Sunday, October 6, 2013


Change. What does it mean? What about it is so scary? Change. verb. to become different. Think about how much change happens. Small scales and large scales. Currently, it is now Autumn. As the weather becomes cooler, the leaves will change color, and eventually fall off the branches. The grass will die and the ground will soon be covered with a white blanket of snow. All a sign of another year passing. Which is usually a time in which we tend to look back on the lapsed time and think about how much we’ve changed. We look back at how we look differently; how much we’ve accomplished; who/what is important to us; etc. Things are always changing. We are always growing older and we should always be moving forward. It’s my senior year of undergraduate classes. WOW. I’m 21 years old, pre-student teaching this semester. I’ll be student teaching next semester. I just applied for my first ‘big girl’ job as a youth minister at a local parish. My best friends just moved into their very first apartment. Two of them are in the grad school and one has a ‘big boy’ job with ‘big boy’ responsibilities like buying insurance, going to bed at a reasonable time, you know... that ‘adult stuff’ that we so purposefully run away from as long as we can. I’m trying extremely hard to embrace this time of my life. It can be difficult. To acknowledge how far we have come is one thing, but to think about the amount of work we have left can be overwhelming. As I’m growing older and gaining more responsibilities, I find myself in a whirlwind of thoughts with way too many directions to go: sensory overloud. I hear voices telling me one thing, and more telling me something else. Hands pulling me in one direction, still others pull me a different way. And on top of what we hear from everyone else, we also have to deal with the ramblings of our own minds. Part of me wants to settle down, find a job, find a place to live and begin my life as a responsible adult. Another part of me, wants to sell everything and do mission work. Oh, the possibilities; the decisions we must make when things change. How do we choose? How do we find the strength to embrace these changes and become better through them? I want to do what I feel is best for me, but I’m not a witty adult who knows all; I am a young adolescent with hopes and dreams that she has no knowledge on how to achieve them. This is what I do know; the past year has taught me that change can be good. As Autumn shows us, change can be beautiful. We must deter our minds from the fear of something different. Different means exciting; new. I’m ready to embrace the change of growing up; of graduation; and of moving on to the next chapter of my life. Here goes nothing.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Coming Home

This past weekend, I made the trip home to spend some time with my relatives on my dad's side of the family. Saturday evening as the sun began to go down I pulled into the stone driveway of my aunt's house. As I pulled in, my eyes darted to the other cars to see who all made it and who was missing. As I made notes in my head I parked and got out of my car. Much to my surprise, (I haven't seen many of these family members since December and the younger ones are usually shy at first...) my cousin Rudi came running out to the car. "Caroline, Caroline!" she exclaimed as she jumped into my arms. When it comes to family… often times, it is a train wreck of a trip. So I never really know what to expect and I'm used to things not going well. Coming home is not always a pleasant experience and as I'm growing up, I'm beginning to understand that the word 'home' is not necessarily a house, or a town. To me, 'home' means the ability to feel completely comfortable breaking my walls down and being vulnerable. Home means the place that I can come to when I am broken to build me up and the place I can share my darkest secrets without being judged. It's the place I can go to and receive support no matter what.

Amidst the drama and hardships of my life, my immediate family has not always provided me with a proper portrayal of home. However, my extended family on my dad's side has been a constant support system for me. My relatives are a very dysfunctional group of people that come together and make it work. They're crazy and have tons of problems just like all families do. In my family, nobody stays married and messing things up is what we do best. Spending time with them this past Saturday helped me remember why they are so great. When we get together, nothing else really matters. We cherish the moments together; take plenty of pictures to remember; we laugh hysterically at the strangest things; and for a couple of hours the youngest ones return us to the innocence of youth.
It's always a good time visiting the place that I grew up because now that I am older and on my own. I have the ability to leave. I can stop by, spend some time with people I wanted to see, and then be on my merry way. It helps me realize how far I have come and I can appreciate the people that have pushed me to grow even more. After the weekend at home, I was able to make a surprise visit to see my best friend. Though I was able to visit for less than 12 hours and I woke up at 4:45a.m. so that I could be at work on time the next morning; those few hours were worth it. Because he's family. That's the place I feel at home. When I am able to be with friends and their families that allow me to snort when I laugh; that allow me to just show up with not much of a heads up; the people that accept me for me and ask me to be a part of their own family activities. The bonds of friendship that have developed this past year are what has propelled me into the becoming the young lady that I am today. I think of them as family because there is nothing that hinders our love for each other.

The people captured in these still frames are my family. They are my home. They are who I can come home to at any time of day. They are the ones who know me better than I know myself and they are the first people I call when I have news to share; good or bad. These are the people that I owe my life; my strength; and my joy to. Through our drunkest nights and our biggest mistakes; these are the people that have never give up on me and that have never stopped loving me. The important thing to remember is that life doesn't always work out the way it's 'supposed' to; but that's okay. Because God presents opportunities for us that are more amazing than anything we could have dreamed of. I didn't expect to create this new family and sense of home for myself. That was something that God did for me and I have never been happier.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I want...

It's really hard for me to verbalize what I want. I can tell you exactly what I don't want.. but I can't seem to put my finger on something that I actually want.

I don't want to cut my hair. I don't want it to be winter. I don't want to fail school. I don't want to be disrespected. I don't want to be confused. I don't want to be annoyed. I don't want to be used. I don't want to be hurt. I don't want to be vulnerable. I don't want to hurt others. I don't want to be a failure. I don't want to lose. I don't want to miss people. I don't want to be in the dark. I don't want to be lied to. I don't want to feel helpless. I don't want people to remind me of what I'm doing/what I've done wrong. I don't want to be someone's bootycall. I don't want to be judged. I don't want people in my life that don't want me in theirs. I don't want to be unrealistic. I don't want to be afraid.

Recently I was asked by a good friend if I was actually happy/satisfied with my life and where I'm at with things right now. In all honesty, I don't have a straight answer for that. I am so proud of who I am today and being able to break free from an toxic environment and relationship. But I am also so unsure of the future and what that holds. I am terrified of any sense of permanence because commitment and the idea of forever scares me. I am slowly allowing myself to open to this good friend. It's an interesting experience. Slowly unraveling the thoughts and mental pictures/videos that go on in my mind. There are days that I literally feel as though I am going psychotic. This friend keeps me grounded. It's a nice feeling; having a friend that wants what is best for you and that will be there for you when you need them. It's nice that they also let me be there for them.

You see, we all have baggage and junk that we carry around in our hearts. It's a choice to get rid of that junk. It can be a painful experience, but nobody can make you happy except for yourself. I wouldn't say that I am unhappy; because I smile and sincerely enjoy my days. That being said, there are some major things that I'm in the middle of processing and being okay with. I've been spending a lot of time with myself lately attempting to work out some of these thoughts and battles with myself. Why is it that we are so hard on ourselves; yet we tend to forgive other people and/or come up with excuses or reasons why they might have performed a sepcific action.

I'm working on figuring out some, "I want.." statements. I do know that I will due everything in my power to stop holding myself back. This is my one "I want.." statement that I can be sure of..

I want to be able to be real.

What do you want?

Saturday, January 19, 2013


My heart broke tonight. Literally broke. It aches. There are very few times that I have been able to look at someone through the eyes of Jesus and tonight was one of them. It's not easy. It doesn't feel good to see someone so broken and helpless; especially when you can only do so much.
Tonight I served food to the homeless for a couple of hours. It was 30 degrees out, but the wind was piercing. The people were shivering. Some didn't have gloves, a hat, or a scarf. Some didn't even have a decent coat. A little girl was shaking as she walked over to get some hot chocolate. Her eyes were full of sorrow, of pain, and filled with tears. As we gave her hot chocolate, she walked away back to her mom and dad. We noticed they didn't eat anything so we asked, "Sweetie, did you get anything to eat?". Her eyes lit up as she begged her mom to be able to get some food. Her mom turned to us and said, "Thanks, but it's too cold to eat." The girl's eyes went lifeless and my heart sank. My heart aches for her. We gave them sandwiches to take with them for tomorrow and some clothes and other personal hygiene needs. They, then walked into the cold, dark night. As I watched them walk, I just prayed for them; the young girl especially because that's all I could do. I wanted so badly to say, "wait!" To be able to offer them more than just a sandwhich for tomorrow and some clothes. So badly, I wanted to offer them a home; with heat; with food; with running water. But I couldn't. And that really hurts. We complain each and every day over things that we think are a big deal: my phone died; it's too cold; why did she look at me like that; why won't he like me; etc. I can only speak for myself when I say, I have no idea what it means to truly suffer.

The reality is that this world is full of thorns. Yes, there are plenty of roses in this life and I don't mean to be fixating on the bad of this world; but we are so ignorant. We often don't see or we don't want to see that struggle is everywhere. We make it this intangible thing that is in the distant, or something that we could never help. I want that to change. I want to be aware of what is going on around me and I want to be aware and grateful for all that I have. As much as each one of us deal with struggle and storms, we have so much. We come from an amazing Creator. He, himself lived his life out for others. He reached out to the poorest of the poor and loved them. For what? He didn't gain anything for Himself by reaching out to the broken. In fact, he was persecuted. His life was MISERABLE because of what He did. He was ridiculed, punished, beaten.. all because He did good. Because he became a voice for those without a voice. I want to know what that looks like. I want to be able to touch a life like that. To be able to be so selfless that I truly put God first. Because if I whole-heartedly can put God first; then others automatically become second.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What is this Feeling?

Alright, so we all have these things.. these emotions inside of us. They often control our decisions more than anything else.... dumb; don't do that. But it's hard to not allow them to persuade us to do certain things, right? Most people have a harder time with that, than most things when it comes to making decisions.

Not me.. for me, I struggle with allowing myself to actual recognize my emotions. Sometimes, they just hit me in the face like a ton of bricks and I very quickly shove them into the bottom of my boots. Now, sometimes they come back up and I have to push them back down; but I know that one day I'm not going to be able to push them back down. The boot will overflow and I will have a huge mess of emotions that I will need to deal with and address one by one.

Some people critique me and tell me not to do it; I get that. I can understand and appreciate where they are coming from. But ultimately, at this point in time, in my life. The only thing that I am sure of is where I came from. I know that He has a plan for me. But I still can't bring myself to address my bootful of emotions. I'm not sure I'm ready to face that kind of vulnerability again right now.. maybe even ever. We all have things lingering around that we need to face and I get that.

You see, I am happy. I am joyful. I am living the dream each and every day. I am going through life enjoying the little things and leaving behind any bad thing. It happens. I see it. It's gone. It doesn't affect me. That's what works for me. Is that so bad?

Friday, January 4, 2013


2012 was full of changes; as any other year. Each and every year brings new opportunities; new struggles; new outcomes; new victories; new relationships; new outlooks; new resolutions; new decisions. Looking back, there is a lot to say about my past year. But the main word I'm going to use to describe my year is growth. I am so proud of some of the decisions that I have made throughout 2012. I am so proud of the person that I am today. I'm still not a perfect mold to any extent; but I know that I have fixed up some holes and cracks and I'm moving in the same direction. 2012 and the endeavors that are held within it won't be forgotten. My proudest moment in 2012 was for the first time in a long time, I took a moment to look inside myself and analyze the relationships that encompassed all of my time. I decided that I was better than what I was allowing myself to be consumed with and I decided to make a difficult decision to better my life. I could not have done that without my faith and my friends; especially my roommates.

This upcoming year; my only resolution is to trust in the Lord at all times and to be brave enough to evaluate my life choices daily rather than waiting until December 31, 2013. Granted a New Year is a great defining moment in which you can capitalize on everything you learned from one full year and create a mastermind plan to conquer the following year; the do's and dont's, etc. But.. shouldn't we really be doing that every day? Why do we always have to look at the biggest picture/plan out there. We need to start looking at our lives moment by moment; day by day; week by week first. Why wait until next year to decide to make you a better you?

At any moment you have the power to stand up and say this is not how the story is going to end.

I need to stop giving myself excuses to complain about things going on in my life because it is my decision to react a certain way. If I don't like something, I need to start thinking about how I can either make changes in my life and fix this 'something'; or making changes on my outlook so that I can appreciate every moment of this life because it's too short. Life is way too precious to wait until tomorrow, let alone wait until next year. I am learning bushels about myself. I am learning about the type of person that I want to be and I am taking note on the type of person that I definitely don't want to be. I am beginning to understand who I am and what kind of life I want to lead. The best part about understanding your own personal growth and desires is being able to have the confidence in yourself to admit that you aren't perfect, but have the courage, strength, and faith that you can make yourself better. I don't want to be the girl that needs help. I've never been good at accepting help from others; but I have learned that I have grown the most when I have made a decision for myself; not for anyone else.

This year, my goal is to take a look at myself everyday. Look into the depths of my soul and be real with myself; ask myself if this is really want I want. If that answer is no; then I want to have the courage to be able to change.