Musings of a mini mexican

I am small, I am mighty, I am loved chosen and destined. I write not for anyone else to read really but to keep myself sane. Its how I process and in the process I have discovered I have a gift with words.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hope is like a bug on a windshield

So Its been a good minute since I blogged (don’t worry non southern friends I don’t mean a literal minute )  This last season has been anything but easy. At the beginning of October I was feeling like I was finally getting my crap together, great job, doing well in school and had what I thought was a great relationship. On October 7th all of that changed. It all started with a car accident that showed that not only was my car and body damaged but that my relationship couldn’t hold up to the stress or trauma. Within two weeks of the accident I also was laid off from my job and had to leave school because I had missed so many days from the near constant migraine that the accident left me with.  I was left feeling broken,lost and pretty angry. This also happened right when I was beginning a very intensive counseling class with my church. Talk about having a rough couple weeks.  So I started to pull away from not only my church family but also others who love me and even my best friends. I wasn’t sleeping or spending time with the Lord. Why? Because I was angry and because I felt that I had exhausted my last chances. I felt like all of the things that happened were just consequences of my former life.
One of my favorite verse in the Bible is Proverbs 13:12  “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” in this last season of my life I learned what it means to be heartsick. To be perfectly honest I had lost hope completely and was so heart sick it made me physically sick sometimes.  Recently I’ve been reminded of the faithfulness of my Captain even when I am so unfaithful. I was reading Hosea the other day and  in that book a prophet of the Lord is told to marry a prostitute who leaves him several times and he has to buy her back.  As I read that I began to get a picture of hope like I haven’t seen in months. It was almost like I was drowning and someone handed me oxygen. I almost physically felt blood start to pump in my heart again.  The faithfulness of my Captain even in my darkest moments and deepest pain is reason enough to always hope.  He has given me so many amazing things and my prayer is that I can keep Hope in focus becasuse Hope is like a lighthouse in a hurricane and sometimes it’s the only way to make it through a storm. Elbows up and eyes on the prize. Hold onto Hope. Like a bug on a windshield. Like a skydiver to a parachute. Hold on for dear life because Hope=Life.

Monday, November 14, 2011

blood is just as thick as water.

Today   I was having a conversation about my birth family and how weird it is to look like somebody for the first time in my entire life, the person I was talking to said “well they aren’t really your family”  that was like a knife in my heart, I have spent my entire life wondering what it would be like to know people who share the same DNA as me, all I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember is to look like somebody, to be able to say “yeah I have my dads nose” so this past summer when I finally found my birth family I felt like a piece of my heart that had been missing was finally whole. So to the people who think that family is just the people you are raised with, I say, you don’t know what its like to feel so very connected to people a thousand miles away whom you’ve  never met in real life. So until you understand what its like don’t try and tell me what to think. I will always value, love and celebrate the family that raised me and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world but just like when you have a baby and it becomes part of the family or a marriage brings new people into the family, my new siblings, counsins and other family are  just another part of my heart,  so don’t tell me who my family are and I won’t tell you who they aren’t. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

When I was 12 I couldn't see 25

When I was 12  I  couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be 25 years old. I am now 17 days away from being 25 and somedays I feel like I’m 12 still. The last 13 years have been incredibly hard and filled with pain and struggle but I also feel like I have accomplished more than I ever thought I could. But somedays to be perfectly honest I feel like I’m 25 with nothing to show for it. The majority of my friends have jobs and college degrees and babies and houses. I don’t have a job, I’ve only made it through 1.5 terms of school and have no hope in sight for houses, babies or husbands. I can’t seem to finance my own future and everytime I seem to get things in order I fail yet again. People like to tell me “your turn will come” but if I hear that one more time I will freak out. But then I remember…that I have defied statistics and the odds in almost everything in my life. I was told once by a trained professional that “I would never drive ,go to college or graduate from high school” well I have done all of those things and continue to do everything that people tell me I can’t. so I may be 25 and without what the world defines as success but I have climbed mountains and had victory over obstacles that would make most degree holding,baby having home owners weak in the knees. So the moral of the story is that I am successful and that I am seeing 25 and it looks pretty amazing to me.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Faith,Fishhooks and Finally giving in.

Faith ,Fishhooks and Finally Giving in.
Sometimes I think I’m just the girl who makes the cabin assignments and fail to realize that my Captain likes to work in the strangest ways and that when I help take 60 of my kids to fall retreat that the Lord won’t always be found in the big loud moments during a service or during some  great message but in the dishes,the grilled cheese and the fish hooks.
I remember the day I got saved like it was yesterday, I was 21 years old and had just moved 2800 miles away from everything and everyone I had ever known so I could be free. I was sitting in a van in a cemetery in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia  when I finally tapped. I realized that all I had been living for and all I had once counted dear was as the prophet Ezekiel said “meaningless everything is meaningless” I hadn’t slept more than a few hours in 3 or 4 days and was sitting alone in the van when a worship song started playing and I was overcome with the Holy Spirit in a way I haven’t experienced since. I remember saying out loud “fine I’m done I quit” and I was immediately overwhelmed with a wave of Love I  cant even begin to describe.  So the point I’m to trying to make is that we often think that we as youth leaders need to hype up a worship experience so kids can get saved but I learned this weekend that my Captain is in the tiny moments and that no matter how awesome our worship is or how cool our retreats are, sometimes its  in the fishhooks and the grilled cheese that change happens.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

fears,failure and flexeril

Fear , Failure and Flexeril
“Hey girl lets go down, wash our sins in the Carolina tide” one of my favorite songs is playing in my ears as I type this and reflect on how the last couple weeks have been some of the toughest of the last couple years.  At the beginning of last week I got really sick and missed a couple days of school and work and then my brand new computer died, all of those things seem really silly but can be pretty terrible, if that wasn’t enough I was in a car accident on the way to school last Friday that has left me with terrible headaches,neck pain and a debilitating fear of driving in the rain.
As most of you know for the last several months I have been dating a really great guy who I met at church and have really fallen for, I have spent the last several months  fighting with everything I have to not let my past and my failed relationships be the things that define me. I have fought for purity in my relationship and to honor God with it. I have struggled with trust and beliving the truth that somebody who loves and honors the Lord would also love me. Well the last month or so has been incredibly hard on both of us. We are both going to school full time and I’m working almost full time and hes working part time and we are both committed to youth groups. Somewhere in the last month we started arguing more and I started to let my insecurities rule my decision making. So last weekend Dan asked for a break so he could have time to figure out some things in his own life and we could both pray about our relationship. Now one of the most important things in the entire world to me is being a person of your word and so I asked him to honor that request for a break and so we are taking some time to figure things out. This is one of the most difficult things  I have had to go through and the hardest part is not allowing myself believe the lies that I have once again failed at having a healthy relationship and that I will never have a successful one or have a happy ending. But if theres anything that makes sense in this world of ours its that “IF THERES LIFE, THERES HOPE” and I believe in hope, maybe more now that I ever have.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

sometimes I forget

I was watching some videos from my old Masters Commission today and those creeping doubts about whether or not I was really supposed to come home came back and again there was that voice that likes to whisper “you know you’d still be doing ministry if you were still there” 
 I’lll  be the first to admit that I’ve made more than my share of mistakes since I came home from 2 years of intense discipleship and outreach in the hood of Atlanta. I’ve given my heart away to those who didn’t deserve it and for a time fell back into my old pattern of drinking. As much as I would like to say I came home and started a ministry or that I am full time staff at church I am neither of those things.
The reality is that as much as my path this last two years has not been exactly what I or my pastors at my MC would have wanted for me , I believe it has been exactly what I needed and exactly where the Lord wanted me
. I have learned that Grace is an action word and that everyday I need to remember the words of one of my favorite worship songs. “you wont  believe where I came from, believe in Grace”  I now have an understanding that Grace is not just forgiveness of sin but the idea that the ultimate soverign God loves me so desperately that He will walk with me through hard things and that as much as I have been given Grace that I should also give it to others.
I am also learning that Love  is a continual laying down of my rights for the better of the other person, that doesn’t mean being a door mat but that Love is patient and kind and keeps no record of wrongs.
At the end of the day, I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and that no matter what happens I know that “Jesus loves me and the rest we will figure out”

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Summer of the lost and found.

This summer has been one for the record books, I got a new job, one that challenged me far beyond what I thought I could handle .I learned how to manage staff, handle stress and carry food up a flight of stairs while running up them two at a time.
I learned what love really is and what it really isn’t. I learned to stand up for myself and that it is completely ok to say “no you may not treat me like that”
I found my biological family and in finding them found the answers to so many questions I had carried my whole life but I also found that those answers only brought more questions. I found out that my biological father passed  away when I was 7 years old. I gained 3 older half brothers and hope to meet all of them someday.
I had the opportunity to walk with ,mentor, feed and buy school supplies for several amazing teenagers who never fail to inspire, challenge and sometimes aggravate me. I’ve got to be apart of amazing victories and breakthroughs and continued to serve some of the most amazing pastors I’ve ever had the privilege to serve.
One of the best parts of this summer was falling in love with the most amazing man of God I have ever had the privileged to know. He has taught me so much about what the biblical example of what Love really is and continues to challenge me to be better and run harder after my dreams and the things that my future holds.
In short this has been the best summer I’ve ever had and I look forward to the soup, autumn leaves and good boots that this fall holds in store.
ps. I also got into culinary school and as of January 4th I will be a student at Oregon Culinary Instutite, if thats not proof of the Goodness of my God I dont know what is.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dear provider of half my dna or as I like to call you...Dad

Dear Dad.
Dear dad, its been a week now since I found out the truth about you. It seems like I have more questions now that I did before I found Andy. It sounds like you were a pretty amazing guy. Andy sent me pictures of you. I now know where I got my good looks, or at least my nose. I’m so excited to meet my awesome new brothers. Thank you for giving me big brothers. I have 5 total now. I think you would have liked my adoptive family. I have a really amazing adoptive dad who calls me “baby girl” and treats me well. It definatly hasn’t always been easy  to grow up this way but I know for sure now that I was given a pretty awesome gift in this family. . I”ve had a lot of unexplained anger and felt like I never really belonged to anyone but  I know that isn’t true and that the truth is that you really did want me and did talk about me. I also know now that the combo of genetics of you and my birth mom set me up for a pretty rough fight. I have struggled with addiction and fight every day to accept things as they come and to not chose to use things that allow me to escape. I’m proud to have had your last name at least for a short time.
I think I turned out pretty well. I’m funny and thoughtful and determined. I hope that you would have been proud of me.
Andy has answered all of my questions about you. He told me what happened to you. I’m so sorry. I know that you were trying to really do right and somebody else made the choice to end your life. I’m sad that I don’t have the chance to know you or meet you or ever find out why I do some of the weird things I do. I’m also angry that other people have decided for me how it was going to be. I’m angry that the disease of addiction took me from you guys to begin with. I’m angry that someone elses selfishness is the reason that I will never meet you or have a phone conversation with you.
I will always carry you in my heart and be thankful that I was given the gift of adoption. I will always tell people that I have your nose.  I’m going down to meet everybody hopefully soon and I’m going to make a short film about it as a way to honor you. I want you to know that I am so thankful for your life and the life I have.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Are you my mother?

So as some of my readers know, I was adopted when I was 4 months old. My whole life I’ve always felt  like I was missing part of me or that I was different from everyone around  me. As a kid I wanted to have someone tell me “oh you look just like your dad or mom “ and actually mean it.  I have always felt for as long as I can remember, that I somehow didn’t belong to anyone. Now the family that adopted me loves me and I’ve always known that but it’s a strange emotion that us adoptees have to process when it comes to dealing with the sense of separateness you feel in connection with your adoptive family.
Usually when the subject of adoption comes up Im asked the question “do you ever want to find your family”  of course I do. I haven’t so  much wanted to meet my birth parents but knew that I had several siblings that I have always wanted to meet.
In 5th grade the quest began. After finding my birth name in a pile of paperwork, I found my original birth certificate on the internet and wrote down the names of my birth parents and carried that piece of paper around till I finished high school.  Eventually life distracted me and I gave up hope of ever finding my birth family. I  became content with the idea that my questions about where I came from and my ethnic heritage would be forever unanswered. That was until this last Friday night when after dinking around on Facebook I decided to send a message to anyone in the town I was born in that had the same last name I was born with to ask for info about my birth father. I Didn’t actually expect a response from any one. So I was shocked when I received a message from a man named Andrew Ronquillo, saying that his dad who shared the same name as my birth father had in fact had a daughter who was my age and was given up for adoption.  I was in shock and began communicating with him about the details, the weirdest thing about it was that Andy and I share the same facial features and bone structure. The next day the news that he was in fact my half-brother was confirmed by a cousin who knew my birth name, which was sealed after my adoption and  other key details that only my close family would have known. So in a matter of 24 hours I gained, 3 new brothers, numerous cousins and 10 nieces and nephews. I am of course thrilled but with that joy comes a sense of overwhelming closure because I am finally getting the answers I have longed for as long as I remember. I also am dealing with sadness because in discovering this info I learned that my birth father who it turns out , contrary to what I had been told actually did very much love me and want me, passed away when I was 7 years old. He was murdered at the young age of 36. I am mourning a father I never got the chance to know but am filled with an immense sense of relief in knowing that he did want me and did talk about me often.
I am making plans to meet them all someday soon. I am also going to make a short documentary film about it as a way to honor my dads memory.
This new found family in no way replaces or discredits the family that raised me, I love them just as much as I did before I found my birth family, I don’t expect most people to understand all the reasons why I needed to do this but it is the most amazing, life changing and inspiring thing that has ever happened to me. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

villages,roadtrips and hope.

Today I learned that  life is precious, friends are priceless and sometimes it really does “take a village”
As the few of you who read my blog know  I’m involved in a youth ministry in inner  SE PDX and spend a lot of time mentoring  the kids in the youth group. Well this week has been one for the record books. We have been really struggling with one of our boys who has been battling addiction for sometime now. He had actually stopped coming to youth group and we were concerned that he was just too far gone, I admit I had stopped hoping for a miracle in his life because sometimes it hurts so much to hope. But this week the Lord proved that once again He is the God of the impossible cases. This kid asked me to drive him to a drug treatment program,, I was surprised and proud and of course took him up on the offer. To be perfectly honest though I didn’t think he would actually be there when I went to pick him up on Tuesday morning. He was and we headed to his new home for the next space of time. As we drove the 2 hours to the treatment center we talked about the Lord and the importance of making healthy choices, I shared with this kid where the Lord had brought me from and that because of what He had done in my own life that I believe that its never too late, and then I realized that I had actually believed this moment would never come. I realized that sometimes I don’t have the patience or faith to risk the hurt involved when hoping for miracles. I know this now though.. that I serve a God of the impossible things and that I can ask for big things. Anyways  we got him to treatment and helped him get settled and as we walked out the door I felt my heart break for the reality that this is something we have to deal with. The reality that not every kid has a cheering section and that everyday there are kids who make adult choices because the adults in their lives cant make healthy decisions. Which brings me to my next moment this week, on Wednesday night at youth group I had to help one of my other kids report someone in their lives who had been beating them and their baby sister, again I was hit with the reality that I have learned the things I have and come through all that I have for the purpose of rescue, to assist in the rescue of those ones who don’t have anybody who can be in their corner.  This is heartbreaking and hard but the most rewarding thing I have ever been able to do. I don’t like having to call caseworkers or go through paperwork about the drugs they’ve used recently but if this means that for one second that kid can realize that not only does Jesus love them but that I am in there corner cheering them on than that makes it totally worth it. So the moral of the story is that this week I learned that hope is always closer than we think,that rescue is always possible and that the most important thing I can do in this life is to just continue to rescue like I was rescued.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I had a strange day today. I had school but only had two classes and finally got enough sleep to feel decent. I had a meeting at church so I was able to actually go to youth group tonight which I haven’t been able to do for about a month so that was awesome.
 I was talking to my friend Shalom in the car on the way earlier about how we always want things on our terms and in our time frame and how sometimes that’s not how the Lord rolls.
Today was sure an example of that, for those who have read my blog know that I went through a rough time and that the Lord almost literally plucked me out of my situation and allowed me to go through a time where all of my comfort zones and security blankets were taken away so I could learn to rely on Him alone. In the last 1.5 years since I’ve been home from masters I’ve really struggled with doubt and the idea that I was supposed to come home because to be perfectly honest, when it gets hard sometimes I am so very tempted to run back to Georgia which had become my spiritual comfort zone.
The reason we had the meeting tonight was that one of my girls has been going through an incredibly difficult time dealing with old wounds and depression and all of those hard things that seem to besiege this generation. After much prayer and thought on the part of myself,my pastors and her parents, we decided to pitch the idea of her applying to a Christian inpatient treatment center in the south. I have to admit I sometimes forget about how very big my God is and walked into the meeting fully expecting a few words to be exchanged and for her to walk out unchanged and completely against the idea of going to the program. So we sat down and I prayed for wisdom and just started spilling my heart. Somewhere in the middle of the meeting I realized that this is why I came home, that this meeting I was in was proof that I am walking in the will of God for my life and that His plan and timing are perfect. The fact that I was able to sit there and speak to her fears about leaving everything she knows and that she will have to completely  rely on God in a way she never has and that I completely understood that. WHAT A AMAZING MOMENT OF SEEING GOD MOVE. He so confirmed in my heart that I am exactly where he wants me. And she commited to applying to the program. I DON’T ALWAYS KNOW WHY HE PICKS ME BUT IM SO GLAD HE DOES.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One year ago today.

One Year Ago Today.
This time last year I was spending yet another night locked in my room wasting my life on facebook when a fb friend of mine posted about his dad who ran a treatment center at my church ,running out the door because "there was a fire at the church"
 Well what happened was  a huge fire had broken out in the church/hotel/coffee shop and it ended up destroying both the church and the coffee shop and the youth room that was so near and dear to my kids. I remember watching in shock as firefighters threw burnt chairs out of an upstairs window that had been the completely gutted sanctuary that I had grown up in.I thought as I'm sure others did also "where do we go from here?" 
We as a youth group have exploded both in size and passion for the Lord. Out of the ashes of that the Lord has raised student leaders and youth alike who have renewed passion for the things of God. As far as my life goes its been a 100 change since this time last year.
At the time of the fire last year I was living with a friend's family and wrestling with  issues surrounded faith and my place in the world. I was miserable,unemployed and unfufilled. Fastforward a year and I have a have a home and I'm in school , finally chasing my dream of a culinary degree and I get the opportunity to speak life to and mentor amazing high schoolers and jr highers. I also get to serve the greatest youth pastors on earth.
So if you're reading this and are finding yourself in a place of feeling like your life is burning down around,you know this. HE REALLY DOES BRING BEAUTY FROM ASHES. Sometimes we dont understand the bigger picture at the time but in the end He always makes something beautiful from the mess.

what doesnt kill you makes you...go to college?

Good Morning horribly bored people with nothing better to do than read my blog, Its now my 4th week of school and thus far the hardest one I've had yet. I found out today that I cant change my math class credit to pass fail so instead I'm going to have to drop it entirely. Otherwise I would end up failing and lose my financial aid. I'm so incredibly frustrated at the moment. I don't admit defeat easily and its even harder to ask for help. I should have been taken the math class that is one level lower than the one I'm taking right now. I've also been battling a wicked cold and the usual wasting disease stuff. So today when my teacher told me that I have to drop my math class entirely instead of changing it to pass/fail I about burst into tears. Math has long been a struggle for me and a cause of much frustration. theres also a large possibility that if I cant get into another class I may end up with not enough financial aid to continue school this summer. I guess it just seems really dark and daunting today but this I do know..what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and I've been through so much worse than this and have conquered much bigger mountains than this. SO WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU ....MAKES YOU GO TO COLLEGE

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lessons on faith,fathers and using your blinker.

So today I went to try and get my license for the 2nd time....and I failed. Now for most this may not seem like anything serious but for me its incredibly frustrating. Here's the story wishbone.
When I was in my birth mothers womb she was a drug addict. So when I was born I had borderline Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and was addicted to drugs. Soon after birth I developed meningitis and ecoli which further cooked my already fragile brain.
Fast forward to 8th grade when  my poor frustrated parents finally took me to be tested for learning disabilities. It actually took until my 10th grade year to fully diagnose me. I have at least 4 types of dyslexia/dysgraphia and spacial awareness processing issues. So what that means in plain English is that its a miracle that I can even walk,talk,hear or get past basic elementary school. I did some very intensive cognitive therapy in 10th and 11th grade and managed to graduate from high school. I remember that one of my therapist told my mom to be prepared for me to never go to college or drive a car. That statement has haunted me for the last several years and has been a constant source of frustration for me. I have fought so very hard to get this far and when it seems like I can't conquer something it makes me crazy. I was recently denied for testing accommodations from the disability support people at my school which is going to make passing this math class incredibly difficult but back to my point. My dad today before I left for my test was trying to help me work on parallel parking and it seemed like I just couldn't get it. And then a light bulb went off and I realized due to my issues with spacial awareness its almost impossible for me. Here's the kicker though....I aced FREAKEN PARALLEL DURING THE TEST!
so ever since this afternoon when I failed the test I've been so broken hearted and down trodden and every negative voice in my head has been screaming about why I'm never going to pass this.
sometimes I have trouble remembering in the darkness what He's told me in the light. I was in the car with my dad earlier and we were discussing how someone I know is the same age as me and is the general manager of a hotel and how I cant even seem to get a drivers license. Now my dad if you don't know him is a man of very few serious words. So I made some self deprecating comment about how I cant even manage to get a license and my dad sorta mumbles "BUT YOUR EXACTLY WHERE GOD WANTS YOU" I almost had to sit down for a second. The reality of that truth  hit me like a cement truck.
The idea that the creator of the universe knows exactly how He made me and that I am not learning disabled because He created every little piece of my brain and that He holds every piece of my future and my present in His very capable hands. I now realize  that this process of college and learning to drive are no longer obstacles to be overcome but proof of  THE GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE.  The fact that I can even drive well enough to almost pass the test or go to college and blow my teacher away with my writing when statistically I shouldn't even be able to read. Anyways its late and I have school early. mumble grumble ....math test.... sorry this is such a long one and I appreciate anybody who reads this and hope it speaks life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

gems, giants and dimonds in the rough.

Boy howdy this has been a weird day. To begin with my wasting disease was off the charts today and I barely made it through school even though I spent the entire day wishing I could just lay on the floor and sleep it off. For those of you who don't know I'm privileged to serve with an amazing youth ministry. I get the chance to disciple, mentor and do life with a group of about 40 Jr high and high school kids. Lately it seems that several of my kids at once have really been struggling with life. It breaks my heart to see these amazing kids battle depression, anxiety and addiction. So I was thinking about what I would say if I could get a chance to sit down and speak my heart to a couple of them who are really struggling with very hard things.  so here goes.

To my dear ones, Let me first say how very proud I am of you. For ever even taking that step to start a relationship with Christ. For allowing me the privilege of being apart of your lives. You are phenomenal human beings. You light up a room when you enter.
          I know that this place that your in is dark  perhaps the darkest you've ever been in in your short lives. I also know that life doesn't always deal us a fair hand and that sometimes when people tell you "everything happens for a reason" you want to punch them in the mouth. I know that sometimes it seems like I'm just another talking head. Another person to tell you a bunch of cliche bible verses and try to boss you around But let me tell you this. My heart is breaking for what your going through because I have been there. I once was homeless and didnt want anything to do with my family. I used to wake up every morning wishing I could just go back to sleep and never wake up.
 So because I know and because I have been there in that place where it seems too dark to ever see daylight again. One of my pastors in Georgia once told me something . thats always stuck with me. "REMEMBER IN THE DARKNESS WHAT HE'S TOLD YOU IN THE LIGHT" no matter how dark it seems or how hopeless you feel remember these things
so in closing I just wanna say that I hope you read this and I hope it encourages you. I love you all more than I can even say. I'm always here if you need me.

the wasting disease goes to college.

So if you dont already know, I've had what I affectionatly call "the wasting disease" aka fibromyalgia since well I've known about it since last november when I was offcially diagnosed. Its been this really bizzare adventure with strange parkinsons like muscle twitches and other exciting symptoms. basically its something I wouldnt wish on my worst enemy. Theres no real treatment for it other than being so doped up you cant see straight which is not exactly an option for me. It can be controlled with regular sleep and a very healthy diet. I can go from having a really good day to having to lay on the couch for two hours so I dont feel like I got hit by a train depending on how much soda I have. I've dealt with chronic pain for sometime now but this is a whole different ball game. It seems like no matter how much I sleep I'm still exhausted. Whenever I decided to go to school I knew that this was going to be a challenge. That no matter how terrible I felt that I would still have to make the choice to get up and go to school and to power through the headaches and pain. This is my 2nd week of school and so far I've been doing pretty well I think. I know that this term is gonna be a battle against the exhaustion and pain but this is what I do know. I am going to chase my dreams no matter what, this thing has not beat me yet. I will keep you posted on how it goes later in the quarter

Sunday, April 10, 2011

porkdodger tea parties

You would think after 24 years of this nonsense it wouldn’t bother me anymore. I’ve long been the odd man out. The ugly duckling or the awkward one. I’ve never been very good at playing by the rules or pretending that others judgment’s or nonsense didn’t bother me. Well maybe its because I am now part of a church family who doesn’t judge or that maybe its because I’ve reached a point in my life where I finally have the courage to speak out against the nonsense and the pretense. I’ve grown up around this concept that the measure of your ability to raise your children is based on the degrees they have and the number of non God given holes in their heads and ink in there skin. I’ve watched as mothers have clucked from the back of the church and during potluck to each other about mr and mrs johnsons troubled kid. “oh lets make sure so and so’s son or daughter gets extra prayer this week” not because there was actually anything morally deficient or wrong with them but because they  come to church in jeans and have more than the acceptable number of holes in there ears or heaven forbid one in there lip. Well I’ve quite had it with all this nonsense. I am tired of being treated like the prodigal child and like there’s  something terribly wrong with me for looking how i do . I am a very accomplished and well traveled 24 year old. I don’t know a lot of parents who child decided at 22 that there gonna move 2500 hundred miles away to dedicate there lives for 2 years for the cause of serving the poor and being the Lords hands and feet. But somehow no matter how well I’m doing or what amazing things I’ve contributed to society , I am still judged based on the fact that I chose to have holes in my ears or ink in my skin.. it doesn’t matter that the most visible tattoos I have speak of the unfailing love of Christ or that I got them for the purpose of having a constant reminder of Who my God is. When are we as the church finally going to be able to look at somebody like me and treat them like there part of the family? At the church body that Im a part of I’ve never once seen somebody judged based on appearance  or lack of “success” that willingness to look past the outward appearance is what it means to truly see people as Jesus see’s them and not as our fleshly judgmental hearts would quickly appraise their worth as less than others who look more "christian like" anyways thats my rant for today.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I love writing because.

I have to write a 3 page essay on why I love to write. So I sat down to brainstorm and the following is what came out. Feedback is much appreciated.

Midnight in a parking lot in Atlanta, the usual  cacophony of  sirens,squealing tires, the steady thump of bass in car steros  and dope boys shouts fill  the air. It’s the dead muggy heat the way only a hard Georgia night gets. I was hungry and exhausted and tired of my house being invaded every week and a half by 40-60 strangers there to make a big deal about how they were serving the poor when it was the life I lived all day everyday. I am angry and I have a laptop. That day after spending 2 hours scrubbing the hallway and basebords of our house only to be pulled into my directors office and berated for asking a vsiting team to help out with the dishes. We were not allowed to ever say anything in correction to the vistors no matter how they trashed our houses or ate our food. So my only option was to sit in a parking lot with my ipod in my ears, spilling my frustrations and confusion on to a document. In a dark rat infested parking lot on a hot and sticky Georgia night writing gave me the voice I never gave voice to the things that I had been screaming on the inside about. In the relative anonymity  of a social network site I found my lungs.  I grew up the youngest and smallest of three kids and the only girl so my ability to be heard  wasn’t a reality very often. I was always last to get called on and last to get picked. I read a lot and yet was a terrible student. So after barely graduating from high school and nearly ruining my life in an abusive controlling relationship I decided to do something for somebody else for a change. I packed up and moved 2500 miles away from everything  I had ever known in an attempt to find truth and identity for myself. I ended up finding my voice for the first time in 23 years. I joined a urban missions internship where I thought that if I took the focus off myself and my issues I would be able to make sense of the mess I had made of my life in a mere few years on the planet. I had taken for granted ever good thing ever handed my way and had instead focused on the things that were wrong with me and finding validation for all of the things that I felt was inadequate. I went i learned . I grew and I contributed something meaningful during my time there.  I tutored elementary school students and helped teach a 4th grader to read when I tried to help him with his reading homework and realized he didn’t even know his letters. I babysat children whos parents where to cracked out feed them. I even went on a mission trip to Puerto Rico and bandaged abcesses of heroin addicts but no matter how heroic and fulling of an experience I had I still never felt like I had a voice. Till that fateful night that I learned that in the clacking of keys on a laptop I could shout from the rooftops how very frustrated and angry I was. Soon I learned not to only write about the things that made me angry but also about the things that brought me extreme joy or even sorrow. I found that writing was the outlet I needed to be able to be completely honest with myself and the world about who I was , why I was and where I was. I learned that my identity wasn’t tied up in my geography or in what heroic deed I had done that day or whos crack baby id held. But rather in my ability to sit in a dark ,sticky , rat infested parking lot in downtown Atlanta Georgia and be honest. .
 Writing gave me a voice where I had none, anonymity where I was afraid and the ability to say what I felt without being concerned that someone would find my options lacking or inadequate.

college, relationships and t-rex earrings

Two paths converged in a wood and I took the one less traveled-  I graduated from Oregon City High school in 2006 after several teachers and one very determined counselor  exhausted every resource to get me to graduate so I could move on with my life. My dream post high school was to attend Western Culinary Le Cordon Bleu program for culinary arts and graduate and go on to own and operate my own oldies style diner based on a menu of comfort classics made from seasonal ingredients. Well I graduated in June and by the 4th of July I had decided to move out my parents house because it was impossible to hide my growing interest in things less innocent than spending time with my youth group friends. Summer ended and fall came and I was working two jobs and just wishing i was going off to college with all of my friends but had rather resigned myself to the fact that the ability to chase ones dreams was reserved for those to whom life came easily. Those who always did the right thing and didn't "smoke or chew or hang around boys that do" Mid September the family I was living with decided that I should go to school and took me to talk to an admission counselor at WCI. I sat down with a lady who assured me that they would take care of all of the financial aid paperwork and that all I had to do was pay the admissions fee. I finally had hope that maybe my dreams could come true. So I signed on the dotted line and payed the 50 bucks. Everything went as planned and on October 4th 2006 I started school. I was for the first time in a place where everyone else was as crazy about food as me. It was like I'd died and gone to Paris. As far as I knew it was all kosher and all i had to do was eventually pay the 48 grand in loans that I had to take out to pay for it. And then on the beginning of my 3rd week of class the financial aid reps came to class and informed me that I would have to start paying a minimum of 500 dollars a month to stay in school. Well at time I was already working 7 days a week and trying to hold down two jobs and barely making it. So I knew that that it had been too good to be true. So I gave up my dream of going to school completely until this last winter when I lost my job and found out that Clark College in Vancouver had the exact culinary program I was looking for and was so affordable that I would be able to go to school and not have to worry about being completely in debt forever. So this last Monday I started school. I never ever believed that I would be able to go to back. I now believe in the power of hope and that of chasing your dreams and that if you think that you will never see the light at the end of the tunnel that you have to just hold on just a bit longer and the light will be there. Now about the relationship. Sometime after I graduated I became reacquainted with my high school sweetheart and thought that I had found the "one" I gave up my identity and everything I was and that I valued and believed in to be with this person. We moved in together and started planning a extravagant wedding. I had everything a girl could dream of until one day my fiancee looked at me and said"I don't want to marry you" and eventually I found out that he had been cheating on me for at least several months with a girl I had been friends with. I was completely devastated and this further reinforced my belief that dreams dont  come true and happy endings were reserved for those to whom life came easy. I very quickly spiraled downward in to a rather miserable merry go round of drinking and meaningless relationships. After several months of this I decided to make a drastic change and moved to Atlanta Georgia to be a part of a urban missions discipleship program. I slowly started to believe again in the concept that my dreams were not  just things of childish wishes on stars and fairytale princess movies. but that rather it would just take a little more time, effort and elbow grease to make them come true. So now I am in a relationship with the most amazing person in the world. Somebody who treats me better than I ever thought I could be treated. That doesn't mean its always easy or that we don't ever disagree or even fight about stuff. It just it means its completely worth it. That every time we go to the mall and play skeeball in the arcade and he tries to win me stuffed South Park characters or that I sit through the 49304303 Nascar race that he restores my hope in the ability to dream and the idea that I may just get my princess status happy ending after all. All that said I'd like to close with this thought. Don't ever give up on the power of chasing your dreams. Always believe in happy endings. Because sometimes things don't just happen over night but two roads converged in a wood and we take the one less traveled.
ps. I got T-Rex earrings today.. there fantatsic.