getting it together

dear bloggity blog,

im sorry i ignored you.

it was on purpose.

but i will get it together this week.

theres been a lot of this going on…

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and general chilling and enjoying summer. unfortunately for me, i lose discipline (that kinda was not already there to begin with) and just slack off.

not to mention taking 3 graduate classes is kicking my boo-tay, mixed in with my need to wait until almost the last minute to turn things in…

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(photo taken last week to document the ridiculous internal struggle i have where i have to wait until the almost cut-off time to submit my papers through U of M dropbox, which are all due at 11:59pm).

plus taking non-helpful quizzes to test my knowledge of the English language…

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(which, btw, i think both of these answers were wrong…the fact i dont know isnt that encouraging of my effort)

but i have returned to you blog, and i promise to share some good stuff!

soon and very soon,
katie

the goods, a.k.a., part II

And this is the continuation of my first post about the first year of marriage…btw, this was all one post that I split into two. I spared your eyes and mind. You are welcome. And I didn’t realize how disheartening the first post sounded…whoops. Just keeping it real.

I’ve learned submission isn’t just doing things for Bobby. Maybe a lot of husbands out there like that though- and want their wives to have dinner on the table when they get home from work, to be able to give their wives permission on what to wear and what to do, to clean the house on a schedule, post every bouquet of flowers given on facebook/twitter/instagram and make sure to publicly brag on said social media. Bobby not so much. In our big February conversation about lots of little things adding up, I finally pinpointed that submission for Bobby is not talking negatively about people around him- so simple, right? It’s easy for me to speak my mind and say what I think, but he’s so pure of heart he kind of shuts down when he hears negative comments about people, especially ones he loves (not that I say horrible things about our friends and family, but you know what I mean…hopefully!) He would rather my heart be clean than the house. He would rather my heart be right than the food I make (slash don’t make because he grills better than I cook) Submission for Bobby is to give him space, time to think, encourage him about his job and how he spends his time, and watch Highly Questionable. Bobby’s personality isn’t one to dominate and direct- he likes to get my opinion about most things and trusts me to make decisions too. While he does feel strongly about being a “leader”, it doesn’t look the same way as my dad, or my brother, or a pastor at church, or anyone else. We’re just as unique as every other person is, so really this mold that people try to squish themselves into is truly non-existent and probably not even sustainable.

For our anniversary trip we went to the lakehouse he proposed at. It was relaxing and fun, and we had a lot of time to sit, play Uno and talk about our marriage. At one point we talked about things we want to do more in our 2nd year. He said he wants us to pray together more- which is exactly where the Lord has brought me too. One of our differences is that he’s slow to act, and I want to jump in and do things- quickly. I speed him up, and he slows me down. If you would have asked me years ago what I thought I would be doing with my husband first year of marriage, it would have been to be doing some type of mission or ministry work together- get the obligatory first year in and hit the ground running. The Lord has changed my heart completely in that regard, knowing that can’t happen without a solid foundation for a marriage, complete trust, understanding and mutual respect. I learned a long time ago that prayer is the first step of leadership or any decision making process. And all too frequently, prayer is the step I skip because I want to act quickly. As cool as it would sound on the outside that Bobby and I are doing all these things to further the gospel- like overseas mission trips or feeding homeless or whatever sounds missional- if our hearts’ aren’t pure and totally motivated by our conviction of the gospel and encouraged by our marriage, it would be empty. We’re not there yet. The Lord has given the red light over and over, as frustrating as it can be, and keeps bringing us both back to the point of investing in our jobs, community, and each other in this season. Totally UN-glamorous, but necessary and obedient. We need to know each others hearts better, even though we’ve been together for over 3 years. And if you know Bobby, you know he’s a mysterious man that is very slow to open up. We didn’t just get married and BAM revealed all our sins, fears, struggles, and downfalls. I feel completely peaceful about where we are- praying together, learning more about our hearts’ for the Lord and how the gospel is penetrating our daily life. It’s simple. It’s fun. There’s no standard of where we should be. We still fight about money and food and get awkward when we hurt each others feelings and stressed when we’re late for church- but we’re a year ahead of where we were. And there is nobody else I would want to start and end every day with.

From the girl who didn’t want to get married until years of living overseas and finishing graduate school happened, I’m incredibly happy and grateful for the Lord’s mercy. Bobby is more than the Lord’s mercy for me, but my bestest friend, my love, my boyfriend, my sugardaddy…the man can make me feel better in a look, whose pure heart won’t let me gossip, who lets me be myself and not try to fit a mold of what I thought a wife should be, accepts my feisty and sassy attitude, who is my hero, role model, example, life coach, encourager, and favorite…I love him.

sincerity

This is a post that I’ve been delaying because it’s almost too much to think about in one sitting. The inevitable marriage post. And when I say post, I mean, process the good, bad, real, sincere truth. While I do keep personal things between me and Bobby (i.e. there will never be a sex post. But mainly because my close friends have already heard more than enough details from me, and you know I’ll talk one-on-one about it! Just no blogging about it), I do believe it is so important to be transparent, honest, and open about certain things. If you know me well, you know I cannot stand surface level conversation for long. It literally drains me. I can only take so much before I shut down and need to call someone who will give it to me for real. There’s such a danger in presenting ourselves like life is easy and perfect, and not giving credit to God. This is me, revealing sin and how Jesus literally had to save me from myself over and over, using my marriage as the vehicle to slap some truth into me.

I summed it up best to my friend Kathleen the other night: submission isn’t what I thought, which was to make the bed, clean the house, cook eggs and bacon every morning and basically do everything for Bobby- because when I did, he didn’t eat my eggs and I cried. If you ever watch New Girl (because you should, because we are all quirky as Jess!), the episode when Jess tries to instigate a fight with her Fancyman Russell was a good representative clip of our first couple months of marriage. Especially the part when she throws all the coasters- “Why do you have so many coasters?! Trying to coast through life?!”

All that to say, our first few months were rough. Granted, I was taking the crazy pill (you suck birth control) and I was depressed, crying all the time, blowing up and yelling a lot. More than I would like to confess. Before I got married I tried to cover ALL the bases of expectations, surprises, and disappointments every other married person had faced, so I could be prepared and cool and all “yeah, it’s okay, I knew that was coming.” But nobody else has married Bobby…but me. So nobody else knows his incredibly weird eating habits and how he would much rather eat peanut butter and jelly than have me make something. This small fact created more fights than I can recall- my insecurity over him not liking my cooking, and him trying to be a simple man. I would have random melt downs over stupid things, like our furniture, the yard being a mess, us being in different rooms watching different TV shows, food, do we have sex enough (oops had to let that one in), do we socialize with our friends enough, do we have the appropriate amount of date nights, etc. (NOTE: these are all things when I compared myself to other people and marriages!) Thankfully things did take a turn for the better in July when I found out getting a big girl job wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. Bobby prayed over me and encouraged me. When I stressed about money, he was the one who had faith God would get us through. By September when I got my job, we had grown so much closer as friends because we had to support each other through unknown, difficult circumstances. Once I started working full-time, then came juggling different schedules, exhaustion, stress- all that comes with a new job.

We’ve fought about how to spend our time apart, how to spend our time together, which lights stay on during the night, which lights stay off during the day, how save money, how to spend money (do you see the money theme? awesome) and when to run the heat/air (I’d rather suffer, he’d rather not). Clearly the idea of “submission” was never one I thought too much about through- more just on how I can be happy and hope that he’s enjoying the ride. This past February, we had a huge talk over things we’ve had minor issues over the past few years that culminated into one day. Throughout this talk, the outcome was the discovery how how I can actually submit in the way Bobby needs it, which has been an incredible turn in our relationship.

And that will be saved for Part II because this post is already way too long.

 

top 10 of the week

1) my new favorite holiday, April 16th. It’s true people, the Kersey marriage has lasted one year! It was so fun getting texts, phone calls, cards in the mail, and encouragement. It was more fun than my birthday, because on my birthday it’s awkward to be “all about me”- Anniversaries are awesome because I can be all about Bobby and he can be all about me- win win! I’m sure I’ll have a whole post devoted to the year coming soon.

2) When I told my kids about my anniversary, they were so excited. Our conversation went a little like this:

students: “Mrs. Kersey, what did your husband get you for your anniversary?”
me: “He got me a necklace”–which I then displayed to everyone the awesomeness of the necklace, which is a map of Afghanistan– “and a bench, because our other one got stolen.”
students: (in shocked voices) “What!? He got you what?! Huh?”
one girl: “You mean…like, he got you a b-i-t-c-h?”

2) My mother-in-law Betty’s birthday. She was so kind to share her birthday with our wedding day last year. Betty is definitely the lady version of Bobby- they both have dry sense of humors and like to get new cars. She’s supportive and servant-hearted and loves her family fiercely.

3) The trick I’ve learned with Bobby is to never say “I wish you would…” or “Why don’t you..” or “you should…” but to always say “I like it when…” I’ve learned 4th grade boys are no different. Two boys in particular are clearly the cool, cute boys in the grade and they know it. They usually goof off in class, don’t do their work or even show up to school half the time. In small group we were talking about the word influence, which I then used these two boys as an example. I explained how these boys can be a good influence by paying attention in class and other kids will, or how if they come in without homework and don’t participate, other kids follow that. Since then they have been on their game, so involved in group discussions, paying attention- so I was able to brag about them in front of all their teachers and all their classmates. Their smiles on their faces were priceless.

4) When the kid who is the shyest, quietest kid volunteers over and over to read outloud, makes jokes and isn’t afraid to speak up in class.

5) Short but fantastic conversation with Suzanne and David at small group about grace, brokenness, and sin.

6) In effort to be healthy I got some vitamins. They are gummies. And they taste amazing.

7) We went to a 3 year old birthday party last week with a train theme- therefore I put a Thomas the train tattoo on my hand. No matter how hard I scrub it hasn’t come off yet so I’ve gotten a LOT of comments about it. Mainly the teachers I work with make fun of me, while my kindergarteners were so excited about it. The plus side is another teacher went and bought me more fake tattoos! Yay!

8) Not feeling tired, anxious, exhausted, nervous, or worried this week…maybe because I ate more fruit and vegetables, maybe because I went running twice, maybe because I’m not thinking how I can explain a situation in a twitter-worthy tweet- but mainly because I made the decision to quit worrying. I cannot compare myself to people who have been teaching for 15+ years. I’m doing the best that I can. The Lord will equip me and strengthen me for His work. As wise friend Meredith told me before “Comparison kills contentment”, I’m here to attest that it’s vital to joy to literally hold up the shield an extinguish the enemy’s lies.

9) Greg and Brienne’s rehearsal dinner was beautiful, excellent service (Napa Cafe), touching, fun, and perfect. It was fun catching up with friends and celebrating a couple that desires more than anything to make Christ magnified through their wedding.

10) Even though it hasn’t happened yet, I’m sure Greg and Brienne’s wedding will be the best part of the week!

Things that didn’t make it to the top 10:
1) Getting the estimate to replace our dinosaur of a heating/AC unit. Ouch.

2) Working on the 12 page final for one of my teaching classes. Ugh.

3) A couple of months ago I was given a bunch of kindergartners to teach. I have about 20 that I see in small groups once a week. When I went to pick up my 3 Thursday afternoon girls, one of them had a bag of ice up to her nose and blood all over her shirt. Her teacher said she was picking her nose so hard that it started bleeding. I told her she could change her shirt before we went upstairs to my room, so little girl runs to the bathroom. She then runs out, her shirt unbuttoned, her holding her shirt together and holding her other shirt
up. “My other shirt got wet!” she said, handing me the soaked shirt. “How did it get wet? Did it fall in the toilet?” I asked. “Uh huh…” Yuck.

katie lately

I think I have begun at least 15 blog posts the past month, only to be written at incredible length that even I wouldn’t go back and read, or they didn’t make sense and made a million rabbit trails. It’s because my mind is going crazy. Part of the problem is that I have so much in my head, I haven’t journaled in probably a month (and I have to journal for sanity), and I spend wayyy too much time on facebook, twitter, and pinterest. I’m just going to be honest about that. I like people and I like to look at their pictures, read their funny comments about the day, catch up on news and look for cool things to do to my home. There are so many other voices, stories, opinins and ideas in my head, along with my own, that I can’t handle it all. My friend Meredith gave up social media for Lent, and I’ve decided, now after the actual Lenten season, to also give up facebook, twitter, and pinterest for the week…and indefinitely. I have a hyperactive brain that runs 90 to nothing, and already three days away from these things have calmed me down and given me to time to do the things I actually need to do. It’s kind of like a cleanse for my mind. Which now I’m thinking I should probably do a real cleanse for my body since I have eaten so many marshmallows and chocolate chips the past few weeks. And another thing- I totally struggle with comparing myself to people, and for me, social media feeds into my horrible insecurity. It’s nice to have one less thing to fight for my attention.

For real though, my mind is going crazy. Bobby has asked me multiple times to write things down so I can remember what I need to do, but let’s be honest here…I HATE making lists. I am anti-list, anti-checking things off- it just doesn’t do it for me. I feel proud of myself when I can just remember things on my own, kind of like my guy-pride of never asking for directions and wanting to trust my inner-GPS that doesn’t actually exist. Unfortunately, the lack of writing things down has led to stress that I can’t even pinpoint when I’m awake. I haven’t slept well in months and I can’t tell you how many crazy dreams I have had about work-related issues or people turning into monkeys (thank you, young adult dystopian post-apocalyptic fiction). The weird thing is, when I’m awake I am happy, grateful, and fully enjoying this season of life, pretty unaware of my stress level. There’s this huge underlying stress of not being good enough for my job or good enough for my kids, and it’s so big that I just don’t think about it. We have TCAP, our dreaded standardized test, coming up in a few weeks. Apparently TCAP is the biggest deal of life and we have a huge job to prepare our kids for it. I worry that what I do is not good enough for them, that I provide no preparation or help and my kids will stress when they see how hard the test is. Bobby prayed over me last night after I broke down crying, and I started today with the knowledge that I am not these kids’ savior, and if I am doing this job for the Lord He WILL enable me and give me strength. Over and over I can hear Him say “This is MY world Katie.”

All that to say, I am wanting to be quiet in my mind and focus it on the Lord. I can see that I hold onto fear and am not fully embracing the grip of grace that the Lord provides. If it means trading social media interaction for more prayer and actual interaction with people, so be it.

waiting, but in a good way

A few weeks ago, Bobby and I went to Nashville for our friends Erin and Sloan’s wedding. It was literally one of the most unique, worshipful, and incredible weddings I have been to. Our friend Meredith’s dad did the ceremony, several friends led a sincere worship time, and everyone cried when Erin walked down the aisle. Erin chose the song “Waiting Here for You” from Passion to come down to. After the years of dating and waiting they experienced- approximately 3.5 years through graduate school programs, unemployment, new jobs, moving several states around- the song captured the beauty of waiting for the Lord and His timing. It was a sweet representation of waiting for Christ’s return on Earth, and a challenge to worship through the waiting.

Last week for Spring Break I went to Cancun, Mexico with some friends. Other than the fact I was beyond thrilled about the beach, friends and guacamole, I was grateful to have lots of time to sit, reflect, and pray. Our last day, I kept playing the song “Waiting Here for You” on repeat. It struck me that I’m not in a season of waiting at the moment. It feels unnatural and a little unnerving that I don’t have anything to be anxious about, as weird as that sounds. There is still a part of me longing for more though. I know that longing is for closer intimacy with Christ, knowing Him more and allowing myself to go deeper. He is worth my time and energy. Sometimes I open my Bible, wanting to hear from Him and can hear nothing. Those frustrating moments keep me from sitting and waiting for Him, and I go off and do my own thing until I’m ready to try again. I remember a Matt Chandler sermon from years ago where he reprimanded people, saying something along the lines of “Why do you expect to hear from God when you only give Him 10 minutes a day? You say ‘I’m here God! Ready for my quiet time! We got 10 minutes though so hurry!'”

I’m still guilty of giving God a few minutes, saying “speak now cause I really want to watch New Girl in a minute” or becoming ADHD with my prayer time. There is something inside of me begging me to wait on the Lord. I’m used to finding him in my stress, worry, waiting impatiently and difficult times. This is a different season now though, one not wrought with anxiety and depression, but a simple and happy season. I am being challenged to wait for His presence, not for anything but Him.

“You are everything You’ve promised
Your faithfulness is true
And we’re desperate for Your presence
All we need is You…”

stable

Let not this title mislead you- this isn’t a post about mental stability and how great I am and what an awesome life I have. Okay, I do have to admit I love my life and the peace that God has given me has been enough to bring me to tears lately, but I’m still me…love me or leave me.

Since I graduated college, I have NEVER had a stable job. I spent 1 year working at our church, about 7 months at a golf club, 1 year at Starbucks, 1 year at De La Salle, and now I’m in the middle of a year at Kate Bond. I’m kinda tired of moving around, but at the same time I crave change and new things. When I was thinking about 2011 and onto 2012, I felt a little relieved that 2012 might be the year of NO CHANGE. Literally. No major life change. Not like…

2008- graduate college, begin a new job
2009- begin dating Bobby, 3 different jobs
2010- another new job, engaged to Bobby
2011- marriage, 2 new jobs
2012- ??

No, we don’t plan on popping out a baby this year, despite my possibly too-detailed posts about baby making (not the doing, just the product. I’m not THAT open). Which means…I might actually have a year of no major life changes. No new job, no matter how difficult mine can be at times. Starbucks made me hate people and their $9 lattes, but my kids have restored my joy of people. I LOVE THEM. So I am okay with not loving every aspect of my job because, like I’ve said before, these kids need an advocate and somebody to hug them and tell them they’re funny and that I believe in them. My friend Sarah, also an ESL teacher in MCS, told me she tells her students how she believes in them. I make sure to repeat these words to my kids daily.

All that to say, there’s a lot of crap that I don’t want to deal with sometimes. But, there’s a lot of crap that I know God has given me to deal with, with Him. Bobby reminded me last night that I need to remember God placed me in specific places for a purpose. I can’t just run away. It’s time for me to grow up…be stable and invest deeply into this season of learning how to be a good teacher. Not for the sake of complacency or security, but stable in a radical type of way. A year of no change can allow me to invest where I am and cling to the Lord’s grace in the way I need to.

Stability freaks me out, but the Lord will guide my path, speak into me, be my reputation, be my confidence, uphold me, use me…and I can sense Him bringing me to a peace despite my fighting for my own way.