Inspired and confused

I’m writing this almost as a cry for help. I feel like I’m back at square one.

My dream isn’t to have my own business. My dream is to make music and really sweet videos. I would also like to make documentaries.

Music and film making have been constants in my life. This business and web thing is kind of new and has developed as I’ve been desperate to monetize my talents. And while it’s been fun, I’m exhausted. I’ve made some things I’m proud of, but I only feel somewhat satisfied. I feel like I have so much more to give and all my creative energy is going into projects I’m only somewhat invested in. I’m turning 25 next month and feel like I’m wasting my time. I feel like this isn’t working anymore…but I also don’t feel like i have options. My student loan debt is totally crippling and I’ve had a hard time finding work in my field in Upstate, NY. I also feel like I’m stuck here until God says I can leave, so leaving isn’t really an option either. I have freedom to work from anywhere but no money to get anywhere else. I wear my pajamas to work half the time but sometimes don’t have social contact for days. My health is crippling. My spiritual life is dim. I feel trapped. I have no idea how to get to a place where I can make money but actually do what I love. SO yeah…square one. I’m thinking about just working at a restaurant or something while I figure this out. I just feel like if I keep spending my creative energy on this stuff and doing what I’m doing, I’m going to run into a wall.

If you have any ideas on steps I can take to move forward, please share.

I have an un-offendable heart

On Friday night, I heard a teacher say he had an un-offendable heart.

I can’t stop thinking about this statement and what am amazing way to walk through life it is.

God has been speaking to me a lot to keep on believing that He can work in people. One component of that is believing that NO ONE is beyond God’s grace, but the other is believing that only God can change a man’s heart. That applies to Christians too. God sanctifies and transforms people. Having an offense against someone does nothing for them, but prayer does everything.

God is also reminding me that in order to effectively pray for someone, we have to have God’s heart for them. We have to look past their flaws and see them as He does. Like He does. We have to be un-offendable.

It’s super glamorous and, I dare to say, easy to love the homeless man on the street, but loving those who have hurt us is true ministry.

Life Update Pt. 2…MUCH MUCH LATER

Hey Friends,
I know it’s been a LONG time since I last posted. First I just didn’t have anything to update on and was kind of depressed, then I got ridiculously busy, then I got engaged and got even busier with that, and now I’m married and am starting a whole new life basically. I felt like everything was totally out of control for a while and also felt a lot of condemnation that kept me from blogging. You see, the busier I got, the less I focused on eternal things, and I kind of felt like since I wasn’t having daily revelations and sitting in God’s presence all the time nothing I had to say would edify others. Now I’m realizing how silly that is, and on top of that how much my writing has helped me as much as other people have told me it has encouraged them. SO yay. We’re doing this together…again ;)

EXTERNAL UPDATE:

My wedding went even better than planned. That is a testimony in and of itself that I will absolutely share another time. And marriage? Marriage is filling me with so much gratitude and joy. Everyday my love for my husband grows and I feel genuine worship and thankfulness flowing out of me just because of that. I feel this love for him and for God just pouring out of me and it’s kind of great and disgusting. I’m loving life at the moment and feel blessed beyond belief. The whole experience is very humbling.

Getting back to work business wise, and definitely came back to a lot of it! Starting another bloggy type project you guys will see me roll out pretty soon. It’s something I feel really strongly led to do, even more and more as time goes on. I’m excited and I know I’m being vague, but I’m still asking you to keep this project and me in prayer.

Also getting back to making music. YES. Just yes.

INTERNAL UPDATE:

Somewhere in the legal process in New York State, my name is legally changing. With that I’m kind of reinventing myself in a way. I know it’s super corny, but I feel like I’ve bought into a lot of lies and garbage the last 7 months, and I’m needing to rid myself of it. SO in my head goes this process: Kristen Jorgensen believes this but Kristen Estes doesn’t. It’s kind of nice but really hard to do. Asking God to renew my mind constantly.

That’s it for now. Glad we had  this pow wow.

Life Update! Part 1.

Hey Friends!

It’s definitely been one of the busiest seasons of my entire life, and I want to update everyone on what’s going on!

First off is a biggie. I’ve felt for a few months God leading me to start ending my time on staff at House Of Praise and step into something different. God has absolutely shown me how much He takes care of me through this experience. Everything in the natural thus far has aligned so perfectly with where I’ve felt Him leading me, and I’d like to share with you guys how that mapped out.

I’ve been moonlighting Bananerd, my graphics, video and web design business for a while now and since the summer have felt like at some point, I would take it full time. My goal is to build it up enough where it could be a business that would financially free me up to do more ministry (and an outlet through which I could mentor other young artists.) We’ll come back to this…

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In mid October, my Aunt felt like I should go with her to the last night of a conference near Philadelphia. At this service, two of my favorite women in ministry were doing their thing: Kim Walker-Smith (of Jesus Culture) was leading worship and Heidi Baker was preaching. I got to actually meet and chat with both of them which basically made my entire life…

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but besides that, it was a night where God was imparting vision to people about their destinies. Heidi’s message was all about this: God calls you, you qualify, then wait for His direction. She had a lot of other amazing things to say that I must share in another post but for now I’m just going to touch on this.

I knew in early 2010 that God was in SOME WAY (I know I don’t know everything yet and I’m GLAD) calling me to use media, music and missions to do ministry. So much alliteration! I have been blessed enough to have a passion for these things, and I think secretly God has been qualifying me for these all of my life. My first missionary experience was around 5 or 6 years old, when my parents moved us to the Dominican Republic for 6 years.Image

That’s me and my dad in the DR when I was a lil bb :)

My first music experience was stealing the microphone from my mom during her special in church one Sunday, which also happened before I could read. It was all over after that!

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That led to talent shows, musicals, church bands and voice lessons (*which were definitely the most important of all! I’m still learning more and more about voice every day.)

My media experiences were a little later when I was in high school, when me wanting to be an anchor on our school news program meant that I would also have to edit some of my own stories.

I soon fell in love with editing and wound up getting my B.A. in Film Production from Emerson College…where my well rounded college experience also got me to learn a ton about marketing, web design, image editing, special effects and 3D computer animation.

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I thought I was ready to start my business straight out of college, but boy was I wrong. There were a lot of things school didn’t prepare me for, like time management, discipline, administrative responsibilities, and leading people. When Pastor Lon Dean asked me to come on staff at House Of Praise, we both knew it was supposed to be a training ground. From the get go, we had both prayed and felt my time there was only supposed to be 1-2 years long. They needed a Media Department established, and I needed to learn a lot! The past year (and a couple months) with them has been so incredibly fun and I can earnestly say I learned even more this year than I did in college. It wasn’t always easy, but it was worth it. I love the staff there so much, and I already miss not going into the office!

You can see a really special moment, me getting baptized by Pastor Lon and prayed for by my church, here

So God called me. God had secretly been qualifying me, and then not so secretly qualifying me. 

And now…what?

Well, when I was at that service outside of Philly in mid October (and a little before that) I received words and advice that it was time to move on. I knew the time was coming (especially when considering my finances…working at a church doesn’t exactly make you rich…actually with the interest I accrued forbearing student loans to take my job I essentially paid to work there! lol. Still worth it!) I had talked to Pastor Lon a few weeks prior about my finances and how I probably had to take another job soon, and he asked me about my business. He was so encouraging, telling me he really thought I could do it successfully. That was super cool, because I really respect him and know he knows a lot about the professional world…and about me AS a professional!

So I evaluated. I don’t have to worry about my living situation or my insurance situation for a few months. Not a ton of time, but enough to take a shot at being a full time entrepreneur. So then I pray:

Okay God…if I’m gonna step out and pursue Bananerd full time, I need clients.
I’m not promoting beyond word of mouth at the moment. Within 2 weeks, 5 people contacted me about doing work for them.

Okay God…if this is You, I’m gonna need software.
Barely thought it, and I got it. Legally…for free.

Okay God…if this is You, let my leadership stand in agreement with me.
Talked to Pastor Lon the following week. He was, again, so encouraging. We talked to the rest of the staff later that day and everyone prayed for me and blessed me. The next month was just getting everything ready for me to step down, and everyone has been SO helpful, going above and beyond their job descriptions to facilitate the change. I was and am very blessed.

On November 22nd, I hung up my Media Director hat at House Of Praise. On November 28th, I started full time as a sole proprietor at Bananerd.

So, I waited for His direction, and it looks like this is it! It’s scary thinking about being my own boss and having enough time to do everything and where my next pay check is coming from…but I know I’m gonna be okay.

I don’t know what God is going to do with music or missions, but I know that just as He has with media, He is qualifying and preparing me for something. I just wanted to remind everyone how masterful of a weaver God is, and how He can take even the passions or ours that seem trivial, and use them for His glory…in fact, we should be doing all of them in worship of Him and as unto Him (Colossians 3:23.) Ahhhh!

I have so much more to update on, but for now my boss says I gotta get back to work! ;)

-K

PS: For all interested, I’ll be sharing the Bananerd website with you guys as soon as it’s done! For now, if you have any leads on any small businesses, non profits, or artists that want web, graphics or video work done, feel free to email  bananerd@gmail.com

This is what my life is going to be like one day

God has placed a vision in my heart of what His ministry is going to be like for me. When I saw this video, I was like “YESSSSS! There it is exactly!” So for anyone who thinks I’m crazy with my talks of music and travel and Jesus, maybe this will help you understand:

Also, big news soon to come!

Kyle Steed

While visiting one of my fave sites (a site about sites) I stumbled across this guy, Kyle Steed. He is an illustrator/designer…and a Christian. I loved his site and his blog and wanted to share them with you friends.

 

 

Demanding honesty

In the recent past, I’ve been a shade monster.

For months, I was seeing a guy (now officially my wonderful boyfriend) but on a Sunday Morning would pretend like there was nothing going on, or if people would ask me about it I wouldn’t really be honest with them. Though I wasn’t fooling many people, I still wasn’t being straightforward and it was eating away at me inside. Though seeing Travis* wasn’t a “sin issue,” it still felt so good when we finally felt it was right to date and our feelings came out into the light. I realized later the distance that had grown between myself and others because of my not-so-secret-secret.

I thought being vague and discreet would keep me safe. From what? I don’t know. Now I realize all I was really doing was not giving others the freedom to be honest about their lives either. Romans 15 says this about the church:

Romans 15

1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”[a]

As a leader I thought by my general policy of withholding information about my past or even present shortcomings and questions, I wouldn’t cause other people to stumble like I had.** I thought it was a necessary boundary I needed to have between myself and others.

Really it was arrogant to place that much distance between myself and the people and FRIENDS I am SERVING.
Really I was protecting myself and not letting others in.
If I didn’t give my cares to others, how could I have a real relationship with them? How could I bear their failings and they mine if we weren’t honest about them?

Really  I could have even been perpetuating an idea of a “spiritual elite”:

I’m in ministry because I’m perfect and know the answers to all of life’s situations, oh AND and I know everything about Jesus.
Maybe one day you’ll be like me. [hair flip]

Ew.

If you believe people in ministry are a part of some “spiritual elite” you are wrong. As many of you have seen through hurts in your church and failures in leadership, people will always sin and will always let you down in some way. People can even do exactly what God wants them to do and still disappoint you! Don’t put your hope entirely in your leadership, but do demand honesty from them and give it in return.

And on that note: If your motivation for correcting someone or withholding information comes more from the desire to be “right” and accepted than the pursuit of truth, then you are in a danger zone…and you are not only hurting yourself. You are creating an atmosphere around you where people feel the need to put on a show for you. Your actions affect more than you. Especially if you are in leadership.

Repent, seek the truth…and TELL IT!

Honestly, I suck. I fail. I have no idea why Jesus died for me when I’ve cheated on Him time and time again. It’s a mercy that I have a hard time comprehending being able to extend to any human being. Yet this is what God commands. He asks us to participate in His SACRIFICE of love by loving each other. By admitting our idiocy to each other and in turn having the grace to forgive each other.

My Pastor displays this time and time again to me. I walk in there and speak my mind and tell him the stupid things I’ve done, and he LOVINGLY corrects me and I feel like a million bucks after. I still walk in there afraid to tell him things sometimes…but when I am afraid to be honest with my Pastor about things, I wonder if I’m being honest with myself or with GOD about them too. Have I really repented if I am afraid to admit my shortcomings?

I promise you this, at least from me to the best of my wisdom and very HUMAN abilities: I will from here on out be honest with you. It’s not always going to be pretty, but I am going to expect love from you when I am, and you can expect the same in return.

*Not Captain J. Travis,  hot guitar player Travis…just clearing that up
**I do believe there are some things that are WISE not to disclose to EVERYONE…but I don’t believe there is anything you can’t tell to ANYONE.
Also in truth telling we have to be VERY careful to avoid the temptation to gossip.
I’m just saying in general… let’s be honest.

Confession


Some of you think some things about me that just aren’t true.

So to clear some things up:

I am not following Jesus because it makes me happy. I’m not following Jesus because of all the money/well being/community/health/parking spots/giggles/candy He provides me. I’m not paying Him back for all the terrible things I’ve done. I’m not following Jesus because my family does so. I’m not trying to earn my way into heaven.

If the above things were true I would not be following Jesus. I would be following me.

I’m a Christian, a follower of Jesus, because Jesus is the Son of God and He deserves all glory.

If you have a problem with that, it might be because you see God how you see people, and you don’t like people who want glory all for themselves.

And you’re right: you shouldn’t like that…because that glory doesn’t belong to them.

It belongs to Jesus.

God will be glorified in my life because He is good. Not because he is working for me.

I don’t always know why.
I don’t always agree.
I don’t always get my way.
Bad things do and will continue to happen.
God is still good.

 

I have another confession to make:

I know the above is where I want my mentality to be. I know it’s right and I want with everything to declare that, but there are times I do forget that my life isn’t about me. Way more times that I’d like to admit. Probably most of the time if I’m honest. But this is what I’m admitting to God, (and to you) and going to let Him work out in me: my view of Him and my very existence. If I lose sight of that then, what am I even doing?

I feel compelled to share this because,
a)It keeps coming up this week and I think God’s trying to point out something, at least to me.
b) I care about you and want you to think about this stuff to. Why do you do the things you do?

 

If you have time, I totally encourage you to listen to Village Identity Part 1 for more on God and this.

When life gives you lemons, make a necklace

Howdy friends,

I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been so busy during some significant transitions happening in every area of my life right now, and it’s been really difficult to collect my thoughts or really figure out what God is trying to teach me…but I think I’m close lol.

What’s going on:
1) If you read my last post you know that my home flooded and my family is displaced for several months. Since then, I’ve been able to find an apartment in Downtown Albany and my parents now live in a house only a few minutes from our home that’s getting fixed up. God has shown a lot of favor on us in this regard and though it’s been difficult and uncertain in a lot of ways everything is really working out for us. Also, I’ve always wanted to live in Albany and never thought with my current financial status that I would ever be able to anytime soon, and God totally opened that door for me (a super secure door in a building with 24 hour security don’t worry friends!)

2) Right after I blogged about money some weeks ago, I’ve been hit with some things out of no where (car trouble, having to buy things for the new apartment, etc.) and had a hard time financially. BUT I have picked up some freelance work, and I know those doors are going to fling wide open again soon, so be praying for me with that, and I can’t wait to tell you guys when they do :) I am transparent about my finances not because I want sympathy or donations or anything, but because I know this is an area of struggle and a great test of faith for a lot of people. I want you to know I struggle with this too but to be encouraged when things turn around for me, and for that to build YOUR faith in this area. I’m blogging about my hardships because I absolutely know God already has and will continue to provide for me above and beyond what I could even deserve (and that doesn’t even just mean someone handing me a huge check) and I want you to be a witness to this when it happens. I say that boldly because I know in my heart it’s true.

3) One of my closest friends and co workers has left House Of Praise to start a ministry in Albany. It’s definitely been emotional, but I’m really interested to see what God does. Keep both House of Praise and that ministry (White Couch Albany) in your prayers during this time.

4) Some amazing missionaries, Eric and Ginny Hanson, came to House Of Praise this weekend and totally reminded me why I went into ministry in the first place and am here and not in LA. I forget sometimes. You can see their message here 

5) I’m easing into the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in with a great, great guy. That’s really all I want to share right now.

…but speaking of, is it weird to anybody else how all of a sudden EVERYONE that can be is in a relationship or getting married. It makes me suspicious. It’s not just in my church either, it’s EVERYWHERE…at least according to Facebook. I wonder if this is just my 20′s or if God is doing something specifically monumental through relationships in the near future. I feel like it’s just too weird not to be a spiritual thing. Please let me know your thoughts.

So that’s an update for you guys.

K

BIG P.S.:
This is something God placed on my heart that I just shared with someone, but feel that I need to share with everyone:

Intense presence of God and more miracles, BUT only for those who ask for them/it. HE is waiting to reveal Himself not based on what we “deserve” but because of who He is, so we must ask according to who He is and trust that He is who He says He is. Provider, Shelter, Comforter, Strength, Author and Finisher. We have to ask according to who He is and not who we are. We have not and will never be deserving, but God will move according to the faith in which those who love him ASK. Not faith in themselves, but faith in Him. He’s waiting to reveal Himself. 

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