Friday, December 18, 2009

An Increasingly Biblically Feminine Reaction to Matt Chandler

Posted on my D-Team blog:

Many leaders at Summitview have been keeping up with the health of Matt Chandler, pastor at The Village. Yesterday Mitch posted this on Twitter: Matt Chandler has a malignant tumor in his brain. He will consult with his doctors about treatment.

True to Katie fashion, I cried. True to my new identity in Christ, I praised God because He is good and He will take care of the family no matter what. I could cry for them, but I did not despair completely. I wondered how Mrs. Chandler and the children were doing, but I didn’t say: ”Now where is God, why did He allow this for this family? What will Mrs. Chandler & children do if Matt dies?”

This reaction is definitely fruit of God’s progressive sanctification. Even a month ago, I couldn’t have taken the news that way. If this had happened earlier, I probably would’ve cried, been angry at God, and filled my prayers and mind with doubts about God and His goodness. Yet this is not so.

Today I was listening to Natalie Grant’s song “I will not be moved.” The second verse of this song captures where I have been previous to this: Bitterness has plagued my heart / Many times before / My life has been like broken glass / And I have kept the score / Of all my shattered dreams and though it seemed / That I was far too gone My brokenness helped me to see / It’s grace I’m standing on In my head, I have a record of where I thought God had withheld His goodness or had given me cause not to trust Him. In this mindset, I would have added Chandler’s health situation to that tally of keeping score of reasons why God can’t be trusted. His situation reminds me of the time when my uncle got cancer. I was alone in that struggle because I was helping Mom, and I watched as my aunt went from caregiver to widow. This reopened these wounds, and I could nurse bitterness toward God in this situation.

However, I latched onto the truth repeated in the chorus of the song: I will stumble / I will fall down / But I will not be moved / I will make mistakes / I will face heartaches / But I will not be moved / On Christ the Solid Rock I stand / All other ground is sinking sand / I will not be moved [emphasis mine on both parts of the song]. The basis for my trust in God through all this is His character: As Savior, as Lord, as Holy, Good, True, Faithful, Just, Powerful, Provider, etc. The more I learn about and meditate on God’s character, the more I realize I can trust Him. As I choose to replace lies about security from the world with Truth, I more readily default to seeing things in view of who God is. I am not perfect in this, but God is bearing fruit in my faith.

How is this reaction Biblically feminine as the title states? Well, Mitch pulled what Biblical Femininity was from the Bible which is an ever-increasing trust in and submission to God in all areas of our lives. Trusting God with Chandler’s health, Mrs. Chandler and their children’s provision instead of worrying about them is a way I can honor God and see Him as their ultimate Husband / Father. This is something God wants out of all His daughters.

In sum, I still shed tears over hard circumstances in my or others’ lives. I still ache for women that loose husbands and children that loose fathers. However, God is changing my worry over the situation to worship of Him because He can be trusted. Though I will not achieve perfection in this area while on earth, I am reacting less like the world and more like a woman who knows her eternal Father and Husband can be trusted through anything.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Understanding Faith & Fear and then Walking in Truth

Thanks to Mitch Majeski's "What Biblical Femininity is Not" talk, I am renewed in thinking about whether I do things out of fear or faith. So often, I have done things out of fear: If I don't do this, such-and-such will happen or If I do this, it will keep such and such from happening. This mindset came from the notions I had grown up seeing modeled and thus picked up into my own world-view that God is there but He is not really close, He sporadically gives good things and often with-holds without reason. I grew up thinking God could not be depended upon for practicals in life. I also grew up with a parent that struggled with insecurity and anxiety, thus that has manifested itself in worry and underlying anxiety. I had thought this was a normal way to live for a long time.
All that changed after I accepted Christ and began (and continue) learning about His character. Now I have the Word to listen to, His promises off of which to base decisions. I can choose to be anxious or trust God. As I learn more about my Creator who is my good Father and perfect Husband, I begin to trust Him more.

This is a good start to walking in faith, however, I can listen to my old worries / fears while simultaneously listening to Truth. This pulls me to a standstill. Both mindsets can't be right; they in fact contradict each other. Trust God or not believe He is good?Rely on myself first or rely on my sovereign Father? Believe what God has called me to do and walk in it or forsake that and do the most practical thing for myself instead?

This conflict came to a head when God wanted me to make some phone calls regarding jobs. I had to make one particular call about a job I had applied to quite a few months ago which I haven't heard back from. Would I live in fear and assume the job had been taken and not call, or would I make the call and trust that God will have the job for me if it is His will? Was I making the job an idol? If so, would God withhold it because I had? Had God abandoned me, or does He have something for me that I have yet to see? I put all these questions to rest by re-reading Philippians 4:6-7 and praying about all these things. In the peace of Christ, I made the call. I chose to put my faith in God instead of let fear take over. I had to leave a message, but I indicated my interest in the position and for someone to let me know if it was filled or not.

Whether I get the position or not is honestly secondary when I think of this phone call. This call stands as God's victory over my fears, and I know that will resonate into eternity. That is what ultimately matters.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Post for a Snowy Day

Sigh.... it's snowing :) Not the sigh of "Dang. It's snowing." Ok, there are some downsides such as being cold and having snow come up to your knees at points being a mere 5 feet tall... Anyway I'm learning to enjoy God's blessings of whatever He throws at me, be it a sunny day or a snowy one. I really like what CS Lewis said: That kids like Weather, and adults are the ones grumbling at the rain, but the kids love to jump in puddles. They learn to hate rain etc. from the adults. I just finished reading "That Hideous Strength" by CS Lewis which is basically his rendition of academia attempting to take over the world and then the higher powers that be intervening in CRAZY WAYS! YEAH! Heads most definitely roll.

New Developments in life:
I have a part time job (WOOT!) It's at a phone bank. Sometimes it's discouraging, but it is definitely an exercise of not taking circumstances (people hanging up on you, etc.) personally, which is something I need to grow in greatly. I am still trusting God for a job at CSU since that is the thing that still seems to have not closed yet. I had a French Toast with the girls in the Quad and that was way fun :) I enjoy the time God is giving me to hang out with my fellow sisters :)

Lessons God is teaching me
I can't predict mine or other people's life. I'll leave it at that for now. God is also teaching me about Him being my Father and getting to the bottom of my heart for raising a Christian family. Sometimes I can be tempted to take that on as a fig leaf to hide my past, but more and more, my motives are purer, more God focused. I am putting Him first rather than any future husband or children first, because sometimes I say, "I want to be a helpmate and help someone to greatness for the Lord." or "I want to be a Godly mother to raise kids who are crazy for Jesus." Well, those are good motives, but if that's where it ends, it is for these unnamed people's glory. My hope is in them. Not in God. If I say, "If it is for God's will and purpose that I should do this." then I am not crushed if He never allows me to have this family I pray about.

He is rewarding me for putting Him first in my mind and heart, and I know I stumble, and He is gracious when I repent :) I am praying the more I let Him capture mind & heart, the more it is manifested to encourage the believers around me and to show Christ to nonbelievers :) Because it is God's work that does that in me and how He shows Himself to others. I do not do this on my own strength.

Random thoughts from That Hideous Strength (THS)
So, one crazy thing I noticed the second time around reading THS is the protagonista... I so made that up, but female protagonist has some pretty serious misconceptions of marriage and femininity. She wants to be married, but she wants to keep herself too. She doesn't understand servant-helpmateship and her husband doesn't understand servant-leadership. This is why they get into the issues they do, and why they begin thinking more about themselves than about each other. I was really amused when the mythical character of awesomeness (sorry for any reader who has read THS, I'm trying not give anything away) wants to beat the protagonista and her husband down for not being fruitful & multiplying. He is basically like, "Dude! That's the whole point of you two getting married! What the..."

So that made me think: What in this world am I still not believing about femininity? What lies do I have to guard against if God does have me enter academia for a full time job? I have to trust that He will go before and behind me, but I have to use Him as the Rock. Sometimes I want someone else to help me fight these lies, but again, I have to realize my God is enough! That's what happened to the protagonista in the story. She had no protector in her circumstances for a while, but God provided the leader of their little "Let's stop certain people in academia from destroying the world" movement to teach her truth, and ultimately, she had to embrace God's truths on her own. That is what I must do as well, and keep doing until my faith becomes sight.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Learning the Impossible

I am learning the impossible. That is, to have joy even though I do not have full-time work.

This morning I was reminded how easy it is to be derailed. I was doing well for a while to place my joy in Christ during this time, but I had a stressing-out attack last night which resulted in me feeling crappy this morning which resulted in me not being able to hang out with some little Summitview people whom I'm getting to know and like :)

I just had an interview. Did forget to read the job description prior to coming (WHOOPS!) and I looked back at the CSU jobs I have applied for, and one starts in November. I am somewhat qualified and could probably do it, but I know that there are others who could do a better job. Another is my mystery job. As in, I have not gotten a call and they were still looking through things a month ago.

I was tempted to start focusing on job stuff
right after my interview, but God wanted me to take time and write my thoughts, lest I get all pent up and have another stressing-out moment. Headaches remind me that a job is not worth getting an aneurysm over it.

Here are my thoughts:
If I
do not believe God is good and perfectly sovereign, I can think He is holding out on me, I am somehow being punished by being without a full-time job, and I think that He made a mistake by having me stay in Fort Collins.

If I do believe He is sovereign and good, I know He has a job out there somewhere for me. I know He will use my gifts in the arena He chooses. I know this waiting time is for a purpose of growing closer to Him. I know that every interview, even if it fails, is for a purpose. I know He rewards my faith, I know that this life is not the end, and any disappointment I experience through this pales in comparison to the glory of seeing Him and having Him tell this story from His end in heaven.

Where do I choose? If God is not good it manifests in my staying up and can't sleep, getting irritated, stressed out, and moody. If I believe God is good, I feel peace. The trick is coming close to God first when I deal with my job stuff.

I know that. Theologically. I know that. However, I have 23 years of someone else and the world teaching me otherwise. God undoes all that slowly. Every time I come to Him, I feel more peace, less anxious. God began this in El Paso, and I do believe He wants to see this until completion. When I can truly say 'This job is not my god because I trust fully in God as my God and provider.' God has victory and I have victory over this fear. Theologically, and now in my heart, I can say that is worth it. I pray that it continues, because only He can make this state of my heart continue.l

Thursday, September 10, 2009


My friend just had a BABY EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! I got a chance to see her today at the hospital!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) It was a long time coming and I got to watch my friend's process of waiting on God and her faith that He is good and His plan is the best one! Today as I looked at her chubby-cheeked daughter, I was renewed in my own faith in waiting on God for things I have asked Him for, and praised Him for His amazing creation. When a child is born, he/she recognizes the parents' voices & is ready for reacting to the world with a set of reflexes. My friend's daughter's brain is still in the process of maturing and there is an amazing process of laying down sensory pathways as she explores the world around her.

More importantly, God has chosen the place, time, and family that she is born into so He can reach her and show her Himself most fully (Acts 17). She is born into a Christian family so she may have a chance at coming to faith in childhood and being an example of faith to other children she meets as she grows. She has a church body that will help her parents raise her, and display Christ to her in other ways. I know that there are probably other babies that are being born today in very different circumstances than this baby girl. However, I know that they, too, are born in the places and times that God has decided are the best places for them to seek Him also.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Psalm 145

Today I woke up with Shane & Shane's rendition of Psalm 145 in my head. That was good background music for my jog down Overland Trail to Southwest Community Park / Inspiration Playground. The sun was coming up (yes it was early; I heard one of my roomies waking up rather early) and the sunrise against the clouds & mountains was amazing!

My quiet time consisted of meditating on the verses, "The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.The LORD is good to all; He has compassion on all he has made.
." Ps 145:8-9.

He has made these amazing foothills that I, and all of Fort Collins sees every day, and the even more majestic mountains behind these hills that reflect His power and greatness. He is faithful to make the sun rise every morning, and reveal His beauty through the sunrises. He gives food to every creature. Even people who are starving, they still eat at least something. He provides shelter to us, and in Fort Collins, most people have fairly nice houses / apartments. He has provided open spaces within the city for us to enjoy, and for children to play in. He has allowed workers with talent to built playgrounds, especially Inspiration Playground to be accessible for children of all physical abilities.

For Israel, since I have been reading Deuteronomy and Isaiah, God pulled them out of slavery and out of captivity numerous times. He has brought forth the Savior from the nation of Israel, He has stopped 1 nation from eliminating the Jewish race from Europe, He has recently given them parts of the original promised land back, and for now, He has allowed relative peace to be in the region.

For myself, God has allowed me to return to Fort Collins, earn a Master's degree, influence students while in grad school, and influence the next generation of Christians in Children's Ministry / AWANA. He has grown me through two Infusion programs, and given me numerous sunsets/sunrises, friends, flowers, provided for my needs every day, allowed me to climb a 14er, and recently allowed me to live with 11 amazing Christian women :) :) :) among all little blessings that I might not even be aware of!

Focusing on God's blessings have helped me wait on the Lord for a job. I believe He has called me into academia (again), and I am waiting on that. Knowing He is good and knowing He grants desires to all things for His glory assures me that whatever He has in store for me is for my good and ultimately for His glory.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The hardest parenting class ever

In undergrad, I slacked off during my HDFS parenting class in because I had the MCAT to study for. In graduate school, I took classes on parenting interventions and learned how parents (and society) can screw things up for kids, and how us interventionists were sent to fix them. Then during Infusion, I learned from amazing Christian parents how Christ can be their perfect interventionist so He flows out of their parenting in an imperfect world.

God decided that He would add a lab component to my "parenting classes." One of the single parents at church needed a nanny for 2 weeks before her two children (boy & girl, 6 & 5) went to school. My HDFS side began to start labelling them by socioeconimic status (SES), high or low risk, and began looking for possible defecits in the kids. This isn't necessarily wrong, but God reminded me to look at more than what my HDFS side could see, and view them not as 'cases' but as children in need of His care.

Thus has followed nearly 2 weeks of being their stand-in mom. I know I'm not perfect. More importantly, it's showing me how far my degree can go, and how much I need God's grace to cover the rest. For instance, today, the kids were tired and they wante to swim, and I wanted to wait until it was warmer outside. Thus tantruming more than usual ensued, and somewhat 'climaxed' into both kids getting sent to their room. I asked God what was the deal. What did He want to teach the kids and myself, and was I being power-hungry or really in the kids' best interest for not giving in. God revealed that they were learning patience and I was learning that even though I had to discipline and seemed mean, I could then give grace and repair the relationship. God gave me the verse from Hosea 6:1-2 where it basically says that God does tear down and injure temporarily, but in love because He is love (1 John 4:8) and that He repairs the relationship when His children come back. That is what happened. After the kids were done with time-out, I was able, through Christ, to love these kids and enjoy their company. I then prayed that the relationship was repaired.

However, the most important thing I have learned was that, unlike what the HDFS department teaches, I am not above the moms I serve. In fact, I still have a lot to learn. Just by serving me even though she can't pay for my services is teaching me about being creative with gratitude. And she has taught me that it's ok to be transparent about not having life or the Christian walk together, because it shows that God is truly active at the present. God has used the conversations before and after my hours to encourage me, and I pray to encourage her.

From this, I'm learning that parenting is rough. Laying in bed knowing another day is ahead of me, making the choice to parent in my flesh and HDFS knowledge or in Christ is one of the roughest decisions to make. However, God has shown me that loving the children through the love and grace He has first lavished on me and wishes to show these children is the best way. His love and grace will cover any of my mistakes, their times of disobedience, and hurts these children may experience in this world.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Why the Sick Need the Great Physician

I haven't written in this blog since I have been busy in El Paso doing service projects, working, and sharing the Gospel for Christ.

Recently, one of our HDFS professors has fallen very ill. She is recovering, albeit slowly. Her family and friends in and out of the HDFS department have organized a website to record her progress and for her to read well-wishes people have sent to her once she is awake enough to stare at a computer monitor for decent amounts of time.

Most of the well-wishes were very characteristic of the HDFS department - wishing for general goodness to come her way, "Sending loving thoughts and healing energy / karma / positive feelings" your way. Those sentiments are not bad, and they can generally be encouraging.

However, they are not enough. One's thoughts cannot traverse time and space, they are confined to the cognitive pathways and neural circuits in our brains. The only Person who's words traversed space and time to create the darkness, light, and every living organism to the streptococcus bacterium, the amoeba, the diatom and to the enormity of galaxies is Yaweh, by His Son Jesus Christ and the Spirit of Life, the Holy Spirit.

This is what is missing from the guest book. From my friend's thoughts, and that is vexing me almost as much as the fact that my professor could still not make it out. The fact that God may allow this for this department to seek Him to find Him - the source of Truth, the source of all Good that He can truly give across space and time.

I plead with you, HDFS students, faculty, staff, in CSU, in VTech (where this professor got her degrees), and friends / family that know her: You need to pray to God. I plead for you to to acknowledge the supremacy of Christ - not just 'feel good' thoughts. I plead for you to understand that the God of this Universe is holding our professor in His sovereign hands that were pierced on Calvary for her and all of us. I pray earnestly that you understand that you need to encourage our professor with Truth from His lips, His Word, His healing Word. That is what is true hope. Not vauge notions of thoughts floating through space and time, of good karma, or positive energy, but the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord who has made her and us lovingly, atom by atom, DNA strand by DNA strand.

I pray this so that you will turn to Christ and accept His salvation and truly worship Him whether He heals this professor or takes her from this world, and I do earnestly pray, with tears at times, that He will preserve her life, lead her to the Cross, so at the end of her life, she may join worshippers - from our ranks and from every nation tribe and tounge to worship our true Lord in Spirit and Truth.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Jobless in El Paso

So yes. Ye olde blogger is without a job. :( Been fishin' but nothin's bitin'. What's a grad student to do? I could despair easily: "Dang, I can't even get an interview at McD's and I went to grad school." But in El Paso, they look for more permanent people, and we're seasonal workers. So, therein lies much of our problems.

I've been on somewhat of a short circuit today. Kinda impatient & had to appologize several times for beginning to be snappy. However, I realize I have not reached melt-down stage because God and I have had a talk. Once I was upset and stuff and Indescribable came on the radio. God used that moment to calm me down by reminding me, "Katie, I am Creator. You are in the car with the guy who's dad talks about it every other day. Who am I in the midst of this job search?" I said, "Yes, God. Thank You for reminding me. You are I AM." Pause. I was open with the sisters I was job-searching with about my frustrations and a group hug was needed :)

I still struggle whether to stay or to go because all practical career-center, Mom, Zeynep advice would be to go back to FoCo and look for jobs there while searching out a permanant grad-school worthy job. However, I am invested here. To encourage the Believers and to be a 'coach' to the little kids in the Sports Camp we are running soon. I already signed up for dealing with the little people i.e. 1st graders. I have money in savings to tie me over until I get back to The Fort.

So, I walk this balance in being diligent with the job search and trusting in God and when I lean in God and He helps me, I stay calm. When I do not trust in God, I plan my going back and worry about stuff.

I know God is teaching me something. Just what exactly besides provision, I have ideas, but won't really know until it's over. What I do know is that I'm feeling like I'm walking on water, and no matter what happens, I can be caught by a God who's hands were pierced for my sins, Jesus, who is good.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thesis Issues: For the Gospel of Christ!

Yup! God is using my last week - my last few days in the Grad Student Housing for His glory!!! :) It started with my roommate being friends with our neighbor downstairs. Our neighbor is from Thailand and is a grad student in the Animal Sciences department. She came up to our apartment to ask my roommate to proofread her methods section of her thesis. My roommate, an English As a Second Language instructor from Russia looked at it and said, "Well, my roommmate Katie wrote a thesis. Maybe she can take a look at it." Dum dum dum!!!! :) In comes me. I asked our neighbor some questions about her stats and stuff, and she asked me if she could come to me with more of her thesis. I was wrapping up my grad student awesomeness, so I told her that she could.

This led to several email exchanges, and times where I was at her house or she at mine working on her thesis. Through these times, she began confiding in me about issues with her committee, her advisor, grad school life in general, and other things. God prompted me with 1 Peter 3:15 to show her how I handled it in light of the hope I had in Christ. Through God, I did :) EEEEEEEEK! :) My neighbor told me that she knew God was there, in a general sense, and that He had helped her through her first year here with all its stuff.

God prompted me this week to have tea with her and give her a Bible at the end of the tea time. That happened :) EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK :) :) :) All to God's glory, because it's actually harder for me to share my faith with friends because I have a fear that they won't be my friend if they disagree. Well, God is teaching me more and more and giving me more power to live out Romans 1:16.

ANWAY, something I realized was this: God uses everything, and I mean everything. Even writing my thesis. I thought that the Gospel going out with my thesis ended with me sharing with my committee (post-defense) that God helped calm me down during it. Nope. I mean, He used that, but I never dreamed that He would use my ordeal of editing, editing, and editing again (after Zeynep had looked over my thesis and edited it so much that every other word was in 'track changes') to help someone else, and to share with them the Gospel.

Lesson in point: God uses anything and everything for the Gospel if we let Him, and ask Him, "What do You want from this?" I could've just edited her thesis and wished her luck and went back to wrapping up the grad school life. But God wanted me to invest more time in her. He saw more than a fellow master's student needing a thesis looked over. He saw someone in need of Jesus. And He allowed me to see that.

As I go with my life, I can get consumed with this transition of moving into a job of some sort post-graduation. I need to continuously ask God to help me see things not just in light of my future job or what I am doing at the current time, but in light of the Gospel. I need His help because I don't normally see this naturally.

Praise God that the Gospel does not return void, and that God uses ordinary stuff in my grad school life & other things to reach His people whom He loves.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fear's Effects on Families and my Plea for an Intervention

Today at church, we heard this Mother's Day message. I cried within the 1st five minutes because our pastor spoke about how fear can paralyze everyone, especially women, because our role is entrustment of ourselves to another - whether it is a husband and/or God. He discussed implications of fear driving parenting: leading to harshness or intrusiveness. In HDFS terms, intrusive parents can create overcontrolled children who can express this in anxiety/depression or acting out.

Later, I read one of my other friend's posts about numbers of children / family declining in a recession and for government officials pushing family planning during a recession. Fear can effect a family by viewing the children parents are supposed to be raising for good as burdens that take away resources.

I have commented on that post saying that interventionists say that parents have a finite amount of emotional resources that have been built over time through their interactions with their parents, teachers, friends, their present marriage, and favorable circumstances in their lives. Unhealthy childhoods, marital problems, and unfavorable circumstances deplete this emotional tank, and the resources left must be distributed within the marriage, life in general, and parenting. In this view, if parents have problems in their marriage or are in constant poverty or crisis, experts must come in and help them fill their emotional tank and give advice on how to parent.

Support and advice outside the family are not necessarily wrong, and actually should be encouraged if this support and advice is followed with this Truth: That Christ came and died for our sins to bring us close to God. If we accept this, we have a strength that comes from Him, love that comes from Him and never runs dry if we rely on God to fill us.

This is true intervention because it comes from Truth, and its source is everlasting. He is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows. He wants to repair marriages because He has ordained marriage to reflect His image on the earth.

This is why I pray that people in my field come to know Christ. Because they need His hope. This is why I cannot stay silent in my classes about the true hope people can have about about the hope the local church can and is bringing to families. This is why I cannot stay silent about hope having to come from outside ourselves rather than within. I have tried to draw on hope from within myself. It has always run dry. I either had to do anything I could to let out the pain, or shut down and block out the pain to keep going. With God as my hope, I lay my burdens at His feet and He gives me strength to keep going.

This is what I pray for when I think about families in my church, AWANA, or elsewhere. I pray that they can know God and God can be their true interventionist. This is also what I pray for myself - if God would have me marry and begin a family. I pray that we, along with other families will have a foundation in Christ. In Him, we have a reservoir of strength and love. In entrusting ourselves to Him, we have no fear.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rediscovering Job 7 Years Later

Yeah! So this is pretty tight! In our D-Team women's Bible study, we are breezing through the Old Testament. Last week's lesson allowed me to skim through Job. With an amazing realization, I remembered that it was about this time seven years ago in my AP Lit class that I had read Job. However, I was not Chrisitian... actually... from about April 2002 to September 2002 is 5 months, and I became Christian late September. So... God was getting a hold of my heart in this way.

7 Years Ago our instructor announced that we would study Job because it was a rather poetic piece of the Old Testament. I think he chose the Old Testament because he was Jewish. Anyway, he handed out these hardcover Bibles. I forgot which translation they were. They may have been either New International Version or New King James. Some students chuckled & scoffed at reading the Bible, but I was excited. See, 9/11 had occurred 8 months earlier, and I was still having secondary PTSD ( which wouldn't be diagnosed until my Sophomore year of High school.) The short story of why I had secondary PTSD was that Mom was shaken up and angry about it, and did not have the emotional capacity to help me process my own reactions of fear, sadness, anger over it. My grandparents had been in New York during that time, and I was worried that they were in downtown at that point. Also, Mom needed someone to watch the news with her during the first few weeks after the event, so I watched, but I was left on my own to process things. Therefore, I turned to God.

Getting back to Job, I wanted to read the story. The instructor told us that Job was about suffering and God. I had a lot of suffering in my past and during the last 8 months, so I wanted to hear. I only had every other Sunday going to church and listening to the Word there when I would go to mass with my grandparents. You could say I was like David - a deer panting for streams of living water. When I got my somewhat tattered copy of the Bible, I opened it and was really glad the print was a decent size. My fear was that I would have to struggle through tiny 'Bible size' print - one reason I had shyed away from reading the Bible previously. I hadn't realized there were large print versions available.

I flipped to Psalm 23. We sang "Shepherd me O God" and it was my favorite psalm at that time. I also tried to find the Lord's Prayer before we started. We were to outline the book of Job by Job's speaking parts and his friends' parts and grab themes out of them. Much of it was confusing because I didn't understand that his friends were not speaking truths about God. Therefore, I was getting somewhat of an inaccurate view of God. That was, until I got to the end. I, like Job, realized God was sovereign over all things. I also learned from Job's example that it was ok to wonder why suffering happened, but clinging to God was the best thing to do.

I remember getting to class early and getting a Bible and finding Job but flipping around to look in other places. I was trying to find passages that would comfort me during the day. I did do this somewhat surreptitiously so I didn't appear 'super-religious' as some of my friends and Mom classified evangelical Christians.

Present Time I realize all this was my seeking after God. I had the Word, and I believe God really opened my heart to Himself and made me more apt to seek Him by exposing me to Job. However, I could never dream that five months from that time, I would pray to God to receive His Son Jesus as my savior. Of course, from September 2002, until now, I have endured a lot more suffering than just secondary PTSD from 9/11, but now I have God and I understand His word now since I have the Spirit of Truth to help me discern it. Like Job, the more I understand God, the more my suffering is more bearable, and the more I can still praise God through it.

I am thankful for Job. I am actually reading it and yes, outling it. This time with the knowledge of the Truth of who God is to guide me. I pray I learn much more about God through this, and I do praise Him for that day when He placed a tattered Bible on my desk in AP Lit. He was drawing me close to Himself.

"But their minds were made dull, for to this day, the same veil remains when the old covanent is read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. ... But whenever anyone turnes to the Lord, the veil is taken away... And we , who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, we are being transformed into His likenness with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:14, 16, 18

Monday, April 06, 2009

Whether in the Burbs or in the Hood, Problems Arise

For a lot of risk and resilience literature, researchers have focused on poor families because they have less resources to deal with life. However, researchers are also focusing on middle and upper-middle class children because they are discovering that these children have unique challenges. These challenges often include over-scheduling, being pushed to over-achieve, and being unsupervised because the parents are too busy to attend to them.

I was listening to Leeland's song Tears of the Saints. That made me cry because I realized that truly no one is immune from the effects of the world. People in a lower socioeconomic group may have stronger family bonds because they need to rely on each other more, but they are told by the society that they are lesser. People in upper class have to maintain their status and that becomes a relentless god they serve. Yet in both - acquiring or keeping resources - if that is the the sole purpose in life will leave all empty, all depressed, discontent, leading to less emotion to give to children and the family, which may lead to children having less of a future.

What's the solution? I would sound trite by saying it is Christ, but in a way, I do not. Hoping in a sovereign God will allow for less stress for a family making ends meet, for they know that somehow, God will come through to pay that unexpected bill. Trusting in the hope laid up in heaven makes the momentary troubles more bearable, and they know it is to tese their faith to prove it genuine. Hope in Christ for people in the 'burbs allows for less stress when the stock-market plummets. They also know their resources are not for themselves, bot to give to to others. Hope in Christ for all families allows the love He has to flow from them into their children, so the children can know Him and have a future set on His truth in this life, and everlasting joy in the next. So, yes. Truly, Christ is the solution - He is the I AM for all generations, classes, and the everlasting resilience factor.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Attachment to God

So, I just read in 1 Samuel about Hannah giving Samuel up to the service of the Lord. She weaned him before he was able to go to the Temple. I thought about this and I wondered, from an attachment perspective, how that must've worked.

At about 2-3 is where children learn obedience and have the verbal capacity to carry on conversations. He could also eat most of the food adults eat, so Eli didn't have to worry about formula or anything like that. Caregiving for Eli and the rest of the priests would consist of discipline and teaching him how to read and basically prepare him for his duities. Of course, they probably had times where he sat on their laps & they read to him, but I am guessing that he was a toddler when he went into their care.

So, he might have time to develop an attachment relationship to Hannah. I wonder how that went. He couldn't have been avoidant because he established rapport with the priests & the people. He probably wasn't dependent because there was nothing about hims struggling to adjust or him having anxiety about being away from Hannah. Of course, his first few weeks, even if he was securely attached were probably hard.

How did Hannah help Samuel maintain a secure attachment yet know she was going to give him to Eli? I think she loved him with the love God had for her, and she knew that His love would sustain her even upon giving Samuel up. I believe she also told Samuel about God from a very early age. This is where my HDFS speculation can begin :) When she sang prayers to him, I wonder if God was tugging on his heart. At 7-8 months, if he was crawling around and saw a flower, did he smile - really have a social smile toward his Creator? I bet Hannah taught him words like 'mama & papa' but also Yaweh. When I think about it, he could have learned to say it at around 12 months. This is where I can speculate that she probably prayed and trusted that God would speak to Samuel and he would respond even at a young age.

He then could have had an attachment to God - the anchor of his soul, and this securest of attachments could have seen him through that caregiving transition from Hannah to Eli.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Trend in the Bloggy

There are 28 posts labeled as premed or medically inspired commentary and 14 so far on graduate school / HDFS. Weird. It's interesting that how I've learned about God and viewed God is so much depenedent on my major. This trend isn't a bad thing. In fact, I think it's rather unique because what I've studied is always turned into or has been my passion. So, God has used that to speak to my soul. This gives me comfort and encouragement that God is reaching others in their passions, in their field. He has spoken in every field of academe, and all true knowledge comes from Him :)

Here's to an all encompassing Creator, Savior, Great Physician, and Father !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Resilience of God

So, for the past few weeks in Risk & Resilience, we have been studying what allows a person to overcome hard times. Over and over again, it's been stated that self-esteem, intelligence, competence, talents, appraisal, and alternate caregivers help tremendously. Yet, scars remain. I just read an article that details that. I do get this, and these things: kind relatives & teachers, my own intellect, and talents in music and writing helped me get through less scathed than I would have been. However, I know they are not enough. They weren't enough the two or three times I almost took my life in high school. They weren't enough to give me a purpose beyond academic aspirations, to tell me that I was attractive, to ask the hard questions of "Why me?"

I get so frustrated with these articles because they do not address full liberty from your past. Granted that won't come in this life, but the hope of liberty should be there. "It is for freedom that Christ set us free." Galatians 5:1. Christ gives me hope to live through my days, He is my righteousness, and I can approach God as His daughter. I acknowledge God's sovereign hand in everything, therefore, the hard questions become easier. I can rejoice that there is a stronger Person carrying me, and He comforts me when I do still cry about things. This is true resilience, that goes beyond any journal article, any measure.

I pray somehow, that I can share this with my classmates, and with others in my field.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Modern Heros in the Faith

Cindy Winters, in my mind is one of the modern heroes in faith. She exemplifies 2 Corinthians 1:2-4 really well. And I mean really well. Today on national television, she was open about how her faith in Christ was her anchor - Christ was her anchor, and He is the savior of all men, including the one that killed her husband at their church in Illinois several weeks ago.

I watched her interview on TV and of course, in true Katie fashion, cried. But in a good way :) Because, though this is tremendously hard, I see Christ's glory manifested in this. Mom and I were talking on Friday and a theological discussion came up almost right before we hit I-25 and Prospect road. Our discussion centered on the problem of evil and God's sovereignty. This is yet another case study. Did God plan this shooting? I don't know about plan as if He orchestrated it as we plan our day, or as He planned for Abraham to come out of the desert to the promised land. Did He allow it? Yes. He is sovereign over all things (Colossians 1). Why would a loving God allow one of His children to be killed and leave a wife and children behind? To manifest His glory, and to conform those He called to His likeness (Romans 8:28). How is His glory manifested? Through their faith refined through this process, and for them to proclaim His name and in Christ there is comfort so that others may come to know Him.

Wow. Heidelberg Catechism Q & A style. But, when I realized all of this, I cried. For the sadness that these people will have to face, but yet because I could so clearly see God's hand bringing out His glory through tears.

My own application: So, when hard times come like a stressful day to urgent things like job uncertainty to very hard times such as loosing a dream or loosing someone I love, I can be comforted. God is my anchor, God will reveal His glory, God is my comfort, and He has allowed these things to pass so He can show Himself more to me and to the world.

One day, I will stand with Cindy Winter, Corrie Ten Boom, Elisabeth Elliot, Amy Carmichael, several of my closest sisters, and countless other saints that had to deal with ridiculously hard stuff and we will sing this song (along with many others):

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and Righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' name

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

His hope His covenant His blood
Supports me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope & stay

When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
On Chris the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

Solid Rock - traditional hymn

PS: After the song, I want to grab Cindy's hands, spin around, and go 'EEEEEEEEEEEEEK' because she and I both know that Christ caused fruit to be borne through her interview. Hehe, she might even 'eeek' too!!!

PSS: I realize that her kids may be AMAZINGLY STRONG in their faith because they have their mother as an example of how to be strong in some very very trying times. They will truly understand what it means to grow up with true security in Christ. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Godward Growth-Spurts

According to current developmental knowledge, when people develop, they go through cognitive, emotional, and social re-organization at each major phase. This results in some set-backs in some areas, but when all of them have moved forward, this new phase is qualitatively and quantitatively different from the previous phase. For example, a child's pre-school years are different from the elementary school years. During the transition to elementary school, the children may temporarily lag or go back a little in some skills - for example, they may not share as well in the afternoons if they are transitioning from half to full-day school because they are getting used to being away from home. But this regression is short lived.

In my spiritual life, I am undergoing a growth-spurt. Some things such as my understanding of God's sovereignty over my career & future life, God's healing of my past, ability and scope of serving, and general doctrinal knowledge are growing. Other things, I've noticed have taken a bit of a regression, but God has made me aware, and I know that through His strength, I can catch up quickly. I notice I'm more emotional during this stage, which is also somewhat of a key element in a developmental stage. This just means more of God's power has to be manifest to control things as I develop, so I will continue to allow God to display His splendor through this transition.

How long is this growth-spurt? I have no idea. There was one in Boulder, and maybe that's when it started. A lot of it was after recovering from a particularly bad 18 months. Yet yesterday, I know that I was healed from that time since I was able to tell my HDFS class how amazingly God has pulled me through. This is signaling that my current spurt is levelling out. I have run a sprint up a mountain to a plateau, and I am now surveying the view and re-grouping.

Praise be to God who brings us higher up & further in during this life, and into His presence where the true Story begins (CS Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia).

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Thesis & other stuff

Yup! I defended the Thesis! It was nerve-wracking beforehand. God calmed me down :) The presentation went well & even the Q & A wasn't bad. I found out where I am living in August and that's really great. I still don't know if I should go to El Paso over the summer partially because I know Mom won't like the idea of me there, but that needs prayer. I also signed the membership contract thing at my church. So here starts many a year volunteering at the Children's Ministry and doing other stuff for God :)

All this has 1 thread running through it: Faith. Faith that God would help me not spew during my class before my thesis, faith that God would provide for me on obeying His call for me to be committed to my local church, and a faith step of signing the paper that puts that process into place.

I am listening to Chris Tomlin's "The Noise We Make" At one point, he repeats the lines

You are Holy, Holy
You are Holy, Holy
You are Worthy, Worthy
You are Worthy, Worthy,

I thought about this and I take a step of faith because God is worthy of putting this much faith in Him. He is my Savior, Creator, Father who is sovereign over all and desires all men to come to repentance. He will one day restore the Creation and make it new. Therefore, when I meditate on these things, on this truth, and His faithfulness throughout history, I can know He is a God to be trusted for all of these things plus everything else in my future :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Power of a Pledge

This is a copy of an email that I sent to the AWANA leader and I wanted to post it because it's an amazing story that gives glory to God! :)

Subject: The power of the a pledge

Hi [Awana Leader] ! I had to tell you this story because it's amazing! Usually I don't think too much about the two pledges we say during flag time. However, last night, I realized that children really do learn the words, and I believe God can teach them even through this little ceremony. After flag time, we always have someone pray. Sometimes it's a teacher, sometimes it's one of the Cubbies. Yesterday, one of our little guys prayed and he kind of paused after 'Thank You for tonight and my mommy and my teachers...' he looked up and then said, "...teach boys and girls the Gospel of Christ and train them to serve Him. Amen."

I knew he got that directly from the AWANA pledge. My graduate student side of my brain knew he was echoing something he had inadvertently memorized. Yet, I know that the Holy Spirit helps us pray (Romans 8). And I truly believe that God led
this little boy to pray for all the children, including himself to learn the Gospel more and learn the Lord's way more. It was so amazing! I could've cried in happiness! They hear us pledge and they themselves obedience to God's Word each week, and I see that it truly grows a seed of faith that they know His ways are important and His Gospel is important.

Praise God for the foundation He is laying in their lives, even at
such a young age!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tears cry out from the paper

Yup. I am nearly done with the lit review. Meaning I'm in the last editing stages before I turn it in to my advisor for her final editings.

I haven't touched that thing since last month, so I keep forgetting how much research on divorce's effects on parents and children I have found. I remember doing a lot of this research over the summer and piecing this together. Sometimes when I was alone, I would cry. I thought of all the families I had seen and some of the families the researchers described. there was a lot of pain there. Of course, I know a lot of friends that adjusted well from divorce, but I know there are a lot of people that have not adjusted well.

So when I read the lit review, I am reminded of the pain many families are in. When I cry I remember pain from dealing with some children throughout the years that have issues from their parents' divorce. And I cry because we as researchers know divorce is generally not a good thing, yet a lot of researchers really are critical of the traditional family.

Yet I have a lot of hope. Every time I read this, I think about the single parent ministry at our church and know that Christ has not forgotten about these parents and children. He is there pulling them to Him to give them life and hope.

This is what I must always remember. My thesis should not just be merely a research project on my way to getting my master's. It should help me be compassionate, help, and pray for real families, real children crying tears - for them to come to know a real Father who will give them salvation through His Son.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Childhood Obesssion

So, of course I had to post a blog about the Octuplets. There is more of an analysis of her story here. Something that struck me was that she wanted to have a large family to show these children love and support that she never had. Her mother had said that she had an obsession with children and wanting to care for many children.

That struck me, because, in a way, I am the same. Instead of taking in 14 children as my own, I have cared for many in the nursery, Sunday school, and various other church programs. I also really enjoyed my time at the Early Childhood Center at CSU. Part of the reason I am involved in working with children is to give them the love and care that I didn't have for the 1st two years of my life in an orphanage. For example, when I feed a baby (even when he spits up all over me!) I am grateful he gets this attention, because I know myself, and many other children from institutions were fed from bottles propped up on blankets, instead of being held.

Yet, this mother and I differ on one very important way. I ran to God and washed myself in His Word for healing. I turned to Him as my Husband. And I know that the children in my care are truly His. It is for His kingdom that I work and tell these children about Him. I am not firstly there for my needs, though my background influenced me to work with children. I am there because all children - all people need God as a Savior. I come to these children "in my brokenness complete" (Starfield - Unashamed). These children do not complete my brokenness. This is our difference, and I pray that God can do the same for this woman and her children what He did for me.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Little Feet Dancing on The Rock

I think I've brought this up in my blog before, but if not here goes: on Thursday nights, I leave the ivery tower of masters / PhD level HDFS musings and go into the trenches where I deal with 10-12 three and four year old children for two hours in a church program called AWANA. AWANA stands for Approved Workman Not Ashamed. It's a Bible memory program for children 2-18. Our church has the program for 3-12 year old children. My room is called the Cubbie room. These kids memorize 1 verse a week, and the verse is simplified to 4-10 words.

Last Thursday during story / teaching time, the lesson was on prayer. Two Thursdays before this, one of our Cubbies wasn't there due to several broken vertebre (his spinal cord remained intact). We had prayed for this little guy while he was away. Last Thursday, he was still absent, but his mother told me he was doing better. I asked my kids if they prayed. Most did. I asked them, "How many of you think prayer works." Some did, some didn't. I explained that God does answer prayer because their classmate was improving. They really liked that. I went over the Lord's prayer and explained line by line what it all meant.

Later, we were doing crafts and one girl drew a cross with Jesus on it. I asked her, "Why is Jesus on the cross?" She said, "Because He takes away our sins." I had to try really hard not to cry tears of happiness. Several other children imitated her and also drew a cross. Their answers were similar when I asked them what they were drawing.

As I go through my Thursday nights with these precious little children whether I am playing with them, correcting them (firmly but gently), teaching them, helping them with snack, bandaging or examining any 'boo-boos', wiping teary faces or runny noses, or singing with them I realize this: God is building a foundation for their lives which is Himself. He is putting their little feet on the Rock of His Son so that they can stand firm through whatever happens in their life if they choose to accept Him as Savior. When they are happy or sad, they can run to Him. Many of them are also in families that want to serve and grow in God, and that is such an amazing protective factor because God is the source of Truth and Love and will guide these little children and their parents.

The years before 1st grade are so crucial to development that I am always humbled that God is using me to affect these children for His kingdom at this critical stage in their lives. God and I were talking about this, and He has truly put me in an early interventionist role. Teaching them the Gospel through my words and how I treat them is the most benificial thing for the rest of their development.

God, I pray You be with these little children for the rest of their lives and grow them into strong adults who live to follow You every day! Amen :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Postmodern Tantrum

I was in class and we were talking about different factors that help or hurt a child in his/her development and put a family at risk for problems. One of my friends looked quite frustrated and kept on looking at our professor & the rest of us with a confused / upset look. He finally burst out saying, "What do you mean problems? What do you mean by ideal? Like really [don't repeat this in class] wealthy or - how do you win this [I also said don't repeat this in class] race?" Everyone paused and the professor said, "Hm. Interesting. How do you know?" My friend got very angry and said that was the point. We don't know and so it is presumptuous to say what is good and not good for a child or family. He also had problems with predicting a child's developmental trajectory from different factors in his/her life.

I knew God was wanting me to speak. I took a deep breath and thought, "Ok, here goes..." I raised my hand. My professor let my friend rant more. Then he let me speak. I said, "First of all, remember when you guys were not HDFS and you looked at your family or friends? Maybe they worked in a business or at a store, so they were from various economic backgrounds. But couldn't you tell whether they were doing satisfactory or not?" I got a lot of uproar with that statement saying, "You can't really tell." Ok... so my professor attempted to cut me off by saying, "I know where you are going with this, but we have no accurate way of measuring how families and children are really doing." I said, "Yes, but, I think we have an inate sense of what families should be like and how children should be like to be adaptive." Common sense, yeah? Oh man... My friend practically blew up and said that he had a problem with the word 'should' and everyone pretty much agreed.

I tried to resolve his post-modern tantrum, but I think it made it worse. After class, I spoke with another Christian and she knew what I meant and agreed with what I said. It was my first foray into bringing Truth into this class and ouch. However, I am consoled not by my classmates' or professor's reactions, but by the fact that I do know how God designed the family and how He ordained it to be. This is nice because it allows me to work toward a goal when helping children and families.

Monday, January 19, 2009

When a Celebration Misses its Maker

Ok, here goes. Today is Martin Luther King day. We had a celebration at the university commemorating Dr. King's work. The first part was great. The main speech was very well done and had some nice poetic elements. However, I was saddened by it.

Dr. King had a dream that all persons would be treated equally because the God he served does not show favoritism (Romans 2:8-9) and there is no strata of status in His kingdom as far as being along racial or gender lines (Galatians 3:28). However, God does have set roles for men and women due to the way He designed them (Titus 2). In Him, we are all separate but equal.

In the speech, God was removed as deity. Instead, the creation was set as deity. This shouldn't be because the Creation displays the glory of its Creator (Romans 1:20, Psalm 19, Genesis 1 and many other verses). In this speech, 'mother earth' was prayed for and the speaker acknowledged this prayer was a substitute to the Lord's Prayer. That made me almost cry.

Throughout the speech, humanity was labeled as holy, pure. Our inner selves was where we would get strength. How can this be if we are all fallen short of God's glory (Romans 3:23)? Our inner selves as a reservoir of love was where true community would be found. Mmmm... maybe not really? 'Mother Earth' was groaning for all of us to love her more, to love each other more. That's somewhat Romans 8:20-22, but actually, the Creation groans for the redemption of God's children, so that God can redeem and make Creation new.

What answer, then, is true community? It is Christ. In Acts, the church stayed together because of the Holy Spirit enabling them to love each other. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5) is what allows us to have true community with our neighbor. Our fallen selves hinder it.

That difference, that removal of our Creator from the celebration of King's work made me sad. Made me angry that so many people - men, women, and children of Fort Collins were not told this truth of Salvation, but deceived by this post-modernism. The community here, while it is important, and especially Believers should show it, will not last here. We long for a true eternal community with God as its head, where He rules with justice and righteousness (Isaiah 9:6-8).

Dr. King wanted his society to reflect a
God that is righteous, loving, and just. His hope was ultimately in God, and ours should be to.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

There will be a day

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears / There will be a day when the burdens of this place, / will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face / But until that day, we'll hold on to you always Jeremy Camp "There will be a Day" (from

While I was going through articles that I have amassed during my 3 semesters :O of graduate school this song was playing on my Imeem playlist. I stopped and listened. I really like this song a lot.

One thing I realized was that there will be a day when I won't need at least 2 binders about HDFS stuff. A lot of my articles are just basic information and research findings, but a lot are about interventions for troubled families and how God's design of human development can be broken by biological and/or environmental agents.

One day I will not need this. One day, everyone who has accepted Christ as Savior will know what true love is. One day, any pains we have encountered in this life, any shame or hurt will be washed away. One day, I will be able to look and watch families that I've seen broken made whole in Christ. In that day, I will probably cry a lot, but I will be crying tears of happiness, for our Father in Heaven in whom we will be securely rooted.

In the mean time, I need to trust Him to help these families and be diligent in my studies and work so that He will be glorified. Any sadness I encounter when working in the HDFS field, I need to bring to Him.

Through this, I will always have the hope of His returning to make His children whole.

I can’t wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery this is why this is why I sing - Jeremy Camp

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Glory of it All - Even a Family's Pain

I spent more time working on my thesis, mainly the lit review. Some of this literature, I had not really looked at since the beginning of the year. It was nice to revisit more background on my thesis topic, which is emotional availability (parent responsiveness and quality of parent-child interactions) within divorcing and married families.

I was listening to the song, "Glory of it All" by David Crowder and I stopped and thought for a moment. All things God works to His glory - for the good of those who love Him, and for all to seek Him (Romans 8:28, Acts 17). So, does God use divorce to glorify Himself? Note, divorce is not His plan for a family. It is the product of a fallen world. Yet, I know He can use it to His glory. It is a step of faith for me to say this, when I have a one inch binder full of articles that discuss the negative outcomes of divorce which some children experience.

Yet I have articles about resilience. I know people who have come out of divorce and other maladaptive home-life situations. I've seen their struggle. I have struggled myself. And those of us that are Believers know that we feel our Father more acutely when we realize that we have lacked the love of a parent at different parts of our lives. We cry at His feet to mourn this, but we hold up our arms as He embraces us. We have hope that all will be restored, and that He will show us how He had worked, even in our darkest moments.

How does this affect my thesis? I have prayed more for divorcing families, for those that I observed, though the parent-child interactions were coded several years ago, I know it is not to late for God to really show Himself in these families. I talk about hope, or try to, in my thesis. Not just hope that this will help counselors and other people assist couples in working out their problems, so they will be less likely to divorce. I want to convey that families that are going through or have divorced still have hope. God's hand is mighty to save. No family is beyond His help. They just need to turn to Him. He has supplied the Son for their transgressions, and He will give them grace and love to go on.

So, when I sing, "Oh the glory of it all / is You are here / for the rescue of us all / that we may live." I know that a broken family can show as much of God's glory as an intact family. An intact family shows His plan. A broken family shows His redemption, healing, and comfort through the tears.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This post-college preparation will be different because...

Yup. I have already started the process of job searching (or at least calling people to begin networking, meaning calling agencies to try an set up informational interviews). I have a tendency to get nervous during this & think, "Crap. What if they don't like me, what if they won't call me back, what if what if..." This is, in HDFS language, thoughts & musings that have been modeled and I have internalized them. Meaning, I have watched someone go through this high-worry thought process over and over and, unfortunately, it is my default thought process for high-stakes things such as jobs and stuff.

This year I tell myself, quite frankly, "shut up and calm down." No really. Why? Because God is in control. Right now, I'm listening to Chris Tomlin's 'Enough.' all of You / is more than enough for / all of me / for every thirst and every need. / You satisfy me / with Your love / and all I have in You is more than enough.

Psalm 116 is also speaking to me right now. Be at rest once more O my soul. For the Lord has been good to you

Stop. Breathe. No really. Stop. Log off RamCT, put down the phone, pick up His word, put on some Chris Tomlin or other awesome worship. Let your Father speak to you right now.

Whew. Yaaaaaay! I feel God's peace when I do this. Already, God has prompted me to start praying - earnestly praying about housing / job situations for me when I leave grad school. When I pray, I pray, 'Lord, thy will be done. Lord, I am networking, looking around at possible apartments, guide my feet, let Your will be done as I put in my work. Give me a heart for clients / students I may work with, co-workers / faculty I may collaborate with, neighbors my roommate(s) and I may reach. I still have to start talking to people and praying about roommate situations.

This year will be different than the last year when I started my post-college transition. First of all, I will be focused on staying in Fort Collins, which is still quite a big faith step. Second of all, I will be graduating from Grad School! :) However, most importantly, it will, with God's grace & growing in my faith & my obedience to walk in faith, be a transition where I will have more peace because I will have laid it all at His feet (Philippians 4:6-7).

Friday, January 09, 2009

An HDFS Foundation that cannot be shaken

At the PDI, one thing that was brought up was constructivism and teaching. Constructivism basically means that students construct their own learning and teach themselves with the instructor's help. What would basically happen is an instructor gives students readings, but the assignments are really vague and classes are centered around discussion. The idea is that students grasp the concepts themselves while trying to figure out the assignment or discussions. The students are 'in charge' of the content and they analyze it the way they see fit, and it's more relevant to them. The instructor, of course, helps them if they get too off track.

I thought about this and thought, "Ok... interesting. But how do I as a GTA or possible future instructor know whether students are learning the right stuff?" I know pure constructivists would say, "They will find what is relevant to them, and most helpful, and that's how you know they've learned what they need to learn." However, there are just some foundational things to every field that need to be known in order to succeed. I think these need to be taught the usual way: instructor tells student, "This is how it is." Then, students can discover things with less of an instructor imput, if that's what the instructor wants.

For example: if I were to teach students how to bake cookies (mmm... chocolate chip cookies - nice & warm out of the oven :) <-- what I am eating), I could do it their way & another way. Here goes: I'd put out flour, butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, baking soda, salt, flour, nuts, and chocolate chips on the table. The students would have ovens and measuring cups & bowls etc. They would see instructions like: Make chocolate chip cookies. Students would just start experimenting. I'd intervene if a student was way off like adding six eggs. I'd say, "You might want to decrease your eggs." but not go into specifics. The students could discuss among themselves what they are doing. In the mean time, there would be a lot of burnt gunk, undercooked stuff, runny batter, batter that is way too sweet, etc. Along the way, someone might get things basically right and he/she would teach everyone else how to make chocolate chip cookies. The process of learning is what matters in this case. However, I see a few drawbacks. One, students might not know where to begin. Two, they learned what works for chocolate chip cookies, but they might have to do the same trial and error for making meatloaf or something. And the most important thing , I believe, is that there are foundational things about cooking such as salt & baking soda make flour rise, eggs hold a mixture together, etc. that you should know to be a good cook. If I had to teach it from a 'learn the foundation first and then explore' method, I would teach the students those foundations and then let them experiment. I'm guessing the mess & trial-error wouldn't be so great, and the students would have more direction.

Bringing it back to HDFS: There are certain things such as attachment, cognitive stages, developmental milestones, and family theories that every single HDFS major needs to know. They are the foundation of the field. They reveal how God designed humans and the families we are raised in. An instructor can somehow teach this by a constructivist method, but I think it's easier if students are given this information. It is important information that should not be overlooked. A student that doesn't know some of these concepts would be considered incompotent in the field.

So basically: There needs to be a foundation. Every field has one. God is the source of all knowledge. Therefore, He has rules in which the world works. We just need to find out what these rules and principles are. That is our foundation, and that is what we need to teach students before they can go on to learn other things in the field.

Back 2 Ye Olde Blog

Yup. It's me. Ye Olde Blogger. Dang that sounds old. We-ell, I am in graduate school... and I started this.... oh man... when I was a junior. 4 years ago, basically. oh man.four years ago.Woo, man.

So, why am I bringing Bloggy back? First of all, I find typing much better than writing since I can't read my writing. I might keep up my journals because it's just easier on the bus, between classes, etc, when I don't have my computer. Also, I can get a lot more in depth in my journals. However, some things I will transfer to my blog.

Other reasons include the fact that electronic sharing of information is the way to go. That got rammed into my brain in the Professional Development Institute (PDI) Most importantly, I decided that another voice out there demonstrating what God can do for the world to see Him & His glory is not a bad thing :)

Here's to blogging!