perder la vida

Learning to Live Missionally and Mindfully

My People. March 30, 2010

Filed under: creativity flowing,frustration,jesus,missional living,thinking — Katie @ 12:09 am

The past few weeks have been really hard on my emotions, body, social life, relationships, and all the other things that suffer when you’re stretched too thin. I waste what little truly free time I have because my brain is so fried that I can’t convince myself to be productive. But I also can’t convince myself to not be productive…. or at least I can’t convince myself that it’s okay to sit back and truly relax. The last day I had “free” where I could do whatever I wanted was the day I was sick several weeks ago… and I still did schoolwork and had to deal with the beginning of the end of my car. So, needless to say, I am in need of rest.

Today, I was about to break. Teaching and going to school plus having a life is all starting to get to me. But today some of my sweet students reminded me of my future as a teacher and of how the work I am doing now is all worth it. I try to bring a variety of books with me to 2nd grade for students to read when they have free time. Since testing is going on, the school day was a little more relaxed and there was plenty of time for free reading. My book selection today was a selection of poetry books. Two Langston Hughes books, a Caribbean poetry book, and a fun-read poetry book were the choices.

For about half an hour, I sat with five students… listening to them read beautiful poetry, question its “point,” and having them ask me to read poetry to them. It was the most beautiful moment of my entire time at Southview. I had no idea they’d be so interested in poetry… and interested in poetry that they didn’t necessarily understand. Hearing a struggling reader boldly read “Theme for English B” or the laughter of little boys when I explained the meaning behind “When Sue Wears Red” or the sweet song of a girl singing “Hey!”…. it just made my heart smile.

But the moment when I had to hold it together so I wouldn’t bust out in tears of thankfulness and adoration was when my little bitty ball of fire read “My People” with the passion and enthusiasm of a great orator. As she read, the uncomplicated words felt like a blanket around my worn-out soul… reminding me of the simplicity of the world and of the beauty of such magical moments.

“My People”

The night is beautiful,

So the faces of my people.

The stars are beautiful,

So the eyes of my people.

Beautiful, also, is the sun.

Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

– Langston Hughes


Dreamer November 10, 2009

Filed under: creativity flowing,jesus,ME,spirtual matters,thinking — Katie @ 2:03 pm

As many of you reading this already know, I have very imaginative and vivid dreams. As an infant, I suffered from “night terrors.” These are horrifying dreams that babies often suffer from that cause them to wake up “screaming bloody murder” (in my Mom’s terms). The first dream I remember having was actually a recurring one where my head would get held underwater in a fish tank and I would wake up gasping for air. In 2004/2005, I would dream about my dad dying and would wake up in tears. These dreams prompted me to get closer to my dad and reminded me how precious my time was with him and when he died in 2006, I realized the importance of those dreams. In high school, I dreamed my grandmother died and was so convinced that it actually happened when I woke up, that I immediately called her to see if she was still alive (she was okay!)!


But I have also had hysterically funny dreams…. like the time I was being chased by a giant cricket. I often have dreams that are completely absurd and I wake up laughing. Even though I don’t believe these dreams have any deeper meaning or significance in and of themselves, I really believe they are a gift from God… I mean, who wouldn’t want to wake up laughing!?


Some of you reading this may not believe that God is in control of our dream life. I, however, do. The Bible has several stories of prophetic dreams and their interpretations. Jesus’ birth itself is intertwined with messages delivered through dreams. As early as Genesis, we hear of Joseph interpreting a dream for Pharaoh. Daniel interpreted the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, and even Joseph (Mary’s husband) had dreams sent directly from the Lord.


Since I believe that the gift of prophecy is certainly alive and well in Christians today, I also believe that dreams are a type of language in which God chooses to speak to us. Some of us are open to this type of language, some are not. I know people who never remember their dreams and are convinced that they do not dream at all. There are several reasons for this, but I won’t get into that here. I just know that God designed me to receive and interpret dreams.


In Mark 4, Jesus tells the disciples that “The secret (“mystery” in some translations) of the kingdom of God has been given to you.” (v. 11) Later, he tells them, “For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” (v. 22-23) We all know that Jesus taught in parables and I believe that the Lord is still giving us parables today. Prophecy and dreams are a type of parable, a different type of language that God delivers to us. Most of us ask God for clear and concise information, but I don’t believe that’s always how God works. I mean…. the whole bible is a story that we all interpret to gain meaning and understanding and purpose for our lives. The prophetic is the same. They are stories, images, dreams, words, prompts… ways that the Lord speaks to us for us to interpret.


Now, I could go on and on about the interpretation part and how you have to be very careful when interpreting the prophetic. If I receive a dream that I believe is “spiritual” but cannot figure out an interpretation, I put it on the back-burner. I had a dream a few months ago that basically told me that a friend of mine had an evil spirit around him and that he was being used by the spirit to distract an entire church. That is a pretty serious accusation, so I was careful to seek interpretation. I still do not have that dream figured out, therefore I have put it on the back-burner and am still open to an interpretation should it come. But, for now, I do not believe that my friend has an evil spirit around him. Instead, I have just prayed for protection from such spirits and for the Lord to protect that church. Sometimes, dreams are used for a warning rather than for an update on current events. And, sometimes, you have to just give the spicy taco you ate at 11pm the credit for your crazy dreams.


If you are still reading this, props to you. Let me know that you made it this far. I feel like I am writing a book on prophetic dreams when I actually just sat down to write about some of the funny dreams I have been having lately. So, I’ll jump to the funny bits.
I have not been having a lot of prophetic dreams lately. In April, I started reading a book by James & Michal Ann Goll called Dream Language. It’s a great book and has helped me understand my dreams and why I receive them. It also prompted me to start a dream journal. I have been writing my dreams and their interpretations (or lack thereof) since then. I found myself up and writing dreams at one in the morning on occasion. Lately, though, I’ve been pretty dry. And sometimes I’ll have a dream and get so busy that I forget to write it down… and then I forget it.


But over the past few weeks, the hysterical dreams have come back in full force. The funny dreams started with a dream in which I was dating…… LUDACRIS. Seriously. We were an item and he was so, so sweet. All I can really remember from the dream was that he picked up some really heavy boxes for me and I would tell people that I loved him because he could “carry heavy stuff” for me. That’s the resounding phrase I kept hearing, “carry heavy stuff.” So… maybe I need some hot rapper in my life to carry all my heavy stuff… whatever that means.


Funny dream #2 came to me Saturday night. I watched a creeper movie called 28 Days Later where these zombie-like infected people try to attack the few remaining humans on earth. I even told the person I was with that I was going to dream about zombies that night. Sure enough, I did. I dreamed that I was being chased by zombies. I kept having close encounters, but managed to escape every time. At one point, someone actually rescued me from an attack. The next thing I knew, I was in a rickety boat with a handful of other people. The lake we were on was murky and steamy and the people told me we had to go underwater in order to be saved from the zombies. I was crying hysterically because I thought they meant that we had to drown ourselves. I refused to go into the water, so this guy with super dark hair (the details!!) pulled me into the water. Once I was under, the water was vividly clear and I could see everything. There was a whole city under that dingy lake! Plus, we could breathe under the water! It was a miracle. At the lake floor, there was a medical treatment facility and that’s where we went. I don’t know what happened there because the dream jumped forward. All of a sudden, the people from the boat (dark haired guy included) and I were riding on a cart in a busy airport. In my head, I kept thinking “To these people (who were passing by us), it’s just another day. They have no idea that we just encountered ZOMBIES.”


Dream #3 happened last night and has fewer details, but it was still funny. I was on The Office and we were showing all the employees the new Jim doll. Dwight was so angry. The Jim doll was made in the likeness of the Dwight doll, except with Jim’s features. We all knew it was making Dwight mad, so we kept going on and on about the new Jim doll. It was so weird.


So, there you have it. Congratulations if you made it to the end. You’re either a trooper…. or really, really bored.


The One I Let Get Away August 9, 2009

Filed under: frenz,frustration,thinking — Katie @ 6:06 am

I ran into my ex-boyfriend this weekend. We were together for nearly two years, cumulatively speaking. His name is Birmingham & Surrounding Areas, better known in this post as BSA.

After an abrupt separation last August, I have stayed far away from BSA in fear that I would, once again, fall madly in love and leave the most comfortable relationship I’ve ever had…. with Tuscaloosa. In recent months, I have gone back and forth in my head debating how much of me loves Tuscaloosa and wants to stay and how much of me longs for a place to call home that is slightly more adventurous and lively. So much of me dreams of a life downtown somewhere where my favorite places are just footsteps away. So much of me longs for something more exciting than Alabama football on Saturdays. So much of me longs to escape from the monotony of a small town. My biggest fear isn’t death or tragedy or heartache…. I have experienced all of those things and come out on top. My biggest fear is staying here and living in a garden home. Sad, right?

One thing I cannot deny, however, is that Tuscaloosa is my home. I know the back roads, I know the short cuts, I know the town backwards and forwards. My family is here as well as my most amazing friends. But huge parts of me are running dry here in Tuscaloosa. I find that my creativity is limited here, my taste buds have become less picky, and my definition of “fun” has since expanded to include organizing and reorganizing my pantry on a Friday night. Maybe I am not giving Tuscaloosa a chance, but I feel that it has had nearly 24 entire years to prove itself and continually falls short of my expectations. Yet, time and time again, I run home to Tuscaloosa. It is my safe place. It is my comfort zone. It is the comfortable boyfriend for whom I settle. Not because I am madly and passionately in love with him, but because I know him and he knows me. Tuscaloosa has been good to me… especially lately as it is the birthplace of my healing and growth. But, part of me knows I can never truly be happy here.

Birmingham (and comparable cities) are intoxicatingly alluring. The history, the culture, the variety… it is all so enticing. The conversations are more stimulating. The food tastes better. The people are more interesting and diverse. Maybe I step into some sort of imaginary world during my visits to such cities. This is why running into BSA is such a dangerous territory. If Tuscaloosa is my less-than-amazing boyfriend, then BSA is certainly The One I Let Get Away.

So, to The One I Let Get Away,

Should I choose to return to you one day… or to one of your other metropolitan counterparts, please do not refuse me. Please take me back in as if I never left. Please be as idealistic and dreamy as I remember you to be. Because, if you aren’t, I fear that I will end up with Tuscaloosa… in a garden home… organizing my pantry. And, really, who likes to organize their pantry?


The Girl Who Cannot Make Up Her Mind


SO EXCITED! May 2, 2009

Filed under: reviews,Shopping,thinking — Katie @ 12:56 pm

Since my project has taken a new turn, I’ve had trouble finding the information I’ve been seeking. I want to know where my clothes are made, what those companies represent and what they stand for, why they outsource, how the workers are treated and how they are paid…. you get the idea. Part of my trouble has just been a lack of knowledge about where to even begin to look for such information. One day, I considered just straight up calling the customer service department of my favorite labels! I am hoping that this summer will also allow more time for me to do some investigating and more writing about my journey. This project started as a way to save money but it is constantly making me a more conscientious shopper.

Now… why am I so excited? Well, two things. For one, I have not had a Relevant subscription in probably over a year because I have just been reading the website, which is free. About a month ago, the magazine offered a year’s subscription for $7.50 in celebration of Maya’s (most notably known as Cameron Strang’s wife) birthday. So, I was like… hey, $7.50 is not bad. Yesterday my long-awaited issue came in the mail…. with Kings of Leon on the cover.

As I flipped through, I saw an advertisement for a book called Where am I Wearing? by Kelsey Timmerman. Apparently, Kelsey and I are on the same mission…. except he has apparently worked a lot harder to get information! So, visit this site… buy the book… and look forward to my next post which includes my most recent purchases: $200 worth of clothes for just $7 from a University Presbyterian yard sale benefiting their food pantry.