Yellow Bird

Month: May, 2013

Thank you, Charlotte.

In the words of my four year old friend, Charlotte, “I’ve put my shoes on a lot of times so I know how to do it really well now. It’s hard, but don’t give up.” She gave me all the advice I need for my new job, I’m ready to go. I did indeed make a sale today, but I did not have as many appointments as I wanted to. Either way, even though my presentation was very rough and I stumbled over all of my words, it was a good experience to learn from. I think I will be able to pay for my trip to Uganda if I improve and keep at it for the next month and a half.
Now that initial training is over, I can focus on other things such as reading and training for the triathlon, which is a nice thought.

I have been trying to balance how to work hard while still relying on God for my well-being. He sustains me while I am working hard, I know that is true, but I also want to stop becoming anxious over things that are out of my control, and I have a nasty habit of doing that. I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I don’t take enough time to be still and let my mind calm down and unwind and work through the frustrations and confusions of each day, so I often become stressed without knowing the actual reason until I lay down at night to sleep and my mind won’t stop racing.
Just a random string of thought for the day. Exhaustion is taking over.

Sales Rep?

I began training as a Rookie Sales Representative at Vector, a company that sells Cutco cutlery. I’ve never seen someone so passionate about knives before my branch manager walked us through six and a half hours of information about how to sell them. It really is an impressive product. The knives are like none other in the world, literally, and they are definitely the most valuable, yet not most expensive, you can buy in the United States. The method we use to sell is not that of a telemarketer or door to door salesman, either. We only meet with people who have been recommended to us by people we trust and schedule an appointment in advance. The reason Cutco is able to price products not so expensive is because we use this method of direct selling, so there are no middle men to be paid.
This may not sound exciting to many, and I wasn’t thrilled going into the interview, either, but I believe this job will teach me so much about myself and about how to truly work hard. I will also have the opportunity to meet bundles of different people each week.

Here is a good article about the company from the Wall Street Journal from 2008:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121789140861111649.html

 I suppose this is not going to be my most interesting post on here, but it’s all that is on my mind at the moment.

ReadingCoffeeFlowersFruit

I’ve loved to read for years, but this past school year, I lost some of that passion because I never felt I had adequate time to devote to reading for pleasure. For some reason, I have associated a certain amount of guilt with reading anything not school-related, during the academic year, and this uncomfortable feeling often carries over to vacation time. Now my summer is wide open (mostly) and I have been devouring pages and pages of books I have been meaning to read for years. I have decided that reading is not a waste in the least bit and I should devote time to it. So I made a giant stack of books on my desk and shelves and have a list that I will go to the library to find soon. Self-education seems so much more appealing than sitting in a classroom.

On another tangent, my very favorite local coffee shop, my second home, Jittery Joe’s, has agreed to let me sell my poetry at the counter. Terrifyingly thrilling. The money will go to my trip to Uganda as well as Mission Year. Hopefully this fundraiser will be successful, but more than that, it’s neat that I will have an opportunity to share myself with people in the form of art that has the potential to connect all kinds of people.

Speaking of connections, this morning my best friend of six years, Laura, called me at an ungodly hour to tell me that she was coming to my house with some Jittery Joe’s coffee and we were going to get flowers and put them on people’s cars in the parking lot at Wal Mart and Cracker Barrel. Our hope is to brighten at least one person’s day and let them know there are people who care about other people. Although I was rejected directly by a Cracker Barrel waitress, I believe someone will appreciate it. I know I would. We then decided to bring my sister, Elizabeth, a gluten/wheat/soy/dairy-free treat at Athens Regional where she works as an RN because she wakes up early the majority of her days to care for sick, often unhappy, people. We brought fruit and muffins (for her coworkers) and she seemed to be very pleasantly surprised. None of these things will necessarily change a person’s life, but it is a beginning to the attitude I desire to have of going out of my way to enrich another person’s life, even if it seems insignificant.

Chicago

All things go.

Berry is behind me, for now at least.

Berry is behind me, for now at least. My next phase of life is slightly unclear. I know I will be serving with mission year (missionyear.org) beginning in September. It was a strange, difficult ordeal leaving Berry, where I had just begun to feel at home. I met some wonderful people there, some who challenged me and others who encouraged me. I had a chance to heal from the depression I had wrestled with for five years while living in the Berry Bubble. Now, though, it is time to move on. I am ready to be challenged in ways I have not experienced before. My desire is to be stripped of everything comfortable and truly learn what it means to rely on the Lord for my strength and well-being. I am so thrilled to experience this for eleven months while serving with my mission year team.

Values of Mission Year:

  • Relationships: Building deep relationships based on trust and respect with your neighbors, seeking practical ways to show Christian love.
  • Community Living: Sharing life in community with a supportive team of other Christians in an urban neighborhood.
  • Community Service: Volunteering 25-30 hours a week at a social service agency that’s providing vital resources to the poor.
  • Discipleship: Drawing close to God by spending time deepening your own walk with Christ and developing spiritual disciplines.
  • Church Partnership: Supporting God’s work in the city by partnering with a dynamic local church that’s engaging the community.
  • Social Justice: Seeking justice by learning to identify disparities in power and working creatively to bring resolution.
  • Simplicity: Living life without excess to better care for your neighbors and the environment around you.

I will most likely be in Chicago, but it is possible I will be placed in Philly or Houston. I have never lived in a big city for an extended period of time so it will definitely be a culture change.

The way I even came about this decision was by reading Shane Claiborne’s book, The Irresistible Revolution, living as an ordinary radical. Shane founded an organization called the Simple Way, which is located in Philadelphia. This book inspired me to rethink the whole way I am living. We do not need 90% of the things we own, as far as I can tell. I put way too much hope in our own abilities and possessions. As I am typing this, my mother is telling me of my siblings who are spending too much money on different things and it just seems unnecessary. It is causing stress upon our family and just listening to the words of my mom is overwhelming me and I am not even directly involved in the situation.

Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

This is real. This life is so much more than I have made it all my years on earth.

(Written May 10, 2013)

Oh, Jack

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple

Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Burns

Broken

For the past few weeks, I have been preparing with joyous excitement for Mission Year 2013-2014 (missionyear.org). This opportunity was going to be the beginning of my new life. Now everything has changed. My sister blames herself for the suicide of her friend, Ryan. My sixteen year old little baby sister thinks she caused a fourteen year old boy to DIE. There are more details to the story that I will not share freely on the internet, but if you think this is bad, it only gets worse as you know the whole story. I am having a great amount of trouble wrapping my mind around the situation. I’ve been listening to Easy/Lucky/Free by Bright Eyes on repeat tonight. When my father first told me what happened, as expected my first reaction was denial. My little sister could not possibly be in this circumstance. Then I was angry. I’m not really sure at whom, but I think I definitely had some animosity toward God. I could not understand why a child had to die in order for Sarah to wake up to reality. I also couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that he may be in hell now. I do not think he was a believer, but I’m also not totally sure. This boy was a year older than my little brother, James. I cannot imagine the pain his family is feeling now.
Everything is broken.

In the words of Conor Oberst,”Did it all get real? I guess it’s real enoughThey got refrigerators full of bloodAnother century spent pointing guns At anything that movesSometimes I worry that I’ve lost the plotMy twitching muscles tease my flippant thoughtsI never really dreamed of heaven much Until we put him in the groundBut it’s all I’m doing nowListening for patterns in the sound Of an endless static seaBut once the satellite’s deceasedIt blows like garbage through the streets Of the night sky to infinity

Don’t you weep”

Yes.

Now I am considering staying home next year (I have already withdrawn from Berry) and homeschooling Sarah. Maybe I will go to Cafe1040 second semester or summer 2014. I suppose I need to decide soon. I feel that Dad wants me to stay home. I’m the only one Sarah will really listen or respond to, and that isn’t even true one hundred percent of the time.

I do not know where to go from here. I have more confusion in my mind than ever before. God will use my former experience with depression for good in this situation, but I’m still wondering why it has to be like this.