Friday, February 25, 2011

How Am I Doing?....good question.

I don't know where to start. If I can figure out where the beginning is then starting there is probably the best place. For the last several weeks I have just felt...______(in the in blank). I can't even explain it. I have felt out of it, angry, annoyed, upset, frustrated, and probably more than anything... alone. There are times when I wish that I could just go talk with a friend and spill my guts. Just let everything go. But I don't feel like I can do that. The people here are great, but sometimes you need someone who isn't connected to the situation. And in this case there are so many situations that I feel too many people I know are connected.
I say that I've felt all these things and yet there is no way for me to put it into words. (Yes I know; shocking) But I couldn't and probably still can't. But after joint worship I found out I didn't have too. Jessica and I had a big heart to heart and I realized that much of what I was feeling, she was also. We here as a staff are tired. We are worn out. We have run out course. At least that is with most of us. People are so negative here. There isn't much positive and when there is, its never enough; something always has to be wrong. Instead of looking at the students and praising them for there individuality we look at them as a whole and sigh when they walk into the classroom or dorm. There is no more giving amongst us. Or if there is it is few and far between. When I first came here I was ready to do any and everything that was asked of me. You name it, I would do my best to be there and help out. But now...I don't want too. Or at least that was a strong feeling I was having before. Why should I give of my time to help, when no ones will give of theirs? I feel at times like we are stingy, and that in order for us to keep our sanity we don't see what we can do to help someone else out. There's so much more to much more, but I don't think I can write it all down.
In the end it was really good that Jess and I got to talk. Even though I can't explain it I feel that God has really shown me what I need to do here. But it's so hard. How do you give when people don't give back?
Another big issue that has un-earthed this week is our lack on communication skills. Not only with the staff but with the other SM's. And it is so bad! All of us! There isn't just one to blame. But grr it's so frustrating! It's to the point where were are just done. We are tired of trying to communicate, when no one is going to be happy. We are tired of putting in the effort when others don't. I'm just tired...
You know one thing I hate the most? The weekends. Even though I know I need a break, I rather be on than off. I feel so alone on weekends that it isn't even funny. I wish I could pick up the phone, or get a text from one of my friends back home so bad. I just wish that someone was here. I can't talk with the people here cause it's too close to home. And the people I have at home, I cant talk to either. I hate this. Things are different with my mom and I. I don't share things with my dad because I know it is something that he doesn't want to hear about. My friends are living there lives....and I'm in Africa. And of course when someone does try to be there, I put my guard up cause I don't want to be hurt. (Man do I sound like a mess or what?)  I know this blog doesn't make sense but then again, not much is making sense to me now a days. I told Susan that we have 103 days till graduation, "getting anxious?" And honestly, yes. I think I am. I mean I'm happy I'm here, I wouldn't change coming here. Things are better with the girls, for the most part, and I'm enjoying myself. But...I don't know. I'm just anxious.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It Doesn't Matter How Old We Are

I'm starting to feel that this blog is more about my personal problems/ feelings than my experience in Kenya. But then again the things I go through and the feelings I have shape my experience in Kenya, so I guess it fits.
Divorce. Who thought that one word could mean so much and hurt so bad. Since starting this new sem I've felt like the girls and I get a long better. Maybe it's because we know where each other stands. Maybe it's because we are just use to each other after five months of "living" together. Or maybe, it's because they see that I'm not here to ruin their lives, and I know  that they aren't here to make me pull my hair out (most of the time).
Last night I was blown away to have one of my girls come in and actually tell me what was going on with her. It's not that she and I don't talk, we actually get along really well. She makes me laugh so much :) But she's never opened up to me like this before. Sad to say it wasn't a fun topic to talk about. She kept telling me how she was just done, how she couldn't take it anymore, and how she wish she knew what to do. When she would say the last she would just look at me as if begging me to give her the answers to make it all ok. But I couldn't. How do I help someone when I'm still stuck in the middle of it? How do I help them not hurt, even though whenever I talk with my either one of my parents I still feel hollow?
It's amazing to me how our parents, the ones who are suppose to be so strong, have all the answers, and love us unconditionally, are the ones that can hurt us so much. I know if either one of my parents were to see this it would bring tears to their eyes, but actions have consequences. I feel that we kids who have been apart of a divorce can relate to each other better than those who haven't. And yet when this girl was talking with me, there were no answers to be give. It's as if there's this quiet understanding of no words need to be said; someone just needs to be there. Even though my Dad and brother left my freshman year, it was really hard my senior year. There was still so much going on. I'm grateful that I had Jake at that time, cause even though he didn't understand he was there to help me get through it.
And now here I am four more years down the road and it's still hard. To have a dad who has moved on, and a mother who wont let go. Divorce never gets easy to deal with no matter how old we are. It still hurts. There are no answers, or if there are; sometimes they're just to hard to handle.
I'm glad that she was able to come and talk with me. I'm glad that I'm one of the few staff members she feels like she can talk too. Please pray for this beautiful young lady. She has so much to offer and God has truly blessed her life. Just like he's blessed mine. The sun always shines after it rains. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Where Are You?

I'm sitting here in my room with the realizations of my life crashing against me like the waves on a beach. How is it that sometimes we can feel so close to God, and we feel that He is here for us and yet in those late hours of the night when we feel most vulnerable it is so hard to feel Him. Why isn't He here?
And then I go to thinking about people who have comforted me in the past and I so wish that they could be here for me. I wish I could be in their arms, just crying my eyes out. With their chin on my head, not saying anything just being there. I wish they were here so bad right now. I have people here that care and want to help, but how can I let out my frustrations and tears without telling to much that in my mind, could hurt my family?  I can't help but want someone here who knows my past, and what I've been through. And yet, God knows everything's....but why can't I feel His arms around me? I know I can pick up the phone and call family, but they don't want to hear about. They've had too much of it themselves that they are done. They don't want to face the realizations that I am facing now, because they have faced them once before and that's enough for them. I don't blame them. It's hard walking through a door that's already been closed. I just wish you were here, oh how I wish.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I wish I knew what to do. I wish I had the answers. It's amazing how you can be thousands of miles apart from someone and yet they can still have such a strong effect on you and you're life. I spoke with my Mom today and found out that things aren't going well. It's like she's still trapped in this maze and I'm right their with her, trying to guide her out of it but every time I see a way out something snags her and pulls her down the wrong road. This is sounding like she is making these bad choices on her own. This isn't true. For some reason things happen to her that aren't her fault. 
This morning I read Psalm 18 and the verse that keeps coming back to me is "God is my shield." When I think of shields I think of being safe and protected. I imagine feeling brave if I were to go into battle with a shield. And yet now, I don't feel brave. I feel broken. And not broken for me, but for the ones I love. I wish I could fix things and make the pain and the fear go away. I know that God is my shield, and that has brought me comfort but I can't help but think if I was a stronger soldier that things would be different. 
God is my shield... since worship this morning I have received encouragement from two amazing girls that are here. I don't know what I would do if they weren't here to encourage me. Thank you both.
God is my shield...He is bigger than any problem and He wants what's best for us. He is a shield that can't be broken, a shield that can't be dent. So take up you're shield and know that though the battle is tough, God is tougher. 

Monday, February 7, 2011


Their are certain days when I miss Tennessee. And I don't just mean miss, I mean long for it. For some reason today it just hit me; I miss Tennessee. I miss the light, how green it is in the summer. I miss those beautiful blue skies with those white fluffy clouds. I miss the smell of leaves in the fall and the crisp air in the winter. I miss the hills (not mountains) and driving on the winding roads with my windows down and Def Leppard blasting from my radio. I just miss it. 
Some people think it's weird that I don't miss Cali the way I do Tennessee, but I just don't. For some reason Tennessee is home for me. It was where I could step out and me own my own, and my own person. I made friends their, along with memories that will last me a life time. Tennessee is where I was able to become my own person without the eyes of others making me wonder if I was doing the right thing or not. It was my decision, and one that I have never regretted. 
When I was little I use to think it would be so cool to have a secret hideout. You know the kind where all the kids can meet up, and get away from and no one has a clue where they are? Well I guess I could say Tennessee was my secret hideout. Actually Tennessee is my secret hideout. Granted, yes; people know where I am but for me it's a place I can escape to. 
I'm sure it's weird reading about a state, but there are certain days here that I am just reminded of it. I don't know if it's because it's the summer season here and the sky and the green remind me, but it just does. I hope one day that I can be in Tennessee again, God willing. 
For me it's home.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Packages and Blessings

Nature Valley granola bars -check
Chewy granola bars - check
2 boxes of Wheat Thins - double check
Butterfingers and Kit-Kats - check
2 bags of mint M & M's - check, check
Bath and Body Works make up bag with lotion and "the best lip balm" - check
A Christmas candle - check
"Honestly, I'm Struggling by Heather Bohlender - check

These lovely items greeted me yesterday (Friday) evening. Debbie is one of the sweetest ladies I know, and I am truly blessed to have her in my life. Not only does the thought make me smile, but the items (especially the mint M & M's) make my stomach happy too. 
My Dad had told me about the book "Honestly, I'm Struggling" when I first arrived here in Kenya. It had peaked my intrust, but with everything going on with the sem it wasn't the first thing on my mind. Since starting it this morning, I haven't been able to put it down. I'm afraid that I am reading it too fast to really get an understanding for it. But it's a great book! I'm sitting here reading it and I'm thinking, "I can relate! I know what you're talking about!" The desire to go home. Feeling like I'm not making a difference, or that I am failing at my job. That even though this is a year with God, that sometimes I still find myself running from Him and questioning Him....I can relate. I think that every SM who is out in the field should read this book during their year away. I think that it will strengthen and encourage them, even them in small ways. Even though this is a huge world somehow at times we tend to fill if we are alone. I know I've felt that being here in Kenya at times. But it's nice to be reminded that I'm not the only one who has felt this way.
I just feel so blessed. The first day started out hard but I'm realizing that the more I give my problems and desires over to God the less I have to worry about. I found this verse, I think it's from the Message, and I really like how it's phrased. 

"Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat- I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and Ill show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self- sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, you're true self." ~Luke 9:23,24

Within the last couple of weeks I have really felt a change in me. I think it all began at Watamu. There were nights when I was there that I just felt so alone and wanting things to be different. I mean how can someone feel alone when you're on a trip with 30 some people and on a beautiful beach? I felt alone and empty. But after having some good time to myself and time with God I realized that there's nothing He can't do, and that if I want to let of my problems that I can, because He's their to take them for me. I don't know...I just feel like I have a new trust in God. Haha I feel like this isn't making sense but oh well, sometimes things aren't suppose too I guess.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What is the Deal?

With the last few days approaching the new sem, I've been feeling really excited about it. Susan and I have been running around getting rooms cleared out because we were told that we have 50 girls in the dorm. Well sad to say we have lost Erica and Vanessa K. Which really bummed me out! I like those girls! Not that I don't like the other ones, but you know what I mean. I'm gonna miss Vanessa comin in with her wild stories and preppy attitude. Erica was always very sweet and quiet (for the most part). Yesturday was great, getting girls moved in and seeing old faces. We have 6 new galls which is fun.It's nice to have a little bit of a change. But today, the first day of class, I don't know what happened with me! I woke up early, and had a good devotion then as soon as I got in the office it's like I could keep things straight. Other things kept popping into my head and distracting me. Today was our town day, which I took, but I didn't want to go into town and I didn't ven want to be around the other SM's. I needed to go for a run to blow off steam, but wasn't to effective cause I ran with someone else. (note: running to me is my escape, it's time to think and get away. I don't do good running with others) And I felt like a complete jerk when my friend was like I wanna go running with you again, but I told her no cause I feel like I slow her down and cause I'm selfish and want the time to myself.
I feel restless, and even though I'm happy here the thought of having to deal with these girls for another 4 months is sort of...taxing. I think I'm kinda ready to go home. I don't know, I can't explain it. I miss my friends, I don't like feeling like I am missing out on things and being left behind. And with some of my friends I feel that more than ever. My friends are moving on with their lives, starting new relationships, getting engaged and married. I don't know. I think this post is just me trying to get what ever is in my system out of it. I don't think it's working very well.