Aside

I was sitting i…

12 Sep

I was sitting in band. Seventh grade.  They called all the teachers to the cafeteria.

All the students were confused.  What on earth could require every teacher to leave their classrooms full of middle schoolers?

They didn’t tell us anything.  I guess at that point, they weren’t sure if it was some sort of horrible hoax.

Not long after, another announcement came over the intercom. I was now in seventh grade math class.  The announcement simply said for all teachers to check their emails immediately.  

I remember the look of horror on my teacher’s face.  I remember she immediately turned on the TV.  I think I remember her saying she had family that lived in New York.

I was only 12 years old.  I didn’t know what the World Trade Center was.  I had never been to New York.  I honestly don’t think I even cried.  I mean, I didn’t know what it meant. That someone would fly a plane into buildings.  That just sounded crazy, impossible.  It still sounds crazy.  But no longer impossible. 

Eleven years later, I still remember that day.  It affects more now than it did when I was in middle school.  I can grasp what happened more than I could back then.  It breaks my heart.  It shows me how evident evil is in this world.  How much this world needs a Savior. How good God is.

How could such a tragedy make me think of how good God is? Because I am that sinner.  I am the one that sent Jesus to that cross, I am the reason Jesus had to die.  We are all evil by birth, because we are all sinners, fallen from the way we were created to be, created to walk in the presence of the Holy Father.

Such evil happens in this world because we are fallen.  

But because Jesus died, and rose, we are capable of being redeemed.  God loves us so much. He DIED for us.  He is amazing and loving and I am in awe of how he forgives us.  All we have to do is ask.  

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Something about teaching

29 Aug

So, I’ve been student teaching for three whole days now.  I haven’t even led a class.  I’ve only given placement tests and observed students.  But there’s just something about being a teacher.  The students just look at me like a superhero.  You can see the respect in their eyes.  And I think it’s even more special in the field of special education.  We’ll get the students who have been given up on in traditional school the students who are just expected to fall behind.  They hate school, but yet I think they seem to look forward to coming to the Resource class. This is a class where they are at the same level as other students, where they are expected to learn and succeed.  They confide in us.  It’s just so awesome.  I am so excited to be teaching.  I am so excited to inspire and be inspired.  I am so excited to touch the lives of kids and be touched by these kids.

I have students with IQs in the 60s, I have students on the autism spectrum, I have students with ADHD, I have students with learning disabilities.  I have all types of students, and I am already blessed by each of them.

And the King will answer them “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me. ~Matthew 25:40

I’m at the point of my breaking.

26 Aug

Today, I had a wonderful time at church. Worship was amazing and my heart was overflowing.  I loved serving the first timers, I loved celebrating the one year anniversary of our campus.  

But then, I got home and it’s amazing how quickly things can change.  Suddenly, the pressure hit me.  The pressure of tomorrow and the first day of student teaching with students actually being there.  The realization of how lonely and stressful and busy this semester is going to be.  And how much I hate being single and wishing I had someone there to hold me and comfort me and just let me know I could make it  And honestly, I was mad at God.  I was mad that I have this deep longing that He has yet to fulfill, mad that I have such a small community that I don’t even really feel close to in Raleigh and that I just don’t know how to go about finding deeper community.  Mad that I feel abandoned.

But then, as I was praying and crying and pouring my heart out to God, I begged to be held.  And while I wasnt physically held, I felt a calm.  It was like God was saying patience, Kalin.  Like he was telling me that I am never abandoned.  Reminding me of what JD talked about at church today, when all I have to do is LOOK.

Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. -Isaiah 45>22

 

 Look upon Jesus.  Look upon my Savior.  Remember He DIED for me.  That I am an undeserving, awful sinner who was saved by God’s love and mercy and transformed into being holy.  

God is so big that I can’t see His plans.  That right now, life may suck.  Right now, I am struggling to hang on.  But this struggle is a blessing because God is using it in His plan for His glory and my good.  Sometimes, I forget that. But ultimately, God is in control.

Nerves

25 Aug

I think I’m at that point where I have to let go of control.

I don’t think I’m a controlling person, at all.  But I do like to know what’s going on, I like to have a plan for everything.  And now, that’s just not happening. And I’m scared.

Monday begins the first day of student teaching with students actually being at the school. And I’m terrified.  I’m terrified because it’s sinking in that this is for real.  That from now until December, every thing I do at that school is going to be under a microscope.  If I’m not proficient in every area, this past year of grad school has been wasted.  And after I finish, who knows what comes next? Will I find a job teaching in Raleigh? Will I move somewhere else?  

I know over and over again in the Bible, it says not to worry.  You know, Matthew 6:25-34 says not to be anxious, God’s going to take care of me.  What can worrying do? Luke 12:25 says “who by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” I know it does nothing but make me want to cry, stress me out, and bring me to the point of breaking.  Yet, it’s human nature.  Human nature not to trust God because we are by nature, sinners.  We don’t naturally have that faith.  But as believers, we should know, that just as God feeds the birds, he will take care of us, men and women created in His image.  

So while I’m sitting here worrying about a job, and where to move and who I’m going to marry and this and that, the list could go on, I’m wasting precious time.  Time that God has given me to live out His mission for the world.  And when my life is following God’s will, that is when I will find joy, that is when the worry will fade.  So tonight, and through this semester, and throughout my life, I will rest in the arms of my Savior, my God, my Father.  And I will pray this song that we sing in church… “Give me faith to trust what You say, that You’re good and Your love is great… I may be weak, but Your Spirit’s strong in me, my flesh may fail, but my God, you never will.”

When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. -Psalm 56:3

Reminiscing about SUMMA CAMP!

26 May

I was laying in bed trying to get some sleep, but my mind kept wondering back to Black Mountain, NC.  For the past two summers, I have given up air conditioning, television (for the most part), and a stable internet connection in trade for the best two summers I could have ever imagined.  Two summers where I was working from 8 am to after 9 pm almost every day, where I had to tread water in a freezing pool 3 times a day, where I learned what it was that I loved to do.

This year, summer school is replacing summer camp.  I didn’t know how much I would miss it.  My heart is aching to get on the road, drive to Camp Lakey Gap, and never leave.  I’m aching to see the smiles on the campers’ faces as they arrive and wait to check in, well, most of them are probably wandering around and trying to adjust to this new environment where they will be for a week, a huge transition that doesn’t come easy for most of our campers. I’m aching to hold my sweet babies in the pool as they learn to trust me, to see the changes in our campers as they get to spend one week without the stigma of autism labeling as “outsiders”, but are accepted and loved and cherished for every little thing that makes them unique. Don’t speak? That’s okay, the “normal” world is too loud anyway.  Need a schedule? Good. So do we.  Like the pool? We’ll be there so much we’ll have permanent wrinkles on our hands so when we sing “the prune song” we have fingers to match.  Like silly songs? We love them. 

I’m coming to accept that the summer camp counselor phase of my life is over.  Time to be a big girl.  Finish grad school. Get a full time job.  Blah blah blah.  But I know something for sure, Camp Lakey Gap changed my life.  It’s where I knew what it meant to be passionate about something.  Autism.  It’s where I realized I was stronger than I thought.  It’s where those campers changed my life, my perspective, and took over my heart.  Words will never do justice to describe just how much I am forever changed and just how much I owe to Camp Lakey Gap, for children with autism.  All I can say is Fluffy Happy Love Camp.

Video

Beautiful

13 May

This is a beautiful story, I was in tears from the time I pressed play.

Reminiscing

7 May

One year ago today, I spent my last Friday night in Joyner 413.  I conquered my last final in Carroll 111.  I cooked pasta for the last time in the joyner 3rd floor kitchen.  I splashed water all over myself and my innocent kitchen observer… Okay, maybe he wasn’t too innocent since he got me back.  I watched a movie on the “magic futon” for the last time, the futon that was good and lumpy those four years of college.  The futon that has so many memories associated with it, so many laughs, some tears, some food spills, some of everything life in a dorm will throw at you.  That futon that now resides in the basement at my parents unless they finally took it to the dumpster, because really, it’s just uncomfortable and not fit for sitting anymore.  

Most of my room was packed and stored under my bed, waiting for my parents to arrive the next morning and take home before graduation Sunday.  The walls that were covered in basketball posters, pictures from previous years of college memories, camp awards, they were barren.  I was fighting back tears that night as so many things were changing.  I knew that after Sunday, my life would forever change.  No longer would I be a 5 minute MAX walk away from my best friends. Most of those friends, I could just yell out my room and they would be there.  People that so quickly came into my life, who I spent a long time hugging over the course of Friday night through Sunday afternoon, who shaped the person who is typing this tonight, would no longer be as present.  Sure, I still keep up with most of them frequently.  Many still live within 30 minutes of Raleigh.  But I can promise all of them are still, and forever will be, in my heart.

I sit here thinking about how much my life has changed since that final final at Carolina.  Sure, I’m still in school, in fact, summer school starts tomorrow.  But life is certainly not what I expected it to be when I left Chapel Hill a year ago.  I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but it’s definitely different.  There are definitely things I wish were different, but I am happy here. Over this past year, I have matured and grown and my faith has gotten stronger, God has definitely been working in my life the past year. But what really astonishes me is how much Carolina impacted me. 

Moving into Joyner for the first time that hot August day in 2007, I never imagined the impact UNC would have on me. I learned what it meant to have real community. I learned how to accept defeat, when the biology major crushed my dental school dreams (which was such a blessing in reality, I would have been miserable).  I learned that some people will take advantage of how naive I was, and I guess, I still am, but not everyone will.  I learned that not everyone thinks I’m crazy for being so passionate about autism, but that not everyone wants to talk about it as much as I do.  I learned that there are more important things to learn at school than what is graded in a classroom.  I remember the late nights studying for tests with friends, but I couldn’t tell you what we were studying.  Pulling what was closest to an all-nighter as I ever did, studying orgo until 5 am, only to drop the class a few weeks later because I hated life because of that class, only to get so delirious that I ended up making a crown out of the molecular structure kit.  I learned that life is about more than diplomas, good grades, and a strong resume.  I learned that I am smarter than I thought, and not nearly as smart as I thought at the same time.  

I made some wonderful friends and memories at UNC.  It’s not about the prestige of the university. It’s not even about the great basketball team.  It’s about the people I grew and lived with those four years.  Even the people that I met who weren’t fellow students.  Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, relive May 6, 2011, just to take in how blessed I was those four years.  One year later, my love has only grown.  Walking those paths of uneven bricks, past the Old Well and the Davie Poplar, taking it all in on Franklin Street as I pass a busker wanting to sing me a song, passing the pit.  It all brings back memories I will forever cherish.