Tuesday, May 31, 2011

real things and dreams

Spring has finally come to Minnesota. I mean, technically Spring is here. The reality is that it's generally super chilly or hot and humid. Minnesota seems to enjoy skipping seasons. Either way, those 8 feet snow banks are no more and this a happy Katie makes.

My days are filled with joys of nannydom. I think my happy spirits toward nannying once again can be in large part attributed to the fact that I was hired at UrbanVentures! Words cannot express how thrilled I am! My contract is through AmeriCorps and starts in August. Though the contract itself is for only a year, I am hopeful that getting my foot in the door will lead to a much longer relationship. I love the things they do and being able to be a part of this team is really a dream come true. I mean, really.

That said, I am enjoying every single second of nannying. It helps that Amanda has her daycare kids at her house, so we collectively have 27 children to play with each other while Amanda and I laugh at the things they do. Okay, there's not 27, but sometimes 6 can feel like 27. Especially when two of them are baby babies. My charges are Miles and Jake, 3 and four months respectively. Miles is a funny little tank of a tiny who runs around tripping on things that aren't there and says things like, "Jake hates your blue shirt." While I tell him that his four month old brother does not care what color shirt I'm wearing, he closes his ears, grabs a light saber and starts beating evil payasos (read: clown in Spanish) who are hiding behind the couch. It's fun. The baby, Jake, who was called "a lump, but a good lump" by his mom, just watches and laughs. And sometimes cries because he hates my shirt color, apparently. All in all, I like the boys.

Lisa has her Nick at home on Wednesdays so we travel to Cottage Grove so Miles and Nick can try and be friends. It's funny to watch only-child-Nick interact with oldest-child-Miles. Normally, when Miles is around Amanda's Cora, who is a little over a year old, he is as bossy as they come. When he's around Nick though, he turns into this hesitant kid who is generally nervous about everything: he gets scared of the toilette, the wind, spiders, black toys, other kids, the garage. Thank goodness Lisa is there to talk sense into me because my natural inclination is something of an intense OCD exposure therapy approach. I have learned such approach is wasted on three year olds. And doesn't work when the one administering said therapy does not know how to administer correctly.

I love my job.

I think I'm going to make a great mom.

The sun makes me giddy. I mean, really. More than once I have found myself driving home (the Bernard residence = I.LOVE.MY.LIFE), blasting music, just overwhelmed with thankfulness for the life I have. The job I have. The job I will have. The place I live. Finally, my life seems to be falling to place here in Minnesota. I've found new coffee shops, dragged Tiffany to the Farmers' Market, and strap the kids into a massive double stroller to go for hours of walks (yes, that makes sense) along the river. Not to mention I am loving the Gallery...the relationships I am building there have been nothing short of awesome.

I find myself dreaming again. For a long time, it was about day-to-day getting through: finding a job, figuring out the living situation and then, when a job would come through, being okay with hating it. There was a general feeling of: this is it? That time was not wasted though. With Spring has come a deep awareness of the work God has been doing in my heart. I feel tempered. Imagine that. Katie, tempered. Hmm.

Now though, on those drives down Marshal or Selby, I dream again. I think about where I've been, where I want to go, what memories certain smells bring to mind, what I want to do in this city, what can come of being at UrbanVentures...it's a good feeling. Also, Pinterest helps. :-)

So, I leave you with an image that inspires me to go to one of those coffee shops with a journal, get a coldpress, and dream.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

new things

There is just something about new things.

No matter what season it is, our culture just loves talking about new things: new resolutions, new 'you's, actual new items (cars, clothes, houses), renewal, new discoveries, new changes...you name it. New. We love new things and, for a million and half reasons, I don't think this is wrong.

I believe it's God's heart to give us new things. In fact, the entire Bible is written about God doing new thing after new thing. The story of the Bible is this perpetual story of God giving His people lots of new things (...sometimes physical, a lot of the time spiritual) based off His word and His promises.

It always amazes me how all people are the same. No matter where in the world you go, people love newness. If they live in a climate where the seasons don't naturally lend themselves to annual cultural celebration of change (think winter: getting ready for new things; spring: newness coming; etc), they still pursue this idea of something new. New. All people want new things.

When I think about God working in and around me, all I can see are new things. Sure, I have the same relationships, I go to the same places and (as a friend recently told me ), I even wear the same things. Yet, God is making the old new. There are new perspectives, new ideas, new words and new thoughts for every given situation.

I have come to the conclusion that much of life runs on this 20-80 spectrum. Most of the time, when we have a reaction to something, what we are feeling and thinking can be broken down into this 20-80 paradigm. Our reaction is 20% legitimate to what is actually going on and 80% based on ourselves or something in us that's, well, off. For example: if I am fired from my job, I have a reaction. 20% of that reaction is natural: I am hurt that I was fired, I feel rejected and I feel unsure about the future. Is that all I feel? H no. I feel a slew of other emotions: deep insecurity (why was I fired?), massive self-doubt (am I not good enough for this job?), insane amounts of failure (why wasn't I able to measure up/do what I was supposed to do?) and any other number of emotions. It's clear that the bulk of my emotional energy is spent on the latter, more irrational feelings. If I examine those feelings/thoughts, I see that none of them are actually founded. They are all, literally, in my head. All those feelings, that 80%, are based on myself and some standard that I apparently both set for myself and failed to meet. The former, 20% are healthy, normal, rational, containable and resolvable reactions.

It's all about perspective. Just knowing that we are operating at this 80% level of irrationality can free us! How much of our lives is wasted on the 80% that is made-up, in our heads, self-imposed and, honestly, stupid? So much! We do this in every area of our lives, especially how we view ourselves and our relationships with God.

It's amazing how we hold so much over our own heads and backs and stop ourselves from walking confidently before God. It's stupid. I feel like more than half the time God simply wants us to get over ourselves, shut up and come to Him. It's like He's saying, "You! I don't lord that over you! I don't even care! Just come talk to me! You're upset about things that aren't even real! Let me show you what's real! Please!" Yet we sit. We sit in our 80% lies, react in ways that are irrational, and have a morphed perspective of ourselves, God and our situations.

And still, God wants to do a new thing.

God yearns to do a new thing.

He years to release us from that sick cycle of not seeing things clearly or correctly. He years to give us perspective that is NEW. He years to take our same relationships, places and even clothes, and infuse them with newness: new views, perspectives, thoughts, ideas, emotions and understandings. That is what He does.

He makes things new. All things. All. Things.
Even me.
Even tired, stuck-in-my-ways-can't-see-anything-but-my-idea-of-what's-happening-me.
....and the best part?

So here's to Spring, to the age-old human longing for new things that God so loves to satisfy.
Let's let Him make us new.


Monday, May 2, 2011


This song should not be stuck in my head on May 2. But it is.

At least it's good.


Sunday, May 1, 2011


Gina. And Tony not being on time.
1000 cupcakes
Me and Becca. Check out that kofia from Hebron.