January 6, 2012


It's 10:04am.

I've eaten my breakfast, morning snack, and lunch (....apparently I eat when I'm anxious...)

My phone hasn't rung.

I gave my phone to my coworker so I wouldn't spend the day staring at it.

That lasted about 15 minutes - my phone still hasn't rung.

I've weighed scenarios in my head; what happens if I don't get this job? Am I still going to 'rejoice in the Lord always?' Am I really going to trust that He has a plan for me? Or am I going to scowl and be angry that things didn't go my way? And if I do get the job, am I going to humbly rejoice and thank the Lord? Or am I going to say "haha! got my way! I KNEW this was how it was going to turn out!!"

I open my inbox to see if an email has come through.

I wrote "not my will but YOURS be done" on a sticky note and placed it at the top of my monitor and contemplated the statement for a while - Lord, Your will is infinitely better than mine. Help me trust this!

I'm still staring at my phone.

Over and over and over again I've told myself that worrying is STUPID. God promises that all things work together for good for those who love Him. This is all going to work for good, so what is the point in worrying about it?? In fact, He specifically tells us not to worry - "be anxious for nothing..".

I call my voicemail to make sure I didn't miss a call...


patience is a virtue.
patience is a fruit of the Spirit.
patience reveals our faith in God’s timing, omnipotence, and love.

so why is it so hard to exercise it?


December 28, 2011

today my faith feels like an onion

(**sidenote, this post isn't meant to be discouraging by any means. I haven't done anything terribly stupid. I'm just trying to be honest with where I'm at.)

I can pretty much guarantee that this won't make a lick of sense to anyone reading this......but I'll try and explain anyway.

Today my faith feels like an onion, because I'm dealing with multiple layers.

I've got my core: the deepest atoms of my soul, which laugh at me for trying to believe in a god, and belly laugh at me for trying to believe that this god wants something to do with me and my life. My core snickers every time I think about heaven and hell and trying to "save" the "lost". It convinces me on a regular basis that everything I believe is a load of crap and that I'm forcing myself to believe it, because that's what I've grown up believing and that's what everyone I'm close to believes. And it smirks every time I get frustrated that I feel like I'm praying to a brick wall, which is almost constant these days. It says "see? told you so. quit being an idiot and just give up already!"

The bulk of my layers are trying to convince my core and outer layers that yes there IS a God, and yes of COURSE He loves me and wants me to have an abundant life in Him! Hello? Haven't you read the Bible dummy? How can you read that and not believe? How can you look at nature and not believe? How can you listen to everything your parents and pastors earnestly tell you and think that they're crazy? "Just give in and let the peace of God take over."

Then......there are my dreaded outer layers. The ones I peel, and peel, and peel, and peel, and I thought I had peeled them for good until a couple weeks ago - my outer layers are my rebellious side. I've always had it. I've always had a hard time fighting it. In fact, for a while I gave up fighting it and let it take over! Then about a year ago, I realized how empty I was and decided to shed those layers. And for the last handful of months, that has been great and I was convinced that it was the right decision. I'm not sure what changed, but the last couple weeks I've been really fighting it. Urges are coming back. Sensations are flowing through me again. Memories are making me feel nostalgic about past sins. I've been so good about fighting them lately, but this is harder than I thought it could ever be, and I'm to the point where I'm tired of fighting it again.

So, my outer layers and my core are working hand in hand to make sure I fail. And my inner layers are so fatigued that they're not even fighting anymore. And my brain is so tired of juggling all of these layers that it's not even pushing for my inner layers to win anymore. I suppose I need to just get back into the Word and surround myself with Christians again......but the desire really isn't even there which scares me a little bit.......hmmm. Fortunately, I cut myself off from my old peer group so I don't really have anywhere to go to encourage me to get back into that stuff; however I'm finding myself weaning away from my Christian peer group, and no one seems to care about that which is frustrating.

I keep trying to figure out where this issue is spawning from, and I'm not really able to put my finger on any one certain thing. I think a big part of me is just tired of waiting. Tired of waiting for the right guy. Tired of waiting for the right peer group that I click into. Tired of waiting to figure out where my life is going. Tired of fighting my rebellious streak. Tired of pushing onward. Tired of feeling like I'm praying to a brick wall. Tired of being unsure of my faith. Just tired.

I guess I'm just asking for prayer. Ironic, considering I'm STILL not sure what I think of prayer or how I believe it works.......but I'm not ready to give up yet. By nature I'm a fighter and a pusher, and living a life pleasing to God is something I have set my mind and my heart to........but I'm finding myself passing more and more and more forks along my road lately, and for whatever reason it's getting harder to choose the side that's straight and narrow.

December 12, 2011

I NEVER thought this day would come.....

But I, am about to give YOU, an idea for lunch!!! so crazy. I know.

Only 5 people to my knowledge have this blog address, and you 5 know me very well. So when I say cooking + me = HAHAHA, you know what I mean.

I'm a big fan of "grab and run". I don't like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, especially because it seems like the more time i spend the grosser my food tastes.

However, in an effort to be more health-minded (and lose the rest of this ridiculous weight), I've been working on what I'm 'grabbing'. I'm making big strides!!! I hope you cringe as much as I do when I say that I used to go through drive-thru's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner..... daily.

Egg McMuffin + hashbrown + orange juice for breakfast.

Whopper + fries + diet coke + candy bar from the vending machine for lunch.

BigMac + fries + diet coke + milkshake for dinner.

Throw in a few bags of chips from the vending machine for snacks in between my "meals".

Not an exaggeration - that's how I used to eat........is it any wonder that a few months ago I was 75 lbs overweight and in tons of debt???!!!?

So I went from drive-thru's to "better" restaurants. McDonald's turned into Panera. Wendy's turned into Subway. Burger King turned into Fazolli's. Still incredibly unhealthy (well except Subway, but still....) and still spending tons of money!!!

All that to say, I've done a 180 (NOT a 360 Kelli.....) on my eating habits, and I would highly recommend today's lunch to you, especially if you are like me!

Minute Rice - Ready to Serve Cups (brown rice). Right next to the boxed/bagged rice, these are little plastic cups that you pop in the microwave for 60 seconds and they're done! They control my portions and are easy and taste good and they're cheap! (at Walmart, $1.98 for a package of 2 cups)

Chicken Of The Sea - Smoked Salmon (3 oz packet). These are usually right next to the tuna; I got the boneless kind. They're usually used for salads I think, they come ready to eat! (at Walmart, $2.48 per packet)

Lemon Juice / Dill. Whatever you like on your salmon.

So I brought a plate to work. Cooked the rice in its cup and set it to the side (it's super hot when it comes out). Put the salmon on the plate and covered it with lemon juice and dill; I put it in the microwave at 20 second intervals until I was satisfied with the temperature (you can eat it cold, but I prefer warm). Dumped the rice on top of the fish, added a little more lemon juice and dill to taste, and YUM!!!!!!! The meal is 350 calories; 26 (!!!) grams of protein. Super healthy, super satisfying, super cheap, AND super easy :)

(oh and you're welcome).

November 18, 2011


Six years ago today, at 7am, my cell phone rang. I was asleep in my bed at Calvary, but I knew what the call was so I hit the 'ignore' button.

Unable to fall back asleep, several minutes later I got up and listened to the voicemail from my dad:

"hey kid......it's your dad........*deep breath*.....your uncle ken passed this morning. I just wanted to let you know.......he went peacefully........we'll work on travel arrangements today to get you home...........call me back. love you kid."

As soon as I heard the shaky "hey kid" part, I crumpled to the ground.

We found out Uncle Ken had cancer earlier that year.....I don't remember the exact time frame but I know it wasn't long - if I remember correctly it was only a few months before he died. I remember the last time I saw him =) He and Aunt Linda and I were standing in the parking lot of their church in Aurora. I don't remember the exact conversation, but it had something to do with me going to Calvary. I left on a good note.

I saw a picture only once, I think on someone's blog, of what he looked like shortly before he passed. He was thin. Frail. But he was still smiling. Same old Uncle Ken smile. Part of me is VERY glad I was at Calvary when he was sick. I'm glad I didn't have to watch him go through that - my last memory of him is his normal self. Part of me hates that I was at Calvary when he was sick - I never got to say goodbye.

That Thanksgiving is a blur in my memory. There are a few things I remember vividly - I remember Aunt Linda's hug at the memorial service as she told me that he wanted to write me a letter but ran out of time. I remember praying and praying and praying for Jeff as he spoke that he would make it through - and of course he did. And he did great. I remember listening to Kelli beautifully playing piano and admiring her for being so strong....I wouldnt have been able to do that. We sang songs during the service, and I remember singing until we got to "In Christ Alone". I'm still not sure what it was, but that song broke me; it's possible that during that song I cried harder than I've ever cried in my life. I remember the constant feeling of "numb". I remember watching my breath in the cold air as we stood at the grave site and thinking how short life is....just like a fleeting breath in the air.

......and that's about it. I don't remember Thanksgiving at all. I don't remember going back to Calvary. I don't really remember anything else.

I miss Uncle Ken. I remember him, but I don't have a lot of specific memories. I remember his voice, I remember his laugh. I remember how he always called me "bucko" or "beth-an-dee". As thrilled as I am that he is in a perfect body and with our Creator, selfishly I still wish he could be here to be with Aunt Linda, to watch his grandkids grow, to marry my husband and me, to answer questions about the Bible that I'm just now finally asking.

Thanksgiving is a hard holiday for me. As ecstatic as I am to be with my family this year, I have to admit that the last couple years were...easier. The hardest time for me is always when we pray before the meal - Uncle Ken used to do that. In addition to praying for the food I always have to say a silent prayer that I keep my emotions in check.

I'm sure this year won't be any different.

Is it silly that last week I wrote an email to Uncle Ken? I asked God to read it to him. Someday I suppose I'll ask Him if He did =)

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

October 18, 2011

The Body

“If you find the perfect church, don't join it, because then it won't be perfect anymore."

"If you should find the perfect church
Without one fault or smear,
For goodness sake! Don't join that church
You'd spoil the atmosphere."

Before I start this post, let me just say that I realize that everything I’m about to say is an attitude problem I have. No need to point it out, I know.

No church (talking about the body of people, not the brick building itself) is perfect. The people that make up the congregation are, well, people! Sinful humans.

But I’ve just really been struggling with “church” lately.

Last year, I found an incredible one. One that teaches Scripture as is: literally, historically, gramatically. They seemed to overflow with God’s grace. The pastor actually kept me awake the whole service, which is rare. The worship was worshipful! (I don’t have a single thing against hymns, but I find myself following and relating to and getting more out of contemporary worship songs – songs that the band Hillsong does, for example. I got that from this church.) The people were nice. The pastors were nice. It wasn’t stiff and stuffy like other churches I’ve been to. I was so happy.

I found myself involved in a Bible study with 4 other girls around my age. They were (and still are) the epitome of what mid-twenties girls striving to live their lives for Christ look like. They’re fun. They still joke around, they still go out, they still watch movies, etc. But they don’t cuss, they don’t get drunk, they don’t really talk about inappropriate subjects and in fact often do find themselves discussing spiritual things in normal conversation - it’s just so encouraging to be around “real” people that still aspire to live their lives according to what God wants for us.

Throughout our weekly heart-to-heart discussions in the first couple months, I made it pretty clear that I was wanting to make some drastic decisions in my life. I wanted to cut myself away from the people I felt were dragging me down. I wanted to stop drinking. I wanted to stop being inappropriate physically. I wanted to change my life around. The girls were totally behind me 100%, and a big part of the reason I felt I was strong enough to make the changes I did on the first of this year was because I knew I had a solid group backing me up and encouraging me that I could do it with Christ’s strength. And I did it! And knew in my heart it was the right thing to do.

But then…..well things sort of just fell away. I realized a few months ago that the only time I ever saw these girls was at church functions – Sunday mornings or Wednesday night Bible studies. Once in a great while, like maybe once every month and a half or so, I’d get a call inviting me to go hang out with them somewhere. And that was great! But I knew that the rest of the girls in the group were hanging out on a regular basis. It was all over their facebooks in statuses, wall-posts back and forth to each other, and then pictures that go up the next day. Why am I always singled out? I think most of them grew up together, so I get it. They’re tight. But what about the rest of us that need friends too?

I know I’m not the only person that feels this way. I’ve had conversations with a lot of other people in our college group, and they all feel that our group at church is incredibly “clicky”, and if you’re not cool enough to join the already-bonded group, well forget it. So some of us hang out on our own, but it still just doesn’t feel good!

I think the thing that really gets to me is that no one seems to care anymore. When someone falls of the face of the earth and stops trying to communicate, more often than not that’s when they need someone. That’s when they’re struggling. That’s when they need their brothers and sisters and Christ to come up on either side and help them! I’ve seen it happen to a couple girls from our small group that just stopped coming. I tried to text or facebook them to see what was going on, but they just weren’t insterested in reconnecting. And I know how they feel…..

Example, I had major surgery…..it was a biiiig deal, the subject of my health problems had been a topic of conversation for several months (mostly because one of the girls is a med student and was interested), and everyone knew about the surgery. I had ONE girl from the group come to the hospital (a new girl, who is in the “I-want-to-get-to-know-everyone-and-be-everyone’s-friend!” phase). Not that there is anything wrong with that, but where were all the other girls who have known about this surgery for a long time? Not one phonecall, not one text message, not one visit, nothing. Two of them finally texted me last week to see how I was doing. Uhhh…….I’ve been recovered for a couple weeks now, but thanks…….I haven’t gone back to Bible study since. And they don’t really seem to care! They don’t call me to see if I’m coming or text me the next day to see where I was….it’s like I never existed. So if they don’t care, I don’t care. <------- THAT’s where the attitude problem comes in. Like I said, I realize it, I know, but that’s where my heart’s at right now. I’ve been trying for well over a year now to “fit in” with this group and this church, and it’s just not happening…amazing of a church as it is.

Not just with my Bible study girls, but with the college-age pastor; with the music ministry that I can't seem to get into....etc.

All of that to say, I’m not falling back into my old habits. I’m still reading and studying the Bible, although not nearly as often as I should if I’m being honest, I’m still going to Mom and Dad with questions, I’m still learning and growing and I still want absolutely nothing to do with my old lifestyle. But doesn’t the Bible say that we need the Body of Christ? Aren’t we supposed to be part of it? To worship and fellowship with other believers and build each other up, etc? I know I need to be involved and be fed and to minister and all that stuff. And I’m eager to! I’m just not sure this church is the place for me.

Join me in praying for my attitude and my heart, would ya?

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
-Casting Crowns

October 10, 2011


Not the flower, the family member.

My Mom came and stayed with me for an entire week while I was recovering from major surgery. Not only did she take off work to do this, but it also came up (very suddenly) at the end of an exhausting camping trip! I'm sure she would much rather have gone home and relaxed and gotten things back to normal, but instead she came and stayed with me. I didn't realize how much her visit meant until she left. After dropping her off at Union Station I cried all the way to my car, I cried all the way home, I cried in my apartment for a half hour, and then on and off throughout the rest of the day. Don't worry! I've stopped crying. But it's still sad.

I figured I would enjoy her company, but I didn't expect what happened: I actually learned a lot!

Things like: it's wasteful to leave lights on all over the apartment, even if I'm not paying for the electricity (we have it set at a standard price every month).

Things like: it's ok to add an extra towel to the counter if there are more dishes to dry than the strainer can hold. Wash them, don't just leave them in the sink until the ones in the strainer are dry.

Things like: even though my cat is an obnoxious brat, yelling at him and throwing him across the room when he bites me are not nice responses. instead I should be super extra nice to him (and surprisingly he does calm down faster this way!)

Things like: how to cook vegetables and make them edible.

And the biggest thing: how to keep my apartment clean!

The comment that I always get from any friend that has ever been to my parents' house is "WOW this place is IMMACULATE!" And it's true. Mom, more than anyone I have ever met, takes amazingly good care of her home. Everything is ALWAYS in its place. You'll never find a pile of junk, you'll never swipe your finger over a piece of furniture and find a speck of dust, there are never cobwebs or dust bunnies or anything - you'd think there was a maid hired 24 hours a day. It's truly amazing. Split screen to my apartment: Laundry everywhere. Dishes piled high in the sink. Junk mail and bills scattered across the dining room table, some of which have fallen on the floor. Nail polish and nail tools on the coffee table from a manicure I did 3 weeks ago. Makeup and hair products covering my (large) bathroom sink.....I mean...what sink? Get the picture? One word to describe me: LAZY. So when Mom came to visit, of course the first thing she did (which took her a solid 2 and 1/2 days) was clean my apartment, top to bottom. Did all my laundry, cleaned my kitchen, put things away, got down on her hands and knees and scrubbed my bathroom floor......she probably doesn't even know but I cried out of gratitude =) And I watched her, trying to learn her secrets. Well there's really no secret. If you want a clean place, you have to clean!!! Mom never sits down! If there is something to be done, she's doing it. Even things like taking the garbage out.....when I need to do so, I put it by the front door until I'm going downstairs again and then I'll take it to the dumpster. But not Mom. Nope, if there was garbage to be taken out, she was out the door and down 3 flights of stairs to the dumpster right that second. I was baffled.

All that to say, I've picked up most of her cleaning habits. I don't let things sit around anymore (except for garbage. I still wait until I'm going downstairs). Even on the days these last couple weeks when I was feeling like absolute crap and was passing out all the time, I would wash a few dishes, pass out on the kitchen floor, wash a few more dishes, pass out on the kitchen floor, etc. until my kitchen was clean. It hasn't been fun, but my apartment looks better than it's ever looked...and for longer than I've ever kept it clean! So I owe my Mom a big 'thank you' for showing me how it's done.

(Not to mention, all of this while making my food, going out for groceries, buying me little things just to let me know I was loved.)

I also got into a 4 hour discussion about spiritual things with Mom while she was here. It was nice and refreshing, and while a lot of it was over my head, I still learned some. Mostly I learned that I need to study more =)

I could go on and on, but lunch break is over. All of this to say, I enjoyed having my Mommy here more than I realized. Not just because she did all my work for me, though that was appreciated haha, but she is good company.

It's nice when Moms are friends.


September 16, 2011

temper, temper.

So......last night I had one of the worst experiences I've had in a LONG time. I lost my temper like a child. I am so embarrassed.

I have.....I'm sorry, I *had this friend; she's one of the leftover friends from my "bad group" that i cut ties with at the beginning of the year. However, once in a while she conveys that she has an interest in getting her life back together and going back to church and such, and so I stuck around and tried my best to be a good friend and I had a good testimony with her (once I cleaned up my act).

Background as to why this conversation came up: She is a few years older than I, married with 3 kids. Her life is a MESS. There's really no other way to explain it. Financial trouble, marital trouble (she almost left her husband for his best friend with whom she had been having an affair, but even after everything was brought out in the open her husband still wants to be best friends with him and is forcing her to tag along in the friendship...huh!?), health trouble, you name it she's got it. It's really hard to explain her in a nutshell.......argh anyway.

I've known her for 6 years now, and it has always been a very one-sided friendship. Anytime she needs anything at all - medicine, gas, money, food, heating pad, makeup, clothing, taking off work last minute (much to the dismay of my boss) to be with her at her father-in-law's funeral, taking her out for dinner for her birthday because no one else would, literally anything - I would drop everything I was doing to rush to her side. I don't mind being a good friend. But anytime I needed anything - someone to go with me to a doctor's appointment i was terrified about, a ride because my car broke down, even little things like hanging out - she ditched me every single time. Literally, every time. I cannot name one time in six years she's been there for me.

All that to say, I invited her to my birthday dinner last night, you know.. thinking that it was a pretty small thing to do but still a big deal for me, and of course she didn't show up. I'd had it. So I sent her a text message saying that I understood she couldn't come, but it would have been nice for her to have at least wished me a 'happy birthday', which she didn't. We ended up having a knock-down-drag-out over texting. And I literally acted like a four year old.

Brace yourself...

She called me fat.

I called her fatter.

She sneered at me for a lot of my past mistakes which i told her about in confidentiality.

I retorted with mistakes she's made.

She called me a pig.

I told her to look in the mirror.

She called me a stuck up b****.

I told her she was white trash.

You get the picture.

But then....

In reference to the fact that I have a tumor the size of a softball in my uterus, which yes, is most likely going to prevent me from having children someday and she knows that the whole situation is the hardest thing I've ever had to go through, she made the comment: "you're so fat you look like you're about 9 months pregnant. too bad you'll never have one."

ok, whoa hold the phone.

I'm sorry. even if you have a bitter enemy that you can't stand. you don't bring up crap like that. that's just MEAN. mean and hurtful and wow I got so mad.

So I almost came back with "well at least if i cant conceive I wont have three mistakes", referring to her three children who were all unplanned.

And then I stopped. WHAT was I DOING?!?! This is a girl that I had a testimony with!!! seriously??? I can't even put into words how disappointed I am in myself. Even when I was younger and had a temper I can't remember a time where I sunk down to that level and just completely let my anger take over like that.

Needless to say, our friendship is done. Which is what I'd wanted for quite some time once I realized that she was never going to change her ways. Not quite the way I wanted to end it though.

We were both wrong. I've been around when she has fought with other people, and she literally out-loud says "ok, what can I say to really stick it to them....what's the most hurtful thing I know about them.....oh! got it!" That's just how she is, and why I stayed friends with her for so long, I really have no idea. But I was even more in the wrong for letting her get to me, and responding in the childish way I did. I mean not exaggerating, if you read through the texts it looks like two kindergarteners fighting. The difference between us is that I am a Christian. I am a child of God, I am an heir with Christ. Why did I lose control like that??

I know we all sin and make mistakes and have times where we let our old natures slip and get in the way. but this was a DOOZY.

So today I hang my head in shame and try to think of a way to remedy the situation....not because I want to be friends with her again, but because I have completely ruined my testimony with her and feel like I need to apologize for acting like I did.

That's the horrible thing about words.....once they escape your lips (or in my case, fingers) you can't take them back.