Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Thanksgiving Cliche

I haven’t done anything cliché yet for Thanksgiving, so here I go: I am so thankful for this stage of life. I am in a stage where I get to learn so much, and I get to do it with so many awesome people. I am so thankful for all of the things I get to be learning right now.

I’m learning what it means to supervise and manage people. I’m learning about responsibility, patience and how to have grace.

I’m learning how far my car can go with the gas light on, how to jiggle my blinker light just right in order to get it working again, and how to keep my lead foot under control.

I’m learning about theology; the attributes of God and his creation. I’m learning what gospel friendships look like and how vital gospel and community are.

I’m learning what it means to not give up on people and to pray continuously.

I’m learning that awkwardness is just a part of life that should be addressed and not ignored.

I’m learning that it’s really easy for me to pretend to be someone one I’m not and easy for me to fight for things that I shouldn’t.

I’m learning that asparagus should always be cooked longer than I think it should, that there will always be something spilled on a burner to make it smoke, and that by myself I can never finish a half gallon of milk before it expires.

I’m learning how important it is to have girl friends to come over with pizza, chocolate, and laughter instead of trying to drink my sorrows away.

I’m learning that I will always be in a war against sin and that I need to actively battle against it.

I’m learning that currently, most of my day is spent condensing my thoughts to 160 characters or less.

I’m learning that I actually can live alone, though I’m adopting some bad habits I may need to curb before anyone will want to live with me again.

I’m learning that I don’t do night class well when it’s redundant and I have a job I love. I don’t handle constantly perky professors well either.

I’m learning how important and awesome it is to surround myself with awesome women older and younger, who are passionate about life, learning, and Jesus.

I’m learning about Minneapolis, the history, the culture, and the fascinating people here.

I’m learning that people don’t expect or need me to have all the answers, they just like having someone to listen.

I’m learning how much I love my wacky awesome family.

I’m learning to stop waiting around for Prince Charming to ride up on his motorcycle and instead just live my life.

I’m learning that I can easily pass for much older than I am, I love talking to strangers, and it is easy for me to see how people are connected.

I’m learning that someone is going to have a problem, complaint or criticism against anything I do, so I should stop living my life trying to please other people.

I’m learning that I’m not in alone in feeling like, “Normally I'm a mess. I over think everything emotionally. I'm all over the place. Like, watch out! Cause one minute I'm laughing and the next minute I'm crying for no apparent reason but it's probably just because I'm really tired. **giggle giggle cry** See? I don't know. Look at me! I'm just so tired."- Kate (Ben and Kate)

I’m learning I will probably always be tired and always appreciate a really great cup of coffee or a really good beer with a friend.

I am super loving this life. It’s sometimes challenging. It’s sometimes really easy. Overall it’s pretty beautiful. In the words of my friend T-Swift, “We’re happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical, oh yeah.”

Loving life. Thanks for being a part of it. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Greyhound Ragamuffins (Again)

This weekend is Baylor's homecoming. Last year, I traveled down to Texas for homecoming by myself on a greyhound bus. It was such a good experience for me. Here is the blog post I wrote right after: 


Traveling for over 24 hours on a greyhound is not for the faint of heart. One must be able to tolerate uncomfortable seats, very little leg room, and brakes so squeaky they wake you up from whatever short uncomfortable rest you got. One must not get upset over witnessing bad cellphone ettiqutte and bad parenting. One must not be bothered by gassy old men, the smell of weed, or talk of the best prostitutes in any given city. One must be okay with frequenting gas stations and sketchy bus stops with locks on the doors and bars on the windows where at any moment a fight may (and did!) break out.
For many single, 22 year old, white, Midwestern girls, traveling alone, this trip would probably make them super uncomfortable.


I could write about all the crazy stories I now have, but instead, I’ll let you know my main take away. Have you heard of the book The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning? So far, I’ve only read the first couple chapters, but I know the book is about God’s grace, and how it is for those who are lost, dirty, and messed up---otherwise for us all. It’s not only for the very hygienic, the church goers, those with the same values as I. It’s for the unshowered, the pot smokers, those who just got out of prison. God’s grace is for people. For all people. In the same way that He wants me to know the depth and power of His love; he wants everyone else to know that too.

“If you look down on anyone on the planet, you don’t understand the Gospel.”-Steve Treichler

On my ride, I met those who were dirty, drug dealers, pot smokers, nomads, migrants, homeless, young, old, veterans, and a few men recently released from prison. People who God wants to know His power, His character, His love. My goal at the beginning of this week was to talk to strangers more. We are called to love people, and how can we do that unless we talk to them first? On this trip, he gave me to opportunity to have great conversations multiple people. I got to learn about their life stories and how they ended up on a Greyhound. From that I got to ask about their dreams, their hopes in life, and their view of God and validity of the Bible. Mainly, I got to listen to people who needed someone to talk to; someone to care about them. I got to be that person, and I love being that person. I may never see any of them ever again, but I hope they will remember our conversations as I will. I hope I impacted them as much as they have impacted me.

And from this point on, I hope to start talking to strangers more. On the bus, on the street, in class, everywhere. I also hope to finish reading The Ragamuffin Gospel, but I’ll need to borrow someone’s copy. I had the opportunity to give it to a man who just got out of prison. He had asked me what I was reading and seemed very interested in the topic. Pray that he reads it and pray that I don’t forget what I learned and keep talking to strangers.