Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Give me your eyes for just one second, give me your eyes so I can see.. everything that I keep missing.. give me your love for humanity."

"Give me your arms for the broken hearted
the ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see."

Last night at approximately 9:15pm... I booked a flight to India.
Yup, It's official! I'm going overseas for a month and a half this summer. I am super scared... but also excited beyond words. 

I will be doing some volunteer work while I'm there in Dharamsala which is located in northern India in the Himalayan region. Rumor has it, the home base where I will be staying is in the foothills and has a gorgeous view that I get to wake up to every morning. However, that is not why I am going. I am going to serve in the rural schools. Teaching English and working with special needs children.  I have been informed that while I am working in the school setting I will be required to wear traditional dress. So, apparently when I arrive I will be taken shopping and my clothes will be custom made for me. Kind of exciting but it should be interesting... My trip is all through an organization called Cross Cultural Solutions, which is not necessarily a Christian organization so I am excited to meet and work with people from all over the world. 

I have to admit pushing the "continue to purchase" button on nwa.com was a little nerve wreaking. I am spending a good amount of money to go over there and I will be leaving my family and friends to pursue this ambition alone. It's scary, but I know that this is something that the Lord has put on my heart for a long time so there must be a reason. He will get me through. I know that I will have time of adjustments and times that I will miss home, but the opportunity to serve those in need and to possibly show them the love of Christ far surpasses any anxiety that I feel. 

So the details are... 

I leave June 26th at 7:10pm from Detroit Metro Airport. I have a stop in Amsterdam and then arrive in New Dehli on June 27th at 10:50pm. 
(I remember this type of flight from Cambodia.. ehhh..)
I will have orientation in the city for the first few days and then I will hop a flight up to Dharamsala where I will be working in the schools. 

After about 5 weeks in Dharamsala, I will be flying back to New Dehli for a debriefing session that will last a couple days. I will fly out on August 2nd at 12:50am and return to the U.S. at 10:40am the morning of the 2nd. I'm going to have some major jet lag to recover from. 

Well there's the big news for now. I have to start getting everything together such as my visa application and immunizations and so forth. 

Other tid bits for you..

I ran 8 miles the other day as part of my training for the half marathon (ahhh it's in 3 weeks!) and thought I was going to die. But I will not give up! NEVER!

I've started meeting with Ron again since things have still been a little rough. It helps to keep me focused and he really has such a great gift of compassion and reason. I really appreciate how he takes time to listen to me. 

California in 2 days!! Complete with wonderful friends, 70 degree weather, hiking, a wild animal park, my first experience wine tasting, a visit to the mexican market, and maybe a beach run.

I went to an Invisible Children meeting on campus last week and was really inspired by their story. It's so amazing how God can work through people to change a nation and rally the world.

I cleaned my room! I'm usually a neat person but for the last couple months I've lacked in motivation entirely. 

I've been really considering getting a masters in Special Education lately. Depending on how my experience in India turns out, this may be a possibility in the next year. Hopefully I can find a job (for next fall) first though.


Teach me Lord, how to love as you loved. I can't do it on my own. I need your Spirit's presence in my life. You laid down your life and even forgave your enemies form the cross. I want to love in such a way that people see you in me. 
Happy Palm Sunday this week...


I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
Mother Teresa

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Loss and love and fire and rain... never would've come this way, looking for redemption"

Time to play catch up again.

So, I had a birthday. I'm 24 now. That's old. 
I didn't really do anything for my birthday. I substituted at Jackson Christian (Jr. High) and had a soccer game with the JCS girls. The announcer at the game did make a point to announce me as "Coach Kara 'the birthday girl' Weitzel" and the girls sang to me during stretching. I was a little embarrassed. After I got home Di and I went to Olive Garden. Pretty low key but it was good. I guess birthdays just aren't as much of a big deal anymore. This is how I know I'm getting old.  I did, however, get lots of messages that meant a lot to me... but no acknowledgment from the person I care for the most. That hurt. I know it's been months, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him and pray for him. I don't understand it. Any of it. But I guess I don't have to. I believe God is at work here... somehow, somewhere.

"Yet I want your will to be done, not mine."  
Mark 14:36

Like I said I substituted for the Jr. High on my birthday but that turned into a job that lasted all week. I taught math and science for half the week and gym for the remainder of the week. It was an adventure. I had the mature girls (I am convinced that there is no such thing as a mature boy at this age.. there are a couple well behaved ones but they are usually the shy ones), the too cool for school boys, the screamers, the girly girls (which are most likely part of the screamer clan) and one little boy that kept sharing some not so fragrant gases. Oh, Junior High. 

This past weekend I went dress shopping with my cousin Allyson for her wedding along with most of the other bridesmaids. It was a crazy day at the bridal shop, yikes! Too many women in one place... it kind of drives me crazy. It makes me think of that women's expo that they have across the street at Parkside Middle School in Jackson. I would probably choose to go through some sort of torture rather than being in that building... not to mention way to have a bunch of elderly women driving around the round about. That is the epitome of a near death experience. Anyway, after each of us trying on a few, we decided on a dress and I really like it. I think it will be really pretty. After dress shopping I met my parents for THE LION KING!! It is at the Wharton Center this month and I had never seen it before, whereas most of my family already had. Wow. It was amazing! I absolutely loved it. I remember talking to Jen about it before I went and I was a little confused on how she described some of the costumes but I totally understand now! They were incredible! Not to mention the music.... oh man! And still, Mufasa's death gets the tears flowing every time. I can't help it.

We met some family friends for dinner at Mitchell's Fish Market. I decided to squelch my fear of seafood and try some fresh grilled tilapia along with a bit of calamari for an appetizer. Seafood cuisine is a whole new world for me, and although very frightening, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. 

Well there is more that I would like to write about but this is getting a little long so I will update again soon. California is a week away! Randi, Ju, and Jordan.. here we come!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ten thousand angels will light your pathway... they will surround you, and make your way straight"

What a busy day. 

I woke up and had a couple phone calls to make. I poured myself some OJ and got right to work. 

First I called the cottage rental place in Virginia. This past week I realized that I had to make reservations for the night before the marathon. I totally forgot about getting a hotel room, however when I started calling this week, EVERYTHING was booked! I really didn't know what I was going to do but then I found this cottage rental service where people actually rent out rooms in their homes (like bed and breakfast style) or they have small cottages that they rent out for around $100 a night. I found one that was like a mile from the race site and booked it. The lady was so nice too, she even offered to let me use her membership at the local sports club to get cleaned up after the race. Gotta love that southern hospitality!

Next on the agenda was calling Midas. After I went to get my oil changed a couple days ago they found a leak in my tire and the cause of it was a crack in my left rear rim. They had to keep my tire overnight so they could work their magic with some special chemicals. I didn't get a call yesterday so I decided to call this morning to make sure everything was ok. Steve, my friendly mechanic, had actually lost my phone number in the computer so it was a good thing I called. I saved him the trouble of digging through all of the receipts from the past couple days. Anyway my tire was fixed and ready to go... I'm glad it didn't turn out to be more serious, otherwise they were going to have to send it out to a specialist and Lord knows how much that would've cost. I was going to escape with a mere $20 repair fee. Annoying... but a lot better than what it could have been. Later on I went to pick up my tire and there was another older couple being helped at the time.. so I just waited in the lobby for my turn. When they finally got everything situated I stepped up to the counter to pay for the repair. Steve looked at me and said that he would cover the charge and it would be complementary today. WHAT?? Who does that? I couldn't believe it. I asked him if he was sure... he said you've been very patient and not to worry about it. Steve, you're the best!

After my phone calls, I looked at my training schedule today and it was an easy 3 mile day. So I went for a little run in the park since it was such a beautiful day outside. I would just like to say that this training program that I'm on is amazing. I've never been able to run like this before. After a workout, I feel great!

I got back to the apartment and it was off to a quick shower to get ready to substitute teach. I cut it a little close but I was there before class started. I taught art today. So I basically just sat and watch students draw all hour. There were a lovely few that refused to do their work saying things like.. "It's not like this class even matters..." THEN WHY ARE YOU TAKING IT?? Bah!

Next, Soccer practice. I had defense today for about a half an hour. I had six players to work with and I've concluded high school girls do not focus, especially on Fridays. We worked on clearances but they are afraid to head the ball if it is coming at them with any kind of force. Ahh. This is going to be quite the project. I want to train a flat back this year but after today I left a little discouraged. We'll see though, it's only the first week.. and it was our first day outside. 

Finally.. I came home and I was about to leave for Grand Rapids to visit my friend Deanna. I quickly cleaned up and packed so I could meet her for dinner. Before I left I checked my phone, that I had accidentally left at home today, I had a couple voicemails. I checked them and it was Jen... SHE HAD THE BABY!! Oh my goodness, I was so excited. I quickly called her back and she told me I was welcome to come up to the hospital! Oh boy! I mean.... Oh baby girl! I called Deanna and apologized that I couldn't make the trip because of the new arrival. She totally understood and we decided to get together another weekend. When I got to the hospital Grandma and Grandpa Moore were there along with Grandma Gienapp and Uncle Tom. So cute. And speaking of cute... there was Dad and Mom with the cutest little baby you ever did see! She's perfect. Good job God... (and you too, Kevin and Jen).

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights..."
James 1:17

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Butterflies are free to fly, why do they fly away.. and I'm left to carry on and wonder why.. even through it all, I'm always on your side."

What happened?
Where does this pain come from?
Why do people hurt the ones they love?
Why do people say things they don't mean; make promises they don't intend to keep?
Where is faith? 
Why do people run away?
Is she the reason?

Was I foolish to believe?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"I want to give my life to you, for it's all I have to give... because you gave your life for me."

So, it's been awhile.... let's catch up (in non-chronological order..)

As a brief overview.. in the past couple weeks I've made an overnight trip to Traverse City, wrapped up coaching my Rush team (which was bittersweet... I loved the girls but the organizing was just really frustrating at times), started conditioning and tryouts with the Jackson Christian girls, taught high school Biology for two days, babysat baby Shelby with Di, went to B & N with Jen and Di, outran the police, joined a gym to train for my half-marathon in April (SnapFitness to be exact... Randi, remember your experience there?), dealt with a doozy of a customer at work, and told my parents about my plans for India this summer. There is definitely a lot more than this but like I said it's a brief overview. 

Now for story time...

1. My random trip to Traverse City was to join my dad for Farm Bureau's state convention at the Grand Traverse Resort. My mom couldn't go with him so he called me on Thursday and told me that he was up there by himself. I couldn't bare the thought, so at 8pm I decided to drive up north to stay with him for the night and be his date to the formal dinner the following night. Well I got to Kalkaska and low and behold northern Michigan was getting a snowstorm. It had been 40 degrees and sprinkling in Jackson when I left so I didn't pack a coat or expect to be driving 27 mph for over an hour. I should know better though, I've lived in Michigan my whole life. I guess I was blinded by the hope of spring. Anyway, getting to the point... I was approximately 2 miles from the hotel and my car spun out of control and slid into the ditch on the other side of the road. Let me remind you that I was just in the ditch on Bradleyville road (that's by Pigeon for those who aren't familiar with the name) a month ago. What the heck! I've never been in the ditch before and now it's 2 times in one month. I did find out that Traverse City has some great citizens. Three or four people stopped to check on me and a deputy that was off duty set up some flares around my car and waited with me until my dad arrived. He even gave me his card to prove who he was. When I read it, it said he was from the narcotic unit. Is there major drug trafficking in northern Michigan? Weird... Well everything turned out fine. No damage. Got a tow. And we're back in business...

2. Rush is over. Eric asked if I was going to be around to coach next year... I politely said that I needed to find a full time job and right now this area wasn't being very cooperative in providing me with one. We'll see though. I'm applying at a couple districts within an hour of here so it could be possible for me to commute. Highly unlikely that I will be staying though...

3. I did conditioning with the girls this week... due to training for my half marathon the mile run had nothing on me. I felt great! I was, however, pretty sore from doing hills and sprints. 

4. I taught Bio at Jackson Christian this past week. I now know more than I ever wanted to know about the Bubonic plague, SARS, West Nile and a bunch of other disease causing bacteria. 

5. Shelby is the cutest thing! And what an awesome baby... she hardly ever fusses and she didn't cry at all. She's pretty chill. Mach and Brent bought Di and me pizza and we spent the evening watching TV and playing with Shelby. Shelby spent the evening watching tv, crossing her eyes, starring at the light bulb, sleeping, and flatulating on me. Luckily, we did not have another explosion like Diana experienced a few weeks ago. 

6. B & N and Chipotle with Di and Jen.. reading and mexican food topped with a carmel frap, mmm wonderful. It was fun, besides the constant badgering that I got from when I ran my car into a dumpster at the SAU apartment over 2 years ago (remember Mol? you were the only eyewitness to that feat). 

7. I outran the Po Po when I was out on deliveries the other day. I passed one when I was going between 62 and 65. I didn't realize it until I saw him put on his brakes to turn around. Fortunately, I was right where Brooklyn road splits so I took the split and turned off so he couldn't find me. I win!

8. I am a member of Snap Fitness and I ran 4.5 miles the other day. I'm excited. A little over a month left and I'll be running in Charlottesville. Supporters are welcome!

9. Why are people so grumpy when all I want to do is give them flowers? I don't get it. Come on people, have a little joy and show a little gratitude.

10. Welp, looks like I'm going to India at the end of June! I'm still making final plans so I'll write more about this adventure later. It deserves its own post. And this one is getting way too long...

Until next time...