Thursday, April 26, 2012


Yesterday, as I got off from work, I was starving. Didn't get a chance to eat breakfast, and I didn't get to leave for lunch until 2. First, I stopped at Starbucks and had a nice conversation with the barista. Feeling good, I decided to walk to Chipotle and maybe get a burrito, sit outside, and enjoy the sun shining on the Inner Harbor of Baltimore.

I walked slowly through the mass of people, taking my time as I was pondering if I wanted carnitas or a veggie burrito. People were shuffling by, focused on their own priorities as the moved, dressed in their business suits that classify them has important people working within the financial district. Going against the flow was a woman, wearing a Ravens hoody and a loose pair of jeans, tears streaming down her face, pleading with people for a meal.

People kept walking by, not even bothering to acknowledge her, not wanting to recognize the pain that she felt. I can understand where they are coming from. Everyday on my walk to work, I pass by the same people who ask me for spare change. We have been taught as a society not to give them money, because they might use it to fuel a hypothetical addiction they may have, inadvertantly telling them that their lifestyle is acceptable.
As this woman walked by me, I was so tempted to just pass on by and get my burrito. I wouldn't have to bother myself with it, and it would be just all the other people I pass and ignore. But I couldn't. I couldn't look at her and just see her as a little blip in my day. I turned around and said "Sure, I'll buy you lunch. Where would you like to go?"

Immediately, she claimed "PRAISE GOD!" And went on to tell me that she has been praying for anybody to come by just to give me a meal, that she had to run away from her husband who had tried to kill her, and that she had a two month old. She was currently staying on the couch in a friend's apartment, but she hasn't had anything to eat in 3 days because all of her money has to go towards feeding her baby and buying diapers.
I was taken aback. The first words out of her mouth were "PRAISE GOD."  Would those be the first words in my mouth in that situation? As we walked to  7-11, she told me about her church, about how she became a Christian, about how God saved her and her baby from the abusive situation, how she named her baby Anika because in Greek in means "very beautiful," and she liked that it meant something in the same language of the Bible. She told me about how she prays for everything, seeks guidance from God about all situations in her life, from what to name her baby to where she is going to find her next meal.

As we stood in the check out line at 7-11, I was struck with out friendly and personable she was, and how strong her faith in God is. I've been moping around, upset with my life because I'm not near any of my friends, grumbling about how sick I am of the food in my house. In my life full of stability and comfort, I have been refusing to lean completely on God. This woman relied FULLY on Him, even though her life was something I could never imagine, hardships that I have not come close to experiencing. How could she praise God through all of that, while I was having trouble praising God through just my miniscule trials? It all came crashing down on me.

As we walked out, she gave me a huge hug and said she was so glad that she made a new friend who believed God like she did, and I walked away. I've been kicking myself every sense. Why did I walk away so quickly? Was simply giving her a meal enough? I regret the way I acted, the way I handled things.

At work, we've been reading this book called "When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself" by Brian Fickett and Steve Corbett.

When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Yourself

This book is all about how, when we throw our money and our resosurces at those who are in need, we are demeaning them as people. We are saying that they need our help because they can't do it themselves, and are putting them down spirtually and emotionally. Instead, we need to find ways to help them by empowering the individuals.

While buying this woman a meal may have helped her immediate needs, there was so much more I could have done to help her emotionally and spiritually. I could have found out her information so I could have made a long lasting connection. I could have contacted her pastor and found out how I could help her through her church. At the least, I could have told her how much she had impacted me and changed my way of thinking in just an hour. But I did none of these things. I gave her my resources without building her up emotionally and spiritually, without empowering her.

While we help people, we need to make sure that we are empowering them as individuals, through Christ. We need to make sure that more than just their physical needs are met. I wish I could have done the same for this woman and her baby, but I didn't. I'm hoping that she will run across someone that could give her more than I could.

Please make it a priority to empower people as you go through life, and see more than just their physical needs, but also their emotional and spiritual ones, if you attempt to assist them in any way possible.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Always Searching

I've always admired people with blogs, real blogs, that people check every day because they are actually interested in what the writer has to say. I don't know if this blog will become one of them, because I'm not particularly good at anything that I can show people how to do, I am not very good at giving my opinion, and I'm not the artsiest, smartest, or most well bred person out there.
However, I felt like I needed a space to share the things that are constantly going on in my head, even if know one reads them. Don't get me wrong, it would be great if people did! But I see this as a place where I can chronicle things that I've enjoyed, changes in my life, people I've met, as I better discover who I am and the person I want to be.

I just graduated from college, so I'm undergoing some big changes in my life. What career path do I want to take? What kinds of things do I actually like? I think of how much I changed from 12 to 14, 14 to 16, that I'm 22 I feel like I need to chronicle these changes because I am shaping into my adult self, my self that is going to be more permanent. 

ALL  that being said, I'm going to use this place to talk about books that I've read, music I like, food I've made (and eaten.. :)), people I've met, places I've discovered, the blessings and trials, the things God has been doing in my experience diary. I want everything to be tangible and real, something that I, and others, can look back on and feel like they are reaching into the world, discovering something new.

So who am I?

My name is Kitty.

Thats me...and yes that's my real name.
I'm super social... I get my energy from being around people. And I love meeting new people, learning from them things I could have never known on my own. 
I love to sing. I feel closest to God when I sing, I can feel Him moving through me and around me. People always comment at the amount I smile...especially when I'm singing. I can't help it. I just love it too much :). 
Even though I love being around people and on stage, I also love the time that I get to spend by myself. I love to wander around cities and towns, exploring what they have to offer. This comes from years of traveling, exploring different cultures, meeting people, eating different foods. 
I love to read. I'm always in the middle of a book, and I love the experience having your imagination in the hands of a writer who can take you so far away, to places you could have never imagined on your own.
I love music. Any and all. People always make fun of my music library because it is so eclectic- one minute Yo Yo Ma, the next Kanye West- but thats what I love about it. I love how music can affect your mood, the way your feeling, can bring life to a room or can somber it. 

Other things about me?
I love NPR.
I drink coffee out of the same mug every morning.
I flip flop from being a vegetarian, and eating steak. 
I have been to over 20 different countries. My favorite? Living in Thailand. 
Haven't met a food I didn't like (except celery. Hate celery)
I know I can be really good friends with someone the moment they make fun of me. I'm naturally drawn to sarcasm.
My favorite color is grey. Or turquoise. And I love how yellow is used to contrast both of them.
I always have plans for decorating rooms floating around in my mind.
I'm notoriously messy...something I'm really working on. 
I'm always behind on the multiple TV shows I'm watching, and I have a problem with seeing characters from TV shows as my real friends. 
I love to laugh. 

Alright..well thats enough. Check back here for reviews about books, food, music, and stories from my different adventures!