CPA Day of Service

Yesterday was the CPA Day of Service.  A day for the members of my profession to join together to engage in our communities. To help where we can. We cannot repay what we have been given, but we must try.

Will all be forgotten when we wake tomorrow? Will sleep erase our debt? No. This day is but a place holder, a reminder for all the other days of the year.

I celebrate my parents on February 3rd and 13th. That is when they were born, but I appreciate them all year long. One day reminds us of what we feel every day. The same is true for the Day of Service.

I unpacked boxes in my church office for the Day of Service. We opened what we needed when we moved, but the remaining boxes have been sitting on the floor since the beginning of the summer. I didn’t finish the task in one day. There are still boxes waiting to be sorted and papers to be filed, so I will keep working on it even though the Day of Service is over.

Because this isn’t about a single day of serving but about what CPAs do.

We help where needed.

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Grace in the Midst of (Civil) Wars

I’m listening to the new Civil Wars album not quite knowing what to think. It isn’t a matter of disliking the music. I like it. That’s the problem. I do like it and want more.

The Civil Wars are on hiatus, and the future of the band is unknown. They say that Joy Williams and John Paul White aren’t speaking to each other. For a born peacemaker who wants everyone to get along, this breaks my heart.

I say that, yet I have made this whole situation worse. I picked sides without knowing these people. Without knowing the details. Based only on their photographs and a few details plucked from social media.

All too often, I don’t see them as real people. They are too far removed from my life to think of them as regular individuals. They are just a means to my favorite music.

But they are hurting right now. Their songs bleed. From the little things they have said in interviews and formal releases, it is easy to see that there is pain on all sides.

Hurting people need grace. They don’t need people like me choosing sides, making one the hero and the other the villain. I am Team Williams/White for here on out. No more wars for me.

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A New Dream

I want a dream. I want something that is mine. Even if my dreams are shattered, can’t I have new dreams? Or can my old ones become renewed, reborn, reworked in some way?

Maybe it isn’t something to be grasped. A dream to hold onto. But to be something. More about being than holding.

I wish that weren’t the case because I’m so much better at holding than being.

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Ode to Becca on Her Birthday

I have a friend quite gifted with words

Written and erased,

Yet etched in my mind

Her way of finding the thing, the fact, the part

That really matters

Is a gift to us all

Though she often doesn’t see

That it is a gift to me

Her mind is a trickster,

Not nice, say I

It wraps her in turmoil and oft in despair

And traps the light that her voice gives to others

But she fights it and when her words spring free

As I said, they are a gift to you and me

To Rebecca Reynolds on her birthday

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Waiting to Bloom

Spring appears to have arrived everywhere but my yard. My neighbor’s tree is blooming. I don’t know what kind of tree it is. It is just big and beautiful and makes me happy. The whole neighborhood is full of color and flowers. Various purples and yellow and red.

But my daffodils aren’t blooming. My trees are still bare. My yard is covered in winter’s uneven brownish green.

I heard a friend’s good news today. Yet at first all I could think of is “why her?” Why did she get to be happy? Why does her flower bloom when mine doesn’t? I quickly banished the thoughts and felt badly for begrudging her this happiness.

I am happy for my friend. She had a difficult few years and things are better for her now. But looking at my neighbor’s gorgeous tree full of flowers only highlights the fact that my yard is barren. Empty.

And so I wait. For my yard to bloom. For my life to bloom.

KNH 751

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Dinner Conversation

My 2 year old nephew and I had a conversation during supper tonight.

Wyatt: Kate, what you eating?

Kate: Lettuce.

Wyatt: Why?

Kate: It’s good for me. What are you eating?

Wyatt: Pizza.

Kate: Why?

Wyatt: Because I love it.

We can’t have pizza for every meal, but maybe we should focus more on what we love rather than what’s good for us.

Posted in Family, Observations, Stories | 1 Comment

Why Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

This is not the diatribe of a bitter, single female who hates hearts and red roses. I choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day wholeheartedly even though I have spent every single one of mine alone. Though I would prefer for you to keep the roses to yourself.

We seem to be under the misconception that romantic love is the only kind to be displayed today. I am not in love with a man, but I am full of love and I want it to flow right out of me.

I love my family. My friends. My church family. The ladies in my office. All the various people who have passed through my life over the years.

How can I NOT celebrate that?

So I send handmade Valentine’s cards rather than Christmas cards. I fill the treat bowl at work with Little Debbie snacks. I send my blog commenters a Valentine’s email. I wear red or pink. This year, I even made up a game where we had to guess how many flower or balloon deliveries would be made to our office. We had more fun laughing and arguing over the rules than anything else. It was a blast.

Sure, this day can be a little cheesy, or maybe a lot. And there is a good bit of red and pink. But I make sure to throw in plenty of blue and green and orange. But in the midst of the cutesy cheesiness, it makes people smile. We need that. This world walks around in a state of perpetual frowning.

But ultimately, it is all about love. And who can’t use a little more of that in their life.

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Trust

I don’t feel it but I’m gonna go on faith

Trusting today when my eyes can’t see

Look for the good that feels hidden away

Do not be afraid, self

Do not get discouraged

The battle is not mine,

I have a rescuer on my side

 

He will fight this vast army

He will defend me

Stand and see what He alone can do

 

Do not be afraid

Do not be discouraged

Watch in amazement

For provision already on the way

Inspired by II Chronicles 20:15 and Psalm 34:10

Posted in Poems | 4 Comments

Stuck

As hard as I pushed, nothing happened. I tried all the little tricks we had learned over the past 3 years, but this time they didn’t work. I was stuck, trapped in the lobby at work. All thanks to a temperamental front door that was ruining my night.

I kept trying for a while, as my frustration bubbled over. It got the better of me, until I realized that it didn’t matter if I conquered the door or not. Yes, I wish the door had opened, and I wish that they would fix it. But in the midst of everything, I let myself lose sight of the point.

The point was to get out.

If that was the point, then fighting a losing battle didn’t really make sense. So I gathered up the belongings I had discarded during my single minded quest and made my way to the side door. That door opened, and I walked outside. Finally free.

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Brittle

Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling brittle, as if the least little tap would send a spider web of cracks racing across my surface. I wish I could say that it has never happened before, but that wouldn’t be true. There were certain things and reasons that I felt that way, but it didn’t really matter. It was too late to prevent it. I’d given out too much of myself. Once I’m there, the best thing for me to do is crawl back under the covers and hide from humanity for a day or two.

As much as I needed to, staying in bed wasn’t an option. I was supposed to be at a venue early in the morning to help with a concert. It would be a day of taking care of artists and crew, feeding them, answering questions, selling tickets, answering too many phones calls to count, all with very little down time.

As the day went on, I alternated between moments of ok-maybe-I-can-do-this to I-have-to-leave-this-instant-or-I’ll-burst-into-tears. Mid-afternoon, I shared how I was feeling with a friend. I told her that I didn’t want to be that way. She replied, “But that is how you are made.” All I could think was that I didn’t want to be made that way.

George MacDonald wrote “I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking.”

I believe that. For you. When it comes to me, I can think of plenty of glorious creatures I would rather be.

Why would God give me gifts to nurture, encourage and tend to people and at the same time give me this urge to run away from people? They seem at odds with each other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hermit. I like people, just in smaller doses. Especially when I start off feeling fragile, one small interaction or a series of them can be more than I can take.

And I had more than I could take last night, so I left. Once the concert started, I got in my car and cried the whole way home. I hate that I’m like this. Why couldn’t I just sit down and enjoy the night like a “normal” person, instead of feeling like I’m weak?

People tend to think that I have it all together. I’m smart, talented and have a house, job and car. Sometimes I even buy into the hype. But deep down, I know that I don’t have it together because I have this weakness. It reminds me that I’m not perfect. Not even practically perfect in every way like Mary Poppins, even though I try.

Maybe that’s why God made me this way. To keep me humble. I think that is part of it. But I believe the larger part is that this piece of me that I hate is also what makes me relatable. I often find myself observing human nature rather than interacting as a way to build a needed buffer. As a result, I’m pretty perceptive about people and they often feel comfortable sharing with me when they need to talk.

Looking at it logically, I can see how my weakness has good in it, but it is more difficult to see that emotionally. Right now, all I know is that I’m longing to be a different glorious creature. And I know I shouldn’t.

Posted in Me, Observations, Stories | 33 Comments