Archive from October, 2013
Oct 31, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Reformation Day

Today is Halloween. Everyone knows that.

But it is also another holiday.

On this date in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses onto a door in Wittenberg confronting the sale of indulgences, questioning the pope, and launching the world into a new religious era.

In short, it was kind of a big deal.

As a seminary graduate, my theological nerdiness shows on days like today. I typically celebrate by reading a little history. Thinking about what the world must have been like 5oo years ago. And inserting my likeness into cardboard cutouts of famous theologians.

The results of our “photo shoot” are recorded here for your viewing and giggling pleasure, illustrating the many faces of reformed theologians.

First we have,

IMG_0836Suspicious, pensive Luther.

IMG_0837

 

“Joy of the Lord” Calvin

IMG_0833

 

Similar, but also more elusive, “I know something that you don’t” Calvin.

IMG_0843

 

“My first work is a seven volume set” intimidatingly intelligent and verbose Calvin.

And finally…

IMG_0842“I ate toooo much” Luther.

 

Happy Reformation Day!

 

Oct 29, 2013 - Health, Uncategorized    3 Comments

Restorative Niches

These two words have revolutionized my world.

They come from a delightful book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

Quiet

I am an introvert. I need downtime. I am often drained by large groups, small talk, and over stimulation. I am energized by small groups, deep talking, and time alone. Sometimes I have control over my schedule, but often I don’t. I do not want to be angry when I feel drained of energy. I want to combat such feelings through the use of restorative niches.

Cain understands feelings of anxiety leading up to large group activities and fatigue that can follow. Her solution is to find small slivers of time and space to recharge — which she calls restorative niches. This can be just about anything. Eating lunch alone. Walking outside. Listening to your favorite song. Even hiding from others in a bathroom stall (yes, this really happened!)

I’m experiencing a restorative niche right now. I’m sitting in a corner of Washington Dulles Airport, people watching, and writing this post. Travel can be stressful and the early mornings and uncertainty of schedules can leave me drained. My second leg of this flight was delayed, but instead of stressing, I’m reveling in this carved out block of time which I can claim, be purposeful in its use, and let it restore my soul.

Cain was careful (and accurate) to say that we all have some introvertedness and some extrovertedness in us. No one is solely one or the other. So, I ask you, friend — introvert or extrovert– what is your favorite restorative niche? What is the most surprising restorative niche you’ve ever experienced?

Oct 26, 2013 - Humor, Uncategorized    1 Comment

Girl Scout vs. MacGyver

My inner Girl Scout fights with my inner MacGyver every time I travel.

Here’s what I mean: I book a flight, pull out luggage, check the weather, make lists, and lay out piles of “necessities” for the trip. Of course I need two pairs of shoes, bug spray, shower shoes, Band-Aids, and two dozen pairs of underpants — you never know what might happen, especially with my track record of wardrobe malfunctions! My inner Girl Scout is delighted with these piles of clothes and supplies and decides that all must make the trip with me.

I mentally measure my luggage and woefully compare it to my pile of stuff.

Then starts the pruning process.

I try to silence my inner “Always be prepared” Girl Scout and accentuate my inner “The more you plan ahead the more things can go wrong” MacGyver.

My inner MacGyver begins asking, “Kelly, do you really need a bathing suit for Boston, in October? Maybe it can go.” Layers! I don’t need a short sleeved AND a long-sleeved shirt for each day. Throw in a black cardigan and call it a win. Two dozen pairs of underpants is whittled down to just one dozen (This is one area where I whole-heartedly endorse overpacking!)

I would estimate that for any given trip, I re-pack and same luggage seven times, pruning and item or two with each reiteration until my true necessities fit into my carry-on luggage, fully zipped, without necessitating a vacuum seal for closure.

Packing tetris

I want this packing process to extend into other portions of my life. I don’t need nearly as many things as I think I do. I can do without so many pieces of clothing and items of technology and still have a wonderfully fulfilled life. And, as much of a planner as I am, I want to be okay with changes of plans and roll with the punches so much more than I do.

My continual packing dramedy is an object lesson for me. I will continue to accentuate my “work with what you’ve got” MacGyver voice and silence my “Prepare for all catastrophes” Girl Scout Voice.

How about you? Do you have more Girl Scout or MacGyver in you?

Oct 19, 2013 - Occupational Therapy    1 Comment

Sock Hop!

I dug through my costume box and broke out this skirt (that my mom made me when I was nine years old!) for a very special event.

Sock hop

My friends are involved with a local ministry, Lift Disability, which caters to children with disabilities and their families. As part of this ministry, they host monthly outings to give the kids a chance to play and the parents a chance to mingle. Last month’s event was a sock hop, hence the get up!

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I spend most days working with kids with disabilities so I’m not uncomfortable in that arena at all, but I felt out of my element this night. Not because of the kids; because my role was different. I wasn’t attending this night as a therapist. I didn’t have the luxury of reading medical records or knowing what milestones were achieved ahead of time. I found myself diagnosing people at first, until I realized, that wasn’t the point. I was not an OT at this event, I was a friend. When I realized this, it was very freeing. I participated in the hula hop competition, danced, helped with the photo booth and got to spend the evening playing with hilarious, creative, shy, playful kids. Realizing my role made the night much more enjoyable.

Has such an epiphany ever happened to you?

 

Oct 16, 2013 - Devotional    No Comments

Parsing Struggles

When discussing sin and struggles, the tense of the verb matters.

I’ve heard loads of testimonies over the years and it seems that most people speak about their struggles in the past tense. They say things like, “When I first became a Christian, I struggled with/was addicted to/ was beset with _______.” We, as the church, give them grace and (rightfully) praise God for sanctifying this individual and delivering him out of whatever his struggle was. Past tense. Past tense struggles show movement. They show change, growth, sanctification, and should cause rejoicing!

But what about current, present tense struggles. When was the last time someone stood up to share their testimony in the midst of some weighty fight, in the pit, or not able to see their circumstances from the 20/20 perspective of hindsight. Present tense. Big difference. But this is where we live! We struggle currently and continually with sin, situations, circumstances, relationships, addictions, and more. I want to be able to praise in the midst of such struggles, journey with each other through them, and not reserve rejoicing only for past tenses.

In the words of one of my favorite authors, “Struggle well, Beloved.”

Present tense or past tense, praise is possible.

Oct 13, 2013 - My Story    1 Comment

Theater for One

I did something that I’ve never done before. At first I was nervous, unsure of how it would be. Maybe I wouldn’t like it.

Do I have you interested yet? Want to know what I did?

I went to the movies by myself.

I earned a free movie ticket over the summer which sat in my wallet for months until I discovered it again. By this point it only had a few days before it would expire unused. So I went to see Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters at noon on a Wednesday.

percy_jackson_sea_of_monsters_movie-1600x900

I was not only the only person in my party, I was the only person in the theater. 

An employee walked in several times with his flashlight, nodded to me and walked out. Each time it made me chuckle as if he was checking just to make sure I was still there.

I truly was nervous about this adventure. I always thought of movies as social outings involving dinner before hand or coffee afterward. But my solo trip was absolutely delightful. I chose my seat, got to rest my feet on the seat in front of me, enjoyed a free movie, and was not disturbed by moviegoers loudly munching on their popcorn!

It was an introverts paradise. Just the right amount of entertainment without the need for extra strings attached. I’m learning more and more about myself and my need for alone time, contemplative time, and non-talking time. I enjoy people, I really do. I like verbally processing life, but I also enjoy quiet. This solo movie outing offered just what I needed on that random Wednesday. Quietness. Entertainment. And creativity.

I think I’ll try it again… if only I could get more free movie tickets!

Oct 10, 2013 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

Sly Spam

I am so popular.

I get literally oodles of comments every day with this blog. But wait, maybe I’m not so popular because 90% of them are spam. I have software which filters out the real comments from the spam-ulous comments and I have to approve the legitimate comments (hence the occasional delay!)

spam

Most of the spam comments are absolute gook filled with nonsense words or jumbled letters. But some of them are crafty. They try to be personal while not really referencing anything in particular. I wonder how many hapless bloggers are duped by comments like this:

Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, as well as the content!

Often complimentary comments come from email addresses like LouisVuittonHandbagsForCheaperThanRetailEmailNowForDetails@email.com

Something tells me that is not a legitimate commenter. But it is sly. No doubt hours of programming have gone into writing code to troll the internet commenting wildly on anything and everything. No doubt time and talent been devoted to this endeavor.

But why?

Why is this what someone has chosen to devote time and energy to? What larger purpose does sly spam have? We each have a finite amount of time, energy, money, and space in our lives and what we devote our resources to matters. How often do I use my limited resources to create “spam” leaving a trail of annoyances, chasing after the wind, or “ploughing the ocean” as my friend says.  I want to devote my resources to something that will outlast me.  Where are you spending your time, energy, and talents? And risking sounding like Dr. Phil, “How’s that working out for you?”

 

 

 

Oct 4, 2013 - Running    No Comments

The Happiest 5K

Yes, I participated in two 5K’s in one week. I know, ridiculous. They just happened to fall six days apart and I wanted to run in both. One because I believed in the cause, one because I wanted to encourage a friend of mine who was racing in his first ever 5K!

Plus, it’s an unbeatable photo op!

The Before:

White, crisp, clean and dry!

Before Color Run

 

Aaaaaaand, The After:

1239738_10201962880022564_1780864247_n

 

970522_10201962859702056_1141680243_n

 

IMG_0638

 

Yes, it took several exfoliating scrubs to return to my normal color. And even then I had a slight bluish tinge for two days. But hey, that’s what makes it The Happiest 5K!

Surprising Manicures

Meet Marla, my coworker and teammate extraordinaire.

These are her hands.

IMG_0625

No, she did not paint her nails while impaired. She allowed one of our patients to paint her nails. We had goals to work on fine motor control and stability exercises for this little girl who loved to have her own nails painted. So they traded manicures as one way to address this goal.

Sometimes I get bogged down with some of the sad stories I encounter at work or trying to keep up with my own productivity standards. I continually fight to achieve balance that is all too often it is fleeting.

But this moment was beautiful. Who else gets to have a laugh over the state of her nails and know that it was purposeful and therapeutic? It was a great reminder to me why I work so hard to do what I do.

Thanks for sharing, Marla!

IMG_0626

%d bloggers like this: