The life of a not so average girl doing not so average things.

Family

Sometimes A Smile is the Biggest Lie

The title of this post makes it sound so much more glum than things really are. I really am doing quite ok. I’ve had the opportunity to have short conversations with Bestie and last night I spent two hours on FaceTime with Big Sis. I haven’t had much of a chance to talk to The Nerd(aka Little Sis), but I know she’s busy experiencing college and spending time with her boyfriend. I do miss her, though. Also Little Man. He’s gotten so busy with boy scouts and soccer and choir and band and theatre, and the list goes on, that he’s never home when I call. I try not to feel sad about that, though, because I’m so proud of him. He’s growing into such an amazingly talented and SMART, geeze is he smart, young man. Sometimes I can’t believe he’s only 12.

Anyway, I didn’t really mean to blab on and on about my family, but they’re just so amazing. I came here to fill you in on what’s been happening in my life!

Well, first of all, I was in a car accident a week and a half ago. I’m ok. The car is going to be ok. The other driver is ok. It was a pretty wretched way to come back from my short visit to MO, but it could have been so much worse. Today was my first day back to work at PPL and I definitely feel the soreness and stiffness, but it was good to be back. I do a surprising amount of thinking while I’m at the library. The kind of thinking I used to do when I shelved at Smiley or when I would spend hours a week driving back and forth from Grandview in high school.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. I’ve felt the weight of the world. All the sadness and pain I see in the news and in the people I interact with. I don’t know, it’s like my undergrad experience and my experiences working in ministry have taught me to be aware of what others are facing and dealing with and I feel so convicted to do SOMETHING that it’s becoming a problem. I love school and I believe in an educated ministry, but it’s so hard to do seminary when I’m wading through the issues of the world. I can’t sleep at night, my social skills are suffering, I don’t have an appetite, I can’t focus in class…

Again, this makes it sounds so much worse than the situation is. I’m still going to class everyday and doing my homework and doing fairly well, I think, I’m just distracted. And I need to figure out a way to refocus very soon, otherwise it will be a problem.

I’ve also been fighting some of my own demons, but if ministry has taught me anything it’s that our demons never really go away. I just have to trust in the God who loves me to help me make it through. And also take proactive measures against myself. It’s really easy to get trapped in my own head space, especially when I’m so far away from the people who can get me out of it.

Hot tea helps. πŸ™‚ I think hot tea might be able to solve the world’s problems. Maybe not hunger. I’m still working on that one.

-Kay

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Always Sunny In Philadelphia…

…That may be so, but it is not so here at Central. Our weather has been all over the place. Today was a rather nice day; however, it was a bit on the brisk side. Be that as it may, it was a fine day here on campus.

I was just thinking to myself a few days ago that I really ought write a post, but that there really wasn’t anything spectacular or ground breaking to post on. A variety of things pop into my head throughout the week that I think might make a good post, but by the time I get to a computer the thought is gone.

This week, however, I have been pushed to the keyboard.

This evening I experienced something that was not earth-shattering, but that doesn’t happen all that frequently. Think back to the summer I started this blogging journey, think far back to the beginning. At that time most of my postings were about an afternoon program I was running for children K-3, a program called The Caretakers’ Club.

Ah, yes! I can practically see your eyes growing large with the memory. πŸ˜‰

Well this is Christian Perspectives Week here at Central and this evening we hosted the Fleer Lecture. The speaker was a wonderful woman, Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter, and it just so happens that she authored and co-authored two of the books I used for The Caretakers’ Club!

It’s just not every day that you meet the author of the curriculum you use for one of these things. Besides that, her lecture really has the potential to light a fire under the feet of the people here to become more environmentally friendly as a part of our stewardship obligations! It was a really cool experience, to say the least.

Another cool thing happened this evening! I had somewhat fallen out of contact with my dear old penpal, you may know him as DinoMan. Well this evening when I jumped on here to finally write up a post, I had a comment waiting from him! Good thing too, because I had lost his email address! He’s been on my heart a lot lately, he and DinoGirl both, and I’m really glad to be back in touch with him.

In other news, I’m doing well. Life is a little crazy and it’s not always rainbows and unicorns, but it’s pretty good. I’m working on getting my applications in to seminaries, right now I’m waiting on some financial things to line up. That all makes me a little stressed, but I’m on track to graduate, so that’s something!

I’ve got a really good group of friends that are really making the difference in my life right now. I need to work on a few of those relationships, but I’m not falling apart anymore.

That is one thing I’d really like to work on as I embark on the next stage in my life. I’d like to be more emotionally stable. Yeah, I do alright, but in the course of the past four years, I’ve been a rollercoaster! And what makes me cringe is that my highs and lows are often a result of, even if not directly, my relationship status. I would like to find more of my identity within myself and within Christ. Not to toot my own horn, but it feels like I might finally be thinking like an adult.

I certainly FEEL like an adult with the way my schedule looks. Just to keep you in the loop, I’m now taking 17 credit hours(which includes Major Readings/Senior Project), working 19 a week, am on Service Scholars, and am runningΒ Ξ£AI. I’m learning some real problem solving skills as well as conflict resolution techniques. It’s exhausting most of the time, but I think I’m well on my way for being prepared for Grad School. My dad actually said the other day, “Welcome to adulthood!” And yeah, he was being pretty sarcastic, but it also kind of seemed like a compliment. πŸ™‚

-Kay


My Angels

Everyone has angels in their lives, they’re people who show up in your times of need, people who help you through an icy patch on the road of life, people who love you when you feel like you’re an island in the storm.

I’ve always believed that we have hidden angels in our lives and it’s struck me lately how true that is. I’ve been blessed with so many angels, so many people who genuinely love me, friends who go out of their way to ease a discomfort, wipe a tear, heal a hurt…

My family is in a rough spot financially and that’s really hard to swallow. It’s made me question a lot of my decisions in life. It’s made me second guess my plans, my actions. It makes me feel selfish for being at school. And it makes me realize how wasteful I’ve been in my nearly 21 years on this earth. I can’t afford to be here, at school. I have no idea how I’m going to make it to graduation when I can’t even come up with the money for this semester.

I’m second guessing seminary. Maybe this is God’s way of shutting down my pride and telling me I need to work for a few years before continuing with my education. I don’t NEED to go to seminary. I don’t NEED to be ordained. I can do God’s work without those things. It’s my thirst for knowledge and the example of my mentors that led me down the road to seminary. Maybe that’s not what God wants. Maybe I don’t need to spend the extra money.

I’m scared. I got some bad news today, news that I don’t feel particularly comfortable publishing for the world yet. And in this time I’ve turned to some of the most beautiful and talented and inspiring young women I know, my SAI sisters. They have helped me so much without knowing they were doing anything. An Angel, we’ll call her Rose, manifested herself about a week ago. She bought my books for the semester. She’s stubborn and once she gets her mind on an idea, there’s no stopping that train. She’s fiery and passionate and silly and one of the best friends in my life. Tonight, I cried on the shoulders of those sisters. I told them for the first time that I was in trouble and they smiled and told me things would be ok. They hugged me and kissed me and gave me strength and courage to hold my head in confidence that, though life will throw me curve balls, they will pull out all the stops to get me the biggest damn net you’ve ever imagined to catch it.

These girls are my angels. They are my guiding stars. My companions through the thickest of evil nasty forests. And I love them with my whole big heart.

You have someone like this in your life. Let them in. God has sent them for you specifically. And when you’re able, return the favor. Then it’ll be your chance to be an angel.

-Kay


Christmas Vacation

There’s a been a lot of turmoil in the last few weeks, but I’m home for Christmas break and I’d like to write a post about two good things in my life.

The first, my grades! They actually turned out decent this semester. As many of you know, I made the dumb decision to embark on two foreign language journeys this semester. Spanish and Chemistry. Spanish turned out to be more challenging than I anticipated. And Chemistry wasn’t awful. I did well and I actually enjoyed most of it. Not the math. But pretty much everything else. Because of these two challenging subjects, I was greatly concerned for my grades, and more so, my GPA. Well, folks! I ended the semester with all As and Bs. To some of you this will sound like I had nothing to worry about. Others… Well, you may be looking at that and thinking, “That’s not as good as so and so…” Please keep those comments to yourself. I’m trying to be excited about my semester. I’m trying really hard to be ok with the fact that I’m no longer a straight A student. I did well and next semester will be even better! Proof that I CAN be happy AND successful! If you’re confused about that statement, don’t sweat it. Haha!

The second good, no GREAT, thing in my life is The Nerdmate. πŸ™‚ My lands, he makes me happy! It’s been almost a year now folks and I can’t believe the things I’ve done, the person I’ve become in that time. I’ve learned so much about him, myself, life. I can’t imagine being happier with anyone else. I’ve never felt as complete as I do when I’m with him. I like the way he makes me feel. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I’m not scared of what my future with another person holds, I’m not scared to put my trust in him.

Right now I’m missing him a great deal. It gets harder and harder to leave him every time and I wonder if it will always be this way. The good news is, each time I grow more confident that we’ll make it through. We survived the summer and we’ve now survived two semesters together. He’ll be here on Sunday, Christmas day. What a glorious Christmas present. πŸ™‚

He’s not really done a family holiday with my family yet. Not one where he meets the extended family. He won’t be here for Christmas Eve with my dad’s family, and he went home for Thanksgiving, but he will be meeting my mom’s family this Christmas. He’ll be coming with my family and some of our extended family for vacation the week between Christmas and New Year’s. On the way back, we’ll stop at my Aunt’s house(my mom’s sister) to celebrate Christmas with them. I can’t wait for them to meet him. I hope they like him as much as I do. If we make it to next Christmas, I hope he’ll get to meet more of my dad’s family. πŸ™‚

-Kay


Gods and Generals*

*A major motion picture, also the soundtrack I’m listening to currently

Grandma Mary died this afternoon. Those of you that have been with me since the beginning of this blog know that I’ve already been through the loss of one Grandma Mary, now I’ve lost the other. This grandma was the grandmother of The Bestie, mother of Mom M(also referred to as The Cool Mom). For most people, I think, such a loss would not be as shattering, but if you think that’s the way of it for me in this situation, then you obviously don’t understand my relationship to The Bestie and her family.

I’ve talked before about how The Bestie’s family, from a very young age, has adopted me as one of their own. A good portion of her extended family has done the same. The Bestie is an only child. Mom M is an only child. So when Sarah and I became such foundational parts of the other’s life, it wasn’t a huge deal to include me in a few of the family get togethers. It helps that our birthdays are so close togetherI invited Grandma Mary and Papa Jim to my graduation. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been to their house after a carnival or fair of some kind. I’ve been to family barbecues for Memorial Days and Labor Days. The loss hits me almost like it hits The Bestie.

The hardest part for me is that I’m not there. I’m in the midst of finals and have to stay here until the end. I won’t be able to really mourn until Thursday. Worse, I won’t be there to hold my best friend in what is going to be one of the hardest times of her life thus far, I won’t be there to be a daughter and a comfort for one of the most influential people in my life.

Mom M has been there for me through so much it’s unfathomable and it kills me that I won’t be there for her. I know she wouldn’t want me to be upset about that of all things right now, but I am. I wish there was a way to skip out of finals. I want nothing more than to be at their house with them. To be anywhere with them.

“If home is where the heart is, I’ve never been more home-sick than now.”

-Kay


Exciting Things Are Happening!

I’ve been in this office all week preparing for Sunday morning! I’m so excited and more than a little nervous, but that’s pretty normal for me. My sermon is just about complete, my slides are done, my order of worship is all flushed out and bulletins are ready to be printed! I’ve been very productive. πŸ™‚

The pastor I’m interning under began talking with me today about the “pre-ministry” book I read last summer. As I was glimpsing through it beforehand something caught my eye that I hadn’t considred before. I reread those few pages about compus ministry an that avenue toward fulfilling your calling and I felt a family tug at my heartstrings. I’m nto sure what God’s telling me, but I’m going to explore that more, especially when I get back to campus in August.

Other exciting pieces of news:

Little Man and I went to a LINC sponsored event at the KC Public Library last night and had the opportunity to meet with Susan Pulgar. She is a remarkable woman, originally from Hungary, she became the first female Grand Master in chess at the age of 21.

Also, LA and I have been talking and yesterday it became official: he’s coming to visit me!!! πŸ™‚ His plane will arrive at 330pm on Sunday, in time to enjoy some 4th ofΒ  July festivities, and he’ll be staying with us until August!

And I can’t recall whether or not I share this with you, but The Nerdmate will be coming to celebrate the 4th with my family and I and staying the week as well.

This means that my two favorite guys in the whole world will be here at the same time! I’m so supremely excited! I really hope they get along. I think they will, they both love me very much, after all!

Haha! I’m just kidding. They ave other things in common as well. πŸ™‚

Anyway, I better get back to work. I was just so excited that I couldn’t keep it from my readers any longer! πŸ™‚

Have a good one, folks.

-Kay


Big Sis The Slave Driver

Haha! I’m just kidding! I love my big sister very much! She’s just a little impatient to see a post regarding this past weekend. Yes, it WAS Easter, but I think the reason she is so anxious about this particular post is that The Nerdmate came home with me to meet the family!

We had loads of fun. Thursday night we watched The King’s Speech with Mom, LittleSis, and BabyBro. It’s a really phenomenal movie, I highly recommend seeing it if you already haven’t. Then The Nerdmate kicked my bum at Stratego. I say it was pure luck due to the fact that it’s been ages since I played last.

Friday we went to Powell Gardens for Earth Day. It’s a lovely little place with huge gardens and lovely walking trails. Unfortunately, it was a rather dreary day. I will definitely have to take The Nerdmate back when it’s nice outside. That evening we went to church for The Sonlight Players drama Moments In Time. It was fantastic as usual, boys! Basically, they dramatize the Last Supper, The Betrayal, The Garden, and even Jesus’ Death. They’ve been doing this for years now and it just keeps growing. I’m so proud of them.

After that we headed over to BigSis’ house. The Nerdmate really got along well with BigSis and BrownMan, but I knew that would happen. BrownMan thinks The Nerdmate is too quite for me, but I think they just need to spend more time together. We stayed up late watching Top Gear, which The Nerdmate had never seen bever. I don’t think he previously took me seriously about how much BrownMan loves cars. He’ll learn.

Saturday we drove around the city and BigSis and BrownMan took us to this really fantastic mexican restaurant in KC called Rudy’s Tenampa Taqueria. The Nerdmate said it was the best burrito of his life! Haha! He’s so cute. He was a little in awe of the city. He had never been in a city before, nothing bigger than CoMo that is. CoMo isn’t hardly a city at all, just a big town.

Next we met back up with my parents. They were still working on trading off the van, so when they were done me managed to squeeze The Nerdmate, myself, LittleSis, BabyBro, Mom, and Dad into Mom’s new cute little Kia. Yeah, it maybe cute, but it was definitely not made to fit six people! Haha! It was an adventure. I’m pretty sure The Nerdmate is beginning to comprehend how crazy the Kelly Family is. God help him if he ever makes it to a REAL family holiday. We spent the rest of the evening playing board games. I think The Nerdmate is also discovering how much our family loves board games. He seems to like them too.

Sunday we went to church and it was fun. The Nerdmate met the Bestie and Peanut, he met FellowNerd, and many other people that have been important to me over the years. It was really nice to have him there with me seeing how my life away from school is. Both of us felt like we grew a lot closer to one another over the course of last weekend.

We’re both worried about this summer. He’s never been in a relationship “that was this good or lasted this long.” It makes me nervous, because he doesn’t have any idea how this works. It also makes me nervous, because distance was the breakdown in my last two relationships. I didn’t feel for either of them the way I feel for The Nerdmate, but I did love them. Still, the farther you are the from someone, the less you have to work at it. That person isn’t constantly there to remind you of the things you like about them. You can chose to not pick up the phone and have those difficult conversations. You don’t have to worry about them getting upset because you didn’t respond to a text, because the other person won’t be there to confront you about it. Unless you actively work at a long distance relationship… it will fall apart. I don’t want this to fall apart…

I hope it turns out ok, especially after last weekend.

-Kay