Sunday, July 31, 2011

I like to wear nyan

After my heavier post from this afternoon, I really feel the need to share something fun. And what's more fun than Nyan? Well, not much.

I bought a Nyan cat shirt in Branson yesterday. I realize this isn't the best picture, but my camera remote needs a new battery, so this is the best I could do without doing an awkward mirror shot. (I was too lazy to change my aperture and blah blah blah.) And if you are one of the rare few who hasn't seen Nyan's basically the most pointless/useless/annoying video meme around right now.

I'm pretty sure that doing a blog post about this makes me incredibly lame, but how can you not smile at that? And now I get to wear all of that cat-y, poptart-y, rainbow-y goodness.

Oh, and I present to you my favorite spin off:

There's my bit of randomness for the day.



Here we go again, we're taking medicine to take the pain away. - Medicine by The Fold 

I'm going to apologize in advance for the ranting nature of this post. I'm just so incredibly frustrated. And it's my blog and I do what I want. Baha. ;)

So, this is the condensed version of my health woes. Really, don't feel obligated to read this. I just need let stuff out.

I've been on some form of daily medication since eighth grade. It's not like I'm new to this whole game, but this is quite possibly the most frustrated I've ever been. I currently take two medications: one for my thyroid, and one for my OCD.

Three years ago I was diagnosed with Graves' disease, a rare auto-immune disease that attacks the thyroid gland and causes it to be hyperactive. I chose to have my thyroid destroyed via radiation. I am now permanently hypothyroid. I take medicine daily to replace my no-longer working thyroid. (If you don't know what the thyroid does, it basically regulates how fast or slow all of your body systems work. So when it isn't working properly, it effects every area of your health. It's like the little gland that could.) It's been a battle trying to get my on the correct dose of medicine. Three years, dozens of doses later, and they still haven't gotten me on the correct dose. I'm learning to live with it, though.

I've also had OCD since, well, forever. As a kid, I can remember being hounded by thoughts that I didn't like. For example, I was terrified that the rapture would happen and I'd be left behind. That particular fear would consume me to the point that I would follow my mom around everywhere. I would also repeat certain phrases over and over and over to myself to try to make the obsessive thoughts go away. It took years for my family to realize what was going on. (And at the time, I was too young to really take any medication.) In eighth grade, things got awful. I was having panic attacks on a daily basis. My parents put me in counseling and I was finally put on medicine. The medicine and counseling worked. But life happens, stress comes, and medicines quit working. The OCD came back, and with it came a succession of pills that just didn't work. In the past six months, I have been on five different combinations of anti-depressant medication. Finally, in June, we found one that worked. Unfortunately, the side affects for the first week or so were debilitating. Thankfully, God allowed me to press through it, and I felt great for a few weeks. Then, my medicine bottle spilled out in my purse while we were on vacation. I'm still working on beating OCD, and one of the manifestations of it is germaphobia. I'm extremely germaphobic. My mind perceived the medicine as being "dirty."I couldn't make myself take it, and I had to go two weeks without it.

I finally started back on the medicine a few days ago, and I feel awful. I'm paranoid, apathetic, anxious. I've had four panic attacks in the last 24 hours. I swing back and forth between pushing those I love away from me, and absolutely smothering them. I feel like I have cobwebs in my mind, slowly forming, but trapping me in. I can fight them off, find moments of logic and clarity, but before I can claim that stable ground, the cobwebs are back. I feel like Frodo in The Return of the King, completely wrapped in lethal spiderwebs.

I'm even having trouble talking to God, which is the most debilitating part. I need logic and, most of all, hope right now. I visited an audiologist last week. I've had trouble hearing out of my right ear, but I found out that my hearing loss in that ear is severe. (my left ear is fine. YAY left ear!) Now they're trying to figure out why my hearing is gone. I have an MRI next week to see if I might have Acoustic Neuroma, a benign (I repeat benign!) brain tumor that can cause hearing loss. It's NOT cancer. I mostly likely don't even have it, but it is within the realm of possibility, so they have to check that out. Most likely, the MRI will come back negative, and we'll move on from there. But that doesn't change how scared I am.

I say all of this to let you know that I need prayer right now. College starts up again in three weeks, I'm stressed about that, I'm stressed about everything. So your prayers are greatly appreciated.


P.S. I do have fun things to share later, I just had to rant.

Friday, July 29, 2011


linking this up at Little Somethings!
This has been a busy, busy week! I haven't even unpacked or done laundry from vacation, because I just haven't had time. I spent most of the week over at our state youth camp, Camp Niangua, taking pictures, talking to kids, and oh...hanging out with that boyfriend of mine. I didn't actually stay at camp. (This past week was north week--my church goes to south week. We have so many pre-teen aged campers that we have to split it up.) So I went with my dad in the mornings (he had to teach a class) and came back in the evenings for the service. The theme this year has been Useless without Christ. Fifty-one kids this week realized that they are useless without Him. Did you read that? Fifty-one salvations! Talk about incredible! God allowed me the privilege of leading two of those to Him. As Christians, this is what we are called to do. And even though my heart feels light, it is also burdened for these kids. So many of them come from broken homes. So many of them have no idea how loved they truly are. So be in prayer for these kids. They really, really need it.

God also spoke to me this week. I'm having trouble with my health right now. (I'd rather not talk about it just yet. But be in prayer. I have an MRI next week that I'm stressing out about.) My boyfriend and his youth pastor rallied a group to lay hands on me and pray last night. I have peace now. I know that no matter what happens, God is still in control. Things will work out, even if it's not the way I want them to. Everything will be okay. I have had so many people encourage me lately, that I know it must be a God thing. He is at work right now, of that I am sure.

This is probably the WORST picture of us, ever. But it makes me laugh.

It's hard to believe summer is almost over!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Midnight Snacks

I love midnight snacks. Or maybe I just especially love them tonight because I had beef jerky, salt and vinegar chips, peanut butter oreos and a caramel apple for supper, which is really not enough to satisfy hunger, am I right? (I was rushing over to church camp to take pictures at the service...and then ate camp snacks...hence the horrendous supper.) Did I mention, also, that we pretty much have no food in the house? Well, I still managed to scrounge up something pretty tasty to eat:

Katy's Midnight Mac n' Cheese. 
 You will need:
1 container of Easy Mac (single serving)
1 mini Babybel cheese
Black ground pepper, to taste
Tabasco sauce or Louisiana hot sauce, to taste

Make the Easy Mac according to package instructions. Crumble babybel cheese and mix well. (Babybel are the cute little round cheeses covered in red wax. It's unlikely walmart will have them, but Target and Sam's Club are usually stocked.) Add as much pepper and hot sauce as you like. (For me this means a toooon of pepper and hot sauce.)

It's seriously simple, and my taste buds are in heaven right now.

I'm off to watch reruns of my favorite childhood shows on Teen Nick. It's like I'm a kid in the 90's again. Love it! 


P.S. God allowed me to lead two girls to Christ at camp tonight. I am on cloud nine right now! Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Random fact: I'm supposedly 1/16 Cherokee Indian. Whether that's accurate or not, I don't know, but I do have a strong Indian heritage. Hence my dark eyes, my naturally dark hair (what? you thought my hair was actually blonde!? ;)), and my inability to sunburn despite the fact that I'm rather fair skinned. I also seem to have come into possession of some rather native american/boho/tribal stuff lately. So what do you do when you've been stuck on the couch all day with terrible joint pain and can feel a panic attack coming on? Wait for the ibuprofen to kick in and get out of the house and take pictures! Duh. So this is what ensued. I'm terribly sorry for the self-conceitedness of this post. Oh, and I dyed part of my hair blue again. It's an addiction.













Sparrows, Part I

A little birdie told me. Is that how the saying goes? After all this time…away…it’s hard to remember. It’s been so long since I stepped into that forest--the one behind my grandmother’s house. It was humid. My sunglasses were fogged. That’s how freaking humid it was. The sycamore trees offered such a lovely, shady cover. There was no breeze that day. It was quiet there. But it was not the kind of quiet that brings stillness or peace. No self reflection nor contentedness. I remember sitting upon the damp grass, closing my eyes and waiting. Waiting for what? If only I had known then what I know now, I might have fled my forced reverie, and run far, far away from that accursed place.

My shorts are going to be sopping wet
. I took my sunglasses from my eyes and laid back on the sticky grass to gaze up at the leafy canopy above me. I closed my eyes. Don’t think about it. Don’t think about it. Don’t think about it. Mom would have--would have what? Does it even matter now? Memories of my deceased mother had been chasing me for days. She’d been dead for years--I was only eight when she passed--but the memories were stronger, here at her childhood home. 

My family had been going through old pictures of her. I had tried to be compliant: “Oh look at this one! What a sweet picture!” I do believe those were the last words I had said aloud. Inside, all I could think was Oh gosh. I look just like her. It finally got to be too much. Aren’t memories supposed to be happy? This was more like torture. So I ran. I ran as far away as I could. In the southern heat, I made it as far as the wooded patch at the back of my grandmother’s property. Pine trees, sycamores and weeping willows invited me in with their slightly waving arms. Trees are so much like people, it’s disturbing. I was trying to relax there; clear my head. But it was too quiet. I found myself feeling anxious, bothered. My palms were sweating in anticipation of something, something big. Something monstrous. Must be this humidity.

I felt something touch my arm. My eyes flew open, my heart began to race. I’m getting kidnapped. I drew the courage to look down. A sparrow sat there with its dainty head tilted to the side. Almost as if it were lost and needed to inquire of me where the closest nest was. A nervous laugh escaped my lips. Kidnapped? Really? It's just a bird.

“Well, what do you want, fellow?” I asked the bird.

Follow me.

I jumped. What is going on here. Am I delusional? This heat is ridiculous. Or maybe it was that huge enchilada I ate last night--

Follow me.

I slowly backed away from the sparrow, towards the opening in the woods. I had made it about three feet when I felt a slight gust of wind pass my face and something hard hit my head.

“Ouch!” I looked to see what had hit me. I should not have looked up; as soon as I did my heart began to race and panic began to set in. Eyes. There were eyes everywhere. Large, yellow, piercing eyes. I couldn’t see what they belonged to, and I didn’t want to know.

Follow me. My sparrow friend began to hop further in to the woods. If you want to live, follow me. Now.

I slowly crawled after the tiny bird. He took flight skipping and gliding from branch to branch until he finally perched upon the doorframe of an old, rickety barn that had escaped my attention.

Now, go in.

I’ve seen enough scary movies to know that you should never go into any building that looks remotely creepy. Who knows what’s hiding in the dust and darkness? But a bird was telling me to go. A bird. And when it’s just you and a freaking sparrow against all of those eyes and the unknown creatures those eyes belong to, it’s best to listen. I tentatively set foot inside the wooden structure. One two three four. I counted in my head. Counting always made me feel better, especially counting to the number four. Four is a number of action. When you count to three, you never actually go on three. You go on go which is the fourth item in the sequence. Therefore, four. I stood, anxious, just inside the barn, letting my eyes adjust. My life is in danger and I’m thinking about numbers, a bird is talking to me without actually speaking, and there are eyes out there. I am going crazy. My fowly friend flew past me and rested on an old, rusted piece of farm equipment.

“What do we do now?” I whispered to the bird, ignoring the fact that I might be psychotic for doing so. Desperate times; desperate measures. He cocked his head towards the back of the barn.

Do you see that door? Go through it.

One two three four. I counted as I took halting steps towards the mysterious door. The floor creaked and groaned below me. This could not get any creepier. My hand rested upon the rusted door knob. I took a deep breath, and opened the door.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Awake and Alive

I am almost home. Well, I rather am already, considering I have two homes: Nashville and my sweet little bump in the road back in Missouri. I've lost count of how many days I've been gone. And really, it doesn't matter, because these past few weeks have been fantastic. The beach, the time with my family, the youth conference--everything has been incredible.

I really don't know how to sum up the past week, so I suppose a list will do.

1. I was called to the mission field at fourteen (but really, I'd been heavily burdened about it since I was about seven.) This week, God let me know that He wants me in creative access missions, possibly in the 10-40 window. This means I will be in a closed country, working as (possibly) an English teacher. It will be dangerous. He's already preparing me for it, and I am incredibly, incredibly excited. I have such a peace about it. I know that I could not be happy or content doing anything else. There are no more doubts in mind as to where God wants me.

2. I learned the importance of not burning bridges. My (no longer ex) boyfriend and I were able to reconcile. We realized that things hadn't been working because our focus was not where it should be. After lots of prayer, counsel, and discussion, we came to the realization that we should be together. He and I have a certain draw towards each other. We complete each others thoughts. We just work. And, honestly, we have the same call upon our lives. The crazy thing is, we were called to the same work at different times under different circumstances. It's great to be able to look at someone and know that they get it. They understand the utter heartbreak you feel when thinking about unreached people groups. They understand the willingness to give up a comfortable life so that others might find the enduring love of Christ.

3. I took a hiatus from taking pictures all the time. I've been feeling...uninspired. (I do have more vacation photos, but that's about it.) Although I do have a few ideas for shoots swimming around in my head, I just don't know if I'll have time to execute them before heading back to college in (exactly) a month.

4. I don't really care about Harry Potter. I wasn't allowed to read the books, so I never watched the movies. Sorry if I offend anyone but I consider Lord of the Rings far superior. Tolkien was a genius. Harry Potter might have been the childhood saga for most, but mine was LotR, The Hobbit, and all of the Narnia books.

5. I have some great ideas for stories. They aren't fully fleshed out plots, merely impressions. I'm going to try to expand upon these simple visions as soon as I find the time. Short stories have always been my specialty, anyway.

6. Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. -Romans 13:11-14. This was the theme verse for our conference, and it's really beginning to change my life. (As the Word of God must, if we truly believe it to be infallible.) The theme was Awaken. Most of us are dead on our feet. We are not passionate, nor do we love those around us with the love of Christ. We have been called to be awake and alive. This all really goes along with points 1 and 2 on this list.

I have so much more I need to write about, but this is getting quite long. So without further ado, here are the rest of my vacation photos.

Jockey's Ridge

Wright Brother's monument

I love how creepy this is.

What could it be?

Oh, it's just a cat. :)

View at my grandma's house

Showing off my new Duke hoodie. It's an obsession.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Busy Bee

I made it to the convention! It doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but it's already been great! This is just a quick note to let you know I'm still here! Unfortunately, I'm going to be very busy judging art this week. Also, the price of wifi at my hotel is quite ridiculous. (I'm having to blog from my phone!) I have more vacation photos to share when I can finally blog from my computer! I hope y'all have wonderful weeks. My week has been incredible. I was able to make up with someone whom I mistakenly thought hated me. It's good to be on speaking terms again with someone that you love!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

past the night

Her resting place is by the sea
Under the sun-warmed sand.
Where the grass grows green
And the waves break hard.
This was her land, her life, her heart.

She fell in love in sixty-nine.
Her suitor begged of her, "Will you be mine?"
With her gentle smile she humbly obliged
To become his life, his beautiful bride.

Life was hard as a preacher's wife
With a baby girl, the money was tight.
Health failed, life was filled with strife
But she never lost sight of her saving Light.

Life moved quickly for her then
The years went by with a noisy din.
A rowdy boy was added to her brood
And later in life, a little girl, too.

She cheered those she saw with a knowing smile
She was selfless to all, it was worth the while
So many lives were changed because of her love
So many hearts pointed to the true One above.

She left this earth with a quiet breath
Her hand in mine, she met her death
But death is swallowed up by life
I'll see her again, someday past the night. 

Her resting place is by the sea
Under the sun-warmed sand.
Where the grass grows green
And the waves break hard.
This was her land, her life, her heart.

I'm no good at poetry.

Letting Go.

Tonight, we will scatter my mother's ashes.

She passed away three years ago from a very aggressive form of cancer. I wish I could explain more, but adequate words still fail me. I hope tonight brings some kind of closure, but part of me knows it won't. Grief has become a part of my every day life. Time does not stop it, nor does it deaden the sharp pang that grips me. All time has done is decrease the frequency with which my heart turns over in utter agony at the thought of she's gone. And even though I cannot be rid of this grief, I am not without hope.

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died." -1 Thessalonians 4:13-14.

I will see her again some day. In the bigger picture of eternity, this time without her will seem to be nothing.

I realize that this post is incredibly sad, so I'm going to go ahead and share the vacation photos I've taken so far.

 Duke University! Home of the ever-awesome Blue Devils.
 This is where basketball magic happens.

 My gorgeous sister and I.

 Awkward jumping shot. Notice the incredible ombre tan on my legs.

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