Archive | August, 2013

Hello Teacher

24 Aug

So it’s that time of year again…..back to school. Well, actually it’s not an “again” for us; it’s a first. Our sweet little girl, who’s missing her two bottom teeth, is headed to kindergarten. She’s been going to Pre-K for the last 2 years so backpacks, folders and bagged lunches isn’t new to us, but the fact she’s at a real school with a real attendance policy with really big 5th graders is.

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We met the teacher the other night. I headed there straight from work and I realized I had a problem on my hands. You see, for some reason unknown to me, I actually dressed professionally that day. The first impression the teacher will have of me is I’m professional……um, so NOT me! I didn’t want to set the bar too high so I texted Brandn at the last minute asking him to bring my Toms, to make my outfit more “Katie.”

A teacher can learn a lot about the child by meeting the parents. I didn’t want her to size me up as a serious, put together kind of mom. I was hoping my outfit conveyed the message that I work so I won’t be the “crafty, class mom” and that if I’m supposed to bring something that day I will probably leave it sitting by the door where I obviously left it so it wouldn’t be forgotten. I’m the mom that will drop Danica off on time but will most likely expose herself to the students b/c when I wear dresses, they end up tucked in my panties quite often.

I’m entrusting my sweet daughter to her teacher. Her teacher, whose name I have already forgotten, is super sweet and gives off a good vibe. She’s young so she has a lot of energy and still believes she can impact the kids and make a difference in their lives. She hasn’t become calloused like the poor teachers that have to deal with stinky, know-it-all, teenagers.

I get to drop her off every day at school. I almost cried when I realized this. I won’t be able to pick her up so dropping her off is huge. She’s still young and I’m still cool and not embarrassing. I want her to have a kiss, a hug and a smile from me last thing before she heads off to face the tough day of coloring, reading and sharing. I know the day will come when she asks me to stay in the car and not walk her to the door. I will die a little and after my crying fit, I will spend the rest of the day plotting my sweet revenge for tomorrow morning. That day is not today so I will enjoy the sweet kisses while they last.

Here is my prayer for her:
Lord, watch over Danica. Let her day be filled with wonder and new things. Help her make friends and get along with others. Let her not compromise herself to fit in. Help her to remember what is right and wrong and to choose right. Give her strength to defend herself and others against bullies. When the test is hard, let her remember she is smart. When girls are mean, let her remember she is loved. When boys are smooth, let her remember they are dumb. When she’s overwhelmed, let her remember your peace. Please help her to remember she is not alone and You are with her when momma and papa are not. Keep her safe and let her get really smart so when we’re old; she can afford to put us in a luxury nursing home.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

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730 Days

13 Aug

What is 730 days? Well I’ll tell you; its’ the number of days that Brandn, Danica and I have lived here. Moving to Austin, heck, leaving San Angelo NEVER crossed our minds, EVER.

730 days ago we loaded up our truck for the final time and headed out. We moved here to help plant Revive Church. We left family, friends, jobs, insurance and our first home to part of this roller coaster ride. It looked crazy to many people but when God tells you to go, you go.

So what have I learned? Well I’ll keep it short. It was 2 years ya’ll. If I told you everything you’d still be reading it on our 3 year anniversary. Read them, they aren’t boring, I promise!

  • I’ve learned to trust God. I know that is the typical church planter response but it’s so true. He was behind everything and made sure all the pieces fell together to get us here. I have had to remind myself that He didn’t bring us here only to forget about us. When I think of how my life might be easier if we still lived in San Angelo, I remind myself that God’s past faithfulness is proof of His future faithfulness.
  • I’ve learned to communicate better with Brandn. I like to talk; good thing Brandn likes to listen. (That was sarcasm at its finest!) I think that’s one reason I started blogging; so I can share my opinions with the world! You’re welcome.  This life changing event left my emotions all over the place and Brandn was the one person I had to talk them all out with. They say (just who exactly are “they” anyway?) They say women speak 20,000 words a day and my poor husband got stuck listening to …probably…..126, 743 of them. There were way too many thoughts I needed to talk out so I learned to tell Brandn things I never would; I had to lean on him in ways I never had before.
  • It’s not all about me. What?!?!?! My eyes have been opened to people in need. I’m judgmental; I haven’t been completely delivered from this one yet, but I’m less judgmental now. I see a homeless person and I don’t automatically think, “stinky bum, get a job,” like I used to. I literally cry over orphans and have I realized there are little kids in my own community that need help and guess what, I can help them! Insert Happy Dance.  Be jealous of my moves!
  • I say “seriously” a lot. Like I said my emotions are all over the place and I have decided “seriously” is an appropriate substitute for cussing.
  • I-35 isn’t as scary as it used to be. This is how I used to drive on 35, enjoy. Now I’m cool, calm and collected. Not really. I still freak out and yell “seriously” a lot.
  • I’m obsessed with recycling and I have come up with some pretty creative ways to conserve water.
  • My clothes don’t have to match! I know this sentence may cause some of you to break out into hives and start sweating profusely. I however find it liberating and I’m passing this realization to my daughter. It’s obvious everyday who dressed her. If either she or I pick her clothes, she doesn’t match; if Brandn picks them, she does. This morning she wore a pink, short dress with watermelons on it and a sky-blue skirt with rainbow peace signs…1 guess as to who DIDN’T dressed her!
  • Having a garden, chickens, the start of a rain water collection system and 15 fruit trees/bushes (not exaggerating, we counted) in your back yard, doesn’t make you weird. It makes you fun!

I’ve spent a lot of the last 2 years dizzy and wanting to puke; but I wouldn’t trade it for a minute.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you….welcome to my brain.

Reality Check

1 Aug

Nothing pulls you out of an “I’m entitled to” party faster than any sentence from the book The Hole in Our Gospel. It’s by Rich Stearns, the President of World Vision; I’ve blogged about it before and I promise you I’ll blog about it again. I picked up this book for at least the 3rd time with the intent on finishing it this time. I must finish it so I can start on my next book, Radical.

You see, I’m a temp at work and I had a meeting with my boss to discuss my permanent employment status. These words weren’t spoken but I left the meeting realizing she’s not going to offer me permanent employment and I’ll be a temp as long as I’m there. I was mad, no mad is an understatement. I was extremely livid; my pride and my feelings were hurt. I was honest during the meeting and I had a hunch my honesty would probably bite me in the butt. Well, I was right, it bit hard.  I left fuming, thinking “I’ve been working my butt off for over 4 months…I have a degree and all I get paid is THIS…I’ll just stay home tomorrow and see how she likes that.” I also envisioned ripping her head off and impaling it on the flag pole out front. Did I mention I was mad?

I wanted permanent status for the pay raise, insurance and the feeling that the company was committed to me. All of these things are very important but really I just wanted them because I felt entitled to them; I…deserved…them. My pride took a blow and I felt embarrassed that I was still a “temp.” The decision to keep me a temp had nothing to do with my work performance. I’ll keep the reason out of this blog because I don’t want people’s opinions on what I should have/should not have done. This is my blog so I’ll be the one throwing out opinions here.  🙂

  • 1 out of 4 children in developing countries is underweight, and some 350-400 million children are hungry. A child dies every 5 seconds due to hunger related causes.
  • As many as 5 million people die every year of water-related illnesses.  This creates a no win situation for millions of parents – they either watch helplessly as their children die from lack of water or they can watch them die from diarrhea because the only water they have is tainted.
  • 1.5 – 2.7 million people die each year from from Malaria – something preventable and curable.
  • AIDS has now caused 15 million orphans.  In Africa they say when it comes to HIV, everyone is either infected or affected – no one escapes completely.
  • In the US 2 out of every 1,000 children die before their 5th birthday; in Africa it’s 165 out of 1,000.

Well damn!!! These are stats from The Hole in Out Gospel, stats that I read the same day as my meeting. I can’t get all worked up over a pay raise when I’m reminded of this.  I know these stats exist but I push them to the back of my brain because it’s so overwhelming.  Or maybe it’s because Africa is thousands of miles away and it doesn’t impact me directly and it’s not my child, so it’s easy to turn a blind eye.

So what are we going to do about it?  That’s right, I said WE; you and me.

Don’t fail to do something just because you can’t do everything.  For just $35/month you can sponsor a child through World Vision.

Your sponsorship provides food, clean water, medical care, clothes, and education.  Education is the key to lifting families out of poverty.  Because the kids have clean water in their village, they no longer spend hours a day walking miles to a dirty water source.  Nope, they have their day back, now they have time for school.  They also learn about the love of Christ.  Most of these children don’t have parents so they don’t comprehend love; especially a loving Father, God, whom they have never met.  But they get the fact that a complete stranger on the other side of the world (probably someone crazy like me who cried like a blubbering idiot over a sweet little boy named “Goodluck Alfred”) sponsors/sends letters and pictures/cares for them and this helps them understand what love is.

A brilliant man named Bono said ” We can be the generation that no longer accepts that an accident of latitude determines whether a child lives or dies.

If World Vision isn’t your thing that’s cool.  Next time you’re at the store, buy fair trade coffee.  Next time you buy a pair of shoes, buy Toms.  Next time you buy jewelry, buy something handmade from a woman in a 3rd world country trying to make an honest, dignified income.  Buy local; support the small business owners living in your community or contact the local Foster Children office and see how they need help….we’re all in this together ya’ll.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.