Tuesday, January 31, 2012

hope and complaints

Oh the things that must come together.
I can easily let myself freak out, because you see, there are lots of little worries I could dwell on. Details, details!
Thank goodness that God has got me, and that His will is going to be done. I'm admittedly a little bit of a control freak, I like to have the plan set and good to go. God is teaching me to trust Him. He has been faithful thus far, I know that He will continue to be. Thinking about it makes me exuberant.

Everything I need thus far is in place, now I have to wait for a few things (out of my control) to happen.

Also, I ate something this morning that has me feeling s.i.c.k.

All I know is that I want to curl up into a ball and sleep off this horrid feeling.

Instead, I'm off to work.

I'll fake feeling good till I actually feel it.

I positively hate this dull nausea.

I don't want to eat again for a long time. A VERY LONG TIME.

But God is still good, and this feeling isn't anything compared to what could be. I know it'll wear off in a few hours...
But it's a downer.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Have I got this?

I've been wondering lately,
"Have I got this?"

Admittedly, I've been a little overwhelmed when it comes to the thought of travelling to Africa. I am confident that it's where I need to be, I have seen God confirming that that's the place, which is the coolest thing ever.

I have gotten amazing encouragement.

But I sometimes allow myself to get caught in the details that can bog down and worry. There are some extra expenses popping up. Eek.

This morning, I was craving a good quiet time with God.

I have this book, Jesus Calling, that serves as a great jump off point for daily devotions. I recommend it.
Some days, I don't know where to begin.
One of the passages it mentioned as a good reading spot today was John 14.

I read John 14 and I kept on reading through John 15.
What I read was perfectly applicable.

I so love how God's word is living!

In John 14, Jesus reminds the disciples of some basic truths I all too easily lose sight of. I hope you've read this chapter of the Bible. If not, you really should.

Reading that chapter was like a refocus.
Jesus is the way, truth, and life.

John 14:6 is an often quoted verse, and I feel like after a while, one becomes desensitized to the deep meaning of that verse and what it actually entails.

He is all that matters, He is my life source.

Going on to John 15 was a reiteration of the kind of life I have:
"I am the vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." 

As I'm seeking to be more fruitful, I want things to happen and come together now now now.
I realized that maybe I'm the one pushing things and trying to make God's plan unfold faster; and that is the issue. He does all things in His perfect time, not impatient-impulsive-Kenzie-time.

Maybe God is pruning out some of the impatient selfishness I have, so I can bear even more fruit. Maybe there are some things I need to work on...well, okay, there ARE things I need to work on.



Today I was reminded that I am to be a branch off the vine.

A branch that gets all of the nutrients and ability from the vine.
I can't produce fruit like this on my own, nor do I want to.

The reminder of where I get my strength was perfect.
To be wholly dependent on the creator of the universe, the one who gives all things life and who made all things, is a really good feeling.

It relieves so much stress.
So, in answer to my question, "have I got this?"
The answer is nope.

I so don't got this.

He has got this. 

I just have to have Him.

Friday, January 20, 2012

FINALLY CONFIRMATION!!!

Hello everyone! 
So, it's official. 
I'm SUCH a flip flopper. 
But really, I'm trying to be open to God's calling. 
Guess what? 

I have news. 

Back in October, I heard about a place in Burundi, Africa called the rainbow centre (click for more information!). A few different people I had come into contact with through various church events had mentioned it as a great place to serve and grow.  I knew of a few girls who had gone out there before to serve.
So, I contacted Ms. Melli and Mr. Ken, the missionaries who live out in Burundi. I was met with such encouragement and excitement at the prospect of me coming. There would be plenty for me to do, and everything would work out well. 

I am not one to simply jump on a bandwagon, but the prospect gave me a happy, excited chill. I felt stoked at the thought.

I felt like this was it

But then, being the thinker and analyzer that I am, I had to rationalize and reason out why I would be going. I kept asking, "is this truly where God wants me?

I have knocked on other doors of opportunity, but that same warm reception I had gotten from Ms. Melli just wasn't there.  It didn't feel like the fit. The other ministries were great, but were not where I needed to be.

I waited for the official word, the confirmation from God. My happy euphoric feeling was not all that could confirm that this was the right place.
My parents have been praying. I've been praying. Lots of prayer and patience.

For a while, I was discouraged. I am not good at waiting. I needed the go-ahead from God, and I just wasn't getting it. 

Now, I am positive that this is what I need to do. This is what I am supposed to do.

There are a multiplicity of "excuses" I could use for not going:

It's almost halfway around the world. 

It might not be comfortable. 

I am not a fluent speaker of the native language. 

I'm, well, a super-white girl. 

It's potentially dangerous.  (And oh boy, people have let me know that last point!)

I am going into this knowing that it is going to be work. I am going there to serve, comfort is totally secondary.  I know it might be uncomfortable. It's not a vacation. It is a third world country, after all. It will be a totally new crazy experience. I'm not much of a risk-taker, but I can feel the pull and call of this place.

When I think about the Rainbow Centre and going there, I am filled with such a joy and a peace, it's crazy cool. It's a euphoric feeling. 

I know that I am going to get to do some major growing up. 

I know that I am going to be stretched and molded into a better servant of the King of kings.

So you might be wondering what exactly I would be doing in Africa. Well, I would be helping to care for the sweet HIV+ babies at the centre. I would teach them Bible stories and songs. I would help the little ones with their ABC's and 123's.

On Tuesday, I met John and Benjamin (the same ones I took to the Christmas Parade) from Congo's brand new baby brother. Ah, the wonderfulness!
Holding that sweet little newborn baby was amazing and a further confirmation that I would l.o.v.e. this work.

Of course, as far as safety goes, Africa is Africa. There are definite risks. There is nowhere safer than God's plan, but my parents are making sure that I take all of the necessary precautions. My dad is going to fly out there with me, which is great for my safety, but it adds to the cost. 

The biggest hurdle right now is the cost of the flight. It's about $1500-$2500 for a ticket to Bujumbura, Burundi. 
This is always kinda awkward to ask, but if you feel lead to donate to the cause, holy moly, it would be so amazing.
Any amount will do and be met with overflowing thankfulness.
I made an easy little button to click if you feel like supporting me. (It's in the sidebar, too!)

My food and board will be covered while I am there, my only expense will be that plane ticket to Bujumbura (suuch a fun word to say! Bujumbura! I am going to like this language)

The best thing you can do for me is to pray. Any and all prayers are SO SO SO SO SO appreciated.
I am certain that this is the right course, but now to make that happen! I'm planning on leaving around the end of February.
If you'd like to get in touch with me, besides facebook, you can email me at contactkenziebeth@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

breakneck speed of thyme

...or, time, sorry.  I'm not sure how fast the plant is.

I can't believe that it is already Wednesday!
This week has zipped by.
Is this what happens when one gets older? Does time really go by at this breakneck pace?
I am not looking forward to this. I miss the days of having one hour feel like an eternity.

Heh, maybe when I go back to school, I'll recall the feeling.

So, I've been playing my new ukulele (it needs a name. All great instruments have names. Suggestions?) Anywho, I've been playing and playing.
It's soooooooooooooooooooo fun. (extra o's make you really understand, don't they?)

And I came across a song that my parents thought was hilarious. I sang it for them, and they wanted me to do a video of it.

So I did.

And no, I'm not showing it to you. It's sooo silly.
...it could be potentially offensive. 

Also, you guys, I have been getting many compliments now that I'm post-braces. Eek, it's crazy and wonderful what orthodontics can do. I have such fantastic friends.

Have I told you how much I love hearing nice things?
It can seriously make my day.

I have posted before about how sensitive I am to words and criticism. It goes both ways. Words are powerful.

But my head isn't getting bigger, never fear!

I will stay humble...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Slickery Teeth

IT HAPPENED!

My TEETH ARE FREE. Free from the bulky, poky braces.

I still startle myself when I look in the mirror. I don't look like me. I feel like my braces became part of my identity. They added to my Kari-from-the-incredibles vibe
Three years of braces!

Three.
Years.

I feel like that is a long time.
So you know I looked like this before:

NOW I look like this!
Yaaay!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Applying

Weekends just rush by.
I am going to relay the happenings of this past weekend, because I can and this is my blog.
I think that's reason enough.

So, I've been blogging about EFP a little bit. There's a definite possibility that I will be going to Honduras for a few months! Lately, my plans have been up in the air. Finally, they are become more solidified.

Lately, I have been all about submitting applications and waiting for answers.

One application that I've submitted has been to a...university.

I was late in the game with this application, because, well,
A) I had writer's block when it came to essays (lame excuse, I know)
and
B) my test scores took too long to process and submit. I'm hoping that I get in, and that everything's a breeze, and that I'll finally be a real college student. 

I've gone to the local community college for some classes, but that is not the same. People aren't taken seriously at community college. It's like the teachers expect you to be dumb and irresponsible. My last teacher (Calculus I) was B-A-D.

She had a strange policy when it came to tardiness. If I was five minutes late to class and there was a lab due, the lab counted for nothing. Not even half-credit.

A big fat zero.

After I had spent hours working on a lab, to have five minutes mean more to her than the hours I put into my work seemed unfair.

And it wasn't even my fault.

My car had decided to overheat.

She didn't accept my excuse. "If I let you submit this, then everyone with car troubles will be able to submit their late work, too."
...okay?  Good plan?

What, is there a mob of people out there with legit car troubles who happen to run into class five minutes late too?

Nope.

It sounded good to me, but she was insistent that she would not give me credit. Also she would tell us she was giving us a really great break because her teacher had done such-and-such.

Bitter much?

Ah well, c'est la vie. I passed the course (I'd never thought I would be stoked about a C), and now I'm moving on with life. 

So State University. That's my future plan. Fall semester, here I come! (hopefully)
I plan to study food and nutrition or perhaps Physics (I knoww, I "hated" physics, but I pulled off an A in both of my College Physics classes! I was so excited when I saw the final letter grade) or maybe chemistry. When I took chem, I fell in love with the subject. All of the details were so riveting.

I LOVE science.
My mind is science-wired.
English? *plllbbt* so subjective.
Math? meh.

History is riveting, and I love the arts, but neither are lucrative fields in the current economic climate. Art is a fun hobby though.



It's only an hour until I get these braces off.
Hopefully.
I fear that my orthodontist will give me the "wait six more weeks" spiel. I've been told to "wait six more weeks" for the past 10 months.
But perfect teeth take time. Or so I'm told.
I have this fear that the braces will come off and I'll have bad teeth. All of that time, and still the teeth are crooked.
I'll post before and after shots for you lovely readers.
I know you're oh so interested in orthodontics and my teeth.
I haven't really told you what I did this weekend, but this post is long enough for now.

I had a fantastic weekend though, and that is probably all you really want to know.

As a reader of other blogs, I know how you readers think.  
skim-skim-skim-huh, what?-skim-skim-haha, that's funny-skim-okay I've got the jist.
Something along those lines, right? Or are you an in-depth reader?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dynamic view was way too muddled and confusing. AND the format got rid of my sidebar. Sadness. On to a happy blue blog! I like this change.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Coordination and goodbye to the braces...soon

In my last post I said the next time I posted, I wouldn't have braces.
...I lied. I still have braces.
It's a few hours after that post. I feel like updating a bit.
Because I can.
So, here's what's good in the hood: I had a birthday recently. I'm now 19, which as you know, is the last teen year EVER.
It's bittersweet. But I still look like I'm 14, so it's all good.
See?
(I'm wearing my favorite new pjs. You can't really tell, but that's a sleeping bear. Underneath him it says "Bearly Awake" ...yup. I like cute pajamas)

So, for my birthday, my parents decided to upgrade my ukulele. I think they may have thought that I wasn't super serious when I declared that I would LOVE to have one of those cute little instruments. They snuck away the one I got for christmas away and replaced it with a higher-end model, complete with a pickup and pignose amp. the pignose amp is AH-dorable. Everyone needs one. 

It looks like this, except it's white: 

 

My new uke looks like this: 
I'm rather lazy, and I haven't uploaded the beautiful pictures of the real deal. But you get the idea. 
So, anywho, that was awesomeness. Then, we went on a family trip. 
Dude, I'm seriously spoiled. Like, I'm pretty much good-for-nothing after this month of celebrations. Christmas, New Years, and my birthday are all exactly one week apart, so this time of year is like one huge never-ending party! 

Now back to the daily grind....or is it? 
I'm thinking I'm about to embark on a grand adventure. 
I. 
Am.
Stoked. 
And praying hard.

 

Ch-ch-changes

MMkay.
This is change.
*deep breath*
I usually am not a lover of change, but who can resist new bells and whistles? Not me.
So, hopefully you like this "dynamic view"
There's a little place in the corner where you can change how you see this site. Also, I feel like this is soo much more chic than that other template. *rolls eyes* SO 2010.
New year, new blog look and new adventures to come! Eeek! So many new things.
ALSO YOU GUYS: I am getting my braces off in T minus 3 days.
It has been almost three years of being a metal mouth. I have no idea what transformations lack of braces will hold. I might actually look my age.
People have been asking me if I'm 14.
Seriously.
Anywho, you should look at this site: eternal family project. It's really awesome, what Allison is doing there. Anddd, I'm planning on going there in a month or so! Hopefully, if everything pans out.
God is awesome and faithful, like, I had no idea where my life was headed, and then, out of the blue, a friend at church mentioned this place. I sent in an application, and now planning is underway for me to go there. Wonderful stuff!
I'll keep you updated, blog.
This is me, saying goodbye to braces. Next time I post, I may have gorgeous teeth...at least I hope so.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

resolve. Resolve?

Last year, I resolved to write on my blog every day.
ha. ha.
It didn't quite pan out. I made it a few months though! This year, as far as my blog goes, I shall write at least once a week. The post will hopefully be thoughtful and maybe, if you're lucky, funny. At the least, self-depreciating.

I'm going for quality over quantity. I think the problem with last year is that I just posted way too much. Talk about burnout!
And I doubt you lovely readers want to be over-inundated with my ramblings.
Oh, happy new year, by the way.

And happy Christmas, too!

The past month (in case you can't tell) I've been sick. I'm finally feeling well, and hopefully I won't be sick for another year.

That's the plan, anywho.
For Christmas, I was absolutely showered with love.
I'm pretty sure gifts is one of my major love languages. At least, I love showing love by giving/doing thoughtful things. I certainly got some thoughtful things. But I will say that one of my friends is much too generous for his own good. I'll leave it at that.

As I ponder the past year, I can't believe HOW MUCH HAS HAPPENED. Hopefully this next year will be just as full of wonderful surprises. Last year, I posted a letter-y thing to 2010.  (you can see it here, if you're so inclined) Perhaps I'll write a letter to 2011. Right now, though, as I try to look back, everything seems fuzzy and hazy and all jumbled up in my memory. Thank goodness for journals. Perhaps I shall write a letter to 2011, sooner or later.

(If you know me, you know how I love letters but how terrible I am at replying...)

Well, my goals for this next year are to be more structured and organized. It's terrible, I'm usually highly happy-go-lucky. I don't want to turn into a crazy type-A personality, but I know that I want to have discipline and self-control.
As a happy-go-lucky person, I can be a bit too impulsive for my own good.
Especially when it comes to doing fun things. You may have seen some of my posts about not sleeping. I think this next year, I should start actually valuing sleep.
Usually I put sleep off until I'm about to just fall asleep standing up. Seriously, there are so many other fun things to do!

Also, I am going to get into great shape.
I ran a 13.1 mile race last year, and this year, I will perhaps run another, but I will be better, faster, and stronger.
...most likely.

I got a ukelele for Christmas!
I love love love it.
It came with a little how-to book, with pictures of the "masters".
Umm.
Have you seen a ukelele master?
The one in the instruction book was not what I want my image to be. (Think rotund people with Hawaiian shirts. And leis. Leis everywhere.)
This guy, however...
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