Sunday, June 16, 2013

Stepping In

You stepped in when you didn’t have to
You had already done the job you were meant to do
But you cared
I wore your t-shirts, pulled your mustache, sat in the seat of your car
You taught me how to fish, which is my favorite thing by far
You sat through my games, went to my meets
You watched me perform, you watched me compete
Before I could drive, you played chaffer
School, parties, friends, I’m sure it’s just a blur
But, I remember the times you showed me more grace than I deserved
You showed me what it looked like to be served
I still see that now
When my car breaks down, when I’ve had a bad week
Often it’s your comfort that I seek
You always have the answers or the right thing to say
No matter when I rapid-fire call, no matter what time of day
I’m often a mess, I cry, and I fail
But, either way your love, it always prevails
You challenge me with questions about God
You don’t make it easy, you poke and you prod
You helped shape me into who I am today
And, I can only imagine all the things you could say
But, I doubt you would because you rarely do
Often I’m thankful for that, too
Your humility is what makes you great
You listen and you don’t berate
I’m thankful for the love and the care
I can imagine most of my acts of stupidity were too much to bare
I know it can’t be easy to be where you are
However, I’m grateful for you by far
Thank you Papa for letting me see
What greatness is really supposed to be

Saturday, May 4, 2013

What are you afraid of?

Well, I decided tonight to do something that I've never done before. I was mowing the grass, and I felt a desire to be adventurous. Not really like jump off a building get an adrenaline rush, adventurous, but more of the, I need to face a fear today, kind. So, I did a mental check list of all the things that I could potentially do that would be new to me. The first one that came to mind was, go to the movies. Now, those of you who know me, or have read earlier on in my blog, I don't go to movies alone. However, I felt today was as good of a day as any to face the fear. I figured since I already have conquered eating out alone, which I can proudly say no longer makes me feel nervous at all, it was time to conquer this one.
So, I set out on my journey. I had gone through the list of movies the beautiful Capital 8 is showing this weekend, and I debated on which ones to go to. Now, this was a hard decision because I want to see almost everyone in the theaters right now, but I settled on 42. The awe inspiring experience of Jackie Robbinson, the first African American man in Major League Baseball. Really, it's a movie that's right up my alley on all levels. But, I'm jumping ahead of myself.
I left the house and by the time I reached the highway, I had almost decided to turn around. But, I thought to myself, "Marie (I often refer to myself by my middle name because I'm usually scolding myself and really it only seems right) you will go to this movie, and you will like it." So, I continued on to the theater and took this photo to show my excitement for what lie ahead.

So, I got there, and the first thing I realized was everyone else had the exact same idea I did. I hadn't thought about it being opening weekend, on a Saturday night, of Iron Man 3. People were dressed up and there was a pretty long line. My palms began to sweat a little bit just thinking about waiting in line to buy a ticket, alone. I know, stupid. But, I waited in line, between a teen couple, who obviously were in love, I could tell by the awful amount of PDA they were displaying in front of me, and a guy who seemed to be venturing out alone like me. For some reason that gave me a little courage. I then obtained popcorn and a root beer, totally blowing my diet, but I was ok with it because I had already decided I was going to make this my supper, as unhealthy as that is. Walked to the line, passing Iron man and some man with a fake gun and a mohawk, gave the guy my ticket and did the walk of, what felt like, shame.
The movie was all the way at the end of the hallway. I turned in, quickly chose my seat as to not be noticed, and sat down 2nd row from the back. I, however, unknowingly left myself in a very vulnerable place. I had 2 empty seats on my left and right. The lights went down quickly, so I did not feel like I was being stared at, so that was a plus. Soon, 2 ladies walked in and wanted on the inside of where I was sitting. I stood up, let them in and the movie began. Little did I know the ladies next to me where going to be the most empowering women that could have set next to me in this movie. I felt like we almost became friends durning the movie. They talked, which the people in front of us weren't too happy about, responded to the movie, which honestly some pretty funny commentary, shouted and clapped. At some point in the movie, one of Jackie's teammates stood up for him, and I even responded out loud. The ladies laughed at me, and I apologized, but they encouraged me to carry on. I was pretty quiet most of the movie, until Jackie began to steal 2 bases, kind of giving a silent middle finger to the racist pitcher. When he was running, I got really excited and just hollered out. Luckily, the ladies beside me were also overcome with joy, and scream "Go Jackie, you show 'em" The movie came to a close and of course, I cried, as I do in most moving movies. I think I cried 1. because the movie has made me realize how far America has come in such a short time on the issue of race and 2. because of just how much Jackie had to put up with in going first.
In the movie Jackie says to the Pirates pitcher, "What are you afraid of?" and then repeats it to himself. As cheesy as this is going to sound, in that moment I felt dumb for fearing going to the movies alone. Compared to what he went through, I'm just being a big old baby.
So, needless to say, I enjoyed myself. I'm grateful for the ladies that sat next to me, and I am thankful for the challenge to face fears. I will be returning to the movies by myself again, and who knows maybe I'll face a new fear again soon.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I've realized that taking yourself too seriously is really overrated. I mean, don't get me wrong, I still have a long way to come in, "arriving" at not taking myself too seriously, but I've learned a little. It's made me become a better laugher, a better lover and all around better at seeing the Lord in things. I feel like I would miss out on a lot of great things if I wasn't learning this.
If I took myself too seriously then:

  • When a client coughs and spits toothpaste straight into my mouth, I probably wouldn't be able to laugh at how that possibly could happen.
  • I would have missed an opportunity to dance with a client, I mean full-out unhindered dancing, in the car to Celebrate, and later realize that 5 car fulls of people are staring. 
  • I would continue to feel like I have to beat the guy on the elliptical next to me at the gym. The one who ALWAYS gets on the one right next to mine. 
  • Not be able to laugh when you go on a walk with a client, and she's screaming about a dog's poop, while the owner is right there. And, she is asking, "What's that?" and tries to pick it up.
  • I wouldn't be able to cry with a client when I walk into a her apartment, and she's bawling. When I ask why she's sad, she says, "I'm not sad Miss Kelsa. I'm happy because of you and Miss Kendall." 
  • I may watch more sad things because it's "real life." But, that's not going to start happening. 
  • I wouldn't learn as much from my clients. 
  • Talking out loud to myself in Gerbs may actually embarrass me. 
  • Being a regular at Chipoltle wouldn't be so cool to me. 
  • I may have never known the beauty of shouting in the gym over a soccer game. (It really is invigorating, no wonder gym screamers do it)
  • I Would limit the amount of times I listen to Ed Sheeran, Match Box Twenty or Mumford and Sons on repeat. 
  • I would actually learn how to spell words like permanent, beautiful, Wednesday and hilarious without having to say Wed-nes-day.
In all honestly, I would probably miss out on a lot of great things in life. I want to embrace learning this more because, I believe, it will make me a better servant. Hopefully, later on down the road I can write out another list in my journal of things that once bothered me or where pride crept in and robbed the Spirit of living through me, and say "Wow, that bothered you. Seriously!?"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Is this real life?

Before I just into my story, I just wanted to say I'm back. I know, I took a long break, but I am back and ready to write. Quick update, I'm now working in Columbia, MO at an organization called Boone County Family Resources. I work with adults with Developmental Disabilities. I'm still living in the Kearns' home, but there is movement toward the trailer park! (even bought a couch and kitchen table this weekend) Other than that, not a lot of change. Enjoy!!

Last week I had one of those “how in the heck did I get here” moments. No, not one of those “I hate my life, how in the heck did I get here” moments, but a real, “whoa never saw this one coming” and then laugh because God really has a way about him, moments.
It came in the midst of helping a client over the weekend. This client had been having trouble walking all weekend, and I was doing a foot check to see what was going on. Now you may say, and why did this have you wondering about where you are in your life? Well, the realization, or question rather, popped into my head when I realized I was simultaneously eating lunch. I took my lunch into her apartment, took a bite and mid-chew got down on my knees and began prodding her foot. I poked, applied lotion, picked off skin, lifted a callus, got it up close to my face to really get a good look, and there once I swallowed my food it just hit me: “You went to college and got a journalism degree, did you ever think this would be your job, this would be a great passion?” I stood up and laughed, literally out loud, at what had just happened. I realized I was still in my pajamas from the night before. It was hour 30 of my 32-hour shift; I had snot on my pants, foot lotion on my pants, syrup in my hair, which was pushed back by a band into some faux-afro grease ball, and I smelled faintly like hamburger. I was clearly a sight for sore eyes; I’m surprised the guy that had just delivered my Jimmy John’s didn’t jump at such a fine looking woman. 
I love my job. I love going to work and spending my days, or nights, with these people who teach me so much. They teach about loving, giving, forgiving, laughing, grace, humility and not taking yourself too seriously. Of course, there are moments I get overwhelmed or frustrated, but in the end I love it. I always believed the Lord would put me somewhere I could be an advocate for someone, help people in need, assist people in life, but I had never assumed it would be in this field.
So, yet again God has really surprised me with his movement in my life. But, I’m thankful, and amazed this is where I am. Well, that’s all for now, but soon I’ll be writing about why I’m thankful I don’t take myself too seriously. There are a few case scenarios, and of course, they are typical Kelso.