Sunday, June 24, 2012

All For HIM.

Hey guys.  It's been a little while since I last usual :]  I promise things have changed for me since coming back, but procrastinating is NOT one of them, much to my mother's dismay.  So I'm gonna just jump right in this time.  I am in much need of processing my thoughts anyway.

So, things since being back have had their ups and downs.  This past week was very good in my life.  I was very busy, but it was good.  I had the opportunity to help out at a trailer park and get to know some really awesome kids every morning last week.  It was like a mini VBS thing that we did there, and I LOVED it.  It really confirmed and encouraged me.  I have no doubt that I do in fact want to work with kids.  I love it and have a passion for it.  And the devil can not take that away from me.  I won't let him.  So that was just a really great experience.  I am very amped to continue to get involved there and further the relationships with the kids there.  God is opening doors for that, and I am just so excited.

Another thing that has been going on is a lot of work.  This has been keeping me busy and has really helped normalize life here again.  And I really think this is good.  I mean, it gets a little crazy at times, and I definitely need to balance what I do better....what I fill my time with.  But, I am very thankful that I have a job and am able to get hours.  I have a new appreciation for what I do as well.  I view things differently now.  But hold up.  I am in no way trying to say that I am an expert on life now.  Not at all.  I just....I don't know.  I feel like my heart has an increased desire to impact people in the small things in life.  Like, I have more of a purpose at work now than just getting people their donuts.  Are you following?

It's like, my eyes have been opened to the importance of being a testimony in every area of my life.  Like I said, I am no expert at this, but I am beginning to realize how this is possible even in just being friendly and genuine with customers and coworkers.  I definitely fail at times.  There are moments when I just don't feel like caring and just want to be tired.  But I just really enjoy my job a lot more than I used to.  And I know, I am just now getting back into it, and I haven't been there for very long, but I really do feel like this is a change that has been made on my heart.

You know, I just really want to change my world.  I do.  That is what I want to do.  And you know what else.  I bet a lot of people would agree with me and say that they want to change their worlds too.  So then I just gotta ask the question, WHY AREN'T WE DOING IT?!?

I guess what has been on my heart for the past couple of days is why are we content to just live life?  Sure, I say I wanna make a difference.  WHAT DON'T I?  I have so many opportunities all around me.  But I get so wrapped up in MY life with MY comforts and MY wants.  It's time for me to move to action.

I believe the last time I posted, I told you all I am having some difficulty balancing stuff.  And that is still true. It's hard.  I don't really know how to take the things I have learned and that I know are good and apply it to my life and encourage those around me to really get involved as well.  How do you encourage and push for passion without passing judgments?  One part of that I have realized is you do it in LOVE.  Love has to be the thing that backs all of my actions.  And I have failed miserably at this many times, especially with my family.  And I am very sorry about that.

Love is an action, and its a choice.  And I have the FREEDOM TO CHOOSE.  That is something that has been on my mind a lot since reentry at the RIC.  It was mentioned in a session that we have the freedom to choose how we let the stuff that goes on in our lives affect us.  So true.  And very difficult.  But so worth it.

I am a pansy.  My initial reaction a lot of times to hard stuff that happens in my life is......poor me.  PATHETIC.  I mean, buck up, Kirsten!  Your life is so easy.  I have absolutely nothing to complain about.  EVER.

Really, all I wanna do is glorify God.  That is what I wanna do.  But, as hard as I try, I seem to always fall short and mess up.  I hurt people, am too harsh, forget to think before I speak, and just end up doing more harm than help.  And I am finally realizing why.  I CANT DO IT.

I have been trying to do it on my own strength.  And although that works for a little bit sometimes, it without fail always fails in the end.  Yes, without fail always fails.  But I am serious!  That has been my problem, and I am finally realizing that today.

I began writing this post alone at a coffee shop after having a less than pleasant argument with my family in which I frustrated a lot of things.  This really helped me sort some stuff out....I just needed to take a step back and out and figure out what was going on.  Then, later tonight, my mom and I had a much needed and wonderful heart to heart.  I just really love that woman a lot.  She is a wise one and so patient and forgiving with me.  I don't know what I would do without her.

She brought some really good truths to my realization and showed me a different perspective to look at life from.  I just realize how I have been going after this whole "world change" thing all wrong.  I need love.  I need patience.  I need Jesus and His strength.  I am literally worthless without Him.  How is that for a humbling thought?

Like I said earlier.  I wanna glorify God and change my world.  I really do.  So that is what I am going to strive for in everything.  But, I am not going to try it on my own anymore.  You would think I would have learned this already, but I am stubborn.  I have been very challenged though.  And the thing about challenges is they take time and perseverance.  They take some failing and frustration and getting back up and trying again.  Success is difficult to accomplish.  Its a battle and a struggle.  But the refreshing thing is, I don't have to struggle alone.  My God is always with me, holding me when I can't take another step, and pushing me when I just don't feel like it anymore.  He never gives up on me, even when I feel like quitting.  He is FAITHFUL.

So yeah.  I guess that is what I am working on right now.  I am trying to prioritize my life better.  I love my life and the people in it.  Exciting things are happening and change is still happening and coming.  It's scary and thrilling all jumbled together.  And in the midst of everything, God is working here, and He is working in Chile.  He is working in my heart, and He is working in the lives of you all too.

The song of the post is AWESOME.  One of the best songs I have heard.  Powerful words.  Life anthem material.  Let's go do it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I’m….home.  Yup.  That statement pretty much sums it up, yet doesn’t explain a thing.  And honestly, I have no idea where to even start, or what I am even going to say in this.  All I know is that I need to say something.  So….here goes. 

First off, the song of the post is one of my all time favorite songs.  Mayday by The Icarus Account.  I actually got it sung personally to me by the band once.  Great day.  But the song is basically what I have been feeling all day.  So I hope you enjoy and can be soothed by it too.

Ok.  Now for stuff.  That is basically the only word I can think of to describe the things going on around me and in me.  Stuff.  But the encouraging thought that I have right now is that I was warned that I would be feeling what I am feeling right now.  During our week re-entry period at the RIC, we had classes and teachings on the “stuff” we would be dealing with and feeling as we try to readjust to our American culture again.  So, I guess in a very strange way, what I am thinking about and feeling is NORMAL, although it feels like the farthest thing from it. 

Today was a hard day for me.  I feel like re-entry has finally slapped me in the face.  Have you ever felt so alone that you only want to be even more alone?  Or too crazy abnormal for anyone to be able to even understand you?  I don’t think I have ever felt so different that I couldn’t even understand myself.  But, that was what it was like today.  And since I cant really even understand it myself, I have no idea why I am even trying to explain it to you all.  Makes no sense to me.  But I feel like there is WAY too much stuff penned up inside of me that needs to come out, and I don’t know another way to do that besides through writing like this. 

One interesting fact to get started is that I have not cried since before leaving Chile.  And, this is just not good.  Part of the dramaticness of this is due to this fact.  I have not been able to express my feelings very much, so now they are just piling up too high I guess.  To help solve this problem, I am typing this as I watch my go to cry movie, My Sister’s Keeper.  I REFUSE to watch it with anyone else.  I can’t.  I just feel like it would be too awkward for everyone involved to have me sitting on the couch corner sobbing while we tried to finish the movie.  So, hopefully this continues to work its “tear magic”, and I can get some of this emotion out of me. 

Also, just so you all can understand me a little bit more, I need to inform you all of some crap that happened.  During our time of re-entry, my team and I found out some really hard, tough stuff.  To protect the security of those involved, I will just say that basically, we found out some stuff that has broken trust with our coordinator.  I can’t go into details, nor do I really want to.  But, I would like to ask you all to pray for E and his family right now.  It’s a heavy situation, and I am pretty worried for my Chileno family.  But God is bigger.  I wholeheartedly believe this, and it is what keeps me hoping.  Also, if you guys could keep my team in your prayers as well, that would be GREATLY appreciated. 

Today got pretty overwhelming for me, and as a way of coping, I took some alone time and went for a walk and a drive.  Yup, I doubled up.  And, it was really good for me.  I love walking.  A lot of people like running, and I think I would and hopefully will, but at the moment, I can handle walking much better.  ANYWHO.  Walking helps me think.  And after I started thinking and walked for quite some distance, I realized I needed to sort through memories and old thoughts.  So I grabbed some old journals, notes, my Bible, and anything else Chileno I could find, hopped in my car, and drove to a special spot where I could sort through some thoughts alone.  And it was VERY helpful. 

Being home is hard.  It really is.  And you know, most of you guys will not understand that.  You will try to see what I am saying, but you just wont be able to comprehend it because you haven’t gone through a time like this.  And it just wont make sense.  I am well aware of that.  But the thing is, its true.  Life at home is hard.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Its good too.  I really enjoy being home and being with my family again.  That is not a lie.  It is GOOD.  But, it’s a lot harder than I ever anticipated before. 

It was almost easier adjusting to life in Chile than it is to readjust back to life in the States.  You see, in Chile we had no idea what to expect.  We just had to go for it and at times be uncomfortable and look stupid.  But we got the hang of it and had some really great times.  But here, I know what to expect.  I know how life here works.  But I don’t know how to insert myself back into it without going back to my old mold.  Is this making any sense? 

There have been times when I am alone that I feel so very alone. And in those times, all I want to do is be alone.  There have been times of sheer frustration with myself for acting the way I do.  There have been times of being a butthead to those I love because I give up and lose control.  There have been times when all I want to do is leave and move to a place where no one knows me and start over.  These are the times that are hard.  These are the times that other people do not understand.  These are the times that even I do not understand. 

SO……the above blogging was written a little over a week ago……

And I have no idea why it took me so long to get around to finishing up this blog.  I just kept putting it off, along with a lot of other things.  Basically, I just haven’t wanted to deal with it, but it has gotten to the point where I have to.  And this is confusing, but necessary, so just bear with me.  I am going to continue from where I left off, but I promise, I have come to some realizations.  Its not all depressing anymore. 

But you know what?  It has not all been bad.  Not even close.  I have had some really great times since coming home.  I have people who genuinely care for sure.  When I think back to the past 2 weeks of being home, some specific “great times” come to mind.  Family time the first full day home with cousins, games, and pizza.  “Limboing” with my best friend.  “Researching” Macs with friends and the other events of that day.  Literally talking all night with 2 silly girls.  You know?  Good times.  And you guys know who you are.  And I just want to thank you for your true, genuine friendship.  Thanks for being there for me.  And for loving me in this awkward time.  I love you all a lot. 

It really has been good to be home.  And I think that will continue.  I just need to figure out how to balance, how to take the changes made in me and apply them to this totally different culture and still be me.  Oh, boy.  That brings up a totally different topic of “who am i?”.  But I think I will save that for another time. 

Basically, I have just needed to get some of this stuff out of me.  And I want you guys to know where I am at.  I want to be REAL.  Fake is just a huge pet peeve of mine.  So here it is, folks.  Here is the reality of what I have been feeling lately.  I’ve been confused, hurt, misunderstood, hurtful, fake, alone, ugly, and out of place.  The world is harsh sometimes.  We were warned it would be hard.  John 16:33- I have told you these things, so that in ME you may have peace.  In this world you WILL HAVE TROUBLE.  But take heart!  I have OVERCOME THE WORLD. 

Wow.  Ok.  So that was a really good encouragement/reminder for me this morning.  I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner.  It is helping already.  But anywho.  It says right there that its gonna be hard.  But we have the OVERCOMER of death itself looking out for us!  That is incredible!  And you know, when I  think about it like this, I have had it easy.  Yes, re-entry is hard.  It’s difficult, and I gotta work to keep what I have gained through this experience.  I have to be diligent and deal with being uncomfortable in my “comfort zone”.  But I have a good life, family, support, and home.  I am BLESSED.  And I will testify to that. 

This is probably the worst written blog I have ever written, and for that I am sorry.  I don’t really even know why I am writing it anymore.  Although, it definitely has helped me process.  I am so stinking blessed.  Now what am I going to do about that?  Sit back and soak in all my blessings?  Or am I gonna move and bless others with those blessings? 

I am a brat at times.  And I don’t think those times are over.  I also don’t think this hard stuff with re-entry is over yet either.  I think there are going to be more low points coming where I am confused and lonely as ever.  But I also believe that there are going to be more great times to come.  And I am going to chase those times. 

I want to seek beauty.  I mentioned earlier that I was reading through old journals and stuff from Chile last week sometime.  And I came across some stuff in my journal that was really good for me to read.  So I think I am going to share a little with you guys.  Some stuff I read brought back some really hard times for me personally over there.  But through those times, I grew a lot, and it was so good for me to go back and see where I have come from.  Anywho.  Let me just share a little with you guys on this. 

Also, as a disclaimer, this is kinda weird for me.  But I feel like it’s a good step in the right direction for getting out of my comfort zone and being real.  So, judge me if you want.  This is what I was thinking about on outreach at some point, and there is truth in it.  Take what you can from it and leave the rest.   

“Beauty is ONLY found through the Father.  And there is beauty that can be found in EVERYTHING He created.  Especially humans.  I can learn something from every single human.  And when I become annoyed and can only see the obnoxious traits in a person, I need to remember that I am annoyed/mad at the sin, not the person.  That, or it is ME that is sinning.  And when I am annoyed, I need to seek to understand and see the beauty inside of them.  There is something beautiful in EVERYONE.

In talking about beauty, I want to be beautiful.  Beauty is important to all girls I think.  But I realize that so often I chase after outward beauty.  I find myself thinking that people will like me if I cover up my zits and straighten my hair.  HOW SHALLOW!  And how often to do I judge other people wrongly by their outward appearance?  Some of the lamest, meanest girls are the prettiest.  Not all, but I am just saying.  Why don’t I get the inside of me cleaned out and beautiful.  That is REALL beauty.  When someone is sweet and kind and genuine, people are drawn to them.  They want to hang out with them and get what they have.  People like to be with people who tell them the truth in love, who encourage them, and listen to them.  People love the Jesus in each other.  I need more beauty on the inside, but I need to clean out the ugly so that the beauty can grow.  When there is beauty on the inside, that is when true beauty can shine to the outside. 

God wants my heart, Each day, each moment, He wants my desires and dreams.  He wants my worries and doubts.  He wants my thoughts.  He wants my everything that is stored up inside of my heart.  And He wants me to daily hand it over to Him.  That way, He can clean it out, little by little, and fill it with Himself.  He fills in the old ugly spots with parts of Himself!  And He shapes and molds it to just the right shape.  And as He holds my heart, He speaks to it and shows me which way to go.  If I just let Him have my everything, He becomes my Everything.”