Thursday, May 28, 2009


Webster says that a transition is, by definition: passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another : change b: a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.

When I hear the word, many images come to my mind. I think of exit ramps. Kaleidoscopes. Indian summers. I think of the eyeglasses that came out a few years ago that, ironically, "transition" from eyeglasses to sunglasses when out in the sun.

My life these days might qualify as the third definition.

I have made a lot of transitions in the past. Some have been made without my knowledge, some have been smooth and natural. Others have been rocky and tumultuous. You know how it is... we've all been through these "seasons".

You moved away from home for the first time.

You changed your major.

You ended that relationship.

You made the first move.

You joined the gym.

You went to the first meeting.


This time last year, we packed her life up. Strategically loaded boxes and tables and couches and decorations into a trailer. And we moved her downtown. East Maxwell Street. An adorable little house with wooden floors and french doors leading to the kitchen. They spontaneously bought a green armchair and a kitten.

I would spend all last summer in my younger sister's house. Walking to coffee shops, learning to cook without meat. We spent most of our afternoons on the porch swing, or in the park playing tennis. On Sunday nights we'd walk a block down to Woodland and play with a drum circle. We were regulars at Ramseys on the corner.

It wouldn't take me long to forget what life was like without Emily or Todd. And the Maxwell house became my safe haven between work and night classes. The place where I would sleep when I didn't feel like driving home.


I loved my apartment on Pimlico. If only because it was mine.

Any and all character in that small two bedroom apartment was added by Liza and myself. From the paintings we hung, to the incense we burned, the food we cooked, the music we played.

My kitten grew up into a cat. An ornery cat.

We painted recycling bins. We held community dinners. We were woken up in the middle of the night by the country club's storm warning. And the neighbors' late night drug deals.


This weekend, we are packing up the Maxwell house and the Pimlico apartment.

I found Arthur a new home.

My paintings have come off the walls. I've boxed up my books and cookbooks and taken down my curtains. I'm downsizing. Getting rid of almost everything. My goal is to be able to fit almost everything I own into a Toyota Camry.

I'm in transition.

A new living space.

A new concept of home.


This weekend, we are packing Kat up. Except Moe is going to drive off with all her stuff in his big, white van. And Kat is going to hop on a plane headed to Bolivia.

She's gotten her shots, raised her funds, brushed up her on her spanish.

And she will be gone. For two months. To a different hemisphere.

She is in transition.

A new living space.

A new concept of home.


In the middle of such transitions... the world around us often seems blurry.

Out of focus.

Our perception is off.

Our judgement, unsound.

We are bias and overwhelmed.


We are all, in medias res.

In the very middle of things.


My prayer is that our transitions, whether or not they are smooth ones, would be beneficial.

That they would take us from something good, to something better.

And that the Father would equip us - in our bewilderment, in our dizzyness - to see the world around us with unprecedented clarity.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I am home alone. It is not even ten o'clock yet.

Tonight, I am wrestling with a lot of thoughts.

The most prominent one being whether or not I truly want to be honest with you.


Tonight I am wildly discontent with the direction of my life.

I am watching as my family is packing up to leave. Alaska, Haiti, Seattle, Bolivia, the mountains.

Starting just last week, planes were boarded and tickets were purchased.

Slowly, surely, faithfully, the Almighty has filled us all up. And He is sending us out. One by one.

But I am here.

In Lexington.

And I can't shake the feeling that I am being left behind.

That maybe I wasn't deemed worthy enough to be sent out.


This, of course, is probably not true.

Driving down Third Street the other day, I felt a rampant passion bubbling up in my chest.

The windows were down and the sun was shining. And I passed condemned building after broken down house after abandoned theater...

And I heard words carried on the wind.

I will have a love affair with Lexington this summer.


So starting yesterday, I made a quiet promise to myself.

I would take time.

Set aside.

God is in Bolivia. God is in Seattle. God is in Denali. God is in Port-au-Prince.

God is in Kentucky.

And I will find Him.

I will take my shoes off.

Expecting the blue grass to be on fire with His presence.



But I'm learning something about myself.

I don't know when this mentality developed.

And I don't like it. Not one little bit.

It is, perhaps, the very thing that has been getting in my way this entire time.

My entire life.


I sat down at a picnic table at Third and Lime, in the sunlight, and opened my Bible.

Luke 12.

I opened my journal.

I prayed with my words and tried to collect my thoughts.

Ever banking on the fact that Jesus knows my heart and can interpret my aching and my groans better than I ever could.


I went back today.

Sat down again.

And came to this realization.

Somewhere along the way, somewhere in between today's prayers and my deepest understanding of how good God is...

I have developed this fear of asking Him to move.

I am afraid to ask Him for patience, because I am afraid He will put me in trying situations.

I am afraid to ask Him to make me content, because I am afraid He will take everything away.

I am afraid to ask Him to fill my lonely places, because I am afraid He will make me be lonely forever.

I am afraid to ask Him to help me trust Him, because I am afraid He will ask me to walk on water.


What a horrible Christian I am.

Not that I am afraid of these things...

but that I have spent all this time, convincing you that I have all this faith.

All this trust.

While, almost unknowingly, I pray and yet never voice my deepest thoughts. Despite the fact that He already knows...

I don't talk about what I know really needs to happen.

Maybe He will forget.

Yeah, right.


What a weird place I am in right now.

Finally understanding what it means both to be in love with Jesus and to fear the Lord.

To want absolutely nothing more than to see His hand at work.

To, for once, really understand that His way, His will, is truly the best.

To comprehend grace... only because it has been given to me so generously.

To understand the simplicity that is the Gospel.

The intricacy which is Creation.

And yet be terrified...

or maybe...


I wonder if you have to feel this sense of terror, in order to truly know what trust is?

If trusting was a no-brainer ... if trusting was easy ...

could you call it trust?

I feel just like I'm standing in the gaping mouth of the airplane door ... parachute strapped to my back ...

terrified to jump.

It's not that I don't want to.

It's not even, really, that I don't trust the parachute that has been expertly packed into my backpack.

I'm just scared.


And to be honest... because, after all, I decided to be honest with you.

My confession?

I don't even know where to begin.


Even as I said that... these words came into my ears.

"Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Here am I, all of me."


This is my confession.

Forgive me, if I have ever seemed to have it all figured out.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


All his life, colors and temperature and texture had bombarded him.

A silent world spun around him.

All thoughts, imprisoned inside him.

Until one day.


The Rabbi leaned down and touched his face. His ears, his mouth, with fingers rough and gentle.

And even as the words left the Teacher's mouth,

he could hear them.

A command.

A miracle.

"Be opened..."


But before the sounds of the world could rush in...

Before the cries of his family reached his ears for the first time...

the Teacher leaned closer.

"You are loved".


Those would be the first words he had ever heard.


that when the loud noise of the world would suddenly become too much...

he would remember.

The End

It is 11:04. May 5th, 2009. A Tuesday.

I just uploaded my last assignment for Political Science. I turned in my last assignment for Social Work at 3:30 this afternoon.

I am done.

Finished at Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

It has been seven semesters. Sixty-eight credit hours.

I contemplated leaving slowly today.

But once I waved to the old janitor and the security guard and met up with Liza in the lobby and said bye to Melissa in the Dental Hygiene Clinic...

I was done. Ready to say goodbye.

So I walked out of the Oswald Building. Down the steps. Out into the parking lot.

And I didn't look back.


I just submitted my final assignment.

And I am doing a little reminiscing.


I remember the day I drove into the K Lot for the first time. Lost in a sea of cars and L.L. Bean backpacks, I made my way onto BCTC's relatively small campus. Feeling small. And confused. And overwhelmed.

Then I met Mr. Hinkle.

I would meet a few more people that semester - people that would have a part, to this day, in changing my life. I would make A's. End a relationship. Turn 18.

I moved out of my parents' house that summer.

That fall I met Kip. And Ms. Humble. I met Dwaine and Brittany. I would move again. And learn what it meant to have hope in my Father. I would meet Matt and Derek and Brian.

My second spring semester I met Mrs. Johnston. And Joye. I turned 19 and my parents separated.

Summer of 2007 I ran away to Colorado.

Fall of 2007, Kat dragged me out of bed one Sunday morning to go eat Donatos pizza.

What would happen that Sunday afternoon, would be one of the most significant changes in my entire life.

I would meet Caleb. The passionate, bearded guy. He would be the head of our family. He would rock me to sleep through the next semester.

When my parents divorced. When I moved to yet another new apartment. When I tackled five more classes and made five more A's. When I turned twenty. When I learned how to take photographs... and about fair trade, organic coffee.

A family, stronger than any I'd ever known, was then born out of community.

More change....

A 'B' in Anatomy and Physiology.

Redeclaring majors.

I spent this last spring semester with an online political science class and an on-campus Social Work class.

And the first day of my last semester, I found myself in the same classroom where I had met Mr. Hinkle.

I am a new person.

With a new outlook on life.

A new confidence.

New knowledge.

Hopefully... more wisdom.

Certainly, more experience.

I sat down at the desk and the first day of class, back in January, it would be confirmed through the words of a professor.... I had finally made the right choice.


It is over now.

What I just told you... probably is meaningless.

That was the skeleton. I left out the who's and the why's and the parts that really matter.

Of fastings and dance parties and broken alternators and unrequited love and saying goodbye to people I would never see again. Of figuring out who I am. And who I am not. Vegetarian summers. Advocacy and double cheeseburgers. Art out of coffee cans. Falling in love with Jesus. The important stuff.

This season of my life is over.

I could do a dance, just thinking about it.

Because I can see how I've changed.

And if I learned nothing else... I learned about myself on that little campus.


Now, I am staring into the sleepy eyes of a long summer.

A 21st birthday.

New friends, waiting to be made.

Goodbyes to be said.


Now, on a Tuesday night in early May, something ended.

Only so something else could begin.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


It is a question that keeps reverberating through my life...

send it out, it bounces against the world and comes back to me.


I hate this question.

It requires an answer.

More often than not, my answer is simply to shrug my shoulders, "I don't know why."

But sometimes that isn't good enough.

Sometimes "Why" requires a real answer.

And the reason I hate this question ... is sometimes I hate the answer.

Sometimes the answer is that really, truly, I do not know.

Not a cop out.

Not a dismissal.

I do not know.


This morning I woke up with a burdening sense of insecurity.

I have not felt this emotion in quite some time.

In fact, I was making steady progress towards self-awareness and acceptance.

So when I rolled out of bed this morning and the burden on my shoulders was heavier than I remembered last night...

I asked "why?".


More importantly these days...

"Why not?"

"Why don't you?"


This shifts this question, but not the answer.

Ask me "why" and I respond with "I don't know", I am simply admitting my limited knowledge. I'm unaware of why I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, why there are gallons of tears behind my eyes, why I don't love him anymore, why I won't go up and say hi, why ... why ... why...

Ask me "why not" and I respond with "I don't know", and I have failed to act.


"Jesus, they are hungry, please give them something to eat."

"Why don't you give them something to eat," He responds.

Why don't you....

There are fewer good responses.

Fewer acceptable excuses.


I can't.

Why not?