Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Calling

I am Kendra.
I am not Kathy.
I am not Katharine.
I am not Abbey, Bethany, Heidi, Bess Anne, or Kari.
I am Kendra.

God has a call on my life. He has a plan to which He is calling me. That plan is not the plan that He has for Katharine's life. The plan He has for me is not the same plan He has for Kari. He is not calling me to follow Abbey's calling or Bethany's calling or Bess Anne's calling. He is calling me to follow the path He has put me on, the path I walk with Him.

Recently, as I have talked with different friends, I have felt a tug on my heart. They talk about what God has called them to and the desires they have. It all seems so amazing and exciting. I think "I could do that", "maybe God wants me to do that too". It feels easier to follow someone else's calling. They hear, they obey, and I follow in their steps.

But every time my heart feels this tug, my spirit reminds me that I am Kendra. God has a plan specifically for me. It would be easier to follow someone else as they follow God, but God wants a relationship with me. So He calls me to something different, something that He has made me specifically for.

What's frustrating is that I don't fully know what He has called me to. I know bits and pieces, but I don't yet know how they fit together.

I am called to . . .
. . . intercession . . .
. . . compassion . . .
. . . tenderness . . .
. . . abundant life . . .
. . . missions . . .
. . . my generation . . .
. . . America . . .
. . . adoption . . .
. . . mothering . . .
. . . healing . . .
. . . love . . .
. . . lead . . . . and so much more that I do not yet know.

So much and yet it still feels so little. So disjointed. I know with time it will come together and in looking back I will be able to see how. But the planner in me wants to know now. Yet when I am quiet and still, He draws near and gradually reveals the next step, but only the next step. He asks for my trust and my obedience; so gently . . . how can I refuse such a gentleness?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Update on Disgruntled

Since I wrote that really frustrated blog about registering for classes, I guess I should let you all know how it turned out. I put myself on the waiting list for the classes I wanted. And I got in and so did my friend.

So Thank You, Jesus, for that!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The New Me!

Oh, I almost forgot.

For those who do not see me on a regular basis . . .

I need to let you know that I finally did away with my long, luxurious, beautiful, gorgeous . . . long, annoying, straggly, uneven hair.

Well 14 inches of it anyhow! It went to a good cause, so it's not a total loss :)

And I am now enjoying experimenting with my short hair.

Frustrated . Disgruntled . . . Obedience

I am so frustrated right now. I should be going to bed, but I just can't. I could almost cry; I'm that upset.
It's kinda silly and maybe I'll see that come this May when nursing school is finally over. But for now I feel like I've been unfairly treated though that feels like an understatement.
I had to registered for spring semester classes this evening at 6:00. I do it online and I've never had problems before. The server's been a little slow, but I was always able to register and get what I want. Not tonight, however. I got on at six and began registering for my friend since she couldn't do it. I was half-way done when I got knocked off. And nothing was saved. So I began using both computers, one to register my friend, one to register me. I got knocked off again and again. By now I've been at this for 20 minutes because it takes minutes for each page to load and I have good high-speed internet. I finally gave up at 6:30 having still not registered either myself or my friend for any of the classes we needed. If I didn't have to pick my sister up from a friend's house and head down to church, I think I would have cried.
I did get registered then. A friend did it for me, but I'm going to have to drive an extra half hour and do evenings for a third the semester.
And it's just not fair! It's the school's fault. They should have had a bigger server. They should have known. I'm going to call and talk with the registrar tomorrow; speak my complaint. I don't think it will help me at all, but maybe at least they will change something.
I know I am making this bigger than it is. But I'm disgruntled and feel I have a right to be.

With that I shall leave all this down here on "paper" and head to bed. I'll let it go (I say that out of obedience, because I'd really rather let this fester for a few more hours inside me, but I know it's not the Godly thing to do. I hear you, Daddy, I hear you and I change my attitude)


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Respect where Respect is Due

My conscience has been bugging me recently about a few things, but one thing in particular.

Respect. Respect is due where Respect is due. As a Christian, I think I owe respect to certain people whether or not I feel like they've earned it.

I have a class instructors for nursing who is also my clinical instructor that I am having a real hard to giving her the respect she is due as my instructor. See the thing is that she hasn't been an actual floor nurse anywhere for more than five years and that was twenty years ago. She kinda knows what she needs to know, but can't always answer our questions. And she beats around the bush and repeats herself like nothing else. I just want to be like "Yeah, I get it. Let's move on now." Of course I don't say anything. Well not to her anyway.

She taught in class for the first time this semester and I've already been with her for three weeks in clinical so I knew what was coming and "warned" my friend, Deb. Then throughout the lecture we were making comments to each other like "Okay, you said that already" "We get it already!" Just little stuff like that.

But my conscience is bothering me pretty bad for it. She is owed my respect because she is my teacher. She may not have experience; she may not know everything I think she should; she may not be the best instructor; she may not be interesting in lecture; but as my teacher, I owe her a certain level of respect. And I admit, I haven't been giving that to her. That's wrong, despite what I think or feel.

Such comments and lack of respect are degrading to her as a teacher. Other students may do it and I know they will, but that doesn't make it right. I know I need to change my attitude, but honestly I don't want to. She has not earned my respect so why should I give it?! My conscience, though, is proof that I should give it. And I have a feeling that I may have already let this go so far that I will owe her an actually apology at some point.

I do want to be a Christian and follow Jesus. I just didn't realize how hard and seemingly "picky" he is about behavior and attitudes. But it is out of love that he speaks and asks such things: love for me and love for my instructor. And I have the responsibility as a Christian to responsibly be obedient to his voice. I hear you loud and clear, Jesus.

"I changed my attitude, Daddy!"

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Week of Thoughts

I guess it's time I write again. I've waiting, thinking that I will write once I get everything sorted out in my head (I've had a lot of thoughts running around in there recently). But it may be a while to all those thoughts are fully sorted out, so I will write as best I can of what I have been thinking about.

It all started with my aunt's death. Well, really things started before then, but her death has had me thinking more.

For a few years I have prayed a pray that I still don't really understand all the implications of. I have prayed this: Daddy, I want to know your heart. I want to feel what you feel, see what you see, love like you love. I want to feel the deepest sorrows of your heart and the greatest joys. I want to help carry some of the pain in your heart.

I know, I know. The things that God feels are way beyond what I can comprehend. But I feel that is sorta like a little child saying "Daddy, let me help you carry that." The child grabs ahold of the heavy load and ends up just adding more weight, but it makes the daddy smile. I hope that with my crazy prayer, with this desire of my heart, if nothing else, that it brings a smile to God's heart.

I started praying this years ago. A crazy prayer that if I knew the full implications of what I am asking, I would probably stop praying it, yet I don't know and I keep praying. I prayed this prayer when my heart was so walled, it had forgotten how to feel. It's almost ironic. But God has sinced broken through those walls. I've begun to feel again. And with that slowly is coming the answer to my prayer. I am beginning to feel what God feels, in however small a degree.

I think I first began to notice this spring and summer. Thinking about my aunt or some social justice issue, cancer or death, family arguments or pain. I begin to feel a sense of sorrow and the only way I can describe it with the phrase "It's not right!" And I hear God say "This isn't how I meant it to be, this wasn't my plan." And it just burns into my heart.

My aunt wasn't supposed to die. It wasn't her time to go. This wasn't God's plan.

He created this world, he created us for joy and life and love, not for pain and sorrow and suffering. This wasn't part of his plan. Sin wasn't part of his plan and it hurts his heart to see his creation being so destroyed by sin. He knows how it will end; he knows he wins, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't feel our pain and suffer with us. But what can he do about it. He has already won and determined the end. Yet what can he do to change our present condition. I feel like at times his hands are tied. He created us with free wills (and he is a gentleman who will not over ride our free wills), we sold out to Satan, Satan now controls the world. Unless . . . unless we are willing to battle with him and take it back.

So the question I've been asking myself is this: "Can God do anything without us praying?"

Like I just said, my aunt wasn't supposed to die yet. God had been speaking to me about going and praying for her. I didn't quite realize it was him. Until someone for the third time spoke prophetically of my hands being healing hands. Then I realized, but my opportunity soon slipped away. I know I'm not condemned; I don't feel condemned. I don't feel that her death is my fault. I think maybe it could have been different if I laid hands on her, but maybe not. I was praying from a distance for months. But I think God gave this experience as a lesson.

Even a book I've been reading recently has talked some about these things. Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets talks about maybe doors are closed because we don't pray, maybe we are poor because we don't pray and don't tithe, maybe we are sick because we don't pray. There are spiritual forces of evil in this world; though we don't want to focus on that and lose sight of God, we do need to be aware of that fact.

Our prayers do make a difference. Our prayers are not for convincing God to do something he already wants to do. (God wants to heal us!) Our prayers are to free God to do what he already wants to do, but can't unless we ask.

I am not suggesting that God is not all powerful. He is. Only he created us with free wills and will not over step that. He binds himself to honor the way he has created us, with the choice to love him.

So . . . how should I wind this long-winded post up? I think I'm beginning to feel what God feels to a very small degree and in realizing that, I'm realizing that he longs for our prayers to free him to do what he most wants to do in our lives and in the lives of those we come in contact with. We are his hands and feet because he chooses to work through us.

And on that note, I want to quickly recount a little story from today. I was at the hospital for nursing clinical and was saying goodbye to my patient for the day. I had spent yesterday with her and she is just the sweetest, most pleasant elderly lady. Before I left I asked if I she would mind if I pray with her. She said no (she wouldn't mind). So I took her hand, knelt, and asked God to bless her, strengthen her, heal her, and get her home quickly (home here, not in heaven). After I was done, she didn't let go of my hand for a good 30 seconds. She smiled and said thank you, told me I was a good girl and would make a good nurse. I said goodbye and had to blink my eyes to keep from crying as I walked out of the room. And I wondered: "Why don't I do this more often?"

I love you, Daddy. You always amaze me when I take the time to look, hear, see, and feel where you are.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

What I see in Jesus . . .

Love so strong it breaks the heart
Humility despite highest rank
Jealousy without sin

Joy that frees laughter

Peace despite the storm

Righteousness with total passion

Purity so bright it blinds

Patience that lasts forever

Kindness overflowing to all

Goodness everlasting

Justice with no partiality

Faithfulness to all generations

Gentleness beyond reason

Self-control to the point of pain

Compassion towards all creation

Grace in judgments

Mercy that costs everything

And above all . . .

And greatest of all . . .



"Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams." 1Samuel 15:21 & 22


Obedience has been the lesson of the summer. And I am still learning it. Actually, I think this a lesson that God has been trying to teach me for over a year now and this summer it has become the main lesson. It started with the word He gave about my Dad. He told me that I need to restore my relationship with Dad. That I can't wait around and blame Dad for the lack of relationship we have, when some of the responsibility lies on me. I did not want to approach my Dad and have a deep conversation because it would require vulnerability. With the encouragement of friends and their prayers, I did. And I don't regret it.

Then next one had to do with my friend, Deb, from nursing school. She's getting married in December to a guy from the Marines. She asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. I'm honored. Yet I have concerns and I fear for her as I see her walk down a path that is dangerous and could be fraught with pain. I knew I had to talk to her about my concerns or else not be in the wedding. I could not support her without speaking my concerns. I did. This was easier than talking with Dad. And though I didn't change her mind, in speaking mine, I was being a true friend.

There are more things He is asking me now to do. Last year's question was "Will you trust My heart?" Now this year's question has been and is "Will you obey Me?" Just simply that; no excuses will do when He quietly, passionately speaks into my heart, saying "Will you obey Me? Because you love me; because I love you; because I want to use you; because you are My daughter. I squirm, I try to reason away the voice, the question. But that's just denying Him and refusing to grow.

How many times have I asked Him to use me, and then when He asks me to do something, my stomach knots up and I become so afraid. And I don't obey. I lost an opportunity for a friendship that way. But God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind.

Just recently I had the gift of healing hands prayed over me, prophecied over me for the third time. It is something I want to step into, but I am terrified to do so. This is the most recent thing God has asked of me. My aunt is from all appearances dying of lung cancer. The doctors have not actually said that, but it has been six months from her diagnosis of 4th stage cancer. She is too weak to walk up the steps, she keeps her voice quiet because of the work it takes to talk, she is in pain. A few times the thought has crossed me mind to go and lay hands on her and pray. It was a thought until healing hands was prayed over me again and until a recent drive to work. I was thinking about her and a cry began welling up inside me, from deep down. She has five young grandsons and another grandchild now on the way. It is not right! The thief is stealing her life before her time. He is stealing her life! It was this cry of "Oh, God, may it not be so! I won't let him steal her life!" She should have twenty or thirty more years.

It is no longer a thought that I should go pray for her. It is a command from God to go and pray for her. I am scared. What if He doesn't heal her? I don't really know her very well. How will she take it? I've never done this before. How do you pray for healing and really believe it? But God said go. So it's not a matter of what He does or does not do, but a matter of my obedience.

He is asking "Will you obey Me?" And in asking that question, the unspoken question behind it is, "Will you love Me and let Me love you?"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Called to be Safe?

After working a crazy long week, you would think that I would be too tired to think during the 11:30 PM drive home on the last day. But apparently not as my mind was busy thinking about an innocent comment Angie made on Thursday. She mentioned that as a woman, her husband and father have suggested that she shouldn't pick up hitch-hikers. Very safe, wise advice that I completely agree with. Yet something began working in my spirit. If I were to move into the city in two years or so, I know that there would be certain sections that I would avoid, that Dad would strongely advise I avoid. Nothing wrong with that. Some sections of the city are not safe. But why aren't they safe? Drugs, alcohol, violence . . .
So as a Christian girl, I don't pick up hitch-hikers because it's not safe. I won't move into a South Prince Street neighborhood because it's not safe. And as Angie told the story: she didn't pick up a hitch-hiker on her way to church, but the 18-wheeler behind her did. She then drove past church so that the hitch-hiker wouldn't get a bad impression of Christians. This is a dangerous world we live in. And as a girl, I don't always feel safe. Half of the times that I do feel safe, it's probably from naivety.
This is a dangerous world. But is it any more dangerous than say a hundred years ago, or two thousand years ago? I don't think so. God did not call us to reach out to people when it's "safe". To live where it is "safe". To do things as long as they are "safe". Why are certain areas of the city not safe? Broadly, because Jesus is not there, or not there in a large way. Such places are not going to be safe, until Christians step outside of the "safe" areas and spread Jesus around. How can they be safe if Jesus is not there? How can Jesus be there if they do not know? How can they know unless someone tells them? And how can a Christian tell them, unless he is with them?
Along the same lines, I got to thinking about the missions trips I've taken. Every time, as white American girls, we have been cautioned to not go anywhere without a guy. I understand the reason for this, don't get me wrong. And I feel so much safer when I'm with a guy I know in those countries. But . . .
I think of Amy Carmichael, a white British girl going to India alone. In her day that would be at least the equivalent of me going to India alone. I'm sure she did not often have a British man with her when she went to market or into the Hindu temples. Or Gladys Aylward in China. Another white British girl. She even walked into a jail of raving, murdering men with machetes at the request of the warden. Talk about safe!
Now I won't be picking up hitch-hikers anytime soon. And I probably will never moved to South Prince Street. But we are called to live in the world, a dangerous world it may be. People have died and been killed living in this dangerous world. But we are called to live where others won't live, to love those others won't love, to go where others won't go, to say what others won't say.
We are told to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. Maybe we need to learn some God-wisdom and get a little dangerous. Maybe I need to learn some God-wisdom and get a little dangerous.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Just a Quickie

I'll keep this quick. I've just worked a 12-hour shift at the hospital after only getting 5 hours of sleep last night. But that was because I spent a wonderful afternoon and evening with my DTS friend Brae. We had some good conversations so it was all worth it. But right about now, my body is screaming for my bed. Someday soon, when my brain cells are not fried from work or school, I will write you all a real post of my thoughts.
For now, good night.