Thursday, April 24, 2008

I've got a plan . . .

I'm a planner. I'm definitely not the kind of planner that has a color coded day tracker with them. In fact, I can't even keep a calendar, I always forget to write things in it. I'm a planner in the sense that I like to have things in my day. I don't remember the last time that I woke up and had nothing to do. On the off chance that I do wake up with nothing 'planned' for the day, that quickly changes by the time I am out of the shower. I will have a craft project, errand to run, friend to see, or even 'plan' to sit on the couch.

The problem (maybe this word will turn to 'adventure', but right now it feels like a problem) right now is that I don't have a plan. I am graduating in June. I know it is normal to feel some level of anxiety about this, but I REALLY need a plan. I go back and forth between plans. Get a real job, no, just nanny, but I need benefits, but I'm only young once (I'm not even really sure what that means). I am constantly trying to reconcile the part of me that needs to be responsible and the part of me that is scared that making responsible plans will lead to 'settling'.

My current plan is to try and learn to take a deep breath, know that I will be taken care of, and learn to live without a packed schedule.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


So the Dalai Lama was in town. It was a pretty big deal. I was lucky enough to attend two days of the Seeds of Compassion event. As I was sitting in Qwest Field observing the large numbers of people that had turned out for the event, the evangelical in me reared its head and I thought 'is there a Christian leader that could draw this diverse of a crowd?' I know that Billy Graham has had huge turnouts for his events, but there was something different about the crowd at Seeds of Compassion.

We are urban dwellers with an overdeveloped social conscious that is searching for a source of real hope. The Dalai Lama spoke about the importance of not only disarming nations, but disarming ourselves. I couldn't help but think 'isn't this what Jesus said?'

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:
3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I believe that there is something in us that hungers for blessing beyond the 'American Dream'. I long for us to know and reflect the resurrected Christ that brings peace and justice and grace. This is the power of the Gospel. Not a gospel that creates boundaries of who is in and who is out based on moral choices, but a Gospel of love offered and reflected in the incarnation of God.

I know the issue of which voices get heard in the religious marketplace are quite complex. I am not writing a doctorate thesis, just a blog, so this is all you get :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Equal Pay Day

Today is equal pay day!!!!

You may be asking, "Kelsey, what does that mean?"

Allow me to climb onto my very important soap box, dear reader.

You see, women still make 77 cents on every dollar that men make, and it's even worse for women of color.

I understand the shock you are experiencing right now. You may be thinking, "don't women have equal rights?" Well yes, in theory, except for the fact that fifteen states still have not ratified the Equal Right Amendment, and it is still not part of the U. S. constitution (

I know, its hard to believe that in 2008 discrimination against a person would still happen based on their ethnicity or gender. I think that the recent elections have brought to the surface very difficult conversations about institutionalized racism and gender discrimination.

I can go on, but I think I will just say 'yeah, this shit is real.'

Saturday, April 12, 2008

More than you ever wanted to know

I stole this from Holly who stole it from Maryann

Top Fives thing I can't live without, under $5

1. Bag Balm (yes it used for cow's utters, but it works magic on my lips)
2. Gnocchi
3. Small bottle of lotion for the purse
4. A cup of coffee
5. My e-mail (this may border on addiction)

Five Favorite Movies
(for those of you that have seen the blog "stuff white people like", this list may look familiar)

1. Any documentary ever made
2. Juno
3. Across the Universe
4. A League of Their Own
5. Rent

Five Songs that I listen to until I can't handle it anymore and then return to them in a month.

1. I am blessed to be a witness - Ben Harper
(this is not the real name of the song, but what it has been named on my iTunes)
2. Near to You - A Fine Frenzy
3. Not Ready to Make Nice - Dixie Chicks
(don't judge)
4. Too Long - Yael Naim
5. Diamonds on the Inside - Ben Harper

Five people/events that inspire my life

1. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
2. John Perkins- Civil Rights leader and speaker of beautiful truth
3. Sheri Callow- Old youth pastor's wife who has made incredible, courageous choices
4. Cline and Henry- Children I nanny for who allow me to take part in their childhood wonder
5. Dr. Neuhouser- Professor and such a good mennonite

Five moments/events that changed my life

1. Seeing poverty with real faces
2. Taking Holistic Ministries my Freshman year and realizing that I could/was called to do more than just pray for someone in poverty, Jesus cares for the whole person.
3. Living in Scotland for seven months working with YWAM. I learned a lot about the ways that I want to express the grace of God and a lot about how I don't.
4. Going to South Africa and spending time in SOWETO. I have never had such hope that all that stuff Jesus said about forgiveness and turning the other cheek and being peacemakers could actually be true.
5. My parent's divorce. I know that is kind of debbie downer, but for a long time I didn't want that to be something that affected my life, but it did, and not all in bad ways.

Five current obsessions

1. Opening the window and burying myself in the covers
2. Dreaming about/attempting to plan the next six months of my life
3. NPR (always)
4. Netflix
5. Sitting next to Holly on the couch with both of our computers while simultaneously reading the same blogs. (Don't worry Dustin, we call this community and therefore it is).

Five places I would like to go

1. Switzerland (maybe attempt some canyoning and just see if I survive)
2. Arbroath, the tiny fishing town I lived in, in Scotland
3. French countryside
4. A treehouse in a forest
5. Vermont, and I would like to work on a farm even though I have never enjoyed any type of yardwork, ever.

(I need this list to be a LOT longer)

BONUS: Five querks/confessions about me

1. I don't really like talking in rooms when the doors are open
2. I yell really ridiculous things at other cars when I'm driving
3. I don't wear deodrant very often
4. I never really 'clean' things, I just make neat piles of shit
5. One time I broke a crayon in Third Grade and was so consumed by guilt I told my teacher.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Running Away

You know those times when you are just exhausted? Your body is exhausted, but mostly your emotions are exhausted. Today is one of those days.

I am tired of feeling like I am a constant voice of dissension amongst my Christian community. Maybe this is more imagined than real, but none the less it is how I feel. I should probably walk around with a scarlet 'L' for liberal.

I am tired of talking. I always feel like I have something REALLY important to say and forget that the world may continue to function even if I don't share my every thought.

I am tired of having an opinion on EVERYTHING, which leads to the feeling like I always have something to share.

I know those things seem really dramatic. I'll probably be fine tomorrow, but I just need a chance to take a second to breathe and give my brain a break.

Tomorrow, I just want to run away for a bit. I want to go sit in a field and look at the sky and be still and know He is God.

P.S. don't fret, I have a good, light hearted post in the works for this weekend

Monday, April 7, 2008

It's cupcake week on Martha

Holly and I are sitting on the couch . . . both sick.

Let me share with you some of the gems of conversation that come out of this attractive state of being.

"I wish someone would just force feed me a cupcake right now" - Me

"It was cupcake week on Martha. With all the things going on in the world, Martha has time for a cupcake week. But if I was going to go see the Dalai Lama, I wold give him a cupcake" -Holly

If anyone is interested in seeing two women reduced to three year old whiners, come on over!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Moments when I think I will have children

Sometimes I leave my five hours of babysitting and think 'Dear God, please allow me to become addicted to birth control." Other days I leave thinking that raising children might be manageable if balanced with the darling moments, and today was full of them.

I got to cook with the kids which consists of endless lies from the little Ms. in an attempt to eat almost ALL of the brownie batter (Mom, I like raw eggs. I am just going to lick the bowl, and the spoon . . . and the spatula).

The best moment of all was right as I was getting to leave.

I had just changed the little man's diaper (which smelled horrific and induced dry heaves) and he had a bit of a diaper rash so I let him run around without pants on. I was going to get my things and then I heard little man with flaming red hair, running into the room, naked butt, with a Sesame Street helmet on backwards (and two sizes too big) pushing his Radio Flyer rocket ship straight into the oven.


I go to the NY Times homepage in an attempt to understand what is going on in the world, but EVERY TIME I get sucked into the arts videos at the bottom of the page.

Watching a crazy Bjork video always wins out over reading about the latest speech Obama just gave.

If you would like to take part in this shallow consumption of the news here is a link to my latest findings.