Our class costume trunk. Awesome? I think so.

Equally as awesome would be the below items which have also found their way into my anxious little paws:

1. Two Abnormally Small Children's Chairs
2. Large Inflatable Geometric Shapes
3. Fica Tree
4. Abe Lincoln Hat. And beard.
5. Sombrero

I should really start sticking to a budget.


Grammas, Power, and Doggy Tails

Right now,
Everything you want is wrong.
And right now,
All your dreams are waking up.
-- Joseph Arthur, Honey and the Moon

Feeling like I'm at a point in my journey where I need to stop and do some serious reflecting. It's been awhile.

This past week, my sister and I, along with some of our closest family members, spent some time up north for a traditional and annual family getaway. Much needed on many, many levels. So much so that I hadn't even realized how badly I needed a few moments simply to breathe - A vital gift I have been taking for granted.

One morning, while chatting with my Gramma over morning coffee (I'm convinced that no member in my family can make a bad cup of coffee. ever), I found myself trying to hold back tears while topping off my cup. The sun was shining, I had gotten a beautiful nights sleep, a day of boating was ahead, my bangs were looking awesome...why the tears? Well, leave it to the women in my life to say exactly what I need to hear, when I need to hear it. '

What I got from that wise woman that morning is this - In these last three years, I've seen nothing but change. Every external area of my life, by choice and by force, has changed dramatically, quickly and repeatedly. When extreme life change happens to you, it's easy to forget about it once you're in the swing of new forces, especially when others take the central focus over your own needs. Story of my life.

#1. Changes. Constant, uncontrollable changes have been throwing me around like a leaf. Or a puck on an ice rink.

I'm not going to lie and pretend like it's easy for me to talk about leaving New York, my dream, behind. I don't expect anyone to understand the significance of that in my life - I'm only beginning to understand it now. New York has a very powerful force over me - a force I think only a few understand. I can joke about rebounding on NY with Kentucky, putting NY in time out for not letting go of me, and toasting NY to seven long years of exhausting joy and hope, but I'm not joking when I say that it's been hard to leave. My heart sinks when I think of how close I was, and when I remember what I left behind. A dream. To this day, if someone asks me what I want, my answer is the same as it was 3,4,5 years ago - I want to be in New York. I want it more now than I ever have (this past year has proven that to me). What I've learned is this - the answer is never that simple. What I want is of little importance and, in this case, what I want is very clearly "wrong".

#2. What I want. What I want is to never, ever give up on the dream God has laid before me. To never, ever let weaken that passion He has so abruptly and painfully burned on my heart.

What I want and what I need to do usually coincide. Very simple, no complications. In this case, however, I've seen an evolution of want to need that has severely impacted my life. For a very long time, the passion that I had for inner-city work coincided with NY. The two were inseparable [when I say inseparable, I mean no other option could even be considered]. Leave it to the Lord to separate something inseparable.

Eventually, I grew to understand my God-given passion to be centrally focused on cities [joblessness, illness, homelessness, high crime, addiction, vicious cycles, generational poverty...], and less on a specific region. You can imagine what this did to my perfectly organized and color-coded plan.

What I wanted was to go to NY. What I needed was to follow the Lord's whispers and trust that He would use my passion where He deemed necessary.

#3. The dream. To live a life of service unto others by unconditionally and actively loving those in the inner-city, be it the city I love, the city I was trained in, or city in which my roots were grown. A city is a city, and love wears no masks.

Detroit. Tricky fellow that God. If you want to chase something other than God's purpose you might as well be chasing after your own, nonexistent tail because that's about as far as you're going to get - vicious circles.

All this to say, for now I rest in peace knowing that I'm where I need to be. I still believe very fervently that my passion for NY also has purpose, a very strong purpose, but timing is everything, eh?

Until then, DETROIT. Whew!

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I should take a screen shot to show you my lists. They're colorful.

The first week in August I'll be up in Grand Rapids for a week-long orientation. It's nice - while we're there, we have the option of venturing out on 3 different 'excursions' in the evenings to bond and kill time - A White Caps game, a trip to a local conservatory, and an evening in Grand Haven enjoying the lake and [I believe] Coast Guard festival. I'm anxious to get to know some other new hires, my administration, and the system. I believe our planning will officially begin a week or so after the orientation. Photos to come.

Many, many, many many photos to come.


randomosity at its finest

- I'm home. Officially home. It may be awhile before I'm able to debrief on the year...it really was a ginormous strain on my emotions (stress+pain as I so enthusiastically connected today). Give me another year and we'll see how I feel about it. Truth be told, I could write a book.

- Again, HOME. Unpacking has been horrendous, as I'm sure it is pre-destined to be. Since I'll be living at home for a bit while I transition into teaching, I thought I ought to tackle the piece of me I've treasured and held close for as long as I've been away from it - my bedroom. My bedroom. I LOVE my bedroom. The lighting is perfect. The smell is perfect. My BED is perfect. Goodness, how I've missed it. Problem? Relatively certain I was bustin' it to N'Sync when I last painted it. Serious problem, actually. Before I can paint, however, I need to clean. Before I can clean, I need to unpack. Before I can unpack, I need to pitch...I don't think I'm doing justice to the viciousness of this cycle...

- I've always been thankful for friendship. Not hard to do. I do think, however, that it's incredibly easy to take for granted. We all learn this little tid-bit at different stages in our lives; however, I happen to be learning mine as I speak - transitioning into new social circles and making new friends is HARD! I have my friends. Overwhelmingly great friends, actually. We've connected, bonded over years of laughter, tears, trials and joys. It isn't that we don't want new friends, right? It's just that we don't foresee ourselves melding well in a new "circle" when we already have our own beautifully crafted one, even if it does stretch across the country and into the Caribbean! I'm so thrilled to meet new people, but I miss MY people.

I really thought I had more energy to put into this. Shucks.