The Mountain

I sat on top of my mountain of privilege today, and I cried. When I first started the climb, I couldn’t even see the peak – it was obscured by clouds and the glare of the sun. I climbed past the Whole Foods that is so close to my apartment that I can see it…

The Turning Point

Last Saturday marked a huge milestone for me – it was Team World Vision’s 20 mile run – the longest run of the marathon training. I had recently missed a couple of long runs, so my confidence was low.  I felt undertrained and very discouraged.  My 14 mile run the prior weekend had been really…

When God Calls You To Where You Are Least Capable

I often don’t understand what God is doing, but recently I had one of those moments where He gave me a glimpse of the big picture. I’m a former competitive bodybuilder and former CrossFitter.  As a bodybuilder, I thought chasing my version of physical perfection would give me value.  Once I realized how superficial and…

Uganda

Trash adorns each side of the dirt road, rollicking like tumbleweeds in the cool breeze, skittering over the red earth. Chickens and goats forage in the grass, mostly untethered, as free to wander as the people. Men line the streets, reclining in the shade on or near their boda bodas , intently watching every vehicle that…

Life on Auto-Pilot

It’s becoming more and more evident to me that I live much of my life on auto-pilot – multi-tasking with my mind, my body, or both, never fully present or solely focused on the task at hand.  And today, my auto-pilot broke my heart. I flew home to Chicago from Washington, D.C. earlier this afternoon. …

Myopic (A Non-Fiction Short Story)

I hurry across the street with hands stuffed into my pockets and head inclined against the cold wind.  I reflect at how implausible it is that I have gone close to five years wearing the same pair of glasses.  Even though my eyesight is terrible, I only wear my glasses about 50% of the time,…

What It Means To Be Beautiful

We live in a world that objectifies women and teaches us the greatest thing a woman can be is sexy.  I would know because I’ve bought into this kind of thinking for most of my adult life. I grew up a shy and somewhat nerdy teenager, and I was mostly known for being really smart. …

The Allure of the Barbie Dream House

I didn’t realize how much I wanted the American dream until God thwarted my every attempt to have it.  Maybe it’s not even so much that I desired it as that I just assumed it would happen for me.  From childhood, I was bombarded with what society says my life trajectory should look like and…

When You’re A Spiritual Late Bloomer

If our Heavenly Father is the Gardener, then consider me one of His late bloomers. I grew up in a non-religious family, and my first time going to church was in my late teens with my high school boyfriend.  Unfortunately, in the dramatic way of teenagers, I ended up adopting all of the legalism while…

Fifteen: An Old Story Told A New Way

Kayla, I’m not sure how to start this letter – I am now thirty years old, twice your age (yikes).  I know what life has in store for you over the next 15 years.  I also have the gift of hindsight, and I can see how what lies ahead of you, and what now lies…

My Name Is…

I’ve always liked my name – Kayla.  It’s not particularly pedestrian, but it doesn’t fall within the realm of silly celebrity baby names either.  It’s short – like me.  It doesn’t come with an assortment of variants I could choose from like James, Jimmy, Jim or Jennifer, Jenny, Jen.  Although sometimes it seems like that…

One Word

As the end of the year approaches, it’s natural to reflect on 2015 and to dream about what 2016 will hold.  I was introduced to a new tool for doing this, One Word. I always have about 50 things I want to accomplish or am aware that I need to improve upon.  One Word helps…