73 days between posts? blogger fail.

i logged into my blog this morning to write a quick little update.  i thought it had been a few weeks since i’d filled you in on my super exciting life.  then i realized my last post was july 28th.  wowzas.  sorry ’bout that.

let’s see if i can catch you up on the last few months.  they’ve been filled with road trips and weddings and events that have been good for my spirit and completely exhausting at the same time.  for some reason i thought that when summer ended things would slow down.  now i find myself nine days into october and there isn’t much of a break on the horizon.  thanksgiving might bring a lull.  maybe.  but i’ve learned to make the most of the quiet moments i do have while doing my best to embrace the chaos when it comes.  i’m still perfecting the art of learning to be quiet in the midst of the noise.  even so, i’m happy and content and beyond blessed by the life i live.  no complaints from this girl.  at least not today.

this morning i find myself in my perfect yellow chair i picked up from an antique store.  i’m sipping coffee next to my open window.  the air is cool and the cinnamon candle burning reminds me that fall is in the air.  last night i had dinner with some dear friends and rested while they worshipped.  their songs were transferred to my computer and are serving as church today.  it’s a good day to enjoy the small things that often times get lost in my busy schedule of relationships, responsibilities and the whole changing-the-world-thing i’m working on.

so while i’m enjoying the smaller things in life today you can get caught up on where i’ve been and what i’ve been doing.  if you promise to get yourself up to speed on my life i’ll promise to not go seventy three days without an update.  ever again.  really.  promise.

at the beginning of august i trekked thirteen hours with kelly and jordan up to chicago for the jesus culture awakening conference.  my bff met us up there, so it was great to spend some time with her, too.  we were unaware that the conference would mostly be filled with thousands of high schoolers but enjoyed it nonetheless.

a few of us spent one of the last days of summer at the river.  we hiked and swam and a few brave souls jumped off a cliff.  it was fun day of adventure that will definitely need to be replicated.

my co-worker robby and i had the privilege of spending a week at mississippi college for their mission fair.  we met with all kinds of incredible students, shared with them about the passport and about our own experiences on the world race.  we were tired by the time we got home, but really enjoyed our time with them.

the last few months have also included a world race reunion/conference, watching my friend and co-worker weston tie the knot, nights in the hammock, a staff picnic, and a trip to florida for my world race teammate’s wedding.

well, i think that pretty much gets you up to speed.  hoping your sunday is lovely.

she taught me how to run.

i’ve been in a reflective mood lately.  it’s probably all of the nostalgia of training camps and the whole ‘being home one year’ thing.  maybe it has something to do with the places the lord has been taking me in my own heart lately.  anyways.  i’ve just been thinking a lot.  thinking about how things have happened in my life, the people that have been around, what god has done.

last week i got to see some dear friends in atlanta, which got me reflecting on these friends and what they’ve meant in my life.
i met coach lacy when i was twelve years old.  i walked into kennedy middle school the “new girl.”  i was scared, shy and all kinds of awkward.  over the next few years i had a few classes with her.  she taught my aerobics class, my multi-media classes and coached volleyball.  volleyball was definitely not for me.  but i think maybe my knack for media started in her class.  i remember how in our aerobics class we’d take friday’s off to have “girl talk.”  we could write down secret questions and she’d answer them.  she shared parts of her life with a room-ful of girls in hopes that we might learn something about  ourselves and about life.  apparently i did. she was the teacher everyone wanted to have and the kind of person everyone wanted to be.

 i always admired her.
eventually i hit the milestone of eighth-grade graduation and moved up to high school. she coached track there, so it was then that our relationship really began to blossom.  i started babysitting for her girls; kelsey was just six or seven and bailey was still in a crib.  at first i’d just spend a friday or saturday night hanging out with the girls, watching bring it on and having killer dance parties.  somehow, though, as time went on i found myself with them more and more.  by my sophomore year i was spending afternoons and evenings in the lacy home multiple times a week.  i ate dinner with them and attended family functions.  i found myself immersed into their lives and into their family.
looking back, i can recognize that i was so drawn to them because it was the only place i really felt safe.  in so many ways it was the only refuge i had from the mess at home and my chaotic, dramatic, ever-changing teenage life.

coach lacy taught me how to run. she always challenged me to do better and to be better.  running away was never an option.  making excuses was never an option.  at an early age, out of necessity, she taught me to run straight into whatever life was throwing at me and to make a decision on what i was going to do with it.  she expected great things from me.  but she was always proud of me.  and she never hesitated to express it.  i remember the first time i ran a sub-six mile.  she ran back and forth my whole race, spurring me on.  when i crossed the finish line she was there, crying with arms open.  she saw good in me when i was blind to it.  she loved me well.
she threw me a surprise birthday party when i turned sixteen.  she braided my hair for track meets and sat with me on bus rides.  she often cooked me my favorite meal [grilled salmon and cheesy green beans for anyone out there wanting to get on my good side].  she hugged me. she got me out of class to have mid-day snack breaks.  she stayed up late with me and taught me about life as we ate nachos and watched golden girls.  we ate ice cream for dinner and went to tcby almost every week for waffle cone wednesday.  she drove across town to pick me up when i called in the middle of the night and she was there when i felt like my life was literally crumbling around me.
when i moved across the state at the beginning of my junior year she kept in touch. the emails and the phone calls still came.  she never forgot about me.  she drove through a snow-storm to watch me be on homecoming court my senior year.  and she drove back to watch me graduate.

she has been every example of friendship, sacrifice, and hospitality that i could ever hope to display.  as the years pass by, coach lacy and her family will continue have a special place in my heart.  we’ve laughed too many laughs and cried too many tears for it to ever go away.  i have always loved and appreciated the role she’s played in my life.  it was never something i took for granted.  but in the past week or so i have just been so overwhelmed by what her presence in my life really meant.  i absolutely believe i am who i am today in large part because she took a chance on me.

she loved me and took care of me when no one else would [or could].  she helped me move, in some ways, from being a kid stuck in sucky circumstances into being a capable woman, the world at my fingertips.

embedded residue. i’ve been home one year.

well.  it’s official.  i can no longer start a sentence with “last year on the world race…”  i’ve been on american soil for three hundred and sixty five days. [minus the week-long stint in ireland last fall].  whoa.  deep breath.

i landed in lax sometime in the afternoon a year ago.  the lady looked at my passport and said “you’ve been gone for quite some time.  welcome home.” to which i offered a fake smile as i fought back tears.  then i stood in customs for three hours before finally walking out into american civilization.  i spent the evening with my world race bff’s before hopping on a red-eye back to missouri.

i walked off of a plane in springfield and hugged my family.  we drove home.  the first thing i did was try on an old pair of jeans to make sure they still fit.  then i took a nap.  we ate lasagna for dinner.  and normal life just kind of began again.

countless times over the last year when i have thought back to my time on the world race i’ve  felt like it was nothing more than a dream.  a crazy adventure that just kind of happened but it wasn’t real.  except that it was real.  so real, in fact, that the residue is still on me.  not the africa dirt and asia smell.  but the residue of the things i saw.  the prayers i prayed and people i met.  the residue of feelings i felt and dreams i dared to dream.  it’s still on me, the glory of it all.

in fact, it’s just being embedded deeper and deeper into who i am.

i spent three weeks at home.  mostly i tried to catch up with the friends and family i had missed for eleven months.  i ate a lot of food and drank a lot of coffee.  i packed up my life and drove to georgia, where i’ve spent the last eleven months on a brand new adventure and at the same time discovering a new kind of normal.

my first few months in georgia were mostly spent in tears.  i cried because i was lonely.  i cried because i missed being on the field.  i missed holding babies and praying for sick people.  i cried because i had no plan.  i cried because i had absolutely no idea how to do my job.  sometimes i cried because it was the only thing i knew to do in the midst of trying to process and re-enter to so many things.  but, over the months, slowly but surely the tears have become fewer and farther between.  i promise.  ask allison.

i’ve become somewhat settled.  in gainesville, yes.  but mostly in my spirit.  i’ve got a bit of handle on why i’m here.  i’m not so lonely anymore. and i’ve figured some things out about my job.  i feel like i’ve processed the things i’ve seen; even though i still miss the african babies.  i guess i don’t really have a plan.  but i don’t feel like i really need one right now, so that’s refreshing.

anyways.  a lot has happened in the last year.  a lot of good things and a lot of hard things.  some broken places have been exposed and some other broken places have been healed.  i’m more whole than i was a year ago.  i’m more confident and hopeful than i was a year ago.  i’m definitely more free than i was year ago. and i am so much more thankful thank i was a year ago.

i’m thankful for the journey of the world race.  i’m thankful for the journey the last eleven months in georgia have been.  as thankful as i am for the past, i want to be the kind of person who looks ahead to the future with hope and great expectation.  there’s really no telling what’s in store for the next three hundred and sixty five days.  but my prayer is that the residue of my past journeys would become more deeply embedded as i set my eyes and heart towards the journey ahead.

with that.  enjoy the video i made of our world race journey.

happy home-one-year-aversary k-squad.

bacon is different.

so.  i’ve been on overload for the last few weeks.  i mean, filled-to-the-brim-everything-is-so-crazy-all-i-want-to-do-is-sleep o.ver.load.  ever since going to new york life has been pretty much going non-stop.  family stuff.  relationship stuff.  work stuff.  jesus stuff.  it’s just been a lot.  and i’ve been over-capacity, in desperate need of alone time.  quiet time.  time to be still.

so today, i’m home. and it feels oh, so good.  i’m working on some things, doing some laundry and unpacking from said trip to new york.  i’m working on emails and and addressing my latest newsletter.  just wrapping up the week, really.

i traipsed upstairs in my yoga pants to have coffee with allison this afternoon.  she’s always real refreshing for me.  she asks me the questions i don’t always want to answer but that make me think on things and draw out new, deeper parts of me.  she seeks to understand and loves me in the midst of my stuff.  i hope i’m a little bit like her when i grow up.  except for the part where she hates bacon.  i love bacon and would like to eat it forever. thankyouverymuch.

speaking of eating, i need to do that.  i haven’t had anything but coffee yet today.  oops.  but maybe i should have some more coffee?  it’s a good, dreary day for lots of coffee.

because i just love coffee.  we all know this.  but i also love the idea of coffee.  because in some weird, twisted way, it’s a cool, trendy thing to drink coffee.  like it offers some kind of status in some universe that’s not real but is real.  right?

but then i have moments where i don’t want to talk about how much i love coffee because everyone talks about how much they love coffee.  i don’t want to be another coffee-drinking, toms-wearing, jesus-loving gal who is so desperately trying to be different that she actually ends up fitting into some kind of mold.  there’s something in me that needs to be different.  but everyone wants to be different so we end up all being the same kind of different.  you know?

hm.  that all kind of came from nowhere.  maybe it’s also a good day for contemplation.

on that note, i guess i’ll go have some coffee.  and maybe some bacon.

a rant. and a request.

i don’t like to see my friends hurting.

whether it’s over a family member being sick, support not coming in, a boy, a lie from the enemy, or some big injustice going on in the world that they have absolutely no control over.

i hate to see my friends in pain.

the problem is i also have a really high sense of justice.  and so my reaction is generally to just get mad when i see them struggling.  sometimes i get mad at the circumstances.  sometimes i get mad at the Lord.  sometimes i get mad at the people who do the hurting.  also i’m really good at holding grudges. also, i’ve also gotten pretty good at the being bitter thing.  i know, i know.  it’s not the most healthy way to live my life.  i get it.  really, i do.  and the lord and i are working it out slowly but surely.

anyways, don’t hurt my friends.

just….don’t.  because then i will hurt you.  kapeesh?