blog overhaul ::

January 28, 2009

hey ya’ll,
my blog has officially moved to http://www.katietjarks.com, so feel free to add that to your blog readers and/or favorites. That’ll be the site that actually gets updated from now on.

happy reading!

skypealicious ::

January 26, 2009

My cousin Jill is studying in Spain this semester [apparently her Spanish skills are just a tad bit better than mine…].

We had our first skype webcam convo today and discussed important things like: if there were cute guys, how smoking is so much more culturally acceptable in other countries and why she compared her host family to people in East Des Moines. 

jill

Here’s a screenshot from our convo. Her in a coffee shop in Spain [clearly mid-sentence…]. Me in my parent’s living room watching it snow outside.

i heart skype. mucho. 

el fin.//

mobile-to-mobile minutes ::

January 26, 2009

one of the great things about being in the States is that it’s so much easier to stay connected.

today, i’m especially thankful for unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes to talk to Amy, mi mejor amiga! 

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amy & i in South Africa in December– (look closely and you can see the leopard in the grass between us…)

now, if only Carolina would hurry up and get back…

confession ::

January 25, 2009

clementines

i have a mild obsession with clementines. I’m on my third since dinner.

i got so excited when I saw them at target today that I accidentally dumped the entire container on the ground [i know…you can’t take me anywhere]. luckily, the nearest friendly target worker was there to help me gather the ones that got away before i saw someone else I knew.

the good life ::

January 23, 2009

Jesus made the point clear: stay connected to Him, and you will have no reason to fear. Jesus doesn’t mean that the instant you have faith fear simply vanishes or only good things happen in your life. In fact, the blessings that come with eternal life often have nothing to do with present or future circumstances; but they have everything to do with our connections to God and one another. That is my message to all of you. God came to earth wrapped in flesh, and then He reached His greatest acclaim through a torturous death. If this is all true, then we will find strength and beauty in places we never imagined. Abiding in Jesus the Liberator is the good life, regardless of the external circumstances.

an excerpt the Gospel of John from The Voice a new paraphrase version of the Bible, like The Message.

[I don’t know much about The Voice…I found it today, apprarently, you can buy the New Testament now, but a free pdf download of the Gospel of John is on their website–out of curiousity I’m reading it now. If anyone knows anything about it, I’d love your thoughts…].

suitcase living ::

January 22, 2009

When I drove into the driveway yesterday, I ended over two months of living out of a suitcase

As much as there were moments when I was slightly annoyed with my limited clothing options [at least clean ones…] and desperately wished I had packed more warm clothes [especially in Chicago…], I loved it.

One of my favorite things about traveling is meeting people. When my best friend and I backpacked through Europe after college, we figured this out pretty quickly. As much as we enjoyed seeing endless arcs and walking miles through the Louvre, the thing we still talk about is the people we met. 

Over the past 9 weeks or so, I’ve met some amazing people.

People like Michelle in South Africa, who got roped into driving three strange Americans 5 hours from JoBurg to Sabi Sans in her Nissan Micra. 

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me, Jess, Michelle & Amy on a game drive

*about the hat…it was hot and really sunny…’nuff said.

Or Jimmy. Kristi and I met him and his wife of 62 years line dancing in Chicago. He was celebrating his birthday two-stepping with his bride. They met dancing and more than six decades later they are still at it.

jimmy

A slightly confused me met Beth on public transportation in Chicago. Through our conversation I quickly discovered she just happened to be attending the Moody Bible Institute for international missions.

I’m constantly reminded how we were created to be relational. My friend told me the story of Jim Haynes who lives in Paris. Every Sunday night he hosts people from all over the world for dinner. Jim has a fantastic memory and spends the week memorizing names and pictures so when people arrive he can spend the evening introducing people. [check out the link, the story is from NPR earlier this month–it’s pretty amazing].

done.//

unexpected moments ::

January 21, 2009

I’ve spent the last couple of days in Chicago with my friend Kristi. We met in Orlando through Status and a mutual love for dancing. We’ve now managed to embarrass ourselves in the land of Obama and Oprah nearly as much as we did while in Orlando.

While traveling the last couple of weeks I’ve had unexpected God moments that have both made me laugh and left me speechless.

Here’s one of the ones that made me smile:

I was having a moment earlier and knew I needed a little cheering up. Instead of hoping on the freeway (or motor-way as the beloved TomTom calls it), I drove through Chicago neighborhoods talking to God and hoping to spot someone or something make me laugh and get me out of my funk. Then I noticed Harpo Studios to my left. I know Oprah’s a little nuts, and I haven’t seen much of her show in the past few years…but, I’m still a closet fan. It totally cracked me up. [confession:: then I called and emailed the show to try to get last minute tickets…no cigar, but I’m crossing my fingers for sometime in February, phone lines open tomorrow…].

done .//

community ::

January 16, 2009

Two of my close friends, Carolina & Melyssa, have a group of amazing women meet at their house each Wednesday night. The Babbling Brookes graciously invited me to join them last Wednesday evening.

I felt honored to be in the presense of such cool people. I loved having the opportunity to share life with them, even if it was just for a couple of hours. As we sat outside and talked, warmed by the fire, it was neat to be able to get a snapshot into each of their lives.

One of the things I love about Orlando is the sense of community. I’m continually impressed and encouraged by how much friends are intentionally creating it in their city.

conversations ::

January 14, 2009

My friend, Jenn, asked me an amazing question over breakfast at Panera yesterday:

What  have your conversations with God been like lately?

I love it because I feel like it’s so challenging. It implies dialogue. Conversation. Communion. Exchange.

It emphasizes the importance of listening AND hearing Him.

timing ::

January 13, 2009

This weekend I was at the park with a friend. We were wrestling through some life stuff…doubts and fears, things that don’t always have an easy answer. 

A few minutes into the conversation, a man came by and started talking to us. He began with a random comment and we could tell he just needed to talk. We invited him to sit with us. He went on to tell us about people in his life and how he feels so lonely, but that he was trying to live in a way that pleases God.

Thoughout the course of the 45 minute conversation, we had the opportunity to pray with him. And then, without our prompting, our new friend began talk about the specific topic we had been discussing moments before he arrived. As he talked, he spoke about nearly everything we had been talking about in a decent amount of detail.

We were immediately encouraged by his words and, even now, as I replay the conversation in my head, I am amazed by God’s timing. We could have easily blown the man off–not  given him the time of day. After all,  he was a little rough around the edges. But, by opening our hearts and encouraging him to sit and talk with us, I was blessed in an amazing way by his words, one I’m sure he will never know.

Sometimes timing is everything.