Friday, August 31, 2012

To Touch His Cloak

I've been sick for most of the summer - scary sick - like setting down my fork mid-meal, and crying because I am so fatigued and don't have the strength to keep eating - sick.  Then there are the days my fatigue is accompanied with a migraine headache, and I can't do anything but lay in bed.  And I've been hesitant to make advance plans with anyone, for I won't know how I'll feel on any given day until it is that day.  I'm not one to cancel plans, so this summer I rarely made plans with anyone because it's only a 50/50 chance I'll feel up to hanging out when the times comes.  This is not good for an extrovert, who is typically energized by being around other people. 

I'm now in the Poconos Mountains on a leaders retreat for my church.  To be honest, I questioned if I should leave my parents' with my health being as it is.  At "home" I could get away with being ill and streams of tears, but a retreat followed by several weeks of couch surfing in LA and NYC, followed by a drive back to Michigan for a conference I'm coordinating, doesn't seem like the wisest game plan for someone who is feeling under the weather.

But, as I mentioned before, I'm not one to cancel plans.  So here I am in Pennsylvania.  AND I'm so thankful I came.  Because regardless of whether or not by body was healed by the prayers this evening, my soul is healing from the many broken dreams I've encountered this past year.

But as a few of us gathered to pray for my health and my friend's health, this passage came to mind.  I'm struck, that when we reach out to him, his power pours out upon us to heal us.  But there is an action on our part to reach out to him in order to receive what he has for us.

Luke 8:41-48

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.  She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

"Who touched me?" Jesus asked.

When all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you." 

But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me." 

Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet.  In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.  Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you.  God in peace." 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

So Long

My final evening at the Lake House - In the words of Dashboard Confessional, "So Long Sweet Summer."

The Lake House - established 1946 by my Opa & Oma

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Reality Show

I never wrote "The Questioning" blog entry from a few days ago.  It was going to be a blog about how guys who don't share the same faith as me are absolutely baffled by my decision to wait until I'm married to have sex and why it is I'm still a virgin at the age of 34.

But there's too much to write on the topic, and I want the piece to be thorough and meaningful, and well, I don't have time to write it now...

But I did find a piece I wrote when I was 30 years old that is neither thorough or meaninful, but it certainly is entertaining.

Who Wants to Marry a Virgin?  (Written by Me, at age 30)

“Katrina you’re getting too old not to be plucking your eyebrows.  You really need to start shaping them” 

Thanks mom.  I’m also getting too old not to be having sex.  What’s wrong with my eyebrows?  It’s not like I have a una-brow or anything like that.  And I’ve seen the horrendous effects of excessive plucking and accidental waxing.  Eyebrows are already weird enough, but then women go and make them look even weirder.  I just don’t get it. 

My mom expressed her concern about my eyebrows the same year that my dad sat me down and told me that he and my mother would really like for me to go in and see a gynecologist.  I told them I would, but only if they paid for it.  I didn’t have health insurance at the time and I wasn’t about to fork over money to be molested in the name of medicine.

They agreed to pay and so for my 24th birthday they gave a trip to the gynecologist.  To date, it’s the most unique and worst birthday present I’ve ever received.

I finally conceded to getting my eyebrows waxed at the age of 29, and even signed up for another gynecologist appointment on my own.  Gosh, I must be making my parents proud.

But when I went in to see the doctor (a female doctor this time), she told me a pap smear wasn’t really necessary.  She informed me it’s nearly impossible to get cervical cancer or an STD when you aren’t and never have been sexually active.  That’s right.  I’m a 30 year old virgin.

She performed the test anyway just in case I’m the .0000000000001 percent of the population who contract cervical cancer without having sex.  I received the results in the mail a week later, and sure enough - I passed!  I proudly showed my test results to several of my coworkers, successfully making my friend Rick feel horribly uncomfortable.  

I’m hoping my virginity will someday get me somewhere in life – like on Jay Leno or better yet, on a Reality Series called “Who wants to marry a Virgin.”  I’ve thought this show through very carefully.  My second hottest guy friend will host the show, and of course, I will be the virgin.  There will be 25 e-harmony compatible matches to start the show - ALL taller than me.

We’ll begin in LA, and I’ll start to get to know the contestants as we work together at the Dream Center.  After a week, I’ll drop it down to 15 and we’ll all travel to Mexico to work on building a house with Habitat for Humanity.  The number will then drop to 10 and we’ll do a shoe drop in Africa with TOMS shoes and work with orphans.  Then, the remaining 5 contestants will travel with me to Thailand where we will work with girls who have been rescued out of the sex trade.

And hopefully by then, at least one of the guys has fallen for me and I’ve fallen for him.  (If I end up not liking any of the contestants, I’ll just marry the host, my second hottest guy friend – if he’ll agree to it.)

For the season finale we’d get married and remind the world ultimately love is a choice.  Since we’d already have a decent following, we’d then cohost a talk show together – probably about 6 months after the honeymoon.

I shared this idea with a friend and she asked me if it’s requirement for the men to be virgins in order to be on the show.

I said no, explaining I didn’t think I would get a very good pool to choose from.  It’s unfortunate, but true.  While I know plenty of women who are waiting, in hopes of a spouse, I can only think of a handful of single guys who have actually made it into their late twenties, let alone 30s.

As long as he’s taller than me…


A guy I liked for some time once asked me, “Hypothetically speaking, how would feel about marrying a guy like me?  With you saving yourself for marriage and all.”  I don’t know why guys throw out this hypothetical marriage thing – it’s happened to me more than once with guys I wasn’t dating, and I feel it’s a bit of a tease.  I don’t think guys should hypothetically ask you to marry them.  Because it stirs up a lot of not so hypothetical emotions.

By saying “a guy like me” he was referring to the fact he had slept with quite a few women; I’d guess somewhere between 20 and 30, but I’m really not sure.

I explained, not so hypothetically, it wouldn’t be an issue for me.  The same forgiveness Jesus has extended to me, I’d extend to him. 

Granted, it would be a bummer, knowing he had shared himself with so many other women, and whatever we’d have, wouldn’t be quite as special, because everything had already been done before.  And I'd be less than pleased if he passed me an STD, but... it's not a deal breaker like the height thing is for me.

Monday, August 27, 2012

No Name Dropping

Today I spoke with someone who is nearly famous.  When I say nearly, I mean, he's not famous at all, but rather he has many more facebook friends and twitter followers than me - a lot more.   

The boy from down the shore has been training me all summer not to name drop.  It is difficult to tell stories when I'm in his presence, because he considers EVERYTHING name dropping.  Like mentioning my friend Bryan, who is a professional poker player, or talking about my 4th of July out at the Hamptons, or how I ended up on a date with a billionaire. 

Basically any story that might make me sound "cool" he doesn't want me to share.  He calls me out in a teasing, playful manner and sometimes I ignore him, and other times I redirect my story to something else.  He insists I shouldn't name drop in my book - not even about winning tickets to the Super Bowl, and how I may or may not have met Adam Sandler.

The problem is, I loooooove telling stories like this, and all the fabulous adventures I end up on and all the fascinating people I happen to meet.  But the boy from down the shore (who doesn't share the same faith as me) has got me thinking.  Why?  What am I communicating when I share these types of stories - when I talk about skydiving in Santa Barbara and white water rafting down the Nile River and meeting up for drinks with my favorite author one month and an ambassador the next month.

It really does make me wonder if I'm overly into the life that I lead.   I don't necessarily think it's bad to love life (it's a good thing, actually), but perhaps the guy from down the shore is right and I ought to use big stories and big names sparingly.

Hmm... but how does this work as a writer?  Those are the stories people want to read.  I'm stumped. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Nights

My brother Michael drove out from Detroit to join us for dinner last night.  My brother is super smart, and exceptionally witty.  He has been like this for quite some time, probably since birth, but there is no way to measure the wittiness and smarts of a newborn.  But in high school he got a perfect score, a 36, on the reading portion of the ACT and he was voted Class Clown by his graduating class.

Over grilled salmon Michael told us he recently took on his entire house in Trivia Pursuit.  My brother's brain competed against the combined brain knowledge of his 6 roommates, and he won without any trouble.  Michael also ranted about the Republican convention and how ridiculous it is that people can bring regular guns to the convention, but squirt guns are not permitted. 

*My friend Paul who lives in Tampa just posted on Facebook about this convention writing, "The RNC convention center looks like the Baghdad green zone. There were literally hundreds of officers and soldiers with automatic rifles standing around giant iron barricades."

After playing cards with the parents and my Aunt Mary, my brother and I headed down to the beach to sibling bond over a couple of beers.  After venting about work politics, he shared with me he fears he'll never meet a girl comparably smart and funny.  I think his fear is valid.  Because he's REALLY smart - like smarter than all the not so smart Politicians who pretend to be smart. 

Last fall I had a brilliant professor express interest in wanting to get to know me.  But I never did drinks or dinner with him because after reading his bio online I feared if I did meet up with him we'd have nothing to talk about.  He's way into political science and all this smart stuff that I wish I was into, but am only starting to dabble in out of obligation.  I want to be a follower of Christ who actually has a decent understanding of the world in which we live.

People in American, in general, aren't really into important stuff.  Instead we're into facebook, and Katie Perry, and going into debt to have whatever it is we want.  My NYC roommate and I use to claim, "FUN RULES!"  This is the life motto of most young people in the US.  It's not a bad motto, but when you want to help make the world a better place you kind of have to know where our world is hurting and how you can be part of the change in making a difference.

After my trip to Uganda this past spring I determined that someday I'll be a translator to the 85% of people in the US who don't care.  The 15% of people who are into all the important stuff aren't always the most effective in how they go about communicating to the masses what is important.  I like to think I'm both smart enough and naturally disinterested enough to be a middle man messenger. 

After my brother and I finished our beers, he went in for the night and I walked further down the beach to join the boys down the shore...

to be continued in the next post

Friday, August 24, 2012

The World I Once Knew

Tonight I returned to the only world I once knew.  In my return I recalled the simplicity of this way of life.  And since most know no other way, there isn't much dissatisfaction.  No one knows enough to know they are "supposed" to be dissatisfied.  I loved this world when I was in it - 17 years ago - but I know now I'll never be able to return to this world; my spirit wouldn't allow it.  Because, it's as if the "secrets" of the universe have been revealed to me, and the knowledge of a more is now my reality.

Tonight my parents and I went to the football game at my old high school.  The last live football game I had attended was the Super Bowl.  (More on this in a future post...)

After the game I met up with my friend Sally and her husband Tony at a nearby Pub called Jerry’s.  Sally and I were best friends in first grade, but then my family moved away, and by the time we moved back it was middle school and Sally was too popular for me.  I explained the caste system to Sally’s husband Tony.  At our middle school there was this ranking system; it was a popularity scale, ranking girls from 1 to 5.  Sally was between a 4 and 5, but I was only a 3 for much of my awkward middle school years.  I dreamed of being a 5, like this Collette girl, who was the meanest and most respected girl in our class.  No one discussed the ranking system, but it existed, and I wrote about it in my journal.  Thankfully, by the time we were seniors in high school niceness trumped middle school meanness in the popularity showdown, and both Sally and I were on homecoming court together.    

Sally had the best body out of all the girls when we were in middle school – it was the most womanly.  All the guys were enthralled by Sally’s curves.  (They were all also very horny.)  While Sally was one of the first in our class to enter into womanhood, I was one of the last.  In fact, I was THE last.  The reason I know this is because everyone thought this other girl named Lynia was the last.  And when Lynia finally did start her period her freshman year all her good “friends” decorated the outside of her locker, congratulating her on starting her period.  They hung signs, streamers, tampons, and pads on her locker, welcoming her into the world of womanhood.
I didn’t start my period until I was 15 years old, when I was a sophomore in High School, and already a Varsity cheerleader.  The event was anticlimactic, and no one decorated my locker.

I told Sally that going back to our high school for the football game was a bit of a surreal experience for me - and that I was experiencing reverse culture shock because the life is sooo different from the life and world that I now know.

I also told Tony and Sally about my morning...

This morning I awoke to the following text message: "hey katrina! i'm in new york this week. are you okay???" I didn't have the texter's name and number saved in my phone, so I inquired who might texting. The person responded, "Oh sorry, it's Jocelyn - Jessica gave me your number. I'm watching the news and it made me think of you."

I immediately get out of bed and rush down stairs to find out what news Jocelyn is referring to. I find my mother sitting in front of her laptop and frantically ask, "Mom, what happened in New York?"

She says she's not exactly sure, so I take over her computer to find the answer. I knew something bad had happened - I'm just not sure how bad. My research revealed a shooting had taken place near the Empire State Building around 9 AM. The reason Jocelyn had thought of me is because for the past two years I've been living right near where the shooting took place. It took place on my one block commute route to work I'd walk each day - from my apartment on the corner of 6th ave to the Empire State Building on the corner of 5th ave.

I received several other inquiries throughout the day, checking in to make sure if I was okay. I assured everyone yes, I'm fine. I'm in Michigan, and am no longer living in Herald Towers, and working at the Empire State Building...

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Several years ago, when I was still living and working out in So Cal, I led a team of students on a Spring Break trip to NYC.  While we were there we partnered with a church and they gave us random work projects to complete - such as moving stuff, cleaning stuff, going ikea runs, and my team's least favorite activity - handing out cards to random people on the streets of NYC to help get the word out about their church. 

One night, rather than handing out cards about the church, they had us hand out cards promoting the album release of the guitar player who worked at the church.  I thought this assignment was slightly questionable, but since I was so good at handing out cards, I didn't object. 

To clarify, what I mean by good, is that people would actually take the cards from me, rather than blow me off as they passed by me on the streets.

So my team headed up to Times Square and at our assigned corners we handed out cards to all the tourists passing by, promoting the tunes of Paul Ramey.  (Who has since moved from New York to Portland to serve as the worship leader at a church called Imago Dei.)

Most people passed by rather quickly, but there was one man, who paused for a brief conversation.  I remember him saying, "You're too beautiful to be handing out that shit."  I replied with a shrug and a smile, and he continued on, "What, haven't you been discovered yet?  I really don't get why someone like you would be doing what you're doing."

I don't recall how I responded to his questioning, but for some reason his words stuck with me - this idea of being discovered sounded ridiculous, yet completely dreamy at the same time.

The reason I mention this is because today it hit me - I have been discovered.  6 years ago someone discovered me as a writer.  For the longest time, I thought Donald Miller, had discovered me as a writer.  But in actuality, it wasn't Don.  I learned this past year that it was Don's good friend Jordan who found me and brought my writing to Don's attention.

Yesterday I found Jordan on facebook and wrote,

well, if i'm piecing this together correctly, you are the one who first brought my writing to don's attention. and because of that, 6 years ago he wrote me an encouraging e-mail, affirming me in my writing. and because of that e-mail (which i still have), i'm now nearing the completion of my first book.
so jordan, although we've never met, i want to THANK YOU for the role you have played in my writing journey!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Scarred Childhood

Last week, on my drive home from Spring Hill, I stopped in at my birth town of Owosso, Michigan for a centennial celebration.  Our family friends, the Pennington's, have had their home in their family for 100 years (hence, the centennial celebration).

I use to like to visit the Pennington home as a kid because there was a swimming pool in the backyard and the nice lady who lived there kept a jar full of lemon drops in the study.  She didn't seem to mind when my brother, sister, and I would help ourselves to the candy, so I didn't mind when my parents wanted to drop by to say hello.

But visiting the home as a child has left a scar on me - right in the middle of on my forehead.  When I was about 4 years old my sister chased me into the corner of the Pennington's dining room table. (I was much shorter at age 4 than I am today.)  I nailed my forehead against the edge of the table, and in doing so I cracked my head open.

Blood gushed from my forehead and when it became apparent a band aide wasn't going to do, my parents rushed me to the emergency room.  There a doctor performed surgery, stitching back together my forehead.

I'm disappointed my sister didn't get in trouble for the incident.  Both she and my brother deserved to be punished for something.  At our home, a few blocks aways, they'd frequently put me in some carriage thing, and then push me down the stairs.  (Where was my mother during all of this?  Days of Our Lives - perhaps?)

Anyway, the reason I mention the Pennington's open house is because while I was there I met this man who use to work at Zondervan Publishing.  Recently he switched companies and is now working to get people reading the Bible again.  He explained to me, every day in the US, 700 people stop reading the Bible.   I was skeptical of the statistic (I am of most), but he backed it up by mentioning George Barna and the Gallop Polls, so I knew he couldn't be completely making it up.

He and his team are strategizing to get people reading Scripture again.  Although he shared some good ideas, I don't think they'll necessary work - because it's not that people are just not reading their Bibles, people are dropping away from the Christian faith altogether.  First you have to solve why people aren't interested in following Jesus. 

But since my conversation with that man I've been thinking through possible reasons as to why people might stop reading their Bible, and I can't help but wonder if some people stop because they've somehow been hurt by Scripture.  I've been hurt by Scripture, and even though I knew it well enough to know that Satan twisted Scripture in his back and forth with Jesus in the wilderness, I didn't realize the same thing could happen to me.

Renewing your mind with Scripture can be a tricky thing, because even meditating on the Word of God can have harmful effects, if it's not absorbed the way God intended to be understood.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's Happening!!!

Today I locked in my domain!  I'll be lauching the website at the end of September.  I'm thrilled my parents blessed me with such an original name and that my name doesn't have to compete with 100s of other Katrina Blank's.  And, with the assistance of the hurricane in New Orleans, I'm confident the Katrina population in the US will remain minimal for years to come.

(To clarify, I'm not pro-Hurricane.  But I am pro God working for the good of those who love him - See Romans 8:28.)

This evening I posted this pic on Facebook, and along with this pic, I posted the following comment:

currently writing: I HATE BOOKS ON CHRISTIAN DATING - I promise, this isn't one. *I'm looking for about 10 individuals to serve on my content critique team. Message me if this might be you!

Katrina Blank 5th Avenue New York City

I'm receiving a fabulous response - and I'm hugely encouraged!  Even a gal who already works full time for a publishing company offered to be a part of my critique team - awesome! 

At this point finishing this book isn't a maybe - it's a must!!!

If you're reading this, please send up a prayer that God continues to guide me in the writing process.  Thanks Friends!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Royal Mail

Today I received a package via Royal Mail from London - as in THE London, England, site of 2012 Summer Olympic Games. 

My yoga instructor and climbing friend Melissa sent me the package and it brightened my day a lot of bit.  She included a yoga DVD and an encouraging note.  THANK YOU Melissa!

Melissa is one of several rad people I had the opportunity to get to know when I joined a rockclimbing gym in Riverside the final four months of my life in Southern California.  I joined the gym partly for a grad school project I was working on at the time.  I had to do some "research" and in the process researching, I ended up with these great friends.  And not only would we climb together, but we'd also go grab a bite to eat together, and have game nights together.  Loooved this group!

Melissa is in the yellow shirt, back right corner.  She was the yoga instructor at the gym, and I'll admit, I hated yoga when I first started.  I didn't think I'd stick with it, but I because I was committed to the people, I did, and soon came to appreciate yoga, and the practice of being still. 

Melissa was also a kick a** climber.  She was much more advanced than me, and when we'd climb together, she'd always push me to try routes I would have never attempted on my own.  It was good though - to be challenged, and to go after something I didn't realize I was capable of on my own, but because someone believed in me, I gave it shot.

Tonight I spent a half hour or so lying on the dock - star gazing.  After a few shooting stars, I considered maybe I should make a wish.  But I didn't, because I only have one, and God already knows what it is.

I texted a West Coast friend to recommend the view, writing "Are the stars out yet in your city?  If yes, you should go & breathe in their beauty - your soul would be thankful if you did."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Owosso THIS September

In 2005 Scott Harrison had an idea how he might be able to make a difference in the world. He wasn’t quite sure how to make his dream a reality but he felt inspired. He flew to Switzerland to meet and discuss his idea with Gordon Pennington in a village there. They spent the day talking, on trains, and drinking too much espresso in Zurich. Today Scott’s dream is charity: water, bringing clean drinking water to hundreds of thousands around the world. Every dream, if realized, begins with a journey.

Have you identified your dream and started your journey? Do you have a stirring to want a make a difference in your community, your city, or the world? You don’t have to fly all the way to Switzerland or to meet with Gordon Pennington to discuss how you might go about your journey. Instead, you're invited to join us in Owosso, Michigan September 22-23 for Convergence: Transformation Training with speakers Lance Wallnau, Kelly Monroe Kullberg, and Gordon Pennington. Registration fee is $65 for Adults, $50 for Students/25 & Under. Rates go up September 1. Find your dream and pursuit with the support of friends in community. And dream big.

Register here:

At Charity:Water Ball Dec 2011 with Erwin McManus & Gordon Pennington

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Maximize Your Potential

This past week, when I stayed the night at Spring Hill's White House, this guy named Zach stopped in just after 11 to check on something in the house and we got talking for a bit. 

As it turns out, he's also working on a book.  In fact, one of the stories he's hoping to include in his book, I'm also hoping to include in mine.  It's a story involving Enoch Olson, the founder of Spring Hill.  I won't go into the details of the story here, because I want to save it for our books, but yes, funny that we've both been working on writing the exact same story. 

Anyway, this Zach guy and I got talking a bit about this other writer named John Eldridge.  Who, I actually use to like, but then he got all weird in one of his more recent books and now I don't trust the theology behind his writing any more.  It was a story involving Eldridge's dead dog named Scout that did his writing in for me.

Zach told me, it was the book Eldridge co-wrote with his wife Stasi that turned him off to his writing.  He told me he literally threw the book across the room because he was so disgusted by the content.  Zach is one of those smart theologian types, and he didn't appreciate how the book Captivating:Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul minimizes the giftings and potential of how God might want to use women in this world. 

I never actually read the book, because I heard it was "earthy" and for women who don't actually want to live out great lives.  I'm not a feminist, by any means, but I'm tired of the silencing of women in the church through the abuses of Scripture.  Somehow the absorbed Christian message is that woman's sole purpose is to support her husband in his pursuits.

Ladies, yes, please do support your husband in his pursuits, but don't forget God has great things in store for you too! 

Zach pointed out, using the Body of Christ imagery, if a hand is always focused on helping the arm be the best arm it can be, the hand will never be the best hand it can be.

With that having been said, I think I'm one step closer to establishing a workable platform - a much needed message that I hope will set women free to pursue the gifts God has given them to make a significant, impact in the world.

The Body of Christ includes both men AND women; everyone's gifts need to be recognized and embraced in order for us to live out our greatest potential together - leave no woman behind.

Dear Church,
Please celebrate rather than suppress the many gifts God has given women.

Females are valuable for far MORE than sex and baby making.

Friday, August 17, 2012


I received this FB comment this evening:

Coach K! Amy, Haley, Emily and I are all talking about how we used to go to your house when we were younger for youth group...what did we call it? We cannot think of what it was called for the life of us.

Another gal answered the question before I had the opportunity - Club. 
But I also responded, "awh!  miss you girls.  yes, club is what we called it... & we were considered wyldlife, which is the junior high division of young life... loooved the time i was able to share with you all :)

For some reason it is encouraging to me that these girls, now in their twenties, are sitting around on a Friday night talking about an experience I help create.  It makes me think my time in Onsted investing in students' lives was somehow worth it.  And that I was somehow able to encourage these gals in the ways of Jesus.

Tonight must be the night of Young Life talk because later in the evening I joined the guys down at the beach for a bonfire and we got talking about Young Life at their school.  They explained to me how Young Life experienced a ton of growth, but then it rapidly dissolved when their main leader, who was married to a teacher, had an affair.

It makes me wonder how many of those students at that school gave up on the message of Jesus when they discovered the person delivering the message of Jesus had chosen the path of infidelity.  It makes me wonder how many people, in general, have given up on the Christian faith because someone they trusted and respected turned out to be less than credible by their actions. 

It's no wonder the Christian faith has plummeted in the US over the past 30 years. 

Although, former students of mine may give up on the Christian religion, I pray that I will always be someone they can believe in.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Call Me Maybes

There are currently 7 call me maybes in my life.  I know 7 is a good, sound, Biblical number, but when it comes to dating and relationships, 7 does not equal wholeness; instead, it represents division.  Because rather than 1 guy getting my heart, I'm divvying out slices of my heart, like it's some sort of food sample up for grabs at Costco.

Dear God,
Would you be so kind as to narrow it down to 1 call me yes?  I don't want to keep giving away pieces of me to a multitude of somewhat interested parties.  I want 1 very interested party.  Any of the 7 are okay by me, although 3 are more slightly preferred over the others.  But can we keep to 1 of these 7? 
PS If we could narrow this down in the next few months, I'd greatly appreciate it. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Almost Tweets

My two almost tweets of the day:

I’ve never thought of writing as being holy and sacred work - but I do now.  #WeepingThroughWords #SpringHill


We all need people in our lives who will say, “Get back up.  You can do this.  You can’t give up now.”  #ThankYou MikeDuff

Today I worked on the final chapter of my book, and as I wrote, tears came with my words - not that the chapter is depressing, by any means, but it's like a good movie - one that is so moving that it brings you to tears (at least if you're a girl).  Because it's the final fight, the final struggle and it ends with a victory.  The victory I write about is of a different kind, but one that I know will help people trust God more despite the uncertainties of life.

After finishing the draft of the chapter, I stepped outside of the White House (see previous day's blog) and heard a counselor reading these words to his campers:

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

And those are the words I'll end this blog on.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The White House

I'm at one of my favorite places in the world - Spring Hill.  Somehow I got hooked up with a room at the home on camp typically reserved for donors.  And somehow I'm the only person staying in this home - which means, an amazing writing haven for me. 

This is the "White House." 

And this is my room assignment - Trust.

My writing energy tonight is going into my book, so instead of more words from me, here are the words of one of the camp's former directors - Mark Olson. 

"Where there is clarity, there is no room for faith and trust.  This life that we are to live, Jesus called  a relationship.  Within a relationship there is always mystery."

This, my friends, is what my book is all about. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Swan Gazing

Today when I returned from my run, I found my parents sitting down at the beach staring out at the lake, swan gazing.  It seemed perfect  - like the way it's supposed to be - like it is in The Notebook.  Growing old together and loving another one person until the end.

This evening I discovered a couple I know is now divorced and I'm a bit dumbfounded by the news.  I just don't "get" divorce - especially when two people share the same faith.  With the parents I have, divorce seems like such a foreign concept.

I've only had one close girl friend go through divorce, but I have a close guy friend who has had nearly a dozen close guy friends get divorced.  This couple I discovered tonight is one of them.  Needless to say, this guy friend of mine has just a few hesitancies when it comes to marriage - understandably so.

It seems like research would have love and marriage down to a science by now - for people to know whether or not it's a good idea for them to get married. 

But in the end, it's a matter of choice - of choosing to stick things through even when things suck.  And when things suck, you suck it up, and keep going.  At least that's how I feel about marriage, but I've never been married so I can't speak from life-learned expertise.  Boo on divorce.  :(

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Getting Lucky

Disclaimer: This blog has nothing to do with sex. 

I learned via twitter today is one of my favorite author's birthday.  To celebrate his birthday I'm recommending you go out and purchase his book turned movie now on DVD - Blue Like Jazz.

I had the opportunity of luck to view the film during the film screening tour this past spring. 

And yes, it truly was luck, according to business leader Jim Collins.  At the Global Leadership Summit, Jim explained to us he did a study on luck and in doing so, he defined luck to be the fulfillment of the following three criteria:

1.       You didn’t cause it
2.       Potentially significant consequence
3.       Some element of unpredictability/surprise

Bill Hybels pointed out to Jim, this same criteria could also be used for miracle - but Jim doesn't believe in the miraculous - yet.  Anyway, in his research, Jim discovered great companies aren’t any luckier than the not so great companies.  But rather, the great companies simply do a much better job of leveraging their luck while the not so great companies tend to squander their luck.

I'm convinced, it was miraculous luck that I got to go the screening.  After all, I already had another work obligation the night of the film, and all the tickets offered to my university had already been dished out, yet somehow how, without me even trying, God worked the "cards" out in my favor and on Thursday, March Something, 2012 ( When was that?) I got to see Blue Like Jazz. 

And not only did I get to see the film, but I also got to exchange a few words with the author of the book - and to my amazement, Donald Miller remembered me.  And that's when I leveraged my luck.

To be perfectly honest,  I didn't want to do the groupie picture thing following the movie, but somehow I got roped into getting this pic taken.  And now, I'm glad I did, because the picture taking turned into conversation, and that conversation turned into drinks on a Saturday night. 

My luck has since then run out, and Don stopped leveraging his, but I'm still thankful for the epic memory of that Saturday night.  And Don, if for some reason you've stumbled upon this blog post - Happy Birthday! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012


One Summit speaker spoke on an organization he started to invest in the lives of Harlem's youth - Harlem Children's Zone.

The website explains, "The Harlem Children's Zone has established a new method to end the cycle of generational poverty.  By addressing the needs of the entire community, HCZ isn't simply helping children beat the odds, it's helping to change the odds."
Here is a pic I took a few years ago of some Harlem's youth:

The past several weeks I've felt especially fatigued - not sure I picked up a worm or parasite in Africa, or if it's my anemia kicking in.  And today a migraine headache accompanied my fatigue - yuck!  So rather than writing a for real post, I leave you with this photo, and this Scripture:

Isaiah 40:31
"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  (Read all of Isaiah 40 for more goodness.)

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Blender

I'm going to break the rules of blogging tonight and write on my blog what ought to be reserved for a journal.

I know, you're probably thinking, this is going to be good - the juicy details of Katrina's life. 

Actually, no.  No juicy details (unless you want me to write about the Whopper Junior I ate for lunch, which I won't - oh, but wait, I just did), but I will write my honest thoughts on my experience today at Willow Creek's Global Leadership Summit.

At the end of the Summit today, Bill Hybels had us stand up and read together the following commitment prayer:

God, this is a new day.  I freshly commit myself to the role you have invited me to play, as you are building your Church in this world.  I am awestruck again today that you include me in this grand life-giving, world-transforming endeavor.  So today I joyfully offer you:

My Love
My Heart
My Talents
My Energy
My Creativity
My Faithfulness
My Resources
And My Gratitude

I commit all myself to the role you have assigned me in the building of your Church so that it may thrive in this world.  And I will "bring it" today.  I will bring my best.  You deserve it.  It is the Hope of the World.

I stood with everyone else, except I didn't read the words of the prayer.  I couldn't.  Instead I teared up and my thoughts spoke over the rest of the people praying aloud in the auditorium.

"It's too hard." My heart spoke.  "It's too hard." 

And then I tried to make a deal with God.  I explained to God what He wants me to do and what He's given me vision for, is simply too hard to do alone.  I told God, if he wants me to read that prayer, He first needs to bring someone into my life.  I can't do this solo.  I need the support and synergy of doing this in conjunction with a husband.  Otherwise, honestly, I don't want to do this.  Yes, I'll still do some, but there's no way I'm going to sign up for something so big without having a partner in life to do this with me. I've already been chopped up and spit out of the blender 3 or 4 times already.  If I'm going to get back in the blender, I'm not going to do it alone.  Yes, as people have told me, I'm a strong woman, but even I have my limits.  I don't think I could survive another round of the blendor on my own. 

Later, Bill jokingly wished insomnia on anyone who didn't feel they could pray the prayer.  If his wish comes true, I have some sleepless nights ahead of me.

And I know God probably doesn't appreciate bargaining, but it worked on a few occasions throughout the Bible so I thought I'd give it a try today and we'll see how it goes.

Global Leadership Summit Part II

* In works

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Car Give Away

I was tempted to give away my car tonight.  This is a new temptation for me.  And one I wish I could indulge in.
A woman who would not have passed California Baptist University's dress code, struck up a conversation with me as I exited the Adrian Starbucks this evening.  She was outside smoking a cigarette when she caught me with a question en route to my shiny, silver, Corolla Sport.

"Where in California are you from?"  Ah, she had taken note of my license plate.

"Riverside, about an hour East of LA." And then I had to explain my answer further because it wasn't exactly true.  After all, I've lived in New York City the past two years, and originally I'm from Michigan. 

Anyway, the momentum of our conversation continued until she ended up sharing some of the hardships of her less than grandiose life, raising 4 kids as a single mom.  Before we parted ways, she introduced herself - name is Carrie, or perhaps Kari - and pointed out her car, parked next to mine.

"That's my beast."  She explained.  I glanced over to where she waved her cigarette, to see a beat up compact car with only half its paint remaining.  "Anyway, nice meeting you." She threw her cigarette bud to the ground, stomped it out, and started heading towards her car.

"Nice meeting you too."

And we both drove off and as we did I marveled at how different the lives are that we lead.  Her life seemed far rougher than mine and I wished I could somehow make it better.  That's when I considered I'd like to give her my Corolla, and wished I was in the position in which I could.  But I'm not.  I'm unemployed and although I saved up some, I still have $34,000 of Grad School Student Loan debt to pay off.

And so tonight, instead I'll pray.  Dear God, Please help this woman get a better, more reliable car - one she can take pride in calling her own.

God cares about the details of our lives.  He does, I know he does.  If he didn't - welp, He does.  And we'll just leave it at that.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ann Arbor is HOT

If towns and cities could be ranked on hotness, on a scale from 1 to 10, I'd rank Ann Arbor, Michigan a 9.  To clarify, I'm not referring to the level of attractiveness of the people found within the city.  If I ranked the hotness of the people found in Ann Arbor the number would be much, much lower.

I'm not saying this to be insenstive; I'm just stating the noticeable reality.  My students in California took note of this when traveled to Ann Arbor for a water polo tournament.

Upon their return to California two of the water polo girls explained to me, the entire time they were in Ann Arbor, they kept their eyes out for good looking guys.  One of the gals told me with great disappointment, "We didn't see one good looking guy while we were there."

The other girl continued on, "Yeah, not even one.  But it kind of makes sense to me now why you didn't meet anyone in college." 

Haha :)  Perhaps it's true and maybe I would have had better luck in Lansing at MSU. 

But Ann Arbor, in general, and the University of Michigan - I'm so proud of you!  I'm proud to claim Ann Arbor as my college town. 

I mention A^2 because I drove there tonight to get some writing in at the Starbucks on State Street.  It was a better night tonight when it comes to words. 

And a great day all around for many reasons.  I celebrated on the way home, by pulling my car over to the side of the road, turning the radio up, and dancing under the stars.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Smart God

I'm beginning to think God was rather smart to have other people write his book for him. 

Now accepting resumes.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

8 Years Left

Last night I had a half dozen guys calling out my name, hoping I would come down from my writing tower to join them at their beach bonfire.  Unfortunately I didn't hear them, so I wasn't able to bask in the awesomeness of such a moment.  But I did mosey on down the stairs around midnight for yet another Saturday night on Sand Lake.  This makes 4 in a row.

After setting off some fireworks, the 34 year old boy from down the shore told me I only have about 8 years left.  I didn't bring up the topic, but for some reason he decided to point out my aging reality.  (Thanks - insert sarcasm.)  It's kind of not fair that we are the same age, went to the same college, yet he has nearly 26 years left, while I only have 8.

Granted, I'm not going to die in 8 years, but the dream to get pregnant and carry and birth children of my own, very well could die.  What's hard for women, especially single women in their 30s and 40s, is that we can dream and accomplish much in this world, but the greatest dream most of us carry is one that is beyond our control.  Because we can't "make" a guy like us.  He either does or he doesn't.  And even if he does, it's his choice to decide if he wants to pursue anything more.

But when guys have biology working in their favor, many are in no rush at all.  I don't think I would be either if I was a guy.  As the band The Ataris sing, "Being grown up, isn't half as fun as growing up.  These are the best days of our lives."  Understandably there's less motiviation for guys than gals to get married and start making babies.  Because for many, like my second hottest guy friend, they equate marriage and family with giving up on one's dreams.  But there's got to be a way to do both. 

By the way, it turns out males do have a bit of a biological clock.  This New York Times article tells me I should look to date younger rather than older, because men's sperm after the age of 40 goes a bit down hill.  It is still likely to "work," but the baby produced is more likely to be less than fully functional. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

Live Long * Love Well

My parents attended my Dad’s 55 year high school reunion this evening.  When they returned home, my mom showed me a long list of names spelled out in the event program.  There were nearly 100 names listed and I thought she was going to tell me they are the names of the people who attended the reunion.  Instead, she informed me they are the names of everyone who has already passed away from Dad’s graduation class.  I was shocked.

My Dad graduated with about 500 other students from DeVilbiss High School in 1957 in Toledo, Ohio.  He and the others who are still alive are now 73 years old, but 20%, a fifth of his class has already passed away. 
I hold a very strong conviction that people shouldn’t die until after the age of 87, and I don’t think my parents shouldn’t be allowed to die until after the age of 97.  Both of my Grandpas died at the age of 80, one to cancer and one to suicide.  And my dad’s mom died at the age of 42, when he was only 12, and my mom’s mom died at the age of 72, when my mom was pregnant with my older brother.  So I never had the opportunity to meet either of my grandmothers.

My dad argues he supposed to live to be at least 125 years old.  That’s how old Moses lived to be, and my Dad insists it is supposed to be better under the New Test Covenant. 
I’ve been home for over 3 weeks now, and every week thus far, my parents’ have received a call, notifying them that so and so has passed away, and that the visitation and funeral will be held in a few days.  I suppose you could say I’ve been overly exposed to death the past few weeks and I don’t like it. 

People who live in LA and New York don’t believe in death.  If you’re nearing it or know someone who is, you leave these two cities.  We like to pretend death is not part of our world – and for the most part, it isn’t.  But it is a part of the greater world in which we live.  Funerals are “good” for us, because they cause us to pause from our ambitions, and to consider who we are, who we spend our time with, and what really matters in life. 
A few minutes ago, my Dad interrupted my writing to show me pictures of his mom I had never seen before.  She appears to be relatively tall standing beside my Grandpa Cec. I’d imagine I got my height from her – 5’8”   And I wonder if she ran into troubles wearing high heels on any the dates she went on.

I’m sad I never had the opportunity to get to meet her here on earth, yet I’m thankful for the opportunity I'll have to get to know her in heaven.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Raindrops of Eternity

Free Write from a couple of years ago with Mosaic's SHE Study Writing Group
Topic: Meaningful Moments

“Katrina, I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“No, you don’t understand.  I love you.  Seriously, I love you.”

The insistence accompanying the words, convinced me they were not flippantly being said.  And the sincerity in the speaker’s eyes further confirmed the words’ authenticity.

Now, I hate to break the news - this wasn’t some sort of romantic encounter.  This was after campfire, over 10 years ago at Spring Hill Camps, where I was working with high school girls. 

A gal named Jenni spoke the words.  Her time at camp had been particularly meaningful as God had been doing a lot in her heart and in her life.  It just so happened that God allowed me the opportunity to come alongside of her during her two week stay.

Honestly, I can’t remember a lot of the details.  Jenni and I lost touch years ago and I haven’t been able to find her on myspace or facebook, yet her words remain with me.  I think because her words made me realize our ability to influence, and to encourage, and to make difference in someone’s life, is far more reaching and powerful and impacting than we could ever dream or imagine.  And so, though our time may be short with some, we still have the opportunity to sprinkle rain drops of eternity on those who desperately need refreshing – drops of faith, hope, and love.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Convergence: Transformation Training
September 22-23
Baker Conference Center
Owosso, Michigan

Today, rather than writing, I conference planned.  The good news is, this conference planning work will eventually translate into free housing for me in the Upper West Side of Manhattan this fall - right near Central Park.  The bad news is, no new nonsense from me today.

Sorry if you feel cheated.  Or perhaps I'm cheating myself.  Hmmm...

Maybe I should write something... all this talk of cheating is making me think of my deepest, darkest sins.  I have 3. 

1.  I use to do drugs - Flinstone Vitamins, the chewable kind.  I'd pop the pills while hiding underneath our family's piano when I was 3 or 4.  They were yummy and I only ODed once.

2. I shoplifted once.  I stole some orange tic tacs while waiting in line with my mom at the grocery store.  When we returned home, I hid in the bathroom, eating each tic tac, one by one, until they were all gone.

3.  I cut the hair off my sister's Brooke Shields Barbie Doll.  I hid in my parents' closet with a pair of scissors and gave Brooke a butch cut.  My sister was not pleased. 

Funny how hiding and sin go hand in hand.