Jul 30, 2009

Ayiti:Round 2

It seems to me that the feelings that accompany this next trip are somewhat deeper than my trip on May 18th. I am returning to Haiti a changed person. I am returning with a profound excitement and darker fears and anxieties. While I may be more prepared on the outside, the inside fights the fear that is larger than before.

Oh life.

Jul 27, 2009

false and foul as hell

I'm caught up in another restless night.  I am wrapped up in the book I bought today.  The woman's story is so heartbreaking.  I made myself turn off the light after her husband turned out to be a different person entirely, following her long history of abuse, self-deprecation, Playboy, and cocaine.  Definitely not the place to leave off in the story.

The woman's goal in life today: to tell people who need to hear it "in this world, you were loved."  Her story somehow ends dedicated to the people of Haiti.  Thus, I found the book.  And thus far, I am sickened by brokenness.

I am a broken person who does messed up things.  As put today in church:
False and foul as hell, my heart, to Thee I offer up

Kevin talked about communion, how it's a part of who we are as Christians.  It's a part of our story.  And as I thought about that during communion, I looked around at everyone in Redeemer, and how they are each beloved.  Why do we not treat each other as such?

Then my thoughts went to Roberto and Emmanuella and Clara and Rose Berline and Jean Marc and Christopher and Widler and Clifton and Mansado and Nicole and Tamara and Jeremiah and Hannah and every other kid whose hand I ever held in the market or the villages.  I think about Estevan who lost his parents and asked me to take him in.  I think about Wendalyn.  I think about Bon Samaritan.  I think about Tytoo Gardens.  I think about Cite Soleil.

And that is one place, the size of Maryland, of nearly 9 million people...out of nearly 8 billion.

Each one beloved.  Do they know they are beloved?  Do I treat them as such?

Beloved there is nothing more,
No more blessings and no more rewards,
Than the treasure of my body and blood
Given freely to all daughters and sons.

Jul 20, 2009


Since arriving back in Kansas City on Thursday evening, I have been busy working, declaring myself a Missouri resident, riding roller coasters, and enjoying returning to Redeemer.  I have caught up with friends, read books, and bought my own groceries for the first time ever.

My life is being removed from Jewell.  Whereas school has been the focal point of life, moving into The Castle has liberated me from the bubble of William Jewell.  And I really like it.

This morning I woke up without an alarm, made organic, fair-trade coffee from Nicaragua, and ate my granola (WITHOUT RAISINS!) and yogurt.  And I just really enjoy sitting on my bed, eating breakfast, reading in the quiet of the house.

Coming back from Haiti, the "culture shock" was delayed.  I spent two days in KC packed with unpacking and people.  It wasn't until I was on the cruise, spending more and more time alone, that I began to feel a sense of loss, a sense of unsettledness.  It felt sort of like everything that had been constant and steady seemed to fall away.  I instead was overwhelmed by the sense that I had no control whatsoever.

My time in Washington, while marked with friends that I love to death and life-giving conversations, left me searching to find control.  And once I finally became aware that I was on a desperate search, I saw that the biggest change that happened since I came back home was that I have never felt quite like an adult before.  But know I am struck with a sense of being more grown up than ever.

How strange, to see your old life with little change observable to the eye in a new way.

In 10 months I have no plans.  I have no idea whether I will find that nursing really is my career or that I am called into something different.  I have no idea once my lease ends June 1, 2010 if I will be staying in KC or heading elsewhere.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end . . . I know everything God does will endure forever." (Ecclesiastes 3:11,14)

Jul 13, 2009

do you feel

Last night I sat around a table with 6 dear friends.  We ate cupcakes and apricots and reminisced and caught up.  We laughed often, and I had a moment where I looked around at every single person at the table, realizing that each of them is significant to me.  Brothers and sisters in my life - I just love them.

Saturday I made a call and agreed to return to Haiti for the month of August.  I tried to fall asleep that night but found myself giddy with excitement, smiling and even laughing out loud at the idea that in just a few weeks I will be flying over Titanyen.

Last night I was expressing what plans I had for the future with one of my friends here.  I don't know that I will be in nursing forever.  I will finish my degree, I will work in a hospital, but I don't know that I want to be a nurse.  All I know is that I feel more in my element when I get to work with people, being relational and being helpful.  It doesn't take much skill - so where am I going?  Kansas City for another year...and that is all I know.

I love that I am learning to be content here.  Learning to be content without knowing what's beyond the next step.  Going obediently when the call is there; waiting patiently and contently when the call isn't.  I'm not saying I can do that perfectly - but what a lovely practice to have: finding contentment with where God has put you.

I wish I could go to a park and jump up and down laughing - that's what my heart wants to express right now.

Jul 11, 2009

Suitcase Heart

Hello blog world.  I have returned from a long hiatus...which actually isn't that long in the grand scheme of things.

Since we last met I have been in...
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Dallas, Texas
Kansas City, Missouri
Seattle, Washington
Juneau/Glacier Bay/Sitka/Ketchikan, Alaska
Victoria, Canada
Richland, Washington


So I get to spend the next 4 days enjoying the friends I was blessed with last summer...who have stuck around and become better friends over the last year.  We will have an almost complete reunion this week, and it feels so good to be back here.

I have been wondering this: how is it that so many places can feel so right, so comfortable, so natural to belong?  My inspiration for the thought comes from returning to Kansas City.  I found that it was, surprisingly, comforting.  I have indeed fallen in love with the city, mostly due to the friends that surround me.  I have an incredible community there.  I have history there.  I have a life there.

And then I can come here, where after 3 short months I have friends, I have places, I have place.  And I can return, make a call, and soon be surrounded by people who look me in the eye, ask me about my life, and listen intently.  How do I get to have two places that I have a place?

Missing Haiti, I realize that there too I developed a little life.  I had friends, I had kids who knew my name, I had purpose.  There too, I developed place.

All proceeded by Montrose, where anytime I drive into it I fall back into nostalgia and life.

Home, I see, is everywhere.  God has opened door after door - and the people you meet along the way lodge themselves deeply into my heart.  So to all of you I say thank you.  When you have family scattered across the country, it's nice to have a place to call your own.

Heart-bursting goodness abounds.