Thursday, July 25, 2013


There is a special kind of exhaustion reserved for a summer at camp.

The kind that aches in your muscles and burns your skin.
The kind that pounds at your head and chaps your lips.
The kind that leaves you over-heated and under-hydrated.
The kind that cannot be nourished with any amount of water or ice cream.
The kind that uses you up emotionally working with 8 year-olds.
The kind that depletes you slowly with every hour in the sun.
And yet, you keep coming back for more.

I've never felt this kind of weariness any where else.
It's unique to camp.

Because you know you got the luck of the draw.
You know it's totally ridiculous that you're getting paid to dink around with kids all summer.
You know that this isn't real life.
And yet, this job totally takes it out of me.
In a really good way.

The "other" months challenge me mentally.
Summer challenges me physically.

It's at camp that I am reminded how capable my body really is.

Somewhere in between 6am Zumba sessions, teaching snorkeling and wakeboard/waterski, sand volleyball during "rest" period, and hiking up the hill to play Capture the Flag at night, it amazes me how much my body can really do. How little credit it receives for all that it does. How I often focus on all the wrong things when it comes to my body.

Sometimes I'm absolutely amazed at how this little body just keeps on truckin' with little or no recognition or "Thanks." Not even a passing thought about my beating heart or my filtering lungs or my perfectly functioning limbs.

A friend recently had heart surgery. Heart surgery. They cut him open. Sawed through his sternum and fiddled around with his heart for a few hours. Only to close him back up. Tie his chest together with wires. And call it a day.

I want to be grateful for this body before I'm forced to by default.

This body has carried me from crawling to stumbling to walking to running.
From Four-Square in 2nd grade to basketball in college.
From Colorado to Nebraska to Cambodia and home again.
From below sea level to 14,000 feet above it.
From academia to athletics.
From colds and flus to half-marathons.
From beaten-down to living-it-up.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

To Korea, With Love

I'm pretty sure that I'm running from someone or something.

Because it's difficult to sit still.
I move quickly.
I avoid staying in one place for too long.
I can't relax.
I want to eat but I'm not hungry.
I want to call a friend, but I have no idea what I'd say.
I don't want to be around people.
I have lots of lists.
I'm walking in circles.
There's so much to think about but I can't do anything with those thoughts.
So I just linger.
And feel unsettled.

Truth says, "Tell me what's on your heart."

Jeremy and I are moving to South Korea in a month. We started the application process back in December when we were plotting our next move. We want to pay off college debt and this seems like a good time to travel before we get a mortgage or a gene pool. We will be teaching English for a 12 months. We're about 48% terrified and 52% excited. I think that's probably normal, but that doesn't make it any easier to sleep at night.

We have one more week at camp. One more week of people we like and an environment that is, for the most part, a good place for us. We'll be leaving people and boat rides and Capture the Flag behind. We'll drive back to Colorado to get our feet under us, book our flight, and get on that plane!

Two weeks doesn't feel like enough to prepare, but that's what I've got. Part of me wonders if this is a really bad idea and part of me thinks that if we don't do this now, we never will. That if it weren't scary, every one would do it. And the fact that not every does such a thing is what makes it such a great adventure.

I need not spend the next three weeks walking in circles fretting about things beyond my control. So instead, I will:
-take deep breaths
-do Zumba
-go swimming
-get some sunshine
-play Ultimate Frisbee
-spend time with good people
-have fun with my husband
-avoid Pinterest
-and savor these last few days

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Shame feels like heat.
And tension.
And an uncomfortably long tickle.
Until it hurts.
And things get real.
Real fast.
Like the whoosh of a heat wave.
A boiling sensation in my chest.
Coming up my throat.
Impossible to shake.

I felt it coming around dinner time.
Unable to avoid by bedtime.
While lying together.

Vulnerability feels like fear.
And release.
And an uncomfortably long waiting room.
Until it bubbles over.
And things get real.
Real fast.
Like that thing you've been dreading
that doesn't turn out to be that bad after all.
Coming from my soul.
Terrifying but freeing.

Shame and vulnerability came to me in the darkness last night.
Shame came first. Feeling less than. Feeling unwanted. Unworthy.
But vulnerability came second. Feeling fragile. Feeling fearful.
Fighting, yes, "fighting" for worthiness.

Last night, vulnerability meant reaching a hand through the covers 
and saying, "Can I tell you something?"
And, of course, his answer is always, "Yes."
And I spoke my shame. 
I put a name to it.
A label.
It took a few minutes.
It didn't come out clearly at first.
It came confusingly through tears and...slow...and...deliberate...speech.
Navigating my way through the shame to get to the lie.
To call it into the light.
To diffuse its power.

And then it all made sense.
Why I felt the way I did.
Why I thought the thing I thought.
Why I believed the lie that brought me to this sense of shame.
And then it was over.

What would've kept me up all night.
What might've eaten my alive by morning.
Was gone as soon as it was articulated.

Brene Brown writes about 
the four elements of shame resilience:
1. Recognize and understand shame and its triggers
2. Practice critical awareness
3. Reach out, share, and own it
4. Speak your shame, talk about your needs

What we don't want to do with shame we MUST do with shame.

Brown writesDaring Greatly, p.34)
, "Vulnerability is the birth place of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. . . I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. . . " (

Give me the courage to show up and let myself be seen.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer Tuesday

Dear Child,

It's another summer Tuesday. It's you and me, babe.

How will you take care of yourself today?
How will you be gentle?
How will you protect and preserve the truest part of your soul?
How will you show up and let yourself be seen?

I wish for you peace, calm, and tranquility.
I wish for you strength, courage, and endurance.
I wish for you acceptance, love, and confidence.
I wish for you joy, laughter, and friendship.

You are mine and you are loved. Deeply.
You are worthy of love and belonging.
You are good.
You are part of me, therefore, you are sacred.

I believe in you.

Sincerely (take your pick),

Love/Truth/God/The Universe/Jesus/Light

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Last week, Jeremy and I flew to Mexico where we met up with friends and family to celebrate my brother's wedding. We went from super-busy, kid-devoted time to slow-paced, down time. We went from kid-centered to adult-centered lives. We went from rugged to luxury.

It was a quick five days that I wish could've lasted longer. And I didn't realize how much my soul needed this until we got back.

I needed to spend time with my husband.
I needed to sleep in.
I needed to slow down and have someone else take care of the cooking.
I needed to see my family.
I needed to see my sister.
I needed to be taken care of.

Summer camp takes a lot out of me. I give and give until I'm dry.

This trip reminded me to take time to appreciate all that my body does.
To breathe deeply.
To savor time with Jeremy.
To be kinder to myself.
To appreciate good people even when they are far away.
To take time to restore my spirit so I'm not so empty.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Shake It Out

"I am lonely."

The thought came to me this morning somewhere between getting dressed and putting on sunscreen. The room was empty, as Jeremy had left to take his campers rafting this morning early before I awoke. This subtle ache wiggled its way into the pit of my stomach. The feeling is disheartening because I don't know anyone who enjoys loneliness. But the realization is welcome because now I have a name for this thing I've been feeling.

When I'm lonely, I eat too fast.
I spend too much time in comparisons. Usually on Facebook.
I can't sit still.
I become hyperactive and unsettled.
I wonder where the peace went.

I don't mind being alone.
But loneliness is what happens when you want friends around and they are not around.

My dearest confidants are in Nebraska, Nepal, South Dakota, and Colorado. How did we all become so far away from each other?

This is not a desperate plea because I've lost touch with friends.
This is not a passive-agressive shout-out that I need more attention from anyone.
This is not a gripe about my husband and his busy schedule.

This ache is a poignant and powerful gift. 
It reminds me how good it feels to be loved and how lucky I am to know that feeling.
It reminds me that I cannot always get what I want.
It reminds me that I am a human being who thrives on connection.
It reminds me that I need people.
It reminds me that I can be here in this ickiness and survive.
It reminds me that I can know my way around this emotion.

It reminds me that--even now--I can be all right.