Friday, November 7, 2008

This is home

There is something to say for home. I don't think you can truly appreciate it until you are away from that place that feels like home. Being at school has taught me to really appreciate the place where I spent all of my life. When I reach 52 North and see the Rural Hall exit, I can't help but smile. Not because it is a particularly spectacular place, because it is not. Not because there is never a dull moment, because those sneak up on you from time to time.I smile because I am home. When I pull into my driveway and am met not just with a hello, but with the screams and laughter of two little sisters, I know. When I calm them down and walk to hug my mom, I know. When I look up and see my dad standing there, waiting patiently for the last hug, I know. I know I am home. I know I am in a place where I can let my guard down. A place where I can be myself. A place where love surrounds me and judgement fades. It is here that I can express the greatest fears of my heart, and those fears will be comforted. It is here that I share the lofty dreams that tumble through my head, and those dreams, no matter how seemingly unattainable, are supported and encouraged. It is here that I am challenged and humbled. It is here that I am inspired and motivated. It is here that I am home.

I have often wondered when that place of home will change for me. When it will no longer be Rural Hall, but when it will be Raleigh, Africa, Central America, Chicago, or wherever God leads me in the future. The truth is, I don't think that place of home will ever change. Sure, the building may change. The city may change. The country may change. That place of home, however, that will never change. It will always be that place where I am surrounded by my family. This, this is home.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

An answer to prayer...

I hate being angry. It is funny, though, how the smallest things can change my mood from smiles to glares. I wish I knew what set it off, but I can't even figure myself out. Little things add up until I just explode, but not really. I just get very quiet. I don't talk to anyone. I crank the Frank. The signs of an angry Kayla are obvious. Then when I look back at exactly what added up the this anger I see myself as ridiculous. A car going slow. No parking space. Plans not working out exactly as expected. Waiting in line. All things that are no big deal, things that can easily teach one patience. Oh, and speaking of, here is a line from my prayer journal written on Friday morning.

"I see myself struggling with patience. Patience with those around me. Patience with life. Patience with You and the plan You have for my life. Lord, teach me this patience I long for."

And He answers, exactly one day later. But I can't see my circumstances as an answer to prayer, I see them as reason to get frustrated. I act like a two year old. I fail yet again. I am so thankful that I serve a God who is patient with me, a girl who is the ultimate source of frustration. A God who accepts the cries of a sinner. A God who sees me on my knees begging for forgiveness more times than can be counted, and a God who picks me up time and time again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thoughts of the Sleepless

Well, 5:00 in the morning finds me sleepless and nursing a nagging cough. I finally decided to get up a few minutes ago, and since the busy day gives me very little opportunity to write, I concluded that this is the perfect time. A lot has happened since I last blogged. I went to Washington D.C. with the Park Scholars class of 2011. It was an AMAZING trip. I really miss being with those guys. It is so hard to get all of us together. When you have 50 overachieving young adults you can't even get five minutes for coffee! It is ridiculous. Anyways, we learned about the economy and what is happening to our nations money. We heard speakers about the national debt and the problems that the candidates are refusing to address in a manner with any backbone: social security and medicare. They refuse to address it because no matter what they say voters will be lost. Americans are NOT willing to sacrifice for the greater good of anyone else, and any candidate asking them to do so would immediately become extremely unpopular. It is kind of frustrating. Actually, I am really frustrated with Washington in general. Politicians are extremely "me" centered. The foundation of our United States is one of corruption. The more I learn the more frustration I feel. But don't get me started on this, I still don't know enough to have intelligent conversation about it nor to propose a solution, so until then my political opinions are confined to my head and my blog. Anyways, back to the trip. It was really good bonding. I had some great conversation with the Assistant (hopefully soon official) director, Eva. I really like her. She comes across as intimidating at first, but once you spend time with her you see her for who she is, and who she is is great. I also had some great bonding with the Parks on the train ride home. We had a few technical difficulties and what should have taken 5 hours took 7. About 25 of us ended up piling into one small section and singing random 90's songs for about an hour. It was incredibly fun, the kind of fun where you say anything because you are so tired. We laughed until we cried. We had arms and legs everywhere. It was crazy, and I will never forget it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Enjoy Each Moment

I am beginning to get a little homesick, something that I do not want to admit. I have not been home in a few months, and it is beginning to take its toll. I have always been extremely close with my sisters, and every time I talk to them I find out new (and life changing) things that are going on in their lives. My youngest sister is running for class president. I am so proud of the woman she is becoming. She is her own person. She doesn't follow the crowd, she stands up for her beliefs, she is brilliant, she is beautiful. I hate that I am missing the key growing points in her life. In a year she will transition from middle to highschool, and I won't be there. I am afraid I am not going to know when she makes National Honor Society, or when a boy asks her out, or when she picks out the perfect prom dress. It started with the small details. I didn't know what shirt she was wearing or who she was talking to on the phone. From there it grew. I didn't know that she made an "A" in math. The details of her life keep getting more and more fuzzy. And what is worse is that this is not only true for one sister, but for two. Taylor is walking through her sophomore year of highschool. She is experiencing the struggles of a teenage girl, and I am not just across the hall anymore. And the scary thing is that she doesn't call. I miss both of them so much that it hurts. I don't want to blink for fear of missing something. But I can't live life like that. And so I just have to enjoy each moment I get to spend with them, each time I get to hear their voices on the phone, each surprise text and letter in the mail. I just have to be there to love them no matter what. We share a bond that time and distance can't break. Those two beautiful ladies will ALWAYS be my sisters, and for that I will always be thankful.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Undeserved Friendship

I have been blessed in my life with an incredible group of friends. The kind of friends who you can really be yourself around. The kind that shares in your joy, hurts with your pain, cries with your heartbreak, and laughs with you after an embarrassing moment. The thing is, most people wait their entire lives for just one friend like this. They look and look, changing their personalities to fit in with different groups, seeking the approval of those who they wish they could be. This is something I don't have to worry about. I can sing in that off-pitch voice and dance that rhythm less dance and still, somehow, they love me. I can share with them the deepest struggles of my life. You know, those things that you hide away so no one sees just how imperfect you are. I can bring those things to light, be completely open and vulnerable, and know that I will not be judged, but I will be lifted up in prayer. I am so thankful I can feel the love of Christ pouring out of those around me. It is something I do not deserve.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Perfectly Content

I can't explain the feeling inside of me right now. It is a hunger. It is a thirst. It is a longing. It is what I have been praying for (for weeks now.) I was in a bit of...a slump. I felt as though I wanted to want Christ. I wanted to be in His word. I wanted to desire Him over all else. But when I sat down at the end of the day, my heart was not longing for Him. And then, after much prayer, I felt renewed. I don't know when it happened. I can't pinpoint the reason or the event. But I noticed it today when I was doing my quiet time. I couldn't get enough. And then as I was praying and thinking back on the day I felt a genuine joy. A love. An appreciation for my God and Savior.

Also, my extreme discomfort in the field of romance has passed. I am so happy with friendship. Searching for a boyfriend is tiring. Playing the part to win a guy- It is worthless. I am not by any means ready for marriage, so why waste time on pointless relationships right now. Why not spend time pouring into guys around me, loving them, growing with them? Why not do so selflessly without worry of how they will respond in return? There are some really great guys surrounding me right now. Guys who believe in seeking Christ first. Guys who respect women because women are daughters of Christ. A guy actually wrote about that in His blog (that I read today.) Just reading his thoughts about pursuing the good of the girl in a relationship over self-satisfying interests was so amazing to me. It gave me hope in guys again. It made me realize that I should do the same for my guy friends. I should do everything to protect our friendship and stay away from any misleading actions.

Finally, I love serving other people. I realized that I am the most happy when I am pouring into others. I love doing little things for people, things they may never thank me for, but things that can make all the difference in the world. I pray that God would open my eyes to these opportunities. I am often too busy focusing on myself to pick up on them. I just love to be used by God in the small things. I never wish to be the big name who receives the credit. I am perfectly happy on the sidelines. I thank God for putting me here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's the weekend... it has been a few days...

First, and most importantly, church this morning was simply amazing. To sum it up I post these lyrics from Come Thou Fount. If you don't know this song you need to look it up. It is amazing.

Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace; streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise. Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by thy help I'm come; and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

I can't help but be humbled when I think of Christ. I have done nothing to deserve him. HE sought me, not the other way around. I catch my pride swelling when I do "good things." Praise God that he busts through this huge balloon of ego that I have and sends me back down to reality. And when I am not prideful in my walk, I am wandering and giving my heart to others. I just pray that last line. I am prone to wander and leave, but I just pray that God would take my heart and seal it for His purpose and His glory. I pray for a thirst for God. A soul that is not content with my current condition. A soul that is seeking with full force the things of the Lord. A soul that is constantly singing the songs of loudest praise that are tuned to the grace of my Savior.

Second on my mind...well not really on my mind...but part of my life. Last night Sarah and I went to the Estate and cooked dinner for the guys and it was SOOO FUN! We made Fajitas and this Peanut Butter/Chocolate dessert thing. It looked a little something like those on the left. Yes they were amazing (if I do say so myself.)

Dinner was so good (I was a little proud) and we even got a round of applause from the guys. This adventure just made me even more excited to have my own house with my own kitchen. I absolutely love to cook. I like looking up really difficult dishes and seeing if I can make them all come together. I hope to be REALLY good one day and have kids that talk about my cooking the way Caitlin talks about her mom's cooking. Once I achieve that I will be a happy girl. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

So this is goodbye.

So this is goodbye. This is what I have fought against for so long. But, once again, I have lost. I am finally able to close that door and move on. Thank you for making me do so, for slamming it shut in my face. You see, I tricked myself into believing I had said goodbye a long time ago, when in reality I was still holding on, watching you slip away. The only question I have is this: where does this leave me? I mean, where do I go from here. But that is what is exciting. For so long I have been looking through your window, sneaking through your door. Now that it is locked I am forced to turn around and discover my own room, my own life. And to be honest, I really like it. I never noticed all my side had to offer. So I will see you later. Maybe some day I will invite you over, but for now, Goodbye.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I am not gonna lie. I have been struggling lately. I go through phases in my "love life" where I am perfectly content being single. Then, I hit these bumps where I begin to wonder why I haven't had a boyfriend in so very long. Yes, I have had these "things" with guys where we hang out like we are dating, but the guy never makes a move to make any sort of commitment to me. Then, I have no right to be upset when he doesn't call, or when he doesn't mention me, or he doesn't see me. This has, in fact, been happening to me since the 8th grade. So my question is as follows: WHY? I don't want to be so serious that we make everyone around us sick. I don't want anything to change really, except the fact that the guy acknowledges that he has made somewhat of a commitment to me. That's it...the assurance that I will mean something in his life.
Then, as I look back over the previous paragraph, I begin to question my motive for a relationship. I don't want to jump into something with the first guy who asks. Obviously I am picky when it comes to guys, and that may explain my lack of relationship since the eighth grade. But there have been guys who I REALLY liked who just dropped the ball. I guess it is better that way, I know it is better that way, but that doesn't change the hurricane of thoughts about the subject in my head. OH the pain of being a girl with emotion!
Wrapping up, I am going to say this. I have waited almost 20 years so far, I can keep waiting. And I refuse to settle. I refuse to have saved myself and my kiss for someone who will not appreciate the sacrifice. I refuse to date someone who will not respect that sacrifice. And by the time all of this sinks in tomorrow, I will be happy being single again! It is how I work. It is crazy I know.

To finish up, there is another part of my heart that will best be shared with a song by one of my favorite authors and singers, Tara Leigh Cobble. She has experienced some of the same pain I have, and writes much better than I could ever try to write.

It Won't Be You
My love for you is packed up in a suitcase that I had to sit on the lid to close.
Never returned, just tucked into a handkerchief that I never will unfold.
I'll set it down now, I'll let it go. I'm moving on now, just so you know.

Love--he will look for me first In any crowded room.
Love--is waiting up ahead. He will swear I hung the moon.
I finally know the truth. It won't be you.

I am just like Jacobs love for Rachel. I am seven years gone up in flames.
I have become a shame to my own father. All for the keeping of his name.
Nothing's changing, it's all the same. Nothing's changing, it's all the same.

Love--he will look for me first in any crowded room.
Love--is waiting up ahead. He will swear I hung the moon.
I finally know the truth. It won't be you.

I am haunted by a quiet pain.
There's a ghost above my bed.
But it was only love inside my head.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It is Slipping Away

I have been thinking alot about my time lately. I see my childhood quickly becoming a mere memory, and feel the pangs of adulthood looming ever closer. With every passing day I find myself aquiring more responsibility. Don't get me wrong, I love it. I love the independence that comes with growing. I love the ability to develop into my own person. I love the challange of each new day. I do, however, find myself mourning the day when I ran down the hall with my sisters caring only about being the first one to see what Santa brought. Where does that time go? When did I start spending a total of 2 months a year at my house? When did I start having to schedule time to meet with my Daddy? Why does growing up hurt so much?

On a more productive note, my devotion today was about time, and helped me cope with this idea of time. Jonathan Edwards writes this in his sermon "The Preciousness of Time"

"How much may be done in a year! How much good is there opportunity to do in such a space of time! How much service may persons do for God, and how much for their own souls, if to their utmost they imporove it!"

While Edwards wrote these words years ago, they still ring true today. I waste so much time in a day, time that could be spent giving, helping, listening, loving. Once time is gone it is gone. I can not have it back. All I am trying to say is this: I want to make the most of EVERY moment. Whether it is a week spent serving at camp or thirty minuets spent dining in Fountain, I want every second to be productive in some way. Lofty goal, I know.