When God shows up

I’ve been in Baltimore for the last week. Baltimore has parallel parking. Normally, I’m not too shabby at parallel parking. But this week has just been annoying. I can’t seem to cut it right. I’m constantly slightly shifting after I get into the spot to get closer or farther away from the curb. Annoying. It doesn’t help that it is making me feel like a fool. But that’s some personal stuff I gotta work through. Well, Thursday was the worst. I’m parking outside the Airbnb we’re staying in and I’m forward, backward, forward, backward, forward, rub the curb, away, rub, away. *heavy groan.* Luckily, the person staying with me wasn’t with me in the car, I did not need an audience for this. *eye roll* But, I get it parked and head inside, determined to forget this awful parking experience.

The next morning, we get in the car and my low tire pressure light comes on. Now, this normally isn’t a big deal. My front passenger tire has an extremely slow leak that I know about and every couple of weeks, I have to fill it up again. And, I’ve been saving for new tires, anyway, but the mechanic said I had 10,000 miles left on the tires. (That’s now down to 2,000.) But, yesterday, with all the curb rubbing, was it that tire? Or something else? So, we get to the donut shop, I kick the back tire to see if it’s low. It might be a little low, but it’s fine. We’re headed to Philly and we’re like an hour behind schedule, so I’m not going to worry about it.

We leave the donut shop minutes later and I have to stop for gas. I was going to stop on the highway, but why wait? Maybe there are places along the way. So, I tell my map I need a gas station and they pull one up. We head there and it has an air pump. I thought about filling up the slow leaker, but eh. Then my companion says, “You want to fill up that tire?” Ok, I pull over there, get out my tire pressure gauge and head around to fill it up. The front one is low, naturally, but something draws me to that back tire again.

I head back there just to check the pressure, and what do I see? A nail sticking right through it. In the top and out the side. Just hanging out. Ok. We have a problem. An annoying problem because now we’re even later behind schedule.

I research some tire shops and there’s a place not even half a mile away. We find it and they replace the tire, right there, on the spot, in less than 30 min, for $45.

Now, this all sounds like a nuisance, right? Just a bunch of annoying things popping up keeping us from our good time. But, let’s look at the facts.

Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me this I know. And Jesus protects me and provides for me.

So, he knew that if I didn’t have a struggle and my low tire pressure light came on, I would assume it was the slow leaker and ignore it. So, I struggled to park.

He knew that I would need a tire place, so he had me get gas in town just down the street from one.

He knew that I would continue to ignore the tire, so he had my companion mention filling up the tires.

He knew that I would just think it’s the front tire, so he pulled me to the back and put the nail on top.

He knew that we wouldn’t want to spend hours waiting on a tire, so he had a mechanic ready for us to just pull into his bay and replace the tire.

He knew that we wanted to have a Jesus-filled day, so he showed up all over the place and gave us the belief to see him.

And, because of all this, we were able to have the ultimate good time. If we had gotten on the highway and had blown the tire completely, bad day. An all-plans-kinda-failed bad day. But Jesus loves us. He loves me. And he loves you.

How is he making your day an ultimate good time?

What does 2021 hold?

If you’ve read my recent blog posts about my job history, my journey since childhood, the one about the fridge, and well, kind of any of them, you know that I live my life based on what Jesus tells me to do. This has caused me some problems in the past. Well, earthly problems, unwanted conversations, lack of knowledge, etc.

Like, “Kate, what are you doing after you graduate?” “Um, I don’t know yet. God hasn’t told me.”

Or, “Kate, you know, if you got a real job, you could make bank!” “Yeah, but I’m not in this life for the money…”

And, “We moved here because God told us to.” “Do you say that because it’s the easy answer?”

But really, I love this life. The best things happen to me because I did them at the best time. I felt Jesus told me to write a book back in 2018. He didn’t give me a timeline, I just heard, “Write a book.” So, I kept that in my mind, tried to write a few things here and there, but nothing really panned out. Then, in January of 2020, my head starts flooding with book content. Images and chapters and words and verses! I got home as fast as I could and started writing it all down. And, now, I have a book that will be ready to buy in time for Christmas! Less than a year! And I’ve seen Jesus in every part of it. I’m thrilled for you to read it.

But, my book is not what this blog is about. This blog is about 2021. I have been asking Jesus, “What do you want me to do in 2021?” And I believe I got some answers. And I’m THRILLED! to share them with you!

First, he said that I should keep working with DOOR! I’m excited about this. I love DOOR and their mission and their values and their process. I love doing survey work and it is valuable and important. I might also be taking on some linguistic training roles, too. That would be fun.

While Jesus told me to continue working with DOOR, he also told me to go part time.

“Ok, Jesus, if I go part time with DOOR, what else do you want me to do?”

And then the visions and dreams started. So many good things. So much good. I see me in the front of a conference hall with women. I see me as a camp dean for Deaf kids. I see Jesus books I love being made accessible for the Deaf. I see the book I just wrote in ASL. I see YouTube videos in ASL explaining concepts and teaching prayers. Seriously, SO. MUCH. GOOD.

And I’m like, “I can’t do any of that, Jesus. You crazy.” And he’s like, “I’ve been training you for years. But more importantly, I will never leave you or forsake you.”

I have been prayerfully considering what parts I’m supposed to do next year, and I believe those parts are the YouTube channel and writing my book in ASL. I will do these two things at the same time as working for DOOR. And I will continue to pray about what my next steps are and keep you in the know as time goes on.

If you would like to make this happen. If you would like to help get Bibles to the unreached in their first language. If you want to get good Jesus content to young Deaf kids. If you believe in this mission, please prayerfully consider joining my monthly financial support team. You can give safely and tax deductively through my church’s website by clicking here. Just make sure you select “Missions: Kate French” in the “give to” section.

p.s. Sorry I say “thrilled” so much in this blog, but really, it’s all so thrilling!

CELEBRATE! One year with DOOR

This August is a very special month! Sometimes, a year goes by and we don’t even realize it! I don’t know about you, but 2020 has been the longest and shortest year of my life. So, when I realized this week that August is my one-year anniversary with DOOR, I had to take a minute to celebrate with all of you!

Celebrations might be few and far between these days. We forget to celebrate the small things because the big things are so looming and so dark. But a celebration is a type of attack on the enemy. If he can keep us feeling low, lower than the floor and like we don’t have a chance, he can make us forget about goodness. But, when we have defiant joy, we can look the darkness in the face and say, “I’m going to dance, anyway! Joy comes in the morning!”

So, as a way of celebration, I’ve written down the things I’ve done with DOOR this year to help further the kingdom. And I’ve written down the things DOOR has done a part from me since I joined because the more the merrier when it comes to celebrating!

Things I’ve done this year with DOOR:
1. Surveyed a southern Asia country and found how many sign languages they have there!
2. Taught Digital Technology of Sign Language research to new linguists on the MA level!
3. Taught our new high facilitators the basics of linguistics!
4. Worked on a database of all our projects to get the information in one place!
5. Wrote 2 brand new people profiles for Joshua Project – an organization that keeps tabs on all the language groups in the world and their availability to know the Gospel.
6. I’ve done a lot of planning for our next several surveys. As soon as they raise the flag, we’ll be able to get back out there!

Things DOOR has done this year
1. Finished the first 110 stories for two different language groups! (We now consider this group to have good access to scripture in their own language!)
2. Started two new translation projects!
3. Raised $30,000 for mircoSD cards! We are in the process of downloading scriptures onto them so we can give them to scattered Deaf so they can feel connected!
4. Started a 30 for 30 campaign and raised $20,000 to feed both hungry Deaf hearts and stomachs during COVID! We sent our Deaf evangelists to homes of the Deaf with a good meal and a good word.
5. Our evangelical teams (our 2×2 program) were able to reorganize into local, regional and national teams! And many were able to keep in contact with our friends in country even though many of us had to return to our homes this year.

Praise the Lord! So much good in so little time! I’m excited for the years to come!

Have a piece of cake tonight in celebration with me! And find something you can celebrate, too! Let’s bring on the defiant joy!

Being Seen

Have you ever asked a woman what her deepest desire is? Like, just as a human. What are her deepest desires? I can’t answer for all women, but if I had to guess, I would say that her deepest longing would be to be seen. Knowing without a shadow of a doubt that someone notices her. That she’s understood. That’s she’s not the freak she feels she is. I mean, just read my last blog about isolated and rejected. Do you know what Lilo’s biggest hurt is? She’s not seen. The only person who remotely understands her is her sister. And her sister isn’t supposed to be everything to her. People want more people. People need people.

I recently finished a book called Flora & Ulysses. It’s a cute book about a superhero squirrel. But what it’s really about it Flora finally feeling seen. At the beginning of the book, Flora explains to the reader how much she hates this little, ugly lamp at the bottom of the stairs. She says that when her mother took it out of the box, she set it up and said, “Oh, I love you, little lamp.” And Flora then tells us that her mother has never said that to her. Flora has no memory of her mother saying, “I love you, Flora.” Imagine the depths that would sink a little girl into. The results have turned Flora into a cynic. Turned her into a person who doesn’t believe people are capable of seeing her.

Flora and her mother are somewhat opposites. More distancing on Flora’s part. She can’t stand someone so close to her not seeing her. But *spoiler alert* at the end of the book when Flora’s mother finds Flora again after Flora’s mother thinks Flora is lost, her mother’s loving emotions finally boil over and Flora feels for the first time how much her mother actually does love her. It opens up Flora’s heart. Makes her feel alive like she never has before in her life.

I was on the phone with my niece the other day. We were talking about road trips and I told her that I don’t really like to snack on a road trip, but I do like a drink. Later that week, I was talking with my nephew on the phone. I brought up the topic of him coming to visit me, but that he would have to ride in the car for a while. I said, “But it’s ok. We could get you snacks.” And he said, “And you could get a drink.” And my heart stopped. What? I wasn’t even talking to him when I said that. But he listened, and he remembered, and he told me that I could get a drink because he sees me. That little poopsie is so good at seeing people.

My heart wants to be seen. Your heart wants to be seen. Your heart longs for someone to say to you, metaphorically, “And you could get a drink.” Someone to see you. But, we’re afraid to open up to that. Like Flora, most of us have become cynics. We close that part of our heart because we’ve been shut down so many times and we can’t stand the hurt anymore. We can’t stand the hurt anymore.

There’s gravity to this. My biggest desire is to be seen. So do you know what then is my biggest fear? Not being heard. Not being understood. Not being enough because my voice and brain aren’t enough to interest people into thinking I’m worth seeing.

I strongly don’t want this to be your life, but I’m guessing we’re somewhat similar. But, your heart is precious. It’s valuable. It’s important. And there’s one who sees you. He sees everything about you and knows you to your very core. And he loves it all. He loves everything about you. He knows what all your facial expressions mean. He can read your face and knows how you feel. He knows what your laughs mean. He sees your shoulders hunched over and knows what that means. He sees you lift your chin and square your shoulders and he knows what that means. He knows your favorite movies and what that says about you. He knows. Guys, he knows you intimately. In every way that you’ve ever wanted to be seen, he sees you. And he loves you.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb. – Psalm 139:13

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. -John 10:27

Now, Jesus sees you. You just have one thing to do. Let yourself be seen. Don’t let your heart turn to stone. Don’t let the Enemy get a foothold. Rebuke fear. And let not your heart be troubled. Don’t be a Flora. Be a Lilo. Go after being seen. Be vulnerable with Jesus. He longs for you to be closer to him. He can take it. You can’t scare him away. Test him out. You won’t be disappointed.

Isolated and Rejected?

I was at church a few weeks ago and something very common (for me) happened again. I was standing in a group of people and we were chatting. The group of people on my left all had the same thing in common and the people on my right all had the same thing in common. So, naturally, the two groups break off and I’m left standing there not in either group. I haven’t been kicked out, of course, but I’m also not fully welcomed. Has this ever happened to you? This isn’t my first rodeo. I sit back and wait for it to end, for topics to change back to something I can relate to, for someone to notice me standing there and ask me a question, etc. when something very uncommon happens to me.

Have you seen Lilo and Stitch? Lilo is a cute little thing. Adventurous, creative, imaginative, bold. Lonely, isolated, rejected, misunderstood. I am Lilo. I’m sure that there are times in your life where you feel like Lilo, too. When I was a kid people used to say, “Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I might as well go eat worms.” It was very dramatic. But there are times when it feels very true. And it’s true, Lilo had “friends” who were very mean to her. They didn’t understand her, didn’t think she was cool, couldn’t relate, so they were mean. But, Lilo had her sister who understood her, who loved her unconditionally, who wanted the best for her. Lilo did have someone so encourage her creativeness, imagination, and adventure-seeking heart.

Lilo didn’t lose her faith, her belief that somewhere out there was someone else who thought like her. Enter Stitch. Someone trained not to love, ends up loving this little girl who feels like she can’t be loved. Oh my gosh, I’m crying again. It’s so beautiful.

See, things like my church experience happen to me and I feel alone, isolated, rejected, and misunderstood. I wish I had a pickle jar and spoons to pretend they are the things that frustrate me so I can shake them up and say, “My friends need to be punished.” Hopefully, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

But, something happened to me at church that was not common. Something to remind me that I am not alone. I am not isolated. I am not rejected. I am not misunderstood. At least not by the One who matters. I’m standing there, as the two groups break off and I don’t feel upset. I stand smiling glad that my friends are enjoying conversation and are able to catch up. And then it happens. The music that was softly playing in the background starts to break through to my ears and I feel like something is pulling me back, not physically, but as in a dream where the things around you become small and distant, even though you haven’t moved. And it’s the song “Communion” by Maverick City and Jesus is saying, “I’m here. I love you. I see you.” The lyrics say, “You are closer, closer than my skin/ You are in the air I’m breathing in/ Here’s where the dead things/ Come back to living/ I feel my heart beating again/ Feels so good to know You are my friend.”

So, you can feel like Lilo. People on this earth can disappoint. But, don’t let that shut you off from your Best Friend. And don’t let it shut you off from love. The one who created you loves you more than you’ll ever know. He’s never far. He’s everywhere. He’s inside you. Beside you. Around you. In you. All-the-prepositions you.

Also, it’s good to remember that Lilo ends the movie with more friends than she dreamed of. She ends the movie on top of the world. She ends the movie with people who understand her and love her and motivate her. And she didn’t have to change who she was to get those friends. She just had to change where she was looking for her validation.

Walter the Poet Hero

Have you ever read Anne of Ingleside? It sits in the 6th position of the Anne of Green Gables series. Anne has grown and now has kids of her own and the stories start to shift to be about her children. One story, I absolutely loved and I wanted to share with you – just in case you haven’t read it.

Anne’s second son is named Walter and he’s a poet and a romantic (not like love, but like a genre) and he is tender. People make fun of him for being “sensitive” or a “baby” or “acting like a little girl.” But Walter is strong and Walter has courage.

Anne is getting ready to have another baby, except she doesn’t tell her children this (I’m guessing it was taboo to talk about it outright.) So, her children don’t know she’s having a baby, but they are being sent away to stay with other people for 2 weeks.

For the first time in his life, Walter is separated from his older brother and sent to stay with a family he doesn’t really know on the other side of town. Six miles away. And if you think that he’s going to have a marvelous time on this holiday, you think wrong. Walter is miserable. He misses his family, he doesn’t know these kids, and right off, they start making fun of him. But Walter notices a little girl there. All the big kids are teasing him, but this little girl gives him strength. She gives him something to be brave for. Little Alice with her curls and pretty dress and sweet smile. He puts up with the teasing for so long before the mother of the house calls them in to supper. They eat, well, Walter doesn’t really eat – he’s worried sick. But when supper is over, they are sent back outside. As meek Walter walks out the door, he notices the two big boys are fighting. Walter’s never seen this kind of fight before and he doesn’t like it. He’s a lover, not a fighter, remember. But then he notices Alice, and she has tears in her eyes. So, what does Walter do? He steps in between the big kids and breaks up their fight. Because Alice. Because Bravery. Because Courage. Because lovers and meek men are not scared and wimpy.

Because Walter knows who he is and is not afraid.

I love this. And it only gets better. The big kids see how Alice appreciates what Walter did and they become jealous and angry. So, they start telling Walter that they heard their mother saying that Walter’s mother was going to die. She was very sick and he was never going to see her again. Of course, we the reader know this isn’t true and that she’s giving birth, but Walter has no idea and suddenly things start falling into place. He was sent away because his mother was dying.

When bedtime comes, he’s put in his own room and he cannot sleep. He is distraught thinking about his mother and how he’ll never see her again. So, when everyone is asleep, he gets up, puts on his clothes, carries his shoes down the stairs, and starts out for home. He walks and walks and walks and becomes terrified at every sound and shadow, but he persists. He walks for 3 hours and makes it to his house, but the doors are locked and he can’t get in, so he goes to the barn and waits to sunrise when he thinks he can get in the house. He makes it in and finds that his mother is not dead, she’s not sick, and she’s very happy to see him. And, he has a new baby sister. His mother, after hearing his tale, tells him he doesn’t have to leave the house again overnight until he is ready.

I love this. I just – I love this so much. Walter, the poet, the romantic, the weird-o, the baby. Walter, the brave, the courageous, the protector, the defender. Walter, the little boy who is loved beyond measure is able to be himself. He stands up for Alice. He stands up for his mother. He takes being teased. He knows how he is and doesn’t let the world stop him from that.

We can learn so much from Walter. When you’re whole — your heart, your soul, your strength — you can be who you were created to be, defend what you were created to defend, love what and who you were created to love, and do it all without losing yourself.

“Jesus, teach us our validation comes from you. Show us your unfailing love. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Help me be who you created me to be. Give me the courage to do the things you have in store for me.”

Quest for a Cupcake

Every year, Hanson releases a Members Only EP in May. We go to Tulsa for the weekend, hear the music live, and walk away with a CD of the new music. Just for us. But, I think it’s just for me. This year, that got “postponed” to next year. (Except it’s an annual thing, so how was it postponed? Are we going to have two next year? Doubtful.) But, Hanson is loyal and they still made the Member’s Only EP. In fact, they made 7 songs instead of their usual 5!

This past week, we the people were finally able to bless our ears with the new songs! Seven new Hanson songs all for me. So, I hit the road. Because where better to listen to music than in the car? I opened the invitation up to my roommates, but I was secretly hoping they would turn me down. They did. Jesus loves me so much.

So, this weekend, I drove. With no real destination in mind except growing closer to Jesus. And, as always, he delivered. I ended up going south because I’ve gone south several times and I know where I’m driving. (Having to follow a GPS during Jesus time is not conducive to a stress-free environment.)

With my music up and on repeat, I just start inviting Jesus into the space. “Jesus, I give you my heart, mind, soul, body. I give you the car. I bring my kingdom under your Kingdom. Anything not from your Kingdom has to leave. Any evil, demons, anything from the Enemy has to go. Has to leave. You have no power here.” Once the car is clean and Jesus’, I start inviting him to speak to me. “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening. What do you want me to hear? What do you want to tell me? I have some questions: Where should I live next year? What should I do next year?” And then I just enjoy the drive. Keeping my ears and mind open. And I’m smiling. I’m free. I’m living the life there in my little yellow car with Jesus, Holy Spirit, and Papa God.

And before I know it, only an hour and a half down the road, Chip Gaines starts welcoming me to Waco on the billboards leading into town. And one picture comes into my mind: A Joanna Gaines’ cupcake. Have you ever seen one? Eaten one? They’re perfect. They’re sweet. They’re chocolate. They’re perfection in a cupcake. So I exit the highway and drive to the Bakery at the Silos. I get my cupcake and go sit at a coffee shop down the street. While I’m there, I finally have the courage to write an email that I’ve been putting off for months.

Writing this email doesn’t really have much to do with the man I’m sending the email to as it does obedience to God. It’s an amazing thing what happens once you’re finally obedient. Once you stop being stubborn with God and accepting that what he has is the best thing for you. (To be clear, I’m not always aware of the fact that I’m being stubborn against God. I’m not aware that my own fear has kept me from him. But, absence makes the heart grow fonder and you start to realize that, “Hey, Jesus isn’t here. Where did he go? Where did I go? Let’s get back together.” And it’s sweeter than you remembered and it’s better than you remembered.) So, while I felt like I had a roadblock the last month, I felt the wellspring of life open up in me over the weekend and I’m sitting here writing my first successful blog in over a month.

On the way back home, I listened to a couple podcasts. Both very good. But the line that applies most to this blog is this: “Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. The Jesus you were in love with last year is the very same Jesus today.” (It’s okay if that makes you cry. It does me, too.) Jesus is the same. The world is different, but Jesus is the same.

So, to the outside world, I drove to Waco to get a cupcake, turned around, and drove back. But to us, we know I got so much more. I got Jesus.

P.S. If you ever come visit me for more than a day, I’ll take you to Waco and we can get cupcakes. It’s just down the road. And it’s sooo worth it.

It’s a bird, It’s a plane – no, it’s just a man in tights and cape

Last week, I talked about how I’m a geek and a Superman geek at that. I wanted to fill you in on why he’s the one I chose to become obsessed with when I was still a young girl. (Warning, this post will be filled with random geek facts. You’ve been warned.)

I am forever grateful to my mother for introducing me to Superman through Lois and Clark the New Adventures of Superman. It’s a series from the 1990s starring Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain. It’s fantastic. Look it up.

In one of the series DVD sets, there’s an interview with the woman who created the show. She was telling her motivation for making the series: In the past, all Superman related shows and movies had two main characters, Lois and Superman. But she wanted there to be three main characters, Lois, Superman, and Clark. And she did it. I didn’t fall in love with Superman first, I fell in love with Clark first. When I see Superman struggling, I don’t cry, “Oh, Superman.” I say, “Claaaark!” If I had watched another TV show or movie first, I don’t think I would have this foundation, but I think it’s important.

Clark was a man who encouraged Lois to be a better woman. He invited her into her true identity. He invited her to be vulnerable and compassionate. And he didn’t dominate her and control her. His love for her awakened her to who she was meant to be. And vice versa. Lois invited Clark to become the man he was meant to be. Strong and bold and a good leader.

The Superman comic was created at a time when the world needed heroes. They needed men to step into the light and take the lead and become role models. They needed people to be courageous and bold. And Superman really spoke into that and encouraged many a young boy to become a man. He’s the best because he’s always fought clearly in the light and for the light.

He’s also highly stacked. No one can really defeat him. I mean he’s got the laser vision, x-ray vision, super breathe, flight, super strength, speed, impenetrable skin… But that’s not why no one can defeat him. They can’t defeat him because they can’t reach his goodness.

Every time, in my past, when I had a discussion about why Superman was the best, males would always say, “He’s no fun because he’s untouchable.” And I think what they might have been saying is, “I can never be like him.” Brothers, that’s not true. Well, it is true that you can’t come from Krypton with the sun as your source of energy strengthening your cells past the point of any human. But, you can come from a Kingdom not of this world with the Son as your source of energy strengthening your soul past the point of lost humans. And you can fight in the light and for the light. You can be at a level of goodness that no one else can reach unless they, too, have Jesus. You can have a Father who talks to you while you’re in your fortress of solitude. (Even if your fortress of solitude isn’t in Antarctica.) You can invite women to be who they were intended to be and you can let women invite you to becoming the man you were meant to be.

Superman, for me, is a great metaphor for Jesus. I see him everywhere. Which is why I can’t hardly watch the end of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. I cried for hours after the first viewing.

So, did I take a mythical character too far? Maybe. But Jesus has used him to expand my understanding of Him in only good ways. And he used Superman to help me see how men have what it takes to be men. They are enough. They are strong enough, they are bold enough. Especially those who use the Son as their source.

Geeks and Nerds

I am a geek. It’s something I’m proud of, but it’s also something I have to be cautious of. Geeks are different from nerds. You see, nerds like knowledge and they like research. When they watch Star Trek, it’s because they’re interested in the cultures of the different races and the way they interact with each other. They have jobs that require them to spend several hours looking things up and organizing it. They don’t necessarily keep everything in their mind, but they know where to find it. They’ve read a lot of things and can recall the article, then go find the article and read it to you. Nerds can like a variety of things – computers, linguistics, dinosaurs, math, science, movies, sci-fi, etc. But when they like these things, they love the puzzle of figuring it out.

Geeks, on the other hand, like to know everything about one thing. They find something they like, and then memorize every weird fact about it. They have unusual tidbits just stored in their brains waiting for someone to ask them a question about the topic. They can spend hours going down rabbit trails and finding obscure history and little known facts. A geek can be a geek about anything – comic books, musicians, movies, books, computers, math, people, etc. But being a geek about anything doesn’t mean you’re a geek about everything.

I’m a geek about Superman, Hanson, Star Wars, probably Harry Potter and I dabble in a few other things. But I’m a nerd about linguistics.

Here’s a topic and what a geek would know versus what a nerd would know:

Nerd
The Pythagorean Theorem is a^2+b^2=c^2. There’s this website that can solve it for you: https://www.omnicalculator.com/math/pythagorean-theorem. But, it works because a right triangle can be thought of as squares…

Geek
The Pythagorean Theorem is also called Pythagoras’ Theorem and was named after a Greek scholar Pythagoras of Samos. But people still debate who really came up with it…

Now that you understand the difference, you can see why being a geek is something I need to be cautious of: they have obsession tendencies. I can get wrapped up in a topic and not come up for air. I can fight to the death over it. I will pick a side and research it til I know everything. So, I have to limit myself. I have to know when to say enough is enough, Kate. You know enough. I love Star Wars. But I only let myself watch the movies. Did you know that there are books, comic books, video games and tv shows? All considered canon. (There’s more out there that’s not considered canon – geek fact.) But I don’t engage them. They would consume my every thought. One YouTuber, who’s also a geek, figured out how much it would cost to consume everything in the Star Wars realm. It’s $2,399.88. Oh, and just 532 hours and 24 minutes to sit through it all. Jeepers Creepers. (Here’s the video if you’re a geek and are now interested – link.)

My obsession tendencies don’t stop at fiction and famous people. They creep into my every day life. I can get consumed in work, relationships, food, sleep. I get caught up in cleaning the yard or the kitchen. I have to watch out for it at every turn. Because there’s only one thing I should be obsessing over and that’s Jesus. Because when Jesus consumes my every thought, the way I work gets better, the way I relate gets better, food gets better, sleep gets better. Music, books, movies get better. Every other obsession takes a back seat and when those obsessions get tamed, they help lead me to Jesus instead of leading me astray. I didn’t turn to Jesus because He took away Superman, I turned to Jesus because He used Superman to say, “Here I am.”

Geeks and nerds aren’t the only options out there. You can be one, both, or neither. Do you have obsessive tendencies? Do you find yourself fixating on one topic for too long and letting it consume your life? I’m right there with you. But you and Jesus are stronger than that obsession. Ask Jesus where he is in your topic. I bet he’s there.

Lessons from Working

Up until December of ’18, I was a Jack of all trades and a master of none. (After December of ’18, I became a master, but funnily enough, it was not in any of the fields I had actually worked before.) Have you seen Gilmore Girls? I was Kirk. Not that I actually identify with Kirk, but I had several jobs like Kirk. I even have a hard time remembering all the different work I’ve done. So, I thought I would log it and tell lessons I learned from each job.

It’s amazing what you can learn from a job. Learn about yourself, learn about Jesus, learn about people. I’ve had all sorts of experiences and I treasure each one as a new way to connect with Jesus and learn more about the two of us together.

Babysitting

A few times when I was a kid, I babysat. I was decent at it. Kids like me. But I hated it. I hated feeling trapped. I very much like playing with kids. I like hearing their stories and cultivating their imaginations. But tell me that I can’t leave any time I want and I don’t like doing it anymore. I don’t know why – that’s probably something I should explore more.

Hiawatha Greenhouse

My first official job was delivering flowers and random chores (watering, pruning, moving flowers, etc) for the Greenhouse after school and on Saturday mornings. Grandpa taught me how to follow directions – on the road and in the greenhouse. I learned street structures and how a map works. I learned about hard work from Grandma. She had a list and she expected it all done well.

Casey’s

At Casey’s I worked in the kitchen. Here, I learned quite a few things about how a gas station kitchen works. But those aren’t the real take-aways. I learned what it means to take responsibility for your work. Your boss doesn’t care who taught you incorrectly. They only care that you’re doing it incorrectly.

Graebel Van Lines

Graebel Van Lines was a moving company. I worked there my first summer of undergrad. I was tired every day. I woke up early, got home late. I remember just falling into bed and sleeping until I had to get up the next day. But, I learned the proper way to pack a box. I learned how to package things so they don’t break. And I learned how heavy books can be.

Math tutor

In high school I started helping a middle schooler with their lessons. My first glimpse of the joy of seeing someone understand because of something you said. I could teach. And I liked it.

Bacardi

While in Florida for a summer, I worked at Bacardi in the quality control area. Mostly, I cleaned bottles. Then I emptied bottles with bad seals. Then I went back to cleaning bottles. I learned that even in a dead-beat job, you can find joy. And you can find Jesus.

FedEx

I organized packages on the belt for the daily local trucks. Which means I worked from 3ish am to 7ish am. I was doing this job during my undergrad. I learned that cops are bored in the middle of the night and will pull you over for silly things. I learned that the more people like you, the better they treat you. I learned that a social life is sometimes more important than your current job. A life is more important than your job.

Arabic tutor

This time, I tutored on a university level. And I tutored language. I learned that the classic language teaching techniques aren’t for everyone. Sometimes, you need to use a doll to explain something.

Personal assistant

I was the personal assistant for the Navigator’s Director. It turns out I am not a good personal assistant. To be a good personal assistant, you have to really understand what’s going on in the other person’s head. And you have to be able to think like them. You also have to know the company and know what’s important.

City Bus driver

The bus! I drove Safe Bus Blue. I had the longest route and I drove from 9pm to 2am. And I only had to clean up “accidents” on the bus twice in the whole semester I drove. I learned how to drive a bus. But I learned the importance of understanding both sides of a coin. I used to ride the bus and get so annoyed when the bus was late. And, “why does it take me an hour to get home?!” But after driving the bus, I started to realize that the bus was justified on many things that were happening. Not all. But that riders also weren’t justified on everything they were doing, either. Both sides. Very valuable.

Chapel Oaks Funeral Home

I mostly ran errands and ran up and down the hallway. Sometimes, I would sit in the office and answer phones if no one else was there. But mostly, I ran errands. I learned how to become aware of work that needs to be done and then do it. Often, I would go into the office, get my next task, and then do it. But along the way, I started paying attention to light bulbs that were out, air fresheners that needed to be replaced, carpet that needed vacuumed, etc. And I would just do the things.

Tony French Systems

I was an accountant. I balanced the books and paid people. Here, I learned what it means to own a business and pay others before you pay yourself. I learned what it means to pay people on time. But mostly, I learned that money isn’t something that people should hide from each other. It’s topic that shouldn’t be taboo, but discussed freely.

Heartland Trailways

Cross-country travel. Behind the wheel. With 45 feet of steel behind me. I had fun at this job in the beginning. I went to fun places. I saw many Capital buildings. I had some fun people on my bus. But I also learned what it means to not be seen. I learned that work can be cruel and you weren’t made to do every job. Even if you’re an introvert, even if you’re shy, you still need people. And it hurts when no one sees you. See people.

Homeschool Teacher

I taught a family of brothers for 2 years. We had a great time. Art, science, State Bingo, language. They started behind but when we finished, they were 6 months ahead. I learned that caring for young men’s hearts is more important than making them sit still in a chair for hours and hours. I learned that it’s never too early to start teaching a boy the way of his heart. And, I learned how all four Presidents were assassinated. (We put on play productions for all four. So fun.)

Interior House painter

I painted every room except like 3 closets in a giant mansion. (She wouldn’t call it a mansion, but it’s huge.) Then, I painted the basement of the house across the way. Painting can be fun. But it can get old. But I learned that if you’re doing hard work for the right people, it doesn’t feel like work.

IT21 Solutions

Data entry. Need I say more? I will. I made good money here and I was good at it. You can make good money just entering data into a system. But why? Why would you do it full time? Why wouldn’t you go out and do something your heart desires? Something you were created for? (Unless data entry is what your heart desires… then why would you do something like song writing?) The point is, you were created for something. Go find it.

SIL-UND

I had a couple jobs at SIL-UND. I made the website. I created their logo. I worked on recruitment materials. I became the publicist. Then I T.A.’d for a summer. What I learned here: I can work from home, but I need interaction and I need accountability. I also learned that I’m more motivated when I’m feeling creative. This job had a lot to do with creativity. The One who created the world gives us his creativity, and it’s really nice to flex that creative muscle. But when you’re not feeling it, you’re probably not feeling God, either.

Author

I did my own little side-hustle and wrote a book. And then I published it. It’s something I have always wanted to do and it was very rewarding to see something I created in print. What I learned, though, is to not ignore your dreams. They are probably dreams for a reason and they will flourish more than you thought possible.

Nanny

After I graduated, I was a nanny for a few months. I learned a new type of patience. I learned that kids might not like your food even if you make the things you know they like. And I learned that adventure and being noticed is at the heart of humans. We see the best of them when we try to cultivate those longings.

DOOR International

Now, I work for DOOR. I have learned many things, but one thing really pounds home. I love Jesus. I love how Jesus works. I love how he puts desires in our hearts and then gives us 18+ other jobs before he gives us the one that hits that desire. I love how his heart hurts for the things your heart hurts for. I love that he made jobs out there for all the weirdos of the world. I love that he found the job that fit me in the perfect time and worked everything out for good. I love so many things about him.

Is there a job here you were surprised I had? Have you had any of my experiences? Let me know in the comments below!