Wednesday, June 30, 2010

endings are also beginnings

many transitions are happening all around me. Shauna moved out of her apartment and began her journey back to Colorado with her family yesterday. tomorrow is my 10th wedding anniversary. last week, i finished my first year of graduate school. and this is the first time in life where i have lived far away from family, friends, and community. its time for a new beginning.

this blog that started over 2 years ago as a type of correspondence between Shauna and i was a quest for us to find our voices. and i'm happy to report that both of us are no longer mute. Shauna has finished her graduate program and in the process begun her own blog. i found the voice necessary to declare my desires and be a part of the transforming power found in Mars Hill Graduate School. and now that i've been out here a year, i've had a taste of change, but realize it is only the beginning.

i've tried to manage this blog on my own after i moved to Seattle and it became apparent that Shauna and i didn't need to "correspond" in this format any longer. we have had plenty of face to face communication carpooling to and from school and at shared dinners with both of our families. but looking back, i've only published 17 posts in the time that this has been a solo endeavor. clearly, my heart wasn't ready to go at this alone. however, as this week of transitions has reminded me, endings also mean beginnings.

so, this is the ending of No Longer Mute, the blog, and the beginning of my own journey, alone. now that Karl and i are in Seattle by ourselves with our two children, its time to find more than my voice. its time for me to find myself all over again. the upcoming few years is the beginning of a season where i am not bound by familial norms, religious obligations, or social expectations. who and what i become and what i do is no longer dependent on fitting the mold created by my history. i have a chance to discover what it means to be a 32 year old woman who is married and has two children, who attends graduate school...but what else i'm excited to discover.

as the past school year comes to a close, friends are gone, and so are the safety nets. i'm looking forward to learning how to fly on my own. i anticipate much discovery of my own self, my own soul, and what it means to be a family unit, dedicated to creating a life that we choose for ourselves.

good bye No Longer Mute. what began as a joint endeavour could not be sustained solely. thank you, readers for your commitment to seeing, hearing and joining in our journey to find our own voices. i hope you will continue following Shauna on her path at http://www.thejourneyunknown.blogspot.com/

farewell for now. hello for later.

k.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

graduate life

i'm taking 5 classes this summer semester. why? that's a good question. most people think me crazy as they are taking 3 maybe 4 and me...well i must be masochistic.

actually, i just think that while karl is still working from home, we have a little extra cash from our tax return to cover some bills (including an extra class) i should take advantage of this time and really try to get some work accomplished. oh - and i'm honored to share a class with Shauna - her last - as a way to commemorate the criss-crossing of our journeys as i begin mine and she ends hers.

so...5 classes. it's crazy, really. i will probably have read about several thousand pages - noteworthy, indeed, from someone who doesn't read anything but magazines and emails. it's crazy just for crazy sake, but when you throw in car troubles and birthdays and special events like mother's day in the mix of an intensive weekend course, things get just plain nuts. and this week, we get to add car trouble.

yesterday, i parked on the street and couldn't get my car to start to move it to the garage and had no more change for the meter. after several banging and clangings on the battery, it started well enough to move it. and that's where the good news ends. after a friend drove over to jump it, with no luck, karl packed up the kids at 8:30 PM and drove up to the city...he had no luck starting it either. thankfully, the van was running well enough for him to come pick me up. so, we left my car in the garage and on a day when i don't have classes, i'll still be driving uptown to have it towed, praying all the way that the van makes it, since it almost didn't start this morning when i got up to take lucy to school.

moral: 5 classes is doable, if life doesn't get in the way. but since it does, hold on to your hats, folks, krista is in for a hurricane over the next 6 1/2 weeks. what? you didn't know hurricanes came off the puget sound?

k.

Friday, April 30, 2010

worship

tonight i spent $243 on a popcorn maker and it was worshipful.

our family attended a fundraiser event for Brooklake Christian School. the school is a part of the church we attend by the same name. it was their 14th annual round-up style silent and live auction complete with its very own auctioneer. i had seen the posters up on the walls of the church building marketing the event and was intrigued. i was even more excited when it was advertised as a family event complete with a western-themed party for the kids and bbq for the adults. karl enjoyed himself just as much when he sniped the vintage cinema-style authentic popcorn maker at the last second for a cool $108. the rush of wondering if we could be the final bidder was good fun - and taking home something that will replace our burnt microwave popcorn on movie nights was splendid, indeed.

we bid on a few more items, but let them go to a higher bidder, all while learning about the fun things seattle has to offer: kayaking in lake union, harbor tours, live bug exhibits and mariner's games. then, when it was time for the live auction, the excitement grew when the auctioneer began his ceremonious yodeling increasing the bids one after encouraging audience members to vye for winning the prized item. holding up our large print numbered card as a bidder, making sure you didn't slip up and hold up your card mistakenly was innocent fun.

i was completely surprised when i started crying...perplexed, really. it just felt so good to spend money so freely. we completed our purchases with an additional $35 to get the principal and 5th grade teacher out of "jail" as well as $100 towards the school's purchase of an automatic defribilator. the tears kept coming and i told karl i had no idea why, but it felt so good to give, and in the giving receive.

that's my new definition of worship - giving and in the giving, receiving. the atmosphere of so many parents and grandparents supporting their child's school in a fun way was moving and i'm not sure why it was so. maybe because in my own private christian school education there wouldn't have been anything like it, but more, it was freedom to give knowing it was all for a good cause, and yet in the giving, the good feeling is what i received.

the bright red popcorn maker will sit on our countertop as a reminder to me that giving isn't meant to be a burden, an obligation, a principle or rule. its meant to be worship. it is in giving that we immediately receive, when the giving is done wholeheartedly, without reserve, just because you support what you're giving to.

just some thoughts about a night that moved me to tears...simply, yet profoundly i was happy.

k.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

life doesn't wait for mondays

mondays - they have always signified new beginnings, a chance to start over, more opportunity for success than a thursday. however, when change is beckoning at your front door, it is no repector of days, it comes quickly, fiercely, without warning, and often unwelcomed.

it's wednesday night, and i wish it were sunday night so i could use the momentum promised from the first day of the week to usher in the change that is relentlessly knocking...knocking...knocking. i'm waiting to be prepared before i'm willing to change. there are lists to make, schedules to ready before this change is welcome. and still, it knocks, obnoxiously, pestering me to welcome it now. i'm not sure how long i can keep it at bay. how long can i bear the pestering thumping in my mind, on my heart, and the frantic pulsing through my bloodstream. change wants in. why am i so resistant? would i be if it were monday?

what makes mondays so special. the reality check is that monday is a flag day - a signal for me to get ready. and in that signal, i take the reigns. i take charge. i'm in control of the what, the when, the how. mondays are all about control. if i welcome change on a thursday night - won't i be out of control all weekend and the change won't stay? what if i am not prepared to welcome change on a midday friday afternoon? if i'm a mess when change comes knocking, i can't control how long it will stay. however, if i use saturday to clean, and sunday to prepare, then i'll be more hospitable come monday morning and change will want to stay around longer. i can't yield control because i can't bear to have her leave. i can't bear to hear her knocking without promise that she won't turn away when she sees the state i'm in. so, just wait, change. please wait until monday where i'm more sure that i'll be prepared for you and you'll want to stay. she says she will continue to choose the time that she shows up - but she'll leave the choice of opening the door up to me...

so, i can wait until monday and give myself time to plan and prepare risking that change may get tired of knocking and walk away. or, i can invite her in tonight, ask her to stay, and let her decide if my lack of preparedness factors in to how long she will.

k.

Monday, April 19, 2010

it's that time...

...time to breathe. i've been reading and writing psychological perspectives for 3 weeks straight. now is the time to pause and begin the creative process so desperately needed after these desert times.

where to begin? i've had blog posts rummaging around amidst the chaos of my mind looking for a clean corner free of graduate school debris. now that the dust is settling i want to clean out some space in my mind and in my day to write, creatively.

i was thinking about starting a series on "word associations". the process would be to think of a term or a phrase and let my mind wander where it takes me when that word is brought up and see if on the wings of a stream of consciousness i can practice alliteration, personification, hyperbole and even onomatopoeia in an attempt to water my mental drought with creativity.

that sounds like a good place to start.

k.

p.s. i will take requests. send me a phrase or a word and let me see where it takes me...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

feta cheese

right now, i'm crumbling under the weight of everything that's undone in my life. my papers are not finished. my finals are not studied for. my reading material has been collecting dust since my first research paper began. my relationships are in the deconstruction process. and my body is begging me to care for it: to eat better, to sleep more soundly, to turn off the mental messiness long enough to breathe deeply. i feel like i'm about to self-destruct. even now, as i type, i feel clammy and pale, my stomach is empty and full at the same time, my forehead is wrinkled with furrows. i'm tense, and worried and nervous that my body may not hold up to the crumbling; that it may melt and seep into the cracks of the chaos. for now, i'm a mess...and i don't want or need anything nice, neat, or symmetrical...i just need to make it through with some semblance of solidity...to not be completely dissolved in this process.

k.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

it won't be the last time...

...that my daughter tells me something that breaks my heart. tonight, Lucy was upset because she was singing a song and kept making mistakes and not getting it perfect. after a few exchanges i realized she is terrified of making any mistakes, because if she does, people will think, as she already does, that she's not good enough. she said that two other girls in her class draw hearts and stars better than her. she tearfully argued that she practices more than them, but theirs are still better. she went on to list the many ways she isn't as good - not in math, or in drawing rainbows or unicorns, or even in writing her letters - some are too big and some are too small and some are too wiggly, she said. every account that she claimed she wasn't good enough broke my heart into tinier pieces.

how can my beautiful 5 year old, 1/2 day Kindergarten attending baby look at the big world around her and tell herself she's not good enough? where did she learn that mistakes are bad and perfection is the only good? of course, i blame myself. but how did i go so wrong, so fast?...and if it's only taken her 1 semester of Kindergarten to realize there are people better than her at things and those people are preferred, how long will it take me to teach her how wonderful she is? will she ever know how great i think she is? how can i show her, because obviously I haven't taught her.

tonight, with tears in her eyes, my daughter told me she isn't good enough. will my tears be enough to change her mind?

k.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

inspiration

there are many things i've always wanted to do that i can't.
i can't speak fluent spanish.
i can't play praise music on the guitar or piano.
i can't run far.
i can't wear a size 6.
i can't wear contacts.
i can't go on a vacation, or buy a fancy car, or a new dress.
i can't cook much more than macaroni and cheese.

but, there are many things i can.
for starters, no, i can't write a book, but i can write a blog.
i'm in no shape for a triathalon, but there is nothing in my body that is broken or not working.
i might not get straight A's, but i can think, read, discuss.
i don't stand quiet for very long, but i can turn off the radio when i drive.
i won't stop taking naps, but i can stop beating myself up because i do.

there are many instances where i want a fuller cup, so i miss that my cup is already full enough. but if i only concentrate on what isn't, there is no gratitude for what is.

my inspiration for finally being able to post my first blog in over a month:

AGAINST HESITATION

If you stare at it long enough
the mountain becomes unclimbable.
Tally it up. How much time have you spent
waiting for the soup to cool?
Icicles hang from January gutters
only as long as they can. Fingers pause
above piano keys for the chord
that will not form. Slam them down
I say. Make music of what you can.
Some people stop at the wrong corner
and waste a dozen years hoping
for directions. I can’t be them.
Tell every girl I’ve ever known
I’m coming to break her door down,
that my teeth will clench
the simple flower I only knew
not to give . . . Ah, how long did I stand
beneath the eaves believing the storm
would stop? It never did.

And there is lightning in me still.

~Charles Rafferty

here's to acknowledging, doing, and loving what i can.

k.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

just need to rant...

when it rains, it pours, and not just because i live in seattle. yesterday was one of those days...

i woke up to lucy having a fever with a stomach ache, sore throat, and wrist sprain from falling off the monkey bars. when i got in the car to run to the drugstore for some tylenol, car wouldn't start after we just changed the battery over the weekend. but our van did start. first store didn't have tylenol, thankfully the next store did. took her to the doctor. prognosis: strep throat; prescribed antibiotics. on the way home, the van, which has been giving us considerable acceleration problems, wouldn't go on the highway. i ended up driving on the shoulder until i turned the car off, waited for a break in traffic, turned it back on, then gunned it all the way home only to get a 1/2 block away from the house when lucy couldn't hold it anymore and threw up in the back seat. so...i quickly dropped her off at home with karl and ran to the pharmacy. 1 1/2 hours later, the prescription was finally ready to go - and so was the vomit still in the car. i at last, i barely made it home (had to stop and start car several times to get the gas going and accelerate home). whew.

then, we had someone coming to the house to fix a hole in the roof of our kitchen and later a mechanic to come look at the van. a lot of fixes all in one day...now i have a sore throat and its the weekend. hmph.

the upside is that at every time something negative happened, i tried to find something to be grateful for. i was grateful that we have medical insurance and got lucy to the doctor first thing in the morning. i'm grateful that when one car didn't start - at least the other car did (and bonus, karl got the car to start later by reconnecting the battery). i'm grateful that shauna was home that day, so if we were stranded, we would have had someone to rescue us other than a tow truck or a taxi cab. i was grateful that for a $10 antibiotic, my daughter would be feeling much better. i was supremely grateful that during all of this, karl was staying at home with peter while i took lucy and with both of them while i had to wait at walgreens for the prescription - because they would have had to wait there with me if he was not working from home...and its no fun to wait in a waiting room of a little drug store for 1 1/2 hours when you have a 100 degree fever. i'm also grateful that we live in a rental and didn't have to pay for the roof to get fixed. and in the end, the mechanic said a $30 part is all that is needed to fix the van.

i'm grateful that i could be grateful. and in a few days, i'll be grateful that my sore throat is gone along with the body aches and pains and i can get back to studying for a master's degree - something that only 1% of the entire population of the world has the chance to do.

k.

Monday, January 11, 2010

no one wants to be average

when i was little, i never thought, "i want to be average when i grow up." yet somehow, the reality is that i feel very average - average looking, averagely intelligent, average wealth. where does that voice come from that says i'm not extraordinary?

when i think of the people that God used: david, a shepherd boy, mary, a poor girl, the thief on the cross - i would define all of them as average by any standard. but God uses the weak to confound the strong. why? is that always his MO? if so, there's hope for me.

i want to make an extraordinary difference in the world. but i'm learning, perhaps, my definitions of extraordinary are changing. i want to be someone special to my daughter; but instead of being her hero - set apart, higher than, someone to look up to, i want to be in relationship with her, giving and taking. i don't want to be the best homemaker for my husband, but someone who shares in his dreams and passions. i want to contribute to the man my son will someday become.

so, how do i reconcile these new visions of extraordinary with what the world is pressuring me to be instead? my focus has to shift from elevating the influence of strangers and people from a distance to elevating the people closest to me. will i let the influence of children and a simple man peruade me to focusing on being an extraordinary wife and mother? there is a choice for me to make - what will i choose?

k.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

it's been too long

i almost can't believe that it's been over 2 months since my last post - or that i've only posted a few times since starting this experience called grad school. i could use the excuse that i had a lot of work to do and keeping up with the readings kept me busy, but i'm not sure that's the most legitimate excuse. while i have worked hard, i've also had a lot of free time. for the first time in my entire life i'm living in a different state than i was born in. having known only one family and one friend when i moved out here and not being actively a part of a church has really limited my social network. i've had many friday and saturday nights open to do nothing but write or think or read, and yet i've chosen not to employ this medium. why?

i haven't been able to put my finger on why i haven't had the urge to write - but something just came to me. before, i wrote mostly of existential questions and pursuits that i didn't bother looking for their answers. and now, i've found myself in a place where there just might be some answers - and that scares me. i've always felt action was the essential follow-up to an answered question, and i'm afraid i might not be able to act on these new answers i'm finding, because they mean death. they mean death to past consuming fears that have kept me from relationship, they mean death to control, they mean death to safety and comfort, and instead demand risk, bravery, and a courage to trust love.

so, maybe my posts will be less about the questions and more exploratory about the ways i intend to follow the answers i've been searching for for so long...maybe.

k.