Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The moment you would rather not repeat.

An hour at immigration today made me realize:

1. I never want to have to do the job where you tell people they can't stay here...

2. When you know someone's story and their heart, they are no longer a statistic. It's harder to explain to a person why they cannot stay in Canada, than to a statistic.

3. On Him we have set our hope. And hope, my friends, is powerful.

4. People can steal your heart and become part of your family when you let them. And for that reason, you will you cry when you are told their deportation date.

Here's to hope.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

daydreams of a five year old.

Right now, I should be blogging about the most amazing trip to Costa Rica.

Right now, I should also be:
1. doing laundry
2. doing homework
3. post-trip finance catch up
4. sleeping. cause I'm way behind on that too.
5. reading some documents from work that I just didn't get to today

But, let's be honest.
I've been running since the airplane landed in Seattle on Monday night.
So...instead of all of the above things, I am choosing to write about Charlee, Bodhi, and Jane.

Because...let's be honest...they are way more entertaining than any of the above things.

And blogging about Costa Rica actually requires me to figure out where I put my camera, along with the cable so that I can download my pictures. I have not yet unpacked (as point 1 notes). And, as point 4 explains, I am lacking some vital energy to actually figure that out.

So enjoy.
My promise to you is that I will get that sleep, and I will find that camera, and I will post that blog about a real soul-filling trip...later.

The most amazing thing about leaving one home is coming to another. I am blessed to have many heart homes. Costa Rica is one...and it also feels awesome to arrive at my house and have little children tell you how much they missed you.

They always look like they grew up a lot in the week you were gone.

I asked Charlee to check in on Zane (our teenager friend who Carleigh works with throughout the week) who had wandered downstairs. Her response when I asked what he was up to? "Oh, he's just chillin' down there". Awesome.

Tonight, as Bodhi overheard Jane crying in the bathroom (victim of an earache), he got up from the dinner table and told me, "Kaleen, I'm just gonna go tell Jane that crying doesn't help anything..."

And Jane, with fingernails like knives, loves to now "tickle" my face...it's precious...and I think I might be bleeding a little bit.


Daydreams of a five year old...

Gary has been away this week, and often when he leaves on business (like, 4 times a year), Carleigh and I will treat ourselves one night to fast food. Tonight was A&W or "Chicken and fries..." as Jane-z likes to call it.

We sat at the table. Jane went down hill rather quick with an ear ache. Bodhi was wiped out from a day of intense testosterone play time with his buddy Ollie. So while the two youngest went to go watch Diego with fluffy pillows, Carleigh and I chatted about our days, and Charlee worked on her cheeseburger. Slowly. Very very slowly.

At one point, Carleigh and I realized Charlee was in her own little world. Carleigh asked her to take a bite of her burger, to which Charlee "woke up" and with a big smile on her face, said,
"Mom....I was dreeeeaming"

Carleigh: "You're always dreaming, Char! What was it this time?"

Charlee: "I dreamed I was in Africa, and a car asked me to marry him"

Carleigh: "Um, what? You were in Africa and a car asked you to marry him? Like a Lightning McQueen car?"

Charlee: "Yup, but not like Lightning McQueen. Like Finn. "

Carleigh: "Oh, Finn, from Cars?"

Charlee: "Not Cars....(gives her mom a look like she's a sullen teenager and her mom has no clue at all)...Cars 2."

Carleigh: "Oh, yes, of course. Did he have an accent?"

Charlee: "Nope. He asked me to marry him. That's just silly....and.....(dramatic pause and looks at both of us).... I just made that last part up!" 

Saturday, February 04, 2012

another step...

Sharing dinner with dear friends last night, they shared how impacting my last blog post had been. As we discussed it and our weaknesses together, they shared with me the Litany of Humility, a prayer so very very rich. May it provide new perspective for you, as it did for us:

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A few tears on the page.

...in an attempt to be honest with myself and others, these are the tears on my page today. 
I know you have your own, too, so I hope by sharing this, you'll simply know you're not alone. You're not the only one who thinks these things. You're not the only one with your struggles. But I also know it sure feels like it some days...

Some days I feel like I'm a hot mess.

Today could be classified as one of those days.

Oddly enough, it was a good day: I had some encouraging talks about life and faith with a couple of my student leaders; I got to share about Costa Rica with a group of students who are about to go serve there; and I had a visit with a good friend who dropped by that warmed my soul. I also realized that in one week, I myself will be in Costa Rica, visiting my friends, eating rice and beans to my heart's content.

But even with all that good, the day also included a few tears in the kitchen.

Because while life is beautiful, I am so very, very human.

I struggle with any of the following at any given hour, and this list is not exhaustive. It's simply what I can acknowledge right now.

The tears come when I struggle with:
  • bringing my focus to the present
  • having the "answers" 
  • being single
  • realizing I'm 30, yet still have moments where I wonder, "where do I fit? Where do I belong?"
  • procrastinating on important tasks
  • coveting others' blessings, others' stories, others' abilities...
  • desiring affirmation and recognition
  • finishing well
There you have it.
The ugly honest truth.
The stuff that rises to the surface, even when it's been a "good day".

I could blog pages and pages about each bullet point.
There's a lot of selfishness deep down in my heart.
There's a lot of lies trying to convince me I've been passed over, forgotten, unappreciated....

And the hardest realization of all?

I haven't let it go.

Because sometimes it feels cathartic to shed some tears for your own woeful self and believe you are the only person in the world who feels this way.

Because sometimes it foolishly feels like it's the one thing I can control.

And...as I have said before...it is easier to go there, to let myself believe the negative thoughts, than to do the hard work of choosing joy. Not happiness...but joy.

Joy involves believing with a tenacious confidence that God is in control of life, though the immediate evidence might suggest otherwise. (Tim Hansel)

A joyful heart is one in which something new is always being born, even when sadness and death are all around. (Henri Nouwen)

So may this post serve as my most recent reminder...

The hard work is worth it.
I am not alone.
And sometimes...I just need to eat some protein and go to bed.