Monthly Archives: May 2010

Namaste island friends, vaya con Dios

So…LOST is over.

I don’t really have any deep thoughts or philosophical musings to share, but I’ll just say that I’m sad. Like I said before, I get sad when things end. I can’t imagine how the cast feels after having been through the entire process together for 6 years; I used to get bummed after working on plays for only a few months. You definitely get attached. The end of the show is truly the end of an era. LOST was some great television that redefined entertainment. I’m sad, but the feeling is more…bittersweet. I’m telling you, that word can describe so much of life! But really, it’s sweet in the sense that it was an amazing story and the characters were so deep and the plot so real. It definitely got weird and had its share of sci-fi mumbo jumbo (which I happen to love, oddly), but in the end, it was about the character’s hearts and souls. It’s sad to watch it come to an end because it actually feels like there was nothing else to say or do. The story was over. Time to move on. I’ll miss looking forward to watching every Tuesday night and clasping my hand over my mouth with a *GASP!* when something shocking happened (i.e. every single week). And I’ll miss talking about it with my friends and saying, “What the heck is going on? Was that a freaking flash forward?! And will Jack and Kate EVER work it out??” But the magic will be forever preserved on dvd and you can bet I’ll watch the series through many times. It is just quality.

And I’m sad mostly because we won’t get to have any more parties like this:

You wish you were as dedicated and cool as us, don’t you?

Well, it was great while it lasted. But as they say, all good things…

Goodbye LOST friends (who are now found), I’ll miss you. It’s been real. Keep in touch.

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Ok, now onto real life! This is the last week the girls will be at school and they’re busy studying for exams. It’s so hard to believe that this time next week they won’t be here! I’ll miss them. And I’ve just felt so out of it lately and disconnected from the school and the girls. I felt despondent this weekend thinking about how disengaged I’ve been and I’ve let time slip by. I’ve just been so wrapped up in my own life (and lazy) that I haven’t pursued girls like I want to. So I’m trying to get in some good hang out time this week. Earlier I took one of them to get coffee during a brief study break and it was so good. I just needed to connect with her because she’s had a lot going on in her life and I wanted to hear about how she’s doing. I also watched the premiere of The Bachelorette with some girls tonight – what better way to sooth the ache of LOST ending than with a trashy/unrealistic/it’s-like-a-train-wreck-I-can’t-look-away-from dating “reality” show?! It was lots of fun. We talked and laughed and judged. Duh, that’s what you do. And I gotta say, not all that impressed with the choices this season. Good luck with that, Ali.

Anyway, I’m going to make it a point to be intentional with girls and be a part of all the end-of-the-year festivities this week. I’ll have plenty of time this summer to sit in my room by myself and watch random movies on Netflix, so for now I need to be present and engaged. I sound like a broken record, but I really can’t believe this school year is coming to a close. Life goes by so fast. It’s true that if you’re not careful, you’ll miss it. I don’t like thinking about time I’ve wasted this year – but I was also learning about how the school works and boundaries and all that. I know next year will be easier and I’ll do a better job. I’m excited to continue the friendships that started this year and make new ones. And I’m excited to sit down this summer and think of ways to reach out to girls and tell them about Jesus. I wouldn’t say I’m ecstatic about living in a boarding school for another year and not in a house or apartment, but it works for now. Besides, one of my friends interviewed to be a house counselor, so if she comes it’ll be a blast! I’ll have someone in my corner who loves Jesus and girls. She’ll be a Young Life leader with me…she just doesn’t know it yet. But all being a “Young Life leader” means is loving kids and sharing your life with them. It’s just a label. We’re here for Jesus! I hope Kelly gets the job. We would rock this place.

And with that, friends, I’m off to bed.

I’ll probably dream about Jack Shephard.

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Question: How does a day turn from mediocre to fun and special?

Answer: Jesus and people.

Today started off pretty well. I got to the office early and felt very productive for a few hours, then I went off to a job interview. No, not an interview for a full-time job – I interviewed for a part-time admin job at my church in the youth ministry department. I talked to the director for about an hour and we had a good talk. The job would basically be what I do at the YL office, so not too much to learn. And I think I’d be good at it. I like having the freedom to be creative and use my gifts of communication. Plus, it pays well even though it’s only about 12 hours a week. It seems like it will fit in perfectly with my schedule now because the regional office is pretty flexible. It will be a bit like last year when I was working at the office and Banana Republic, but far less stressful. BR had weird hours and I just have no passion for retail. I don’t really have a strong passion for administrative things, but I am good at them and I don’t mind the tasks. It’s good for this stage of my life.

So the interview went well, but when I got back to the office I just realized that I was overwhelmed. The thought of having another job disrupts my sense of calm because it will just throw a kink in my routine. But I think I’ve gotten a little lazy and so more structure and responsibility would probably be healthy for me. I’ve also applied for some full-time jobs and wonder if I should wait and see if anything happens with those. I just left thinking, what should I do? I don’t like that unsettled feeling. Anyway, I started getting a little irritable at work and all I have to say is I’m so thankful for Elisabeth Bishop. She is one of the best people God could have put in my life. She’s our regional administrator so we work very closely together. This woman sees me at my best and worst and loves me so well. And we could not be more different. I approach life emotionally and loudly and Elisabeth prefers to sit back quietly and listen. She is lots of fun and one of the friendliest, kindest people I’ve ever met. Lately I’ve just expressed to her some frustrations I have about my job and she’s been very gracious. Usually she just listens to me because she knows I need to just let it out; and Elisabeth is the kind of person you just want to tell things to. That’s how God made her. But today she gave me some constructive advice. She said I was looking at a situation from one angle and I needed to approach it from a different one. We talked through it and some other things I could do to make it better and by the end, I felt peaceful again. It just showed me how I can be ALL emotion…pretty much all of the time. I just feel things deeply and that gets in the way of being rational and making decisions with my head. But Elisabeth works from a great balance of head and heart and I needed to hear that wisdom today. God knows what we need and He knew that my life would be richer because of Elisabeth. I can’t say enough about her. God is more real to me because I know her.

After a few hours, I left the office, ran a few errands that I had been putting off and then had coffee with another YL leader. She goes to Wake Forest and is the age of my youngest sister Charlotte (19) but seems so much older to me. Catherine and I just speak the same language and had an instant connection. We talked for two hours and it was so great. I just loved hearing her story, affirming her and praying with/for her. It made my heart so full and I left realizing that 1) we need to hang out more and 2) I love pouring into college students. They’re just so fun and so on fire. Gosh, I just remember how I was at that age, just a sponge ready to soak up anything anyone told me about Jesus. I hope I’m still that way. Being around Catherine brought me deep joy and was a great addition to the day.

THEN (okay, last thing, seriously), I came back to school and went to the “Publications Banquet.” Another tradition – are you surprised?! It’s a dinner with the whole school where yearbooks are presented and other people are honored (such as the editor of the newspaper and the like). I love being around the girls. It just puts a smile on my face to be with them and see their world. We had some laughs and enjoyed twice baked potatoes and sweet rolls (yuuummm).

And the weather was beautiful.

And I’m going to watch the Grey’s Anatomy season finale with some girls tonight in the rec room. A perfect way to end the day.

So, you can see how even when the days get frustrating or boring or emotionally draining, Jesus meets us there. He has given me so much to be thankful for and gives me little gifts to keep me going. I just want to see Him in every day. I want to look around and say, “Yup, He was there…and there…and, oh yeah, there…” I keep saying how I’m in a time of waiting and searching and discovery – which can be hard at times – but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the ways God has met me intimately here. I’m getting to know Him now better than I ever knew Him before. I wouldn’t trade that for anything….not even the security of a full-time job or owning a house or being married or whatever else it is that other 26 year olds are doing. At the end of the day, He’s all I want and that’s the truth.

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A Beautiful Haunting

I like melancholy things. I like bittersweet movies and music – I really like listening to Enya and haunting instrumental music. It’s funny to me because I’m a pretty upbeat, optimistic person. And boy, do I like some silly pop music and cheeseball movies for sure. But I am just drawn to things that create a longing in me. I think they remind me that I am not at home here and there is something more to come. Bittersweet things stir feelings of the sadness for our fallen world and the amazing hope we have in Jesus. The beauty and the pain are intertwined – like the line from the hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” that says “sorrow and love flow mingled down.” That’s how I see life. There is tremendous love and peace and joy here…and also tremendous pain and suffering. So life is bittersweet.

One of my favorite movies is A River Runs Through It and I just watched it last night with my friend Kelly. This movie tugs at my heart like none other. It’s beautifully written and the cinematography is wonderful. If you haven’t seen it, go out and rent it right now. It’s the true story of two brothers, Norman and Paul Maclean, and their life growing up in Montana during the early 1900s. And it’s about fly fishing. I love how it shows the connection this family had to the earth and how they found life on the big Blackfoot River, waist deep in the water with a fishing pole in their hands.  Norman (the narrator and writer of the book on which the movie was based) said, “To my father, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing.” I love that. I also love that as children, the boys were given the freedom to run free through the wildness of the Montana landscape; “Every afternoon, I was set free, untutored and untouched until supper, to learn on my own the natural side of God’s order. And there could be no better place to learn than the Montana of my youth. It was a world with dew still on it, more touched by wonder and possibility than any I have since known.” So beautiful.

This movie touches perfectly on the beauty and pain of life. I won’t spoil it for you, but the ending of the movie haunts me. Norman is reflecting back on his life and I yearn with him for the carefree days of his youth. I long for him to be back there as a boy, when heartache and pain were not fully known.

That’s another interesting thing about me – it’s hard to describe, but I’ll try. The ending of the movie gets me because I yearn for everyone in the story to be together as they were at the beginning. It was happy and good then and everyone was still connected. I get this feeling when I leave a gathering, either with my family or friends. When I am with people and having fun and then everyone disperses, I am left with a melancholy feeling and pang of sadness in my heart. The magic is gone. The moment has passed. Once we were all together and now we’re all going our separate ways. When I was in plays in middle school and high school, I would get this feeling so acutely at our cast parties after the last show. I was devastated that it was over. I would never be with these people again the way I had been for the previous months. Oh, the feeling fades in a day or two…actually it usual only lasts the night. I would feel it in college when I would return to school after a weekend at home, a.k.a. the Sunday night blues. I get the feeling even now when we have big family gatherings that are so fun and then everyone leaves in a frenzy on the last day.

I guess I’m just a people person. And I feel deeply. I just love being with people I love and I yearn for good things to last forever. I think that’s eternity tugging at my heart. It shows me that I truly was not made for this world. We were not made to see the endings of good things. When we are complete in the presence of God in Heaven, we’ll never be haunted by the way things were or could have been. We will be complete and full of the best kind of joy. There will be no end to the peace of being with those we love and we will be full of the glory of the presence of God. Amen to that.

“When I am alone in the half-light of the canyon, all existence seems to fade to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the big Blackfoot River and a four count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops; under the rocks are the words and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

(from A River Runs Through It)

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High school girls and life-planners and the future and stuff

Hulllooo friends! Long time no see. I’ve been MIA for a while, but I’m back to bring you more updates of the life of Kate.

Life has been pretty uneventful lately. Just doing my thing at the office, hanging out at school, seeing friends, going to my parent’s mountain house (Ben Haven). To be honest, I’ve been a little out of it at school and I’m sad for that. I’ve just been so caught up in my own life and haven’t been pursuing girls like I want to. It’s easy for me to be a lazy Young Life leader in this environment because I can get by with doing minimal contact work – I can see few girls at night and chat with them and keep up the friendships I have without even leaving my home. I wish I sought girls out more and didn’t just hang out with the same ones. I wish I didn’t stay in my comfort zones. I wish I got to know more day students this year.

Ah, but life is not meant to be wished away. All I can do is spend time this summer praying and planning for next year. Even though I don’t know what I’m doing career-wise, I’m absolutely sure that God wants me to stay at this school. That’s a cool feeling. And I’ve learned a lot this year that I want to improve on next year. Things like hanging out with more day students, being consistent in our girls bible study, and having more organized hang outs as a hall. I really do want to take time this summer to strategize and think about the year ahead.

I’ve never really considered myself much of a planner – it certainly doesn’t come natural to me. I love to have a plan, I just don’t like to take the time to come up with one. I tend to fly off-the-cuff and just make it up as I go. I wish I had a life-planner, someone to plan for me and I just take their notes and run with them. I’d pay them. I mean, there are party planners and wedding planners and event planners…why can’t there be day-planners (no, smarty-pants, not the notebooks you buy at Staples), people who plan your days? You could just give them your goals and desires, let them work on it for a few days and them BOOM, your life is planned. At least for a few months at a time.

But since there aren’t such things, I guess that means I’ll have to do it. Maybe this is why teaching was hard for me at times. I really do love it when I’m prepared from planning something out, but I confess I just don’t do it often enough. I’m being a bit melodramatic about the whole thing – in truth, I do have the desire to think about next year and pray for girls. I know I don’t have to turn in Young Life lesson plans to anyone, but it’s always good to have ideas. This girl needs structure.

Anyway, the girls are leaving in less than 2 weeks – !! I can’t believe it. This year has flown by (don’t we say that every year?). It’s hard to believe that this time last year I was living in my parents house, dragging my butt out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to drive 45 minutes to Banana Republic and the YL office. Man, so much can change in a year. Where will I be this time next year? No way to know. God always has aces up His sleeve that leave me spellbound. But I don’t think I’ll be anywhere exotic in year, but maybe on my way somewhere. I think this year will be pretty much the same – I’m planning on living here another school year and working at the regional office. But in the mean time, I’m praying and talking about what I really want in life. It’s exciting because I know there’s something ahead that God is going to reveal to me when the time is right. But I still keep hearing Him say “Wait,” in many areas of my life. If it were up to me (and thank goodness it’s not), I’d do many things hastily and foolishly. Wait, I still do. But I’m trying not to! I’m trying to be still, to wait. To be. Man, it’s so hard to wait, but I think God knows that and He’s teaching me how to do it. I’m not alone. He calls me to be courageous and wait patiently for Him. So I’ll try.

I will miss these crazy girls over the summer. It will be nice to have more freedom and some quiet around here, but I’ll be so excited to see them in the fall. God has more work to do here at this school and I think He wants me to be a part of it. Oh how I pray that I’ll put myself aside enough to let Him use me. I don’t want to be distracted when His glory passes by. But thankfully He is patient with me and forgiving and loving…and full of outrageous grace. He’s written me into His story and I get to be a part of it. What a privilege and awesome adventure.

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“Previously on…”

Do you remember life before TV shows started coming out on DVD? I don’t really. I mean, what did I do with my free time? Read? I dunno. But I tell you, it’s an epidemic in this culture. Now we have access to virtually every show that ever aired on television, everything from the Andy Griffith Show to Gossip Girl. I have a love/hate relationship with this technology. I love that I can watch any show I want for hours on end, free of commercial interruption. That’s how LOST and I fell in love – and let me say, it’s so hard to watch that show week-to-week when you’ve watched an entire season in one weekend. I love not having the thought, “Oh man, that’s it?! What happens next week??” because I can just click on the next episode and off we go.

The hate comes in exactly where you would expect – once I start watching a show, it’s hard for me to stop. I mean, really. There might be some people who have self-control and can do things in moderation – I am not one of those people. Oh, I want to be and I’m trying to get there, but I usually have an all-or-nothing attitude. Case in point: for the last few days I have been watching a show on the internet during most of my free time. I let my room become more and more cluttered as I dove into another world. I was tempted to post pictures of how my room looked this week, but I thought maybe that’s too intense and we might not know each other that well. Besides, I did buckle down and clean it up eventually.

I hesitate to even admit the show I can’t get enough of, but I will tell you anyway. And you have my permission to judge me. Ok, here it is….The Hills. I know. But have you seen it?! It’s so addicting. Grrrr. I hate it. Love it. No, hate it. I’ve seen all the episodes before, but it’s oh so fun to watch them again. There’s just something about those girls and life in Hollywood that’s so ridiculous. I usually just shake my head and go, “Really, did you just say that?” But apparently I don’t think it’s too ridiculous because I watch it. I think it’s fun because everyone is so rich and thin and beautiful and…fake. I mean, how can that life be real?? It’s made me realize that if I ever lived in LA, it quite possibly could swallow me whole. I am definitely not cool enough for it. It’s just so glamorous and I wear t-shirts and chacos a lot of the time. And The Hills might be reality TV, but the lives portrayed are far from real. The stars live in a bubble of money and fashion and popularity that most of America has no concept of. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to it, because it’s like observing aliens from outer space in their natural habitat.

I think it’s time to take a break from that world and get back to life in little ol’ NC. I was taking a walk yesterday and it was just so beautiful. I thought, ya know, as much as I long for excitement and adventure and (sometimes) a glamorous life like the girls on The Hills, life is so good here. It’s real and I have friends and family that love me. I know God is taking me on an adventure right here and I just need to stop, look around, and watch what He’s doing. It’s dangerous watching other people live their lives instead of living my own.

My parents never let me watch much TV growing up. They always told me to go outside and play…maybe they were onto something.

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