Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Catching Up

At last I am home for the summer!  I have made a list of summer goals, and keeping up with this blog is definitely on there...however, I am nervous to so openly admit that, for who knows how well I will do. :) I would like to try though.

Right now I am at Slow Train Cafe, journaling and reading while Kathryn studies for the NCLEX. I got a lavender vanilla scone (kind of strange...) and pour over Tanzanian coffee. It was so good I drank it black. Seeing as how I have not posted since Christmas, please don't mind my random rants and rambling.

I stayed a few extra days at school to wait for Kathryn, as she helped with Reach Week. It was awesome to spend some time with my friends who I have not had much of a chance to put a lot of time into because of finishing RA things. This school year ended quite well, I would say, or at least just finally ended. Lets just say balancing my time is not my strongpoint. Hah, I thankfully had very gracious professors, and was able to get extensions on my final papers for American Novel. I actually really enjoyed most of my classes this semester, or at least I think I learned a lot. I wrapped up RA things -- moving my girls out, final events, staff closure and goodbyes -- and classwork. This semester sure has been crazy! In a good way, God has done much work on my prideful, stubborn heart, and given me a more gracious and loving understanding of the people around me. I honestly don't recognize the person I was this time last year, and it is really incredible to look back on how God has been working.

my final project for my girls
I wrote them short letters and put them in glass bottles filled with the sand Bethany passed down from the past E3W RA's. I love thinking of it as distributing "unity sand" among each of my residents. gosh i love those girls! 
taking down the decorations! Crazy how time flies.

Also, my older sister and best friend graduated! I am very proud of Kathryn, this has been a whirlwind 4 years, and she has worked so incredibly hard. She is going to be an amazing nurse.

the family nurses! :)

I figured out that Lord willing I will be able to graduate in 3 semesters instead of 4 more. I am praying and hoping that will work out, because that will definitely be helpful in saving some money. Also, if all goes according to plan, I will be doing my TESOL practicum in Macedonia next summer! One of my good friends, Melissa, is actually flying out today to do hers. She texted me this morning and said she was on her way to Switzerland. I am so excited for her, and to hear her stories. It is such a cool opportunity. Currently I am thinking grad school for Applied Linguistics. I get really excited at that prospect, but we will see. It is nice to have a tentative layout for the next couple years though :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

His Thoughts Toward Me

Before leaving school, my RD Noelle gave all of us on her staff a book called, "His Thoughts Toward Me," a topical devotional that takes passages of Scripture and writes their themes from the perspective of God talking to us. It's comparable to the current popular book, "Jesus Calling," which I also really enjoy.  

Since break began I have been taking some time to read different parts of this book, and God has been using it to challenge me and encompass many of the feelings I find myself at a loss to describe. This past semester has not been the easiest to say the least. I would not describe it as awful, but it has definitely had its challenges, from which I hope I am growing stronger. Not going to lie, I feel rather exhausted coming back, and I find there is much on my mind. I realized the other day that I have hardly written in my journal all semester. For me that is pretty sad. I process my thoughts by writing them down either just as thoughts or as prayers. The fact that I hardly have anything written down from this semester shows that I have not processed much. I have been wrestling with issues of stubbornness, reality, responsibility, desire, and discipline. It is amazing to me how nearly everything I talk to my girls about and counsel them in, I then find myself being attacked in similar ways and having to eat my own words. In perusing "His Thoughts Toward Me," I came upon an entry entitled, "When You Think You Have No Discipline," and I can't stop reading over it. I think it sums up how I feel coming off of this semester, and also provides encouragement and counsel. Here it is:

Romans 8:1 "Therefore there is now no condemnation -- no adjudging guilty of wrong -- for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit." 

When you feel complete in Me, you will no longer be afraid to be disciplined. You will no longer feel that discipline is condemnation, and a divine punishment. You will feel fulfilled. You have thoughts in your mind that are not of Me. You can recognize them by their hard, demanding and condemning tone. I did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. Will you allow Me to save you from your mistaken thoughts? You can be as disciplined as you want to be. When you walk after the flesh you are hard on yourself. You tell yourself you're not doing well enough, or being good enough. You do not take time to allow Me to be the fulfillment of all your needs. Do not give place to the devil, who is always trying to render you weak and helpless.  
You have the very same Spirit of God and Glory in you that lifted Me from the grip of death. You have My mind and you have My blessing. Deny yourself the luxury of defeat. Take up your cross and follow Me. Discipline does not mean suffering helplessly at My hand; it means to share My Glory. You will accomplish all that you need to accomplish when I am given the right to guide, help and strengthen you. I want to be the Lord of your life.

John 3:18, Romans 8:5, 1 Peter 5:8, Romans 8:11, Matthew 6:24, John 15:8

I have been making sure I sit down and journal some almost every day so far. I need to get back into that habit, I know it is healthy for me, as it is a main avenue for prayer as well. I am so thankful for this time away and at home to relax and not think about school. It is therapeutic for sure, and I am definitely learning a lot.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

splendid thing love

I love that my friends are in love! Anna showed me the wedding website for Levi and her this morning, and I got so excited I just want to post it somewhere. They're relationship has been one I admire, respect, and love...I am so happy they are getting married! Thank you God for this relationship that is so blessed and honoring to You, it's awesome to see people I love be in relationships that are glorifying to You and edifying to each other and those around them.

Check out the website! Beautiful pictures :)


Thursday, November 3, 2011


It has been a painfully long time since I have last blogged, or so it seems. Nope, it really just has been a long time. Let's just say this semester I have been learning quite a lot, and managing my time has not been my strongpoint...therefore blogging has not been toward the top of my to do list.

It is crazy to think of where I was last year... that just one floor below where I am an RA now, I was a freshmen resident experiencing the collegiate life for the first time as well. I did not even want to be an RA until after Christmas haha. These past few months are too much to catch up on now. My once vacant section of hallway is now full of beautiful, unique, and wonderful girls, each whom I love. It's been such a joy to get to know them and be a part of their lives. A few weeks ago I spent hours baking a bazillion pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for them. Haha, first thing like that I have done for them (no wonder, cause it takes so long!) I feel like I have 23 children. Yikes, that is a lot to bake for... :) But it was worth it, and I felt like I finally followed through and accomplished something that has been on my to do list for a while.

Kathryn will be coming back from Zambia in 19 days, and these past couple weeks in particular I have missed her so much. Perhaps it was a combination of stress and exhaustion, and that I have not had much time to be in touch. Friday of Fall break was such a God-send though...we got to Skype for 2 hours!! and the internet didn't cut out once, thank you Lord! It is crazy how much I miss that girl. Picking her up from the airport at Thanksgiving will be such a joyous occasion. When we talked she was just coming off of the hardest night shift in the hospital yet, and hearing her stories were heart-wrenching and sobering. Our 2 hours consisted of much catching up, laughing, and crying together. Her fresh perspective reminded me of how desensitized I have become to the excess in our American culture since being back from Africa myself. That is a frustrating realization, yet quite beneficial at the same time. I think this time hearing it emphasized the focus factor, and how not on track my mind is right now. I was once again reminded of "the North country," that title that my brother gave the passage in Hebrews about fixing your heart and mind on the Kingdom to come. What is my perspective? My decisions, thoughts, actions...what is their root motivation?

Tonight I read yet again another email of hers about an experience with a patient's death and her mourning family. Before heading up to my room, I took something to Emily's room. She talked with me about her struggle with deciding what to do for her cross cultural nursing experience. She mentioned the options and how she currently trying to figure out where God is leading. This caused me to reminisce a lot about how God led me to Kenya two years ago, and I came upstairs and pulled out my Kenya journal. Some things stood out in particular, and as usual I am struck with how incredibly faithful God has been and is...the pages of that diary are filled with the words of a girl being entirely dependent on the Lord for absolutely everything, her struggles, conflicts, discouragement, direction, and experiences in circumstances quite beyond her comfort zone. God's presence and provision is written all over that black leather book.

I was looking for some verses for Emily, yet came across ones that God used to speak to me as well right now.

"For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have" (2 Corinthians 8:12).
"Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him to serve you" (2 Corinthians 13:4).

After those verses I had written:
Submit myself to God's authority, resisting the devil and his schemes and footholds. Submit yourself to God and trust Him. Do not fall in the trap of trusting in self. The Lord is all-sufficient, to all.

I cannot quite put into words how perfect the timing of these verses are right now. My struggles lately have been in feeling insufficient, lacking, and weak, and also in seeing how Satan is working to gain footholds I had not previously been noticed.

A few pages later...
Isaiah 45. The Lord makes a beautiful promise to His chosen, His anointed.

  • "to open doors before them"
  • "to go before you to remove the obstacles of impossibility"
  • "to give you treasures of darkness and reveal to you the riches stored in secret places
...All so that you may know that HE is the Lord! "The God of Israel, who summons you by name." 

It's crazy that those verses that God highlighted for me then, happen to be the passage he showed me as our theme for this year. 

Thank you Lord, for these reminders tonight. Should I ever doubt God's perfect timing?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

let the training commence!

Crazy to be back here again. Wonderful to see friends again, and to continue building relationships with those I'll be working with this year. I've got myself a couple name plates too..I feel so official ;) We have a couple weeks of training and then my girls all get here. This time of preparation is definitely needed, and I am looking forward to seeing all that happens!

My mom left me this verse on a note:
Colossians 1:9-12
"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and as King God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and strength (patience) and joyfully giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of light."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

rainy night reminiscing

 It has officially set in that I am going back to school in two days. Yikes! This weekend my little nephews (the CUTEST kids in the entire world, I think) stayed at our house for their first time away from Mom and Dad overnight. It was a wonderful time, and every moment with them is a treasured memory, especially because we don't get a ton of time together. Jason and Sherry left to venture home on this rainy night, and I held the umbrella for them as they carried the little babies with their fuzzy blankets and stuffed animals out to the car. I must admit, I'm such a sap, and I teared up a bit watching their sleepy little faces fade away as the car lights diminished.

Yes, I've been feeling rather emotional lately... particularly because I've been finally realizing Kathryn will not be around this semester. And of course as a Kinkel girl (or maybe just a girl haha) I am over sentimentalizing and reminiscing about everything. I am super excited for Kathryn's Africa adventures, but I am definitely going to miss her. Being together this summer has been wonderful, and such a blessing from the Lord. Actually, our whole relationship is a gift from God.

us then.
She really is my best friend. I know this semester we will both be pushed in great ways, just in entirely different countries. It will be an adjustment to not be able to see her every day, or even every week...however I take comfort in knowing we have been apart longer before :) And more so in the fact that our loving, faithful, and powerful Savior has her in the palm of His hand. I can't wait to hear about their adventures together in Zambia...and to see how He unfolds the plans for my turn "at home".  Our family loves adventures, and we always try to take the chance to travel and experience new things when the opportunities arise, but with that always comes the prior-to-leaving emotions and I dare say, fears. Maybe this sounds ridiculous. Oh well, this is my blog. I'm just being honest.

Growing up with this lovely lady was quite a joy (even though I'm sure at that time I wouldn't use that word to describe it haha...and we aren't done growing up I think we'd both say ;)  Being this close now is by the grace of God -- a relationship I treasure dearly. There is not anyone who understands me quite as well as she does, and one of the few people I never get tired of being with. Oh well, that's all I have for tonight. Time to go get some stuff done :)

and now. 
"Don't be such a ninny. I could never love anyone more than I love my sisters." ~ Little Women

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Preparations for E3W unit decor are well underway! I have piles of random craft projects lying all around the house, and I still have to go through everything I brought back from school at the end of May term.

Yesterday Stephen, Kathryn, and I went out and found some maps at The Backpackers Shop, and this morning I tea stained them. Even more special, I found a rather large package of Kenyan black tea that I brought back a couple years ago from Kericho (Kenya's "tea country"). I figured it probably didn't taste that fresh anymore (even though the expiration date says December 2011), but it was perfect for staining. I'd say that's rather meaningful to me, or at least it makes it a little more special than the ordinary.