Monday, February 27, 2012

stories

today, i saw a hero of mine cry

she cried not for her self,
for her own pain or loss,
but for the pain of the oppressed,
those who deserve respect, but instead received
injustice.

listen to their stories

Monday, February 20, 2012

screaming at starbucks

yesterday, i came back from a really wonderful and relaxing retreat set up for the residence life family. we got so much rest and were challenged by Derick Fleck from the Stirring to change the way we lived from "doing things because that's what we do" to "doing things because of who we are." the premise was that once we began to live out of who God says we are, then we shouldn't be getting burnt out and exhausted.

when we returned i was hoping that the weekend would continue to remain relaxing and quiet. which it was...until Camille and i decided to go to starbucks. the Cypress starbucks was too cold so we went to the one on market. as we pulled into the parking lot and took the last open spot, we knew it was packed inside. when we walked in, only two seats were free at the far end of a long communal table. Camille had forgotten something out in the car and while she was getting it, a creepy man dressed in all black leather with dark sunglasses and a scruffy beard came up to me and tried to sit in the chair i was saving for Camille. i stared at him for a while and tried to speak words, but nothing came out of my mouth. finally right as he was about to sit i spit out "someone's sitting there!"  he straightened up, looked sharply at my face and murmured "oh really? we'll they must be invisible" before he sauntered away.

we finally settled in to doing our work and tuning out the conversations around us when a woman walked in with four young children all under the age of 10. she approached the counter and her children suddenly erupted in whining and begging tears streaming down their faces. the woman simply shooshed them as they grew louder and louder until their whining became screaming and their begging became demanding. conversations ceased and people began to stare and laugh and whisper. i'm not going to lie, i was quite annoyed with the woman for not quieting her children, but after a while i began to feel bad for her. she probably just thought she'd get to stop by for a quick cup of coffee while she was out with her kids not expecting her little ones to freak out! i'm sure she was embarrassed as people began to get up and leave. they were only here for fewer than 10 minutes, but their yelling caused a distinct pounding in my head. once they finally left, Camille and i looked around the coffee shop...half the people were gone leaving us with a quieter working space. i guess there are some benefits of screaming children.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

name change

sometimes we are given things that we just aren't sure what to do with. you know, things that seem old and ugly or odd. take working with burlap for example. it's a tough fabric to tackle (if it can even be called a fabric). i mean, come on, it sheds like a mangy dog, and unless you know a few tricks, it seems impossible to cut in a straight line. then there is lace. sometimes, it can be really beautiful and elegant, but it is often hard to figure out what to do with it or where to put it...it seems too fancy for casual use, but too old fashion for the "fancy" of our day. sometimes the lace is down right ancient, all yellowy and stiff, but it's what you've been given to work with. so what do you do? do you leave it as it is? do you complain and wish for it to change? or perhaps you take what has come to you and you tweak it and change it until the beauty of it all explodes from its tiny little fibers and makes something new

this is my life

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

my recent affinity for the library

the past couple weeks have been so busy that i've simply been dealing with assignments as they are due. unfortunately this has meant that i am stuck in the library every day this week working on a five page APA style paper for my multicultural psychology class that is due this thursday. so far the library seems to be the only place where i can truly focus.

keeping motivated with mortimer at the library
today i thought i could study in my room, but that would require cleaning up my clothing...i could sit in my lobby, but i would just want to talk to everyone...i could go to Starbucks, but recently their door hasn't been shutting all the way making it a bit chilly in there...so naturally i end up in the library again with my little buddy mortimer and some goodies my mother sent me for valentine's day. all is well when you have a gnome and some cookie dough right?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

restlessness

don't want to do anything;
having the energy to do everything.

too warm;
too cold.

so much to do;
on pinterest.

too tired to move;
can't stop wiggling.

trying to read;
thinking about crafting.

highlighting my study guide
turned into coloring a picture.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

i hate me...

i woke up early again this sunday to head to my church to hang out with the kids. we had a full group meeting before the kids started getting there so i had longer to wake up. once the children started getting there, i was wide awake and full of energy. i started playing with the kids and coloring and chatting with them.

after a while, a little girl showed up to the class and started coloring. there was nothing extremely different  about her to make her stand out or anything until i looked at her paper on which she had written "i hate me" all over it. my heart sank in my chest. my second reaction (after sadness) was ask the teacher Kim if this little girl was prone to seeking attention. as soon as the question came out of my mouth i was angry with myself for asking. why should it matter whether or not she sought attention a lot? too many children go day in and day out with hardly anyone paying attention to them or praising them for their achievements and victories; some of those children seek attention from others in healthy ways, others in unhealthy ways, and still others don't seek attention at all. does that mean that any of them are any less deserving of my attention? of course not! she might not know any other way to get people to notice her. a cry for attention is still a cry! so instead of reprimanding her or drawing attention to the things she wrote, i sat down next to her and asked her questions about her family, school, and her hobbies. during our conversations she decided that we would be "buddies." it seems like i'm starting to make a few of those. i just hope that in the hour and a half that she was with us at the stirring, she experienced God's love.

Friday, February 3, 2012

another bridge encounter

my painting
after my last class today, i meandered back to my room and didn't know what to do with myself. you know you've spent too much time on pinterest and facebook when there is nothing new, so i put my watercolors, painting journal, and water can in my backpack and headed to the sundial bridge.

when i got there, a woman in her late forties was sitting at my favorite table, and my favorite bench was in the way of her view of the bridge. i asked her if it would be a problem if i sat there, to which she replied that she didn't mind. after sketching the bridge for maybe ten minutes, i heard a voice from behind me ask, "are you drawing too?" when i told her that i was we showed each other our art work. as we talked, i got to share with her about my passion for foster care and the experiences that led me to where i am now. she was encouraged by my authenticity and faith, and began to tell me some of her story too, about her children and the divorce she was in the middle of. before she left, i shared with her that God is moving in this city and that i would be praying for her and her family.

i returned to my painting, feeling blessed by the interaction. shortly thereafter, a younger woman asked me to take a picture of her so she could send it to her family. she had just moved here from florida. although, we didn't talk that much, it was neat to get to welcome her to the city i've grown to love and call my own.

i went back to my work and thanked God for the encounters at the bridge that He continues to orchestrate, allowing me to show and be shown His love.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

you've memorized me

i've always struggled with the thought that no one knows my full story, and no one ever will. my heart is too complex, my past too faded, and my dreams to abstract for anyone to fully understand. i know that this is true for everyone - no one has one person who knows everything about them (no matter what they say about their best friend or significant other) - but the part i struggled with the most was that, in my mind anyway, most everyone else had parents at least who have been there for their whole lives and seen them grow up. i am cognitively aware that this is not really true; though emotionally, i haven't quite caught up to that realization yet.

today i was reminded that i do have someone who knows me through and through. God has known me since before i was born; he understands my past and how it affects my passions for the future; he's seen me grow up and know those darkest parts of my life that no one else will ever fully understand; he also knows those little places in my heart of hearts that are so full of love and life despite what i've been through that others look at and cannot explain. he knows me. he's memorized me. he knows every detail of my life and he doesn't miss a thing! he rejoices in my daily victories that go unnoticed by others and wipes away the tears of my soul that only he sees while others see laughter. my God is so good. 

you know me - bethel loft sessions - steffany frizell