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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"The Opposite of Poverty is Enough"

One of my absolute favorite quotes penned by our President and CEO at Compassion International is, "The opposite of poverty is enough".  I have worked for Compassion for two years now and every day my heart grows bigger and bigger for the poor and the oppressed.  And as my heart grows for the poor, so does the sadness and anger I feel at the senseless injustices I hear about and see through the experiences of other Compassion staff members. Some of the stories of what these little tiny children go through on a routine basis are completely heartbreaking. 

When I walked into the chapel service today at work, I didn't really know what to expect.  In all honesty, I was a little tired, not feeling well and had a million projects on my mind that I had to finish.  The speaker for the day, Shane Claiborne, was announced, and when he walked on stage my attention was instantly caught.  Standing on the stage was a guy with dreadlocks down to the center of his back, big baggie cargo pants with pockets the size of buckets, a long loose fitting shirt, sandals and a red bandana tied around the top of his dreads with big, black thick framed glasses on his face.  My first thought was, 'Huh.  That's interesting'.  But when Shane began to speak I was immediately captivated.  His passionate speaking about the poor and how we can change poverty completely captivated me.  There was so much that he said that spoke to me, but I will only share one with you on this blog and then let you look him up from here...
Shane talked about a newspaper he read many years ago that competely started a fire in him.  In fact, he carries the front page of that newspaper everywhere he goes, and he had the yellow, tattered newspaper page with him when he spoke to us. He waved the newspaper at us and said, "I noticed two things on the front of this newspaper as I was reading it.  First of all, the main article on the page is talking about children who are making grass into patties to eat in (enter the country here...sorry, I forget which country he said). They were eating grass because they were starving and literally had nothing else to eat." The article was truly heartbreaking.  "On the same page, the other headlining article is'The Growing Rate of Obesity in America'.   Coincidence? I personally don't think so. :)" The article went on to say how many American's live in access and convenience and not only overeat, but continuously throw away food that we don't eat.  One of the quotes that Shane said after that, I thought was profoundly powerful.  He said, "Millions of people die from poverty, but millions of people also die from wealth".  He explained how people who live in excess and overindulge tend to live reckless lives not only to their health, but to their souls. He went on with a disclaimer that not all wealthy people are like this, but a high percentage are. I thought he made a great point. 

I encourage you to look up Shane Claiborne.  He is the author of the books, "The Irresistible Revolution", "Jesus for President" and others.  He leads a movement called The Simple Way, a faith community in inner city Philadelphia that has helped connect radical faith communities around the world.  Shane spent 10 weeks working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta years ago and also spent time in Baghdad with the Iraq Peace Team.  Go check out his website:

All I know is, what he had to say really spoke to me.  It makes me so thankful to have a roof over my head and food in my mouth, and to live in a country where I have many more freedoms than most. 

God doesn't suggest we help the poor, he commands it.
"Anyone who oppresses the poor is insulting God who made them. To help the poor is to honor God."
-Proverbs 14:31

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

God's Fireworks

Though I was a little envious of not getting to be with all my family over 4th of July, I still had a wonderful Independence Day with one of my adoptive Colorado families.  LeAnn is a co-worker of mine and a very dear friend.  She is married and has 3 awesome kids (who are grown, around my age).  I spent the day with LeAnn and her husband and her son and his wife.  We had some BBQ in the park for a good portion of the afternoon until the heavens opened up and niagra falls came out.  Let me tell you, God created a WAY better fireworks show that night than any man-made ones I have ever seen.  We had rain like I haven't seen in a LONG time, topped off with some golfball sized hail.  It was quite the event! I ended up playing cards with the Vasquez family until about 10pm that was great! I hope you all had a nice time with your friends and family. :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait".
"Wait? You say, wait! " my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By Faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.
My future and all to which I can relate
hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
or even a 'no' to which I can resign.
And Lord, You promised that if we believe
we need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
and grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting.... for what?"
He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And he tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want--But, you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.
You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and I save.... (for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.
You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that "My grace is sufficient for Thee."
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,
But, Oh, the Loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!
So, be silent, My Child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft' may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, "WAIT."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

26 Life Lessons Learned by Age 26

Here are 26 life lessons I have learned by the ripe young age of 26:

1.) God is real. Very real.
2.) No matter how how you try, not everyone is going to like you. So deal with it.
3.) Never enter a public restroom without moist towlettes.
4.) Love is not about finding the perfect person.  It is about seeing the imperfect person perfectly.
5.) Don't substitude dishwashersoap with hand soap if you run out.  Bad things will happen.
6.) You see people very differently from adult eyes than you did when you had kid eyes.
7.) Country music will never be good.  No matter how hard you try to get me be 'cultured' with it.
8.) The best friends you will have in your life are the ones who will tell you the truth, not just what you want to hear.
9.) Keep your family close to your heart and always cherish them, even if you don't hear from them often.  They are the most important people in your life.
10.) You will get your heart broken at least a couple of times in your life up to this point. And you will have to try to find a way to push forward.
11.)  Don't bring hard boiled eggs to eat for lunch at work.  Because you get seriously funny looks from co-workers who not so subtly throw beano at you.
12.) Time doesn't necessarily heal all wounds. It just makes them easier to compartmentalize.
13.) No one.  And I mean NO one....should EVER wear skinny emo pants. 
14.) The phrase, 'God will never give you more than you can handle' is a man-made phrase. He DOES give you more than you can handle so that you can rely on Him for those things that you can't get through on your own strength.
15.) There is nothing more beautiful than sitting on a beach looking at a big blue ocean.
16.)  Some people are just plain mean.
17.) Don't take yourself too seriously.  No one else does.
18.) It's ok to get angry with God.  He can take it.
19.) Don't compare your life with others.  You have no idea what their journey is about.
20.) Life is too short for long pity parties.  Either get busy living, or get busy dying.
21.) Be eccentric now.  Don't wait for old age to have blue hair.
22.) Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.
23.) God loves you because of who GOD IS.  Not because of anything you did or didn't do.
24.) If you don't ask, you don't get.
25.) Make peace with your past so it doesn't screw up your present.
26.) And last but not is not tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Laughter is the Best Medicine, Except When Your Not Supposed To

I was sitting in a relatively boring 'how to communicate effectively through writing' meeting with my team at work, and one of my co-workers sitting next to me was cracking jokes and got me laughing hysterically at the most awkward timing...then the snowball got rolling and he started laughing then it made me laugh more, which made him laugh more to where I had tears rolling down my face. All the while I am trying not to let the teacher see me for fear she would think I was making fun of her.  This got me thinking about a time about 5 or 6 years ago when my family and I went to my youngest sister's talent show at their high school, which is a private Christian school.  I was sitting next to my sister Megan and we were listening to the good and some of the...lets just say...not so good talents.  I was trying to respectfully watch and just try to be appreciative of their bravery for getting up on the stage. Pretty soon this young girl gets up on the stage and starts singing in the most awful pitch I have ever heard in my life...and boy is she doing it with gusto! I instantly knew that I could not look at my sister Megan sitting next to me for fear that the laughter would be released.  Sure enough, out of the corner of my eye, I see my sister Megan turn her head directly to me with a huge Cheshire Cat grin on her face......and I just LOST it....I tried so so hard to keep it in, but something in me that day just didn't have the capability and I started laughing hysterically...and LOUDLY to the point where I was crying.  I FELT SO BAD! But I honest to goodness had no capacity in me whatsoever to contain it.  Then because of my reaction my sister Megan loses it and starts also laughing to the point of tears and we couldn't stop for almost the whole song.  Thank GOODNESS that poor little girl up on the stage did not hear us...I felt so bad...we were more laughing at each other than her, but I can't imagine how she would have felt had she heard us.  I DID however get the poison look of death from my mom when she saw us laughing uncontrollably...That pretty much said it all!

Oh the memories. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Home Sweet Colorado

It is finally starting to act like a summer here.  The sun has been coming out, the grass is green, the skies are blue, and the beautiful Colorado that I moved here for is finally showing her pretty face!

On a completely different note, I had some weird and disturbing dreams last night.  I had a dream that my sisters little dog had another batch of puppies. And they were SO cute! But in my dream, they were outside with momma dog and a possum came up and snatched one and took it away to eat it!! And all I could hear is this high pitched yelping coming from the bushes and I couldn't get to it to save it! It was an aweful dream! I wondering if it was one of those random message dreams that God sometimes gives, like when the skinny cow ate the fat cow.  This somehow seems much more disturbing though. Here is a picture of my sisters pups when they were born last year...they are adorable!

Here's to hoping I have better dreams this week! This week is flying by, which I'm grateful for.  Gotta love the weekends!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and the Sad.

Wow! It has seriously been a long time since I have blogged.  I thought today was probably the day! Life has been kind of a whirlwind lately.  It has been good.  This year has been decidedly better than last year.  Mainly due to a drastic life attitude adjustment on my own part.  For some reason, last year was just tough for me...I had slowly been creeping into this negative attitude about life and human nature in general.  I felt like I wasn't where I expected to be at that point in my life.  But that has all changed.

I'm still not completely sure why, but have had a renewed hope about life in general starting about 6 months ago.  I think it is God holding me on His lap saying, 'Kelsey, I am still here.  Even though you don't always see me, or can't see me working how you would like me to work, I know what I am doing. I am in control and I am holding you in my arms."  I just feel this huge blanket of comfort and peace and feel fully confident that God can still do a great work in me yet. 

I have been very intentional in the past months about going out more and being as sociable and active as I possibly can.  I've been spending time with friends that I haven't seen in a while, I've been going to the gym, and I've been more actively participating in events at church and work.  I think that for me, the more I let myself slip into sitting home alone, the easier it is to slip into negativity.  Surrounding myself with friends and family have been the best thing for me.

Even though this year has been a good year for me personally, it has still had some significant  hardships...though I feel that these hardships have helped me to maintain a proper perspective on appreciating the little things in life. I lost my sweet Grandpa Tom suddenly in March.  He was so special to me.  Only 68 years old...I have never in my life seen him without a mischievious grin on his face.  He was always known for his big grandious stories.  I loved him very much and I have nothing but fun memories of him.  It was hard to see my mom grieving at the loss of her daddy.  Seeing any family member in pain like that is a tough thing.  There isn't a day that has gone by that I haven't thought of him.  It has really made me appreciate every spare moment I get with my family and the precious time I have with them on this earth.  

This past weekend I lost a friend to stomach cancer.  Zach was one of the first people I met when moving to Colorado Springs.  I went to a Saturday night church service that he and his family went to at Pulpit Rock church and was in several  small Bible study groups with him. He always made me feel so welcome and included. The example of his life really touched me.  The character and genuineness of him and his family was truly an inspiration to me.  Zach was extremely funny and wise.  He loved the Lord with all of his heart and it poured out of every part of his body.  His death really affected me in a strong way, even though I haven't seen him in a while.  I keep thinking to myself, 'now THAT is the kind of person I want to be for God.  THAT is the kind of legacy I want to leave behind to my spouse and my children.' I truly believe that when he passed on Sunday, God scooped him up in his arms and said, 'Well done my good and faithful servant.  Welcome home.' :) 

I am hoping to make many more positive changes in my life over the next few years.  I don't know exactly what that means yet, but I just know that I want to live a good life, with a good attitude and one that is pleasing to God.  I could write so much more, but I think I'll leave it to that today.  I'm hoping to keep up with this writing thing...maybe one of those positive changes. :) Have a good day my friends!