Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Throwing My Childhood Out the Window

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a hopeless romantic. Maybe its taken me more than a little while to get to this point of self-recognition but here I am. Kaitlyn Cross- Hopeless Romantic.
I dream of days sitting on front porch rocking chairs watching grandkids playing in the yard, growing gray with the man of my dreams rocking beside me. I day dream about being swept off my feet, being romanced, of finally trading in my purity ring for a diamond. And ever since twelve year old Kaitlyn stuck that "True Love Waits" ring on her left hand ring finger the dreams haven't stopped coming.

My dear friend sent me a blog about quietly slipping off the purity ring and trading it in for something better: something truer. something more worth having. and something that doesn't require waiting. Because with that one piece of sterling silver wrapped around that one finger I have put shackles around my heart.

Jesus, You are a place holder until the right man comes along. I am waiting for that guy so that I can finally give up my heart. And I am so terribly sorry about that.

People are disappointing. I know that first hand. I've experienced that in the rawest form this past week.
So why would I ever want to give my heart so someone innately disappointing when the One man who will never leave me, nor forsake me is asking for my heart and promising with an eternal promise to never, ever break it or take advantage?

Why? Because at twelve years old I believed a lie. I believed that there was something better out there. I was being offered Jesus as a means to an end. And I bought it. I bought every lie that was fed to me about how if I loved Jesus enough and did all the right things that some day my prince charming would come riding in on a white horse and we would ride away together into the sunset.
Well let me tell you, it's been eight and a half years since I put that ring on my finger. I've been waiting for far too long. I am done waiting. So the other day my friend and I decided to follow in that bloggers footsteps. We quietly slipped our purity rings off of our left hand ring fingers and with that I unshackled my heart and I decided to stop waiting for my knight in shining armor and instead decided to stop believing the lie that Jesus was just a means to an end.

Jesus is the means and the end.

White picket fence or not, grandkids playing in the yard or single until my dying day. Life is sweet every day because Jesus is romancing me. and nothing else matters.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Letter To Me

I'm currently taking a composition class (it's reignited my love for writing and english, which is great, but not the point), and we had a prompt given to us for a writing exercise the other day that still...haunts me, if that's the right word.
We were told to think back to when we were sixteen years old. Think of how much/little we knew of life and the world back then. And then think of ourselves now. How much knowledge of life we have gained in that period of time. Taking this new knowledge, we were to compose three paragraphs of thought to our sixteen-year-old selves explaining one aspect of life we have a better grasp on now than we did then. It wasn't supposed to be advice or regret, just knowledge.

So my letter to a sixteen-year-old Kaitlyn was filled with regret and advice and little-to-no knowledge.

What knowledge can you really gain about the world in four years time? Because when I look back I see that nothing has changed, but everything is different. And maybe I am a little bit wiser or understanding in the ways the world and its people work in some areas, but with every piece of knowledge I gain about this life I am filled with infinitely more questions about it.
I'm not cynical. I'm not all doom and gloom, but how can I possibly begin to understand a world that has been at war for almost half my life? How can I comprehend a world that begs us to be ourselves, but only if everyone else approves? How can I say I have gained any knowledge of this world and this life in the last four years when I still have so many questions about what has happened over that period of time?

Abuse, suicide, heartbreak, betrayal it's all as fresh to me now as the day it happened. And I am not any wiser on the things that transpired at sixteen than I was at that time. But I do know this:
I know that God never appoints a fire unless He can bring beauty from the ashes. 
And I know that truth beyond a shadow of a doubt because I am evidence of it. I am evidence of a loving God. I am evidence of a Healer. I am evidence of a Redeemer. I am evidence of a catastrophe that the Lord is making right. I am evidence that all God does calls us back to Him.

In other news I am a knitting wizard. But I only know one stitch. but i'm really, really good at that one stitch. 

AND I got my Warby Parker at-home try on kit yesterday. I love glasses. like, a lot. 
So here's a little picture of what I'll be doing at work for the next two hours:

Like my frames?! I'm OBSESSED. Thanks Warby Parker!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Holy Ground

"And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. 
He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 
And Moses said, "I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned." 
When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" 
And he said, "Here I am." Then he said, "Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.
Exodus 3:2-5

Clearwater Cove in Lampe, MO. is the site of a future full-service Young Life camp. This weekend I had the pleasure of attending college weekend there for the third year in a row. Something different happened this year, though.
Saturday night we all gathered around a bonfire overlooking Tablerock Lake. Jud Jones called the group to attention and told us of plans for the camp. He told us that where we were standing was the site of the future club room. The place where, for years to come, the gospel would be preached to kids from all backgrounds, all walks of life; kids whose biblical background is as varied as their names. I had the sweet, sweet privilege to pray over this place that will be instrumental in changing lives in the same way the Lord used Frontier Ranch to meet me where I was.
As we prayed for funds, campers, leaders, summer staff, work crew, assigned team, and Jesus to show up in huge ways I thought, this place where we are standing is holy ground. 

Maybe Jesus met someone for the first time at Clearwater this weekend. Maybe in those 15 minutes under the stars Saturday night someone took off their sandals and walked onto the holy ground and met with Jesus face-to-face for the very first time. 
Maybe someone let Jesus reach down to them, they let Him close the gap between Heaven and earth for a little while and rested in His promise that they are not alone. 
Maybe for the first time someone allowed Jesus to heal them of their hurt. 
Maybe someone allowed Jesus to let their past stop wrecking their present and entered into the holy ground.

It's hard to say for certain, but I do know one thing, it won't be the last time that the gap between Heaven and Earth is eliminated and Jesus reaches down into our lives; enters straight into our mess; loves us as we are.

Where ever you happen to be right now is holy ground. 
And I'll admit I'm terrible at recognizing it.
I want to take my sandals off and stay for a while.

And He doesn't always come in a burning bush with a booming voice from Heaven. Sometimes He's a whisper in the wind. He's in a look, or a smile, or a laugh. He's in the leaves and the changing seasons. He's in my insecurities and my fears and my uncertainty. He's in my dreams and my hopes and the moments that fill me with inexplicable joy.

More often than not I run away because I'm not worthy to walk on holy ground. 
And "we accept the love we think we deserve." 
So I run from Love that takes me as I am. Love that doesn't ask questions and doesn't make demands and doesn't hold back. I can't accept nor can I understand Love that is relentless and unending. 

And just because I can't recognize or accept it, the ground on which I stand is no less holy. 

I will take off my sandals. 
I will sit for a while. 
I will let Jesus enter into my mess. 
I'll allow Him to stop my past from ruining this holy ground that I'm running from.
And I will let Jesus reach down and lessen the gap between Heaven and Earth for a little while longer.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Eucharisteo- thankfulness

There is a book called "One Thousand Gifts" it's all about how beautiful life is.
March 2011 I decided to make my own list of 1000 things that "make my heart smile."
Almost a year and a half later and I have 485 things on that list.

I realize that after my last post a lot of y'all probably thought that I absolutely hated my life.
And that's just not true.
Am I in an extremely difficult place right now? absolutely.
Am I struggling? definitely.
But I am still so blessed. And I'm so thankful. for everything.

53. Sun shine-y Saturdays
58. Drinking milk out of coffee cups

Ann Voskamp says in her book, "with memories of gravestones, of combing fingers through tangled hair, I wonder too...if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually become places to see. To see through to God. That which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave."

131. How laying down makes people laugh differently
145. The sound my grandpa makes when he drops something
181. Rain when the sun shines
186. When the song you've been wanting to hear comes on the radio

The thing is this: sometimes life doesn't work out the way we want it to, or the way we think it should.
But life with the Lord is an adventure.
To dwell on the past, or the future, or a "plan" means missing this very moment. And in this moment, there is so much to be thankful for!

240. Dreaming about Capernaum
257. Raul from Chick-fil-a
374. Sunshine on my face

"Perspective--how we see.
...and I won't shield God from my anguish by claiming He's not involved in the ache of this world and Satan prowls but he's a lion on a leash and the God who governs all can be shouted at when I bruise, and I can cry and I can howl and He embraces the David-hearts who pound hard on His heart with their grief and I can moan deep that He did this--and He did. I feel Him hold me--a flailing child tired in Father's arms. And I can hear Him soothe soft, "Are your ways My ways, child? Can you eat My manna, sustain on My mystery? Can you believe that I tenderly, tirelessly work for the best good of the whole world--because My flame of love for you can never, ever be quenched?"

461. Stopping to watch the sun set over the Arkansas river on the way home from leader weekend
467. The first EVER Capernaum club
471. Using the clothes line to dry my clothes

It's a beautiful thing that I don't have to hide my hurt from the Lord. And it's even more beautiful that when I am hurting, He gives me reasons to rejoice.

479. Carnival night at Young Life camp
480. Dallas leading a prayer for the first time 
485. Thomas telling me he wanted to be a Young Life leader

Monday, August 27, 2012


I have been procrastinating this blog post for quite some time, my friends.
Not because I don't have anything to say; I have quite a bit to say.
But because there's too much to what I need to say. I have too many words, but none of them seem adequate.
And because I'm still not sure what it all means.
But isn't that the beauty of life; that it's uncertain, and it's up for interpretation, and it's all a big, big mystery?

Let's play catch up for a second:
I finished summer school. not quite as strongly as I would have liked, but I did pretty well.
I went back home for a day or so before leaving for summer staff.
This is where the words start to fail.
I was faced with the reality that I might not make it into the Communication Disorders program this fall. I came to the end of what I could give to make that happen. And even though my motivation and determination might have kicked in a little too late, I still wanted this so badly.

Fast forward:
I went to summer staff at Timberwolf Lake. 
Words also fail here.
being an AM cook kicked my butt. It was so, so hard to be there sometimes. Some days I wanted to quit; just pack up and go home. On those days, I got to see Jesus working so plainly that all doubt about where I was and what I was doing was wiped away.

We were on a "technology fast" at TWL. For about 24 hours every six days we got our phones back.
During one of these "sabbath days" I found out my final CGPA and consequently, whether or not I got into the CDIS program for the fall.
I fell short. Not by much. But by enough.
But where better to receive life-changing, terrible news than a Young Life camp with 50ish of your greatest friends?

My heart was not broken that day*. Or the next. Or the next. I had an incredible peace that can only be attributed to Christ. I should've been devastated. As of that day, I had no direction, no plan, no hope for the future, no goal in mind. I was an empty vessel. But I was ready to be used by the Lord. 
What better place to completely submit yourself to the Lord's will, and listen and look for the answer for your future than at Young Life camp with 50ish of your greatest friends?
So I waited. And I listened. And I prayed. And I begged God for direction and undeniable clarity. And I got silence.

When the silence finally lifted, do you know what the good Lord revealed? I am called to be Holy, just like Him. Holy means set apart. I have been set apart for something good. Something greater than I could ever ask for or imagine. And I have to submit to that idea before I can know a plan.

Here lies the issue: I only ever planned on doing something that I could conceive of. But what if, just maybe, His plan is bigger than that? What if all this time, I've been missing out because I've been so focused on asking Him to come alongside my mediocre path? I've been asking Him to come "bless my mess" instead of asking Him to come clean shop and start from scratch.

Here's the lie I think we believe all to easily: We have to have it all figured out.

I don't have an answer to the question "what's your major?" and I don't have an answer to the question "what do you want to do?" and I definitely don't have an answer to the question "where are you going to be in two years?" but I do have an answer to the follow up question: I don't know because I won't commit to something that I can't see through to fruition. And I'm done wasting my time pretending like I know what I'm doing, and where I'm going when I really have no idea. I won't pretend to have it all figured out anymore. I don't have to have it all figured out.

And that freedom is absolutely beautiful.

All God asks of me is to follow Him step by step. One foot in front of the other. One at a time.
And this, right now, this uncertainty and this mess that I seem to have gotten myself into is beautiful.
It's beautiful because the Lord of all creation is right here next to me. He's holding my hand and He's directing my steps. He's catching me when I stumble, He's refocusing my distracted gaze, and He's wiping away every tear.
Right here is right where He wants me right now.

After summer staff I debated coming back to school.
With no direction and no plans and no motivation to do school anymore (I wasn't even convinced that I needed to be in school anymore; I'm still not convinced) I didn't see the point in being back in classrooms.
I applied for a semester long internship at a Young Life Camp. I didn't hear back until it was too late. I wound up at school anyway. I struggled to find open classes. None of the classes I'm in are helping me towards any sort of degree program. From where I stand right now, I'll be a super senior at the very least.
This brings us up to date pretty much.
And this is the hardest part:

*I'm pretty much heartbroken.
This place that I'm at is impossible. As beautiful as it might be when I look at it objectively or in hindsight, that doesn't help how I feel right now. And right now my heart is broken.
I feel like a failure.
I feel like I'm a disappointment.
I feel like a loser.
I feel like a bum.
I am searching high and low for direction.
I am chasing every day dream that crosses my mind and friends, that is exhausting.
I'm tired.
I'm tired of talking about my future.
I'm tired of not knowing.
And quite frankly I'm tired of having to wait on the Lord.
I'm tired of feeling like I'm spinning my wheels; of coming up empty.
I'm tired of being surrendered to a path of unknowns.
I'm tired of people saying "You're a junior and you still don't have a major?"
I'm tired of always being reminded that I have no direction.

And I'm not leaning on the Lord like I should in this impossible place.

I am standing in the desert. Thirsty. Knees bent, head turned upward, arms outstretched. I am praying for rain. I am praying for my life. I won't stop. 

"Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is as sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth." -Hosea 6:3

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hot Oil Treatments and Other White Girl Problems

Hello Blog-World!
In order to prove to you that I'm not all serious all the time here's a post of White Girl Problems (aka my life). And no, I probably won't be able to draw some spiritual connection between these and my relationship with Jesus.
So just take it as it is, laugh a little (or a lot) and try not to make fun of me the next time you see me.

1. Weddings
I'm going to a wedding tomorrow. I'm really excited for them and about going, but as I was picking out a card to give the happy newlyweds I got into the "I'm-not-dating-and-I'll-never-get-married-ever-ever-EVER" slump that happens about twice a week.
and once we hop down to number four you'll know why this is really a crisis that need some attention. because WHO WANTS TO MARRY ME?!
there, i'm done.
now I'll go eat ice cream sandwiches. #whitegirlproblems

2. Cooking
A friend of my challenged me to cook my way through a certain cookbook in a year. That seems doable, right? Right! I accepted the challenge like...5 days ago. And here's a list of what I've cooked so far: salad.
And not just any salad, but salad from a box from WalMart. Yep. I didn't even buy lettuce. I bought a box of mixed greens (half and half to be exact: spinach and spring mix). Now, to my credit, I did cut up the vegetables all by myself! I was even planning on making my own dressing, but the store-bought raspberry vinaigrette just looked so much better! ...and easier.
So, 360 days left and about a billion recipes left to make. #whitegirlproblems

3. Moving
I recently moved into a precious new house. (yay yay yay!!) It has a huge backyard and a cute little front porch and we have the sweetest old lady neighbor. What people don't tell you about moving is that it sucks. ...or maybe they do tell you that. but i wasn't listening because everything is sunny and happy when it comes to moving out of your hell hole apartment and into your beautiful house.
Few things in this world are made for people who barely reach 5'3" on a good day. None of those things are in my new house. I had to buy a step ladder just to reach the second shelf in the pantry. And forget the top shelf in my closet. That's never going to be used.
A list within a list:
Quirks Of the House on Berry Street:
You can't run the dishwasher and take a pleasant shower.
The fridge makes the strangest sounds that remain unexplained.
It also leaks.
The sink leaks, too. Don't worry, we have a bucket.
No ice machine = ice trays that NEVER release all the ice cubes at once.
The most confusing locks on our it really locked? it's hard to say.
No microwave.
No lawn mower. Did I mention how big our backyard was?
No washing machine...yet

All of that being said, I wouldn't trade our cute little house for anything in the whole world. (except maybe the Air Force 1's I customized today at work...but that's another #whitegirlproblem entirely. Also a #brokegirlproblem)

4. Hot Oil Treatments
My hair has not been cooperating recently.
It's been pretty hideous unless I do something to it. and I hate doing things to my hair, I'm about as low-maintenance as they come.
I saw this thing on pinterest a while back about a hot oil treatment you could do at home for your hair. so yesterday I decided I would do it! Brilliant!
This little remedy will solve all my problems.
I heat the oil on the stove. add the honey. take it to the bathroom.
dunk my hair in the solution and comb it through my hair.
"comb it through my hair" is not an accurate statement. I comb it until the very tips when the honey dries and gets stuck at the ends of my hair. #whitegirlproblem number one. I continue with the process.
But I can't seem to get the oil on enough of my hair. So i take the pot and dump it on my head. Remember how it just came off the stove? Yeah, me neither. So there I was, bending over my bathtub holding a pot in one hand and a comb in the other, cursing to myself and crying a little bit.
I combed around my scalding scalp and stick all my hair into my cute little shower cap. I had to let it sit for 15-30 minutes.
Fast forward 15-30 minutes.
My hair is a disgusting, grease ball mess. The instructions said to "shampoo as normal" and so I did that.
And then I did it again.
And I still felt really gross up there.
But I got out of the shower and went about my business.
My hair NEVER dried. EVER.
So I took another shower.
And then when I woke up in the morning and my hair was STILL disgusting I took a shower again.
I had to go through work, class, and lab with gross, grease ball hair.
I looked up what to do about this Hot Oil Treatment gone wrong online.
Enter: Target.
I drove to target as fast as I could after class and bought Dawn Dish Detergent.
Yes, you read right. Dish Soap.
So I get home and hop in the shower right away and washed my hair again. and then again for good measure.
My hair has never been so soft or so grease free.

So there you have it, the story of me washing my hair five times in two days. #whitegirlproblems

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beautiful Things

Laughing until your stomach hurts.
The desert
chapters ending
new beginnings
Uncertainty of the future juxtaposed with the unchanging, certain nature of God

I took a tumble at Zaxby's and we've been laughing about it ever since.

I have the greatest friends in the whole world. And I won't allow you to argue with me about it. Case closed. My friends are better than yours.

$5000 of Mulberry's camp costs are already in hand. How incredible.

God never stops using my circumstances to prove Himself to me.

Sometimes drying up is good. 
It makes me realize just how much I appreciate being saturated with the Lord.
It makes me realize just how much I desperately depend on Him each day.
It makes me realize that I cannot in any way do this on my own.
It makes me hunger in an incredible way.
And He fills me up.
He dries me out so He can fill me up; and this time filled with nothing but Him.

Let's just be honest, friends, what's better than sunshine on your face and bare feet in the grass?

Two years down. aPARTYment life is ending.
But new things are beginning.
and those things are beautiful.

Living in the "here" and "now" and not looking too far in advance is frowned upon. 
"i do not know my five year plan. Even tomorrow will probably not go as I have planned. I am thrilled and I am terrified, in a good way. So some call it courage, I call it Faith. I chose to get out of the boat. To take the next step. Sometimes I walk straight into His arms. More often, I get scared and look down and stumble. Sometimes I almost completely drown. And through it all, He never lets go of my hand." -Katie Davis
So, no, I don't know what's going to happen in the next few years. Heck, even my summer is still hanging out in limbo. And maybe that's not "conventional" and maybe it's not the smartest thing, but it's where I stand.
It's where I choose to stand. Because even if I had every step planned out, we all know it wouldn't happen that way anyway. So why waste my time and my hopes on something that I know will never happen in accordance to my plans.
Because it's not about me, is it?
I am a firm believer that there is so much more going on than what I can see.
God. I Am. Present tense.
This moment.
Not a semester from now.
Not five years from now.
I choose to trust the Lord of all creation. I choose to have faith that He will continue to prove His faithfulness to me. 
So I choose to live in the moment. and I choose to give thanks for the blessings that I have in those moments in the hopes of making the fullest of my time; making the fullest of my life.
I will not waste these moments worrying about time that I am not even guaranteed.

I will be reckless. I will be careless. I will not be careful because this moment will never happen again.
I'm not saying that I'll never ever do any planning in my life ever, because that's not true. What I am saying, is that I choose to live now. 
And the life that comes from living now is beautiful.
And it is full.

So chastise me for not being as worried as I should be about everything that's going on.
But by asking me this, you're asking me to sacrifice my joy. 
And I refuse to do that.