An Open Letter to Humans: “Oh the Drama!”

“Can we all just get along?” Rodney King asked that question in 1991 and it embodies the sentiments of many people still today.

Actually, yes we can. The real question is “will we?”

Some people are under the impression that drama and gossip only ever occur in high school. This could not be farther from the truth. Graduation is more like an opportunity to act mature and all grown up.  You see, there is this myth out there that the day after you graduate high school, you wake up a sage old soul full of wisdom “beyond their years.”

Now, just to be clear, this open letter isn’t meant to be a passive message. In fact, passivity is something I’d like to address in this post. I never intend to use any of my blog posts as a form of vengeance. So. That being said, think what you will. Much drama that I’ve witnessed first hand or second-hand is worsened because of passivity. I think the best definition of passive in this case is this  2. not involving visible reaction or active participation. It’s often “subtly” or “indirectly” hinting that so-and-so (supposedly) said or did something.

1. Don’t be a passive. Especially on social media. Save yourself the heartache of blowing up something that’s already a problem. I believe venting can be healthy. However, it requires the right place, time, and if you’re not writing it down in a journal, as I often do, the right person. When I say the “right person” it’s usually someone who has gone through the same thing, but with different people. Otherwise you’re just throwing a gossip party–not something that’s typically healthy or constructive.

2. To keep it simple, if you hear something about someone, don’t be naive and believe everything you hear. Go to the person who is the subject of all the controversy. I’m no statistician, but I can almost guarantee that most of what you’ve heard is either completely a lie, or blown out of proportions.

3. Remember: you can’t take back what you say or don’t say for that matter. You could be a positive. Also remember that social media is a whole new level of bad. Social Media is  another post in itself.

4. It doesn’t matter if a rumor is true or not. It isn’t your business.

5. Another myth. Just because you aren’t the one talking, doesn’t mean you aren’t  partaking in the gossip.

6. On that note, it does matter that you find it in you to say “Hey, you know what guys? I don’t want to be a part of this conversation. There are better things to talk about.” The decision to be the person in your friend circle is hard. But it’s totally worth it.

7. Saying, “ugh. I’m so tired of drama” is  kind of claiming superiority over those who are dramatic. Ironically, you more often than not come off as dramatic as well.

As I like to say, “if it bothers you, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.” It’s much more effective than writing a Facebook status or Tweeting your feelings of frustrated.

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Embracing the Unexpected

Peace

Unexpected

*Surgery and a month-long recovery

* Cold turned-sinus infection

Expected

*Expectations

*Responsibilities

Promised

*Grace

*Second chances

Jesus Calling, November 4th

by Sarah Young

Walk peacefully with Me through this day. You are wondering how you will cope with all that is expected of you. You must traverse this day like any other: one step at a time. Instead of mentally rehearsing how you will do this or that, keep your mind on my presence and on taking the next step. The more demanding your day, the more help you can expect from Me. This is a training opportunity, since I designed you for dependence on your Shepherd-King. Challenging times wake you up and amplify your awareness of needing my help.

When you don’t know what to do, wait while I open the way before you. Trust that I know what I’m doing, and be ready to follow My lead. I will give strength to you, and I will bless you with peace.

Exodus 33:14; Deuteronomy 33:25; Hebrews 13:20-21; Psalm 29:11.

Embrace the unexpected journeys. Keep in mind the spectacular view from the mountaintop. Your journey is not the same as others. Cross out the words “always” “everybody” “perfect” and “failure” from your vocabulary lists. Remind yourself that if you continue to make attempts at living up to another’s expectation for what should be God’s plan for your life, you will never be happy. Worrying displays a lack of faith in God. He desires to do whatever it takes to  “wake you up.” You are only human. Nobody is perfect the first time around. Or the second time. And even the third time. Rejoice in new mercies each morning.

-Kayla-

These Things Are Good

I’ve broken my reputation. I drank tea. Not for the first time, but for the first time in a long while. This is a big deal. I love coffee and hot chocolate. Even better, caffeinated hot chocolate. Simple. Hot coco mix+sugar-free creamer= a dose of heaven in a mug. But lemme tell you,  there is nothing more disappointing than drinking a cup of Joe and then finding out it is decaf. That is not coffee. Tonight,  I decided to try something new. I drank decaf, Wild Sweet Orange Tazo tea. Let me tell you, it was delicious and invigorating. You know you your mom is an R.D when she says, “If you’re still tired and have stuff to do tonight, maybe you should take a short walk, drink some hot tea, and get comfy in your sweats.”  Even without the caffeine. It was still good. Now, I’m not saying tea is my new favorite thing, I’m saying that regular coffee isn’t going to do you any good late in the evening. I’m not quite ready to change Coffee Shop Talk to Tea Room Chit Chat. My friends, I think I have found my  healthy alternative. I’m declaring myself no longer coffee dependent.

While I’m on the subject of new things, in celebration of finishing our first Spanish 122 chapter test of the quarter, my friend and I celebrated-quite naturally with Mexican food. Here’s the deal, they didn’t have enchiladas or taco salad on the menu. These are my usual go-to Mexican dishes. Therefore, I was forced to try something new. Flour flautas. Yes they were amazing. My friends, if you ever find yourself driving up 196th towards Edmonds, I must exhort you to stop and  check out Taqueria La Raza. I’m talking homemade salsa and guacamole. I was also pleasantly surprised that my food wasn’t greasy. This ain’t your average Taco Bell.  It’s reasonably priced and college students get discounts on burritos and quesadillas.  You should be salivating right now. I’d recommend making a microwave quesadilla and helping yourself to some  Costco tortilla chips and salsa. I do it practically every night. Except for tonight. Because I broke my reputation and whetted my appetite with tea and my mother’s delicious pumpkin-spice-cake-butterscotch chip muffins.

I love fall. I love the vibrant colors of leaves changing. The falling of the leaves represent room for new beginnings. The smell of wood smoke in the air. I could have sworn I smelled Snickerdoodle cookies in the air when I went for a stroll to take a break from studying. It signals the beginning of a new quarter/semester, new classes, new friends, new foods, and a new exercise plan to keep from gaining the freshman fifteen. JUST KIDDING.

Have you tried anything new lately?

-Kayla-

P.S The recipe for the muffins consist of only three ingredients: 1) Canned pumpkin 2) Spice Cake Mix 3) Optional Butterscotch chips. Yes, something this good can be that simple.

A One Way Ticket.

Alex and I went on our first trip to Haiti together last summer in 2012. Deep down somehow I knew that first trip wouldn’t be her last. Your time, talent, and treasures will send give Alex and her multiple teams they need to make this world a better place, and what’s more, shine Jesus’s light in one of the world’s darkest places.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. by faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Hebrews 11: 8-10

From Home to Haiti

Dear family and friends,

A few years ago I was having a conversation with a friend when she asked me, “What kind of person do you want to be when you’re older?” and I surprised myself by answering with, “I just want to be someone in love with Jesus.” It’s a simple concept really, for me to be someone in love with the man who bled and died for me specifically, the man who in constantly seeking to spend time with me and loves me no matter how many times I fail Him. The tough part is trusting, trusting that He knows His plans for me and that I need not worry what tomorrow holds or where I will be in 10 years (or one to be completely honest here). We as a fallen people try so hard to hold on tightly to the control and direction of our lives…

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Me and Mom

Me and Mom I’ve been trying to think of the perfect gift for my mother. I am quite aware I missed the Mother’s Day boat. Every Mother’s day I wonder, how any gift could ever match up to  anything my mom has lovingly sacrificed for me? Well, that would be one hard gift to find.This is not to say you shouldn’t give your mom something for Mother’s Day. Rather, just remember that mothers are something to be celebrated every single day! They’re not babysitters who go home after their hours are completed–lucky you!

It is crazy to think that in just a few crazy weeks, I’ll be graduated from High School with 30 college credits. I’m convinced I couldn’t have made it through without my mother.  I bore the near impossible task of writing 100 words about both my parents in a tribute for graduation day. I could write a thousand about them both.  I know I’m going to bawl my eyes out. Waterproof mascara is still on my graduation day shopping list. 

My mom has been there for the roughly 1,600 days of school I’ve made it through thus far. And no not just to pick me up from the bus stop.  In fact, I rode on a school bus for the first time just this past weekend and it was nothing special. From day one, she has been my teacher. Kindergarten through twelfth grade, she’s been my favorite. Without  my mom, I wouldn’t be having an awesome graduation party. There are twenty-five days and counting until graduation. My graduation party is this weekend. I told my mom way back when that I had no idea what I wanted I just didn’t want it to be an expensive extravaganza. Based off of my vague suggestions she’s been planning menus, ordering floral arrangements, and making Costco runs. She says ‘Oh Kayla I hope it’s what you wanted and you’re not disappointed.’  She ordered my graduation announcements and has been collecting items and pictures for my ‘senior shrine’ to be displayed at the senior dessert and after the graduation ceremony. I swear the only thing I’ve done so far is stuff envelopes. She reminded me of every yearbook deadline, although she knew I received every reminder e-mail. She is quite aware I have been putting too many things on my ‘will do tomorrow’ list.

My mom has been at my side through every health crisis and surgery–well OK so it was just one surgery. I’ve had multiple MRI’s, EEG’s, CT scans, heart monitors, you name it I’ve had it etc. She packed my lunches for summer camp when I was on a 15 carbohydrates a day diet in hopes that it would hamper my absence epilepsy episodes. She has also been there for every celebration and birthday party. She attended  every choir performance and every piano recital. She’s gone with me to pick out every spring formal dress. She attended nearly every t-ball, basketball, softball, and soccer game. She washes my sheets and cleans my room before I arrive home from every camp and mission’s trips–trust me, it’s the best thing ever. She even made my first Barbie cake.

My mom has been my listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.  She’s the greatest girlfriend ever. I can borrow her clothes, share secrets and only with her can I laugh until I cry while watching Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock in the Proposal.

She’s proofread nearly every report, essay, and analysis I’ve ever written, starting with my first book reports and simple five paragraph Academic essays. To this day, nearly every paper I write, she still reads— consequently, every single essay she hasn’t proofread has had the most grammatical errors.  She let me stay up until midnight reading chapter books, but thankfully, she also made sure  I survived every math lesson. She explained every problem  in every way she knew how. She tells me all the time, “your best is different from everyone else’s best. If your best is a C then so be it.” Believe me, it’s not always what I want to hear, but it’s always exactly what I need to hear.

Somebody told me the other day that I am very patient and tolerant, and that it must be because I have six brothers and one sister. I first took it as a compliment, and then I thought “Who am I kidding?! Clearly, this guy has never met my mom before!”

There’s a joke in our house, especially between me and mom, that ‘nothing is ever lost until your mom can’t find it.’ If I complained about my brain being elsewhere, I’m pretty sure she could redirect my focus.

 

Proverbs 31 Woman

 My mom is a Proverbs 31 woman. She spends her rare moments of solitude reading the Bible. She has her priorities straight. She has hair that would make Marilyn Monroe jealous and can rock red lipstick more than any other forty-two year-old woman I know. I sure hope I inherited those great genes!

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; 

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Honor her for all that her hands have done,

and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Proverbs 30: 30-31

Me and Mom
Me and Mom

Mothers, we take advantage of them all the time. They do our laundry, cook our meals, remind us to scrub behind our ears, and pick-up our rooms. Even more importantly, they hold our hand as we crawl, walk, and run this crazy race called life. Whoever the mother is in your life, don’t forget to tell them how much they mean to you.

I love you mom!

Since I’ve Been Gone

First off, to all my followers and viewers, I’m terribly sorry I’ve been so inconsistent in posting. I knew right off the bat consistency would be a struggle for me. Don’t get me wrong though, I have nearly 30 postings in the work! My creativity has not dulled.  I’m awakening from the lethargy and sickness that Spring Break wrought-at least that is my hope. My new quarterly school schedule has me up at sunset twice a week for English 102.  As for all of my other time, I am somewhat flexible. In other words, it has me easily procrastinating on every other area of my life. As of right now, there are 46 days, 21 hours, and 12 minutes until graduation. Yes I have been counting since pretty much the beginning of the second semester.  Some say “don’t do that.” Well, I finally know what I THINK I want to do so I’m ready to be done. I have yet to meet someone who says they want to go back and do High School all over again. It’s been fun, but frankly, I’m quite done.

Senior year has consisted of a lot of firsts. My life up to the point has consisted of many changes. Mostly good. I’ve turned eighteen, my brother turned has started driving, while another brother lost his first tooth. I’ve relapsed once again into my yearbook duties after a nice long break. I had my first last Spring Formal at the lovely Canal in Seattle, partnered with a very awkward first last senior recognition. And no, I was not the cause of this awkwardness. Cap and Gown pictures have been taken and everything is official. Senior sneak is coming up.  I obtained my first official non-driver’s license ID-you may be wondering, what good is such a thing? Unfortunately, it is useful in many instances and more convenient than carrying around a passport everywhere. Some major decisions are up in the air which at times has been quite taxing. And as my friends like to say I am “sleep exhausted.” Keep persisting friends! I’ve made it this far and intend to see through to the  end. Until then, Keep Calm and Graduate! (;

Keep Calm 1

Kayla

The Feeling of Impending Doom

Charlie BrownHmmm have I ever experienced the feeling of impending doom? Yes, yes Linus indeed I have. I would certainly say that during the two – three weeks leading  up to finals contain a certain feeling of impending doom. No matter how well or how awful I’ve done in a class there is still that lingering fear  that makes me question whether your current grades in the class are high enough to leave you room if you are not in fact entirely successful. In other words, I have not neglected this blog for no reason at all. In fact everyday it has been in the back of my mind and it has been tricky to prioritize.

I have found that the keys to surviving finals is  to 1) stop studying when you have reached the point where you are no longer studying, but just staring at a page. It’s OK really. I promise.2) Make yourself some coffee, tea, or other beverage of your choice and then 3) turn on your favorite Pandora station and/or 4) watch one, two, or three episodes of Psych. (However many it takes.) Laughter is the best medication. “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down” Mary Poppins rightfully tells us.

Anyhow, stay tuned because “Living>Surviving” will be returning next week on Friday, March 16!  Josh Taylor from Blimey Cow will be sharing with us who inspires him and why he thinks you should choose to live and not just survive!

P.S Please do survive finals. If I can you certainly will!

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