Friday, March 26, 2010

Grown up Life

As my college career comes to a close, the reality of grown up life has been on my mind. I don't like when people ask me what I'm doing next because truthfully, I don't know. That's a scary thought. A lot of times I find myself living in fear of the future simply because I don't know what it holds. I know this is not how God wants me to live. This is not how I want to live.

It's been hard not living on campus this year. It's been hard being so consumed with school that I have time for little else. It's been hard not experiencing the fellowship and community I once had at Bethel. Sometimes, when I walk on campus I feel nostalgic. I feel much like I do when I go back to my old summer camp--the familiar sights and smells bring about a flood of memories of truly joyful times. I wish I had more of these memories. Thinking back on college, I spent so much time doing homework and studying and not enough time investing in people and allowing them to invest in me. As I leave Bethel, I carry a little guilt with me. I wish I'd been able to grow closer with the wonderful people who walked campus with me. I wish I'd been vulnerable enough to let more people know me on a close level; I wish I'd worked on building forever friendships. I wish I'd been more available to my friends--that I'd have been the friend they felt they could call at any time and know I would drop anything to be there for them. That's the friend I want to be.

As I move into the next phase of my life, whatever it brings, I want to be different. I want to be a selfless friend. I want to build forever friendships and have a community in which we pray for one another. I want to have my priorities right.

I have a lot of growing up to do.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"If I Were Born Something Else"

I was assigned to write a children's book for one of my classes (one of the joys of being an elementary education major), and this is what I've come up with.

"If I were Born Something Else" By: Traci Kuiper

At times when I’m bored, I wonder to myself what life would be like if I were born something else.

What if I was a bug or I lived in the wild?

It would probably be better than life as a child.

If I were a fish, I would swim in the sea.

It’s deeper and cooler than any pool could be.

I’d swim far and wide and explore all I wished.

You see, life would be grand if I were a fish.

If I were a frog, I would jump really high. I’d hop where and I wanted and pass everyone by.

I could live in a creek and hang out on a log. You see, life would be grand if I were a frog.

If I were an ant, I would be very strong. I would have six legs I’d use to scurry along.

I’d munch on big leaves, eating foods most people can’t. You see, life would be grand if I were an ant.

If I were a butterfly, I’d have great big wings. I’d fly through the clouds for the best view of everything.

I would be beautiful and never be shy. You see, life would be grand if I were a butterfly.

But I’m not an ant or a frog or a fish. I’ll never be a butterfly, no matter how hard I wish

I’m an ordinary boy, sitting in his backyard, letting his mind wander to adventures afar.

If I were born something else, how my life would be changed! Everything about me would be rearranged.

I don’t have six legs. I don’t live by the sea. I don’t hop place to place or fly wild and free.

But I suppose I can swim and jump pretty high. And when I swing in the air, I feel like I could fly.

I wouldn’t like eating leaves or not having toys. Perhaps life can still be grand as an ordinary boy.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


We were asked to write poems about Dawn for one of my elementary education classes...It's probably the most enjoyable homework I've had in a long time, so I thought I'd share:-)


Dawn peaks out from behind the mountains
Eager to show her bright face
The pond reflects her dazzling light;
Her sparkling beams and rays

The sky is splashed with pinks and blues
His canvas is a lovely sight
Dawn adds the touch his painting needs
To make it look just right

The mountains greet the brand new dawn
Basking in the warmth she lays
The night has bid farewell once more
Making room for the lovely day

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What's your name?

I know I've been writing quite frequently about remembering all the good Christ has done for us, but I'm going to again. I went to Kellar Park Church today, and the pastor spoke on that very topic. Coincidence? Probably not. God knows it takes me a while to get stuff sometimes;-)

The pastor talked about how to remind yourself of God's goodness when you can't feel his presence at all. He talked about how in biblical times, even people's names were meaningful in reminding them of God. That really got me thinking about my name and what it means. I don't think my parents named me Traci simply because they liked the name. I think they also liked the meaning of it.

I've looked up my name meaning, and have found a few different ones, but I think they all describe me in some way. In one (and you'll probably find this laughable), my name means "warrior." At first, I thought that was ridiculous because I'm such a non-confrontational person. But then I started to think about it differently. I am an extremely passionate person and will stand up for what I think is right. When people call me by name, maybe that is my reminder from God that I am his warrior. What am I fighting for? Who am I fighting for? Am I fighting for the right reasons? It's an important reminder...

The second name meaning is "industrious," which I find very fitting. I love to be involved in everything and work hard. I also tend to overcommit. When someone says my name, is that God's little reminder that I'm supposed to be working hard for his glory and not my own?

The last name meaning I found is actually something from a certificate of sorts I have hanging in my room. It says my name means "Diligent Harvester, " and the corresponding verse is found in John 4:35: "...behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white and already to harvest." I think this is my reminder that people in this world are ready to hear God's word--I just need to change my outlook and realize it. I can't look around and see the world as condemned. That is not what God calls me to do. My own name should remind me of that.

So what's your name? Are you living up to it?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Since the invasion of the flu virus, I have had little else to do but watch television. I normally do not watch TV, and today I realized why....there's really just nothing on! We have over 500 channels, and still, I cannot find something worth watching. Why do I want to know what celebrities are pregnant and wearing bikinis? Why do I want to watch what the Kardashians do in their day-to-day lives as I sit on my couch doing nothing? Today, I discovered a show called "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" It's about nice girls who go out with guys who cheat on them and treat them like crap. So it's basically girls with no standards who are willing to date guys who are tools...and they pain they all suffer as a result. Wow. TV rocks.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I remember

I distinctly remember Anneke and I hiding in her closet making prank phone calls to her mom's business and trying unsuccessfully to stifle our giggles. I remember staying up late and sneaking out of her room to get a snack when we were supposed to be asleep. I remember building forts in her basement using ugly, floral sheets and furniture. I remember the time we put soap all over the floor of a public bathroom because it was dirty and we wanted to help by cleaning it...when really the soaping resulted in lots of people falling on the slippery (but clean) floor.

I remember finding out her family was moving to Colorado, and how I cried myself to sleep for weeks. I remember promising we'd be best friends forever and making plans to talk to each other as much as possible. There were long phone calls almost every week and visits every summer.

I remember the sinking feeling in my stomach when I found out she'd started cutting herself...and how things between us were never quite the same after that. I remember being a helpless 7th grader with no clue how to be there for her.

Remembering makes me sad sometimes. I haven't talked to Anneke consistently in about 3 years. Her mom e-mailed me today asking me to pray for Anneke. She struggles with drug addiction and has already had a friend die from a heroine overdose. She's been in rehab, but can't manage to stay clean. She probably has no clue how much Jesus loves her...

I once again find myself feeling like a helpless 7th grader with no clue how to face the struggles ahead... Remembering makes me sad sometimes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Time to Start Living

Church on Sunday was wonderful. I didn't feel I connected much with the message that morning, yet God still spoke to me so much through the music and a woman named Carolyn who prayed with me after service. I could almost hear Jesus saying: I died that you may have life. It's time for you to start living!

It was one of those days where things you already know becomes like new again. Maybe I'm just stupid and forgetful, but I love the fact that, in spite of that, God will continue to remind me of his love. Always. It's time to start living, folks. Don't allow your fears to paralyze you!