Living Sacrifice

Friday, December 31, 2004

Tonight, I find myself content. It has been a wonderful day. I started out reading and working out for a little bit, then I headed to the women's center in Hamilton to continue working towards being able to counsel women there. After I arrived back home, Micah came and we had bagels from Bagel and Deli as well as my specialty (cut up apples...haha) as we sat and laughed and reminisced. He is such a wonderful friend, even if I don't see him very often. I wish we had more time together. Oh well, I will cherish what God gives me. After Micah left, I watched a video required for counseling training (one among MANY that I have to watch), then played some guitar. Sometime after 9, I headed to West Chester to meet up with Murle and his friend Mark to watch Phantom of the Opera. It was fantastic. I have never heard the story or seen any plays on the Phantom, so I've never really known what it was all about. It was a very beautiful, yet very intense, story. I loved it. I hope someday maybe I will be able to see the Broadway production.
At the end of the day, I am thankful for art and I am thankful for great friendships. I am thankful for peace and contentment. I am thankful for beauty. And most of all, I am thankful for love.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Really excited because I get to hang out with Micah tomorrow. :) All the way back from Oklahoma, he's been hiding out in Toledo and is finally making his way down to Cincinnati. So, he's stopping by here on his way there. YAY! Just wanted to share my excitement.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Kim's song pic of the week (not like I'll keep up with this or anything):

Miranda Stone's 7 DEADLY SINS

Before bras and boys and periods
Oh the summers we would have,
Running everywhere with our shirts torn off,
Making all the neighbors mad
I was gangly like a corn stalk
With a monster list of plans,
And that was my life before seventeen
And I spun my wheels in the sand

But then the boys could suddenly wound you
Till you bled without trying
And the girls could suddenly wound you
Cause they were experts at lying
And you found out how to act hard and
the secret spots to cry in and
my hips grew in
In the year of the seven deadly sins

These clever things that we learn when we get older
When every wicked thing we do can make us bolder
How to steer a conversation, how to swallow our libations
Till even warmer smiles can make us colder
So I drove south like a ghost into Georgia
Singing "Lonely One" with Mr. Gibbons, feeling
Always disappointed, though the word has been anointed,
My little faith feels always cut to ribbons

Cause the boys will suddenly wound you
Till you bleed without trying
And the girls will suddenly wound you
Cause they're experts at lying
And you found out how to act hard and
the secret spots to cry in and
my lips begin
another year of the seven deadly sins

But today is going to be different
You can stop the leak when you know where the hole is
Cause a thousand yesterdays have kicked the crap right out of me
But today I'm going to throw a few of my own punches
I'm gonna drink from the living water
I'm gonna eat from the broken bread
And the day I finally get into heaven
Ends the war between my heart and my head

Cause the boys will suddenly sing
Till you see without trying
And the girls will suddenly bring
A little mercy for the dying
And you'll find out how to give love
the secret spots to shine in and
my lips will grin and say goodbye
to the seven deadly sins
say goodbye to the seven deadly sins
the seven deadly sins

I was just watching some kids this morning at the rec center, running around and just being kids. They have so much freedom, so much funness and creativity, so much purity and innocense. And I think that's what God desires for be brought back to that kind of freedom. Come to Him like a child. I wanna be like that! And I want that for everyone else, know a Father's love so great and to know so much freedom from our sins and our wounds. How awesome! I know it won't come completely until we die, but God does offer us freedom through truth, which seemed to be a big focus of my readings this morning in a couple books I am reading. Freedom comes from TRUE TRUTH and liberation from the lies. God, expose the lies and shine Your Truth not only in my life, but of the lives of those around those who are looking, to those who are seeking, to those who are hurting and dying.

While I was working out today, this popped in my head:

STOP TALKING AND START DOING (as relating to my walk of faith).

Hard core.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Well, here I am at home, Christmas Day, basking in my many gifts and mostly wasting the day away sleeping and watching our newly purchased CABLE TV (yes, we have more than 5 channels now!) on our honkin 55" surround sound HDTV, which my parents have had for a couple weeks now as a present to each other. Craziness. Anyway, I'm feeling rather lazy, but enjoying my time just sitting here typing on the computer.....I'm listening to Miranda Stone, one of 3 new CDs given to me by Mom and Pops. Delirious and Madison Greene are the other two I have yet to really sit down and jam to. Good stuff. I have also, as you can tell, figured out how to Audio Blog, so I've been having fun torturing Lacey and singing with her and my dad. I'm sure there will be many more Audio Blogs to come.

Anyway, I find myself content today, yet not fulfilled. I feel very distant, as I have over the last few weeks or months or years or something. I don't really feel like I am living my life. It's like I'm on the outside looking in....I don't REALLY experience anything. It's all a concept...kind of foreign. Not sure what that's all about. I am also finding myself thinking a lot about my friends....ones who are really close, ones who are just kind of casual, those I barely know, and those I've been good friends with in the past that have kind of dissipated. I'm thinking about the ones I wish I were closer to, the ones who struggle with family issues and are probably having a rough holiday, those who don't know Christ, those who have been so good to me even when I'm not good to them, and those I have regretfully judged unrighteously. I am thankful for all of them today. I miss them.

Today, I am also thankful for a God who loves me. I am thankful that He puts up with my poop, He tolerates my clumsiness, He forgives my faults, my bitterness, my emptiness. He still exists whether I choose to wake up and acknowledge Him or not. I am thankful that He keeps working even when I don't, that He keeps loving even when I don't, that He is greater than my greatest emptiness, He covers over my deepest sins. He forgives me even if other people don't. He is great and powerful and mysterious and wonderful and all the things I long to be but can't. I am who I am. I am a grain of sand at most, dust in the wind, blown by the smallest breeze, forever unsteady and emotional. Right now, this is who I am. I am not the person from the past. I am constantly changing depending on how much I allow God to work in me. But despite my many flaws and failures, despite how far I run, I am still a child of the living God, and He loves me. And I am thankful.

Merry Christmas to all.

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, December 24, 2004

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I have to say, tonight I am happy to be alive. Literally. I think I set a new record for the time it takes to get from Oxford to Waldo. Let's about 7 hours? Yes, that's right. It took me 7 hours to get from Oxford to Waldo, a trip that usually takes me around 2 1/2 hours. It was probably ranked right up there as one of the worst decisions I have ever made. I really thought I was going to die. More than once I saw other people fish-tailing on the dude almost fish-tailed right into me. My wipers kept icing up, so when the semi-trucks passed me with their humongo billows of snow, I couldn't see a thing. I went through fits of crying, and at one point, I was shaking so bad I could hardly keep my hands on the wheel. It was the most horrible experience. I tried to see it as an adventure, but it was just a little too much for me with the wipers not working correctly. When I finally got home to good old Waldo, Marion County was under a level 2 snow emergency. I'm serious...I have never driven in anything like what I experienced tonight. I talked to my mom several times on the phone, sometimes crying, sometimes just snapping because I was so stressed out. But she's awesome. She kept telling me she was praying for me, and then (I found out when I got home) she called people to pray for me. haha So awesome. And it worked. Honestly, I don't know how I didn't end up in a ditch. You have to be insane-in-the-brain to drive out there tonight. I.E. ....ME!

So, thanks, God, for sparing my life and my car and my dignity. :) And to anyone else, don't go driving until the snow stops. It's rediculous.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

I'm realizing that when you don't conform to society, you are treated differently. And I'm thinking that I need to start trying to fit in. I've noticed especially lately that I am treated differently when I go into public places because I am overweight and wear sweatshirts, pajama pants, and hats. I used to think I could just be myself, although I think a lot of this stems from depression, but regardless, I thought I could be myself and people would still treat me with respect. But it's not true. I am an object. I am a nobody. And I get treated that way in the stores, at my family Christmas, anywhere I go. I hate it. It makes me realize that I have to do something about how I look not only because I hate myself, but also in order to feel loved. I feel so rejected right now. And I feel alone. I don't fit in anywhere. I am tired and bitter and hateful and resentful and jealous and all the things that I shouldn't be. I want to go back 7 years in my life. I want to be normal. I want to be happy. I want my friends. I want my life where I didn't worry, where people liked me, where I did everything right and got perfect grades and was a great athlete. I'm tired of this vulnerable's time for me to put on a face and fit in to this messed up world where I don't even belong anyway.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Presenting.......da da da da da.......Miss Kara to the blogging world! :)

I finally watched Forest Gump for the second time in my life. The first time was in 3rd or 4th grade when it was in the theaters. I remember seeing it with my friend and her mom, and I remember asking her mom afterward what she thought. She said, "I think there was a lot of stuff in it that you guys didn't understand." That stuck with me......and boy was she right. I watched it late Monday night when I came home from work, and for whatever reason, it just struck a chord with me. I was crying and crying and crying, and I even cried myself to sleep that night. I'm not sure what got stirred in me. I think it was a combination of a lot of things. Just the presentation of sexual abuse and the repercussions it has on people's lives was so real in that movie, and so true. It reminded me of how hurt we are from our pasts and how that so often affects our present choices. I think of friends I have that I know have been hurt and are living out that hurt every day. It doesn't even have to be sexual abuse. All kinds of things.....we bottle up these experiences and unknowingly allow them to affect our daily choices to sin because we'd rather sin than deal with the real issues. It was heart-breaking to see Jenny deteriorate before my eyes, lost in her sin of sexual promiscuity and drug abuse and in her feelings of aloneness, resulting from her troubled childhood and abusive father. Over and over she disrespected herself and her body by being in hurtful relationships because she didn't feel she was worth more than that.

Maybe watching this movie will help remind me where people come from and the hurt they are hiding from. Maybe it's to help me with my future in working at the women's center in Hamilton. Already, just during a couple hours of training at the center, I met a young girl who was pregnant who nonchalantly told us that she was raped at an earlier age. These things teach lessons of self-disrespect, self-hatred, self-worthlessness. Other things in our lives teach us we are not good enough, we are imperfect, we are stupid.....and then we deal with our emotions by doing drugs, being sexually active, seeking harmful relationships, eating, becoming reclusive.....whatever it might be. It hurts to hurt, so we run.

I guess where that leaves me is this: if we choose not to run, to face our pasts, our feelings, our emotions...everything that comes with it.....if we choose this, where do we go from there? What do we do with our feelings of rejection? This is where God intervenes, to heal and give hope. He allows us the room to cry and kick and scream and then offers His hand to comfort. I'm not sure what exactly that looks like, because it's different for everyone. But I know He offers healing from all these things. And then we get the chance to share our stories, our freedoms, with others. I, and everyone else, have an awesome God who loves beyond our understanding. All He asks is that we receive.

“Be with me.”

Sunday, December 12, 2004

I had forgotten about the sweet feeling in the element of surprise until tonight. Let me tell you about my most amazing evening.

I went into work at 5pm and, like any other night, Doug told me the run-down of the evening....what I should be prepared for, random things I should know, etc. I was helping stock up some candy when the other manager came in. I didn't think much of it, because he works with me sometimes on Saturday nights, but then suddenly, Doug says "ok, let's go. I'm taking you out for your Christmas present." At first, I didn't believe him, but when I realized he wasn't joking, I could hardly contain myself. I came in for a CRAZY night of peeps seeing Ocean's Twelve, and instead I was swept off my feet and into my boss's car for a night of awesomeness.

So, first, we drive to Cincinnati and meet his girlfriend for dinner, which was cool. But it gets way better. We then drive downtown and park in a garage and walk a couple blocks. At this point, I still have no idea where we are going. We end up at Taft Theater, where I see a sign for "Over the Rhine." I started jumping around. *laugh* I was so excited. We watched the most amazing show, and I got to sit on the stage with Mrs. Shaina Horner during a break, hearing about her latest pregnancy adventures, and I also saw Kevin and Tracy Rains as well as some other peeps with whom I'm a little less familiar.

Needless to say, the night rocked my world. Over the Rhine is an incredible band that somehow incorporates their faith into their music while still being real and relating to a completely diverse crowd. I got to hang out with my boss and his girlfriend, finally see his apartment and meet his roommate, watch Doug almost hit a pedestrian and then later another car almost hit him, talk about life, and so many other things that happened tonight. I know I'm not doing a very good job describing it, but I'm still in shock a little. I went to work at 5 and ended up in Cincinnati listening to some fantastic jazzy, clubby kind of music with two really awesome people. I couldn't have asked for a better night. I'm so happy right now. And I think that the music tonight really inspired me to start writing music from my heart, stuff that truly means something to me rather than what caters to the crowd or anyone else, for that matter. I love music, I love people, and I love God, and there isn't a better combination. :)

Friday, December 10, 2004

Just had an awesome night. I spent 2 hours at Olive Garden with Ian as he showed me the most AMAZING (and I mean amazing!) pictures of his trip all around the United States. I even got some ideas for my trip to the West this summer. I plan to colaborate with him some more on that, since he is now an expert. Nice to have friends with sweet information. And even sweeter pictures and stories. :)

Then, I hung out with my lifting buddy Sean as a group of us watched Ocean's Twelve at the theater. I loved it. Granted, I would recommend that anyone seeing Ocean's Twelve would first watch Ocean's Eleven as a refresher.....I found myself a little lost because I couldn't remember the first one. But even so, it was still an awesome movie. Cool camera moves, great acting, some total randomness that leaves you saying "what?!?!", and some cool twists and turns. Go see it if you have 125 extra minutes and five bucks to spare. :)

Thursday, December 09, 2004

I'm so thankful for the people God has placed in my life. Just want to let you all know that. I've had a wonderful time this evening, first hanging out with Kara, Vir, Kate, Eric, and a couple new peeps as we were blessed with the orchestra music coming from multiple instruments, one of which was Christi's :), and then I got to hang out with Kate, Kara, and Christi at my place, eating a drinking luxuries from the cool Kofenya coffee shop uptown. Then, Kara and I had a spontaneous idea to have a sleepover, so she's here with me now, and we've spent the last few hours just talking and relating. It's been wonderful, and certainly orchestrated by God. I love her so much. She's so full of wisdom, compassion, and understanding, and yet she is not afraid to be vulnerable and share brokenness.

And tomorrow, I finally get to see Ian so he can share with me all about his trip out West and show me his pciture book of 1000+ pictures that he took (no joke, it was really that much!) I can't wait! :)

Even in my brokenness and totally messed up self, I am seeing things, and God is teaching me things, mostly through others. It's awesome, and tonight before I hop into bed, I'm so thankful for my friendships and the people that love me where I'm at, even when that's being bitter or crabby or hateful. My friends see things from the outside looking in, and they help keep it real for me. And I am still loved, no matter what. Especially by God. How amazing.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I’ve been in love with a concept,
Instead of my true Love.
I’ve been in love with the way people love me,
Rather than really loving them.
I’ve been in love with myself,
Not the people who really need it.
I’ve been in love with comfort,
Instead of exchanging it for real living.
I’ve been in love with my pain,
Rather than giving it up.
I’ve been in love with the world,
And committed my great affair.
I’ve been in love with all the wrong things.
And today, I am realizing
All the things that aren’t worth loving,
And then the things that are.
I want a heart that longs for the sick,
The needy, the weak, the meek.
I want a heart that cries, that burns
With compassion for others.
I want a heart that bursts with love
That just can't be containted.
And I want to be in love with a Perfect Man.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

OK, in all seriousness, I can't get this off my mind. I have gained 50 pounds since I came to school, about 25 from just last semester. I weigh more than my dad.....something is wrong here! I really want to do something about my eating habits and my self-perception. It's all I think about. I'm just not ok with myself. I haven't been ok with myself for several years, and it stinks. My weight has fluctuated 75 pounds over the past 4 and a half years. Some people talk about their weight and know exactly how much they weigh because they've weighed the same for years. I want that. I want to be where I should be with no more of this fluctuating up and down and having no idea where my body wants me to be. I don't even know what it means to have normal eating, a normal appetite, and a normal, constant weight anymore. And, even with all that said, it's like my eating isn't the real issue. So I feel so trapped because I can never really nail the real issue. So the cycle just continues its course.

Anyway, enough of my whining. I had to get it off my chest, though. On other notes, I've had a couple crazy dreams the past few nights. Last night, while I was stealing something with a group of people, a big bloody chunk of my neck was shot off by a police officer (weird), and then a couple nights ago I ended up kissing Johnny Depp! *laugh* That one still makes me laugh. It's all because of that stupid Charlie and the Chocolate Factory poster hanging in the lobby of the theater (if you didn't know, Johnny Depp is playing Willie Wonka). No, I do not have an obsession with Johnny Depp, and to all you Freudians out there, it is not a subconscious desire of mine to kiss Johnny Depp. For the most part (but definitely not always), I believe dreams are just random elements we run into throughout the day that get jumbled together when we sleep, often giving us comic relief. hehe Hence, the poster. So, I don't want to hear about how I have some kind of secret desire for Johnny Depp.