead me step by step. It is probably because He knows if He said 'hey- it's my plan for you to go to spot B and accomplish D' - I'd start making it happen. He'd much rather walk each step out with me- force me to stop, look in His eyes, quiet, listen, become desperate.... and eventually follow where He leads me.

He has always been faithful- and I know this is not the end, for far too many things are yet to be worked out. Aw trust. Trust, and tea, and prayer, and reading, and guarding my thoughts -- this is my life right now. I often remind myself of an admonition from Pastor Norm one Sunday morning, "If we don't quit- we win." I think we've mostly learned that if He doesn't say 'yes' we shouldn't do it- but now I'm learning that if He doesn't say 'no'- I shouldn't quit. The first lesson protects us and keeps us safe- the second lesson (perhaps learned by fewer) will release us to do great things and save us from an ordinary life. Both require trust- and great courage.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Favorite Vegas quotes:

"You are this awkward little girl with these big pretty eyes, it's very powerful and you don't know how to use them." -Kristin

"What the crap?!" - Kimberly

"Kati may not like Vegas, but Vegas likes Kati." -Kristin

"Somebody pleased the vegas gods- it must be all that elvis statue kissing." -Kristin

"Then what'd you stop for?!" -Kimberly

"Whatever the crap?" -Kimberly, requoted by Kristin, requoted by Katrina

I want to learn how to change my car's oil.

In high school, I thought it would be the coolest thing to be a mechanic... not as a career (I wanted to be a writer and a mom...that's been my plan for a looong time), but just as a high school job. What would be cooler than a chick mechanic in high school? My uncle lived with us for years, and he and I talked countless times about him teaching me about cars, but he never did. I did get to attend a number of antique car shows with him across the years, but I retain nothing but the memory and the term "suicide doors." Shameful.

That said, I am back home and am sitting in my cubicle at work, having become newly recommitted to being IN the office for the majority of my work week. And as I sit here and fiddle with my to-do lists... many random thoughts surface. Like the fact that my oil change is past due and I wish I would have made Uncle Charlie teach me back when I had the chance... I may not be a chick mechanic, but at least I'd be saving myself some good money every few months.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I have never considered myself much of a cat person... but. My last visit to Tennessee, Banks (Kim's diva cat) began to warm me up, as after many years in our friendship, she had finally decided she would seek affection. Apparently, with two big labs in the home, the once queen of the castle was feeling a bit infringed upon and had determined to cuddle, as a cat should.

Next up, the short-lived, but much loved Unger kittens absolutely stole my heart. I loved the scripture, yes. I loved supporting my good friends Braden & Joel, yes. I loved the delicious scones, yes. But mostly, I came to Monday Night Bible Study to hold the kittens, Bronte and Indie. Phew, the truth is finally out.

I consider this all to have some positive aspect, in that it demonstrates me overcoming the once frightful creatures. My early experiences with cats was a love-hate. I loved the soft little kittens at my aunt and uncles. I hated their cats- who also hated me. One particular one had it out for me- I kid you not, the thing had singled me out as the weakest link (for sure the youngest), and would lie in wait to attack my legs and feet whenever I walked by. Kris can recount how I would climb on top of the pool table- walk across it, to jump to the couch, to table to chair- all to avoid that cat's attacks. Banks was about the same when Kim lived here. I remember a distinct night where I got up in the middle of the night, walked out of Kim's room, and suddenly there was a cat, dangling from my thigh! If I left a foot or arm over the edge of a chair- attacked. Cats. :/

And now, I've met Jack. This mischievous, soft little creature is so adorable- if only I could get him to stay in my suitcase, I might be stowing a kitten away in my room. I love little tabby cats- not sure why. He's so sweet, and his little green eyes just get me.

So you see, I've never considered myself a cat person- but I fear these little soft, trouble-making creatures may have actually turned me into one without my ever knowing it.

I'm a little concerned.

4 bridesmaid dresses in the closet, a 5th to be added shortly... and a newly recognized love - no affection - for cats. Add this to my undeniable book-addiction and I'm well on my way to trouble.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I discovered today that I still love sitting on sidewalks for no reason at all, just staring at ants and hearing the breeze move the trees. I hope I always love sitting on sidewalks staring at ants.
I stole this from Madison. In light of my last post, it seemed applicable. ;) To reach a port, we must sail.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I am so blessed with the people around me.

In fact, when I think about it, it makes me feel quite foolish for wanting to be alone at times, when one of my greatest treasures is the people I get to live life with.

The past few days I have been thinking how grateful I am for friends who I can count on, people like Tyson, Joel and Theresa... all three I know would come through for me if I needed them. I saw an older woman walking out of church yesterday with this little rain bonnet on and it reminded me of a dear memory with Tyson. Dear, because we laughed so hard, and because of the conviction that I gained that he'd look out for me. Riding the bus home one rainy day our Freshman year, we saw this sweet old lady wearing a rain bonnet, waiting at the bus stop. For some reason, I think I teased that would be me, and after a good laugh, Tyson assured me he would never let me be an old lady riding the bus.... no matter what. And that's how he is. When Kris and I needed a ride home from the airport this week, and he had a meeting planned, he said, "let me know- if you need- our meeting will be a drive to the airport." Joel, also committed to something else (and who drove us already TO the airport), let me know he'd make it work if needed. But it wasn't, because Theresa came, and in her gracious and funny way, didn't even make me feel bad about her having to make that long trek. I'm so grateful for these people- that I can call on, that I can inconvenience. There is a certain quote of friendship, which I have long loved "It is the severest test of friendship to tell a man his faults. So to love a person so much that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, that is true friendship." But, I think the severest test of friendship may actually be if you can call on them in need... knowing that you can inconvenience a person is perhaps one of the greatest, and strangest comforts there is. You still feel bad for inconveniencing them- but you feel more warmth and gratefulness for them then if that need had never arisen, so in some way, you are grateful to have a need that you cannot yourself fill. Oh how brilliant God is. :)

I'm rich I tell you. I saved my graduation cards 'til I returned from Vegas, and boy was I glad. I loved taking the evening alone to read through each one- enjoying the way each person wrote my name on the envelope and trying to guess who it was from. Words are certainly the clearest path to my heart. I even received cards in the mail from those who couldn't come (and one from a person I carried an invite around for days for and never saw! sad day!!). I am blessed to somehow have been given the friendship of a group of amazing women in our church, Kim Rankin, Linda Cline and Lynn Roberts especially- all three of whom seem to inspire and encourage unique passions in my heart. I have a remarkable young woman as my discipler and small group leader. It is these relationships and so many that surprise me with the Lord's remarkable attention to the daily steps in my journey. I love that he plants people like light posts along our journey to encourage certain devotions, water hearts, introduce ideas, grow passions. How much more complex to weave with human hearts, other human hearts. What beauty His ultimate and initial design must be. I sincerely cannot comprehend it and it brings me to tears. He is so much more careful than we think. He is so much more faithful to us than we believe. He is so much more invested in the threads that seem unravelling in your life than you are. Wait, He is the mastercraftsman. (As always- this is for me as much as I hope it is for you.)

Thank you all for what you invest in my life- the richness you bring. I am blessed.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I hope good changes are on the way- because my heart just feels astir.

You know those times where you feel unsettled, like waves are shifting below you and you'd like nothing better than to spot some solid ground to step onto? It's like I'm waiting to spot that land- and I'm not quite sure where it is, or even exactly where I want it to be. My heart is restless. I know I need to claim some peace at this moment, but it is more than just needing peace, something in my heart is shifting or preparing for a change.

It isn't uncommon for a graduate to be feeling in a season of change- and I keep reminding myself this. But, it's to the point where I don't know if I want to be surrounded by friends, or alone at each moment... it seems neither. And I feel like tears are gathering in my heart- though I know not why, nor even if they are sad. In fact, I do know they are not sad, but neither do they seem happy. It is like I cannot be really happy right now- not until something changes.

And because of this strange position, I hesitate to read, because I feel so vulnerable to whatever emotions I may come across in the book I pick up. I know I could become incredibly melancholy. I dislike tv. The same strange inbetween-ness-unknowing keeps me from being able to select any genre of music. So, I am simply sitting. Perhaps the best thing I can do right now is read some Psalms and focus on praising the Lord.

This reminds me of a recent revelation I had... last Sunday morning, driving to church I was talking with the Lord and hearing how I was needing to be re-postured. And suddenly the Lord began to speak to me about the connection between my present posture and how I was viewing my present and past- and that I needed to re-view my past so that I could be postured correctly in the present. In short, I need to speak gratefulness about where I am and where I have been- in order to posture myself correctly for the present and the future. Not the deepest revelation, but it's altering my present world.

Off to read the Psalms I go, and wait these waves out... trusting that whatever land I am approaching will be good.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

...waiting at the airport to board our plane. I'll be home in a few hours, and the great debate in my head is this: run, or sleep first. Both sound delicious!

Last night we met up with friends for dinner at my favorite restaurant in Vegas, Olives. It was my one request for our stay. When I was here a couple years ago we returned to the restaurant twice, due to the delicious food, alluring and comfortable atmosphere, and especially... Gilbert. My manager had been there 2 months earlier and had loved the bartender, thus she brought me back with her our first night in town for CTIA. Now, two years later, Kris and I arrived first and though I didn't expect to recognize him, once glance and I knew it was my dear old Mexican friend. He is INCREDIBLE! Though I knew he wouldn't remember me, the waitress sent him over to say hello and he was so incredibly sweet. He came and said hello to us four or five times throughout the evening, and even gave kris and I drinks on him for our graduation. I was happy to find that everyone else was as excited by the drinks and food as I had been- it lived up to my memory completely!

After that, us three girls said goodbye to Daniel, Tim and Tim and raced over to Aria to watch Viva Elvis. We wanted to see a Cirque du Soliel show before leaving and the Elvis themed one sounded pretty perfect for us three Kelly girls. We were three of a very few under the age of 50, and definitely the only ones that young singing along to every song. The show was fantastic! We all expected beautiful and amazing gymnastic feats, but the dancing and choreography were incredible- and so diverse. (The superhero trampoline scene seemed a bit random as choreography to Love Me Tender, but I'm the last to judge. Truly, Elvis, trampolines, and superhero suites... sounds like a crowd pleaser to me!)

After a last day at the pool and a quick trip to the famous Serendipity for some Frozen Hot Chocolate, we are sitting in the final moments of our trip- putting off our goodbyes- waiting to board our planes.

See most of you in the morning. Love you all.

(T, thanks for picking me up at the airport- see you soonest! ;)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I am graduated.

I am in Vegas.

I am with BOTH of my sister.

I am well-rested (after sleeping our first 16 hours here).

I am in my swimsuit.

I am smiling.

I am about to be reading by a pool. :)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Sitting at the birthing center- Michaela Susan and I listening from the other room. We are amazed by how strong and peaceful Elise sounds as she is fighting to get this sweet baby girl out. It's harder to listen to her in pain than I expected though- and still so impacting. What a wonderful woman you are Elise- I can only hope I have as much grace and courage as you through this process. Always so tender, even in times of stress and pain, it shouldn't be surprising that she even is while in labor. What a woman- what a loving mommy.

We are praying for you Lou Lou and can't wait to meet Aurelia Bliss.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Ecclesiastes 3. How had I forgotten all about this chapter? And how has it never seemed quite 'right' before? Somehow, this past week, it's been exactly what my heart needs to hear.

3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.


Oh Lord, help me to perceive what each time is... what time today is, and not to worry too much about what kind of time tomorrow will be. Help me to live today in a beautiful and courageous way. Give me Your joy that can't be overcome. Help me to be faithful, today. Lord, give me courage and grace to accept whatever season I am in and see the changes from where you see them- a sure ground and safe place that never trembles. George MacDonald once said, 'The best preparation for the future is the present well seen to and the last duty done." Oh the sound of faithfulness. Let my life make such a sound.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Late-Night Finals Observations:

There are a lot more weird people at uvillage at midnight than during normal operating hours.

Others are probably looking at me and having the same thought I just listed above--- I am the only one sitting outside wrapped up in a blanket with a stack of books, snacks, coffee-- writing in a notebook, a wad of stapled papers, and a laptop all at once. It's the blanket that probably concerns others.

Will the security guards kick me out at 1am when Starbucks closes? I wonder...

Is it ironic that I am racing to finish this thesis on the imagery of childbirth, so that I don't miss the birth of Auri??

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Today has been a very painful day.

Painful to my pride, painful to my thesis, painful to my wallet, painful to my lovely white macbook which took a ride on the hood of my pathfinder. It lived bravely. It died in a manner which few macs can ever claim to- flying.

While this may prove to be a blessing in disguise, it just came at a very inconvenient time, costing me my only remaining 'day off' before my final thesis is due. But regardless, it is 12:30am and I am typing on a beautiful new macbook, and all my files were able to be successfully transferred. Mac, you make beautifully strong products, thank you.

Ashes to beauty. Or, battered to beauty.

I have to thank my dad for being a huge blessing to me today!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Tea and typing-tapping from my finger tips. 

After this evening, I will only have my senior thesis to complete. I took my last 'final exam' yesterday and tonight am finishing my Internship Paper. Tomorrow marks the final push on my Thesis and Monday will mark the end of my undergraduate experience. Tuesday I celebrate with a little personal time. I think that is what is pushing me to not request an extension (as I know at least 80% of my class will end up doing). I want to be done. I want to celebrate. I want to rest. I want to breathe air that doesn't smell of old books and old battles. (okay- I'm sure in a week I'll miss it- but new books sound fun too for a bit!!) 

Tuesday, alone fun and rest (catching up on all the neglect of my 'curb appeal' over the past 2 months of school and work craziness! You're welcome mom ;)
Wednesday, English dept graduation and then movie night at T's!! 
Thursday, probably work, and homegroup.
Friday, Kim flies in!! 
Saturday, Commencement!
Sunday, Kristin's Commencement! 
Monday, My graduation party!
Tuesday, Off to Vegas with K&K!