Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Somewhere we know that without silence, words lose their meaning,
that without listening, speaking no longer heals,
that without distance, closeness cannot cure.
- Henri Nouwen

Monday, September 07, 2009

spatially challenged

The other night a friend made a comment that guys are more spatially adept than girls. Like in memory (I'm assuming the game) and puzzles and directions and maps and stuff. I guess remembering where things are and how they are arranged? I couldn't argue with him. He's super intelligent and the first thing I thought of is how often I run into completely stationary things. Things that NEVER move. Like door frames and tables and bathroom sinks. I had just run into a door frame earlier that day. I literally turned around and ran straight into it with my shoulder.

I didn't think about this too much after that conversation until this morning. When I cut a corner too close in the parking garage and totally scraped the side of my car with a cement pillar-before 6am-on a holiday when no one else has to be at work. Awesome. Really anna? The same pillars you've driven around twice a day for the last 4 years? Those ones that never move? Yup. Needless to say I don't have a drivers side door handle. And a beautiful dent and scrape down the entire length of my really cute, sporty, absolutely perfect tribute. :O(

About that women being less spatially adept, yeah, I don't want to talk about it.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

out of the overflow of the heart

So I sent a friend an email when I got to work this morning (having emails waiting for me when I get to work at 6 am are the best!) . It wasn't super long but I seriously used the word beautiful 6 times! It was the only word that could even come close to describing the 3 things I was trying to tell her about (yes, 6 beautifuls for 3 things. I know, right?!). And yet it is a cheap substitute for what I was really trying to say. I don't even think they make words that full...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

maybe I'll even take up yoga?

When I came home last night my roommate was doing yoga. I walked in and said "I just CAN'T do non-vigorous* exercise". I had just come from the gym. Where I was doing 400m sprints-at 6:58 min miles-for 3 miles. Go big or go home is how I generally operate. And not just in my workouts, its kinda how I live life...

Take the last 24 hours for instance. I was going to Boise (to visit), then not going to Boise, then going to Korea (again to visit), then getting a second job, then not going to Korea, then not getting the second job. Basically I'm back at square one. quick trip huh?

And I wonder why I'm exhausted and have issues sleeping. ha. I tend to get super excited about new things and take off! There are some things that I'm SO confirmed in that they don't need days of thought but then there are the times when I should step back and think. For more than 3 seconds.

Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes. Proverbs 19:2

After talking with a friend last night I realized that this super easily excited way of life tends to leave me over committed and on the path to burning out. Surprise, surprise Anna CAN'T do it all! ha. So we're trying something different. Slowing down. Simplicity. Space. Peace. Wisdom. I'll let you know how that goes.

I don't anticipate giving up my speedwork or 7 mile runs any time soon, but maybe real life doesn't need to move that fast...

*I know yoga is a legit (and difficult) workout. I just have never done it, in favor of running my brains out. I mean if you can breathe easy and aren't about to die its not a legit workout right? haha

Friday, August 07, 2009

wo zhi ai ni you are my superstar...part one

summer '04. 5 years ago (give or take a few weeks) I came back from a summer spent in China. A summer that completely changed my life. A summer where I survived on oatmeal, cold cucumbers, white rice, crackers and sprite. A summer where birthdays were celebrated at KFC and Pizza Hut. Where massive amounts of fruit was consumed. Where it rained almost every stinkin day. Where our first official meal consisted of pig instenstine, spicy tofu, and some other horrible, albiet expensive food. Where lychee reigned surpreme, and "stellar hands" were won. Where truth was shared and tears were cried. Where hopes were born, and shattered. where Christ met us and overwhelmed each of us with HIS dreams for that place. 

summer '09. all but 3 of us are meeting up tomorrow for lunch at happy valley. I just finished looking through my old pictures and flipping through my journals. I cannot WAIT to catch up with my team and catch up and tell stories and inside jokes and laugh until we can't breathe. oh man. it's going to be awesome. 

the girls at ka la okee

josh becoming one with the chair

I think desi's face explains SO much about this picture. ohhh mizzike (you better believe he was like "let me take a picture with all the ladies")

so the kstate team dressed all crazy for our last dinner in wh. the ohio team didn't quite get that memo...
we might have gotten a few looks when the guys strolled through the hotel lobby dressed as brody and a chinese soccer player. never a dull moment!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

some things never change

I randomly picked up my journal from a few summers ago and have been reading through it. its been interesting to see how the same things I struggled believing then, I'm only just now getting a handle on. 2 years later. fantastic. 

I laughed SO hard when i came across this, in the middle of a really deep entry from 7/22, ironically... 

"we were walking up the stairs and ____ was coming down them. And in true ____ fashion- he just looked amazing"*

I'm sure if I sill had my journals from when I was 13 (yes I've kept one since I was 12) there would be a similar entry. And one from when I was 16, 20 and last week. awesome. 

*maintaining at least a shred of my dignity with the omission of his name. ha ha. 

Friday, July 17, 2009


I used to HATE to be alone. I don't know what it was a fear of, but man, I could only last about 2 hours before I just needed to be near someone (multiple roommates can attest to this-ha). Over the last few years I've been drawn into periods (oh about one night a week) of just wanting to be totally alone, reading, writing, pretty much whatever as long as it involved no one else. Over the last three weeks, that one night a week has turned into at least 4 hours a day. seriously. Its absolutely beautiful! Whats been neat about it is that its been super balanced. Like my alone time has filled me and fueled me in such a way that I'm LOVING the time I get to spend with my friends. That time has been incredible because I think for the first time I'm fully aware of who I am and what I was created for. Living and encouraging and loving (and BEING loved) out of that place is beyond beautiful. sigh. dang.

I look forward to the weekends because that just means MORE hours that I can spend reading/journaling. I've got a wedding tonight (which I'm BEYOND thrilled about) and I was thinking that I'd just hang out all day saturday. Its supposed to be beautiful. And then I remembered that I said I would help out with some family counseling stuff at a horse ranch. all. day. saturday. UGH. everything in me wants to back out. To become busy (which I would be. reading) and just peace out on my commitment. I mean, I love these kids, but that's my whole saturday. When will I get to read then????

The new hillsong united has been on repeat in my ipod for the last three weeks. As I was lamenting this morning on how much I wanted anna time and how fruitful it has been and bummed about what I was going to miss out on by being busy on saturday, the last line The Desert Song hit me.

I know I'm filled to be emptied again, the seed I've received I will sow

alright. I get it.

Friday, July 03, 2009


So my totally awesome friend is an absolute incredible writer/poet/a million other things and has been working on this series for a while now. although beautiful to read, until last week it was just poetry expressing her heart. Now I read it and my heart explodes with that EXACT same emotion. Good grief!

The Breaking part IV

There is no in between anymore.
Now is all I have, with faces burned
In memory of there – of where
It is dark.
Faces in the dark.
Sparked, they need fanning
To flame.
But I sit, wait,
An ocean away.

I break:

Sure of one thing.
Light wins.
Unsure of everything

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

since you put it that way...

"On a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 means 'not at all satisfied with my life' and 7 means 'completely satisfied,' the people on Forbes magazine's list of the 400 richest Americans average 5.8--the same as the Inuit people in Greenland and the cattle-herding Masai of Kenya, who live in dung huts with no electricity or running water. Calcutta's slum dwellers score only a little lower, at 4.6."

this rocks my social justice-development economist heart!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

story of my life

So at my job I deal with significantly large sums of money daily. Making sure everything ties out, double and triple checking numbers, massive amounts of emailing all to make sure that Luxembourg, India and Kansas City are all on the same page with the same numbers. No sweat right?

We're having a food day tomorrow and decided to order out chipotle. And I got nominated to set everything up. No big. Got everyone signed up, called chipotle and asked when we needed to have our order faxed in for friday they said "thursday by 10". Ok. 24 hours. I've never worked food service before, I have no idea about things like this. this morning I fax over the order and call to confirm that they received it. I call at 10:00 to confirm my order. They got it and said that they couldn't do it by 10:45 but could have it ready by 11. I was confused because they said that there was a line in front of my order (clue #1 are people in kc really that organized that there is a line of chipotle orders 24 hours in advance??). But he assures he'll have it ready by 11. (mistake #1, actually #2 but we'll get there, I didn't make sure he knew it was tomorrow. I had confirmed this 3 times in previous calls, but not the last one).

So I start totalling up the money and dividing it (because that's what i do. play with numbers all day. it's kind of a sickness, I'll admit that). Get that all figured out and go downstairs to get lunch. it's about 11:15. My phone rings.

chipotle "hi someone from there placed an order"
me "yes, i did"
chipotle "its ready for pickup"
me "it was for tomorrow" SUCK!
chipotle "well. you faxed it today"

And thus ensued the confusion over what date was on the fax (mistake #1) and although i called to confirm 3 times, I'm sure I talked to three different people and the message didn't get relayed. End result being, they were "going to have to throw away A LOT of food. this is a HUGE order to throw away".

dang. my bad. We didn't need the food today. We need it tomorrow. And we're still ordering it tomorrow. We might switch chipotle's though and just go to the one in P&L.

i love how i deal with millions upon millions of dollars a day, but when it comes to placing $124 worth of chipotle, i screw that up royally. awesome.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


If I say, "My foot is slipping," Your loyal love, O Lord, supports me. When worries threaten to overwhelm me, Your soothing touch makes me HAPPY." psalm 94:18-19 new english translation
I read this verse today and every single time I've looked at it I've noticed another favorite part. SO much goodness in 2 small verses. man. HIS loyal love supports me. Its HIS soothing touch that makes me giddy. See i have had this transference problem. i view God in human standards. I base my perception of Him dependent on how others treat me. Its like i have no frame of reference for certain qualities of God because i haven't had positive examples of that in my life. But after reading this verse (which i found on Beth Moore's blog, btw) it totally shifted everything for me. I know its elementary and everyone else probably had this figured out back in middle school, but this just hit home as God loving me through my friends. OF COURSE she would say that, because that's the truth that God wants to speak into my life. OF COURSE he would do that because God wants to heal and redeem me. People love me because God loves me. yup. giddy 16 year old girl-right here! :O) 

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I've spent my whole life moving. welcome to the world of an army brat! Even when I came back from overseas, I thought I'd stay in one place, and I've lived in 5 different houses in KC in about 3 1/2 years. so I've gotten really used to introductions, and pretty much have a script down for the first couple of weeks of getting to know someone. It's about when we hit year 2 and 3 that it gets a little difficult for me. I've just never had friends for that long, so I don't know what to do when i really become known. Well, actually i just run. Switch it up. Make new friends. rinse and repeat.

I hit that point in November. There really wasn't any one thing that pushed me over the edge, I just did what I always did, what was natural, and pulled myself out of community in search of something new. I figured I'd make new friends, dive into new community and it'd be awesome! I knew it wouldn't come immediately so I gave it some time but something didn't feel right. Friends would ask me how I was doing and I'd respond "fine" but quickly tagged on to that was "it just doesn't feel like home". searching for home.

There's this funny thing about searching for home. You really don't search. You fall into it. Yes, building community takes work, but there is a difference in working at it and trying to force it.

A couple of weeks ago (Easter) I went back (was drawn back, whatever verbage you want to put to it) to my old community. I needed to be around people who knew me, who knew my heart and could speak into it. I was afraid it would be awkward. As I was walking in I literally had the thought "will I know anyone? who will I talk to?" wow. lies from the pit. Here was a community I had poured my heart into for 2 years and I was worried about having people to talk to. It was an incredible night of worship. The worship leader (and my really good friend) opened up the night for continued worship and prayer. He was walking the aisle praying. So I went to walk toward him to have him pray for me. I was still about 15 yards away from him when he saw me. I doubt if I'll ever forget what happened next. A HUGE smile came over his face and he threw his arms open and his head back and laughed, as if to say "of course its you".

In that moment I think I got a glimpse of what the prodigal son felt when he returned. Granted I wasn't out squandering my money and partying it up, but I was away from home. And a spiritual "father" (more like an older brother, but you get the idea) was beside himself to see me. He wasn't angry or hurt or disappointed that I left, there was only love in his eyes and pure joy and excitement that I was back.

I can't even really describe what it feels like to be back in a place where I'm known and where I know people. It's been incredibly reflective and beautiful. I've lived life with these people and have seen them grow into their passions (kb), experience God's faithfulness over and over (jess), be healed emotionally and physically (suze), see dreams come to fruition (waaay to many to list). I know their stories. I knew them when. They know my stories. They knew me when. They know me now.

sigh. dang. Its SO good to be home!

Friday, February 20, 2009

do it!

have a great weekend!!

Monday, February 09, 2009


I heard a song this weekend that could have been written for me, the EXACT moment I was hearing it. If I've ever felt the hand of God on a moment, it was this one. I can't even read the lyrics without tearing up. If you do one thing today, listen to this song. holy crap!

Becoming by April McLean

I know I made you cry
I failed you left and right
And I've been too hard inside to see you hurting
And I guess all I can say
Is that even at my age, I'm still learning

And I know it's hard to believe
But there's been a change in me
And what I could not give you then
I can give you now

I'm becoming
And I'm becoming
And I'm becoming
something beautiful to see
I'm overcoming fear
And I'm overcoming shame
And I'm becoming
so much more than me

That's why I'm here tonight
To try and set things right
And rebuild the bridges I once left burning
I cannot change the past
I cannot change your mind
I guess all I can change is me

So I'm becoming
And I'm becoming
And I'm becoming what you thought you'd never see
I'm overcoming pride
And I'm overcoming blame
And I'm becoming so much more than me

I'm becoming
And I'm becoming
And I'm becoming
something beautiful to see
I'm overcoming fear
And I'm overcoming shame
And I'm becoming
so much more than me

Friday, January 30, 2009

this week

i have

-slept with a long sleeved t-shirt, dance pants AND knee socks on. if you know me at all, you know how much of a stretch that is. never mind the fact that my room (in the half-finished basement) has been on average a brisk 40 degrees

-gone to bed before 8 pm-and i had to force myself to even stay up that late

-perfected the art of getting ready REALLY quick. granted i've always been quick when it comes to the getting ready in the morning, but we're talking still in bed at 5:30 and sitting at my desk at work by 6:04. i'm pretty amazed myself.

-not washed my hair since sunday morning. i think this might be a record for me. and if i didn't tell you, you'd never know...my hair is just that awesome.

-grown to not love my "california" ring tone as my new alarm clock. i guess it's not the song's fault it wakes me up at 4:40 :(

-laughed harder than i have in i think EVER. i have one stinkin awesome and hilarious roommate

-cried harder than i have in a long time. this came a mere 24 hours after the laughter. life is all about balance i guess

all in all...its been a GREAT week. seriously. life is flipping incredible right now!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

not quite what i had planned...

i need a vacation. not a day off, but a day away. i waste my days off. and by wasting i mean sitting on the sofa watching an embarassing amount of the oc or west wing. i was going to get away to texas (not quite the ocean get-a-way i was hoping for, but warmer than kansas right now), but the $140 speeding ticket i got last night took care of that for me. yup. it's been one of those weeks, and it's only tuesday. awesome.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

lessons learned

A couple of years ago at the training to go overseas our speaker spoke on rights. I don't remember all of it, but I remember the strong implication it gave as to adjusting our attitude and what we believe our rights are. I don't have the right to eat what I want to for breakfast (for some reason breakfast was a big deal to me while over there), I don't have the right to sleep in past the 6am playing of the national anthem right outside my hotel window, I don't have the right to not eat what was put in front of me. All summer (and the next year) I was reminded of what my rights were and it put me in such a beautiful position of gratefulness and humility and grace.

Fast forward 5 years. I was supposed to be transferring departments at work today. I've known about this move and my anticipation had been building for over a month. Yesterday I found out that my move date got pushed back and I wouldn't be able to transfer for another week and a half. I was livid. All the reasons they gave for needing to hang onto me for longer weren't my fault. I felt like I was being punished for things that I had no control over. I wanted everything to be fair, and fair to me meant that I got to move when they told me I would-not two weeks later.
It took me about 5 hours to calm down, and during those 5 hours I was horrible to all of my coworkers.

As I was reading before bed last night I was overcome with the reality of my sin. Somewhere I had bought into the idea that I deserved to move to my new group on my schedule. That it was my right to only do the bare minimum required of me now. That will show them. ugh. It made me sick thinking back on my attitude yesterday.

So today I'm thankful that every morning His mercies are new. That I've been given a whole other day (and 8 more after that) to love and serve and be Christ to those He's surrounded me with.