Tuesday, October 9, 2012

on Joseph Gordon Levitt

      I just love him. So much. Sometimes, I get that super irrational feeling girls can get when they believe that the attractive and witty film star on the screen might just be the real life version of him as well. And maybe if he and I met in real life he might think I was funny and smart and cute. 
      Or, if I don't get that irrational I at least lead myself to believe that his character in such-a-such movie is exactly what I am looking for in a man. Only, HE'S FICTIONAL. And I am left falling for a movie star. Only, I'm not falling for him in the slightest, it's just what the movie gods want me to think so I will keep funding their multi-billion dollar cooperation. UGH.

In any case, JGL is hot and everything I want in a boyfriend

Monday, October 8, 2012

Am I making sense?

Life was good today. But I want to make sure that I connect all that goodness to God. Even if certain things do not seem directly correlated to Him. A friend of mine unknowingly said something that convicted me. She was sharing with me her struggle with doing selfish things lately. For example, going to the beach with her friends and then having a barbecue all together and topping it off with a round of games and a movie sounds like the perfect Saturday. But, she would feel so self-satisfying at the end. It had nothing to do with the Lord, other than her surrounding company being Christians. It was so privileged, so all about temporary pleasures. Often I'll dream up the perfect day and it hardly contains direct references to God. 

So, let me tell you about today, first. It was Columbus day (woop-dee-doo) so school was closed (WOOP-DEE-DOO!). I woke up, put on my cute outfit and made myself some tea. Laura and I met up and had lunch at a delicious bakery that specializes in all kinds of breads. Oh yeah, the good stuff. Bread. I had the best sandwich, since Williamsburg when I ate that turkey one at the Cheese shop, which was the best sandwich since my italian sub in New York. ANYWAY, this turkey avocado bacon gorgonzola sun-dried tomato lettuce piece of heaven was just the beginning. Laura and I popped into an incredibly overpriced yet very lovely, antique-y kind of homeware shop. It was fun to explore in there. Then we drove to Balboa park, strolled around the pond and Botanical conservatory taking artsy pictures and ooh-ing and ah-ing at the pretty plants. We ended with a blanket and some delicious pastries from my beloved bread cafe. We lay in the shade and read before laying in the sun and reading. Then we peeked in the gift shop and left a few bucks poorer. 
All in all, a total success. 

I want the Lord to be apart of my day, though. More than that, I want Him to infiltrate my entire day. And He sort of did. 
Here is how: I spent some time in the Word before I left for my outing. I sat on our balcony and sang and told God I loved Him. I spent all day with a dear friend and sister in the Lord. Her company means that most of what we say should be pleasing to the Lord. And, I believe our friendship delights the Lord. I drank in the beauty of my city and in my heart gave credit to God. I can be thankful and following what the Bible says by having that attitude of gratitude. I read a Christian book while soaking up the sun on my self-indulgent day. And, we listened to Christian music in the car...that can seem like such a silly thing but if you think about it, it is not. It could change what we talk about, the lyrics could spontaneously remind us of God's goodness. It is a small thing and yet still affects quite a bit. 

What I am saying through all of this is that I don't want to live life for me so much. I am privileged and blessed and I am not going to feel guilty for opportunities I have, but I am going to try and give up more of my life...or at the very least--> find the Lord in all aspects of my day. And when I can't, then that day was meaningless.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Go forth, and LIVE!

I can do anything!!!!! 
I am young and single and ambitious and motivated (I think) and I have a list!!!
I am now of the mind that many things are possible for me and I want new experiences and to learn new things and to go to new places! So, I am gonna do it. But, really, the following is a list that I am going to put a dent in:

--> take a culinary class (my friend Kristen and I are doing this probably in the spring)

---> learn Italian (I am going to take classes at the local community college, it is so cheap!)

--> surf more and actually get good at it

--> Travel a lot before I am married (and during!) 
          -Machu Picchu in Peru 
          -New Zealand 

--> road trip up the coast of California  

---> Become CCA coordinator at Forest Home? That's a legit commitment and full time job so I can try, maybe closer to age 27ish though

Well, that is my list, I hope it inspires you. Get EXCITED ABOUT LIFE! TASTE IT!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


As of late, I'm learning to be thankful.

I have been looking at my life and gazing past the pleasant events to just focus on what I don't have. For example, I have this wonderful teaching job, doing what I love to do with (mostly) adorable kiddos and yet I can sometimes think "I'm exhausted" or "I wish I made more money" or "do the teachers/administrators even like me?". Another example, I focus on how much I miss my friends and community back in Virginia (not wrong), when I could also focus on what a blessing moving back to San Diego has proved to be. I guess I feel like I am cheating on Virginia if I say that. I do not have the community I once had, especially in the sense of roommates (no offense Mom & Lulu), but I have family close by and I am making new friends all the time. 

But, you know what I realized is hard about being thankful? I feel like if I speak a note of gratitude too soon then it will all slip away...like *poof* now that you are finally grateful HERE take this heaping pile of crap circumstances. How crazy is that? I am so irrational. And yet, obviously I do not think it is so crazy because it is my current state of mind. Or like, if I am thankful then I am somehow boasting about my life. Also, I am worried that if I take a good look at things to be thankful for...I won't find much. Or I will of course find things, but I will also find some not-so-pretty aspects of life. It's a tricky business. 
Okay so, literally as I was typing this...my copy of One Thousand Gifts arrived! I got you Lord, I cannot wait to learn more about "embracing a lifestyle of radical gratitude". Hopefully.

So Life, I am thankful for new places to eat breakfast. Thankful for constant sources of acai bowls at numerous cutesie cafes and constant sources of real sushi. I am thankful for mornings when I drive by the ocean. I am thankful for kindergartners who constantly say "Hola Señorita Bishop!!" in the hallways. I am thankful for my mom. I am thankful for Laura Boyer, Jeff Bishop, Monique- the only person at Horizon who is younger than me (she's an aid for kindergarten), auntie Robin, Amy Pike etc. etc. etc. 
And JESUS, who gave me LIFE and victory.

"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever." Psalm 136

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On saying goodbye to the valley

I haven't opened Microsoft Word in months, and when I did this popped up from May. Something I wrote in love, appreciation, and sorrow:

      Harrisonburg, thank You. Thank you for being my home away from home these past years. You were my home in the sense that so much was familiar. I grew accustomed to you. The way we grow accustomed to an old friend. Sure, they have flaws and you don’t spend every minute with them, but you find yourself comforted by their usual ways. I found myself comforted by the backdrop of mountains wherever I drove.
      Harrisonburg your Springs were like nothing else. Big, lush trees reaching out all along the valley. And the FALL. Oh my, the browns and reds and oranges and auburns and maroons. Like a storybook. I really enjoyed your neighboring towns like Broadway and Dayton. Who would have thought there could be so many events in such an off-the-map sort of place. People in California think I am in the sticks. But I know better. Harrisonburg is such a special place, bringing different kinds of people from all over. The steady flow of students walking to or from class. The drive down Mason street bringing back countless memories. And your size provides such lovely fellowship at a church. No mega churches here, we value community and recognizing a new face in the crowd. Thank you Harrisonburg for being just big enough to explore, and yet small enough to get to know really well. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

On creation

I am so at peace. I am SO thankful to you for the beauty you surround us with. I begin to resent what we have done with it...building sky scrapers and shopping malls and suburban neighborhoods...but I won't let those thoughts hinder my content soul. It seems like such an obvious observation and one that so many make, but I don't care. You are such an artist and You are so majestic. When people who don't believe in God look at the mountains/trees/lakes/sunsets/etc. all they get to do is simply marvel but they can give no credit, they can feel no reassurance about the loving Creator who made it. How empty. I love the verse that talks about creation speaks of God so that man is without excuse. It is so true. And today it felt like a gift. A gift for me. "Here Kelly, see Me in the pines, and the painted clouds, and the blue jays, and the breeze and know that I am God". Like you were reminding me that I can feel fulfilled by more than just the affirmation of others, or by food, or by a good book, or by success. And that this sort of peaceful fulfillment is directly from You, the God of the universe. And the automatic response is praise. Thanks for setting up these moments or hours or days when we get to quiet ourselves and just enjoy who You are and what You have made. And often, the "what" can also be loved ones who equally speak of your majesty.

Ohhhh my heart is full. I'm going to stare at the sky and mountaintops some more. You know something is crazy when I choose to sit and admire over being social and interactive ;)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

celebrating a life

             It has been a while. My apologies. And a special thanks to those who have mentioned my lack of blogging, it feels nice to know people care even a smidge about my ramblings. 

To dive right in, today I went to a memorial service or a celebration of life if you will. A good family friend of ours passed away a few weeks ago. He is/was an amazing man. I mean...I will not be able to do him justice. Everyone called him Bear. He is best friends with my uncle. His family is awesome and we would often get together with them for game night. And honestly those nights happened because I would personally talk to Bear at my uncle's church about getting the 3 fams together :) . Before Bear met the Lord he lived a gnarley life of sin and anger and drugs/steroids and he was in the Vietnam war and he hated his father and all this other crap. But Bear was life and joy and acceptance and comfort. 

Basically, this post is about everything I learned/was reminded of by his memorial service. The service was exactly as he would have liked it. Casual attire, a Gospel choir, people cracking jokes about Bear, and more importantly...sharing about Christ and getting right before God and accepting grace and not living a luke warm life. 
Like most deaths, it reminds you of how fragile our days are, and what a gift each one is. It was a huge reminder to live with an eternal mindset. Who the hell cares about the world and what people think? In the grand scheme of things GOD THE FATHER AND HIS SON ARE WAY MORE IMPORTANT. How selfish are we? I want to live like Bear, he would drop anything for someone in need. He made it his life mission to tell people about how Christ changed him. He went to the marine base every Sunday and spoke to young men about the saving power of God. And you know what? True fact, over 5,000 marines gave their life to Christ through Bear. And it is recorded that 4,000 of them were personally baptized by Bear. But Bear would not dare take the credit. He wasn't like that. 
I will miss him so much, he was so loving towards me, so fun, so crass and ridiculous but so centered on his faith. Lucky him that he is in Heaven kickin back with the Big Guy. He would probably say to me, "Kell, quit crying I'll see ya up here in a second. Keep changing the world for God and don't worry so much about me being gone I've got it made". 

So let's focus on going 100% for the Lord and others, and live with BIG joy and BIG grace like BIG Bear did.

Friday, March 16, 2012

on the Best

I have had all these streams of conversations/studies about submission, denying myself, trusting the Lord lately...and all of these streams seem to stem from one grand outpouring truth that is: God knows what is best for me. He has His best in mind. It is not about the end product. It is about the process of becoming more and more HIS. I want to be His, but not just the simple knowledge that I am His. But making the choice, to believe I am His and I can stay His amidst any circumstance, any decision, any trial, etc.

OH that it would always be this way in my heart and mind. That I would not be deceived into believing there is any other way more appealing, more satisfying. 
Can't help but feel like the theme verse for this is Romans 8:28. I hate to admit that I am guilty of slight feelings of cliché towards this verse. That is silly. 

this song is lovely. Have a listen. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

on major choices & sweet trips

What if I move home??
What if my life completely changes, not just geographically (as if that isn't big enough) but socially, vocationally, spiritually, etc etc ??

I can 'what if' until the cows come home (which they won't...its California). But, I am praying and wondering and seeking and reading and receiving counsel.

This weekend I am going to Manhattan and I am very excited! Saturday I will literally be bakery-hopping. My friend writes a food blog/column for an online magazine and so she does things like this on the reg. She sent me 5 links which contained more links to New York's tastiest donut shops, bakeries, cupcake joints, and MORE. I came up with 6 places for us to "sample" our way through. Tomorrow will definitely bring a long run in preparation for a sugary weekend. 
i go home in 13 days.

p.s. I forgot a happy cow is a California cow. I'll retract my former statement.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


In Your warmth
      I feel whole
With Your grace
      I am free
With Your voice
      I know truth
By Your death
      I am pure
In Your presence 
      I am known.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On where I am??

Dear Life, 
       Can't quite figure you out this season. As I sit here listening to Van Morrison's "I forgot that love existed (Live)", I cannot settle on just one attitude for my current station. But, I know this, I am not in a valley. We Christians like to label sections of life in terms of mountains, peaks, valleys, meadows, deserts, etc. It is one of our things. Along with "intentional loving" and thinking we have read more C.S. Lewis books than everyone else.
Life you yet again have me in a job I am beginning to sternly dislike. It has it's ups and downs but the downs are taking the lead. 
Woooo doggie and don't even get me started on decision making! Transition Transition Transition. 
But then Life, you have given me these amazing roommates who cover all facets of a relationship--> depth, fun, spiritual challenges, chill time, communal sharing...I mean heck, I keep the door open when I pee sometimes. And it's practically a rule to put on sweat pants when you get home. We keep things classy. 
But boy I sure miss home. 
Also Life, I found this awesome church RIGHT in the midst of a time when I might be leaving the area. As my friends south of the border say: no bueno, compadre. 

Anywho, my thrift store finds have been on the rise lately, so that's rad. And I'm seeing a lot of divas (Graffiti) this month. Also rad. 

Missing my mom and feelin this song, 

p.s. Van Morrison is still relevant...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

on Power

"By His breath the skies became fair" Job 26:13

Thinking lately about God's unlimited, thunderous, power.
"Righteousness in everything He does" says Isaiah.
Majestic is such a good word because it not only means splendour- but mighty. 

p.s. my own photos. First taken in Virginia at sunrise, second the sunset in San Diego.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

on Mr. Darcy

All women want in a man is a nice tush and deep pockets, correct? 
False. At least I am speaking on behalf of 90% of girls that I know. 
It is also a circulated non-truth that most girls like arrogant guys, assholes if you will. Pardon my french, s'il vous plait. 
The reason us swooning females dote on Mr. Darcy has nothing to with his wealth or prideful attitude. 
Here are the secrets to being the kind of man that women want (Mr. Darcy):

Mr. Darcy guards his own heart. Women respect a man who is careful with his own affections, it's attractive. It means he's not taking you out for coffee in the afternoon and then movie nighting it on the couch with Sophie-what's-her-face. What may seem like a pompous attitude is just Mr. Darcy being cautious.
Mr. Darcy makes efforts with Elizabeth. He asks her to dance, he puts himself in her presence so he can talk to her and perhaps show he is interested. When guys are aloof it can be a turn off because we want them to be men and pursue us. Like when Darcy tells Elizabeth he loves her. 
Mr. Darcy cares deeply about family and friends. Nuff said.
Mr. Darcy makes amends for his wrongdoings. He tries to rectify the situation between Jane and Mr. Bingley, and he helps patch up the scandalous runaways Lydia & Mr. Wickham. When he helped get Jane and Mr. Bingley together he was proving that he listened to Elizabeth Bennet and took the time to consider that he might be wrong about the situation. Us girls like that.
He loved Elizabeth so much that he goes out of his way to help her family members (I am speaking of silly little Lydia). Too often guys do not want to go through the "trouble" of winning a girl over. They want a girl handed to them, they want the girl fawning all over them first. Mr. Darcy took great leaps of faith in proclaiming his feelings for Miss Bennet. Women want to feel that they are worth the trouble a man takes to pursue them.
Finally, Mr. Darcy has good hair and sturdy boots. YUM.

Those are the thoughts of a young woman living vicariously through Jane Austen novels. 
"We are all fools in love"

Sunday, January 29, 2012

On cheese

      This evening 10 freshman girls (from my small group) came over to my apartment and we had a single goal in mind: to read the Bible? Neg. To watch a movie? Boresville. To hang out and have fun? Closer...
To eat cheese.

      I am telling the honest truth when I say that we went to Martin's grocery store, bought at least 7 different kinds of cheese, plus grapes, cherries, bread and crackers, took them back to the Shire and had a feast of cheeses. Now, depending on who you are that either sounds delicious or revolting. Well it was a combination of the two. 
      The night started out in total excitement-- at our previous Bible study we had all agreed on how much we loved cheese. So, my brilliant idea was to have a "cheese party". 
So tonight as the spread was slowly getting devoured we were raving over this fabulous idea & how scrumptious the various cheeses were. 
      It did not take long before stomachs were churning, heads were hurting, and noses could not stand the scent of a single slice of cheddar, nor the smoky aroma of Gouda, nor the potent garlic herb wedge. 
      However, this did not stand in our way of having a rip-roaring good time. 
Amazing how the eveing began with quotes such as, "guys you seriously don't understand how much I love cheese" and "Oh my gosh sharp cheddar, yes!!" and "you can never have too much cheese". By the end of the night I heard such exclamations as " I will never eat cheese again" and "What does this much cheese do to your body?" and "Let's have a different themed party next time, like ice cream". 

No regrets. I still love cheese, and because of it I love my small group EVEN MORE. 

but seriously. What WILL this much cheese do to my body? I feel ill.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On Humor

HUMOR. It's great. 

Humor is like wine for the soul. Or maybe just alcohol in general. Wait, this is taking a turn down a street I'm not comfortable with. 
Anyway, It makes you feel good, when you have it you're cool, and without it life can get boring. (Did she just basically say alcohol makes you cool & without it you are boring???)

Humor helps me cope with so much. In an entirely healthy manner. My family might use humor concerning serious or sad situations, but it is only so we do not just avoid the subject altogether. 

Being able to make light of something can be a big replacement for the following: irritation, wallowing, stress, anger etc etc. 
For example, sometimes when something is so sad- I laugh. I am not kidding. It is as if the situation is so utterly ridiculous and pathetic that I HAVE to laugh!!! It even happens at inopportune times! Like with someone else's problem! I might start to grin, or suppress a giggle during their hard stuff because I find it humorous!! Their pain is not what is humorous, but something in me chooses to find it funny that life can be so cruel sometimes. I mean, take this entire blog for crying out loud! I write letters to Life using sarcasm, wit, and humor to comment on often sucky circumstances.
My old Young Life teammate once said he loved that we can laugh about how we would hate going to visit the school in the morning. Even though we were willingly giving up sleep to "love on kids" at the crack of dawn, we still joked about "ending it all" by swinging my car into a 16-wheeler. Morbid, but hysterical to us at 730am.

I grew up with brothers who could make a joke in church, while my parents were fighting, at a sentimental wedding, at an awkward family function with relatives we hardly know, or right after a bad break up. You name the setting, Trevor, Matt and maybe Joel had a comedic remark ready in their pocket to break the tension. I am thankful for that. It really is how I cope with things, to laugh at them. And I don't hate it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

On little things

Dear Life,
      Sometimes it's the smaller kindnesses in [you], or the little experiences together. 
Today, on a gloomy snowcapped afternoon, after waking up at 730am on a Saturday to go into work, I returned to this

      My dear friend Amy Callahan had left me a sweet gift on the doorstep. We haven't had hardly any time to spend with one another, and it really stinks cuz we love each other. But this cute letter and a gift that has a funny/special meaning to both of us was just what I needed. I often say that gifts are not a love language of mine. But, when they are so specific to me/my preferences, and are a surprise, then I feel loved. :) 

Also, the previous night Annie, one of the lovely girls in my freshman small group came over. We ate burgers from my favorite place, watched a movie, and baked cookies from scratch. I really love hanging out with Annie. And, it started snowing last night so she spent the night and I tucked her in bed and read her a golden chapter from a good book. 

It's the little things we take the time to do for people or give to friends that can often mean so much. 
I am usually not so cheesy, but hey, I do LOVE cheese.

fondly yours, 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sobre una bendición

It is possible that I am about to make someone feel awkward. 
And that somebody...is Claudette Monroy. Mi mexicanita. 

Claudette is a huge blessing in my life. You know how we use that phrase "people who point us to Christ"? Well, Claudette has a way of being a big green exit sign, and the upcoming ramp- leads to Truth. She is a small package filled with wisdom! ;)
I feel so privileged to be someone Claudette wants to spend time with, and not just to have fun, but to really talk and share. I never feel judged with Claud. She is so comfortable. And she will share her brokenness with me, and also listen to my own shtuff and yet still see the best in me. What a gift. 
It doesn't hurt that she is way funnier than she probably realizes. 

Before she goes off to be a scholar in a foreign country I hope we can continue going strong with our friendship- all facets of it. 

Te quiero mamacita. 

p.s.- voy a seguir orando que me acompañes en Mascota, Mexico en Mayo!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On answers

I don't have any. 

When I get together with girls in my small group (or anybody, really) and hear about hardships, or questions or worries, I find that lately I have no real insight or answers to offer. This is a different stage in my faith. It is not bad, necessarily, but as I said it leaves me a bit blank. My curse of needing to be "authentic" and "not fake" means I cannot give an uplifting anecdote or an encouragement that everything will work out, because currently, I am not there. I won't say it if I don't believe it. Or lately I have found myself telling someone something and immediately after I say it I think to myself "wait, do I even believe that? Is that just what I have always been told, or what I feel conditioned to say?". Honestly, it has been a...I am not sure struggle is the right word, just confusing. This is a full year. Full of changes, full of decisions, full of endings, full of tragedy (more in the lives of others around me, a lot of sickness, death and heartache in the lives of loved ones).
So, I am listening a lot. I always listen, but usually my listening can be followed by a spiritual notion or advice. And as a leader or friend the counterpart in the conversation might expect that, but I do not know if I should share my views right now, cuz I am still mulling things over. Still wrestling it out with God. Still discovering what my personal relationship with the Lord looks like. Not the relationship everyone in my home church has, not the relationship a young life leader has, not the relationship my friends have, and not even the relationship of a 22-year-old American female. MY personal relationship.

I just do not have answers. It is only frustrating because I do not want to be blank with my girls. It has nothing to do with needing to be wise or appear holy or some hogwash. I also just want to hear from the Lord. I'm looking for something concrete. Something tested by the fire to be true.