daily thoughts

/Tag: daily thoughts

it smelled like the august of 2013

I stepped outside and the scent of sunshine, of warm wind, of a very specific olfactory sensation hit me. It made me think of hope and memories yet to be made from late-night dorm talks, the smell of change and excitement and bewilderment, of discovering twenty one pilots and having eyes wide open to every experience happening to me.

I felt 18 again for a moment.

I’ve always been the type of person to take in everything and savor it, remember it, feeling the weight of the small hours and seconds that make up our lives. Sometimes a small voice shouts in my head, Remember, remember this!  when a this tangibility happens, a snapshot that I ought to grab and file away and hold.

2020 has been one large roller coaster of weirdness, fear, hope, and curiosity. No one could have predicted what has happened in our world. I’ll never forget trying to plan

it smelled like the august of 20132020-08-17T15:33:54+00:00

valleys of shadow

It’s a quiet day at the desk here. I’m minding the phones but my mind is in a faraway place, pondering great human suffering and the broken, dismal bleakness of our world. I made the mistake this morning of reading a book I found in a pile our receptionist left behind. It is a fiction-ish narrative about a Holocaust survivor and I knew that it would be dangerous, one of those can’t-put-it-down novels that will leave me thinking down a hole and feeling heavy sadness for a while.
My heart shuts down at the brutality of human beings and the atrocious horrors experienced by real people in real time, fellow image-bearers who all had names and faces and favorite colors and loves and special talents and unique laughter. All I can say is, “Lord…?” There really aren’t words for such things.
In the darkest events of human history, it’s easy to shove
valleys of shadow2020-08-17T15:20:44+00:00

Lament // Waiting

I think it’s week 6 of my shelter-in-place/quarantine/coronavirus panic insanity? It’s a bit unsettling that I’ve somewhat lost track of the days. I’ve tried to keep track by baking something every weekend. But it’s blurry.

Our world is in chaos due to a tiny germ that broke out of the East and floated around the world on unsuspecting travelers. Many comparisons have been made to sin, the metaphors abound, talk of lament and prayer and reliance on the Lord are ABUNDANT. So many articles. Devotionals. Stories. I’m drunk on it, there’s too much to read, too many opinions, too m a n y  t h o u g h ts.

The news is exploding. No one even remembers the Biden/Sanders primary race (was that really, juuuust a month or so ago?) There’s nothing else to say and nothing else to talk about. I know the names of a lot more governors and

Lament // Waiting2020-04-19T04:23:38+00:00

Modern-Day Siloam Towers

Everyone is human. And that means everyone is broken – we all struggle and fight in this life, whether it’s circumstances, others, or our own selves.

I never thought Kobe Bryant would be the one to move me out of my long writing hiatus, but it’s been a strange week, and I’ve been wrestling for a while with thinking that I have things to say, but there are so many words already out there, that it doesn’t really matter in the end. But it kind of does, and keeping thoughts in my brain don’t usually serve a good purpose for anything besides my own mental filing cabinets.

Some would call the death of basketball star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna tragic. I would agree to an extent – it seems so senseless, a helicopter crash that shouldn’t happened, an absolute star and his little girl and a group of friends taken

Modern-Day Siloam Towers2020-02-01T05:09:07+00:00

February

I’m almost six months into my new job. Some parts still feel new to me, but I’m grateful and blessed by my coworker’s words that accurate describe my happy situation:

“It’s like God put a Kaitlyn-shaped hole right here at church, and you’ve just fit right in.”

One of my favorite parts of my job is corresponding and caring for our 75+ missionaries around the world. Several of them are retired after serving faithfully for many years–in Africa, in the US doing rural church planting, in the untouched places of South America. I deeply admire their commitment, resolving to follow God’s call as fresh twenty-somethings who, sometimes with their spouses, sometimes alone, ventured out on ships to translate the Bible and teach it when being a missionary meant living in a dirt hut and taking malaria medicine that makes you lose your hearing.

One of our dear ladies I decided to call and

February2018-02-09T03:37:32+00:00

Church Conflict 101

“I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life” (Philippians 4:2-3).

The Body of Christ is a blessed place, a community, a family to be in and a part of. Paul shows us, though, throughout his letters that church conflict is unfortunately normative. We are still sinners, awaiting the return of Christ and desperately needing his grace in the meantime.

My home church recently toiled through some ugly conflict. The pattern is sadly typical in our lives as Christians. Feelings get hurt, we want control, pride is injured, or perhaps we do not understand proper biblical leadership. We hold grudges, we gossip, we act out, we point fingers.

Church Conflict 1012019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

Reflections and Cardboard

My mind seeks to organize life in boxes. That’s how I work, and it’s great for many things.

This year has certainly been one to break the boxes. I’ve been challenged, humbled, confronted, and forced to process much–my own sin, my own fears, my own judgments about others that are incorrect and wrong.

I’ve cycled through the topics of race and gender roles and Christians needing to vote too many times to count; I’ve read Matthew, Acts, Hosea, Joel, Luke, Obadiah, and Amos; I’ve completed and started another year of Bible college; I’ve said goodbye to friends and welcomed new ones; I’ve walked with other through mental illness, relational difficulties, anxiety, and a lot of prayer for more faith that God will provide; I’ve been heartbroken over the state of sin in the world more than ever; I’ve discovered a desire to hone my teaching skills; I’ve begun dating a wonderfully complicated

Reflections and Cardboard2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

Jacob and the Ladder

How many people does it take to tell you something and actually believe it is true?

To tell you that the objective of life is not to just escape through with the least amount of scars, and to bemoan the ones you carry?

To tell you that you are beautiful, a treasure, worth a suffering and a sacrifice?

To tell you that your sins and flaws and edges and grotesque deformities don’t negate unconditional love from your Father in heaven?

 

Wrestling with the truth leaves you tired. I’ve been mulling over all these things, which have come to light this semester as I’ve been reading and writing and contemplating my life and post-Year-4 existence. I’ve been studying Ruth and Hosea and Genesis and 1 Samuel and realizing the same God who was there in the beginning has always been relational and has always mourned the disobedience of his people.

I have read examples over and

Jacob and the Ladder2016-10-24T03:37:56+00:00

Proper Lives Lived

“‘Dear God,’ she prayed, ‘let me be something every minute of every hour of my life.’”
—Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

 

 

Her parents started a major missions organization that impacts thousands of Eastern European youth each year and has ignited a gospel hunger where the Iron Curtain once hung. Her mom wrote a book detailing the life story of their family and how the mission happened by God’s grace and leading. I am privileged to call this dear sister a very close friend. Her faith and contentment inspire me.

As I skimmed the memoir her mom wrote of saying “Yes” to God, I’ve been thinking about how every fiber of my being longs to live a life of “Yes”– to God’s plan, will, and promises.

The hard part about saying, “I surrender all” to God is that there’s a ton of suffering that accompanies that, because God uses trials to shape us,

Proper Lives Lived2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

So, Does this Outfit Make Me Look Relevant…?

“Do you have Instagram?”

I looked at the man across the counter of the donut shop and shook my head. He was trying to connect me with the store’s coupon offer. Needless to say, I couldn’t jump on the bus.

I twaddle back and forth with the lingering frustration that I don’t fit in to my generation. Oh sure, in many ways, I am certainly a Millennial:

-I remember when terrorism wasn’t a thing

-I remember the advent of cell phones and pre-HD days (hey there, 2004, nice slow-mo effect in that movie)

Despite shared life experiences, in many ways, I feel irrelevant among my demographic. This unfortunately can extend to the Bible College cafeteria.

Problem 1: I have a deep heart for the lost of my generation. And I struggle to connect with them.

Subpoint B: How can I preach the Gospel to Millennials if I loathe social media?

Must I become all things to all people

So, Does this Outfit Make Me Look Relevant…?2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00