Friday, August 16, 2013
Monday, July 1, 2013
Well, we survived the first week together! Everyone is
alive, has been fed and still talking to each other…success!
Thursday, May 30, 2013
|Empowering young women to unlock their own life legacies|
It was time to bridge the gap for these young women! The gap—residential foster care to independent living—is a crucial, transitional time for these young women. This is why Legacy House was created! These young women can come live in a beautiful, residential neighborhood…in a HOME! It is safe for us to say that this type of program has never been done before with this type of collaboration and support!
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The Invitation by Oriah
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul
if you can be faithless and therefor trustworthy.
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Me: “Seriously!??!?!?” (Professional response, I know)
Rewind to October 2012:
I just returned from spending 4 months in Uganda. I resigned from my position as a Treatment Counselor in a Psychiatric Residential Facility where I had been working just shy of 5 yrs to be able spend those 4 months in Uganda. The whole process had God’s fingerprints all over it and so obviously everything was going to fall into place when I returned…..
It was such a battle of trying to figure out how all the pieces of the puzzle were going to fit together. I love Uganda. I had been going for the past three years and then spending 4 months there was incredible. So much of my heart was there. BUT….I loved being home too. I have such a strong desire and passion to work for the hurting here in America.
“Wait a sec! Nashville! That’s where I am supposed to be!” This is where Exile International is based and I wanted to be close to the team to still be involved, yet get a full time counseling job. I had a few interviews, one was very promising and she was going to start calling my references. I kind of panicked and realized I was moving ahead in this and I had no peace from God to move forward. I called and told her that I just couldn’t make the move to Nashville.
God and I had a few more conversations. I wondered if I should truly step out and fundraise full time to work in Uganda with Exile. Again, such an unsettling feeling with no clear “yes, go in this direction” from God.
He was constantly reigning me in. Holding me back. Making me stay right where I was in my cozy little condo in Cedar Rapids, IA. I was not too happy about this.
“God, you know I don’t belong here in IA” (insert giggles from God)
“I want something so much bigger. I know you know this! I know you understand my desire and passion to be a part of change and movement! God, if I am not supposed to be in Uganda, please let me have a job that I am just as passionate about….the things YOU are passionate about…bring it Lord”
Just wait, Kari
“What am I waiting for?!?!”
I put on a fake smile, accepted and succumbed that this was just temporary. Surely, God still had something else up His sleeve. I even remember my facebook post that I wrote after I accepted this job, stating that I was confident that even though I am still in Cedar Rapids, IA taking this new job, that God was still going to reveal His ultimate plan.
Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful to be able to be fully trained and to practice a whole new level of therapeutic intervention with families. But it still didn’t feel right. I still felt stuck.
It is now the end of January. I just returned from attending a new training for my job in Connecticut. I am home in my condo and skimming through my newsfeed on Facebook.
Jen Hatmaker (I wish I could remember what friend of mine posted something of Jen’s about a yr ago that led me to “like” her page. If I could remember, you would get a big fat hug and thank you!) just recently posted about a position pertaining to this new program called, Legacy House, with a link to Brandon’s Blog.
I went to check it out. With every sentence that I was reading, my heart was pounding just a little bit harder. I found myself agreeing to everything I was reading. My passion was increasing and I was remembering all the faces of girls that I had worked with in the past in the residential facility. Girls in the foster care system, some that were not, but completely broken, no hope, no safety net, no encouragement; stuck with families or shelters that continued to break them down.
I love them. So much. I never thought that I would work in residential for as long as I did. It was brutal at times. Kicked, spit on, hair pulled so hard my scalp would bleed, skin torn apart from being bit, scars due to their nails being dug in my skin. It took about a year to develop some thick skin to deal with all of it. But when you can learn to see more than their behaviors, more than their pain that is speaking…..then you can truly see their worth and what they are capable of.
Brandon wrote about their desire to have a Resident Director come to Austin, TX to live in the home with 4 girls at a time that were transitioning out of foster care. I walked away from my computer, not sure what to do with it all!
A couple hours had passed. I knew it was my passion, but the timing just seemed terribly off. I JUST started a new job!
“God, I have no idea if this is at all what you have been telling me to wait for, but I’m just going to submit my info. That’s it. There are thousands of people seeing this post. Nothing is going to come of it, but thanks for letting me read about this!”
Ha! I bet God was just having a blast with all of this. I submitted my info and then went on my merry way honestly thinking I was never going to hear anything, truly!
Jan 31st I receive an email from Brandon stating that I was put in the top 5 and he would like to chat.
I was shocked, totally taken back. Initially, I had no idea what to think. I honestly never thought I was going to hear anything and so I really never thought seriously about the whole thing! Could I really do this? Is this truly why God has been telling me to wait? Is Austin, TX where I am supposed to be??
I fervently began seeking God about all of this. For the first time since returning from Uganda in October I felt the path open up before me and God telling me “yes, go….this is where I want you to walk.”
We chatted and then I flew out to Austin for an interview….completely terrified! I don’t think I had ever been more nervous in my life. I contemplated some wise advice that was given to go take a shot before the interview to calm my nerves, but settled that starbucks might be better.
I had a week to wait until I was going to hear back. I kid you not, EVERY DAY something happened that pointed to Austin. I would open a book and the first sentence would be about Austin, TX. My mom called and said she was reading the local paper and Austin, TX was listed as one of the top places to visit. I was flying home after training from CT and the girls sitting next to me were from Austin. I was convinced that either God was playin’ me or that He was continuing to affirm that this was His plan.
March 15th 2012
Friday, March 22, 2013