2011

It’s almost the end of 2011, and my mind is already entering hyper-mode of reflecting and looking back on this past year. Some moments I am literally thinking “what the hell happened this year?!?” but in my good moments, I’m overwhelmed with how much happened and where I am today. From January until probably September, I struggled with some serious depression, insecurity, people-pleasing, and pretty much a full-blown identity crisis, to say the least. I have to be honest, this blog might be sharing things that most consider too personal to put on the world wide web, make people feel weird or it won’t get read…but that’s okay. My blog is for me. It’s for me to get out what I am saying and hoping that maybe somewhere someone reads it, can relate, and be encouraged.

I’m probably going to elaborate more later…again, for myself…but here’s a little list of things from 2011…

1) Despite how friendly, outgoing, perky, peppy or happy I can be, I am an introvert. My sister pounded that into me a few months back, and it is so freeing to know it. However, I’m not letting that define me, and if you want to call me an extrovert, whatever. I’m not going to walk around and make sure everyone knows, but for me to know is good.

2) I absolutely love my husband with everything in me. This past year was rough for me personally, but he saw it as a great opportunity for us to grow closer. Through depression, unemployment, insecurity and stress, Bobby remained patient. I honestly cannot recall one unkind thing he has ever said to me. I’ve learned what kind of man he is this year, and the kind of wife I hope to be for him. I say all that not to brag, or throw around words and make it look like we have the best marriage ever, but so many times Bobby’s humility and kindness are what bring me back to the Lord’s feet.

3) People let you down. As horrible as that sounds, people fail all the time. I fail people. Fact of life. Last night I had one of those come to Jesus life-changing conversations with my incredible friend Sarah where I was brutally honest about some things, my hurts with certain people pushing me away and the hurt of people who simply don’t care as much for me as I thought. It is reality, and not everyone can be best friends forever. But that is a whole other topic for another day!

4) I really like teaching! There’s aspects of it that I love, some I don’t, but all in all, yes, thank you Jesus for my job. It literally is a (more recent) dream come true to teach ESL in the Memphis City Schools, however messed up it can be. I still hesitate calling myself “a teacher” because I don’t want that to be another identity I cling to. I’m still grasping “child of God”.

5) Time is short. The past few months I’ve learned more about the kind of woman I want to be, and a lot of that determines where I spent my time, energy, thoughts, and words. My year has been crazy busy, and time with people has been seriously limited. I don’t get to talk to or see some of my very best and favorite friends, even ones who live down the street. When I talk to people, I don’t feel like beating around the bush and talking about things like TV or clothes- I want to know their hearts. Where is God, how has He been moving, what is He teaching, how is He blessing, how is sin hurting…because really, those are the only things that matter in the end. Sometimes I get insecure with people I don’t know very well, but I’m learning that’s no excuse. GOD IS MORE IMPORTANT, plain and simple.

Our church small group (that I LOVE) is going through 1 Peter. This verse always hits me hard, feeling the weight of the reality…

Therefore, preparing your minds for action and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

6) Last (for now!) but not least, one of the most life-changing things said to me in my life…“Christ is your reputation…He speaks for you.”
And again, more on that one later.

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seattle in september

This week is a countdown week for me- not only because it’s the last week of school, but because this Friday night my sister’s family comes into town. It’s always a huge deal for me, and I absolutely love seeing everyone all together. All the kids (all SIX of the kids!) are precious and love each other. Bobby married into 3 nieces and a nephew, and has gained 2 more nephews in the past few months. And it’s no secret the kids LOVE Bobby…in fact, they usually run and hug him before me.

While I love my sister’s family being in Memphis, nothing beats a vacation in Seattle. Although it’s always dark and chilly and a little gloomy when I am there (even though every week BEFORE I come is supposedly sunny and beautiful), it’s truly a place of rest for me. I have been 3 times the past 4 years, and I really will miss going whenever they move back.

I should’ve posted this before, but better late than never. Emily asked me to come stay with her in Seattle while Clay was gone for a week in September. I procrastinated buying a ticket because I was waiting for a job, and literally the day I bought the ticket I was informed about a job opening, which I ended up getting. Thankfully, the timing was perfect and I got Seattle AND a job!

Here I am with Evelyne and Harrison in our make-shift “reading tent”

We picked blackberries that are all around their neighborhood


Emily left me to make the blackberry pie with the kids…unfortunately I have a problem with reading recipes, so it was ridiculously messy and I accidentally blended the berries…whatever. Still tasted good.

Can we say S-T-U-D? He even made his own tattoos on his arm with a marker, practicing with Clay before he made the plunge for his first tat

Pretty sis…Emily is an expert at wrapping a baby up, leaving her hands free

So glad I got some bonding time with the newest nephew Sullivan…

These are true Seattle kids- always prepared

At a park…as soon as we got there, Harris started running towards the ducks quacking

The night before I left- saying goodnight for the last time

Clay is not featured in any photos because he was taking a PT class in Michigan. He came back about midnight on my last night, but still woke up at 5am to take me to the airport for a few minutes of catch-up time. He is a good one.

All in all, awesome trip. Can’t wait to take Bobby to Seattle next time!

happy

Since the last post, teaching has only gotten better. I do enjoy the role I get to play in these kids’ lives and learning to teach without talking too much- that is, when I actually get to pull them. I forgot how much schedules change LIKE ALL THE TIME. Whether it’s another grade testing (which affects me), an assembly, a chorus field trip, a spelling bee, whatever, I can’t pull my class. Thankfully I have a table in the 4th grade hall that I use to pull kids one-on-one. And thankfully I have awesome 4th grade classroom teachers that let me do what I need to do.

Anyway, on a different note, marriage has been pretty cool too. Life is not perfect, but I feel happy in a way I haven’t in a really, really long time. There’s a lot of uncertainty and questions still about things, but I have finally started to let go and know it’s okay to be happy and trust God with His plans. I used to think if I was happy, God would zap it out of me through a crisis or a bad day. Pretty bad theology, I know, but I’m just being honest. The more I learn about God, I see that’s not how it works. It’s not just having a job or being married that makes me happy, while they definitely contribute, I can sense I am coming so much closer to knowing who I am. I’ve worn so many hats and identities in my life that I want to be at rest with who God made me to be- whoever that is.

Here’s some fall happiness for your viewing pleasure.

We got to go see The Avett Brother’s at Bulldog Bash in Starkville. We hadn’t seen them since 2009 so it was SO great to hear them live again.

We stayed at Greg’s grandmother’s house after the concert- which by the way, Greg and Brienne are ENGAGED. We love Brienne. And sorry other friends for not having photos of you. Also undocumented is the AMAZING time we had in Louisville throwing a shower for one of our favorite couples, Erin and Sloane.

November is a huge chunk of birthdays in my family- Clay, Jennifer, Dad, and Caitlyn. Bobby and I went to Red Robin with my brother’s family for Jennifer and Caitlyn’s birthday. Here’s the cute little birthday girl- 3 years old!

Cate quickly got bored though while waiting for her ice cream…

and then Hannah did too.

Then it was Thanksgiving time in Paducah…we had to get the photo by the FBC Paducah Christmas tree

I didn’t take any other photos, so I’ll borrow a photo that Bob took- us at the famous Patty’s restaurant on Kentucky Lake with Uncle Marty, Laura, Blake & Lindsey.

Now here’s the pictures I know everyone is waiting for. The First Official Kersey Family Christmas Tree. Last year we made a Jesse Tree, which is a fun tradition we’ll (try to) keep up. This tree was a $20 Ace Hardware tree that I bought in January. My family has always been strict real-tree only people, so I felt a little rebellious buying this. Meet Tamra, the Tannenbaum:

Last night we pulled out the 5 ornaments were have and decorated. Olga gave us a bunch of hand-me-down silver ornaments, but as you can see, there’s not much room for a lot. Bobby grew up with a bow on top of his tree, we always had a star- so we’re trying to compromise for something different, other than the traditional angel, star, or bow. We’ll let you know when we decide.

While Tamra might not be the grandest tree of them all, she serves us well. We love Tamra the Tannenbaum!