Monday, August 17, 2009

why i am so muchly loving my country.

My life is pretty surreal. I am working as a dietitian for the WIC (women infant and children) program in jacksonville, fl. I am a supervisor (weird!!) and get to see high risk clients and give nutrition counseling (teen pregnancy, low iron, low birth weight babies, permies, underweight kids). i go to a great church....river city church. and live next door to the coolest people ever...jen and craig curell. here is my list of why my life is good right now.

1. i have gotten to see my brother three times since december. This is the most in the past 6 years i have seen him.
2. when i go walk in my neighborhood i can hear bugs and birds.
3. i have cherry diet coke in my fridge.
4. everyday i am clean and cute.
5. i can wear whatever i want.
6. i can wear heels.
7. i can see my parents at least once a month.
8. i can talk with men here.
9. i went to a bar on friday night to watch football!!!
10. i will be here for gator football season!!!
11. cheese
12. beef
13. a church where i am fed spiritually
14. no garbage on the road.
15. clean, clean clean clean clean.
16. for the first time in my life having my own flat and it being cute.
17. living next door to the curells.
18. court and ange coming to visit.
19. getting to be around kids and babies all the time.
20. salads.
21. i am breathing.
22. i can let my guard down.
23. working for a country where no one has to go hungry.
24. everyday counseling women and families that if i was living in india i would be passing by on the streets holding their malnourished babies.
25. a job that is culturally diverse.
26. my new mix CD from ange.
27. craft nights
28. cheese dip
29. dancing to thriller with 20 healthy beautiful alive teenage girls who are safe in their home and haven't been trafficked and being able to tell them about kovita and have them weep with me for her.
30. my couch.
32. my dining room table.
33. my 1/2 and 1/2 coffee each morning in my to-go much with french vanilla cream.
34. NPR
35. my trip to india in feb. to visit
36. selling sari bari products
37. birkenstocks
38. my big fridge
39. nice left over beer from a party
40. real simple magazine.

these are just a few. this doesn't mean that my heart doesn't ache to be in kolkata with the girls and beth and sarah. but there are a lot of good reasons for living here.
so peace out party people.

Friday, May 8, 2009

an old email.

So my friend steve and shannon kept this email that i sent out around spring about 5 years ago. its about this crazy experience i had in nepal. it reminded me of who i am and all i have to do is be available and Jesus moves. I ministered to myself so i figured it must be God.

Hey everyone,
I am sorry for all the e-mails I haven't written back to yet. I haven't had consistent e-mail access in Thailand and the area of nepal I was in it is so slow but I have to write you and tell you some amazing stories.The retreat with the staff was so good. The island was beautiful and the time with the staff was so good. I had to say good-bye to Josh and that way, way sucked. I think that I am going to be a little lost for a while with out him in Calcutta. I will write more about all the changes later...but I wanted to tell about how God sent me into the darkness of the thai sex trade.The sex industry in Thailand is huge....not for Thai people but for forgein men coming to sleep with Thai girls, or boys, or both. At the beach we stayed with probably 1 out of the six couples were older men with young Thai girls. It was rather sickening to see. I had read some about the sex trade in different books but really could believe that I was seeing this right in front of my eyes on my vacation. Their stories are so similar to the girls in India....rape, beatings, desperation, poverty, shame. bangkok is renown for its sex trade and people actually just come to thailand to purchase sex. is how Jesus let me minister to the people not in the sex trade this time.....but the men themselves.
Let me start this story off. I left the beach two days earlier than the staff b/c I had to fly to nepal to meet the servant team. So i left the beach last saturday the 25th. I took the boat back to the mainland and ended up meeting these two guys from Germany who were going back to bangkok. Their were both 25 and studying in China and were on holiday. Their names were Thomas and Andrew.WE ended up getting a taxi b/c the bus wasn't coming for another two hours and we wanted to have some time in bangkok. So the whole three hour cab ride we chatted....about so much stuff. Communism, germany, american, china, living overseas......But within the first 30 minutes Thomas says to me "Yeah China girls are so easy. all you have to do is say Hi and they are yours". Then he asked me if I knew any dirty jokes...mind you Andrew is in the back of the cab dying of embarassment. We got our rooms at our hostel. I had to catch a cab at 4:30 in the morning and realized that I did't have alarm clock. They guys said I should just not go to bed and stay out all night....I never do things like that anymore but I was kinda like...what the heck. These guys had made me laugh, I have enough money in my pocket for a cab ride home, and I was up for some I went.
We first went to this outdoor market and sat and listened to a thai band sing Britney spears, the beatles...and a lot of other random music. Thomas started to tell me about this bar that he knows in the red-light district in bagkok called goldfinger. I told him if it was anything like I had heard about them I wasn't going in. He reassured me that it wasn't...they have bars in this area that aren't "sex bars". I told them I was a tad scared...images of the red-light district in Calcutta came racing to my mind and they reassured me that I would be okay.So we hopped in a touk-touk (like a golf cart type thing) and headed toward the red-light district that I had heard so much about.
On the way there a strange holy spirit thing happened in my heart and I started to pray for them and somehow I knew it was going to be okay and that i was actually supposed to be here in this moment.So we end up in the red-light district right smack dab in the middle of the action. It is so different than India.....there are tourist every where!!!! The street in the middle is lined with shops that sell tourist things (normal tshirts and purses) and the sides of the streets are lined with bars...some "sex bars" and some normal (i think) bars. I am propositioned (along with the guys) to come inside this one bar and they have a menu of "sex acts". that you can purchase. It makes me so sad.
WE find this bar called "goldfinger". Thomas had heard about it from a friend and it was supposed to be the best bar around. So we go in.I walk in and the first thing I see is girls on top of the bar dancing in bikini's and that is it. So we sit in the corner some and they get a beer and then I end up meeting the owner. He is american!!!
And i begin to notice the whole bar is filled with old american men!!! I ask how and why he started this. I think now he is around 48 years old and he said that 25 years ago he moved to Korea after his divorce and had worked for ITT for 5 years there and wanted a change so he came to this area and bought this bar. He said that he is married to a thai woman. He met her when she was fifteen!!!!! and the day she turned 18 she moved in with him!!! and now they have been married for 6 you do the math. He says this bar is strictly for drinking only and the girls.....well they just happen to be there.
So we move on. We finish walking down the street and it is filled with dancing bar girls and some of the names of the bar are really explicit....really different from caluctta.So....we get to the end of the street and ended up playing some pool and then going to mcdonald's!!! It was really, really fun.
So we go back to the tourist area. WE end up at this bar that they had gone to the other night. SO i once again begin to look around began to notice...not old white men with thai girls....but young men....guys my age....I mean in this bar alone I saw about 20 different men with thai girls.So I start to talk to thomas and andrew about this when we get interrupted by this waiter who says these men who know thomas and andrew want us to join them for a drink.So we move tables and I am with six men now...four older french men and thomas and andrew. I start to ask thomas more questions and find out that two nights ago he hired a thai girl for the entire night for 800 bhat (about $20). I just kinda sat there for a little bit.THen the french guy was looking at some pictures and I made the mistake of asking who they were......he then showed me a picture of thomas with a thai girl ( no big deal), then andrew sitting at a bar with a thai girl, and then a picture of the thai girl that I won't even tell about here because the image still haunts my mind.Then the gross french men starts talking about tahi girls and how he wants to marry me and they are just so gross and creepy.
So thomas and andrew and I start talking again and I end up telling them what I do exactly in Calucutta....I work to get girl out of the sex trade.thomas is silent.The french men get up to leave and the french man whispers in my ear something that makes my body twinge with disgust and hate and I wondered what vile acts he has done to they get up to leave I turn to andrew and say "I am sitting at a table of men that I hate. I am sitting here with the very people who are doing what God wants undone". He looks at me and says "I know. I think it is wrong to"
the french men left and I start to ask my two friends questions. WHy? lonliness? pleasure? they tell me it is all of the above.
SO then I get to tell them (actually andrew already has a basic knowledge of how bad the sex trade is) about how these girls get to the streets here. I get to tell them about how its not a choice. I get to tell them my dreams for the girls. It was awesome.And then somehow Thomas ended up asking me how many people I had slept with....when I said no one they about fell out of their chairs. They could believe it. So that led in to this whole other conversation about marriage, and commitment, and God. I wish you could of seen the way, specifically Thomas, looked at me differently. I think that is possible the most beautiful I have ever felt in my life. I think something connected with Thomas that night....for the first time he saw past his own lust and started to see the girls and where they come from.
I asked thomas how many people he had slept with. HE said before China....six...but since he went to china he had slept with at least twice that many. His goal was to sleep with a woman in every county he went to. When I look at this man I could so clearly see the stronghold of lust over his life. He was so obsesses with sex and what he called "fun times" that it was almost like an additicion and sex and pleasure was all he could see. I actually felt sorry for him.So we then started to talk about marriage and it was just so good.The french men invited them to go to this hotel and get some girls but instead they wanted to hang out more and we went to this other bar and ended up meeting other really cool travelers and just talked about life and culture until 4:15 in the morning and it was time to go.As they walked me upstairs THomas gave me a hug...I wish I had words to describe the was honoring to me in so many ways but also so desperate in some. I knew that his heart was hurting and craved something pure and craved to be loved. This night was so huge for huge...
I was in the midst of the darkness but yet I have never felt like such a light. I realized that I am not just waiting to have sex till i am married for my husband but for guys like Thomas and anderew and the girls in Sonagatchie and the girls in Thailand. IT made me see how obedience to Jesus makes me beautiful. I have no doubt in my heart those men saw Jesus in me. Jesus is the only reason that I am waiting and the only reason I do the work I do....and I felt like I was oozing Jesus. And the most amazing thing is that this whole night just came from being available.....from trusting the Spirit. It wasn't planned or manipulated.I just got an e-mail yesterday from andrew saying how it was really impactful to meet me and apologized again for thomas. and said that he couldn't believe he took me into those places and that he is rethinking what commitment is......Isn't that amazing???? JEsus rips my face off.
But the thing that stayed with me the whole night is that i knew that Jesus was in the red-light district. I knew that he was in that bar goldfinger and at that table amongst those men. He is there b/c he loves both the thai girls and those dirty french men and me and thomas and andrew. I didin't have to be afraid.
I was blown away that in thailand the problem are not the uneducated men of thailand or the poor or the is the average white college educated man. It is us...the westerners capitalizing on the poverty of the young women. It is us....not them. This night in bangkok brought this issue home for me. In India it is easy to blame the indian man....but I see just a glimpse in the gatch of the power of lust. It made me so clearly see that sexual sin permeates us all....all cultures, races, is not just india's is ours.
So...on a closing note. Men ( and women). IF you are caught in lust. Tell someone. Confess to your friends and your church family. Get free. I see to many men whose lives are destroyed by it and too many young girls whose lives are forever destroyed by it. I know there is freedom. Jesus wants to give it.So if you could say a prayer for thomas and andrew. I will write another mass e-mail soon and catch you up on things in sonagachie.....sorry this was sooo long. if you read to the end thank you. love in Christ,

Thursday, April 30, 2009

my balloon ride

I got to go hot air ballooning on Wednesday morning. My friend and boss, Tom Tanenbaum best friend, BOB owns a ballooning company. So he offered to take me one morning. So after meeting at 6:00am we headed out....and then up!!! it was really really cool. I felt like charlie from willy wonka and the chocolate factory when he got to ride in the glass elevator. Its such a crazy sensation to float above the world. We went over some swamps and saw deer, cows (aka beth's mom). wild pigs (hey sarah you didn't tell me your mom was visiting), and some pretty birds. It was so cool.

this is after landing...sorry...they are in reverse order. they had all this down to a science.
we got to see the sun come up. this was after we crossed over I-4. if you look you can see the other balloon that flew with us. there used to be lots and lots of flying together, but then people got nasty and competitive and went their own way. so bob is real old school and still would rather fly together.....he is cool.
here comes the sun!!!
me, bob, and a really nice british couple celebrating their 28th year of marriage standing inside the balloon...this was a cool part.
they first fill the balloon up with cold air using a huge fan. then heat of the air and shazam....the balloon rises. we ended up traveling about 13 miles in one hour. not the fastest mode of transportation but definitely one of the most relaxing!!!

After a kinda exciting and rocky landing, you get to have a champagne toast and everyone raises their glasses and says this toast together.

The winds have welcomed you with softness
the sun has blessed you with warm hands
you have flown so high and so well
that God has joined you in your laughter
and set you gently back
into the loving arms of mother earth.

isn't that pretty.

so i highly recommended going on a hot air balloon ride. specifically with bob. its cool to float.

i love that i bought a car yesterday. i love that i really am spoiled at work....tom bought be going away flowers and today we all went out to lunch at a really really nice Chinese buffet. I had lunch with 4 men today and they all make me laugh. i love what different things men talk about at lunch then women. i love the feeling of excitement i have right now about moving. i love that i feel hopeful. i love walking out of a freezing cold restaurant into the perfect 85 degree weather and having the sun thaw me out.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

my weekend away

I got to spend two nights with my brother in Dallas. Then the next four in Omaha, NE where i got to participate in a board meeting and end my time with WMF.
here are some highlights!

1. My brother is seriously rockin cool. We only had two very short days together but we packed it in and did all the stuff we love doing together. This included eating lots of good food, playing Frisbee in the park, and probably my most favorite thing to do with my brother....a trip to Dave and Buster's...a big arcade. We played both basketball game, ski ball, some shooting games and our favorite game that always makes us laugh....air hockey. I really love my bro.

2. The commissioning service (and my ending time). I got to be there to commission Shelia who is moving to Kolkata. Both of her parents where there both of which who prayed for her. both of her parents spoke of the day they committed Shelia to Jesus when she was a baby girl and they both once again rededicated their daughter to Jesus and put their trust in Him. (this was all through shaky voices and many tears). It reminds me of what a cost a parent also pays when their child chooses to serve overseas. They have to release and trust just as much as the child. It was really beautiful. I wish i would of given my parents a chance to participate.

3. Mandy...Shazam!!!

4. Going dancing with Liz and energetic steve.

5. getting to celebrate the joy and suffering that my time in Kolkata was. I got to give a small reflection on my time in Kolkata. I use the communion cup. Its the perfect example of joy and sorrow mixed together. My time in Kolkata was so rich, so amazing, so deep, so overflowing with the suffering and redemption of Jesus that i cant' help but to be in awe. It was a good time. WMF i still think has the most amazing peeps on earth. It has been an honor to serve along side them.

6. Silas and Kim's kids. i got to stay with kim and silas and they have four kids ranging in age from 3-8. they are seriously the coolest kids ever. Kim and silas lived in Nepal for 9 years and i can see what amazing things this has done to their kids. I mean when audia (their six year old) moved to america she broke down crying because her friend in nepal didn't have the same things as her.....that is amazing! and they are well behaved and just fun. my favorite quote
me asking Pria (who is the little girl, age 3) what do you think about this economic down turn we are having pria?
Pria: gets really sad: "I hate trash"
Pria: "and my name isn't Pria, is Alishia and i am a dog"
so that would be an example of the coolest kids ever.

i love that i will get to see Gay this weekend. i love that i missed my friends here. I love that WMF inspires people to live their lives differently. I love that now both daphne and jara are married or getting married.....two strong, beautiful, independent, confident, exception women who i totally look up to. i love that i got to play ultimate frisbee on Thursday and it hurt my back less than yoga!!! i love that i am going on a hot air ballooning ride tomorrow. i love that i will be missed at this job and will miss the people at this job.

Monday, April 20, 2009

waiting, hillbilly boxing, change

1. This weekend we had a party....for me! to celebrate India. it was super fun. we played hillbilly boxing, water balloon toss, the catch a water balloon in a bag game (a kristin original), horseshoes, and corn hole. it was really really fun. i laughed and was covered in flour and water and surrounded by really amazing people. We watched a video i found that laura had made me (we are talking VHS here folks!!) when i left wesley. it was filled with scary bunnies and me speaking at close to His heart. It reminded me of where i came from, how far God has brought me, and many amazing people i get to be in relationship with!!

2. my time here is ending in Orlando. I went from being like "there is time! i don't have to see everyone i know in a week. I have time!" and now i am like...I don't have time!! i don't have time!! I am leaving in two weeks!! I don't have time". Change is coming fast folks. and its exciting and scary and life giving and makes me dream.

3. I travel to Omaha this weekend for the board meeting. It will be a time of closure. It makes me sad in some ways to officially end my time with WMF but it feels like it is coming at the perfect time...a week before i move to a new city to start a new life, and start with some new dreams. It feels like i can let it go now. It feels time to move.

4. It amazes me that when i take an hour and journal and write and stop running from God what He can do. I really only need an hour about once a week. and it had been two months. My conclusions from my time with God.....Be the 10th Leper. Live out of thankfulness. You have a choice what to do in the waiting. Maybe eternity and the fact that God will wipe away all my friends tears one day really is bigger then the current suffering of this world. Maybe God can make it okay in the end.

I love that i get to see the WMF folks this weekend. am ready for some acting natural poses!!! i love that i will get to go to andrew crawford's birthday. i love that i will get to go to olvia's christening. i love that i bought kelly green, polka dot flip flops this weekend. i love that i have watched the you tube video of susan boyle like 10 times and cry almost every time. i love that my life really feels right, right now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

my friend's kids

my friends have some really amazing kids. yesterday for example....i am at jessa's house. Jessa and i are having this super serious conversation about God (well, i am telling her all my deepest darkest struggles and she is listening and being amazing) and life and suffering. He little girl then proceeds to grab my hand and say, "play with me. let's run". so we ran. and all was right with the world.

then at dinner we were praying. Jessa taught katherine a new prayer. which kat proceeded to put her own twist on. here goes
jessa; God is...
katherine: ....great.
Jessa God is....
katherine: good.
Jessa: Let us...
katerine: eat our food!

i love my friends kids. i love that i got to run out side with naomi through rows of trees and on a huge pile of leaves. i love that i told bethany (who was having trouble sleeping) to count to 275 and she would fall asleep. (i didn't hear anything after 30....) I love that my niece chilled out in my lap for about 40 minutes on easter. i love that issac makes me laugh out loud. I love that prema plays with her little brothers. I love that eli is a little chunk who loves to torment his brother when he is in the corner but also loves to snuggle with his dad. i love that steve and shannon's kids now call them "mother" and "father" after seeing sound of music. i love natalies sweet dance moves.

i love it.

Monday, April 13, 2009


for those of you who know me, you know that i love boggle. love it. and i am pretty good at it. and now that i have this job that isn't busy sometimes i play on-line boggle. well i just found the best, best on-line boggle. it give the def. of all the words in the puzzle. there are so many words that i had no idea were....well...words. here are some examples....and if you do play boggle...this will seriously help your boggle score!!
loor- beloved
wey- path, road
tenne- to allot
nee- 'born", used to indicate maiden name or family name of married women
vare- a wand or staff of authority
tav- hebrew letter
nie - to approach
poon- a wood that is used to make mast and spars
toom- empty
sey- part of a carcas of beef
yex- to hiccough (um....for real???)
ers- bitter vetch (what???)
Good luck folks! and if you are ever in town...please, please play boggle with me!!!

i love that beth and sarah played boggle with me even though they never really liked it, but they loved me. i love that beth once spelled "water hose" for 11 points!! i love that steve mersinger is an amazing boggle play. i Love that even though i am a horrible, horrible speller i still am good at boggle. i love even when i try really really hard to profread my own writing i always, always miss mistakes. i love spell check!!! i love in the book "ramona quimby age 8" she also questions why spelling is important. i love that when i did the spell check for this post....all the words i wrote above were highlighted.

Friday, April 10, 2009


1. I got a job. I will be the senior public health nutritionist for Duval County in Jacksonville, Florida for the WIC program (women, infant and children). (not the WICA program like my mom always says!!!) This program offer food assistance as well as free nutrition education to the people in Duval County. So i still get to work with women affected by poverty as well as use my very dormant nutrition skills. I will also be a supervisor to a team of dietitians and doing one-on-one nutrition counseling to high risk patients. It will be a challenge on all levels so am looking forward to the challenge. i start may 15th.

2. I am going to be living next door to Craig and Jen Curell. in a 1 bedroom super cute flat. I know Jen from college and both Jen and Craig were with WMF, so that will be so cool!

3. i am most likely buying the car i have been borrowing from some friends.

4. my friends are trying to hook me up with some quality men and i like that.

5. i was thinking about checking out colorado, but as i was sitting on my couch two weeks ago in perfect 80 degree weather and they were talking about a snow storm in denver.....well, that pretty much made the decision for me!!!

6. I will work at my current temp job until the end of april. the last two weeks only part time.

7. I am going to Omaha to the board meeting to officially end my time with WMF. on the way i get to stop and see my brother.

8. have loved being here in orlando and hanging out with laura and vannessa and all my peeps. i love that i another single friend who we can talk about boys with!!!

9. i had a trip planned to st. louis but had to cancel because i had to start this job. am way bummed won't get to see ange and court in person.

10. i wonder if God is more free to move in america in the physical realm then in India. I mean everything in my life is falling in place...and people say to me "wow God really loves you?" and my first thought is...yeah, He does but does that mean he doesn't love my friends in Sonagachi? and i think that there has to be some kind of freedom here for God to different ways then he moves in India....or maybe its not different at all.....i don't know.

11. saw slum dog millionaire last night outside on the green at UCF and loved it even better the second time around. India is an amazing country.

12. i think its cute how all people from michigan when they talk about where they live use the their hand to show apox. where they live!!!

13. love that i am having a party to say thanks and we might play hillbilly boxing!!!

i love that my friends in kolkata miss me. i love that laura made me a kelly clarkson cd!!! i loved the weather was perfect. i love that this man i met yesterday started a ministry from the lay people in the church and then asked the pastors for their support. and it worked better then anything the church as ever done before. i love that the apartment i am going to live in has this huge amazing tree in the background. i love sending beth and sarah......some fun fun stuff.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


so my little niece really loves holidays...or shall we say she had a grandmother who really loves her and holidays!!! however, i do love getting pictures of the little all the time. its always makes me smile.

I love that something broke in me this weekend.....i have been happier since the kelly clarkson concert then i have been in about two months!!!i love that naomi fell asleep in my lap on sunday. i love that i am getting more used to a schedule. i love my new brown skirt from old navy. i love that i get to deposit my pay check today!!! i love that i am applying for a job in jacksonville. i love hope.

Monday, March 30, 2009

why Kelly Clarkson is cool

So Saturday has been one of my favorite days in a really really long time. Laura and I scored free tickets to Universal Studios Mardi Gras celebration on the night the Kelly Clarkson just happen to be playing.....Laura and i have been wanting to see Kelly for about 4 years now. and i really really love Kelly clarkson. I drove beth and sarah crazy when we were in Bangladesh because every morning we would exercise to Kelly!! They were really tired of both me and Kelly by the end!!

but Laura and i got to go on a couple rides at universal (the mummy and shreck 4 d) and just had fun waiting in lines. she made me laugh lots. then we randomly run into our friends vanessa and eric. we snagged a place in line b/c the parade was starting. So vanessa and i had so much fun trying to catch beads from the floats. for some reason i found it hysterical in how much joy i found in catching the plastic beads. i laughed lots.

then came the concert....we actually kinda snuck up to the front side of the stage and actually had to totally ignore a security card who was trying to get us to move. but vanessa and Eric and laura held strong and i was so glad they did...b/c they were great seats.
Kelly came on stage...and yes ladies and gentlemen the rumors are true...she has gained weight. you could even see her arm fat. and her outfit wasn't very cool and she talked about burping on stage and made fun of her hair.......and sang freakin amazing!!!!!!!!!! and all the imperfections made her so cool and relate able and so my favorite girl pop rocker ever.
i mean one of her new songs talks about "I don't hook up, I take things slow, I don't hook up, i fall deep".............helloooooo how awesome is that!!!?? in a world where women are still defined by their sexuality...Kelly comes out with a song about not hooking it.
we got to jump up and down and sing at the top of our lungs. and the last song all these people had cleared folks we got even closer and more toward the center. and the last song was "my life would suck without you" and i jumped up and down as high as a i could and smiled and sang and for that 5 minutes all was right with the world. it was joyful and perfect and i was with friends and was safe and happy and felt completely satisfied and happy.
yeah....i was a kelly clarkson concert but it touched my soul....not in one of those deep thoughtful ways...but the way that say "its gonna be okay" Life is really fun sometimes. Joy freedom.

so that is why kelly clarkson is cool.

i love dancing and not being self conscious at all! i love i get to send a care package to beth and sarah. i love that Gay mann surprised me this weekend by finishing my poster for me and vacuming my was super thoughtful and kind. i love that today its 78 degrees......i think that is why i really love florida. i love that laughter brings satisfaction

Thursday, March 26, 2009

i really am not interested in politics, but it seems that everything is political. i try to listen to NPR in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoon. but sometimes i have to change it b/c it makes me sad and worried. but this morning as i was listening i almost broke down in tears. i have been listening and following what is going on in mexico with the drug related violence and it breaks my heart. they said that 6,000 people died this year in drug related deaths. it has shut down tourism, shut down cities, and caused an already trouble nation even more trouble.
and this morning i heard that mrs. clinton was visiting. and mrs. clinton exposed america. she actually admitted that we are the ones feeding the drug problem. we are the ones selling illegal firearms to mexico....she took responsibility for us. it was awesome. she talked about how in this global world we all rise and fall together.
i think it was the first time i heard america admit its part in something. so it gave me hope. maybe i am just naive and this only has political motivation, but maybe not.....maybe we really want to make decisions in our country not made in isolation. maybe we want to make mexico a better place to live, maybe we want to empower mexico so she can stand on her own two feet and people can be free not to live in fear. maybe.

it's funny. after living in community for the past five years i kinda see things different. I see how dangerous it is operating out of isolation, with the "I" being the most important factor in the decision. I think all of us move towards this tendency. I know america does. I know i do. I remember how hard it was to put the focus off of me and make a group decision (ask my fellow fleshies how not good i was at that!!) i had to learn how to slow down and consider others. i had to learn how to let people confront my selfishness in my heart. but i find here, its so so so so easy to hide. and even though living in community was one of the hardest things i have ever done i believe that its what God calls us too, b/c when we are community there is accountability. i believe that yes, we hurt each other in community through the intimacy of relationship but i also feel like community protects us, protects the world around us, protects the people with less power, protects us from ourselves. i miss it.
so my prayer for america, for the church is the same prayer i pray for myself....that i would move from isolation to community. to not make me the center, but others. Lord, help me.

i love beth and sarah. i love my $1 dollar sunglasses. i love the way NPR tells stories. I love the amazing spring florida is having. i love that when i do something right at work. i love being able to give and love in the same way that i have been loved. i love rob bell.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

a prayer

Holy Jesus, your forgiving love saves

and disturbs me.

Without it, I am lost,

Yet, if I receive it, I must practice it.

By your mercy, make me merciful;

By your forgiveness, help me to forgive

as I have been forgiven.


(stole this from david chronic's update)

rip my face off.

i love when i have work at work. i love getting up early to exercise and then going back to bed. i love wearing bright happy colors. i love that i got to talk to beth and sarah on sunday night!!! i love that last night i made the most amazing stuffed was "getting a man" food. i love that i like the rhythm work brings me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

rip my face off

Here is a link to find out how you compare to the rest of the world. If i worked at this temp Secretary job i would still be in the top 10.5% of the world!!!!!!!!!!! isn't that crazy????? crazy????? so go there, have your face ripped off.

i love the salad i am peppers, yellow peppers, blue cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, grapes, almonds and raspberry vinaigrette dressing...yum. i love that i am going to omaha. i love that my friend steve falls asleep in the car in the driveway of his house. i love that i get to see my brother on the way to omaha!!!! i love the feeling of learning something new, even if it is just learning how to print an envelope.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


so its weird. just weird. i mean this country. its just soooooo different from india. i still try to put worlds together but i just can't. i mean when i turn on NPR or any of the new i listen to its all about those guys who got like 1 million dollar bonuses with government bailout money!!!!! 1 million dollars. isn't that insane??? i mean....a 1 million dollar bonus is more then i will ever make...ever!!! it would support sari bari and all the staff and ladies for year and years and years and year. and then you have my neighbors who lived outside my flat on the street in kolkata. or what about the 6 phone calls i have gotten from guys looking for work b/c they have been laid off. I just feel so bad for them. and then there are my new clothes...that even though 85% of which were bought at garage sales, all of which i love and maybe even covet make me feel a little guilty. and then there is the fact that i thought i had enough money and then all of the sudden i realized if i wasn't living with gay i wouldn't be able to afford rent. and the money that i do have in my account used to be lots and lots in India but here...not so much. and what about the absolute excess i see here and how i look in my heart and i really really love my "stuff". i love the excess. and i love being comfortable. and i am somewhat disgusted with myself and how easily i feel like i give in to all this stuff i see around me.
and sometimes i feel fearful. i listen to the news and hear how america is going to get worse and i get scared and panic and wonder how i am going to make this country will make it....and how far away we are from being like india. i really hope far away.
and i think that to help my fears i need to give. i feel self protected and fearful. that isn't abundant life is it?? that isn't trusting is it? what do i do with the 10,000 girls in sonagachi now that i can't touch them, or talk with them, or be with them? how do i keep them close and remember them and let them mold me and how do i fight for them now when all i want to do is wear pretty clothes and stay away from poverty and all that it brings. i want to stay in my nice bubble for awhile and eat nice food and not get hurt any more.
but that isn't abundant life either. is it?
i am pretty numb right now. self protected.
maybe its okay for this season. maybe its going to be okay. maybe i will be okay and i can some how live in tension between the rich and poor. i don't know if i ever found that balance in India...maybe that is good and how its supposed to be. maybe its the minute i stop struggling that Satan wins, poverty wins, the sex trade wins, evil wins..........i don't know.
just know i miss my friends. and love my friends here. two worlds pulling me.

i love that i have gay who helped me make a budget. i love that kyle and michelle put me on speaker phone. i love that i cried while writing this and it feels good. i love that i most likely will get to go to omaha and be recommissioned back here. i love that God is getting bigger to me. i love that i get to play on-line boggle lots. i love that i get to talk to jessa whenever i want.

Friday, March 13, 2009

adventure vs. staying put

so i have this battle that always rages in my stay or leave. i am at this point in my life where i don't have any car payment, no mortgage, no kids....and i see the world before me....and i want to go and explore and see everything and be in extreme beauty and meet people from all different cultures and eat all different kinds of food and just see this world....even the states....and i get restless so easily. and this is part of what makes me, well me. but this restlessness is also what keeps me out of relationships and constantly moving. so as i look into my future (and look on the Internet) i just see all this opportunity to go!!!! but is that is what best for me that is what is important to me. because every time i choose something i have to give something else. because when i am moving all the time i don't have my own space and my roots don't go deep. its easy to stay on the surface of things when i am always moving.
so this is my question do i stay or do i go???? do i go and work in colorado for 3 months in the mountains? do i look at jobs in france for the next couple months? do i move to jacksonville and settle down and get job and work 9 to 5 (the 9 to 5 makes me want to vomit!!!!) what do i do? how do i live my life in the midst of so much freedom when i know the poor exist? does that mean i should restrict my freedom? or does that mean i can be free for a little bit and have some adventure and then slow down? hmmmm.................

well here are some pics of on of the most cutest baby in the world (and a very cute dad!!! or a cute grandpa!!!)

cutest dad award!!! (mine!)

i love that i think i look more beautiful now then when i was younger. i love sommer and her sense of humor. i love that i promised when i moved home i would try to take advantage of what this country concerts in the park, lectures, parks, libraries.....stuff like this. i when i don't talk to my mom i have this mom ache in my heart and i have to talk with her. i love that i have a kolkata ache in my heart. i love that last night i talked to a man from india that spoke bengali and i almost started crying!!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

dunder mifflin, this pam.....

so i am a secretary for the next couple weeks...well next six weeks. its weird to sit in an office and dress kinda nice and be nice, but hey....its okay. its a job and i get to make some money and fill a need. i am working at my friend tom's roofing company. their secretary is out on maternity leave. she went into labor two weeks earlier so i started sooner then i thought but that is way okay for me. in fact, i said to God yesterday morning, "i am ready to work God. I really think that i am ready. It feels time" and then my phone range two hours later. i wish finding a husband was that easy!!!!

so here i am in an a/c office. weird. but my friend tom and the guys that work here are great really manly type of guys. for example, there is a 13 ft. stuffed gator that tom killed himself on a gator hunt. its pretty freaky but manly all the same. my counselor told me to hang around some good men. so, i really think he sent me here. all the men here are just good, salt of the earth type people. so that is good for me.

started watching this series called corpus christo. its a series where they get all these historians together and they study about Jesus. i was actually really afraid to watch it...isn't that a little silly. but i was nervous that it would give evidence that would make me think too much and challenge what i believe to much.....but then i thought that if one video can destroy my faith....what kind of faith is that. and i figure that God is bigger then a video and i am really really interested in what they were talking i started to watch it. will let you know what i learn.

so this is kind of a dumb blog post.


i love that this weekend had an amazing time with all saints youth girls and then i write about my job. i love the ocean. i love 80 degree weather. i love that i have plans to go to the beach two times in the next week. i love that this job literally fell in my lab. i love that tom has been one of my biggest fans since the time i knew him. i love that its going to be okay.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

stuff i am thinking about

1. in romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 it talks about how we are to get our meaning from the place in Christ's body. So i started thinking about how we find our identity from a community view point and not an individualistic view point. its ripping my face off. one thought for example....."we were created to belong, to fit, our difference are what make us fit into the body...not what make us left out.
2. i just got the most amazing red Asian cabinet at the rummage sale and its beautiful. i have been thinking about what i want my flat to look like....that might be months and months away but i am excited to have my own place and decorate it. i want it to be beautiful, quiet, clean, have lots of trees around it, and lots of color.
3. am thinking about Switzerland and how much i loved it there. i got to go skiing and snowshoeing one was honestly some of the most beautiful scenery that i have ever seen. and i got to go see the symphony, eat lots of bread and cheese, homemade honey, and lots of wine.
4. i am wondering what life will look like here. i still feel like i am waiting to go back to kolkata.
5. i think about the people in kolkata, beth, sarah, kiran, upendra, gita, radha, lilly alistar, the hiltons, jo, the sari bari ladies and all the girls in sonagachi that i left behind. i thnk about my sisters beth and sarah and send them all my love and protection and dream of ways to take care of them and think about the next time i get to go back to india.
6. i am trying to believe that God is good in midst of all that i saw in India. people keep telling me that in the end it will all be alright.....but that doesn't make any difference for the 14 year old in hell right i am working through my questions. i keep hearing God tell me to "wait". am reading Habakuk. still fighting that idea of waiting. i hate the thought that while we are waiting on God to make everything right....there are people who have to suffer and will never have their earthly suffering relieved. i dont' know quite yet how to put my idea of loving good God with poverty, rape, etc. etc.
7. i am thinking about the clothes i got at the rummage sale and loving the freedom of dressing in what i want.
8. i am thinking about food too much but i don't want to gain any more weight so i am constantly battling the will to eat or not eat in my head.
9. i think of sommer and how much fun we had......."boots with the fur" Y'all from virginia?
10. i am thinking how ange can make me laugh even over just chatting. she is such an amazing person. i am so thankful for all my friends. jessa cries with me and speaks truth to me. Gay is just filled with a lot of the same questions i am . laura always listens and challenges me and has amazing insight. she is also like an adminstrative genius which i love and am slightly jealous of.

i love my authentic wrangler red cowboy shirt i found todayat the rummage. i love that i will have this cute outfit on but the only closed toe shoes i own are my shiny asic tennis kinda ruins a lot of the cuteness. i love that i wept for Kovita yesterday. i love that on Friday night i get to go to an 80's party and hang out with 60 teenage girls and talk to them about India, and worth and value and community and hope. i love that Gay and Bill have a schedule to help each other during the week.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Y'all from Virgina????

I have been having an interesting couple weeks. I recently got to spend 4 days in Bristol, TN with my friend sommer who works at King College. I got to speak some at the college.
Sommer is so so so funny. She is one of my friends who is kinda quiet and reserved but once you get her out of her shell she is hilarious. like so many times we laughed really hard.
I told her that when i visited we would try to blend with the culture one night. we could buy racing t-shirts (Bristol is a world famous racing city with this huge stadium) and caps and go out for a beer.
well we didn't have racing t-shirts or hats but we did go out for a beer. (i had a blue moon with a orange much better then kingfisher!!!) we were sittin' at the bar when the three guys in the bar look over at us and say (you have to say this in the thickest TN accent)
"Ya'll from Virgina?"
me and sommer look eat each other and wonder why in the world this man would as us this. do we look un-bristol Tn like? do our florida accents sound like virgina??? what that the local pick-up line?
then the next question:
"Y'all electric bill go up?"
so that led to a whole conversation about where we were from. it was classic.
but while we were at the bar, there was all this stuff on ESPN on bristol, TN and the race track there. and i listened......
so my last day in Bristol sommer and i stopped by the racetrack and to our sheer delight....the gate is open. so we get to inside. we are so excited to be a part of the bristol, TN experience. and was really really cool. the track looks so stinkin' small and i can't imagine going 200mph around it. i was impressed. we start taking pictures. there are these other two guys there and they offer to take our picture together with the motorway in the background....and we were like "Heck yeah you can take our picture at the speedway!!
we then start talking to these guys and both sommer and i throw out all we know about the bristol speedway and everything we know about racing....and folks.....WE TALKED NASCAR FOR 5 MINUTES!!! we were so excited by out incarnational experience that we ended up running to the car with gleee!!!!!!!!! we had accomplished our mission...we blended!!!

i love that TN really felt like a different world from Florida. i love that i am now in orlando in the same bed for possibly the next month. i love that i got the most amazing red shelves at the rummage sale. i love that i am getting to know Gay and bill better since i am living with them!!! i love that i got up at 5:30 to exercise with Gay and then went back to of my most favorite joys in life!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

its olivia!!!!

oh my gosh!!! isn't she soooo cute!!! oh my gosh!!!!! i love it!! she is sooooo cute....and she leeps getting cuter and cuter.
i love how cute olivia is. i am glad that zack is texting me. i love that slum dog millionaire won so many awards. i love that i should be going to bed but instead i am up watching the academy award. i love how warm it is this apartment

Friday, February 20, 2009

speaking life

So i love when people speak life to me.
my friend jo wrote me this:

this makes me think of you... “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes "Awww!” (Jack Kerouac)

i think sometimes i am that person. and sometimes i try to prove i am that person. i think that is the line for me. when i try to prove myself and get people to notice me and prove that i am beautiful and alive i am really dimming who i am. i need to put the need to prove my self to death.....that sounds fun!!!

when i was prayed for at the network meeting in august beth prayed " you are afraid that when you go home you won't be able to dream. that God won't give you anything to dream about. but God is saying. you have been asleep. he is going to wake you up"

so i feel like places in my soul are being woken up. place that have been dead to God. that have blamed God are being woken up and given life.

as mike so amazingly put it....eating from the tree of life not the tree of good and evil.

i love bejeweled twisted. i love natalie niger. i love the dinner scott and rebecca made last night. i love waking up in the morning all snugly under my covers. i love that the sheets i get to sleep on feel like the softest most amazing sheets ever.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

kingdom of heaven

so i have been searching for answers. i feel like i have all these puzzle pieces and am trying to fit all this together. i think i learned about a piece of the puzzle. i have all these questions about salvation, poverty, is Jesus the only way?, what do the 15,000,000 hindus who never hear about Jesus...what happens to them? what happened to the women who dies in my arms at the train station. i have questions. and i had a lunch with my dear brother yesterday....scott crawford.
and it became clear that at the core of questions i am asking, " am i right or wrong? are they right and i am wrong?" and i think i learned yesterday that is the wrong attitude. b/c in the kingdom of heaven there is only love, not right and wrong. right and wrong creates, jealousy and anger and causes bad fruit in my life. my job is not to prove that Jesus was right, but to love. Jesus can work out the heart stuff.
i realized that this feels like truth b/c something in me is able to take a deep breath and breathe......i know that in moments in kolkata....the unshakable kingdom broke through the darkness. for example, when i held that dying women in my arms......i don't know what happened to her when she died, but that wasn't my job was to love her in that moment like our Father in heaven wanted to love her.
i need to give up my need to be right.....that is scarier then anything so far.......

i love scott and rebecca crawford. i love velvet elvis. i love that i miss eating bread and cheese. i love that i feel like something broke in me yesterday. i love that i realize.....hmmm....maybe my heart does need healing.

Friday, February 13, 2009


so i have been holding india at a distance. when i left there....i left. and i haven't let india in and all that it has meant to me in yet...until this week. i am in jacksonville staying with my amazing friends jen and craig. they live in this cute house surrounded by trees, near lots of parks, and jen got me a membership to her gym for two weeks. its good and safe.
i have been seeing counselors here that helps people transition back to the states. it has been good and deep. i am finding roots in my heart that go all the way back to my childhood. i have a clearer picture of my heart and my brokenness and why i am the way i am and what needs to be healed and places in my life that needs repentance. so it has been good.
i feel like my heart has been a wall for the past couple months and the wall is being taken down and am entering in again to all the hard stuff.
i am finding lots of things behind my walls.....that i really do have such a sweet intimacy with Jesus, that isn't so much dependant on what i have seen or heard but on the state of my heart. I am flushing out what it means to live in my femininity. i am seeing how the prophecy that was prayed over me 3 years ago is still so powerful and through this counseling experience i have practical things to match the spiritual words that were spoken over me.
and i miss beth and sarah and am learning how much i learned from them and how well they loved me and how they truly saw me....all of me....and loved me. i am so thankful for them and their friendship. i am so thankful that they fought to see my heart when i would hide it behind really thick walls.
i still don't know what i am going to do with my life. still don't have a job. still don't know where i want to live......but that is okay right now. its a season to rest...and even though that is scary it is good and right and needed.

i love panera's. i love grapes. i really really love diet cherry soda. i love people who engage my heart. i love that shannon had her baby. i love that i really want to hold a baby. i love that i get to see one of my longest time friends aileen tomorrow and celebrate valentines day with her and her kids!!! i love that beth, sarah and i started a tradition on valentines day where we just tell each other why we love each other.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Safety in each other

i found this tonight. i wrote it sometime this summer when i was taking a lady from SB to the doctors. she is one of the most fragile, beautiful, most damaged but life giving women i know. she has this beautiful laugh and kindness and even a silliness about her that we got to see the longer we knew her. she is one of my heroes.

Safety in Each Other
We walk down these crazy streets surrounded by people busily streaming by us. Cars honking trying to make a way for themselves. Men going home to their families. People living on the side of the road with poverty as their closest friend. City buses brimming over with anxious and sweaty people.
And in the midst of all this, you have your hand notched in my arm. Your hand feels light and fragile as you walk beside me and lead me through the traffic jams. We laugh together as we walk, just happy to be with one another. Happy that our paths have crossed in the midst of all this chaos.
As we walk down the street I think of the disease that has infested your body and will slowly tear you down. I think about how your suffering has lead us together. You walk besides me carrying with you the secrets of your suffering that only Jesus will every fully understand. And I feel how you have your hand notched in my arm.
And I find safety in that feeling. It makes me feel like darkness has not won. The disease has not won. Despair has not won. Oppression has not won. Because as we walk down the street together with your hand notched in my arm we are safe. We find safety in the presence of each other.

i love telling people about SB. i love red rooms. i love my blue sweater that beth bought me. i love that i have a gym membership for free for two weeks. i love when people pray and they know my heart without knowing me. i love that i am learning how to rest.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Well....i am back in the US. it has been an exciting couple months after i left india. I have had my wallet stolen, been to a tropical paradise. said by to my kolkata girls, been in a car accident, and been to lots of countries....and i am home. i got to spend a week with my brother and then a week with my family in amarillo,tx where we celebrated christmas a little early. then it was back to clearwater (finally!!!) and had spent christmas day with my family here. will write about being home soon. i will just say for now its good to be home!! my aunt mary taught me how to make my grandma's homemade chocolate pie with homemade pie crust. it was cool.
my aunt mary giving my grandpa a hair cut.

my counsins and i.

me and my mom and christmas eve.

and look...........its olivia!!!!!!!!! isn't she so amazing!! its so cool!!!
i love my mom so much. i love talking with renaud on skype. i love 70 degree winters. i love the warm sunon my skin at the beach. i love crossing things off my to-do list. i love that the gators won the national championship.